A Welcome Weekend

Hope you all had a great week! I know it has been quite busy around here with lots of meetings, work and life happening. This weekend is a welcome break. Well, as much of a break as I will allow myself to take — it’s so hard to sit still when there are projects to be done! So, here is my 5 on Friday list for the weekend!

A look at the gallery wall as it was before.

A look at the gallery wall as it was before.

1.This weekend I think I will work on getting some of our art hung. As I mentioned yesterday, we have quite a few pieces leaning against the wall waiting to take their places.

2. I would like to look into light-fixture and mirror options for the entryway so that we can finish that project for real and at least make some final decisions on these pieces.

3. We purchased a light fixture for the Kitchen that I will attempt to install — It is just so dark in there that we really need a better level of light to really work in that space.

4. I have some client floor plans to finalize details on.

5. And this weekend, I would like to actually plan a menu for the week so that I’m not planning things day of and cooking from whatever we have on hand. Although it is good to do this every now and again to really clean out the pantry and the freezer, I don’t enjoy doing it regularly.

And if there is any time left, maybe I will read or knit, or dare I say both! Happy Friday, friends; have an awesome weekend!

For the Love of Art

I am a huge fan of art and I can appreciate a lot of different styles, mediums, etc. But I mostly love more modern or abstract pieces. When we were on our honeymoon (which I still need to do a write-up on) we bought our first ‘real’ art for our space. It was such a wonderful process and experience and we are still so in love with our purchases.

Jean Claude Picot's "San Giorgo a Venise"

Jean Claude Picot’s “San Giorgo a Venise”

So, what do I mean by real art? I mean something done by an actual artist, not sold at a big box store like Home Goods or Ikea. That isn’t to say that the pictures purchased at these places can’t be great additions to your walls — we have a HUGE print from Ikea in our living room and we have another big painting from Home Goods that I’ve always loved as well.

Some places to look for good investment pieces to really build an art collection are art auctions, small galleries — even local coffee shops/cafes — and Etsy! Galleries can be found in most every city center, major or not, you are likely to find a local spot that is displaying art. One of the first pieces of real art I fell in love with was in a coffee shop in downtown Seattle. I was in no position to buy art at that point in my life, but I will never forget that piece. If I could remember the artist’s name, I would probably scour the internet until I could track it down!

In Jersey City, there is a little bar/restuarant/gallery space called LITM that does a monthly exhibit, not to mention 942 Summit, an adorable little shop featuring tea, gluten-free treats, skin care goodies and of course local art — definitely worth checking them out if you are local.

Art work by Lauren Taylor can be found and purchased here.

Art work by Lauren Taylor can be found and purchased here.

An Etsy artist that I’m in love with right now is Lauren Taylor, she makes beautiful fashion inspired watercolors. Shown above is her “For Love and Lemons” print that I think I might need for my bathroom. I also love her lipstick prints for the bathroom as well, but could see these prints along with any of the ones from her collection in a bachelorette’s gallery wall. She does great work.

Where have you found your ‘real art?’ I will have to do an art tour of the pieces we have around our condo now, but first we will have to get them up on the walls!

Winter Neutrals

This season I have made a point to get out more. We have hiked, walked and wandered quite a bit, and through it all we have taken some pictures. I took one of the scenes from our hike a few weeks back and put in some Farrow & Ball paint colors that create a lovely neutral color scheme that could be implemented in your home or wardrobe year round!

Winter Neutrals Color Scheme

Are you a fan of these winter neutrals? The inset colors from left to right are: Blackened, Skylight, Plummett and Mahogany. Soon spring will be upon us, and we can bring some brighter colors into the schemes.

The January Cure Project

For the January Cure over at Apartment Therapy, you are supposed to make a list of “problem areas” within your space, room to room, and if it is bothering you or wreaking havoc on your day to day, write it down. Then you are supposed to decide which area you could actually tackle and get done within the month that would greatly benefit you and your space. We chose our entryway.

Entryway Update 1

The whole entryway is a bit of a struggle – or was, anyway – because of its awkward space with all the doorways off of it, small wall spaces, etc., it has always just not functioned well for us. We tried putting a chair there, we added coat hooks, nothing made it feel better. Until, I decided to add the Ikea Trones.

These little cubbies are like the best creation ever. They are a simple, stackable storage solution in a variety of colors, and I can really see how you could get a ton of mileage from them in many areas of the home. For us, simply stacked and attached to the entryway wall was the best thing we could do for that space.

