Better than Basic – A Guide to Modern Built-Ins as Office Shelves

With so many of us working from home these days, maximizing the space in our home office is more important than ever and an easy way to do that is to create modern built-ins.

If you caught the recent blog post on How to Design A Home Office that works as hard as you do, we discussed the overarching details that go into creating a home office. The where the what, and the how-to personalize it was key “ingredients” to creating a home office instead of working from your dining table but we didn’t talk about modern built-ins…a potential must for many who need ample storage.

I have recently relocated my own workspace and found that storage was integral to my productivity. Not just within my desk, but also for stationery, copy paper, the copier, banking supplies, reference materials, file folders, extra binders, hole punchers, extra batteries, and on and on and on. All the things that you don’t want to put on display, but all the things we need at our fingertips. Ideally, most of this can go into a closet with the room you’ve designated for your office, but that isn’t always an option. Office shelves can add beauty and function when planned and implemented properly.

Don’t settle for basic.

Often we find clients who ask their contractor to “build them some office shelves” and this is what they get:

Previous custom built ins lacked style.

Project Southcrest Study Built Ins BEFORE

Functional, right? But when we opened the doors and drawers, the client didn’t have anything inside them. They’re fortunate and have a large closet that provided ample storage. Basically, this solution was to house his television and the decorative items that had sentimental value. When we measured it, this built-in unit, “ate up” 26 inches of depth. That means there were more than 2 feet of space that was not able to be included in a floor plan, which decreased the size of the desk that would fit into the office space – and almost completely eliminated any additional seating (the Mrs. enjoyed coming in and keeping the Mr. company).

Determining WHAT sort of solution you need is the first step in creating shelving that is more stylish AND functional for your needs. Why create a basic shelf solution when you can have a modern built-in?

Sophisticated and masculine home office design created by Dallas based interior design firm, ML Interiors Group.| Includes mid century style desk, hide rug, and custom, modernized built in shelving.

Project Southcrest shelving AFTER

You can see above, we created modern, “floating” shelving that housed the decorative items he loved the most, a few reference books, some art, and of course some greenery. The shelves were different widths and depths so the solution was not only functional but also highly decorative. By removing the over two-foot-deep built-in, we added room for a larger desk, a comfy chair, and definitely more style. See more of this project via Instagram searching the hashtag #ProjectSouthcrest.

Don’t assume your office shelvs have to start from scratch.

In some instances, the built-in office shelves are too magnificent to simply rip out and replace. So what do you do? Add a coat (or three) of paint and transform them into a more modern version of what was original to the home. In this instance, we covered the dated wood with a beautiful black color selection to add richness and depth, while also keeping the masculinity and honoring the architecture of the space. Voila! Traditional shelves become a modern built-in!

Transform your traditional built in shelves into a modern masterpiece.

Before                                              &                                      After

 

Home Office with black built in shelving, a feizy accent rug, a fabricut upholstered desk chair and mixed metal accents. | ML Interiors Group

Project Tulip Home Office

Don’t be afraid to go bold.

Don’t be afraid to paint over yesterday’s trend.

Just make sure you hire a professional to do the painting so you’re not finding paint chips or missed curves & crevices that will annoy you as you use your home office in the years to come. See more of this project via Instagram searching the hashtag #ProjectTulip.

Wall-mounted shelving solutions still count as cool.

Home office shelves can provide a lot of storage solutions, but sometimes you just want to add a dose of pretty to your space without committing to modern built-ins.  If you don’t need a bunch of reference materials at your fingertips – you just want to gaze at your decor and enjoy the serenity of what surrounds you, adding a wall-mounted shelf may be just the solution needed!  A home office can be a sanctuary for your sanity…getting work done in a beautiful surrounding may not feel like work at all.

Home office decor | Home Office Design | Highland Park Home | ML Interiors Group | Dallas Interior Designer

Project Mockingbird Lane includes a soothing home office.

Shelving Design | Shelving Decor | Highland Park Homes | Michelle Lynne Interiors Group | Dallas Interior Decorator

Display of Pretties

This home office served as the home base for a mom who ran her own business AND the household, so it needed to provide peace and productivity. The gold & white mountable shelving provided a place for beautiful displays as well as adding visual depth to the design. See more of this project via Instagram searching the hashtag #ProjectMockingbirdLane.

Need it all? Hire a professional.

And finally, when you absolutely have to have storage at your fingertips and a dual workstation, identify what you need, what you want, and hire a designer. This beautiful modern built-in wall unit was designed to meet the specifics of the client.  See those drawers? There are hanging files, niches for folders, and one even pulls out with a printer. Plus, they were all designed around the existing windows so the natural light could continue to pour in around the office shelves. Additionally, the client wanted to have the option to turn around from his computer, use his writing desk, AND have room to host a conversation.

Home office shelving

With the wooden desktop accentuating the painted built-ins, subtle shiplap texture on the wall, and accent lighting above the windows, the aesthetic is as purposeful as the storage created with these modern built in shelves. See more of this project via Instagram searching the hashtag #LovelyInLakeHighlands.

If you want a workspace that reflects your needs and your style, give us a call at 972-248-4733, contact us – or simply email at Hello(at)MLInteriorsGroup(dot)com. We would love to help you find your groove as the #WFH (work from home) practice doesn’t look to be going away anytime soon!

