My Designer Tips

The Timeless Black and White Bathroom

I love a wild + cool cement tile more than most people, believe me, but theres a life-cycle to every trend and we may have seen the cement tile peak. The key to making great design decisions is not only the "wow" factor, it's about thinking ahead and making sure your design will withstand the ever-changing trends.......AND there are so many.

This is why I love a great black and white bathroom. If done right, it will remain timeless and you wont kick yourself every time you see fifteen hundred other bathrooms on pinterest with the same look. Soooooo passè.  I've rounded up six of my favorite black and white bathrooms that defy the word trendy........ and instead, scream awesome. 

The above bathroom was able to utilize an on-trend encaustic tile by pairing it with a more classic, old-word vibe. We're loving how this space maintains a level of sophistication. 

A beautiful example of a modern black and white design that incorporated the cement tile trend in one small dose, the shower floor. 

Just because you stick with a black and white color scheme doesn't mean you can't choose a fun shape-tile like these scalloped beauties. Adding whimsy doesn't always translate to color. This is a perfect example of that. 

One of my favorites, simple and cool. The black matte fixtures are the perfect contrast to the bright white penny tiles. 

The tall marble backsplash adds a level of depth to this bathroom that would have otherwise looked ordinary. 

The dark, almost black stain to this bathroom vanity is both interesting and unique. Consider a stained cabinet instead of a black painted vanity to create intrigue.


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xo, Vanessa


Dining room storage doesn't have to be your granny's ol' china hutch. Long are the days where your servingware need be on display (however cool that is and should be brought back).  A good sideboard can bring a sense of modern elegance to a dining room and also provide functionality without being the focal point of the room. Without further ado, here are some delicious modern sideboard options I came across in my search for the perfect dining storage solution:

You don't have to think BIG on this idea. If you have a small nook in your dining area or breakfast nook, you can always choose something simple and small, like this black matte hottie.

A mid-century modern option made even cooler. Try and choose a piece with some added intrigue, like the stunning woodworking detail on the above piece. It really sets it apart from most vintage pieces. 

Mix warmth and modern styles together. Sometimes you'll find yourself matching every piece of decor you own to match the vibe of your home. Try something out of the ordinary. A modern floating navy sideboard paired with the warmth of an old cottage style-space. It's unexpected and it works. 

I always pay attention to the grain on cabinetry, wood species and furniture. This added detail can sometimes make all the difference in a somewhat simple piece of furniture. This one goes out to all the Scandi lovers.

One of my favorite finds. The added pop of a metallic pulls this piece together with a bang. The juxtaposition of the black, warm wood and brass is a winning combo. 


Another great combination of mixed materials. The matte gray finish pairs lovely with the warm wood base, making a great foundation for all sorts of copper and brass adornments that really make this piece stand out.

Theres nothing better than a sophisticated black and white combo with a nod to Scandinavian design. There is something chic, understated and timeless about this setup. 

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Lighting TIPS for your Entry Way

One of my clients had this 1970's (in a bad way) entry light. It was brass (the bad kind) with dead moths from winters past mummifying inside for years, looked like dracula owned it at some point and overall, made our hearts a little sad. My client started sourcing on her own, sending me emails of lighting she loved. She couldn't wait to get rid of it. I quickly realized I needed to give her a few tips and guidelines to ensure she was looking at proper options that fit after seeing some of her favorite items, which happened to be either REALLY tiny or WAY too big for the space. I slapped together a little guide to help everyone choose the right entry light. 

Stylish Fireplace Mirrors

There are hundreds of ways to spice up your fireplace decor but adding a simple, yet big and bold mirror might do just the trick. We received many questions about this beautiful round mirror from One Kings Lane that was featured in one of my latest projects and decided to share a few more similar options for good measure. One HUGE piece of advice, is go big or go home. Choose a mirror that is 34" in diameter so it fills the space. You don't want a tiny plate-size looking mirror hanging over a huge focal point, such as a fireplace. 

                   Photo by Gail Owens. Interior Design by Studio Matsalla

                   Photo by Gail Owens. Interior Design by Studio Matsalla


So.....surface mount and flush mount are used interchangeably these days. I wouldn't say that choosing flush mounts are at the top of my funyon list, but they've gotten more attention in the design world as of late and are looking a lot hotter these days. Since we're all in need of replacing a FUGLY flush mount or two in our home (most likely), I put together a list of my current favorites and linked to them at the bottom of the blog. Enjoy!

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xo, Vanessa