photos

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!

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!

He's (been) here!

As most of you know, Logan and I were expecting our first child in early February. Well, as I'm sure you can imagine - with it being almost mid April - he's here! In fact, he's been here.. for a little over 2 months already (which is crazy). Anyway, our little baby boy was born on February 5th, weighing 6 lbs 15 oz and measuring 19.75" long, and time has already flown by so quick! I have been wanting to post a little announcement on our blog to share with you the arrival of our baby boy, but clearly I've been a bit busy adjusting to life as a new mommy. But, today, I finally grabbed a few minutes to write this post.. so, here he is.. Welcome Baby Hayes!

First photo.

I've obviously got a couple months to catch you up on, so here are just a few more of the many photos we've snapped of him over the past two months! We, of course, think he is the cutest thing.. but we'll let you decide!

Cute bug.

While he was still only a couple weeks old, a good friend of ours (who is a professional photographer) offered to come shoot a few newborn photos of Hayes. While we haven't gotten those photos back just yet, this next photo is a quick snapshot of him in his hat and bowtie that we used for the shoot!

Hat and bowtie.

Since he was born in early February, it was pretty much too cold to head outside while he was still a newborn. But, when we had one of our first warmer days, Logan and I jumped at the chance to take our little guy for his first walk around the city! In the photo below, Daddy is babywearing Hayes in his Baby K'tan wrap - he loves that thing!

Walk photo.

Here he is all snuggled in his car seat with his adorable little knot hat! In this photo, you can really start to see his little cheeks filling out! He is definitely a good eater. =)

In car seat.

As I'm sure you know, newborns don't do too much besides sleep, eat and, well, poop. But in this next photo we caught one of his first little smiles. These are the moments we now live for!

Smile photo

And, in this one last photo, we'll leave you with a sneak peek at little Hayes' nursery! I will definitely be posting more photos and details on the design of his stylish nursery, but for now, this is all you get. =)

Crib photo.

Well, thanks for letting us share the arrival of our precious little boy!

More Powder to You!

It has been oh so long since we have updated our readers on the progress of any projects around our house. With busy summer schedules (and the pregnancy) unfortunately we hadn't been tackling too many of our own projects. However, lately we've been taking some time to focus on some of our ongoing design projects around the house. Personally, I think it's a little bit of the "nesting" bug that is starting to hit us, hehe! So anyway, we wanted to share with you the progress of our tiny powder room design. With the first few layers complete.. including the flooring, the paint color, and our DIY paneling project, it was finally on to some fun fixtures, accessories and art projects. In today's post, we'll share a few of the tasks we tackled in the design of our powder room and, of course, show off the final result!

Our Powder Room Reveal

Powder room left side

Powder room sink and accessories below

Final powder room shot.

Since it's a super small space, it's hard to get a good overall shot! So, below are some detail shots!

As you scroll down, you'll notice that for this space we DIYed some projects, accessorized with a few new decorative accents (that we picked up at some of our favorite local stores) and, of course, added some personality with some of our already owned decorative items. Check 'em out!

A fun, and functional, step stool!

Milk stool

While painting a portion of our wall in our design studio with chalkboard paint to create a handy and cute daily to-do list area, we got inspired to try another creative project with the fun, and super simple, chalkboard paint. So, here in the powder room, we decided to take a boring old milk stool (that we envision our child using someday to wash their hands.. how cute?) and give it a fun and functional finish.

"Wash your hands"


A small floor basket for much needed storage!

Toiletries basket


A cute, and personal, decorative wooden accent!

Powder room right side.

A mini wooden cityscape of NYC sits atop the paneling ledge to the right of our mirror. This little vignette serves as a nod to our first place in NYC and the time we spent there. It will always hold a special place in our hearts, and well, now in the powder room!

Wooden cityscape.


A custom wall art installation!

The yarn bird art installation.

We'd been meaning to create a custom art piece somewhere in our home, and what a more unique place than the powder room, right? Haha. So, with some miniature flat-head nails and a ball of yarn, we created a few flying birds as a whimsical yet modern art installation. We like it, do you?

Yarn ball close up.


Some added architectural detail!

Yarn bird and crown molding.

After the paneling project, we still wanted to add one more layer of architectural detail, which was the crown molding. It was a simple upgrade that made the space feel larger and more sophisticated, and tied together the paneling!


Personalized, and changeable, artwork!

Elephant mosaic.

This ledge over the toilet serves as an art ledge! So, instead of hanging art on the wall, we can simply prop a piece of art here and change it out whenever we want. I know, I know.. the elephant with the birds don't quite mesh, but both are personal and meaningful and that's what matters most in any space!


A necessary accessory, yet in a unique style!

Waste basket.


A space saving switcheroo!

Powder room pedestal sink.

Before we started designing the powder room, the space was pretty blah! And the faucet fixture was pretty run-of-the-mill! So, we knew we wanted to switch it out, and with a tiny space like this, we need all the space we can get! So, we replaced the old faucet with a single handle faucet to allow more room on the pedestal sink!

Faucet.


Bringing in some texture, some quirk and some vintage!

Towel holder

The vintage hat hook was found lying in one of my mom's old dressers, and it was just dying for a front row seat somewhere. And again, what better place then the powder room! I mean, let's face it, everyone who enters our home will likely visit this space, right?

Hat hook close up.

Oh, and since it's a bathroom, and it must be functional, we of course added the mustard yellow hand towels and grey-blue bath rug that you may have seen in the shots above!

And in addition to some of what is shown in these photos, we also tackled a few DIY projects like giving the old light fixture a new life with a fresh coat of paint! We may still replace it at some point, but for now (without spending more than a few dollars) we've made it work in the space!

Well, there you have it - a long overdue update on our tiny powder room. I suppose we'll call it complete.. for now! You know how these things go - I may feel the need to change something out in the near future, but it is good to feel like a space is complete.

The good news is that it is a world different from the powder room that you see below (from when we first moved in)!

The before shot.

Final powder room shot.

Hope you enjoyed the tour of our new space! Let us know your thoughts.

Made or Unmade?

Not too long ago, I had a discussion with some family members about something pretty controversial, and I'm actually not sure I know where I stand on the issue. Okay, okay, so I'm making it sound way more exciting than it may be, but it's still interesting - I think! The issue at hand is.. Should you make your bed every morning after you get out of it. Or, can you simply leave it unmade?

Made bed.

Unmade bed.

Even as a designer, I must say, I do not make my bed every morning! I suppose it's true, that I do feel better walking into a room that has a freshly made bed vs. one pillow here, one pillow who-knows-where and a duvet hanging on the floor, but the reality in our house is that Logan and I do not have the same schedule every morning - sometimes I am up before him, and sometimes visa versa - so I suppose neither of us have gotten into the habit of making the bed when we are the last to get up!

Unfortunately, I usually just crawl out and leave it for later. Not to mention, I often wake up with an idea or a task (from the ever-present to-do list) on my mind that I must go do/write down/tackle at that very moment, leaving no time to perfectly place the arsenal of shams and toss pillows on the bed. Occasionally, I'll actually make the bed later in the day, but sometimes I climb into it at night just as I left it in the morning.

I'm not convinced there is anything wrong with an unmade bed. When I come to bed at night and my bed is all disheveled from last night's sleep, it serves as a lovely invitation to lay down, get comfy and snuggle right in! That's a feeling that I never feel with a perfectly made bed. In fact, I often feel quite bad for disturbing a well-dressed bed. =)

Made bed.

Unmade Bed.

Oh, and here is the controversy I mentioned at the beginning of the post. My sister-in-law makes her bed every morning, whereas my brother-in-law refuses to do it ever! She says, "It just makes me feel better and it looks nice!" While he says, "Why do it? No one sees it! Besides, you're just gonna get back in it in a few hours anyway." Both of their arguments are true! However, I suppose I'm somewhere in between.

Made bed.

Unmade bed.

So, I'm curious to know what you do. What's your preference? Is your bed made or unmade?

Images found here!

Guest Post: All About Color

With the start of the new year, and some great new projects, we've been pretty busy here at StudioVB. Taking a few minutes here and there to share our studio happenings here on our blog has been more difficult than usual lately. So with that in mind, for today's post, we're bringing you a fun and inspiring little article from guest blogger, Susi, a writer for Design Shuffle, a cool site that brings together designers and design lovers from around the world to share projects and inspiration. Check it out!

