The Ross House is featured on Design Sponge!

Today I’m really excited to share that a project I was a large part of, The Ross House, has been featured on Design*Sponge! This is exciting on many levels:

  • My girlfriend Lauren, her boyfriend Kevin and his step-dad contractor kicked butt ripping this house back to the studs and created an awesome new floor plan. I’m so happy their hard work can be shown off!
  • Lauren’s home buying process, which started well over a year ago was a big reason I started Centered By Design, built a web site, and opened an official business in the state of IL. She needed a decorator/designer’s help to aid in her decision making processes and challenge her neutral design aesthetic. I knew I was up to the challenge and didn’t want her to hire anybody else!
  • Seeing this house go from bare bones to perfectly styled and ready for glamour shots, just reinforces my love of interior design, and the process of helping clients create their idea of personal sanctuary. The fact that Design Sponge liked the project enough to showcase it online is pretty sweet icing on the cake!

Here’s a look at some of the before and after pictures, collages courtesy of Design Sponge. To see more finished project photos see my portfolio of The Ross House. 

The entrance went from blah to banging with an etsy stencil kit (by Cute Stencils) and Sherwin Williams Indigo Batik paint.

The entrance went from blah to banging with an etsy stencil kit (by Cute Stencils) and Sherwin Williams Indigo Batik paint.

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Pale greys, white and wood tones set the backdrop for bold pops of color and vintage kilim rugs.

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Sherwin Williams Simple White was used in the front room, and SW Mindful Grey in this transitional sitting room.

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Moving the staircase played a large role in making the house feel more modern.

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In the main bedroom Martha Stewart Gaberdine created a deep, relaxing feel and worked well since there is ample sunlight with the large east facing windows.

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Clean lines, modern light fixtures, and two focal rugs keep the kitchen feeling fresh and timeless.

Read the full Design*Sponge article for even more behind the scenes details.

XO – CLAIRE

 

 


Apartment Therapy Feature

Last week our apartment tour went live on Apartment Therapy! I was really impressed with how well our AT editor seemed to “get us.” It’s always a bit nerve-racking to know whatever you say or do, might end up on the internet in front of thousands (or millions of readers). But PHEW! she definitely didn’t mention any of our crazy quirks so we are safe this time around!

I was also really touched that she used the word SOULFUL to describe our place. Honestly, I don’t think I could have some up with anything better myself. Soul is where it’s at; in my design work and in my yoga/daily life. Spaces with Soul, that would be another great name for an interior design company, huh? Here’s the interview survey and some of my favorite pictures from the shoot:

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Apartment Therapy Feature:

Our Style: We love mid-century and Scandinavian modern design aesthetics, but also have a penchant for a more bohemian style and enjoy global textiles. We’ve melded these elements for quite the eclectic look.

Inspiration: We are inspired by our travels, our love for vintage and handmade, and the desire to create things ourselves. Luke is a woodworker and created our dining table and my office desk. I am learning to sew and made several of the curtains and pillows in the apartment.

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Favorite Element: The built-in fireplace and mantle are really lovely. The teal tiling and woodwork around the fireplace influenced several design choices, and we were looking for and thrilled to find a rental with a working fireplace!

Biggest Challenge: I would say having landlords who are strict about remodeling has been our biggest challenge. We have not been able to make some of the updates or changes we’d like to because we want to respect our landlord’s wishes.

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What Friends Say: We love your style! It looks so clean.

Biggest Embarrassment: The kitchen. We love that our kitchen has updated appliances, but everything else about it is kind of a nightmare. It was poorly designed from the start, so the layout is awkward and there’s not much natural light. We do love vintage, but the kitchen is bad vintage. Our first project in a house someday will be the perfect new kitchen!

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Proudest DIY: For Luke it would be the dining table, which was the first piece of furniture he made (aside from our cat tower!) For me, it would be the patchwork denim chair in my office. I found the chair at a garage sale for $15; it was my first reupholstery project and I used pairs of Luke’s old jeans to create the fabric and pattern. It was a lot of work, but I love the results.

