Best Up & Coming Artists

Finding affordable, art can be hard.. it's expensive! To find affordable art that is original, is even harder. This is one of the main reasons why I love to embrace new, up and coming artists. Often these artists have not only a fresh, new look, but more reasonable prices too. It's a natural blend from my background in art installation, and I'm always on the hunt for the talented and promising artists.  Here is a quick list of a couple of my current favorite up and coming artists. 

Fate #2 by Carson Ellis

Fate #2 by Carson Ellis

Awakenings #4 By SARINA DIAKOS

Awakenings #4 By SARINA DIAKOS

Small Works #37 By Ky Anderson

Small Works #37 By Ky Anderson

Untitled 2.16 by Elizabeth Thiaucourt

Untitled 2.16 by Elizabeth Thiaucourt

The Decision by Kai Samuels Davis

The Decision by Kai Samuels Davis

Holiday Table Setting Guide

Retailers have been stocking their shelves with holiday decorations the weekend of Halloween. I know that is too early for the average person to be planning that far in advance, but now that Thanksgiving is around the corner it's time we face the music start making our list. 

The holidays can present stress to source the perfect thoughtful gift or spending time with unsavory family, I say lets have some fun with our table scape this year. Let's not dig our our red and green holiday plates, instead let's introduce a fresh color palette! 

Blush pink is all the range, mixed with hints of brass brings it to the next level for holiday entertaining. Here are a couple ideas to pull your table together.

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Historic Praire Style Home- Gets a Modern Update

I love the mix of high and low. This combo inevitably creates an interesting visual of texture, line and color. Tapping into the classic lines of a vintage piece mixed with something new is really exciting when it's done right. One of my most creatively challenging projects, which ultimately became the most rewarding, was a project I did for the historic Poppy House in the Kenwood neighborhood of Hyde Park- Chicago. 

We could not touch the wood work, because of the historic value and the house is on the national historic list. As you can image in a praire style, Frank Loyd Wright inspired home, there is a TON of wood work, so my biggest challenge was to embrace it and incorporate it. I needed to bring it into the 21st century and blend with my clients modern, eclectic aesthetic.

Starting in the Living Room, we covered the sections of ceiling between the beams with deep mocha colored grass cloth, updated the wall sconces and painted the walls a cool tone of cream to draw out the yellow from the room and covered up the dated flowers painting in the corners that was added by the former owner in attempt to "update".

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I wanted to create a space that balanced out the history of the space and was a slight nod to the 60's, pulling in creams, warm leather and a pop of jade green. The coffee table we found on Charish and the other pieces were custom created for the space. 

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For the family room, which is a part of an addition added in the 80's the wood work was not a factor. We had more of a clean slate to work with and started by ripping out the dated built in, creating our own custom floor to ceiling built in. We painted the walls, molding and built in all Hale Navy, which created an elegant streamline look. The modern cranberry velvet chairs were mixed in with a new sectional, silk rug from ABC Home and petrified wood stump side tables. 

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The other major change we made was to the dining room and added Philip Jefferies grass cloth wallpaper on the walls and cove ceiling to create a dark supper club look. The light fixture became a sticking point once the room was finished. My client had a hard time letting it go even though the size and proportions were all wrong for the space and was the last piece of the puzzle to creating an amazing space. 

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Colorful Front Doors - Stand Out from Your Neighbors

On October 31st, many Americans were standing on each others door steps. Accompanied by our children, doorstep-to-doorstep ringing door bells and listening to our kids yell "TRICK OR TREAT!".  As a creative person, I was paying as much attention to the costumes as I was the doors. After half a dozen of white and glass doors, I was pleasantly surprised with a bright yellow door. Everyone knows that the kids' favorite house on the block is the one that gives out the full size candy bars - but this one was my favorite. 

When thinking about design, people often get stuck on the soft goods. We think about the potential for a sofa, coffee table, maybe some chairs. Things like windows, trim, doors, and passageway areas are neglected. The bones of a space are just as important though! They hold the power in a room to pull everything together, and I think they deserve our designated attention. 

The options are endless when it comes to paint colors, finishes, and details though. Here are some of our favorite doors to help inspire you to give your home some character.

