Noe Valley home with spectacular SF views

Posted by Lauran

Lauren and Jill recently completed a decorating project for a delightful couple, Tom and Lisa, who purchased an incredible modern home in SF’s Noe Valley at the end of last year.

Tom and Lisa

1214 Diamond 03

1214 Diamond 02

The living room features the Camber sofa in white leather from DWR, as well as Otis swivel chairs, Union cocktail table, and Float wall shelves, all from Room and Board. “The fireplace was  covered in a very cool, but dark, tile,” explains Lauren. “We chose to hang a large original painting from Harry Gruenert to brighten up this focal point of the room.”

“One of the best parts of this project was styling their floating shelves, credenzas and bookshelves with artifacts and mementos Tom and Lisa have collected over the years,” says Jill. “People don’t realize how fabulous their own collectibles can look until they are grouped together and styled to highlight color, size and texture.”

1214 Diamond 07

In the large master bedroom, the couple’s bed is topped with a duvet cover from Restoration Hardware and a John Robshaw lumbar pillow (purchased from Anthropologie). The Sivas rug from Room and Board picks up the teal from the two Crate and Barrel pillows.

1214 Diamond 06

Tom and Lisa hired California Closets to build custom storage along one wall. We chose the Jasper Studio Sofa from Room and Board as a luxurious place for the couple to sit while they put on their shoes!

1214 Diamond 08

In the home office, the Mason Glasstop Desk from William Sonoma reflects the light from outside, and the West Elm safari rug (no longer available) adds just the right touch of whimsy to the room. The built-in bookshelves offer plenty of storage and opportunity for showing off more artwork and artifacts. (I just have to wonder, though—with views like this, who could get any work done?)

1214 Diamond 09

The home office features this sitting area in addition to the work area, both of which include sliding glass doors that lead out to the spacious outdoor deck.

1214 Diamond 10

1214 Diamond 11

1214 Diamond 12

This stunning wrap-around outdoor entertaining space features clear railings for an unobstructed view of the City. The Dockside Dining table (no longer available) and Rex chairs, Acapulco Lounge Chairs, and Java Sectional, chairs and ottoman, outdoor pillows, and green Wire coffee table are all from CB2.

“This was such a fun project, and we’re sorry to see it end,” concludes Lauren. “Tom and Lisa have great taste and weren’t afraid of color—just two of the things we loved about working with them!”

Give your home a Design Boost!

At Visual Jill, we believe that everyone deserves good design, regardless of budget. Sometimes you can make a big impact with just the right small tweaks, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot. With this in mind, we are proud to introduce our new 3-hour Design Boost service.

For just $390, Visual Jill will spend three hours helping you refresh your home. We can do a lot in three hours! Here are some ideas.

Color consultation

Do your walls need a redo? We can choose paint colors for every room in your house.

paint example

Room re-invention

Ever tried your sofa on the other side of the room? We can help you re-arrange your furniture and use what you already have in a new way.

LIVING ROOM FURNITURE PLAN DIMENSIONS

On-site styling

Maybe you need a little help with your accessories. Let us come to your home and hang your artwork and style the things you love!

Wardentry

Furniture finds

Tell us what you need and give us your budget. We’ll create a custom Pinterest board and find lots of options you’ll love from different retailers and etsy sellers.

pinterest screen copy

Remodeling help

Are you exploring options for a new bathroom or kitchen? You can get our input on the right countertops, tile or floors for your project.

materials example

How would you use your Design Boost?

Speed decorating: beach house edition

Posted by Lauran

A couple of months ago we got a call from one of our favorite clients. We’ve worked with him twice before (on his SF home and his office lounge) and we couldn’t wait to hear about his latest project. Turns out he purchased a home in Malibu, and was in the process of renovating every room in the house. He planned to use it as a vacation home and an airbnb rental. It would be ready in a month . . . could we have it decorated in time for a family party one week later?