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Biggest Indulgence: The chandelier over the dining table. I looked at a lot of fixtures that would blend the more mid-century look of the living room with the more traditional look of the dining area.

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Best Advice: Create a pinterest board or physical mood board to solidify the style you are trying to achieve. Make sure your roommate or partner and you agree on the look you are going for! I can’t tell you the number of friends and clients I work with who want to redecorate, but they don’t know what they actually like. Some of my favorite sites for imagery are Apartment Therapy, Remodelista, Houzz, Pinterest, Domino, and Rue Magazine.

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Dream Sources: School House Electric, Heath Ceramics, Jayson Home & Garden, Loloi Rugs, An Orange Moon, and Sojourn.

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What do you think your home says about you? What do you want it to say? I’d love to help you bring some soul into your space!

XO – CLAIRE


High-End Design on a Budget

July 15, 2015 Interior Design 0 Comments

This post first appeared on Wandeleur.com. A lovely and inspiring lifestyle site based in Chicago, where I occasionally contribute design focused features.

High-End Design on a Budget

Luxury interior design services may be out of reach for some of us, at the moment at least, but that doesn’t mean you can’t access high-end designers and their impeccable style. Well-respected designers often take their eye for interior design into product development, especially home décor, and if you know where to look and shop, you’ll up your decorating game in no time.

Do a Little Internet Research 

If you’re clueless about top interior designers, I recommend heading to Amazon and searching through best selling interior design books. If a designer has authored a book, there’s a higher likelihood that they are working with brands on products too. Google the names of designers you respond to and look for inspiring imagery of their spaces. See if they have any product lines available to the masses. If they do, start browsing online and save products images/links that you love.

Buy Their Book

Yes, of course there is always Pinterest, but a hardcover interior design book full of amazing photography and tips from the designer him/herself is so much better. When you can view multiple spaces designed by the same person, and “hear” their voice you get a much clearer idea of their design style and aesthetic. Designers have authored these books to help and inspire you, take their professional advice and see what resonates!

Shop ’til You Drop

Now that you’ve determined the designer whose style you love most, find a few of their home décor products/lines to build the foundation for your new “look.” Maybe it’s geometric bedding by Nate Berkus from Target, Candice Olson’s transitional area rugs for Wayfair, or Kelly Wearstler’s china for Pickard to re-vamp the dinning room. Use these item/s as a starting point to create a space that you love, and that has some serious high-end taste! It’s almost as good as going shopping with Nate, Candice or Kelly by your side.

Designers of Note

I’ve picked three designers I personally admire (one that I’m interning for this summer!), each with their own product lines, to illustrate what to look for and where to find inspiration for your own space. With a little thoughtful planning, Internet research and a few quick steps you can discover a new decorating style that you love, and may very well be achievable within your budget.

 

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Nate Berkus was a regular design contributor to The Oprah Show, and went on to have his own talk show; “The Nate Berkus Show.” He has authored two books “Home Rules” and “The Things That Matter.” He has a home décor line available at Target, fabrics available through Jo-Ann’s and Calico Corners, and you can shop his personal antique picks on 1stdibs. Images via nateberkus.com and Target.com.

KellyWearstler_centered by design high-end design on a budget

L.A. based designer, Kelly Wearstler, is known for her distinctive sophisticated style. A branding virtuoso, Wearstler has branding and product deals with a large variety of companies and her own line of products. Her brand’s flagship store is located on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, and she has published four coffee table books: Rhapsody, HUE, Domicilium Decoratus, and Modern Glamour: The Art of Unexpected Style. View all Kelly’s Collaborations. Images via http://www.kellywearstler.com.

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Candice Olson is best known as a TV personality for HGTV’s Candice Tells All, Divine Design and as a judge on HGTV Design Star. She has authored more than five books and in 2005 she launched “The Candice Olson Collection” – a brand of home décor products such as wallpaper, lighting, rugs, bedding and more. Images via www.candiceolson.com and www.wayfair.com.

