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Design Inspiration: Year of the Woman

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In January’s newsletter, I predicted that 2018 will the “Year of the Woman” not only socially and politically, but in the design world as well.

While the last several years have been dominated by masculine design trends, cool colors, bold lines and geometric patterns, I’m anticipating a return to more organic shapes, warmer, saturated colors and bold, sensuous curves in furniture and architecture.

Below are a few of my favorite new design trends to keep an eye out for in the Year of the Woman.

Warm Grays

For the past 5+ years, the color trend has veered toward cool, dark grays. But this year, we’re expecting to see warmer, softer grays with tan or brown undertones. It’s the perfect way to soften up any space, and it looks at home in a farmhouse kitchen or an ultra-urban bachelor pad.

Image via Jennifer Schoenberger Design

Pattern Mixing

Mixing patterns has definitely been growing as a trend in the past few years, but we expect it to really explode into the mainstream moving forward. Whereas previously, minimalist designs and patterns were celebrated, we’re seeing a reversal with some embracing and accepting the brightly colored “maximalist” lifestyle.

Image via Design*Sponge

Organic Designs

Natural, lush, organic patterns and designs are now being favored over rigid, tightly geometric lines and patterns. Think circles, abstract shapes, raw edges and uncommon architecture, like this fun and funky freeform table in our clients’ family room.

Image via Sweet Peas Design

Saturated Colors

Since Pantone’s Color of the Year is a bold, over-saturated Ultra Violet, I think it’s safe to assume we’ll be seeing a lot more lush jewel tones coming up.

Image via HGTV

Bold Curves

We’re anticipating a departure from the rigid utilitarian lines and a movement toward more organic, curvaceous furniture and architecture, like this delightfully curvy console table from our Lake Forest Showhouse project.

Image via Sweet Peas Design

Susan Brunstrum

 

 

 

 

We’re In Print!

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Photo Courtesy of Sweet Peas Design

Check out the current issues of NS and Luxe magazines – we’re in there! Laura Hine, editor-in-chief at NS, spotlighted one of our master bedroom projects (click on the photo above to see the write-up)  where we turned a cozy corner into a quiet  escape with a curvaceous chaise lounge, crystal-topped table and a meditative piece of art. It’s ideal for enjoying a hygge moment, which I talked about in the Luxe article below!

 

Article Courtesy of Luxe Magazine

Paulette Pearson, Homes Editor at Luxe, invited me to discuss the cozy Danish concept of hygge, above and at LuxeMagazine. (Page 128.) If you want to learn even more about hygge, check out our November 2017 newsletter, HappinessViaHygge.

Thanks to both editors and publications! It’s always an honor to be included.

Susan Brunstrum

 

 

 

 

Best of Houzz Winner!

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All Photos Courtesy of Sweet Peas Design

We just added two more Houzz awards to our collection! Many thanks to our wonderful clients and Houzz followers who helped us earn Best of Houzz 2018 for Design and also for Customer Service, which is based on client reviews. It is such an honor to be recognized. Since 2013 we have received 7 Houzz awards, including four for design and three for best service.

Houzz is a great tool for connecting home design enthusiasts with home improvement professionals, including interior designers. Many of our clients rely on it for design inspiration when they are launching a project with us. The site attracts an incredible 40 million unique monthly users! You can explore our Houzz profile page and portfolio here: SweetPeasDesignProfilePage.

Susan Brunstrum

 

 

Please Vote for Us!

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All Photos Courtesy of Sweet Peas Design

Warm greetings on a cold and snowy Chicago day! This is just a quick note to let you know that we are competing in the national Luxe Magazine RED Awards for interior design, and to ask you to vote for our projects here: OldTownHome and here: GoldCoastCondo  It’s super fast and easy. Click on the “thumbs up” icon for each project and you’re done!

 

Many thanks from the entire Sweet Peas Design team for your consideration – we appreciate your support so much!

Susan Brunstrum

 

Oh Man!

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All Photos Courtesy of Julie Anderson Media Company, Chicago

If you missed my talk at the Oh Man! cocktail event with Conlon Real Estate,  no problem! You can catch up with this short video OhMan!  showcasing some of the evening’s most memorable moments – a bit like football highlights.

Talking to this dynamic group of men about making their homes more livable and thus date-ready for that “certain someone” in their lives was fun!  I got the biggest laugh of the night when I suggested it was time to stop sleeping on a mattress on the floor – I have a feeling that hit home with some of the guys!

Single men really appreciate the way we design their homes as we know that the  first impression is a lasting one and speaks volumes about who you are.  What does your home say about you?  Many thanks to Stephanie Poulakidas and the Conlon Real Estate team for inviting me to join their party!