Hi all! Thanks for having me here. I love getting to visit the blogs of designers like Valerie from StudioVB. My guest post today is all about color. I've pulled some great photos of interior designs that focus on color, beautiful and bold color. Enjoy!

Colorful Interiors

Deep royal blue vibrates against the contrasting pink of the sofa in this living room. The bold colors are the stars of this space.

Colorful Interiors

Here is another great example of bold colors creating a dynamic combination. Orange lacquered walls with an aqua sofa are all about color, big, bold color.

Colorful Interiors

The mustard walls almost feel neutral as a backdrop for brighter yellow and teal furnishings. Complementary colors like yellow and teal are opposite on the color wheel and pop when placed next to one another. This is a perfect idea for a funky bedroom design!

Colorful Interiors

The neutral gray walls keep the focus on the orange accent color in this room. The room may be mostly gray but it is all about those pops of glorious orange. Lots of great decorating ideas for a stylish home office are seen here.

Colorful Interiors

While this room may be predominately white, it is the contrasting colors of green and red that make it come alive. The red pops against the sea green. It's all about the colors.

Colorful Interiors

None of these colors are bold or incredibly bright but the combination makes a big impact. I love that even the trim is painted a color rather than the traditional choice of white.

Colorful Interiors

Selecting colors on one side of the color wheel creates a more monochromatic palette. The oranges, roses, reds and pinks in this living room create a warm, inviting design that is enveloped in color.

As you can see, using dramatic color in interior design can be bold and beautiful. For more great tips and ideas, check out Design Shuffle, where you can share thoughts and gain inspiration from interior designers, design enthusiasts, and more.

Images from | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

Special thanks to today's guest blogger, Susi, for illustrating how if you don't shy away from bold color, you can make a really beautiful statement in a space. Thanks for joining us here on Be.Love.Create!

I'm Dreaming of a..

decorated Christmas! With being so busy, I'm embarrassed to admit that we've been slacking on spreading the Christmas cheer around our house. We haven't even decorated our Christmas tree yet! It's horrible, I know. But, the good news is that we finally have it, in the stand, watered and ready to go - that, in and of itself, was a big step. We have been saying, "Let's go get our Christmas tree tonight" everyday for the past few weeks, and we finally did so last night! So, now, the plan for tonight is to get out the ornaments, decorate the tree while listening to Christmas music and baking yummy cookies, since we only have 10 short days to go!

So, without any photos to show you of our holiday decorations, I thought I'd post some creative, unique Christmas decor ideas from our Pinterest pin boards not only to inspire others, but to get inspired myself. Let's face it, everybody needs a little inspiration sometimes. Hope it works!

Enjoy!

Green and silver decor.

Hot chocolate.

Simple, neutral decor.

Scrap wood christmas tree.

Simple wrapping!

White christmas decor.

Burlap stockings!

Bold graphic gift wrapping!

Simple vintage wood deer!

Reindeer cookies

Christmas tree decal!

Well, I'm inspired! Happy Holidays to everyone!

Two Years Ago Today..

I lost my best friend.. my mom. My mother passed away unexpectedly on this day two short years ago, and let me just say, it doesn't get any easier as the years pass by. Whether it's a song, a smell, a photo or a place, I am reminded oh so often of her and the memories we'd made. Though I started this post by saying I 'lost' her, I don't feel that way entirely. She is still very much a part of me and with me everyday; and I believe she always will be. Nonetheless, I miss her incredibly! I can't help but long for just one more moment where I can see her face again, hear her voice again and hug her tight again. My wish that she (and we) would have had more time will never fade. My mom was such an amazing person, and of her many gifts, the greatest was her love! In the relatively short time we got to spend together on this earth, she gave me enough love to last a lifetime, and for that I am so thankful.

While this is not the type of content I normally post on this blog, I hope you'll understand that I felt that this post could be cathartic for me; and maybe, in turn, serve as a sense of peace and comfort for those who also have a broken heart from a similar loss. I suppose I'm also using this platform as just a little way that I can say 'I love you' to my mom today.

In honor of her, here are a few snapshots of my mom throughout her life.

