Mid-Century Zen Dining Room

Monday, February 29, 2016

Kate Cabiltes here! I'll be stopping in from time to time to share some of my design and source inspiration like the last Beautiful Boho Bedroom post I did for Jess.

I believe that a space for gathering or entertaining should evoke a sense of calm. While looking for inspiration for my dining room, I have found endless ideas in the home of fashion blogger Rumi Neely of FashionToast. Her ethereal dining space, ideated and executed by Orlando Soria and Homepolish designer Amy is bright, airy and fresh. The "half bungalow, half fluffy minimalist" concept perfectly describes the end product. By mixing neutral minimalist mid century pieces with textured bohemian accents, an enchantingly zen-like look is achieved flawlessly.

Here's how to get the look in your dining room...

Lamp via Allmodern
Framed Textile via St Frank
Sheepskin Pillow via CB2
Salad Servers via Ferm Living
Chair via Wayfair
Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree via EBay
Jute Rug via Urban Outfitters
Palm Dish via Kelly Wearstler
Terrarium via Terrain
Metallic Trim Bowl via Target
Mirror via Anthropologie

Inspiration image via FashionToast

- Kate

More thoughts on Exterior Paint Color

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hi Everyone! A while back when we were just in the process of buying our house, I wrote a post about possible exterior paint color choices.  Well, can you believe spring is right around the corner and it's time to think paint? In all actuality given the scope creep of other projects and additional things we want to accomplish around the house this year, we may not get around to paint, but this is one of those things I'm going to have to noodle on for a while and test out with swatches on the exterior, so it's good to keep it top of mind regardless. If you recall, we were thinking something like this:

I still like aspects of the color palette but am returning to the idea of something more neutral like a charcoal with hints of a dark aqua and light mint.  I also am thinking that I should keep the trim light. I love dark window frames but our storms are light and are not really very paintable so they just wouldn't work with a dark window.  Here is where I am at now. I also added in a simple picket fence to get an idea of what it would look like on our property (although we will most likely do something with a more interesting picket top to tie into the architecture of the house)
What do you guys think? Are we a little warmer?

Modernism Week Showhouse Feature

Thursday, February 18, 2016

I mentioned in my New Years Business Resolutions post that I wanted to focus on marketing and PR. Well our lovely publicists at Fashion + Decor took that to heart and hit the ground running in 2016.  Our hardware was featured prominently in three rooms in the Christopher Kennedy Compound Designer Showhouse for Modernism Week in Palm Springs.  More beauty shots to come but here are a few from my instagram feed.

Laundry Room with our T-02 knob by Denis McGaha Interiors

Powder room with our Classic 01 pull by Justin Shaulis

Teen bathroom with our C-03 drop pull by Trellis Home

New Year Resolutions 2016

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Last week I posted about my New Years Business Resolutions. In previous years I usually posted my personal resolutions first but this year is so much about growing my business it was just an easier place to start (also business resolutions I find to be more concrete). That's not to say that I don't have personal resolutions for 2016.  Let's take a look back at the past year. Last year's resolutions were very simple: Exercise more regularly and Be more stylish.  Well, it would be sacrilegious to actually meet your yearly resolutions, wouldn't it?  I started off pretty good with the exercise.  And summer and spring are always a good time for me because I spend a lot of time in the garden, but I can't say I really stuck to any sort of "regimen".  As far as being more stylish, I did the whole capsule wardrobe thing for a few months which really helped clean out my closet and define my style, but I have realized now that I either focus my personal creative energies on my clothes or my house and right now it's my house.  So clothes have gone by the wayside. It's just too tiring to have to think about both.  But at least I'm happy thinking about my house and not thinking about my clothes for the time being.  So, on to 2016.

- Spend more ME time. I have come to realize that enjoying a glass of wine while feeding my children dinner does not constitute "me time". I always thought it was silly those moms that you'd see on TV shows who just didn't have time to take care of themselves because they were taking care of everyone else. Well the fact is, this sort of creeps up on you.  It's not that you don't want to take care of yourself.  For me, it's just that I can't find the time - between doing stuff for my house, business, kids etc. it just isn't feasible.  So this year I'm going to try to get the occasional massage (before I have a crick in my neck from carrying Lucy), a mani and pedi more than twice a year, and actually make it to girls' nights in the city with my besties.

- Get more regular exercise. I know - yet again (I hope I am not one of those people who constantly resolves to lose 5 pounds). I need to figure out what works for me exercise wise.  I don't know if it's regular walks, signing up with Team in Training to do another marathon or going to a yoga studio. But I do know that if I am held accountable to a partner or a group and if I have a goal (like a marathon) I usually do better. I'm competitive by nature so just signing up for a gym membership won't do the trick.

- Get our Airbnb suite up and running. I have always wanted to be an Innkeeper or own a B&B so I am super excited to have this little taste of hospitality.  I can't wait for our renovations to be complete, to get the space photographed and and to get the reservations coming in.

Of course I have a bunch of stuff related to our house that I hope to accomplish this year. All of that I consider super fun so I don't really feel the need to make resolutions around them (Except to make more money in my business to fund my projects :)  And I always strive to be a better mother - unwritten resolution - which I feel is helped along by also allowing myself to do some stuff for me. Already just emailed my neighborhood group to see if anyone wants to run or walk with me, so at least that's a step in the right direction.

What sorts of personal resolutions do you have for 2016?

Kate Cabiltes: Beautiful Boho Bedroom

Monday, February 15, 2016

Hi Everyone! I know we have had a bit of a drought this past year blog wise. I'm hoping to fix that in 2016 with a few more guest posts as well as more posts about our house progress. Today we have Kate Cabiltes posting for us about getting that ever-so-popular boho look in the bedroom. But first, here is a little about Kate

Kate is a freelance interior stylist and interior design student living with her husband and cat in Queens, New York. She has always been obsessed with restaurants and hotels because of their amazing design details and is ecstatic to make a career of it. Her personal style is rustic modern or boho chic although she is passionate about helping friends and clients embrace their personal style to create a home that both speaks to and comforts them. When not working, Kate enjoys exploring the city and spending her time and money on the amazing food that NYC has to offer. She also loves romantic comedies, floral design and running. You can follow her on Instagram @fueledbywhimsy and visit her blog Fueled by Whimsy and you can stop by Laura Weatherbee Design Studio to see her guest design contributions. Take it away Kate:

When designing bedrooms I loooove the boho look but I often struggle with making bright colors and busy prints work together in harmony, especially in a smaller space. A trick that I have caught onto which interior designer Amber Lewis of Amber Interiors has mastered is blending several cheerful bohemian motifs with an equal amount of minimalistic and often solid colored neutral pieces to achieve a balanced yet unique look that is fun but not overwhelming. 

For more inspiration and eclectic accent items, check out the blog and e-shop of designer Studio Matsalla.

Here's how to get the look in your own bedroom...

Lamp via Ikea
Mirror via Anthropologie
Square Pillow via Amber Interiors
Pink Rectangular Pillow via One Kings Lane
Bed via Overstock
Kilim Rug via Amber Interiors
Yellow Rectangular Pillow via Studio Matsalla
Nightstand via Crate and Barrel
Polka Dot Potted Plant via Jenray
Cactus Potted Plant via Claylicious Etsy Shop
Tassel Pouf via Barneys

Inspiration image via Amber Interiors

- Kate

New Years Business Resolutions 2016

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Every year sometime close to the new year I write two posts. One is a personal resolutions post and one is a business resolution post. I like doing this exercise because it makes me focus on what my goals really are and it forces me to check in to see if I have achieved them.  So let's see where we are now that a year has passed. Last years goals included doubling my 2014 sales figures, focusing on marketing, launching two new lines of hardware and getting a major licensing deal.  Pretty ambitious.  I didn't quite hit the 2x mark but I definitely was able to increase my sales.  As far as marketing goes, I think I did a pretty good job here. Along with doing postcards, working on my social media presence and sending out press kits, I was able to get into Elle Decor, Consumers Reports, and on the front of HGTV magazine.  It was a great year from a PR standpoint.   Sadly, I didn't launch two new lines as hoped, but I am confident that in 2016 I will do so.  And I didn't start any licensing deals but maybe that should be a more long term goal as I expand my line.  One thing I have learned is to make my goals a bit more realistic!  So here goes for 2016:

- Launch two new lines of hardware. I have the Reveal Series prototyped and ready to go, so this should be out shortly. I can't wait to introduce it to everyone, plus the price point is a little more palatable.  There are a couple others in the works as well that I am confident should be in production by years end. The thing I have learned is that launching new product is a long road. Prototyping takes forever and designing and testing never end up being a priority over the day-to-day either for me or for the manufacturers I work with. In other words once I'm ready to finally get something under way, it takes a while for the rest of the cogs to start turning as well. Definitely important to keep up the momentum and to have several lines in the works just to see what sticks.

- Focus on marketing and PR.  This year I want to send out more press kits and get more press mentions both in traditional print publications as well as online.  I also have one big thing that I am doing and that will be to bring on a publicist / agent.  I am working with Gretchen Aubuchon at Fashion + Decor who is an old friend and serious mover and shaker in the industry. Unlike someone who just does PR, Gretchen is more like an agent. She will be out there trying to push Nest Studio and Jessica Davis as a brand. I can handle the press releases myself, but hopefully with the help of Gretchen's team, I will get more press mentions, speaking engagements, showhouse partnerships and overall brand exposure to help grow Nest Studio.

