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2018 High Point Spring Market

My team and I prevailed upon High Point Market, in High Point, North Carolina. 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!

While the fall Market was all about the resurgence of the 1970s, I found that this Spring, I was drawn to the following new trends:

Florals.

Burlwood.

Cement & Plaster.

Velvet.

Metals.

Overall, I found that there were many more modern options and less farmhouse in the designs presented by the vendors. One stand-out trend was chairs with metal bases. Where previously we’ve seen chairs with thick gold bands, now the chairs displayed had thinner metal, often black bases.

The incorporation of metal continued with a trend of gold inlay in wood pieces – in everything from buffets to trays, this was everywhere. Natural materials continued to make a strong statement: lots of rattan and macrame wall hangings (the 1970s is still in full force).

On the floral front, patterned sofas and pillows were huge. YAY! I love a floral piece of upholstery, and the Market offerings did NOT disappoint. Patterns were everywhere (especially geometric) – and wallpaper is solidly back and its bold and usually removable (PRAISE THE LORD).

Everywhere you looked, it was GREEN GREEN GREEN (which happens to be my favorite color). The best use of this color, along with other on-trend jewel tones, is layered with neutrals so it stands out in a room.

We so enjoyed shopping for our clients and seeing what unique pieces we could select for upcoming projects. I can’t wait for the next Market in October.

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Mexico-Inspired Family Guest Room

I do love when a fun project turns into another fun project, don’t you? Once upon a time, I designed an industrial (yet inviting!) employee lounge for a corporation located on the Atlanta Beltline. My client loved that space, and decided she wanted to bring Gina Sims Designs home with her. She had a small room, 11 feet by 11 feet to be exact, that housed a queen bed and a lot of junk. It was just that room in your house where all.the.stuff.goes, you know? You’ve totally got that room.
She wanted to add some function, life, and her family to that room. They were in need of a separate space for their 9 year old daughter to play with her friends, a yoga space, and a guest room. Given that my passion is to make spaces beautiful and functional, obviously I was in for the challenge. The design inspiration was rooted in their family’s global identity and heritage. She’s from England, his family is from Mexico, so we started focusing on how to bring the life of bright, Mexican textiles to the room.
I started by painting the room white to allow for brightness and to give the colors full-pop-potential. I also added wall-mounted scones and a new overhead fixture to provide lots of task and general lighting to bring life to the room.
While the brightness of the white paint allowed the room to feel bigger than it really is, it was also important not to fill the room with a large bed. Comfortably hosting overnight guests is simply an occasional pleasure, not something that most families can afford to donate an entire room toward. I selected an extremely comfortable sleeper sofa that provided a living-room type feel and function to the room while freeing up considerable space. An ottoman and side chair provide additional seating, and can be relocated easily when the bed is extended.
Everything that was previously needed in the office space was placed in file boxes, and beloved books are now on display for easy access. I hung curtains to center the window and those helped to provide a bit more symmetry to the odd angles of the room. I displayed Mexican folk art prints and a portrait to provide a bright and crisp interpretation of the family heritage theme. The family found a photo of his grandfather and mom, and a photo taken at Tulum on the couple’s honeymoon: I surprised them by having these reframed for the big reveal. Posters behind the cayenne pepper chair depict the Lake District (in England) and Tulum (Mexico) which are special locations for the family.
Their reaction to the design basically changed my life, but you don’t have take my word for it  #readingrainbow:
“It was dead space before. My husband hasn’t been in this room for 10 years, except maybe to print something. Now it’s been 5 hours since we’ve seen it and we haven’t left! John and I both said it felt like we were in the coolest VRBO! Ha! He loved the pictures of his mom and Grandma and the photo we took on our honeymoon. Make it feel like us! But Cooler. Still don’t know how you made our bookshelves look so cool. So Thankful.”
“I won’t mind so much when there is a tornado warning now!” – 9 year old daughter

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Lady Boss Office for a New Partner

Repeat clients are some of the BEST clients. Since completing some beautiful bathroom renovations (check those out HERE), my client had become a partner at her law firm and needed to design a new office out of a blank conference room.

The entire office is filled with dark mahogany desks and carries a very traditional feel. We intentionally went in a completely different direction: a polished, modern, bright, airy, feminine space. After presenting my client with some different options, she chose this as the winning design. Once the space was emptied, we removed wallpaper from one wall to keep the room feeling brighter, and the office lighting was reworked (as a part of a larger office-wide renovation) and the flooring was replaced.

Sign me up for an office with that view! We flanked the view in floor-to-ceiling navy and white drapes. The large scale art over the desk and standing desk sets a modern tone for the office, but also brightens and enlivens the otherwise drab corporate space. We brought EVEN MORE LIGHT in with this classic urchin chandelier, and the brass finish provides a feminine and professional polish to the space. Ladies and Gentlemen, we’re not done with the light yet, because we chose to reflect all of that light around the room with the large scale hexagonal mirrors along the back wall. The brass finish is again picked up in the glass table base which takes up very little visual space while providing a very large work area for meetings with clients, colleagues, and fellow partners alike.

Cati Teague Photography for GSD.

The real workhorse of the room is the gorgeous textured shagreen desk. It brings richness and texture to the space, provides storage, and a very large workspace. Seating for office visitors and clients is provided by these modern side chairs in a refreshing aqua tweed, bringing the bright blue tones from each art print directly into the space.

