Here We Go Again, With A Little Help From Arhaus

When we bought our 100 year-old center entry colonial 8 years ago, we anticipated working on it over time to make it a fit for our family. But lately I feel like we've been perpetually under construction. Our last project, which started with a new garage and expanded to a concrete drive, new landscaping, redesigned blue stone patio and painting our entire exterior, lasted twice as long as expected.

Just a garage

Just a garage

Well, here we go again. This next project, our last in this house, includes tearing off an existing sunporch, rebuilding it as a fixed, separate-entrance studio space for Ash Street Interiors and expanding and reconfiguring a master suite above. Whenever we do a project here my goal is to maximize space, so I worked with our architect on an open concept master bath and closet using furniture pieces instead of a traditional closet build out. Demo begins next week so I figured I better start working on my design concept. I wanted something a little different than my usual style for this space and not overly feminine. And since I drive almost all of the design decisions in the house, with the exception of the family room fish mounts, I wanted to give a nod to the modern rustic vibe favored by Mr. Ash Street. 

I love Arhaus for their rustic well-made pieces. They carry some of my favorite hide ottomans, rugs and chairs for adding a bit of that modern mountain vibe to a room. I looked there first for the Prairie Hide Ottoman and Darthmore Tray and ended up scheming an entire master closet layout from their sale pieces. Two of these Athens Modular Triple Display Cabinets, retrofitted with my favorite lucite hanging rods from Lux Hold Ups and backed in the fabulous embossed Kissimmee wallpaper from Thibaut, would make a killer closet storage piece. The oversized Serano Antique Frame Mirror has just the right amount of weathered shine and a slim enough profile that I could fit two into the design plan.  

I'm imagining these open Palmer Bookcases for purses and boxes, flanking a built-in feature I've designed to store shoes and jewerly. The plush Sheepskin Rug and Pierce Upholstered Benches, recovered in Schumacher Newport Stripe, would round out the short wall providing both seating and storage. I fell in love with the antiqued glass beauty of their Laila Chandelier and while I'm not sure it will fit in the closet space, I added it in as a placeholder for the master plan (can't you just picture it above a bed?).

1. Arhaus Industrial Globe Pendant 2. Custom Cerised Island 3. Carerra Marble 4. Custom Pulls from Nest Studio

1. Arhaus Industrial Globe Pendant 2. Custom Cerised Island 3. Carerra Marble 4. Custom Pulls from Nest Studio

A cerised island with carerra marble top and custom hardware - lit from above by a pair of fabulous Arhaus Industrial Globe Pendants - adds more storage, counter space and task lighting, making this plan a total rustic glam winner. Click through the links to all my amazing Arhaus finds and follow along with this latest project here on my blog and on my Insta @ashstinteriors. The next big scheme is for our brand new studio space!

 

North Shore Tour

I'm kicking off a regular feature on the blog today - North Shore Tour - highlighting some of the best interiors in and around the North Shore of Chicago. Each month I'll feature friends and clients with gorgeous spaces who have a serious love for design. With some exciting kitchen remodel projects on our 2017 calendar, what better way to kick off the feature than by highlighting some of my favorite kitchens of 2016. Here we go!  

BLUE AND WHITE AND BEAUTIFUL

POP OF PINK

HISTORICAL RESTORATION

WHITE AND BRIGHT LUXURY BUILD

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SIMPLE AND SERENE

CLASSIC AND CONTEMPORARY

Next up, I'll be showcasing the kitchen of a friend with impeccable taste who designed and styled the space with her own amazing eye for interior design!

Wisteria Style

I love a clean, relaxed coastal style with a touch of mid-century modern. I often work natural woods, soft fabrics, sand/sky palettes, natural elements and subtle nods to the ocean into my designs. Coastal doesn't have to be kitschy and interiors don't all have to be To-The-Trade. You can achieve the classic, unfussy look by incorporating retail pieces, and with nary a seashell in site. One of my favorite online sources for achieving the coastal look is Wisteria. I enjoy putting together a personal, curated room that looks as if it were collected over years of time and travel, so I generally cast my net wide while sourcing. But a quick look through my own home shows I keep coming back to Wisteria again and again for key pieces that take me back to my years of growing up by the ocean. 

