A Bit of a Break.. But Not for Long!

So, you might have noticed that it's been some time since we last posted. This is true, but there's a reason! And, we thought we'd take a minute to share with you what's been happening over here and what you can expect over the next few months. We're excited to announce that we are revamping our website! That's right.. it's getting a whole new look! And, therefore, we will be taking some time off from blogging. That doesn't mean we're halting any operations or that we're not still documenting our design adventures. No, no. In fact, we've got a busy summer planned with some fun projects coming up! Instead, we're simply refocusing energy once spent on blogging to creating our new website. Rest assured, once our new site is alive and well, we'll hop back on the bloggin' horse!

So, please stay tuned for updates and certainly don't hesitate to get in touch with us for any design needs you may have! See you soon!

The Color of 2015!

It's that time again - Pantone has named the Color of the Year! And, as I've done in the past, I'm posting a little inspiration via a collection of images showing how to bring this color into your home this year - we've got ideas from paint to rugs, and from chairs to toss pillows.

So, what's the color, you ask?

This year Pantone's Color of the Year 2015 is Marsala.

Pantone Color of the Year 2015

 

And here's a quick collage of images to give you an overall color story of the bold 2015 shade. The collage shows thumbnail images of the design and decor ideas that I'll explore further below!

Marsala Gallery

 

But before we delve into those, let's talk about the chosen color - Marsala! This color can be compared to the likes of maroon, burgundy, or even merlot (which, like marsala, shares its name origin in wine). I originally thought maybe I'd try to describe to you, in my own words, the marsala color.. but I think the following quotes from Pantone actually describe it best.

Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness.

Pantone Color Story

Add elegance to any room by incorporating this rich and welcoming hue in accent pieces, accessories and paint. Marsala’s plush characteristics are enhanced when the color is applied to textured surfaces, making it an ideal choice for rugs and upholstered living room furniture.

So, let's explore some ideas of how you can use this color in your home!

One of the most popular ways this year will likely be through textiles, as we've seen this color make it's rise in fashion textiles too! So, think rugs, throw blankets, pillows, upholstery fabrics, etc.

Trellis Rug

 

Floral Rug

 

Flat Weave Rug

 

Throw Blanket

Chevron Toss Pillow

Upholstered Sofa

 

Speaking of fashion, you could even spice up your wardrobe with a simple accessory in the earthy color - like this cozy scarf!

Scarf

 

Or, if you are pretty confident in color, you could use this rich color on the walls or large surfaces of your space - like paint, wallpaper and even kitchen cabinets.

Wall Paint

 

Wallpaper

 

Kitchen Cabinets

 

And, we couldn't talk about design without talking about furniture, so here are a few ideas!

Barstool

 

Tufted Ottoman

 

Garden Stool

 

Zig Zag Pouf

Cafe Chairs

Chest of Drawers

 

Ottoman with Nailheads

 

And, lastly, of course, one of the easiest ways to bring any color into your space is through accessories like artwork, photo frames, and even vintage books!

Artwork

 

Photo Frame

Vintage Books

 

So, what do you think? Do you love the color?

At first, I was a little underwhelmed by this year's color choice, but only after a short time, I'm really starting to love it. I love the tone of this color.. it is so sophisticated, earthy and rich.. with a bit of a vintage feel, and you know I love that!

Five on Friday - DIY Fall Decor

I'm finally giving in to the fact that fall is here, and summer is gone. =( So, to boost my spirits about that, and hopefully yours too, today's Five on Friday is do-it-yourself fall decor ideas that you can do relatively easily and inexpensively!

5 DIY Fall Decor Ideas!

  1. Mason Jar Lid Pumpkin. This sweet little DIY pumpkin is made simply of mason jar lids tied together to form a ring.. with a few cinnamon sticks as a stem and cut burlap as leaves. I love the subtle natural color variation in the lids. Super easy and super chic!


  1. Leaf Bowl. This little project may be a tad bit less than simple, but the lovely bright autumn colors of this decorative bowl really bring fall into your space and make this DIY project worth it! And the organic shape that the leaves give the bowl's edge is both delicate and beautiful.


