Girl Power

We were approached by a fun client this summer to transform the shared bedroom of her two, twin girls -- a big girl, room update (if you will) -- before they started kindergarten. Of course, we jumped at the opportunity. We love a kid's project! 

Check out the girls' room before. Purple paint, heavy window coverings made for a dark, drab space. First step was to brighten this up and bring in the natural light! 

Check out the girls' room before. Purple paint, heavy window coverings made for a dark, drab space. First step was to brighten this up and bring in the natural light! 

After getting input from the girls' (natch), we knew they wanted the room to be colorful, but not overpowering; warm and cozy, but still energetic and playful. Above all, we wanted to be make sure the room reflected the twins’ bubbly personalities.

Our design process started with what to do for a wall treatment. The slanted wall seemed the perfect opportunity to wallpaper, so we ended up with Romo’s Garland Wallpaper in Cherry that kept it girly, but in a fresh, modern way and it provided a great backdrop for the addition of some fun, bunk beds. To create a unique touch and infuse the room with a little more playful energy, we had the trim and closet doors painted in Sherman Williams Aquarium. The ceiling was painted in a lighter color to move the eye upward, toward our new, vertical furniture pieces that we added to the room -- the bunk beds and canopy for the reading nook. 

Left: Sherwin Williams Aquarium and Right: Romo's Cherry Garland Wallcovering. 

Left: Sherwin Williams Aquarium and Right: Romo's Cherry Garland Wallcovering. 

Of course, every kindergartner has to have a spot for their studies! The homework area features an adjustable desk by Land of Nod and pink curvilinear chairs by Vitra. The gallery wall above the desk was done economical with interesting frames and sculptural pieces from Joann Fabrics and Hobby Lobby.

Left: Land of Nod desk and Right: kid's chairs by Vitra. 

Left: Land of Nod desk and Right: kid's chairs by Vitra. 

We created a cozy, reading nook with a daybed mattress from Urban Outfitters and a soft canopy by Blue House Joys. The window treatment behind the reading nook was softened with a textural roman shade in Duralee fabric and accented with pom pom trim by Samuel + Sons. The adorable mod little X Marks the Spot book caddy is from Land of Nod.

Left: Duralee fabric and Right: Samuel and Son's pom fringe. 

Left: Duralee fabric and Right: Samuel and Son's pom fringe. 

The corner storage bench from Ikea makes end of the day cleanup a snap and also adds a pop of soft pink to an otherwise forgotten corner.

And after! All the gorgeous details coming together! We LOVE how this color combo turned out. 

And after! All the gorgeous details coming together! We LOVE how this color combo turned out. 

We were flattered to be asked to give this space a fresh and grown up look and we were thrilled with the outcome. Not to mention, some super happy mini clients, too! Score!

xTL 

Art Attack

Ok, so we took an accidental blog hiatus for like...three months. Blame it on the busy. Business has been boomin' (not complaining) and the blog unfortunately took a backseat. Say all that three times fast. 

But we're baaaaaack!

Yes, we've been M.I.A, but since we last blogged we've made so many AMAZING, new artistic discoveries that we don't have enough walls to fill with their insane talent. Naturally, we are anxious to share some of our newfound FAVORITE, Chicago artists that we've been cartwheeling around town about with our readers.  

Works by Lynn Basa

Works by Lynn Basa

Lynn Basa. We found this knockout on - believe it or not - Instagram. God bless social media. As soon as we clicked on her website portfolio, we were floored. Had to have her. In fact, we are currently commissioning a four-piece work on paper to hang in a project we are doing downtown. We are torn though - don't know what we love more - her simplistic and stunning charcoal works on paper or her rich, organic paintings in both bold and natural tones. We'll take both, please. 

Works by Sally Ko

Works by Sally Ko

Oh, Sally Ko. Taya and I stumbled upon Sally through a friend in the design business who is also a huge fan of her work. We were HUMBLED to be able to visit Sally's studio in Bridgeport at the Zhou B Art Center a few weeks ago. We were overwhelmed! Sally makes her own paint and has a fascinating dripping technique that is so unique that helps to creates these mesmerizing pieces. We also love the breadth of her palette - from her deep reds and fun blues to her use of black, white and grey. We snagged one of her beautiful works on paper that we just installed in a client's powder room. It is perfection. 

Works by Elliot Bergman

Works by Elliot Bergman

Yes, Elliot Bergman the musician is ALSO a frickin' amazing artist. I admired his work years ago and he came back on my radar recently when I was sourcing art for a project. I sent Taya on a hunt to find him about a month ago to no avail. Low and behold, a few weeks ago I got an email from my spirit animals over at Pavilion Antiques who have recently acquired some of his works in their showroom. BINGO. His india ink works are my fav - natch. Black and white and GORG - he uses this amazing stamping technique that creates these amazing, layered and textured pieces. I need a duo in my house (or a project). STAT. 

Works by Michael McGuire

Works by Michael McGuire

Last but not least, one of our local favs: Michael McGuire. You have heard me talk about MM before. My blog post from back in March 2014 talked about my discovery, obsession and my dream to have his work in my home and/or a client's. Well, my wish came true! MM and I worked on a commissioned pen and ink dipytque for a client that was installed back in April. It was a true pleasure collaborating with him and his work is masterful - uncannily precise and boldly graphic. Hope to collab with him again VERY soon. 

Hoped you enjoyed our "comeback" blog entry. Check out all these local artists during your free time this summer. They are all knockouts.

xAB

Accessorized

I am a full-on, self-proclaimed accessory queen. I love accessorizing -- whether it be thru fashion or thru one's home. I could spend HOURS zhushing library book shelves or fussing over tchotchkes on a cocktail table. It is my most favorite part about completing a house.

We are in the midst of finishing construction on a few projects and I have major accessories-on-the-brain. I cannot wait to buy everything to finish the space. Taya had to reel me back in the other day as I was making my wish list for one project's bookshelves when we clearly had more important things to do. I can't help myself! Instead, we decided to gather some examples of our three favorite styles of home accessorizing on the blog to help you all out when you are styling your space. 

Delicately layered is the first type of styling we adore and perhaps the easiest to achieve. It doesn't take a lot of items, but just a touch more thought needed in order to properly achieve the look. To get this effortless look, less is definitely more and placement is key. A favorite among clients for sure. 

Layered Images Courtesy: Capriciously Inspired, Apartment Therapy, Coco La Pine Design

My late, dear friend and founder of Flats Chicago, Jay Michael, often used the styling term "curated" for many of his spaces. I LOVE this term as it's totally apropos with this type of home accessorizing. This heavier look is achieved by collecting things over time (or tricking people into thinking that's what you've done). From stacks of coffee table books combined with artifacts collected from your travels, to pottery and framed photographs -- nothing is ever too much. Everything (and a lot of it) just works. 

Curated Images Courtesy: House Beautiful, Simplified Bee, Elle Decor

Last, but not least -- the minimalist approach. The trickiest approach to styling your space. Just like selecting the perfect set of bracelets to go with a simple white, button-down shirt -- you ask yourself what will achieve the most impact with just the slightest bit of effort? The same goes for your home. 

Minimalist Images Courtesy: Source Unknown, Christina Hamoui, Ross Cassidy

What's your accessorizing style? 

Happy Styling, 
xAB