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interior design

1 In Interiors

Luxe + Lillies’ Minimal & Serene Nursery

It’s my absolute pleasure to share with you the newly completed nursery of brand strategist & the brains behind Luxe + Lillies, Keely Hirschmann. Keely and I first connected through Instagram and bonded over our 1-month-apart due dates + a mutual love for crisp, minimal design. She’s the kind of person, where 5 minutes into meeting her,  you feel like you’ve already been friends your entire life.

One afternoon over lunch in late December, she showed me an iPhone snap of how her nursery was coming together, and my knee jerk response was to ask if I could share the space on Francois et Moi. I love the minimalist approach Keely took with clean, white walls and furnishings, balanced with natural textures and playful accents. What a lucky baby, wouldn’t you say? I hope you have as much fun as I have exploring the nursery and learning a bit about Keely and her design inspiration for the room!

Load up nursery inspiration with Luxe + Lillies' minimal and serene nursery! Click over for every detail including sources!

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18 In DIY/ Interiors

Before & After: Creating a Small-Space Guestroom with method

Baby Girl Francois is well on her way to taking over our current guestroom come February, and with 3 bedrooms in our home: our bedroom, my office/studio, and the soon-to-be-nursery, we had to figure out a way to accommodate overnight guests comfortably without resorting to our living room sofa (our only sofa) as the royal sleeping chambers.

After much ‘what-the-heck-are-we-going-to-do-with-our-guest-bed-situation?‘ discussion, Ken and I concluded that our only real option was to add a bed to my current office and turn it into a multi-use space by re-configuring the layout.

I tossed in the idea of doing a murphy bed, because I had one in my tiny first apartment post-college, and they’re such a smart space saver. The way it folds up into itself when not in use, giving me nearly the same amount of space in my office to work on large projects as I originally had, was just too tempting to pass up!

See how we created a guestroom within our office using a murphy bed. Click for the full before & after! Continue Reading →

1 In Interiors

Upgrade Your Everyday with These Design-Driven Homewares

When you purchase a home for the first time, you’re not just buying a home, you’re also in for several smaller purchases needed to either take care of your home or make it useable, like a lawn mower or maybe new accessories for a 2nd bathroom that you didn’t have when renting. Since purchasing our duplex last year, I’ve tried to put more thought into the things I’m bringing into our home, even for those everyday things like a laundry hamper. I mean if there’s a pretty, design-savvy option within your budget, then why not go for the option with some style?! I think it makes using these typically boring items more enjoyable. Not to mention, if it’s a pretty laundry hamper, then I’m more okay leaving it on display, when guests come over. (Less last minute scrambling for me when trying to hide the full plastic laundry basket!) With all this in mind, I’ve rounded up several design-driven homewares that make great alternatives to mundane daily-use items. Cheers to making our everyday just a little bit more fun!

Upgrade your everyday with these design-driven homewares!

 

1. Power Cable  2. Laundry Hamper  3. Japanese Scissor Set  4. Brass Towel Bar  5. Brass Strainer Set  6. Bottle Opener  7. Broom  8. Gold Trash Can  9. Wood Dustpan

 

 

 

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In DIY

DIY du Jour: Media Consoles

My living room is one of those spaces that’s an enigma to space plan. It’s long and narrow, there needs to be a clear traffic flow from the front door to the dining room, it’s our main living space, and we own a sectional… Needless to say I’ve had the furniture in quite a few arrangements and after a year of living in our home, I think I’ve found a layout that works for us. I’ll make sure to share the solution we landed on once the room is put together!

Now that the dust has settled from the game of musical furniture we’ve been playing in our living room, I want to mount the tv on the wall (in true grown-up living room fashion), and so I’m on the hunt for a media console with more height to it than the train cart we’re currently using as our tv stand, which only measures about 15″ high. While doing some research to figure out whether to buy or DIY, I came across some do-it-yourself-er projects that not only have the look, but have the price too–many of them coming in around $100!

If you're in the market for a media console, have you considered saving hundreds of dollars by building one yourself?

There are some amazing DIY consoles out there: everything from refurbished vintage pieces, like this stenciled piece from The Painted Hive (pictured above) to built-from-scratch pieces modeled after higher end designs. Scroll on for more inspo.

If you're in the market for a media console, have you considered saving hundreds of dollars by building one yourself?

I love the simple industrial lines of this media console from Pottery Barn, which retails for around $1200. I’m all for quality design, but if it doesn’t work in the budget, why not roll up your sleeves and make it yourself! Ana White shows us how to make a similar version here for around $100! Photo via Pottery Barn.

 

If you're in the market for a media console, have you considered saving hundreds of dollars by building one yourself?

Amber Interior Design’s DIY credenza has instinctively given me heart eyes since the tutorial came out, and I keep going back to it for our space because of it’s clean modern lines softened by that genius wood top that also really finishes off the design. Simply stunning.

 

 
If you're in the market for a media console, have you considered saving hundreds of dollars by building one yourself?

