In the New Year, if pandemic conditions allow, we’ll be hosting some friends and family again, and that means providing seating for everyone! Here’s a look at a before & after project featuring chairs and tables.
This San Francisco loft was mostly empty when we started. The client wanted a look inspired by a Moroccan bazaar, with lots of color, texture, and patterns. A pair of slipper chairs would be a great seating option, but they needed a complete overhaul.
I re-upholstered the chairs with a beautiful pattern and added a metal side table for a great place to relax and read with a cup of tea or enjoy a conversation with a friend.
A matched set of mid-century modern dining table and chairs was the look the client wanted, but the original upholstery was boring and drab – unthinkable!
Reupholstering the chairs in a funky striped material made them fit in better with their new surroundings, and a bit of furniture polish brought the table and chairs back to as-new condition. Now the brightly-colored pendant light shines down onto a vase full of fresh flowers, ready to welcome guests to a drink or meal at the table.
Now the dining area fits in with the loft’s adjacent kitchen space, and is beautiful to look at as well, putting the fun back in functional.
Kimball Starr brings furniture back to life in homes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Lake Tahoe. Contact her today for a socially-distanced in-person or remote consultation!
Globalization is more than a trend, it’s a process that’s been happening since the first time two different peoples met, where multiple cultures and influences are combined together to form a new type of design.
Think: Scandinese (Scandinavian-Japanese) also known as Japandi, Mexicanese (Mexican-Japanese), or Britainese (British-Chinese). Let’s explore one of these creations: Japandi.
Discovering beauty in imperfection, Japandi spaces embrace things like serene colors, eye-pleasing items that also serve a practical purpose, and high-quality craftsmanship. Wabi Sabi’s ethics, well-known in Japan, are based on love for natural and artisanal imperfection. Therefore, choosing furniture in simple and natural but high-quality materials — such as wood and other natural fibers like bamboo, rattan, and paper — is key to achieving the look of Japandi. Wooden furniture performs its function in different rooms of the house, but at the same time they are design objects that embellish the environment.
The name derives from the fusion of the country name “Japan” with the Scandinavian “scandi”. Two geographically very distant cultures but which have a lot in common, beginning with a minimalist aesthetic. The primary goal is to create a relaxing place by first eliminating strong and bright colors, preferring those found in nature. Above, Scandinavian warmth in wood tones is counterpointed by shibori blue and black slate.
At FYN Restaurant in Capetown, South Africa, the order of the day is a melding of eastern minimalism and western comfort to form a mysterious mixture that draws you in with textures and subdued dark colors. The Bonsai tree on the counter is a giveaway of Japanese values in nature, while the Scandinavian legs and rounded chair backs on the counter stools ground the design in smooth style.
Pairing Scandinavian design elements with ice cream-like colors, this mixture results in a subtly cool duck egg blue, powder puff pink, and sage green restaurant designed by Harlen & Holden. Sugared Scandi is based in the Philippines, a country that has long been under the influence of western culture. Here the long, low furniture allows your eye to travel without interruption.
Again, here we see the colors of sage green, powder pink, and pale blue-grey, combined with fresh green plants and warm wood tones. The combination of concrete and soft textural fabrics is a modern perspective on the Japandi style, one we’re beginning to notice in many city apartment buildings.
Whatever approach to Japandi you decide to take, you can’t go wrong with this beautiful combined aesthetic.
Kimball Starr designs for homes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Lake Tahoe. Contact her today for a remote or socially-distant in-person consultation.
Are you anticipating this year’s winter holiday season? Looking for ways to take your décor up a notch, even without in-person guests and parties? Here are some ideas on a theme I love: Monochrome holiday decorating!
Monochrome should be softened with a touch of color. Here greenery creates a welcoming indoor/outdoor feel. I adore the wreathed chair-backs!
Here’s another way to use monochrome with other colors – the traditional red and green really pop when used with black and white.
I like the idea of placing wrapped gifts in a decorative fireplace. Love the print pillow here – it really adds depth to the scene!
The bedroom can also be decorated to match this theme, as long as the dominant furniture colors don’t interfere.
Stripes are so traditional for the holidays. Why not try something different? Polka dots in black and white and gold are sure to be a hit, as much as the gift inside.
It’s not too late to get help on your own holiday decorating! Kimball Starr provides ideas and easily executable plans for homes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Lake Tahoe. Contact her today for a remote or socially-distant in-person consultation.
As the seasons change to autumn and winter, I always want to cozy up to a warm fireplace, especially as the holidays approach. There’s nothing nicer than gathering around a fireplace with friends and family and a hot cup of cocoa. Today I’m sharing two of my fireplace redesigns!
