A Thanksgiving Table Designed with Texture, Shape and Scale in Mind

Decorate your Thanksgiving table with intention this year. Use scale, a mix of textures and a pop of color to set off your table settings. When it's time to eat, the large vases can be swapped for delicious food or smaller floral arrangements.

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The Inside Scoop from High Point Market

High Point has always been one of my favorite events and places for inspiration for design. It’s an interior overload in the best way. I’ve missed 3 markets since Harrison was born so I was so excited to get to go back this year and soak up all the innovative ways designers and vendors are bringing design to life. Not only was this a special year because it had been awhile for me, I also got to take two other MBI designers with me: Kaitlyn & Jessi.

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We compiled the trends we saw most often and the ones we loved and I’m sharing those with you today! Here’s the inside scoop from High Point Market 2018.

COLOR

Everything is still very neutral but as color enters the market it's coming in single pieces and used sparingly. Crimson red was an accent on a single chair etc in several showrooms.

Green was huge! Lots of showrooms incorporated green into their design and I have a feeling it will only be stronger next market. It's not a soft subtle green either. It's bold and has a personality.

Blush is still going strong as a mix between a strong accent color and a subtle neutral depending on how it’s used.

NATURAL MATERIALS

We saw a lot of texture and raffia on upholstery pieces. This was a favorite and something I'd really love to incorporate into a new design. Woven materials on all furniture pieces was a trend at High Point. We saw this consistently in many showrooms! 

CUSTOMIZATION

Options, options, options—the sky's the limit in the furniture world and if you can dream it we can make it! This was a huge theme at High Point: it’s not just about ordering from the new line anymore. Leather welt on furniture was one of those custom elements. It’s a unique detail added to many furniture pieces we saw there.

High Point was wonderful and I’m so glad the three of us were able to go. It’s also good to be back and start processing through what things really spoke to us to start to incorporate into our designs.

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Designer Diaries: The Kitchen Goals and a Sneak Peek at the Design

After some reflection on how I want the space to look, feel and be utilized, I’m excited about the direction of the kitchen design and our goals. Because really, the materials and style come after we figure out the layout and how it will be used. So today I’m sharing some of those goals David and I thought through when determining the design of our kitchen along with some renderings of the layout.

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Designer Diaries: Pulling Inspiration & Setting Goals

What a week for inspiration! Three of us from MBI traveled to North Carolina for High Point Market. I saw so many beautiful, wonderful designs from our favorite and some new vendors. Now that we’re back home, it’s time to get back to the renovation process.

The new house happened very quickly—it wasn’t exactly our plan to move right now so I hadn’t been saving all the ideas of what my next home would be like—so from the start I’ve felt a little behind the ball. I took a step back and spent some time thoroughly thinking through things and I couldn’t be more excited about what the end result is going to be!

As an Interior Designer, working on my personal home is exciting but also challenging for many reasons. I get the opportunity to work on so many unique styles and designs with my clients and I love so many elements from all of them. Being my own client on this project also means that there’s no stopping point on collecting inspiration—I come across new ideas and products daily. It’s hard to choose how to design our home. For me I wanted to incorporate so styles but, obviously I can’t do that. Plus, the house is a traditional tudor so I can’t design super contemporary. Classic with contrast is the general idea. It’s been fun to dive in and figure out how our house will be transformed. Today I’m sharing the pieces of inspiration that I keep coming back to and the list of plans we have for the house.

INSPIRATION

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Can you tell I'm a sucker for black and white?

The major things on our to-do list for the house:

Main Floor

Refinish wood floor
Add wood floor to kitchen to be consistent
Re-do the kitchen
Butlers pantry area/closets - open up to become one bigger space
Add a mudroom
Paint
Re-do the powder bathroom
Update Light Fixtures
Sun Room - add wood floor


2nd Floor

Update the Master Bathroom
Tweak Layout to accommodate a better master closet
Get rid of 4th bathroom and make a Jack-and-Jill bathroom
Paint
Re-do wood flooring

Construction Updates (aka never fun and never seen updates)

Update electrical
Update plumbing
Update HVAC
Added bonus – the unexpected things you run into in a renovation…

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Okay now I’m overwhelmed by that list, so let’s look at some pictures of the house before any updates:

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This home has definitely been well cared for. The floors are a dream. And there’s so much natural light that makes this place feel even bigger than it already is. We feel incredibly fortunate to have found the perfect balance of a great home with beautifully kept features while also being a blank slate to make a personal mark on.