Ana White shares her take on creating a rustic modern media console inspired by the West Elm piece shown here. Build this bad boy yourself for under $100! Photo via West Elm.

Want more? Find more in the DIY du Jour Series here!

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6 In Interiors

6 Modern Wall Sconces Under $75 + A Tiny Announcement

If you guys follow along on Instagram, then you already know that my husband and I are expecting for the first time! We’re crazy excited and (a little nervous!) about this new important role as someone’s mom and dad that we’re about to assume. Here’s a little peek at the photo announcement. Hop over to Instagram for more details!

We're Expecting Announcement! + 6 smart modern wall sconces that are affordable (under $75!) too!

Before the baby arrives in February, Ken and I have several updates and changes we need to make happen in our home, including turning our current guest bedroom into a nursery, and carving out a new guest room space in my current blog studio. We only have 3 bedrooms in this beautiful Tudor so something’s gotta give!

We’re kicking things off by getting the blog room/guest room sorted out, and I’ll be showing you the concept for the space soon, but as I was pulling everything together, I came across several extremely affordable modern wall sconces that were just too good to share. So in case you need a little ambient light in your life, (and let’s face it who doesn’t?) you can make it happen without too much bank account heartache! 6 smart modern wall sconces that are affordable (under $75!) too!

 

 

Ranarp  ||  Brady  ||  Iron Clad  ||  Pivoting Brass  ||  Industrial  ||  Arc

 

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In DIY/ Interiors

Designer Tips for Mixing Interior Styles

When it comes to interior design, incorporating a mix of styles often leads a more interesting, soulful, and evergreen space that helps to reflect our true personalities, more so than say, a space outfitted with a matching set of furniture.

I think we can all agree that the matchy-matchy look has long worn out its welcome, but mixing interior styles can be hard to pull off.  Luckily, Claire Staszak, my designer/blogger friend behind Centered by Design, is back (Remember when she stopped by this Spring?) to help de-mystify things a bit and show us three distinctly different spaces where she’s created a successful mix of styles, why it works, and where to source the key pieces. Oooh, this is going to be fun! Shall we get started?

  Mixing styles in our homes can be hard to pull off, so I've called in a designer expert to help de-mystify the process! Click through for design insight!

 

Mixing styles in our homes can be hard to pull off, so I've called in a designer expert to help de-mystify the process! Click through for design insight!

Claire’s Design Approach:

“There is no perfect formula to creating a beautiful space, because what everyone enjoys and feels comfortable with is different, but I have found in my design work, that mixing three key elements helps me achieve the eclectic and “just can’t put your figure on it” wonderful that I’m usually striving for.” Those three elements are a mixture of:

  • Modern (New)
  • Vintage (Found)
  • Handmade (Commissioned)

Mixing styles in our homes can be hard to pull off, so I've called in a designer expert to help de-mystify the process! Click through for design insight!

Boho Glam Mélange

First up is a bohemian glam bedroom, where Claire mixes a modern, clean-lined bed frame with adorned vintage textiles, and geometric handmade wallpaper. Why does it work? It’s a balancing act of contrasts: organic vs. structured, lustrous vs. matte, and graphic vs. textural.

Get the Look:

New: Bedding || Upholstered Bed Frame: Client’s Collection

Vintage: Textiles || Gold Chest, Lamps & Mirrors || Refinished Vintage Side Tables

Handmade: Wallpaper || Local Art

 

Mixing styles in our homes can be hard to pull off, so I've called in a designer expert to help de-mystify the process! Click through for design insight!

 


 

Mixing styles in our homes can be hard to pull off, so I've called in a designer expert to help de-mystify the process! Click through for design insight!

The New Traditional

Claire offers up a new take on classic traditional in this Chicago living room where she uses ornamented statement pieces (casegoods, rugs and accessories) to set an over-arching traditional tone and compliment the home’s existing bones. Clean-lined soft seating and an unexpected furry stool add a fresh, contemporary edge.

Get the Look:

New: Sofa || Coffee Table || Main Rug || Chairs

Vintage: Refinished Black Hutch || French Style Side Table || Pink Accent Rug, Brass Leg Stool, Camel Side Table

Handmade: Media/Record Stand

Mixing styles in our homes can be hard to pull off, so I've called in a designer expert to help de-mystify the process! Click through for design insight!


Mixing styles in our homes can be hard to pull off, so I've called in a designer expert to help de-mystify the process! Click through for design insight!

Summer Camp with a Twist

Masculine and carefree, this mod summer camp guestroom incorporates a mix of vintage and handmade pieces (read: vintage wicker chest and handmade artwork) to evoke the buoyant feeling of summer camp. Claire also introduces a sculpturally modern bed frame, industrial lighting and color-blocked rugs to maintain a fresh, modern aesthetic.

Get the Look:

New: Bed Frame || Rugs || Sconces || Bedding

Vintage: Custom Refinished Armoire || Wicker Chest: Vintage Find

Handmade: Artwork: Client’s Collection

Mixing styles in our homes can be hard to pull off, so I've called in a designer expert to help de-mystify the process! Click through for design insight!