Shoreline Wall Art in kitchen by Ash Street Interiors

Shoreline Wall Art in kitchen by Ash Street Interiors

At 60"x 48" this hand painted piece dominates the eat in area of our kitchen and its ethereal quality and gorgeous colors make a grand statement in the otherwise white space. We were days away from completing the kitchen remodel when I spotted this piece in the catalog and instantly ordered it, knowing the oversized canvas would be the perfect finishing touch to the new kitchen design.

 

Aquatic Bird Print - in Sitting Room by Ash Street Interiors

Aquatic Bird Print - in Sitting Room by Ash Street Interiors

This beautiful print is a vintage reproduction of an original watercolor taken from Edward Donovan's "The Natural History of British Birds", first published in the late eighteenth century. The White Tern and Shore Gull prints from Wisteria's Aquatic Bird Print collection look great as a pair or hung individually and the white lacquer frame adds a clean, modern touch.

 

Aquatic Bird Print - in sitting room by Ash Street Interiors

Aquatic Bird Print - in sitting room by Ash Street Interiors

I can't recall a recent design where I didn't use mirrors and Wisteria carries a few of my favorites. The Nouveau Sunburst in natural wood and the Moroccan Mirror in antiqued metallic and gilded finishes are fresh takes on classic looks that offer a familiar design with a modern twist.     

Moroccan Mirror - in Master Bedroom by Ash Street Interiors

Moroccan Mirror - in Master Bedroom by Ash Street Interiors

Nouveau Sunburst - in Dining Room by Ash Street Interiors

Nouveau Sunburst - in Dining Room by Ash Street Interiors

Wisteria isn't just for wall decor. Here are some of the favorite pieces I've used in client proposals this year where I've wanted to add a bit of modern or Gustavian style that works well with a relaxed seaside vibe.

The best part about all this Wisteria goodness? They are having a limited-time sale with pieces up to 35% off! What better time to refresh your space with a new piece and bring some of that modern coastal look to your home!

Holiday Bar Checklist

I start the planning early for my holiday entertaining so I'm ready to host whenever the mood hits me. I keep my bar stocked with seasonal favorites from Boylan Heritage and Morris Kitchen and break out my fabric yardage - muted blush and orange for fall and tartan plaid (or the occasional shower curtain) for impromptu holiday table setting. As my husband says, I have this entertaining thing "down to a science" and throw together a spread that looks like it took weeks to prepare in about an hour or so. Investing in a few good pieces for your bar and keeping the key elements seasonal, but not thematic, will carry you through from Thanksgiving to New Years Eve without having to switch it up every time you have guests. Here are my favorite picks for this season. Happy Holidays!

1. Kaufmann Plaid in Hunter 2. Arteriors Etta Ice Bucket 3. Ginger Spice Mixer from Morris Kitchen 4. Times Two Design Gilt Wood Coasters 5. Custom Monogrammed Frosted Cups from Emily McCarthy Shoppe 6. Faux Floral by The French Bee 7. Zestt Antler Bottle Opener           8. Zanzibar Napkins by Caspari

1. Kaufmann Plaid in Hunter 2. Arteriors Etta Ice Bucket 3. Ginger Spice Mixer from Morris Kitchen 4. Times Two Design Gilt Wood Coasters 5. Custom Monogrammed Frosted Cups from Emily McCarthy Shoppe 6. Faux Floral by The French Bee 7. Zestt Antler Bottle Opener           8. Zanzibar Napkins by Caspari

One Room Challenge Week 1 The Before!

