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An Office for Two

A doctor and a writer. Odd hours. They needed a workspace that was functional, clean, and attractive given that it’s seen as soon as you walk in the front door. They came to this design party with funky art, cool tchotchkes, and great taste. Here’s what we started with:

Any workspace begins with a desk. A great desk. To appeal to their love of Danish design, we opted for drawer bases from IKEA: simple, white, functional. To maximize their workspace and streamline the room, I had a 12-foot, maple desktop created to span the wall.

Cati Teague Photography

It was important that the wall viewable from the home’s entry serve as the focal point of the space, so we painted the wall a rich teal and peppered it with dynamic prints and wall art. Given their tastes, I pointed them to some of my favorite artists (and because you’re special, you can visit them here, here, and here) and they selected their favorite images. I chose the sizes and frames, supplemented with other great pieces, and then mixed in a couple from their collection.

To further the function of this area, we commissioned custom magnet boards for each of them. (We love magnet boards: check out this custom board we made for a playroom!)

After function, we focused on comfort. An antique kilim rug is the perfect complement to the orange womb chair (what could be more comfortable than a WOMB chair?!), which provides a cozy space to read, relax, and retreat.

Cati Teague Photography

It’s time for your office to look this good: whether you can see it from your front door or not! Gina Sims Designs is now booking for 2018: call me.

 

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Classic Dining in Avondale

The first time I met my client was on the soccer field, and our conversation included the exclamation: “come and paint my dining room!” As the kids say: the rest is history. My client is a Classics teacher and has an obvious affinity for classical literature and languages, Rome (well, let’s say all things Italy), and has a house filled with heirlooms. Basically, she’s a dream client. Inspiration at every turn.

Let’s start, as we did at our first meeting, with her dining room. Here’s what we started with:

The room already had solid pieces. She’s the mom of two boys, so we needed to make sure any design could stand up to the activity of kids in the house. Spoiler alert: We did a bit more than paint it.

We painted those walls a beautiful, breezy blue and brought in floor to ceiling curtains to make the room (and the windows) seem larger and more grand. We swapped out the cart for a life-giving element — this fantastic, vibrant plant on simple plant stand, which will allow guests to more easily move around the table. The room is illuminated by a stately quatrefoil chandelier, which nods to her love of classical art and design. We replaced the rug with a neutral, natural toned rug to bring some texture into the space.

We swapped out two of the dining chairs with upholstered parsons dining chairs to add a modern touch to the traditional hutch and table. #PROTIP: Changing out a few (or all!) of your dining chairs for a contrasting style from your table instantly transforms a dining area or breakfast nook. For a personal touch, we hung her father’s gardening hats on the wall.

Finally, reorganizing her beautiful china and adding some decorative accessories to this amazing hutch make the piece (and its collections) seem new again. An absolutely charming and inviting transformation, just in time for Thanksgiving.

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Trend Alert

My team and I prevailed upon High Point Market, in High Point, North Carolina this week. High Point Market happens twice a year and is the largest home furnishings industry trade show in the world, with 2000 vendors in 180 buildings. We had a blast visiting showrooms, attending parties, meeting with our designer friends and finding out what the hot trends will be on the floors of our favorite showrooms in the coming year!

Just like in fashion, the 70’s are back! As a child (of the TAIL END!) of the 70’s, I affirm this trend. It seems to me that if you live through a particular decade, there is a “done that once and done with it forever” feeling toward trends (talk to me about grunge sometime). But the cool thing about “what’s old is new again” is the fresh take on the best the decade had to offer.

This year it is:

Amazing saturated colors – golds, pinks, teals and greens (my favorite!) in lush velvets.

Aged brass accents on everything from little touches on hardware and mirrors to big impact on lighting and furniture. There was shiny brass but I especially loved the brass that looked old, with some great patina.

Unapologetic patterns on bold places – all the walls! a sofa!

And all things natural. Think hippie chic or granola glamtastic – caned inserts in lacquered buffets, lacquered palm fronds and rattan rattan rattan. This California girl was in love with all the rattan.

We left High Point Market with new eyes, new resources and completely inspired for our upcoming projects! If this sounds like a blast to you, or if you’d like to reimagine a trend you love from your favorite decade, let’s talk! I’m booking for 2018 now!

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New Baby. New Bedroom.

While these moms were at the hospital welcoming their second baby girl into the world, we were at their house giving them a brand new master suite to come home to! It was a day of the best kind of gifts, all around. Can you imagine coming home from the hospital to a brand new bedroom?!

We started with a color palette of navy, aqua, coral and gray.

The art reflects their love of travel and nature while giving a hint of glamour. The surfaces are soft so little ones won’t bonk heads or pinch fingers in the years to come. The bench, upholstered in a coral weave, will house pillows and blankets when not in use and the new side tables and dresser offer the perfect amount of storage. The window treatments, (blackout of course!) were such a lovely pattern and color that they feel like works of art on their own! The bed is now big and comfortable enough and the TV is at just the right height that they can do what they love to do most – climb on the bed and watch football as a family!

Welcome home, baby girl! Rest when you can, Mommies!

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Out of this World Surprise

This little girl was turning 9 and her family wanted to surprise her with a brand new room. As I began the design process with her family, I learned that she loves the color purple and outer space: but I’m not one for theme rooms. Maybe for kids, but even then, theme rooms get old quickly. (My kids change what they like every other week. If I had done that Pokemon room my son wanted, he would be crying that it was “too babyish” right now and I’d be out some serious dough.) Good room decor should last. It should be able to grow with you. I like to use awesome, but not “kid-specific” patterns and colors that can grow with the child but also reflect what he or she loves. I like to do that through accessories – art, an accent pillow, etc.

She likes purple and space? GREAT! Let’s let those themes INSPIRE the design, but not dictate it to the point where there’s a spaceship-shaped bed in her room.

We painted her walls a bright white, the ceiling a fabulous blue and replaced her tired old ceiling fixture with a light and airy celestial looking fixture. Bedding and a rug were where we punched up our color and pattern and crisp white window treatments with a turquoise pompom accent gave the windows new life.

Now let’s take a moment and honor that light fixture of the big dipper on the wall. Moment of silence and mad respect for the good people of West Elm who created that wicked awesome art perfect for this room.

The vanity was a family piece. It was dark and chipped but they still wanted to keep it. We refinished it and painted it with gray chalk paint, swapped out the hardware and now it’s the perfect desk! The cork board will fulfill her constant desire to pin her favorite things all over her walls and we surrounded it with space-inspired art. Another nod to the person who created that cat astronaut (catstronaut?) art.

The bathroom got a coat of lavender paint and a new shower curtain showing the phases of the moon (so cool)!

Oh, and the reveal! She went to school on her 9th birthday without a CLUE that her room was her present. “Go put your backpack away” …..

Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl! You (and your room) are out of this world! It had to be said.

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