Wake Up Your Walls

We all know that great bones are the best starting point for a room. But not every home is bestowed with interesting bones – and we’ve all dealt with or seen downright coma-inducing walls. Walls that are so featureless that they defy any solid color. Sure, you can still make the space interesting using the right design elements, but what about the walls themselves? Well, fear not – there are so many options to be found for waking up your walls in a unique way that you have no excuse for resigning yourself to your bland-wall-induced stupor.

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First of all, an obvious choice is wallpapering the room. Beautiful wallpaper is in plentiful supply, and anything but boring or dowdy, ranging from animal inspired motifs to sharp graphic patterns.

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A great do-it-yourself option is painting your own wallpaper – really, it’s possible. Not only are wall stencils vastly cheaper and available in a variety of looks, but you can easily play with layout and color – talk about creative control.

Wallpaper2

Take the opportunity to add a unique touch – using a metallic paint could instantly add luxe and glamour.
Wallpaper3

Or play with using a chalkboard paint – building texture right onto your wall.

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Framing a large chunk of wallpaper is a beautiful way to liven up the walls. It brings so much more impact than a piece of ordinary wall art, and looks great in panels.

Wallpaper8

Wallpaper9

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 Bonus: it’s the perfect way to affordably work in a wallpaper that you completely love.

Moulding

Moulding can add flair in any number of imaginative ways. Some clever ideas here.

OmbreWall2

I love the fresh innovation of an ombré wall – heck with deciding which chip on the paint strip to go with – use ’em all! This grand idea is from DIY expert Erica Domesek.

MapWallpaper

Maps in a room are sophisticated but don’t have to be stuffy – they’re exciting and interesting, like this wallpaper-esque collage of tacked on maps. (Walked through here.)

MapMural

And check out the graphic punch that this map mural packs onto this wall! (DIY here.)

Roll up your sleeves, get your hands dirty (or at least chalkboard-paint-splattered) and liven up your walls!

Interior Design When It Sizzles

The 1964 film “Paris When It Sizzles” was not particularly well received when it hit the big screen, and not undeservedly – it is as one critic described it: “contrived, utterly preposterous and totally unmotivated.” Audrey Hepburn, arrayed in a myriad of Givenchy stunners as she flits about “scriptwriter” William Holden’s spacious Paris apartment, brightens things up a bit, as does a hilarious cameo by Hollywood legend Tony Curtis. But the real star of the film – and what makes it halfway watchable – is the stunning apartment that Hepburn and Holden inhabit during half the film (when they’re not lost in fantasy-flashbacks in which they’re fighting trench-coated spies and chasing vampires…like I said, not an Oscar contender.)

It’s apparent that a considerable amount of thought went into the apartment’s set design, in which each new camera angle reveals another impeccably decorated nook of cool French-glam. Basically, it’s the Paris apartment you’ve always dreamed of. I couldn’t help seeing if I could find pieces that evoke some of the feel of that apartment in modern terms. Anyone in the market for a luxuriously decorated Paris apartment?

Entryway

ParisWhenItSizzlesEntryway

1. Wall Art 2. Chest 3. Lantern

Sitting Area

ParisWhenItSizzlesSittingArea

1. Lamp 2. Mirror 3. Settee 4. Accent Table 5. Rug

Living Room

ParisWhenItSizzlesLivingRoom

1. Sofa 2. Table 3. Sconce 4. Bar Cart 5. Rug

Bedroom

ParisWhenItSizzlesBedroom

1. Headboard 2. Mirror 3. Ottoman 4. Rug

Style Equation: The Workspace

Your home office should be a place that inspires you, helps you focus and accomplish the tasks you set aside to work on. Since both what you use your home office for and what environment keeps you the most productive are so widely varying, everyone’s workspace is, and should be, unique, inspiring, and functional for them. Here are a few style equations to make your workspace a place that inspires you.

