purpose. beauty. inspiration.

The stories are true – everything really is bigger in Texas. Portion sizes, pickup trucks… even the state’s capitol building is huge (14 feet taller than our nation’s capitol building in D.C.!).

Last month, part of our team got the chance to visit Austin and see what all of the fuss was about, and we want to share some of our favorite spots with you! Our mouths are watering just thinking back to that delicious Texas BBQ…

BBQPLACES TO EAT

Black’s BBQ

Skip the insanely long lines at Franklin‘s, and try this foodie heaven instead. The photo above pretty much speaks for itself. Creamy mac n’ cheese was the perfect complement to the melt-in-your-mouth tender brisket. If this restaurant opened a location in Sacramento, we’d be in trouble.

Walton’s Fancy & Staple

An adorable place that fits right in with the city’s motto: “Keep Austin Weird.” It’s a pastry/coffee shop and deli that also sells candles, succulents, and an assortment of odd little knickknacks. They also happen to have one of the most delicious breakfast sandwiches we’ve ever tasted.

Gourdough'sGourdough’s Donuts

This food truck’s no joke. The donuts are so big and so fresh, they serve them up with a knife an fork! We recommend the Naughty & Nice – a sugar and cinnamon-coated donut with a side of honey butter.

Kemuri Tatsu-Ya

For the adventurous eaters: a cross between Japanese Izakaya and Tex-Mex. We know… Mind. Blown. Our favorite dish, hands down, was the Texas Ramen; a beef broth with brisket, soft-boiled egg, bamboo, scallion, seaweed and sprouts. Sounds strange, tastes phenomenal. (P.S. Pair your meal with their yummy tiki drink – the Puff Puff Pass – for added novelty.)

1110154557-IMG_7415_16x9_992PLACES TO DRINK

Garage

A bar inside a literal parking garage (pictured above). We thought we were in the wrong place for about a minute, and then we found the sign that read “cocktails”. The moody, romantic interior was a dramatic contrast to the dingy parking lot outside, and the drinks were absolutely delicious. 10/10, would recommend.

Winebelly

A casual, inviting wine bar with plenty of patio seating. They have an extensive wine (and beer) list, and delicious trays of artisan cheese and crackers to snack on. It’s a bit outside of the main tourist zones, so the atmosphere is pleasantly relaxed – the perfect way to end a day in the Texas sun (it was 85 degrees while we were there… in FEBRUARY).

Rainey Street

A quaint, pedestrian-only street lined with historical houses-turned-bars. Our advice: skip the craziness of “Dirty Sixth,” and head here instead. This little street has something for everyone – from beer gardens to cocktail bars with live music, and everything in between.

CapitolTHINGS TO SEE

Texas State Capitol Building

Large and impressively beautiful, not unlike our own capitol building in Sacramento. While there aren’t many exhibits to look at, it’s worth wandering the halls to admire the architecture, and climbing up the grand stair cases to get a better look at the stunning detail inside the rotunda.

Hope

Hope Outdoor Gallery

A strangely beautiful cluster of concrete walls covered in graffiti. It’s managed by a non-profit organization that encourages street artists to express themselves in a positive way. The result is inspiring and refreshing. Pick up a can of spray paint before heading over and add your contribution!

South Congress Shops

Stroll down one of Austin’s main streets and allow yourself to wander in and out of its quaint little shops. Our favorite, by far, was the antique shop called Uncommon Objects. It’s full of strange trinkets, many of them unique to Texas and its history.

Trail

Ann and Roy Butler Hike & Bike Trail

Though most Austin travel guides recommend Zilker Park, we found it a little underwhelming. Instead, take a walk along this gorgeous, riverside trail, and get the best views the city has to offer. If you come at the right time of year, come to the trail at dusk to see Austin’s impressive colony of 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats!

BONUS TIP

Fasten

Unlike the vast majority of cities in America, Austin no longer allows its residents and visitors to use Uber and Lyft. Be sure to download Fasten if you’re planning a trip to Texas’s capitol. It works just as well as the apps we all know and love, but a small portion of the fees go to the City of Austin to keep them satisfied.

