Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Pillow Talk: Should we Mix or Match?

We recently installed a living room project for a dear client and a week later, she emailed me with the unthinkable: she hated that her pillows didn't match.
Whatttttttttttttt? 😓 I  was speechless.  How could this be?

It's pretty clear from my earlier design projects that matching was kinda my thing.


But over the years I've kinda evolved and have instead fallen in love with an unbalanced approach when styling with pillows because well, whose life is always really perfectly balanced?

 And for me, mixing and matching colors, shapes and textures just spoke more to my design aesthetic these days and the lived in feel I wanted to invoke with each project.


But even I break my own rules as you can see from this recent installation. Ultimately, it honestly just depends on the creative process. But now you can best believe I'm adding this sentence to our client questionnaire: should we mix or match your pillows? Designing minds need to know!
Are you on team mix or team match? Would love to hear from ya.

1st Mix: 1/2/3  2nd Mix: 1/2/3  1st Match: 1/2  2nd Match: 1/2

Monday, February 13, 2017

For Valentine's Day: Love is Home + Paws

This valentine's day, may you find love in the simplest of things. And continue to show that love  tomorrow and beyond. Here's a quick round up of home décor ideas to help you do just that.

(1) Doggie Mat (2) Watch Box (3) Faux Fur Throw (4) Bottle Opener (5) Pillow (6) Pet Carrier      (7) Baskets (8) Abstract Rug (9) Dog Sweater (10) Accent Chair (11) Champagne Flutes (12) Pet Bed (13) Art (14) Candle

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

How a Stairway Became an Office Nook

One of the most fun parts of this renovation we've previously shared here , here and here was carving out this lounge/work area from what was once a dining room.

Our clients have a large breakfast room, and a large island with so didn't see the need for a formal dining room.
They wanted a secondary lounge/work space adjacent to the living room we'd also designed. As we gutted the bathroom that's on the other side of the stairs, we realized there was a lot of hidden space under the stairway that would make for a great area for a desk.  

This neatly tucked in workspace was the result.

That pesky support beam meant we had to divide the space and do a  custom desk which we did with deep drawers for file storage. We also added an electrical outlet and recessed lighting.

Custom shelves also added extra surfaces for books and accessories.

This apartment size sofa was the perfect fit for this lounge space. The bold blue added a bright touch to the room's neutral color palette.

All photos by JHillstead Photography 
And that's that. A dining room that was sure to get very little use, is now a functional and much used lounge for this family.
Would you transform your own dining room into another space? I did. My very own home office was once our dining room.

~Get the Look~

Sunday, January 15, 2017

My Ongoing Love Affair With Navy Blue

Holy Smokes and Gee Whiz, and Happy Freaking New Year! Damn, it's been a minute my loves but I've been going through some pretty heavyweight personal changes (will dish on that in the near future) and so have been hunkered down, licking my wounds and focusing a LOT on designing some amazing spaces.
Speaking of said spaces, this powder room has me doing all sorts of dancing. I mean, WTH right? Who gets to the call this space their own?
A wonderful young couple from the my second favorite island, Barbados. They're newlyweds, bought their first home last year, and realized a few months in that they needed some guidance. Once I met Aria - hubby Steven is among the blessed team of "do what you want my love " -  I knew immediately we'd be in for a very long term relationship. She is a kindred spirit who wanted a thoughtful design process, right up my alley of design goals this year.
We have a lot to tackle but decided to begin with the living/dining rooms and powder room first in phase one. We completed the powder room first. Here's where we started:

Side note: why are the toilet seats always up in our before pictures?
Yes ladies and gents, what we have here is your standard builder grade bathroom fare. Basic ish. And Aria is no basic chic so we needed a powder room to showcase her fun, glamorous island styling ways.
I'd fallen in love with the vanities from Worlds Away on my rookie visit to High Point market last Spring, and knew we'd pitch one from their collection.
A tad pricey for a powder room, but oh, was it worth the splurge. 
We initially pitched this one but we had size issues and had to instead go with this one, a happy stroke of luck since Aria swooned when she saw the marble and gold.

The marble is a solid blend of the traditional, and paired with the gold Greek key legs just made this piece a stunner. The chevron tiles added a modern flair, with subtle drama. Tip:There's no need for a rug in a powder room when you have floors like this. Let em shine.

We chose a round mirror to balance the hard edges of the vanity. And decided to mix metals by going with chrome for the faucet and towel ring. And oh, I knew navy would make the gold and marble sing but wanted it everywhere, including the ceilings and moldings.

The blue ceilings would also make this chandelier sing all kinds of high notes. We settled on Sophisticated Navy by Glidden in a glossy finish.

But alas, a high gloss finish shows every imperfection on your walls and after living with it over the holidays, Aria decided she'd prefer a more matted finish and gasp, wanted to paint the ceilings and moldings white to be consistent with the rest of the house. Well, ya'll know I fought hard to keep it as envisioned, and I usually win, but Aria missed her white molding so we respected her wishes ( I mean, yes, ultimately it's her home!) and repainted the moldings and ceiling.

This photo was taken by Aria the morning after we repainted (lighting plays insane tricks with paint colors so yes, it's showing very purple in her photo).  She's insanely in love with her new powder room and that, my friends, is something she did not feel for the powder room in its former state. We're happy as long as she's happy.
So, where do you stand? Could you live with blue moldings and ceiling or are you a traditionalist at heart and prefer a white ceiling and moldings?
Can't wait to hear your thoughts.
I've missed ya.

