Outdoor Spaces: Interior Design Inspiration for Summer time!

Summer is upon us.  We celebrated Memorial Day, the school year has ended or is ending soon, and we are beginning to settle into that lazy summer feeling.  Most of us still have to go to work each morning, but we get to dress more casually and look forward to slower weekends. Spending time outside with friends is one of the best parts of summer for us and we’ve been eyeing some bright, airy and inviting outdoor spaces.

Christopher Worthland has gathered a great collection of outdoor rooms, and shares them on The Art of the Room.  We are passing along some of them to you.

The first few photos showcase graceful and elegant rooms dressed in natural and neutral shades of whites.  Looking at these pictures, it’s easy to imagine our friends, wine glasses in hand, engaging in witty conversation and enjoying a relaxing summer evening.

item16.rendition.slideshowWideVertical.suzanne-kasler-atlanta-house-17-terrace

Image via The Art of the Room. Photo by Pieter Estersohn.

Image via The Art of the Room.  Photo by Miguel Flores-Vianna for Veranda.

Image via The Art of the Room. Photo by Miguel Flores-Vianna for Veranda.

The stone wall adds a timeless feel to this room, and those chairs are amazing!

Photo by William Waldron.

Photo by William Waldron.

1a2ace4679b6685b2aba49443a429121

Image via Pinterest.

The breezy, tropical feel of the next few areas makes us ready for an afternoon nap.

Image via the Art of the Room.  Photo by Tim Beddow for Architectural Digest.

Image via the Art of the Room. Photo by Tim Beddow for Architectural Digest.

df13535fd6612224820a750393812219

Image via Pinterest.

bcbf59564e4934bca51230148df66cee

Image via Tom Scheerer.com.

Photo by William Waldron.

Photo by William Waldron.

We’ll leave you with this last room, one of our favorites!  With the staghorn ferns lining the walls, the soft blue color pallette, and natural wood touches, this room feels stylish and and fresh, while also evoking memories of quiet, calm, lemonade-filled afternoons.

Photo by Eric Piasecki for Steven Gambrel Time & Place.

Photo by Eric Piasecki for Steven Gambrel Time & Place.

Happy Summer!

Making Room: 10 Interior Design Ideas for Small Spaces

Could you live in 132 square feet of space?  New York City building law defines this as an apartment.  YIKES!  It would certainly force one to prioritize.

One of the most helpful design courses in college was Small Space Design.   Because even outside of Manhattan — where the 2014 Census Bureau measured the average American home at 2,600 sq ft — one of homeowners’ biggest concerns is “WE NEED MORE SPACE.”

“Editing” is always a good idea, and is a design term for “getting rid of stuff!”  But it’s hard to let go of your kids old board games, that set of Holiday mugs that never seems to get used, and the clothes in the back of your closet that you might wear again…someday.  So, we say, design your space to accommodate the Clue and Monopoly boards, tuck away the 90’s denim and still have room for more!

Below are a few of the gems of wisdom that were gleaned from the classroom and design lessons learned along the way when it comes to making small spaces live large.

1. A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING AND EVERY THING IN ITS PLACE.

main.original.585x0

Photo by Annie Schlecter via MyDomaine.com

The closet above makes use of every square inch, and though small on space, it’s big on design details like the hanging lamp, rug, mirrored doors, and custom built-ins.  Doesn’t this make you want to run to the nearest Container Store?

2. BUILT-IN FURNITURE (and closet shelving like above) SAVES SPACE AND PROVIDES OPPORTUNITY FOR ADDITIONAL STORAGE.

neutral-home-dining-room-0415

office-small-design-picture

Image via Homedit.com

This small office works well with built-in filing cabinets, computer nook and lighting.

5445cf1c05ec2227215d2fe19417a498

Shelving built around and above windows.  Brilliant!

96921d71cfa3ac6e62f519b10c467c6d

Though not deep shelving, it’s shelving! (Love the sliding door –  see Tip #7.)

3. THERE ARE STORAGE OPPORTUNITIES HIDING BETWEEN WALL STUDS.

071f31f61c58e6b80f0dd49b3a3477e1

Image via bhg.com

Medicine cabinets, open shelving and niches can all be placed between wall studs.

4. SHARP CORNERS IN SMALL SPACES ARE AN ACCIDENT WAITING TO HAPPEN.

Round the corners of furniture and counters for an easy, comfortable flow.

