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…

 

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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???

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!

 

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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!

 

Why This Works

Welcome back to another installment of Why This Works… a series where I show a designed space and talk about why I love it! I have been a long time admirer of Ashley Whittaker’s fresh take on traditional design. She has a unique talent for mixing patterns and gives a room a polished look while still bringing a casual, family friendly approach. This living space below, is right up my alley! Enjoy!

 

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This space is both modern and traditional, which I love. The tufted sofa, pleated drapes and empire lamp shades all read formal, yet the natural weave area rug and rattan side chair allow the space to feel laid back and casual. I love how the coffee table works for all sides of the seating, making the room feel so warm and cozy. Seating always looks great when it can be gathered and brought close together, making an intimate arrangement for conversation. Most of the furniture is neutral and light, allowing the bursts of warm color to come in through the pillows. Cool colors are brought in through the drapes and lamp bases, creating that balance. I am also a huge fan of brass accents and that is seen in the curtain rod, side table and wall art. The finishing touch??? A vase of fresh flowers, which also has some added texture with a rope detail on the outside of the vase. Overall, this space works!

What are your thoughts???

Make sure to come back tomorrow, to see some fun e-design projects!

Why This Works

Welcome back to another installment of Why This Works… a series where I highlight a designed space and talk about what I love! Today’s office space was designed by Brian Watford and featured in Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles. Take a look!

 

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We are currently thinking about what do to our office space, so this is obviously great inspiration! I am immediately drawn to the grass cloth walls, as it instantly adds texture and warmth. The colors are soothing and include a blend of warm and cool, which is a nice balance. All of the textures in the space, from the rug to the pillows, to the leather desk chair to the woven side chair- all add depth and interest. The mixture of metals is also taking part, with the brass table lamp and ceiling fixture, to the chrome base of the desk chair. The brass wall frames have beautiful modern art in them, which I love! The room’s door has a stunning wood grain to it, which appears to be replicated in the desk base. I also love that the roman shade has a band detail, making it feel more custom. The shade is also installed as high as possible, which is one of my most favorite tricks in making a space feel larger. And I absolutely love the camel colors with that stunning teal settee. Overall, this space works!

What are your thoughts?!?

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 is interior designer Caitlin Moran’s gorgeous, eclectic, bohemian inspired dining room. This image below was taken from her feature in Lonny and is a true show stopper. Take a look!

 

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I have always been a fan of neutral spaces with pops of color and this room does that to perfection. The color comes through in the abstract wall art, the area rug and table setting. This style of seating has really grown on me lately and I love it! The low profile works so well for this modern look and the rustic simplicity from the table is a great balance. And let’s talk about that statement chandelier for a minute! I have written in past posts about using lighting that almost seems too oversized for a space. When it seems too large, it is actually just right! And I love the texture this fixture brings into the room. I am also a huge fan of layering rugs to add depth and interest. {And in this space, color and pattern, too!} It is a wonderful way to make a rug that would be considered too small, work so well. I love the mixture of the window treatments, with the sheers and patterned panels. They provide function and style, which is a win win in my eyes! The wall sconce is large enough to be functional, but doesn’t compete with the art work and chandelier. And a vase of fresh flowers is the best way to complete any room! All in all, this space works!

What are your thoughts???

{The fact that I have two back to back posts of Why This Works is not lost on me! Sorry for the lack of posts lately! I will be back soon to share some completed e-designs.}  :)

Why This Works & Bridge Street Segment

Welcome back to another installment of Why This Works… a weekly series where I show a designed space and dissect the details, to explain why the designer chose what he/she chose and why it works! Today’s space is a project I designed last year for a local client. I speak about it often on this blog, because it was such a fun project to work on. This project is also near and dear because I love the true talent that shines through in Sarah Heppell’s photography skills! She truly made this space shine with these after photos. As you may already know, I named this project Vintage Gem, because of the gorgeous architecture of the apartment and the details they left in tact during the renovation of the building. Also, my client loves a mix of vintage and new, so the name was a great fit. In past blog posts, I never truly dissected the details of this space and explained why certain pieces were chosen and why. So let’s do that here, today!

