5.13.2017

Spotlight: Avo

Morning !

I am a huge fan of hides.  Rugs, pillows, upholstery.  Practically - easy to care for.  Visually - texture, richness, unique in that no two are the same.

Meet AVO and Brookyn designer Brit Kleinman.  I was first introduced to her work in NYC at Studio Four about three years ago while on a buying trip during Spring Market, and with this year's trip just a week away I am looking forward to seeing a few new introductions.    Take a look at these beauties.




AVO was created in 2014 by Brit Kleinman, who brought her passion for materials and painting to life using leather as a canvas for her creative vision. Rooted at the intersection of art and design, AVO’s signature “Painted Plains” collection of hand-dyed cowhide rugs play with the juxtaposition between material, shape and pattern. AVO continues to develop these dynamic visuals through a wide range of products including pillows, furnishings, and wall coverings.






Brit Kleinman was born and raised in Los Angeles, California and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.
She takes an anthropologic approach to design, studying how objects that surround us reflect the culture in which we live. From travels around the world to daily adventures, Brit gathers inspiration from the ingenious ways people find different solutions to similar problems. With AVO, she explores the use of age-old techniques onto new materials and patterns that cross cultures
After studying Industrial design at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Brit began her career designing bags and honing a passion for The Way We Carry. She continued sharpening her craft while acting as head bag designer at Jack Spade from 2008 to 2013. In 2014, Brit opened her own studio in Brooklyn, where she launched her flagship collection of hand-painted leather rugs.















The latest - cowhide leather wall tiles... um LOVE ....







Stay tuned for more inspiration for ICFF Spring 2017 !


4.23.2017

It's Been 10 Years !

Hey !

Has it really been 10 years ?  Yeah, think so.  I met Becky and Jed a long time ago and we did some pretty major work in their Dilworth home.  Fast forward and our kids are now almost in high school and not the little 1st graders running around.  It's time for an update as well.. a pretty big one.  They have pulled the trigger on a new master bathroom and closet area, outdoor living space and completely blown out basement for the kids.  Slippery slope I say.  We are changing all the interior colors (and now exterior ones as well) and updating a lot of the furniture.  The kitchen has kicked in as well !  This is a big one and it's in the works as I type.  When I get back from Maggie's Wedding and Market we will be deep into the painting and soon to install !  Can wait, and I know she can't.  It's been pretty painless she says though, glad to hear.

Take a look at what I have planned !


The Foyer turns into the living space.  I shifted the sofa to another room and have four comfortable chairs, new lighting, coffee table, windows . . .



. . . and a pair of Windy O'Connor's art pieces over a new console.


The Dining Room keeps the table and sideboard, but new curtains, chairs, lighting and wall color.



From the Dining Room you turn into the Kitchen.   Painting all the cabinets, new counter tops and back splash and a little ship lap on the side walls.  We had made a gorgeous banquette a while back, it stays, as does the lighting and upholstered pantry doors.



We also updated the Family Room not that long ago.  It all says with new lighting.


The side Office gets a big face-lift.  Navy walls and new molding.  Re purposed Living Room sofa and chair (recovered) but with all new accents.





The Master Bedroom is the biggest change.  New everything.  All very tone on tone with new ceiling beams.




I cannot wait to see this come together and cannot wait to see how Jacob hoists those beams he is making through the front windows !


New Master Bath.  Should be a dream !


Now the boys may be getting the shaft until they are a little older (ha ha) but sweet Kate is getting an updated room.  Saying good bye to the hot pink and in comes the blues.  So long to the twin beds and hello Queen size !  It's time.


We managed to re purpose the downstairs desk and recover a few chairs from the old master bedroom. 


The Basement is the biggest change.  Roby (her contractor) blew out the big wall, jacked up the ceiling supports and opened it all up.  New bathroom, pool table, lounge area.  The most work is happening down there !


. . . as well as the outdoor space.  This will be one space they will use constantly and will be so worth it all !



So stay tuned.... Schedule to install in late May, but follow my instagram page for sneak peeks !!!!






Install of the Day !

Happy Sunday

I tell my clients when it's all done it will be worth it.  Through all the mess, dust, inconvenience and surprises, it will be worth it.  Renovations, I've put up with it myself and here to say when it is done, you will forget what a pain it was.  Trying to be as organized and thoughtful throughout is the key.

I'm up early this Sunday in Syracuse, NY (at Maggie's Wedding !) having some coffee and relaxing a bit before we head home and I run back up to High Point Market Monday and Tuesday!  It's been such a crazy month or so my posts have been few and far between, with all the traveling and big installs, finding a moment of time - sad to say - hasn't been easy.