Which designer’s style appeals to you most here? Who are some of your other favorite high-end designers? Let me know if you got any leads on affordable decor products with high-end style!

XO – Claire


Chicago Staycation Ideas: Explore the City of Neighborhoods

July 8, 2015 City Guides 1 Comment

This blog post first appeared http://blog.krrb.com, written by me! I’ve done everything on this list and can honestly say these are some of my top Chicago staycation ideas. There are so many more wonderful places to explore. Post a comment if you’re heading to Chicago and want some more recommendations!

Yea, yea, yea Millennium Park and The Bean (officially Cloud Gate) are awesome, as is shopping the Magnificent Mile, but elbowing through the summer tourist crowds is not. There are so many unique places to explore in Chicago, which is truly a city of neighborhoods. If you’re anything like me, you rarely leave the 10-mile radius of your home, and stick to your neighborhood favorites when going out. Summer is most definitely the best time to explore Chicago. If you’re longing for a vacation or weekend getaway, but don’t have the time or money – Give a Chicago staycation a try!

Explore Logan Square: If you consider yourself “creative,” love guys in plaid shirts with beards, and are into the food scene – try Logan Square. For the ultimate staycation experience, book at night or two at Longman & Eagle, not only is this top restaurant and whiskey bar a great spot for a meal, but also their six room accommodations were just voted one of the 10 best tiny hotels in the world. After sleeping in with style, take a 2.7-mile walk above the city on the newly constructed Bloomingdale Trail (The 606). Originally a train route that began just after the Great Chicago Fire, this stretch of old train line is now a biking, running and community trail. Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, you’re ready for an early dinner at Fat Rice, a recent Bon Appetit pick for the 4th best new restaurant in America. It’s best to get there early, before the line curves around the block. After you’ve had your fill of Euro-Asian comfort food, slurp down a few beachy cocktails at the fabulously tiki-inspired Lost Lake. Complete your evening with a late night movie at the Logan Theatre, recently restored to its 1915 glory.

LOST LAKE - The best tropical drinks EVER! Watch out, they are strong!

LOST LAKE – The best tropical drinks EVER! Watch out, they are strong!

Explore Pilsen: If you’re actually an artist, love vintage and are fluent in Spanish – try Pilsen. Start your day trip with a unique visit to the National Museum of Mexican Art, where you’ll be immersed in the richness of Mexican art and culture. From textiles and folk art, to photography and sculpture – you’ll be sure to connect to an exhibition on a personal level. Then get in a little retail therapy with shops on 18th Street. A favorite for vintage, handmade and mid-century lovers is Modern Cooperative, which has a great mix of vintage furniture and clothing with modern gifts and accessories. For dinner, grab a seat at Simone’s Bar & Grill and get a real feel for the neighborhood crowd while eating pub food and drinking some local craft beers. Make sure to book tickets for a concert or performance ahead of time at Thalia Hall, a recently converted historic landmark turned music venue, cocktail bar and restaurant.

Modern Coop is the perfect spot for vintage, mid-century, gifts and more!

Modern Coop is the perfect spot for vintage, mid-century, gifts and more!

Explore Oak Park: If you’re a young family inspired by architecture and tranquil tree-lined streets – try Oak Park. Head out to Oak Park on the Chicago el train. The green line el tracks will take you directly to downtown Oak Park, where you can walk from cute shop to cute shop on cobblestone streets. You’ll end up right near Greenline Wheels, where you can rent bikes for the day and pedal your way over to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home and Studio. You can stay for the indoor tour, or participate in the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust’s guided bike tour of more than 20 historic Wright-designed structures. Don’t forget to pack a picnic beforehand with the best cheese and accouterments from the delicious Marion Street Market.

Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio - Oak Park

Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio – Oak Park

Explore Evanston: If you’re into the college town vibe and spending a sunny day at the beach – try Evanston. With five public swimming beaches along Lake Michigan, Evanston is the perfect spot for a warm summer day in Chicago. After getting your suntan at the beach, head back to your quaint B&B the Lang House Chicago, complete with a spa and sauna for some extra R&R. Then it’s on to the dinner at the eclectic, delicious and highly-acclaimed Found Kitchen, on a nice night, ask to dine outside at their Parisian-style sidewalk café. Don’t forget the cocktail menu, the drinks are delicious!

Gorgeous Lake Michigan!

Gorgeous Lake Michigan! Photo credit: https://charliebillups.wordpress.com

The Lang House B&B - modern and elegant

The Lang House B&B – modern and elegant

Explore Hyde Park: If your idea of a good time is exploring one of the largest science museums in the Western Hemisphere and packing a little history lesson in too – try Hyde Park. Start your day by strolling along 53rd Street and visiting some of the local merchants. You can even try President Obama’s said favorite restaurant (cafeteria style) Valois Restaurant. From 53rd Street walk south toward the Midway Plaisance, which is the original midway from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition held in what is now Jackson Park. On the way, you’ll pass through the beautiful University of Chicago Campus. Head east down the midway towards the Museum of Science and Industry, and don’t miss a stroll in the Osaka Garden. This Japanese stroll garden features a series of water fountains, bridges and ornate stone-cut Japanese lanterns.

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Osaka Garden part of historic Jackson Park

Explore Lincoln Square/Ravenswood: If your idea of a good time is beer, beer, beer and whiskey – try Lincoln Square. First, get yourself a group of friends and suite or two at the posh Guesthouse Hotel. You’ll need a place to call home after your day of gallivanting, and better that it’s your home away from home. Enjoy the delicious local beer selection at Half Acre Tap Room and take a tour of the brewery for another $10. Keep the craft beer theme going and try out the new, community-supported brewery and tap room at Begyle Brewing. If whiskey is more your speed don’t miss Koval Distillery. Chicago’s first working distillery since the mid-1800s this spot is truly artisan grain-to-bottle whiskey. Their tour and whiskey samples will keep you in your happy place for a few more hours. After all the drinking, you’re going to need some food and what’s better than pretending it’s Oktoberfest at the Chicago Brauhaus. Serving up German specialties and drinks, you can eat all the headcheese and bratwurst your heart desires.

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Koval’s tours and cocktail classes are so much fun!

Have fun exploring Chicago! XO – Claire


Before + After VIDEO: Ross Project

July 6, 2015 Before + After 0 Comments

Exciting things are happening this summer for Centered By Design, including our first little video clip! This is a peek into the ROSS project in Logan Square. Final portfolio photos aren’t yet complete, but we made this great time lapse video when installing and styling the living room.

Here’s a taste of what’s to come. I’ll post a full before and after once the photos are back!

YEA for video clips!

What do you think? Would you like to see more video?

XO -CLAIRE


Women Who MAKE: The Nate Berkus Studio Team

women who make interview nate berkus

Hello world! I’m super smoking excited to bring you this month’s Women Who MAKE interview x3! As some of you may know, this summer I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to work as a project management intern at Nate Berkus (on the interior design side of things). There is also an amazing studio team that works closely with Nate on all his branded products. The three beauties pictured below (and above) are the team who make it happen! You know that amazing NB pillow, blanket, lamp, table setting, the list goes on – these gals worked to take it from concept to reality to your local Target store shelf. They are also kind and gracious to interns : )

I could ramble on forever about how creative, inspiring and just darn nice these women are, but I’ll let you hear from them yourself. Also, don’t miss the Nate Berkus at Target + Centered By Design giveaway on Instagram!

Photography for Centered By Design by: Carolina Mariana

nate berkus studio for centered by design

Name, Age, Title & Years at the Company: (ladies pictured above from left to right)

  • Meredith Smerchek, 35, Art Director, 7 years at NB
  • Tara Shade, 39, Creative Director, 9 years at NB
  • Gabrielle Exner, 24, Design Assistant, 2 years at NB

What is your first memory of making [art]?

