Balancing Act

by Lauren Setum

Well, you’ve seen design ideas for the KitchenDining RoomMaster Bedroom and Guest Bedroom in my friend’s new home. Last, but not least, is the Living Room. The paint color for this space is…

sweet rosy brown

Sweet Rosy Brown by Benjamin Moore

As you can see in the space plan below, the Living Room is long and narrow, but by strategically placing furniture of the correct size, cozy conversation areas and reading nooks emerge. You’ll notice that the area rug is labeled as a 10′ x 14′. It’s important that the rug not be smaller. Smaller rug = smaller feeling space. The two lounge chairs across from the sofa are placed in front of the large window for a reason. If you want to see an interior designer cringe, place a large sofa in front of a window (CRINGE!). The chairs are more appropriate for this spot because they feel lighter in comparison to one big sofa. A sofa would make the window feel blocked off; we want to welcome the light in! Finally, end tables are drawn in at just the right size: not too small, not too big.

planLR2

Now, let’s talk about focal points in the room and how they should be addressed. You probably noticed on the plan that the fireplace is tucked into one end of the room. While it should remain a charming architectural detail, it’s important that, in the interest of visual balance, not everything be directed toward just this one end of the space. First, let’s focus on how to include the fireplace as a focal point.

lrbefore

The photo above (walls are awaiting their new paint color!) gives you an idea of the fireplace’s existing brick. You can also see that there is an existing mantle. Instead of a single piece of art above the mantle, I’d suggest a look like (one row of) this…

29095cd6e83b1b235e7d8e8cd97617b3

It’s a great way to showcase special photographs. The layered look of these photos suggests that they’ve been acquired over time and  that there’s a real history to the home and the people who live there (which is true!). I’d also recommend replacing the chandelier you see in the Living Room photo with this spotlight fixture from Home Depot. The placement of the existing chandelier is a little awkward; this spotlight, mounted on the ceiling, would allow the photographs to shine. (Tip: when purchasing a fixture that’s meant solely for highlighting other elements in a room, try to match the ceiling color as closely as possible; no need for a big dark blob on a white-ish ceiling!)

Then, to complete the fireplace area, add a small lounge chair as seen on the plan. Notice that whichever way you look at it, whether from the kitchen or from the other end of the Living Room, you see a lovely composition at the fireplace. Plus, what a great spot to curl up and read a book!

Now for the other end of the Living Room. The wall opposite the fireplace needs some attention so that the space won’t feel visually lopsided. My idea, as seen in the elevation drawing below, involves a credenza and a few key accessories. First off, the homeowners would want to keep an eye out for a mid-century credenza that’s about 5 feet wide; vintage shops, like findfurnish in Northeast Minneapolis, are great places to find such treasures. The floating bookshelves from The Container Store designate a place for reading materials and create a great asymmetrical look on this wall (necessary because the doorway to the dining room is to the left and restricts any kind of wall hanging that projects). A large scale piece of art and 30 inch high lamp complete the look. Oh, and don’t forget these gold trays from West Elm; they allow the credenza to be turned into a great little bar at a moment’s notice!

noblock

And, of course, materials and finishes…

materials

1) Sofa Fabric: This color did not work well the way the previous homeowners used it, as an accent wall. Toss this fabric from Pollock on a sofa though, and you have one fabulous pop of color!

2 & 3) Sofa pillow fabrics: A little pattern (Schumacher) and a texture (Pollock) with just the right colors can work wonders.

4) Ceramic art above sofa: Kimberlee Joy Roth is a Minneapolis-based ceramic artist. The piece shown on the board above is lovely, though I’d recommend going with one of her blue finishes. Check out the fabulous installations you can do with her art here.

5) Side table: You’ll notice on the floor plan that I’ve placed a small end table between the two lounge chairs. I love this one from Ballard Designs for that spot.

6) Lounge chairs: I found this pair of chairs (there are actually two of them) at findfurnish in Minneapolis. The shape of the chairs is absolutely perfect for this home.

7) Fabric for Lounge Chairs: The lounge chairs are indeed wonderful, but they definitely need to be reupholstered. This fabric from Schumacher does a fantastic job of picking up on the blue color seen here in the Living Room and throughout the rest of the home.

8) Pillow fabric: Repeating the red color on the chairs with some pillows using this Schumacher fabric.