CleanAndSimpleDeskSmall
If you like a clean workspace, architectural furniture pieces in unobtrusive neutral colors work well. A glossy white lamp adds some polish.
ModAndColorful
If color inspires and stimulates you try a mod graphic print and a brightly colored lamp. Go for a streamlined desk to ground the look.
ClassicAndGlam
To inject a little modern glamour into a workspace, accessorize a mid-century desk with a high-shine lamp and printed ikat chair.

Bookcase 101: Ten Designer Tricks for Styling

Holy Smokes, I’m not sure what it is, but boy people sure do struggle with accessorizing shelves. Too much, too little, too small too big – it can be overwhelming to try to balance the proportion, color and volume of a styled bookcase. It takes practice, but with a little study you can achieve a well-styled bookcase that finishes, rather than detracts from the room.

1. Remove everything from your shelves (and realize they need a good dusting…) Starting with a blank canvas will help you see the space anew and replace only what you love.

reclaimed wood bookcase

2. Edit your books. Relegate paperbacks to your nightstand. Organize your books into several stacks and sort by size.

Book stack cake. Looks so real!
3. Place your largest items – a grouping of books, storage baskets, vases, larger framed photos – on the bottom shelves to ground your bookcase.

bookcase

4. Use the top shelf to visually “frame” the bookcase by running small books of similar heights across the top.

natural wood bookcase

5. There is more than one way to skin a cat – and stack a book. Stacking books in varying directions can add interest while cutting down the need for too many cluttering accessories.


6. Layer it – layering some objects of varying heights in front of and behind each other can turn a lackluster shelf into a great vignette.

bookcase styling

7. Group things in odd numbers. This balances the shelf visually and keeps it from falling flat.

bookcase

8. Make it personal. Reserve a couple of shelves to just showcase things you truly enjoy –a family photo or a statuette. Finish off with small items, but use sparingly! (A pretty shell or a vintage clock, maybe.) And please. No stuffed animals.

Uttermost Blue Blue Elephants Decorative Object, Set Of Two...Bellacor $103.40 Sale PricePromotional Radiance Silver Plated Family Photo Frame | Customized Picture Frames | Promotional Picture Frames

9. Peruse the home decor aisles of Target, Crate & Barrel, and Ikea for inexpensive and seasonal items. Check out local budget bookstores for reasonably priced hardback coffee table books.

Why do I always want Target's decor?
10. Give your stuff some breathing room. Leave at least 10-15% of each shelf open.

bookcase - seashore

Step back and assess. Is there too much stuff on one side? Too many black things on that one shelf? Is it too symmetrical? Don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect right away. None of these rules are hard and fast – you may prefer your shelves to have more books, less books, fuller, emptier, themed-by-color or jumbled up. Take a few days and play around with it!

Unleash Your Design Diva

EinsteinQuote

It’s really shocking how many people I come across that say to me, “Oh, I’m not like you, I’m not creative.” Why do so many of us default to this statement? Maybe it feels like an arrogant thing to say about yourself if you’re not an expert or critically acclaimed. Maybe it’s the common misconception that the “creative” people are the people that have the magical ability to create something out of nothing, like pulling a rabbit out of a hat. The truth is that most of the creative process is about combining the many things that have inspired you (experiences, things you’ve seen or heard) and creating something unique from them. So intrinsically, we are all unique and creative beings, because we all have a unique set of experiences and vision.

Sometimes we may see something creative and think, “I could never think of that, so I must not be creative.” What we don’t realize is that many sources, experiences, trial, error, and failures all combined to create that person’s unique vision. Einstein’s famous statement, “the secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources” really is true in this sense. Creative people don’t possess a magical unattainable power. The world is not divided into the creative and the uncreative. The distinction lies merely between those who are creatively productive and those with unexpressed potential. Don’t ask, “Am I creative?” Ask, “What inspires me to create?”

From my experience most people know what they don’t like. Few people know what they do like, and even fewer know why. The secret is to explore and discover. You will distill your own unique sense of design. I’ve catalogued some of the best ways to kick-start this process and help you unleash that inner design diva!

