Finding Your Style

Screen Shot 2019-02-13 at 7.12.55 AM.png

More often than not, when couples sit down in our studio for a design consultation — we quickly discover they have different styles. And most often, their design styles aren’t just distinct but they are opposite, like a West-Coast Cali-vibe lover married to someone set on Southern charm. 

But we love this. It’s always a fun design challenge to not just create a cohesive design but one that reflects dual personalities. We start by finding the common denominator — what’s something they both love and agree on? And then, we find what they are each drawn to and how we can incorporate must-have aspects from both clients.

This design process means we get to know the clients really well, which we love, and we do so by taking them through a number of exercises. Pinterest is where we start, showing them galleries of images based on what spaces we’re designing. We watch for what they are each drawn to — and what they are not drawn to. This helps establish patterns for each person and we can find where they intersect. Almost always a color emerges that they both love. We also show them examples of our previous work and ask them what they like — and what they don’t. Is this kitchen way to modern? Dining space too traditional? 

Once we start to find their style — we start the compromise game. We may have discovered they both love blue, for example, so the designs reflect that vibe as the foundation. If he’s set on a leather couch with modern wood accents, maybe we jump for that piece but then soften the design with textiles and pillows that reflect her personality. 

Another trick we’ve found so unifying for most couples is to include an unexpected element in the design. If it’s a one-of-a-kind light fixture — for example — often both clients are thrilled and drawn to it, and bond over that being in their space.

Check out this dining space, as an example (shown above)! During the design presentation, immediately they both intrigued by this light fixture. The layered glass was unique and they both loved that they’d never seen it before. As for the rest of the space, we touched on his style with the modern, streamline table and chairs. We also incorporated a wallpaper that she loved, making the space welcoming and a room that reflects them both.

Screen Shot 2019-02-13 at 7.11.37 AM.png

Across CLT, we designed another dining space (shown above and below) where he was drawn to a textured light fixture and she — a bold wall color. He compromised on the bright paint for her, and she went for the light fixture and a rug he liked. The space sings to both of their styles.

For the design of Kell’s house in NoDA, Kell and her husband Brad (who designs furniture!) worked together to create cohesive spaces. While Kell is drawn to modern and eclectic, if it was up to Brad — everything would have a mid-century modern vibe.

They worked together in this dining space with chairs that have a nod to mid-century with the caps — but then incorporate Kell’s personality with the hide and curved bucket seats. They both loved the light fixture and across the space, incorporated a mid-century piece from Atomic Furnishings in Asheville.

Screen Shot 2019-02-13 at 7.22.27 AM.png

Their bedroom also reflects a unified design with them both loving the moody feel of the deep-toned walls. Off this vibe, the duo picked a mid-century piece that Brad had his eyes on with Kell’s pick: a velvet headboard and textiles that reflect her eclectic eye. It’s a pure mix of them both.

Happy Valentine’s Eve! And cheers to all the couples who have pushed our designs to the next level with your distinct personalities and love for your homes!

Florals: When To & When Not To

We’re fans of floral, it’s the truth. Give us a dark and moody floral wallpaper for a small space or to create an accent wall in all day long!

But to clarify -- we’re not in love with all floral. We have strong opinions and believe us, there’s a fine line between small prints that go towards prairie with a strong elderly vibe and those that speak modern beauty for a space. We are big fans of incorporating a natural element. In some cases, this can come in the form of wallpaper — think moody florals or botanical patterns! Here’s our best tips for when to use and when not to use florals.

1. Go Big or Not at All

The size of the print is the easiest way to balance it’s beauty. Small, tight floral patterns tend towards grandma -- run away!

Take this Myers Park bathroom we designed and just love, it’s timeless and just a tiny bit funky. But if the print had been smaller, the vibe would be completely different -- dated and not our jam. We would design this space again anyday.

2. Go Moody

While you might not think a small space is a good fit for a bit print, this bathroom proves the point. Surprisingly, windowless and tiny spaces are perfect for giant prints. The print creates cohesion and adds personality and interest.

If it’s not a small space you’re tackling, you can try wallpaper prints as accent walls (headboards in a bedroom, anyone?) in a bedroom, office, nursery even a kitchen or entryway!

3. Go botanical, not Floral

The truth is, we are all about the botanicals and less about the florals. We love the organic feel of florals and fauna mixed together in prints. Palms, tropical flowers, even some classic animals -- the whimsical, unexpected vibe is our favorite. These prints are less stuffy and timeless. More botanicals less flowers is really where are designs are headed. These prints feel more like art, more like a painting and less like wallpaper.

4. Go Abstract

Another way to stay modern is to jump for an abstract pattern -- like these Merimekko prints. We’re in love! While not perfect for every space, they are perfect for the right space and won’t go out of style.


5. Go Panel it Up

A good trick if budget is a consideration is to use judges paneling. Instead of papering an entire room or wall, paper just a section of the room by using paneling! This makes a custom art look without the cost of the entire space.

Screen Shot 2018-12-05 at 2.17.10 PM.png

Note: make sure before you fall in love with a print, you have a professional come and estimate how much you will need! Several rolls may be in the plans!  

Good luck and happy papering!