Jen Talbot Design

The Sketch Book Files

Meet Jen!

Jen's spot for inspirations, inside her life as designer and artist. I share progress, tips on sources, spaces that inspire and how to push the boundaries of every space.

Be brave, and go for it.

xo, Jen

Posts tagged interiordesign
Top 10 Office Chairs

Anyone who has ever worked in an office, designed an office, or sat in an office before knows this struggle. Pretty and practical do not meet in Office chairs. We have all seen the Knoll, Steelcase, an Herman Miller office chair solutions. They are some of the best office chairs on the market. Only issue is that they are not terribly attractive. We searched the market and curated a few chairs we guarantee meet all your needs. 

Baxter

CB2

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Gubi

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West Elm

Steelcase

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Arper 

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Sean Dix

Suite NY

For more inspiration, take a look at our Pinterest board: Attractive and Ergonomic Chairs

Best Soft Touch Matte Finish Paint

Author: Sydney Piwowar

Benjamin Moore released a new line of paint in 2017 called Century. It is the world’s first Soft Touch Matte Finish paint with never-before-seen depth in 75 exclusive colors. We are obsessed with the level of depth in these colors and find it is very comparable to the infamously expensive Farrow & Ball line. The best part of these soft, cozy colors is that they are curated to look good all year long. See our Top 5 below!

Top 5 Interior Glass Walls

We were all in shock when the trend hit in early 2017 and have been drooling over them since. Black powder coated steel framed glazed partitions. In other words, those beautiful black framed window walls that we are seeing in interior spaces. After the swoon faded, I discovered a very practical issue with these walls… Arent walls supposed to separate spaces and provide privacy? Well, not these ones. The goal of these window walls are to separate zones in space without compromising on light, still maintaining the open feel of the space. To prove it to you, I have rounded up our top 5 favorite PRACTICAL applications for these.

1. Interstitial Spaces

Interstitial spaces can be a pain to design. Often, they become this weird in-between space with no purpose other than to offer a transition in space. These glass walls offers a connection from the outside in, making a smoother and aesthetically pleasing transition.

2. Studio Dividers

Anyone who has ever owned a studio apartment or condo knows the struggle of defining zones within a larger, open space. We have seen endless Ikea temporary hacks, but for those who are in it for the long run, this offers a solution that embraces your small space.

3. Quiet Zones

Since the development of open concept, our clients have come to us with lots of noise control issues. Families are finding that noise carries through the house in unwanted areas. No one wants to hear the kids playing cops and robbers while you’re trying to make a work call in our home office. These glazing walls offer create barrier between spaces, blocking some sound, and separating quiet spaces like your office.

4. Stair Railings

It sounds contradictory to build a wall to open up the space, but this glazing wall offers a protective railing for the stairs without the cluttered, repetitive lines of balusters.

5. Messy Spaces

There are some spaces, like mudrooms, that unfortunately receive a lot of light as they are connected to the exterior of the home, but get VERY messy. Frosted glass partitions offer a way to carry in that light without seeing the mess! This can be a great solution for spaces like kids play rooms, pantries, offices, etc.

This is a steel and glass wall we did for a modern condo in the West Loop to split the master bedroom from the main living area. We also had custom cast brass door handles made.

Design Details: Toilet Paper Holder

Author: Sydney Piwowar

I have decided to start a series called Design Details where I touch on the details of a space. There are so many little things that effect your every day life that people don’t think about. This week topic is: Toilet Paper Holders!! Yep. That’s right. Everyone has a specific method they prefer (upright, side ways, open ended, spring bar, etc.) Who knew there were so many options?!

I have curated a list of a few of my favorites to liven up a very practical detail in design.

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Ottomans To Make you Kick Your Feet Up

Author: Sydney Piwowar

Some people have those rooms where you better not get caught with your feet on the table - we encourage COMFORT at JTD. If you can't live in your home, then your home isn't right for you. Ottomans are essential for kicking up your feet and settling in after a long day. Not only are they very practical, but can be beautiful accessories. Take a look at a few of our favorites for getting cozy this fall!

The best part about ottomans is that in small spaces, they can double as an extra seat! Here are a few sturdy stools we love for their functionality and looks!

For more inspiration, go to our Pinterest page: Ottomans + Stools

Top 5 Trim Options that AREN'T White

Author: Sydney Piwowar

Contrast trim became famous for providing non-contractor grade options for trim. It was a missed opportunity for years to provide another aspect of color and depth to space. Rather than just picking the base grade or what ever is cheapest at Home Depot, we encourage you to put an interesting spin on a building necessity. Here are our current Top 5 Favorite Contrast Trim Colors now.

