HCDH + The Guild

Well, HELLO 2017! The last half of 2016 flew by so quickly that it makes me feel dizzy, mostly due to the absolutely incredible project that consumed my life from July through December - becoming the Interior Design Luminary for The Guild

Headquartered in Austin, The Guild provides stylish yet flexible housing & accommodation for those that want a truly Austin experience. While some members (StayGuilders) visit town for just a couple days, others (LiveGuilders) put down roots for a year or longer. The cross-pollination of permanent residents and out-of-town guests is what makes the Guild community so unique and interesting. They truly believe that every person who visits our beautiful city should "Live Like a Local".

The Guild's stylishly-appointed flats are located in a handful of brand-spankin' new residential buildings, each in a uniquely cool part of Austin. They take design seriously, since living spaces should be a reflection of their surrounding neighborhoods. So in July of 2016 they hired me as Interior Design Luminary to create the environments that exude the unique community spirits of these awesome neighborhoods.

Over the next few weeks I'm going to share here what my inspiration was for each location and what my process was in getting there. In the summer and fall of 2016 we took The Guild from seven units to over 60! It's been a wild ride, and we are working now to add more in Austin and beyond...

Until then, let's do this 2017!

#CurrentlyCrushing: Mixing it up with Chairish (or "Life is Too Short for Matching Dining Chairs!")

Dining rooms can be tough. They are mainly composed of a table that is as large as will fit in the room, along with as many chairs that will fit at the table. We might not use them all the time, but it is so great having a dinner party and not having to bring out folding chairs!

Dining chairs can also be pricey, and that x 6, 8 or 10 can REALLY start to add up. Plus a sea of the same chair can start to feel a little boring. So why not mix it up and have a little fun with it? This was a question that the amazing vintage resource and online retailer, Chairish, asked...and I was all too happy to answer.

Below are three approaches to mixing up your chairs that I created while exploring the drool-worthy treasure trove of dining chairs on Chairish.

Same Style, Different Color

This plan keeps the shape, size, lines, etc. the same but plays with the color and/or material for a look that gives fun variety:

  1. Pink and Orange Eames Chairs on Eiffel Bases
  2. Multicolored Livia Chairs by Gio Ponti
  3. Panton Chairs by Vitra in Black + One White

Same Color, Different Style

Here, you can completely mix up the material, size, style, etc. but keep all in the same hue to create an eclectic look that still feels cohesive:

  1. 1970's Lucite Chairs + Vintage Lucite Z Chairs
  2. Vintage Thonet Anton Lorenz Chairs + Panton Chairs in Fuchsia
  3. Mid-Century Danish Teak Chairs + Black and Natural Wishbone Chairs

Wild Card!

Here, anything goes! This is a little more difficult to achieve, so I think keeping it to two or three different pieces is less overwhelming. If you stick to the same metal color or create a color palette with pattern and two solids, it helps the look be more cohesive.

Design just for Fun: Playing with Neybers!

I LOVE INTERIOR DESIGN. I live and breathe it. And sometimes when my projects get into the "not as much fun" phase- like yelling at furniture companies for delivering the wrong item or stressing about a deadline - I need to feed the creative beast and remind myself why I love what I do so much by designing something just for the dang fun of it. No pressure, no parameters or budgets and no need for my insane perfectionist tendencies - just having fun being creative and pushing the envelope. 

Luckily, there are awesome apps for your phones and tablets that have "blank" spaces set up to choose from with tons of furniture, finishes, art and objects to play with all day long. One of my favorites is Neybers (which I wrote about a while back here). They have some of my favorite cool European furniture lines and thousands of pieces to choose from. You can play with the color, perspective, shadows, scale...anything to create completely unique spaces.

Here are some of my creations:

While I do this for the sheer pleasure (and usually while sipping some vino), it quite often sparks ideas for current or future projects that I can't wait to use. So do yourself a favor and throw on your pjs, pop open some wine and create some cool stuff just for the fun of it. 

And please share them with me!

#CurrentlyCrushing: Pattern Playin' with Wallpaper and Rugs

I love, love, love mixing patterns, and that's why I love textiles and other surface materials (tile, wallpaper, etc.) so very much. But mixing isn't exactly easy. To me, most of the time there needs to be a juxtaposition between two patterns that makes them make sense - like a very organic pattern mixed with something very geometric, or a large pattern mixed with something smaller. But I will say that there are no rules. I'll mix plaid and polka dots together ALL DAY LONG. 

Today, I played around with wallpaper from Flat Vernacular and rugs from Lulu & Georgia and just mixed things all up in here:

Signature.jpg

#CurrentlyCrushing: Black + White + Quirky All Over

I love color. I really do. But everyone who knows me, knows that I am obsessed with graphic black and white. Few things add that crisp energy to a room, and it always goes with everything. EVERY room in my house has some graphic black and white, and I'm amazed at how little color is in my wardrobe whenever I do laundry. 

Here is a little selection of things high-contrast that I'm obsessing over, with a whole lot of quirk thrown in because...well, because life is too short to be boring.

  1. T-Rex Head Wall Mount by Near & Deer - So there's gold where white would normally be, but I DON'T CARE. This is AWESOME.
  2. "Warning! Boston Terriers Are Addictive!" Fabric by Missy Q - I can't decide what to make with this, but it will be in my house. Maybe a new dog bed for Gilley & Gus?
  3. Black + White Plaid Woven Street Shoes by Everlane - These look so comfy and cool and they need to be on my feet.
  4. Sonny & Cher Sunnies by Pared Eyewear - And these need to be on my face. NOW.
  5. Sloth Clutch Foldover by Fossil x Opening Ceremony - And this is the hat-trick for the shoes and sunnies, and is the cutest bag I have ever seen. EVER.
  6. Grip Tray by Finell - Perfect for klutzes, the rubber bands on this tray hold drinks in place. GENIUS.
  7. Rip Black Wallpaper by Stone Textile - I cannot wait to use this in a project, and I love that it was designed by a friend! 

That's it! That's my round-up of things I am obsessing over right now. Next week, COLOR!

XO Emily