Tried and True Design Elements

Over the years, I have noticed definite solid design decisions that are always in style. There are some elements in particular, that stand the test of time and become classic must haves for almost any home. As I have been getting completed designs photographed or even when I talk to clients about potential new projects, I have found some recurring topics and accessories discussed time and time again. I have rounded up some of my favorites for you today!

Warm Gray Walls

SHP_Proj_Classic_living_106_DSC08593Project Classic Living, Sarah Heppell Photography

Whether they have a tinge of green or blue coming through, a soft gray base wall color is a great jumping off point in a space. It allows the colors and patterns to come through in the accessories or also allows the showstopper to be in the ceiling color or the lighting.

Gourd Table Lamps

project vg 39Project Vintage Gem, Sarah Heppell Photography

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Oh my goodness, my love for gourd lamps runs deep! I have even been known to use this style of lamp in more than one room in a design project. I love oversized table lamps with large shades. This style allows you to bring either a neutral or bold base color to the lamp. It also has a nice sculptural shape to it, which helps to bring interest and dimension to a room.

Patterned Rugs

Why This Works 1Project Vintage Gem, Sarah Heppell Photography

{There’s another gourd lamp!!} Patterned rugs are a great way to bring an artistic touch to a room. It can bring color and texture to the mix, while also reinforcing your color palette. In this loft space I designed, the blue plaid rug brought in more of the favorite color and also softened the room and design.

Built In Shelving

windsong project studio mcgee

Design by Studio McGee

Whether this is achieved with a furniture piece or actually built in to the home, the look of custom shelving always takes your room to the next level. I am currently {and always, for that matter} loving the look of white built ins with either a color or grasscloth added to the back of the unit. #beauty

What design elements do you love and feel will always work, even through ever changing design trends?!?

The Interiors and Fashion Connection

I have always been a huge fan of fashion and I believe it has a strong connection with interior design. Today, I had the privilege of going live on News Channel 9’s Bridge Street with the super talented Jackie of The Small Town Stylist. She is a stylist in the area and we had fun with our back to back segments about fashion and interiors and their influence on each other. I am so glad to have met her. I feel like we have a lot in common and it’s always great to be able to meet and connect with like minded, local entrepreneurs in your area. When I have clients that are unsure about what colors to include in their space, I often ask them what hues they enjoy wearing. More often than not, the colors we choose for our clothing have a direct effect on what draws us in for interiors. {It’s probably no surprise to you that I love to wear navy, gray, black and white with pops of color. I like to keep my outfits neutral and add some color here and there, in small doses.} The same goes with the interiors in my own home and most that I design for clients!

 

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All above images designed by me and Photographed by Sarah Heppell

Currently, I am all about buffalo check, plaid, gold, navy and dark green. I also love black and white to help anchor a space. And trends between fashion and interiors also happen to have a strong connection.

 

modern mountain

Design by Studio McGee

buffalo check

image via

It was fun to do this experiment and see how similar fashion is with interiors! Head on over to Jackie’s web site to get some great fashion tips! To see what gorgeous looks she brought to the show today, check out her segment HERE. And tune into Bridge Street HERE to see the interiors connection.

Lighting Tips in Your Home

An eclectic, collected over time style is popular, but can be tricky to pull off when making most of your purchases at once. You instantly want the look of having a space that has evolved, but how do you do that with lighting that has to be purchased all at the same time?!? That’s the topic we’ll cover today. My favorite trick is mixing finishes when purchasing lighting. Just because one lamp is brass, does not mean that they all have to be that way… even in the same room. You can mix metal finishes with wood and with lamps that have a painted base. And you can also mix different metal finishes within that space. I love doing that!

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Photo by Sarah Heppell

When I designed the living room for Project Classic Living, you can see the the wood spool floor lamp by the fireplace, in the same room with the antique brass floor lamp near the windows. Mixing wood and metal in a room brings an eclectic, collected over time feel to the space. These two lamps also have different styles and shade types. That’s important to think about, as well. The metal apothecary style lamp works in a small area where task reading is done. And the oversized drum shade on the wood lamp base brings a softness to the room with its fabric shade and is great for overall lighting.