InspirationBinder

1. Start a design journal. Get a three ring binder and designate it as your design journal. Consider it a working record that serves to help you discover and understand your own personal design style, a resource from which you can continually add to and draw from.

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2. Open yourself to inspiration. Get inspired by exposing yourself to new things and recognizing the way these things make you feel.  For starters, design magazines, websites and  blogs are a great resource. Examine these resources and allow them to  speak to you in some way. Open yourself to a variety of work from different designers and artists as they pull from many sources and life perspectives to create spaces that are unique and fresh.

PictureCollage

3. Seek visual inspiration. Clip or print  pictures from these resources (tear sheets is the industry term) and put them in your journal. Circle, scribble, draw arrows to the things you like; it may be a particular color combination, pattern or  piece. This is key to identifying your style. If you like something (but are not quite sure why) still include it and revisit it later. These “unusual” things are the fun mysteries that help  define our deeper sense of style!

If you’re not into physically cataloguing all your inspiration (or you just don’t have the time,) Pinterest is a wonderful tool that makes cataloguing and organizing the inspiring images you find around the web really easy. It’s also an incredible place to find more inspiration than you could ever keep up with, and is quickly becoming a must-have source of inspiration for creative work.

PinterestSnip

To find out what inspires us at Jacobson Interiors, don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest!

UnusualTable UnusualTreeHouse

4. See the unusual in usual things. Look at the everyday things around you with new eyes and ask new questions about old things. “What else could I use this for? If I arranged these differently what would they look like?” You will find that a simple change of perspective will create a new view of the world.

UnusualFrames UnusualFireplace

5. Generate and capture new ideas. Once you start to understand why you find different things beautiful or inspiring you will naturally apply this knowledge to your own personal sense of style,  unique to only you! Write them down, snap a picture or draw them simply in your journal to preserve the process and look for ways to apply them to your life.

Folders

6. Break things up.  After a while your journal will begin to fill up with inspirations and your own ideas you now have the ability to sort and categorize these things in any way you want. You can break it up by  rooms, colors or moods.

DesignDiva

Now you have a foundation for building on basic design principles to help you make the spaces around you into places you truly want to live in – spaces that make you feel good to be in. Personal creativity is not about intelligence or information. Creativity is about being fully alive, living courageously. The word “inspiration” is from the Latin spiritus, meaning “breath, courage, the soul.” What is it that calls forth your courage and trumps your fear of sharing your soul? Knowing this is the key to discovering the design creativity that is waiting to be expressed in your home, through you!

From Red Carpet to Room

“I’ve long believed that the eye runs naturally from the catwalk to the kitchen.” Anna Wintour, Editor of US Vogue

Glance back through the decades and you’ll find a strong link between fashion and interiors – the glamour of the forties and fifties gave way to the mod lines of the sixties, and today fashion giants like Missoni, Christian Lacroix and Versace have all tried their hand at interiors. This year at the Oscars, stars turned out in gorgeous gowns that set a new bar for red carpet style. Barely-there pale pastels came out in full force, and metallics brought a fresh edge to neutral tones. So, how can interior design take a note from the Oscars looks?

The biggest trend of the night was soft romantic colors. Interiors that play up combinations of soft, neutral-toned pastels allow a room to feel light, airy, and open without falling flat. To keep the look modern and grounded, add some graphic pattern or a pop of black and white.