XOXO,

Michelle

Project Reveal: A Cozy Modern Coastal Design in Southcrest

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When D. and M. came to us, they had just moved their family to Texas and purchased a builder basic home with blah white walls that were far from their desired modern coastal design aesthetic. Their new abode had zero personality, a complete lack of function, and didn’t represent their easy-going personalities at. all.

They were looking for a designer who could infuse a sense of relaxation and comfort into their space. Someone who could take their personal backgrounds and blend them seamlessly into a design that balanced crisp, clean aesthetics with cozy simplicity.

Now, you might know that we have a few fabulous designers on our team. Depending on the project, we’ll assign the leading lady that fits it best. For this project, I knew that our designer, Megan Fornes (a babe who balances her city lifestyle with her BIG small-town heart) was exactly the lady for the job. She excels at infusing color into spaces and mixing delicious fabrics. We had no doubt she could whip this run-of-the-mill home into designer shape in no time. (Spoiler: She totally did.)

But before I reveal to you the stunning transformation in this Southcrest home, let’s talk details…

The Clients

As I mentioned earlier, D. and M. were the epitome of relaxed, easy-going, carefree, and happy-go-lucky. But, I suppose when you move a family of four (plus a sweet pup named Sailor) from Maine to California to Texas, you have to be flexible.

With two teens involved in a variety of sports, a dog who is an integral part of the family, and a penchant for entertaining, this couple knew they needed a comfortable environment for hosting that was also livable and stress-free. Having moved from coast to coast, literally, they appreciated easy, breezy oceanside culture. They imagined bringing that peacefulness into their home in Texas. And we said, “OH YES, WE CAN.”

The Goals

Our goals weren’t just aesthetic though. The new build production home’s cookie cutter layout wasn’t going to cut it for D. and M. So we had some major changes to make. On the list:

  • Reconfigure the floor plan to incorporate multiple seating areas for their family of four (think schoolwork, parties, game nights, hosted dinners, etc.)
  • Fill the space with performance fabric upholstered furniture in various textures and patterns… to hide stains from busy teens, muddy paws, (lookin’ at you, Sailor), and keep the adults covered when (not if) they spill wine on their light-colored sofas
  • Blend together the family’s love for the beach with tribal aspects from their travels… add some industrial touches for a contemporary vibe… and infuse the warmth of living in the heart of Texas.

Ready to see how it all turned out?

Modern Coastal Living Room Design

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Ahhh… now that’s better than a boxy white room!! Touches of coastal materials, tribal patterns, farmhouse-esque shiplap, and modern lighting are the instruments in this masterful modern coastal design symphony! It feels warm, fresh, social, and as welcoming as a hug. A Texas hug, mind you. 😉

We painted the walls in Benjamin Moore’s 1472 Silver Chain, which was darker and more gray in hue than the original Alabaster white (sometimes too white can be a bad thing). Instead, this hue livened up the space and made it feel cool, crisp, and coastal.

As far as the floor plan goes, we actually switched the dining room and formal living room locations, so that when you walk in from the main entry, you see the dining room first. This also meant that the new sitting room could be laid out around the fireplace off the kitchen…which just made sense.

Speaking of that fireplace, its previous two-sided design needed to be revamped. But that was just the beginning…

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The unique 3-dimensional wood sculpture that we hung above the white sofa (in performance fabric… good luck, wine!) steals the show… but also blends flawlessly with the rest of the natural decor in the living room.

From the leather chair to the wooden coffee tables to the plant in the corner, the organic nature of this space oozes cozy comfort and beach lifestyle, while also remaining chic, sophisticated, and down-right stunning. Love, love, love.

As you walk through the space with us, you’ll also notice some excellent lighting choices. (Megan Fornes nailed it, right?!) By carefully curating multiple layers of gorgeous lighting in each area, we were able to better define the rooms of the home.

Fireplace Feature

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Remember that two-sided fireplace we mentioned? We refinished it with a very light shiplap and dark gray frame that complements the wall color throughout the downstairs.

By mixing textures in each space, adding metal, wood, glass, etc., we were able to infuse dimension and interest into this once builder basic home. And just looking at this simple photo…well, it is living proof that neutral doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, neutral colors can make big, bold, beautiful statements!

Modern Coastal Entertaining Area

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Bet you didn’t know there was another side to that fireplace! Ohhhhh, yes, there is. And it is marvellous with this adorable sitting area. With seating for four, this conversation-style layout is ideal for hosting those small gatherings… or even catching up as a family with a glass of Texas sweet tea at the end of a long day.

Notice the modern coastal artwork, real wood mantle, and woven chairs reminiscent of seating you’d find on the balcony of the luxury beachside resorts we’ve all been dreaming about these days…

Modern Coastal Dining Room Design

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One of our challenges was making sure the new, and very large, dining table didn’t feel out of place when we transitioned the old formal living room into the new dining room. But we definitely succeeded!

Between the absolutely stunning accent wall (with custom millwork), the oversized woven-shade chandelier (be still my heart), and the live-edge tabletop made from driftwood itself, there is nothing heavy about this room. It begs for a delicious seafood spread, flowing cocktails, and lively conversation.

