Studio Brunstrum
Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through.
September has historically felt like a month of transition for me – I’m mentally ready for Fall, but the weather isn’t quite cooperating, kids are going back to school, and travel is starting to either ramp up or wind down depending on my schedule all while starting to solidify plans for holidays.
The feeling of transition has not just evolved but has elevated immensely for me this year, with the desire to be singularly focused taking a back seat and illuminating the presence of “combinations” that feel more permanent post-pandemic. Larger and marked transitions have given way to an almost constant need to find balance across all aspects of my life, work, passions, relationships, and activities. I have gone within, journaled, had my own internal dialogue, have read books and talked with others to help define this new “combined” me. I continually ask myself questions such as: 
  • How do I take the ideas, knowledge, and wisdom that I have to interpret, synthesize and counsel others?
  • Is it possible to combine my love of travel and work into a more transient state of being?
  • What attachments and activities do I need to shed that are no longer as fulfilling as they once were and redefine my desires and purpose?
  • How much do I plan for what’s next vs. meet my emotional, physical, and financial needs where they are today?
  • Which of my interactions, intentions and relationships should be prioritized in the physical space and which belong in the digital space?
  • How best to pare down and chip away to find my core, passions, and value?
  • If I approach each day as a new beginning and a learning opportunity
  • Does my home give me the support, foundation, and flexibility I need or is an update or change of locale warranted?  
While I do not yet have all the answers, I do know that to transition, my self-concept should equal my life experiences and to do so I must leave behind all that is known and be comfortable with striking out in a new direction without a safety net.
To transitions and possibilities,
Susan, Kelsey, and Patti
The Studio Brunstrum Team
Blast from the Plast
Plaster. Plaster is making a comeback – and not just on your walls or ceilings! We’re seeing an abundance of plaster accessories (candlesticks, sculptures, objets d'art), as well as seeing plaster furnishings. Detailed plaster walls and ceilings, as well as artwork made from plaster, lend an abundance of texture to a space and we’re loving the updated take on what was a 1950s classic.

Photos (both): Unknown
Conversation Starters
Conversation Floorplans. Floorplans changed and shifted during the pandemic, making way for home offices, private spaces, and the repurposing of entertainment spaces. Now that we’re back to having guests in our homes, we’ve seen an increased importance on what we’re calling “conversation plans” – areas of the home that provide comfort and promote conversation, with an emphasis on gathering in a way that feels natural.

Photos (both): Architectural Digest
E Tu, Brute?
Arches. We’re taking a cue from the Ancient Romans and incorporating arches into our interior architecture! From arched entryways to arched ceilings, alcoves, and doors – we’re seeing arches everywhere. The domed or eyebrow top of an arch provides an inherent warmth to the circular structure compared to its geometric counterparts. Rounded and circular furnishings and patterns are in vogue so it’s no surprise interior architecture is leaning towards the curvy side as well.

Photos (left to right): Work of Substance, Jean Stoffer Design
I Was Made For Sunny Days
Warmth. Word on the street? Warmth. The desire for “warmth” in a home has been at the forefront of people’s mindset and a constant refrain in design articles, magazines, and client conversations. Warmth can mean a lot of things, but we’re seeing this need manifest through color palette (soft golds, oranges, browns, yellows, pinks, taupes), textures (faux fur, boucle, wool) and shape (circular, oversized with an emphasis on comfort). The transition to a warmer feeling is a far cry from the more classic and clinical whites, greys, and blacks of the 2010s.

Photos (left to right): Jeanne, Architectural Digest
Gone are the days of stuffy dining rooms that only get used for special occasions and holidays! Dining rooms should feel inviting and welcoming, providing conversation and making room for family meals around the table. We’re breaking down our dining room table checklist below:
  1. Keep from overcrowding. It can be tempting to squeeze a bigger table into a smaller space, or add more chairs than your table can accommodate, but there’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re in an overcrowded restaurant in your own home! To follow spacing rules of thumb, make sure you have 24” of space for every person gathered at the table.  The ideal dining table clearance is 48 “so your chairs can be moved in and out easily and stay on your rug!  If you want to put a rug under your table, make sure it is 30” larger than the table on each side.
  2. Ensure your chairs are comfortable. We know we sound like a broken record with this piece of advice, but that’s how much we believe in it – SIT TEST YOUR CHAIRS! If your chairs are uncomfortable, you won’t want to sit in them, relegating your dining room table back to a space you don’t use as often as you should. This step is doubly as important if you like to entertain; you don’t want the night to be cut short because your guests are uncomfortable.
  3. Pick the right combination of table and seating for your space.
  • Round Tables. Tend to be our favorite to promote conversation and provide a nice juxtaposition in a square room. Armless chairs work best to keep from feeling overcrowded. To create interest, mix two different types of chair styles and or two plus fabrics.
  • Rectangular Tables. Offer the benefit of additional leaves and function best in a larger room to accommodate additional seating. For a more formal look, opt for different head chairs than the armless side chairs. Bench seating can help tone down the formality and provide the bonus of squeezing an extra little body at the table if your kids tend to have friends over for dinner.
  • Square Tables. Function best in smaller rooms especially if the table needs to be multifunctional and is used as a desk, creative space or workspace during the day. Square tables lend themselves well to any type of seating based on size and space.
Talk about a showstopper! This floral, resin desk from Dauphinette is a knock-out! The delicate pressed florals combined with the more powerful resin create a beautiful juxtaposition; we’d love to use this as a desk or a breakfast tabletop – adding a customized bottom in metal to introduce another texture or resin to keep it more cohesive.
Killers of a Certain Age | Deanna Raybourn
I knew I was going to like this book from the title and back cover description alone – four women assassins embark on a retirement cruise, only to find out they’re being targeted by their own organization. Now that I’ve reached an age that begins with a 6, I’ve felt drawn to stories of strong women who are still living up to their fullest potential and not letting the concept of aging slow them down. This novel was funny, timely, and gave us four femme fatales (literally) that approached the question of “what comes next?” – even as their being targeted by an elite spy organization for a crime they didn’t commit. While it probably won’t win any awards, it was breezy, timely, and gave me a few good chuckles. The perfect read for a cozy, Fall Sunday.
We're Moving...Home!
The concept of home makes up 95% of our workday – we think and talk about homes, we design homes, and we’re in them for all our clients – yet we’re rarely in our own homes.
While we’ve absolutely loved our office studio for the past 3+ years, beginning this Friday, September 16 we’re moving and embracing working from home full time. Like many other businesses post-pandemic, it is the perfect time to make a change especially with Kelsey off to work remotely overseas in a few weeks along with more physical office space than we really use or need. While it will be a change for us, there will be no change as to the way in which we collaborate with our clients, vendors, and service providers!  Our emails, cell phones and office line will remain the same.
Keep Up with Kelsey
Kelsey will be spending the months of October, November and December working remotely from Europe & she’s created a weekly blog so we can keep up with her travels. Subscribe to her email list here! Bon Voyage, Kelsey!
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