Scouted! Getting Handsy

It’s not like I set out to be a collector of sculptures and household whatnots in the shape of hands… it’s just that they always seem to beckon! I have a few spread around the house, and here was a bunch I had accumulated for “future projects” (that I of course could not part with) and finally made a little vignette out of in my bedroom.

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The big one is my favorite – a vintage mold from a rubber glove factory that I found in Healdsburg on a weekend trip to Sonoma a couple of years ago. (Nothing like prowling an antiques store after a couple of glasses of wine!)

This week we installed two sets of brass curtain tie-backs in a kids’ room for some fun clients, and they add such magic to the room! This is all I can reveal of that project for now…

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….but I am happy to share resources for some of the best handy home accessories I have come across lately for giving a room some life.37781564_025_b

Anthropologie Handheld Tieback // $48

 

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Shades of Light Need a Hand Wall Sconce // $89

 

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Kelly Wearstler Saints Hand in Burnished Bronze // $225

 

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hodihomedecor Hand Hooks (Set of 2) // $56

 

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Areaway Reality Hand Hooks (Set of 3) // from $225

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One Thousand Saves!

When a perfect stranger comes across an image of a room, and sees fit to add it to an Idea Book they keep online with a title like “Dream House” or even simply “Our New Home”, it gives a girl a thrill to be the designer involved. So it was a happy day last week when Houzz.com let me know that images from my portfolio on their site have been saved over 1,000 times by their users.

NJDhouzz1klogoI’ve been on Houzz for 3 years, and it has proven to be a great way to connect with people who are interested in working with me – around the corner in person, and across the country online. It also illuminates what a more general audience responds to in my portfolio by showing me which images are inspiring them when they think about their own homes.

Last month, Houzz interviewed me about a recent project that they featured as their  “Room of the Day”. Thanks, Houzz!

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Photo credits: All images by Tessa Neustadt, except for the bottom right image in collage by Judson Morgan.

Fast Work // A Fresh, Eclectic Entry Hall and Living Room

1This is a living room and adjacent entry hall that I turned around fast for some clients on a small budget (less than $5K) last year. Their rented 1940’s bungalow had some cool vintage character, including a working fireplace and original windows. Unfortunately, all the walls had been newly painted beige…and my clients were not beige kind of people! They agreed that changing the character of these front rooms with paint was going to be a worthy investment, even for just a year or two.

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With some projects, the art is a part of the finishing touches. With this one, we looked to it as a starting point for color. These clients had become engaged on a ski trip to the Swiss Alps, which I considered a sexy jumping-off point for the design! I showed them reproduction vintage travel posters that could reflect their history – and also be framed and shipped fast. The one that really resonated with them featured black and white with deep blues, which gave us an interesting palette to mix with grays and wood tones.

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Sampling blue paints for this project was my happy place!
The one we picked very inexpensively defines the entry, and gives the tiny space a presence in the living room by drawing your eye there. These clients love sailing, so this was a bold color that didn’t feel too crazy for them. I tried out this black dresser from their bedroom to ground the blue a bit further, and it turned out to be a perfect fit as an entry piece with storage.

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The contrast of the deep blue in the entry with white walls in the living room made the space feel instantly fresh.
My clients wanted to keep some of the Traditional furniture that they had been given by their parents, but were ready to jettison an overstuffed gingham sofa and a few ornate tables for some pieces with cleaner lines and a more low-slung Mid-century style.

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Everyone’s favorite new piece is the vintage dresser, found at a flea market and used here as a credenza. While its wood had an ugly grain and looked terribly beat-up, I was sold on the distinctive brass hardware, which was miraculously all intact. It was also a well-made piece, with the scale and storage we were seeking. We patched up the wood in places, and painted the dresser a sophisticated blue in a durable glossy finish to make the hardware shine.

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The sofa was custom-made, but most of the other pieces in this space were either sourced online and delivered fast, or picked up on a World Market / Ikea / Target styling haul. Many are still available.

All photos by Tessa Neustadt

Resources
Ralph Lauren Paint – Harbor Blue in Entry, Picket Fence in Living Room, Rue Royale on credenza in Living Room
World Market - Riveted table lamp bases, Tribal Drum shades, Deer Departed canvas, Leila sunburst mirror, glass vase, pillows, candle holders, frames
Ikea - Llapljung Ruta rug, Hektar floor lamp, Fejka potted plan
Crate and Barrel – Pastis walnut and white lacquer nesting tables
West Elm – Nook coffee table, Martini table in brass, throw blanket
Urban Outfitters – Moda leather chairs, hand sculpture
Target – Small floor lamp, trio of brass wall decorations, tall wood vase
Allposters.com – Zermatt by Pierre Kroenig print, framed
Huset Shop – Hay tray table
Melrose Trading Post – vintage credenza (restored and custom painted by Natasha Jansz Design)
(Clients’ own – Leaning mirror; black dresser; Edison glass cloche table lamp – similar at World Market)

Show Me 3 // Leaning Blanket Ladders

The stylist in me loves a leaning blanket ladder! Where most pieces in a room are usually only 18-30″ high, here’s a tall piece that can add a bit of vertical interest to a space.  I like one as a towel-rack in a bathroom or pool-house, a place to hang pretty scarves and textiles in a bedroom, or a spot for a cozy display of textured blankets in a living room.
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The trick to styling a blanket ladder is that less is more. And unless you like looking like a doctor’s office, leave off the magazines!
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HIGH // Jayson Home Teak Ladder //$450img26o

MID // Pottery Barn Found Rustic Wood Ladder // $250

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LOW // World Market Wood Ladder Decor // $50

A leaning blanket ladder can skew modern or rustic depending on the material used and the sleekness of its construction. It isn’t my style to jump on every design trend that comes along, but when a statement piece such as this can be found for $50 (or a DIY version can be thrown together for even less), I am happy to lean in!