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Photo by Sarah Heppell

In this same room, I went with a pair of lamps for this console, to bring symmetry to the space, which was not done with the other two floor lamps. I like to mix symmetrical and asymmetrical in one room, for that contrast and balance. These fabric shades work well against the wood table, while the base has a brass detail that ties in with the apothecary floor lamp. I also love the look of having floor lamps in the same room with table lamps. For me, it’s never all floor or all table.

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Photo by Sarah Heppell

In the foyer of the same home, I have mixed wall sconces with table lighting. The sconces were already there when the project began and adding the blue and white ceramic table lamp brought color and additional lighting to the table surface.

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Photo by Sarah Heppell

In the dining room of the same home, I loved adding a pair of lamps to the buffet. It creates a great mix with the overhead chandelier. In this space, there was a lot of wood with the floors and furniture. So, I went with a brass chandelier with soft linen shades and then paired that with painted gourd lamp bases with a similar soft shade. All of the lighting in this room really pops against the other features, which was our goal.

So for a quick recap of fun tips for your home’s lighting, here is the breakdown…

-Mix your finishes and shade styles {task lighting vs. overall room lighting}

-Mix symmetrical with asymmetrical and floor lamps with table lamps

-Mix sconces with table lamps {great for a foyer}

-Mix overhead chandeliers with table lamps in a dining space

I hope these lighting tips helped! If you have any to add, please leave them in the comments! Happy Friday!!

A Living Room Inspired by Magnolia Home

We had a wonderful summer and it truly flew by! As the kids get older, time really does seem to be going in fast forward. I try my best to cherish these times and make the summers memorable. But with the kids back in school, it’s time to start back with writing more blog posts and diving into design projects! As many of you may know, the powerhouse HGTV duo that brought you the show Fixer Upper, now has a furniture line… Magnolia Home! You can browse Joanna Gaines’ signature rustic look on line or at your local store. I thought it would be fun to see how you can create a room using most of their collection and a few other fun finds. I decided to create a living room design, based off of that gorgeous new emerald green sofa!

 

OB-Magnolia Inspired

{all Magnolia Home unless otherwise noted below}

// chandelier // buffalo check pillow // blooms pillow // buffalo art // wool rug // floor lamp //

The sofa and chair from the new collection inspired me to give the rustic look a mid century inspired twist. The lighting and rug definitely reinforce that style. The spool coffee table, farmhouse accent tables and buffalo art definitely bring out the more rustic side to the design. And the icing on the cake- the floral and check pillows bring a whimsical, farmhouse fun style to the room. I hope you enjoyed my take on the new collection. If you have checked it out, what are your favorite pieces?!?

Make sure to check back later this week when I show how to mix different lighting into a space to bring an eclectic, yet pulled together look. Have a great day!

A Dorm Room With Style

It is getting to be that time of year when college students head back to their dorm rooms! Why not make the space feel like a home away from home, with style and personality?!? I was on News Channel 9’s Bridge Street today, discussing this same topic. When you think of empty dorm rooms, you think of spaces lacking interest and personality. I hope to change your mind today, with some simple and creative ways to bring your personal style into the space.

 

Lauren Loves

Lauren Loves

The image above shows Lauren’s great cube shelving unit that can instantly add storage with style. This can be used in a dorm as a room divider, or placed against the wall. You can add baskets to store sweaters and school supplies, as well as fun accessories and photos of your family and friends.

i heart organizing

i heart organizing

Jen’s blog is a great source for any organizational project and I loved everything about her above desk space, right down to the stack of colorful books on the floor! This vignette is so fun and easily adaptable for a dorm setting, too. You can add a bulletin board above the desk for exam reminders, personal photos and magazine clip outs with your favorite inspirations. Use this board as art and add as much color as possible! {And if you are not able to drill into the walls for this install, Command Picture Hanging Strips are perfect for this!} The one I brought to Bridge Street can hold up to 12 pounds and as long as you follow the instructions and give the strips some time to cure to the wall, you’re all set!

