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The “more is less” holiday decor

Holidays are here and therefor its time to start thinking about the family dinner you’re going to host! But I don’t wanna talk about the stuff that goes on the plates, instead I would like to talk about the plates themselves and all that lays between. 

Not here to knock anyone but isn’t everyone a little tired of these over the top tablescapes for the holidays.. or in general..? Before you shout out “Blasphemy!” hear me out. I grew up in the south and over the top holiday decor is just normal decor. Everything is bigger in Texas, right? So, I think I developed an aversion to all things cute and frilly. I love clean lines, good textures, and minimalism. 

I’m all for aesthetic, as much as the next designer would be, but cant we achieve more with less? Let’s talk about the tablescape featured below. Also, i don’t even know if tablescape is a real word, but let’s pretend it is. Back to the picture. I am not going to say it’s wrong. Everyone is entitled to their style and opinion. It’s well done, but just not something I care for. Again, I shoot for clean lines, good textures, and minimalism. 

Now for the next picture (below). This is surely the way to impress the in-laws that have flown a thousand miles to enjoy the holidays with you. 

Simple Gorgeous

Lets all bring in the idea of minimalism to the dinner table this holiday, and all holidays to follow. Why not instead of putting a tiny village in the center of your table, in hopes that it will somehow absorb any actual conversation with relatives, and try putting just a few candles in place and bond with your family!

One thing I will say about this is tablescape is WHY do the place settings stop 5 seats down the table??? There are 3 more seats at the end. Is that where the kids sit? Did you run out of plates and say ‘to hell with it, they can eat off the table?’.. I am just so curious, but let’s not dwell on that for too long. I just had to throw that out there.  Other than that tiny little thing, this is a great way to do minimal decor. 

Going back to the candle holders, these are a bit of a splurge, but I am pretty obsessed with these candle holders. White marble. 16″ tall. 3 of them would look so decadent as a center piece. I looked through tons of websites for a better picture. I really did. I could not find one anywhere.  If you have these in your home, will you send me a a picture. I bet they are stunning. 

Shine Candle Holder, White Stone
Shine Holder by Noir

Add some gold candles for some real pizzazz! These are pretty affordable and would great with the marble candle holders. Knowing me, I would never light the candles. I would be the one too worries to stain the marble. Am I the only one like that?

Now for some plates.  l love these Pitch Matte Black plates  from CB2. They  really high light the idea of less-is-more-tablescape-edition. and this can totally be used throughout the year and for any, absolutely any, occasion! Matte black in the dining room setting is such a perfect pairing. Embellishing with the gloss black chargers and cutlery really do so much for it. With a nice glass of Pinot Noir next to this setting would really make anyone feel right at home. 

LAST THING…. I promise…

Everyone loves doing an Instagram worthy tablescape to really add some visual extravaganza to their “9-grid” and so do we! We ran to Crate and Barrel to pick up a set of Pedra Artisan  (PA set)plates and threw somethings together. I really like the PA set,  because it is simple. It can be paired with more festive pieces for the holidays or used through out the year  as your every day dinnerware.  

I am not the Tablescape Guru. I know what I like and go for that. Here are 2 ways 2 ways to mix and match the PA set.  When I went shopping I quickly grabbed what I liked. I grabbed the Round Silver place mat, Helena Wine napkin, gold napkin ring, and the brass candle stick holders. 

For this pairing I wanted something a little darker with a bit of texture. I had a navy linen table cloth, so I threw that down. I added the Carson charger , the Paxton Grey Diamond napkin, Wrap Black napkin ring, and the Matte Black candle holder. The last few items aren’t pictured, but you can head to my Instagram page here to see the full image.

Just have fun with it. Don’t stress it too much. Want to know a little secret? You can take stuff back. OK. It’s not a secret, but I don’t want you to be sitting in the store for 2 hours stressing over the mixture of the perfect plate and charger. Buy more than what you think you will need. Maybe buy two sets of flatware, so you can see which one you like more when you get home. Then just return the rest. I am sure Crate and Barrel won’t mind. Just make sure you check the return policy.  And don’t tell them I sent you. lol. 

