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Spring Is Right Around The Corner…

24 Jan

No really. It is!

Night Snow

Never mind that we have almost two full months of winter left, I know that spring is coming because I am booking up like crazy. When the holiday decorations are all put away and people start to look at their homes in their natural state, they often decide it’s the right time to call a designer. After five years of being in business, I am always my busiest this time of year (and in the fall when people start to think about holiday decorations or hosting and realize they want to make some changes). This is also the time of year I head back to the classroom, which is really ENERGIZING. It’s  a nice shift away from holiday-mode to return to stacks of paper on your desk and lots of new projects to tackle.

And though I love crafts, it’s nice to not have to scramble for something to keep little hands busy every single day. Though we did have fun with beet stamping one night a few weeks ago…

Beet Stamping



To shift back to work-mode, one of the projects I’m working on has this fantastic mix of rustic and glam materials: it’s a master bath in a single-family historic home in NW DC. Here is a super messy, in-progress sneak-peek that shows the incredible shower floor. I love being able to see the sleek new marble, the earthy river rock floor, and the original woodwork all in the same frame.

In Progress

Other projects include a bunch of color consultations (blog post to come on my most popular colors of 2013), two new homes, a kitchen renovation, and an institutional commercial project that I don’t have quite enough info to talk about yet.

I’m not sure right now if I’ll ever get back to “regular” blogging, but I’ll do my best to update as I can. It’s good to be busy!

My new year resolution is to take more in-progress and finished photos, so let’s hope I stick to it!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.



Tabarka Studio Terracotta Tiles

29 Oct

I think I’ve mentioned Tabarka Studio and their gorgeous, geometric, contemporary, terracotta tiles on the blog before, but I feel compelled to mention them again since I’m seeing so many of their tiles on Pinterest. …and rightfully so – they’re spectacular!

Tabarka Studio

Tabarka Studio

Tabarka Studio

Tabarka tiles are handcrafted in Arizona from terracotta, come in a ton of geometric, ethnically inspired shapes (heavy on the Moroccan influences), and a bevy of colors. I recently used them in a bathroom project and the results were breathtaking; so breathtaking in fact, that we installed a pocket door so we’d never have to obscure the view for the client!



Check them out here. I dare you to tell me you don’t LOVE them too!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Impromptu Residential Photo Shoot…

15 Aug

One of my clients is finishing up work on a very long renovation and her home is coming along GORGEOUSLY. I was at the site for a few hours this past week during a carpet installation, and I had some time to snap a few photos with my iPhone (which by the way, isn’t too shabby for a phone camera). I’m hoping to have this project photographed in full, as it’s incredibly detailed and wonderfully fun. But for now, here are a few of the details that I captured this week.


The custom, light-filled kitchen banquette:

Sneak Peak: Kitchen


The fun, Parisian-inspired guest bath:

Sneak Peek: Bath


This is the carpet that was being installed. Here you see it in a little reading nook at the top of the stairs. The walls are actually gray, but the brick outside the window is reflecting off of the paint and making it look pink (I didn’t say my camera phone was perfect…):

Sneak Peek: Library Nook


Looking good, right? I can’t wait to show you more!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Splashes of RED!

29 Mar

This week I was looking at two previous projects I’ve worked on that feature bold, graphic, red elements at the forefront of the design. In sharing the photographs with some friends and my students I got quite a few “Oooh”s and “Ahhh”s for these two projects, which both showcase the color red but in two dramatically different ways.

The first is a bathroom that was completed back at the end of last year. It features an exquisite Farrow and Ball wallpaper that, when paired with gold finishes and a graphic black and white aesthetic, makes for a super dramatic and moody space. Here are some instagram shots I took when visiting the site yesterday. I love this room. LOVE IT. (You can click to see the image in a larger format).

Splashes of Red!

The other instance of red is in much smaller quantities, and it comes from a dining room. This was a project that I just consulted on and specified furniture for, so the image is a board and not a finished-photo. The client had a great blank slate to work with: an eclectic, colorful space with a fun rustic table, and she wanted ideas for interesting chairs. My idea was to curate a collection of several different chairs in the current palette (aqua/turquoise with a splash of red) to maximize the eclecticism and highlight the fun of the space. I’ve just always liked this board, and wanted to share it:

Splashes of Red!


Important functionality tip: if you ever do this (mismatching chairs) just be sure that the seat height is relatively consistent. I wouldn’t recommend deviating more than an inch from one to the other.

Hope you enjoy these splashy projects! I’m off to stuff plastic easter eggs for a while…


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Look for Less: Metallic Vases.

30 Jan

So this one may be a stretch: I’m literally saying you can get the “look” for less…but not the size or the exact finish. Nonetheless, this one will save you over $1,100.