Jessica Chastain #Oscars   Amy Adams #Oscars  Jennifer Lawrence #Oscars

Lonny office   love it all   DIY Tufted Ottoman

If you really want to incorporate a red-carpet-worthy moment into your interiors, check out our top ten red-carpet-to-room transformations:

1. Billowy Drapes – Capture the breezy, voluminous elegance of Jennifer Lawrence’s Dior look with billowy drapes.

OscarsJenniferLawrence

2. Glamorous Touches – Deep tones and facted-glass accents evoke smokey glamour.

OscarsJenniferHudson

3. Purple Punch – Take a nod from Jennifer Garner and use this pitch-perfect grape hue to immediately brighten the mood.

OscarsJenniferGarner

4. Metallic Accents – muted metallics give a sophisticated urban edge with a hint of luxe.OscarsStacy

5. Sculptural Pieces – an all-white sculptural accent provides sharp visual interest without using pattern or color.

OscarsCharlize

6. Golden Girl – an all-out-luxe showstopper like this needs little else to complement it – except maybe an accent of deep espresso like Catherine Zeta-Jones’s wavy locks.

OscarsCatherine7. Shades of Lilac – layering various shades and textures of the soft hue creates a look that is romantic and soothing.

OscarsAmy

8. Dark Drama – This head-to-toe charcoal number made a dramatic statement, while sequins added light and kept it from going drab. Try a graphic area rug to add drama while still letting light into the room.

OscarsNaomi

9. Vintage Flair – use pink and gold to evoke the whimsical, girly vintage vibe of this look.

OscarsKerry

10. Nude Accents – Nude neutrals with just a twinge of peach add warmth without being too saccharine-sweet.

OscarsJessica

Luxe Details

Don’t forget your accessories! Those little extras that finish the look provide plenty of inspiration for adding interest to a room.

Metallic Texture

OscarsClutch

Floral Finish

OscarsPin

Blue Above

oSCARSjENNIFEReARRINGS

New Year, New Look, New Color

The new year is in full swing, and so is the new Jacobson Interiors blog! We’ve got a fresh new look and a New Year’s resolution to match. Expect more posts on what’s brewing in the design world and at Jacobson Interiors, and special features like reader Q&As and giveaways in 2013.

If you’re still suffering from some New-Year’s-fever and need to punch up your interiors, there’s no better place to start than at Pantone. Every year the color-matching giants at Pantone cook up a new “color of the year” in a secret meeting of representatives from various nations’ color standards groups.

This year’s favored shade? Emerald!

Most identifiable as a rare and valuable gemstone, emerald is associated with not only luxury and wealth, but conversely with its abundance nature – evoking a feeling clarity and simplicity. Pantone is describing their choice as, “Lively. Radiant. Lush…A color of elegance and beauty that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony.”

So whether you’re wishing for a respite from the complex urban landscape, or just want to add a trendy layer of luxe to your décor, the Emerald City is the place to be. Here are some different ways to embrace emerald, from the kitchen to the living room.

1. Lively and radiant: Keep it simple – bring in the color naturally as done here with gorgeous flowers and a luscious fruit bowl.

2. Lush: For a bolder application, envelope your walls with the shade. For clarity, keep everything else neutral.

3. Balance and harmony: Embrace the zen of emerald – it pairs beautifully with grays, whites and muted yellows or blues.

4. PUNCTUATE: a simple accessory such as a throw pillow or blanket can do the trick 

What not to do with Emerald? Well, we’re thinking something like this might be too permanent a commitment:

NicholeSignature

Local Artist Jolinda Linden’s select works available this week at Bellevue’s Haystack Antiques!

Amongst many, one  of the best things about my job are the awesome artists and craftspeople my world collides with. Artist  Jolinda Linden, is case in point. I had the beautiful pleasure of meeting her acquaintance   last year via a mutual friend. Aside from the ironic fact that  she lives in a home my husband and  I built and designed 10 years ago, she’s not only wildly talented but drop dead gorgeous. Almost to the point that you wish you could dislike her but damn….  turns out she’s NICE too! ugh….  not just nice, but genuine nice … then you see her works and  game over. You’re sold.

The uber- talented and beautiful Jolinda Linden

For those of you that know or are familiar with her  you get what I’m talking about . For those that don’t  her art is best described as “two-dimensional” sculpture.  Comprised  of small  unique ceramic components that are meticulously hand created  into multi-level compositions her fantastic works are showcased in galleries across the US and Canada and sell for  thousands … but (and here’s the clincher  for the rest of us)  you can have a piece of Jolinda through The Jolinda Linden Studio Sale hosted at Haystack Antique on Old Main in Bellevue (Debbie Nordstrom’s  new and adorable  temporary “pop-up”  location cross from 7-11).

