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

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.