A/NT Gallery – Commercial Project!

For about six months now, I have been a board member at A/NT Gallery, a local artists’ collective founded in 1988 that works with under represented and under served artists in the community and provides them with a space to show their art.

After many years at a location close to Downtown Seattle (and right next to the new Amazon campus), A/NT Gallery was able to secure a space at Seattle Center, home of the famous Space Needle and many other resident organizations that do amazing work and have incredible missions and vision.

Because the new location will see a much larger amount of traffic – especially during summer months – the board has decided it is time to amp up some of the operations and give the gallery a much deserved face lift.

I have been brainstorming some ideas, especially around the decoration and functionality of it all, and have been looking endlessly for ideas that inspire me in this endeavor. This cause is very close and dear to my heart, and although I am approaching this project as if it were a client, it is very low-budget and will take months to accomplish. Not necessarily a bad thing…

The space is huge and very apt for a gallery: lots of wall space and compartmentalized areas that make it great to have special exhibits or themed or juried shows. At the same time, it has a main lobby area that is ideal for a reception desk, modern storage options and a large conference table that could double (triple?) as work shop space and event setup options.

This reception space alone is about 400 sq. ft. which gives us many options in terms of layout and functionality.

Some of the images that have been inspiring me these past couple of weeks:

I don’t think that all of these spaces have things in common, but what I am drawn to is the simplicity in the design.

When you walk into the gallery through the main doors, you see a recessed nook that could potentially house a reception / greeters desk with our devices (computer screen, cash register, printer, etc). The wall is a little over 18 feet so it has potential for many things, but I am envisioning either a planked wall or some fun and modern wallpaper (like what Emily Henderson did in her studio refresh.

I came up with this mood board with some ideas, and will tackle some projects in the coming weeks.

A/NT Gallery - Commercial project

Stay tuned for more!

Sources: 1. Saville & Knight 2. Studio refresh by Emily Henderson 3. 4. H2 Design + Build Before and After office reveal on MyDomaine. 5. Potafiori Cafe in Milan (again! the space is too beautiful and so inspiring) 5. H2 Design + Build Before and After office reveal on MyDomaine.


New Year, New Look


I’m a homebody. I really, really enjoy being home, especially if said home is perfectly decorated. I also happen to be a very extroverted extrovert, so my best moments are when people come to my house. And said house is perfectly decorated.

I always thought I had a specific taste in mind when it came to decorating my home, but over the years, that taste has morphed into a perfectly -or maybe not so perfectly – balance of different styles. And I like changing stuff up around he house.

So this is why I have compiled this list of cheap and easy ways to change the look of your home in a cinch.

  1. Paint. Paint is one of the easiest ways to make a big impact with a little cost. If you can paint, then try it! It will change how the room feels and you can definitely try different ways: all of the walls, an accent wall, 3/4 of the way up, just the ceiling? The options are endless.
  2. Re-arrange your furniture. Moving things around can give you a fresh angle to decorating. Sometimes we move into a space and envision furniture a certain way and sometimes moving it around can work much better with how you use your space.
  3. Shop in your home. Do you have some pillows in your bedroom that you are growing a little tired of? Maybe move them to the living area! Same with throws, curtains, chairs. There are many possibilities to change the look without investing in some new pieces.
  4. Art. Art can be one of the most impactful  (is this even a word?) add ons to a space. Just make sure that you go big to fill the space and create the most impact. There are a lot of places where you can buy art at affordable prices, like Minted or Etsy.
  5. Add some texture and don’t be afraid to mix things up a bit! Texture can bring your flat space to a more 3D level. You can do this by adding a fluffy pillow, a rustic console table or even some inexpensive plants in different sizes.

What are some other, inexpensive ideas you have to refresh your home?

Source: Top 15 of 2015 by Sarah Sherman Samuel

Sneak Peak

Earlier this week, husband and I had our official pre-closing walk through with the warranty service people from the building company.

We got to see our parking spot and storage unit and, finally, after ONE WHOLE YEAR, our apartment!

It’s beautiful. A little bit smaller than I imagined, but according to my husband, furniture makes space look bigger because of the different levels it generates, visually. Hoping this is true!

Anyway, there are two small disappointments, but I think that in the long run, these things can be changed! For now, I will leave you with a photo of the view, right from the living room.


To the left, we have the balcony. To the right (that scaffolding) is the North Tower of the same building complex. It is still under construction and will be ready next summer. I don’t mind it a bit.

What do you think?

