Recently Completed // A Dreamy Nursery

I have been dying to share this recent project on the blog, and now that it has been featured on Apartment Therapy, I can! This was a special one for me – a nursery I designed for my little friend, Schuyler. She is 17 months now, and her parents and I go way back. This room had great natural light as a starting point. We wanted the decor to feel soothing, but include lots of playful touches. If you like what you see, here are some ideas you might use.

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1. If a guest bed must be included, make it feel like a cohesive part of the nursery. We did this with loads of pillows, and a garland strategically hung above. They define the bed as a lounge for Schuyler to read, play, and cuddle with her favorite people.

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2. Be game for a gray nursery. It can be a great (and gender-neutral) base for so many colors and patterns that you can mix in with art and textiles. The importance of painting samples on the wall and considering them at different times of the day can not be overstated! The color we settled on (Behr Silver Drop) highlights all the white pieces in the room, and acts as a foil for a layering of peach-y pinks in our accessories.

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3. Layer on the texture. From the macrame-like chair upholstery, to the felt garland adorning the bed, to the velvety cottons and fluffy shags of the pillows, this room has plenty of subtle interest in its mix of textiles.

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4. Keep it from looking cookie-cutter. Basic white furniture is a good standard for a nursery, but add some interesting hardware. We chose drawer pulls with a carved texture and a silvered finish for the dresser.

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Also avoid the catalog look by mixing in some organic pieces. The different wood finishes of the armchair and the little vintage chair lend this room some individuality and rustic warmth.

Neustadt-445. Personal touches are key!  The silver sailboat sculpture on the dresser is a nod to Schuyler’s East-coast family culture.6In style, the sailboat was a good counterpoint for a preppy “S” monogram over the crib. The sweet Labradoodle rocker is a miniature of the family’s real-life pet. And the final piece of the design, the abstract painting on canvas, was done custom for this room by my talented assistant, Anna. We approached it as a quick DIY project, and it ended up being a focal point that makes the room feel modern, fun and unique.

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Here are the resources – all very accessible, because nurseries aren’t forever!

Sources
Crib, dresser – Giggle
Dresser hardware- World Market
Drapes – Pottery Barn
Armchair – Urban Outfitters
Kid’s chair – vintage
Rug – Pattern Society
Garland – Land Of Nod
Woven basket, floor lamp, multi-colored pillows – Target
All other pillows, sailboat sculpture – Pier One
Frames, Bedspread and Boucle Throw – Ikea
Bedskirt – Bed, Bath & Beyond
Crib Sheet – Aiden + Anais
Painting – Custom original by Anna Tichon

 

Show Me 3 // Copper Bell Pendant Lights

Copper is the new brass, and since I’m always looking for special lighting pieces, I I keep running into fantastic pendant fixtures like these. Whether it’s a hammered texture, an artful mix of materials, or a sleek and simple finish, the bell shape keeps it timeless. Just line a few up over an island or a bar, and you’ve got yourself a design statement.
35045004_028_bHIGH // Stanley Pendant // Anthropologie // $750

MID // Copper Lamp // Steve Banken // $325

 

LOW // Lumi-R Pendant // Interiors Online  // $225

Past Work // The Virg – Apartment Bedroom & Bathroom Renovation

This is Part 4 of my series on the recent renovation of The Virg, a 12-unit apartment building in Hollywood that was re-developed by 3SC Capital Partners. I consulted on all the design decisions for the project. You can follow these links to read about what we did with the building’s Exterior, typical Living Room, and typical Kitchen. Now here is what we did with a typical Bedroom and Bathroom in each apartment.DSC_0840 copy
B E D R O O M // B E F O R E

This project was about elevating the property to re-position it in the rental market. The cookie-cutter apartment features of the 1980s had to go: industrial carpet, vertical blinds, and mirrored closet doors.

B E D R O O M // A F T E R

I favor simple white roller shades for this kind of architecture. They offer privacy, but let in light. And they almost disappear when they are rolled up, allowing the view to be a feature of the space. I recommend inside-mounted shades, so that a renter has the option of installing a curtain rod and some drapes over the window. That way, they have the flexibility to express their personal style AND block out more light, if that’s important to them!

blindsThe floors are durable laminate planks, and decently approximate hardwood flooring with a cerused finish. Waaaay more hygienic than carpet, and all a tenant needs to do is throw down their own rug for warmth and style.

