July 30, 2013

considering shelves

For a new project, I've been gathering images of open / floating shelves as inspiration. My clients have a modern condo in the SoMa district of San Francisco, and space is at a premium. Their taste leans clean and a bit minimalist; they've also collected lots of books over the years! I'm thinking that a perfect solution may be some open, airy storage.

I love the height of these shelves above. See how these floating shelves provide just as much storage as a long bookcase but without taking up floor space? Love that. Kind of gives the space a little more breathing room, and takes up less visual space. This entire space is really appealing to me... so relaxed and cozy, I want to curl up with a book and a cup of coffee. (Also can't get those hanging ferns out of my mind...they completely transform the space!!!)

Love how these acrylic ledges make such good use of just a few inches of wall space. And this photo actually provides a great illustration of what I'm talking about. Check out the bookcase to the right - doesn't it look heavy and clunky compared to the floating shelves on the left? Don't get me wrong - I LOVE a good bookcase, but in a small space it's important to consider the best use of every inch.

Painting these cubbies blue really makes them the focal point of the room - I would even say, a work of art! I'm not sure it's the look we're going for with this project, but it's a brilliant use of that wall, and definitely brightens up the space!

This is also a different style, but I am intrigued by the over-the-door ledge.

I typically prefer more symmetrical shelves, but this is really well done. Obviously it's more decorative, where we will need more practical storage... but I'm inspired and it has my wheels turning. :)

Although I am a huge fan of layers upon layers in general, bedrooms are probably the place where I prefer the least amount of visual 'extras.' I like to keep them free from unnecessary storage as much as possible. However, I think the white walls and overall simple design here really make this hanging shelf work. Also loving the relaxed, muted layers of this room overall.

All images via my Pinterest

I also see a few narrow ledges incorporated somewhere. A more relaxed, casual way to display art and I think it's the perfect vibe for this project. We shall see. :)

Interested in working together to make your home the best it can be? 
Contact me at katiegaviganinteriors@gmail.com for rates & availability.

July 29, 2013

kitchen refresh

I've been meaning to share these updates for awhile now! A few months ago, I finally decided on paint colors for our kitchen island and cabinets, and what a difference it has made.

I spent a ridiculous amount of time over-analyzing this decision. The counters are not my favorite, but we need to embrace them for now, and work with what we have. I'm usually pretty fearless when it comes to choosing paint colors, but I wasn't exactly looking forward to painting the 15 or so drawers + 6 doors and definitely didn't want to repaint them anytime soon....you know? (Although, it really wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be....I should have tackled it long ago!)

Previously, the paint color was a yellow/tan/cream, like much of our house when we moved in. Not really a color that gets anyone excited, but for some reason it's considered 'safe,' which really makes no sense to me. Why would you want a color that you really don't like, that someone decided was 'safe,' and then try to work around it? Don't do it! Choose decor that you love, that gets you excited, regardless of what you hear, or what others might think! That's my lesson for the day. 


I also kept going back and forth about color vs. white. This is an endless debate in my head (and also applies to my home office plan, which you'll hear more about soon)... I am a color lover, no doubt. Although I appreciate a crisp white kitchen, my eye becomes bored VERY quickly and I thrive off of color, pattern, interesting mixes. So, I'm often drawn to bright or saturated kitchen cabinets. I've even considered filling the wall behind our sink with a Mexican tile focal point from counter to ceiling. It would be amazing!!!  But....

In our current house, what I've come back to again and again is white, at least for the walls in our open living space.  Our living room, kitchen and dining room really all occupy one shared space. I kind of hate that choosing white sounds like the 'safer' choice, because no one could accuse me of fearing color or pattern!! ... but crisp white just works really, really well in this space. And, a huge reason I love white so much is because of the way that brighter colors really shine with white as their backdrop. I'm constantly switching up the textiles, art, accessories and white gives me the perfect base for this. So, for our huge island which is also about a foot from where the living room starts, I decided that white was the smart choice. I also didn't want to island to be a heavy visual presence in the middle of the room; blending in as much as possible was key.

