Design School: Studio LIFE.STYLE.

STUDIO LIFESTYLE

Welcome to the launch of DESIGN SCHOOL. This monthly interview series is chance to get inside the minds of our favorite interior designers with some rapid fire questions, and take a peek into their award-winning portfolios. The series will feature designers from all over the country (and world!), I hope these tidbits of advice leave you with a new idea or two. Grab a cuppa joe and let’s pretend we’re in LA at the Beverly Hilton sitting down for this interview! Also, if you have a designer you’d love to see featured please leave me a comment with your pick.

Studio LIFE.STYLE. is the West Hollywood, CA firm of Shannon Wollack & Brittany Zwickl. Brittany and I met last March at the Design Bloggers Conference at the Traditional Home dinner, and I immediately loved her style and warm personality. Since that time, I’ve been following the firms incredible press features and love the laid-back, yet modern and edgy, California sensibility they bring to their projects. Here’s more from Principle Brittany Zwickl. All photos courtesy of Studio LIFE.STYLE.

1. The most difficult aspect of my job:

The most difficult part of our job is probably all of the coordination that goes behind making sure every single item is ordered correctly, and scheduled to arrive on time while working in conjunction with the construction schedule.  There are so many important details not to be missed!

2. One of the greatest lessons I ever learned:

Consider the size of doorways and stairwells. Many years ago we designed a custom headboard that was 7′ high and hadn’t considered how we would actually get the bed into the space! The stairwell turned and the headboard was just too big to make the turn with the angle of the stairs. We ended up having to hoist the bed over the balcony and into the room that way!

3. Every room needs:

Plants and fresh cut flowers! Every room looks better with a little life.

4. My secret styling trick:

Layering different elements and textures helps give a space depth and personality. Books, art, plants, ceramics, throws, etc.

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Centered City Guide: Jackson Hole, WY

August 17, 2017 Yoga + Lifestyle 0 Comments

“Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam and the skies are not cloudy all day.” I have never quite understood that song, but our recent trip to Jackson Hole, Yellowstone and Cody, Wyoming gave me a new perspective and quite the view of buffalo! I’d love to share a few of the highlights and some travel tips in case you or a friend is headed that way. I’m not a skier, so I can’t speak for the winter visit, but all of these tips apply to summer trip.

Tip 1: The two essentials for our trip were a good pair of hiking boots and a car rental. You really can’t get around to the national parks, Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park without a car, and while you might get away with sneakers, a good pair of hiking boots will save your feet from blisters and ensure you can take on the longer hikes.

Jenny Lake in Tenton National Park is a not-to-miss area. There are several hikes and a boat ride across the lake available. There are plenty of short easier hikes, like up to Inspiration Falls (good for kids), or there are harder longer hikes like Amphitheater Lake. At Yellowstone National Park the best hike we took was up to Mt. Washburn, you walk a pretty steep, but moderate climb. There is a ranger station at the top of the mountain that is great for lunch, a bathroom break and stunning views.

Tip 2: Don’t miss the National Museum of Wildlife ArtA very manageable museum for a half-day trip and a good spot for kids too. The museum has two large galleries of wildlife art throughout the centuries and stunning patio and restaurant overlooking an elk wildlife refuge.

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Color and Pattern for a Family Home

July 27, 2017 Interior Design 1 Comment
painted trim green modern kitchen

Excited to share a recent project that involved a lot of my favorite – color and pattern! I get extra excited when clients are color lovers too. This vintage family home had been nicely updated upon move in but was lacking personality and needed to be pulled together. Color was used in strategic areas to create focal points and pattern and texture were layered throughout for a cohesive look. I’ve shared some of my favorite textile vendors in this post, because we used so many fun, non-traditional patterns. Hope you enjoy!

View all photos from this project in my PORTFOLIO

If you are looking to create your version of a beautifully designed home contact us HERE

centered by design entry navy stair runner

Vibrant, sophisticated and charming – we love the adventurous textiles of Peter Dunham. Pillow in Bukara – Blue.

modern living room teal velvet chairs

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Summer Spruce Up for the Front Yard

We’ve obviously been very focused on the interior of the house during our first year as home owners, but with our second summer in the house flying by, we’ve been excited about a few small updates to the exterior. Luke is starring in this post and sharing our DIY cedar window box how-to, plus he reviews the new yard power tools he is thrilled with from our sponsor TORO.

When TORO approached us about a collaboration, Luke was jumping out of chair with excitement over the idea of long-lasting battery powered lawn tools. He requested both a string trimmer and blower from the Toro PowerPlex™ 40V Max* Lithium Ion Products collection. Now let me just say, I’m down for yard work but he tends to be the power tool junkie around here, so here’s Luke’s review on the tools.

