Monday, January 27, 2014

Downtown Apartment Memphis, Tennessee

Here's an overall photograph of my downtown Memphis apartment as featured in RSVP Magazine in November 2013. The open concept makes the room feel huge while the low ceilings make it feel cozy. The concrete beams are 7'7'' tall. Although the wall of windows look onto nearby buildings and art galleries and provide a great focal point, the real emphasis is on the conversational furniture set up. It's a rare opportunity to "float" a seating area.

Gray is one of my favorite colors and I had a great chance to show off several tones. The floors are stained a warm gray and the ceiling a cool gray so I needed a color that would be a dark tone. This particular paint color is "Rugged Suede" by Valpar at Lowes. I use it in as many of my clients homes as possible because I love it so much. Hillary Butler is an amazing local artist here in Memphis, Tennessee and can create custom pieces from any color scheme. I had been eyeing this gorgeous turquoise painting for a year, then I decided it had to be mine! Check out her website and even see a virtual wall with several of her pieces. Her site is: Several of her pieces are currently showing in The Agora Gallery in New York City.

Here's an overall shot of the kitchen and dining area. I love mixing woods so you'll notice here the woods do not match on purpose. I love dark wood but if it isn't paired with lighter wood it can look very heavy.

If you'll notice here the colors are all very muted except for the painted turquoise end table. Without a pop of color this room could be pretty boring. I love cool tones and used them here in my own home because they're so soothing.

One of my favorite things about guestrooms is that you can pretty much get away with bold fabrics. Again, I've layered grays in the floor, wall, and ceiling and added a pop of color in the ottoman. I love to layer fabrics as well. Without layering, this room might be cold and unwelcoming to guests. I love animal print done in unexpected colors, it keeps things young and fresh.

Our apartment came with two portable partitions made of corrugated metal which is the perfect fit in a modern, loft style apartment.

Niches can be difficult because they require statement pieces. Here, one can get away with bold and unique art or furniture that give life to the room. This semi-circle chest is known as a "demilune" and is the perfect spot for something different. Notice I didn't put a large chest here because I wanted some "negative space" around it so the eye can rest. The demilune is painted in the color "Oyster" by Ralph Lauren. The lily pad plates are available from Global Views (to the trade only).

This is a great shot of the ceiling as well as the living room fabrics. This is an olive green velvet sofa. It is beyond luxurious and believe it or not, its covers can be washed in the washing machine. The open leg chairs are from West Elm and match the couch perfectly. I'm not always a fan of a matching sofa and love seat so I did one couch and the chairs in olive green and then another full sized sofa in an ivory microfiber. Believe it or not, the microfiber is machine washable as well. The ivory contrasts the dark fabrics and makes the room look crisp. The lotus flower rug is by Surya (to the trade only) and is so soft and luxurious underfoot.

The master bedroom is one of my favorite rooms in my apartment. The arabesque mirror is painted in a flat mint color and adds just a hint of color. Here, the pewter drapes really make the room feel like a fancy hotel because the silk adds shimmer to the room. When I bought them my husband walked in the room and said, "What fancy hotel are we in?" and that was exactly the reaction I was looking for. People often ask, "Do I need matching lamps and end tables?" The answer is both yes and no. Yes, I love symmetry and end tables that match with lamps. Then no, technically the end tables should be the same height but can be different. The same goes for lamps, if they're the same height then they pass the test.

Before this idea I had a cabinet full of mis-matched spices that I would have to reach and knock them over while searching for the spice I wanted. When we moved into our apartment, I was determined to get organized. Any small apartment is tight on space and this is a great way to free up a cabinet. I purchased these at World Market and am glad I made the small investment.

I've always wanted an vanity and haven't had one since I was in elementary school. This kidney desk was a strange faux leather with gold inlay when I convinced a family member that it wasn't cool and hijacked it. Now, it's painted in an eggshell in a color called "Shenandoah Taupe" by Benjamin Moore. I have several painted pieces in my home with this exact color and I get compliments on it regularly.

