Styling

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!

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!

 

 

 

Past Work // An Inviting Entry

An entry can be merely a pass-through space, or a room that says “Welcome“, and sets a warm and interesting tone for the rest of a home. I favor the latter! If the architecture allows, I like an entry space to have an inviting coziness to it.

2bThis was a condo I decorated last year. Below is a picture of the space from my initial consultation with the client. When I saw the skylight, and she started showing me the art she had collected in her years of travel, I knew this room was going to be a fun project.
1a My client had a vision of a wall with a gold-leaf -type finish somewhere in her home, and I thought this room was a great place to do that. Everyone sees the hallway! But nobody spends time there, so you can afford to be bold.1bA wood console table with Ming feet worked well with my client’s eclectic art, and a perforated metal pendant light fixture that cast beautiful shadows around the ceiling and walls brought the magic. A leaning mirror visually enlarged the space, and along with the tall vase of branches, it turned the carved tribal chair into part of an interesting vignette.

Here is a another room I did in this home.

Photography by Ellen Smiler

Past Work // Styling Story – Before, After and In-Between

There is no greater satisfaction in my work than at the end of a project, when I get to styling! It is the final layer. Even when the clients are there all along for a project, I can still send them off for a day, work some magic with art and accessories, and give them a fun and surprising reveal of a completed design.

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Above is a feature wall in the Family Room in a Mediterranean Contemporary house I finished last year.

This is what it looked like just after my clients had bought the house, but were still renting it back to the previous owners. The style was sort of Global Goth, and I predict it was done when the Osborne Family was a hit show. (You can see more of the transformation of this house in this post.)

BEFORE DESIGN

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Below is a snapshot of the Family Room soon after my new design was almost in place, and my clients had moved in. We had lightened the walls and ceiling coffers with paint. My clients had wanted closed storage and open shelving for display on this wall. After quotes for a custom cabinetry build-out around the fireplace and TV proved to be way out of the budget, I came up with a less expensive way to fill out the niches and make the wall eye-catching. Key was this pair of media credenzas from Crate and Barrel. They fit pleasingly into the niches, and I designed custom shelves to go above them.

AFTER DESIGN – BUT NOT DONE!

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Barton Sol built the shelves, and stained them to match the credenzas for a cohesive look. I designed the placement of the shelves around built-in speakers on the wall, and a beautiful pair of horse sculptures that my clients had in their collection. We painted the back walls of the niches above the shelves blue to relate it to blues throughout the rest of the house, and to further define this as a feature wall. It worked, but you can see that something still needed to happen to bring this design together!

AFTER STYLING

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When styling, my team and I power-shop stores like World Market, Ikea, Target, West Elm and Crate and Barrel for accessories. Our haul might include lighting, vases, photo-frames, baskets, pillows and throws….fun stuff to play with! I consider all the art and accessories my clients already have, and curate a mix with the new pieces. I try to make it feel fresh and stylish, as well as personal to my clients. In this case, the design point-of view I introduced was in the goldenrod color in the accessories. It related to a big piece of art in their Living Room, and it was an on-trend color when I was out accessory shopping! I love the way it livens things up against the blue and wood tones. It’s bright, but it fits in with the California Traditional vibe of the new design in their house.

I am constantly adding styling ideas to my Pinterest – follow me!

Past Work // From Goth to Traditional

No matter what your style is, you have to work with the given architecture of your space. Here are Before and After pictures of 4 rooms of a large home I did this year. The architectural style of the house my clients had just bought is what I would call Contemporary Mediterranean. The previous owners had applied a very specific aesthetic to it, one that involved deep, dark paint colors, medieval-looking light fixtures and heavy drapery.

L I B R A R Y // B E F O R E

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While this Baronial style actually worked well with the architecture, it didn’t suit my clients’ tastes (or the furniture they were bringing with them) at all. So we decided to lighten everything up and give the house a warm but pared-down Traditional style instead. Let’s call it California Traditional! It’s more modern than an East-coast Traditional style, and it has understated exotic flourishes.

L I B R A R Y // A F T E R

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No remodeling was required on this project, but we seriously needed to strip back the Goth elements! Paint, window coverings and lighting were the key to the transformations here. We kept the new design cohesive with the Contemporary Mediterranean architecture by sticking to clean lines (those simple, tailored shades) and aged bronze finishes.

L I V I N G  R O O M // B E F O R E

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One of the challenges of the architecture of this house was that the Living & Dining Room windows lacked privacy from the street. This meant that window coverings would need to be closed most of the time, and would be an especially important element of the design. We used this as an opportunity to set the overall tone for the rooms through the introduction of texture and pattern. We chose a few exotic prints in organic motifs, which in turn lent themselves to some other Global touches in the furnishing and styling. An eclectic yet tailored mix was the result.

L I V I N G  R O O M // A F T E R

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D I N I N G  R O O M // B E F O R E

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Well-made custom window coverings can be shockingly expensive (and there were something like 40 naked windows and French doors in this house that needed something) but for these “showier” rooms of the house, they were well worth it.

D I N I N G  R O O M // A F T E R

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This is not a sponsored post, but I’m a big believer in outsourcing for window coverings. We enlisted 3-Day Blinds to do the Roman shades on this project. They have a huge selection of fabrics and materials to choose from (you can also send your own material to their workroom), so once we nailed down design specifics, we were able to turn every step from measuring to installation over to our rep. Everything was then covered by a comprehensive warranty that put my clients with a cat, a large puppy and a baby at ease about the durability of the shades.

B R E A K F A S T  N O O K // B E F O R E

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B R E A K F A S T  N O O K // A F T E R

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Photography: Ilse Helgen

This project was a lot of fun, and I’ll be posting about a couple of other rooms I completed in the house when we talk styling!

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