Design Reveal: Charming Living Room in Alexandria

I told my family I was only going to be at this newly completed client home for an hour - hour and a half tops! It was relatively close in nearby Alexandria, and just a small living room. But as it goes, I just had the most fun getting to talk to my sweet client, Annie, in person for the first time since we started working together a few months ago! Five hours later, I did eventually get home. ;)

As we have proven here over and over again, remote interior design, (aka eDesign), is every bit as personal as in-person. We communicate very closely with each and every client regarding every decision on the space. And even though we develop a unique and individualized communication flow with each person, the months of FaceTiming, texting, calling and emailing always come to the same end result: a space that person truly feels is theirs and lucky to call home. As people who love people, this line of work is right up our alley! We adore getting to connect with others and put our heads together to create the very best home that suits their style and needs.

Today’s reveal is really fun because Annie’s style is very eclectic and she had the COOLEST stuff to start with! She has spent time immersed in so many cultures around the world, her collection of artifacts and photography is seriously impressive. So fun for a designer to play with! Want to see what the space started out as?

before.jpg

Lots of stuff going on here, but also some really cool stuff. Our aim was to highlight the beautiful pieces Annie already had, add pieces that complimented those, and find a visually pleasing, inexpensive way to hide the rest! Take a look!

1.JPG
2.JPG
4.JPG
3.JPG

One of our design concepts sent along the way. We had yet to decide on the coffee table and exact pillow placement, but that’s what a concept is - a check on the visual feel of the space. These are meant to help us know if we are heading in the right direction and what adjustments, if any, we need to make moving forward!

Design+Concept+Edit+2+b.jpg
7.JPG

Before you say anything I am fully aware that this is maybe the 4th or 5th time we used the IKEA Ivar cabinets. But you guys, at $70/unit, completely customizable, and only 12” deep, these babies are a small space small budget best friend. Not to mention ideal hidden storage for a small apartment with (almost) no closets. We hiked these Ivars up on black stainless steel legs which set them at a much more versatile height, and gave them a much needed layer of visual interest for this small space.

9.JPG
24.JPG
11.JPG

Big fan of this chair in this space! It’s modern but rustic enough to pair well with the English roll arm sofa.

23.JPG
13.JPG

This home wears the glow of Summer well. I may have to book some time here come February!

18.JPG
16.JPG
20.JPG

That’s a wrap! Happy to say we are already locked in to work with Annie on her bedroom next! But before we start on any new projects I’ve got a few more weeks of Summer to maximize with the kids. Taking this season off has resulted in the best time with my kids. I love this age so much and have thoroughly soaked in this time together practically distraction free.

I hope you all enjoy these last weeks of Summer and amidst whatever your responsibilities are can find moments of joy and rest. Thank you so much for taking the time to come by today!

Chelesa.jpg

Design Reveal: Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY!

We’re in Brooklyn!! This project represents a long time dream - designing in New York City! What can I say, I’ve always been charmed. This was actually my sixth or seventh design job in the Big Apple but the first one I’ve had the opportunity to take photos of. Coincidentally, I am working on two more apartments just around the block from here, (one being a generous word of mouth recommendation from these home-owners!).

When these adventurous globe-trotting clients approached me with little more than a random piece here and there in each room, I was so smitten with them, the stunning archways in their home, and their goldendoodle, Nala, that I couldn’t wait to jump in. Over the course of six months we worked together room by room, item by item, detail by detail. Oh how I have looked forward to this day!

It all came together SO well and I can’t wait to walk you through! The MO with this home was to achieve a simple but eclectic look with a balanced global vibe. With space being limited, we enlisted the help of local contractor Ethan Abramson to design and install storage in every room. I’ll point out his work as we go along but I can’t tell you how fun it was to work on custom pieces with such a skilled craftsmen. Would highly recommend Ethan to anyone in the area! Let’s head in, everyone!

Entryway

DSC_0054.jpg

You walk into this apartment and immediately enter a long hallway. Creating depth of view is one of my favorite design elements - giving you something to see down the length of a space from either end. A personalized curated gallery wall pulls you into the home, while a graphic wallpaper, and architectural accent chair bid you farewell. (If you’re interested in the sources used throughout this home, please see our list at the end)

2.jpg
DSC_0049.jpg

When less is more, I like to use interesting pieces. A single accent chair by itself had better be something special, otherwise, why?

DSC_0053.jpg

The wallpaper was possibly one of the first decisions in the whole home! This is the only place it’s used which I think just makes it that much more dramatic.

DSC_0051.JPG

Speaking of dramatic…

Dining Room

DSC_0105.jpg

We were so intentional with every detail in this space I can’t help but look at the collective whole and remember the conversations and design renderings created for particular elements. It is a process of pure creativity that I have fallen so in love with over the years.

DSC_0093.jpg

The clients had this idea for a gallery wall here and my gosh did they hit a home run. Notice the continuity among the frames - all thin, and either black, white, or natural wood. That’s it! There is nothing visually connecting the actual images, but the carefully collected frames create cohesion and freedom to display whatever suits them.

