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

Designer Profiles: Brielle Allen

Happy Fall! This season we are starting a new column on the blog, Designer Profiles, to feature interviews with the designers of MBI. We hope you enjoy this peak into the lives and backgrounds of the team members that make up our wonderful firm.

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BRIELLE ALLEN

INTERIOR DESIGNER
LEED AP ID+C, NKBA

What led you to interior design?

Growing up I always had a project in progress. Whether it was making a house out of a cardboard box or drawing sketches of my dream home, I loved to create and imagine. As I got older, my mom let me help with design projects around the house like choosing paint colors, painting and then putting together the rooms--which I loved! I'm not sure when exactly I decided I wanted to be an interior designer but by the time I was in high school, I had already made up my mind it was what I wanted to pursue. Going to Iowa State and starting classes was so much fun, and then getting out into the real world after college and diving right into commercial design was such a learning experience. Now working in residential design, I truly feel that I've found my niche and love what I do!

What is your favorite part about your job?

By far it's seeing a project come together and hearing that my client is happy! I love working with clients to hear how they live their lives and what their homes mean to them. When all of the hard work, making revisions and getting things just right comes to fruition it is the best feeling to know that my client loves the end result!

Where do you look for inspiration?

Trends and styles are ever changing so I love looking through Instagram and Pinterest for fresh, new ideas. It's so convenient to flip through posts and have such a variety of images and inspiration at my fingertips.

Number one design tip you like to give?

Keep a neutral palette for your base design pieces. While I love incorporating color into designs, it works really well to keep the base pieces neutral (sofa, rugs, possibly even chairs) and then layer in the pops of color through pillows, artwork, and accessories. Colors can be trendy, so when a color scheme is out, it's easier to switch things out and give your space an updated look if your base pieces are neutral.

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What is a common design mistake you see most, and how can clients avoid it?

A common mistake that I think can be easy to make is having too many things on the walls. It's easy to want to fill the negative or empty spaces on walls, but in design negative space can be a good thing! When hanging artwork or anything in a space, the scale of the piece needs to be taken into consideration to make sure it's appropriate. It's nice to have a focal point, and then working off of that to determine what the other walls in a space need. It's okay to leave some of the walls empty.

What does your own home say about you?

My home is a reflection of my family! My husband and I have a toddler so my decor has definitely changed over the last year and a half! I've embraced the beauty of toys intermixed with the other pieces in our home! I've also done quite a bit of re-arranging and editing (mainly getting rid of corners and hard surfaces!) to see what works best for us! I find that I like to change things frequently (probably because I'm inspired day in and day out in my profession), so I'm always thinking about my next project around the house!

What has influenced you most as a designer?

I think having a child has transformed how I think about design and how homes function (or don't function for that matter) for families. I am more in-tune to purposeful design, and designs that are functional and practical but still beautiful!

What is your favorite season to decorate for?

While I love decorating for Christmas, my favorite season is fall so I would say that's my favorite season to decorate for! I love the warmth of the colors outdoors as the leaves change, but I tend to keep my interior decor fairly neutral. I like to use burlap on my table decor with creams tones in the candles and accessories on top of that. I love switching out pillows and adding throw blankets to give my home a cozy feel. I think another reason that I love fall is because of all of the fall smells, so I usually have a spiced candle going and a hot mug of tea or cider at the end of the day!*

Favorite thing to do in Des Moines?

I love going to the Des Moines Farmer's Market in the summer time. The breakfast burritos and fresh flowers are always a must for me.

Favorite design splurge?

I have a weakness for pillows! I have purchased way too many throw pillows in my lifetime. I love switching them out and giving my room a new look each season.

*Next week Brielle is sharing her favorite picks for fall decorating on the blog! Stay tuned!

Home Organization Tips from an Interior Designer

Back to school is a busy time for us at MBI. We're finishing up projects we've worked on all summer and adding back in the projects that our clients placed on hold during school vacation. Having an organized work space is the glue that keeps things from getting confusing or chaotic around here. Fall is a busy time for most people and organizing might seem like a low priority in the scheme of things but we believe functional spaces allow us to do more than we could in chaos. Today we're sharing a few tips for making your home harder working during a busy season.

