Ban.do update/sneak peek

The ban.do party house is still happening. Sure it might be taking a little while – Jen and I are both busy with our jobs and also we’ve insisted on doing some weird stuff that took some troubleshooting. When we shook on it (in that first photo and in this post) Charlie was only 4 months old, Jen’s hair was blonde (it’s now pink) and Reagan was in office.  Some projects just take a while.

But now that we are 90% done I figured it was time to show you some sneak peeks …

Shopbando Office

We are shooting it in 2 weeks and man is it exciting. Its pulled together enough that they can work in it, don’t worry, but we do still have some finishing touches. The wallpaper is up, most of the furniture has been recovered/installed, and a lot of other secret weird things are happening involving glitter, disco balls and neon plexi – you know like most corporate offices.

Shopbando Office

That beautiful desk we got from Chairish and I love it so much. Plus it makes Jen feels like the president of the united states, except without the whole ‘running the world thing’. That sounds so boring.

Shopbando Office

We have some lovely lavender stools from Industry West white table from Dot and Bo, and yes, those are vintage lucite chairs  recovered in shiny-ass pastel blue velvet.

Shopbando Office

Like most party houses, the girls make out with the wallpaper, as seen above. You would, too, if your wallpaper looked like that. I don’t think I’ve ever been so jealous of a client’s wallpaper before – like seeing red kinda jealous. Or in this case a shiny/shimmery soft blush/pink.

So, that’s a little sneak peek for ya. The next time you see the Ban.do Party House you will most likely get the full reveal, the full tour, the full frontal. Stay tuned.

My Guest Room Makeover

Alright. This is a dooooooooziiie of a design post, including ‘before’ shots, the process, an EPIC FAIL, the remedy, the ‘after’ photos, resources, ‘get the looks’ and a VIDEO. Tell your boss that you ate bad salmon and that you and that you need to go to the hospital for an emergency surgery, possibly even a C section or kidney removal. Something that could take hours. Then go home, grab a cup of coffee, diet coke or wine (I like to give you options) and settle in to read the epic guest room make-over post.

Here goes: The guest room is FINISHED thanks to a partnership with DutchBoy paint. Dunzo. Like President Obama and Michelle could randomly show up at my door for the weekend and all we’d have to do is add some flowers. I mean, for them of course we’d have to get REALLY beautiful flowers, probably open garden roses flown in from Holland, watered by the tears of angels, but other than that, this room is good to go. Finally.

But before I show you the ‘after’ you must suffer through the process. Because I had to (and because the process is what this blog is all about).

We moved into this house 9 months ago and started fixing up this bad boy. BEFORE we moved in the room looked like this and I blogged about its needs HERE:

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To recap: disgusting pee carpet, gross painted ceiling, lovely ‘vintage’ ceiling fan, etc. Oh and you can’t tell but there is an insane texture on the walls – as if it was a gothic cathedral in Prague in the 1700’s. Like serious texture.

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So we skim-coated, painted the walls, put down new beautiful hard-wood flooring and it started looking way better.

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TA DA!!!!! Isn’t it beautiful, you guys? It only took 9 months, 2 design assistants and 3K to do that.

Kidding. This is what it looked like after we moved in and unpacked and it clearly wasn’t designed or even thought about. It was good enough for the parents to come and sleep in for the holidays but needed some serious considering.

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We lived with it like that for about 6 months while we worked on the rest of the house.

I’ve gone back and forth about whether I like that brick wall thing ever since we bought it. But dry-walling it sounded annoying and expensive, so I wanted to try to work with it and it seemed like a good opportunity to use the grid of bricks in an interesting way.  So one night, 3 nights before the Domino shoot I decided to grab some beer, put on Season 3 of the OC, grab 18 different colors of paint and see what the beer tells me to do, because that’s how real designers design.

In my defense I will say that this idea was endorsed by Ginny, Brady and Scott and we all picked out the colors together. It was kinda thought out, but we all had our doubts.

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What I did to that wall was a G.D. masterpiece. I’ve since decided to quit styling and dedicate myself to my true passion – tipsy public performance painting. How do I create such beauty, you ask? Well, how did Mozart compose such melody, or how does Sara Silverman think of a joke?

You can’t explain it, the genius is the true miracle.

Also I did have some inspiration pics/references to work off of, these weird 80’s color blocked buildings, but sadly the wall never really came to resemble them at all.

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I started with just a few colors and kept them looking more ‘water-color-y’ without hard edges (especially since there aren’t any hard edges – the bricks were rough). Then I was all, MORE, I NEED MORE NOW AND COLOR MORE COLOR FAST HURRY I’M SOBERING UP!!!

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But then that looked like a drunk monkey took over painting the wall with those crazy pops of color. So I decided to have it be more tonal and just do these kinda weird pastels together (the last photo). And then it looked like Easter threw up on my wall. It was terrible and incredible all at once. I hated it in an aggressive sort of way where it actually made me angry. It’s probably because the rest of the house is open and white/bright so all of a sudden when you caught this through the doorway your eyes were bombarded with these annoying colors, challenging your controlled temper, making you want to do violent things to helpless animals. It was that bad.

Click through to see the afters …

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Orlando’s Dining Room Comes Full Circle

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This post was written by Mr. Orlando Soria, himself. Please check his blog for general hilarity and good design.

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Dear Emily,

I’m sitting here, writing on my computer, thinking about all the things you taught me, all the things we learned together, and all the things I learned from ogling all your beautiful designs. One thing I learned from you (in addition to looking happily into the camera as I pretend to type this post), is to always be adventurous and inventive when designing a space. This is what gave me the idea to paint a big ol’ circle on my dining room wall.

My dining room was actually kind of okay before, but I was getting bored of the black metal bookcases and the art I had in there so I decided it was time to pep things up a bit. Add some color. I’ve always been a fan of wall graphics but I thought my style was too simple and paired back to use one in my own space. Which is exactly why I decided to do it. Sometimes, when you’re scared of doing something the best thing you can do for your own sanity is just to do it and see what happens. I mean, like don’t go trying crystal meth or heroin or anything, but if you’re just painting something, HELLO YOU CAN ALWAYS REPAINT IT CALM DOWN.

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So that’s what the dining room looked like before, and now it’s all:

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How’d I get from Point A to Point B, you ask? Paint. Like basically all I did was paint everything. Which is kind of a testament to how awesome paint is and how transformative it can be. Also, I studied painting in college (HAY PRACTICAL MAJOR!) and so my first instinct is to just paint everything. Like if I could paint over that one time my aunt told me Santa wasn’t coming because I opened a gift on Christmas eve I totally would. Oh my god, Christmas is coming in like three months I am like so excited. Anyway, what were we talking about? Oh yeah, paint. Here’s what it looked like when I repainted my shockingly well-priced Ikea bookcases:

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Don’t let these pictures fool you. Painting these things took like five hours and burned off the top 13 layers of my skin. Just kidding not really, but it did take way longer than I expected. Going from black to white with spray paint takes lots of layers and LOTS of patience. So put on a Cranberries album, drink a Snapple, and get into the groove of spray painting because QUALITY TAKES TIME PEOPLE.

And now it’s time to trace your mega graphic onto the wall:

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To trace the giant circle shape onto the wall, I hammered a nail into the center of the wall and attached a string with a pencil tied onto it at the radius I had determined beforehand. This sounds confusing but it’s not. Basically tie a pencil onto the wall on a piece of string half the length of the diameter. Do you get what I mean? WHY IS THIS CONCEPT SO HARD TO EXPLAIN I CAN’T TELL IF I’M MAKING ANY SENSE!!! HELP ME.

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Once I’d repainted everything, I did a little shelf styling and kept it lighter and airier than it was previously. When placing bookcases in front of a hyper graphic, you have to keep the background shape in mind when composing the shelves.

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So there you go. Now go out there and paint some big ass shapes on your wall and it they look like garbage paint over them and start again because you only live once and a life without shape is a life without purpose!

Love,

Orlando

PS: For more pics, tips from Orlando on shelf styling, and full before/after shots read more of the story on  Homepolish Magazine!

Photographs by Sean Gin courtesy Homepolish

Oprah Magazine Weekend Makeover

One time Oprah called and asked if I would do a budget weekend makeover for her magazine, and I was like, ‘Opes, for you … anything.’ The job/challenge was to show their readers what they can actually do in a weekend, with a limited budget. It’s not ‘just buy a new sofa’ or ‘wallpaper your ceiling’, its easy upgrades, simple solutions, etc, that you can really do to improve your space in 2-3 days. Having those parameters was VERY fun, indeed, and has inspired another big makeover post (and possible series) that I’m launching with Target soon.

The budget for decor was $1800, which isn’t nothing and certainly isn’t what a lot of people have just lying around but it still goes really fast. Trust me.

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It’s out now in the September issue, but let’s go back in time and check out what it looked like when we found it:

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The apartment itself is beautiful – big, white, open with pretty, classic architecture. Her pieces were simple and easy to style on top of, which was good since we didn’t have the budget to buy a new sofa, etc. And OH YEAH, SHE ALREADY HAD TWO PLATNER STOOLS. She inherited them from her mom and I was VERY jealous.

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Things were just kinda mismatched, without a specific point of view and it just didn’t reflect her personality.

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There was something very classic and Victorian about the space so we felt like we could go for a more feminine, almost regal color. And since she lived by herself and didn’t necessarily need to take in her boyfriend’s opinion so much we wanted to go a little bit girly.

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The Fig House Stained Glass Design; Judson Studios

If you follow me on ANY social media you have seen a lot of stained glass on my feed – mostly from Judson Studio and The Fig House project. Hell if you’ve breathed near me in the last year you were likely to hear about The Fig House. And Charlie. Hopefully y’all aren’t sick of hearing about this project, it was just huge and there were/are so many design components to it, so its taking a while to document them all. I wrote about Judson Studios a month ago, but now its time to document what we actually did with them.

Lets bring you back to the beginning (and read this post if you haven’t). When I first signed on for Fig I said ‘Stained Glass’ immediately. I had been wanting to do a project with custom stained glass so bad and this seemed like the perfect one.

So let me guide you through the project (and yes, there is a whole video at the end):

stained glass

First we met with Tim Carey, an artist, at Judson Studio and talked about general art direction. I said I wanted something geometric, modern, saturated colors and large-scale. He said that they hadn’t done that before (mainly because it’s not what clients want) and he was psyched to get started.

So he sent through this first sketch with some initial ideas:

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It was so fun to see the potential. We really liked it but it didn’t quite feel modern enough. It felt too fluid for a new build, not quite geometric enough.
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And Tim totally agreed. So easy to work with. So he went back with our notes and came up with this pattern. A common motif throughout the Fig House were octogons, so he took more inspiration from that and started the process again:

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He sent this through and we flipped out, in a good way:

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Yes yes yes yes yes. The thick verticals and horizontals were the window frame.  It was a 12′ window I believe so it had to have mullions help supporting it. Yes, I say fancy words like ‘mullions’ now. Hopefully I’m correct in the usage …

Next he printed it out, all life-size which was sooo fun to see.

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He took a first pass at color and sent us through this:

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Sorry, its fuzzy. I think it was just a screenshot of his computer. We liked it but it wasn’t quite the colors that we were working with.  So we went in and played with the color combo for hours.

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