Design Inspirers // Tribute Art: David Bowie, George Michael & Prince

Last time I talked about some of the special design inspiration I found recently at QuiltCon 2016 – a quilting convention in Pasadena. In addition to the events and products a quilter would get excited about, there was plenty there for art-lovers like me. And what is a more unifying form of art than music? Musicians are the artists we most often feel connected to and claim as our own. These tributes to David Bowie, George Michael and Prince blew me away.
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David Bowie quilt by Holly Hickman with Moda Fabrics

 

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Every Little Hungry Schoolgirl’s Pride & Joy by Rebecca Burnett

 

IMG_6803 IMG_6805Young Prince (Charming) by Stacie Dolin

I thought of this quilter when I heard Prince passed away last week. I remember studying the detail when I was standing in front of it a few weeks ago, and thinking I could see her love for the Purple One in every stitch.

 

Design Inspirers // QuiltCon West

Though I have never quilted anything, in the last few years I have often admired quilts as spectacular pieces of art. Alissa Haight Carlton is a fabulously creative lady I know, and she’s the one who told me about The Modern Quilt Guild. It’s a huge organization, and among its members are some seriously talented artists who are passionate about this medium. Alissa is the MQG’s executive director, and they mounted QuiltCon West 16 in Pasadena last month. Along I went for some general visual inspiration, and I was not disappointed.

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Big Love by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

Not your grandma’s quilt, right?  I am so inspired to put some of these kinds of modern quilts into some fresh interior spaces.

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Let’s Connect by Christopher Thompson

When I think of elements you would find in my favorite kind of interior designs, I think of engaging art…interesting fabrics…tactility…warmth…pattern…geometry – all things that are inherently a part of many a modern quilt! 

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Central Pivot by Kim Eichler-Messmer

I would love to design a quilt for a project – as a wall-hanging, or something to cover a bed. Given my enduring obsession with textiles, I imagine that choosing the colors and prints of the fabrics and arranging them into a pattern would just be a slice of heaven.

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The Big Swirl  by Betsy Vinegrad

My all-around crafts-iest friend is Scott, and he has actually been part of a quilting circle for years. He made a very fine QuiltCon companion, and I think we have found a new tradition.  Scott is a big fan of Hillz, so this was obviously his favorite.
IMG_6717 Hillary Quilton by Diana Vandeyar

Something I did not expect to find at QuiltCon (although it totally makes sense) was the most glorious array of cotton fabrics I have ever seen in one place.

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So many of them spoke to me, and I had to completely restrain myself from snapping up bolts of the stuff for pillows. (As a matter of fact, now that I look at these pictures, I’m having a lot of remorse about that restraint!)

How sweet would all these pink prints be in a soft nursery? The mama cats carrying their kittens in their mouths is everything.

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Another fantastic find at QuiltCon West was the work of Aussie textile design goddess, Kim Andersson. Check out her website to see all the wonderful prints she has designed.

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I wish I knew where to buy these Good Hair Day pillows readymade!  At least you can find the fabrics and the patterns to quilt them yourself on Anderrson’s site.

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Speaking of hair, I did buy just a few yards of some gorgeous textiles at QuiltCon. I had them made into pillows immediately.

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The indigo print can work in so many styles, and how about these ladies for some special design magic?

Show Me 3 // Shaggy Stool

HARK!! It’s a room, calling out for a fuzzy little perch.

How can you not smile when you see one of these sheepskin-covered stools? A shot of texture and a dash of whimsy that can be moved anywhere in a house where an extra seat is needed. These three can skew earthy or glamorous, depending on your design.

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HIGH // Bianca Stool // Overstock // $660

 

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MID // Mongolian Lamb Stool // West Elm // $399

 

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LOW // Natural Flokati Stool // World Market // $80

I like to imagine a pair of these stools under a lucite console table for a textural contrast…or a single one sitting beside a free-standing bath-tub.

Take Me Away // Marina Del Rey Hotel

106289528c495b61dc5591dcf98fd25bLast summer I was a bridesmaid for the 6th and (I assume) final time in my life. With the bride being April, my BFF from high school, this is what bridesmaid duty looked like.

IMG_2087Basically I helped the bride get dressed, and did my best to make sure she felt relaxed and gorgeous. So easy and fun!

