Studio Brunstrum
The world is round and the place which may seem like the end, may also be only the beginning.”
Most of us have been “home-bound” for almost 7 weeks – that’s 1,176 hours or 70,560 minutes! This unprecedented time spent confined within the walls of our own homes has allowed us look at our living spaces through a new lens and evaluate whether or not they’re giving us what we need to be happy and healthy.

With the added stressors of our current environment, it’s more important than ever that your home should feel like a respite away from the rest of the world. Your space should help calm and rejuvenate you and should be a safe space that makes you feel like you can conquer the world (which right now means simply getting through the day). We’ve always placed an emphasis on wellness within the home, finding creative solutions to ensure our clients’ homes match their lifestyle.

Wellness at home may have changed over the past few months (and we predict will have drastic effects on the interiors industry long after the pandemic is controlled), but it remains vital that your space gives back to you. With another 4 weeks left at home (at least for those of us in Illinois), we challenge you to evaluate how your home has been making you feel. Is it allowing you to rest and relax? Is it conducive to being productive? Are you surrounded by interiors that make you happy and allow you to stay organized and sane? Take stock of how your home has been able to adapt to your changing needs; if your home environment hasn’t been all you want or need it to be - let us know! Sometimes the smallest changes can have the largest impact.
The Studio Brunstrum Team
Heavy Metal
Metal Bathtubs. We’ve always been advocates for free-standing bathtubs; they add a luxurious feel to the master bath and create a spa-like oasis separate from the rest of the home. I’ve been inclined to take baths more than ever during the global pandemic to prioritize “me” time and allow the stress, headaches, and panic to be put on hold for an hour. While white porcelain is the traditional choice for a free-standing tub, we’re enamored with the metallic options we’ve seen in showrooms and catalogues. Adding a touch of grit and urbanism, metal bathtubs can take a master bath from traditional and classic to edgy and modern – especially when juxtaposed with cleaner tile and slab choices.

Photos (left to right): Turbulences, Penhaglion
Hide and Seek
Hidden Technology. Working from home has undoubtedly brought more technology into our spaces; if you’re like me you brought you work monitors home with you and have set up a makeshift office somewhere throughout your home - that means more wires everywhere! The additional time at home also means that I’ve had a chance to purge quite a few of my belongings, favoring the simplistic over the cluttered and chaotic – a trend I believe will persist in response to COVID-19. Integrated technology (especially in office furniture) gives us the best of both worlds, allowing us to have the updated technology we need in our home without adding to clutter and chaos.

Photos (left to right): House Beautiful, Docking Drawer
A Separate Peace
“Designated” Floorplans. Open concept floorplans are history! While all the rage for the past fifteen years, I predict we’re going to see a decline in open-concept floorplans thanks to COVID-19. Popularized because they were thought to foster connectivity and promote an airy, open and natural feel, we’re quickly finding that open floorplans are not conducive to multiple people needing to work/study from home at the same time and can have negative impacts on our mental health, especially during these unprecedented times. I predict we will see the pendulum swing back to “designated” floor plans (in both home and commercial environments) that allow individuals to have their own spaces to work and relax, with a designated area for family/collaborative time.

Photos (left to right): Floorplans, Studio Brunstrum
Got Game?
Game Tables/Games. Family rooms are no longer all about the TV! We’ve all gotten creative with ways to fill our time and keep our brains active during quarantine – especially with family activities like board games and puzzles. Custom game tables and unique/antique games like chess, checkers, etc. add a personal and practical element to a family room (plus the games look great stored on a bookshelf or side table). Game tables (even for kids) don’t need to look like you bought them at Toys R Us, create a custom game table for a sophisticated look that makes a family room or game room more enjoyable!