The warmth of Texas living meets the carefree lifestyle of the coasts.

A Bright & Fresh Kitchen Design

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While we haven’t discussed the kitchen, and honestly, that is a different post for another day, it felt remiss not to share this inspired design. Between the color palette that transports you to a sandy beach with rolling waves, the woven textured window treatments, the water-droplet-shaped pendant lighting, and the warm wooden floors and leather chairs… really, what’s not to love?

This heart of the home in the heart of Texas is beachy, welcoming, modern, and perfect for hosting! Which brings me to the final fabulous space in this fresh-as-a-breeze home…

Modern Coastal Outdoor Living Area

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Ahhh… couldn’t you spend all day out here?? The gorgeous color palette from inside flows out onto the back patio and beyond, creating a cohesive space for entertaining (complete with more performance fabric, of course!)

Plus, with the basketball hoop in the background and the “SWIM” decor on the wall, you’re reminded that this fabulously fresh home is also family-friendly. Livable luxury at its finest.

Can we pause here for a moment and give it up for Megan? Designing this home was no small feat, and she executed it beyond our clients’ wildest dreams. Way to go, girl… simply stunning!

The Joyful Result

Our easygoing homeowners couldn’t have been happier. We did away with their cookie cutter production home and created a sophisticated sanctuary that is a complete reflection of their lives, their travels, and their personalities.

Organic, carefree, comfortable, and livable, this space embodies everything they hoped for, but never dreamed possible in a home. Every day, they walk through that front door, take a deep breath, and sigh. Ahhh. Complete bliss, pride, and contentment. After all, that is how a home should feel, right?!

If you’re ready to take that leap and transform your home into a relaxing retreat, give us a call. We would be delighted to turn your uninspired house into an awe-inspiring home.

OH – and if the space that needs some love is a kitchen, you can download our Guide to Prepping for a Kitchen Remodel here.

XOXO,
Michelle Lynne

Kitchen Renovation: From Rainy-Day Gray to Fresh & Fabulous

Kitchen Renovation: From Rainy-Day Gray to Fresh & Fabulous

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If you’ve ever built a new home, or spoken with someone who has, you’ve likely heard one of two things: either the experience was absolutely wonderful (albeit a little exhausting), or it was a total nightmare that led to frustration… and a kitchen renovation.

Our recent clients fell into the latter category. They purchased a spec house a few years back that should have been their dream home (after all, they did have the chance to make many personal selections during the build), but throughout the construction process, a number of concerns arose. Sadly, they struggled to get their punch list items addressed with the builder, and the final product wasn’t even close to what they had hoped for. Ugh!

Fast forward a few years and the homeowners kept discovering additional items that were improperly installed, as well as subpar quality materials that already need replacing. It is no surprise that these clients were disappointed with their purchase. I know I would have been too!

They came to us stressed out, especially unhappy with their kitchen layout, and feeling like they had been taken advantage of. They had spent too much time and money to not love their home…and our team was perfectly suited for the job: to take this imperfect house and turn it into a showcase of livable luxury for a well-deserving family.

Let’s hear the deets…

The Goals for this Kitchen Renovation

1. Tone down the contemporary style.

While the builder succeeded in creating a contemporary look for the home, the outcome turned out to be a little too cold for the homeowners. It simply wasn’t the warm and inviting oasis they envisioned and it definitely didn’t coordinate with their beautiful Mediterranean exterior..

Remedying that in the kitchen meant drawing up a family-friendly plan that would appeal to five kids of varying ages, a petite wife, and a very tall husband — so the design needed to make everyone feel comfortable and welcome. A tall task (pun intended), but a challenge we were eager to embrace!

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2. Improve the ease of use.

A ton of square footage doesn’t always mean function. This builder’s spec house had plenty of space for this large family of seven (plus three pups) – but the layout of the kitchen wasn’t conducive to their lifestyle.

The oversized cabinetry in a cellblock gray color palette felt awkward. The pantry was small with a pocket door which, when closed, made the kitchen feel like a dark cave. We needed to open the space and lighten the room. And speaking of use…

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3. Relocate all appliances.

The refrigerator was situated in a way that made the room feel smaller, and the appliances were spaced so far apart that meal preparation was difficult and infuriating. (The only positive is that the homeowners got their daily steps in walking from one appliance to another…I wish I was joking!) We needed to reposition the appliances in a way that made sense for our clients (and didn’t mean running across the kitchen to grab the next ingredient from the refrigerator while a pot boiled over on the stove…)

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Um… would you look at how far apart these appliances are?? Insanity!

4. Address the lighting mistakes.

There were way too many decorative lighting fixtures built into the space… and almost none of them were the right proportion for the grandeur of the home. Many sconces were placed incorrectly, and there was unnecessary excess.

These design mistakes made the whole home feel disjointed and cluttered. We needed to curate the lighting and select fixtures that accentuated the beauty of the kitchen rather than detract from it. Plus we needed to find a way to stream in natural light.

With these goals in mind, we whipped up a plan…

A Unique Design Plan

During our first visit with these clients, we fell in love with their black leather Eames chair, and it ended up serving as our inspiration piece for their kitchen renovation.

