Designs to Inspire

Great design brings people home. As a residential Interior Designer I think it's important that you love the home you are in, no matter what kind of budget you are on. This site is to help you start thinking about your home in a new way.

Vivid color… April 3, 2011

Filed under: What's innovative! — sarah bernardy-broman @ 12:04 pm
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Elle Decor living room by Sig Bergamin

 

Color, when used correctly can be an awesome thing. The creative use of patterns and textures is always key in the placement of color and the above room from Brazilian Designer Sig Bergamin does that and more. I pulled this image from Elle Decor’s online portfolio, but have had this article, Wild At Heart from their Dec/Jan 2011 issue, laying open on my desk for weeks now. This room has a wonderful energy about it that I just can’t put away.

 

Country French meets Asian… March 13, 2011

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This project is continued from my December 30th posting called “Just in…Custom Asian Inspired Dining Table and More.” We just completed this project on Thursday, where we hung all of my clients existing artwork and installed some custom floral arrangements. We had a slight delay with the custom sofa delivery due to a defect with the original fabric, so it was wonderful to see everything finally put together.

With careful editing and thoughtful planning we were able to create a luxurious space using much of my clients existing furnishings, artwork, and accessories. All of the upholstery we used from her previous home was updated with new fabrics, giving new life to each piece and a modern touch, thus allowing us to create a cohesive space within her two room apartment.

In the living room we developed a plan that divides the kitchen from the rest of the space by installing a custom built-in bookshelf. This not only defines the space, but allows my client to showcase her important treasures. The bookcase adds elegance and a more natural divide, so that when sitting in the living room you don’t focus on the kitchen appliances. The only new furnishings added to this space were the Asian inspired dining table with French chairs, metal and glass cocktail table, the camel back sofa, buit-in bookshelf, and window valance; everything else was brought by my client from her former home, which made the transition from the West Coast to Minnesota much more comfortable for her.

In the Master Bedroom, I designed the full-size headboard and upholstered it in a solid green cotton sateen, which we repeated on the bedskirt. I found the duvet cover at Bloomingdales and had my drapery workroom custom fit it to the bed. The soft creme of the duvet makes the transition from the living room to the bedroom flow smoothly. The creme of the soft valance echos the bedcover and balances the space. We chose a soft green for the walls and continued this same color into the master bath. To pop the bed, we used richly colored pillows, a yellow floral from Lee Jofa on the shams and a green/gold/pink trellis fabric for the center pillow is highlighted with a hot pink silk welt. All of the pillow colors are found in the corner chair fabric, which is a beautiful gold brocade mini floral from Schumacher.

 

Spring was here… February 23, 2011

We had our taste of Spring just the other week and as quickly as it came it left us with another foot plus of snow.  Yes, it’s been a long winter for us Minnesotans and we will all rejoice when the grass pokes it’s dirty head again.  This doesn’t mean we have to stop enjoying the idea of Spring.  Maybe the warmer the wishes the warmer the weather will become? 

It’s never too early to start planning.  You can add touches of Spring into your home by making simple inexpensive changes.  Changing out pillows, lamps, or adding a simple floral arrangement can help to change the mood, brightening not only your home, but your entire attitude.  We can all use a little uplift once in a while, especially through the winter months.

Check out these fine lamps from Wildwood Designs and Tracy Glover and you’ll see what I mean.

It’s all about the fabric…if you want to change things out for the season look at cotton, linen, or silks with either printed or embroidered motifs as velvets or chenille fabrics can feel heavy in the warmer months.  I’ve added a few of these types of fabrics above to get you thinking.  –You don’t always have to go floral to feel like Spring.  Although, florals have come a long way from the polished chintz that Grandma once had.  Sold colored pillows with a contrast colored welt or a fun trim added can make a fresh statement to your room.  Bolder patterned damasks in bright new colors like the ones I’ve shown above can also make a splash in your home.

 

Tis the season for Outdoor Furniture… February 9, 2011

Filed under: Fabrics,Furniture — sarah bernardy-broman @ 12:59 pm
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If you live in Minnesota or other areas of the country that are getting hit with huge amounts of snow this year, then you are probably not thinking about going out and buying all new patio furniture. My advice is to not wait until you’ve dusted off the patio/deck to go and “test sit” potential pieces.  Now is the time to prepare for the warm months ahead! Yes, in the luxury market of outdoor furniture it can take 4-8 weeks for your custom ordered pieces to arrive, so buying now will mean it’s available when the warm weather hits.

Some products to look at now and get your ideas flowing…

Outdoor fabrics are more beautiful than ever before. Manufacturers have really stepped up the design options. Solids and stripes are still very common, but leopard prints and a variety of botanicals are really taking the spotlight. So many color palettes to choose from! Check out this link from Windward Design Group’s outdoor fabric collection to get your inspiration started: http://windwarddesigngroup.com/products/fabrics-and-trims.html

Donghia has a line of outdoor furnishings by Weatherend Furniture – a manufacturer out of Maine. Check out this link to see one of their chairs displayed in a fuchsia fabric. I love the way they contrasted the welt on the cushions. It’s a very Designer way to make your look more custom: http://donghiaoutdoor.com/products/10

Century Furniture is not only a leading brand in Upholstery and Case goods for the interior of your home, but a few years back they introduced their own line of outdoor furnishings. One of their leading Designers, Oscar De La Renta, works his magic in the line of outdoor furnishings he created for them. I’ve highlighted a few of his pieces below along with some other leading lines in outdoor furnishings.

 

February deals… February 7, 2011

International Market Square (IMS) is Minnesota’s center for Design products including custom home furnishings, lighting, accessories, tile, area rugs, fabrics, and wallcoverings available only To The Trade. These IMS showrooms showcase luxury brands not available to the general public or through most retailers. 

The start of the year can be a good time for you to look for closeout deals in furnishings. IMS Showrooms and their manufactures look to highlight new products previously shown at Fall Market and therefore need to make space for these special pieces by getting rid of last season goods. Luxury furnishings available as shown doesn’t fit everyone’s design needs, but if you have a plan for what you need then it could be added reason to buy. To top off the great deals on showroom floor items, many manufactures are kicking off the new year with a steeper discount on special order items as well. Industry professionals such as myself are your ticket to International Market Square’s vast array of specialty showrooms. I’d be happy to guide you through the showrooms to find that specialty item you’ve been looking for. Call me today to schedule an appointment! Follow the link below to reach me by phone or email: http://www.sarahbernardydesign.com/contact.php

 

Nature inspired home furnishings… November 5, 2010

Most everything we do in design is inspired by our surroundings. Nature plays a big part in both fashion and interior design. Here are some great finds to help you bring the outdoors in. From wallcoverings to fabrics and furnishings let nature be your guide.

 

Custom furnishings installed… September 20, 2010

One of the joys of designing is you get to see your vision come to life. I’ve been working with my clients on their family room re-design since October of last year. Seeing the room evolve to what it is today has been a wonderful process. One of the original design elements and the color inspiration for the room is the beautiful hand-knotted wool rug they picked up while living in Belgium. Together we have created a space that is very inviting with its rich warm colors and various wood tones. I thought it would be fun to post some photos of this project as we just installed some custom wood furnishings that I designed and had made locally by my wonderful woodworking team from Southern, MN. This project is still in progress–we have lamps on order and accessorizing and art hunting to tackle, tile and painting to be done in the kitchen along with draperies to be ordered and hung, but it will give you a good since of the ever evolving room.

Below are some before photos, and various shots along the way. Stay tuned as I’ll be adding more photos once the project has been completed with lamps, artwork, and proper accessories. Enjoy!

The design…

The floor plan of this family room stayed similar to the original plan with a few new elements. Instead of a loveseat under the window we put a chaise. Across from the fireplace we placed the sofa and to the left of the sofa a comfortable yet smaller proportioned chair. We used the existing rug as our color guide, pulling out the eggplant in our sofa and chaise fabric, and the reds, taupe, and eggplant in our chair/ottoman fabric and pillow accents. The camel colored leather chair was reused and placed on the left side of the fireplace where the TV once sat. To help blend this in with our new furnishings we added a kidney pillow and ottoman that match the new chair. The new placement for the TV is along the short kitchen wall where it now hangs by an articulating arm over the custom TV Console. All of the TV components and speakers were thought of when building this cabinet. A cord management system was designed so that cords are out of sight yet accessible when needed. The window valances were removed as they shortened the room by drawing your eye down–not ideal when you have high vaulted ceilings and low windows. We left the wood blinds on for function and a more architectural approach.