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Favorite Things: Spring Edition!

24 Apr

In keeping with my sporadic blogging of late, I just wanted to pop in and share a few of my favorite things right now. This may be short, but I assure you, all five things are super sweet!

 

1.) This “French Country Writing Desk” from Belle Escape.

It comes in a ton of colors and even though my husband loathes it, I love it enough to make up for his disdain. (Sorry for the odd picture format, I couldn’t get it to crop evenly).

2014-04-23 07.56.27 pm

 

2.) This gorgeous slab I saw last week when doing some granite selection with a client.

Well, actually, it’s two slabs. See the reflection of the man for scale – they’re huge! I wish I remembered the name of the stone but all I can recall is the word “azure.”

2014-04-23 07.54.52 pm

 

3.) Easter Eggs/Family Crafts

We did some family egg dyeing last weekend, and I thought I was very clever when I taped off an egg and made an abstract landscape:

2014-04-23 07.57.20 pm

Then I walked around the table to check on my husband, and he TOTALLY showed me up with his PAINTING of our cat. Unbelievable. But he is talented! Do I even need to mention that instead of using a regular, pedestrian hard-boiled egg like my son and I did, he drilled a hole into his and literally blew out all of the insides?…of course I don’t.

2014-04-23 07.57.34 pm

Here are the finished eggs:

2014-04-23 08.02.08 pm

 

4.) Graphic patterns with bold colors.

This is a detail from a restaurant in Chattanooga, Tennessee called Milk and Honey (their website sports the same colors. Excellent gelato.) Right up my alley! This has been a long lasting combo, and I hope it sticks around.

2014-04-23 07.57.53 pm

 

5.) This video, which creatively applies the aesthetic of filmmaker Wes Anderson to the classic, Forest Gump.

Spot on, perfection.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/92419083″>Forrest Gump by Wes Anderson</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user24786269″>Louis Paquet</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

 

Hope you enjoy at least some of the same things! Have a great rest of the week!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

You Do What You Can With What You Have: Holiday Decorating Edition.

20 Nov

Many of my friends and most of my neighbors are aware of the ever-present, pretty annoying, long-lasting construction project going on in my condo right now. To make a long story short, the building has some issues with waterproofing that are a result of not very detail oriented initial construction, and we’re in the midst of what we’re hoping is the final fix. Also, Pro-Tip: When installing window flashing, you want to position it so that it directs water outward, toward the facade, and not inward, toward YOUR HOUSE.

So now that we’ve covered that, let me explain…

About a month ago we were graced with this lovely tent.

Do What You Can WIth What you Have: The Holiday Decorating Edition!

Not only did it compromise the lovely light that we get through this hugely awesome window, but it upset my son because it exists in his “play station.” He came home from school and charged it like a linebacker. Not good. Though I can attest that it’s a pretty sturdy bubble. 

After about a month, they realized the existing windows will no longer work, so the search is on for new, custom, apparently very hard to find windows. I am no stranger to custom items, long lead times, and construction hassle. But ugh. And it was getting cold in here. So in this windowless hole, they put up a temporary insulated wall, which will grace our condo with its presence until the new year, when the new windows are finally here. It’s heinous.

Do What You Can WIth What you Have: The Holiday Decorating Edition!

My first thought was: MY HOUSE IS GOING TO BE SO UGLY FOR THE HOLIDAYS.  My second though a few seconds later was “Can I paint this?” So I asked a guy standing around and he said I could. Before he had time to go ask someone who could say “no” I painted it. With chalkboard paint. Bear with me here on this big black box…

Do What You Can WIth What you Have: The Holiday Decorating Edition!

I had about 1/3 of a quart left, and I used every single bit of it. The best thing about chalkboard paint is that one coat is enough, and if you do a spotty job, you’ll never know because the first time you use it you create an imperfect, cloudy/chalky finish.

I strung up some lights, and then my son went to town with the chalk.  The first thing he did was get a chair, climb up on it, and draw a sun and clouds. “Because they’re up high.”

IMG_7080

2013-11-20 01.01.08 pm

2013-11-20 01.01.45 pm

2013-11-20 01.03.15 pm

I’m really liking this “new” look. We’ll “Christmas-ize” it in a few weeks, and I think it will be a lot of fun. I might even miss it when it goes. Maybe. I might. We’ll see. I have to admit my craftsmanship is at 75%, but hey, it’s fun.