Photos (left to right): Spruce, Studio Brunstrum
All photos via Studio Brunstrum
It’s more important than ever that we’re allowing our bodies and minds to rest through adequate sleep every night; a calming and relaxing bedroom can help foster better sleep. We often find that master bedrooms are overlooked and are one of the last rooms (if ever) to be completed because many think others won’t see their personal space. Bedframes and headboards are one of the most important elements in a master bedroom as they give the room a focal point and help it feel finished. With a myriad of options to choose from (headboard only, headboard and footboard, complete bedframe, canopy bedframe, all wood, metal, mixed materials, upholstered) we recommend letting the location of your bed determine which frame option is right for your space. For example, if your bed is positioned to look out a window, don’t obstruct your view with a tall footboard and canopy bedframe; choose a substantial headboard that can stand alone but won’t distract from the view out the window. If you’re in a large master bedroom with enough room for a seating area, opting for a canopy bedframe that can separate the spaces helps to divide the room and maximize square footage. Smaller spaces should avoid bulky bedframes as there often isn’t enough clearance to comfortably move around them – resulting in unnecessary bumps and bruises. Bottom line – consider your lifestyle, traffic patterns, and space constraints prior to purchasing a bedframe.
While my daily wardrobe has gotten quite a bit more comfortable as of late, I find that I still have to put on my earrings and rings to feel like I’m ready to start my day. My favorites? A collection I’ve curated over the years from my friend, Krista Everage. On my first LA trip to visit long-time Connie, she introduced me to Krista – we instantly connected as she is one of those uber creatives! She and her husband John are the principals of Everage Design in Santa Monica, CA. While John manages the architecture and construction, Krista manages the interior design for all their residential client projects! Owning my own interior design firm is enough for me, but not for Krista. She also designs gorgeous, bespoke jewelry and will re-purpose and update jewelry pieces you already own. Her pieces can be worn during the day and transition into the evening. I love wearing some of her more intricate and stunning pieces with a t-shirt and jeans. Most are one-of-kind and others are variations on a theme. Her motto: If I wouldn’t personally wear and treasure the piece, I won’t make it! My everyday earrings (especially my hoops) are hers – I have the same pair in four different metals, plus I have 6 other pairs of earrings, 4 rings, 4 necklaces and 3 bracelets… I think. Stopping at Krista’s home while I’m in LA is always top of my list! Check out her Instagram HERE.
Our IT firm, Birds on a Cable, has been the ultimate problem solver during this abrupt transition to working from home. We can’t be creative without them – they keep our technology up and running, which has allowed us to continue doing what we do best (virtually!). Their problem-solving skills are infinite (and creative); they’ve been able to crack even our toughest technology conundrums (involving a keyboard, a mouse, six batteries, and one tiny piece of paper) and are always our first phone call when things start to go haywire (which, if you’ve ever been around me and technology happens quite often). Having a solid IT firm has made us feel infinitely more comfortable navigating a new day-to-day routine; we can’t thank them enough for putting up with our less than tech savvy questions!
Marble, hold the headache? Choosing marble as your slab material often came with the tradeoff that scratches and stains would be easily visible. Antolini, one of the leading Italian stone manufacturers we source through Terrazzo and Marble, has developed a state-of-the-art marble treatment that effectively turns a porous material into a non-porous material, eliminating the worry that your countertop will fall victim from the etching and staining of acid-based foods. The treatment also has bacteriostatic properties, effectively stopping bacteria from reproducing on your surface (which is always great, but especially during a global pandemic). With all the additional time spent in the kitchen during shelter-in-place, we’re overjoyed that the Azerocare treatment can help eliminate worries of a battered-looking countertop. The treatment is available for marbles, onyxes and specialty stones, meaning our array of beautiful, but practical slab choices just got a lot bigger!

Harry Potter Series. (Yes, Kelsey wrote this). Those of you who know Kelsey know that she’s the ultimate Harry Potter fan – so much so that her books have torn apart at the seams from overuse. While she’s suggested a Harry Potter book multiple times for the On My Nightstand feature, we’ve always chosen a book that was newer or felt more relevant to our monthly theme. However, when she told us that her weekend was spent re-reading the HP books for the 36th time (literally, that is not an exaggeration) because it allowed her to escape our reality, we thought she might have a point. Her long-awaited love letter to J.K. Rowling is below:
I constantly get asked how I still find the Harry Potter books interesting after reading them so many times; while some might say I’m a creature of habit, I always say that my love of the series is borne out of loyalty rather than comfort. J.K. Rowling’s writing is so intricate, filled with nuanced details and subtleties woven from the first book through the seventh, that pick up on different aspects of her incredible foreshadowing each time I’ve read through it (after all, the series is 4,101 pages). Her words and descriptors are so beautifully chosen that what seems like an off-hand comment in one book is penned to create a major plotline in another. Her writing created a world that I grew up in and along with and one that’s comforting to return to whenever I want to escape my own for a few hours. We could all use a little magic these days, why not find it inside the pages of a well-loved book?
Remote Design
We’ve quickly come to realize that “remote design”, while not our standard process, is not much different than our in-person practice (and can be just as personal thanks to video chat!). Although we can’t be in your home, we can still move your projects forward or help you start new ones. We’re here to assist with anything you need – whether it’s to schedule a service provider, make accessories selections to complete a room, assist with floor plan reconfiguration (including outdoor spaces), or even start a full-fledged, completed design project. Happiness at home is important; if we can make it happier, please let us know!
Business of Design Lecture Series
Join Susan for the Business of Design Lecture Series hosted by the Mart on May 6th! Alongside Kurt Jacob Miller and Lakesha Rose, Susan will be discussing what the future of the design industry looks like in the wake of COVID-19 and how she’s staying focused and inspired as we continue to social distance. Register for the virtual discussion HERE.
The Studio Brunstrum team is keeping busy and design focused – within their own homes! Patti took on a colorful bookshelf update, while Kelsey changed out her ill-fitting media console in favor of a “custom” wall-length media unit. We filmed both of the processes to give you an inside look behind-the-scenes of Studio Brunstrum. Check them out above and follow along on social media – more videos to come!
How Do You Think?
What started as a funny dinner conversation on Susan’s “thinking time” transitioned to a conversation about how everyone thinks differently and what the inside of our brains would look like if we could see them. Kelsey’s joke that the inside of Susan’s brain would look like a whirling dervish (lending itself well to her creative tendencies), while hers would look like an organized and color-coded filing cabinet inspired our blog post, “How Do You Think?” – read it and let us know what you think your brain would look like.
Daily Reverie Archive
Missed any of our Daily Reveries or want to revisit one of our topics? We’ve archived all our posts (starting March 24th!) on the website so you can easily find your favorites or share with friends. Cluttered inbox no more!
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