You heard me right.

This is Kelly Wearstler’s Gold Ball Vase. It’s gorgeous, inside and out. And on the bottom where her logo is. It’s 10” in diameter and 15” high, so it makes quite a statement, too. And not to hate on Kelly Wearstler, because I adore her, but this one is not for the masses: it costs $1,125. So, there’s that obstacle to get around.

Gold Ball Vase by Kelly Wearstler, $1,125 (image via Kelly


But lucky for you, Anthropologie makes a lovely, albeit much smaller votive, for $8. That’s right: for the price of two coffees. It’s called the Silvered Hobnail Votive, but it’s much more gold/bronze in person. Its measurements are 3.5” in diameter and 4” high.

Silvered Hobnail Votive from Anthropologie, $8 (image via Anthropologie)


…and what do you know? I used it to style a shoot last week. Gorgeous, if you ask me. You wouldn’t even know that I used an $8 vase amongst very, very expensive tile. Except that I just told you. Shoot, I guess the secret’s out.


So budget aside, which do you prefer? I am a huge fan of a rugged but glamorous finish, so I may just prefer the cheaper vase. How convenient!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.


Sneak Peek: A Beautiful Blue Bathroom.

24 Jan

How many times have I said I was going to be taking project photographs “soon.” Then a lot of time went by. And I didn’t. Maybe two times? OK, ten.

Well yesterday I styled and photographed a few fantastic rooms, and surprisingly many of them turned out quite well! Here’s a sneak peek of a bathroom I worked on in 2011. I mentioned in my A Designer’s Year in Review post that I’ve come to really enjoy designing bathrooms, and this one was a huge part of that! (You can actually even see a little progress photo of it in the montage.) So here it is: enjoy the views! 


Have you ever seen such a fun, fancy shower in a second bathroom? This one has beautiful tiny glass tiles from Sicis from floor to ceiling!


Even the back of the toilet is beautiful. And the backsplash is lovely, if I do say so myself.


See that light? Perfection.


Hope you enjoyed the Sneak Peek! Coming up: another bath, a bedroom, and a kitchen! What fun!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Five Under $50: Hand Soaps That Don’t Stink!

18 Nov

Hand soap is one of those things that you don’t usually think about until you need to. Which is fine. Except for when it backfires. I’m sure everyone has experienced buying a really nice looking, expensive-ish soap and having it smell less than desirable…or reek as strongly as perfume…or be heavily mentholated (this happened to me). Or you’ve bought a really basic looking, inoffensive-seeming cheap or normal priced soap that ends up smelling like your elementary school bathroom soap. Or you’ve found a soap that you like just fine, but it’s ugly. Personally, I don’t have built-in soap dispensers in my house and I prefer to put the actual soap container out on the counter as opposed to a glass or ceramic vessel. So to me, the branding and appearance of the packaging matters because I’m always looking at it.

Below are five soaps under $50 that will last you a long time, smell great, and not hit you in the face with jasmine or pumpkin spice every time you raise your fork-wielding hand to your mouth. (We’ve all experienced that, right — that “I can’t get this off my hands, help me!” soap?).

Enjoy, and happy smelling!

1.) MOR Honey Nectar Hand and Body Wash, $16 available at Nordstrom (image via Nordstrom); 2.) CO Bigelow Handwash in Clementine, $12 (image via Bath and Body Works); 3.) Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Liquid Hand Soap in "flavors" such as Basil, Geranium, Honeysuckle and Lavender. About $5 at various drugstore and (image via Mrs. Meyer's) ; 4.) Williams-Sonoma Hand Soap in Pink Grapefruit, $40 for lotion and soap set (image via Williams-Sonoma); 5.) Nest Liquid Soap, available a tNeiman Marcus for $22 each in "flavors" like Bamboo and Wasabi Pear (image via Neiman Marcus)

Another soap tip I like a lot is that when your container is halfway done, you can often fill it back up a bit with water. More than half and it tends to splatter when you pump it, but these soaps are often so concentrated that you can absolutely dilute them without decreasing suds or scent.  And finally, in the kitchen you’re likely to need an anti-bacterial soap. It’s always prudent to have a REAL dish soap here — Dawn, Pamolive, etc… — but if you want a scented anti-bacterial for your hands, too, I love Bath and Body Works’ Kitchen Lemon, White Citrus, and Pink Grapefruit for their clean and fresh kitchen scents (and their excellent price point…often 4 for $10).

What’s your go-to hand soap?

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Gorgeous Tile From New Ravenna Mosaics!

