Studio McGee

The bright and clean aesthetic of Studio McGee never gets old. Despite having only officially launched in 2014, the firm is already one of the most well-known interior design firms in the US and has been published in the likes of Architectural Digest, Domino and House Beautiful.

There’s nothing more relaxing than whiling away the hours on a lazy Sunday afternoon  (or Labor Day weekend, in this case) watching Studio McGee’s Youtube videos (link here).

Fresh, modern and timeless, it’s easy to see why their work is so well-loved.

Promontory Project

One of my favourite projects of theirs is the Promontory Project – this new build is a modern mountain home in Park City, Utah.  The YouTube video is an absolute visual treat. As you can tell, I had a difficult time curating photos for this project – I just love them all!

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Check out more of their work here.

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Narnia at Home

I know I wasn’t the only child who dreamt of having a secret room at home, Narnia style, to escape to for a few hours with your friends and pretend that you’re in another world. This converted monastery in Poland designed by JRKVC certainly would have done the trick.

A bedroom is cleverly hidden behind a wall that is a bookshelf and door in one. Another ingenious feature is the master bathroom, which is actually directly accessible from the living room through the open hallway.

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The optical illusion tile in the entryway is a firm favorite.

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Despite its all-white walls, the apartment maintains a sense of warmth through the generous use of warm toned wood and a healthy sprinkling of greenery throughout. It treads the fine line between minimal and cozy by not being too stark, and at the same time, not cluttered.

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The open shelving and floating hood, both in light colors, keep the kitchen looking light and airy, balancing out the dark lower cabinets, which ground the space. Kitchen hoods can often look heavy and imposing, but by painting the hood white (the same color as the walls), the hood almost disappears.

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Catherine Kwong Design

Catherine Kwong Design specialises in high-end residential and hospitality projects. Their designs are elegant, fresh, contemporary and always refined.

I first came across Catherine Kwong Design a couple of months ago, as a fresh San Francisco resident, and was excited to stumble upon interior designers in the immediate area. The stars aligned and I had the pleasure of meeting Catherine in person and hearing her speak about her interior design firm and design process during San Francisco Design Week.

Catherine Kwong Design specialises in high-end residential and hospitality projects. Their designs are elegant, fresh, contemporary and always refined. The firm is based in San Francisco, California. In 2015, Catherine was named “Designer to Watch” by Architectural Digest and it’s easy to see why when you see the samples of her work below.

Presidio Heights, San Francisco

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The firm only had 3 months to furnish this home in Presidio Heights. Vintage lighting was sourced and installed, in-stock furniture was moved into the space, and everything was pulled together with the addition of large pieces of artwork.

Personal favourites: those tan leather dining chairs (so warm!) and the coffered ceiling (so luxe).

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These armchairs were reupholstered in what appears to be velvet (love that sumptuous deep blue tone) and custom brackets designed by the firm were added for that final luxurious touch.

Pacific Heights, San Francisco

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The handblown glass chandelier is in one of my favourite designs and its shape complements the long, rectangular shape of the dining table perfectly. The built-in cabinet with what appears to be iron hinges and pulls, together with the dining chairs finished in a leather seat, lend a gorgeous rustic feel to the space.

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That huge slab of marble forming the mantelpiece is a showstopper. Again, we see a touch of sumptuous deep velvet in the form of an armchair, this time juxtaposed with the hard, linear shape of the glass coffee table.

Jackson Square Loft, San Francisco 

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The 800-pound steel firewood container designed by Catherine is the perfect counterpoint to the more traditional fireplace mantel. The leather slingback chair is one of the designer’s personal favourites.

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The custom wooden ceiling bracket was added by Catherine to inject a personalised, rustic touch to the otherwise plain white walls.

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The dining room wall is panelled with vintage wine racks. The panelling is functional and also serves as a unique decorative backdrop. The idea was that guests could help themselves to wine at their leisure. The dining table is from Blu Dot and the legs were customised by Catherine by adding gold leaf to the steel legs. Velvet appears to be a favourite material of Catherine as it’s seen again here in the form of the dining chair upholstery.

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The kitchen is comfortable and casual with at touch of country. The grey cabinets keep the space from being too feminine.

Explore more of Catherine Kwong Design on their website.

Leanne Ford Revisited

It’s finally Friday and you deserve a treat. A treat for the eyes – eye candy, if you will.

Leanne Ford strikes just the right balance between industrial-cool (through her use of concrete and metal) and natural warmth (through her use of warm, natural wood). Interior and exterior spaces can very easily look too cold once too many industrial elements are introduced; however, Leanne Ford always manages to create welcoming spaces full of warmth and character, which almost give off a soft glow with the help of some natural daylight.