So glad you’re following along! Next week, I’m sharing our kitchen plans with you. Don’t miss it!

Tailgating in Style Pt. 2

Car-side tailgates aren’t always practical, especially as the weather gets colder or games are away. And entertaining at home just feels good. Today I’m bringing the tailgate indoors and showing you MBI’s favorite tips and ideas for hosting a game at home.

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DECOR

Any gathering is a reason to decorate and design cohesively. And it doesn’t have to include streamers or excessive props (but it can if you want to go all out). Simply choosing the right serving pieces and adding a fun design element here and there will bring the aesthetic together.

For this set up, I had fun with materials and textures that reminded me of football but also kept to the home’s overall aesthetic. Silver trophies, wood platters, slate and even astroturf to serve food and drinks from made the rest of decorating easy. The mixing and matching made it easy to find things that I already had that would work.

A floral element is pretty much party of any gathering I host, this tailgating party is no different. I kept things casual and color cohesive with these yellow faux stems. One great thing about college football in Iowa is that you can never go wrong with a yellow gold accent at a tailgate — it represents all the state schools! Placing these stems in trophies gave the perfect look to the spread.

Adding in playful pieces really brings the look home—it’s a tailgating party after all! These fun drink koozies and football inspired popcorn tubs are always a hit with my friends at tailgates. Signs and flags with insignias and cheers are easy to make or find downloads for online.

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FOOD

Start here. What do you want to serve? I love a mix of healthier option with the traditional game day foods. Something I like to think about is what can be made in advance and pulled out in time for the party and what takes a little more effort day of.

I love salads in jars and canisters for this reason. They look great and make game day super easy. Plus they have that touch of something special that guests appreciate. Desserts can also be made in advance, like these cute pretzel sticks and sugar cookies. Hire them out or make them yourself a day or two before.

Simple things that come together easily right before the party are a meat and cheese platter and store bought corn dogs baked in the oven. (Frying your own might make the house a little messy and smelly but it sure would be impressive!) When choosing fruit for a fruit salad, think about what holds up from being prepped the night before. Bananas and apples get brown and mushy when presliced so selections like grapes, cut melon and pineapple might be the way to go if you plan to cut and refrigerate overnight.

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SET UP

I used the kitchen island as the center for our party but a dining room table would work well too. When setting up, think about how you want people to use the space. Do you want them to stay to one side of the kitchen counter or do you want them to travel around the space for their food? This helps determine how to set it up. Jessi and I decided that putting everything facing the outer edge of the kitchen was going to be best for flow. To encourage that, we used height and scale at the back edge of the buffet with vases of flowers and the larger serving pieces and then layered in smaller, lower items in front. Adding height with cake stands, platters, and in this case trophies, is a great way to add visual separation between food options.

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How do you tailgate? Any crowd pleasers you’ve discovered at your own game day parties? Happy footballing!

Tailgating in Style Part 1

What’s not to love about the beginning of fall? All the girls in the office are hot coffee drinkers, cozy fabric lovers and love to entertain. There’s so much to be excited for this season. Beyond our upcoming consults, reveals, photoshoots and everything in between at work, we’re also excited about college football season being in full swing.

Somehow everyone in our firm graduated from the amazing design programs at Iowa State University so we’re Cyclones by default but growing up in the state of Iowa also has made us love cheering on the Hawkeyes—and as long as they aren’t playing each other, there’s no conflict with that in our eyes!

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Football games and tailgating are a bit different for us now. Instead of the cheap hot dogs on a paper plate, putting together a tailgate or viewing party can be thoughtful, fun, tasty and even…beautiful. We created two setups for football fun—one outdoors for home games and one inside for away and colder temperature games. Today we’re sharing our outdoor spread that’s as easy as opening up the back of the SUV. Don’t miss tomorrow’s post where we unveil our favorite indoor party tips and a video of how I love to set up for the football season.

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WIDE OPEN

Who needs a bunch of folding tables or a pop up tent? In a single parking space, you can set up a full buffet and hang out area. Transport the food in coolers and bins but once you’re parked, open the hatch—simply create the spread in the back of the vehicle using crates, pedestals and containers to add visual height to the composition. A floral element is always a great way to fill in negative space.

