Studio Brunstrum
Paradise is not a place; it’s a state of consciousness.
One of the most important things we can do for ourselves is be present, practice mindfulness and listen to what we need to recharge and reset. Ironically creating simplicity for ourselves…isn’t always simple.
Taking time to relax can be stressful, can feel selfish or lazy, even unproductive, especially in a society where doing “more” is deemed better and being overworked is worn as a badge of honor. Often, we’re our biggest barrier in being mindful. So how do we break the cycle?
We’re practicing mindfulness this month by keeping it simple and setting small goals for ourselves that carve out at least 15 minutes a day DURING the day for something we enjoy. From journaling, to reading a book, getting in quick walk or workout, stretching, sketching or even just making ourselves a nice lunch. Find something that makes you happy, helps you slow down and take in your surroundings and allows you to just be. Spring is the time for new beginnings, so create some new habits that help keep you in tune with yourself.
To a month of mindfulness!
Susan, Kelsey, and Patti
The Studio Brunstrum Team
Here Comes the Sun
Lighter Window Treatments. We’re always advocates for an abundance of natural light in your home; it’s an easy way to make your space feel more open and airy and it provides a necessary mood boost! The latest window treatment trend seems to agree with us as they’ve become softer and lighter, straying away from voluminous styles and dark, heavy fabrics. Sheers and light linens or cottons are having their moment in the sun – let there be light!

Photos (left to right): Studio Brunstrum, House O
Just Keep Swimming
Swimming Pools. It’s been a long winter and I think we’re all ready for a bit of summer fun and sun. We’ve noticed an increase in the request for swimming pools in new builds or renovations – or proximity to a body of water for those buying second homes. For about a decade, we were taking pools out of homes in favor of more robust landscaping. Now that we are facing another summer with less or no access to public pools and a down trend in international beach vacations, pools or any sort of water element are an easy way to bring the best of summer to your backyard.

Photos (left to right): Segreto Finishes, Unknown
Colorful Millwork. Boring and blended be gone! We’re loving the colorful millwork we’ve been spotting lately – from wainscotting to trim to ceiling beams. Millwork has always been a great way to add visual interest and texture, highlighting the details of a space to make it stand out. Adding a pop of color to millwork helps to make a bigger statement, taking an oft overlooked architectural element and helping it standout. One of our go-tos for painting millwork? Painting your ceiling trim and interior doors!

Photos (both): Unknown
Holding It Together
Tactile Art. Art is an indicator of what’s happening in the world, giving us a unique way to understand the mindset and emotions of a certain period – especially present day. We’ve noticed an interesting shift to the medium of tactile art due to the pandemic, with creators expressing themselves with things they can mold and shape. Even more interesting? We’re seeing many art pieces that look as if they’ve been torn apart and put back together – using elements like stitching, fabrics, found objects and textured glue. I think most of us have been feeling like we’re being held together by tape and glue at times this year – looks like art is feeling the same!

Photos (left to right): Kate Barbee (close up), Marcellina Akpojotor
All Photos via Studio Brunstrum
Let’s talk trim. Applied trims – welts, cords, tape, fringe – are one of our favorite ways to add interest to an upholstered piece. We use them across an array of items: in expected places like pillows, furniture, bedding and window treatments, to the more unique like the arms of a chair, the box welt of a pillow or even a chair back. An applied trim can be tactile (like a string of pearls or a leather band) or simple (like a cord or plain tape). Adding an applied trim is a great way to help tie in a color scheme without being too matchy-matchy and can elevate a basic fabric or furniture piece without adding pattern. Trim trends tend to follow furniture trends as the accent should be congruent with the element that’s being highlighted; as furniture scale continues to increase, we’re noticing width changes in trim through bigger tapes as well.
On my recent excursion to LA, my friend Connie and I had ourselves a few gallery days! Director, Stefano Di Paola of ANAT EBGI gallery gave us a private tour of “Figure Ground” the solo exhibition of Swedish artist, Sigrid Sandström. Her work is colorful, bold and visceral and his passion for the artist was evident and much appreciated! First you noticed the abstract individual elements (the pieces and parts)- a boulder, an iceberg, a mountain, a cloud. But then you realized that all the elements are in a state of constant motion- some are tipped over or upside down - almost as if there was an invisible force pulling, pushing and churning. I loved the addition of her smears, whisps and fingerprint smudges. Her art is reminiscent of what I believe the creativity swirl within my head looks like when I am on an inspirational intake binge! I wish I had a wall big enough for one of her pieces…
We’re excited to begin the construction phase on one of our client’s kitchen renovations this week. We’ve partnered with NuHaus to customize the layout within the current footprint of the space to deliver a timeless kitchen that’s a far cry from the standard all-white farmhouse look. Our clients moved into their condo 6 years ago and updated quite a bit throughout their home without touching the kitchen. After deciding it was time to tackle that renovation, we were asked to create a space that was cohesive with the rest of their home and could accommodate entertaining their large, blended family and allowing them both space to cook together. We’ve always said the kitchen is the heart of the home, and in this case it’s true; with the kitchen in the center of their home with stunning lake views, we worked to combine multiple finishes – gray, blue, wood, glass and metal – throughout, pulling elements from the rest of the space to make the whole home flow together. Wanting a timeless look that wasn’t boring, we aimed for a space that was contemporary but warm – carving out space for a custom niche to hold a favorite piece of the couple’s sculptural artwork and designing a backsplash behind the sink that’s being carved into to create a unique border. Stay tuned for project highlights in the coming weeks!
We’re taking Farm to Table to a new level with these vegepods I also discovered on my trip to LA. Australian owned and operated, vegepods are the perfect way to urbanize herb gardens. The raised garden beds are ecologically friendly and require minimal maintenance and setup to start growing your own vegetable garden; the covers that come with them also help extend the growing seasons for those of us that live in less than ideal climates year-round. Our favorite part? They’re available in different sizes and are small enough to fit on a city balcony!
Aimee Leduc Mysteries – Cara Black.
I’ve sworn off binge-watching TV in 2021, but have quickly filled that time with binge reading! I was introduced to author Cara Black and the Aimee Leduc Mysteries recently and now I can’t put them down. Beginning with Murder in the Marais, the Aimee Leduc series spans 19 books, following tech investigator Aimee as she strays into the world of criminal investigation in Paris. Dark, thrilling, and not easy to put down, the series is certainly not what you’d call light and fluffy, but has that certain je ne sais quoi that makes shows and books like this so hard to put down. We all need a little mystery in our lives, right? And who doesn’t love Paris?
BUILD 2021 Awards
Thank you to the team at BUILD for the distinction of Leading Interior Design Firm in Illinois - we’re honored to have been awarded a BUILD award for the third consecutive year!
National Realtor's Association Article
How has the pandemic changed Kitchen design? Check out our thoughts on the subject here – thanks to Barbara Ballinger and the National Association of Realtors for including us in the article!
Podcast Business News Network
Get to know Susan in 5 minutes! Thank you to Podcast Business News Network for having me on your segment – chatting career, design and more!
Team Vaccinations 
It’s been quite the year, but we’re thrilled that the team at Studio Brunstrum was able to get vaccinated together, allowing us to continue to be in client’s home and on jobsites in the safest way possible. Antibodies? Check!
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