Thanks for tuning in. Leave a reply and let us know your take on the ideal tablescape or send pictures of yours!

Happy Holidays to all and I will talk to you soon

–J

Houston Interior Designer 

If you read my last post (from earlier today) you know that I have promised to complete this post. So, here it goes. The perfect gallery wall is a carefully sculpted work of art. Some designer spend months searching through galleries and small antique shops finding the perfect pieces for their gallery wall. On top of that, they will hang art and switch it out a few until it is perfect. This is not that situation. Here’s how it went down. I am sitting at my client’s dining room table getting some work done in the middle of a renovation. I get a call from my mom.

Mom: “Hey son. What are you up to?”

Me: “Not much just getting some work done. What’s up?” *pretty much how we start every conversation* 

Mom: “So, I am having a party at my house on Friday. Can you decorate my living room before then?”

Me: *cue the biggest eye roll you can imagine*

Mom cont’d: “I want to do a gallery wall like we talked about.”

There was some whining on my part, but I won’t subject you to that. I mean, you can’t tell your mom “NO!’, so I just had to suck it up and make it happen. I had already decorated her living room as far as furniture is concerned, but we hadn’t got around to décor yet. So, no galleries or small antique shops for this one. I didn’t have time for that shit all the work had to be done by Friday at 5pm and she called me the Tuesday around 3pm. That gave me about 3 days to get it done and on a budget

The Nitty Gritty

 

The current sectional is a medium gray, the rug is textured with a southwestern blue and white print, all the furniture has black metal with various shades of wood. I chose a palette of black, blue, white, wood, bronze and gold for the art. When I went shopping to choose the items, I made sure to get varying sizes of frames and colors, sculptural pieces, paintings, and of course you have picture frames. For most people it’s their family home and they want to show off the family. Or if your family gets on your nerves and you’d rather have art, the picture frames are an way to incorporate prints into the gallery wall. I know the stock picture are still in the picture frames LOL. I didn’t get around to printing out photos before I hung the gallery wall.

 

Things you will need

  • Artwork
  • Drill
  • Dry wall anchors
  • Measuring tape
  • Tape (painters or scotch tape)
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Ladder or step stool

You may need a friend or partner to help with the hanging. It always is best to have a second set of eyes.

When I started out planning the wall, I drew out the space on graph paper using 1\4 scale (1\4 of an inch = 1 foot). I did that so I would have a starting point for how many items I need. I wasn’t trying to solidify the final design plan, because every thing looks different on the wall. I really didn’t spend too much time on the drawing. About 30-45 min. Don’t get caught up on the details of the art work. Simple squares, rectangles, and circles will do.  I quickly looked at Target.com in the wall art section to see the some items and their dimensions. I wish I had a picture of the drawing because it looks nothing like the final product, but it was really helpful as a jumping off point.  Always, always, always expect something to go wrong when you’re shopping. When I got to the store a few of the items that I really wanted were out of stock. No bid deal! I grabbed a few back up items to replace them. Make sure you can return whatever you don’t use.

On the flip side, if you’re not on a huge time crunch, you can probably order an item online then wait for it to ship.

Nailing the Layout

When I got all my items to the home, I found a nice open space on the floor to lay my art work and décor out. I recommend taping off an area on the floor to represent the gallery wall. If you look closely in the image on the left, you can see the red tape in the top left corner. It helps you with simg_5240pacing since it’s pretty hard to hold all the items up against the wall. You can cut out pieces of paper that are the size and shape of the art pieces. Then tape them to the wall and start moving items around. I chose to lay mine out. I think it gives you a better overall picture. If you don’t have the floor space to lay them out, go with the paper option.  To start the design, pick a focal point and just start working. I feel the design comes naturally. Place the items out, take a picture, then step back and examine your design. For this gallery wall, my first design was a little more symmetrical than how the finished product is. I had originally grouped all the like items together, but it felt too forced.img_5303 So, I started moving the pieces around. I mentioned to take a picture earlier and now that picture will come in handy. As you start to move things around, refer to your picture to see how the progression is. If you like a few items in a previous arrangement,  move them back and see how it is. Eventually you will get the design that you will like.

