Studio Brunstrum
Taking a leap of faith is better than taking a leap of doubt.
What happens when you take a leap of faith? When you let go and decide to jump in? When you dive headfirst into something you really want to do?
Worst case scenario? You fail. It doesn’t work. You hate it. Your next step? Take another leap.
Best case scenario? You succeed. It works. You love it. Your next step? You enjoy it.
So, what’s stopping us from moving forward? Taking risks? Going after what we truly want?
It certainly isn’t logic, because we know that what doesn’t work becomes a lesson and we simply try again. We teach that to children when they’re learning any new skill – that failure is okay and trying is what matters. So why can’t we take that advice ourselves?
The concept of object permanence plays a big part in decision paralysis for me. I often forget that decisions can be made and then re-made if they aren’t to my liking. I forget that change itself is not scary, it’s making the decision to change that fills us with uncertainty. I begin to believe the decisions I make are forever – that once I’ve made up my mind, I can’t change it. It takes some mental gymnastics to convince myself that my life is not concrete, it’s transient and I need to allow it to move, change and grow.
Our homes are not meant to be static either. I find that we tend to be risk averse when it comes to our homes; we’re often attracted to bolder styles and items, but talk ourselves out of liking them in case they’re “too much” or out of fear we’ll end up not liking them in a few years. To that I say – “so what”? If you like it now, don’t hold yourself back. Your home does not have to be the same forever – nor should it be. So take the risk! No one ever got what they truly wanted by playing it safe.
To taking more leaps,
Susan, Kelsey, and Patti
The Studio Brunstrum Team
Calling Collect
Creative Displays. We all collect things – whether we know it or not! Perhaps it’s just a book collection, or maybe it’s something more intentional like vintage records or a baseball card collection. Whatever it may be – you shouldn’t hide it way boxed in a closet. We’ve loved designing personalized display solutions for our client’s collections – from framed vinyl to an ice-cream scoop display, and even a coffee table crafted around books collected from various travels – we’ve seen it all! We love infusing a home with that type of personality, instead of filling it with artwork or accessories that don’t hold much meaning.

Photos (left to right): Home & Interior, The Sorry Girls
Don't Be A Square
Round Cocktail Tables. We’ve seen an influx of round cocktail table introductions from some of our favorite vendors – and we’re loving the softness and circuity it adds to a space. Adding a round cocktail table to a room of angled sofas and chairs helps create balance and also invites more flow and warmth into the space. The best part? Their kid and grandkid friendly – no worries about harsh corners and bumped heads!

Photos (left to right): Global Views, Unknown
Take A Seat
Bedroom Seating. We’ve always said that your bedroom should feel like a respite away from the entire world – a place that allows you to feel rested and relaxed. Our favorite way to enhance the coziness of a master bedroom? Adding seating – like a settee, chaise lounge or reading chair if the space allows. The additional seating allows us to spend more time unwinding in that space without staying in bed all day.

Photos (both): Studio Brunstrum
Checkerboard. We’re starting to feel like Beth Harmon from the Queen’s Gambit; we can’t go anywhere without seeing a checkerboard pattern! While checkerboard has always been a classic, we’re seeing it come back with a new twist in fashion – breaking the barriers of traditional black and white, or playing with proportion and material. We’re seeing those updates seep into the interiors world as well, through fabric and tile choice. Opt for classic or for a bolder update – either option lends a grounding, geometric element to your space.

