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.

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