Wednesday Round-Up: Graphic Wallpaper

I’ve only recently become quite obsessed with wallpaper. I have one client in LA where we are using fun, colorful, and patterned wallpapers in many different rooms. I’ve actually recently purchased the first one on my list from Kate Zaremba for my office - though I’ve yet to find the time to hang it. As you can probably see from this sampling of some of my favorites, I tend to steer more toward disparate objects rather than overall patterning.

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The Design Development Phase

Ya’ll. October was crazy. How in the heck do other people keep up with blogging every week. Nay, a few times a week?! My apologies. I hope to do better from now through the end of the year. Here’s my next story based on the design process at Midnight Midcentury.

Photo by Courtney Paige Ray

Photo by Courtney Paige Ray

Design Development is the next phase in the process of working with a Design Professional. In case you missed the first steps, you can read it here before you read this story.

So now you’ve settled on a design concept and floor plan. Great! Time to sign off on Phase 1 and move into Phase 2. You Design Professional will have you officially approve of your selected concept and floor plan, then bill you for the end of Phase 1, per your signed agreement.

The Design Development Phase is when your project begins to come to life. Your Design Professional will begin sourcing furniture and finishes as well as designing and drawing cabinetry or any other custom built items. If you are knocking down any walls or moving things around (like kitchens and bathrooms) those drawings will be made as well.

I like to provide little mock ups for my clients so they can visualize various options as they come together. Here are three different mock-ups I put together for Midnight Midcentury

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These provided a lot of great feedback from the client in that they told me the things that they definitely wanted and other things that they would like to see more options for. Having a variety allows the client to more specifically describe what they do and don’t like about certain things. In this case, it was that they wanted fully upholstered lounge chairs and the dark blue wall with grey sofa. This client was also pretty certain about rug, chandelier, and table dining table options, so that set up on the path to be able to view these items in person prior to purchasing. The overall concept is there, and now it comes down to keying in on the specific pieces that are desired.

When I’m working on remodel and cabinetry work (which, being an architect and interior designer, is pretty much a given) I work through drawings which are super important. Once fully developed, the drawings become what is given to the contractor or millworker as the design to build from. I also use them as a way to show little vignettes to my clients to help them better visualize what their cabinet, fireplace, etc could look like.

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This phase doesn’t have just one meeting, it’s a lot of back and forth and parting of the different design elements until the client is happy with each individual item. This phase generally takes the longest of any design phase.

The Design Development Phase - Continued!

Photo by Courtney Paige Ray

Photo by Courtney Paige Ray

This is part of a series of stories where I’m walking you through the process of what it’s like to work with a design professional through a home remodel project. If you haven’t been following along, you may want to start here.

I told you last week in this story that the design development phase includes a lot of back and forth. Last week I showed you some iterations of furniture layouts and got a bit more specific on the actual pieces through some mock up iterations. After some meetings and discussions, where my amazing clients gave the best feedback, we landed on this version.

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Once the client decides on most of the exact major furnishings for the space, I gather fabric and finish samples, then once those are decided, I finalize the purchase orders and begin ordering those items. That’s what happens in full service design. But some clients prefer to do the purchasing themselves, so in that case I would hand over the prepared furniture schedule with all the details for the client.

We had a meeting to finalize paint color, which is a critical portion for this particular project as three main areas will all be a dark midnight blue. At that meeting, we were able to decide on 3 colors. The contractor then got samples and painted some dry wall for us to look at in the various spaces. We finally were able to decide on Benjamin Moore Deep Royal.

Photo by Courtney Paige Ray

Photo by Courtney Paige Ray

Now is also when the smaller, more accessory items begin to be designed and selected. For this project, those items include the layouts for gallery walls which occur on the blue sofa wall and the artwork and layout for the powder room. I also include side tables in the accessorizing category, so we are still deciding on those as well as a mirror for the dining room.

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So at this point in the project, design is nearly done, most all furnishings and smaller accessories have been ordered and the project is under construction as I type this. I’ll give you another update soon with some after construction photos and talk a little more about the construction process. Until then, hoping everyone has a spectacular Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday!)

#Wednesday Round-Up Guest Post: Counter Height Stools

Jessica Davis here again.