THE ENTRY Heading out the door in a rush and coming home from a long day is helped by an entry way that not only looks great but also keeps the essentials in reach. A console with storage is the first place to start. This way mail, pet leashes, permission slips, etc can be found with ease. Seating for putting on shoes and surface area for setting (and instantly sorting) the mail is also ideal.

THE ENTRY

Heading out the door in a rush and coming home from a long day is helped by an entry way that not only looks great but also keeps the essentials in reach. A console with storage is the first place to start. This way mail, pet leashes, permission slips, etc can be found with ease. Seating for putting on shoes and surface area for setting (and instantly sorting) the mail is also ideal.

THE BEDROOM Have your furniture do double duty. Nightstands and end tables aren't just surface area, the right pieces can even double as small dressers. The more options for storage in a large room, the less likely things will end up left out at the end of the day. If you need more but already have drawers in your bedside tables, choose a quality bench with hidden storage.

THE BEDROOM

Have your furniture do double duty. Nightstands and end tables aren't just surface area, the right pieces can even double as small dressers. The more options for storage in a large room, the less likely things will end up left out at the end of the day. If you need more but already have drawers in your bedside tables, choose a quality bench with hidden storage.

THE HOME OFFICE We all know the basics of office storage (drawers, dividers and pencil cups), but did you know that the furniture layout is just as important? Placing the desk away from the walls opens up wall space for shelves, cabinets and drawers. It is also less likely that things will be set and forgotten on the desk when it is front and center in a space.

THE HOME OFFICE

We all know the basics of office storage (drawers, dividers and pencil cups), but did you know that the furniture layout is just as important? Placing the desk away from the walls opens up wall space for shelves, cabinets and drawers. It is also less likely that things will be set and forgotten on the desk when it is front and center in a space.

What are your favorite hacks to add storage to your home to keep things organized? We'd love to hear in the comments!

 

 

In Blum: Trim Tape

There are some really gorgeous drapes out there but sometimes it's hard to find exactly the right thing. In those cases, we love to look through our options of trim tape to add character, color and charm to solid curtains and window treatments. It's one way we put our unique stamp on a room and give our clients a one of a kind piece they'll love. And it's not just for windows--benches, ottomans, upholstered furniture with skirts, etc. all look amazing with a bit of flare added.

Interested in updating your existing pieces with trim tape or wanting a whole new look to use it on? Let us help!

Trim tapes by Schumacher 

Setting Up An Easy, Breezy Pool Party

The hot (almost unbearable) weather lately has made time in the pool a necessity. As much as we love spending time entertaining inside, sometimes you just have to embrace the heat, invite friends over and throw a pool party. Today we're sharing our favorite tricks and tips to make a party as enjoyable for you, the host, as it is for the guests -- think prepping ahead and keeping things impressively simple! 

The party was thrown in this poolside lanai designed by the Meghan Blum Interiors team. The space was a perfect jumping off point for a relaxed gathering.

The marble counters, pool view and cabana stripe bar stools set the stage for the party without a bit of effort. From there we added pretty dishes, trays, brightly colored food and flowers to bring a festive feel to the space.

Jadite, silver and green glass added unexpected and pretty accents to the spread. A fully loaded lemonade bar included glass bottled sparkling San Pellegrino Limonata and Aranciata Rossa options next to carafes of still lemonade and punch. For our adult guests, a top off of champagne added extra fun to the day. To garnish, lemon wedges, limes and fruity ice cubes allowed guests to create their own signature drinks suited to their tastes.

Mint and fruit frozen with water in ice cube trays the night before made a for a wow-factor but took only minutes to put out the day of the party.

Pool side means the nature can put its own spin on an otherwise lovely day. By placing the salads and sides in these glass canisters, it put us at ease knowing bugs and wind wouldn't be disrupting the food that day. The watermelon on a stick looked great and made things 100% less sticky.