  1. Burlap Table Runner. Now this DIY project is super simple, and a great way to dress up your fall feasts. Pretty much all you need is a couple yards of burlap and some sort of decorative accent. The tasseled edge is a really simple and totally cute detail here, but I've also seen other accents like monograms, lace, etc. In my opinion, burlap is just the perfect rustic fall texture!


  1. Painted Patterned Pumpkins. If you're not very skilled at carving a pumpkin, or a fan of the mess involved, try this simple alternative. These particular pumpkins are super trendy with their chevron pattern, but you could paint any pattern (or even a simple solid color). Either way, half the fun of this DIY project is doing it, since the pumpkin won't last past the season. So, go for it.. get creative!


  1. Acorn Filled Votives. And one last really easy DIY decor idea - votive candle holders with fall-inspired filler. Personally, I love the acorns, but obviously you could use corn kernels, mini pumpkin pods, etc. as shown. The simplicity of this project is two fold. It's super easy to do and looks super stylish too.

Well, there you go - just a few simple DIY Fall decor ideas for you. If you aren't busy this weekend picking pumpkins or raking leaves, give one of these DIY projects a try!

Happy Fall Weekend everybody!

Tuesday Tip - Decorative Storage

Design tip header.

Tuesday Tip - Decorative Storage:


Let decorative storage be your friend! There are so many options out there that will not only help clean up your clutter, but also blend seamlessly into your space. Give it a go!


Check out the images below of spaces that use decorative storage creatively and flawlessly!

Laundry room with creative storage.

Organized desk space.

Organized closet with decorative storage.

Built-in shelves with decorative storage.

Organized office with creative storage.

Images found here!

Color of the Year!

With the announcement of Pantone's Color of the Year 2014, I decided to create a little inspirational post with a collection of images showing how to bring this beautiful color into your home this year - whether it be through paint, fabrics, furniture, decor, accessories, etc. This first collage of images shows a sampling of the home design and decor ideas explored in more detail below, but I included it specifically because it nicely illustrates the color story!


Radiant Orchid gallery of images.


But before we delve in, let's discuss the selected color - Radiant Orchid.. which is sorta just a fancy name for pinkish purple, hehe. But, its name really does express how this color is vibrant, feminine and beautiful!


Radiant Orchid


Pantone describes it like this: "Radiant Orchid blooms with confidence and magical warmth that intrigues the eye and sparks the imagination. It is an expressive, creative and embracing purple — one that draws you in with its beguiling charm. A captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid emanates great joy, love and health."

So, what do you think? Do you love the color?

I am not usually necessarily a huge fan of "girly" colors, or very bright colors for that matter, but I do have an appreciation for this hue and actually love it paired with darker purples and greys!

So, let's explore some ideas of how you can use this color in your home! Well, an easy way (if you aren't shy) is to use it boldly as paint on the walls!


Radiant orchid painted wall.


Radiant orchid bedroom.


But, if you'd rather introduce the color into your space in a more subtle way, here are varying shades of the daring color used in lighting.. no pun intended!


Glass lamp in radiant orchid.


Desk lamp in radiant orchid.


Gourd lamp in radiant orchid.


Of course, fabrics are a great way to bring this color into a space too! The first image below shows a beautiful color palette blending the Radiant Orchid color with darker, richer purple hues and a warm neutral hue, like grey.


Fabrics in radiant orchid colors.


Patterned fabric in orchid.


Floral fabric in orchid.


Duvet in orchid.


What about the furniture in the space? This color could create the perfect accent piece - one that will most likely also be a conversation piece!


Chair in orchid color.


Painted orchid dresser.


Club chair in orchid pattern.


This color even looks great outdoors against a lush green backdrop!


Garden furniture in orchid.


If brightly painted walls or boldly colored furniture isn't your thing, an easy way to bring in the Color of the Year is in your decor and accessories. These are the items in a space that can be changed out easily seasonally or yearly (you know, when next year's Color of the Year is announced, hehe). Simply mix in a little color with flowers, candles, toss pillows, etc.


