A blog from Visual Jill, East Bay Interior Design

A blog from Visual Jill, East Bay Interior Design

Friday, May 17, 2013

We have a new blog and website!

We have relaunched our website and moved our blog. Please join us over at visualjill.com, and let us know what you think! Thanks for visiting!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Staging a family home

This week we staged a completely renovated bungalow in Oakland's NOBE area. As usual, the developers did an amazing job reconfiguring and restoring the space to make it more livable, while keeping the original trim and charm.

Staging is all about literally "setting the stage" for potential buyers so they can envision themselves living in the home. Because this is a large, 4-bedroom house, we needed to stage it as a family home. This means making it seem comfortable and inviting for kids as well as their parents. Here's how we did it.

Strategic color choices
We chose bold colors to bring energy to the rooms that are specifically for kids. Check out the downstairs playroom, with the unexpected and bright combination of turquoise, orange, hot pink and green. It practically screams "Get in here and play!"

And in the kid's bedroom, we chose a sunny yellow with pops of color in artwork and accessories.

The nursery also boasts fun colors and an eye-catching stripe detail.

In the adult-centric living room and office, we worked with brighter furnishings against more neutral gray and white walls. The black and white additions add a bit of surprise.

Kid-friendly details
We sprinkled kid-friendly artwork and accessories throughout the home to make it clear that this is a place meant for families.

For example, we created a gallery on the family room's chalkboard wall by mixing hand-drawn frames with basic wood frames to showcase kids' artwork.

And check out one of the colorful collages by artist Mati Rose McDonough that we hung in the kids' room. Artwork makes all the difference -- in staging and decorating!

Our kids accessories also included a skateboard and play guitar, along with plenty of games and toys. When you stage (or decorate!) with the key audience in mind, you'll always get it right.

For those of you with kids, what do you do to make your own home family-friendly? How do you decorate with the kids in mind? Tell us in the comments below.

Thanks to Lisa Ratner for the photographs!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

White Space in a Modern Home

Here at Visual Jill, we love our color accent walls. Orange? Oh yeah. Blue? Always. And green? You know it. But there is really something to be said about pure white walls, especially when they are offset by beautiful wood floors -- or ceilings!

This is our most recent project -- decorating a spectacular brand new house in Berkeley. By having white and wood as our backdrop, we were able to combine many fun colors throughout the home.

Check out the folding glass doors that truly bring the outside in!

We were lucky to be able to feature original acrylic and mixed media paintings by artist Kristen Jensen -- her bold patterns and colors were perfect for the space.

A large upstairs landing can serve as a lounge, play area or office.

The bedrooms feature the same modern, simple and clean feeling as the rest of the house.

We absolutely love this house! Kudos to architect Matt Baran and developer Caleb Inman.

All photos courtesy of LucidPic Photography.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Color Inspiration: Yellow

It's the color of daffodils, sunshine, and Spring. In honor of this being the first day of March, I'm showing off some of my favorite yellows . . .

(image via Poppytalk)

I can't help but drool over these smooth, modern yellow cabinets. Those of you who think yellow is just for country kitchens -- think again!

The cover of the new West Elm catalog, featuring this sunny Everett chair, made me smile.

I'm so happy that CB2 has reinvented the traditional Mexican Acapulco chair . . . check out their Ixtapa chair in these delicious colors!

Our favorite yellow paint color is Laguna Yellow (Benjamin Moore 291). It really made this kitchen and dining room that we staged glow.

And speaking of Benjamin Moore, they've selected Lemon Sorbet as their color of the year. This buttery yellow brings a soft brightness to surfaces.

Do you use yellow in your home decorating? Tell us about it, in the comments below.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Singing the blues (indigo, that is!)

It seems everywhere we look we find new ideas in denim and indigo. Across fashion, furniture, accessories and decor -- the saturated rich blue is prevalent.

Indigo has long been a versatile and favorite color among designers. This indigo color palette created by legendary color expert Eve Ashcroft was featured on Remodelista, showing the wide variety of possibilities within the color family:

For a truly over-the-top indigo scene, check out John Robshaw's bedroom, featuring his own products.

(from Elle Decor, December 2012)

That headboard! Those bed linens! And that deep blue wall color!

The living room below offers a more subdued use of the powerful blue -- set off beautifully by the otherwise neutral palette.

(from Elle Decor, December 2012)

On a recent shopping trip to the Temescal district, we stopped in Esqueleto, which is featuring some beautiful dyed bags and throws from local artists Job & Boss. They are created using a traditional Japanese Shibori method.

