Before and After: A City Condo

It's time for another great Before & After from a recent project. A blank slate project is always fun for a decorator and this condo was no exception. The remit from the client was to keep this open living/dining room space simple, modern and clean. The walls had already been painted an off-white, with a single wall in dark grey, but other than that, it was wide open. The client had some art he wanted on the walls, but was happy to leave space for future purchases. This is an approach, by the way, that I'm fully behind. Your walls need not be filled if it means putting up objects or pieces that you have no connection with. You don't need to hang expensive art, or even limit yourself to pictures and paintings, but what you do hang, you should love for one reason or another. But never mind all that, on to the before and after pictures!

Before And After of a city condo - clean, modern, comfy monochromatic scheme in grey and white

 

Before And After of a city condo - clean, modern, comfy monochromatic scheme in grey and whiteWhen we said, blank slate, we meant it. There was barely a lick of furniture when we started, and even that was destined for the storage room.

 

Working with the client, we decided on a monochromatic palette of greys and whites with natural accents through wood and greenery. this is a simple scheme to use and it holds well over time. Additionally, should the client ever feel the urge to add pops of color, this would be simple to do through cushions, throws and other accessories around the space. It also allowed him to add a huge splash of color with a painting by local artist Mitchell Wiebe.

Before And After of a city condo - clean, modern, comfy monochromatic scheme in grey and white

This space is typically used for socializing (read: the TV is in another room) so we created two distinct spaces: a living area  and a small dining area that takes advantage of the space without making things cramped.

Before And After of a city condo - clean, modern, comfy monochromatic scheme in grey and white

With a big piece of art on one wall, and wall space reserved in the dining room for future purchases, the lights were kept simple - a flush mount in the living area, and this clear globe in the dining area.

Before And After of a city condo - clean, modern, comfy monochromatic scheme in grey and white

Greenery gives the space light. A small grouping like this can be built on, or even split up later.

Before And After of a city condo - clean, modern, comfy monochromatic scheme in grey and white

A simple dining table and lucite chairs keep the look light. With limited space, using pieces that have clean lines and avoid bulk helps to maximize the feel of the room.

Before And After of a city condo - clean, modern, comfy monochromatic scheme in grey and white

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Before And After of a city condo - clean, modern, comfy monochromatic scheme in grey and white

 

Before And After of a city condo - clean, modern, comfy monochromatic scheme in grey and white

When choosing plants, we kept in mind that the client travels quite a bit. We talked to staff at a local nursery to ensure we chose plants that would flourish in indirect light, and require moderate to low levels of care. Succulents, yuccas and cacti fit the bill.

Before And After of a city condo - clean, modern, comfy monochromatic scheme in grey and white

We also included an air plant, which make wonderful solitary or group displays, and require no watering in the pot, just the occasional soak and air dry.

Before And After of a city condo - clean, modern, comfy monochromatic scheme in grey and white

The bar stools gave a dose of wood to the space, while still keeping in stride with the calm palette of greys. Modern with a hint of retro, their low profile doesn't crowd the living space.

Before And After of a city condo - clean, modern, comfy monochromatic scheme in grey and white

Before And After of a city condo - clean, modern, comfy monochromatic scheme in grey and white A simple, clean modern space that is comfortable and allows the works on the wall to shine. To see more of our work, visit our gallery.

 

Mixed Style - country meets industrial

Mixed style - country and industrial together in a beautiful home. We'll give you some to follow when mixing any styles in your home, from kitchen, to bathroom and bedroom.
Mixed style - country and industrial together in a beautiful home. We'll give you some to follow when mixing any styles in your home, from kitchen, to bathroom and bedroom.

This Victorian terrace home in London is touted as industrial style, but I would argue that it's clearly got a mixed style vibe going on. You can see wonderful elements of country and industrial working together to create a comfortable and unique space. A simple color palette helps unite the spaces, and by sticking simply to two styles and mixing from there, it never look jumbled or like it's trying too hard.