Flowers in orchid color.


Glass candle in ombre orchid colors.


Pillow in orchid.


Votive candle in orchid color.


Toss pillow in a variety of orchid colors.


Flowers in radiant orchid.


And, if you actually like the idea of this vibrant color on your walls, but maybe you're not brave enough to paint a whole wall, then how about hanging up some bold modern abstract artwork representing the color!


Abstract art in radiant orchid color.


Abstract art in orchid and vibrant blue


Or, you could ground the space and make a statement with a large scaled area rug in this bold hue!


Trellis patterned rug in orchid.


Herringbone rug in orchid color.


Or, lastly, if you're really diggin' the Radiant Orchid Color of the Year, try designing a whole space around this vibrant color!


Interior space using radiant orchid color.


Well, what do you think? How might you use Radiant Orchid in your home this coming year?


Paint lids showing radiant orchid color palette.

A Peek at Recent Projects - Part 3

Today, we are sharing just one more completed client project that we tackled earlier this year. This one is a tiny powder room with a big design! To save money, the clients requested limited changes to the existing fixtures. So, instead, we gave this space new finishes and added architectural interest. See the result!

Powder room vanity view


As you can see above, we designed and installed custom wall paneling painted in a crisp clean white to elevate the style of the space, and to add architectural interest to an otherwise small plain box. We then installed a classic, yet current, subtle graphic wallpaper on the top portion of the wall to give this powder room a little feel of luxury and sophistication!


Powder room window view


Check out the "before" image below showing this space when it was just a plain pale purple powder room. Say that three times fast! Anyway, the new powder room looks like a totally different space, and all without changing any of the existing bathroom fixtures!


Before image


Progress shot


I also included this progress shot above because you gotta love watching the transformation happen, and watching all the planning and designing come to life, right? That is absolutely one of my favorite parts of my job - seeing the design ideas on paper finally become a reality. And, thanks to my trades men and women for making it all look beautiful!

And, lastly, here are a couple detail shots of the space showing some of the decor and accessories that we used in the design to bring in color, texture, etc. Here you'll see the rich, handcrafted teak wood vanity mirror and the small collection of geometric pillar candles placed on the clients' silver tray.


Detail shot of mirror.


Detail shot of candles.


Well, as I mentioned in the first two posts of this series, please check back soon and visit our portfolio page for more shots of these and some of our other newly completed projects! There are angles and details to these spaces that you just haven't seen in these sneak peek photos!


Overall shot


Well, I hope you've enjoyed seeing what we've been up to over here at StudioVB. As always, we enjoy sharing. Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

A Peek at Recent Projects - Part 2

Monday we shared a recent dining room project with you. And today we are sharing a second project, a family room, that was completed earlier this year for some other lovely clients of ours. This project was a fairly large sized family room, but the design challenge here was that the space needed to accommodate several zones, or areas of different function - a tv watching area, a work space, and a children's play space. But, challenge accepted.. we were able to create and delineate these specific zones and still make the space feel open and cohesive. With a beautifully functional layout of space and a clean bold color palette, this space is one of my favorites this year! Take a look!


Family room view of ottomans


This family room got a pretty significant over-haul from top to bottom. The design included new bamboo flooring, freshly painted walls, and all new furnishings.. and I mean all! I don't believe any single piece of furniture, window treatment, etc. remained from the original space. These truly are the best kinds of projects - when we get to start from a blank canvas, so to speak. And, the transformation is always so much more rewarding for the client! Check out the snapshot below of the space before with seafoam blue carpeting, a slightly lighter seafoam blue wall color, and an assortment of tired old furnishings. What a difference, right?


Before image


Anyway, here's a few more sneak peek photos of the project, but definitely check out the portfolio page in the near future for more shots of this bright and fresh space. The clean lines of this large transitional sectional paired with pops of vibrant color in the pillows and bold pattern in the rug really create a dynamic space.