That meant sourcing, installing and styling all the big stuff (furniture, accessories, artwork) and the small stuff (towels, sheets, kitchenware, etc.) in a matter of five weeks. Without seeing the place (working from photos, videos and drawings). And finding items that were in stock and ready to ship—and that fit within the client’s budget. And then Jill and Lauren spending Memorial Day weekend in Malibu to install and style. A challenge for sure, but nothing we couldn’t handle.

Our client told us he wanted “a comfortable California modern feel, with colors inspired by the beach.” We (and the client!) are pretty darn happy with how it turned out . . .

The palette of white, navy, and aqua combined with citrus brights and natural wood sets a relaxed, beachy vibe.

IMG_3498 copy

IMG_3503 copy

White leather on the generous sofa (a floor sample from Ana Furniture in SF) and Eames-inspired chair is surprisingly easy to clean. Lauren highly recommends this Transit Bench from Gus Modern—”it is beautiful and very easy to put together!”

21569_PCH_WEB-8

The Pines indoor/outdoor rug from CB2 picks up the gray in the kitchen cabinets and is simple to maintain.

IMG_3536

The dining room features the Vines Wool rug from West Elm, the Boerum table and bench from West Elm, and Modway Flare chairs from AllModern.

IMG_3537

 

The pattern on the rug and chair backs give the illusion of flowing water, like the nearby ocean. Artist amiguel (a Visual Jill favorite) hit it out of the park with the commissioned pieces he painted for the house.

malibu mirror

Touches of driftwood (like on this amazing Seaside mirror from AllModern) were a natural fit.

The color palette carried through into the master, the guest, and the bunkbed room.

21569_PCH_WEB-3

21569_PCH_WEB-1

21569_PCH_WEB-6

Upon arriving to style the house, Jill and Lauren’s first priorities were to assemble the beds so they had somewhere to sleep that night! The bunkbed from Amazon sleeps three (a twin on top and double on the bottom)—ideal for a vacation rental.

Sure, there were a few snafus along the way . . . items that didn’t ship on time, bed slats that didn’t arrive (thanks to our client’s construction crew for helping us with that one!) . . . but in the end it all came together.

 

New living room—and fireplace—for SF couple

Rosemary and David are a fun-loving, interesting San Francisco couple who have traveled the world. They called us last Fall when they decided that their home, which had not been updated in many years, no longer reflected their tastes and style. Oh, and they recently added a family member—Mojo the poodle—who needed to be included in the design plan.

The biggest changes were in their living room—here is how it turned out, complete with new fireplace and furniture.

IMG_1627 new

And here’s how the living room looked when Jill and Lauren first saw it. The colors and style definitely needed to be freshened up.

before 2

Luckily, Rosemary and David had a few key pieces to work with (a mid-century bench and credenza from David’s parents, side tables, a cool dining room pendant light, media cabinet and lamps). We took our color inspiration from their amazing artwork that they collected during their travels, bringing out the rich blues and oranges mixed with neutrals.

IMG_1614 new

IMG_1634 new

We love how the new American Leather sectional from Ironhorse Design Center emphasizes the home’s gorgeous corner window. Check out that view! The new gray leather Eames-inspired lounge chair and Noguchi reproduction coffee table are from RoveConcepts. We chose leather for both pieces because it wears well and cleans easily—very important with Mojo in the mix.

In the dining room, it was time to “get the red out” and bring in a more soothing palette. Here’s the “before”:

before 3

And the “after.” We again emphasized the cobalt blue in the existing pendant through the blue zebra striped West Elm rug. We also helped Rosemary and David choose new fabric covers for their existing chairs—a great way to “neutralize” what they already had.

after_dining room 2

Now let’s talk about the fireplace. Using some of our favorite Heath tiles (Crease In/Crease Out), Lauren designed a simple, modern fireplace surround, hearth and custom wood mantle.

Here’s her original drawing and rendering:

Fireplace_3x3 Hearth 1

FIREPLACE 3 rendered

And the final outcome!

FIREPLACE RESULT

The couple were thrilled that they got exactly what they expected!

Lauren and Jill had fun styling the mid-century credenza and West Elm bar cart and shelf. They took special care in hanging and arranging Rosemary and David’s  eclectic artwork so that it is all showcased appropriately.