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Hello, gorgeous…

We knew that furnishings with organic shapes would soften the strong lines of the contemporary finishes. Meanwhile, neutral tones with lots of texture would complement the new kitchen, and performance finishes would stand up to the daily wear and tear of an active household.

Once a design direction had been established (that would help us reach some of those goals), creating balance was the next order of business. The original layout lacked both beauty and livability. So we set about designing a space that would open up the large kitchen to make it functional without overloading it with heavy cabinetry and unnecessary appliances.

Living La Vida Lokar Kitchen Renovation: The Joyful Reveal

Remember that sad, rainy-day gray kitchen our clients used to have? Well, here it is now…

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So much better, right?! We relocated the column built-in refrigeration towers to the back left wall and balanced them with cabinet-style pantry storage on the right side, flanking the cooktop and adding symmetry to the space. We didn’t want the left and right sides of the kitchen to be matchy-matchy, but they needed to be aesthetically balanced.

By using drawers for the lower cabinets instead of traditional door cabinets, all kitchen tools stay organized and easy to find for these busy homeowners (and their band of kiddos).

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We chose not to add pendant lighting over the large island, even though that would have been the standard design route. By keeping so much headspace unencumbered, the kitchen feels even more spacious and airy, don’t you think?

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We demolished that uninspired, awkward closet of a pantry, opened up the space by adding a large window (which brings in natural light AND doubles as a passthrough to the outdoor kitchen!), and turned this cozy nook into a personalized coffee bar. (Who’s up for a coffee break?!) Safe to say this coffee station quickly became a family favorite.

We widened the entry, removed the door, and added storage. The pantry was relocated to some well-designed cabinetry on the opposite side of the room.

All new professional appliances and a huge apron sink makes cooking for this large family a breeze. After all, as designers, we don’t just create beauty… we solve problems!

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Our team also added shelving on the side walls of the kitchen, eliminating the upper cabinetry to open up the space. This was key in making this kitchen feel more inviting. All of the open shelving was illuminated with undermount lighting, giving the space added utility and charm.

By using rift cut white oak panels instead of a tiled backsplash, we found a way to balance the weight of the cabinet pantry and panel front refrigerator/freezer combination without making the kitchen feel claustrophobic.

The panels are low profile, laying close enough to the walls to prevent the space from feeling smaller, but far enough away to allow us to backlight them as well…unique, contemporary, and welcoming!

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Last but not least, our team commissioned a custom steel frame upper cabinet that sits on the quartz countertop. Since it’s mostly glass, it doesn’t look overly heavy in this otherwise light kitchen. Plus, it adds visual interest. I know my eyes are drawn to that unique piece…are yours?!

Pair that with a wine chiller, additional storage, and more chunky open shelves, and this end of the kitchen is both fresh and functional. Remember it’s not all about aesthetics… a space needs to operate just as beautifully as it looks.⁣

And what do you know… that cold contemporary look is a distant memory! Hello, warm, inviting, stylish space. 🙂

Living La Vida Lokar

These clients began the kitchen renovation process at their wits’ end living in a spec house with a terrible kitchen. They were tired of dealing with the countless issues that the builder chose to ignore, and they couldn’t handle the stress any longer.

As our team took the kitchen down to the studs and started from scratch, a weight was lifted off our clients’ shoulders and they were finally able to see the potential in their home.

Thanks to this kitchen renovation, our clients now have a space where they can all be together without getting in each other’s way. The cold lonely space that we were called to refresh has become the warm and welcoming heart of this home. And they couldn’t be happier! No matter what style you love, that is always our goal — your happiest, dreamiest home.

If you’re ready for our team to design a space that reflects you, your personality, your lifestyle, and what’s closest to your heart – give us a call. We can’t wait to transform your home into a place you love again.

OH – and if that space is a kitchen, you can download our Guide to Prepping for a Kitchen Renovation here. 😉

From entryway to living room, how to coordinate light fixtures

From entryway to living room, how to coordinate light fixtures

How do you go from builder boring to stylish design when it comes to lighting your home? Well, you hire a designer. (Hint.)

That’s exactly what one of our clients did, and what started out as fixing a couple lighting issues turned into a whole house redesign that really helped them see the light. (See what I did there?)

Even if lighting fixtures aren’t in sight of each other, you want to make sure their style coordinates: Remember they should be cousins, not sisters. This is especially important in open-concept homes where the rooms really do flow one into the other. Let’s take a look at one of our favorite projects with a specific eye toward how we addressed lighting throughout the home. Welcome to lighting case study: #ProjectSouthcrest edition.

We clearly couldn’t end this post without showing off this dreamy chandelier. The fixture in here before was tiny compared to the size of the room. It looked like this little itty bitty spider coming down from the wooden beam above. This large chandelier fits the space. It keeps with the geometric shapes we’ve been talking about and the metal finish is a soft champagne gold, which matches the style of the room and rest of the house. Isn’t it just wonderful when design just flows from room to room? We think so. The entryway can really set the tone for the rest of your home’s design, especially if you have a semi-open concept space like our clients. Their foyer opens up into four different rooms. Originally, there were two single pendants, in builders boring brushed nickel no less, separated way too far apart down a long hallway. It just didn’t look right. Entryway lighting should make a statement, without obstructing the view. We swapped in a five-arm soft gold lighting fixture that features double-stacked globes, which sort of look like an hourglass. The globes are technically clear, but they are also textured: They are speckled with tiny bubbles that sort of look like raindrops.

