A blog from Visual Jill, East Bay Interior Design

A blog from Visual Jill, East Bay Interior Design

Friday, January 28, 2011

Inspiration/Interpretation: Galleries

Here at Visual Jill one of our favorite decorating tricks is making a gallery. Have a bunch of random pieces of artwork scattered around the house? Put 'em in a gallery. Have family photos and your kid's artwork tucked away in drawers and boxes? Frame them and put 'em in a gallery. Postcards and mementos from your favorite trip hiding in albums? Pull them out and put 'em in a gallery. We've put together galleries for most of our clients and everyone has just loved the results!

There are many ways of designing a gallery. Below are a few different styles we've been inspired by, shown with the Visual Jill interpretation for a client.

Center a basic gallery above the sofa, buffet, mantle, etc., or in the middle of the wall.
Inspiration from ELLE Decoration, October 2010

Perfect for high ceilings, or skinny spaces between the fireplace and the wall. And if you're feeling edgy put a small piece extra low--there's no reason artwork has to always be hung at eye level!
Inspiration from ELLE Decoration, February 2011

Go ahead. Fill the whole wall. It may feel like a lot at first, but in the right space, it's absolutely stunning.
Inspiration from Maison Francaise

 *Credits: Kyoko Jackson - Photography

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

One Love: The Time Teller

"The Time Teller P" watch - Nixon

Everyone has a clock on their mobile phone, so why not go retro and wear an actual watch? This sleek, sporty, and super affordable one from Nixon is making it so much more fun to be on time, and can you believe all the great colors it comes in!!! We got the seafoam color with bright yellow hands--an edgy yet chic combination. If you live in the Bay Area, Nixon has a new retail store down on 4th Street in Berkeley that carries "The Time Teller P" plus all their other amazingly cool watches, headphones, bags, and accessories. And if you go now, they're having an awesome 40%-off sale...! Be sure to tell them Visual Jill sent you!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Controlled Chaos

Oh hello, I didn't see you sitting there...

"Summer of Love" Ottoman - Mignonne

This amazing ottoman is hardly something you don't notice! And being the color-lovers that we are, we fell for it instantly. The wild print and daring accents are not for the meek or mild, but in the right setting, this piece is totally fab:
seal lamp, yellow side table - Urban Outfitters :: yellow pillows, graphic pillow - CB2 :: "A" - Alameda Antique Fair
The wild mix of prints, colors, and styles in this 18-year-old's room could easily spin out of control, but with thoughtful coordination it confidently evokes eclectic, energetic, and trés cool.
The key is to balance bold prints (the ottoman), with subtle prints (the bedspread--I know, I never thought I'd live to see the day I called leopard a "subtle" print!), and carry the main colors throughout in solids (walls and pillows). Throw in some black and white so your eye has a place to rest (photo on the wall and graphic pillow on the bed), add your favorite whimsical flea-market and garage sale finds to mix it up, and voila! Controlled Chaos! Now go get crazy...

*Credits: Allie McCoy - Contributing Stylist, Kyoko Jackson - Photography

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

One Love: The Tribal Bracelet

Tibetan bracelets - Tibet Imports
New feature! "One Love Wednesday" is our mid-week post highlighting one thing we're really loving for the week. This week it's all about these colorful Tibetan bracelets, which are the unofficial Official Good Luck Talisman for Visual Jill this year. Everyone in the Visual Jill tribe is getting one: our designers, editors, photographers, advisers, and contributors. We love their simplicity, whimsy, and cheerfulness, and the tribal influence is so Now!

*Credits: Kyoko Jackson - Photography

Friday, January 14, 2011

Outdoor Decor: An Unexpected Room

Porches conjure up so many images: grand Southern porches with rocking chairs and porch swings and pitchers of lemonade, urban stoops piled with potted plants offering a hint of escape from the concrete jungle. To me, porches are like the window seat in a restaurant, or the cafe tables on the sidewalk. I love being able to relax and enjoy the comforts of home, while being a part (peripherally, at least) of the outside world. It's a different feeling from sitting inside, and sometimes, it's the perfect change of scenery. Here's some ideas for making an unexpected (and truly inviting) room from your porch.

A few plants go a long way in creating lush-feeling surroundings for the far end of the front porch. And do you recognize that spruce tree in the corner from our Holiday post? The porch is a great place to place your living tree until next holiday season! Throw some fun pillows on the chairs or swing, put out a cozy blanket, and you're all set.
Sketch Book pillow - West Elm :: Spruce tree - Flowerland :: Succulents and small white pots - Flora Grubb
For some easy modern art objects, we love these new hanging bubbles from West Elm. Air plants have been showing up all over the place, and they are the perfect occupants for these glass houses. When paired with some beautiful moss-covered branches they feel fresh and calming.
Bubbles - West Elm :: Air plants and mossy branches - Flowerland

Placed next to the front door, these chairs are so comfortable you might just sit and stay a while after taking off your rain boots or muddy shoes. A sunny splash of mustard yellow makes them even more enticing and inviting. I can just imagine sitting here with a friend enjoying a hot cup of coffee, fresh scones from The Cheeseboard, and the Sunday edition of the New York Times...
Mustard pillows - Anthropologie :: Solid pillows - West Elm :: Owl - Flowerland
For a bit of unexpected delight, try hanging or placing some artwork outside. This sweet, colorful canvas was a flea market find, and while it might not fit-in on a wall of Picasso's, it's perfectly at home (and wonderfully refreshing) leaning casually against the window surrounded by plants.
Painting - Alameda Antique Fair :: White pots - Ikea :: plants - Flowerland
So whether you've go a full-sized, southern-style wrap-around, or just a bit of stoop under the awning, there's no reason your porch should be ignored. A chair, a cushion, and a plant can set you up to enjoy a whole new "room" of your house, and maybe get to know the neighborhood!

* Credits: Kyoko Jackson - photography

Friday, January 7, 2011

In Full Color

It’s always bittersweet taking down the holiday decorations. Things can feel a little drab after the sparkle and shine of lights and glitter, wreaths and decorations. And yet, they’ve served their purpose and it’s time to move on to what the New Year will bring. So if you find yourself looking for a way to fill the space that the holidays left open, we’ve got one word of advice:  
It’s amazing what an infusion of color can do to bring back that festive feeling in a fresh, new way. Here are some easy ways we’ve found to start the year In Full Color...

Pillow - Klassik Living :: Sheepskin, Striped Rug - IKEA :: bookshelf - CB2 :: chair - DWR
It only takes a little shot of hot pink to make a big statement! This felted wool pillow does the trick, while still inviting you to have a seat, grab a book, and stay a while.

Cymbidium - SF Flower Mart :: Pot - Aw Pottery :: Wooden Boxes, Pillow - CB2
We love the color of this big vase, especially when contrasted with one of our Faves, orange. And Cymbidium are a great way to add some color to you home, indoor or out, because they are so hardy.

Lemons - Berkeley Bowl :: Narcissus, Flowerpot - The Gardener
As we mentioned last week, citrus fruits abound this time of year. This simple bowl full of bright yellow lemons makes a sunny vignette when paired with clean white narcissus in a yellow pot.

So instead of seeing the empty spots where holiday cheer used to be, look at the spaces as an opportunity to introduce some bright, bold color into your life. The answer could be as simple as a bowl of oranges and as lively as a plant. Take a look around. The world is full of color!

*Credits: Kyoko Jackson - photography