Photos (both): Unknown
We talk about color a lot in our communique – and for good reason! Color, especially the colors we use in our homes, can have a significant impact on our mood. So, what’s the best way to determine what color palette to use throughout your home?
Start by asking yourself what you want the overall mood of your space to be? Relaxing? Inspiring? Cheerful? Dramatic? Cozy? Earthy? Keep in mind that every room in your home does not have to feel the same way – color palettes are robust and can be added to or edited throughout your home.
3 important elements make up a well thought out color palette:
Central Color. Your central color tends to be the starting point that we build your palette around. It’s the hue that will be used most frequently throughout your space and should match the desired feel. We like to call it the star of the show, because it will be the color noticed the most.
Grounding Color. Your grounding color will more often than not be a neutral – it’s the element that centers your palette and is usually carried throughout the home. Your grounding color is still important even if you have an all-neutral palette; it acts as the base everything else is built off of.
Balance Color. Arguably the most important color in the palette, your balance color is responsible for tying everything together. We refer to is as “the color that plays nicely with others” because it’s used to make the entire palette feel cohesive. Our trick? More often than not we can find a balance color by picking a lighter hue of the central color. By toning down the saturation, it creates a tie to the central color while still pairing nicely with the grounding and accent colors.
Accent Color (or colors). Accent colors don’t have as many rules – we like to think of them as the personality colors, because they should infuse fun and depth into your space. Accent colors don’t need to be the same throughout the whole home either – if you build a solid base through your central, grounding, and balance colors, you can easily switch or exchange your accent color(s) to create a wider palette.
The bottom line? Have fun and explore ways to use color throughout your home.
I attended EXPO Chicago, the international exposition of contemporary and modern art, over the weekend and discovered some fabulous new galleries and artists. Chicago has hosted EXPO, the Americas first international art fair, for more than 40 years; this year the event featured more than 140 international exhibitors at Navy Pier. Some of my favorite new finds were:
Pontone Gallery, based in London’s West End, was exhibiting work by Matteo Massagrande, an Italian artist who specializes in painting architectural interiors. Massagrande is particularly adept at evoking and revealing the influence of light throughout his works.
Marc Straus Gallery, based on New York City’s Lower East Side, represents 25 artists from 16 different countries. I was particularly drawn to the work of Anna Leonhardt, a German abstract oil painter who creates abstract works based on life’s mundane physicalities.
Bernard Jacobson Gallery, also based in London’s West End, was established in 1969 and currently features work by William Tillyer, a British painter and watercolorist whose experimental work stems from asking questions about the relationships between man, nature and art.
Rutger Brandt Gallery, based in Amsterdam, was exhibiting work by Johan de Wit that I absolutely fell in love with. The artist focuses on shapes and color, with his work consisting mostly of sculptures made from paper reinforced with resin and marble powder.
8 days, 6 friends, 5 cities, and 54 miles walked – a brief summation of Kelsey’s recent journey to the UK to visit her college friend, Emily.
As a first-time visitor to London, I had to hit all the classics; but the benefit of having a friend living and working there was getting an inside look at what day to day life looks like as a Londoner! I put together a list of must do favorites from the trip for anyone looking to spend time in the land of tea and crumpets soon:
Black Taxi Tour: Since we only had three days in London proper, we didn’t want to spend too much time checking the touristy items off our lists. Instead, we booked a private half-day cab tour through Black Taxi Tours; our driver, Sam, a local since birth, took us to all the biggest hits (The Tower of London and Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, St. James’ Street, The Wharf, etc.) and gave us an abridged version of history while adding some local color. I loved that we got to see all the sights without having to dedicate too much time in any one place and without having to wait for a bus or uber to take us from one spot to the next.
Tower of London Tour: One place we did spend some extra time was the Tower of London; we took the 45-minute tour led by one of the Yeoman Warders – one of the highest honors you can achieve in the British military. After the tour, we took a stroll through the Crown Jewel Museum onsite – stunning!
A Night in the Cotswolds: We drove out to the English countryside for a country “walk” through the farmland, but the best part was a hidden garden AirBnB my friend Emily discovered that we rented for the night. Quintessentially British, the charming town of Burford was the idyllic country escape with some excellent boutique shopping and great restaurants -  I highly recommend the Angel if you find yourself in the area. An additional must do? A daytime trip (or spa day) to Daylesford – a farm to table establishment with one of the most well-renown spas in the UK.
Borough Market: The year-round indoor/outdoor food market in the Southwark neighborhood was one of our best discoveries of the trip! We spent a few hours going to the different food stalls trying different cuisines and had award-winning fish and chips!
Dishoom: My favorite meal of the trip was a family-style meal at the upscale Indian hotspot, Dishoom. Located centrally near King’s Cross, the restaurant is housed in a repurposed factory by the Wharf district. The atmosphere was great, and the food even better!
Shopping in Belgravia: Venture over to Elizabeth Street in the Belgravia neighborhood for a perfect afternoon of shopping and tea! The highlights? The Jo Loves Flagship (Jo Malone’s newest venture) and Me+Em Boutique.
Punting in Cambridge: We took day trips to both Cambridge and Oxford, but our afternoon spent punting in Cambridge was definitely my favorite. Since the campus is closed to visitors, punting down the river allowed us to see more of what the university actually looked like – our tour guide was a wealth of information of the architecture and goings-on at the school!

Speaking of bold – Waterworks is taking plumbing to new heights (or should we say new hues) in their latest collaboration with ASH NYC. Originally designed for the bespoke NYC hotel, Waterworks is now offering one of their most popular designs (the Highgate) in four boldly colored porcelain handles. Who says plumbing can’t be a work of art?

True Biz | Sara Novic
We’re making headway into this year’s extensive reading list and have just started the latest from award-winning novelist Sara Novic (Girl at War). True Biz transports us into the world of the River Valley School for the Deaf. At its center – Charlie, a transfer student who has never met another deaf person; Austin, the popular student whose personal world goes up in flames when his baby sister is born hearing; and February, the headmistress torn between keeping her personal life or the future of the school afloat. As crises and secrets are revealed, Charlie, Austin and February remain forever connected through the Deaf community. They’ll have to sift through isolation, injustice, lip-reading, loss, first loves and bureaucratic red tape to find out what is and what isn’t True Biz (exclamation in American Sign Language for “really, seriously, definitely, real-talk).
Coverings Panel
Susan had the honor of speaking at the Coverings Global Tile and Stone Conference last week on the topic of luxury alongside fellow designers Amanda Cunningham and Michelle Workman. The takeaway? Consider your home an investment in yourself and those you love. Thank you to Chris Ramey (the Home Trust International), Mickey Alam Kahn (Luxury Daily) and all who attended the conference!
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