Just wanted to share this fun project, which turned a disaster into a fun, temporary installation!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Happy Monday: The Inherited Wall Mural Edition

4 Nov

I work with a lot of new homeowners who hire me to select paint colors and wall treatments. Usually, we are just switching up colors to suit the new owners’ tastes. Sometimes we’re trying to get rid of dated wallpaper, faux finishes, or wood paneling. And sometimes, if we are lucky, we uncover awesome surprises in the form of murals. One of those times was this morning at an early color consultation meeting.

Here are two murals that I can’t resist sharing. I’ll withhold telling you whether or not we covered them up…to each her own.

The first comes from a bedroom in a house that is, inexplicably, not near the White Flint metro station. If the scale is not clear, let me clarify: it was pretty large. 10 points for a realistic ceiling depiction.

Happy Monday: Inherited Mural Edition

The second is a stunningly accurate depiction of the Beatles in their Yellow Submarine period. It is AMAZING.

Happy Monday: Inherited Mural Edition

The details!

Happy Monday: Inherited Mural Edition

I have to say that the people who commissioned these must have been fun loving and artistic people. They certainly make my job more interesting.

Happy Monday!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Great Gallery Walls!

28 Oct

I’ve had a lot of questions about gallery walls lately: how to start them, what goes in (or is it on?) them, and are there any “rules” when creating them. Well, if you’ve worked with me or been in one of my classes before, you probably know my stance on “rules”: I don’t really do rules. Which isn’t to say everything goes – it doesn’t – but rather, I mean that there are so many conceivable ways to create a lovely gallery wall that I can’t even possible begin to list the process or tell you what elements you absolutely need. I can, however, give you a few suggestions and point out what makes a nice grouping. Below are some examples of great gallery walls, and some notes about how to emulate these looks. Enjoy!

 

Contrast is Key. I like the punch of a gallery wall that is white on black, or black on white, or white on white with bursts of color within the frames. Here are some examples of gallery walls that emphasize contrast effectively.

Great Gallery WallsWhite on Black. (via Eclair)

 

Great Gallery Walls!Color on White. (via Pinterest, source unknown)

Variation AND Repetition Go Hand in Hand. Got an interesting gold frame to incorporate? Great! Include a few additional gold touches. Have a bunch of thin frames in a single color? Great! Add more thin frames in additional colors. Get it?

Gallery WallMostly black and white with small, subtle bursts of color. (via Pinterest, source unknown)

Great Gallery WallsJust the right amount of gold. (via just bella blog)

Size Doesn’t Matter. Really. You have big and small pictures? Ok. Want to mix them? Fine. Want to keep them consistent? Not a problem. Let it be what you want it to be: no rules.

Gallery WallBig frames, small frames, tiny clipboards – all fine. (via Design Traveler)

Gallery WallThis one has both varying object sizes AND is small in scope. (via Pinterest, source unknown)

Start With Something Specific or Functional and Let it Grow. I often start gallery walls with a single piece of art or photography or utility that is important to the end-user. You don’t have to complete it in a day or even a week. Just hang that mirror or tv or piece of art (at eye level, preferably, as it’s the most important piece) and let other pieces spawn off of it. 

Gallery WallBegin with a mirror and let the other elements fall where they may… (via The Fashion Medley)

gallery-wall4…or begin with a television – BRILLIANT! I’ve used this a few times myself. (also via The Fashion Medley)

What Do You Do With A Stair Wall? GALLERY WALL! Enough said.

Gallery WallSimple, cool. (via Pinterest, source unknown)

Gallery WallLove this. (via Elle Decor via Pinterest)

Oh, you’re  wondering about spacing? Well, I do have a simple rule for that. If you use all the same frames, you can space them equally but the look will be less “Anthropologie” and more traditional . If you use different, differently sized frames, space them HOWEVER YOU WANT, whether it’s super organized or more crafty and uneven.

Gallery WallDifferent frames = varied spacing. (via Pinterest, source unknown)

Gallery WallsDifferent frames = varied spacing. I love the leaning art on the ground here. (via Euro Style Lighting)

Gallery WallDifferent frames = same-ish spacing. (via Arkpad)

That’s a lot of gallery walls! Which is your favorite? I’m not sure I can choose!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Let’s Play Catch Up…

7 Aug

I’m doing that thing again. You know, that thing where I blog steadily for a week then don’t log in for two weeks. So let’s play catch up, which is where I fill you in on some recent happenings that I’ve completely neglected to blog about. 