But I do want to  take a few minutes to post images from a really fun project we recently installed One I love.  Mekenzie captured some beautiful images (Thanks girl !)  When I started working with Danay and Lee Houser I was thrilled their wants were so similar to what I saw for this home.  Light filled was the word.  Modern but not overly, as not to fight the home's style.  Updated.  A lot of that going on right now and coming up with a game plan is important, especially when you have multiple rooms. Danay wanted to fall in love with her house and was at a point where she was ready to fix all those things she didn't love and have always bugged her.

I started by getting to know Danay and what she really wanted, we looked at images on her Pinterest boards, talked about her lifestyle, an overall feel and look she wanted to live in daily.

Right off the bat, it was the kitchen.  Dated.  Not very functional and to me, felt a bit cluttered and chaotic.  I wanted to freshen the entire look.  What started with a face lift, was soon an entirely new space.  If you are going to do it - do it, worth it in the end.   The family room was the second biggest request.   Just off the kitchen and visible to it.   These two rooms needed to work as a whole.  So I sat down and started at the front door actually!  Knowing we needed to paint the entire place so it all worked together, I wanted to give them a visual of where we could go with it all and if we wanted to phase it we could. What happened next, and much to my delight,  was a game plan to tackle the entire first floor.   Step no. 1 the floors - changing them from that orangish oak to a dark special walnut with a no sheen top coat.

Let me walk you thought the finished product, front door and through !!


Paint color first.  Ben Moore 1549, a great neutral grey that goes with everything.  Black handrail and new console and chandelier.  Done.  Clean and bright.  Towards the end we added a "runner" cut to fit the space.  One of those details that does make a difference.  Those "off the shelf" runners are always too small, so splurge and get one to fit.  I love this console... and yes, it's backwards (ha).  I'm such the rule breaker... I wanted it to flare out to follow the banister.  And yes, those are dryer balls, thought they looks cool !



Chrome was our metal of choice in this chandelier and sleek console table !


The front living room, just off the foyer was really a phase two project; however, I got lucky at the last High Point Market and shopping locally at Cotswald Market Place.  I wanted this space to feel fresh and inviting, not stuffy and a room you never use, enter the swing.  How fun !  I'd chill in this space !





Danay's art was my jumping off point.  Neutrals surrounding it but a few pillows to tie it together.


Score with this side chest from Cotswald.


To warm it all up a bit, and compliment the swing's rattan, this wood chandelier.  How fun, different, not so serious.


And this lucite rocker - um . . . . super fun, modern and full of style.



One of my favorite shades of white on the walls (though out)  Ben Moore's China White.  Bright yet a warm white, not too cold.


Rug layering - another way to pull in not only texture and pattern, but a pricier rug less expensively.


What a clean, casual and fun space !



Cut through the living room, to the dining room.  Existing chairs and chandelier, we pulled in this amazing F. Schumacher Queen of Space classic paper !  Josh Utsey created a new live edge table for us atop a new, larger rug.  Sideboard and killer shagreen mirror to top it off.





Take a look at the details.






Gorgeous in it's whites and greys.


Love the dining room, especially it's view through the kitchen !!


Before I get to the kitchen I want to show you the family room.  Really high up there on my list of favorite rooms !  Even better than the vision in my head.



I love this space and while watching some of the carpenters punching a few details towards the end, I planted myself on her new sofa in that window and just soaked it all in (almost dozed off), felt the sun on my back and though I could stretch out there for hours just reading or watching a movie.

Where's the TV you ask?  . . . well the big debate was over the fireplace or not.  I wanted not.  What I chose to do, and it worked out perfectly, was take out the really dated wet bar in the left back corner, add a cool storage piece and put the TV on an arm over there.  Adding a chaise to one of the sofas and you have a place to stretch out with a clear eye shot to the TV !  Done and done.



Huge plant lover and these two really added live to the space !


Art comes in all forms, this piece, by artist Megan Purcell is one of my favorites.  I have one, love love love.  Visit her instagram page (here).




There is always one straggler and her coffee table was that one... so for photo reasons, I brought one from our showroom.. gorgeous too (just not too kid friendly).  The forever one, the perfect black and brown zebra !


This space is so light and airy now !






When you turn around your view is of the kitchen.... dated it was, and out it all came.  


This new space is clean and white with a long 7 foot island, lucite bar stools and all white walls and cabinets.







Love the continuous view from the dining room through the kitchen to the family room.




Lastly, the powder room.  All updated with a new vanity, lighting, mirror and wall paper.



all photos by Mekenzie Loli


This home is not quite done yet . . . stay tuned for the master bedroom and back porch.  We all needed a breather after this big installation !

Thanks to all for the hours of help.  Maggie, Bree, my carpenters and painter.  Most of all my cool clients who did seem to go with the flow as well as all my thoughts and ideas.  You make my job easy and such fun !