Mom at age 6ish

Mom at age 10ish

Mom with cute face.

Mom graduation photo, I think.

Mom with wind in her hair.

Mom with us two kids

Mom smiling at the beach

Mom and I together

Mom in front of the coastline.

Mom, I love you and miss you!

Etsy Anyone?

We've been working on another side of StudioVB for a little while.. and that side is our Etsy shop! Maybe you've seen some of our recent posts on our Facebook page! We come across so many neat vintage home decor finds along our travels (while we are hunting for items for our design projects) that we began to snatch up any little thing we liked, thought was really cool, or couldn't leave behind.. even if we didn't have a home or a client for it just yet. So, after collecting quite a bit of these items, we decided that someone ought to have them, so we set up our Etsy shop to offer our designer selected vintage goods for the home.

If you don't know about Etsy.. shame on you!

Etsy Logo You really have to check it out. It's a online marketplace to buy and sell all things handmade and vintage (and also craft supplies). You can find so many unique items on Etsy and it's so simple to buy. I have been a buyer on Etsy for many years now, purchasing everything from wedding party gifts to unique home decor items to handmade accessories for myself! It can be addicting, so be careful! =)

I mean, take this for example, the image below is a snapshot of items for autumn/fall found on the Etsy Treasury (which is a member-curated shopping gallery). See all the amazing items you can find with just one search. Imagine the possibilities! Hehe.

Treasury List

Speaking of the Etsy Treasury, it's just one of the many cool features of Etsy! Etsy really is a community of creative people and it is yet another place to express your creativity, share ideas with others and get really amazing inspiration, not too mention make a living doing what you love!

Anyway, we have now made the transition from just an Etsy buyer to an Etsy seller as well. Here's a quick glimpse of our new online shop front, as of today.

Screen shot of our Etsy Shop.

We opened our StudioVB Etsy Shop just a few short weeks ago, with only a few small items. Since Etsy has been a side project that we tackle in the evening hours, it has been sort of a slow start (cataloging, photographing, uploading, listing, etc.) But, with only a few items listed on our shop, we had two sales in the first week, and another sale in the second week. Yay! So, we are excited about this new side of our design studio, and are encouraged to get more of our items listed! So, go ahead and visit our shop today, but check back often as more items will be added daily!

Shown below are our sold items. Woohoo!

Our sold items!

Oh and you'll notice our Etsy shop banner shown below states "Vintage and Handmade Items for the Home". Well, I thought I should clarify. For the time being, all the items listed on our shop are vintage finds; however, we will in the near future begin to add some handmade items as well.

Our Etsy shop banner.

Along our design journey, we also come across many items that have potential but just need a little "tweaking", a little love or a little creativity and can be turned into something new and unique. These items (along with some custom artwork or crafted items) will make up the handmade portion of our Etsy shop. We'll use our creativity (and our hands, of course) to create unique items from found objects, fabrics, materials and even everyday art or craft supplies. But, I am guessing those items will get listed in what I am calling phase 2 of the Etsy shop launch. Until then, we will continue to post the vintage items that are stacking up!

Items like this featured item from our shop.

Our Etsy featured item.

Well, friends, let this be our first official introduction to our StudioVB Etsy Shop! Come check us out.

Powder Room Plans

We've been focusing a bit more time on our own home when we get a free moment here and there. And most recently we've been working on the design plan for our tiny powder room on our first floor that needs lots of attention! It's a small rectangular cube with only the necessities - a toilet and a small pedestal sink, cause that's about all that fits! So our plan was to add some texture and some visual interest to bring this tiny box to life. We are thinking a cool crisp color palette of grey blues, light dusty browns and oil-rubbed bronze metallics contrasted against a clean fresh white and a pop of a muted yellow ochre. We want this space to feel sophisticated and refined, but, of course, with a little bit of fun and quirk!

Here are a few inspirational images from our pinboards that have hints of the look and feel that we are going for with the design of our powder room.

Color Inspiration

Bath room.

White powder room.

Blue-grey and gold bedroom.

We are really excited about this project because it's small (3' x 5' small, in fact) and easy to tackle one little step at a time and hopefully complete in no time! We've got lots of ideas in store, some of which include: a modern twist on classic paneling, a fun and simple DIY painting project, some low cost spicing up to the existing fixtures, and even a custom art installation to add some character.

