Friday, July 3, 2015

Happy 4th of July: Modern Americana Design

July 4th weekend is a welcome holiday in the heat of our Texas summer.
We grab our dearest family and friends, retreat (coolers stocked with food and drink) to the nearest body of water, and celebrate our nation's independence with grateful hearts.
It's a weekend full of love, honor and respect for the country we all call home.
Simple and Serene Living
 For many, the desire to honor this great nation doesn't end as July 4th comes to a close.
They prefer a year-round reminder of everything that makes this country grand, and we call that "Americana style", a style that graces many homes throughout the U.S.

Thomas Jayne, one of Architectural Digest's top 100 designers, explains this iconic style:
"...American decor is much like American culture, a mix of old world influences adapted to new world ways...the American high boy or chest-on-chest is an American form, but there are not that many things that are exclusively American bred that have no outside influence. Historically, we have taken things from all over the world and combined them in our own ways into comfortable interiors."

Here at MFI, we absolutely adore that.
No matter what your personal sense of style may be, we can all walk away having learned a little something from Americana living:

1. Create added interest by combining the old with the new.
2. Celebrate your history through art and furnishings that are meaningful to your story.
3. Don't be afraid to mix styles throughout your home. It's rare to find a person who only has one story to tell. Allow the various influences in your life to act as a guide when making design decisions for your home.

Here are a few star examples of modern Americana style that have us seeing stripes:

Thomas Jayne

Thomas Jayne

Thomas Jayne as featured in Architectural Digest

"From every mountain side, let freedom ring."

Wishing you and yours a very happy 4th of July weekend!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

"This or That: Mirrors" and Made Good's Distinguished Designs

When it comes to mirrors, do you prefer a classic shape or do you have a fondness for objects that are more unique in shape and style?

Either way, your home will shine with one of these stunning mirrors from Made Goods.
Made Goods is a wholesale brand offered in select boutiques and used by interior designers across the nation, and we are huge fans of their unusual products. Although you may not necessarily be able to order their products directly, you can always hunt down a local store who carries this unique line of home goods and furnishings.

Or you can visit the website and simply enjoy the wealth of inspiration!

Here are a few of MFI's recent product faves:
Coco Tray
Artfully reproduced coral in the shape of a tray.

Leon Side Table with black base and dark mushroom shagreen top.
Fully customizable!

Dean Chandelier
We used this in the home office of a recently completed project - stunning!

Amina faux shagreen trays (set of 3)

Delancy shiny gold base with dark grey boa top.

Aiden vases sculpted from the horns of water buffalo.

Benjamin coffee table with ivory shagreen top.

Dante bedside table made of aged camel leather.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Design Inspiration: Window Treatments

"I discovered windows one afternoon and after that, nothing was ever the same."
(The Shape of Water)
Windows are incredibly special to a home.
They allow light and warmth to flood in and they offer a framed vision of the world just beyond your front door.
There's something uniquely beautiful about that and sadly, they are often overlooked until someone realizes that they can't shower, get dressed for the day, or eat ice cream in their PJs without offering the entire neighborhood a very authentic reality show.
Similar to styling shelves, selecting and installing window treatments is an area where we notice clients become nervous and overwhelmed.
So many fabrics to choose from, so many options for length, so many little details to get hung up on.
You can always opt out and leave your windows au naturel.
If Architectural Digest loves it, you can too!
But it's highly likely that, at some point, there will be a room in your home that needs some window love.

And we know this firsthand because even our clients who aren't huge fans of drapery or shades end up including a combination of them throughout a few spaces in their home.
Window treatments have a gorgeous way of infusing texture and warmth into a space without interfering with the rest of the room's design, and they help you control incoming light.
Keep it light and bright for a daytime book session or set a darker, moodier pace when you curl up to watch Netflix.
The choice is all yours!
Just a dab of drape does the trick here.
(Oh, and because in 2013, we posted Drapery How-Tos and it's been one of our most popular blog posts to date.)

Personally, we love working with clients to select fabrics, determine trims, and choose lengths and pleats, but we understand that the whole process can be overwhelming for those who choose to tackle the project on their own.

Our suggestion?
Study up, confirm your style, and then enlist the help of a trained professional who can ensure the process is smooth and pain-free :)

Here are a few window treatments of all kinds for your studies:
These blend right into the room for a less is more look that proves quite functional
when the sun is shining its very brightest!

We love the way these drapes frame the bed.
McAlpine Booth & Ferrier
McAlpine Booth & Ferrier

Shades and drapes come together beautifully in this masculine space.
Nate Berkus

Even with a noticeable texture, these shades blend in nicely
leaving this bathroom's exquisite design to do the talking.

These bold shades steal the show in an otherwise neutral space.

The panels boast blue trim detailing that beautifully complements the room's furnishings.

Function galore!
These panels can block light and create a cozy reading nook off the bedroom.

Highly textured but with a light, airy vibe.
You hardly notice these drapes exist - the view is left unobstructed.
Classic and full of charm.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Home Design: The 3 C's of Styling Shelves

No matter how comfortable clients might feel making d├ęcor decisions for their homes,
we always find a bit of hesitation when it comes to styling shelves.

So many items, so many shelves, so many choices!
Don't panic.

Remember the 3 Cs and your shelves will shine:
1. Choose your Style
Are you a neat freak or a rule breaker?
Do you prefer to keep memories of your travels or do you collect things?
Embrace your personal sense of style and allow your shelves to share that style with the world.
Like to keep it fresh and clean?
Leave a few shelves bare for a nice, airy vibe.
Accent your shelving with seating areas to create a library/museum vibe.
We love these highly structured shelves.
Loads of stuff but the shelves still read neat and clean!
Tory is a lady who knows her style and embraces it <3 td="">
Neat and clean!
2. Color is Your Friend 
Color can be used (or not used) in some really unique ways!
You can paint or wallpaper the back of your shelving unit or, if you can't commit to color on that large of a scale, you can organize your books and accessories by color for a look that will appeal to your beloved Type A friends.
Keep the room neutral and allow the items on your shelves to bring bright pops of color to your space.
Have your wall paint flow over into your shelving.
Monochromatic shelves can also make a gorgeous statement.

3. Challenge Design Norms
Just because shelves have been styled in one way for ages, doesn't mean you have to style yours in the same fashion.
Think outside the box (literally)!
You can hang interesting lighting fixtures versus using built in lighting, layer artwork over the shelves themselves, or consider restructuring your bookshelves to create a unique look and flow.


The most important thing to remember?
Have fun!
Shelves are a place where you can play with scale, layering, and color,
and the best part is that you can change things up as often as you want to.