In our last post, we touched on how light fixtures in the kitchen should coordinate — not match. And how that applies to metals finishes, too. That concept expands far beyond the kitchen and to the entire house.

Even if lighting fixtures aren’t in sight of each other, you want to make sure their style coordinates: Remember they should be cousins, not sisters. This is especially important in open-concept homes where the rooms really do flow one into the other.

Let’s take a look at one of our favorite projects with a specific eye toward how we addressed lighting throughout the home.

Welcome to lighting case study: #ProjectSouthcrest edition.

Make sure your lighting fixtures are talking to each other

The entryway can really set the tone for the rest of your home’s design, especially if you have a semi-open concept space like our clients. Their foyer opens up into four different rooms.

Originally, there were two single pendants, in builders boring brushed nickel no less, separated way too far apart down a long hallway. It just didn’t look right.

Entryway lighting should make a statement, without obstructing the view. We swapped in a five-arm soft gold lighting fixture that features double-stacked globes, which sort of look like an hourglass. The globes are technically clear, but they are also textured: They are speckled with tiny bubbles that sort of look like raindrops.

A welcoming Turkish rug, natural wood bench and brushed gold chandelier make a beautiful statement in this Midway Hollow home | Dallas interior designer, ML Interiors Group

The mix of the geometric shape of the five-arm fixture, plus the metal finish, plus the globe shape, plus the texture found in the glass are all by design: You will see these themes repeated again and again throughout the entire home in everything from lighting to furniture and accents.

It’s all about balancing these design elements.

As we’ve said before — but it bears repeating — you do not need to match metal finishes in your lighting, in your hardware, in your faucets, or curtain rods. We used multiple finishes throughout this home, with gold and black being the most common, but silver also makes an appearance.

One of our mottos is: Keep it interesting, but functional. That’s why instead of adding a second larger light fixture in the hallway — you’ll remember we mentioned there were originally two — we instead chose recessed cans to complete the space.

One important trick here is to keep all your lighting, whether it’s recessed can lights, pendants or chandeliers, no more than 6 to 7 feet apart from each other. Otherwise you’ll get shadows, and no one likes those.

Adding the recessed can lights in this entryway hall not only served a functional purpose — yay for being able to see things! — but a decorative one as well: It really let the main light fixture stand out.

Connecting the lights between the rooms

The entry light in this home held particularly high importance because of all those connecting rooms. It needed to coordinate with all the other lighting — and furniture — in the adjacent spaces. Basically, it needed to be talking to everything else — not shouting.

One of the main rooms to the left of the entryway is the dining room, which opens up to a formal living space. This is where you really start to get a feel for our clients’ personal taste: Their style is very organic, with lots of textures, a sort of Aztec, rustic vibe but with some industrial influence as well, particularly when it comes to geometric shapes.

Formal dining never looked so good. Live edged table, oversized Palacek chandelier and comfortable and stylish chairs welcome guests to stay and enjoy a meal. | Midway Hollow | Interior Design firm ML Interiors Group

In the dining room, we had a lot of textures with warm or dark colors. We have solid black wicker chairs paired with black wood chairs that have a woven rattan lattice back. The table is a warm rustic wood. Wanting to take that feeling of warmth and texture from the table and chairs up to the ceiling, the lighting pendant here is a bell-shaped brown wicker fixture.

That pendant also helps the space from the entryway into the dining room flow because it balances texture with metal. In the dining room, we also used two white side lamps with gold finishes on a sideboard because there was already enough black in the space.

The formal living room keeps the same vibe going, with two black sconces on the wall. While there’s a lot of black in the furniture pieces in the dining room, the formal living room has more white and rustic brown tones, so adding a touch of black to this space acts as a kind of anchor — or eyeliner if you well — between not only these two spaces, but the rest of the house as well.

One of our tricks is to do things in threes: for example three things in black — it can be a mixture of lighting, hardware or decorative accents — all in view of each other in a single room or between two rooms that are connected.

Just as the dining room coordinated well with the entryway, the next room over — the kitchen, which includes an eat-in space, also had to fit in. The house might not have a completely open floor plan, but everything still needs to flow.

California casual design in Midway Hollow neighborhood | Dallas interior design | Entry | Dining | Kitchen design | ML Interiors Group

The formal living room carries into the kitchen with a butler’s pantry in between the two. Parallel on the opposite side is that long entryway hallway that opens up at the other end to the kitchen. It was important to carry the same themes in lighting and furniture throughout all these areas because of that, even though you technically can’t see the dining room from the kitchen and vice versa.

Those two sconces in the formal living room have to talk to the two sconces over the window in the kitchen. That’s why they’re both black and feature cylinder shapes.

Calming colors create a soothing workspace for this busy kitchen | Dallas interior designer | ML Interiors Group | Kitchen design

We also carried the round globe theme into the rest of the kitchen lighting, using clear blown glass in a more elongated, organic shape over the island and a foggy matte globe on a gold six-arm geometric pendant fixture over the eat-in dining, which — guess what — talks well with the main entryway light we started this post off with.