So, before we make any progress.. check out a few before photos. Don't blink, you might miss it. Oh and you'll see that it is neutral, plain and sparse. So, forgive us that we have been living with this space untouched for quite some time now.

Toliet side of the powder room.

Sink side of the powder room.

Off to get started! Check back soon.

Inspirational images from today’s post were found here: Pinterest, DecorPad, Design-Seeds.

Pinterest Please

If you haven't heard of Pinterest, you might be living under a rock, hehe. I'm just kidding. But if you really haven't, I'd love to be the one to introduce you to it. Pinterest Logo

So, meet Pinterest.com. It's essentially a virtual pin board, where you can "pin" images, products, websites, and whatever you like, to serve as a collection of inspiration. Not only that, but you can browse other peoples pin boards to gain further inspiration - I love that part!

Here is a look at some of my pin boards..

My Pinterest pin boards.

Anyway, for those of you who have known about Pinterest - two things: 1) Yay! Follow me and I'll follow you. 2) I know, I know, for you Pinterest is old news! Well, it's pretty old news for me too. I have been surfing Pinterest for a little under a year now, and actually pinning for about 6 months. So, why am I blogging about it today? Because I haven't yet.

While I had been pinning like crazy, and loving every minute of it, I have kept it as my personal inspiration space for quite some time. But as of this week, I have decided to share, hehe. So, as you'll notice on the right side bar, I've added Pinterest to my check-us-out-elsewhere buttons (it's red, you can't miss it)! I should mention too that while I do pin under the username StudioVB, the pins are actually specific to just me, not necessarily our design studio. So anyway, if you wanna know what I'm all about (if you haven't figured it out yet), check out my pin boards and you'll likely get an overall snapshot of me.

Here are just a little sampling of some of my pins and some of the things that inspired me to "Pin It"!

Recylced bottle chandelier.

Paint can colors.

Corrugated metal headboard.

Inspiration wires.

urban vintage interior

You know, I am confident in my design point of view and can easily describe my personal style. But, because I actually really like a lot of styles, colors, ideas, etc. and because I work in a variety of design styles depending on my clients, it's sometimes nice to come back to Pinterest, browse my own pins and really come back to a great sense of 'me' and what I'm most drawn to. I love that part of Pinterest too! And, guess what, it can help you do the same.

If you aren't quite sure of your design style. Pinterest can help! After you've pinned images you are drawn to, browse your own pin board and you'll start to see the common threads. I may start asking my clients to create virtual pin boards. I already ask them to gather imagery, ideas, etc. Hmm.. Pinterest as a tool for my studio.. I like it!

With Pinterest you can go from this..

A physical inspiration board.

To this..

My pins on Pinterest

So, as you can see, Pinterest is a great tool for gathering ideas and cataloging things that inspire you, whether you are designing your home, adding to your wardrobe, experimenting in the kitchen, having a baby, planning a trip, or planning an event or wedding (side note: oh how I wish I would have had Pinterest when I was planning my wedding.. instead I had, dare I say, hundreds of files, folders and even physical magazine cuttings of all the inspiring ideas I came across).

Oh, and just so you know, this post is not sponsored by Pinterest - I just love it that much! If someone would like a personal invite to Pinterest (yep, it's by invitation only, like some exclusive party, hehe), leave a comment below, I've still got a few invites!

Well, I'm off to pin..

Paint the Plugs - Part 2

A few posts ago, Valerie wrote about the Paint the Plugs contest that we, StudioVB, are sponsoring and that Valerie is participating in. Well, the period in which the artists had to paint their plugs has come to an end. Despite the rain that lasted for what seems like all of last week, Valerie was able to take advantage of a few sunny days and get out there to clean, scrape, prime and paint her assigned plug on Verbeke and Third.. and it turned out awesome!

Although her original design plan was to paint the hydrant to make it look like it was constructed of materials other than metal (specifically wood, fabric and rope), with her limited time due to the weather, she decided to focus simply on the wood aspect. I think it's brilliant and so did a few passers-by who stopped to talk to Valerie while she was out painting.