9) Art for over the credenza: I’d shown some art placed above the credenza in the elevation drawing. A couple things that I feel are important: a) The colors; love that this piece has red, blue and gold tones. b) The subject matter isn’t too serious. While I love that this space is moody and almost a little dramatic, I think it’s important that the tone not be overly serious. The homeowners are young, vibrant people, and their space should reflect that. This artwork is fun and unexpected, but it still works.

And the all important rug, shown at the bottom of the board. This beauty is from Dash & Albert.

Let’s Get Cookin’

by Lauren Setum

Happy New Year! I hope that everyone is enjoying 2014 thus far. Today, Salt & Pippa is kicking off the new year with a kitchen design. You might remember the Master Bedroom design I posted last month; this kitchen is in the same home and in need of a little updating. Let’s start with the paint color my friend and I selected for the space. It is…

sundial

 

Sundial by Benjamin Moore

We chose this color for a couple of reasons. First, there is an existing, exposed brick wall in the kitchen. Since it will be staying, the color needed to embrace and compliment it. Second, my friend wanted the space to feel a little more open and fresh. A lighter color selection does the trick. Finally, this color works perfectly with the Living Room paint color (to be debuted in an upcoming post). Since the Living Room is right off the kitchen, this was a must.

Now on to the space plan. The two floor plans below are essentially the same, as existing cabinetry will be refinished rather than replaced (for the most part…keep reading!). There was some deliberation as to where the refrigerator should go, but in the end, I think it’s best to leave it where it originally was; this is what’s shown on the plans. Though the doors will partially block the doorway to the living room when open, traffic flow disruption will be minimal since the fridge isn’t left open for long periods of time. Plus, you can also enter the space through the dining room, which is on the other side of the wall with the refrigerator and stove.

You’ll also notice that there is a free-standing custom cabinet drawn in on the plan to the right of the dishwasher. This piece gives the homeowners extra storage space…a welcome addition to smaller kitchens! Not only is the piece functional, but it’s also aesthetically pleasing. Who doesn’t love to gaze at an original piece of furniture?! It’s placement in the space is quite intentional as it is what you see when looking into the kitchen from the dining room; definitely important that this be considered when space planning.

Last but not least, the large window at the end of the room offers a lovely view of the back yard. Unfortunately, the low sill height prevents any sort of built-in breakfast nook. But never fear, there are still options for seating!

OPTION 1: An upholstered lounge chair and small side table offers a place to perch and enjoy a cup of coffee.

planno1

 

OPTION 2: A custom table with butcher block top would offer additional workspace when needed but could also double as an informal dining area for quick meals.

plan2

Moving on to material and finish selections…

finalmat

Rug: This runner from Surya fits the bill for multiple reasons. Besides fitting into the aesthetic concept my friend and I discussed, it is also functional for a kitchen. Since it’s a flat weave rug, it will be easy to simply take outside and ‘shake out’ when needed; no thick, plush pile rugs for a kitchen, thank you very much.

Accent color: This color will provide just the right amount of ‘pop’; I picture it on the custom cabinet. My next post will go into its design more in depth.

Cabinet finish: This finish is called Honey Walnut. I’d suggest a warm brown stain color like this one as it will effectively update the space without feeling like someone ‘tried too hard’.

Cabinet hardware: This pull from Amerock is available at Brass Handle in Edina (for all you Minnesotans).The finish is the perfect golden color…subtle and pretty. I have an alternate plan for the existing cabinet hardware (think custom cabinet!).

Countertop: This quartz countertop can be found at Home Depot. Quartz is a great product. It’s less porous than granite so it resists stains better. Plus, it’s extremely low-maintenance. I chose a countertop with minimal texture and pattern because it will be right next to the brick wall, which has a lot of texture and multiple colors.

Backsplash tile: I currently have a kitchen of my own that I would like to redo. Until then, I’m going without backsplash tile, and let me tell you…my walls have some food on them. I definitely recommend investing in some tile. Product doesn’t have to be expensive. I like 1 x 1 tiles from Daltile (available at Home Depot) for this kitchen. Check out the drawing below for install details.

Pendant light: This pendant light from Rejuvenation would look fabulous above the kitchen sink. Great price, too!