Family room side table view


This project actually lasted quite a long time.. with client decisions, contractor schedules, oh and me having a baby, I think this project stretched over almost 9 months. But, we had a ton of fun working on this project and, at the completion of the project, I even joked with the clients about how we are going to miss our Friday night date night.. uhem, I mean Friday night design meetings. =) They became such a staple in my week. Anyway, in pulling these photos together for the portfolio, I realized I miss something else from the days of this project...


Logan wearing Hayes


I miss my tiny little baby! This photo of Logan wearing Hayes was taken during installation of this project. Yep, this was Hayes' first time on the job! But I just couldn't believe how tiny and cute he looks here! Now he's a chunky monkey 9 month old. Wow, time flies!

Anyway, back to the project! In the photos below you'll see the three zones I mentioned earlier in the post. The first one shows the small and simple work space that is nestled into a small nook out of the way of the main living area and disguised from view just enough in case the desk ever gets a little messy!


Family room desk view


This next photo shows the children's play area situated perfectly in an alcove at the far end of the space. The clients have two adorable little kiddos and they needed a place to hang out on the floor, sprawl out their toys and just play! The comfy rug and floor pillows give them a soft place to play, and with the simple storage cubbies for all their toys and a cork board to display their artwork, this is the perfect little play space.. and it's stylish too!


Family room view of play area


And this last photo shows the tv watching zone, which from this angle you can also see doubles as a casual sitting area around the fireplace and the built-in bookshelves. With dual focal points, this area gets a ton of use from this family!


Family room view of built-in


Well, there's your sneak peak! Thanks for letting us share. Hope you love this space as much as we, and the clients, do! Check back later this week for one more tiny client project that we'll be sharing with you. And, as always, if you have a space that needs a total transformation, you know where to reach us!

A Peek at Recent Projects - Part 1

After having our beautiful baby boy earlier this year, we took some time away from client work to spend precious time with him. How amazing it has been! And, while we're pretty much back in the swing of working now, I am trying to maintain a delicate balance of work and being home with my son! That's the beauty of working for yourself, right? Anyway, because of that, it has been awhile since we've posted about our client work! Over the past few months, we wrapped up a few design projects, but have just been too busy to share them with you.. until now! So today I'm giving you a sneak peek of the first of three of our most recently completed client projects. The other two projects will follow later this week! These projects will, of course, be added with more detail to our portfolio page soon, but until then, here are a few preview shots of the completed spaces. Enjoy!

This first project is a small dining room space that I designed (on a limited budget) for previous clients of ours. The clients had these really unique heirloom pieces that they wanted to include in the new space, but the challenge was to lighten, brighten, and update the look and feel of the space while incorporating the large scale, heavy, and, in the case of the upholstery - outdated, heirloom pieces. Here is the result!


Dining room window view


A clean, simple, and fresh dining space that feels like an early morning at a cozy bed and breakfast. At least that what comes to mind for me! =)

Anyway, we kept the walls a cheerful pale yellow, and did tone on tone semi-sheer window panels layered over woven shades to soften yet unify the space. We also introduced a soft grey textural fabric for the new upholstery on the heirloom dining chairs!


Dining room side chair view


Which we think is a huge improvement from the dark, outdated upholstery before.. see?


Dining chair upholstery before


Also, to bring in some texture, life, and a little color to the otherwise neutral space, we added some natural earthy elements to the tablescape, which also helped to tie in the adjacent spaces. We did so through the use of muted green round woven placemats and wooden napkin rings!


Dining room table detail


To balance the size and style of the massive sideboard, we added eclectic decor and accessories. Displayed on top are a collection of vintage apothecary jars filled with natural elements, tall architectural candle holders to introduce height, and hung on the wall above is a large scale client-created Instagram photo collage to give the space a casual vibe and personal touch.


Dining room view with sideboard


Well, that's all you get for now! Check out our portfolio page in the near future for more details of this sweet little dining space. The light, airy, casual yet sophisticated feel of this dining room makes it a great space for entertaining friends in a cozy and intimate setting. In fact, our clients have already deemed this the favorite room in the house! Wow. You know, dining rooms don't often get that honor, but I think it's because this space is comfortable, functional, and charming, and its classic style will serve this family for a long time. What a joy it is to help our clients love their spaces!