Haystack Anqtiques location on Main Street across from 7-11. Cute huh?

This studio sale is a  compilation of Jolinda’s remnants of larger works and installations  and available beginning Thursday August 3rd at 11:00 am.  Ranging in size from 8 x 8 to 11 x 13 inches these  renditions are  priced far below gallery at only $200 – $250.  Also for sale are her uniquely designed  photo albums and greeting cards; creative gems in themselves!  Here’s a sneak peek … so grab a slurpee, come on over to Haystack on Thrusday and don’t miss out on this special opportunity!

Just a day in the life….

I’m often teased about the glamourous life of a designer (as I began typing this my 10 year old  barged in, informed me of what a hideously inadequate  mother I am and slammed the door )  — does the kid have timing or what?? — So I thought I’d let you in on a little of the work that goes on in a day around them (t)here parts (said in my best John Wayne voice)…

Here’s my desk today.  Not glamourous at all exclusive of the gorgeous lamp I bought last winter. It’s got a crystal rock base and an intricately floral  embrodered silk shade in my favorite blue hue  which makes me oh so happy (apparently cobblers children have no shoes but they do have expensive, gorgeous lamps.) So, despite how  type A , obsessive compulsive, anal retentive  I claim to be  about organization and orderliness, this is usually what my working area looks like (it’s also indicative that I actually have work   — therefore I’m also very thankful for the mess).

God Bless this mess....

The other angle

CUSTOMIZING:

Sketching, drawing, conceptulaizing spaces for clients; its the language of design and how  I communicate. Unfortuanately I’m not very good at (the sketching part)  and really wish I was. If I TRY it looks like this:

 

 

 

 

and I DREAM about my drawings looking like this:

But they USUALLY look like this….

Drawing is a minor peice of the puzzle however. Conceptualizing  on the other hand is what sets designers apart from other creatives. It’s how you customize a space for each client that makes it unqiue and special (fortunately this part I am good at).

PROPOSING:

New design projects often involve a bit of courting and dating — opening a clients  eyes to  fresh ideas and getting them on board.   Once they’ve  committed it really becomes a marriage of sorts. I am recently embarking on a  new  relationship with the Smith’s. New construction, clean modern lines, great space. They are deviating from their overly  traditional “go to” aesthetic to something more transitional  so I’m very excited about this one.

CONCEPTUALIZING:

Conceptualizing (envisioning the space) is something that few are able to do well. I’m working on a home  office project right now and  we’re re-covering the walls in a gorgeous slightly pink  color sisal wallpaper. The starting point was an amazing  pink  toned  oriental rug I purchased from Safaveih in NYC. We’re utilizing  the clients own modular office system  but embelishing the room with an romantic  capiz shell chandelier and yummy cream colored custom designed chaise lounge… the process of drumming  up  all those ideas  is what’s called  conceptualization. And why  I am   brain dead at the end of the day  get paid the big bucks. *cough cough*

SPECIFIYING:

Making the concept reality is called specifying. Sourcing  the  furniture, fabrics and finishes that you have “conceptualized” takes time and care. Once I’ve presented concepts to a client and they approve I assign all details to various suppliers to get quotes. This phase is the lions share of time spent on a a project as the devil is in the details. Every change the client makes in the specifications necessitates  revisions to things like the RFQ (request for quote)  PO (Purchase order) CFA (cutting for approval) which also adds time to the project. Most clients are able to review the choices and make a decision. Others need more time and more choices which is okay but impacts timing and budget.  This project moved very quickly and efficiently   in the ‘specifiying’ stage and turned out just amazing for  one of my  very favorite clients! Really exciting.