Photo © Maria Rigou for Groundhog Design

I can’t commit + mood boards


I am having serious problems committing to _______ (fill in the blank with whatever you want: what to have for dinner, what to wear, whether to tie my hair up or leave it down, what furniture to buy… you name it). I can’t commit. I don’t know what is wrong with me. I guess it might be the age? Maybe the late-twenties come with this type of indecision, I don’t know. I’m a newbie at this…

Anyway, my husband and I bought a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom condo last year, while it was still being built. Definitely committed to that one. Especially since we have not seen the place. Yes, that is true, we have not seen it.

We have a floor plan and an idea of what the finishes might be like, but besides that, we are running on pure imagination. BUT, but, we get to see it, finally, next week! Eek! So excited.

In the meantime, as you know, I have been looking through photos and photos of furniture to hold me over and to inspire me to finally commit to something.

I want to think that I have ‘master’ plans for the master bedroom, but the only thing I have committed to so far is……….. navy walls. We haven’t decided the shade just yet, but we are leaning towards Benjamin Moore’s Old Navy, Hale Navy or Deep Royal, or Sherwin Williams’ Indigo Batik or Naval. More on that soon.

Because of the dark walls we have decided on white furniture- which we already have and are working around – and adding distinct pops of color to brighten the space and make it more ‘us.’ (BTW – I hate the expression ‘us,’ but it works in this case)

Below is Inspiration Option 1 – pops of yellow / mustard / gold

master inspiration1. The whole inspiration for this room was born from the idea of dark navy walls. This color is Benjamin Moore’s Old Navy and I think I like it a little bit, but I want to test color swatches on the wall first so that I decide correctly and don’t have painters regret.

2. This is Ikea Nordli bed frame, in white. Last year when we moved to Seattle from Michigan, we upgraded to a king size bed and I truly truly regret that choice. We sold our bed and mattress earlier this summer and are waiting for the move to purchase a new bed and mattress – this time a queen size. I feel like, visually, a king bed takes up too much space and clutters the room. This bed also has space between the floor and the mattress, something the other was lacking, and will help in matters of visual de-cluttering.

3. Art! In blues and touches of yellow and marigold. The one to the left is Caroline Wright, an Austin-based artist, and the right painting is by Michelle Armas, Atlanta-based (her mother is actually from Argentina!). I already own a print by Michelle Armas that I am in love with.

4. THIS RUG. I love the colors, it’s so fresh and airy. How do you feel about rug-on-rug? Our bedroom is carpeted and while I see the advantages to that, I wish we had hardwood because it’s so much easier to maintain in perpetuity. In the meantime. I’m still going to protect the carpet from stains by laying a rug on it. I like this one. It’s Ikea.

5. I’m loving these dotted sheets from Crate and Barrel. Ever since husband and I moved in together, we have had white sheets. I like that these are a different type of pattern and even though they might be busy for some, they add a little spark to the room, in my head at least…

6. A mirror. Ideally with a gold frame, to tie the room together.

7. We already own this Ikea Hemnes dresser. It is HUGE, let me tell you, but it has been a life saver in terms of space for us. We have – and will have – a regularly sized closet and so the drawers really come in handy for storage of fold-up items like t-shirts, my work clothes, socks; you name it.

8. A white bed spread. We have one we bought last year (a king size one) that I’m pretty sure I could use or tweak (I have a friend that is quite the sewing machine goddess). But white. We like white.

9. More baskets. I especially love these because they are a very rich, nice color and quite space-y. And I already have a couple… Are you sensing a theme here?

Option 2 – pops of magenta / blue / gold

master inspiration2Basically the only things that change here are the accents, in a different color.

4. A nice lamp with a gold base. I might DIY something. Stay tuned.

5. This is a rag rug that I have been eyeing for months now. I didn’t have a place for it, but I think that I might now pull the trigger and go ahead and buy it for our room.

6. Hmong pillows. I saw some on Etsy that I liked. I think the shop is OrientalTribe11.

I want to make this room a perfect combination of masculine and feminine because, after all, it belong to ‘us’ and not just me. I think Option 2 is cutting it really thin and Option 1 might be more on the masculine side, with feminine touches. Nico, my husband, is very involved in the decoration process, so we will see what we can compromise after I show him these boards.

So? Which is best?

Source: Studio McGee. This photo is what inspired me to paint my walls a rich, dark blue with white furniture and accents in gold / brass and natural tones (see the basket planter and tray). I love Studio McGee’s work and have been addicted to their blog since I discovered them a few months back.