Home tour: Florissant apartment

I recently had photos taken of our apartment in Geneva and I’m so excited to share a little tour today of our dining and living space! I was fortunate to be able to reuse most of our furniture from our old apartment in Brussels when we moved last year. It’s never easy to make it all work in a new place (especially when you are a bit of a furniture hoarder like me!). I’ve had to add a few new elements but I was lucky to find a space that was similar in style and size, and it all came together. As in all my designs, there is a mix of high and low end, vintage and new, purchased and made. I’ve tried to include as many sources as possible below but let me know if you’re curious about anything!

Florissant apartment

Ready for a look around? Let’s start in the living room. This is somewhat of a narrow space with a large window at one end, but has a beautiful marble fireplace which I chose as the focal point. I flanked it with bookshelves (my favorite Ikea hack) to add balance and height. I often base a design on a fabric and this one is no different – the blue, green and pink floral cushions inspired all my choices for furniture and decor. The sofa and armchairs are from Ethan Allen, lamps are from Zara Home, brass mirror is thrifted, coffee table is from Ikea and the rug is from Micasa.

Florissant apartment

Here is another view of the living room. I tried to pick up the color palette with accessories, like the blue vases and little topiaries from Maison du Monde and the Mount Fuji print.

Florissant apartment

Like most European apartment buildings, we only have windows on one side of each room which can make a space feel dark. I opted not to paint to keep things bright (plus we don’t know how long we will rent) and was able to use light colored curtains I had made for our previous  apartment. Thank goodness as that is a lot of fabric!

Florissant apartment

This is the corner next to the window in the living room which lent itself nicely to creating a quiet niche. We found this desk from La Redoute and it worked well with several pieces we already had, including a simple Ikea lamp (unfortunately no longer available), a framed Franz Kline poster and a thrifted chair I painted black.

Florissant apartment

Moving on to the dining room – it is open to the living room and our family room, so I wanted to tie the three spaces together through color and style of furnishings. The centerpiece is this fabulous chandelier that can be seen from every room. You may remember the somewhat crazy story about how I got it to Geneva – totally worth it! The settee, buffet and mirror are from a thrift store and the lamps are from Safavieh (via WestWing). The table was our one big investment – a Saarinen tulip table from Knoll (via Teo Jakob in Geneva) but I felt better about the cost by pairing it with Ikea chairs in Bemz covers.

Florissant apartment

Our dog is usually perched on this settee soaking up the afternoon sun.

Florissant apartment

This has to be my favorite view, shot from the sofa in our family room. It’s where I often flop at the end of the day and is a welcome distraction from kids cartoons on the TV. Plus I get to stare at that brass chandelier even more!

Florissant apartment

Some of you may be wondering why we have a portrait of a dog in our home. My husband always worries that everyone will think we are crazy dog people! It’s actually a painting by the Belgian artist Thierry Poncelet (this one is a framed poster) which we got when living in Brussels as we have a cocker spaniel. It was a joke gift but I love having it somewhere I see everyday. Plus I think he’s a good guardian of the bar!

Florissant apartment

This is a shot of our family room which is connected to the dining room. The Ikea bookcases and mirror are repurposed and the sofa, benches, lights and rug were new. The blue lattice cushions are from Marks & Spencer and I made the floral ones with this pretty fabric.

Florissant apartment

I really enjoy our apartment, maybe even more than the one we had in Brussels. It’s become a warm and comfortable space we love, and most importantly it’s become our home.

Follow Friday: My favorite Instagram accounts

I’m totally hooked on Instagram and probably spend WAY too much time scrolling through my feed, but it is such a great resource for design inspiration, spotting new trends and a little entertainment on the side. I’ve found DIY ideas and cool places to visit, been able to share my work and even met friends through this platform. While I follow lots of different types of accounts, I thought I would tell you about some of my current favorites as you might want to follow along as well!

For beautiful & unique interiors I love Jenn Feldman Designs. This is only a recent discovery but oh such a good one! Her feed is filled with photos of her amazing work and behind the scene shots. I especially love the wonderful use of art in her designs.

jenn-feldman

For DIY & vintage inspiration it doesn’t get much better than Megan Pflug. A New York based designer, Megan is so talented at making the most of small spaces and budgets. Be sure to check out her page for how she transforms little box white apartments into stunners like these.

megan-pflug

Emily Henderson is great for styling tips and budget finds. Just like her book, her Instagram feed has tons of gorgeous vignettes with lots to learn about how to arrange those bookshelves like a pro.

emily-henderson

I don’t follow many fashion Instagramers, but for a big dose of color & style I like Jennifer Lake. She takes photos with such fun backgrounds and I love seeing her feminine and elegant looks. Jenn sure makes me look at building walls differently!

jennifer-lake

For rad art, crazy videos and badass encouraging advice (plus some laughs) I always turn to Ashley Longshore. I mean how can she not be fun to watch?!

ashley-longshore

And because we all need a little food porn in our lives, Paola from Cravings in Amsterdam is one to follow. Her creations are so beautifully arranged and photographed, it almost makes you not want to eat them (I said almost!).

cravingsinamsterdam

What are your favorites on Instagram? Please let me know below!