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The Warwick Reno: Master Bathroom Planning

Last month I shared our plans for the new bathroom upstairs, including some before photos and the fabulous rendering Deckor helped me create. We are doing our best to make the most of what will be a small master bathroom. The rendering makes it look a little wider than real life. : )

This is what we are hoping the AFTER looks like!

Here is where we are currently at after some serious DEMO: #reallife

The previous owners (or whomever in the home’s history) made some not so awesome plumbing choices. In order to safely bear the weight of a big tub and lots of tile, we will be doing some plumbing work to re-route plumbing and make sure floor joists are safe. Proper venting, insulation, drywall, etc. all need to occur as well.

  • A note on permitting: I always recommend checking with your local jurisdiction on permit requirements. Typically, if doing a lot of the work yourself you can get a homeowner’s permit with help from your city. Usually when working with a contractor you can ask for their assistance to obtain permits, and at times only certain permits will be required such as electrical. Your city website is the best place to look for information.

But onto the FUN STUFF:

I want to breakdown the design a bit more and share some of our sources, as we are really excited to be working with some awesome vendors on this project! We want to keep the bathroom classic and peaceful. It can be hard to hold myself back from some of the current trends like black matte plumbing fixtures, but eventually we’ll sell this house, and want to keep resale and timeless style in mind. Since we have brass in the house downstairs, and all the doorknobs upstairs will also be brass, we will continue the theme with brass accents on the lighting and plumbing fixtures. Although, I have no issue mixing some polished nickel into the mix too!

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Women Who MAKE: KUFRI Textiles

July 9, 2017 Interviews 0 Comments

I’m excited to introduce you to Mili Suleman of KUFRI today! When Mili and I first connected, I could tell she was a down-to-earth business woman on a mission to not only grow her business, but make a difference in the world. It always inspires me to talk to a woman with vision bigger than only the “product” or company itself. I think you’ll find Mili and her passion for textiles, weaving and employing women weavers in India very inspiring.

I also very much appreciate Mili’s sensibility when it comes to style, simplicity and understated beauty, plus functionality. That is winning combination in my book.

INTERVIEW WITH KUFRI TEXTILES

  • Name: Mili Suleman
  • Years in Business: 3.5 years
  • Current title/company name: Founder & designer / KUFRI

What are your first memories of making [art]/being creative?

I must have been 12 when I delved into the arts more seriously. I trained in Classical Indian dance and took a myriad of art classes from oil painting to charcoal to fabric painting. I was also immersed in a lot of creative writing.

 kufri textiles fabric collection

How did your education or past work experience give you the confidence to go out on your own as a small business owner?

I studied graphic design and worked for a packaging design agency, so naturally my first business was starting my own graphic design business. I started doing freelance work on the side while I had the full-time position at the design agency. I worked from 8AM to 11PM for a couple of years, until l I took the leap to start my own business. I was fearful, but my father encouraged me to just go for it. I was also coming out of a very dark time in my life, so I had tremendous drive and the desire to create a life for myself. KUFRI is my second business and came much later.

 Tell us about the process of launching KUFRI. Best parts? Biggest challenge?

KUFRI was born from a desire to connect with my family and do more than just sit behind a computer for 10 hours a day. I was seeking something more impactful and meaningful. I wanted to devote my time to creating something tangible and bigger than myself; I was thinking about my life work and what my legacy would be.

The best parts have been seeing myself evolve and finding myself through KUFRI. It may have started as a line of textiles, but it has brought immense growth and meaning into my life from working through challenges and building relationships. When a design firm falls in love with the line and becomes a repeat client, that’s the icing on the cake. Oh and no two days are ever the same… I love that!

I’m more right-brain inclined than left-brain inclined, so the biggest challenge has been trying to manage and teach myself to be good at all the left-brain inclined business tasks. I don’t like analyzing numbers and such, but it’s got to get done.

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

I recently purchased a gorgeous Leclerc loom and hired someone to weave and bring my designs to life. Being able to do the design and seeing it translated into a woven cloth right here on our own loom has been a thrill. Once the sample is approved, it gets shipped to India for full production.

I lead a rich, full life and find inspiration everywhere… so I would say nature and life itself are my biggest inspirations. Changing my pace of life dramatically inspires me, for example, traveling to a village in India or traveling to NY, forces me to shift and adapt; that shift inspires me to think differently and see differently.

  

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The Warwick Reno: Before Photos Part Two

June 26, 2017 Warwick 0 Comments

It’s summertime and in our household and that means it’s time to get busy on home renovations. The image above is a rendering of the plan for our upstairs bathroom! We’ve done our best to maximize this small space. More on these plans below, but first a little backstory.

You might remember that my hubby Luke is a high school teacher, and during the summer months we kick it into high gear with our reno goals. Last summer, we did the full kitchen renovation, painted the entire downstairs, tiled the mudroom, wallpapered the entry and decorated the living room, dining, guest room and my office.