Never underestimate the power of a good serving dish. Store bought items like these cupcakes are instantly elevated (literally and figuratively) to make them feel more thoughtful. An additional way to make them look and taste even more delicious? A fresh raspberry garnish right on top!

We hope you enjoyed Brielle's video and these helpful ideas the next time you throw and indoor/outdoor event with your friends and family. :) Happy swimming!

Red, White and Blue Decorating

Can a patriotic home be sophisticated and stylish? We think so! It's the work of an editing eye, subtle themes and a cohesive color palette that isn't too bold. We've created a round up of beautiful pieces that nod to American pride without looking Americana just in time for the 4th of July. Let us know if you're interested in any of these pieces. You can purchase any of the items through Meghan Blum Interiors. Happy Independence Day!

Baby Blum #2 + A Nursery Design Board

We are busy as ever in the studio working on lots of fun projects but I've been busy working on a very special project! My favorite kind of project because it's so personal. It's for the nursery of baby #2 at our home. We are over the moon and Big Brother Victor is even more excited! We're expecting our newest family member in mid-July and are getting everything set up as quickly as possible.

You may have noticed I haven't revealed the gender yet. We kept the arrival of Victor a surprise to us and everyone else and we are doing the same for Baby Blum #2. This means that the nursery needs to be gender neutral until the baby comes. While you would think that the unknown would drive me nuts being a designer, it is really the best surprise and so worth the wait! I'm giving the new baby a sweetly styled nursery with luxe pieces with a transitional feel. I'm layering whites, creams and tan neutrals for now and will add accents with a little pink or blue when we know the sex. The design features a lot of fun textures and materials for Baby Blum to explore as they become more mobile. 

I'll be sharing the progress of the nursery soon! We're also working on Victor's Big boy room which I'll share too. Excited to share these special spaces with you all!

Summer Mood Board: Teal

Adding color in a subtle way can be a challenge. The color should separate enough to be appraised but not too much as to be bold. This season's solution? Teal. Teal is on our minds at MBI studio this summer! It's such a great color to combine with all the warm and cool neutrals we use in our designs.

One of our favorites ia Benjamin Moore's Sea Salt. It is the perfect not too blue, not too-green color. It's soothing yet energizing. Paint is an easy way to add color to a neutral space whether on walls of furniture. There are also beautiful pieces that have been catching our eye recently that incorporate teal. What's your favorite hue to add beauty to a colorless room? Check out the mood board below to get inspired.

#HPMKT Favorite Finds: Sophisticated Neutrals

We love a good dose of color but we also get weak in the knees for neutrals done right. Today on #HPMKT Favorite Finds, we're showing off some of the best sets and showrooms that play up the best neutral pieces and decor.

The new Windsor Smith Collection for Century- Desk and mirror were so pretty!

The new Windsor Smith Collection for Century- Desk and mirror were so pretty!

Mary McDonald for Chaddock. Her mix of navy and dark green with light neutral furniture and rugs keeps things interesting without being too colorful.

Mary McDonald for Chaddock. Her mix of navy and dark green with light neutral furniture and rugs keeps things interesting without being too colorful.

Global Views - Great accents and always fun to see!

Global Views - Great accents and always fun to see!

Benson-Cobb has been a favorite for art and now it's applied to some furniture pieces and lamps.

Benson-Cobb has been a favorite for art and now it's applied to some furniture pieces and lamps.

Mary McDonald For Chaddock is a favorite of mine. She's a designer I love so fun to see her collection.

Mary McDonald For Chaddock is a favorite of mine. She's a designer I love so fun to see her collection.

Friday's edition will showcase the furniture and accessories that spoke to us while we were there and pieces we're excited to offer to our clients!

#HPMKT Favorite Finds: Color and Pattern

We've been back from High Point Market for almost a week and we are just now sitting down to process all we saw there. For those that don't know, High Point is like Coachella but for interior designers. It's a week were we see all the newest furniture, textile, wallpaper, lighting, etc. lines from our favorite and new vendors in one place, High Point, North Carolina. To share the best of what we saw, watch the blog this week for a 3-part series of our favorite finds.

