Friday, January 20, 2017

Rustic meets Shabby Chic in a cabin in the woods

Today I'm heading about an hour out into rural Minnesota to hang a gallery wall and continue work on a really cool cabin in the woods.  The house has rustic elements, but the previous inhabitants also added more shabby chic details that are staying for now.  The living room has an impressive stone wall and fireplace, and we are mixing textures (leather, a "sweater" rug, a kilim ottoman) and balancing masculine with feminine.

The house has a large, newer entry which needed some defining.  After playing around with floor plans, we settled on a console and large mirror as the first thing you see when you come in, with a farm table used as a partners desk in the front window.  My client ended up finding the table and console on craigslist and I sourced rugs to warm it all up.

I'll share little bits and pieces on instagram when I'm there.  So fun to work in a different setting and in a different style.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Weekly blog post? Let's do this

Is Thursday a good day for a regular weekly post?
Over the hump, kinda bored, but we're not into the Friday wrap-up yet?

You tell me.

Anyway, this is a quicky.  Right before the holiday, a beloved client asked if we could refresh her eldest daughter's room as a Christmas present.  Well, you know I LOVE doing girls' rooms.  So I met with the 11 year old (and her mom), and we decided on lavender walls and green as one of the secondary colors.  She already had a white jenny lind bed and side table.

Here are two of the sketches I sent their way.

When you are skipping custom things, you're at the mercy of the market for color palette.  Luckily I found plenty to work with.

This scheme gets its fun from the bright rug.  I pulled the chartreuse for our green then mostly neutrals and a little pop of hot pink.  They have a pair of small sclae tufted chairs already that will move out of the living room as we bring that project into being.

But I wasn't sure how girly my client wanted to go.  she is also a hockey player, after all.  I gave her this version, with lots of green and some hits of teal.  Still feminine, but a little tougher around the edges.  Love that suzani chair, too (an overstock find.)

Apparently the first one was a hands down winner, and I can't wait to see it all done!

So tell me: do you like "design sketch" posts?

Monday, January 9, 2017

New Year

Every year around this time, I feel that funny pressure to write a post about resolutions, or a mantra for the year.  That funny pressure to contextualize in these one-year increments when the truth is, so much in life (and in design!) happens over a longer stretch.  I'm old enough now to see longer-term trends in my own life, and to know that I have often worked in 5-year cycles.  5 years in each of my Brooklyn homes.  5 years in each of my previous careers.

I know I'm not alone in saying that 2016 wasn't the best for me.  But interestingly, it was the year I passed the 5 year mark, both in my current home and in my current career.  I think the 5 year mark has in the past been when I get bored, or when it feels like the learning curve (which I LOVE) is over, and the rest is just a slog.  I think 2016 was the year I got through all that.  I'm excited, not bored, by the idea of moving from learning curve to mastery in my work.  I'm content, not bored, by the idea of fine tuning and tweaking my home, not building it up from scratch.  (Hmmmm....does it kind of sound like I am growing up?)

This year, in the spirit of commitment to this career, continued professionalizing, and moving towards mastery, I am looking forward to formalizing and finalizing a lot of things that have been sort of crawling along slowly for a long time.  (not even a hands and knee crawl; a lot of it feels like an army crawl, all elbows dragging through the mud.)

Some of these things include:
- Moving my business out of my home and into an office (in process!)
- Finalizing my graphic identity (almost done!)
- Finishing my website (press page, I'm looking at you!)
- Starting the process to join ASID
- Building a HOUZZ profile
- Moving to a proper accounting system
- Hiring an intern
- Weekly blog posts!  (What?  Yes!)

On the project front, long term projects coming to fruition early this year:
- Noe Valley (San Francisco) 4000sf gut remodel.  It's beyond.
- My parent's basement!  Bright turquoise mohair, zebra print, chiang mai dragon.  So fun.
- The upstairs for this house (in addition to the basement we've done the entry, living room and a kitchen/dining refresh), so I can finally share it all.
- This living room and sunroom
- a major kitchen reno
- a pair of vintage/ Craftsman inspired bathrooms

I think I might have just talked myself into a GREAT year.

What about you?

Friday, November 25, 2016

The annual Birthday Wish List

Black Friday.  The day of consumer lust.  Might as well share by annual Bday wish list!