Happy travels!

Xoxo,

RWD

Matte gold fixtures. Black accents. Open shelves. Giant floral prints. Faux fur. Marble everything.

2016 was a year defined by bold and exciting trends. In spite of the year’s many unexpected twists and turns, the interior design world thrived, and we were thrilled to be along for the ride! As we begin to dive into a new year full of design projects and adventures, we’re taking a few moments to reflect on this past year, and all of the growth and beauty it held. Take a look!

Luxurious West Sac Loft Project

mojibiWe kicked off 2016 by adding the finishing touches to a glamorous kitchen and living room renovation that started in the fall of 2015. The client shared our obsession for lush textiles and mixed metallics, and gave us permission to go crazy on the details. By the end, we were all swooning over every last corner vignette. One of our favorite features from the project is pictured here: a full-height marble and mirror backsplash from TileBar. Can we say heart eyes emoji? Check out the rest of the project in our portfolio!

Adventures in Europe

italyA word of advice – if someone offers you the opportunity to travel through Europe for four weeks, don’t say no. This past summer, part of our team had the chance to spend a full month getting to know Dublin, Ireland, and several towns throughout Austria and Italy. We soaked up inspiration from the gorgeous architecture and picturesque countrysides, and came back ready to create. It was an unforgettable trip, and we’ll be sure to share more about it in the coming months! (P.S. More to come this summer – Greece 2017!)

New Addition to the Design Team

new-hireThe design industry is booming, and there’s just too much work for one person to take on alone. So “I” became “we” in July of 2016. We’re having a blast collaborating on beautiful projects, improving our business strategy, and developing our social media and marketing. Growth is such an exciting thing for a small business, and we can’t wait to see what this new year will bring!

Las Vegas Market

vegasLast year’s Las Vegas Market was one for the books! Even though we were only able to stay for a couple days (summer is such a busy time for designers!), we were able to find several new vendors to use, while falling back in love with some old favorites, like Leftbank Art – pictured here. You can read more about our favorite finds in our LVMkt post from August 2016. This year we’re thinking it just might be time to pay a visit to High Point, North Carolina…

Glamorous Glass Ensuite Project

powellWe wrapped up 2016 by finishing up one of our favorite remodels to date. The client asked us to create a master suite worthy of Architectural Digest – a challenge we didn’t take lightly. We covered the shower walls and tub surround with pale blue glass tiles, under-mounted a soaker tub to a solid marble tub deck, and topped it all off with a stunning chandelier. Our official photoshoot for the project is scheduled for January 17th, so be sure to check the portfolio at the end of the month. We’re stoked to reveal the finished product!

Wishing you all a happy and productive New Year!

Xoxo,

RWD

Everybody loves a crackling fire, twinkling lights, and good dose of holiday cheer. But let’s be honest – the holidays can be a stressful time, especially when it comes to finding the perfect gift for EVERYONE IN YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY. And what about that one friend who seems to have everything, including expensive taste?

Breathe. We gotchu. We rounded up some of our favorite items from this year to create a last-minute gift guide for the design enthusiast in your life. Take a look!

christmas-blog-web1. Fade to Grey Pillow | We’ve used this bold, modern pillow in a couple of our recent projects, and we can’t get enough!

2. Adra Vase | White vases are the perfect way to brighten up your dining table or entry buffet, and a little extra texture or pattern goes a long way.

3. Mahogany Air Plant + Holder | Air plants are the perfect gift for the home that needs a little greenery without the high maintenance.

4. Styled | Written by Target Style’s Em Henderson, this book has great tips on accessorizing and styling, with beautiful visuals to boot! Plus, the gold spine looks gorgeous on a shelf or coffee table.

5. Geo Burst | Gold accents are on the rise, and on trend for 2017. We love this spiky, geometric burst on a bookshelf or mantle.

