Design Board to Reality: Casual + Relaxing Bedroom

Happy Tuesday everybody! I cannot count how many design boards we’ve made but yes, aside from Pinterest or Houzz ideabooks, design boards are really very helpful in conveying ideas to clients. A lot of times a board may not reflect all of what happens in reality but the client is able to grasp the style & feel we are going for.

We made this design board for a young, vibrant couple who moved from Cali to the quiet yet impeccable & affluent neighborhood of Tarrytown, Austin. They wanted their bedroom to be casual, soothing and relaxing. We did cool tones of blue, muted aquas & light grays. Here’s the …

DESIGN BOARD

master bedroom design board

So, most of the things on the board happened but a couple didn’t.

1/ The media armoire is from Restoration Hardware in a weathered grey oak finish.

2/ I was thinking of an ice blue-gray carpet but we ended up with a gorgeous one from Milliken. And we think it’s the right choice!

3/ The bed & bench is from good old Overstock! Have I told you, I also believe in doing high-low projects? Mixing high-end stuff with affordable ones without of course sacrificing style & functionality!

4/ A couple of accessories are from West Elm including the accent table beside the chair. I was also thinking of using a pattern from Schumacher for the draperies but solid, gray velvet ones from West Elm as well won in the end. There is a big difference between custom and retail with pros & cons either way. As designers, we believe in customization but also weigh the importance of budgets & timelines in the mix; I believe in giving options!

5/ A dresser was chosen in lieu of a vanity table + chair {Jonathan Adler}. Nightstands + dresser are from Brownstone.

6/ Most of the accessories are from a local showroom.

Oh and we painted the walls too! At first, the clients thought it was a bit glaring or too ice blue, but in the end, with all of the furnishings and accessories, it all comes together!

And voila! Here is the final space.

REALITY

lexi-bedroom-4

lexi-bedroom-remake

lexi-bedroom-2

lexi-bedroom-3

What do you think? It was featured in the Austin-San Antonio Urban Home Decor Mag {link} & we couldn’t be more proud, but more than that, the clients loved it!

5 Mid-Century Modern Brands to Love

We’re no longer in the 50’s but just like how fashion evolves, interior design takes it’s cues from the past. When designing a home with clients who loves Mid-Century modern, I guess I can say I’m not a purist. I like mixing & matching and taking the design style to now & meld it with the styles of other eras as well.

Mid-Century Modern {MCM} is more than a buzz word {not just in Austin but definitely beyond}. If you’re into the contemporary & minimalist vibe, pared-down forms, organic & natural materials and no fuss, no muss functional furniture, this style is for you! The brands above are some of my go-tos, some affordable, some are not but love that they took MCM back in the mainstream {Article, Bludot, Joybird, DWR, Rove Concepts}.

5 Fab Friday Finds: Timorous Beasties

Happy Friday everybody! The familia had a fun 4-day trip to NOLA. I’ve always loved the city! Today’s 5 Fab Friday Finds is just from one studio, the Scottish design powerhouse duo Ali & Paul from Glasgow, Timorous Beasties. It’s the first time I’ve seen their wallpaper in real life at Perch on Magazine Street & I was seriously enamored. They take traditional designs and give it a rock and roll twist. Here are my Top 5 from their wallpaper line.

1/ Indie Wood

I just adore foliage and birds and in such vivid colors like these!

2/ Fruit Looters

Sheez, birds, birds and more birds! Plus fruits and blooms, what’s not to love?

3/ Omni Splatt

An explosion of such bold colors, literally!

4/ Cloud Toile

In pink, this cloud toile is just heavenly!

5/ Damsel Damask Wallpaper

Damask never goes out of style don’t you think?

Hubba, hubba glorious wallpaper! Have a great weekend!

May your spaces scream of beauty and awe and your rooms effortlessly curated. Interior Design Austin and beyond.