I've been on the hunt for a pair of fun stools for the end of our kitchen island at the #hotlantamidmod.  Luckily for me there are lots of counter height stools out there on the market now.  However, I think a lot of people still get confused about what size stool to buy for a kitchen.  Here are a few guidelines:

A typical chair is about 18" high and it sits at a table that is about 30" high so usually the amount of space you have to tuck your legs under is somewhere around a foot or so (and tables and counters often have a 3-4" apron hanging below).

So a typical kitchen counter is about 36". Using that same math, a counter stool would be about 24-26"  If you buy a 30" stool your legs will be squished under the counter (or won't fit at all)

Similarly bar height is another 6" taller at 42".  So you want a 30" stool here. If you got a counter height stool for an actual bar height counter you would be sitting with your chin on the counter. 

Size aside, I also like stools to be wipeable and lots of times I prefer backless so I can slide into the bar without moving the stool far out from the counter. Here are my faves right now. 

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#Wednesday Round-Up: Dark Blue Rugs

I’ve had three recent projects that called for dark blue area rugs, so I thought it only appropriate to do a round up of some of them that are super great, but didn’t make it into my client’s home.

#Wednesday Round-Up Guest Post: Bedside Sconces

Today Jessica Davis, founder and creative director of Nest Studio, is bringing you a thorough round-up of gorgeous and affordable bedside sconces.


from Griege Design

from Griege Design

Recently I've spent a lot of time looking at bedside sconces for our master bedroom and also for the kids' rooms. I really love a sconce at the bed. It offers directional lighting so one person can sleep while the other reads and it keeps our nightstand surface uncluttered which is key if you have a small nightstand.  Here are a few of my favorite bedside sconces right now (so many great affordable options).

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#Wednesday Round-Up: Memphis Inspired Interiors

design by Bree Leech & Heather Nette King for Dulux, and photographed by Lisa Cohen

design by Bree Leech & Heather Nette King for Dulux, and photographed by Lisa Cohen

If you are child of the 90’s like I am, you are probably familiar with Memphis-inspired design, from your trapper keeper to your attire in first grade. Or how about Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and Saved by the Bell? These wacky brightly colored, shape-filled motifs were everywhere when I was a kid, so it might seem weird to see nods to them now, nearly 30 years later.

While I don’t have time to get into a total history lesson here, please note that Memphis-style actually began in Milan in 1981 spearheaded by Ettore Sottsass. You can learn a lot more here and here on your own time.

But I am really digging this new Memphis-inspired style that seems more appropriate for my minimalist loving contemporary designs. I think the key here is to do it subtly, that’s why I decided to do a low-key Memphis-inspired round up for this week. One thing that you can add anywhere, which I’m sure you know is very on-trend right now is terrazzo. This was a major inspiration of the Memphis movement, as it was once an unfashionable flooring material which they began using in furniture pieces such as tables. Terrazzo seems to be everywhere these days, and likely warrants a round up all of its own.

I think I’m much more enjoying this current re-boot of Memphis style as the focus is generally more on the shapes and the colors are more toned down that what they were in the 80’s and 90’s.

Dusen Dusen is a major player in this revival, with collaborations with West Elm a few years back, and currently Keds and Uniqlo. I’m loving everything they are doing, and yes, I just bought a pair of their Keds from the last place I could find them in my size, thanks ban.do!

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#Wednesday Round-Up Guest Post: Having a Matisse Moment

Today’s post comes from an old colleague of mine from my first design job in LA nearly a decade ago. Jessica was a project manager at Wilson Associates in 2009 when I started. I often talk about how lucky I was to have found ANY job in the design and architecture world in 2009 and am so grateful to have not only had a paying job, but to work with some of the very best people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Since then, Jessica has made major moves, literally and professionally. I’m delighted to share her fun round up on my blog today.

Jessica Davis is the Owner and Creative Director of Nest Studio - a boutique design firm specializing in luxury hardware, and residential and hospitality interiors. Jessica is based in Atlanta, Georgia and South Orange, New Jersey. Take it away, Jessica.

illustration by  Abbey Lossing

illustration by Abbey Lossing

I've been noticing a lot of Henri Matisse inspired items of late. I think it's sort of the more organic reaction to all of the colorful yet structured Memphis modern stuff going on.  In any case, I'm digging it and here are a few of my favorite iterations.

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Wednesday Round-Up: Colorful Modern Sofas

If you are like a lot of my clients lately, you might be searching for the perfect colorful modern sofa. It’s a trend I’m seeing a lot more of and I’m really loving these vibrant colors in classic profiles. Are you more of a rounded sofa or a squared-off sofa kind of person?

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