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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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.

“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.

Hecker Guthrie

Do kitchens get any fresher than this? I think not. The kitchen equivalent of freshly washed, crisp linen sheets.

I’m about to share with you one of the freshest, brightest and most revitalising kitchens I’ve ever laid eyes on. Allow me to introduce you to Hecker Guthrie, an interior design studio based in Melbourne, Australia, led by Paul Hecker and Hamish Guthrie. The Australian design aesthetic is one that I often admire – free and easy, modern, youthful and always with a touch of that carefree Australian vibe.

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What is your preferred kitchen style? Would you like to spend your lazy Sunday mornings in this Toorak Residence kitchen?

Kate La Vie’s Enviable Apartment

If you’re familiar with the beauty blogosphere and YouTube world, you’ve probably heard of, or follow, Kate La Vie. I, myself, have been following her blog and YouTube channel for years. What stands out the most to me about Kate is her impeccable interiors style and DIY talent. She has a gift for styling knick knacks and decorative items around the home. Her Parisian flare permeates her beautiful apartment in Glasgow, Scotland, and the Bohemian touches lend a casual, free-spirited balance to the space.

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Highlights: West Elm Monroe sofa, marble fireplace, raw hardwood floors, bright white walls.

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Highlights: Moroccan-inspired pouf, mid-century modern pink armchair, cushion covered with eyes (!), eyes print, cacti… okay, pretty much everything!

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How adorable is that baby cacti arrangement?! Kate DIY’d the mini planters herself. Genius!

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Herringbone floorboards (tick!), subway tiles (tick!), “marble” (but not actually real marble) fireplace (tick!), selection of cacti (tick!), tribal-looking bohemian mirror (tick!). Tick, tick, tick!!

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Which print is your favourite? For me, the palm trees win, hands down. Close second: the polka dots & pink marble hybrid print (oh, and let’s not forget the ocean waves print!).

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Beautiful brass touches everywhere ❤

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This gorgeous marble and brass bar cart is from Oliver Bonas.

Now into the kitchen…

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That mint green SMEG is everything. This kitchen was completely DIY’d and designed by Kate herself. The backsplash constructed with herringbone tiles is so unique and really stands out. The brass theme continues with the tap.

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Now into the bathroom…

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…and lastly, the bedroom:

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Brownie points if you noticed the change in headboard and the flooring. I personally much prefer the latter picture (with the new herringbone wood floors and (non-existent) headboard); warmer, fresher, less feminine and more modern. The warm wooden floors help to ground the space, whereas previously, the room appeared to be “floating” due to the combination of white walls and white floors.

I’ll leave you with Kate’s video of her apartment tour. Enjoy!