RSVP Magazine November 2013

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Before and After

When decorating their homes, people often take the advice "keep it neutral." However, this can be taken to the extreme. Here, tan walls, tan tile, and tan couches aren't anything special. Memphis Modern to the rescue! Scroll down to see the dramatic after shots.

Glam Squad Takeover!

This is my favorite shot of the completed space. In this special room, I sent my client out while the movers unpacked so that she was anxious and excited to see it all complete.

Memphis Modern goes glam! Velvet, satin, and silk make this room upscale and feminine, but its clean lines keep it balanced. In this successful makeover you'll see quite a dramatic before-and-after. Before, the tan tile, tan walls, and tan leather couches left this homeowner really bored and ready for something with a punch. Although this room is technically neutral, it has interest and patterns which were definitely needed. The draperies are a well-lined satin fabric with just a shade or two more depth than the wall color. I love the antiqued mirrored glass in the chest.

Don't ignore any corner of the room. A well-placed accessory can make a big difference.

Below, you'll see a pair of beautiful satin damask chairs. Typically damasks are considered "traditional" but on a modern chair it becomes "transitional." The horizontal art really adds interest and a great complement to the vignette. Because each of the pieces of furniture were so interesting on their own, we didn't use many accessories.

I'm in love with this mercury glass lamps! They were the perfect fit. Delicate lamps are much like the sparkly jewelry to an outfit. Because my client was a woman, I was able to play up the feminine edge.

The blue pillows gave the perfect pop of color. The silk adds glamour and the pattern adds interest to a solid sectional. Pillows add warmth and comfort no matter what the color.

Here's a question I get often: "Can I mix silver and gold?" The answer is yes! If everything matches too well it can be boring and "cookie cutter." Mixing silver, gold, and champagne give the space the eclectic edge it needed.

Don't forget the details. The mirrored obelisks tie in perfectly with the mirrored chest and add just a little more sparkle. A simple vase with one of my favorite flowers, Bells of Ireland, keep it fresh and sculptural.

Adding circles can soften the edges in a room full of square furniture. This particular piece is in the connecting hallway into the main space. This gives guests a preview of the room's design.

It needs to look good from every angle. If you look carefully, you'll notice that the coffee table and the end table are in the same custom finish, but are actually two different styles.

Many clients opt for a smaller rug to cut costs, but they can't figure out why the room lacks warmth and comfort. This room is fully tiled, which is carried onto the fireplace. That's a lot of tile, and the room needed something soft and inviting to complete such a great new look.

The style of this home is traditional, and overly-modern design wouldn't work in this space. The adjacent kitchen's light fixtures and cabinets have traditional, high-quality scroll work. By using the same fabric from the sectional on the kitchen barstools, we achieved the effect we wanted.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Interior Ideas

Arabesque Wallpaper

Imperial Trellis Patterned Pillows on Damask Cubes

Relaxed Outdoor Porch

Large Mirror Art

Demilune accent table in Patina

Art by Hillary Butler "Safe Harbor"

Wallpaper Remnants on foam board 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Memphis Showhomes - Memphis Modern

Morgan Armstrong is shown here in a recent article by the Daily News featuring Memphis Showhomes. Morgan offers full house design to get homes ready to sell in the marketplace. The article shows realtors how to find our more about Memphis Showhomes services and contracts. Morgan is shown here getting an empty house staged and ready for show.
to find out more about home staging

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Busy, busy

I'm so sorry I haven't posted in the last couple of months. I've been doing a kitchen renovation and have just started home staging with Showhomes Memphis on top of my current clients. It has been so much fun and great to do what I love. If you're following my blog, stay tuned for a couple of articles this month in the Daily News and the Commercial Appeal. The Daily News features my home staging job and the Commercial Appeal article features bedding trends for this year with myself and designer Ashley Demming.