Here are a few shots of the progress as well as the finished product.

Valerie applying stripper.

Close up of the stripper gel on the cap

Hydrant with stripper corroding paint.

Scraping the paint off of hydrant.

Valerie sanding the hydrant.

The primed fire hydrant.

Fire hydrant painted brown and white.

Valerie painting fire hydrant.

Fire hydrant painted to look like wood.

A close-up of the painted fire hydrant.

Painted fire hydrant from an angle.

If you are local to the Harrisburg area or ever find yourself here, be sure to check out the various painted plugs. They can be found on Third Street between Forster Street and Maclay Street.

Don't forget to visit the Friends of Midtown website to see all of the artists' creations and vote for your favorite one. Hopefully, it's ours!

Voting lasts from today, September 16th to next Friday, September 23rd. We'll let you know how we make out!

Simple Serenity

As of a couple weeks ago, we've added a new project to our portfolio. So, take that as an excuse to go check out our portfolio if you haven't, or haven't lately! The new project is titled Simple Serenity and is a master bedroom in a city house here in midtown Harrisburg. This property was vacant and on the market for sale. And, as you know, vacant homes are not easily sold, since the potential of the spaces is difficult for buyers to visualize. So, that's where we came in. We took on this home staging project to give the potential buyers a great idea of how this home can look furnished and simply styled.

Since this home is here in the city, we focused on a urban sophisticated design concept, with a subtle color palette of grey and beige against the strong contrast of light walls and dark furnishings. Then, we added a few metallic accents mixed with natural accessories to give the space some drama but with a comfortable feeling of nature.

Here are a few photos from the portfolio - just to give you a snippet!

Overall shot of the space.

Dresser shown in a niche.

Accessories on the dresser.

Shot of the headboard and bedding.

Detail shot of the mirror.

And since you might be wondering.. This home SOLD just a little over a month after being staged. What a true testament to the effectiveness of home staging. I am always happy to help homeowners get their properties sold fast and for the highest price. So, if your planning to put your home on the market, give us a call first!

Our Blank Canvas

First, and totally off topic from this post, I have to say… Yay, Logan finally had some time to publish his first blog post! I’m looking forward to being able to post more often with two authors and give our readers (the few that may be out there) more updates, inspirations and ideas. Of course, it will be nice to hear all of this from two, often different, perspectives as well. So, yay for that! Anyway, back to the topic of this post. In a couple posts back, we introduced you to our home as it looked when we purchased it – nothing but the bare bones. But, I think it might be nice to show you how it looked right before we moved in (with the renovation complete), with freshly painted walls, newly refinished 100 year old floors, and all the standard conveniences of a modern home. Since we had made an offer on the house early in the renovation process, we were able to choose some of the finishes, but unfortunately, we did not have the opportunity to customize that much. That would be up to us! We look at it like this - we just lucked out on not having to do any of the fun, but often difficult, renovations like wallpaper removal, floor refinishing, relocating plumbing, ripping up old tile, etc. ourselves – maybe we’ll tackle that in our next home, haha.

Anyway, I dug (virtually) through photos to find some to share, and while we documented the renovation progress with hundreds of photos, it seems we failed to take good photos of the finished empty rooms, before we moved all our stuff in... bummer. Anyway, feel free to check out these pics from move-in day, but please forgive the cardboard boxes and random dropped placement of furnishings.

Empty living room.

Empty dining room area

Empty kitchen.

Empty bedroom

Empty hall.

Empty bathroom.

Bedroom with boxes and furniture.

Empty office.

So, our newly purchased house was pretty much a blank canvas for us to design and create into our own home. How exciting! I do remember being really excited, ha! Yet now, a little over a year later, I’d say we are still in the sketching stages of completing our work of art. But give us some time, after moving from a tiny studio apartment in New York City, we had very little furnishings to fill our home, and many of which we’d like to replace with “grown-up” pieces. We’ll get there slowly but surely. And if you know me, you’d know that I can make quick, innovative design decisions for anyone but myself – so imagine the analysis paralysis! If you’re not quite sure what I mean by that, I feel certain I’ll explore that in later posts! Stay tuned.

For now, we’ll hope to finish at least a few bits of our work of art (our home) and show you the progress as we go.