IMG_1654 new

IMG_1623 new

Additional sources: Pillows, West Elm and All Modern; Living Room rug, Crate & Barrel.

Book reviews: “The Stuff of Life” and “Design Bloggers at Home”

We’ve recently added two new design books to our library, and both are chock-full of ideas and inspiration. The first, The Stuff of Life by Hilary Robertson, looks at how different types of people display their “stuff” — collections, books, photos, artwork, etc.

stuffoflifecover

The first part of the book walks the reader through four different methods of arranging their “stuff”: Intuitive (seemingly random arrangements), Narrative (arrangements that tell a story), Practical (the display of useful things), and Curatorial (a cabinet of curiosities). Each of these approaches is illustrated with moody photography by Anna Williams that makes the reader feel as if they are in the actual room.

stuffoflife 2

The second part of the book focuses on real-life people and how they live (the author calls this “stories told by real homes”). Once again it is divided into different types of personalities, and how they naturally style their homes. These lifestyles include Neatnik, Bohemian, and Sculpture Vulture (you’ll have to read the book to find out what that one means!). It’s fun to browse through the photos and try to identify your own style among the examples.

stuffoflife 1

All photos above by Anna Williams.

The title of the second book, Design Bloggers at Home by Ellie Tennant, is a fun look into how some of our favorite bloggers live.

DBatHomecover

As in the previous book, the author divides the homes into different decor categories: Pared Back, Rustic, Retro Chic, Homespun, and Colour Fun. These homes do not disappoint—as you would expect, these design enthusiasts live with style and personality.

DBatHome 1

As a bonus, each blogger lists their favorite blogs and resources, as well as great tips they’ve picked up along their own blogging journey.

DBatHome 2And the book ends with a how-to section for aspiring new design bloggers.

DBatHome 3

I really enjoyed the overall voice of this book— the author, as well as the featured bloggers. This is an inspiring and encouraging book with gorgeous photos by Rachel Whiting, and it should have a visible spot on your bookshelf.

Last four photos by Rachel Whiting.

 

Fall 2014 decorating trends & inspiration

It sure doesn’t feel like Fall here in Berkeley, but the reality is that school starts in less than 2 weeks! The home stores are introducing their new Fall lines, and on the newsstand you’ll see  “Fall fashion” on almost every magazine cover. We thought it would be fun to go through it all and present the trends that we see for Fall 2014. You can see more of our inspiration on the Visual Jill Fall Decorating Trends pinboard, too.

1. The Naturals: Colors from nature (soft grays, whites and creams); leather; rattan; live plants; wood. Items that are noticeable for their texture and detail, rather than color.

 

Naturals LR1

image via Apartment Therapy

avenue lifestyle bedroom

via Avenue Lifestyle

Nate Berkus DR

Designed by Nate Berkus, via Garrison Hullinger

comfy wood

via Wooninspiratie 

2. Color: A surprise for Fall — soft blues and greens! Clean brights (like orange), neutrals, and black and white are still strong too.

 

we blueswest elm blue LR

 Two images above via West Elm

boligcious-pastel-kitchen-remodelista

via Remodelista, via boligcious

orange pillow

peggy sofa

 Two images above via West Elm

cb2 fall pillows

cb2 bandw

Two images above via CB2

3. Creative Collections: Personal artifacts hung next to art in gallery walls; mixing one-of-a-kind mementos alongside books on shelves.

 

kitchen shelves collected

via The Grit and Polish

Erin-Wassons-Venice-home-13

via Because I’m Addicted, via One King’s Lane

workspace

via Batixa.tumblr

4. Abstracts: Artwork, pillows and textiles in unusual graphics.

 

abstract art, Apt. Therapy

via Apartment Therapy

steve alan pillow

via West Elm

5. Geometric: Symmetrical patterns covering rugs, pillows and textiles.

 

dot & bo rug copy

Via Dot and Bo

geometric CB2

CB2

6. Round rugs: A new shape that’s surprisingly versatile.

 

round Jute rug

West Elm

round SL jute rug

Serena & Lily (note that this combines two trends: round and natural!

7. Mixed metals: Brass, copper and bronze are staying strong for Fall, outshining chrome and nickel.

 

swivel bar stool

West Elm

vega 5 chandelier

Schoolhouse Electric

 puckr-vases

 

CB2

 

 

Jill and David’s new modern Berkeley bungalow!

We are proud to debut Jill’s completely renovated modern home. After almost a year of construction, Jill and her husband David are happily settled into their new space and enjoying living the “comfortable modern lifestyle” that we always talk about!

The home combines the living and dining rooms and kitchen into one open concept space.

McCoy living room

McCoy living room

A layout like this requires a cohesive color scheme. Jill chose pops of green and orange against a neutral background of white, gray and wood.

The sun pours in from the window wall and bathes the rooms in light.

McCoy window wall

The elements that make this space so special are bold artwork, bright colors, warm wood, and personal artifacts and mementos. Jill incorporated into her own home all the things that we suggest to our clients.

McCoy dining room

McCoy kitchen

The french doors open wide from the living room onto the deck (complete with hot tub)!

McCoy exterior conv. area

It was important to Jill for the house to blur the lines between indoor and outdoor living. The natural extension of the deck and patio make the house seem much larger than it is.

McCoy outside

The side of the home shows how new cedar was skillfully added to the wood siding that was original to the 1920s bungalow.

McCoy wood paneling

The front of the bungalow was largely untouched (except new cedar columns and a bright citron door!).

McCoy home front

Oftentimes the modern houses we see in magazines are so large and expensive that it’s hard to imagine real people living in them. Jill’s house is a great example of how modern design can be incorporated in a modest home, on a reasonable budget, and in a urban neighborhood.

“This was a huge, wonderful team effort,” Jill says. “Thank you to everyone who lent their expertise to this project. We couldn’t be happier with the final outcome.”

Credits:

5 easy decor updates–for $35 or less

If you’re anything like me, you see something you want to change/improve/update in your home every single day. It’s easy to get overwhelmed—and it can get expensive. Luckily, there are things you can do to polish your place that don’t take much time or money. At Visual Jill, we believe in making the most of the smallest details. Here are 5 of our best easy and cheap decorating ideas.

The fruit bowl

Cost breakdown: Bowl: $0-$25; bag of lemons: $5

You probably have a pretty bowl or basket buried in a cabinet somewhere. Take it out, dust it off, and dump in some fruit. Colorful fruit makes any container look glamorous.

Styled by Visual Jill

Styled by Visual Jill

Our favorites are lemons or green apples, but by all means use what you will eat! If you want to buy a new bowl, here are two  inexpensive ones:

Skars Bowls from CB2, $8.95-$24.95

skars-bowlsFinkornig Bowl, Ikea, $14.99

finkoring bowl

Cheap Art

Cost breakdown: Art: $0-$15; frame: $3.99-$15

I’m not talking about original paintings here. It’s amazing how framing something can turn it into artwork that can adorn your walls. Some ideas:

  • Scrapbooking paper
  • Wrapping paper (Paper Source has an amazing selection)
  • Fabulous wallpaper sample
  • Pages from art books or beautiful calendars
  • And, of course, your kid’s pictures!
Styled by Visual Jill

Styled by Visual Jill

Frames don’t have to cost a fortune either. Take a trip to Ikea for a good selection of sizes and styles. These colorful Nyttja frames are a bargain for kid’s artwork–only $3.99 each!

nyttja-frame_

Trays

Cost breakdown: $6.99-$29.99

A simple tray can make any arrangement (or pile of random stuff) look organized and polished. We use them all the time when we stage homes.

Styled by Visual Jill

Styled by Visual Jill

Styled by Visual Jill

Styled by Visual Jill

On the lookout for a tray to corral your makeup or spare change? Try one of these fun options.

Barbar tray, Ikea, $6.99

barbar ikea tray

Hi-gloss Swoon Tray, CB2, $29.95

CB2 tray

Plants

Cost breakdown: Plant: $12.99, Pot: $16.99

Granted, this is not an original idea, but it is one that many people overlook. A nice big houseplant can absolutely wake up a room. (Real plants, please!)