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FIELD GOALS

Look for opportunities to add special details to the design of the party—whether it’s indoors or from the trunk of a car. Striped fabric, astroturf, wooden elements, silver trophies, spirited buntings and football inspired accents are all simple selections that add cohesion to the design. Glass lidded containers makes food easy to serve, looks great and also keeps the bugs away.

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TOUCHDOWNS

Celebrate great plays with a little bubbly from the bar. A small table for drinks and cutlery keeps the food spread from getting cluttered and adds another fun spot to bring school pride. Get specific on the team you’re cheering for with table markers filled with mascot logos.

Summer's End Party

I absolutely love having a showroom connected to our design studio. Not only is it a fantastic way to let clients get inspired, it also gives extra space for special events. Last month we were able to host a collaborative dinner during Des Moines Winefest with Lincoln Savings Bank and the one and only Table 128. It's no surprise that it was absolutely delicious. It was also really fun for me and the other designers to design and execute the decor and tablescapes. We went for full-on florals. Now that we're upon the last few weeks of summer and Labor Day weekend, I wanted to share some of the photos from the event in case you need a little inspiration for your own Summer's End Party.

 The first step to decorating was to get a vision board put together. Having a clear direction and reference point is helpful for any design, whether it's large scale like home or smaller scale like a party. 

The first step to decorating was to get a vision board put together. Having a clear direction and reference point is helpful for any design, whether it's large scale like home or smaller scale like a party. 

 To greet our guests outside of MBI, we set up this fun photo backdrop complete with giant paper flowers and a fun peacock chair.

To greet our guests outside of MBI, we set up this fun photo backdrop complete with giant paper flowers and a fun peacock chair.

 Flowers, black and white stripes, gold flatware and blue accents dressed our tables to the nines while keeping a relaxed and fresh summer feel.

Flowers, black and white stripes, gold flatware and blue accents dressed our tables to the nines while keeping a relaxed and fresh summer feel.

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 We turned beautiful blooms into napkin rings to make each place setting lovely and unique.

We turned beautiful blooms into napkin rings to make each place setting lovely and unique.

 Single stems in blue bottles are just as a stunning as the giant centerpieces and way more time efficient if putting together a party last minute. We used groupings of smaller arrangements to decorate the surfaces around the dining area.

Single stems in blue bottles are just as a stunning as the giant centerpieces and way more time efficient if putting together a party last minute. We used groupings of smaller arrangements to decorate the surfaces around the dining area.

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Whether you can't wait for sweater weather or you're mourning the end of your favorite season, these next couple weeks are a perfect time to throw a Summer's End Party for friends and family to celebrate the end of the summer season.

Before & After: An Interior Designer's Renovated Home

Interior design is such a personal thing. I learn all about our clients' lifestyles, design tastes and aspirations starting at our first consult. It's an honor for each of the designers at MBI to get to help a family create a home they love. Design gets even more personal when it's our own homes. When I bought my home 6 years ago, it was such a thrill to have a blank canvas for design that was truly reflective of me and my family. My home and family have changed so much in those 6 years and while I'm excited for the next home and projects that will come, I'm going to miss this labor of love. I hope the next owners love it as much as I do.

--Meghan

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Kitchens We're Still Swooning Over

While we love seeing all of the rooms we design come together, the realization of a kitchen from design to decorating is satisfying in a way all its own. Kitchens take so many precise decisions, endless logistics and skillful hands to complete all the components. We take so much pride in each and every step of the process and we can't help but to show off some of our favorite projects we've done lately.

 For this kitchen, we chose timeless cabinetry in a shaker style and classic marble countertops. A set of built-in natural wood shelves and integrated range hood brought in an old-world meets new-world feel and the light fixtures, hardware and seating rounded out the space with a subtle modern/industrial design.

For this kitchen, we chose timeless cabinetry in a shaker style and classic marble countertops. A set of built-in natural wood shelves and integrated range hood brought in an old-world meets new-world feel and the light fixtures, hardware and seating rounded out the space with a subtle modern/industrial design.

 Eclectic yet composed was the guiding design goal for this large and functional kitchen. We created a focal wall behind the range with brick, custom wood shelves and a gorgeous copper range hood. The darker finish on the island brought color cohesion to the space while the natural light made the room a place family and friends will never want to leave.

