Sunday, April 27, 2014

Weekend DIY :: Accent Stripes

There are so many ways to add an accent of stripes to your home, from a simple solo chair-rail stripe, to wide vertical or horizontal stripes, to something more bold. Since I posted the below photo on Instagram, people have been asking me how I incorporated the bold splash of pink into our new home. It is with stripes--of course!

Stripes are a great way to add a pop of color or just a visual element to your space. In our case, we definitely added a bold pop.

Our inspiration:

Step One: Tape out the pattern or design.

Leave this initial pattern up for a few days to make sure you love it.

Step Two: After finalizing the pattern, decide how wide you want each element to be, and measure out the width in incremental pieces along the length of the initial strip, marking with pencil. Then tape to connect your painted dots.

Step Three: Cut away any overlapping elements of tape where the lines will overlap so that you can paint through them.

Step Four: Break out the paint and brushes and get to work.

Step Five: Do two coats of paint, and then while the second coat is wet, slowly and carefully, peel the tape straight off the wall.

Step Six: if you have any spots where the color bled through the tape, take a wet rag, and a sharp straight edge, and wipe away the excess paint. (Be very methodical and cautious here.)

Step Seven: Step back and enjoy your hard work!

What do you think? Have you considered adding stripes in any of your spaces? Have you seen a striped space that you love? Final kitchen reveal to post soon, so be on the lookout for how these stripes look fully incorporated in their element.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Design Motivation Monday

Daniel Libeskind is the world-renowned architect responsible for the Ground Zero rebuild master plans (found here on his website for more information).

You can peruse his site to see just how inspirational he and his associates are, but I thought I would share this quote of his, and a few images of the Ground Zero rebuild project which as most of you know is under construction now.

Studio Daniel Libeskind Ground Zero Concept Sketch
 © SDL

Ground Zero Master Plan
© Silverstein Properties
Concept Sketch and Ground Zero Master Plan images courtesy of Studio Daniel Libeskind website. For more on the Ground Zero Master Plan project check out SDL's direct project information here.

I love this quote by Libeskind and that it points us to our own imaginations and our innermost source of creativity, our own wonder. Do you ever find your own imagination and wonder the source of your design motivation? Start with wonder, and then put pen to paper with some sketching, and see what you come up with. You never know when motivation will strike and you will come up with something incredible!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Saturday Styles :: Rustic Industrial

Rustic & industrial styles often get grouped together, because the industrial look and feel often becomes more clear by using rustic pieces.

This rustic industrial kitchen features a raw concrete beam running through the middle
flanked by white cabinets, white subway tiles with black grout, combined with
exposed ducts, the enameled light fixture and bright concrete floors.
This is a perfect example of a rustic industrial space

Some elements that scream industrial design: white subway tiles with black grout lines; cool grey concrete-slab floors -- that can be warmed up with radiant heating -- or counters, walls, etc.; lamps that are large, simple and feel used -- think of a good flea-market find -- exposed pipes or duct work; raw-vaulted ceilings; metal elements in furnishings, such as the legs of your tables and chairs; exposed brick; and reclaimed wood.

Some Examples:

Aerial view of this industrial kitchen featuring concrete walls, stainless peninsula, metal light fixture and stools, and even exposed brick above the concrete.

This combination of glass and metal lights, a black wall, butcher block counters, and the way all of the details pile up make this kitchen a great representation of industrial design.

This rustic bathroom showcases a custom vanity made with reclaimed woods,
and the light fixtures are the perfect accent to the style and the space.

If you live in a multi-level home, and are aiming to achieve an industrial look, and open metal staircase is key. Featured on Style At Home is a tour of this industrial home in the Quebec countryside.

For me, industrial style feels very much like old warehouses converted into loft spaces or condos of some sort. Though even if you don't have an old warehouse-loft conversion, you can still achieve an industrial and chic look in your space if you lean more towards that character within your home, by seeking out more industrial pieces.

This converted industrial space has been softened by incorporating
vibrant linens with neutral upholstery, artwork and feminine lines.
For more details and images on the rustic industrial style, check out the corresponding Pinterest board, and follow the links for these lovely images. If rustic industrial design isn't your thing, look for other styles that might better fit your taste by reading through the Saturday Styles thread. If you find your style and need tips on expressing it within your home, please feel free to reach out for assistance!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spring Colors

When spring is starting to bloom, it brings so much color to a previously dark and dreary season. The winter is long and can be harsh. Spring is such a refreshing season, with so much light and color in contrast to Winter.

Here are some ways you can incorporate pops of color influenced by spring into your decor:

These yellow adds a bold pop of sunshine to any space, but these simple curtains are an easy DIY that can add a different feeling for each season.

There are so many ways to incorporate subtle pink hues, but these marbled pillows are soft and stunning mixing the pinks with blues and creamy whites.

These emblazoned fuchsia flowers add a vibrant pop, that looks great in throw pillows and accents like vases or other little decorative pieces.

If all else fails, trim some of those gorgeous stems (or pick some up at your farmers market) and bring them into the space!