When I was in high school I read a book called Write it Down Make it Happen.  It was self help-y and definitely not about obtaining stuff, yet much of last year's wish list ( here) came to be, including the horn bowl and modern necklace (thanks mom!), suede and leather tote bag and one of the design books (thanks Eileen!), Shelly Mosman portraits of my girls (amazing!), and a new car (thanks to an accident this summer that was minor but totalled my car nonetheless.  And no, not a land rover.)

Looking back, I am remarkably consistent with some of my wants, including cashmere-lined leather gloves and long necklaces!

Clockwise from top left:

I'm pretty sure these 42 year old eyes require glasses.  Thinking Warby Parkers.

Always have some good design books on my list!  Curious about the new Domino book.  The John Derian book is GORGEOUS.  and Commune is a left over form last year's list!

A wool or cashmere leopard print scarf

Cashmere lined leather gloves

A long tassel necklace

A dresser for the entry!

Good looking raised dog bowls

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


I'm having a very strong nesting urge.

Maybe it is because my house has been torn asunder by a 9 pound puppy named Auggie.

Maybe it is because all of my projects seems to be "in process," where it is more about trouble shooting than inspiration or results.

Or maybe it is a deep seated need to restore order in my small corner of a world that feels upside down since election day, never to be right again.

(drama queen)

We have lived in our house for 6 years, the longest I have ever been in one place as an adult, and we have reached that state where every drawer and closet and cupboard needs to be turned inside out and given a good scrubbing.  Honestly, that's a bit what my whole life feels like.

As cabinet positions are names and liberties (already!) threatened, decorating has never seemed sillier.  Yet I still believe in the comforts of home, and if I didn't live in a blue city in a (barely!!!!) blue state, I think I would be taking cover.

So what will I do around here next?  I have a little money set aside for house projects.  I am at a point where

a) I want things to work better for our family and contribute to our happiness or, at the very least, ease of living , and

b) I don't want to fall into the trap of temporary solutions

So I will probably have to make choices to stay on budget. The area of focus?  Our entry.

It has been a bit of a revolving door!  For a while it happily looked like this, until that desk went to the girls.

I had this vintage x-base desk (which I love) in the guest room, and wound up bringing it into the entry in a pinch.

But really, it's not working for us.  Not enough storage, and not enough free space beneath to add baskets.  (not that baskets are any solution with a puppy on the loose.)  I'm convinced that we need a dresser for storing gear: in the winter, hats and gloves etc; in the summer, sidewalk chalk and butterfly nets and jump ropes.  I had something in mind like this:

But guess what?  I mentioned it to my husband and he has an opinion.

He thinks we need a bench for people to sit on to put on their shoes.  (although--  We used to have that and I don't think anyone ever used it.)  So then maybe something like this:

Except in reality we probably aren't going to add a pendant light....and again that doggie likes to steal shoes (and gloves and socks and shirts and underwear) out of baskets

So we'll see!  Maybe I'll luck into some perfect vintage dresser and find myself with enough money left over to put a runner on my stairs.  It will be much better for the dog that way.

This is one of my more rambling posts, coming together over a week or two, but I'm hitting publish!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Tangletown Traditional: Living room sketches

I shared some sunroom sketches for this house the other day.

Today I've got some living room design sketches for you.

I have to say, despite my personal funky-eclectic taste, this sort of "fresh traditional" scheme is a real comfort zone for me, and I love to use it in older homes.  My approach in this case was to choose pieces whose lines felt traditional but not overly fussy or formal, and fabrics that feel young enough for the family that lives here.  The color palette comes in part from other choices we've made, like the tones in the wallpaper in the entry.

The living room opens to the right off of this foyer, with the dining room directly across the way.

I wanted to pull in the brown, coral, and blue in different combinations

The client and I are both loving the first option.  

What do you think?

Monday, November 14, 2016

Sunroom Sketches

Pretending  things are business as usual today.

It's been way too long since I have shared any work in progress!  We are working on early concepts for the sunroom in this house, which will likely include a wall to wall built in banquette, terra cotta or cement tile floor (though more French in feeling than Moroccan), and a table or tables for homework and dinner party overflow.  Also natural grasscloth on the walls and blue paint on the ceiling.

Excited about this one.  Living room sketches coming soon.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...