Designing your first home as a couple can be daunting. Between consolidating beloved objects and selecting new pieces that blend (often divergent) aesthetic sensibilities, the process can be the ultimate exercise of negotiation. But with a few simple guidelines courtesy of the expert design team at Dallas-based agency, Swoon the studio, it can also be fun and rewarding as you create a memorable, comfortable and inspiring place you both call home.
Strength in Numbers
In addition to the boxes of wedding presents you’re unpacking, chances are you’re also combing through your share of personal photographs, sentimental objects and collections. The key to integrating these things into your new home in a cohesive and chic way is to first cull (do you really need that assortment of mismatched coasters from your favorite haunts?) and then group like items into smart arrangements.
A lovely curated record collection can look incredibly cool lined up on a single shelf in the living room. Have scores of books? Ditch paper jackets for a more sophisticated look. Arrange on shelves by topic, punctuated by the occasional substantial object like a piece of pottery or a large crystal. Open a couple of your favorite art, design or photography tomes and lean them on your shelves so you and your guests can enjoy what’s inside. Pick your favorite photos and works of art and cover an entire wall in a salon style gallery arrangement for a big visual (and emotional) impact.
It’s All in the Mix
Just because one of you is a modern minimalist and the other gravitates toward a more layered, traditional look doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a decorating impasse. The most interesting rooms feature furniture and accessories boasting a mix of styles, eras and pedigrees (think high low). The key is to be mindful of scale and materials. Soften a more masculine, clean lined walnut credenza with curvaceous ceramic lamps and a show stopping brass mirror. Pair that beloved Louis chair with a smaller scale mid-century leather sofa for an elegant collected vibe.
Keep It Calm
You spend nearly half your life sleeping, so your bedroom should feel like a retreat. Keep things harmonious and soothing by honing in on beautifully crafted textiles in natural materials and keep clutter to a minimum. If possible, avoid having a television in the bedroom to encourage conversation and connection. This is your place to unwind as a couple.
Beautiful bedding is the foundation of the bedroom, so invest in well-made linen or cotton duvet covers, sheets and shams in white, ivory or grey. Pair with luxe/tactile pillows and throws in mohair or cashmere for a chic but cozy feel. Substantial nightstands or side tables are essential for corralling books, water and personal objects. Finish the room with beautiful accessories. Oversized floor mirrors, sculptural lamps, a plush vintage rug, custom art and fresh floral imbue the space with personality and visual interest.
About Swoon: Swoon, the studio is a multidisciplinary design firm focused on residential and commercial interior design and luxury branding, identity and experiential projects. swoonthestudio.com.
Nestled in the center of HP Village just between Roberta Roller Rabbit and Brunello Cucinelli sits MADISON, an intimate home interior and gift shop that’s modeled after the high-end boutiques on Madison Avenue in Manhattan.
Since 2003, nearly thirteen years after opening the design firm Kirsten Kelli, co-owners and sisters Kelli Ford and Kirsten Fitzgibbons have been gathering a special mix of contemporary and classic pieces for MADISON. The shelves are filled with items meant to make any space feel unique and range from bookends, paper weights and jewelry boxes to crystal picture frames, fine china, coffee table books and more.
Each piece falls into a category Kelli and Kirsten like to refer to as “home couture”, luxury pieces that accent and enhance commercial and residential locales.
MADISON’s offerings cater to a variety of aesthetic preferences and they offer a wide range of services such as wedding and baby registries, crystal and silver engraving, calligraphy, corporate gifting, gift wrapping and a highly customizable monogramming service – a personal favorite of both Kirsten and Kelli.
MADISON hosts several book signings and designer trunk shows each year and this fall a talented artist from Herend, the prestigious Hungarian porcelain manufacturer, will be featured in store. At the event, exclusive hand painted items will be available for purchase and the artist will demonstrate painting techniques and sign customer purchases. For more information on this and other upcoming events, visit Madison214.com or in store between 10am and 6pm Monday – Saturday or 12pm and 5pm on Sunday.
45-A Highland Park Village
Dallas, TX 75205
We’re just over halfway through the year and it’s the perfect time to refresh your home before holiday decorating takes precedent. Picking small, but prominently displayed and useful items is key to making a quick and easy change in any room or area. Additions feel fresh and thoughtful when they’re seasonal, customized or come in bright pops of color. Here, we’ve selected 7 home accents, all priced under $150, ideal for a mid-year revamp to any space.
MADISON – Family Room/Couch
A vibrant new throw, like this pom pom one by Shiraleah Chicago, can completely change the feel of your family room or seating area, $145 at MADISON.
Anthropologie – Dining Room
Elevate your stemware by swapping it out for gold rimmed glassware like these from Anthropologie. Accent with gold rimmed coasters and every drink, from water to spirits, will feel a little bit fancier. From left to right, Undertone Stemless Wine Glass, $16; Annecy DOF Glass, $12; Georgette Highball Glass, $18; Georgette Glass, $18 atop Pasatiempo Coasters, $10 each.
MARKET – Coffee Table
More is more when you double up on complementing Missoni Mediterraneo Candles in their classic striped pattern, available in a range of scents for $88 each at MARKET.
Five & Ten – Bedroom
Add a fun print and personal touch to your bedroom with Gaia Hand Woven Accent Pillows which are made from vintage African mud cloth and support a worthy cause, $130 at Five & Ten.
Avant Garden Floral Arrangement – Master Bathroom
Brighten up your morning routine by adding a pop of color and a sweet scent to your master bath using a bold seasonal arrangement. Pictured here are lavender hydrangeas, light pink peonies, red charm peonies, orange double and fuchsia tulips, cherry love roses, free spirit roses, lavender freesia and sprigs of mint for $150 at Avant Garden.
St. Michaels Women’s Exchange – Console Table
Set the tone for your home with stacked books on a topic you love on your entryway console. Ranches of the American West, $45 and Hill Country Houses, $50 at St. Michael’s Women’s Exchange.
Ellis Hill – Office/Desk
Personalize your office with monogrammed accessories like this round tray, $40 and oversized notepad, $42 at Ellis Hill.