This cute home in a San Francisco neighborhood has a cabin-y feel, with the knotty cedar wood paneling. While the potbelly stove does go with the environment, the client wanted a more modern, updated look.
I custom-designed this simple, contemporary fireplace to be beautiful and also provide a place to display art. The raised hearth makes it easier to tend the fire without having to bend to the floor. I added a mid-century stool and faux fur rug to extend the warmth further into the room and invite you to stoke the fire.
The fireplace can be seen from nearly every room on this floor, so it was important that it fit in with the surrounding spaces. My client is delighted and so am I!
In another project, this San Francisco loft was not being shown at its best by its dated fireplace and surround.
For a dramatic ‘after’, now the fireplace is a feature that makes use of the theatrical high ceilings.
A closer view shows how cozy the living room is, a multi-textured seating area that celebrates pattern and color akin to a Moroccan bazaar, with a corner fireplace that extends comfort and complements the space.
Kimball Starr designs beautiful homes with welcoming fireplaces throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Lake Tahoe. Contact her today for a socially-distanced in-person or remote consultation!
What wall styles are trending in the latter half of 2021? Let’s explore!
Wall murals – woven or painted – are a creative way to decorate your walls, distinct from just hanging art like anyone else does. Above is La Passion de Diego by Elitis, a woven mural celebrating Frida Kahlo.
Maximalism is combining an eclectic mix of patterns in different scales plus 1-2 common grounding tones to harmonize. More is better!
Combine stripes and checks at varying sizes to create interest on your walls and furniture. Here tiny pops of color really bring together the stripes and checks in monochrome.
Green wall color in bedrooms, kitchens, and dining rooms is really hot right now. This San Francisco dining room features a grey-green complemented by the natural cedar wood table, which I custom-designed for the room using a piece of off-cut wood found in the client’s garage.
Textured walls – very popular right now – can be 3D-printed, tiled, wallpapered, peel and stick, or custom-created by a wall artist for a unique look and feel.
Kimball Starr designs stylish homes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Lake Tahoe. Contact her today for a socially-distanced in-person or remote consultation!
We’re proud to announce that our project “Wood Farmhouse Kitchen & Dining” was featured on Houzz! That’s up to 24 million readers learning how we turned a cabin into a modern home full of charm. Below is a snippet, and you can find the full article here.
New This Week: 6 Modern Farmhouse-Style Kitchens
See how designers mix subtle old-world details with new finishes and features for a modern-day look with timeless charm
Houzz Editorial Staff. Home design journalist writing about cool spaces, innovative trends, breaking news, industry analysis and humor.
In a previous article, we looked at kitchens that embraced a classic farmhouse style. Here, we showcase beautiful kitchens that feature a more modern-day spin on a farmhouse look. Wood details, apron-front sinks, lantern-style lighting nod to the farmhouse aesthetic, while fashionable finishes and contemporary appliances and storage features anchor the spaces firmly in the present.
Homeowners’ request. “The homeowners wanted a light, airy and modern look, which was a challenge if we were to keep the heavy cedar walls,” designer Kimball Starr says. “We landed on an […] organic look using curved, smooth shapes juxtaposed against the rough wood.”
Farmhouse details. Apron-front sink. Rough-hewn knotty cedar walls. “This was a unique home in the hills of San Mateo, California, where it had elements of a ski cabin,” Starr says. “The knotty cedar walls were essential to this home’s structural integrity. All the wood walls were constructed like a log cabin, where the wood was stacked to create the structural exterior walls. Instead of covering up the walls with sheetrock, we decided to highlight this feature and update the overall look from log cabin to modern farmhouse.”
Other special features. Blue backsplash tile, blue island base and blue glass pendants.
Designer tip. Using oversize transparent glass light fixtures allows them to be a focal design point, while the transparency allows sunlight to pass through them so they don’t overwhelm the space. “Uh-oh” moment. “The kitchen cedar wall is 6 inches thick, so you can’t run power through it, but code required us to have receptacle outlets on that wall. The electrician wanted to mount the receptacle box smack on top of the wall with exposed conduit pipe. Instead, I came up with a solution where we boxed out the quartz backsplash to run the conduit inside and the receptacle plugs sat flush with the top of the quartz ‘box.’ ” Sink: Whitehaven, Kohler; countertops: Frosty Carrina quartz, Caesarstone
If you have a project that could use Kimball Starr’s interior design skills, get in touch! Kimball works with clients through the San Francisco Bay Area and Lake Tahoe, meeting remotely or in-personand socially-distanced.