Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Designing a Student Lounge

My clients run the Center of Jewish Life/Hillel of Rockland College.  Thinking about updating their Hillel student lounge for a long time, they decided to reach out to me. I was more than happy to take on the job.  I knew it would be an exciting challenge! My clients wanted to change the room's vibe from boring lunchroom to fun lounge/hangout. The room was pretty small, so the first thing I did was booted all of the original items/furniture that were not necessary. The only things we kept were the bookcase and fridge.  The replacements would all be budget friendly and have a tight palette so the room would not feel too busy. We chose black and white with pops of blue. Once that was figured out, a-shopping I did go!
So, how do you make a room with boring grey wall-to-wall office carpeting look fun and fresh, you ask?  Drop a great rug on it!  The first purchase I made was this amazing rug that looks like the tide coming in on the shore. I knew it would bring some life to the room and steal the show!                                                                                                                                                                                                          img_2198-001
My clients wanted to hang up some pictures of the students, so I decided to create a gallery wall. All white frames would be nice and clean looking, but this is a student lounge, so I thought we should have some fun with it! I wanted to have a black and white speckled background for the gallery wall. I originally planned on using speckled wallpaper but that would have taken us way over our budget. Luckily, my clients had many wonderful students that were willing to volunteer! Out with the wallpaper, in with the hand-painted speckled wall!!! They did an amazing job!img_2106-001
For all you peeps that are dying to get some wallpaper on your walls but can't afford it, DIY it! Okay, it would take a really long time to do this yourself, so call over some friends. You may want to make a one drink limit, unless you're going for a modern art look. In which case, you may as well get your kids to help you. Then when you and the kids finish the walls, you can celebrate with your friends and go out for those drinks! Both are very good options. There are so many great ideas out there for DIY accent walls. You can head over to my Pinterest DIY board to check out some that I've pinned -https://www.pinterest.com/StylebyMimiG/diy-ideas/.
The rest of the room was all planned out. I knew the Hillel lounge needed some Israel-related paraphernalia but I didn't want it to be cheesy(AKA, big poster of the map of Israel, etc.).  I decided to create a modern asymmetrical string art of Israel. Check out this great tutorial I put together. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!
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I also commissioned one of the students, Gayil, from Hennas by Gayil (https://www.facebook.com/hennasbygayil/?fref=nf), to create a drawing of a Chamsa. I had seen her work before and knew she was extremely talented. Well, she did not disappoint! Check out the beautiful detail in this drawing!!!
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I wanted it to have an authentic look, so I had her draw on paper with raw edges and pinned it onto the matting of the frame.
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When it was time to shop for furniture, I searched for simple, fun and modern. For the chairs in front of the gallery wall, I chose black leather chairs to help that wall feel grounded. Two mid-century modern chairs in black and white houndstooth material were placed opposite the speckled wall. The pattern of the fabric helped create balance, adding a similar splash of black-and-white-crazy to the other side of the room.
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I chose simple birch nesting tables to add a natural element to the room. The matching stools brought balance to the other areas of the room, while affording extra seating when needed.  I customized the stool tops to add some texture and color to other parts of the room. I stuck to our tight color palette when choosing the fabric for upholstering and the paint for the stool tops.
FROSTA Stool IKEA The stool can be stacked, so you can keep several on hand and store them on the same space as one.
http://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/60162301/
This is the Frosta stool from Ikea. It is so affordable and you can customize it in so many ways!
                                                                                                          collages
I am a big believer in bringing life to a room by adding live plants. I scoured the internet for a cool hanging planter and found this gem-of-a-gem-shaped glass hanging planter. I created a beautiful terrarium, layering pebbles, varied types of dried moss and a succulent plant.
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I always choose succulents to add to client's rooms, because they are hardy and most people are unintentional-plant-killers ;).
The Before...and Afters
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before
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after
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before
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after
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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Airmont High-Ranch

Let's begin with everyone's favorite part,
the before...

   

and the after...


The owners of this high-ranch contacted me right before they moved into their new home.  They are a sweet couple with young children. They wanted to move away from the traditional look they had in their old place, to a more modern look. The only furniture they brought to their new home, was a hutch that had sentimental value to them.


The hutch was very traditional, so I kept that in mind while choosing the furnishings.  The tufted accent chairs, tufted ottoman, and the bling from the different metallic accents, add elegance to the modern look.    
With their open-floor plan, it was very important to choose kid-friendly furniture. I did what I could to help my clients avoid the-parents-face-of-horror. You know, the face parents get when their sweet innocent toddler hops off the dining room chair heading to wash the spaghetti sauce off their cute little hands and, on the way, making sure to touch...EVERY...SINGLE...SURFACE (I know you've been there!)!!!  So, I stuck with leather for the sofa and ottoman/coffee table and dark teal velvet for the accent chairs.

 

The husband really liked the black and white look, so I chose these throw pillows to go with this amazing ottoman/coffee  table. I stuck to black, white, neutrals and small pops of different shades of teal to tie the accent chairs into the room (here's the color palette I referred to: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/252342385350257891/).  I added lots of texture and, of course, a lot of plants!


I created this unique arrangement of decorative items on a round tray by adding very cool looking succulents to this black pedestal vase and added a pretty oval bowl. Together they create nice contrast and break up the boxiness of the white squared vase. 






I planted a trailing succulent plant in a hammered copper cup and ended up with this beauty!  


These coasters are beautiful! It's good I don't have them at my house, because I'd find any excuse to use them and end up with a drinking problem! 












Thursday, March 17, 2016

Designing a Therapy Office

BEFORE (pretty sad looking place)





AFTER (Aaaahhh...much better!)



My client is a therapist and came to me when she was ready to open her own private practice. She was looking for the space to be calm, warm, and a place she could even use for her own meditation. As I designed the office, I kept in mind to stick to neutrals, colors of the beach and colors of a peacock(her favorite), to create the mood we were looking for. I pinned MANY pictures and ideas on my "therapy office design" board (if you'd like to check it out, here's the link- https://www.pinterest.com/StylebyMimiG/). These were the color palettes I kept referring back to.

EMILY | you said that you were tired of your family area colors?  this is a GREAT website for inspiration.  as you know, i love monochromatic or muted color combinations and  this is one that would be great in your home.  reminds me of cannon beach + works really well with your exterior.:  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/252342385349080232/

Paint colors from Chip It! by Sherwin-Williams  I like this color scheme for my living room:
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/252342385349079783/
























My client's landlord mentioned that I could take a box of antique books that one of his tenants left behind.  Hello?!?! Interior decorator's dream come true! This is the inside of one of the book covers that I framed   (DISCLAIMER:No antiques were harmed in the making of this room! The cover was already broken when I got to it. I promise.).



 I found this vase and fell in love! I was looking for some white pieces to contrast the blue wall and this piece adds great texture. I bought a trailing plant to place inside the vase, but it was too big so I had to do surgery on it on my kitchen counter. It was funny to see how quickly my kid's amusement turned into paranoia once they remembered that there are bugs in dirt (we ordered pizza that night- j.k. :)).



My client loves birds, which was very convenient because I had just drawn this bird a few weeks before she mentioned it.