7c7230dfe4d2b42cf78d37c635466f20

Image via Houzz

ad8ee28b09bc75859b0bae1f43804642

5. MIRRORS, AND OTHER REFLECTING SURFACES, VISUALLY ENLARGE A SPACE.

38905c0064c562bf1d16e38c2d7424b8

54c0d256eef51_-_02-hbx-48-square-foot-kitchen-stokes-0708-s2

Above, a mirrored backsplash helps visually enlarge a tiny apartment kitchen.

b7d404aef07cb37ec4e4c414052bca18

This hallway has it all: mirrored walls, a glossy floor and a glass entry door add shine and reflect light.

6. GLASS TABLES, LAMPS AND LIGHTING FIXTURES ALMOST DISAPPEAR CREATING THE ILLUSION OF SPACE.

54bfb121c08d9_-_ond-simple-white-decor-desk-chair-clear-06-1010-de-37456756

Can you find the chair in the picture above?  We also like how this mirror reflects the real window on the adjacent wall.

34e46ac891e6435d6b7b908c685c1381

b1582f6f64e9c7c7cd287fa4c47932c5

7. SWINGING DOORS EAT UP VALUABLE SPACE. IF POSSIBLE, GET RID OF THEM!

566b7444aed732a2f2d005c35c70f2a3

Image via bhg.com

5ab0348c0e05ff7f32983555967bffef

A modern sliding shower door helps in ‘space challenged’ bathrooms.

8. UNIFORM COLORS VISUALLY ENLARGE A SPACE 

DSC_4357

Image via Surroundings Interiors

bfd8741b24b31a87490b116d8613a554

9. EXTEND YOUR CEILINGS WITH PAINT OR WALL PAPER

1367596438519

Image via House Beautiful

1367596435862

Image via House Beautiful

10. GET AWAY FROM THE WALLS

54c16b9565887_-_chad-eisner-edc-03-13-3-xln-50281939-xln

Moving furniture even a few inches from walls expands the feel of a room.  Seems a bit counterintuitive but give it a try, it works!

There are so many space saving tips.  We could write a book on this subject.   Make the most out of every inch  to maximize your storage and create an open and inviting space.  Go big on creativity and make your small space work for you!

Unless noted Images Via House Beautiful, Elle Decor, and Pinterest

Displaying Collections in Your Home

Mother’s Day is this weekend, and in honor of my Mother, who has collected and curated objects and obsessions for decades (i.e., before eBay), Surroundings offers a few ideas for displaying and styling beloved pieces.  Whether it’s art, teacups, Lalique, thimbles, African masks or depression glass, you can show off your collections without auditioning for the next episode of TLC’s Hoarding: Buried Alive.

A few rules of thumb to consider when displaying your collections:

Neutral, monochromatic backgrounds (think museum walls) will allow your collection to “pop” and speak for itself.

Unify collections by highlighting one color, shape, texture or theme.

Venture outside the glass.  Curio cabinets are beautiful and stave off the dusting, however, some of your precious objects might really shine if they are allowed to breathe (and yikes) be touched.

Consider collections part of the architectural landscape, and really build or create a place for your passion to add personality and dimension to a room.

Finally, there are no rules that can’t be broken when it comes to collections…be creative, proud and impactful!

These two bold plate collections are fantastic examples of collections that can’t be ignored.  The first picture capitalizes on color,  focusing on green, blue and white.  As the plates climb the wall, almost floor to ceiling, the eye travels along.

0fde843c1faa67f4c25d6785ace8c558

White is a color, and in this display, it pops against the gray walls.  Instead of a linear installation, this collection is hung in a relatively circular pattern that creates visual interest and is a nice accent to the straight backed chairs.

IMG_6102

In this more traditional home, a linear arrangement of prints provides order and emphasis by covering the wall almost entirely.

5f33f094666ff2e6b6bf74ad42a9decd

A picture hanging rod sets this collection apart.

8cc74069b60df3aaea17837dab6ede2a

However, art work doesn’t have to be hung over the fireplace or behind a sofa.

Here, art is hung on the back of a door.

9d0e842efeb02d5bed8022d86c023c5e

Or in the bathroom.

577099decacaa3f461a9990acf61afe2

Even the kitchen provides an unexpected, but impactful space for art.  Besides the portrait hanging below, everyday dinnerware in shades of white becomes a collection when displayed on open shelving.

1b354a75b2093671dba13149833f4fd5

Set off your collection and give it a place of promenence by building a niche or custom shelving unit.