Gabby: I remember drawing a self-portrait in Kindergarten and making the *artistic choice* to draw my nose with a purple crayon. My teacher expressed her disapproval and despite being an enormous teacher’s pet at the time, I stood up to her! Well, specifically, I said “SO…” with enough ‘tude to warrant being taken back by the cubbies and yelled at for “talking back”. The fact that I was scarred by that moment for months aside, I like to think that was my first artistic statement.

Tara: “Painting” with water on the slate sidewalks of my family home. Armed with a bucket of water and a house-painting brush, and I’d go to town making drawings as quickly as I could before they’d evaporate.

Meredith: When I was little, I absolutely loved Mr. Sketch markers. In fact, I loved them so much I decided to “decorate” all of my sister’s clothes with them! I don’t think my parents were seeing my “creativity” as a positive attribute at that point.

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How did your education or past work experience give you the confidence to interview for and land your current role?

Tara: I’d been through many interview and presentation scenarios for the advertising jobs I had held in the past. I felt strong as a designer, was seeking new possibilities, and found myself intrigued by the interior and product design angle of the job.

Gabby: I went to school for studio art and business; I knew I wanted a creative job but I didn’t know what it would look like. I didn’t think the gallery world/artist lifestyle was right for me, but I didn’t want to let go of making in some capacity. After school, I snagged an internship with NB Studio and was elated that a job like this even existed. I loved it and it must’ve shown; after a couple semesters I was hired on. I believe that if you work hard and like what you’re doing (with a dash of luck), good things will happen.

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Tell us about the process of designing products for Nate’s home and fabric lines. Best parts? Biggest challenges?

Meredith: For me, the best parts are also the biggest challenges. I absolutely love to see our products out on store shelves, but I’m always looking at every collection thinking, how we can make it better, what can we do differently next time? The best part is being creative on a daily basis, but there are times when you really have to push to make sure you’re thinking outside the box and not getting stuck in one direction. I love the design process with Nate. He’s got such a great eye, and is always empowering us to be our best, most creative selves.

Gabby: We work very closely with Nate and his collaborators to help bring his product ideas to life! I also help create original patterns for Nate’s fabric lines, Target items, and whatever else may come our way. It’s one of my favorite parts of the job; I love to experiment with combining hand-made and digital techniques. There are so many steps between our team’s initial concept and what you see on the shelf at Target or on a roll at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. There are a lot of opportunities for things to go awry or change but that’s also what makes our job rewarding! When things turn out really well or surprise you, it’s that much sweeter.

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Do you have a funny story to share about a product that never saw the light of day, but you loved?

Tara: I loved the idea (ital.) of this product: a wooden branch centerpiece, coated in silver leaf. For a whole bunch of reasons, it came back as a chunky metal log, complete with an end that resembled an open beak. It was a weird sort of log/bird hybrid. We named him Walter. Oh, Walter.

Meredith: Ha! Well, we had a llama figural that came out a few years ago, and for some reason, we could not get the shape right to save our lives. We finally got it, but ended up with about 10 “misfit” llamas of all shapes and sizes, that we affectionately called “The Llama Farm.” I loved those little guys!

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What is your favorite part of the creative process? What inspires you and why?

Gabby: Working on initial concepts for any line…be it a mood board, fabric patterns, or a product sketch is so fun it honestly makes me feel spoiled. As great as it is to find amazing imagery on Pinterest, catch a gallery show, or check out vintage pieces I could never afford, working so closely with such talented, creative people inspires me the most. I think it takes a special team to take all that inspiration and translate it into something that’s well made and affordable.I also love when I’m perusing social media and I unexpectedly spot a Nate product. It inspires me to see how people use the collection in their home, at work and beyond.

Meredith: I love the moment when I become inspired—especially if I’m worried that it may not come! That feeling never gets old. I’m always extremely grateful. When it comes to inspiration, I’m all over the place. There are a million visual things, and they are always changing. I think what drives me to be inspired in the first place are the people around me and my relationships with them; Nate, and the awe-inspiring design team at NB Studio.