BUT, the cabinets along the sink wall are a different story. From the living room, they're largely hidden from view, so they were an opportunity to do something fun. For the blue, I went with high-gloss, so although it's a rich, dark shade, it also reflects the light really well and has great depth, and a little sass.

We also added these classic yet modern brass drawer pulls, which makes such a huge difference! If you have hardware in your home (anywhere - cabinets, dressers, doors, etc.), it's worth saving your pennies and replacing! These aren't the fanciest or highest quality, but they were 99 cents each and they get the job done and then some. I wasn't willing to invest in anything more expensive as we had something like 25 to replace!

Oh, and you may recognize the new counter stools. They're Ikea, via Craigslist. I love, love, love them. The perfect modern touch to balance out the more traditional cabinetry of the island, and of course the black is bold against the white, but keeps it classy. They're fantastic, and we're loving this entire mini-makeover.

Interested in working together to make your home the best it can be? 
Contact me at katiegaviganinteriors@gmail.com for rates & availability.

July 26, 2013

Australia meets Mexico nursery progress

This week we put most of the final touches on this nursery, and I'd love to share some almost-there shots! 

The little guy who occupies this room was born three weeks early (he's doing great :)), and his room wasn't quite ready! So, we've been finishing up around him (literally, sometimes he's sleeping soundly in the crib while I'm working away in there)...not that I mind! It's been an added bonus to get to see his tiny little adorable self on my visits. :)

You may remember this post about the Australian Snugglepot and Cuddlepie art, which was our initial inspiration and jumping-off point for the room. We started with a color scheme of gray, green, yellow. Along the way, we decided to keep the blue curtains which were in the room already, and the blue was a beautiful addition.

On that note, allowing the creative process to happen is so important, in my opinion. Plans are good... and changing a plan is also fine! Decorating should be fun, and allowing yourself to take these decisions less seriously is healthy. I believe in having fun with decorating and letting your personal taste and personality shine through. This almost always requires some kind of processing, and isn't something that can be forced. I'm so grateful for clients who trust me enough to invite me into this process with them!

 How cute are they?!?!

Green frames above are Ikea Ribba. (painted, same color as pegboard below...I don't have the color off the top of my head but am happy to find it if anyone's curious)

This area is obviously being put to good use already, and we'll be working on filling and styling the pegboard and shelves in the near future. The beautiful dresser/changing table was a Craigslist find, along with the wall-mounted shelves (there's a matching one on the neighboring wall). They're nice and deep, with lots of room for storage and fun touches.

My clients have done a great job collecting books already, and these shelves are coming together. I just love the character, color and personality that's happening on the bookcase. Dad couldn't let mom have all the fun, and the Mexican puppets are giving the Aussie characters a run for their money in the cuteness department.

Cozy rocker corner, with a small Moroccan table (hard to see) and the perfect little lamp for nighttime feedings.

Oh, and we need to take a moment to talk about this rug. It is amazingly soft and cozy, the kind of rug that draws you in to hang out on the floor. :) I'm seriously considering getting one for our house - it's so good. Also, it's 65% off at the moment....you really can't beat it.

When we do proper photos, I'll be sure to get a close-up of the quilt. It's actually Snugglepot and Cuddlepie fabric (!!), tracked down by my client and sourced by her mom from a fabric store in Australia. And, a big shout out to my amazingly talented sister Emily, who sewed the quilt for us. The reverse side of the quilt is a combination of two fabrics, a gray/white stripe and yellow/white stripe.

My client purchased several sheet sets, all of which work great with the room.

More Australian characters :)

My clients have incredible taste, which makes my job even more fun! So, what do you think... what's your favorite part of this peaceful, cozy and personality-filled nursery? 

Interested in working together to make your home the best it can be? 
Contact me at katiegaviganinteriors@gmail.com for rates & availability.

July 22, 2013

a little bit of green

I know you all know this, but sometimes it's good to have a little reminder :)

Bringing some life into the house makes such a big impact, and can be so simple and inexpensive...

clippings from our yard, and a mini succulent which was snapped from a larger 
plant in the yard (and potted in a tiny 99 cent vessel from thrift store)

Pick up an inexpensive bunch of flowers at the grocery store. (Trader Joe's is my favorite go-to for flowers... cheap and great options.)