Susan Brunstrum

Design for Guys on FOX

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Photo Courtesy of Anne Kavenagh, MediaPros24/7

As you can see above, I truly enjoyed chatting with Sylvia Perez on FOX32 about designing for single guys who want to make their home “date ready.” Yes, it’s a trend! We discussed why more single guys want help with their homes and I shared some tips for creating a pulled-together, masculine look, here: https://youtu.be/7QAaJ4yyWHA.

 

Photo Courtesy of Anne Kavenagh, MediaPros24/7

Single guys, whether divorced, widowed or never married, appreciate the way we design for their personalities and lifestyles. We love working with them, too! They are a growing segment of our clientele, alongside our suburban and urban couples, families and single women. A big thanks to Sylvia for bringing me back on her show. She always makes me feel welcome!

Susan Brunstrum

Meghan Markle/Sweet Peas Design Connection

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KKG informal living room, Photo Courtesy of Sweet Peas Design

Yes, it’s true! Prince Harry’s future bride Meghan Markle and I are “sisters.” Honestly.  We are both alums of the Kappa Kappa Gamma (KKG) sorority. She joined at Northwestern, I joined at the University of Illinois, did my grad work at NU and then returned to campus during the summer of 2016 when my team and I were invited to update portions of the KKG house.

 

KKG informal living room, Photo Courtesy of Sweet Peas Design

I wish Meghan could see it now. We renovated the first floor informal living room and study, above and below, using the KKG colors – light blue and sapphire. I don’t think she would recognize it, but she would remember the KKG slogan: KKG…Aspire to Be!

 

KKG study, Photo Courtesy of Sweet Peas Design

Last week, ABC’s cameras and crew filmed at NU and KKG for Friday’s all-royal edition of 20/20, celebrating Meghan’s engagement to Prince Harry. Unfortunately the interior shots didn’t make the cut! But in case Meghan sees this blog – hahaha! – I am posting a few photos of her former sorority house so she – and you – can enjoy the transformation. Do you think my sisterhood connection will be enough to wrangle an invitation to the wedding? Oh, I hope so.

Susan Brunstrum

 

 

 

 

Headlines for Single Guys

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Chicagoan Andy Carter in his newly renovated family room. Photo by Manuel Martinez, Courtesy of ChicagoBusiness.com

A huge thank you to Crain’s Chicago Business and freelance writer Anne Moore for featuring us in a fantastic article about interior design for single men – we are just thrilled! Check it out here.  The story was published online this week in the Business of Life section and it will run in the print edition next week.

Andy Carter kicks back in the living room of his completely updated home in Old Town. Photo by Manuel Martinez, Courtesy of ChicagoBusiness.com

More than ever, single men clients have become a niche market for us, whether divorced, widowed or never married, in addition to our suburban and urban base of families, couples and single women. Anne captured the nuances of what single guys want at home and their approach to working with interior designers. I also want to thank my very talented and hard-working team – including Senior Designer Angela LaVista and Senior Architectural Associate Jennifer Tarello – and our wonderful clients Andy Carter and Patrick Cott, who generously agreed to be interviewed for this piece. Without the inspiration and support of all our valuable clients, our work wouldn’t be possible.

Susan Brunstrum

Dishing on Chicago Development

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Photo of Susan and David Zivan, Courtesy of Modern Luxury.

Which design features and amenities are most important to home buyers? What are the trends in technology and sustainability, and the next hot areas for residential development? That and much more was on the agenda during the Developing Chicago breakfast and panel discussion with top Chicago real estate developers, sponsored by Men’s Book magazine.

From left to right, Adrian Cho, Thomas Roszak, Steve Fifield, Peter Koch, David Zivan, Susan and Bobby Krueger. Photo Courtesy of Modern Luxury.

Thanks to David Zivan, Group Editor for Modern Luxury magazines and Chicago Editor-in-Chief of Men’s Book, for inviting me to co-moderate the recent event, and applause to our five panelists: Adrian Cho of Real Restoration, Thomas Roszak of Moceri + Roszak, Steve Fifield of Fifield Companies, Peter Koch and Bobby Krueger of Mavrek Development.

Susan Brunstrum

Missed our Dorm Room 101 Discussion On Fox News? Here It Is!

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A big thank you to Sylvia Perez at Fox 32. I had such fun selecting all the dorm necessities for Dorm Room 101! In case you missed our discussion on Saturday morning, watch here.

http://www.fox32chicago.com/mornings/273781759-video

Much appreciation to college living experts Kelsey (my daughter) and to Lauren Benditzky as they were oh so helpful with the selections.

 

Syliva Perez, Fox News Anchor, and Susan. Photo Courtesy of Sweet Peas Design.

Susan Brunstrum

Possibilities