Studio Brunstrum
When a wave comes, go deep.
I recently heard Kelsey respond to something by saying “it’s not that deep” – and the phrase inspired this month’s newsletter. We dedicate so much of our daily brain space contemplating solutions to trivial problems and worrying about minor outcomes that don’t have that big of an impact on our lives. It can be exhausting and tiring – especially during a gloomy February where everything can tend to take on the feeling of being slushy and gray. Remembering that not everything is “that deep” a.k.a. not that big of a deal can be extremely freeing.
Employing this mindset can help us find clarity in areas of our lives that feel like they’re bogging us down and help save our energy to focus on our actual deeper needs. I’m using it to help me determine areas of my life I want to invest time and energy into – spending time with family and friends, dedicating creativity to our clients and projects, re-immersing myself in travel and art – and letting go of smaller everyday worries that can pile up. Didn’t get to all the chores on my weekend to do list? They’re not that deep, you’ll get to them next weekend. Can’t find an outfit to wear? It’s not that deep, put on something cozy that makes you feel good. Can’t decide on what to make for dinner? Order pizza and turn on a show, give yourself the night off- it’s not that deep. These decisions that we make for ourselves everyday are small in the grand scheme of life but tend to take up more than their fair share of brain space. Free yourself from those day to day worries and invest that time in areas of your life that are important to you.
This same mentality applies to your home; recognize the elements in your space that can be changed easily and stop agonizing over those decisions. Paint colors, fabrics, bedding, accessories – all are fairly easy to change - they’re not that deep. Dedicate time and energy into determining the right layout of your home and getting your material selections (tile, flooring, windows, doors, etc.) right and worry less about finding the absolute perfect aesthetic details. It’s easy and enjoyable to switch things up in your home to reflect where you’re at in life. Have some fun with elements that feel daring and bold and are easy to swap out – they’re not that deep.
Susan, Kelsey, and Patti
The Studio Brunstrum Team
What's On Tap?
Home Bars. We’re celebrating the end of Dry January by embracing the trend of extensive home bars. Bar carts gained popularity in the past decade (and are still wonderful solutions to space constraints), but we’ve recently seen full in-home bars on the rise as we’ve spent more time in our homes and as cocktail mixology has come back in vogue. Make sure your bar to fit the needs of your space – will you need to be conscious of traffic flow for entertaining? Do you need to select durable materials to combat sand or wet feet in a vacation home? Will the space need to be multifunctional and need additional comfortable seating? The best part of creating a home bar? You get to determine the aesthetic and the cocktail menu!

Photos (both): Studio Brunstrum
Do You Dare?
Daring Cabinetry. We’ve got to be honest – the all-white kitchen cabinetry trend is starting to feel passe; we’re ready for something fresh and exciting! So, we’re turning to more detailed and bold cabinetry selections as we head into the new year. From inset glass panels to reeded front detailing, or simply a bold color with unexpected hardware; amp up the personality of your cabinetry profile for added dimension.

Photos (left to right): DECOR, Georgie Shepard Interiors
50 Shades of Gone
Brown. White’s out the window and gray is going with it; an oversaturation of all things gray in the interiors industry is giving way to more earth toned palettes and the resurgence of brown. Terracotta, caramel, and chocolate hues all feel fresh and exciting – especially when paired with other earthy colors like sage green, lime, taupe, and robin’s egg blue. After two years in a pandemic we’re ready to ditch the cool and clinical neutrals and opt for a warmer and softer palette in our homes.

Photos (left to right): Holland & Sherry, Twentieth Century Antiques
High Alert
Attention to Detail. You don’t have to go all-in on the Maximalism trend to create a bold and exciting interior; opt for pieces with exquisite detailing like a leather-wrapped chair or geometric feet on a sofa or contrasting trim on a window treatment to infuse your home with texture and richness. Sometimes the quiet details can make a louder statement than a room full of overdone florals.