I hung a bunch of “tree ring paintings” in my living room. My husband is a bit perplexed by the asymmetrical arrangement, but I am loving it. 

Let's Play Catch-Up!

 

I recently checked in on a client and her sweet little boy’s room, and this is how the oddly-angled ceiling turned out. In my opinion, it’s PERFECT. The blue/gray is my go-to favorite, Benjamin Moore’s Mt. Rainier Gray, and the yellow is a secret and I’m not gonna tell you what it is. 

Let's Play Catch-Up!

 

 

I harvested almost all of my tomatoes from my cherry tomato plants, which is surprising, because they usually come later in the year. I’ve even cleared one and planted more herbs in its place.  Those little snow pea-looking things are courtesy of my son’s preschool class: they planted them in stryo-foam cups last spring and since transplanting it, it’s grown tremendously. 

2013-08-07 06.16.25 pm

We made pizza. A lot of pizza. My portion has hot peppers, cherry peppers, and red bell peppers. I like peppers. The boys have pepperoni and mushrooms and red peppers. 

Let's Play Catch-Up!

I re-discovered an old pocket-watch that belonged to one of my grandmothers. I found a chain for it that will work in the short-term, and put it to good use.  (One thing I did not do is invest in better sunscreen, which by the looks of my rapidly expanding freckle-scape, I should….). 

Let's Play Catch-Up!

I started working with four new clients in the past three weeks for what I expect will be fairly small but really fun projects, wrapped up a course at the Corcoran College of Art + Design, signed on to teach a brand new course that I am VERY excited about, and am about to enjoy two full weeks with my son home for a “real” summer –  with no where to be, and with only (if all goes as planned) minimal work to do. Hopefully, I can find some time to blog while August blows by.  I’m looking forward to getting out of town for a bit, relaxing, and sitting back to ponder life and eat some snow cones like this guy:

Let's Play Catch Up!

I look forward to sharing LOTS of finished interiors picks in the fall, but am saving them up as I refine  some projects and keep plugging away for now…

Hope you’re having a wonderful summer!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Adaptive Reuse At Its Most Exciting: Revisiting 700 Delaware Avenue S.W.

25 Jul

Today I took my interior design students from the Corcoran College of Art + Design to one of my new favorite places in D.C.: the formerly-decaying-now-under-renovation old Baptist church at 700 Delaware Avenue S.W. that has recently been painted by Atlanta-artist Hense Brewer. None of the 12 of them knew what was coming; all they had was an address. So they were all pretty surprised – pleasantly I think – to arrive and find this:

700 Delaware Avenue SW

I was here about a month ago and didn’t see anything going on, but now it’s pretty clear they’re deep into renovating the interior. I spoke with the building’s owner, Steve Tanner, and some of his partners in this endeavor over at Art Whino, and the plans are for this to eventually become an event/gallery space.

700 Delaware Avenue SW

We walked around the building a bit to see it from all the different angles.

There’s a lot to see.

700 Delaware Avenue SW

700 Delaware Avenue SW

They even let us inside, which was thrilling. It’s not as dark as it looks from the foreboding open door…

http://www.artwhino.com/

One of the first things we saw in the vast first floor space was this baptismal pool. We all thought it was going to be an altar as we approached…but it wasn’t. Very intense, a little freaky to see it in such a run down state, and ultimately really interesting.  It really drove home the type of space this was intended to be, versus the new functions it will house. Steve tells me this building was officially decommissioned by the church a while back, which is when there is an official ceremony conducted that figuratively takes the soul of the building and makes way for the building to move on and serve another purpose. 

But back to that baptismal pool, I suppose this is where the DJ booth is going to go… This is adaptive reuse in action. I think it’s fascinating.

700 Delaware Avenue SW

The upstairs, which is quite different from the plain downstairs, is just as interesting as the exterior. Here’s a little peek.

The windows are particularly eye-catching, because many are stained glass AND have the exterior paint on them, so the colors they transmit and reflect are really powerful.

700 Delaware Avenue SW

700 Delaware Avenue SW

700 Delaware Avenue SW

(The image immediately above is a panorama, so the wall is not actually curved.)

After the tour, we sat outside and did some sketching. A big component of this particular course is becoming more comfortable with sketching, and this was a great opportunity to sit before a fantastic, very out of the ordinary subject.

700 Delaware Avenue SW

700 Delaware Avenue SW

Next week we’ll work with this space in class a bit to brainstorm alternative possible uses for it as an exercise in space planning. This will be hypothetical of course, because it’s being developed right now as a cultural, social, and artistic hot spot for a dynamic neighborhood. That’s a function that’s hard to beat!