urban walls decal

Urban Walls

Do you want to add some color and personality to your walls without damaging the wall surface? The removable decals from Urban Walls are perfect. They give the look of wall paper without the hassle and clean up. There are so many patterns and styles to choose from. The decal above is the watercolor polka dot design in blue and they would be so whimsical in a dorm room setting. You can add them in a specific pattern, like in the above image or scatter them sporadically in a corner around the bed.

If you are headed off to college or know someone who is, I hope this provides some inspiration for you! Also, keep in mind these would all be amazing ideas for your own space at home as well as a rental apartment! You can check out my Bridge Street segment by visiting the site HERE.

Our Living Room Plan

Since we have lived in this home, our living room has sat pretty much empty. We do have our secretary desk, ottoman and a chest of drawers, but there has never been any seating in the space. The kids loved using this room as an open play area and took full advantage of our vaulted ceilings for those high three pointers. Now that we have our basement finished and use that as the primary open play space, it’s time to refocus this room and plan for a seating area! The perks of waiting so long to decide on furniture, is that I have overthought this room for many years, have decided against some design trends and now have a plan to stick with! I decided to go with a grouping of four chairs, as opposed to a sofa. I have gone back and forth with this idea and I am now certain this is what I want to do!

our living room plan

This is the quick floor plan rendering I came up with for our living room. This is the first room off of the foyer, so it makes the initial impression of our home. With it’s high ceilings, I went with a dark brown, almost black paint color {Mink by Benjamin Moore}. I will stick with that wall color for now. This space also opens up to our dining room, so I want the decor to flow well from there. Here are the two spaces, as they are now:

 

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my dining room

All Images by Sarah Heppell Photography

We will take out the chest of drawers and table lamps and move that vignette to the dining room. This will free up some square footage and I will add two floor lamps to the back wall. That round mirror above the chest of drawers will be replaced with oversized art work. The small black accent table and lamp off of the foyer will relocate and be replaced with a leaning mirror. The more I see this four chair layout, the more I love it! I picture family game nights in this area and just time to sit and read for hours. Here are some of my favorite inspiration images…

chair layout 2

Lauren Liess

chair layout 1

Melanie Turner

chair layout 4

Southern Living

I am not sure about my center table yet, but I know I want it to be round. I have settled on a chair… the Stocksund from IKEA in the blue and white stripe.

stocksund chair ikea

I like that you can select the leg finish, so I will go with black for contrast. I can’t wait to find four matching throw blankets and pillows to add to the chairs. Ooooo- maybe in a buffalo check or plaid!! I have been back and forth about using four chairs, as opposed to a sofa and small accent chairs. The truth is, we have sofas in our basement and family room, so I want to go a bit different in here. Also, these chairs have depth and width, so it can still be comfortable to curl up in these chairs. I will keep you posted as we move along in here. There needs to be some touch up painting first, so baby steps. But now that there’s a plan in writing- it feels more permanent!

 

Why This Works

Welcome back to another Why This Works post… a series where I show a designed space and talk about why it works so well! This living space is designed by Collins Interiors and is the perfect coastal inspired design to show in the summer! Enjoy…

 

why this works post

image via

What immediately gets me is this laid back, classic, coastal space that exudes warmth and personality! It is stylish and traditional, but has this fun, spirited and modern appeal as well. I love the neutral backdrop mixed in with the colorful art and furniture. Without having the gorgeous patterned chair, periwinkle blue velvet sofa and lively art work, this room would look completely different. The light walls, neutral rug and white drapes create a great balance with the whimsical accents. I love mixing wood and metal in a room and the different side tables bring a casual feel that allows this space to feel warm and inviting. And the nearby room?!? Wow! I love the black window trim and white beams. It’s all in the details!