Photos (both): Studio Brunstrum
We talked about the importance of functional decorative objects in last month’s Currently Coveting section of the newsletter. We’re taking it one step further this month and breaking down our accessories checklist, along with some of our favorite accessories in our home.
A well-chosen accessory should be able to pass our three-step checklist:
  1. It should be functional. Clean up the clutter and get rid of accessories that don’t serve a purpose in your space. Remember that adding texture, bringing joy, or telling a story are all functions of an accessory. However, if you’re not able to answer why you have or like a decorative object in your home – it’s taking up unnecessary space. Time to donate or discard it!
  1. It should relate to your space. Size, color and shape are all important elements to consider when selecting accessories for your home. Items in a room should correlate and proportionally link together – if the centerpiece on your dining room table overpowers the room, find a new place for it. Additionally, consider the fragility of items based on your lifestyle and traffic patterns when placing them throughout your home. If you have an abundance of small items, consider adding a large piece as a backdrop to create cohesion.
  1. It should tell a story. This is the most important element of finding the perfect accessory; the items you fill your home with are a reflection of you! Fill your space with finds from travels, items that give you inspiration, or pieces that hold a memory.
Our favorite accessories:
Kelsey: My Dad’s Old Work Mug
  1. Function: I use it to display and hold my make-up brushes.
  2. Space: It’s contained in a tray with other small items – a candle, a mirror, and books so that it doesn’t feel out of place and won’t accidentally get knocked off my desk.
  3. Story: The mug was given to me by an old coworker of my dad’s on my 18th birthday; while the painter’s mug is in all honestly rather ugly, it puts a smile on my face every day when I get ready in the morning.
Patti: Wooden Playing Card Box
  1. Function: It’s an easily accessible game to play (playing cards and dice) while entertaining and a conversation piece
  2. Space: I’ve layered it amongst other small trays and coasters on my side table, but I love its versatility. It’s a such a unique decorative box.
  3. Story: It’s a recent accessory that has quickly become a favorite as my mom gave it to me for Christmas.
Founded in 1991, Intuit Art’s mission is simple – to celebrate the power of outside art. The museum, located in Chicago’s West Side neighborhood, champions diversity in art by amplifying the voices and works of artists who did not follow a traditional path in the art world – creators who have face marginalization in the art community and are often self-taught in their craft. With over 1,200 works on display, the museum plays host to numerous exhibitions every year, with the aim to connect artist and viewer together and experience the power of the outside. Read more about the museum and upcoming events and exhibitions here.
Projects don’t always start out as a complete overhaul – sometimes they start with one object or one room and evolve. That’s what happened when our two-time returning client asked us to help pick out new kitchen stools for their Michigan lake home. As we got to talking about the space, we heard them say they never truly felt comfortable in the house – it didn’t feel like it worked for their growing children and didn’t function well when entertaining (which they do a lot of). The trust that we had built with the family from our other projects allowed us to help them make strategic updates throughout by focusing on functionality, repurposing and reusing items they already had and purchasing new as necessary with a budget that was reflective of this not being their primary home.

Our objective was to elevate the existing nautical theme and make the rooms more cohesive, with an emphasis on durability for withstanding both lake life and frequent guests. Creating flexible floorplans was our first priority; we extended the kitchen countertop to fit six counter stools around the island, with seats upholstered in faux leather - perfect for wet or sandy children coming in for a quick lunch. A new sectional, swivel chairs and ottomans in the main living room created an abundance of seating that’s easily re-arranged for different activities – game night, movie night, or relaxing in front of the fireplace. Pull-out sofas were added to the bunk room to maximize sleeping arrangements. It was important to the client that the home fit within the landscape- the color palette is reflective of the Lake Michigan horizon, while the white quartzite kitchen countertops have blue and taupe veining that mirror the clouds in the sky and the sand on the beach. The art throughout the home was sourced from local Michigan artists, helping connect the home to its surroundings. Additional nautical details, like decorative canoe paddles and sailboat lamps, were mixed with nature-inspired accessories like a dining table centerpiece sourced from the kids’ rock collections. The result? A family-friendly lake home that truly functions as a second home – a space to relax and have fun, rather than a place to just come and go. Keep an eye out for the project on our website in the coming weeks! 
We instantly fell in love with Alfonso Marina’s Etrusca Console Table on our recent visit to the Lusso Design Resource showroom. The simplicity of the overall shape juxtaposed with the intricate leg detailing combine to create the perfect amount of visual interest. The console would be the perfect standout piece in any foyer!
Black Cake | Charmaine Wilkerson
Wilkerson’s debut novel, Black Cake, is a stunning portrayal of a family dealing with the loss of a parent, shedding light on stories untold from tumultuous pasts and representing how sadness, grief, guilt, happiness, and bittersweet memories can shift and change from day to day in the wake of a loss, often shedding light and clarity about the pieces and parts that made up the soul of the person you lost. While the timing for reading this book was perhaps unadvisable after the loss of my father, Wilkerson’s prose and attention to detail and character made the story feel real and raw, allowing me to heal and grieve along with the characters. Centering on estranged siblings Byron and Benny in the wake of their mother’s death, the story starts by revealing she left them a voice recording that they must listen to together – one that uncovers secrets from their past that must be reckoned with. Touching, heartbreaking, and bittersweet, I’d recommend adding it to your To Be Read list for 2022. We’ll be anxiously awaiting Wilkerson’s next book!
Elements Rugs
It’s always an honor to have other designers select and personalize our Elements Rug Collection with Julie Dasher. Check out the recent installation photos of our Sophisticated Splashes and Vibrations designs from M.S. Vica’s Interiors – stunning!
Volunteer Days
Our team will be out of the office Tuesday, February 8th and Friday, February 11th to volunteer with Humble Design, helping to create a place to call home for a family experiencing homelessness.
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