As an added bonus, the reception of this beautiful wedding was held at the Marina Del Rey Hotel, where the airy lobby and bar became a new source of design inspiration for me. The hotel was renovated by the Pacifica Group, and I found that the thoughtful mix of design elements – nautical, mid-century, Moroccan, organic and more – all added up to a California Eclectic feel that works great for a hotel on the marina. I showed you the wonderful seagull sculpture installation that greets you in the lobby (above). Here are some other things that caught my eye.

Mid-century style furniture mixed with organic pieces like the live-edge coffee table….
image1…all working together with this very contemporary textured wall-treatment.
5ce26ac44da90a89c3d0354a7504a533I’m delighted by unexpected details like this in the floor
image2And this lounge area looked so fun and inviting!
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2d8ce043b366952b68adfa0d1d219faeSALT, the hotel’s bar and restaurant, has contemporary lighting features warmed up by mid-century style furniture.87b54bb43606415cd62189ea7b829345I love the mixture of Wishbone chairs with the quilted texture of the vinyl on the lounge-ier chairs.
f928a1e5eeb5bf2030b3826d143494d7The marina itself is a beautiful sight. I don’t get to this part of L.A. very often, so looking at all these boats bobbing around on the water made me feel like I was on vacation.967-0945a1ed05da7f70493d36317c73e363In fact, I think this place would be a great location for a Staycation!ef5fdf5a3b2f65bf8722c48905eb8874Photos 6-10 are from the Marina Del Rey Hotel website, the rest are by me and a kind bartender at Salt.


A Quick, Low-Budget Makeover // Minimalism Meets Modern Prep

One of my favorite quickie projects of the year…

This article originally appeared on Apartment Therapy.2

This is a bedroom I designed and installed in just a couple of weeks. My clients were a recently transplanted east coast couple, reluctant to commit to their new west coast life in a rented house. They wanted to furnish this room quickly with inexpensive pieces that they wouldn’t mind parting with in the event of another cross-country move.

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But they also wanted their room to feel like a quiet, uncluttered haven that reflected them personally. I hit the flea market and my favorite accessible retailers and gave them a bedroom that is a bit modern, a bit Swedish and a bit preppy. There are splashes of happy color and cozy texture in the details.

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Our starting point was the walls, which went from beige to a very light and subtly celestial blue (Ralph Lauren Paint’s Ephemera). 

My favorite thing in the room is the print, which sets a playful and romantic tone. This couple got married in Bermuda! So I sourced reproduction vintage travel posters featuring the destination, and asked them to pick the one that most resonated with them. Their choice gave me some pretty colors to play with, and when I found the Vera Bradley-esque quilt and shams, it all clicked against the quiet backdrop of pale blue and white.

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We scouted a pair of vintage bedside chests to give the room more unique character. They had a chalky finish, so we painted them in a semi-gloss for a cleaner look and feel. Key to this room’s design is the industrial styling of the bedside lamps. Along with the straight lines of the furniture, they lend the space a modern and masculine edge to balance the pastels and prettiness.

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Ikea’s ever-practical Hemnes dresser is a clean-lined chameleon, changing according to the hardware you put on it. We upgraded this one using gorgeous china knobs with a gold pattern from Anthropologie. And after trying out 4 different table lamps, we went with a wood one to break up all the glossy white with something organic.

7The bench was slated for the foot of the bed, until we found these brass and marble hooks from Anthropologie. Teamed with a fuzzy sheepskin and a pair of eye-catching laundry baskets, all the pieces make up a dressing area vignette – and my client’s chicest handbags and pretty floral robe became art!

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Photographs by Tessa Neustadt

SOURCES
Melrose Trading Post flea market – vintage bedside chests (painted Behr Swiss Coffee)
Ikea – Hemnes 8-drawer dresser, Ranarp bedside lamps, Omvaxlande tray, Rens faux sheepskin, Ensidig vase
Anthropologie – Byzantine knobs (dresser hardware), Circlet brass and marble wall hooks
Target - table lamp and shade, bench, rug, throw pillow (none are still available!)
World Market – Watercolor Ogee quilt and shams, Valeria frame, cloche candle, baskets
Allposters.com – Bermuda reproduction vintage poster, framed
Bed Bath & Beyond – bed-skirt
Joann Fabrics – headboard foam and fabric
Home Depot – headboard frame materials
Clients’ own bed, linens and drapes

Show Me Three // Wishbone Chair

Portraits of Danish merchants sitting in Chinese Ming-style chairs inspired mid-century furniture designer Hans Wegner in his design of the iconic Wishbone chair. This is why faithfully crafted or inexpensively knocked off, this style works to give a room a combination of Scandinavian minimalism and exotic flair. The bentwood form is sculptural, and the rush-seat offers an interesting textural contrast.

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HIGH // Wegner CH24 Wishbone Chair - 100th birthday special edition // $1,120

 

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MID // CH24 Wishbone Chair  // $599

 

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LOW // Wegner Wishbone-style Chair  // $159

A Wishbone could be a dining chair or an occasional chair, and although I’m showing you wood tones here, colorful versions abound. A set of Wishbone-style bar stools in a white painted finish is at the top of my wishlist this Christmas!

 

 

 

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