Interior Design

I’m Baaaaack!

Hello – I haven’t been here for a while, but the design inspiration keeps coming! ¬†I’m back to share it, and in case you can’t tell by the vegan leather and the Raybans, I mean business ūüėČ

This year has been full of fresh experiences for me. Here’s a highlight that you’ll soon be able to watch…

A kitchen and dining room remodel I designed in L.A. was filmed in all its stages for HGTV’s Househunters Renovation! I had a blast doing this project, teaming up with my husband Will and his crew at Crescent Canyon Construction. There is nobody on the planet I trust more than Will to do his job well and have my back, so with him as my G.C., I was really able to focus on doing what I love – listening to my clients, coming up with practical and creative solutions to the design challenges, and executing it all as beautifully as possible within our time and budget constraints. The transformation was dramatic, and I am so excited to have it documented by HGTV!

I will be sharing pictures and lots of details about the design as soon as our episode airs on October 28th at 10pm (9 central). One little thing I’ll reveal about my clients is that one of them wanted a kitchen that felt warm and somewhat Traditional, while the other was really excited about Industrial style. Tune in to see how I married their hearts’ desires!

 

 

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Recently Completed // Master Bedroom Suite Retreat

One of the best things we can hear from a client is that our design work has changed their relationship to their home. In the weeks after we installed this master bedroom, my pair of television-writer clients told me that they would wake up in their transformed master bedroom and talk about how they couldn’t believe they were in their own house. The wife reports that her husband, who may lean toward untidiness, now rushes around in the morning, making the bed and tucking clothes into drawers. He always jokes that he has to leave the room “looking nice for the guests”. Given that the couple asked me for a space that felt like a serene, comfortable and unique suite in a bed and breakfast, I’d say our work here is done!

Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Natasha Jansz Design.

The architecture of this space and some of its details were already great to begin with: a spacious suite with vaulted ceilings, French doors leading to a balcony overlooking the pool, a freestanding tub in the bathroom, a fireplace with a lovely stone tile surround, and plenty of natural light.¬†The¬†wife showed me this Serena and Lily bed that had captured her heart, and told me that they would like to see pale blues and greens in the design. Inspired by the shape of the headboard, its brass nailhead detail, and the prettiness of watery colors, we proposed a feature wall of an exquisite blocked-printed wallpaper by Galbraith and Paul, and showed it with Lulu DK’s playful bird fabric as a focal point on a backdrop of textured neutrals. We added dark metal furniture to balance all the lightness, and had so much fun with the details.Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Natasha Jansz Design.Although much of the furniture here was sourced at retailers such as Anthropologie, Restoration Hardware and West Elm, it was great to go custom to get certain details right. Case in point: this generously proportioned ottoman at the foot of the bed, clad in a soft velvet, with legs that complemented the turned legs of the bed. The tall mirror with inlaid capiz shell frame, Roman shades, drapes and throw pillows were also custom-designed for the project.

Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Natasha Jansz Design.I’m a little giddy about the details above, so beautifully captured by photographer Amy Bartlam. There’s the textured trellis pattern of the drapery, teamed with the textured chevron pattern of the duvet cover. The¬†“lingerie dresser”, clad in zinc, is the ideal smooth counterpoint, and lends the room a masculine warmth. This was a very narrow space between the drapes that called for a very tall something for balance, so finding that dresser was a real eureka moment! And let’s not forget those spectacular pink peonies, which we were so glad to track down in November for the photo-shoot!!¬†Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Natasha Jansz Design.Here we are on the balcony, which needed a Dash & Albert outdoor rug to make it feel like a room. We had my clients’ old teak furniture refinished, and ordered new cushions for the chairs, covered in Perennials outdoor fabric. The tie-dye pillows are from One Kings Lane, and my psychologist friend remarked that they remind her of a Rorsarch test! I don’t know about you, but I think about sipping a cup of tea and reading a magazine when I see this space.Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Natasha Jansz Design.I am obsessed with the “Saturn” ceramic planters here, found at Potted in Atwater Village – more textured pattern in our palette of whites, and they strike a pleasing balance against the vertical lines of the balcony railing and the upholstery fabric. The succulents are sedum – a bushy-for-a- succulent plant that can take a lot of direct light, which is perfect out here. (In real life, my clients have a nice shady Sunbrella patio umbrella to hide under when they are spending time ¬†here – it just couldn’t be adequately captured in a photograph without a crane!)Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Natasha Jansz Design.

More texture and pattern quietly abound¬†here at the fireplace, along with organic touches – the¬†basketweave stone tile of the surround, the nubby weave of the chair upholstery, flora in the Miguel Arguello¬†still-life art and fauna in the pillow print…and sometimes you just need a spiky brass urchin to finish things.Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Natasha Jansz Design.This gorgeous inlaid bone dresser mixes clean lines with intricate pattern and an exotic flair. I often use black to ground a design in a pastel room, and I love the way this piece complements the black granite counters in the master bath beyond.Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Natasha Jansz Design.

The color, texture, pattern and organic touches found in the bedroom flow seamlessly into the master bath, which is anchored by a large indoor-outdoor rug for its own unique character and warmth.

