When the winter months arrive, I just want to wrap up in a warm blanket and get cozy with some friends. There’s a Danish word for that, and so much more: Hygge, pronounced hyoo-gah, sounds nothing like how it looks, in English!
Hygge is a Danish and Norwegian word describing a mood of coziness and conviviality, along with feelings of wellness and contentment. And of course, there’s a whole design style centered around facilitating those feelings. Here are some ways you can welcome hygge into your home.
Create a Cozy Space
You can never have too many pillows! Have a blanket ready for a snuggle, too. I designed a custom-made chaise lounge for this reading nook with plenty of hygge touches, like a sheepskin rug.
Light Flameless Candles
Nothing creates a mood like candlelight. In hygge, more is better, when it comes to candles. Flameless candles with flickering effects are perfect, and decrease the negative effects of burning real ones. Brighten the long nights with an amber flameless candlelit glow, and you’re sure to feel the hygge in your space.
Gather ‘Round the Fireplace
A simple yet elegant design with lots of hygge style! I custom-created this contemporary fireplace and surround to contrast with the warm, knotty cedar wood wall construction, and personalized with art and pottery. The stool and rug are perfect for getting the fire started on a chilly night.
Feed Your Friends
Invite your friends and family around for fun activities to keep the cold at bay. Bake bread or decorate cookies together; offer hot cocoa and cider or tea and nibbles to visitors. The velvet chairs I selected for this Bay Area condo’s dining space provide a feeling of being hugged while talking and eating, the very essence of hygge.
If you want more hygge in your home, Kimball Starr designs comfortable, cozy homes through Northern California and Nevada. Contact her today for a consultation!
Your bedroom is a key part of your life, the place where you restore your health with a good night’s sleep, and where romantic encounters happen. With Valentine’s Day approaching, it’s a great time to revamp your most important space for romance and rejuvenation. I pull back the curtain on a few of my best bedroom designs, to inspire you.
Intimate Hillside Retreat
Nestled into a hillside, this four-story home boasts breathtaking views of downtown San Francisco. Contemporary design, color, and character welcome the owners and their guests.
In the master suite, a chic array of vintage patterns, warm colors, and low lighting create an intimate retreat to enjoy with a loved one. Clean lines in furniture design make it easy to relax in the space.
White leather lounge chairs and daffodil-yellow lacquer nightstands brighten the mornings, while dramatic draperies dip the room in darkness for a restful night. I can’t decide whether my favorite finishing touch is the gold detailing on the window treatment or the floral lampshades!
Relaxing, Restful Colors
While the rest of this Bay Area condo is filled with bright colors, the master bedroom tones down the shades to cooler, calmer hues, perfect for relaxing and sleep. Floating walls without doors separate the office and master bedroom from the living area.
Metallic textiles and wall hangings create interest, even in a calm space. Suspended bedside pendant lamps provide dramatic lighting while leaving the floating shelf-as-nightstand uncluttered. Reducing the number of items within view helps to prepare for a restful slumber.
Gentleman’s Love of Travel
The owner of this colorful bedroom loves to travel. We set the color palette with a Union Jack rug, which is a London nod to his favorite destination. Bright red also fans the flames of a passionate evening together.
Dramatic wavy pinstripe drapery softens the walls, while the ink blue leather bed and silver bowling pin lamps complete the distinguished interior. We dressed the bed with comfy pillows, to dream of visiting London again – maybe for a romantic getaway?
If you dream of a master bedroom that fulfills all your desires, Kimball Starr can make that dream come true! Contact her today!
Near the end of 2019, a legendary lighting designer, Ingo Maurer, passed away. He left behind a huge body of inspiring work, and today I’m sharing a few of his ideas.
Ingo Maurer’s passion for light began in the mid 1960s, birthed from some of his earliest memories of fishing with his father, seeing the reflection of light dance with the water. Over 50 years, Maurer developed an outstanding career, with exhibitions in museums all over the world, commissions from international clients and brands, and a firm employing nearly 80 people.
Maurer’s work displays a love for light, the films and artists that inspired him, and a commitment to not making compromises. There is no one who creates lights as unique as Ingo Maurer.
Zettelz 6 Suspension Lightfrom Ingo Maurer is meant to have the owner participate in its final look. Japanese paper sheets suspended from stainless steel rods are inserted into the central housing. The placement of the rods is up to the user, resulting in each piece being totally unique. Printed and blank paper sheets are included, for personalization.
Birdie by Ingo Maurer is created by wings in real goose feather-wrapped bulbs. The line includes table lamps, pendants, wall lights; all free to fly in the imagination of design. LED technology combines with creativity, and the result is a beautiful winged collection.
The Ingo Maurer Canned Light puts a different spin on Andy Warhol-inspired pop art; it actually appears to “pop” from the wall or ceiling from its spring-like top. This contemporary design by Christoph Matthias and Hagen Sczech for Ingo Maurer will likely be around as long as Warhol’s original.
Ingo Maurer’s first-ever lamp design, conceived in 1966. The Ingo Maurer Bulb Table Lamp shows just how far back Maurer’s appreciation of the form and function of the incandescent bulb goes. The bulb-inside-a-bulb design — of a hand-blown crystal glass shade and polished chromium base — is matched inside by a top-chromated incandescent bulb.