26 Jul

This week I have a project in construction that is using a lot of tile from New Ravenna Mosaics, a business based in the Eastern Shore of Virginia. A sustainable, local, and woman-owned small business that has an INCREDIBLE product can be a rare fine, but New Ravenna is doing it with ease, and I love what they’re doing.

Some of my favorites, clockwise from top left, are Baby Galaxy, Djinn, Promenade Mini, and Des Cerceaux.

(images via New Ravenna Mosaics)

This master bath I’m currently working on has a lot of “Del Greco,” which is a gorgeous geometric marble that features both honed and polished tiles: a classic but modern neutral that is anything but boring.

(image via New Ravenna Mosaics)

The “cloud nine” color marble exhibits a lot of peach and olive undertones that pair so well with the brushed bronze finish we’re using for fixtures.  This might be hard to see, but I’m sure some of you with very trained eyes can glean the color variation from the picture.

(image via Hinkley Lighting)


I’m so excited for the completed room to be unveiled, and can’t wait to share it!



Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Stratton Blue from Benjamin Moore: Three Ways!

31 May

Stratton Blue (HC-142),  a historical color from Benjamin Moore, is a perfect blueish greenish color that is fresh and classic.  Depending on the light, the shadows, and the surroundings, it’s virtually impossible to tell if the color is blue or green; that’s a huge part of its charm.  Over the past year I’ve had THREE! clients use this paint color in their homes, and they all have made it their own via different interpretations and accents I’ve recommended. I’ll be building my online portfolio over the next few months, and you’re sure to see some pictures when all is installed, accessorized, and shot, but for now here is a sneak peek at some mini-boards of the different ways that Stratton Blue can shine.

Let it stand on it’s own!

Stratton Blue is a bold color, so pairing it with crisp white is a great way to showcase it on the walls.  A single pattern or pillow incorporating some vibrancy is enough. This mini-board is for a guest bedroom in a DC row house.

(Clockwise from top right: Thomas Paul's Dahlia fabric in Aegean via Thomas Paul; Cottage Furniture's Lawson Sideboard via Layla Grayce; Oly Studio's Jonathan Tufted Stool via Oly Studio; Crate and Barrel's Lupe Pillow)


Let it set the tone with detailed, textural accents! 

Neutrals of all shades and materials deepen the complexity of a space, and with a sophisticated shot of color the room becomes both refined and relaxed. This mini-board is for a master bedroom in a Capitol Hill home.

(Clockwise from top right: Jangle in Silversage via Calico Corners; Brass Foiled and Wood Round Accent Table via Clayton Gray Home; Vincent Rug by Ballard Designs; Villa Club Chair by Thomas Pheasant via Baker; Celadon Green Gourd Lamp by Arteriors Home)


Let it take the beautiful backseat with contrasting complements! 

Stratton Blue’s ambiguous blue-green hue is the perfect pair for an equally non-committal pinkish-orange. This mini-board is for a powder room in a Northern Virginia home. Full disclosure: this “client” is my mother, and the only commitment she’s made so far is the paint color…anyone want this powder room? If so, let’s DO IT!

(Clockwise from top right: Godzilla Poster by MonsterGallery via Etsy; B&W Wall Hook via Anthropologie; Lobmeyer Crystal Back-lit Mirror via Orange via First Dibs; Zebra Wastebasket and Tissue via Clayton Gray Home; Bus Ticket Tea Towel by 3-P4 via Urban Outfitters )

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

A Simple Vase + A Good Sale = A Match Made in Heaven

12 Jan

I bet that you have an unused clear vase sitting just around your house, and I guarantee you that Bath and Body Works is having their huge after Christmas sale right now (until January 16th).  Why do those two things relate to each other?  This is why:

Your powder room will be just like a posh hotel. (images on top via Bath + Body Works, image on bottom via Crate & Barrel).

Like I said, Bath and Body Works is having a huge sale, and in that sale they have millions of billions of tiny little purse-sized antibacterial hand sanitizers priced at 38 cents each!  I’m not making this up.  I bought about 20 of them today and literally handed them to everyone I knew on my way into my building.

I had few thoughts running through my head as I scooped them into my basket today at the mall (except for “oooo pretty! oooo cheap! oooo more!), but now I realize the perfect use for them: a take-home soap buffet!  Just get a big-ish glass vase, fill it with these tiny anti-bacterial sanitizers, and put it in your powder room so that guests can take one home with them when they leave.  They’re tiny, candy-colored, and truly useful!  In my house, where we’re still changing diapers and being hit with cold season, a quick and easy way to clean your hands is always much appreciated.  Just please please please remember not to use anti-bacterial soap each time your wash your hands: constantly killing every germ you touch will take away some of your body’s natural ability to fight off immunities, and anti-bacterial solutions really are best for on-the-go cleaning.

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.