Designer Files: {Faye Toogood}

Faye Toogood, a furniture and interiors designer and stylist out of London, has a laundry list of accomplished projects under her belt. Her resume includes design work for crazy-big names like Comme des Garcons and Alexander McQueen. Yet as impressive as that sounds, we can’t help but believe that Toogood’s home has to be her most spectacular achievement of all!

Recently featured in T Magazine, her London flat bridges modern and antique in perfect juxtaposition, making for an incredibly ethereal, airy and collected work of artful design. We’re excited to kick off the 2014 version of our Designer Files series with a space that is just too good to handle! Ha- get it?!

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Inside Toogood’s home light dances around the moody blue walls and shadows play against the washed out floors creating the perfect backdrop for her collection of antiques. I love how they never once seem overpowering or cluttered, right? In fact, these old pieces feel incredibly modern in her space and have found their place through what Toogood describes as much “trial and error.”

Toogod readily admits that her styling work is really a matter of arranging and rearranging. When she buys a new piece, what does she do? Rearranges again of course- a girl after our own heart, I’d say! {You can watch a fun time lapsed video of her figuring out a “final” styled look for her mantle here!}

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One of our favorite elements in the home is the fluid use of blue. The color blends into the rest of the neutral palette, practically becoming a neutral itself! Despite its calming effect, Toogood has come up with an intriguing recipe of making the hue exciting by varying the shades of the color in each room. The teal painted wardrobe in the bedroom instantly brings an icy lake to mind and the deep blue in the bathroom shocks the senses, leaving no room for lack-of-color lethargy!

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Despite our love for the blue, we’re dying {in a good way!} over the simplicity and modernity of the neutral kitchen. Oversized Mutto knobs, normally used to hang clothing and accessories, are reinvented as statement making hardware on Toogood’s Ikea cabinets and with an Ikea hack that good, the kitchen easily takes the cake as our favorite room in the home!

There’s no way we were going to leave looking over these images without feeling inspired by their beauty! The calming grays, creams, whites and blues, the mix of natural and hard edges, the modern and the new all had us dreaming up ways to achieve a similar look:

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First, you must start with those amazing Mutto knobs. Whether you choose to use them as cabinet pulls or not isn’t the point. They’re so impactful on their own and can just as easily make an artsy statement in an entry way or closet, housing your purse or necklaces. Second, the shapes, color and texture of Toogood’s ceramics play a big part in achieving that flea market meets fine china style so we say, stock up on pottery. And last but not least, have fun with different shades of blue from navy-black all the way to a muted grey. You’ll never tire of layering in more blue for that perfectly collected English vibe!

What do you think? A pretty unbelievable house tour, right? You can see Toogood’s entire interview, home, designs and video here.

images via T Magazine // photography by Henry Bourne 

Designer Files: {Hecker Guthrie}

I was blown away when I came across this stunning home in Melbourne designed by Aussie interior design firm, Hecker Guthrie. They have created a simply decorated space, with each piece carefully picked to serve a clear purpose and create a highly focus aesthetic. The home is neutral and minimal yet still manages to have so much character and life to it! It is the ultimate example of spot on back-to-basics design.

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My heart skips a beat every time I look at the deeply veined white marble in that kitchen. I love the thickness of the piece and how it wraps around to the floor with the white framing creating so much interest. I’m dying over the minimal iron and leather stools that compliment the white so well. And I love the idea of styling a floor to ceiling glass cabinet with live plants. It’s such an organic and lively feature that breaks up all of the hard edges and industrial feel, bringing life {literally} into the kitchen!

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In the living space, your eye seamlessly transitions from the eating area to the outdoors that have been landscaped to perfection. Since the room is full of organic and natural colors and textures, it feels like the outside is just one big extension of the inside, or vice versa. The shape of the windows that carry up overhead make you feel like you’re dining in a glorious greenhouse!

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Again with the marble! I love when homes have a continuous theme, whether that be color palette or use of materials that are repeated throughout the rooms. In the bathroom, we see a black pendant similar to the one in the bar area and a black faucet mimicking the one in the kitchen. The small design choices don’t go unnoticed: the painting in the place where a mirror would traditionally hang? Brilliant.

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Isn’t this home just delicious? There isn’t a lot of distraction, yet your eye keeps bouncing from one beautiful thing to another. So much so, that I’m wondering if I missed something! I can’t get over that marble island.

What was your favorite design element?

images via Hecker Guthrie // photography by Armelle Habib

Designer Files: {Brian Paquette Interiors}

Today I’m excited to feature a dear friend and fellow Seattle-ite, interior designer, Brian Paquette! Brian and I had the pleasure of working on the Sunset Reimagined Home {he designed the kitchen!} together, but if that wasn’t enough work, Brian was also in the process of designing, not one, but two more entire homes for Sunset Magazine’s Idea Town in Seabrook, Washington.

Brian designed two color-filled beachfront homes with guest cottages that exemplify what Sunset is all about: casual, beautiful interiors and innovative ideas. I am in awe of interior designers like Brian, so I was dying to ask him for some advice. From color application tricks, financial planning tips and his favorite Etsy shops…it’s all right here – along with stunning images of his designs of course!!

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Tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind this project. Where did you start in the design process?

I let the natural landscape that surrounded Seabrook be the guiding force here, amplifying the tones a bit to bridge the gap between inside and outside.  While walking the massive beaches early in the morning, you can be surrounded by this overwhelmingly comfortable purply fog to the point that you don’t know where the ocean, sand and sky begin or end. All of a sudden, something like the sharp green of the lush landscape or even a piece of colored ship rope pops into view. This stark contrast was how I approached the homes. Being true to nature while also turning it on it’s head, just a tad!

What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome when designing the homes?

Honestly, most of the process for me is intuitive at this point, but trusting my gut and my inspiration can be a little scary, especially when you have the wandering imagination and bold inclinations that I sometimes have. Time was also a big hurdle, we all had to work fast and smart.

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The homes are full of color. What is your fail-proof color palette trick?

When using a bold color, use it in more than one way. For example, we can look at the true green you see throughout the project. I used it in everything from upholstery, to tile, trim paint, pillow welting and in accessories. By using variations of the green hue throughout all of those details, it makes the room look more thought out and textured.

Do you have a design mantra or rules you live by that other people could follow and apply in their own home?

Never stop evolving and changing and looking and learning. The process and excitement of discovering something new and the inspiration that could follow is priceless. Take every trip possible, go down the unexpected path that says “no entry”, read everything!

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What is your go-to, {perhaps insider!}, source that is open to the public? A great Etsy shop or maybe a box store that carries your favorite items?

Not so much of a secret, but after getting the first layer of upholstery, rugs and textiles in a room and then piling in the old stuff like antiques, found pieces and art, I like to pepper in accessories from a lot of different box stores, but my fail-proof stop has to be West Elm. They really have it down, from bedding to vases and ceramics! I am also constantly inspired by some of the artists on Etsy like Jeremy Miranda and Michelle Morin.

Running your own business and being an entrepreneur is a challenging thing. What has been the most surprising thing you’ve learned? Any advice you would give your 25 year old self?

Oh gosh, don’t get me started! I will say I have had some of the best mentors a boy could ask for, but when it comes down to it, I’d suggest two things:

1. Get a financial planner now. You could have 5 dollars in your bank account and a steady job and they could still help you.

2. Not only build, but maintain your network of tradespeople, mentors, creatives etc. It isn’t enough to just meet someone at a party and take their card. True and real connection and an interest in humbly learning something new is where dreams become realities!

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There are just so many good things about Brian’s designs. I love that he relied on Seattle based designers in the blue dining room and for his custom artwork from Jennifer Ament {hello, crazy good gallery wall in a stairwell! taking notes on this one.} I love that Brian is making our hometown proud!!

And did you notice the special project on the stairs? Brian blew up and pixelized images he found of clam diggers on the beaches just outside the homes, from the 1920′s. He then decoupaged them onto the stair risers. It’s such a fun DIY that anyone can do in their home!

I want to thank Brian for all of the great advice he shared with us. It’s such a treat to get behind the scenes of the thought process that goes into design! If you are in the Washington area, the homes will be open to the public through October. If you’d like to tour these beauties in person, find more info here!

We hope you enjoyed today’s decor double whammy!!

images courtesy of Brian Paquette