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December Mood Board

Image via Greige Design

Image via Greige Design

I was talking to someone recently and they mentioned Gustavian furniture. Oh how I covet thee. I am definitely drawn to Scandinavian style but Gustavian style is absolutely gorgeous. It came out of a visit that King Gustav from Sweden had to Versailles in the late 1700s. But he reinterpreted the NeoClassical style that had just become all the rage. 

I feel like the Swedish NeoClassical style was more refined and a little less flashy. That combined with the natural elements and pale colors favored at the time creates some beautiful rooms. If anyone has a spare a spare Mora clock feel free to ship it to me! 

Image via

Image via

While I appreciate the pale blues, greens and yellows- grey and white is where my heart lies. 

Image via Gustavian Designs
Image via Style Estate

Image via Style Estate

Seriously that stove! And the clock, the chandelier, painted wall and those chairs. 

Image via Eleish van Breems

Most of us aren't very traditional these days and so I thought I'd highlight a couple of Swedish rooms that take some of those traditional elements but interpret them in a thoroughly modern way. 

Image via Domino

Image via Domino

This room! I love the vintage trim and that stove along with the pale green, yet the furniture is modern and crisp. 

This next room is still pretty traditional but I included it because the light is vintage industrial, which changes the look of the space. Plus I love those black cabinets. 

Image via Laurel Bern

Image via Laurel Bern

This room! It's such a great mix of vintage and modern. The mirror is so very NeoClassical and yet the lamp in front of it is oh so modern. 

Image via Dust Jacket

Image via Dust Jacket

I'm just going to move in. 

Image via One Kin Design

Image via One Kin Design

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What a Difference Color Makes

I love helping people pick color for their home. Being confronted with a color wheel can sometimes be overwhelming, but you just need to narrow down your choices and be prepared to put a lot of swatches on the wall. I go more in depth on color in my podcast and I even talk about this home. 

I was excited when Lisa reached out to me to help her pick colors because she wanted something a little unique for her dining room. The previous color had been on the walls when she moved in and it was definitely time for a change. 

I'd like to talk really quick about photos. When I come into a clients home I am taking pictures to use as a reference point for my design. I apologize if they do not look as great as the after shots, but that isn't deliberate to make the before look worse. In this case the before wasn't bad, it was just time for a change.

The dining room before was kind of a periwinkle blue. When I started talking to Lisa she mentioned wanting to take it a little dark in the blue family. Which made me excited because I love dark rooms! 

This is only one wall that had samples on it! Color changes in different light and in different rooms so you have to put samples up and live with them for a couple of days. 

We ended up going with Benjamin Moore's evening dove. The other grays could have worked, but they didn't have quite as much drama. The black pepper was great but in this room it was a little too blue/green. The evening dove is a darker gray but it has a hint of blue in it that gives it a little bit more warmth. 

The living room gets a bunch of great light and she wanted to keep an airy feeling in here, but the couch and art work were kind of blending into the wall. So, an accent wall was called for. 

Just one wall of many samples. It's interesting how colors will read differently on the paint chip and then change completely when you get them up on the wall. 

Here is the after. The dark grey for the back wall has a hint of sand color in it, which works really well in this space and contrasts nicely with the dining room. The accent wall is Benjamin Moore Galveston Grey, and the rest of the room is Light Pewter which was used in the entrance hall as well. 

Lisa's response was, "Think we nailed the colors. Loving all of them". 

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Feelings about Color

Abigail Ahern's home

Abigail Ahern's home

On today's podcast I'm talking about color and the impact it has on how we feel. Head over to Itunes and subscribe and if you like what you hear please leave a review. 

I mention that I was inspired by Abigail Ahern to paint my office a dark color. I highly recommend her blog.  

Image via Nordic Design

Image via Nordic Design

If you've been unsure of adding color to your home you may find my color  pinterest board inspiring. Keep in mind that if something is heavily painted and has layers of colors that you can simply add a pillow to get some color in your life! 

Finally here is the transcript for today's podcast. 

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November Mood Board

Image via Free People

Image via Free People

There are still spots available for my class Interior Design 101. I'll be teaching how to find your style, so if boho isn't your 'jam' not to worry, there are plenty of other style options out there. 

This month's mood board is inspired by something slightly different- a monastery. While in Bulgaria we took a day trip and drove up into the mountains to see Rila Monastery, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Rila Monastery was founded in the 10th century by St. John of Rila, a hermit canonized by the Orthodox Church. His ascetic dwelling and tomb became a holy site and were transformed into a monastic complex which played an important role in the spiritual and social life of medieval Bulgaria. Destroyed by fire at the beginning of the 19th century, the complex was rebuilt between 1834 and 1862. A characteristic example of the Bulgarian Renaissance (18th-19th centuries), the monument symbolizes the awareness of a Slavic cultural identity following centuries of occupation. 

What is even more fascinating is that this, and many other churches in Bulgaria, were keepers of Bulgaria's history and culture. Bulgaria was under Turkish rule for decades but in the 19th century there was a resurgence of nationalism and the church was there holding the knowledge of the countries history. 

Image via xiquinhosilva

Image via xiquinhosilva

I was inspired by the grandness of the monastery and the church, but also the peacefulness I felt because it was nestled in the mountains. There were fountains that you could drink from that had the most delicious, cold and fresh spring water. The inside of the church was dark, lit by candles and you could smell the incense that had soaked into the wood. I felt the weight of the centuries of prayer in this sacred space. 

Image via Kyle Taylor

Image via Kyle Taylor

Being in such an ancient and spiritual place made me want to create that sort of contemplative space in my own home. I've been searching for what the divine means to me, and while I don't tend to find my answers in church, I do have strong spiritual beliefs. 

I like to create moments in my home that create space for self-reflection. I've been trying to meditate daily (operative word on try) but having a spot where I can meditate daily helps me sink into that meditation more quickly. I feel inspired by my surroundings to try to find that peace. 

Image via The Jungalow

Image via The Jungalow

A sacred space is something you imbue with good energy. I think you start with a candle, a crystal, and then add a plant and you are on your way to creating your spot. Bringing in elements from nature give a space that good feeling too! 

Image via Annie Tarasova

Image via Annie Tarasova

Have you carved out a corner of your home for yourself?

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Make New Friends

This is a combo blogpost/podcast announcement. 

Winter is coming, which means my tendency to hibernate becomes a little bit extreme. Recognizing that, I've started to fill up my calendar with things to do. Classes at Old Town School of Folk Music, Dabble or Verlocal (where I'm teaching Life Redesigned), and I have my eye open for events I wouldn't normally think to go to.

I also highly recommend that you check out the offerings at Mac & Cheese Productions while Fear Experiment is no longer in Chicago, it's available in other cities and she has some great un-networking events along with great classes. 

This week's podcast episode (Make New Friends) is all about stepping outside of your comfort zone and meeting new people. As an introvert who has a dreaded fear of networking and meeting new people I've created a couple of rules for myself. 

  • I have to make one genuine connection
  • I'm allowed to leave right after the event ends. I don't have to hang out and chit-chat, but only after I've made one genuine connection.

That's it. And those two rules have alleviated a ton of my anxiety. 

Another tip I heard recently was to compliment someone. It helps break the ice. I was at a bookstore and someone started talking to me because of the book I was reading. I was at a networking event and sitting awkwardly not talking to the person next to me and I complimented her earrings (which I really did like!) and we started chatting. 

So go forth and make some connections because you never know what friendship may blossom. 

If you want a transcript of this week's podcast it is available here.

What are your networking tips or tricks? Where do you go to meet new people? 

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