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Design Challenge: The Exciting Conclusion!

By: Danielle Clockel

This has been such a fun experience! I loved bits and pieces from each design, so I took special care and time to immerse myself in each one and really envision the items in my space. It was like a puzzle, and I went through several drafts before arriving at a conclusion that felt quirky and comfortable, visually stimulating and functional.

I really embraced Elisabeth’s lounge idea, a concept I hadn’t even thought of. Her low coffee table mixed with Melody’s black footed side table gives me space to spread out my notes and papers as well as a perch for my laptop or tea. Elisabeth’s tufted chair has a big enough seat to allow for some lazy time lounging while still being small enough to allow me to keep my cherished rocking chair in place. I loved Shelby’s choice of Studio Green for painting the walls, but decided I’d like to paint my rocking chair this deep, dark neutral instead. Her jagged metal chandelier provides a little edge and danger. And of course, a rug is a must. I was struck by the bold contrast of Stephanie’s black and white wallpaper, and I’d like to find a rug with similar characteristics. Maybe something like this?

Photo courtesy of Loloi.

There are hearts in my eyes just looking at this room! My advice to anyone considering working with a designer is this: DO IT! Trust their choices, give feedback, and sit with your options for a minute. In the end, you’ll have a space that you love and a deeper understanding of your own wants and needs.

Design Challenge: Breakfast Nook Solutions

By: The Balance Design Team

Before the Thanksgiving holiday, Danielle set forth the challenge to the design team of creating a multifunctional dining/working space in her apartment’s cozy breakfast nook. A comfy retreat for tea time as well as a quirky workspace? No problem.

Stephanie’s Solution

For Danielle’s niche, I chose a loveseat that we happen to have in the studio (at a great price!) for her seating needs. It’s light, airy, and perfect for her and her pets to lounge and look out the window. The dining space doubles in function with this dramatic black tulip table that provides a surface for Danielle to read and work, and two modern white chairs add sharp contrast. To wrap up this strong black and white palette, I suggest wallpaper inside the built-in shelving unit. But the best part is the perfect jewelry hanging from the ceiling — a black and chain pendant light!

Elisabeth’s Solution

Photos courtesy of Etsy, Flor, CB2, and Restoration Hardware.

Rather than a typical dining table/desk, I chose to create a cozy-chic lounge space that could also celebrate Danielle’s adored rocking chair. A camouflage meets black floral rug (tiles for any size room!) paired with a luscious berry tufted masterpiece provides a comfortable seat that is anything but expected. I added plenty of table space for working at two different heights for laptops and tea. Finally, a gothic-inspired candelabra floor lamp in front of her historical window is sure to unearth anything to her heart’s desire.

Shelby’s Solution

Photos courtesy of Made Goods, Ballard Designs, and The Mine.

Danielle is our studio rock and roll lady; she has great taste that’s a mix of feminine and edge and I loved the challenge of capturing the essence that is “Danielle.” First, I chose a really cool paint effect. She loves black, so I wanted to give her a dark neutral that had depth to it. I propose painting the back three walls of the alcove to act as an accent. These would be painted Studio Green, and feature a white drip effect at the top creating an “unstructured” look. A skirted banquette (because she is a lady, of course!) offers comfortable seating in a deep green vinyl to help the piece blend into the wall. The classic wooden pedestal table is beautiful as is, but for Danielle I see it painted in a high lacquer oxblood. Overhead would hang a fierce gold feather pendant to add the required edginess. Finally, rich brown hair-on-hide stools allot for extra seating and texture. These can easily be tucked under the table or stored off to the side and pulled up as needed. This space may be small, but with these selections it is a powerful mixture of richness, texture, and edge that I feel embodies Danielle’s personality.

Melody’s Solution

Photos courtesy of Wayfair, RH Teen, PB Teen, and Anthropologie.

I chose a comfy but compact velvet chair for this petite breakfast nook, and a small carved side table for Danielle to enjoy morning tea. This setup can double as workspace for those productive days at home without looking like an office. The dark ornate rug and staggered antiqued glass pendants evoke a modern gothic feeling. The epitome of a Danielle-approved space!

Stay tuned to see which pieces from each solution Danielle combines to create her dream multifunctional alcove!