sexta-feira, 11 de maio de 2012

Style At Home: Alex Berlin Of Things That Sparkle

Alex Berlin makes her living creating unique, welcoming, aesthetically pleasing homes as an interior designer. She used her home decor expertise to create the perfect home for her fiancé, her dog and herself. Alex took great care cultivating the perfect mix of pieces for her home and it certainly paid off. Muted greys combine with touches of pink and gold to bridge the dichotomy of masculine and feminine, and small accent pieces pair with large statement pieces to create a cohesive space. Alex invited us into her home and spoke with us about her foray into design, style aesthetic and personal blog: Things That Sparkle.

“I wore these Valentino shoes to our engagement party so they will always be a little special to me. And who doesn’t love a 5″ heel with a big fat bow?”
How did you first get interested in interior design?
I have always been interested in interior design, ever since I was a little girl locking myself in my room to rearrange my furniture, I just never thought it could be a career. I went into advertising after college and really thought it would be a perfect fit, but 2 years in, something was missing. I started my blog and my passion for design continued to grow from there. I left my job, went back to graduate school for design and opened my firm a couple of months later.

“This is our beloved Jayson Home & Garden sofa that took us two years to choose. But I am so glad we waited because we love it! Its deep and comfy and the perfect dark accent for the space.”
What is your favorite part about being an interior designer?
I love that every single project is different. It is so much fun being a part of the creative process of making a home that my client loves to be in. I also really love the combination of design and business, for me its strikes a perfect balance.

“Our living room is the perfect place to plop down and catch up on magazines, DVR and life. We spend the majority of our time on this couch with our pup!” JBrand jeans, Iro jacket, Vince silk blouse

How did you get into blogging? What is the best thing about having a blog?
As I mentioned before, my blog was a creative outlet for me during a time where I wasn’t professionally satisfied. I figured a couple of my friends would read it and it would be a good place to store pretty pictures. And for a year, that’s really all it was. Then I discovered there was an entire community of people out there, that not only are friendly and welcoming but incredibly supportive. The best part about having a blog? I can’t name just one. The incredible people I’ve “met”, the encouragement I have been given, and maybe most importantly, the opportunities that have come out because of it. A large number of my clients come from Things That Sparkle, it is like a portfolio that is updated daily, I couldn’t ask for anything better!

“The Amanda Talley painting in the dining room, was the very piece first of real art I ever purchased. I had been in love with her work for years and knew it would be perfect for our big empty wall. I commissioned the piece and worked closely with Amanda on colors and patterns. I am head over heels for it.” Jcrew necklace, Nieves Lavi pants, Joie Silk top and Miu Miu shoes.
Tell us about your home! How is it an expression of yourself?
My home is not only an expression of myself, but an expression of me and my fiancé. When we moved in together three years ago I had no idea he had so many opinions regarding interior design. So every step of the way we made decisions together on the functionality of pieces, while still keeping a sharp eye on the aesthetics. It took us 2 years to choose a couch that he thought was comfortable and I liked the look of. Quite the challenge. In the end we made a home together that is eclectic, comfortable and welcoming. We entertain a lot and I would say we have created a perfect space to do that. There are touches of pink and gold (for me) and plenty of greys for him.

Do you gravitate toward a certain design aesthetic, color scheme, etc in your own home?
In an effort to satisfy both parties, there are a lot of neutrals. accented by big statement making pieces like the art in the dining room, or the antique chairs in the living room. I think in general I tend to gravitate towards a collected look, a mix of contemporary pieces with vintage finds, all while keeping comfort in the front of my mind. I like a little bit of rustic to be mixed in with a larger amount of glam. Everything is a balance. Feminine and masculine, colorful and neutral. I paid attention to that balance in every room.
How do you come up with design plans for your client? Do you have a particular design style you like to stick with?
I first listen to what they want and what they envision for their space. Pinterest has also become an incredible tool for me. I can look at client’s Pinterest boards and immediately get an idea of the spaces they gravitate towards, even if they aren’t able to articulate it themselves. I wouldn’t say that I have a particular design aesthetic across the board. My goal is for a prospective client to look through my portfolio and see the common denominator of a comfortable, personalized, welcoming home. A lot of my clients come to me because they want to step outside of their comfort zone, I love that!

“We love to entertain so it is perfect that our kitchen opens up right into the living room and dining room. Popping champagne and serving cupcakes for no particular reason is one of my favorite hobbies!” Marc Jacobs dress and Jimmy Choo shoes

“My little work nook is the perfect place to sit down and really get some work done. I have a big inspiration board, a comfy chair and piles upon piles of fabric samples. But I am not going to lie … my work spreads across the dining room table and kitchen island too”
What is the most sentimental piece in your home?
The antique chairs that I had recovered in a grey ikat, originally belonged to my grandparents. They recently redecorated their home and were going to throw away the chairs. Their shape was so beautiful, I had to snatch them up. They had been in their home since the ’60s and needed quite a bit of love and care, but after some rebuilding and reupholstery they look as good as new. They make a statement from the second you walk in the door and every time I see them I think of two very important people!

“I got the idea of repurposing a candle as a makeup brush cup from Pinterest and absolutely love it! And I constantly paint and repaint my nails so having a couple different colors reminds me of all the choices!”
“I love our bedroom. There is so much natural light and it is so perfectly cozy. Bedrooms are an easy place to decorate and redecorate. You buy a bed, bedding and nightstands you love but switch out the pillows and art really easily. I’ve done that quite a few times in here, but I really love where we are at now. I was even allowed to add in some pink”
What are your favorite places to shop for home décor?
Well I am very lucky to live in Chicago where Jayson Home & Garden is based. They are definitely towards the top of my list. Jayson carries an amazing variety of pieces and always has something new to lust over. There are also so many amazing vintage and antique stores all around the city. I love scouring them on a weekly basis for new finds. The one of a kind pieces are the ones that can really define an entire space. Every room should have something old in it. 

“Maverick is the love of my life. My puppy son. He is so happy to be allowed on the bed, you can’t help but invite him up. And luckily our all white bedding hides his fur.”
What advice do you have for people who want to redesign a room in their home?
Start with a plan. I know sometimes it can be hard to know what you want from the beginning, but don’t start buying pieces until you have a vision. I made this mistake when I decorated my first apartment and within a year I ended up selling almost everything I had bought and starting fresh. Create mood boards, print pictures, look at Pinterest, hire a designer (wink wink), whatever you need to do to create a vision.That’s not to say it will all come together in a month, it usually won’t, but at least you have a goal. Invest in pieces you love slowly, rather than filling it with things you just like quickly.
How do you add sparkle to your life and to your home?
I’m a girl drawn to sparkle in every aspect of my life! In my home I add touches of gold whenever I can and having fresh flowers everywhere is also very important to me! But importantly I really love where I live (even if its covered in white dog fur 99% of the time).

4 comentários: