Studio Brunstrum
As the world becomes a more digital place, we cannot forget the human connection
What does connection mean to you?
Fitting puzzle pieces together?
The strength of your wifi?
When the dots finally connect, forming a new thought?
A layover on the way to a new adventure?
To me, connection is the meeting of souls. The human connection is the fundamental base that makes us who we are.  We need connection and community as much as we need food, water, and a roof over our heads – and our homes can help foster than connection.
What we put in them, how we live in them, if we choose to entertain in them – they can all foster connection between us and the world and communities around us. They can help ground us, protect us, comfort us, revitalize us, give us strength, and make our relationships stronger. Our homes are a part of our communities just as much as we are – they create the spaces we spend our lives in and shape the stories we tell.
Susan, Kelsey, and Patti
The Studio Brunstrum Team
Glass Pass
Glass Tile. This isn’t the same, shiny and rectangular glass tile from the early 2000s - glass tile has been re-imagined! The result? A far more organic, patterned and colorful product. The ideal product for shower walls or floors, backsplashes or even fireplaces, we love that glass tile creates a statement – as is incredibly easy to clean and maintain. Opt for a single shape, size and color to create a simple, repeating pattern or choose to create a mosaic for more of a statement!   

Photos (left to right): The Fine Line, Sonoma Tile
Finishing Touches
Textured Details. It’s all in the details… upholstery details that is. Lately, we’ve been obsessing over the textured finishing touches we’ve been seeing on upholstery – from rope accents, to leather trim, to velvet ties – the options are endless. Why do we love it? It makes each piece special to you and not feel like it’s just generic furniture that could be in any house or hotel. Opt for a textured flange, fringe on a chair or sofa skirt or even unique taping or trim to create that perfect accent.

Photos (both): Unknown
Doorway to Another Dimension
Glass Doors. The age-old question – would you rather have an open floor plan that allows your home to feel more spacious or a sectioned floorplan that allows for more privacy and noise control? Why not opt for the best of both worlds? Lately, we’ve been specifying glass doors to enclose office spaces, ensuite bathrooms, pantries, dining rooms – and other spaces that can be used as flex spaces. The benefit of glass doors? They still allow natural light while providing sound control and don’t feel as closed off as a regular door. And when we say “glass” – that doesn’t always have to mean a standard clear! Doors can be specified with etched panes, stained glass, leaded glass, etc. The options are endless!

Photos (left to right): Michaelis Boyd, Unknown
Breaking Patterns
China Patterns. It’s almost time to break out the fine China for holiday meals; take a peek now before the holidays and think about updating your collection. Lately, we’ve noticed an influx of more modern patterns or a mix of both. Create a unique collection that’s tied together by a color palette, pattern, or even an eclectic mix of patterns you like. Our best advice? Don’t save them for special occasions only. Keep them on display year-round or use them – especially if they hold meaning to you or were gifted by someone you love.

Photos (left to right): Veranda, Casa de Perrin
Mirror, mirror on the wall, what is your purpose after all?
There’s a difference between a mirror you utilize for function (like a mirror in your primary bathroom) and a mirror you use for a decorative accent (like a floor mirror in your living room or a statement mirror above your dining room table). You can even utilize a mirror in place of artwork. Functional mirrors are often specified and fitted during the materials selection phase of building or renovating a home and come with far more rules and specifications than a decorative mirror. However, that doesn’t mean decorative mirrors can be placed anywhere in a home, so we’re sharing our tips for getting the selection and placement just right:
  1. Consider the scale, shape, and frame like you would any other accessory. Do you want to create a bold statement or have it blend seamlessly with your other pieces? Organically shaped, colorfully framed and oversized mirrors all create a statement within the room that functions more like art, whereas a smaller proportioned mirror with frames that mimic other artwork throughout your home tend to blend in.
  2. Consider the location. If you want the mirror to be more functional, place it in a location that would make sense for a mirror – i.e. in a foyer, laundry room or bedroom. If you prefer to create more an art statement, cultivate a collection of mirrors or hang one in an unsuspecting location.
  3. Be mindful of what the mirror is reflecting. Is it reflecting a blank wall – if so try moving it to reflect something more stimulating. Perhaps it’s placed in a location where a reflection could be distracting or reflect too much light? Always check before you permanently decide on a location.
Kelsey fell in love with Miguel Telles de Gama’s “Under the Skin” exhibit at the Berardo Collection Museum in Lisbon. The exhibit is built from fragments of the artist’s former works, making use of what already exists and meant to represent the concept that “everything has already been invented, but at the same time not everything has been said”. Each piece is meant to be a story with no end, revealing just as much as it conceals. Kelsey’s favorite? “Retreat”.
We’re always honored when clients return to Studio Brunstrum with a new project – we value our collaborations and the relationships we build with each person, family, and home and love to continue to transform them as life continues to evolve. We’re thrilled to be working on a former client’s kitchen and guest bathroom project after having previously completed their primary bathroom a few years ago.
We completely transformed their outdated “builder grade” suburban master bathroom into a sophisticated oasis. After moving the toilet across the room, enlarging the shower, removing the bathtub and replacing a closet with by-pass doors to a wall of cabinetry to maximize storage space, we still faced the challenge of making the formal marble that our client adored fit with the rest of their comfortable and casual home. By introducing the pale green crackle-glazed tile in the shower and wood grain porcelain plank on the floor, we toned down the formality of the marble slabs to ensure the bathroom was cohesive with the rest of the home. Check out the rest of the project here
We’re enamored with this asymmetrical industrial coffee table from Formations. The metallic interior, coupled with the negative space and differing heights of each layer of the table create a visually stunning juxtaposition and take away the heaviness of a normal table that size, allowing for the functionally to stay the same without taking up too much eye space.

The Family Game | Catherine Steadman
It’s almost the holidays – what better time to read a psychological thriller about an eccentric, and possibly, deadly family to make you feel like yours is relatively normal?
We simply couldn’t put down The Family Game in Steadman creates the perfectly eccentric family with a deadly secret. The novel follows Harry and her soon-to-be husband, Edward, as they are drawn back into Edward’s high-society family, the Holbecks. While Edward walked away from his family, the money, and the fame years ago, he is still set to inherit everything. And Harry, his new fiancée, is inexplicably drawn to Robert – the magnetic head of the family and the most mysterious of the bunch. That is, until he gives her a tape revealing a shocking family secret that has the potential to ruin it all – one that sets “the game” in motion. Can they escape?
Carpets for a Cause
Oscar Isberians’ Carpets for a Cause is right around the corner. Get your tickets here to attend the event or donate to Designs for Dignity. We’re thrilled to see our “Ripple Effect” rug in person and check out the completed rugs of our fellow designers! Can’t make the event? You can still bid on one of the rugs here!
Halloween Walk
My annual Halloween walk around my neighborhood is one of my favorite events of the year – I love seeing the over-the-top decorations in the Gold Coast and seeing the creativity of the trick or treaters. My favorite costume of the year? A gumball machine! I was so enthralled with the costume that I stopped to talk to the mother and daughter – the daughter thought of and created the entire costume herself out of sheets of felt paper and colored cotton balls. Talk about creativity!
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213 W. INSTITUTE PL. #401 CHICAGO, IL 60610 312.572.9090
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