Studio Brunstrum
It is strange how we hold on to pieces of our past while we wait for our futures.
It’s been more than two months of our new socially distanced reality and while some restrictions are starting to ease, the way forward is still clouded with more questions than answers. As looking into the future only provides uncertainty and questions, we’ve found comfort in remembering the past. Seeped in sentimentality and nostalgia, the past helps us illuminate a path forward and determine what is most important. The familiarity and firm footing rooted in our own history helps to reassure us that we will develop a new normal – and that we’ll get there by having a heart-centered aptitude (an inside-out approach) for those around us and the homes we inhabit.
Hindsight is 20/20 – looking back on our past mistakes and triumphs allows us to make sense of questions we thought had no answers. It helps us understand that the worries and fears of present day can be mitigated. While it may seem counterintuitive, looking back helps propel us forward. So, embrace the past and remind yourself of the strength it took us all to get to this point and that we have the strength to keep going. Find comfort in the memories, places, and people that have created joy with you before and bring those feelings with you to forge ahead each new day.
The Studio Brunstrum Team
Oui Oui
Parisian Chic. Parisians, known for their classic style, have always been the arbiters of good taste. Now that we’ve been in our homes 24/7, we’re taking a page out of their book and adopting a Parisian Chic aesthetic to our homes: a celebration of classic architecture and details combined with modern art and accessories. As for the furniture, we like a mixture of traditional and contemporary as well!  In Parisian homes, everything has a function and their often-crisp white walls feel like a blank canvas. Give your home the refresh is begging for while a maintaining a very livable yet luxe style.

Photos (left to right): Elle Decor, Flourishmentary
Now and Zen
Wabi-Sabi. Wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of appreciating beauty in an imperfect world. Rooted in Zen Buddhism, it is also about finding the positives in less than ideal situations. Living in our homes all day every day has proven to be a bit of a challenge – especially for those of us that like them to remain spotless and organized 100% of the time! While perfection is not attainable while sheltering in place, the daily disruption to our homes’ order has shown us how we actually live and function in our spaces and has given us some creative ideas on how to maintain a more manageable sense of organization. We are taking the wabi-sabi mentality with us and applying it to all facets of our home life.

Photos (left to right): Closet Curtains, Studio Brunstrum
Break a Leg
Performance Fabrics. We’ve always encouraged bringing the outdoors in and while we’re usually talking about plants and florals, performance fabrics that were usually reserved for outdoor furniture are making their way inside as well. On the uptrend prior to COVID-19, the need for fabrics that can handle the wear and tear of everyday life has increased exponentially while we’re homebound. Easy to clean and available in a variety of textures, colors, and patterns, performance fabrics are no longer the ugly stepchild of the softgoods world. With a “hand” that rivals some of the most luxurious indoor fabrics, we’re big advocates of choosing a performance fabric for indoor furnishings – especially for those in high traffic areas. Think red wine spills and sticky fingers!  

Photos (left to right): Restoration Hardware, Jonathan Louis
Marching Orders
Utilitarian. Military and utilitarian are the “it” trends in fashion design this summer. Breaking the barriers of standard camouflage details, we’re seeing utilitarian trends represented through big square pockets, and influx of olive, khaki, and charcoal color palettes, and clean, straight lines and boxier shapes. Styled with leather for a chic and modern vibe, denim for a classic twist, or with other utilitarian pieces for a streamlined look – the utilitarian uniform is incredibly versatile. Since fashion almost always has an influence on interiors trends, we’re wondering – how will this style make its way indoors? Our predictions: utilitarian color palettes with boxier furnishings and accessories.

Photos (left to right): Who What Wear, House Beautiful
Photos (top, left to right): CAI Designs, Crate and Barrel, Knoll
Photos (bottom, left to right): Bright Group, Century Furniture, Bright Group
We are re-thinking the desk chair at Studio Brunstrum! While we’ve always been fans of using a comfortable, but beautiful arm or side dining chair as an option for an office, we’ve found our backs protesting that decision as we work from home for the foreseeable future. Ergonomic desk chairs are the chair of the future, prioritizing feel over the look. Note- we didn’t say to compromise on look! The one and only question to ask yourself is, do you want to be sitting in this chair all day? Be sure to evaluate the shape of the chair, the width and height of the seat, the angle and pitch, and the move-ability prior to purchasing. As with all chairs – make sure the arm height and width are compatible with your desk height so that you don’t end up with a chair that’s unable to be pushed in. Our advice? Go custom! Your desk chair is going to continue to be one of the most used pieces of furniture in your home – why not design it specifically for you?
Represented by TAI Modern Gallery (one of Susan’s favorite galleries she discovered on a visit to Santa Fe, NM), Tanabe Chikuunasi IV represents the fourth generation of bamboo artists in his family. Born to a prestigious pedigree, Chikuunasi earned an art degree in sculpture and joined the family business – often working out of his father’s studio. Showing a favoritism for bamboo at a young age, Tanabe made his first piece around age 7-8 and has since earned many coveted installations and accolades. We are drawn to the organic movement and sustainable nature of his pieces and installations as they convey the message of nature’s raw beauty. His use of shape and space are stunning – we’re looking forward to his next exhibition!

One of our go-to fabric vendors, Holland & Sherry always provides some of the highest quality and most dependable service in our industry. A fit for both modern and traditional styles, the Holland & Sherry staff is always friendly, up-to-date, knowledgeable, and helpful on their latest fabric offerings. Our favorite? Their wools. Ranging from plain colors to incredibly unique patterns, they are produced almost all in-house from their mill in Chile. Incredibly soft, drape-able and luxurious, their wools are perfect for upholstered pieces and window treatments.
We are enamored with this Amoeba Ottoman from Berman Rosetti. The organic shape lends itself to a myriad of floorplans, while the functionality of the ottoman (used pulled apart or put together) makes it the perfect multi-purpose addition to any space. Customizable in size and fabric choice – the Amoeba Ottoman has versatility down pat.

The Surrender Experiment – Michael A. Singer. This New York Times Bestseller is the extraordinary true-life story of the author’s experiences with letting go of personal preference and simply letting life’s circumstances call the shots. Instead of listening to his logical, analytic mindset, he chose to listen to his intuitions and inspirations. He realized that change takes place when there is sufficient reason to overcome the inertia of everyday life. While we typically resist change, he found that sitting quietly in the middle of change allowed constructive action to make itself known and was free of the complications of his own wants. By surrendering to life and “getting rid of himself” as his only goal, each situation he was presented with became a fruitful experience – and what experiences he had! He created a billion-dollar public company whose achievements are archived in the Smithsonian, a thriving spiritual community on six-hundred acres in Florida, and a cutting-edge software package that transformed the medical practice management industry. All from a man who decided to live alone in the middle of the woods, practice meditation and embrace a life of solitude!
Back in Office
Starting Wednesday, June 3rd the Studio Brunstrum team will be back in office! We’re excited to get back to our creative space – while following all social distancing and office guidelines from the CDC and Illinois state and local Chicago orders (including maintaining our 6’ distance, enhanced cleaning, and other safety protocols). Shoot us an email, give us a ring, or drop by the office (from a safe distance) – we can’t wait to “see” you in person!
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