Design questions or dilemmas? Drop me a line! Click here >>>

10 Tips from a Pro when Remodeling a Kitchen // Kitch Cabinetry & Design

The kitchen has been dubbed meeting central. Where everybody seem to assemble whether it’s family members or guests & even if dinner is still 2 hours away. It’s also #1 on the list of what most homeowners want or desperately need to remodel. Floors stuck in the 70’s? Wonder how people lived 10,20,30 years ago with limited pantry shelving? I mean, where do they put at least 3 cereal boxes? Those kitchen cabinets make you cringe? Yes, it’s time … to remodel your kitchen that is! I asked an amazing & experienced pro, Jenn of Kitch Cabinetry & Design here in Austin of her 10 Tips When Remodeling a Kitchen. Here you go!

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1. Ask yourself, what is the scope of your remodel and do you have a contractor? There are factors such as plumbing, electrical, hvac, permitting & structural questions that a qualified contractor can deal with so you do not have to do the leg work. I can’t imagine calling each trade professional and trying to schedule each one, especially in Austin’s booming housing economy!  In the long run, it will save time, money and lots of headache.

2. I hate to use the B word, but a BUDGET is vital to a remodel.  Many times when I ask my clients their budget for cabinetry, they have no clue.  I understand that, but everyone has a secret number floating around.  A contractor can help you establish a realistic amount of money your project will cost you.

White Cabinetry Kitchen

3. Educate yourself.  Consumers know less about cabinetry than any other item in the kitchen. It is easy to get online and compare appliances, tile and flooring.  But cabinetry is different.  They are the largest, most visible, and potentially most expensive purchase in your kitchen.  Your choices are incredibly varied and influenced by your needs and tastes, budget and floor plan. When shopping around, make sure you compare apples to apples.

4. We all know you have excellent taste, but a designer can take it to another level.  Todays designers are more than fluff and stuff. They often act as contractors, hiring the correct trades and scheduling, along with sourcing lighting, tile, flooring, paint…etc. Then the magic happens. They know how to pull it all together.  Designer’s work hourly, by room, cost plus, and may even offer package pricing.  Make sure your designer has qualified contacts.  Kitchen design is a bit different than overall interior design.  At Kitch, we deal with circulation clearances, appliance specifications, will this door hit that door.  We have all seen the drawer that won’t open because it hits the oven handle!  These things shouldn’t happen with a professional kitchen designer. We want to know what you like. Tear out magazine pages, save ideabooks to Houzz, go crazy on Pinterest!  My worst client is one who walks in and says “I don’t know what I like, let’s pick out cabinets”. Be prepared for a long, painful kitchen remodel!  It saves time, money and in the end, you get a space that YOU love, not one your designer loves.

Marble Island Gray Cabinetry Kitchen

6. Ask yourself what you liked about your old kitchen and what things you would change. Storage is the most common complaint, but sometimes it is a matter of accessibility.  I typically prefer designing with tons of drawers.  You pull it out, and wala, grab what you need…instead of digging in the back of a cabinet!  You may have a corner that is completely wasted.  Pull out corner storage is a perfect way to utilize that space. Appliance cabinets, microwave cabinets and spice pull outs can also hide items that clutter the countertops.

7. Be realistic. The kitchens in magazines are in magazines for a reason!  These pages and ideabooks should be strictly conceptual when planning your kitchen space. Be prepared to be shocked a few times when getting bids for your remodel!  HGTV has given us all the conception that you can have a brand new kitchen in 2 weeks with no hiccups. Be prepared that you’ll be eating a lot of take out and cleaning up lots of dust.

8. Look before you book. So you and your designer/contractor have settled on a bid, picked out cabinetry, tile, etc.  DON’T purchase anything until you know your vision can be completed.  Even if your contractor is 99% sure the main wall you want to remove is not load bearing, get it checked.  Whether you have to cut a hole in your ceiling or call a structural engineer, getting ahead of yourself can be a costly mistake.

9. Don’t be afraid to say no and communicate, communicate, communicate. As a kitchen designer, sometimes I can get a little wrapped up in what my vision is for my client’s space.  We all have wonderful intentions, but this is YOUR space and YOUR money.  Have an honest conversation with your designer or contractor if you do not agree with the design, time frame, material selections or scheduling.  But do this BEFORE completion.  Again, it will save you money and headache if you have an open line of communication.