And it all ties together with the more relaxed family room that is next to the kitchen and features a double-sided fireplace. By now it shouldn’t be hard to spot the geometric light fixture with round globes and a black finish and how that fits in with the rest of not only this space but the other adjoining rooms.

Casual living room design with shiplap fireplace, chandelier and wooden accents. | Dallas interior design | ML Interiors Group

Now that we’ve squared away those four rooms — entryway, dining room with formal living room, kitchen and relaxed living room, let’s switch gears a little to show how these rooms work with other areas of the home that don’t connect, mainly the master bedroom.

Master bedroom design created by ML Interiors Group of Dallas, Texas | Statement chandelier | Textured bed | Shiplap

We clearly couldn’t end this post without showing off this dreamy chandelier. The fixture in here before was tiny compared to the size of the room. It looked like this little itty bitty spider coming down from the wooden beam above.

This large chandelier fits the space. It keeps with the geometric shapes we’ve been talking about and the metal finish is a soft champagne gold, which matches the style of the room and rest of the house.

Isn’t it just wonderful when design just flows from room to room? We think so.

From entryway to living room, how to coordinate light fixtures

From entryway to living room, how to coordinate light fixtures

How do you go from builder boring to stylish design when it comes to lighting your home? Well, you hire a designer. (Hint.)

That’s exactly what one of our clients did, and what started out as fixing a couple lighting issues turned into a whole house redesign that really helped them see the light. (See what I did there?)

Even if lighting fixtures aren’t in sight of each other, you want to make sure their style coordinates: Remember they should be cousins, not sisters. This is especially important in open-concept homes where the rooms really do flow one into the other. Let’s take a look at one of our favorite projects with a specific eye toward how we addressed lighting throughout the home. Welcome to lighting case study: #ProjectSouthcrest edition.

We clearly couldn’t end this post without showing off this dreamy chandelier. The fixture in here before was tiny compared to the size of the room. It looked like this little itty bitty spider coming down from the wooden beam above. This large chandelier fits the space. It keeps with the geometric shapes we’ve been talking about and the metal finish is a soft champagne gold, which matches the style of the room and rest of the house. Isn’t it just wonderful when design just flows from room to room? We think so. The entryway can really set the tone for the rest of your home’s design, especially if you have a semi-open concept space like our clients. Their foyer opens up into four different rooms. Originally, there were two single pendants, in builders boring brushed nickel no less, separated way too far apart down a long hallway. It just didn’t look right. Entryway lighting should make a statement, without obstructing the view. We swapped in a five-arm soft gold lighting fixture that features double-stacked globes, which sort of look like an hourglass. The globes are technically clear, but they are also textured: They are speckled with tiny bubbles that sort of look like raindrops.

In our last post, we touched on how light fixtures in the kitchen should coordinate — not match. And how that applies to metals finishes, too. That concept expands far beyond the kitchen and to the entire house.

Even if lighting fixtures aren’t in sight of each other, you want to make sure their style coordinates: Remember they should be cousins, not sisters. This is especially important in open-concept homes where the rooms really do flow one into the other.

Let’s take a look at one of our favorite projects with a specific eye toward how we addressed lighting throughout the home.

Welcome to lighting case study: #ProjectSouthcrest edition.

Make sure your lighting fixtures are talking to each other

The entryway can really set the tone for the rest of your home’s design, especially if you have a semi-open concept space like our clients. Their foyer opens up into four different rooms.

Originally, there were two single pendants, in builders boring brushed nickel no less, separated way too far apart down a long hallway. It just didn’t look right.

Entryway lighting should make a statement, without obstructing the view. We swapped in a five-arm soft gold lighting fixture that features double-stacked globes, which sort of look like an hourglass. The globes are technically clear, but they are also textured: They are speckled with tiny bubbles that sort of look like raindrops.

A welcoming Turkish rug, natural wood bench and brushed gold chandelier make a beautiful statement in this Midway Hollow home | Dallas interior designer, ML Interiors Group

The mix of the geometric shape of the five-arm fixture, plus the metal finish, plus the globe shape, plus the texture found in the glass are all by design: You will see these themes repeated again and again throughout the entire home in everything from lighting to furniture and accents.

It’s all about balancing these design elements.

As we’ve said before — but it bears repeating — you do not need to match metal finishes in your lighting, in your hardware, in your faucets, or curtain rods. We used multiple finishes throughout this home, with gold and black being the most common, but silver also makes an appearance.

One of our mottos is: Keep it interesting, but functional. That’s why instead of adding a second larger light fixture in the hallway — you’ll remember we mentioned there were originally two — we instead chose recessed cans to complete the space.

One important trick here is to keep all your lighting, whether it’s recessed can lights, pendants or chandeliers, no more than 6 to 7 feet apart from each other. Otherwise you’ll get shadows, and no one likes those.

Adding the recessed can lights in this entryway hall not only served a functional purpose — yay for being able to see things! — but a decorative one as well: It really let the main light fixture stand out.

Connecting the lights between the rooms

The entry light in this home held particularly high importance because of all those connecting rooms. It needed to coordinate with all the other lighting — and furniture — in the adjacent spaces. Basically, it needed to be talking to everything else — not shouting.