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What is the best advice you have for other creatives, artists, or those wanting to work in similar fields?

Tara: Follow your creative nature and stay open to the opportunities that arise.

Gabby: If I’ve learned anything from my own search for a creative job, it’s that there are opportunities to work creatively in so many different capacities nowadays. If you keep an open mind and you are willing to experiment, you’ll find something that encompasses all of your interests and passions.

Meredith: Never be afraid of making mistakes. Let yourself go creatively. You can always reign it back in (if you need to).

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Do you have a design philosophy, and if so, what is it? (Editor’s note: The team has fully embraced Nate’s design philosophy!).

live only with what you really love nate berkus

Which product are you most excited to see come to the market in 2016 (or however far out you are planning!)

Gabby: I’m excited about this large decorative mirror coming out for the Fall/Holiday season, big impact at a Target price point!

Meredith:  I can’t wait for the Holiday 2015 collection to land in Target stores come the fall.  There’s such a rich mix of materials and item types that are new for us, I’m excited for people to see it all.

Tara: There are so many great 2016 products coming down the pipeline, but I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself. I’m excited for the fall/winter 2015 holiday offering at Target. There’s a cheese tray and these gorgeous serving utensils that knock my socks off every time I see them.

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Has there been a runaway best selling item or fabric?

Gabby: The white furry stool from the 2014 holiday season! LOVE that people embraced such a playful item.

Meredith: People LOVE themselves a turtle! Our very first season with Target, the collection included a resin tortoise shell wall art inspired by an actual tortoise shell that Nate’s mom found on her honeymoon years ago. It was such a hit…people are still talking about them. Recently, we did sandcasted metal tortoise shell boxes that Target guests went mad for.

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What do you enjoy most about the creative community here in Chicago?

Meredith: I love that you can find it all around you—whether its expected or not. I recently went to a gallery show in a basement that was incredible! Also, there is such a strong teaching community here. I love taking classes and each time I meet amazing people (teachers and classmates!) that I learn so much from.

Tara: The community is so, so large, with really tight-knit pockets, and the support I see within these collectives is strong. I have a group of friends passionate about fiber arts, and we meet up and share both creative and social time. People work hard and live their craft.

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Centered By Design is my business name, but it’s also the idea that we can find a bit of sanctuary each day through design, that good design can center us and make us feel great. Does your design process center you in any way? If so, how?

Gabby: I’ve always enjoyed working creatively and I definitely think doing what I love “centers” me. Any stress that I experience feels worth it. Creating patterns can even feel meditative for me at times. All that being said, I still have those less-than-zen, step-away-from-the-Pinterest moments.

Tara: I’d like to think so. To me, design is an answer, a resolution. Once I see or land on a design that is on-point, I feel elated. There’s nothing more satisfying than, “Yes! That’s it!”

Meredith: Absolutely— I love the moments when I’m completely immersed in a pattern or sketch and suddenly there is no concept of time or judgment. There are no mistakes, and there is no “perfect.”  It’s tricky to describe with words, but the closest I can come is that it feels like home!

Nate Berkus Studio Team’s Chicago Favorites (Editor’s note: This is a selection of answers from all the ladies in no particular order). 

  • Favorite spot to get inspired:

Gabby: I’m the weirdo that could get inspired anywhere; don’t be surprised if you see me snapping a photo of what appears to be a decrepit window grate because “it has a really cool pattern”

Meredith: Anywhere I’ve never been before. I always get the most inspired when I step outside of my daily routine/comfort zone.

  • Favorite florist: Kennicott Brothers, Sprout Home, Trader Joe’s, Asrai Gardens, Fleur, Foxglove Studio and Flowers for Dreams.
  • Favorite place to shop for home décor/furniture: Crossing the border for estate sales in WI, Pavilion, Scout Chicago, Randolph Antique Market, and Target, of course!
  • Favorite place for coffee: Atomix Cafe & Star Lounge
  • Favorite place for a sweet treat: Black Dog Gelato, West Town Bakery & Miko’s Italian Ice!