Mosaic Backsplash Kitchen

10. If something goes wrong during the process, its not the end of the world!  As designers, we live in a world of compromise, problem solving and client expectation control!  We understand if the wrong tile shows up, it can usually be swapped out.  If a wall was cut too short, more can be added.  Give your contractor or designer the chance to make it right before you get your boxing gloves on! Sure, vent a little while we’re forming solutions right away. Most problems are an easy fix if caught in time.

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Thank you so much Jenn! Brilliant tips! Remodeling can be an arduous and long process and more expensive without the help of a Kitchen Design professional. Don’t forget to check out her work here.

May your spaces scream of beauty and awe and your rooms effortlessly curated. Interior Design Austin and beyond.

Design questions or dilemmas? Drop me a line! Click here >>>

5 Fab Friday Finds

 
 

In this Friday’s Fab finds, how about some daybeds for you? It’s seating with extra depth or for laying that lacks depth. I need one & want one for a space that can be both for lounging or sleeping. And the ones below are swoon-worthy!

1/ Rel Daybed by My Chic Nest 

blue tufted daybed

How gorgeous is this gem of a bed in that handsome wood & glamorous deep blue fabric with tufting?

2/ Hamptons Daybe by Kristin Drohan

Do you see a trend here? Elegant, deep hues like this is just stunning!

3/ Elliot Leather Daybed by Joybird

Mid-century Masculine that can be so versatile in any space!

4/ Villas Velvet Daybed by Anthropologie

And just like that, we’re back at luscious, deep blue. This time, against more ornate wood.

5/ Frances Daybed by My Chic Nest

Teal Daybed

More walls make it extra cozy!

Happy Friday! Don’t forget, this Saturday is the Tribeza Interiors Tour!

May your spaces scream of beauty and awe and your rooms effortlessly curated. Interior Design Austin and beyond. Design questions or dilemmas? Drop me a line! Click here >>>

 

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5 Fab Friday Finds : Put a Tassel on It

Have I told you I have great interior design clients? Design is all about collaboration & as they are learning from me, I am learning from them. I haven’t used tassels for drapery before but my young client wanted some! This is for the #GrandmaEclecticWithAnEdgeProject. Now, I am hooked! Tassels should be everywhere! Style a barcart, dangle over picture frames, accent a door … I mean everywhere! Put a tassel on it everyone! {Because putting a bird on it is now faux pas!}
1/ Tassel Lamp

Black Tassel Lamp Arteriors

Cousin’s It second cousin except she’s much more glamorous!

2/ Rope Tassel Drop Pull

Rope Tassel Drop Pull

Your cabinet doors will look so drop dead gorgeous!

3/ Gilt Wood & Marble Tassel Table

Gilt Wood & Marble Table

Some of my favorite things wrapped up in one table

4/ Beaded Hemp Tassels

 

Because Tassels can be organic too!

5/ John Robshaw Iswar Shower Curtain

A little tassel fringe goes a long way for the usually ho-hum shower curtain.

May your spaces scream of beauty and awe and your rooms effortlessly curated. Interior Design Austin and beyond.

Design questions or dilemmas? Drop me a line! Click here >>>

5 Fab Friday Finds

First Friday of 2016! What did you do all week? I mainly got organized and finishing the last quarter financial statements for Quickbooks. Ho-hum, the fun of being self-employed. I’m also reading new design books that my sister-in-law & daughter gave me for Christmas — they know me so well!

For this 1st Friday of 2016, here are my 5 Friday Fab Finds!

1/ Petite Alliance Mosaic by Tabarka

What a gorgeous juxtaposition of something organic and sophisticated. This is what they stated about the collection… & I couldn’t agree more — The warmth of wood in contrast to the opalescence of unique stone captures an understated elegance that transforms any surface into a timeless work of art.

Tabarka Studio Mosaic Tile Petite Alliance

2/ Colorful Stackable Etagere

How cute would this be in a nursery or kid’s room?

3/ Apparatus Studio Censer

Because I want my essential oils smoking from a brass torch!