Part 1 - Color and Pattern:

Thibaut's use of color and pattern is inspiring. Reds, oranges and pinks look sophisticated in this living room design.

Thibaut's use of color and pattern is inspiring. Reds, oranges and pinks look sophisticated in this living room design.

The creative use of color and pattern in this artistic grid was stunning but look at that DESK. It's from the Hable Collection for Hickory Chair.

The creative use of color and pattern in this artistic grid was stunning but look at that DESK. It's from the Hable Collection for Hickory Chair.

Barry Garlick for Vangaard's show room was so fun. Just love the retro feel and use of color.

Barry Garlick for Vangaard's show room was so fun. Just love the retro feel and use of color.

Great use of pattern and color and mixing from Thibaut. Love not being afraid to use color.

Great use of pattern and color and mixing from Thibaut. Love not being afraid to use color.

What do you think of these examples of bold patterns and color schemes in such sophisticated environments? Do you love a bright pop of color or would you rather keep things on the subtle side? Join us for Part 2 tomorrow where we show off the best of neutral spaces.

A Bunny-Inspired Easter Brunch

We love creating beautiful interiors for our clients and we love designing for ourselves after hours. We decided that to celebrate Easter, we should transform our table with metallic bunnies, gorgeous florals and delicious food. This brunch was so fun to put together and we are excited to share inspiration for your own Easter brunch.

Moss, hardboiled eggs, chicks, metallic bunnies and beautiful flowers create a springy centerpiece along the table.

Moss, hardboiled eggs, chicks, metallic bunnies and beautiful flowers create a springy centerpiece along the table.

Fresh berry tarts in colorful dishes are a delicious and beautiful first course to any brunch followed by egg dishes, ham, citrus salad and coffee cake. 

Fresh berry tarts in colorful dishes are a delicious and beautiful first course to any brunch followed by egg dishes, ham, citrus salad and coffee cake. 

A citrus and mint salad is fresh, visually striking and easy to assemble.

A citrus and mint salad is fresh, visually striking and easy to assemble.

When choosing a color scheme for our brunch, we wanted it to compliment the existing dining room aesthetic. We chose colors found in the side chair upholstery fabric.

When choosing a color scheme for our brunch, we wanted it to compliment the existing dining room aesthetic. We chose colors found in the side chair upholstery fabric.

Pastel colored tart dishes, white plates and natural placemats set the tone for a Easter inspired tablescape. Pops of color with pink glasses and floral cloth napkins add details guests will love.

Pastel colored tart dishes, white plates and natural placemats set the tone for a Easter inspired tablescape. Pops of color with pink glasses and floral cloth napkins add details guests will love.

A homemade or store-bought coffee cake is dressed up on a cake plate with Meyer lemons.

A homemade or store-bought coffee cake is dressed up on a cake plate with Meyer lemons.

Erin put together yellow ranunculus, yellow and white tulips, fern leaves and eucalyptus together in a jade glass vase.

Erin put together yellow ranunculus, yellow and white tulips, fern leaves and eucalyptus together in a jade glass vase.

This sweet bunny vase is filled with light pink spray roses, hot pink tulips, hot pink ranunculus and a few sprigs of eucalyptus. 

This sweet bunny vase is filled with light pink spray roses, hot pink tulips, hot pink ranunculus and a few sprigs of eucalyptus. 

8 Ways to Refresh Your Home for Spring

April is spring cleaning month. The weather is warmer (though it has been raining nonstop here lately!) and it just makes sense to revitalize the spaces that have been a little neglected during the winter. But spaces don't just need cleaning -- they need to come alive, be inspired and feel fresh. And that doesn't have to cost much.

We're big supporters of complete design overhauls when it's time and in the budget but rejuvenating a space doesn't have to cost thousands of dollars or even hundreds of dollars. These 8 ideas can be implemented in just a weekend. Spend a little time breathing life back into your rooms and your home will thank you.

Image from DHD Architecture

Image from DHD Architecture

1. CLEAN SLATE - while this isn't a spring cleaning post, every beautiful room has to start off clean. Take the time to really look at your room with new eyes to see what could be improved. This list covers all those areas we tend to forget about. Spoil yourself and hire a deep cleaning professional or save money and do it yourself!