Eclectic yet composed was the guiding design goal for this large and functional kitchen. We created a focal wall behind the range with brick, custom wood shelves and a gorgeous copper range hood. The darker finish on the island brought color cohesion to the space while the natural light made the room a place family and friends will never want to leave.

 This sleek and modern kitchen remains as functional as a more traditional space by this walk-in hidden pantry. While the main space stays minimal and clear of too many objects, the pantry is full of useful kitchen objects at an arms length. This home was designed with a modern farmhouse style and we kept that going with subway tile and wooden shelves.

This sleek and modern kitchen remains as functional as a more traditional space by this walk-in hidden pantry. While the main space stays minimal and clear of too many objects, the pantry is full of useful kitchen objects at an arms length. This home was designed with a modern farmhouse style and we kept that going with subway tile and wooden shelves.

 A luxe kitchen can be hard to pull off when it's part of a great room. Intricate detailing in the cabinetry, hardware and lighting, the extras make the space feel set apart while the neutral color palette and efficient footprint keep it from being distracting from the other spaces.

A luxe kitchen can be hard to pull off when it's part of a great room. Intricate detailing in the cabinetry, hardware and lighting, the extras make the space feel set apart while the neutral color palette and efficient footprint keep it from being distracting from the other spaces.

 Warmth, style and functionality were top on the list for this kitchen. Integrated appliances keep the design cohesive and the symmetry of the cabinetry keep it feeling orderly. Beautiful finishes give this space a transitional aesthetic.

Warmth, style and functionality were top on the list for this kitchen. Integrated appliances keep the design cohesive and the symmetry of the cabinetry keep it feeling orderly. Beautiful finishes give this space a transitional aesthetic.

 One island just isn't enough sometimes. For this kitchen, two islands give plenty of prep and entertaining space. The depth of island color anchors the white, custom cabinetry. Glamorous finishes and materials make for a stately, refined space.

One island just isn't enough sometimes. For this kitchen, two islands give plenty of prep and entertaining space. The depth of island color anchors the white, custom cabinetry. Glamorous finishes and materials make for a stately, refined space.

We love how all of these kitchens turned out and how different they all are. Each one really reflects the clients we helped design them for. What kitchen design ideas have you been drawn to lately? Transitional, classic, modern, traditional, or a mix them--we love them all.

Designer Profiles: Jessi Economos

We sat down with Meghan Blum Interiors Designer Jessi Economos to talk about design, interests and clumsiness. Jessi has been working with MBI for over 2 years and has brought a lot of style and spunk to the design studio. You'll find her with a coffee in one hand and a swatch deck in the other.

 Jessi Economos Interior Designer Allied ASID, NKBA

Jessi Economos
Interior Designer
Allied ASID, NKBA

 

What is your favorite part about your job?
Whether it is a remodel or a new build, there is nothing better than witnessing my clients view the new space and see it totally put together for the first time. There is something special about almost “welcoming them home” for the first time.

What inspires you?
I love learning new things when it comes to design. Give me a good documentary on painting, graphic design, or architecture and I will lose sleep dreaming up possibilities or thinking through different ways I can incorporate that into my life on a more regular basis. I love design--all kinds. Check out the Netflix series Abstract! If your anything like me, you’ll be hooked!

Favorite design splurge?
Anything to do with my kitchen. I’m a sucker for pretty white dishes and hammered flatware and of course pretty cutting boards just for looking at. My husband John and I just completed a renovation of our kitchen and attempted to do a lot of it ourselves!! Thank you YouTube! We went  2 months without a kitchen sink, people! Thankfully we had plumbers install the disposal, faucet, and dishwasher! WE MADE IT! I love making sure we are set up to live a healthy life and our kitchen is a vital part of that - it’s just a bonus that it will now be so pretty and function so well!

Who or what has been your greatest influencer growing up?
 My parents - Hands down. They are the ones who taught me to work hard, treat people right to and go after what makes my heart happy.  

What is one color you never tire of?
Hard question. If we are talking in terms of fashion, black is my clothing color of choice hands down. For interiors, I would have to say white. While it may be scary for a sofa, it is brilliant as a wall color. White walls provide so many opportunities for high contrast - which I LOVE! Like our MBI shirts say, “Wear Black - Paint White.”

I can never have too many …
Cups of coffee.  Let’s be real, I should be sponsored by Scooters.

