Studio Brunstrum
If better were within, better would come out.
As Winter (hopefully) starts to give way into Spring, I’ve made it my priority to check-in on my overall state of well-being: both physically as the flu seems to be lurking around every corner, and mentally as I make way for the new beginnings and fresh starts that are born with the Spring season.
The preoccupation with health and wellness in today’s society continues to change our home environments and the well-being of those living there. Wellness used to be judged by the physical appearance of our bodies – if you were thin and ate right, you were healthy.
In reality, wellness combines our mental stamina, environmental factors, physical health, and spiritual guidance; wellness is the interconnectedness of all your spiritual development and creative enhancement throughout life. Your journey must nourish you according to your needs, tastes, style and habits. You create the wellness and vitality within you – it impacts who you are today and how you go forth.
The spaces we create and inhabit can also have a vast impact on our overall well-being. The energies and intuition we bring into our home environment shape the way we start and end our days. When it comes to design, as with most things in my life, I’ve never been an over-analyzer, nor do I strive for perfection; I listen to my gut instinct and am guided by my intuition. These ideals guide the way I feel about a space and help dictate the changes I make, so the end result is a well lived-in home.
For me, intuition is the stepping stone to creativity and creativity is best if you are adaptive. It is vital to be adaptive in your thoughts, beliefs, and energies as it is a combination of these ideals that make your home a place of safety, contentment, satisfaction, rejuvenation, inspiration, and comfort. This month’s Reverie Journal explores different solutions for making your home the center of your well-being.
Rest, relax, and enjoy!
Susan, Kelsey, Cristina, Kay, and Alycia
The Studio Brunstrum team
Crystal Clear
Gems/Crystals. Aside from adding an organic and natural element to any space, gems and crystals are believed to hold certain transformative properties. I keep a crystal close to my nightstand and a few gemstones interspersed throughout my home on my vanity, kitchen counter, and home office desk to give me the right energies I need throughout my day. A few of my favorites are:
Tourmaline. Used to stimulate energy flow, tourmaline is good for reliving stress, providing balance, and increasing feelings of love and unity. Naturally occurring in black, blue, green, red, yellow, or pink hues, this crystal unifies masculine and feminine energies.
Smoky Quartz. A translucent, light brown crystal, Smoky Quartz draws on its earthy energies to cleanse and heal. Great for meditation, smoky quartz can also be used to heal physical aches and pains, promoting the overall strengthening and functioning of the human body.
Obsidian. This characteristically small, black gem, is regarded as one of the most powerful stones on earth. Made from cooled molten lava, Obsidian holds revealing properties, allowing us to address deep truths and clear emotional baggage.
Citrine. Cleansing the aura to bring a sense of joy and happiness, this yellow gemstone is often used as a talisman of wealth and success. Promoting positive energy and self-esteem, Citrine is thought to carry the warmth and power of the sun.
Apophyllite. Found in varying cluster sizes, this uncommon crystal serves as a conductor between the physical and spiritual. Facilitating tranquility and relaxation, apophyllite promotes truth and clarity.
Quartz. Transparently clear, found in pointed clusters of all shapes and sizes, Quartz is a must have for any crystal collection. Containing the full spectrum of color, this gem reveals an individual’s true spiritual nature. Adaptive and receptive, quartz promotes reflection and self-discovery.

Images (left to right):Possible Decor, My Sacred Space
Sniff Away
Personalized Candles. Smell is the most powerful of our five senses for recalling and evoking memories. The popularity of personalizing your perfume/cologne gave me the idea to create a Studio Brunstrum signature scent! Add your favorite scent throughout your home to increase your sense of well-being and happiness. We developed Fragrance No. 1 by Studio Brunstrum almost a year ago, combining hints of basil and verbena! We are currently creating scent profiles for Fragrance No. 2 and No. 3! Keep an eye out for news on all of our candles!

Images (left to right):The Future Kept, Aimee Mazzenga
Forced Family Fun
Banquettes. Family time is on the rise! Millennials, the generation that places the largest importance on relationships, have started becoming parents and are making family time within the home a priority. Adding a banquette in the kitchen helps to ensure there is enough shared space for the whole family to be together – even while dinner is being prepped! A great place for homework, family meals, and arts and crafts, banquettes make the kitchen more than just a pass through room in the home.

Images (left to right): Nesting with Grace, Homebunch
Green Goddess
Plant Walls/ Floral Wallpaper. Live plant walls help to bring the joy of nature to your interiors. Boosting the oxygen flow in your home, plant walls can also help to brighten your mood! Don’t feel like maintaining the upkeep of real plants? Or have a brown thumb? Opt for floral wallpaper to add both a color and a textural element to your walls!