Later this week, look for a few more of our recent client projects. Happy Monday everyone!

Five on Friday: Thrift Shops

TGIF! Fridays are great for so many reasons - the end of a (traditional) work week, the beginning of two days to spend with family and friends, the day to finalize those weekend plans, and more. For Valerie and I, though, one thing we look forward to on Fridays is the potential for what the next morning might bring - thrifting! Now, it's unfortunately not something we get to do every weekend (hey, we're busy, people!), and generally by this time of year it's getting a little cooler and, therefore, we don't go as often (especially to those outdoor flea markets). But, the weather is still unseasonably warm and the opportunity for thrifting, whether at a thrift store, flea market, yard sale, antiques market, etc., is always on our radar. So, for today's edition of Five on Friday, I thought I'd share my Top 5 Thrift Shops in the Central PA region! As mentioned above, thrifting doesn't have to happen at just traditional thrift shops, like Salvation Army or Goodwill, so stay tuned for some other variations too.

With that said, here are my...

Top 5 Picks for Thrift Shops!

  1. Blue Mountain Thrift Store. This thrift store is located in Annville, PA. Don't be turned off by its unassuming location and building, however. Once inside, this place is bigger than it appears from the outside, carries an assorted, ever-changing inventory of furniture, household goods, clothes, books, and more, and I cannot remember a time when we've left here empty-handed!

Furniture at Blue Mountain Thrift Store.


  1. Williams Grove Farmers' Flea Market. You may have seen this flea market surface in one of Valerie's previous posts, so it'll come as no surprise that this is one of our favorite local thrifting spots. However, since that post, some things have changed - the lower portion of the flea market, which was held at the former amusement park, is no longer in operation. You can read more about this here. As sad as this is, the upper portion, maintained by the Williams Grove Historical Steam Engine Association, is still in operation and has taken on many of the vendors that previously sold at the lower area. Therefore, while some of the amazing atmosphere is no more, the finds are still there! Bonus: as its name suggests, there's a Farmer's market there as well!

A stand at the Williams Grove Flea Market.


  1. Hampden Center Goodwill. Located in the Hampden Shopping Center in Mechanicsburg, PA, this is your typical Goodwill store. What sets this location apart, however, is its collection of home goods and housewares. Located in the back of the store (which is great because you have to pass by all of the clothes, where you're sure to find a gem as well, to get there), these items are neatly (well, neat for a thrift store!) organized by color, which makes any thrifting adventure even more fun :)

Hampden Center Goodwill.


  1. Antique Marketplace of Lemoyne. Valerie and I love, love, love this place. Located just over the river from us, it's a convenient trip to make, especially since they're open everyday! From the beautiful building to the many independent vendors, shopping here always proves to be a good time. There's always a variety of items to ogle, and even with this being an antiques shop, we've found many affordable items during our various shopping trips here. The photo below happens to be a shot of one of our favorite vendors located inside. If you get a chance to stop by this gem, be sure to check out Architecturally Speaking!

A vendor space from the Antique Marketplace of Lemoyne.


  1. Root's Old Mill Flea Market. This is another favorite and a place I grew up going to. Situated in a huge field, which allots for many vendors (and with many vendors, usually comes many great finds!), Root's (pronounced "Ruutz") is near Manheim, PA. Make sure you take time to go inside the barn too; there are more vendors inside! Located across the street from the Root's Country Market & Auction, you can literally spend the whole day here.. just make sure it's a Tuesday since that's the only day it's open :)

A table at the Root's Old Mill Flea Market.


Well, now I'm in the mood to thrift! The good new is today is Friday and we've got a pretty open weekend ahead of us.. I think I know what might find its way onto our agenda!

Have a thrifting gem you want to share? Tell us about it in the comments!