6. Hex Marble Desk Clock | All marble everything! This clock is a perfect, modern accessory for any work space.

7. Stilt Table Lamp | This unique take on a classic tripod lamp is a recent favorite of ours. It just might turn up in an upcoming RWD project…

8. Mongolian Lamb Pillow Cover | We’ve had a slight obsession with this glamorous pillow cover for the last year or so. The blush pink version made an appearance in our Luxurious West Sac Loft project, on the Portfolio.

9. Lima Alpaca Grey Throw | Cozy and stylish, this throw is the perfect accent for any bed, sofa, or armchair. Like the pillow cover above, it comes in just about any color.

Bonus Gift: RWD Gift Certificate | We love it when we get to be someone’s present! Contact us, and we’ll give you some more information about our services, and how to gift them. We can even send you a printable certificate to put under the tree!

Happy shopping, friends! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

Cheers,

RWD

We’ve all been there. You’re in the middle of a conversation, and a friend asks you to describe an experience that’s unfamiliar to them. Maybe it’s a a foreign city you recently explored, or a delicious meal full of new flavors. You try to convey your thoughts in a way that makes them feel as though they were there with you, but you just can’t find the words.

For many interior design clients, describing personal style preferences is a similar scenario.  Your taste is likely based on spaces you’ve seen or experienced, so it’s only natural to attempt to bring the other person into that space, using adjectives like “clean,” “cozy,” “modern,” or “rustic.” However, these terms only serve as broad descriptor words, rather than concrete style names, so they tend to leave the listener with a vague impression of the clear picture in your head. With a more specific and well-rounded design vocabulary, you’ll not only narrow down your Pinterest searches, but also enter into your interior design consultation with more confidence in your design identity.

So, we’ve compiled a list of 12 common interior design styles to help you put your style into words. You might only resonate with one of the photos, or you may find that you’re drawn to two or three of them. Yes, it’s ok to love more than one style! Take a look at these 12 photos, select up to three favorites, and then scroll down to read more about each of them (Hint: if you click on a style name, the link will take you to a Pinterest board filled with even more inspiration photos for that style. Photo sources can be found on the Pinterest boards).design-styles

1. Traditional

Traditional or Classic style interior design is rooted in old English and French styles of decor. Casegoods and cabinetry in this style tend to be elaborate and intricately carved, while the upholstery is more sensual, with tufting, scroll details, curved legs, and roll-top arms. Patterned fabrics, such as chinoserie and lace, are abundant, and usually accompanied by trims, tassels, and tapes. Darker wood tones, brass fixtures, and symmetrical placement of furniture and accessories are also common characteristics of this style.

2. Cottage

Cottage style encompasses a few different sub-styles, including the East Coast Cottage, the Tommy Bahama Cottage, and the Crafstman Bungalow. The East Coast Cottage is light and beachy, with plenty of white beadboard, slipcovered sofas, blue accents, basketweave tables and chairs, and sisal rugs. The Tommy Bahama Cottage is also light and bright, with many of the same features, but with more of a bohemian, island-resort feel, and an abundance of greenery and cane furniture. The Crafstman Bungalow is a darker, earthy version of the cottage style, boasting heavy, hand-crafted woodwork. All of these styles embrace sturdy, comfy furniture, natural fibers, and wood beams and floors, creating an overall cozy effect.

3. Transitional

Transitional interior design is a mix of traditional and contemporary styles. It features simplified curves, which pay homage to its traditional roots, without the ornate detail. It also tends to lend itself more to comfort and coziness than true contemporary, making it inviting and livable. Most transitional spaces start with a neutral color palette as a base, adding visual interest with small pops of color and plenty of texture and pattern. Since this style came about as a way to bridge between two other styles, it’s safe to mix in the occasional traditional light fixture or contemporary coffee table to create the perfect balance.

4. Zen

Zen interiors put an Asian twist on contemporary design. They usually tend toward minimalism, with low, flat surfaces, geometric profiles, and very few embellishments or curves. Zen style works well with natural materials, especially sleek wood and smooth pebbles. A trademark element of Zen interiors is the sliding shoji door, which uses paper, rather than glass, to cover its geometric cut-outs. Asian motifs, such as cherry blossoms and bamboo, are also prevalent in this style.

