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Vignelli’s Subway Map

10 Aug

Recently I did an exercise with my class about subway maps, and we started by looking at the iconic (and in my opinion, beautiful) map that Massimo Vignelli designed for the New York City subway in the 70s. I adore this map, and though I’m not particularly attached to NYC, I entertain hanging it on my wall in some form from time to time.

This is just a detail, but it captures the vibrant color and bold lines that I love. (image via The New Yorker)

Subway Map

Here is another detail, featuring the man himself (via here):

Vignelli Map

Here is the full-version, which has a huge impact in real life but probably looks underwhelming tiny and on-screen. (image via here)

Subway Maps!

I even love the cover of the fold-out. (image via Flickr)

Subway Maps!

You can read more about the map here at Design Observer. (Have I mentioned before how much I love Design Observer? It’s always a great place to start when you’re in need of inspiration.)

I think this aesthetic – which I think of as a stripey, bold, geometric application of color – is why I like the art of Markus Linnenbrink so much. I first fell in love with his paintings, but also am interested in the installations he started a bit after those. This one in particular really reminds me of the Vignelli map with its graphic lines. (image via here)

Linnenbrink Installation

Both the map and Linnenbrink’s work are evocative of Jim Lambie’s tape installations, I would argue.

Here’s one of Lambie’s installations at the Tate in London (via Apartment Therapy):

Jim Lambie

And another at MOMA in NYC:

Jim Lambie

To break it down further, I even see lines that are similar to the original Vignellli map in things like rugs… (via here)

Rug Company Homegrown Blue

…posters (via here)…

Lost in Translation Poster

…and vintage magazine articles like this one from Better Homes and Gardens from around 1975, which was when the map was in use (via here).

Vintage BHG Kids

It makes me wonder what these artists and designers were inspired by, and if they ever looked to this same map when they were creating.

Sometimes, inspiration comes from the most unexpected and seemingly irrelevant places…


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.


Beni Ourain Rugs on a Budget!

15 Jul

Beni Ourain on a Budget!

Beni Ourain may sound like a person and not a rug to you, but I guarantee that if you pay any attention to home decorating trends or shelter mags you’ve seen one of those black and white rugs like the ones pictured above (via Elle Decor). They get their name because they’re hand woven by the Beni Ourain tribe in Morocco. You’ll recognize a distinct black geometric (usually diamond-“ish” and grid-like) pattern on a cream or off-white background.

Here are three lovely ones. The first is a well-done imitation; even some hand-crafted imitations are pricey these days.

Beni Ourain on a Budget!1.)  2.)  3.) 

They blend pretty seamlessly with most styles and can fall into place in lots of spaces, but the catch is they’re not cheap. The ones pictured above are starting at $4,800, $4,750, and $2,950, respectively. 1st Dibs has a slew of them, many for about $5,000.

BUT LOOK! I found three look-a-likes for less than $300. Do they look 100% authentic?  – No. Are they close to the real thing and 10% of the price and do they look great while being the imposters they are? – Yes. (By the way, I swear I’m not working for Target. I just poked around the website for a little too long last weekend, and had way too much fun. You’re welcome!)

Beni Ourain on a Budget!1.)  2.)  3.)


West Elm also has a pretty middle-of-the-road-priced one that is $179-$1,200, depending on the size. Not bad.

Beni Ourain on a Budget!


I feel like this trend is so versatile and timeless that it’s going to be a classic. Now if only we can work on a durability of that light-colored shag…


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Find of the Week!

17 Jul

Well…I love this.

(This rug is available from CB2, here.)

And that’s all I have to say about that.


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Color Friday is Cobalt!

13 Apr

Cobalt isn’t particularly springy, but its vibrancy is refreshing and pure so it’s actually perfect for spring!

(L: image via DecorPad; R: image via SheKnows)


I have an aunt who had a huge collection (or at least I remember it to be huge) of cobalt blue glassware that she kept in her apartment windows; the light that came through the blue vases and bowls was just gorgeous! I was probably about nine or ten at the time, and this formed my picture of “what a cool adult apartment should look like” for a long time. This memory also leads me to believe that cobalt works best in translucent form – like glass or acrylic – but I also have come to adore it with a fun texture applied – like reflectivity, mosaic tile, or chunky paint. It works great as a single shot of color against otherwise blah neutrals, like in this bedroom:

Cobalt brightens up this bedroom. (image via LiveLikeYou)


Here are my cobalt picks for spring – enjoy them! And get outside this weekend when it becomes warm again!

Clockwise from chandelier at top: Blue Plexi Chandelier from PrettyPrettyProps, price unknown (image via; Cobalt Ring Tumbler no John Lewis, £6 (image via; Into The Blue by Michelle Oppenheimer for Z Gallerie, $149 (image via Z Gallerie); Cobalt Blenko Water Pitcher, $39 (image via try ebay); Ginger Side Table in Cobalt from Crate and Barrel, no longer available (image via Crate and Barrel); Plush Living - Pallas Black Label Pillow, $60 (image via 2Modern); Navy/Cobalt Feather Rug from Serena and Lily, starting at $395 (image via Serena and Lily); Louis XVI End Chair from Wisteria, $429 (image via Wisteria); Molten Spectrum Knob from Anthropologie, $8 (image via Anthropologie)


Enjoy the weekend!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.


Color Friday is: Fuchsia!

