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Studio Redesign Project

July 30th, 2011



An inspiration board.

July 23rd, 2011


I’m currently working on the chair project, but in the meantime I’ve let myself imagine how it all might come together. So far I’m digging it! I’m always fighting with the Dusty Turquoise Fedora flor tiles I bought for the rug here. It is a dusty baby blue that I love, but it’s much too blue for the rest of the turquoise space, and the muted color is the same intensity as the orange in the sofa so the two really don’t complement each other that well. I’ve been considering moving those tiles to the conference area and getting a new rug for this space, but just the thought of spending $500-$750 on a new rug is a little stomach churning. Here’s my idea for tying it in without going overboard (or over budget!).

My shopping list for this look:

Lamps: Aqua Interlace Giclee Paley White Table Lamp, $99 at Lamps Plus

Vases: Hive Vases, $24-34 at West Elm

Coffee Table: $0 – It doesn’t exist. At least not on my shopping list. I’ve seen some white laquer coffee tables around, including one that is similar to this with a nice inset magazine holder at The Haymaker Shop, but I’m holding out for a used one or more bucks in my budget.

I’m also looking for a modern upholstered bench to put opposite the coffee table. I need more seating for client meet and greets. Something low that won’t block the supreme couch view would be perfect.

I’m completely stumped for artwork… I’d love to hear your suggestions, finds, or new ideas!


I LOVE them! I found two of these vintage molded fiberglass chairs on Chicago’s Craiglist yesterday. They match the studio perfectly and will make perfect head chairs for our conference table!

I’m not exactly sure what year they are from, but the owner has had them for over 25 years. The beautiful label says “A Douglas Product.” I’ve never seen anything quite this color before!

Special thanks to the original owners! They have a lovely photography business shooting and selling images of iconic university buildings: Universityicons.com



I’ll admit it. I’m pretty into DesignSponge’s Before and After, and how can you not be with all of those amazing reupholstered chairs? I’ve been on the hunt for a year now for the perfect beginner project to see just how difficult it can be to bring an old chair back to life. Now that I’ve conquered piping on my pillow project, I think I’m ready. And (drum roll please) I’ve found it! Meet Old Yeller. Okay, that’s much too cheesy, but here she is!

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Tonic Living

July 18th, 2011


Some of my favorite fabrics at Tonic Living are less expensive here than anywhere else, and even though the behemoth Fabric.com might be cheaper, Tonic keeps the hard to find fabrics in stock long after Fabric.com has ran out (like my current obsession: DwellStudio Bella Porte). While their site is a little primitive, I love checking out their Facebook page for inspiration and samples of what other clients have made.

Also, check out my other favorite site Fabric Worm for a great selection and more children’s fabrics.

Curious what’s on my To Buy list? Head to my Pinterest board Fabric Stash.

A few months back I found an impossibly simple looking tutorial on Crafty Nest by Heika DeHart for what I’ve been calling “String lamps.” I’ve always audibly scoffed when seeing the Random Light at Design Within No Where Near My Reach for nearly $700, and that’s for the smallest one, so I was really excited to find a simple and affordable craft tutorial! Heika’s version was modeled after West Elm’s Woven Abaca Lamps. Since I’m just about at the end of my budget for the new studio, I thought these might be just the ticket!

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My First Throw Pillows

July 13th, 2011



Special thanks to The Needle Shop for their great service and inspiration! I can’t find the name of the great teal cotton fabric, but the white cotton and yellow border fabric are both by Jessica Jones. You can pick up the yellow Skiff fabric here for the time being. Learn more about Jessica on her blog How About Orange. Special thanks to Manly Vintage who found my killer sofa!

Everywhere you look online there are posts about upcycling, stenciling, and spray painting. Quite honestly, the last thing I remember spray painting is a yard sale pogo stick I purchased with my allowance and that was a disaster. I can see the solidified drips of metallic silver spray paint like it was yesterday. Now I peruse my favorite thrift shop (The Brown Elephant in Andersonville) and think to myself “Of course I can paint that 6 foot bookcase!” I’ve already convinced my local paint shop that I should have a contractor account so that I can buy spray paint there (it’s illegal in Chicago). Now all that’s left to do is dream some more until this weekend when I have to put my money where my mouse is. The lease on my new studio begins in less than two weeks. Time to decorate!

How hard can it be to make a giant cluster bulb chandelier from scratch? The Ilde Max one pictured here will only run you $7,742.40. “Compare to $14,517.00″ they say. Can they be serious? The supplies above would cost me $200 max, and that’s being generous. I’ve been reading up on sockets and wiring and I think I’m going to give it a go!

As I mentioned in my last post, I’d love to stencil the studio bathroom walls, and maybe the entrance area with a simple geometric pattern. I love the design on Osbourne & Little’s Kikko Trellis wallpaper I showed there, and if I can afford it I might just pick it up. Alternatively, I bet it would be an easy stencil to make. Jen from Tatertots and Jello has a nice tutorial on her stenciled quatrefoil pattern. I think I would cut mine out of a harder plastic like professional stencils so I can wash it and reuse.

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I have been “Pinning” ideas for the new studio at the speed of light, and while I try to simply collect everything I love in one place it’s ever apparent that I have have developed quite a theme. Maybe it’s waiting for the last of winter’s gloom to wash away, but all I crave lately is a cheerful, bright modern studio. All I need is a bright yellow floor, white walls and furnishing with lots of colorful accessories. Here are some of my favorites so far! Many of them are more expensive than I’d like, so I see lots of primer and spray paint in my future.



These West Elm lamps are great, CB2 has a similar design, but it clips to the desk, saving room. I’ve found some nice $14 lamps here I can yellow-ify. Source: westelm.com via Scout on Pinterest


Hoping to stencil something similar to this in the bathroom. Source: osborneandlittle.com via Scout on Pinterest

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DesignScout’s New Home

April 4th, 2011

So this is it! The future home of DesignScout. We are hoping to move in on May 1, 2011, so I have my work cut out for me! I’m already so excited to begin the process of redesigning this space. And to share it with you!

The space is on the first floor of the historic 1912 Degan factory in the heart of Ravenswood. (The JC Degan Company manufactured organs and clock tower chimes.)

So far the management company has been unbelievably helpful. One of the most attractive things about this very raw space is that they have agreed to do all of my painting, replace all of the floor moulding, install all of my lighting fixtures and hang my shelves. It already has a kitchenette, storage and a private bathroom.

While now it is a rough industrial space with a god awful gray floor and fire engine red pipes, I have a vision of a clean white studio with a cheerful golden floor, white modern furniture and bright accents. Here’s a (rough) sneak peek! Follow my boards on Pinterest here for frequent additions to my inspiration boards for the project.

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