5. Scandinavian

Scandinavian style is another form of modern minimalism. A true Scandinavian space will feature bright white walls, blonde furniture, and light-colored finishes. Chairs and tables in this style are usually light and airy-looking, and decorations are kept to a minimum. The few accessories that do occur are neutral or whitewashed, but full of texture, such as sheepskin rugs and woven wall-hangings.

6. Industrial

Industrial interiors aim to highlight the concrete, metal, repurposed wood and other rough materials commonly found in factories and warehouses. They often seek to expose the building’s bare bones and inner workings, such as pipes and i-beams. Industrial style furniture usually has a rugged and tough look to it, embracing the behind-the-scenes details, like rivets and welding, that normally would be kept hidden below fabrics or varnish. Worn-in leather and natural woven materials, such as burlap and jute, make great accents for industrial spaces.

7. Spanish

Spanish style interiors feature plaster walls with arched openings, terracotta floors and pottery, wood beams, and ornate, hand-painted tiles. Traditional Spanish homes include wrought iron decor, pillows and hand-knotted rugs with vibrant patterns, and dark, walnut-colored furniture. Updated Spanish homes, often referred to as Santa Barbara Spanish, can be distinguished by their bright white walls, cobalt blue accents, and coastal-inspired furnishings.

8. Country

Country is a fairly broad style, covering several sub-styles. Shabby Chic and French Country, for instance, tend to be more delicate, with lighter colors and subtly feminine details. A more woodsy, masculine take on Country, with dark wood walls, stone fireplaces, heavy wool rugs, and fur throws, would result in a Cabin-style interior. Farmhouse and Americana interiors are sub-styles frequently featured on HGTV’s Fixer Upper, with an abundance of shiplap, lantern-style light fixtures, and sliding barn doors. The overarching characteristics of Country style interiors include rustic wood, repurposed objects, gingham and plaid patterns.

9. Bohemian

Bohemian style is an eclectic, well-traveled style of interior design, full of texture and vibrant colors and patterns. Though it works well with contemporary furniture, it’s influenced by many old-world styles, including Mediterranean, Persian, and Middle Eastern styles. The hallmarks of Bohemian interiors include Turkish rugs, macrame, antiques, flea market finds, and an abundance of plants.

10. Midcentury

Midcentury Modern design is a style that began developing in the 1950s and 60s, or mid-20th century. While it’s largely an American style (think Mad Men), it is rooted in the teachings of the Bauhaus – a German art school. Some of the key characteristics of Midcentury design include streamlined furniture that’s lifted off the ground on tapered or hairpin legs, walnut wood casegoods, and vibrant upholstery in colors such as chartreuse, orange, and teal. For even more style inspiration, don’t forget to take a look at the classics: Charles & Ray Eames’ Lounge Chair, Eero Saarinen’s Tulip Table, and George Nelson’s Comprehensive Storage Unit for Herman Miller, to name a few.

11. Contemporary

Contemporary design is a clean, sleek style, that is essentially the complete opposite of Traditional design. It features simple lines without embellishment, and sharper angles in place of delicate curves and scroll details. Most contemporary interiors use a neutral color palette, with heavy emphasis on grays, taupes, and creams. While there’s room for a pop of color in any interior, the majority of visual interest in contemporary spaces comes from varied textures, subtle patterns, and natural fibers in tonal colors.

12. Glam

Glam style takes its inspiration from both the Art Deco era and Hollywood Regency era. Glamour and luxury are the main focus of Glam interiors, boasting velvet upholstery, fur throws, metallic or mirrored casegoods, and lacquered side tables. For interiors that lean more toward the Art Deco side of Glam, geometric motifs with black and white finishes can be a great addition to the space. If Hollywood Regency is more your style, try adding a damask print chair and some dramatic lighting.

 

Now combine your favorites to find your unique style. One of RWD’s designers swoons over Transitional Glam, while the other has a Midcentury Bohemian obsession – we’ll let you figure out who’s who. What’s your style combination? Share it in the comments below! And for more information about each of these styles, and how to implement them in your home, contact us! We’d love to hear from you.

XOXO,

RWD

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