Number one design tip you like to give?
Go big.  So often I’ll see rugs, lights and art that are way too small for the space. Don’t be afraid to choose the massive light for your foyer. Spend the extra money and get the rug that will actually fill the space and reach all the furniture. Make the decision to let your art be even more impactful and buy the size that will fill your wall. It can make such a huge difference. Scale is everything.

Favorite thing to do in Des Moines?
I absolutely love being home. Sitting around a dinner table for hours and sharing stories and laughs with the people I love is hard to beat. Now that we have a pretty new space to entertain in I'm sure our upcoming summer nights will be full of this.

What is the dumbest way you’ve been injured?
Well… My now husband and I decided we wanted to drop off a surprise gift to one of our sweet friends without her knowing it was us. We made our way down the long hallway to her apartment door, slid the envelope under the door, knocked, and SPRINTED off. In that swift turn, I managed to dislocate my knee cap. Ding-Dong-Ditching. Try at your own risk. 

What’s the most useless talent you have?
So weird but I have super flexible ankles. I can sit on the ground and point my toes to the point that my big toe can touch the ground. It wins all the talent competitions. Ha!

Thanksgiving Tables to Swoon Over

We love Thanksgiving. It's a chance to rest and reconnect with family. It's also a great excuse to try new things when setting the table. Holidays should be festive, right? And festivity can be built up with the right aesthetic. Create a mood of thankfulness, thoughtfulness and peace while showing off your personal hosting style.

We've rounded up our 3 favorite tablescape ideas. You still have time to incorporate your favorite elements with your own flare.

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This lovely tablescape from Lindsey Brunk features rich jewel tones with a bright pop of rose gold. The runner is made from assorted greenery stems in varied hues and even some pieces painted copper. It's a casual and elegant set up perfect for an evening meal.

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There's so much to love about this muted palette with gold and copper details from Rooms for Rent. Seasonal gourds are the main feature with a dried bay leaf garland. The whole setup has a sophisticated farmhouse feel.

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We decorated a table with Meghan Blum Interiors signature style of bold stripes mixed with traditional patterns and tableware. We love the mix of blue, black and light green with gold accents.

We hope you're inspired to make your Thanksgiving table all your own! Happy Thanksgiving from MBI!

Home Tour: Space for Entertaining and Family Time in Ankeny, IA

You may have seen the video slideshow we made for this beautiful home but we couldn't keep the details to ourselves. We're excited to unveil this gorgeous home built for such a wonderful family.

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We designed this home for a young family that loves to entertain. It was important to give them multiple spaces throughout their house for just that. The living room leads in the kitchen which opens to a dining area and sitting room. The flow from space to space allows for multiple conversations when hosting and the ability to all be nearby when working in the kitchen, doing homework at the table, watching tv in the family room or playing piano when it's just the family at home. Our clients were prepared with lots of design inspiration during our initial meetings which helped guide the aesthetic and design throughout the process. We blended the styles they were drawn to for a transitional feel in almost every room of the house.

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A lot of the rooms are neutrals with layers of decorative objects and artwork. We chose furniture pieces that have an extra flare to a classic design. Grey floors and white walls in the main rooms created a clean slate to build from.

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We loved working with this great family to create the home of their dreams. Want more? Find the video below.

Keeping Promises

Meghan Blum Interiors recently sponsored The Keeping Promises Event in connection with Susan G. Komen Greater Iowa. We were honored to be invited to design and furnish the event stage. We chose some great pieces from a few of our favorite vendors we regularly work with. It turned out beautifully as the backdrop to the featured speakers Dr. Kathy Miller, M.D. and Dr. Richard Deming, M.D.

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A few of us from MBI were able to attend the dinner and it was so insightful about the amazing research being done through the Komen Scholars Network related to treatment, prevention and finding a cure for breast cancer. We were blown away by Dr. Kathy Miller, M.D., and Dr. Richard Deming, M.D. and their passion to bring awareness and a cure. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and we are so thankful to have been a part of this event. 

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Furniture & Fabric Vendors

Sofa:  Century Furniture

Painted Lamps:  Jana Bek Design

Fabric:  Manuel Canovas Kadi (Pink Damask)

Beaded Pillow:  Kate Spade for Jaipur

Throw:  Kate Spade for Jaipur

Cocktail Table:  Vanguard Furniture

Chair:  Century Furniture

Bongo Ottomans:  Lee Industries

Bongo Ottoman Side Fabric:  Schumacher