Now that they are in place, there is a cubby dedicated to Brantley’s stuff, a cubby for our shoes and for now, the top cubby is used for winter. I had thought about getting some sort of more finished shelf to put on the top of the cubbies, but I’ve been really enjoying the top tray shaped area to use for our keys, gym locks, etc., it really has be acting like a great landing zone for our home.

We shifted some of the hooks around, put up a lovely frame that was gifted by a dear friend over the holidays and voila! We now have an awesome functioning entry space that doesn’t make me crazy every time I’m coming or going.

Now, if only I could find a mirror for the other wall and get a new light fixture up in there…

Motivation Monday {Stand Out}

Happy Monday! I found this quote from Dr. Suess and I think it is perfect for everyone.

Dr. Suess Motivation Monday

Why are we all trying to follow the crowd and do what everyone else is doing, when we can follow our own hearts and stand out on our own! I think this is especially key for the design industry when there are so many similar details in work across the board. It’s hard to be original or feel like what you are doing will be the right thing to do when nobody else is doing it yet, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be the one to start that trend!

Follow your dreams, feel your inspiration and go with it! I hope we can all tackle this week with some originality to our process.

Five on Friday

1. I have been working hard to follow and participate with more blogs and people in the design community. It is a great way to find inspiration and make connections with people that are interested in the things that you are interested in. So today on instagram (@designbykrystle) I’m sharing four accounts that I love.

Instagram ff 2-20

@InteriorDesignCommunity is a great resource to find other designers/bloggers in this industry. They share inspiring people, spaces and quotes daily, and, if you are looking for more people to follow, they just posted a list of 100 interior-design blogs to follow (we are #55 on the list!).

@Nis5a is a kitchen and bath designer in Philadelphia that I randomly found on instagram a few months back. I love the design projects and details she shares, and I hope you do too!

@KristenFDavisDesigns works with colors, patterns, shapes and so much more, doing custom art and paint installations for clients and designers. Her insta-feed is always a great source of inspiration and admiration for me. You can find her blog here, too.

@EarnestHomeCo_ is a blogger I’ve followed in the background for a while, and have been trying to comment on more and more. She does beautiful work and just posted about her new home office here. Go check her out!

2. My hair is so long that yesterday’s sloppy top knot actually hurt my head. When I took my hair down at the end of the night, it has never felt so good. So! I am looking for a new do-I’m thinking of a long bob with minimal long layers around the front, and potentially even adding some highlights… care to weight in? (Pictures from pinterest.)

Hair Inspo 2 Hair Inspo 1

3. Today we have officially owned our condo for a year, which is incredible. It was a long and very trying process to get where we are, and we have had a love/hate relationship with our space, but it is mostly love and the space has really been transformed in the last year to really represent us! Can’t wait to bring you more projects from our tiny home 🙂

4. My childhood puppy is really really old. She turned 15 this past December and unfortunately her age is starting to wear on her. I wish I could jet off to Seattle to snuggle with her and soak up every last minute available, but it looks like it isn’t going to work out. Thank goodness for technology, my mom is going to Facetime with me so I can see her before it gets too bad. If you don’t know the love of a dog, it is one of the most unconditional loves you can experience, and that girl really has my heart. I’m thankful that P & I have our Brantley bub to cuddle with and take away some of the hurt.

Abby Girl KrystleandAbby

FullSizeRender (14)

5. This weekend marks the end of our January Cure. Yes, I do realize it is February, but when we went out of town in January, our cure never really got back on track. So, our dinner with friends is this weekend and next week I can share all of the progress we made around the house, as well as the details from our dinner!

Finding Inspiration

I wanted to share some of my greatest sources of inspiration. These points of interest are ones I can count on to provide me with new inspiration for everything from the details to the full space.

For me it all starts with nature and fashion.

Montana Mountains Inspo

Nature. Taking a walk, hike or drive is a sure-fire way for me to get back to the root of it. For me, Mother Nature always does it best. There are so many wonderful colors combinations, beautiful natural patterns and great textures in the wilderness that it really is worth getting outside and letting them influence you.


Fashion. I won’t ever claim to be a fashionista, but I do love to follow what is current and in-style in the fashion world. I love the fashion weeks and seeing what the designers have planned for the following season. If you want to talk about colors, patterns and textures, this is a great area to look! Fashion definitely has a direct correlation to interiors.