My clients in Montana sent the above picture today, which couldn't have been more perfect timing! These vases and arrangements in their kitchen are so simple, and so lovely. This kind of beauty enhances our lives so much, but is so often neglected.

Clip some leaves or branches from the yard.

Succulents are inexpensive and super low-maintenance. 

 fresh flowers in the top jar are from Trader Joe's... I grabbed a huge bunch for under $5

 clippings from our yard (in one of my thrift finds this past week...can you believe how amazing??)

I hope you're inspired to bring a little green into your home today :)

Interested in working together to make your home the best it can be? 
Let's talk about changes, large or small, that I may be able to help with.   
Contact me at katiegaviganinteriors@gmail.com for rates & package options.

July 18, 2013

flash mob makeover for a friend

A few weeks ago, Kelly from View Along the Way posted about an awesome flash mob room refresh she and several friends took on for a friend of theirs. I was instantly in love with the idea, and within a day, I had a plan. :) 

My friend LaNiesha and I have been talking for months about doing a little refresh at their place but hadn't gotten around to it. Well, her birthday was coming up, and she and her husband were leaving the country for two weeks (on a mission trip to India with a group of fifty others from our church!!) ... perfect!! I got the go-ahead from her husband, Michael (on re-constructing the blinds, for example), rounded up a few co-conspirators and we were off...

As you can see from these 'befores,' they have a beautiful, well-lit space with great architectural details, in the heart of San Francisco. (Some of these are more like 'during' photos which is why you see piles as we re-arranged and planned. We also had removed a couple of pictures from the walls already.)

I went through my supply of fabric leftovers and remnants, and came up with a scheme to compliment their furniture. We knew we would work with the major pieces they already had, mostly just adding some textiles, accessories, art... and a bookcase! I was convinced from day one that a bookcase was a must -- her husband is a huge reader/studier and his collection was hidden away in a closet. I loooooove the warmth and personality that books lend to a room and was determined to add this layer of coziness to the living room!

Most of our focus was on the living room, and it spilled over a bit into a little nook in the kitchen.

TRULY, this was a group effort from start to finish, which made it so fun. This has to be the best kind of project...I loved the scheming texts as we brainstormed, planned, and encouraged one another.  One friend helped sew pillow covers. Others scoured Craigslist daily for bookcases, searched thrift stores for accessories, printed and framed family photos, re-covered chair cushions, donated frames...you get the idea!

It's amazing what a few snazzy pillows can do to really cozify a sofa!

And...the bookcase (woo hoo!!!)!  I had picked up all kinds of cute trays, bowls, vessels to add layers and prettiness to the books. And of course, the photos of their gorgeous and photogenic family don't hurt!! (Oh - and this isn't even half the books they own, so you know I'm going to suggest they get a second bookcase. ;))

You may remember a little stencil art project from this room last December. I have been wanting to break out that stencil again, and LaNiesha had said at the time that she wanted a similar piece. I was happy to oblige. :)  You can't tell here, but this is hanging above their TV.  (There are a few loose ends to tie up, and straightening the fabric in this frame is one  of them - kind of drives me crazy in this photo, but oh well...)

We spruced up the desk area a little, with a bamboo chair and some accessories. This is such a great example of the power of styling -- seriously... add a plant, some cute organizers (could be bowls, trays, cups, etc. -- my favorites come from thrift stores because they're unique pieces) and it's instantly stylish, inviting and not to mention more functional. One might even enjoy paying bills at this work station. :)

These awesome fabric paintings are from another mission trip of Michael's -- to Thailand a few years ago. (My husband and I were part of the team of eight on that trip...what an amazing experience it was!!) These two pieces were previously in larger, mismatched frames across the room from each other and I really wanted to group them for maximum impact. 