One of the main rooms to the left of the entryway is the dining room, which opens up to a formal living space. This is where you really start to get a feel for our clients’ personal taste: Their style is very organic, with lots of textures, a sort of Aztec, rustic vibe but with some industrial influence as well, particularly when it comes to geometric shapes.

Formal dining never looked so good. Live edged table, oversized Palacek chandelier and comfortable and stylish chairs welcome guests to stay and enjoy a meal. | Midway Hollow | Interior Design firm ML Interiors Group

In the dining room, we had a lot of textures with warm or dark colors. We have solid black wicker chairs paired with black wood chairs that have a woven rattan lattice back. The table is a warm rustic wood. Wanting to take that feeling of warmth and texture from the table and chairs up to the ceiling, the lighting pendant here is a bell-shaped brown wicker fixture.

That pendant also helps the space from the entryway into the dining room flow because it balances texture with metal. In the dining room, we also used two white side lamps with gold finishes on a sideboard because there was already enough black in the space.

The formal living room keeps the same vibe going, with two black sconces on the wall. While there’s a lot of black in the furniture pieces in the dining room, the formal living room has more white and rustic brown tones, so adding a touch of black to this space acts as a kind of anchor — or eyeliner if you well — between not only these two spaces, but the rest of the house as well.

One of our tricks is to do things in threes: for example three things in black — it can be a mixture of lighting, hardware or decorative accents — all in view of each other in a single room or between two rooms that are connected.

Just as the dining room coordinated well with the entryway, the next room over — the kitchen, which includes an eat-in space, also had to fit in. The house might not have a completely open floor plan, but everything still needs to flow.

California casual design in Midway Hollow neighborhood | Dallas interior design | Entry | Dining | Kitchen design | ML Interiors Group

The formal living room carries into the kitchen with a butler’s pantry in between the two. Parallel on the opposite side is that long entryway hallway that opens up at the other end to the kitchen. It was important to carry the same themes in lighting and furniture throughout all these areas because of that, even though you technically can’t see the dining room from the kitchen and vice versa.

Those two sconces in the formal living room have to talk to the two sconces over the window in the kitchen. That’s why they’re both black and feature cylinder shapes.

Calming colors create a soothing workspace for this busy kitchen | Dallas interior designer | ML Interiors Group | Kitchen design

We also carried the round globe theme into the rest of the kitchen lighting, using clear blown glass in a more elongated, organic shape over the island and a foggy matte globe on a gold six-arm geometric pendant fixture over the eat-in dining, which — guess what — talks well with the main entryway light we started this post off with.

And it all ties together with the more relaxed family room that is next to the kitchen and features a double-sided fireplace. By now it shouldn’t be hard to spot the geometric light fixture with round globes and a black finish and how that fits in with the rest of not only this space but the other adjoining rooms.

Casual living room design with shiplap fireplace, chandelier and wooden accents. | Dallas interior design | ML Interiors Group

Now that we’ve squared away those four rooms — entryway, dining room with formal living room, kitchen and relaxed living room, let’s switch gears a little to show how these rooms work with other areas of the home that don’t connect, mainly the master bedroom.

Master bedroom design created by ML Interiors Group of Dallas, Texas | Statement chandelier | Textured bed | Shiplap

We clearly couldn’t end this post without showing off this dreamy chandelier. The fixture in here before was tiny compared to the size of the room. It looked like this little itty bitty spider coming down from the wooden beam above.

This large chandelier fits the space. It keeps with the geometric shapes we’ve been talking about and the metal finish is a soft champagne gold, which matches the style of the room and rest of the house.

Isn’t it just wonderful when design just flows from room to room? We think so.

Why Your Kitchen Remodel Needs To Expand Beyond Your Kitchen

We do a lot of kitchen remodels here at ML Interiors Group. These projects are always a lot of work and a lot of fun. The transformation that occurs is phenomenal and our clients are always over the moon with delight. However, one of the messages they don’t expect to hear in our initial meetings is that “Your kitchen remodel needs to expand beyond your kitchen.”

When your kitchen opens into another area, there is a natural flow between the rooms and they need to co-exist. When you remodel the kitchen, but ignore the rooms it opens into, you disrupt this natural flow and the space looks forgotten.

Example.

Below is the living room of a home where we designed a full kitchen remodel. Note the countertop in the foreground. It’s obvious this room and the kitchen share a space. The client was surprised when we told them that if they remodeled their kitchen, they would need to remodel their living area as well. Based on the kitchen they described wanting, this living room style was not going to coordinate at all. Once the client understood that a simple coat of paint in the living room was not going to marry the two spaces, he did approve the kitchen remodel to continue into the living room.

Living room before remodel

Living room before the remodel.

The kitchen remodel resulted in a bright and sleek space. The pendants above the second island are very modern, and the hood is custom and sleek. If this kitchen was delivered next to the living room above, the entire space would feel out of alignment.

Colleyville area kitchen design and renovation | ML Interiors Group | waterfall quartz countertops, white backsplash, wood shelves, black range hood.

Kitchen Renovation

We created niches where the built in cabinets were, removed the coffered ceiling and installed a custom floating wood ceiling (that was backlit) and continued through to a complete remodel of the fireplace as well.