Mirrored closet doors are hopelessly dated! (At least, the kind that you find in these 80s and 90s remodels are hopelessly dated!!) We replaced the junk-y sliders in place with simple sliding wood doors, painted white and mounted on a sturdy track. If this was my room, I would get a lightweight and inexpensive mirror, (look for them in hardware stores – about 48″ x 12″ ) and mount it on the back of the bedroom door for a full-length view. doors

B A T H R O O M // B E F O R E

You knew this wasn’t going to be good! This was one of the cleaner bathrooms when we started. The toilet in this unit was OK, but everything else needed to be upgraded. Modular plastic shower units and harsh light fixtures would not do.

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 B A T H R O O M // A F T E R

I have dwelled in many an apartment in my day, and I bring that experience to this kind of design. I know what I yearned for, all those years! So all the new fixtures installed are clean and contemporary-looking. I selected pieces that were relatively inexpensive, without sacrificing practicality. The medicine cabinet is generously sized, and if depth allowed, each bathroom got a double towel- rail. Everyone needs room for at least two towels to hang in a bathroom!bathroomvanityandlight copyWe selected a really neutral gray tile with a hint of texture for the bathroom floors, and continued with the same material in a different size for the shower enclosure. We also added an integrated shampoo niche.
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There is a major cost-saving upside in going with a shower curtain rod instead of glass enclosure, but I don’t like glass enclosures around a tub like this anyway! In a rental, it is more surface area and nooks and crannies to collect mildew and deteriorate the value of the space. There are more potential maintenance issues with glass and doors. And they can be a total pain if you’re trying to bathe babies and little kids. (This is the only bathroom in a 2-bedroom apartment, so we wanted to make it amenable to a young family.) One last reason that I value a curtain rod in a rental unit is style – this bathroom could go in so many directions according to the shower curtain that a tenant hangs. As a renter, I always took advantage of that.

Future Design Dreaming // Malibu Beach House Interior

This is one of my favorite mood-boards of all time. It started with the Morar textile from Osborne & Little. I am obsessed, despite the fact that I am terribly allergic to wool and probably wouldn’t use it in my own home. (Vicarious pleasure is one of the best parts of my job!). The mood-board that developed here turned into what I call “Malibu Colony Beach House On A Rainy November Afternoon”. It’s casual, feminine in a vibrant way, nostalgic, organic and quietly full of color and pattern and texture.
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Here are some pieces you can buy right now to get the dreamy look.

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1. Mirror // Mira Hanging Mirror  2. Art // Sammy Slabbinck, Love is All 3. Lighting // Alice Pendant 4. Pillow // Dancers Coral Pillow 5. Chair // Handwoven Boline Chair 6. Ottoman // Rattan Ottoman

Show Me 3 // Tolix Chairs

A Tolix chair, also known as a Tabouret chair, is an inexpensive way to add some Industrial Chic to a dining space. In steel, copper or brass, I like them teamed with a rustic wood table for an organic contrast. In one of a multitude of fun powder-coated color finishes, the iconic chair looks great with a range of dining table finishes.PD_15034_MAINHIGH // Marais A Chair // Design Within Reach // $275

 

763e5594a1472bc987e1808c38f474adMID // Redsmith Dining Chair // Anthropologie // $170

 

8837bf832ec1c7de74c034045e200e1dLOW // Café Side Chair // Retro Furnish // $65

In one of my favorite dining spaces I have designed, I gave my client’s grand and beautiful trestle dining table a modern edge with some armchair versions of a Tolix chair. You can take a look at it on my Pinterest.

Past Work // Apartment Kitchen Renovation

Here we are back at The Virg, the 12-unit apartment building in Hollywood where I recently completed a major renovation with 3SC developers. You can read about the Exterior transformation here and what we did in a typical Living Room here.  Onto a typical Kitchen!

This was one of the better kitchens in the building when it was bought – recently renovated and pretty clean. But the plan to re-position the property in the rental market meant that we were adding a dishwasher, expanding the foot-print, increasing the counter-space and adding storage. And of course, installing better appliances, finishes and fixtures all around. Tile countertops were not going to cut it!

K I T C H E N 1 // B E F O R E

K I T C H E N 1 // A F T E R

6-kitchenFresh and functional was the goal – in a neutral palette, with modern style. Caesarstone is my go-to counter-top material, and quartz is my answer to a Caesarstone look on a budget! One of the best things we did with it was to finish the top of the pony wall in the material, and extend it out on the end. It’s now a little bar for one.

