Deep Colored Walls- Powder Room, Family Room, Library... Oh My!

California can have it's light, breezy SoCal vibe with all white walls and boho splashed in. Fresh exciting, bold things are happening with deep, dark colored walls. Paint or wallpaper are all in.

 

Think of London library vibe.

 

Shake of the norm. No wall is permanent. Be brave and go for it.

xo, Jen

Jen Talbot Design
Jen Talbot Design
Jen Talbot Design
Jen Talbot Design

Tween Boys Black & White Plaid Bathroom

We just wrapped up one of our favorite bathrooms to date! With twins and older brother started to out grow the families current bathroom situation, we revamped a former laundry room for the girls bathroom (details in another post to come) and renovated the existing bathroom to focus on the tween boys and a space they could grow into.  

We fell in love with this plaid stone tile, which became the jumping off point for inspiration for the rest of the space.

Can we all collectively say #bathroomenvy?!

 

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Jen Talbot Design featured in Chicago Tribune

Exciting News and forget to post on the blog! Jen Talbot Design was featured in Chicago Tribune for our work we did for our West Shore Dr client.  One of the things we love about what we do is the people we touch. This family was in a special category of their own.

 

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Click HERE to read the full article. 

xo, Jen

 

Flor Carpet Square Catalog

Hi Lovely Readers, 

The spring FLOR Carpet Square catalog is finally out! I though it would be fun to show the behind the scene or how the room before the FLOR team came in a place their product in the space we designed. 

Before FLOR:

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After FLOR:

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Before FLOR:

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After FLOR:

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Goes to show how much a rug can change the space dramatically! 

 

xx, Jen

 

Project HOPE- Designs for Autism- Jen Talbot Design

We were super honored to get the invite to submit an idea for a piece of furniture through Leathercraft and Traditional Home! The top design gets put into production and some proceeds go the Autism research. We had such a great time designing a piece of furniture for this wonderful effort to raise money. Well we could not decide which one final design. We even put it to a vote on Instagram and both the Bolster Pink Bench and Leather White Chair got the most votes. 

 

Here is the furniture plan and inspo images. Winners are announced at April High Point Market and we should know in a couple weeks if we were selected! Fingers Crossed:)

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How to Decorate with Plants

Plants are often overlooked as a potential element to design a space. Plants not only bring in needed color and life, but can be integral in finishing a space. Plant life is also a great way to keep the space fresh visually and satisfy the need to mix it up.  One of the most popular "designer" plant trends is the Fiddle Fig tree. It has big waxy leaves on a long stem and is very sculptural. 

Below are a couple examples of plants being used in the designing of the space. Imagine the rooms with out the plants or hold up your finger to block out the pops of green and see how different the space would feel without. 

I love plants and find it relaxing to do my Spring plantings, but I also understand are not for the fait of heart and not everyone has a green thumb or patience to care for a plant.  There a several companies that are doing a great job with high end artificial plants. They are not cheap, but the investment is a pay off verse killing a $180- $250 Fiddle Fig tree several times over. One of my favorite companies is here

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A Stylish Shelf- Best Practiced for a Perfectly Styled Shelf

For some reason people commonly struggle with how to style a shelf and make it look natural and an organic collection. The key is actually collect personal items from travel or a particular memory- over time. If everything is purchased at once or at one store, it starts to feel artificial and not personal. The trick is a happy balance! I always tell clients I love "shopping" at a clients home. I get the advantage of seeing their items with fresh eyes, which helps reorganize and edit. Then we can determine if we need to sprinkle in a few new items- which is often the case for a refresh. 

There are three things I keep in mind when I am working on a styling project:

1. Be sure to incorporate a mix of types of shapes. For example, be sure to include solid vases- NOT glass. Open or woven elements, medium and small shapes. Be sure that all the shapes are not the same thing- not all circle, square, etc. And I always include several good coffee table books. Leaning small picture frames are also a great way to bring in another element.  

2. Make it look natural- but not messy. The goal is always asymmetry. Balance out the each side with colors and shapes not completely opposite, but try one shelf down. The hardest part for most people is to not make it symmetrical. Humans naturally wants things in order. It should look curated and thoughtful.

3. I always start with a couple grounding areas, such as I map out where my book vignettes will go in the overall composition. Then I start to work in the shapes- working quickly I try not to think too much and over analyze. You can do that later. Also this quick approach allows this first pass just the "setting" phase. After I have gotten about 50% of the selections up, I step back and see where I need to fill in the whole and what shapes I need. 