Colleyville area kitchen design and renovation | ML Interiors Group | waterfall quartz countertops, white backsplash, wood shelves, black range hood, double island

Double Island Kitchen Design

This living room is much more in line with the style of the remodeled kitchen. Imagine if we had left it as it was.

Family room remodel and decorating | ML Interiors Group | Dallas Interior Design

Family Room Remodel

We were able to keep the client’s two couches, and we relocated the rest of the furniture to other areas of the house. This room was completed with new items that were more in line with the vibe they were aiming for. And seriously, look at that fireplace! It is 100% aligned with the style of the kitchen and creates a seamless transition between the two spaces.

Contact Us

Using an interior designer provides you with not only the best possible outcome for your renovation, but also an advocate for your dreams AND your budget.

Let’s schedule a time to “interview us”!  We have years of experience creating happier and more efficient homes. We begin every project with a (free) in studio Meet & Greet. Contact the team at ML Interiors Group today at 972-248-4733 or via the website contact form.

We offer interior design services in all of DFW and beyond.

Project Southcrest: Before & After

We are beginning Phase 2 of one of our favorite projects to date. Project Southcrest has some stunning before and after images of Phase 1. I’m sharing a few here, and am continuing to update our social media and portfolio with more as they are edited.

Our client had been living in their Midway Hollow home for about a year when they called us. The house was new construction – and while it had a beautiful floor plan, it just didn’t showcase the style of the family that lived there. We made some small cosmetic changes to the actual design of the home, but most of the change came through new furniture that really reflected the family’s vibe.

Let’s start in the entry. Our client brought this demilune chest with her from their previous home, and while it fit the actual space between the doorways, it did not fit the style they had developed since making the purchase.

Project Southcrest Entry BEFORE

Our interior design process includes plenty of time to get to know our clients. We spend hours and hours reviewing client questionnaires, digging through loads of images with our clients – and just getting to KNOW them. This really helps us translate our clients’ tastes and preferences into furniture selections and the functionality of the home.

I know you can SEE the difference in the entry. But interior design or decorating is not just about the before and after. It is about the way the space makes you feel. The sophistication and level of detail in this space really describes  who our clients are – they are sophisticated, thoughtful, cool and fun, which is exactly how you feel when you’re standing here.

Entry design includes storage, lighting and a place to check your lipstick on the way out the door | ML Interiors Group, Dallas' premier resource for design on time and on budget. #SmartStylishFun

Entry design AFTER

But. Let’s not stop at the entry. Let’s take a look to the left of this gorgeous vignette and peek into the formal dining room.

This dining room space (below) was originally designed by the builder to be the formal living room. Look closely into the room just past the dining table and you’ll see two hanging light fixtures…pendants…chandeliers…whatever.  That room was too small to fit any more than four or six people around a table comfortably. An if you notice, there is a fireplace, so whomever was seated in front of it would be burning up while enjoying their meal because the space was so tight. The homeowners wanted us to confirm that switching the rooms worked – and then make it work for them.

Formal Living Room as a Formal Dining Room BEFORE

Project Southcrest Formal Dining BEFORE

Project Southcrest Formal Dining BEFORE

Looking past the gorgeous formal dining live edged table and oversized chandelier into the comfortable sitting room for after dinner drinks | Midway Hollow | Interior Design firm ML Interiors Group

Formal Living turned Dining Room AFTER

The switch worked. You can see the new, live edge dining table and updated sideboard really expresses a welcoming and organic style. What a change from the more traditional furniture they had before, right? (And look past the new formal dining room…no more hanging lights in the fireside room.) Plus, there is plenty of room to navigate around the table, which is much more fun than squeezing in and out of your seat for dinner. We love reviewing the before and after images of the interior design experience!

And finally, to the right of the entry vignette, is the kitchen eat in dining area. This is what it looked like before. The dining table fit the family comfortably, but was not to scale in this space. And while the shelving was a cool style, it cramped the space – especially because the kitchen is just beyond it and the height actually competed with the cabinetry when you entered the space.

Project Southcrest Kitchen Eat In BEFORE

Project Southcrest Kitchen Eat In BEFORE

We loved the art that was on the wall. It was stunning whenever you walked into the space, from whatever direction – and it reflected a time in our clients’ lives when they were living carefree on the beach in California. So we kept it exactly where it was. We just added a few other details.

Casual dining just off the kitchen is comfortable for the whole family | lace backed chairs, concrete dining table and gold brushed lighting is complemented by the original artwork | ML Interiors Group | Dallas Interior Design

Kitchen Eat In Dining AFTER

The table is six and a half feet wide with a concrete top. And those chairs? Extremely comfy for relaxing around the breakfast table with another cup of coffee.

Do you like what you’ve seen so far? There are more images on our portfolio – with more coming soon. And if you’re on Instagram, just search #ProjectSouthcrest.

The Mr. of the client duo paid us the best compliment. He said “I love coming home now, I walk in the door and just say AAAAHHHHH.”

And if you would like to discuss your own interior design or renovation project and “interview us”, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We have years of experience creating happier and more efficient homes and begin our process with a (free) in studio Meet & Greet. Contact the team at ML Interiors Group today at 972-248-4733 or via the website contact form. We offer interior design services in all of DFW and beyond.