07-lake-cottage

The arrangement of antique teacups here provides color and whimsy to this modern kitchen.

ju

Choose a color the accents your collection.  The neutral sea fans and seashells really stand out against pretty blues.

84b13ae6d7a5213683dfccf6c3ca0084

starfish-and-shells-bathroom-decorating-ideas-929x1024

Even those figurines hiding in an old box in the attic are lovely in the right setting.

54c913933f6ef_-_hbx-antique-figurines-1011-de54c913936d162_-_hbx-white-stairwell-1011-de

Nothing makes us happier than a client with a collection.  It really gives us a starting place, framework and inspiration.

This Surroundings client collects hats.

Duncan_05

Antique mirrors are on my list of collectibles.

IMG_6230

Surroundings Media Director’s two sons love Legos.  So many great ways to display a collection of Legos or any small toy.  Below is one example.

6208897f4806385f04240f8040ffc47d

Mom’s collection of Corday figurines, sitting prettily on a two-tiered glass table, and her perfume bottle collection gathered together on an antique mirrored tray.

image1

image2

Send us pictures of your collections.  Happy Mother’s Day, Mom(s)!  

Images via  Surrounding InteriorsPinterest and House Beautiful

Cool Picks from Society6

Surrounding’s Marketing/Media Director turned us on to Society6.  It’s a site that offers artwork in various formats to create fun home decor (everything from prints and canvases to mugs and tote bags) at unbelievably inexpensive prices.  They have accent pillows, art, clocks, shower curtains, rugs and bedding.  A collective of artists from around the world join and allow their artwork to be turned into original decor.
14038227_12260779-plwfr2_j

Throw pillow available from Society6.

5982926_8692564-clkfwhw_pm

Original artwork Wall Clock, using Chanel logo, by Can Encin, available at Society6.

We’ve decided to use some of their products in a teen bedroom currently in the works at Surroundings.  We love how Society6 carries a theme across the board — one stop shopping for the fun at heart.  This was also a way to experiment with another new discovery, Sampleboad (but that’s a subject for a blog post of it’s own in the future).
Isabella other walls

Bedroom Sampleboard by Surroundings Interiors.

This teenager wants a Hollywood Glam/Shabby Chic bedroom.  Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe are favorites.
There were hundreds of Audrey and Marilyn prints, pillows, shower curtains, rugs and wall clocks from which to choose.   We have used a few of their framed prints and throw pillows for this project. It was a tough decision!
3310047_6980794_pm

Audrey Hepburn Quote Print by S.L. Fina

We were looking at black and white art prints for our shabby chic room, and in keeping with that theme, found more black and white samples to share with you (even a cool lego print for boys):
2'x3' rug by Ewan Arnolda

2’x3′ rug by Ewan Arnolda

8606755_11895365-crtn_j

Shower curtain by Stephanie Dubois.

16612442_11373012_pm

Lego Patent Art Print by Hugo Pascoal.

If you check out the Society6 website, you can spend lots of time scrolling through thousands of prints, from Hollywood icons, like Audrey & Marilyn, to funny quotes and bright, abstract collages.  Perfect for the kid, teen, or college student in your life. Great place to find fun room decor.  We enjoyed our time browsing their collections, and can’t wait to complete this teen bedroom.  Watch for photos of the final product!

Project: St. Pete

We are just beginning a new project on beautiful Snell Isle.  A family of four recently purchased this two story, five bedroom home and they plan to embark on a major update.  Previous owners left behind a mix of styles and features that take away from the contemporary, open feel of the house. Also, it is important to this family, who just moved to the area, to settle in and make their new place feel like home.  Follow along as we begin!

Here are a few before pics:

IMG_5695 IMG_5697IMG_5705

In the family room, we will be redesigning the fireplace and pulling in the wood tone from the living/dining room flooring.  Although the travertine floor and fireplace are nice, warmth and architectural interest is lacking.   We will add color and tie all of the areas together through wood detailing, fabrics, and accessories that reflect the family’s personality.

IMG_5698 IMG_5699

The powder bath, pictured above, is generously sized.  The clients want to replace the existing cabinet with a sleeker sink, add wallpaper, replace the mirror, lighting and plumbing fixtures. This bathroom is adjacent to the front entry of the house, near the living area so it needs to provide the WOW! factor.  Here’s a peek at the wallpaper.

93-6020

Cole & Son, Geometric Circus

It is a bold and colorful contemporary geometric from Cole & Son.  The impetus for our color scheme starts here. Our clients want a modern, fun – yet functional – space with a neutral background and bold pops of jewel toned colors.