In the kitchen we see a lot of traditional elements such as the cabinets, mixing with more industrial features such as the hanging lights.

Mixed style - country and industrial together in a beautiful home. We'll give you some tips to follow when mixing any styles in your home, from kitchen, to bathroom and bedroom.

Mixed style - country and industrial together in a beautiful home. We'll give you some tips to follow when mixing any styles in your home, from kitchen, to bathroom and bedroom.

White subway tiles like this can adapt to a variety of styles. With a clean white grout, they are at home in a modern kitchen, but here they are paired with a darker grout, to support the more industrial feel. The use of old stoneware bottles and metal bowls brings in a lovely country element.

Mixed style - country and industrial together in a beautiful home. We'll give you some to follow when mixing any styles in your home, from kitchen, to bathroom and bedroom.
Mixed style - country and industrial together in a beautiful home. We'll give you some to follow when mixing any styles in your home, from kitchen, to bathroom and bedroom.

In the bathroom, the plain wood cabinet could feel entirely industrial, but pickling it in a light color adds balance to the country feel, as do the taps and medicine cabinet.

Mixed style - country and industrial together in a beautiful home. We'll give you some to follow when mixing any styles in your home, from kitchen, to bathroom and bedroom.
Mixed style - country and industrial together in a beautiful home. We'll give you some to follow when mixing any styles in your home, from kitchen, to bathroom and bedroom.

Natural linens and more stoneware contrast against the barrel table and modern lamp. Achieving a mixed look can feel daunting, but follow the lead from this wonderful home - keep your color palette simple and choose just two styles to mix and you'll be on the right track in no time. See the full home tour here.

If you're thinking about making a change in your home, contact us for a free decorating consultation. We do these virtually or in person, and there's o obligation. We even send you a written report with our ideas for your space! 

Adding texture to a room.

We've all been there. You finish decorating your living room but it still seems...flat. If your room has a case of meh, the culprit may often be texture, or rather, a lack of texture. Luckily, this is not a hard interior design problem to fix, and crucially, it's an element that when done right, often leads you very correctly down the path to making your space really speak about you. I've said it before...you don't live in a hotel so why would you want your home to look like one?

Let's take a look at three examples of texture really completing the decor of a room, and adding personality at the same time.

In this first example, we have a wonderful textured rug, some metals with different sheen, velvet and even the ceramic lamp is doing its job. And let's not overlook the little cactus, doing his prickly best.

 

 

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The room below has many of the elements of the above room, but they've used textiles and wood directly on the wall as decor. A great idea! They've also got a gorgeous brass lamp that I want to rub, and some impressive greenery peeking in from the side.

 

 

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This room really went for it. Even the chandelier chain has texture. They've used faux greenery around the space, textured decor like baskets, and a rug you can practically feel under your feet by just looking at the picture.

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Each of these rooms may not be to your taste (they are not all to my taste!) but that's beside the point. They are each using a mix of rugs, cushions, textiles, metals and decor items to bring texture in to the space, while at the same time, giving each space the distinct feel of its creator. So next time you're looking at your room and thinking "wow, blah..." don't despair. Here's a quick list to ensure the interior design of your room is using texture for the best results:

  • Varied textiles - velvets, wools, knits, satins. Think of the effect you want (comfy? sexy? comfexy?) and incorporate into throws, cushions, drapery etc.
  • Rugs - if yours seems boring, replace it, or better yet, layer it with another rug of a contrasting color/texture.
  • Greenery - real or faux, though if you opt for fake, buy the best you can afford.
  • Metals - think past shiny chrome into brass, copper and pewter. Try different shapes, surfaces and sheen.
  • Skins and furs - faux furs and skins are perfectly acceptable. And for the hamburger eaters among us, cow skins and sheepskins are also widely available.

Now get out there and start purposefully fondling soft, cushy, rough or shiny items at your local vintage or decor shops. Just don't tell them I sent you.