INSTALLING

Installing is hugely stressful the big payoff! Coordinating deliveries, making sure everything arrives on time,  in perfect condition and  the client loves the outcome  is the final phase of design. For larger projects, I usually kick the client out  so I can unpack, arrange and stage thier new space accordingly — I love it when they are surprised!  I’m continuing to finish up details and installations for this local project.  It’s all coming together just beautifully. I love this part!

so there you have it! GLAM -O -RAMA at its best!

The Incredible Lightness of White…..

After last week’s  wintry, pristine  snowfall I guess I’ve got WHITE on the brain.

Although I  cherished every moment of the relaxing “forced vacation”; reading screaming children, baking 40 loads of laundry, crackling fire a freaking huge mess in every corner of the house   I’m happy  to see the last of the  fluffy stuff  melt into the ground as we all know in the end its  really just a big fat PITA  and relieve the thirsty winter grass.   Plus  I’m painstakingly aching for any  glimmer of evidence that spring is around the corner….a sprig? … a bud? ….anything? anything???….. but until the pansies bloom, the current snowstorm has left me  obsessing about snow white  interiors.

twisted perhaps, but I thought quite funny???

ok… back to interiors… A monochromatic palette is truly my design eye’s happy place.  It’s peaceful, it’s fresh, a beautiful canvas of purity. Many of my clients admire it as well but seem to be afraid of it — and surprisingly not from the practical standpoint of how easy it would be to dirty  it — but more from fear they’ll end up with a surgical suite in lieu of a living room.

Be not afraid! Here are user friendly tips  — avec images magnifique — to inspire us how to live  beautifully in a world of white.

First and Foremost ….one must realize that all whites are not created equal. Whites fall into two camps: Warm (those with yellow or red undertones) and cool (with blue or black undertones). The warm whites  instill comfort and  the cooler  are best for crisp, ultra modern, minimalist spaces. Use caution when  mixing the two in the same room as the warmer white will start to look dingy in contrast to its sharper blue – toned counterpart.

To distinguish a “warm” from a “cool”: white,  compare paint chips under natural light lying atop a piece of quality bright white copy paper ; the underlying tones will be apparent. When combining several shades of white in a single room, try varying sheens, (flat, matte, semi-gloss). It might seem in significant but  those slight discrepancies will reflect light  differently and create interest in the monochromatic room.

Don't be intimidated! (gulp?)

Vary textures to ward off any chill. In my own designs I generally  prefer warm whites to  cool and  I achieve this feel by integrating a variety of fabrics and finishes. Linen in all shades of light (from white to cream to beige) is one of my all time favorite looks…. and introducing organic elements into the space is a design MUST  for softening the edge and breathing life into the a neutral space. Examples;  stone planters, driftwood accents, plants, a hand carved side table — all of the above will really transform the room into something special.

Axel Vervoordt, grand seigneur of the design world, has perfected the art of integrating organic materials into his always neutral design schematics. Just breathtaking!

The natural touches create interest, add dimension and really soften the space.

Design godess Kelly Hoppen brings in "organic" elements with greenery and stone planters.

Love the reclaimed wood coffee table and the zen symmetry of the 3 potted grass planters.

I simply covet these stone planters. Especially when introduced as an accent into (semi) contemporary spaces. Jennifer West showroom; Seattle Design Center

White can expand a space.  In a world of  white  you’re not as  conscious of walls and boundaries —  a  room that might otherwise seem small feels  bigger and much more modern. I adore  pale rooms where select pieces of  furniture standout  like sculpture.

The curvature in the lines of the simple accent chair punctuates the room and rounds out the simplicity. Kara Mann Interior Design.

The Eva zeisler coffee table is artwork in itself.

White creates a unifying atmosphere. White lets you read the simplicity or the complexity of a space as you will  pay more attention to the space instead of surfaces. A muted palette lets you see all the amazing  things that you otherwise might have missed.

The interior palette of this home allows the water to be the main attraction. Sheer perfection!