Images (left to right): Wallsauce, Casa Claudia
Images (top left to right): Kohler, Waterworks, (middle) Kohler, (lower left to right): Native Trails, Americh
I always thought losing my garden would be the hardest part of transitioning from suburbanite to city dweller- turns out it was giving up my stand-alone bathtub! What better way to focus on your personal wellness than with a relaxing bath? A soaking tub is a must have in a master bath. There’s such a wide variety of options to consider when you think of tubs: the decorative feet, cement vs. porcelain, free-standing, castor, metallic- the list goes on! Why settle for a standard tub when you can make it the focal point in your bathroom? Turn your bath into a spa-like respite away from the rest of your home (and the world). Check out some of our favorites above!
I recently spent a long weekend in Los Angeles with my good friend Connie! A connoisseur of all things elegant and fabulous, she made sure my trip was filled with lovely meals, intriguing art, and fantastic company, providing a much-needed escape from Chicago’s persistent cold. We took a private tour of the LA Louver with other art enthusiasts to see the new David Hockney exhibit, “Something New in Painting (and Photography) [and even Printing]…Continued”. Marking his twenty-first solo exhibit at the LA Louver, this exhibit features his continued investigation into the reverse perspective. In March, his work will be shown in concurrence with work by Vincent Van Gogh in the exhibition “Hockney- Van Gough: The Joy of Nature” at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. We also explored the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena and I was enamored with a Matisse/Odalisque exhibition (a style of painting from the 1830s-1930s featuring a nude woman in reposed and relaxed position with staged artifacts and exotic props). We also took in an extremely exceptional bronze sculpture, “Head of Fernando”, by Picasso that was the first cubist sculpture on record. Fernando Oliver was Picasso’s lover and muse.  

I love this wooden desk from Revised featuring a perforated metal screen accent. Sleek and sophisticated, the Edburton desk would be perfect for a bedroom or home office. The juxtaposition between the feminine curves and masculine screen allows this desk to blend with traditional or modern furniture.

Sometimes old furniture just needs a quick facelift- your favorite chair needs a new fabric, your cracked desk leg finally needs to be repaired, or you just want to update the color palette in your bedroom, but don’t want to part with your beloved chaise. I always like to determine what elements in a client’s home are “must-keeps” and work to find solutions to incorporate each piece into the new design, home, or space. Often the best solution is turning to long-time Studio Brunstrum collaborator, Nelson Paiz of Nelson Upholstery Studio. Nelson’s twenty-nine year career speaks for itself; after apprenticing at upholstery and woodworking shops as a young man, Nelson pursued a professional education in the upholstering arts, working at several Chicago-based shops along the way. With a keen attention to detail and a delicate eye for the perfect finish, Nelson is our trusted go-to for even the most impossible re-finish and re-upholstery projects!

Images: Custom Designed by Studio Brunstrum
I came across The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein as I was cleaning out our storage locker in prep for our big office move (I’m taking my own advice and re-purposing some chairs from my old house to use in our new space). The Giving Tree and the rest of Shel’s works were always childhood favorites of my kids. If you’ve never read it, the book stories the friendship between a young boy and a tree over the span of the boy’s life. The tree continues to give and give until the boy takes almost everything away from the tree. While meant to be an allegory about the importance of environmentalism, I think the message is also one of self-care and wellness. While the tree was always happy to help the boy, she neglected herself and her own well-being for so long that she had nothing left to give to herself or to the boy at the end of the story. Make time for yourself and your own mental well-being. Say no to plans and give yourself a relaxing and rejuvenating night in…alone! Create a space within your home that is yours and yours alone to give you some much needed time to recharge.
Chicago Architecture Biennial: Theme Announcement
As a member of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, I’m excited to share the official theme for 2019: “….And Other Such Stories”. Opening on September 19th, the 2nd  Biennial will explore how the field of architecture and built environments have impacted the Chicago cultural and social landscape. Read more about the Biennial and this year’s theme here.
Dering Hall
Many thanks to Dering Hall for our latest features in their rounds up of “35 Foyers with Statement Lighting” and “Showstopping Bedrooms with Pendants & Chandeliers”! We always love to put a unique light fixture in the entryway of a home – it draws the eye upward, ensures the surrounding spaces get enough light, and gives just a hint at your home’s personality. Click here and here to view the articles!
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