Custom Cypress Doors by Telich Custom Homes

Custom Cypress Doors by Telich Custom Homes

If you are going for more of a natural look, one of my favorite wood options is Cypress. The long, rustic woodgrain although it looks very rough, creates balance in space to create the perfect rustic modern look. 

via SWD

via SWD

This door has a high gloss, lacquer finish. This finish is absolutely stunning! It is guaranteed to make your home stand out from all the others on the block.

White Laquered Door by New Design Porte

White Laquered Door by New Design Porte

Not every great door has to be a bright color. Not every home calls for bright color. A white on white showstopper may be the perfect way to give your door some much needed texture and character.

19th c. Provençal French Doors with Glass and Antique Hardware by Chateau Dominigue

19th c. Provençal French Doors with Glass and Antique Hardware by Chateau Dominigue

The antique look isn't for everyone, but I believe that antiques bring character into a space that some contemporary design cannot replace. There are some amazing dealers out there that sell beautiful doors like these to implemented in a modern home. 

Half Painted Door via Instagram by Esther Clark

Half Painted Door via Instagram by Esther Clark

Maybe you are looking for a more bold move. Consider these unique door painting patterns. It doesn't need to be all one color! Did this for a clients tween bedroom, mixed with black and white checked head board and leather pillows. 

Washi Tape Door by Remodelaholic

Washi Tape Door by Remodelaholic

This is a fun approach for a more temporary option, using Washi Tape to create a pattern or design to freshen up the front.  And when you are tired of it or want to change things up, you can easily removed it and start fresh. This is a great way to jazz up a kids space as they grow. It's also a great way to get them involved in the process because it is not permanent. 

Plug-In Pendants and Sconces -The Go To Problem Solvers

You hear me talk about lighting all the time and how it is key to give any space a particular mood. In reality, it has a much more practical application required for everyday life. We need good lighting for tasks such as work, getting dressed, make up, shaving, cooking, etc. Getting good lighting can be hard though because not every house has electrical wired from every wall and ceiling. You can try to add in all the lamps you want, but sometimes it's just not enough. You need light either hanging from the ceiling or jetting out from a wall to give light on a particular angle. Now if you don't have electrical hardwired and don't have the budget to open up your walls, many lighting companies offer plug in options to allow you to hang light at your desired location, and plug it in at the closest power source. Yes, wow! Best idea ever!

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Except.. for years they didn't have any that were particularly aesthetically pleasing. Lately, I have found that lighting designers have caught up with this huge need within the design community and have created new and beautiful plug in options to not only fix your lighting needs, but add beautiful features to your room.  

Seems too good to be true.. So whats the catch? Well, for those looking to add pendants, who wants a cord hanging in the middle of their room? No one.  Room & Board has developed a product to fix this issue though! The ingenious solution is called the Tandem Ceiling Mount for Pendants. It allows you to connect your desired lighting fixture to the ceiling mount, then provides clips to connect the 20 foot long cord to the wall to keep it in place and clean. 

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Another company called Little Bishop has mastered the art of "swag" lighting. They have developed a product geared to replace the impractical metal hook often used to hang pendants on. What I love about their pendant posts is that they are all finished in a bright white undercoat which can be either left as is, or easily painted to match your space. How amazing is that!

I have rounded up a few of our favorite plug in designs below to help inspire you to fix your lighting needs!

DIY Fringe Plug in Chandelier by Jungalow

DIY Fringe Plug in Chandelier by Jungalow

DIY Rope Wrapped Pendant by Vintage Revivals

DIY Rope Wrapped Pendant by Vintage Revivals

Fall Color Inspiration: The Anti-Gray

For those of you who are inspired by the seasons and the changing of colors, like me, you are probably trying to figure out the best way to bring these fall and winter colors into your home. I'm not talking about tacky turkey napkins and paper gourds I'm talking those beautiful autumn shades of burnt umber, cadmium yellow and deep reds. 

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I love Brian Paquette Interior's application of the deep and bold coral colored door juxtaposed by the darker ceiling. It is the perfect balance of visual texture.

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Embrace the warmth and rich tones of fall, all year with warmer textile colors choices. There are other neutral color options other than gray, that are classic and will stand up over time. I love this example of a burnt ocher used by Tempelton Architecture

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Be bold! Paint is just paint. It is not like a bad hair cut that will take months to grow out. If you don't like the paint color- paint over it. But it’s important to have fun and take risks in your space, as Fernandez & True Interiors did here in the 2012 Atlanta Show house.  Of course we can not change our furniture to match the season like we do our wardrobe, however, if you are craving to add something new, check out your local antique stores for a special piece that can temporarily freshen up the color palette. 