Serene living room – Design tips to steal

I’ve followed design firm Kapito Muller for a while now on Instagram but have found myself admiring some of their recent projects, in particular this apartment renovation on New York’s Upper West Side.

The designers, Alyssa Kapito and Vivian Muller, beautifully blended refined and functional decor in the space, using texture and layering in a neutral palette to create a soothing scheme. It was part of a two-year renovation of the entire apartment and it’s worth checking out the full tour, but this is my favorite room by far. There is something so serene and calming about this design, achieved through a great use of symmetry, restrained color choices and balanced proportions.

One of the best elements in the room is the large-scale artwork by Tara Donovan, which makes a huge statement and lends pattern to the space. It’s actually an image of a slinky sculpture – how retro cool is that! And would you believe this living room is for a family with four boys?! That might seem totally crazy (especially to those of us with young kids) but it works because of durable furniture and upholstery in indoor-outdoor fabrics. Besides this designer trick, there are lots of other ideas in this room to steal for your home.

kapito-muller-home-tour_04

1. White walls don’t have to be boring! Here they work as the perfect backdrop to the creams and light greys.

2. If you have a small space, buy furniture with open legs to make the space feel more open. Plus it’s easier to clean!

3. Invest in art or a few unique pieces. Not everything has to be high-end to get a designer look. An simple Ikea sofa can work with an expensive chair or painting.

4. Mix metals! Don’t be afraid to use both silver and gold finishes in a room. Here the brass table and lamps help warm up the greys.

5. Use symmetry. Pairs of chairs, lamps, tables and even stools can help create a sense of balance and define the room.

I’ve pulled together lots of resources below for how to create a similar look (for a lot less!) in your space. An elegant design and original artwork don’t have to break the bank!

Look for less

1. Small black bowl / 2. Metallic vase / 3. Small ficus & pot / 4. Large-scale abstract art / 5. Silver geometric cushion / 6. Brass lamp / 7. Light grey sofa / 8. Grey slipper chair / 9. Brass & glass coffee table / 10. Round end tables / 11. Neutral pattern rug / 12. Pair of stools / 13. Classic style chair

Modern boy bedroom

My little guy started school this week (I can’t believe he’s three!), so I’ve finally had some time to get life organized and work on a new project. I met my latest client through a friend and was thrilled to get the brief to create a fun and colorful room for her son, who just happens to be in my son’s class! She wanted to strike a balance between a more grown-up space and one that a kid could enjoy, plus she wanted to reflect her son’s favorite things (cars!) without it getting too gimmicky. The room was a blank slate – white walls and light wood floors – with one large window, so I knew it needed a good injection of bright, cheery colors.

Inspiration for the palette came from that amazing vintage French racing poster – teal, tomato red and mustard yellow, with touches of gray and white. My client’s home is fairly modern and she likes clean lines and contemporary forms, so I kept the large furniture items simple but with a little flair. The room is on the small side so I opted for slender legs to help the space feel more open. I also incorporated space saving pieces like wall sconces, slim storage and that great fold-up seat (which is made for indoor-outdoor use so super durable!). My favorite element is the rug – what a cool, modern touch for under $400. I can’t wait to finish this one up with a few more accessories and help make it come to life! See all the links below for how to get this look yourself.

Modern boy room

1. Teal curtains / 2. Vintage race car poster / 3. Wood-effect light / 4. Metal wall lamp / 5. Gray bed / 6. Red cupboard / 7. Storage trunks / 8. Yellow & gray cushion / 9. Yellow cushion / 10. Teal cushion / 11. Red kilim rug / 12. Bed linens / 13. Toy car / 14. Convertible seat / 15. Bookshelf

Black & Gold at Zara Home

Boredom has set it at our house during these last few days of summer vacation, which has led me to start reorganizing the bookshelves for the hundredth time and of course pursing the new home decor collections online during nap time. While I’m not very impressed with the 2017 Ikea catalogue (why is there nothing new??), I am head-over-heels for Zara Home’s current collection. It’s full of glamorous black and gold pieces, and lots of Chinoiserie details – what’s not to love?! I’ve selected my favorite ten items that would add a little elegance to any room in the house. I’m seriously considering ordering #6 myself, because every mom should have a gold-plated “Do not disturb” sign for her door!

Zara new black gold

1. Black lacquered box / 2. Gold leaf tray / 3. Bathroom set / 4. Gold ceramic lamp / 5. Black bamboo mirror / 6. Gold door sign / 7. Black plaid cushion / 8. Gold coral dishes / 9. Antique-style floral rug / 10. Gold side table