~Get the Look~

(1) Mirror (2) Vanity or awesome alternative here  (3) Semi Flush Light (4) Paint Color (5) Faucet 
(6) Wall Art (7) Wall Art (8) Tile

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Well Traveled Home - The Master Bedroom Reveal

When you have the luxury of a large master bedroom, then best believe you should make it as luxurious as possible. This was our mission for our clients Shakia and Michael, whose home renovation project we’ve been chronicling here and hereWe also revealed their adjoining master bathroom here.
We needed a bedroom retreat that was high on both style and function so we got to work.
This is where we began: 
Gotta love a blank slate. 

We would need to keep the laminate floors to stay in budget but would change everything else including paint, lighting, and the mirrored closet door. It is a space large enough for three distinct zones: a space to rest, read/work, and a must have makeup space for Shakia to get all dolled up. Here's how things are looking these days.

The first thing we all fell in love with was the wallpaper. We wanted something with a distinct yet subtle pattern and texture and this navy wallpaper on a grid was the perfect find.

Shakia and Michael work overseas and shipped us several rugs to use throughout their home. They chose this stunner from the markets in Afghanistan since it pulled in the blues from the wallpaper and has one of their favorite colors, red.

We wanted dramatic lighting over the bed, with very modern lines and we think this one fit the bill perfectly.

Oh these nightstands. I fell in love with them on my visit to High Point Furniture Market this Spring and swooned at the wood/chrome legs with Lucite handles juxtaposition. It fit right in with the goal for this space - a mix of textures, colors, patterns with modern and timeless flair. 

These nightstands were also insanely practical as they're able to fit lamps, storage boxes and my favorite accessories, books!

Shakia is a girly girl, and needed a designated spot for her makeup and accessory needs. We added this mirrored console, and mirror to give her just that.
And last but not least, they needed a small work zone with a chill vibe to lounge and read as well.
My heart! My heart. I think it's safe to say this is my favorite spot in this master suite.

Our original desk/console was stolen in transit! Yes! Stolen. WTH right? Madness, I know. But this replacement was just the simple/sleek balance for these stunning chairs.

I'm all about this corner right here. A book, some good wine and all is well with the world.

Details. Details. And more details. 

And there you have it. One of the swankiest yet functional master suites we've ever designed. See below on how to score some or similar items and let us know if your favorite area in this space.
~ Get the Look ~









Friday, October 7, 2016

The Well Traveled Home - Master Bathroom Reveal

Awww. Another bathroom reveal. Y'all know how much I love ripping apart a tired and worn bathroom for a swanky update, and this one was a doozy.
This floating beauty of a vanity now sits pretty in the home we've been revealing here and here
We started this project at the beginning of the year and were given complete creative license to do whatever we wished. 
Here's where we started:
I've never understood this vanity layout developers seemed to love in South Florida. Just an awkward layout. 

Sigh. These bulky tubs drive me insane. Just insane. Deuces.

Ok, confession: we don't have the best photos of this bathroom. Just hard to find ones without someone looking back in the damn mirror. Our floor plan gives a clear sense of the layout which we re-worked by adding a double floating vanity, a free standing tub and a larger shower. 
Alright. Enough damn chatter. Here is our client's newly transformed master bathroom.
This floating vanity was an easy choice. Our clients love a modern vibe, so black vessel sinks, wall mounted faucets paired with a floating vanity lit from below would definitely turn up the design wattage in this once drab bathroom.

 The LED lighting below the vanity changes color and comes on automatically when you enter the bathroom. 

 Brass - from the previous bathroom decor - inspired these spray painted vanity handles. 

 It also inspired these ombre brass pendant lights and brass mirrors.

 Even though we technically shrank the vanity space from what they had previously, there's still ample counter space between the vessel sinks for hand towels and an accessory tray

 Oh lord, removing that bulky tub made the bathroom feel soooo much bigger, even with a new tub! A free standing tub, installed diagonally made it easily accessible and adding a distinctly dramatic touch to this space. Speaking of drama, yes! That's a Juju hat installed as our sole piece of art. 

 One of my favorite things to do in a bathroom is to mix metals as seen here with the chrome tub filler and wall mounted faucets, juxtaposed with the brass handles, mirrors

 And these hexagon shower tiles

We definitely wanted to go bold or go home with this shower tile and boy did this black hexagon tile take us there. Fun fact: sometimes our design plans evolve over time. We mulled over many, many tile options for weeks but when I saw this tile my heart stopped. And that's often how I make some design decisions. Just a gut instinct that says hey, when a tile or any finish makes your heart stop and your jaw drop, it's something you should run with.
 It was also a splurge but one we thought was oh so worth it. 

This isn't a choice for everyone, but this was a dream of a master retreat for a couple that craved bold choices so definitely felt confident they'd love it as much as we did and they sure did.

The shower is both stylish - tall seamless glass wall and doors, both a rainhead and handheld shower faucets with body spray; and practical - two niches for shampoo bottles and soap.

We used an off white porcelain tile on the main bathroom floors to balance the black of the shower wall and floor tiles and to serve as a contrast as well for the floating vanity with the reflective lights beneath.

And there ya have it. One of those master bathroom transformations that was sooooo far removed from where we started, that I seriously wanted to take a shower in, soak in the tub and use that vanity over and over again. P.S. I didn't. But there may or may not be shower selfie floating around.

~ Get the Look ~

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