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Every space should be an extension of that person. We have different facets of ourselves; likes, interests and passions. Your home can become an exploration of those layers. I love this office designed by Steven Gambrel that seems to visually explaining that person. This space is so well composed, I can almost imagine the story and background of this person. 

Nesting Notes- Top 5 Bedroom Design Ideas

I am busy mom and business owner and am constantly on the go. When it comes to the end of the day, my favorite part is finally falling into bed! This is my wrap of top 5 bedroom design ideas. It should become your own personal haven.  Sleep tight!

 

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Don't be afraid to add a mix of pattern. A great way to do this in the headboard fabric and paired with bit of wallpaper. via sfgirlbay

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Keep it clean, light and fresh. This will give you a fresh start to everyday, although you may not want to get out of bed! by Jen Talbot Design

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I love crisp white bedding punctuated by color in other areas, such as rug and accent pillows. via Amber Interiors

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Embrace color! Don't afraid of color, just be smart about where you apply the brush. Be sure to edit and mix in textures as well as color.  by Charlotte Lucas via Dominio

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Focus the room on an amazing vintage find and then let rest fall into the background. I simply love this headboard and how it got to be the star in the room. Thumbs up! via The Decorista

Chicago Design State of Mind

This lovely writer, Michael Shannon OKeefe, reached out to me via email and said he was on the Homepolish website researching designers in the Chicago area for a piece he was working on. Every room he gravitated toward happened to be my work. Incredibly flattered, he asked to permission to use my work in his upcoming feature on Chicago, design in the city and fun things to do on the weekend.

Check it out. 

https://www.consumersadvocate.org/features/chicago-design-state-of-mind

 

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Painted Surfaces

Gone are the days of the classic feature wall, but using paint in a creative way is it a great way to bring interest and break up the space.  I love highlighting details of the existing space, if the space has some history. You can also play with scale in the space by painting unexpected sections of the top of the wall or ceiling. 

 

Check out a couple of my favorites. Paint is not dead!

Who Doesn't Love a Good Before and After?

This summer, I have had the pleasure of transforming several rooms of an historic home in the Kenwood neighborhood of Hyde Park. For the locals, everyone knows it as the "Poppy House". It is famous for the poppy stained glass windows through out the original part of the home. The second owner added an addition, which included kitchen and family room. 

My client has a modern eclectic style that needed to blend with the history and the prevalent wood work. My goal was to blend a modern vibe with the prairie history. For the living room, I wanted to keep it elegant, calming, layered textures- with a pop of jade green. 

Below is the living room, next week I will share the before and after of the family room with a lovely rug from ABC Home. 

 

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One Room Two Ways

It is not often there is an opportunity to design the same room twice! When my client first moved into her new house she had two kids and which naturally translated to a girls room and boys room. Flash forward to a year later and her third kid on the way, I had the opportunity to re-design the space as a gender neutral room to accommodate her son and daughter. 

The first image is the space as the sons room. The second image is the room transformed into a black and white gender neutral room.  As you can see the only items we reused were the window treatments, rug and a black & white pillow. Have a favorite? Share it in the comment box.

Boho Office Make Over

I think we all dream of a sun filled room, a "clear of clutter" desk to set the stage for a productive day. I recently wrapped this office redo for a wonderful client on the North Shore. She is the best kind- open to my ideas, loves what I pitch and willing to take little risk. This partnership has garnered the best results because she trusts me and therefore then gets the best work from me. The creative juices flow freely and she gets to reap the benefits because she was able to give up a bit of control. Miss J, hats off to you! 

We carved this office out of a room formally overcome by HVAC. The window and cove ceiling is original and was simply lost in a tangle of ugly pipes. We reconfigured the HVAC system to fit under the new built in bench and shelves.  I, sadly, do not have before pictures so you can not truly appreciate the make over. Below are links to a couple key sources. Enjoy!

 

Jen Talbot Design Boho Office

1. Semi flush light, Cedar & Moss. 2. Black and brass fan, Target 3. Desk Sconce, Cedar & Moss 4. Desk Chair, CB2 4. Indian Boho Rug, Semikah Textiles