My tips for placement and spacing. Keep all the items spaced evening. I feel 2-3 inches is a good space between the items. Spread your like colors out and don’t bunch up your architectural pieces. I will go over some tips for hanging the pieces later.

The Hard Work

The best place to start is with the focal point. In this gallery wall, it is the textural art img_2389piece with the dark brown frame. It’s pretty much in the middle. It’s a good starting point and it will give you a piece to anchor you the wall with. Then hang the art from top to bottom and left to right. If you are a little OCD, feel free to bust out the tape measure and pencil to start marking View More: http://cassiecphotography.pass.us/jacobmedinaeverything prior to hanging the art. It may work for you, it’s just not my style for a gallery wall like this. It doesn’t have to be 100% perfect. After you have hung the first few pieces, double check the height before you hang the entire wall and then realize that it’s all too high or too low. Move to the right and repeat. Most likely 1 or 2 items will be off and have to be adjusted. No problem, it happens.

Something that I find really helpful when I am hanging art in a series is tape. I take a piece of tape and place it over the hangers on the back of the picture frame. img_5246Take a pencil and mark 2 spots on the tape where the nails would go. Take the tape off the hangers and place it on the wall. You still have to do some measuring and math, but I think it’s an easy way to help with spacing. I’m not saying you have to do this, it’s just easier for me.  For the set of 3 geometric mirrors, I placed all three pieces on the floor with a 2 inch spread, then pimg_5254laced 1 long strip of tape over the eyelets. Then I marked the each eyelet on the tape. I put the tape on the wall, check the level, put the nails on the wall, and hang the art. Easy peasy. Hanging sets it always a little tougher because if one piece is slightly off, it’s very noticeable. Regardless of all the tips I give you, you still need to use a tape measure and take your time. It took me and my sister about 3 hours arrange and hang all the art. Don’t stress yourself out when you feel like it’s taking forever or if 1 piece is slightly out of place. It’s supposed to be unique, so let it be unique.

All and all I am super happy with how the gallery wall came out. I want to say I spent around $400 on all the art pieces. $400 and about 5 hours total is not that bad for a unique gallery wall. Now that were are several months passed the initial hanging of the wall, I am going to add some pieces to it. I’m not going to rearrange what’s up there. I like how it looks and I am too lazy to redo it lol. I am just going to add a few pieces to the right side to fill the wall a little more.

In a few weeks I will have a photo shoot of this room as well as the dining room that I did for my mom, so stay tuned on both accounts. As always, thanks for tuning in.

Until next time

Jacob

I’m back

Houston Interior Designer 

Well, I am finally back!! I know it’s been a really long time, but I feel like I have a pretty good excuse. If you remember from last August, I had a bike wreck and did some teeth damage. I won’t go into it too much that. I know most people are sensitive to teeth things and I don’t want to gross anyone out. Plus I have a lot of time to heal, physically, so I am not so focussed on that anymore. Like I said, I will leave the gory details out, but emotionally the wreck took a pretty big toll on me. It sent me into a depression that lasted for a few months. I worked my way out of it, but I was in no way prepared for that shit. Thank God I have good friends and family to support me. They really are the heroes in this story.

Here we are, 8 months later and life is pretty much back to normal for me on a personal level. On the2803-houston-ave-houston-tx-High-Res-1 business side, I couldn’t be happier. I’ve had a couple of really awesome clients this year, I finally got to shoot the gorgeous kitchen that I renovated last year (see left), and I have really big plans for my business this year. *wink wink*. It’s on the DL, so I can’t get into it yet. The point of this post isn’t really to brag, but to let you know that I will be back to blogging. My goal is to post every Friday. SO be on the look out. I know I owe you guys bug time for my absence and I am going to make it up to you. The last post I was working on pre-wreck was the How-To on the gallery wall that I created. I know it’s a small compensation for your wait, but it’s the best I can do right now lol. If you are reading this, just give me an hour or so and I pinky promise, the next post will be up. Oh and the sneak peak of the kitchen was intentional. My next post is going to be about that renovation cause I have SOOO much to say about that. It was a hot mess.

Thank you all for staying tuned in to my work and my life. It really means the world to me.

