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

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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.

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!!

Why This Works

Welcome back to another installment of Why This Works… a series where I show a designed space and talk about why it works so well. Today’s living room is all about a mix of traditional, classic design with a dose of modern fun. This stunning space was seen on One Kings Lane and it was love at first sight. Take a look!

 

why works post

image via

I love this space! What first gets me is the balance of formal with casual. The formality is definitely shown in the symmetry of the roman shades and table lamps. The furniture reads more traditional and then you are met with the gorgeous modern accessories, that take this room to the next level. The antelope rug is a favorite of mine and it works so well in this space, against the light furnishings. I am also a huge fan of oversized accessories and believe that a few, well chosen larger pieces works better than several smaller options. The large wall art, pillows, lamps and even the fresh flowers, allows your eye to look around the room and gives the illusion of more space. While the space is dressy, the large coffee table brings a functional aspect to the room. There is plenty of room for drinks, snacks and to rest your feet. Overall, this space works!!

What are your thoughts??? I will be back tomorrow with the final before and after from Project Classic Living… the Bathroom!

 

Before and After: Project Classic Living {The Nursery}

Welcome back to another before and after. This is a favorite of mine from Project Classic Living, because today… it’s all about the nursery. I love designing kids rooms and with two kids of my own, I know how important function can be! It’s also important to include the style in there as well, and there are so many great products out there now, so you can have both. I also love to design a nursery with future years in mind. Instead of picking a particular theme, I wanted the room to grow with their daughter and be a space that works even ten years from now. The only item in here that would need to be changed, is the crib! The changing pad can easily be moved off of the dresser and it will look like a regular furniture piece. This nursery was the first project my clients and I worked on together, about a year and a half ago. We have moved on throughout the house and it’s so fun to be able to bring that similar style and look to other areas of the home. Of course you can have more fun in kids rooms and divert from the plan a bit, but we also stayed true to the home’s charm, character and overall design aesthetic. All after pictures are by Sarah Heppell.

Before

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After

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After Photos by Sarah Heppell

We went with a light, delicate wall color for this nursery… Halo by Benjamin Moore. It is the same color we used in the living room and dining room. That is the way that I tied this space to the rest of the home. It was fun adding more soft, delicate colors to the room. I framed two pretty floral fabrics in mirrored frames, beside the crib. My clients already had the crib, rug and dresser. We also used their existing ceiling light fixture, which we believe to be original to the home. I selected the art, seating, window treatments and accessories. It has been so much fun working with them! Their kitchen was featured on Ballard Designs Instagram page yesterday. Thank you, Ballard Designs!

 

ballard

 

Tomorrow, I’ll be back with a Why This Works post and then back with the final before and after on Thursday… the Bathroom!

Before and After: Project Classic Living {The Foyer}

Welcome back to another fun before and after! Today, we are focusing on the foyer. This is the first impression upon entering through the front door, so we really wanted this space to set the tone for the house and connect the other designs. We added a meaningful gallery wall going up the stairs, added function with an entry rug and vintage coat rack and also updated the foyer furniture with a new demilune, lamp and accessories. Let’s first take a look back at where we began. And of course, the gorgeous after photos are by the talented Sarah Heppell. Enjoy!

Before

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After

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After photos by Sarah Heppell

We kept the wall color and sconces, but the rest is new. And we are not finished! We are currently in the works to install a stair runner. Wait until you see which option they chose!! Thanks for stopping by. Up tomorrow… the before and after of the kitchen. The eating area was a clean, blank slate, which was fun to design!

Before and After: Project Classic Living {The Living Room}

As promised from last week’s posts, I am now ready to show the before pictures of the living room from Project Classic Living, as well as some new after photos! It’s always fun to show how a space began, so we can appreciate how far we have come. The before pictures are taken by myself and the really pretty after photos are all from the very talented Sarah Heppell. For the living room, they wanted a light, neutral space that was a blend of traditional and modern, while also working with the character of the home. Here we go!

Before

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We really wanted to try out a sectional in this room. We were so thrilled when we found one that was a perfect fit! We lightened the walls, added new furniture and accessories and were able to keep some existing key pieces. We kept the beautiful media cabinet, mirror and wall frames.

After

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{This is the mirror, above, that we kept. It was on their mantel. We just changed the orientation and hung it vertically.}

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And one more time, for comparison…

Before

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After

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All after photos by Sarah Heppell Photography

I hope you enjoyed the before and after! Next up… the foyer!