 

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Amber B Design, Photos by Sarah Heppell

When I walked into this space for the first time, I was immediately struck with the gorgeous brick walls and stunning high ceilings. It is a compact space with a combined living and ding area, but the high ceilings and architectural details make up for that. I wanted to compliment those details and not compete, by selecting light and neutral furnishings that allowed the apartment’s details to be the main focal point. The furniture and accessories were the supporting cast. Another trick I like to use is to select a few large, oversized accessories, as opposed to several small pieces. It’s a great visual trick that allows your eye to be drawn up to appreciate the room, giving the illusion of more square footage. When I installed the large blue table lamps and floral art work on the buffet, your eye was brought up instead of down and the space appeared larger. You could admire the brick more, even though we added pieces in front of it. Also, the dramatic wall clock was added behind the sectional. Upon first glance, it’s massive size could appear too large for some. But this clock instantly pushed the walls back and made the room feel bigger. I like to tell clients that if an accessory piece appears too big, it’s probably just right. It can take time to train your eye to like larger accessories. Luckily, my client was right on board and also thought the space felt bigger. In this room, I also wanted to use a mix of different wood stains and metal finishes. Especially with this vintage style, our goal was to create a space that looked as if it had been collected over time and not to match too much. So, the light stained buffet is near the dark stained dining table. Brass candle sticks on the buffet are near a bronze side table and pewter base coffee table. My trick for mixing metals, is to stay within the same ‘shine’ family. In this room, I wouldn’t have brought in a shiny chrome. All of the metals are buffed and matte, which is why they can work together. I like to separate the mattes from the shiny. And last but not least, I like to add various textures and fabrics into a space to create a layered depth. The jute, natural fiber area rug is paired with a leather chair, linen sofa and cotton pillow covers. That will add layers and depth to a space, making it feel warm and collected.

So that’s a little sneak peek into why I chose what I did for this space! I was thrilled to be able to talk about this design today with Sistina Giordano from Bridge Street. She is always wonderful to chat with and it was a fun segment. To see the video clip, visit HERE!! Thank you so much to Sistina and the entire News Channel 9 team for having me!

Why This Works

Welcome back to another Why This Works series post! I am sorry this is a day late. I have been working on a fun local client install, that I can’t wait to share. We are almost finished with the master bedroom and I have been giving little sneak peeks at the progress on instagram {amberbdesign}. More info to come, soon! On to today’s room… this living room was found on line, at Better Homes and Gardens. It is the home of the blogger at An Urban Cottage and it has the perfect blend of modern and traditional. There are so many things that work in this room. Take a look!

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What first strikes me is the warmth and charm that this space has. I love the taupes, grays, blues and greens that can be found in the room. The added texture with the natural fiber rug brings that welcoming vibe into the space. It has that traditional charm, with the plaid chair fabric and the convex mirrors, yet also brings in a modern style, with the graphic wall art, ikat pillow and streamlined sofa. The glass coffee table allows you to feel as though the room is larger and it visually does not take up any space. You can tell there are meaningful pieces added in this room, with the vase full of paint brushes,the antique fan and distressed boxes. Adding personal mementos and accessories with a story bring that warmth to a room that is so inviting. And to top it all off- my favorite way to bring a cozy atmosphere to any room… fresh flowers!! For me, this space works.

What are your thoughts?!?

Why This Works

Welcome back to another post of Why This Works… where I highlight a designed space and talk about why I love it so! You may have already seen the gorgeous Michigan home of Michelle Adams… known for her work in Lonny.com and Domino. She decided to leave the fast paced NYC life and move closer to family, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She completely renovated a 1920’s colonial home and I love every new detail! Today, I highlight the living area…