It’s time to get my One Room Challenge on! I'm always amazed by the complete room transformations the design participants pull off in under 2 months and I'm excited be joining as a guest participant in this latest round. If you're unfamiliar with the One Room Challenge, its a design event in its 11th season, hosted by Linda of Calling It Home and sponsored by House Beautiful.  The challenge showcases the before, the during, and the highly anticipated after, of a room or rooms designed and executed in just 6 weeks. Every Thursday designers highlight the progress on their blogs, giving followers a front row seat to the full design process, challenges and all.  It's a big online party celebrating creativity and community and I'm thrilled to be a part of it. Here we go!

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I chose a small project for this freshman entry - a reimagining of the family room of one of my favorite clients. I completed a refresh on this clients dining room over the summer and we laughed through all of our design meetings. She's not afraid of color and pattern and is an efficient and confident decision maker - in other words the perfect One Room Challenge partner. Let's get right to the "Before"

This wall space drives my client crazy so we'll be expanding the gallery wall, adding new lamps and taking the styling up a notch.

This wall space drives my client crazy so we'll be expanding the gallery wall, adding new lamps and taking the styling up a notch.

The window treatments and rug were purchased when my client moved in and she was still in child-proofing mode. They've done their job and I kind of love that the big sisal rug has been worn by her children's little feet, but it's time to upgrade both and add a more polished look to the space while keeping it comfortable and still child-friendly. An Ash Street Interiors signature!

The window treatments and rug were purchased when my client moved in and she was still in child-proofing mode. They've done their job and I kind of love that the big sisal rug has been worn by her children's little feet, but it's time to upgrade both and add a more polished look to the space while keeping it comfortable and still child-friendly. An Ash Street Interiors signature!

These chairs are the perfect size and super comfortable but we'll be recovering all 4 for a fresh look to fit with the new palette. Wait. Is that a jukebox back there....

These chairs are the perfect size and super comfortable but we'll be recovering all 4 for a fresh look to fit with the new palette. Wait. Is that a jukebox back there....

It is a jukebox. And it's a Wurlitzer. And it's mint. My clients husband had this baby delivered a few weeks ago and it's driving the vibe for the room refresh. Dance party on reveal day! 

It is a jukebox. And it's a Wurlitzer. And it's mint. My clients husband had this baby delivered a few weeks ago and it's driving the vibe for the room refresh. Dance party on reveal day! 

We all agree the colorful art stays, but the rest of the fireplace deserves some attention to make it more a focal point.

We all agree the colorful art stays, but the rest of the fireplace deserves some attention to make it more a focal point.

Now on to the plan for this revamped family space! I'll be:

  1. Expanding the gallery wall and updating the credenza styling. New lamps, frames and styling items coming soon. 
  2. Replacing both rugs in sizes and styles that will create a separate area for media and a cozy sitting area around the fireplace.
  3. Replacing the window treatments.
  4. Updating the seating area around the fireplace with new upholstery on the chairs, new pillows and an easy fireplace refresh to make it a focal point.
  5. Adding new textiles throughout. Color and pattern. Lots of pillows, lots of throws, lots of comfort!
  6. Creating a family friendly but sophosticated space for this fun family to relax and entertain.
  7.  Definitely having a dance party.

I'll be posting fresh updates every Thursday, so please check back if you'd like to follow along. Up next, sources and updates as we tweak this plan and start the fun! And don't forget to check out all the linking participants to see the spaces they chose and the designs they are dreaming up! Thank you for following along!

#CameraReadyInteriors

As a designer with a business in its newborn phase, I've been fortunate to have the help of amazing professionals as I've launched Ash Street interiors. So I was thrilled (and honored) to be included in #CameraReadyInteriors with such a well-established and creative group of designers and bloggers, including some of my personal design crushes like Stephanie Kraus and Lori Paranjape. Dreamed up by talented girlboss Jana Bek of Jana Bek Design, #CameraReadyInteriors provides an opportunity to show appreciation for the photographers who work behind the scenes to document our vision through their lens, in a way we couldn't capture with just our mobile devices and fancy Instagram filters.  