2. PAINT BY NUMBERS - New paint helps in a multitude of ways. The room you wished you spent more time in might need a new wall color. Choose a hue that works with your existing furniture pieces and artwork. We love this palette if you don't know where to start.

3. REARRANGE THE SPACE - It's incredible how a room can take on a completely different look with a different arrangement of furniture. If your room doesn't have a good flow to it, try moving a few pieces to see what it does. Here's a guide to help.

4. SWAP OUT DECOR - One of the best ways to give a room an update is by replacing some of the decorative elements. Pillows, throws, sculptural objects, etc. are a more cost effective swap than replacing rugs and furniture. Pillows and cushions are the best kept secret for introducing pattern or color in a space without feeling the weight of a costly investment. This guide is perfect for finding pillows that play well together while giving a space a more current feel.

5. ADD GREENERY - Plants make a room feel complete and bring a freshness that furniture and accessories just can't. Plus, they make the air quality in your home better. Find beautiful pots and plant stands here and learn to take care of your plants here.

6. REORGANIZE & STYLE - If you have open bookshelves in your home, spending some time making them beautiful as well as functional can change their entire impact on a room. Books, photos, vases and objects can be styled in a way that displays your interests best. It's not an easy art but this article makes it more approachable.

7. CREATE A FLORAL CENTERPIECE - If anything says spring, it's a large, romantic vase of flowers. These stems can come from your backyard garden or the local florist. Using a vase you already own and arranging the blooms yourself, you'll get to customize the way it looks and save money. Use this gorgeous arrangement how-to as a jumping off point.

8. MAKE ORDER - When you're working hard to make the rest of your home orderly, use the opportunity to let go of things that add clutter to closets, drawers and the pantry. Sort through files, papers and cards. Organize closets, cupboards and your workspace. Purge anything that isn't used or important. Use this list to get motivated.

You won't always need a professional designer to makeover your space. These 8 improvements can make a huge impact on the feeling of your home. And when you do need a designer, I am always happy to consult with you about your project needs.

--Meghan

Behind the Scenes: Photo Shoot Day

There are few things more fun than the design process. Watching a space evolve from a blue print and some swatches to a room ready to be lived in is the best feeling. I will say that one of the best bonus days after the design is all wrapped up is a photo shoot. I get to revisit a project with our photographer and a few of my designers to capture this space and share it with the world. We spend time styling things and fluffing pillows and then it's showtime. It's always best to wait for the final, professional images (and don't worry, I'll share them!) but I can't wait to show you a sneak peek of the living room we shot yesterday. Here's a behind the scenes look at our day yesterday:

I'm excited to show you the full reveal of this home (shot by our talented photographer Carolyn Vaughn) soon. It'll include more about our clients, furniture sources and the design process but I hope you enjoyed a little taste of a day in the life at MBI!

Spring Inspiration: F. Schumacher

I can't help but be inspired by the warmer days, chirping birds and the budding trees. With each season comes its own set of muses. The pieces I'm drawn to in the spring have a lighter, natural feel. Between prints and patterns to colors and materials, spring is the time to strive for playful sophistication. F. Schumacher is one of my favorite trade sources. They create timeless, breathtaking pieces that can be used casually or in a more formal setting. I've pulled together 9 pieces from their collection that have me feeling like warmer days are just around the corner. Which is your favorite?

Pair of Porcelain Urns - 19th Century, Chenonceau Wallpaper, Alexander Mirror, Mid-Century Table Lamp, Cambridge Chair, Indian Arbre Fabric, Albert Etagere Table, Vintage Willy Rizzo Table, and Feather Bloom Wallpaper all from F. Schumacher.

Pair of Porcelain Urns - 19th Century, Chenonceau Wallpaper, Alexander Mirror, Mid-Century Table Lamp, Cambridge Chair, Indian Arbre Fabric, Albert Etagere Table, Vintage Willy Rizzo Table, and Feather Bloom Wallpaper all from F. Schumacher.