Until next time,

Jacob

A quick break…

Hey Everyone,

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you’ve heard my recent story. If not, here’s a a brief story. Will and I were riding our bikes to yoga when I had to suddenly slam on my brakes. I squeezed the front brake harder than the back brake and it flipped me over the handlebars. I face planted and broke 1 tooth while damaging 2 more. I’m a freak about my teeth, so this is basically a nightmare come true. Plus I smashed my new watch.

Well, I’ve been dealing with all of that and I haven’t had much time to work, much less blog. I’m only working half days right now. Being in the middle of a couple renovations, those are keeping me busy. I know that I promised a blog about the gallery wall, so I wanted to give you an update. I’ve started writing it but I haven’t had a chance to finish. It’s need some major editing.

I’m hoping things go back to normal soon. As soon as they do, I’ll finish the blog post for you guys. It was a really awesome gallery wall, so I really want to post a How To.

I’ll talk to you soon.

-J

So Many Paints, So Little Time…

4 Easy Steps to Choosing a Paint Color

I’ve been getting a lot of questions from friends and clients about paint choices, so I decided to write about my way to choose a paint color. First of all, the great thing about painting options right now are ALL the paint choices. The bad thing about painting options right now are ALL the paint choices. Don’t get sucked into the color vortex. If you wanted to, you can spend a few days going to all your local paint stores, searching through the hundreds of colors, and painting a million swatches on your walls. Don’t do that. Do your research, decide on maybe 1 or 2 brands, get about 3 swatches from each, and then  narrow it down to 3  or 4 samples to paint a swatches on your wall. That’s my method at least and it has worked out well for me so far. I know some designers like to paint 20 swatches on the wall to pick the absolute perfect color and dissect every discernable shade or tint visible in 1 specific color. I feel you get way too overwhelmed and the stress far outweighs the benefits. Keep it simple, well as simple as you can.

So, Step 1. do your research on the brand(s) you’re interested in. You can never go wrong with Behr, Sherwin Williams, and Benjamin Moore. I have used Behr and Sherwin Williams the most, so those are the brands that I gravitate towards. Like I said, stick to 1 or 2 brands. If you have had a great experience with Benjamin Moore, leave me a comment about your favorite color. Even though I am a designer, I am always trying to expand my knowledge. Step 2. decide on 3-4 colors. Step. 3 paint your swatches on the wall. A few things that are important to me when I paint swatches on the walls. Paint a good size swatch. A small swatch won’t give you a true feel of how it will be when the paint is on a whole wall. If you are painting an entire home or several rooms in 1 color, paint the swatches in more than 1 area. Say your living room gets great natural light all day, but the dining room only has 1 small window. That same color is going to look very different in those 2 rooms because of the difference in the light. So, paint the swatch in both rooms. Even if you are only painting 1 room and that room has different lighting in different parts, I paint 1 swatch in a high light area and 1 swatch in a low light area. Step 4. leave the swatch on the wall for at least 1 day. You want to be sure you love the color in brightest part of the day, as the sun sets, and at night. I know it’s a lot to think about just to pick out 1 color, but it will be worth it in the in. Plus, it is always better to put a little extra effort up front versus quickly choosing a paint color and then shortly there after realize you hate and want to repaint again.

Which is exactly what happened to a recent client of mine. When they moved into their new home, the only had a short time to choose the paint color and relied on their contractor to make the right decision. He chose a medium tan to compliment there dark wood floors. At that time they were closing on the house right in the middle of their busy work season. I am sure they saw the color briefly and thought it was a great color. The contractor definitely did not take into account the amount of light some rooms get, which isn’t very much. In some of the rooms the nice medium tan looks very brown and is absorbing all that natural light.  Making it feel like a cave, not a retreat.  Now 10 months later they feel like the color is much too dark and they need to paint their walls a different color. I chose, Behr Marquee’s Bleached Linen  and for a nice warm white. As soon as they get everything painted, I will post an update.