Styled by Visual Jill

Styled by Visual Jill

Styled by Visual Jill

Styled by Visual Jill

Look no farther than your local home improvement store or even Ikea for affordable plants and pots.

Fiddle-leaf fig, Ikea, $12.99

Ikea fiddle fig

Kalasa pot, Ikea, $16.99

ikea kalasa potEntryway Rug

Cost breakdown: $24-$34.95

You know that saying “You never get a second chance to make a first impression?” Well, we take that statement pretty seriously. Updating your entryway rug or doormat will welcome your guests in style.

Styled by Visual Jill

Styled by Visual Jill

Styled by Visual Jill

Styled by Visual Jill

Here are some pretty, and pretty inexpensive, entry rug ideas:

Pembetatu Cotton Dhurrie, CB2, $34.95 for 2’x3′ size

pembetatu rug

Emmie Rug, Ikea, $24.00 for 2’7″ x 4’11”

Emmie Rug

That’s it . . . our five top ways to add small changes to your home on a small budget. What are your favorite ways to update your place?

What is “comfortable modern”?

Here at Visual Jill, we call our decorating style “comfortable modern”. We thought we’d elaborate on the elements that we believe are important in creating a “comfortable modern” room.

Neutral backgrounds: White and/or Light Gray

lounge

We like to use white or a pale gray walls as the backdrop to the room. To keep the space from feeling cold, we add colors and textures that make it feel more cozy and approachable.

Wood for warmth

41 DR 2

Bringing some wood into your room will immediately make it feel more warm and less sterile. You can do it via a piece of furniture, like this dining room table, through architectural details such as beams or trim, or even just through accessories and artifacts. A few wooden bowls, a vase of branches, or a mirror with a raw wood frame will all work to bring “wood warmth” to your room.

Bright-colored accents

41 LR2

West bedroom

As you can see in these photos, you can bring in a bold color with an accent wall or upholstered chairs. If you’d rather keep the walls and furniture more neutral, try a fun patterned rug, great pop pillows, artwork, and throws to add the color that makes the room feel fresh, instead of sterile.

Modern in-the-mix

LR copy

arlington entry

We believe that exclusively modern rooms, from the walls to the furniture to the accessories, run the risk of feeling stark and unwelcoming. We play with mixing different types of furniture within a room, and/or bringing modern into traditional older homes, to make the space interesting and friendly. In the photos above, we mixed current modern pieces and mid-century modern classics within a century-old home filled with traditional woodwork. Try placing  an overstuffed upholstered chair or a rustic wood coffee table next to a sleek modern sofa to make your room feel fresh and comfortable.

Bold artwork

Neill DR2 smaller

 Artwork by AMiguel

25th BR

Bright colorful paintings or photos can be a focal point for a room, or placed strategically to give a room an extra kick. Remember to mix in other textures and colors to keep your room from looking like an art gallery! Unless, of course, that is the look you’re going for.

Before and after: Oakland cottage

A few months ago we were contacted by a developer who had just purchased a sad little cottage. It had been a rental for many years, so it was in pretty rough shape. It also had a completely outdated non-functional kitchen and bathroom. Our client asked us to help design the remodel, as well as stage the home for sale. After several months of construction, the cottage has been transformed into a little jewel. See for yourself!

Living room, before

IMG_1810

Living room, after

IMG_2228

IMG_2229

Kitchen, before

IMG_1819

IMG_1820

Kitchen, after

IMG_2236

IMG_2235

IMG_2237

Back porch area, before

IMG_1823

Same area, transformed into a dining room, after

IMG_2233

Bathroom, before

IMG_1817

Bathroom, after 

IMG_2076

Upstairs bedroom, before

IMG_1814

IMG_1812

Upstairs bedroom, after

IMG_2241

IMG_2239

Investor David Cerruti and his construction team did an excellent job, and overall the place is completely transformed. We’re curious to see how it does on the market . . . we’re predicting it will sell fast! What do you think?