- Up my Social Media Presence. I've been working on this more this past year, but in 2016 I am trying to actually come up with a social media strategy and figure out the best way to showcase both my hardware line and my personal aesthetic via Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.  Some people may ask why I'm not doing the others (Twitter, Vine, Snapchat etc). After talking to a number of social media experts (such as my husband), it seems best to really focus on the core social media that drives my industry and to do all of those well versus do them all in a mediocre way. I'm still learning but I'm already increasing my followers and making meaningful connections that are very exciting.

- Increase my sales by 50%.  I realize that doubling sales was a bit of a reach last year.  That said, I think with the help of increased marketing, social media, and by launching more lines and therefore having more product to offer, a 50% increase is both more realistic and a good attainable goal.

Well, that's it.  I really should print out this post and put it up on the wall to check in from time to time.  Stay tuned for my personal goals for 2016. What sort of business ideas and goals do you have slated for the new year?

The Prospect House: Kitchen Concepts

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Apologies for the lack of updates around here. So far 2016 has proven to be quite a doozie with the snowpocalypse and a bout of sickness that pretty much wiped out our house for a week.  Thankfully Jess B has given you some eye candy with her updates on her own home renovation. Stay tuned for more of those coming up.

In the meantime I thought I would give you all the lay of the land as far as our kitchen goes.  If you recall, here are the listing photos of our kitchen. The swan table and bolstered bench really take the cake.

The other thing to note is the amazing, stained glass decal on the door :)  In any case, the bones were / are very good and there is ample space.  We painted the walls and ceiling (the tin was pretty rusted in places so painting it hid that and made the room much brighter).  Here is what it looked like post painting.

So what is the plan?  If you follow me on instagram and pinterest you may have seen some concept images.  The idea is to do some temporary DIY fixes and then do a larger kitchen renovation a few years down the road.

Let's start with the things that I am sure of.  I plan to paint the floor (similar to what I did in our old house), install a hood, put in some updated lighting, install a new faucet and hardware, and do a subway tile backsplash.  Here is what I am thinking regarding floor, lighting, faucet etc.

RH Pendant / Delta Faucet / Nest Studio Hardware

The kitchen is also begging for an island.   I was struggling with the island and how it would work in conjunction with the paint color choice on the cabinets. My original concept image was this.

But then I realized my walls are a creamy white and they would look really yellow if I painted the cabinets white.  I also wasn't sold on the super rustic island, nor are my floors a white washed wood.  I had all sorts of additional ideas about islands with storage and trash receptacles, but everything started looking complicated.  And then I had some thoughts about sourcing vintage brass legs for the island (virtually impossible - and when you google brass legs, you get all sorts of odd hits that are not table legs).  Then I came across these concept images which I absolutely love.

I am such a sucker for the black and white contrast.  The first is Jessica Helgerson via Emily Henderson. The second is from Becki Owens. I love both of these islands. They have a warm quality but aren't overly rustic and barn-like. Plus, I feel like this type of wood island / table would work well, even if we do a larger renovation down the road.  I've been trolling Etsy for sources who could make this as well as exploring some local artisan options.  Really excited to get more counter space as well as a bit of seating. I also am totally smitten with black cabinets in these photos but neither of these kitchens really have upper cabinets which makes the black more feasible. In my kitchen I would worry that a large swath of black uppers would start to get really dark.  I also am not sure about the black cabinets with my current black/brown countertops.  So I have a few thoughts (and would love your input):

The Easy Option
Paint the cabinets a medium grey. This might work better with my current counter color. And I could keep the uppers (though I really love the floating shelves idea)

More Complex But Maybe More Rewarding
- Remove upper cabinets on sink side and replace with floating shelves (bringing the subway tile all the way up to the ceiling). I think this could look really nice and open, but I worry I would be sacrificing some storage space.  Then again, there is already way more storage space in this kitchen compared to what I had, so I think I could move some things around to make it work.

- Paint cabinets black and consider a new countertop option.  I like this idea but I think this again depends largely on the longevity of the current situation. If a larger renovation is like 8-10 years down the road then maybe new countertops are worth it. If the project is only 3-5 years away then maybe I ought to suck it up and just keep the granite.  Also, butcher block would be the budget friendly counter option but that would really compete with the wood island.  Oy vey!  Really,  I think the problem is the state of the floor. Painting the floor is fun, but the tile isn't in the best shape and I wonder how long it will hold up before we have to do a more major renovation anyways.

There are pros and cons to either direction.  Mostly the decisions seem to hing on how far down the road we do a real kitchen renovation. It seems as though this is going to get pushed pretty far down the list given the ever expanding list of more necessary repairs that must be done.  Here are some other images that give you an idea of open shelving and subway tile to the ceiling (can you tell I really love this option?).

What do you guys think?  It's a lot of DIY but could really make the space super cool when it's done, no?