Cati Teague Photography for GSD.

The result of this project is a bright, professional space that exudes confidence: perfect for a new partner. We celebrate your achievements with you today! Do you have a professional space that needs to communicate your story? It’s time that we get started. Give me a call.

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New Life for an Old Bathroom

Most of the homes built in the 1960s have the same, functional bathroom footprint. When a bathroom like this needs an update, usually we don’t have to tear down walls or rethink how the space is used. One of the many strengths of Mid-Century Design is that it is rooted in functionality. Space is used well: it is not wasted. To update a bathroom like this, we focus on updating materials and finishes that work for the specific owner of such a classic space. In this case, we focused on making the room comfortable and safe for clients who expect to age well in this home in the years to come.

With a nod to the bathroom’s former green tones, we updated the color scheme with a mineral tone, a muted, earthy aqua that reflects a more modern, calm feel in the room.

The classic nature of this bathroom served as the inspiration for the materials in this space. We selected a white and mineral colored fabric in a trellis pattern, and selected updated versions of materials that reflected the original state of the room. White subway tile for the shower surround is a brilliantly classic selection, and the floor tile, a mix of white and gray small tiles imitates the previous floor tile without the high volume of the 1960s color combination. As many 1960s homes are known for their wall-to-wall vertical v-notch paneling, we both winked and nodded to this traditional feature with vertical ship lap,  painted white and with a square notch: it’s a decidedly modern take.

Voila! New life for an old bathroom.

The design features of this bathroom keep the users of the bathroom in mind: for an aging homeowner, we ensured that the toilet seats were elevated and that the shower included grab bars and rails for both using the bathtub and the shower.

Considering the client’s young grandchildren also became a factor. Instead of installing the shower curtain from a tension rod that might be pulled down by young children, we installed the curtain rod from the ceiling and created a custom shower curtain to fully span the space. Bonus? The room feels taller and more spacious when a curtain is hung from a high level. This can be a game-changing feature in Mid-Century homes that do not have vaulted ceilings. #protip #youarewelcome

To keep the room feeling simple and cohesive, we matched the shower curtain to the window shade (in that epic mineral and white trellis pattern) and matched the towels in a similar tone. The Eucalyptus art print and the formal wall sconces polish the space.

When designing for aging populations, or if you’d like to refresh and redesign a bathroom that you’ll be in when you’ll need more supportive features, it’s important to focus on non-slip surfaces. If your bathmats do not have a non-slip backing, purchase a rubber rug pad. There are also companies that can install a non-slip surface to your bathroom floors and tub, and you can’t see it! Whaaaaatttt?! Yes: check it out here.

Do you have a Mid-Century bathroom that functions well, but could use a thoughtful update? Are you thinking about how your home needs to change to accommodate your needs in the coming years? Let’s talk. Right now. Call me.

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Graffiti-Inspired Workroom

One of my favorite people and repeat clients (check out her master bedroom here) came to me with a brimming-with-potential-blank-slate of a room that she wanted to use as her creative work space.

We wanted a feature wall inspired by graffiti. After some brainstorming, my client decided that the focal points of the mural would be a singular fist and kente cloth, signifying power, empowerment, and culture. We worked with the extremely talented Charmaine Minniefield. If you’ve popped over to her website already (if not, hello, here’s the link AGAIN), you know that she “draws from indigenous traditions as seen throughout Africa and the Diaspora by exploring African and African-American ritual from a feminist perspective.” She was the perfect fit for this project. As you can see, the results are stunning:

Photo by Cati Teague Photography for GSD (catiteague.com)

To set off the mural, we painted the adjacent walls a dark slate gray. Color cues were taken from the mural and carry it’s energy around the room. We worked with Joybird to create a custom, rich, Kelly Green couch to provide her with a space to read and rest. The teal rug compliments the green and blue tones in the mural and brings the color into the center of the space.

Photo by Cati Teague Photography for GSD (catiteague.com)

This work space demanded lots of creative, attractive storage. We had the pegboard custom built for the space so she has plenty of space to keep her tools within easy reach. The bold orange of the pegboard and the colorful TV stand (located just right of the desk) mirror the movement and energy of the mural without competing with it, creating a sense of color symmetry in the room.

This is such a unique, dynamic transformation. I asked the client to reflect on the design process:

“I believe that whenever you have someone like a designer or artist use their skills in your house, they leave a little piece of their creative energy there with you. For this room, I wanted the women who helped bring my graffiti-inspired vision to reality to be proud of their work and for that mark of pride to be felt by everyone who walks through the threshold. This room is not just a wrap room- it’s a place where I take time to create and develop projects, where I put a dash of love in gifts for friends and family, and where I can go to feel good. it’s a feel good room. It’s a room of empowerment and positivity. I can sit on my bright kelly green couch, with a feminine fist of Black power behind me, giving me strength to propel me forward in a positive direction. In turn, every project that leaves that room has a little bit more love in it.”

I mean, COME ON: aren’t you ready to transform your space with energy that propels you forward with creativity and empowerment? I am. Give me a call. Let’s work on your space next.

Images by Cati Teague Photography for GSD (catiteague.com)

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