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)!



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!


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!


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.


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.


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!

Reveal: The Concrete Cave

Hi friends! Jumpin' on with another eDesign reveal today - this week's space is tucked inside Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood and was a real test to my cozier sensibilities. Last week's space I did in Boston was easy peasy- exposed brick, large windows, warm wood floors - all the ingredients to go cozy to the max! The space I'm sharing today gave me a bit of a chill when I first saw the photos the client sent over:


The window-less room above is the bedroom. So what to do? Embrace the uber modern elements or go against the grain and add warmth and texture? I settled on both and found some helpful inspo images before finding the right mix of pieces!

With the influx of eDesign reveals here I cannot express enough how much I value floorplans! They are the least visually appealing aspect of a job but allow me to really understand the space. I play with various arrangements until I find one that enhances the elements of the room best. Here's a peek at the final arrangement and the floorplan we stuck to the closest.


And to help the client 'see' the space, an example of one of the design boards used for this project:

Chicago Sonder 404 Living Room.jpg

Without further adieu, welcome to Chi town!


The physical space is unlike anything I've ever worked with; it's industrial, yes, but also modern in an almost sterile way. My objective was to embrace both the industrial and modern, but also to warm things up, (without going all bohemian with layers).


If you can't beat em', join em'! I really love how this concrete coffee table pulls it all together; like it was grown right from the floor!


The bedroom was really exciting to me! A room without windows - no problemo! I chose a dark charcoal gray for the walls and my favorite CB2 Mantis sconce in nickel and wood. A leather headboard finishes it off and it's transformed into a sleek hideout cave complete with concrete bedside tables.


That's it! A short and sweet tour for today. Thank you to the installation team up there who hammered it out and got it done! I always have a feeling of anticipation when I know a design is getting installed and I'm hundreds of miles away waiting to see how it turns out! It's exciting, indeed, and good for my blood pressure, too. ;)

Thank you so much for coming by today!


Reveal: Industrial Meets Cozy in Beantown

Got another eDesign reveal today! The client started with a very industrial 2 bedroom space - interior brick, city views and large windows; all my favorite things together! I had complete stylistic freedom, but a limited budget and limited time to get it complete, so I started with some design inspiration to help me hone in on the ideas I wanted to prioritize. Some of my favorite inspo images are below and with each one I had made a note of what caught my eye most.

For this project I was given a sketched floorplan and a video tour of the space. Since I didn't have photos to go by, I was meticulous with the floorplan. I had a vision of what I wanted the space to look and feel like, but a vision is just a vision if the pieces don't fit perfectly and the flow is not a hundred percent comfortable. I created a floorplan for each room in the space and several for the living room - it was an oddly shaped room and I wanted to try some different layouts, but the one seen below is what we ultimately followed the closest!

Finding the right pieces for this space was an absolute blast, but not without some particular challenges! The client needed the design completed 2 days from handing me the specs on the space, so I needed pieces that were not only friendly to our budget, but that offered a speedy delivery! Below is one of the final moodboards of the living room. I used several to indicate some specific details, but this one shows the jest of it.

Boston Sonder Living Room 1.jpg

And voila!


I really trusted the client's measurements of the space as well as the measurements indicated with this sofa - if either had been off it wouldn't have worked. Luckily it was a perfect fit and I got to tuck the sofa cozily inside this brick clad nook.


I'm so grateful to the hardworking installation team that carried out this design to 'T'! eDesign is most successful when the designer can clearly indicate the details of the design and the installation team interprets the instructions properly. The team did a fantastic job carrying this design to fruition; it turned out exactly as I had imagined and hoped!


Although the kitchen was an itty bitty little thing, the client desired a small eating area that could accommodate 4. I used a modest round table and simple chairs on the smaller side, but also shared in the design boards a couple fun alternative options for one of the chairs to be used elsewhere for when space is needed during meal prep. Options are always good!


I wanted to give the bedrooms a cozy, sophisticated feel that is so true to Boston. Bostonians are not excessive in their style; nothing too contrived, function over form. Always. It's been a while since I've lived there, but that aspect of the city as a whole has been around for ages. There's an old story of a Boston matriarch bein where she got her hat, to which she responded, "We don't buy our hats, we have our hats."

Bedroom 1:


Nothing too fancy here, just classic, comfortable design.


Bedroom 2 is the slightly less sophisticated younger sibling of Bedroom 1. But they 'speak the same language', as Cate says, and the laid back, comfortable vibe is consistent between the two.


It's such a delight to see this space finished - it was a whirlwind putting it together in a matter of days but I absolutely adore how it came together! Even with such a short timeline to work with, the creative freedom to do just about anything I wanted with this space was an incredible opportunity to be entrusted with. I look forward to sharing more such projects with you soon!

Thank you so much for coming by!