Even though we were extending the kitchen’s length, we chose to leave the partial wall enclosing one side of the original area in its place. Apart from saving a bit of demo cost, we liked the way it tucked around the side of the fridge, which was black and looked kind of cheap compared to the stainless steel fronts of the appliances.
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How will people use this? This is something I’m always picturing when I design interiors. Here, I think the wall we left in place also defines the additional cabinets and counter-top we added on this side as a good place to charge a phone and throw down mail. Or maybe it’s the coffee bar…

 K I T C H E N  2 // B E F O R E

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K I T C H E N  2 // A F T E R

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White subway tile on the walls is inexpensive, neutral, and timeless. Fresh white cabinets, stainless steel appliances, a nice deep sink (always under-mount if I can help it – simply the cleanest-looking and easiest to clean) and a goose-neck facet with a pull-out spray elevate the design and increase the apartment’s value. I’m pleased to say that we were able to pull off these spanking new kitchens for under $10,000 each.12-kitchen

Design Details // Unusual Balconies

“Thinking outside the box” is an idea that the architects of these buildings have taken to heart. Each is an example of how an unusual balcony can be just the design detail to really distinguish an otherwise standard structure. Unexpected shapes and volumes, contrasting materials, and playful uses of color make these balconies show-stoppers! 0d09f89969f0495e44f82fb1fb147dda 41b60868f73b45f38e462f458de74a67-1
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34cd1841981033a5bc2833a4ab69cdb2 7862b6c7ed0c32023ede2838e2fcf361A quick Google search on this concept picture I pinned in 2012 makes me wonder if construction was ever completed on this luxury apartment building in Mumbai. It gives me vertigo just to think about it, but it COULD be the coolest balcony ever!
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I M A G E S // 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Show Me 3 // Bulb Lamps

I tend to like things that have a stripped-down form but are done in interesting materials, so I’m enjoying this little bulb lamp trend that’s happening right now. They are just the thing to make a diminutive design statement while illuminating a table. Look at these three – each its own cute style and price-point.
e83613a09d3f9c1e4d600ebd89459cc2HIGH // Crystal Desk Lamp // Anthropologie // $350

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MID // Ion C-Series // Schoolhouse Electric // $120

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LOW // Faceted Wood Bulb Lamp // West Elm // $50

OK, an exposed light-bulb seems a bit fragile, so thoughtful placement is important! I would style one by putting it on top of a stack of books, and make it a subtle focal point on a desk, bedside table or mantle.

Past Work // Apartment Interior Design – Living Rooms

The Virg is a building in Hollywood that I have been working on for the last few months with 3SC developers. You can read about what we did with the building’s exterior here Read on for interior details!5

Inside the building, there are 12 units, and they have come with a variety of worn-out finishes and dated fixtures. Here are examples of how we have improved upon a typical one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartment in the Living Room areas.

6-overallThis project has been about elevating this building to re-position it in the rental market. Things that had to go were: popcorn ceilings, gross carpet, and ugly tile.

I had tile like this in the last apartment I lived in – it looks dirty and feels gritty, even when it’s clean!

L I V I N G  R O O M // B E F O R E

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In addition to scraping the ceiling and painting everything, we laid hard-wearing laminate flooring that has the look of cerused hardwood. We replaced windows and doors, maximized built-in storage, and replaced dated vertical blinds with roller shades and curtain rods.

L I V I N G  R O O M // A F T E R

12-livingroomdetailThe result is a fresh, neutral space that maximizes natural light, and has attractive, durable finishes that are easy to keep clean. Regardless of architectural style and budget, this is what I aim to bring to any rental unit. A built-in view of palm trees doesn’t hurt my design!
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A fter shots by Caroline Froeberg

Take Me Away // Auberge du Soleil in Rutherford

The Napa Valley has been a favorite getaway for me and my husband since we were old enough to drink!  The scenery is unbelievable, the pace is relaxed, and everywhere you go, people are passionate about producing great wines – and food to go with it.
Napa_Valley_from_Auberge_du_Soleil_1Recently, a design project involving an intimate winery tasting room called me up there for a couple of days. I was sure to steal some time to spend on the patio of the restaurant at Auberge Du Soleil. It’s the best spot I know in the Valley to eat and drink something delish, while taking in breathtaking views.

2a357032ada8c52947ec1282c26c2e5cA stay at Auberge Du Soleil could break the bank, but a nice brunch, lunch or afternoon cocktail is pretty accessible. If you find yourself in the Napa Valley, make the drive up the hill and take advantage of this beauty.

d7e3f24207bbd873f6c13393eb424d7cAnd what a fun sculpture garden!a8cbfe33605a108cee77f67f7dd87718

Images // 1, 2, 3, 4

Catch Natasha Jansz on HGTV's "HOUSE HUNTER'S RENOVATION" October 28th 10pm/9c