And our good old stand-by, West Elm, also offers some great indigo treats for your home.

The Sweep Armchair, on sale right now for $594.

When it comes to fashion, look no farther than Anthropologie and this cute Patchwork Chambray button down shirt:

How do you show off your indigo? Let us know in the comments below.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Making a small home live big

Are you familiar with the saying "Less is More"? Well, last week we staged a home that really exemplifies this statement. The builders made such efficient use of the limited space that they were able to include an office, a game room, and a great outdoor area in addition to the two bedrooms, 1 bath and living room/dining room.

We chose our paint and decor color palette carefully to create an easy flow between the different sections of the house.

All photos courtesy of Lisa Ratner.

The front door opens into the living room, where we used a soothing mix of blue, grays and whites.

From the living room you can look past the beautiful wood columns (with closets inside!) into the dining room, kitchen and office. The blues, grays and whites continue, with an unexpected splash of yellow in the office.

The full chalkboard wall in the office is a fun (and useful) detail.

The two bedrooms are small but packed with character. We think the bright accent walls make the spaces have a bigger impact.

As great as the inside of the house is, it's the back deck, patio and plus room that really make it stand out among other small bungalows in the area.

The deck is accessible via french doors from the office or the master bedroom.

From the deck stairs you enter a good-sized patio that includes vegetable beds. It leads into the bonus room (doors on left), which is next to the garage.

Here's the diagram of the layout, where you can really see how well the space is used.

We are so impressed that such a small home can feel so spacious and livable.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

We love CB2's lookbook

Have you visited CB2 lately? We think they got it just right this season -- great colors, shapes and textures. Their latest catalog is full of inspiration -- here are some of our favorite spreads.

This photo shows how you can use bold and modern items in an older home with wood trim and details. The juxtaposition of old and new is exciting and fresh.

We admire how they've mixed colors here -- cool and warm tones against a neutral gray wall. The artwork ties everything together.

On an opposite note, these white walls and other neutrals get just a pop of color from the fabulous new green sofa. The expert mixing here comes in the form of texture -- sleek plexiglass, rich leather, painted wood and smooth fabric.

And if you need some pillows to inject a new feel to your bedroom or living room, look no further. CB2 has a terrific assortment (we've already picked up a few ourselves).

Friday, January 18, 2013

Spring 2013 fashion colors work in the home too!

Pantone, the world-renowned authority on color, has released its official Spring fashion color trends. And we love them.

In fact, we've been using most of these colors in our latest decorating projects -- via accent walls and accessories.

Dusk Blue
Our choice for this tone is Buxton Blue by Benjamin Moore. It makes a wonderful accent wall in a bedroom, as you can see here in our latest project . . .

(photo by Liz Rusby)
Grayed Jade
For a soft greenish blue, we really like Covington Blue, and we often use it in bedrooms as well for a calm, peaceful feeling.

(Photo by Liz Rusby)

Tender Shoots
It's no secret that we love bright greens! In another bedroom, we used Stem Green to create a bright and playful vibe.

Lemon Zest
Our go-to sunshine color is Laguna Yellow, which is bright without being too neon. We've used it in bedrooms, kitchens and offices (below).

Poppy Red
Reds can be tricky, especially if you want to find the right color for an accent wall. We made a bold impact with Million Dollar Red in this bedroom.

Of course, you can use these bright colors in a room without painting a single wall. In this living room from our latest house, we injected color through pillows, artwork and other accessories.

(photo by Liz Rusby)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Neutrals + Bright Color = A Fresh Look for an Older Home

Last week we staged a home for sale in Oakland's hot NOBE (North Oakland Berkeley Emeryville) neighborhood. It's a big old house that's been skillfully renovated, leaving many of the original details in tact. When choosing the color palette for this house, we focused on soothing neutrals -- especially grays -- complemented with pops of bold, cool colors.

The entrance hallway is painted an inviting blue.

All the trim in the living room and dining room are a medium-gray semi-gloss. We carefully chose the right accessories -- a teal tray, citron pillows, a fuchsia orchid -- to provide bright spots throughout.

The office nook features a dark gray chalkboard wall -- a great backdrop for the bold accessories.

In the master bedroom, paler gray walls are an unexpected partner to a lavender accent wall and orange rug.

A tranquil blue-green color balances the white trim and dark floors in the guest room.

And finally, in the nursery we chose a (perhaps unlikely) bright green rug and bold blue pouf to contrast the otherwise neutral room.