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Many thanks to Meredith, Tara and Gabby for being game to share on Women Who MAKE! You can see more of their work by visiting the full range of Nate Berkus at Target Products and Nate Berkus at Joann: Fabric and CraftDon’t for get to tag your NB finds #MyNateBerkus as well!

And just to sweeten this deal a little bit more the NB team is gifting a lucky reader some gorgeous office accessories! To enter simply follow me on Instagram and Facebook, and tag a friend in need of some major desk organization assistance! You’ll both be entered to win (reposting the picture below gets you entries x3). One winner will be chosen Friday, July 3rd through a random selection, will be contacted by 12am CST and be mailed the collection of office items next week. Good luck!

targetNB

XO – CLAIRE

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The Art of Layering Rugs

layered rugs

Layering rugs isn’t exactly a new trend, but with the recent explosion of bohemian decorating options for the masses, my pinterest page as been blowing up with kilim style rugs layered over larger jute rugs. It’s one thing to see these styled shots in photo shoots, or more often, editorial photo shoots for catalogs, but it’s much harder to make this look actually work at home. I’ve had a few projects lately where we (me and the client) were considering the layered rug look and it can be tricky business!

Layering is AWESOME for creating texture, which I think is really its main function (plus adding a good dose of color depending on your palette). Additionally, kilim style rugs are often pricy and found in smaller sizes since they are very labor intensive to make. Using a neutral backdrop, such as a jute or sisal rug allows you to showcase a gorgeous, smaller woven rug without the giant price tag.

I’ve pulled together some of my favorite photographs, which illustrate the methods or “looks” that I like best for layering and translate most easily into “real-life” decorating.

#1 – Layering in a Hallway: Transitional spaces are often overlooked and left empty. Using the layered rug look could bring some real life and color into an otherwise dull area of your home.

layering rugs hallway rug

Image via sarahkaye.com

layering rugs hallway rug

Image via highstreetmarket.blogspot.com

#2 – Neutral Area Rug + Highlight Rug: The key to this look is that your neutral rug and highlight rug are proportional. The base rug should be large enough for the space, and hold the highlight rug nicely with a border around all sides. You want to see the two rugs together, and how they interact with one another.

layering rugs living room

Image via nousdecor.com

layering rugs living room

Image via nateberkus.com

layering rugs living room

Image via creamylife.com

layering rugs living room

Image via stylemepretty.com

Image via clothandkind on instagram

Image via clothandkind on instagram

Image via ashleytstark on instagram

Image via ashleytstark on instagram

#3 – The Real Boho Look: This look is for the textile collector or true lover of bohemian style. It’s ultra layered, eclectic, and works best if the whole floor or area is covered. It’s best to work off a color scheme here. As you can see from the photos, each room has rugs with a central color or two.

layering rugs living room

Image from Ikea via Refinery29

layering rugs living room

Image via OneKingsLane – Katie Tarses home

Image via eliseblaha.typepad.com

Image via eliseblaha.typepad.com

Can’t wait to share some photos of my own projects with layered rugs, but for now these will have to do! What do you think? Do you like the layered look? Any of the three options appeal to you the most?

XO – CLAIRE


Centered By Design is featured in Germany!

I was pleasantly surprised to get an email from German design blogger Maria Spassov a few weeks ago. Through the wonders of the web, Maria had found my work online and thought it was compelling enough to ask me for an interview, which she would share with her blog readers in Germany. I was touched!

The interview went live this week! Maria asks REALLY GOOD questions about life and design. Here are a few examples of her stellar questions:

  • Imagine you’re teaching a class in the school of life. What would be your tips?
  • How do you achieve good scale in design? Scale is a really interesting and difficult topic.
  • Some designers believe that the first piece for any room is the rug or a painting that sets the color palette. What is your first source of inspiration?

Read the FULL INTERVIEW and browse Maria’s other great design-related posts. Also, even cooler news is that Maria just launched an E-BOOK that is quickly becoming a top pick on Amazon.