Overall, this space works! What are your thoughts???

Completed E – Design {the Dining Room}

Sorry for my lack of posts lately! Once I take a week or two away from blogging, it becomes easier and easier to take the post writing out of the schedule. But I love checking in here, so you can be sure to find new blog posts {hopefully more often, from now on.} I have missed it!! Today, I have a completed e-design to show you. I have been working with these wonderful clients throughout their home and it has been so much fun. They are undergoing some renovations to the kitchen and bathroom and I have been helping to marry the renovated spaces with the design style from the rest of the home. The dining room, directly off of the renovated kitchen, is getting an overhaul with new furniture, lighting, rug and window treatments. They are taking down half of the wall between the two spaces, to create an open feel. Here is the design plan…

The Design Plan

OB-Trad dining

 

I love that the plan will be able to include colorful patterns, a neutral backdrop and upholstery mixed with wood and metal. My inspiration was this dining space by Kate Marker Interiors:

 

bold drapes

via Kate Marker Interiors

My clients were looking for more floor space in their dining area, so we moved the table and seating over towards the large window, creating a banquette/window seat look. This dining area is their main eating space, so I wanted to make sure it was durable with their young kids. The banquette pillows are made of an indoor/outdoor fabric, so they can easily be washed and are soil resistant. The area rug is also indoor/outdoor, so it can handle the spills it will encounter.

I hope you enjoyed the peek into this new design! I promise there won’t be this much time before my next post. 😉

Why This Works… Feeling the Blues

Welcome back to another Why This Works post, a series where I show a designed space and talk about what I love. Today’s living room is from the home of Cassie Kelley and the design was led by Alex Reid, from the design team at The Studio at One King’s Lane. This living space showcases one of my favorite colors in design… blue! Take a look.

 

why this works post

image via

Especially at this time of year, what’s not to love about this coastal inspired home? I love the various shades of blue in the room. You don’t have to stick to one shade… it’s in the mix that makes a space truly feel eclectic and inviting. I am a huge fan of layering to add depth and interest and this is done so well with the striped rug over the natural woven rug. It gives you a chance to add the color and pattern you want, while also having a second rug underneath to help carry the appropriate dimensions. The ottoman and side tables can easily be moved around when needed, making this both a stylish and versatile space. The fiddle leaf fig tree and coral tulips bring the outdoors in and provide new colors to love. I actually love these three colors together in one room. It’s my favorite color combination. The mixing of metals with the brass and black/bronze pendants gives a collected over time style and adds character. The white walls, trim and cabinets provides a blank slate for all of the color to come in through the accessories and select furniture pieces. I also love the warm wood detail on the sofa legs and how that balances so well with the metals in the room. Overall, this space works!

What are your thoughts???

I chose this room, because of my live TV segment on Bridge Street TV yesterday. I was on to talk about simple ways to add that laid back, coastal charm to your home. And the main color to use?!? Blue! Check out the video HERE!!

Before and After: Project Classic Living {The Bathroom}

We are now at the final day of the before and after series from Project Classic Living. To catch up on all of the previous posts for this home design, visit HERE. I love this house and working with these clients. We have other future projects in the works, so this is not the end of this gorgeous home tour. My clients had already been working with a contractor for the bathroom and brought me in for the finishing touches and to bounce off ideas for the overall design aesthetic. I actually created a pinterest board for this design and you can view it HERE for comparison between inspiration and final result. We discussed a couple of different flooring options and patterns and they ultimately decided on the hexagon tiles, which work so well with the home’s traditional charm and character. There is a dramatic difference between the before and after, since plumbing was moved and the space was completely gutted. The after pictures are by the talented Sarah Heppell. Enjoy!

Before

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After

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After Photos by Sarah Heppell

I hope you enjoyed the home tour and the before and after series! It was so much fun for me to look back at where we began and then how we finished. And this bathroom, even with its deeper and longer vanity, looks bigger now than before! I love when that happens. We added function and the appearance of more square footage. Win, win!!