A blog from Visual Jill, East Bay Interior Design

A blog from Visual Jill, East Bay Interior Design

Friday, November 23, 2012

Gift Ideas from Visual Jill

Ready or not, here it comes . . . the "official" Holiday shopping season is upon us. Today's post is all about helping you whittle down your gift list . . .  these recent discoveries and old favorites might be just right for your friends and family.

Pantone Mugs. These bright and cheery mugs give morning coffee a boost —and look great on  kitchen shelves. $90 for set of 6.

Flower vases from Anthropologie. These come in several styles; this Chrysanthemum is our favorite. $28 each.

Premium Down Ultra-light vest from Uniqlo. This great layering piece is both cozy and light. $49.90.

Birch Storage Boxes from CB2. Great for hiding treasures (or just the remote controls). $29.99 for set of 4.

Peet's Coffee. Treat the coffee-lovers in your life to the very best -- a local favorite!

Velvet pillows from World Market. These come in seven colors and are the best deal we've found for sprucing up your living room. $9.99-$29.99 depending on size.

Favorite Throw from West Elm. A great addition to any couch or reading chair! $29.00

And last but not least, why not give the gift of decor? Our very own Visual Jill Gift Certificate is just the right present for anyone who could use decorating help of any kind (finding the right furnishings, color consultations, repurposing current items, etc). Just send us an email at jill@visualjill.com and we'll have it delivered to you!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Book Review: Home by Novogratz

We just picked up the new design book Home by Novogratz, and boy are we glad we did! This book is chock-full of great ideas, tips and photos -- providing a feast for your right brain as well as practical information for your left side.

You gotta love the cover photo -- complete with the dimpled smirks of Cortney and Robert and all seven of their kids! For those of you not familiar with this dynamic design duo, the Novogratzes host their own HGTV show, Home by Novogratz, and also have a line of furniture and accessories right now in CB2. Their signature style is a modern/vintage mix, with bold accents -- most often in lighting and artwork.

I love how this book is organized. Each chapter is dedicated to one design project, and they share the budget, the goal and the client's wish list so you can really understand why they do what they do. They begin with a large photo of "Where we started" (i.e., the "Before") and end with a "Where we ended" ("After") photo. Cortney and Robert take readers through the major steps of each project, complete with photos and snappy little tips.

Each chapter also includes user-friendly info graphics like the one below.

And you even get a line-by-line breakdown of exactly how they spent the client's budget. This is a great added bonus that most designers don't share.

Here are some more treats from the book. Check out this fireplace transformation!

In this photo you see one of the Novogratzes' signature tricks: mismatching the dining room chairs -- choosing highly contrasting armchairs vs. side chairs.

How amazing is this room, created for triplets? Playful wall art (custom wall paper) and colorful lighting are also a sure sign that this room was Novogratzed.

This may be my favorite of all the excellent design books that have rolled out this past year. It has just the right balance of photography and information, and it's organized and easy to follow. If you want to be inspired and informed without being overwhelmed, this book is for you!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Mid-Century Marvelous!

It's no wonder that so many of us love mid-century modern -- the clean lines, bold colors and materials  such as teak, stainless, and molded plastic are just as chic and comfortable as they were 60 years ago. We recently had the chance to help a hip and enthusiastic couple furnish and decorate their mid-century home in Oakland -- a dream job for us!

We had fun with color in the living room. You'll see the awesome orangey-red popping up throughout the home.

Note how iconic pieces such as an Eames Lounge chair and Noguchi table mix with the destined-to-be-classic leather Karlstad sofa. We scored the paintings at Urban Home in Emeryville.

This shot shows the classic beams found in many mid-century homes.

The dining room features a clean-lined wooden table paired with molded plastic chairs (we love the surprise of two random reds among the whites!). And don't overlook the Nelson Saucer pendant and Spindle clock.

Check out the gorgeous entryway/stairway -- the windows are perhaps the best design element of all! (Although the Moooi Random Light -- a new modern classic -- is pretty nice too.)

Here's a view of the outside of the house -- and another look at those impressive windows.

We'd like to thank Bobbi Jo and Martin for allowing us into their home. It was our pleasure to help them bring color, comfort and style to their sleek mid-century jewel.

All photography courtesy of Lauren Hosmer.
Plant design by Marco Marchesini Landscape Design.