restoration hardware Posts

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!

Top Five Pairings: Graham & Brown Wallpaper

By: The Balance Design Team

We’re constantly inspired by fresh and innovative wall treatments — wallpaper, murals, grasscloth, you name it! Each of us scoured Graham & Brown, one of our favorite wallpaper vendors, and chose something that sparked our imagination. Here’s what we like:

Stephanie’s picks

I imagine this Color My Heart wall mural and settee in a mudroom of a young family as a place to put on their shoes and drop their bags. There could also be a big basket for shoes and another for balls, gloves, and frisbees — perfectly placed for outdoor fun!

Elisabeth’s picks

Surround yourself with this super-hip palm wallpaper and escape into that summer reading list you’ve been neglecting. Perfect for a bright sunroom, this graphic botanical print pairs perfectly with this bamboo pendant designed by Edward Linacre. Made without glues or adhesives, this honeycomb-inspired light keeps your air quality as pure as the tropics.

Shelby’s picks

I love the idea of a young independent woman getting her first apartment in the city in a turn of the century building. She has great taste and can rock out her bachelorette pad in a feminine and impactful way. This fabulous gold polka dot wallpaper would be on the ceiling, with her walls in a white chalky paint. Under this amazing wallpaper is her coral tufted settee that she will lounge on, read, or make power deals while sipping her La Croix.

Danielle’s picks

Can I call this look “gruesome glam?” This black and charcoal skull print wallpaper is what my spooky little dreams are made of. But don’t get me wrong, I like a little elegance too! This gilded floor mirror is over-the-top in its style and size, perfect for making sure you’re dressed to kill.

Melody’s picks

The bold print of the World Heritage wallpaper gets me mentally prepared to delve into new lands while sitting in a relaxing hanging chair with an endless supply of books. It’s the perfect escape on a rainy day.

Deirdre’s picks

The Optimum White and Duck Egg wallpaper reminds me of the bold, sensual, and intriguing flowers of Georgia O’Keeffe. Paired with the antique brass of the Bryant Sconce, this is a match made in heaven.

Days of Our Lives: My Kitchen Renovation, Episode 2

By: Stephanie Andrews

It’s time for another episode! Before the holidays got started, I began the preliminary stages of my own personal kitchen and bath remodel. Now it’s a brand new year, and I’m diving head first into design decisions for the kitchen. I was inspired by both the Remodelista blog and their new book. They really helped me crystalize my craftsman, industrial, and artisan tastes into a defined look that suits my family. Here’s the idea:

Andrews Kitchen Selection Blog FINAL

Inspiration for kitchen design: Amsterdam Loft

1. Dining Wall Accent Sconces. Rensselaer Sconce. Brass & Twisted Red Cord
2. Kitchen Island Barstools. Industrial Metal Adjustable Stool. Raw Legs with Red Seat
3. Kitchen Island Pendants. Factory Light No. 6. Factory Black Steel
4. Kitchen Counter Top. Honed Black Granite
5. Kitchen Cabinet Color. Sherwin Williams. Dover White SW6385
6. Kitchen Island Counter Top. Walnut Butcher Block
7. Kitchen Island Cabinet Color. Sherwin Williams. Rock Bottom SW7062
8. Drawer Knobs. Modern Knob. Chrome
9. Cabinet Pulls. Modern Pull. Chrome

The next step will be drafting the architectural renderings of the cabinetry, including an island with a walnut wood top. Stay tuned for the next installment of “Days of Our Lives: My Kitchen Renovation” to see if I can stay in budget and get the whole family on board with these decisions!