A blog from Visual Jill, East Bay Interior Design

A blog from Visual Jill, East Bay Interior Design

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sectionals for comfort and style

We're noticing that more people are choosing sectionals -- rather than sofas -- for their living spaces. A sectional is a great option if you want to include a "lounge" into your seating plan (perfect for TV watching). And when you have a sectional, you only need one other side chair, instead of two that would be next to a traditional sofa.

BoConcept allows you to create your own modular system from their pieces. We especially like the Mezzo and the Istra models, shown below.

We're also fans of the Replay sectional from EQ3:

And we think the Dual Chocolate Sectional from CB2 is just yummy!

And let's not forget the Karlstad sectional from Ikea -- one of Jill's personal favorites!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fun design, step by step

Those of us who schlep our laundry or groceries up and down our stairs every day can tend to overlook the potential of this space. Your stairwell offers a few key decorating possibilities -- along the wall, the risers, or on the steps themselves.

We often paint the stairwell wall an accent color, as we did here:

And we always highlight this wall with artwork or a photo gallery, as in these examples from our portfolio:

The most recent issue of HGTV magazine has some fun ideas for decorating your stairs . . .

How cute are those numbered stairs? And we LOVE the orange painted "banister"!

Have you tried anything creative with your stairs? Let us know in the comments below!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Home is where the ART is

One of Visual Jill's fundamental decorating tips: don't overlook the importance of artwork. Displaying just the right artwork can take your space from nice to extraordinary. This week we had the pleasure of proving this point in a home we staged.

In this Uptown home, we incorporated many original paintings, mixed media pieces and photographs from Oakland-based artist a.miguel (Alan Hall). When we hung this vibrant painting over the sofa, we literally jumped up and down because it looked so fantastic.

In the bedroom, we hung a grouping of Alan's photography instead of one large piece over the bed. The colors really stand out against the fresh yellow-green wall, and just happen to match the pillow perfectly!

This more muted painting is a great match for the kitchen, especially since the vertical lines complement the lines in the zebra-wood cabinets.

The already colorful family room receives another burst of energy from Alan's orange-and-blue piece over the sofa.

Maybe the best thing about this home is the separate "art barn" on the back of the property. Yes, a barn in the middle of downtown Oakland! The developers painted the inside, and we staged it as an artist's studio -- showcasing more of Alan's work.

We love Alan's art and are thankful we were able to use it to add the extra "WOW" factor to the space.

Some tips for choosing the right artwork for your space:

  • Consider size -- if you have an entirely open wall, one small or medium-sized piece won't have the impact you need. Try one or two larger pieces, or a grouping of smaller ones.
  • Consider color -- the art doesn't have to completely match the other pieces in the room, but it should include at least a touch of one or two colors being used. Artwork is a great way to pick up the accent colors throughout the home.
  • Consider texture -- use art as a way to introduce contrasting textures. If the room includes glass or mirrors, try hanging a rougher mixed media piece. If the room showcases natural materials such as jute, leather or linen, a sleek black-and-white photo would be a great complement.
  • Consider personal meaning -- when you can, choose pieces that are meaningful to you (created by someone you know, purchased on a trip, representative of a different culture, etc.). This guarantees that your space will be one-of-a-kind.

(all photos courtesy of Lisa Ratner)