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The casual and stylish way she designed her home is so inspiring! It feels warm, lived in and ultra chic, which can be a hard combination to achieve all together. I love that she mixed navy and black. Those colors do go together and I love using them in design. Funny thing- as I’m typing this, I’m also wearing a navy/black striped shirt! And not even planned. 😉 The roaring fire is beautiful and framed inside a gorgeous carrara marble mantel that she had installed. It instantly adds charm to the space and takes her back to what she loved most about her visits to Europe. She also made a great decision to remove the windows at the back of the living area and replace them with French doors. The change allows more light in and is great for functional purposes, out to her new patio. The glass chandelier makes a dramatic statement, yet doesn’t impede your view to the outdoors. The skirted table is adorned with coffee table books and a vase with a beautiful flower arrangement. I always love the casual and stylish look of skirted tables. {They can also be great for concealing storage pieces, if needed!} The open bookshelves show a collection of accessories, books and framed pictures, which I think is the perfect trio when shelf styling! This room has a mix of light and deep colors, warm woods with modern accents and woven baskets and leather chairs for texture. It is that balance and mix that I always appreciate. Michelle loves so many different design styles and it is evident in her accessories collection in her home. That’s what makes a home feel as though it has been curated and collected over time and definitely tells a story. To see her entire home and read the House Beautiful feature, visit HERE.

What are your thoughts???

Make sure to stop by later this week, where I show my completed bonus room e-design! Also, thank you so much to Houzz for naming me Best of Houzz 2016I am fortunate to have this award for the past two years. Thank you!!

Why This Works

Welcome back to another installment of Why This Works… where I show a designed space and talk about why it’s amazing. Today, I am featuring interior designer Thomas O’Brien, who has always been known for his classic, laid back style. I am always drawn to his designs, because they are so livable and real. Today’s guest bedroom he designed for a designer showhouse was featured in Veranda magazine and exudes that casual, classic style that I love!

 

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This room has that perfect blend of comfortable and stylish. I am always drawn to a four poster bed of any kind and I love that this deep wood stained finish balances so well with the light carpet and ceiling molding. The linen covered walls have that small pattern that also mixes so well with the neutral bedding. I am also a fan of pattern on pattern and it works so well here, with the walls and headboard, because it’s a mix of small and large patterns. If the headboard had a small print design too, it wouldn’t work as well. I always love an animal nod of some kind and this oversized feather print is dramatic and restrained at the same time. A perfect way to approach oversized art/accessories in your home? If it looks too big upon first glance, then it’s perfect! Large art and accessories takes some time to get used to, but makes such a wonderful impact in any room. I also love a good asymmetrical balance when done right and this art print does not have a matching piece on the other side, but rather uses the printed linen covered walls and tall table lamp as its counter balance. A small table lamp is then placed in front of the feather art, so there’s functional lighting, but doesn’t compete with the print. The tufted arm chair and bedside flowers add that feminine touch to the classic, masculine blue the room exudes. Overall, this room works for me!

What are your thoughts???

Why This Works

Welcome back to another edition of Why This Works… a weekly series where I show a designed space and discuss why it’s great. Today, it’s all about one particular aspect in design and that’s styling shelves. In the new year, I hope to organize much better and these well kept shelves are making me think just that! This Pasadena home was featured in Domaine and is designed by LA design firm, Burnham Design. Take a look!

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What I love most about these shelves is the effortless way they appear to be styled. They definitely have that collected over time vibe, which I love. These accessories look as if they have a history and meaning to the homeowners. I love when shelves are a mix of books, art and sculptural accessories and these have all three! Bookshelves have much more depth and interest when there is layering going on… it can even give the illusion of a deeper shelf. To achieve this layering effect at home, start with an empty bookshelf and slowly add a couple of books and accessories at a time. Step back every now and then, snap some pictures and evaluate how you would like to go further. That’s what I always like to do when styling shelves. It does take some time and patience, but the reward is a treat for the eyes! Here, you get a glimpse of the top shelf with bone inlay boxes, neutral book covers and art prints. The next shelf has books laid both vertically and horizontally, with an everyday vase used as a bookend. I love thinking outside the box and using non traditional book ends. The books are subtly organized in a color block format, keeping similar hues together. Pieces collected from travels adorns the shelves and memories can instantly be remembered when those accessories are out on display. Book shelves are used for much more than just books and this design shows that to perfection!

What are your thoughts?!?