This summer, we are hoping to complete the upstairs bathroom (gut job), the master bedroom (needs massive help), replace all the doors, floors, and baseboard and paint the second floor – plus decorate!

My very first Warwick Reno post had lots of BEFORE photos of the house, including a few upstairs. Since then Luke has gotten rid of almost all of the upstairs flooring. Most of the floors are original pine and were covered in linoleum. The master bedroom did not have original flooring and I think we may carpet in the bedroom, as we have wood flooring almost everywhere else in the house.

Here are a few more BEFORE photos of where the upstairs is currently at:

Hall with french doors to master bedroom. All of these door will be replaced! And these are the original pine floors, which we’d like to bleach and leave a light color.

Current state of master bedroom, lots of plans for in here.

The not very exciting “master bathroom.” We will do our best to maximize the small space and add some luxury!

This dead corner has a useless closet behind, so we will create built-in shelving here.

Gutting it all…

See ya later sad old bathroom.

We are really excited to get demolition going and we are starting in the bathroom! I worked with a really cool digital rendering company, Deckor, to help me create these realistic views of the new bathroom based on our design selections. I honestly can’t say enough about Aman and the team at Deckor, they really brought the space to life with their rendering capabilities! We are also working with some really exciting brand partners on the rest of the upstairs plans and I’m excited to really solidify the designs and share them with you!

Here are the gorgeous bathroom renderings. These make me so happy. I can only hope our finished project looks even better in real life!

In our next post, I’ll share all the design details for the bathroom.

More soon!

XO – CLAIRE


Look Book: Chic Red, White and Blue Style

June 20, 2017 Styling Lessons 0 Comments

It’s always fun to be festively dressed on a holiday and the Fourth of July has lots of cute outfit potential! I can usually find something in my closet to wear, because my whole wardrobe is pretty much blue and white – big surprise : ) but I saw these comfy and chic red flats at local boutique Penelope’s and could not resist putting together a Look Book post. I hope to do more of these posts, which will be filed under the Styling Lessons category here on the blog sidebar. You can shop a similar look from the selections I made below. Here’s my chic red, white and blue outfit for the 4th weekend!

Pair a white embroidered top, with jeans or cropped jeans, add a pair of red flats and a cute floppy hat! My top is vintage and the hat is old JCREW, but I’ve linked the red flats and cropped jeans above. Below are similar white embroidered tops and cute floppy hats to complete your look!

Scroll through the images below and click on any picture to be taken to the item. Happy Shopping!

 

And Happy Fourth of July friends! Hope you’ll be watching fireworks and snuggling up with the ones you love!

XO – CLAIRE


DIY Fringe Lamp Shade How To

June 15, 2017 DIY Projects 0 Comments

For this project, I teamed up with fashion designer Veronica Sheaffer to use leftover fringe from Veronica’s collection to add pizzazz to my vintage lamp! You can also see this DIY Fringe Lampshade featured on Domino.com

Once thought of as a traditional and stuffy accouterment to window treatments, fringe is making a huge comeback in fashion and interiors. Spotted on the runway on bags, shoes, and skirts in all colors and styles, fringe is totally on-trend. In the home decor space, I love fringe lining the bottom of a sofa, chair, or ottoman. And adding fringe to just about anything will up the style factor, as proven by this DIY fringe lampshade.

The hardest part of this DIY is finding a cool lamp and pretty fringe. After that, it’s a piece of cake!

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Garage Organization with Gladiator

gladiator garage makeover

We moved into the house last spring and focused right away on the kitchen and downstairs renovation. This left little time for any outdoor work, so this spring we are excited to get a couple outdoor projects going! The first project is our mini-makeover for the garage with Gladiator. When I found out Gladiator was looking for people to work with on garage organization, I jumped at the chance knowing Luke would LOVE a new workbench and extra storage for tools in the garage. When we first moved-in he created some basic shelving out of some 2×4 lumbar, but as you can see from the before pictures it wasn’t exactly doing enough for us in the organization department.

GARAGE BEFORE:

We worked with Gladiator to choose a few products that we thought would work well for us. We knew we wanted a work bench for added surface area for projects like planting and small wood working jobs. We love the Adjustable 6ft Hardwood Work Bench! It’s super versatile and was easy to put together. Luke also wanted Gladiator’s Modular GearDrawer. It’s a great place to store tools and their various small parts and it can roll around the garage with him.

The coolest product that Gladiator makes in my opinion are their GearWall Panels, these slat wall style panels come in different lengths and sizes, and easily screw into your walls or studs to get your stuff off the floor! With only two 4′ panels we are able to house multiple yard tools, and a bunch of Luke’s smaller tools and nails, screws, etc. Also, I think my favorite item is the handy CleanUp Caddy, which is the paper towel holder with cleaning products on top! Maybe now I’ll clean out my cup holders and wipe down the dashboard (or at least that is Luke’s dream). Keep reading to see all the after photos!

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