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This elevation shows the basic idea for the custom cabinet. It is also the wall with the brick, as seen in the photo below.

 

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Now for the more major cabinet change I’m recommending. The photo above shows existing upper cabinetry on the wall with the refrigerator and stove. To make the space seem larger and more open, I’d suggest taking them out, tiling the entire wall and installing open/floating shelves as seen in the elevation below. The shelves can be used for displaying nice dish ware, or, if it’s preferable to hide certain items, decorative baskets and bins can be used. Add a new stainless steel vent above the stove for proper ventilation, and the cooking can begin!

elevtile2

The tile color, as seen on the materials board above, closely resembles that of the paint selection so as to not overwhelm or clutter the space. In order for a space to be successful, not everything can be a focal point. The neutral color tile blends in and serves to open up the space and make cleaning easier. It does not compete for attention but rather ensures cohesiveness.

A Cardinal That Rolled in Ketchup…

by Lauren Setum

Signing papers for a new house can seem scary and overwhelming. Then you get to the ‘let’s pick out new paint colors’ stage, and signing those loan documents seems like the easy part. Yikes! Selecting colors…no, make that selecting the right colors…really isn’t easy. Page through a paint deck, and you’ll notice just how many subtle variations there are between paint chips; choosing the right one can even be a challenge for professional designers sometimes. A couple things to consider:

  • Have you looked at your paint sample in the room that you’ll be painting? If not, you should. Lighting makes all the difference, and each space is a little different. You see a sample at its ‘truest’ color during the day when it’s light out.
  • Have a favorite color? Awesome. There are a couple common mistakes people make when it comes to colors they love. Let’s say your favorite color is red:

1) Just because you like red does not mean that you should go out in search of the bloodiest, I’m a cardinal that rolled in ketchup red. I mean seriously. While there may be situations where that type of red is appropriate, more often than not, that color probably isn’t going to translate into what you had in mind.

2) Just because it’s your favorite color doesn’t mean it belongs on your walls. Consider whether it might be more appropriate to use ‘red’ as an accent color. Think POPS of color.

Alright, now that we’re on the same page, let’s talk about some recent paint selections my friend and I made for her new home. Today, I’m going to share the Master Bedroom paint color. It is….

mbedpaint

Cedar Ridge by Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore is a great, high quality paint. The company offers a wider range of color selections than most paint vendors, which is also a big plus. The mood board below shows how a few layers of fabrics, art and accessories work with the paint color to create a lovely Master Bedroom:

mbr

Note: My friend and her fiancee have existing dark wood furniture that will be used in the space.

Abstract floral rug from Surya: With the paint color being a little lighter, this rug, with some deeper tones, does a great job of grounding the room and defining the space. Plus, since it’s 100% wool, it’s durable and will last much longer.

Duvet cover from Restoration Hardware (in Prairie)Since the rug utilizes a large scale pattern, there was no need for pattern on the bedding. The Prairie colorway is just right because it’s slightly deeper than the walls and therefore adds a little depth without being too busy.

Pillow sham fabric by Christopher Farr Cloth (in Natural)Since this fabric is sold by the yard, the shams would need to be custom made. Getting shams made is easier than you think though (especially if you know an interior designer!). In this case, I feel it’s the best solution because this fabric is what pulls the room together. If you click on the link and zoom in on the fabric, you’ll see that it has all the colors used in the room. This is key in making a space feel cohesive. Plus, bed-in-a-bags drive me crazy…way too matchy matchy and not very personal. Combining these shams with the duvet from Restoration Hardware yields a much more unique look. Finally, since the scale of the pattern is considerably smaller than that of the rug, the two work together well.

Gold throw by West Elm (on sale!) & To the Moon pillow by Red EnvelopeAccessories add color, texture and personality to a space.

Lamp is vintage from findfurnish in MinneapolisThis textured lamp is so fabulous. Since my friend’s new home was built in the 50s, the lamp is definitely era-appropriate. Don’t shy away from these pieces; something as simple as a new lamp shade can give them a whole new life!

Egypt print from Zazzle: Framing inexpensive prints is a great way to get something on your walls without breaking the bank. Since my friend and her fiancee have been to Egypt, I thought this would be perfect for them.

Last but not least, a second option. The space, with a few small changes could work with this rug from Surya, too. Which do you like best?

purple stripe