4. Another tip, walk out of the room for 10 minutes and then come back. Letting your mind and eyes visually rest, allows you to see things fresh when you return to the room. This is when you can start to analyze what is working and where some items need to get moved. If you get to a standstill- just start over. Take everything off the shelves, and start fresh. If needed rinse and repeat. 

5. Lastly, do not be afraid to edit the items that are not working, even though it was passed down from your Grandma or a memory from your first trip to Paris. If it doesn't work, find another special place for it. Clients often get to emotionally attached to an object that may just need a new place to live in the home. 

 

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West Loop Project- Office Shelf Styling

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Westhore Dr Project- Kitchen Shelf Styling

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West Loop- Bar Cart Styling

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Elmwood St Project- Office Shelf Styling

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Kenwood Manor- Bar Built In Styling

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Westshore St Project- Library Built In Stlying

How to Add Color in Your Home, Naturally

In the last several years, I've noticed a trend in the striping of color from wardrobes and adding it to environments. Color can be tricky and much harder as a sweater paired with someones complexion. In art school students are first taught to draw in pencil, only using black and white- in order to understand highlights and low lights.  If color is introduced too soon students are not able to get a full understanding of how light affects a shape and ultimately affects the color when finally applied.

The same rules apply when adding color into your space, be thoughtful and selective about which colors and how much color to add.  Pick two colors and keep with those two mixed with neutrals. Feel free to use a variation on tones of the color you picked- meaning not all blue need to match to feel cohesive. If you mix the tones of blue, it will make the space feel more natural. Often times the use of selective color can make that highlighted color stand out more than if a multiple of colors were combined together. 

Be Brave! xo, Jen

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Dark Painted Cabinets

Dark painted cabinets are having a moment. A moment that I think is going to stick around for a awhile. We have spent 20 years in the beige range that dulled our senses and put us to sleep. It is an exciting time to be in design and see the marketed shift in peoples comfort zone. It's not like this is our first time in history experiencing dark cabinets. They pull from points in history of old drawing rooms and English libraries, which are rich, warm and inviting. For your first dark cabinet plunge, start with a dark neutral tone paint color, such as gray, blacks or navy.  I couple of my go to favorites are Benjamin Moore Hale Navy, Farrow & Ball Hague Blue, Benjamin Moore French Beret or Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray.

 

xo, Jen

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West Shore Dr Library

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Hyde Park Butler Pantry

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Boho Powder Room- Relativity Textiles

Powder Rooms are the best place to take a risk in your home design. We don't shower in them. We don't do our makeup in them. We don't spend a lot of time in them. Because of this we can never go too dark, too dramatic or too edgy. 

My of my current wallpaper crushes is with a extremely talented artist and lovely human, Erin Minckley Chlaghmo of Relativitiy Textiles. Her work is fresh thoughtful and checks all the boxes. 

xo! Jen

 

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Modern Luxury Interiors Feature

We are completely grateful for the inclusion in the January issue of Modern Luxury Interiors January 2018 for our work we did for the historic Kenwood "Poppy House".

Thank you for all the fantastic writing and support! Link to full article. Page 90!

Cheers! xo, Jen

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Chicago Life Magazine + Jen Talbot Design

Lighting is my jam. I love that it has finally caught up and become artful, thoughtful and special. Rewind 15 years ago and all lighting options were traditional, not inventive and snooze worthy. Then designer and artists got a hold of the light industry and shook things up. One big collective, Thank you, from all of us!

I got to share my thoughts on lighting trends in the most recent edition of Chicago Life Magazine. Check out the full story on page 16.

 

xx, Jen (insert the heart emoji)

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Favorite Chairish Picks

I surely hope you have discovered Chairish, the fabulous curated vintage marketplace from vendors across the country. Think of 1st Dibbs meets Etsy, which is a happy mix of vintage retailers and every day individuals that have an amazing piece to sell.  It's a great place to find an original pieces to introduce in a unique element in to your to space to make it that much more personalized. 

It also can be a huge time saver, not having to drive around to all the local places that may be a big miss depending on the current inventory. The only draw back is you have to pull the trigger fast on finds from Chairish because they sell out quick. 

Here is my current favorite round up that would be great for a modern living room.

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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.