In Maria’s words, “The ebook offers a window into the life and mind of some of the greatest designers and architects of our time. I so hope that you’ll enjoy my interviews with Kelly Wearstler, Jonathan Adler, Marc Newson, Vicente Wolf, Tom Kundig, Michael Graves, Kelly Behun, Martyn Lawrence-Bullard and many others. The interviews answer various questions about design, architecture, daily routines, favorite books, success and happiness.”

Here’s the cover photo:

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I can’t wait to dive into this book and read all Maria’s great interviews. Thanks so much for the feature Design Elements and Maria!

XO – CLAIRE


The Art of Styling with Baskets

eliza gran studio baskets

True confession: I have a compulsive basket buying habitat. So many shapes, sizes, colors and uses baskets are where it’s at my friends. They are relatively inexpensive and carried at almost every retailer these days. You can usually find awesome baskets at resale shops, flea markets, and if you’re traveling, make sure to check out baskets that might be native to that particular country. Opportunity for major basket scores abroad!

I also use baskets ALL THE TIME when styling photos. They can fill up dead space, keep shots looking organized, add needed texture, become a planter, toilet paper storage and the list goes on.

Here are some of my personal basket styling shots:

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Basket as a plant holder.

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Baskets to fill in empty space and cover vents.

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Bedroom basket mostly to look pretty.

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Vintage picnic basket for shelf decoration.

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Medium size basket to hold papers and drawings.

Here are a few basket styling ideas I’ve got on my list to try:

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Baskets as wall art installation. Image via FieldStoneHillDesign.

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Baskets on hanging pegs. I think this would be great in a laundry room. Image via Pinterest.

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Bathroom basket for TP. Image via www.aplaceforeverything.co.uk.

Here are some of the baskets I’m loving and the links where you can find them too!

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  1. Eliza Gran Studio – Pom Pom Baskets
  2. Territory Designs – Oaxaca Indigo Basket
  3. Ballard Designs – Wicker Chest 
  4. West Elm – Graphic Oversized Baskets
  5. Baskets of Africa – Ghana Bolga Style

Got a brilliant basket idea? Let me know what it is!

XO – CLAIRE


Style Your Dresser Three Ways: Boho, Romantic or Glam

If you caught Monday’s blog post, you probably saw the gorgeous photos of custom painted furniture at MegMade. I couldn’t resist taking the opportunity to have some fun with one of Meg’s awesome pieces. I spotted a gorgeous black and wood dresser with some brass details.

I thought it’d be interesting to try styling the same piece in three different styles. 1. To show how versatile a piece of transitional furniture can be, and 2. Because sometimes you don’t know what look you’ll really love until you pull all the elements together. If one of the looks suits you best, I’ve listed some resources under the roundup collages.

Also, these kind of knick-knacks are perfect for your thrifting list. Jot down a few items you’ll need on a post-it and stick it in your wallet. Next time you find yourself at a second hand store or flea market, you’ll have that list of things to keep your eye out for!

Don’t miss my very exciting .gif at the end of the post! (I’m very proud of my first .gif – haha, hopefully I’ll advance my .gif skills quickly).

THE BOHEMIAN LOOK

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ROUNDUP RESOURCES: Textiles – Territory Design, Tote Bag – Noonday Collection, Plants – Alapash Home, Bowl – IKEA, Jewelry – Free People

THE GLAMOROUS LOOK

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ROUNDUP RESOURCES: Lamp – 1st Dibs, Birdcage – One Kings Lane, Starburst Mirror – Target, Candleholder – Domino, Vintage Replica Trunk – Wayfair, Marbled Paper – Calico Wallpaper

THE ROMANTIC LOOK 

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Lipstick – Anthropologie, Vintage Handkerchief, Dried Seeded Eucalyptus, Vintage Printable Artwork, Brass Bowl – Nate Berkus for Target, Vintage Books and Lace Jewelry

Do you have a favorite look? I’d love to know which one it is, leave me a comment below!

XO – CLAIRE 

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