Four(teen) Years Later

Today, September 19, 2013, marks our 4th wedding anniversary! And, as the title of this post suggests, four years of marriage also means that we've been together for fourteen years, and that's something we're very proud of. So, to reflect and reminisce, I thought I'd share this little gem. Aren't we cute? Logan and Valerie on their wedding day.

If you read my previous Thankful Thursday post, it'll come as no surprise to you that I feel that the life Valerie and I share is pretty awesome. We have a lot to be thankful for, and our love is definitely at the top of the list, which is why we tend to make a big-ish deal out of our anniversaries.. though plans for celebrating this year haven't been completely hashed out just yet. I guess that's what happens when a certain baby is keeping us both pretty busy :)

Anyway, as you can imagine, planning our wedding (and all details involved) provided the perfect opportunity for Valerie and I to use our creativity to make our special day.. well, special. It was designed to be down-to-earth, yet sophisticated, with a mix of rustic, vintage, and do-it-yourself elements, and to us, it was perfect!

From the weather to the beautiful outdoor ceremony location, from the self-made bride's dress to the DIY bouquets and boutonnieres, from the guest photo shoot area to the bride and groom choreographed first dance, every detail helped to pull together and create our wedding - the day we chose to honor and celebrate our love. So, with that said, we invite you to celebrate with us and check out more pictures from our DIY Wedding!

Skeleton keys around the floral centerpiece.

Happy 4th Anniversary to my one.. and here's to many more!

A Beach Kind of Day

We just returned from a late summer beach vacation (Hayes' first!), and while others are getting ready for all things pumpkin, we're still holding onto the last days of summer and our fun get-a-way. So, to stay in the I-don't-want-cold-weather-to-come-too-soon mood, I created a rustic and sophisticated beach themed Etsy Treasury (a member-curated shopping gallery)! And, as usual, we're sharing it with you here on our blog!

Check out some of the details below, or visit the Treasury on Etsy! Here's a quick snapshot of it!

A beach themed Etsy Treasury.

Here are some close-ups of some of the Treasury items!

Rustic beach decor.

Aqua candlestick holders.

Tray with blue chevron pattern.

White beach decor.

Aqua printed pillow.

Blue mason jars.

Rustic anchor.

Well, there you have it! Whether you're holding on to summer or ready for pumpkin pie and scarves, here's hoping you got a little inspiration for some future design.

If you love any of these items, they can be found and purchased on Etsy! And, if you like what you see, don't be afraid to share our Treasuries!

Basement to Back Yard

We recently decided that it was time to get organized and clear out some of our belongings in the basement. And, since a good chunk of the items stored in the basement are for the yard or garden, we thought, "Why not start there?" Add this to the fact that if I can find an excuse to purchase a new home improvement toy of some kind, I will, and... voila! Next thing you know, we're installing a new little shed in our little back yard. So, we thought we'd share with you our newest addition and show you a few snapshots along the way of the (relatively) easy installation.

The small brick patio for the shed to sit on.

A close up of the brick patio.

The black base of the shed.

The assembly of the shed.

Hayes enjoying the back yard!

The finished shed.

Anybody else have a recent update to their outdoor space? We'd love to hear about your projects too, so feel free to share in the comments!

Thankful Thursday - My Wife, My Life

So, it's Thursday. No, scratch that, it's Thankful Thursday! Today, I am taking some time to reflect on how thankful I am for my wife and for the life we share. Warning: I'm about to get mushy. Not only am I fortunate enough to be married to my best friend, the love of my life, and now the mother of our beautiful son, I am also lucky enough to own and operate a business with her. We get to spend most days together doing what we love, and for that I am thankful.

I've heard some people say that they could never work with their spouse, but Valerie and I feel the complete opposite. I guess that's what happens when you meet and fall in love at (where else?) work. That's right, we met in 1999 while working together at Perkins and the rest, as they say, is history : )

Anyway, I am truly blessed, and a ton (if not most) of it has a lot to do with her. So, thank you, Valerie, for not only marrying me, but also for pursuing your dream and allowing me to be a part of it!