Floatation is a suspension light made from Japanese paper shades for ambient illumination. Three handmade shades are suspended by thin metal cables, while a red iron ring provides a pop of color. The paper shades of Floatation are crinkled, an intended design attribute, casting soft light over a dining table or living space.
The Ingo Maurer Campari Light shows how innovative and creative luminaires can be. Ten original Campari soda bottles, still filled with the classic soda, are combined into one extraordinary ensemble, wrapping the room in a fascinating red. Down the center of the bottles, a transparent plastic body holds the light fixture, under a transparent canopy. All the bottles are removable, and the luminaire is height-adjustable with a Campari crown cap at the top. What a marvelous way to look at light!
Do you want to feature stunning lighting design in YOUR home? Contact Kimball Starr today for a consultation. She designs beautiful homes in the San Francisco Bay Area and Nevada.
Pantone recently announced their annual Color of the Year – Classic Blue.
From their website, “Instilling calm, confidence, and connection, this enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.”
Because Classic Blue is, well, classic, I’ve worked with this dependable color multiple times. One of my favorite projects was for a retired couple in San Francisco who wanted to bring the colors of their favorite travel destination of Guatemala into their home.
In the master bedroom, we used the client’s own material to create a statement piece above the bed. The headboard, bed and footboard is upholstered in Classic Blue velvet. The bed is draped in a custom-sewn blanket of Classic Blue with brightly-colored tassels, while atop the nightstands sit beautiful glass lamps. At the foot of the bed is a bench, also custom-upholstered in the client’s own material from Guatemala.
In the guest bedroom, extensive custom cabinetry in Classic Blue allows for dual use as a home office. The wall bed cabinetry color is echoed by Classic Blue filing and storage drawers.
I look forward to seeing all the ways Classic Blue will appear in 2020 interiors!
If you have a project you want to incorporate Pantone’s color of this year or any year, Kimball Starr can guide your color journey! Contact her today for a consultation.
The end of the year is a great time to look back at our predictions, and see how accurate we were in forecasting the year. I predicted I would work with amazing clients, who would challenge me to deliver just the right style for them in 2019, and I was right!
A look at what interior design styles were popular this past year takes us all around the country, with the overall most popular style searched for online being Industrial, according to Realtor.com.
Below are the top design styles by state. California’s is Hollywood Regency, which is no surprise. I’ve created spaces for people to feel like stars in their California homes for over 16 years.
Glam is a similar style to Hollywood Regency. To show what I mean, in the photo above, my client wanted her Oakland home to feel welcoming to both men and women. So I brought in glamorous feminine elements, juxtaposed with heavy, masculine woods and tones. In her now-elegant dining space, the clean lines display an element of luxury while the glass chandelier and detailed head chair backs provide the glam.
The heavy wood dining table is balanced out with additional shine — the copper triptych artwork. She can come home from a long day at the office. and still throw a glamorous late-night dinner party with very little effort in a dining room like this, adding a little texture and sparkle to the evening under a fabulous chandelier.
Do YOU want help bringing glam into your life? Kimball Starr designs homes for stars just like you in the Northern California and Nevada areas. Contact her today for a consultation!
The holiday season brings chances to gather and be festive together, with family, friends, and guests arriving to join in the fun. Here are some of my best host tips to create a welcoming guest space for a memorable experience in your home.
Tip 1: Fresh Flowers
Nothing says clean and fresh like clean sheets and linens, and freshly-cut flowers. Place a seasonal arrangement next to the bed, or pick some from your own garden, for a personal touch.
Tip 2: Hand-Rolled Towels
One of the preparations that makes a spa or hotel feel luxurious is the special way they roll their towels and washcloths by hand. Take it a step further by placing towels in a basket or neatly stacked on a tray on the counter.
Tip 3: Lotions & Beauty Products
How many times have you forgotten your face cream, soap, shampoo, conditioner or hand lotion on a trip? A hotel or spa will provide you with a matched set: Classy, luxurious, and sweet-smelling. You can do the same thing for your guests, but go a step further – find out what brand they prefer, and have theirs available. They’ll be very impressed at your thoughtfulness.
Tip 4: Turndown Bedding & Chocolates
Who can resist snuggling into bed when the sheets and covers are turned down for you, with a chocolate on the pillow? Not me! Guests will feel like they’re receiving the white glove treatment if you provide this simple service.
Tip 5: Sleep Kit
A good night’s rest is probably the most important thing you can provide for your guests who’ve traveled to reach your home. A thoughtful way to provide that is to install blackout blinds in your guest bedroom, but if you don’t have those, the next-best option is a sleeping mask, and earplugs. Take it up a notch by also providing spare chargers for phones and cameras, extra toothbrushes, slippers, and a light aromatherapy spray for their pillow.
Tip 6: Drinks & Snacks
Imagine you want a midnight snack while everyone else is asleep. You tiptoe to the kitchen, open the fridge door, and see your favorite treat or drink waiting for you! You probably feel happy, plus relieved because you don’t have to wake your hostess. This is the ultimate in hosting, anticipating every desire and need of your guests. They will not only thank you, they’ll remember how you made them feel – like a million bucks.
If you want assistance creating the ultimate luxury guest bedroom in your home, or even for yourself, contact Kimball Starr today! She looks after the details that make superlative experiences.