Megan Chaffin Photography

Megan Chaffin Photography

Megan Chaffin Photography

Megan Chaffin Photography

One of the first things I did when starting Ash Street Interiors was look for a photographer to help create a starter portfolio. Recommendations from local interior designers and realtors soon led me to Megan Chaffin of Megan Chaffin Photography. As a residential and commercial photographer, field editor for Better Home and Gardens and location scout for some of their specialty publications, Megan guided me with a steady and patient hand through my first shoot. I didn't feel quite ready for prime time and not all of the rooms we were shooting were complete, but in typical fashion I went for it anyway. And if Megan thought I didn't know what the hell I was doing, she sure didn't show it. She focused on the small details, like the way books were placed spine-in on a bookshelf for a uniform look , and produced a set of initial images to showcase my design and remodel work to potential clients.

Megan Chaffin Photography

Megan Chaffin Photography

Megan Chaffin Photography

Megan Chaffin Photography

A month or so after working with Megan I got a call from Make It Better Magazine. They were looking for content for the Home section of their online publication and Megan had not only recommended my work but had forwarded some images from our shoot to the editor. I was simultaneously excited and horrified - The trim wasn't on the curtains! The shelves weren't styled! And it didn't matter. A few months later an article highlighting Ash Street Interiors posted to their online publication and a multi-page feature in the print publication soon followed, trimless curtains and all.  I couldn't have asked for a better local opportunity to highlight some of my work in an area full of talented designers. I credit Megan with providing both the platform and the beautiful images that brought me some of my very first clients and I can't thank her enough!

Megan Chaffin Photography

Megan Chaffin Photography

Megan Chaffin Photography

Megan Chaffin Photography

Megan Chaffin Photography

Megan Chaffin Photography

Megan Chaffin Photography

Megan Chaffin Photography

Megan Chaffin Photography

Megan Chaffin Photography

And I can't finish off the inaugural #CameraReadyInteriors post without also thanking Katrina of Katrina Wittkamp Photography. In another stroke of early luck, my favorite textile line contacted me to offer the possibility of being featured in an upcoming edition of their Style Dispatch.  I immediately said yes. Then immediately realized I had a week to come up with a headshot. My good friend, Tiffany Erickson of TE Style had just shared her gorgeous shots taken by Katrina, and I knew just who to call.. Katrina squeezed me in to her busy schedule, oh- so-patiently reminded me countless times to keep my chin up and my head down, and then turned the headshots around in record time. Katrina's client list includes Time, Vogue, Teen People, The New York Times, various Chicago area celebrities, and now, my headshots. A proud moment for her I'm sure. Thanks Katrina! xo 

Katrina Wittkamp Photography

Katrina Wittkamp Photography

I'm beyond grateful for all the support I've received in this first year, not only from Megan and Katrina but from Jana, who has shown me Instagram love from the start and thought to include me and my brand new little baby blog in #CameraReadyInteriors.  I'm looking forward to working with all three of these talented and supportive ladies again in October while preparing for my redesigned website launch (and full portfolio!) in November. In the meantime, I'll keep drawing inspiration from all the swoon-worthy designs of the #CameraReadyInteriors participants (full list below) and the photographers who help keep them looking fabulous! 

A Storied Style

Abby Manchesky Interiors

AE Design

Amanda Louise Interiors

Anna Matthews Interiors

Ash Street Interiors

Austin Bean Design Studio

Christine Dovey

Claire Brody Designs

Comfy Cozy Couture

Décor Happy

Design Manifest

House of Jade Interiors

Jana Bek Design

Lexi Westergard Design

Lisa Mende Design

Maddie Hughes Designs

Megan Pflug Designs

Michelle Adams of the Maryn Blog

MrsParanjape of Redo Home + Design

Design Indulgence by Sherry Hart

Sita Montgomery Interiors

Stephanie Kraus Designs

Studio McGee