Apparatus Studio Censer

4/ Fornasetti Candle

I saw these locally at Prize and it is even more adorable in person. It is pretty pricey, *sigh* but the container is definitely a keeper!

5/ Gold Brushstroke Tray

Serving in these platters will make your everyday get togethers even more festive!

Have a fun-filled weekend folks!

Interior Design Austin and beyond! Design questions or dilemmas? Drop me a line! Click here >>>

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10 Design Resolutions for 2016

Happy New Year everyone! Can you believe it’s 2016? Anywho, I do not make personal resolutions anymore … I have practically the same goals I wrote on paper years ago. I thought of putting “making a blog post at least once a week” one of my resolutions this year, but heck, for me that’s extremely hard. I’m not making any excuses, it’s just not my thing anymore. Hello, the last one I made was April of 2015. But one thing I’m promising myself is to write when it’s my thing at the moment, when I enjoy it or when I know it will give some good information. Ummm, allow me to indulge in this notion a bit :). So, without further ado, here are 10 Design Resolutions for 2016.

1/ Commit to a bold new color.

JADE garden benjamin moore

Jade Garden by Benjamin Moore was the perfect pop of color for this project.

This may not be a not so new proposition but by golly, some are still in a rut of beiges {or grays for that matter}. I’m not saying using just neutrals is bad {and there certainly is an aesthetic & style where using neutral hues is a must} but maybe go for something a little more bold somewhere in the house. The powder room maybe? The guest bedroom? Heck, even the closet or pantry.

2/ Go for symmetry.

matching gray chairs

Identical settees are face to face in the second sitting area for a young couple’s Tarrytown abode.

You must think I’ve had way too much champagne celebrating the New Year as this idea again is not new news. What I’m getting at is recently, spaces or rooms that’s too symmetrical or balanced are given a bad rap so people tried so hard to make things not too symmetrical. Sometimes {or a lot}, symmetry is importan. You achieve this by having matching items and other times by having items that are not too matchy-matchy but still cohesive with each other.

3/ Take time to think about the details

details quatrefoil knobs

Brass quatrefoil doorknobs for the cupboards in this gorgeous kitchen was the right dose of sophistication.

Have you heard of the saying it’s all in the details? Well it is! These details make the whole vision come to life. Whether it’s choosing knobs, pulls or the hand towel in the bathroom, trust me, choosing the correct little pieces matter.

4/ Give wallpaper a chance

neutral geometric wallpaper

Taupe/Cream wallpaper in a trellis pattern adorns the stair landing at this Tarrytown home. The antelope carpet is not bad either!

Really, 2016 is the year for wallpaper at your casa! So get it going and commit to having a wall covered in one. Still having cold feet? Try having it first in a space you don’t normally frequent like the powder bath or have one in a muted color & pattern.

5/ Give drapery a chance

Gold and taupe drapery

Drapery in a gorgeous fabric gives depth, texture and layers to a room, just like in this Euro-traditional dining room.

A long time ago, I was one of the many people who didn’t believe in draperies. I felt they made a space too traditional and grandma-ish but really it depends on the fabric & the style you choose. To me, it makes windows picture perfect. I must admit, I’m still not a fan of swags and valances though.

6/ Add a splash of a different style

You may have heard the advice of looking at your wardrobe to find a common trend that will help cue you in what your home style should be. If your wardrobe evokes a more polished, classic style then Chesterfield sofas and Louis chairs maybe more your thing; or if you have tons of blacks & grays then tweed mid-century sofas maybe the best fit for you. But how about adding something a little more edgy to the dining room with your Louis chairs like an ultra-modern trapeze lighting or mix in a warm, exotic vibe with the tweed sofa by adding an end-table that screams global chic. Venture out in small doses though, too much out of your comfort zone is never good.

7/ Turn spaces you normally would not use as a functional nook

home office nook

The small hallway to the balcony at a client’s house becomes the extra space for getting bills and other home stuff organized.

I’ve seen it too often, spaces that becomes the catch-all space or room. Just don’t do it. Entry ways, mud rooms, hallways to balconies … give the space a purpose and design it for that purpose.

Every space is a chance for you to turn into something beautiful & functional at the same time.