Additionally, if you’re interested in seeing this building house the G40 Art Summit later this year, or if you want read a bit more about the aspirations of those involved in this project, please visit this page to read up and help out!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Visiting the Watermelon House.

16 Jul

One afternoon last week, instead of heading straight home like we usually do I took my son to one of my favorite spots in DC: the “watermelon house” in Shaw. He was AMAZED. I’ve been wanting to do a photo shoot here for a while, but life doesn’t always happen with a DSLR in-hand, so instead of doing it right we busted out the Instagram and did it sort-of-right. He had on a green shirt, which was just perfect. I love this photo so I thought I’d share.

Watermelon House!

He looks so sweet and contemplative, when in reality he was bribed to be still instead of repeatedly yelling “WATERMELON! Are you serious? Can I get a watermelon popsicle RIGHT NOW?” He was still sweet. Just not very contemplative.

Below is an image of the whole house (via What About Watermelon), and here is an article from the Washington Post where you can read a little bit about its history. Fun, right?

Watermelon House!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Making the morning rounds.

3 Jul

This morning I stopped by a client’s house in Columbia Heights to take a look at a design dilemma on their front porch. While there, I snapped a photo of their living room, which was recently painted according to the recommendations I made during a color consultation. I LOVE the blue-green with the original red-brown woodwork!

A few things about today...

Since I’m a strong believer in not “prescribing” colors based on what they look like in other people’s homes or magazines (and because I tweaked this one in Photoshop a bit so that it more closely resembles the actual color and not what I photographed on my phone) I am not going to disclose the color name other than to say that it’s Benjamin Moore and it’s perfect. Look at the color combination rather than the photo quality or styling, please…it’s the definition of “complementary” for all my color-theory people. 

From there I went on to another client’s house to receive a delivery, specifically, a table that is just the right balance of traditional and contemporary…and just the right amount of weird. I love it. Thanks Daren at And Beige!

A few things about today...

 

When I was at this house the delivery guys couldn’t get enough of the ceiling in the front room. So I guess I’ll give you a sneak peek:

Making the morning rounds...

 

I really hope to have this project photographed soon when it’s complete so that I can show it off. It deserves some serious showing off.

Now the rest of my day is reserved for preparing for a class I’m teaching that begins next week. I haven’t been in the classroom since May and I can’t wait to get back! Have a great rest of the day!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Rainbow Church Wins the Weekend!

11 May

This is the coolest thing I’ve seen in DC in a while. We spotted it this morning, on the way back from Pentagon City (we took a little detour thanks to the race).

Rainbow Church Wins the Weekend!

This is the work of painter Alex “Hense” Brewer, an Atlanta-based artist, who was commissioned to paint this vacant church at 700 Delaware Avenue, SW. The building, formerly Friendship Baptist Church, was built in the early 1900s and was designated a historic site about 10 years ago. The painting was done in November of last year.

Here’s another shot of it, courtesy of the artist’s website.

Rainbow Church Wins the Week!

And another (via Miguel Martinez and Alex Brewer via WJLA.com).

Rainbow Church Wins the Week!

We need more of this stuff in DC.

I LOVE IT.

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Artist Brendan O’Connell paints Walmart interiors. He makes them look fantastic.

28 Apr

Brendan O’Connell, an American painter born in Georgia but now residing in Connecticut, likes to paint the interior of Walmart stores.

Brendan O'Connell paints Walmart

 

In addition to sweeping scenes which capture – pretty accurately – the bad fluorescent lighting of these vast warehouses, he does a lot of vignettes that prominently, though sometimes very abstractly, feature grocery store branding that we’ll all recognize. I’m a sucker for branding; food branding especially.

 

Brendan O'Connell paints Walmart

 

R.I.P Wonder Bread!

 

Brendan O'Connell paints Walmart

 

I really love this highly abstracted painting of a Crisco cooking oil display, which you may also recognize if you frequent a grocery store as much as I do.

 

Brendan O'Connell paints Walmart

 

According to his website, his work ranges from photo-realistic to abstract expressionist painting (which is what I’d say is most fitting to this series), and he studied his craft in Europe before returning home to America. His wife is also a painter, so that must be a house with very adorned walls!

You can purchase originals here.

 

(All of the images above are via the artist’s website, which is linked to throughout.)

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.