This season is perfect for refreshing whether it's by adding pillows, curtains, vases or more, remember to look outside to seek your inspiration for inside! You may be surprised by the color combos Mother Nature Creates.

All floral images are our own, all interior spaces found on Pinterest.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Form vs. Function

In design, two of the most basic elements are form and function. I was mulling things over today, thinking about design in general and how it applies to different people and different spaces. For me it really breaks down to the two most basic elements of form and function.

Sometimes when working on a renovation it can feel like this is an either/or situation. You feel that if you let functionality win, you may have to settle when it comes to the form. Likewise, you feel that if form wins out, then you are compromising on the function. 

I do not agree! This is not an either/or, but rather a symbiotic relationship. These two elements are lifelong friends that have learned to work together!

To break down that last graphic, decide how you are going to use the space, is it for entertaining, working, etc.? Will it serve a dual purpose? Once you have decided what the use is, see how you can achieve a space that meets your needs while finding stylish pieces and elements that bring the character of you into the space.

What forms do you see in your space that help or hinder the functions? Can you think of any ways to combine the use and style to get these elements on the same page and better your space?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Before & After :: LS's Relaxing Master Retreat

I am so excited to show y'all this bathroom reveal! The transformation of the space is really night and day, and the new space suits the couple that this master retreat is for so well.

Do you see the vast difference?! We do! LS wanted to update the existing space and create a place where she could not only get ready for work in the morning, but also take a relaxing soak with a good book and a good glass of wine after her girls were in bed and her work was done for the day. Mr. S was just happy with making LS happy (my kind of man!). 

In the original space, they had a small shower stall -- the linen closet was larger than the shower -- a standard toilet (nothing wrong here, but LS was dreaming of having a bidet), a corner drop in tub with a huge deck platform that really envelope the bulk of the room, and a vanity that was far too small for the large bathroom it was living in. The details were all too ornate, and the quality was not so great. So it was definitely time for an update!

The goals for the new space were to add a bidet, open up the shower, and give it at least as much space as the linen closet (if not a smidgen more), take out the massive tub deck and add a bigger freestanding tub (that actually takes up less space), and include more usable cabinetry--all while keeping a more simplistic and spa like look and feel.

Here is the full space in all of it's serene beauty:

By borrowing space for the closet, we were able to maximize the shower
and gain enough room for the toilet and bidet to fit in.

I love how these glass tiles in the shower came together!

With a half wall between the shower and toilet/bidet area,
there is a sense of privacy without closing off the space.

We added a tumbled stone in an herringbone pattern as a floor mat
 around the tub, as well as for the floor of the shower.
This tub really makes the space here, and LS admits that although her
girls are using it too, she commits to soaking at least twice a week.

Wall-hung cabinetry helps to make this space feel more open, while providing
maximum functionality and storage.

What do you think? Does it make you want to renovate your master bathroom?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

New Home :: New Schemes

When you are in my industry, and you buy a new place, it is very challenging to take everyone's advice and not do everything all at once. I even have to tell my own clients this, but I think it has something to do with the fact that when I have people over, I want them to see my space put together and see that there is some design sense that played in.

Even still, this isn't a process that comes together overnight. There are a lot of little things -- and big things, too -- that need to come together, and that really just can't happen all at once.

So I've started with a big-picture idea of what I hope for this space to become, and I've created a space to display my ideas and share them with P to make sure we are on the same page -- or at least clue him into what we're doing. It has really helped, because even though this just can't happen overnight, it is nice to envision what it would be like if it did.

We started with a color scheme. We are keeping the basic scheme from the old living room, but refreshing it, by eliminating most of the purple, and adding bold blues. We painted the walls "New York State of Mind," which only felt even more appropriate with the name since we are now in Jersey City, right across the river from the Big Apple.

Benjamin Moore "New York State of Mind" #805

There are the same softer pale minty blue-greens that show up around the room, and some pops of the orange-y tones in our cognac arm chairs, some pillows, and the warmer colors of our wood floors. But with this space, we are really trying to achieve a more mature look and feel. After all, we will be starting our married life in about six months (wow!).

For the kitchen, since it already has natural maple cabinets, black sparkly quartz countertops, and a carrera marble backsplash, we decided to play up the grays and go with "Smoke Embers." It is a really soft warm gray with taupe-y undertones. We are also taping off right now, for a bold accent in there, but I will get into that detail later.

Benjamin Moore's "Smoke Embers" #1466

For the bedroom, we are headed into the soft soothing pallet of greens and neutrals, with hints of blues from our bedding. The paint (which is now on hold for a while) is going to be "Webster Green." It is a very cool and calm green and I really like that. I think it will help us unwind at the end of a long day/week and help send some peaceful sleeping vibes. For our bedroom, I was really inspired by this room, and I couldn't get the green out of my head -- so I'm excited to see how it comes together once the paint goes up!

Benjamin Moore's "Webster Green" #HC-130

That's it for now--the colors really seem to stem from the fall selection I did here! More to come (with photos of the spaces,  I promise!) soon. What do you think of the schemes? Are you a fan? What color schemes currently exist in your home, and what is your dream scheme?