A blog from Visual Jill, East Bay Interior Design

A blog from Visual Jill, East Bay Interior Design

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Local Hero: Chez Panisse

Chez Panisse, and its founder Alice Waters, are known around the world for celebrating food (and those who grow it) in an original way. We feel lucky, and proud, that the revered Chez Panisse archway is just around the corner from us. Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, this restaurant and cafe offers a dining experience that is truly intimate, special and pampering.

The history of those 40 years, including celebrations, wine collections, and the sustainable food movement, are well documented in the gorgeous new book 40 Years of Chez Panisse: The Power of Gathering. Featuring photographs and profiles of the various chefs and supporters that make up the Chez Panisse family, celebrity guests, and the beautiful linocut artwork of Patty Curtan, the book is a feast for the eyes.

Pictured below are two pages from the book, featuring  a menu created for the (then) first ladies and some scrumptious food shots.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A First Apartment

Is there anything more exciting than moving into your first apartment? A new start, a fresh perspective . . . but what to do about those bland floors and white walls? Just take the stuff you have, mix in some new accessories, throw in a few vintage pieces -- and you've transformed a sterile, ubiquitous space into a pad that reflects your personal style.

For example, take this living room: it started as a basic box, but styling magic changed it into a comfortable, colorful hang-out spot.
Sources: Ikea lamps and couch, West Elm rug, vintage flea market art, Crate and Barrel Marimekko pillow, handmade leopard pillow.

And in the bedroom, a happy color wall makes the other accessories pop!
Sources: vintage mid-century chair, CB2 bedding and side table, Ikea lamp, wall color: Bali Hai from Glidden.

Since the dining room is also serving as a home office, we chose to paint one wall a warm red to help differentiate the two spaces.

Sources:  Ikea chairs and tables, CB2 clock, wall color: Old Glory from Glidden.

And don't overlook the entryway! This is a great focal point for colorful accessories, as seen here:
Sources: Vintage stool from Mignonne, plexi console from CB2, pop art from Ikea and our personal stash.

Although the results look like weeks of work, we pulled together this apartment in one weekend! Your first apartment can be your first interior style statement -- just try different combinations, mix old with new, and introduce some color to your world.

All styling by Allie and Jill McCoy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New Lighting from Old Junk

Never before have there been more eclectic choices in pendant lighting. We're especially excited about the trend toward creating fixtures from vintage or cast-off materials. Check out this Jupiter Scrap Light from Graypants (featured in this month's Dwell), made from upcycled cardboard boxes:

Another cool creation: the Mixer Ceiling Pendant (made from -- you guessed it -- a repurposed industrial stainless mixer) from local favorite Omega Too:
And the Workstead 3-Arm Industrial Chandelier is made from repurposed industrial joints and vintage brass sockets (found via Remodelista).

Have an old wire basket or stainless bucket hanging around? Instead of banishing it to your basement, bring it to your local lighting store. Many can turn it into a one-of-a-kind fixture for you.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Time for a Change?

Is your space feeling a little stale? Wish you had the time (and budget) to completely redecorate? Well, we have some great news: you can freshen up your rooms with minimal investment -- and have fun doing it. It's all about color.

Check out the difference in this dining room . . . we changed the paint color (and some accessories) and completely transformed the space.

And just switching out the accessories on and around our beloved Karlstad sofa is a great way to signify a change in seasons (or mood). What makes it interesting is the mix -- these pillows are from CB2, Ikea, ABC Carpet, Urban Outfitters and the Alameda flea market -- but all fall within the same color theme.

Try it yourself -- grab some color swatches and your paintbrush. Visit your favorite store. Just a small investment in time and money can make your space feel new again.

Friday, September 2, 2011

We're Seeing Spots!

Have you noticed? Leopard is everywhere . . . adorning chairs and sofas . . .

. . . and on some pretty fierce shoes!

You can be as bold as you want to be, but even a touch of this animal print can really make an impact. Check out how Elle Decor incorporated a leopard pillow with a gallery wall, then look at our interpretation: