Decorating Details, Designer at Home

I visited Portland, Oregon, for the first time a couple of weeks ago.  An adventure of art and discovery.

Best part?  I got to stay at my friend Ava,  with her eye for design Ava has created a place to nurture and embrace.  I was inspired to share some of her innate talent with you.

Ava’s living room is a microcosm of  her style.   She has collected wonderful items throughout her travels, and daily life, and put it all together, to delight the eye and spirit.

A favorite tricks is to do what Ava has done, use a rug, which is a work of art, as a way to ground the space and give inspiration and color to define the room.

Notice how the rug, the art and each accessory is unique and eye catching.  While the furniture has great lines they are definitely background to the art and detail.

Mirrors are wonderful accessories, and bold choices really make a space.  The mirror grouping with the art and the sconces create  a stunning tableau.

Bathrooms are fascinating spaces.  Essential rooms that need to incorporate function often in narrow space they can be difficult to really demonstrate  personal style.

People get locked into the tile look, and forget to illustrate mood.

Ava has created two stunning mood based bathrooms.

I love the use of the uniform paint all over the most of the house, and this color Straw, acts as counterfoil to the contents in the rooms including the guest bathroom.

A chinese porcelain seat adds charm and holds  items next to the tub, dont you love those wonderful fringes on the turkish towels?

I love the beautiful Hickory wood of the cabinets, the beauty of the wood adds a decorative element. The repetition of the same colors all over the room adds a luxurious touch.

Not all the items need to be expensive.  A designer knows how to shop.

The mirror is from Ikea.  I am planning on stealing that idea for a client’s bathroom.

Ava used the mud room idea, inspired from a travel jaunt, to recreate her  master bathroom. The mud color echoes the palette of Ava’s home.

I love how she has taken little jewel  items and focused so much whimsy and attraction to the visual tale.

Like the detail of the little man, the rough wood surface of the counter and the mud look on the walls. Delightful.

Design is about focus and attention to detail.  It is not about price.  This is ability is more valuable than a visa card.  It is priceless.  The gift of mixing and matching with aplomb.

I love how Ava has taken elements that reflect who she is, who her husband is (the artist that created the bud vase in the middle) shapes colors and forms that reflect their experiences and loves, to create a tablescape that speaks volumes.

Each of her rooms show design that is connected.  There is a rhythm to the way the rooms flow.

What can you learn from this?

Dont be afraid to be bold with less, and three items is quite enough to make a strong statement.

Stand up for your shapes!  Sharpen your style!   Simplify.

If you need help to create a home that embraces you, call me, I would love to help  Jen 650.644.8592

Feel free to comment below and share your point of view, I love to engage.

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Decorating Details, Designer at Home — 20 Comments

  1. Jen, I love the mirror above the table! Absolutely gorgeous. When I’m doing a room which is usually on a shoe string budget, I always look for unusual objects that stand out. Part of the fun is finding a gem that didn’t cost that much. That’s what it’s all about for me.

  2. I love the way you walked us through your pictures with insightful commentary. I especially love the point you make about everything not having to be expensive to create a look. It is also clear that your friend Ava surrounds herself not with stuff but with stories. Thanks.

    • Darcie I love to share, and I want everyone to live in a space they love. You are absolutely right. Ava’s home is filled with wonderful tales of who she is and what she values.

  3. Jen, You make my house and lifestyle sound so desirable, even I want to live there!! You are one amazingly talented designer who appreciates the nuances and pedigrees of everything you see. You soak up creative inspiration everywhere you meet it. I love exploring people’s lives through their homes. If only I’d thought of it, I would have taken photos of the fabulous stories that are illustrated in your home, dear friend. absolutely exciting and….yummy. xoxo, Ava

    • Darling Ava, you make me smile every time ! Your talent and incredible zest for life shines through. Always fun to see our spaces through the eyes of others. xoxxo

  4. I love Ava’s house! I have an eclectic style and find it hard to put things together so your post and the photos are proof that it can be done.

    Thank you Jen! I will be back.

    All the best,

    • Merlyn yes proof indeed that a little thought and intention can change the very nature of a room. Go for it! Would love to have you back again.

  5. I too love the way you walk us through your pictures. I am planning on a blog post about our yard sale/consignment shop finds at some point – would you mind if I copy your style somewhat for that?

  6. Jen… this was SO interesting! I loved the photos, your commentaries, the whole thing! Your closing invitation was lovely … “.. a home that embraces you.” That was an endearing touch.

    • Sasha my dear you are so kind. You make me feel so good. I believe a home should be like a mother to us. Smelling good and feeling soft warm and protective.

  7. One of my favorite lines; The gift of mixing and matching with aplomb. I think mixing and matching is a gift. I’ve seen it done so well (like above and what you do) and really horrible that feels like a musical instrument just a wee bit out of tune.

    thanks for showing how it can be done!

    Candace Davenport
    Our Little Books- Little Books with a Big Message

    • Yes Candace you really hit the nail on the head with your comment. The key is knowing how to mix and match. A little edgy but not crazy. It really is revealing. An instrument out of tune is a terrible thing. If you see this atrocity in anyones home send them my way!

  8. Great photos of some great places. Nice. Thanks! And thanks for the descriptions, too. Mad it really interesting and I now can put to use some of them.

  9. I’m so happy you enjoyed Portland—isn’t it a wonderful city?
    I’m in love with the decorative mirror and sconces! I’m eyeing the wall next to my desk, as I write, and it Really needs more “umph” & personality. I think I’m in the market for a new, distinct mirror & sconces!! Thanks for the ideas and delightful tour through your friend’s lovely home.

  10. Heidi I loved loved Portland. Fabulous city wonderful people. I am definitely ready to go back LOL. I will do a post soon on what I discovered. Isnt the mirror and sconces divine. Ava is so talented. Love to inspire, let me know what you find. It is amazing how some treasures can really lift your spirits!

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