The paint colors used to create this haven are all by Ralph Lauren Paint: Pale Cap on the bedroom walls, Crescent Blue on the bathroom walls, and Egret trim throughout.

This and other pretty bedrooms can be seen in my portfolio here.

 

 

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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 // Teak Ladder // Jayson Home // $450img26o

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

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LOW // Wood Ladder Decor // World Market // $60

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 // 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 Рas 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 Stools

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 // $640

 

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MID // Mongolian Lamb Stool // West Elm // $400

 

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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 Рnautical, mid-century, Moroccan, organic and more Рall 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.


Show Me Three // Wishbone Chairs

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 // Danish Design Store // $1,000

 

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MID // CH24 Wishbone Chair  // Hive Modern // $600

 

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LOW // Baxton Studio Wood Dining Chair // Overstock // $170

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!

 

 

 

Take Me Away // Napa Valley Working Vacation Weekend

A design project in the Napa Valley had been a long-held little dream of mine, and in 2015 it has come true twice! Earlier this year, it was the tasting room for a small winery in St. Helena. And then this Fall, I started collaborating with a dear friend on her lovely new cottage in Napa. This is a picture of the bungalow where Emily used to live. So charming, and the scene of many good times over the years. We want more of that feel with the new place – an unpretentious warmth.

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Emily’s new house doesn’t come with quite this much vintage character, but it is on its way to revealing its own charms. After a few weeks of Pinterest back-and-forth based on floor-plans and pictures, last weekend I made an overnight trip of it and finally met the house in person. Amid the beautiful distractions of the Napa Valley and time with my friend, the mission was to¬†review design progress, develop some ideas further, and of course get some good shopping done.

IMG_4876I was very pleased about some key pieces of new furniture that had arrived. It’s no secret that I am obsessed with these dhurrie chairs,¬†and this is my favorite colorway. ¬†I adore these hues and that texture paired with the copper Martini table. Emily was initially a bit skeptical when I pinned this chair, but now it’s true love.

IMG_4877This gem of a bentwood rocker was picked up at an estate sale, and Emily is in the midst of re-finishing it. We decided on a rich black stain to contrast with some of the other furniture in more naturally finished woods. It is such a gorgeously sculptural chair, and is going to look great next to a big plant.

IMG_4933This is part of a gallery wall for which I did a preliminary lay-out. Emily has a fair amount of art that she has collected in 20 years of travel, and I love that it’s a mix of media including textiles and photography. We sorted through it all and made decisions about how to frame and hang the best pieces.

To wrap up Day One of our work, it had to be a dinner at one of my favorites in Downtown Napa, Angele.  Emily and I sat at the bar, where the people-watching and eavesdropping was almost as good as the food and wine!IMG_4892

And then we saw Janeane Garafolo, who I hadn’t really thought about in years, do standup at City Winery. Since Emily and I became friends in college in the 90’s (probably J.G.’s heyday, as far as high-profile work goes), nostalgia made us curious to check out her current act. Happy to say we laughed a lot – her comedy held up!

Day Two was all about shopping. The Napa-Vallejo Flea Market turned out to be NOT what we had imagined (at all!), so we quickly moved on to sourcing vintage furniture online. I introduced Emily to the world of bidding on Ebay. (We missed out on a sweet midcentury credenza, and then found an even better one and won it for a steal!)

Then Emily showed me the brick and mortar stores in Napa that she has been prowling for inspiration. ¬†Poor House¬†is my new favorite, with so many pieces that looked made for my aesthetic –¬†a perfect mix of simplicity and distinctive details.IMG_4923So inspired by everything in the vignette above, from the quilted leather of the chair, to the streak of red on the desk!
IMG_4921The swooping lines and rich walnut finish of the lounge-y chair (above) caught my eye,¬†as did these bar-stools, which hit just the right “warm industrial” note for me with the leather and the leg details.IMG_4915

Antiques on Second is a store I will return to with a truck one day.
IMG_4909I have such a weakness for¬†campaign furniture. My current projects have no room for this folding bench, but I want somebody to give it a home in an entry hall or covered loggia.¬†IMG_4910These chairs also deserve a good home. That green! So much character. I’m going to run with this idea sometime for sure.

Before I knew it, it was Sunday evening and time to head home to L.A.. My farewell to Napa and Emily was made less sad by the spectacular sunset we got to accompany us on the drive to the airport.

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I’m not allowed to show up at home after a trip without a special little surprise for my kids, so I made sure to stop at The Roost Napa¬†on my way out to look for gifts. Here’s one I found for myself!

IMG_5042I was going to have so much remorse if I didn’t buy this tote bag. My passion for its playful print is unbridled!! And it will always remind me of this special little trip.IMG_5027

And I didn’t forget my girls, who got these awesome finger puppets. They were only a buck each, and the details are wonderful. As expected, they were a hit with this little monster.
IMG_5022Weekend Mission Accomplished! A bit of work, a bit of play, and lots of fresh inspiration for this project and my work next year. Thanks, Emily!!

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