Loooooove this fabric we used to re-cover the chair cushions! Scored at a local fabric outlet. Their table and chairs were previously a little cramped in the kitchen, so we decided to pull them into this awesome bay-windowed end of the living room. (All along we would have moments where we wondered if they would be okay with all of the changes we were making, and would tell each other, Well, they can always move it back if they don't like it!)

And....the nook! (I love nooks so much that even the word makes me happy :)) 

This loveseat was previously in the living room, and was one victim of our rearranging madness. It ended up in the kitchen, where the table and chairs used to be. Happily, this corner is now one of their favorite spots! Again, the natural light that floods their place is just killer, and of course makes any seating area more irresistable if you ask me. 

I used Jenny's oldie-but-goodie trick and turned all of their mini blinds into roman shades (you can see some of them in the living room shots above). Seriously folks - if you have mini blinds, DO THIS! There is just no good reason not to, and it adds an unbelievable amount of coziness, texture and beauty for minimal cost and effort. Case in point:

And those mason jars - can you believe how cute?? Our friend Rachel built them, and I love them and can't believe how perfectly they work with the space. (If anyone's interested, she's now selling these - comment below or drop me an email and we'll get you the details! In addition to kitchens, they would be great in a bathroom, hallway...well, anywhere really! :))

So there you have it! And all in under two weeks' time. What fun, and most importantly, the whole family loves it. The best reaction was from their son Myles, while walking around and taking it all in says, "Mommy, our house is a-maaaaz-ing!"  How precious is that?!

I know this won't be my last flash mob makeover -- this needs to happen at least a couple of times a year in my life.

Interested in working together to make your home the best it can be? 
Let's talk about changes, large or small, that I may be able to help with.   
Contact me at katiegaviganinteriors@gmail.com for rates & package options.

July 2, 2013

our vacation: beautiful california

I've been meaning to share a little about our recent vacation to a few spots in California. We've lived here for 10+ years and there's so much we haven't seen in our beautiful state - we always talk about visiting different places and finally decided to make it happen. Or, get started anyway...there's so much more to see!

We left on my husband's birthday :)  Rather than taking the less scenic, faster route, we spent about the last third of the drive along the coast. I'll never tire of the California coast...it gets me every time. 

Can't believe we get to live here.

First stop, Venice! Our home base was a little beach bungalow we rented through Airbnb. Walking the streets of Venice never got old...tropical gardens, charming homes around every corner, and of course the canals!

Strolling the canals never got old...they go on and on. What a dream to live there!

One day we took a little drive into the valley, to Ojai. For years I've been bugging my husband about visiting Ojai, ever since Kathryn Ireland's house was featured in House Beautiful. I can't be alone! The amazing architecture, gorgeous use of colors, tiles, long porches, indoor/outdoor feel...I love it all. At the time (a few years ago now, I think!), it wasn't as common to see this boho-type mix of ethnic patterns, and in bold colors. I was so drawn to her casual, colorful, global feel, and have definitely been influenced by it - a very California vibe. Anyway...we didn't manage to track down this estate ;), but had fun exploring the town, eating yummy Mexican food for lunch, taking a very mild hike for some stunning views, and spent the afternoon reading in the little town square/park.

view of Ojai valley

I already told you about the flea market adventure. We hit a few other area hot spots, including the Getty Center, with its completely amazing property and views!

Believe it or not, southern California has fog, too! So while we weren't at the beach every day, the weather cooperated on one of our final days in Venice, and what a beautiful beach it is.

Santa Monica Pier

Then, it was off to Palm Springs for a couple of days! We had never been, and loved it. Thanks to a half-off deal we found, we were able to stay at a gorgeous inn. This was a huge gift and we were so grateful. Being the off-season meant we pretty much had the place to ourselves. In the mornings, I loved sipping my coffee and journaling poolside, enjoying the beauty and quiet. What a great chance for reflections on what God had been nudging, guiding and speaking. Throughout the trip, I had several specific prayer focuses, and gained some amazing clarity and peace these last couple of days. I'm so grateful for a God whose perspective is vast and clear when mine is limited, who knows what I need when my wants try to take control, who loves me when I'm unlovable, and who never gives up on me. That peace.