2017-07-26 (2).pngWhen I went through all my steps to choose the paint color for my house, I settled on Morning Fog from Sherwin Williams. Depicted left. On the first floor of my home, the floor is painted concrete and the second floor of my home are hard woods that have a lot of gold tints in them. To balance both colors I chose a cool gray, you can never go wrong with a nice blue-gray. I have lived in this house for 2 years now and I am still happy with my choice.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram here to keep up with all my work. I’ll be posting more tips and tricks soon.

Talk to you soon.

–J

A New Start

View More: http://cassiecphotography.pass.us/jacobmedina My life is what I consider the “new normal”. I live with my partner, Will, and our 3 cats (I didn’t intend to have 3 cats, it just happened that way lol, but I’ll cover that later). We have been together for 3 years and we recently bought a home together. I am an interior designer based in Houston, TX. He is a landscaper and potter. It’s a nice quiet life, but it can be a little stressful as we both grow our new businesses. My journey to the design world is a little different than most people. I went to University of Houston for a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology with a plan to be a doctor. I spent most of my time in a lab working with bacteria and DNA. After school I worked for TeamHealth as medical scribe. A medical is the equivalent of a paralegal to an ER physician. Working as a medical scribe was an amazing learning experience. I learned a lot and it basically showed me that I didn’t want to go into medicine. I was really lost. I had just spent 6 years of my life planning to go to medical school and then realized it wasn’t for me. So, I took a sabbatical from the science world and bartended at a restaurant while I figured things out.

Interior design was always a hobby to me, but I never thought it could be a job. When I moved into my last apartment I spent hours of time space planning, creating a budget, and researching furniture. Even though it was a hobby, I took it pretty seriously. Most of my friends knew this. One evening I was out with a friend having a few drinks at a local bar. I knew that she was working with an interior designer for her home, so I just asked how it was going. It wasn’t going well. The interior designer had dissolved her Houston based company, taken a large chunk of my friend’s money and ran off to another state. That evening she causally mentioned that she wanted me to help her decorate her home because she liked my taste and she trusted me. We had a few more drinks and I really didn’t think too much about it. Over the course of the next 2 weeks she mentioned it again and just like before I didn’t think too much about it. A little while later she asked a third time. This time very seriously saying “Hey! Will you help me decorate my place, like as a job, I will pay you.” I hadn’t thought about it too much, but I jumped on the opportunity. The more I thought about it, the more I really liked the idea. So, we sat down together to come up with a budget and plan. I feel like we spent about 2 hours on Pinterest going through all of her design boards. Then I got to work. It was slow going at first. For the first few weeks I went out in the city, awkwardly trying to figure out how to be an Interior Designer. It wasn’t easy, but I knew I was making the right decision.

After I created Medina Designs I continued to work with my friend to decorate her home and began focusing on finding new projects. At the time I was still working at a restaurant as a full time bartender, so I was splitting time between both jobs. That created so many challenges, but when you are starting a career venture you have to bust ass and get it done. One night after a 10 hour bar shift, I was sitting on the couch watching TV and thinking about what I wanted my business to be. Everyone kept saying that I needed a niche or a brand. I was really racking my brain. Eventually, I realized that it was right in front of my face. I want the people that I work with to be able to trust me and to feel like friends or family. I know that’s not really a niche, because every business wants that. but it is still important to me. My business was created from something bad happening to a good friend. I want to be the designer that a client can come to and know they won’t get taken advantage of. Majority of my clients have been referrals from friends and family which is amazing. It shows me that the people I work with trust me enough to refer me to their friends or family.

My small business was slowly, but surely gaining momentum. So, to give the business my 100% attention, I decided to resign from the restaurant. Since then, I have been able to concentrate my efforts into the expansion of my brand. A design aesthetic is like a fingerprint; everyone is vastly unique. Budgets are no exception. It’s my goal to provide a personalized and engaging experience for each client with affordable prices and approachable designs.
I’m currently working with a client on their kitchen and bathroom renovation. I’m a huge fan of open concepts and vaulted ceilings which makes the possibilities endless when it comes to interior design. Custom gas range, modern pendants, aged brass ascents, and exposed brick make for a rustic elegance that some of my clients love. Once I finish this I’ll be working with a builder to design a new home. Naturally, I’ll take pictures of all my finished projects to share with my followers and future clients.
I feel really lucky that I am able to do a job that I love.