Where do you go to seek inspiration? I can’t wait to peruse more fashion week photos over the weekend!

Cozy by the Fire

I am currently in the thick of working on a fireplace redesign for a client, and I wanted to share with you the many different designs that can be centered around this cozy space in your home.

1. Modern Fireplaces will use clean lines, minimal details, simple materials and will overall feel more linear in design.

Modern Fireplace 1 Modern Fireplace 2

2. Traditional Fireplaces will include more detail, sometimes feeling very ornate, often times using more curved and complex moldings, columns or cornices and will us marble or granite for the hearth and facing instead of smaller or detailed tile work.

Traditional Fireplace 1 Traditional Fireplace 2

3. Clean & Transitional fireplaces will use details that are a softer, simplified version of the traditional, without eliminating all detail and swinging fully into the modern realm. They will often use a more decorative tile surround to create some visual interest in a subtle way, while any molding or framing elements will remain simple.

Transitional Fireplace 1 Transitional Fireplace 2 Transitional Fireplace 3

4. Craftsman-style fireplaces will use chunkier wood elements, with a more geometric and linear feeling. There will be a repeated line or box element throughout the design to enhance the craftsman feel, and though this style often dictates the use of natural woods, a similar look and feel can be achieved in white as well.

Craftsman Fireplace 1 Craftsman Fireplace 2 Craftsman Fireplace 3

5. Rustic Lodge & Cabin-type fireplaces will be seen with large rock or stone facings, typically at a large scale extending from floor to ceiling. They are often combined with large wood mantle pieces and will use other nature inspired elements to create the full look.

Lodge Fireplace 1 Lodge Fireplace 2

Do you have a fireplace in your home? What style does it fall into? Is there a style you would be happier with? Sometimes changing the feeling of a major focal point in your space can be all you need to feel like the room is your own, and a fireplace is certainly a good place to start. Make it work for you and your family so you can really enjoy it!

Image sources 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.

Carrera Wonderland {Master Bathroom}

This master bathroom was a real treat to work on. The client was really great, the installer was knowledgeable and skilled and the design came together so beautifully. For me, one of the best days on each job is photography day! I love going out, seeing the finished product and snapping some pictures of all the little details to share.

Carrera Master Bath 1

I took these photos a few weeks back and I have been working my way through them; I am very excited to share this space with you and see what you think.

The space is the culmination of what the husband and wife each wanted, and for the most part, this hubby follows the “happy wife, happy life” philosophy, letting the wife and I bring her dreams to life. However, when the husband saw the shower fixtures available today, he got excited and picked out one of the biggest rain heads around. Just as he fell in love with the shower pieces, she fell in love with the faucets. We mixed manufacturers between the faucets, shower controls and shower heads to give Mr. F what he wanted in the shower, while giving Mrs. F the little bit of bling that she fell in love with and blending these elements together in the space as well.

The focus in this space is really on all of the Carrera marble, which brings the elements of the space together. For all of the stone work in the space, we used Carrera. The walls are all marble subway tiles, with pencil tiles and chair-rail tiles that are all made of the same marble. We used the pencil tiles to frame out the shower fixtures and the chair rail to cap the tile at 48″ up the walls.

The space overall is sophisticated, giving a simple yet elegant canvas for the crystal details to really shine in the space. We carried the crystal through from the faucets to the light fixtures to the door knobs. I’m happy to report that both Mr. and Mrs. F are loving the new space.

For more pictures click over to Houzz here, and be sure to follow us there (and here on the blog too) to see all of our completed design projects! Leave us a note in the comments to let us know what you think of the space!

Motivation Monday {Hard Work & Kindness}

This quote is truly an all-time favorite of mine. There is so much truth in the words that hard work and kindness will ultimately pay off.

MM work hard

Conan O’Brien said this in his farewell speech and it resonated with a lot of people. I think the message is that rather than feeling down and like nothing is going to work out, you have to keep your head up, keep a positive attitude, work hard, be kind to others and things will start to really take shape and work out for you. This isn’t something that will be an overnight transformation, it is something that you will have to stay dedicated to, but if you keep on it you will see the payoff. I definitely am in the thick of it right now, working so hard and always trying to be kind and stay positive, I can’t wait for the great things that are on the horizon!