9 Mar

Today’s hue was up for grabs to JGB Interiors’ Facebook fans, and though it took a few requests to identify a color that I haven’t yet covered, we’ve arrived at a great one: fuchsia. There isn’t much more to say except: enjoy the picks! I’m especially loving the “chandelier” balloons this week!


From balloon at top: Fuchsia Chandelier Balloons, £7.50 (image via Culture Label); Trina Turk Shanghai Links Pillow, $96 (image via Zinc Door); Every Which Way Magnet Hook from Land of Nod, $19.95 (image via Land of Nod); Prettymaps (Amsterdam) Print by Aaron Straup Cope via 20x200, starting at $60 (image via 20x200); Leif Salad Serving Set, $30 (image via LeifShop); Footstool with Nailheads from Black Orchid Furniture, £23o (image via The Independent); Riva Rug by Madeline Weinrib, from $325 (image via House Beautiful); Pink Hourglass, $38 (image via; Skyline Necklace, $44 (image via LeifShop)


Are there any colors that you’re itching to see on Color Friday? If so, leave a comment! I’ll likely do some repeats this year, so feel free to name a color I’ve already done. I have a feeling next week will be a shade of green…

Have a great weekend!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Wood is NOT Brown!

9 Nov

As a designer, one of the things that I love to emphasize to people — and I’ll tell anyone who will listen: students, clients, friends — is that wood is NOT brown. It does not exhibit as broad a color range as your paint fan deck, but trust me, wood has a COLOR.  Cherry is often so vibrantly red or orange that you can put a fall leaf on it and it disappears into the grain. Bamboo can be so yellow, or blonde woods so blonde, that they’re the color of summer corn. This isn’t to say wood isn’t versatile, because it is. But it is to say that you should pay close attention to the real color of your furnishings, flooring, and cabinetry, because they too matter when you’re putting together a room. Of course, this applies to all natural materials that we tend to lob into a single neutral category: slate is not gray and granite isn’t available in a range of neutrals but rather can exhibit some powerful pinks and greens.

…and if you don’t believe me about wood not (always) being brown, check our my montage of unedited sample scans of wood and slate below. You can view it larger by clicking on the image. From mahogany to distressed reclaimed wood to slate, natural materials come in all colors of the rainbow. The first four images are wood, and the last three are slate. Wow…right?!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

A Monday Full of Rainbows!

26 Sep

I wouldn’t say that rainbows are exactly a “trend” right now, but I have seen a lot of them popping up in decor recently. Whether they’re vibrant, pastel, on the floor, wall or table, I love every single one of them.  Below are some of my favorite rainbow-clad finds; maybe you can even find some colorful ideas to inspire your space…

I love the palette here - subdued but still fun! A lovely pastel rainbow painting... (image via Apartment Therapy: "Beatrice and Ramsey's Cultured Echo Park Casa," photos by Juan Enriquez)

Yet another way to organize your books -- but where to put all the black and white ones? (image via Craftzine)

No need for rugs when you have floors like these! (image source unknown)

Such a fun touch in an otherwise simple bathroom! (image via Design Crisis)

The Louis XV Upholstered Ribbon Chair (image via Dransfield & Ross)

How much fun is this?! (image via Nordsjö/Elle interiör)


What an uplifting group of images for a Monday! I feel better already! Have a great week!


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.

Chevron Here, Chevrons There, I See Chevrons Everywhere!

18 Jul

Chevrons are everywhere, and they show no signs of going away. This is just fine with me because I really like their bold and graphic impact: pillows, rugs, and even furniture can be punched up with a little zig-zag! I’ve found a few unique interpretations of the chevron that I adore nthat differ from the typical color-on-white graphic we’re used to seeing.  Take a look…

This mirrored chevron entertainment console from the home of Laura Day was featured in a 2010 issue of Lonny. It’s so subtle but makes such a huge impact. 

(image via Lonny)

I love this yellow room with the custom carpet and coordinating art panels:

image via The Tile Shop Design by Kirsty)

 These “Scattered Chevron” drapery panels from Anthropologie are a much less jarring take on the wide bold chevrons we’re used to seeing:

(image via Anthropologie)

For a twist on floor textiles, Flor even offers a carpet tile in what they call the “Sophistikat” pattern. I love it…especially the subtle imperfection of the way the edges meet (or don’t).

(image via Interface Flor)

This watercolor is simple yet so interesting. I’d love it in an all white room, or against a navy wall. 

(image via entrenous)

And finally, these refinished Queen Anne chairs from Etsy seller Nenavon (unfortunately, already sold) are just adorable!

(image via Etsy seller Nenavon)


Have you seen any other chevron-themed decor items you love lately? If so, please share!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Pounding Mill Press Winner and a Pretty Picture!

10 Feb

Congrats to Nicole, winner of a pack of note cards of her choice AND 12 pieces of customized stationery!  Please contact me at jessica@jgbinteriors with your information, and I’ll set you up with Pounding Mil Press for your prize! For those of you who didn’t win, thanks for entering and I hope you learned about a fun new product: well-designed stationery never goes out of style.

On a completely different topic, check out this gorgeous painted floor that’s featured in the current issue of Better Homes and Gardens:

(image via Better Homes and Gardens)


Done for less than $1oo in paint, it’s surprisingly durable and unexpectedly fabulous! No rug necessary, which is great for a messy dining room.  Wouldn’t you just love to sit at that table and write notes on these?

Cards of All Stripes by Pounding Mill Press, $8 (image via Pounding Mill Press)


Thanks again to all who entered the giveaway!  Be on the lookout for another fun contest in a month or so, and have a great day!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.