I hope you’ve enjoyed Claire’s design insight as much as I have! For more interior design inspiration, check out Claire’s blog where she’s in the midst of a huge home renovation!

Photo Credit:

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3 In Interiors

Throw Pillows: A Guide to Sizing & Inserts

It’s no secret I love throw pillows. I think most interior enthusiasts do! They can be the pièce de résistance that makes a room feel finished, as well as easily switched out to change the whole feeling of the space.

As a former interior designer + several years experience running an industry fabric showroom under my belt I’m quite familiar with pillow talk. If you’re thinking about purchasing or DIY-ing pillows for the change of seasons, you may want to check out the guidelines below to make sure they look their best!

guide-to-pillows3

Types of Inserts:

Feather & Down – Down fills are typically best as they’re all around loftier, and can be fluffed overtime to maintain their shape and volume. Tip: The more down content there is in the feather/down ratio, the better!

Synthetic Spun Polyester – Think craft store inserts. Synthetic fiberfill is generally a lesser quality insert as they flatten, lose their shape, and become lumpy overtime. I almost never use them, except for in these tufted pillows! In this case, the synthetic insert stayed in place and proportional in the pillow better than down would have.

Down Alternative – Though down alternative is technically still polyester fill, its composition is such that it mimics down’s lofty clusters, making it a great down stand-in for anyone with down allergies. Crate & Barrel has a good down alternative pillow option.

Outdoor – Usually filled with water & mildew resistant acrylic or polyester fibers to hold up to the elements.

Amber-Interiors-Before-and-After-Client-Double-Thumbs-up-Neustadt-48

Throw Pillow Sizing:

Typically we see ready-made pillows in stores at 18″ squares, but it’s no secret designers hate wimpy pillows which is why they often have them made custom. If you’re up to the task of sewing your own pillows, you might want to consider opting for 20″-22″ size, as it’s a bit more of a luxe designer look. My personal size preference is 22″ square. Some designers even go up to 24″ squares depending on the size of the sofa or chair.

Square pillows are probably the most common shape, but there are tons of other shapes out there too: lumbar, circle, bolster, etc. Don’t be afraid to mix and match sizes and shapes like Amber Lewis of Amber Interiors has done in the space above.

In terms of pillow insert sizing, the general rule of thumb is to use inserts that are 1″-2″ larger than your pillow cover. (I usually go 2″ larger.) So for example, with a 22″ square cover, use a 24″ square insert. Going a step larger with the insert makes for a more voluminous, high end look.

Things to Consider When Choosing Throw Pillows

Throw Pillows: A Guide to Sizing & Inserts | Francois et Moi

PIN-IT-later4 Photo Credit:  Seventy Nine Ideas | Amber Interiors | Rebecca Atwood

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4 In Interiors

Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath

This post is part of an ongoing series, Francois Renovates. Find the other posts in this series Here, Here, Here, Here & Here.

Good Monday Morning! Today I’ve got the bed & bath areas of our home to share. The bulk of our updates took place in the Kitchen, Living Room & Dining Rooms, & the Upstairs Apartment, so not a ton of work has been done in these areas, shy of setting them up functionally. But, I think it’s fun seeing how other people live (because I’m nosy!), so I’m sharing the bed & bath areas of the home in case you’re anything like me!

Next on my to-do list is to paint (or maybe wallpaper?!) our bedroom. It’s the same color as when we purchased the place, so I’m not sure of the color name, but I call it builder beige. While it’s innocuous, this room faces North, so I’d like to brighten the walls up in here a bit. I think Ken is enjoying the fact that it’s one of the only rooms in the house that’s not white. I, of course, feel the opposite. When in doubt, paint it white I say!

Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath   Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath

Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath   Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath

The Bed & Bath Areas of Our New Home

The personality of the original bathroom floor tile was one of the things I fell in love over when we bought this house. It’s just not something that’s easy to find these days. Someday, I’d love to replace the vanity with a console similar to this bad boy, switch out the sconces to something more modern, and update the faucet/hardware to unpolished brass. All in due time though. Due time.

Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath

Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath

My studio is another spot in the house that hasn’t gotten a ton of love yet, other than getting a fresh coat of Benjamin Moore “White” on the walls. Now that I’m looking at this photo, I’m realizing just how badly this space is in need of a big rug. But for right now the brightly lit space is purely functional, and I’m choosing to be okay with that.

If I’m really telling the whole story, we also have a 3rd bedroom that functions as a guest room and storage room equally. Nothing to see there, as of yet. We’ll get there though!

Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath PIN-IT-later4 Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath

SOURCES:

Duvet | Striped Pillow Cases | Mini Medallion Pillow Cases | White Dresser | Sheepskin | Murano Mirror: Discontinued–Here’s a Similar One | Studio Dresser | Gold Stapler | Stool | Palm Tree

DIY PROJECTS: Brass Sconces | Gratitude Banner | Concrete Trays | Pink Floor Mirror | Work Table

This post is part of an ongoing series, Francois Renovates. Find the other posts in this series Here, Here, Here, Here & Here.

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