After a morning at our local designer showroom, Interiors Trading, we pulled these fabrics.  They are bright, with neutral backgrounds and natural patterns.

IMG_5956

Inspiration for other areas of the house:

6039_1060x500

Bertoia Counter Stools with bright seat pad.

Lampe02A_aften_2

Vibeke Fonnesburg Schmidt Chandelier http://www.vibekefonnesbergschmidt.dk

HAMA120344_zoom

Papilio, harlequin.uk.com

6600-l

Caesarston Nougat, caesarstonus.com

The transformation begins!  Our great crew, led by Steve Pres, started this week.

IMG_5968 IMG_5970  IMG_5967

Changes are underway!  We’ve staged this project so that work on the entire house will never be taking place at one time — our clients can live comfortably in their home (as long as the kids stay off the scaffolding).  As we progress we will share the ins and outs of the project, so check back for action and “After” photos!

What do you think?  Ready to join us on this colorful adventure?

BALANCING ACT

What makes a room ‘work’?  It’s so much more than good furniture and art.  While it helps to have great pieces, returning to the basic principles of design creates a space that really feels complete (no matter the style).

There are six basic principles.  We’ll talk about each in the coming weeks.

First on the list is BALANCE.   On any given day, whether at work, with family & friends, choosing what to eat, or even deciding how many of our favorite episodes of “House of Cards” we can watch in one night, we are always striving to maintain balance.  Too much or too little of any one thing, and we find ourselves feeling discombobulated!  In design, just as in life, the same is true, we must find balance to feel comfortable and just right.

There are three types of balance (radial, asymmetrical and symmetrical) in design.  Each share the principle that a room must be visually balanced through placement of furniture, art, lighting, and accessories.  Take a look, and you can easily see how balance helps create a calm, comfortable space.

Radial Symmetry

A light fixture, table or rug is often (not always) the center point of the room.

securedownload-5

securedownload-6

Symmetrical Balance

It’s all in the name!  Symmetrical balance requires that certain patterns, configurations, and colors are repeated, or mirrored.  Think of your early math lessons, when you were asked to fold pages and shapes in half to determine symmetry.  In both pictures below, you can do this.  Draw a line down the middle of the picture, and both halves are identical.

The first picture, below, is an example of symmetrical balance in a client’s home.  The fireplace is the focal and starting point (you can see the before picture).

securedownload-8       Ruiz before sitting areasecuredownload-8

Here’s another good example from House Beautiful.   More perfect symmetry here — the chairs, brackets, palm sculptures, and vases are identical.   Symmetrical balance creates a clean, calm, ordered sense of style.

securedownload-7

Asymmetrical Balance (definitely more challenging!)

Asymmetrical balance can be difficult to achieve, but when done correctly yields a creative result.  It’s subtly nuanced, with balance often created through color and visual weight of pieces.  In these rooms, you won’t see too much that is identical.

This room on luxe source.com is calm, cool and collected.

securedownload-9

Two more good examples of asymmetrical balance.

securedownload-12

securedownload-10

Balance is important, in life and design, yet it’s often something we don’t notice, until we are off kilter.  Maintaining balance provides us with stability, structure and peace!

Viva Las Vegas!

A few weeks ago my family celebrated our Mom’s 80th birthday in Las Vegas.  We stayed at The Wynn, checked out a show and played lots of slot machines!  While everything is over-the-top-grand in Sin City, some things that happen in Vegas – like great interior design ideas – should not stay in Vegas.

image3

image5

This leather wall panel is fabulous.  It takes leather wall covering to a new level!

On the right, another great wall panel – a deep, rich, embroidered textile.

image6

This ‘little’ powder room off The Wynn lobby featured an Art Deco vibe.  Beautiful!

securedownload-4  securedownload-3

LOVED this gold framework detail and vases of red roses against a bold blue background at the end of the lobby hallway to the elevators.  Beautiful textural framed pieces were everywhere.  There was no corner that was inconsequential.   There is a design lesson lurking there.

image7  vegas wynn phones

At The Wynn no detail was overlooked…loved the oversized glass drapery hold backs.  I felt like stopping and calling someone every time I walked past these silver phones that could be found throughout the hotel – just fabulous.

It’s hard not to have a great time in Las Vegas, especially when there is design inspiration all around. We can’t all have choreographed, fountain and light displays in our backyard, but I gathered so much inspiration that could be incorporated into residential design.  It would be a sin not to share!