8/ Put a lot of value to awesome lighting

brass dining lighting

A brass geometric chandelier was the perfect lighting over the Saarinen-inspired tulip table and mint green wishbone chairs for this dining room.

Aside from providing illumination, the right lighting sets the mood for a room or space. Style, size, placement, wattage…all of that matters.

9/ Don’t go shopping without a plan

For impulsive shoppers, this idea probably doesn’t sound good. But for home stuff where a cabinet costs substantially more than that new trendy cropped top you’ve been eyeing, impulsive buying is just not the right thing to do. Of course, once in a while you’ll find that gorgeous lamp that you are totally in love with; hopefully when that time comes, you already have a style concept down and you know exactly where that magnificent piece will go.

10/ Hire an interior designer

I’m a little self-serving here {ya think!} but really, if design is not really your cup of tea but you do want your space to be beautiful and cohesive; or you’ve got tons of ideas and you know the style you are going for but can’t seem to edit everything down; or time is not really on your side with work stuff that has overtaken your life or kids with places to go and projects that they need your help on … then it’s time to hire an interior designer. Of course, these are not the only reasons why you should hire one. The reason is specific to you, but whatever it is, take that jump and connect with one that’s the best fit for you.

Cheers to 2016 everyone! May your spaces scream of beauty and awe and your rooms effortlessly curated. Interior Design Austin and beyond.

*** All images are mine. Please ask for permission if you would like to use any of the images.***

Design questions or dilemmas? Drop me a line! Click here >>>

Tips for a Stylish Home Library

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library

This drop in temperature has me craving quiet time with a cup of a coffee and a good book. As you might already know, I not only have a weakness for good design books, but also for arranging them, and re-arranging them some more. Books on the shelf, on the coffee table, and on the office armoire, you can find them in almost every room of my house. I always like to think that you can get a good sense of who someone is by the books they keep. I find myself daydreaming up home libraries for me and my clients. From traditional home office libraries for some inspiration or mid-day distraction (great for creative blocks!), to non-traditional home libraries under staircases or in patio areas. In this day and age where almost everything is digital, I can’t help but fall in love with the tangible charm found in books. They are ideal for big and small spaces, creating an organized, yet spontaneous focal point in a room.  Interested in dreaming up a home library for your home? Let’s chat over coffee!

Designer tips for styling a bookshelf:

1. Mix it up: A mix of vertical and horizontal books can add an unexpected element creating a more visually interesting bookshelf.

2. Personalize it: Books can tell someone a lot about you, but it’s even better when it’s combined with photos or personal art work.

3. Play with color: Try color coding your books, painting the inside of your bookshelf, or adding simple touches of color that ties in the contents of your bookshelf. (Ex. A blue trinket box to highlight all the beautiful details of blue throughout your bookshelf.)

4. Decorate with shapes: Books for the most part are rectangular, so adding decorative items of different shapes can add a playful flair to your arrangement.

Interior Design in Austin | E-Design everywhere. Contact me.
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A Shop to Love: Jean Marc-Fray

Nestled in the heart of Clarksville, Austin is this gorgeous shop, Jean-Marc Fray. I have been a long-time fan of this shop which specializes in French Antiques. You know I’m such a sucker for anything *French.* Parisian macaroons, cafe au lait, being in a le courtyard. Anywho, here are some of my new finds from this shop….

This bookcase is divine! A lattice front, a marble top, the shiny black lacquer…..

This gorgeous buffet is just perfection!

This will look awesome in our bedroom….just saying!

And I need at least a pair of this for the living room….

This secretary is a great match for my low chest of drawers.

As you can tell, I am into black lacquer, ebonized furniture with brass or gold accents but the shop offers more than this style of furnishings. Their selections of lighting is to die for {hello Murano!} and I wouldn’t mind having one of these Transoms mirror.

I can’t wait until I get a *design* client in Austin {and beyond} with the same love for these antiques as me….{If that’s you...contact me :)}! I can’t get enough of their inventory & the staff is just amazing! If you are new to Austin, this shop is a must visit. They are located at Whit Hanks Antiques.

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