4.jpg

The light fixture was actually left by the previous owners and totally works for our purposes. Its thin and the right scale and the only brass used throughout, setting it apart as the primary decorative accent in the dining room. With the cutout looking into the gallery wall hall, I opted not to add anything else to the wall space surrounding the table, so this visually impactful fixture works beautifully.

DSC_0059.jpg

Living Room

DSC_0107.jpg

I can’t move on without pointing out the trim. First of all, so thick, old and regal. I’ve never ever painted trim a contrasting color, but the clients had this idea to do something different and accentuate it. In the early renderings I used black and that felt too stark. Gotta start somewhere, right?! After doing some research on similar architecture I found three images with white walls and beige trim and fell. in. love. I sent over three color options, the clients tested, and we came to a unanimous decision to use Clay Beige, by Benjamin Moore. Walls in Swiss Coffee, BM.

DSC_0115.jpg
DSC_0064.jpg

The first of Ethan’s pieces - this wall unit! He built the cabinets and shelves above, using Rejuvenation brackets we selected.

DSC_0063.JPG
DSC_0068.jpg

The triptych is just the bees knees! The clients found the street artist, Dede, in Israel and looked him up upon returning to the states. They commissioned this special piece for their last apartment and were not sure it would have a place in this one. My top choice was over the sofa if the dimensions fit. It’s just the right kind of drama needed for this room! Still so thankful this installment fit!

DSC_0070.jpg
DSC_0071.jpg

I honestly don’t believe we ever considered any other light! We had started down this road of edgy pieces with a subtle flair of drama. I’ve used similar sconces before and this France and Son number was just right for our far corner here. Can we also take a moment to acknowledge the clients incredibly green thumb - I’ve been loading up on her generous tips!

DSC_0081.jpg
DSC_0075.jpg
DSC_0077.jpg
DSC_0113.jpg
6.jpg
DSC_0098.jpg

Bedroom

DSC_1040.jpg

Hold on, scroll back up and take in that pocket door pull. The details of this home are just incredible! What a privilege to work on such a fun space!

DSC_1043.jpg

You’ll notice in this room as well as the office coming up next that we opted for reverse walls - beige walls with white trim. They’re itty bitty spaces so it just felt like a fun opportunity to try something different in this home.

DSC_1046.jpg

The bedroom is a story of small business owners. You may recognize Ethan’s work in the bedside tables, (inspired by similar I found on Etsy). You may also recognize some items StyleMutt Home has used before! The Marylou sconce from our friends at Rough Luck Studio, and the fibre art by a favorite, Designs by Filia.

DSC_0001.jpg

More small businesses are represented on the bed. Pillows from fair trade global artisans, The Citizenry and Mae Woven, as well as Brooklyn local business, Brooklinen. The bed itself, as well as the office desk, (coming up), and the olive tree stand, (living room), are from Floyd - a company establishing the standard of modern-day furniture. They make furniture that is easily portable to those often relocating, but without sacrificing quality. West Elm recently partnered with them so I’m sure you’ll see more of them soon!

DSC_0002.jpg

Curious how New Yorkers manage such tiny spaces? Epic closets. These were installed by the previous owners who gambled some solid square footage in the room. And worth every inch, if I do say so! Who could deny those leather pulls…

DSC_0018.jpg

Office

DSC_0022.jpg

We have two fine installments from Ethan in this space - a cute corner shelf that I wanted to use to soften the deep narrow space,

DSC_0043.jpg
DSC_0027.jpg

and the coolest bookshelves I ever did see!

DSC_0039.jpg
DSC_0032.jpg

This is artists work right here, people. The detailing is just everything!

DSC_0033.jpg
DSC_0038.jpg
DSC_0036.jpg

And that’s it! I had so much fun working on this home I feel guilty calling it work - not every job feels that way but this one was a joy every step. The clients were beyond amazing and, as always, I am so touched to be trusted so fully with their home. Designing someones home is an honor I don’t take lightly, so when it’s all said and done there is definitely a bittersweet feeling left that it’s all over.

We have worked so hard to get here with StyleMutt Home Design but it still feels surreal to be sought after from around the country. It takes so much time and strategy to establish yourself not only as capable of doing the work, but as the top of your field. I don’t know what is next for us, but I have had this desire for some time to dig into how we got to this point in our business and use what we have learned to help other aspiring designers. With the completion of this project and wrapping up a couple others this week, my plan is to take the rest of the summer off from design projects and eat up the time with my babes. With design work on hold until September, I’d like to dabble in some writing to publish an eBook loaded with all the info of how we got to this point from scratch. It’s so much more than just dreaming big and I am really excited about creating a guide to help others reach their goals! If you’re interested in doing interior design and/or eDesign, shoot me an email at chelsea@stylemutthome.com and I’ll be sure to send you a note when the guide is complete!

Thank you all for coming by today! It’s always so fun to get to share these projects with this community and I truly am so grateful for you.