The pictures below were not all taken from one residence but are in fact a collection of images that I feel best demonstrate the aforesaid balance/equilibrium she manages to achieve.

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Click here for more Leanne Ford goodness.

Yellow Brick Home

I stumbled upon Yellow Brick Home about a month ago and have been hooked ever since. Kim and Scott are DIY experts – a husband and wife duo from Chicago who have turned their (almost 130-year-old) house into a beautiful home with their own bare hands. They also run The Pet Shop and The Print Shop.

Simple, all-American and timeless, their home is full of hidden treasures and fun little details, topped off with a generous sprinkling of love and adorable dogs for good measure.

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A few things that stand out to me most (apart from their clearly impeccable taste) are:

(1) the paint colours – sophisticated neutrals that are just different enough from the standard neutral wall colours to keep things interesting but still timeless. If I had to pick a favourite paint colour from their home, it would have to be Benjamin Moore’s Intense White used on their living room and bathroom walls; the soft warm tint keeps the rooms warm and inviting but still bright and fresh;

(2) the light fixtures – many of which are from Rejuvenation. Again, simple, timeless classics;

(3) the gorgeous headboards;

(4) the rugs; and

(5) the amazing mosaic honeycomb tiles on the bathroom floor (which they also DIY’d themselves!).

If you enjoyed this post and/or enjoy DIY, I highly recommend checking out their Pinterest and Instagram for more!

“Pop and Colour”

Need a pick-me-up to catapult you into your weekend? Step right on through to this spunky, vivacious California bungalow… I think it’ll do just the trick…

When a good friend tells you that your blog has been featuring too many minimalist spaces as of late and requests for more “pop and colour”, you gladly oblige. So here you go, Alice, I hope this is enough pop and colour for you! 🙂

This spunky, vivacious 1930s California bungalow belongs to clothing stylist and blogger Joan Schubert.

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How fun is that flamingo painting? The splash of pink paired with a thin gold/brass frame adds just the right amount of glamour to this otherwise very white room. Pops of colour are incorporated through smaller decorative items such as the pink lamp, orange Celine handbag, and multicoloured books and vases.

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Having a neutral backdrop is a clever and practical way of designing a space as it means that if you ever get bored and want to switch things up, the bones of the room can remain neutral while you dress up the space through adding and subtracting the smaller decorative items.

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The owner didn’t just stop at the walls and furniture – even the blinds are made of a colourful, bold print. There’s a fine line between harmonious and unruly when it comes to colour and the owner manages to strike the right balance by keeping to a few key colours: orange, green, yellow and blue (and pink in some other rooms).

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The colourway is maintained in the kitchen, from the pink upholstered chairs to the orange-toned wooden cabinets.

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Possibly my favourite shot of this home – what a gorgeous vignette. This bedroom ticks the right boxes for me, from the graphic, geometric wallpaper, to the palm print pillows (which are a little ubiquitous these days) and potted palm leaves, to the simple headboard (the clean lines, natural linen and neutral colours of the headboard help to ground and balance out the bold colours and prints seen on the wallpaper, pillows and bedspread).

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This bathroom is a perfect demonstration of how a colourful painting can completely elevate the feel of a room – without it, the bathroom would just be a standard, neutral bathroom (and a bit lifeless, to be completely honest); the unexpected splash of colour transforms the bathroom into a fun, vibrant and youthful space. It’s a real mood-lifter.

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Tribal, geometric and tropical – I don’t know about you but this eclectic dining room evokes an adventurous energy and makes me look forward to my next holiday!

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Design by Laura Neuman of Pepperjack Interiors. Photo credit to Michelle Drewes.

Refined Sophistication by Studio Piet Boon

“Founded in 1983 by Dutch designer Piet Boon (1958), the Studio Piet Boon philosophy is based on a balance between functionality, aesthetics and individuality.”

Headquartered in the Netherlands, Studio Piet Boon is all about refined sophistication.

This urban residence in Amsterdam has a certain hotel-like sensibility, with its minimal lines and natural stone materials. Perhaps it’s due to the lack of personal belongings in the shots but it’s hard to imagine anyone actually living here long-term. The apartment feels more like a luxury vacation rental than anything else. Nonetheless, the architectural feel of the apartment is undeniably a treat for the eyes.

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The all-white walls allow natural daylight to take centre stage without detracting from elegant architectural pieces such as the scaled-up kitchen island constructed out of large slabs of natural stone.

The crystal drop pendant light infuses a touch of femininity and glamour to the bright and minimal bedroom.

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The levels of concrete leading up to the bathtub create a striking spa-like effect in the bathroom.

More Studio Piet Boon here.