Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Nequette Lofts Birmingham

So, if I had to pick a city in the south that I'd move to tomorrow, it'd be Birmingham - hands down. There seems to be no end to the talent that's popping up in Birmingham, and the surrounding community has the money to support these genius decorators, artists, and architects as they go out and lay the foundation for what has become a stunning downtown district.

Nequette Architecture and Design in Birmingham is a respected firm that has recently finished up quite a bold project in the downtown loft district. Louis Nequette, Architect and president of the firm leads an impressive team in all projects, including this recently finished loft and mixed use building project.

This photo, mid-construction offers a view of the amazing space, including the wall of windows on the newly added fourth floor, where Nequette will move their offices when the building is fully leased. The bank of buildings on Second Avenue North had been home to a furniture warehouse and store for years. In fact, here's what it looked like prior to construction:

Quite a significant change, don't you think? Style Blueprint did a story on the lofts, showing photos of the interior spaces of some of the loft apartments mid-construction, and recently, Nequette showed a few finished spaces, including a fully decorated model loft, on their instagram.

I think that having a building restored like this, by an architecture firm that also deals in high-end interior design always ends up being a more thoughtful project from start to finish. The way that a person will live in the space is considered more than some other projects. Having worked with architects on commercial projects myself, I can't tell you how many times closets are forgotten, or added after the fact, making windows and doors asymmetric and rooms less functional.

A photo from Nequette's instagram account of the facade. You can see the second floor windows on the right with lamps at the window. This is the model loft.

I wish that there were more pictures, but alas, if there are - they're not easy to find. There are 9 apartments in the building, and two stores on the lower level. There's also a beautifully renovated building next door, which includes a storefront - which was recently leased by Birmingham artist and interior designer, William Rankin McLure.

He posted this photo of the front facade of the store space to his instagram yesterday, calling it "the next big step" making life easier for him and his clients. McClure joins many other artists who have public studio space, including artist McKenzie Dove, who was born in Dallas, Texas - but now lives in Birmingham.

I love her simple black and white ink on paper paintings. Many of them are very reasonably priced.

A peek at her studio, from her instagram page. Beautiful, right? And that tree you see in the corner of the inside window - well, that might look a little familiar if you follow William. He and McKenzie are friends, and when William moved from his downtown loft, it seems as though McKenzie ended up with some of the pretties that didn't fit in the new place.

The tree in McLure's loft. I think this loft was probably a favorite among instagrammers and bloggers alike. William did amazing things with this space, and I can't wait to see what he does with his public show room.

Another view into the McKenzie dove studio, this time inside. Gorgeous, right? So, again - if you're looking to move down south, or at the very least keep your eye on the who's who in design, art, and architecture ... look no further than what's going on in Birmingham, Alabama.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Linen Inspiration

So, there's a lot of things going on behind the scenes at the apartment, some that I really, no REALLY REALLY want to scream from the rooftops, but I just don't want to jinx things by sharing news prematurely. It's happened before. 

I will say this: Tyler's opinion of how the finished spaces look is important ... and you draw your own conclusion, and I'm sure you'll get there.

I asked him what he thought, and he answered: "Design isn't my thing, you're amazing at what you do - just do what you think is best." I mean, come on! I suppose that's true for some people, but I wasn't taking that as a final answer. I started showing him rooms from the many interior design coffee table books that I have laying all over the apartment right now. Watching him ooo and ahh over different rooms was really helping me to understand his design mind, one he thought he didn't have. And what's great about his design mind is that it's drawn naturally to calm, neutral spaces.

So, needing a break from wasting my time painting with what is essentially milk disguised as paint, I started looking at inspiration pics, and these were some of the favorites:

Design by Lisa Luby Ryan, her vacation home in Delaware. Soft white walls, linen curtains, and linen slipcovered furniture. Beautiful.

Design by Melanie Turner. Soft white walls, linen curtains, and linen slipcovered furniture. Hmm, are we seeing a pattern here?

Design by Brooke and Steve Giannetti. Soft white walls, linen curtains, and linen slipcovered furniture.

Now, don't expect the living room at the apartment to come out looking like any of these rooms. I'm telling you right now, it won't. But, they do provide a high level of inspiration and that's always helpful.

What we will likely end up with will be something more like this:

Keep watching, you'll see it all play out! And if you haven't already followed me on instagram, you're missing my melt down videos!

P.S., Quick answers to some questions:

1. Do you regret selling your things? 
No. Absolutely not. Life is too short to have regrets about stuff, and I enjoy this - for as much as I lament over it and make fun of it, putting together new spaces (even in the same old space) brings me a lot of joy. So, no - no regrets.
2. Will you work the blue into the new neutral theme? 
No. I mean, luckily I didn't get too much blue stuff. The sofa will be slipcovered in a new slip, and the walls as you know are already going back to white. The fabric I had bought for curtains, etc., will be sold off or used in another project. The only thing that I have that's blue and will stay is the Hermes throw. But, I'm pretty sure that's going in the media room. Stay tuned!
3. Are you crazy? 
Probably. Do crazy people ever really know that they're crazy? Here's what I do know, I'm having fun, and I'm happy!
4. Will you talk about the fireplace? 
Yes! Actually, I have planned a post about that and why I made the decision to do it. I can't really give you a DIY instructional unfortunately, but I can tell you the steps that I took. Keep a look out for that post once I get the painting finished.
5. Are you selling anything? 
I am! I'm selling the old chandelier from the dining room (if you're interested let me know and I can get you photos and dimensions) and I'm still selling off art! So, send me an email if you've got interest in those things. I'm hoping that I'll have everything pulled together and I'll have another small sale (fabric, books, art, and decor) on the blog in July/August.

Have a great long holiday weekend!