Friday, November 18, 2011

Design Tip: Gallery Wall

Hello Everyone, I can't believe it's Friday already! Today I wanted to share a few tips and some beautiful  inspiration on how to create a gallery wall in your home. On numerous occasions I have had people ask for help to come up with a design for displaying their photographs or children's art and here are a few guidelines I like to use to create the most unified gallery display. I am currently trying to figure out what to do with the bare walls in my hallway and I have been searching for inspiration on Pinterest.
Here are a few tips for designing a gallery wall:

-Search for inspiration photos on Pinterest of gallery walls. Choose a layout for your frames: grid, stairway, in a row, clustered together or displayed on a mantle shelf.

-Frames can all be the same color but vary in texture and size or you can choose a number of frames in two different colors such as: silver and black or brown and gold and vary the sizes. Arrange them so they balance each other across the display. To achieve a sophisticated look stick to either all black and white photos or all color photos.

- Create paper stencils that are the same size of each frames and play with the layout on the wall using blue painters tape, so you do not damage the walls.  To hang you can hammer a nail right through the paper and rip it off once the picture looks be in the desired location.
- If hanging in a grid, the frames should all be the same size and color. Hang them close together - and about 2″ apart.  Make sure the distance is the same between the sides of frames as well as above and below the frames.

-If using shelves be sure to vary the heights of the frames- using some tall vertical ones and some smaller horizontal ones. You can also hang some on the walls and place some on the shelves so add dimension.

-A couple weeks ago I read a blog post by Janell Beals from Isabella & Max Rooms where she suggested hanging frames using OOK Picture Hanging Hardware. She says that it is the best hardware to hang frames and I can't wait to try this myself, thanks Janell for the great tip!!!

Here are some of my inspirational images for gallery walls:

Simple black and white photos give a symmetrical classic look when displayed with large
mattes in the same size frames. In this photo the matte and the frame seem to
disappear into the background giving all of the attention to the photographs.

When displaying photos on a stairway use the form of the stairs to guide the bottom of the frame display. Every 2 stairs measure approx 2 feet up and make sure the frames stagger the same way the stairs do.

You can also layout the frames on the floor to achieve the proper
composition before hanging them on the wall.

These black and white photos and frames create a very balanced and clean composition...

By using identical frames, varying the size of the photographs and hanging them close together
it gives drama. It looks like an actual art gallery display, check out that glass ceiling!

This display looks like a collage, the photos are all the same subject and seem to tell a story.
The colors are balanced and it is beautiful! Also a great way to display children's art in your home.

Another way to display photos is using a ledge or mantle. Group frames
in varying heights, widths and colors and evenly distribute them across the display.

I will post photos when I find frames for my gallery wall so stay tuned...
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Define: Interior Design

The term "Interior Design" is relatively new and many people are not familiar with it or sure what the difference is between an interior designer and an interior decorator. Here are the definitions according to the National Council For Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ), and when it would be appropriate to hire either of these professionals: 
  • Interior Design: "Interior design is the art and science of understanding people's behavior to create functional spaces within a building. These solutions are functional, enhance the quality of life and culture of the occupants and are aesthetically attractive. Interior designers apply creative and technical solutions within a structure that are functional, attractive and beneficial to the occupants' quality of life and culture. Designs respond to and coordinate with the building shell and acknowledge the physical location and social context of the project. Designs must adhere to code and regulatory requirements and encourage the principles of environmental sustainability." - NCIDQ

  • Interior Decorating: "Decoration is the furnishing or adorning of a space with fashionable or beautiful things. In short, interior designers may decorate, but decorators do not design. Interior decorators require no formal training or licensure." - NCIDQ

The other thing I see, is many people choosing not to hire an interior designer for their design project because they are under the impression that it would cost them to much money. This can be a huge mistake! By hiring an interior designer even for a simple one hour consultation you have access to a professionally trained design eye. First off an interior designer can draft floor plans for remodels to submit for permitting which is a huge benefit if you are remodeling. When you hire an interior designer you can ensure that any furniture ordered will fit appropriately in the space, you have assistance coordinating colors and patterns, choosing tile for a backslash and last but not least, there are resources that are only available to the trade and when you are working with a designer you have access to some of the best materials, furniture and sometimes even discounts!

In my business I offer various interior design services including: a one hour consultation, e-design services where we work via e-mail and full hourly interior design services, to fit the needs of any project. I enjoy nothing more than to create innovative and cost effective design solutions for private residences or businesses and I believe that by hiring a professional the outcome of the project can be unexpected and amazing!

I look forward to hearing from you at when you are ready to get started on your interior design project!

And now for a little treat...

In addition to my interior design "101" I wanted to share an amazing recipe with you from Sunset Magazine that I will surely be making for Thanksgiving! I love the presentation in mini pumpkins, so creative!


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 4 1/2 cups peeled, 1-in. chunks pumpkin or other orange-fleshed squash (from a 2 1/2-lb. squash)
  • 4 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper 

  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, plus slivered leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup salted roasted pumpkin seeds


  • 1. Make soup: Sauté onion and ginger in oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat until golden, 5 minutes. Add garlic and coriander and cook until softened, 1 minute, then add pumpkin, broth, salt, and pepper. Simmer, covered, until pumpkin is very tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Purée in batches in a blender until very smooth.
  • 2. Make pesto: Pound garlic, whole mint leaves, salt, and 1 tbsp. oil in a mortar into a coarse paste (or use a food processor). Add remaining oil and pumpkin seeds and pound until coarsely crushed.
  • 3. Drop small spoonfuls of pesto over bowls of soup, garnish with slivered mint, and serve remaining pesto on the side.

Thanks for stopping by, enjoy the recipe! and be sure to check back later in the week for some great interior design tips and even more recipes for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner,

Monday, November 14, 2011

Dream Home

Happy Monday, today I wanted to feature a home designed by architect Tom Kundig, FAIA of Olson Kundig Architects. This home is in Portland, Oregon and it is absolutely stunning! I had the pleasure of meeting Tom Kundig at the gallery opening for the amazing artist and sculptor Harold Balazs (my namesake!) and I have a signed copy of his book, Tom Kundig: Houses. What can I say I am a total fan!

Here are a few words from the man himself:

"The simple, long bar plan and the rhythmical spacing of floor-to-ceiling windows provide a rigorous proportion and rhythm in this Portland house. Views across the main axis – from the courtyard to the south-facing balconies – provide a strong connection to the outdoors.
A lantern-like entry vestibule welcomes visitors to the house from the motor court. The main level includes living areas, an office, and a master suite. From the main level, the landscape slopes down to expose a lower level with a media room, pool room, and guest quarters, as well as a 100-foot library stretching along the entire north wall. The master suite angles away from the rest of the house, taking in the best views and seemingly hanging in the trees."

The views through this house are exquisite, the lines between indoor and out seem to simply disappear.

I love the floor to ceiling windows and creative exterior illumination!

What spectacular views...

Kundig's use of raw metal and wood materials is simple and authentic. 

I love the wall of doors that open from the kitchen to the deck, again drawing a strong connection to the outdoors.

If you like these doors you should check out some of his other projects Here and Here where he plays with scale and came up with a creative new design for a door. I think it's part of his signature style.

This platform bed looks as if it's floating in air. The neutral colors are calming and do not distract from the views out...

The floor to ceiling windows continue into the bathroom. The bench that extends through the shower glass is so cool, I love it.

All photos are from the website of Olson Kundig Architects.

Thank you for checking out this amazing dream home. This home reminds me of the famous quote "Form Follows Function". It brings together form and function and is beautiful in its simplicity and functionality. 
His work is very inspiring to me and I am sure I will feature more of it another day. I would love to hear what you think of it as well!