Chelesa.jpg

Some more photos of the trip - Matt and I went up together and had the BEST weekend celebrating our 13 year anniversary! I still can’t believe our marriage is a teenager now. There is absolutely no aspect of our life now that I would have guessed for us on the day we got married, and I think that’s just what makes it feel so grand. Making a life together with this man has been the adventure of a lifetime, that’s for sure!

SOURCE LIST
Entryway:
Sideboard - Article
Lamp - CB2
Rug - Loom and Kiln
Runnger - Etsy
Chair - Stowed Home
Wallpaper - Etsy
Tassel wall hanging - Holistic Habitat

Dining Room:
Table - Room and Board
Chairs - Serena and Lily
Linens - Parachute Home
Rug - AllModern

Living Room:
Rug - Serena and Lily
Sofa - Article
Coffee Table - Anthropologie
Table Lamp - AllModern
Sconce - France and Son
Pillows - Serena and Lily, Mae Woven, Anthropologie
Planters - Holistic Habitat

Bedroom:
Bed - Floyd
Duvet - Brooklinen
Pillows - The Citizenry, Mae Woven
Fibre Art - Designs by Filia

Office:
Desk - Floyd
Desk chair - Urban Outfitters
Yellow planter - West Elm
Pillow - Mae Woven


SMH in NYC: eDesign Project Update

Today’s the day for more PROGRESS!! I told you friends last week I wanted to start sharing and celebrating design project progress with you more often on here, so here we go again!

This apartment is in NYC right by Prospect Park. I can’t tell you how much I adore these clients, (and their sweet pup, who you’ll see with her friend in some of the pics)! When they gave me the initial walk through via video chat, it was love at first sight. Those arches, those windows, that molding, the floor! It’s different architecture than I’ve ever had the privilege of designing within before, so I was excited about that from the get-go. Take a look at these ‘befores’, (all photos in this post were taken by the client)!

BEFORE

d19662abb9a0f23ee8d3284c4fca7c1b.jpg
c12de709487ca9924ca7a340bbc513de.jpg
0764d5fdab278dc01bd5bd3602d24379.jpg

This is actually a 4-room project: Entryway, Living Room/Dining Room, Office and Master Bedroom. This fun couple has traveled quite a bit and accumulated a collection of artifacts and pieces from around the globe. They expressed interest in doing some unique things in their home which I was really excited about! It’s always fun to work with others who have a vision and enjoy wandering off the beaten path a bit, stylistically. The trim was one of the first elements we discussed as an opportunity to do something a little different! I chose Swiss Coffee for the walls, (a StyleMutt Home favorite), and Clay Beige for the trim, (both by Benjamin Moore).

I am going to wait to detail out here the pieces we’ve selected, but it’s getting there! Now the space is ready for the next phase of it’s makeover - built-ins! I’ve been in touch with their contractor working on a built-in shelving design that will work with the structure of these walls. The TV will sit in the middle of the shelves and we’ll have hidden storage cabinets under the shelves…I absolutely cannot wait, it’s going to look SO GOOD!

PROGRESS

Hi, Nala and pal! Those faces…

Hi, Nala and pal! Those faces…

The hallway was papered by the previous owners, and while the idea was splendid, the paper was not making any particular statement, (it was white and had a grayish swirl pattern on it). We loved the idea of something really bold that you’d see beyond the living and dining area, and this navy geometric does not disappoint. In a home that does not have an open floor plan whatsoever, one way to expand the size of any room is to draw the eye beyond the walls of the space. The images below are a perfect example of this!

IMG_9813.jpg
IMG_9794.jpg
IMG_9791.jpg

We are working on selecting art, various rugs for the hallway and office, final details for the bedroom, and then we’ll have some shelves to style! We are using a very large triptych the client found from a street vendor in India over the sofa - oh my gosh, it’s going to be amazing.

IMG_9806.jpg

Here is the rendering we used to show them the vision - cool piece, huh!

Living Room Design Board.png

It reminds me a bit of when we used Ali’s Cambodian photograph over her own living room sofa, and then when she moved, over her dining nook banquette! I just adore large-scale pieces - especially when they have deep meaning to the client!

So we still have a ways to go, but this is some progress, isn’t it! The paint on the walls and trim is making me so ridiculously excited. I’ve never done white walls with beige trim before, and truth be told, there wasn’t a ton of inspo I could find as an example, But it just felt so right for this home and now seeing these progress shots they sent is giving me so much encouraging confirmation. I’m in love! It’s sophisticated and subtly dramatic - the perfect canvas for a home to a couple of globe trotters.

IMG_9816.jpg

We are in cahoots over here on the finishing details for this beautiful home, and I am busting to share everything with you here and now….but I’ll refrain. Gotta save some surprises! Just wanted to share this exciting project in the works now because it’s making me too giddy to keep to myself any longer! I can’t wait to visit NYC soon to hug these fabulous clients and take all the fun pictures to share the final reveal with you! It’s going to be a good one, friends.

As always, I’m so grateful to you for coming by today!