1. Classy Black

We have all heard of the black trim trend at this point. At JTD, we appreciate the unique ways people are using black in space. Here is a great space where the designer chose to trim a unique white wallpaper with black.

2. Calming Grey

Although providing a visual contrast, this soft grey brings a sense of comfort into the space.

3. Eclectic Green

We love the way this emerald toned trim compliments the original stained glass windows. This is a great way to modernize traditional spaces.

4. Pretty In Pink

If your kids are anything like I was, they constantly want to update their room. An easy, non permanent way to do that is to paint trim. No need for painting or wallpapering whole walls.

5. Buoyant Blue

This soft, baby blue paint color was pulled to compliment the paper pattern.

Funky Side Tables

Author: Sydney Piwowar

When you go out for a night on the town with your pre-planned outfit you've been waiting to wear, you never go out without jewelry. It is what completes the outfit, right? At JTD, we see side tables the same way. There is no need to wear your old jewelry to a black tie event and there is no need for lame side tables. Here are a few attractive (and practical) side tables to liven up your space

We call this one the "anywhere table" because you could literally put this in any room and it would look good. 

For a more classic approach, this cast bronze side table ages perfectly with a brown patina. This is a piece you will want to hand down for generations. 

For a more rustic or natural look, a pop of wood in its nearly original state brings a very raw and organic feel to the space. 

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For those that need some storage to hide coasters, remotes, and all those not-so-pretty things. 

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Black, White and Brass Cabinet Hardware

Author: Sydney Piwowar 

Sometimes when considering cabinet hardware, brass just isn't enough.. You know that phrase less is more? Sometimes more is more. Sometimes when we can't decide one, we decide both. You're probably thinking, "What the heck, you can't have multiple types of hardware on a cabinet." Well, you're right, that might look a little weird. But that doesn't mean your hardware only has to be one finish! Take a look at these amazing multi-colored cabinet hardware pieces and you'll know what I mean. They have a very classic, yet fresh approach to accessorizing cabinets. 

Top 5 Media Consoles you NEED and WANT

Author: Sydney Piwowar

Now-a-days media consoles are mostly about aesthetics as most people no longer use DVDs and VHS players have gone extinct. There are still some needs for storage though as the modern family probably hides video and board games here. We have created a "Best Of" list according to 5 categories - including closed storage, open storage, bar storage, vintage charm, and funky flare. See our top 5 list below. 

Best of Closed Storage

Brooks Cradenza by Croft House

Best of Open Storage

Thea Media Console by Burke Decor

Best of Bar Storage 

Guell Bar Cabinet by Baxter

Best of Vintage Charm

Porthole Console by Bobo Intriguing Objects

Best of Funky

Plissé by Baxter

Best Counter and Bar Stools

Author: Sydney Piwowar

The perfect bar or counter stool requires a balance of aesthetic, lumbar support, and seat comfort. We have curated a few of our favorites below that we believe contain that perfect harmony. 

1. Phase Design — The Bride's Veil Stool 

2. Gabriel Scott — Bardot Stool

3. Palecek — Pratt Stool 

4. Lawson — Fenning — Elysian Barstool

5. Interlude Home — Darcy Stool

A backless stool allows for cleaner, more streamlined views as you can tuck it fully under a table or counter. This is perfect for spaces where you don't want to overcrowd the room visually. Here are a couple of our favorites!

1. Interlude Home — Colton Adjustable Stool

2. Mr. Brown — Lorca Counter Stool

3. Noir — Diora Brass Stool

4. Lawson Fenning — Orsini Stool

Timeless Brass Door Hardware

Author: Sydney Piwowar

Brass is all the rage now, but at JTD we dont like to get stuck in the trends! Here is our guide to the best brass door hardware for a classic, timeless look. 

1. Bonne Mazou — Goutte Ovale

2. Buster and Punch — Brass Door Lever Handle

3. Schoolhouse — Rome Tall Door Set

4. Joseph Giles — FONTEYN Solid Brass Handle

5. Rocky Mountain Hardware — Metro Entry Set 

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6. Emtek — Octagon on Circle 

7. Nanz - N° 1599AB

8. Rocky Mountain Hardware — Flute Passage Set

9. Chant Hardware — Flush Pull

10. Rocky Mountain Hardware — Edge Passage Set 

Look Up — Attention Seeking Bold Ceilings

Author: Sydney Piwowar

Growing up, my mother told me that as people, we have the tendency to look down a lot. She said to look up and it will give you a whole new perspective on the world. Design is similar. It is not limited to what sits on the floor in front of you and the walls around us -  it includes the ceiling too! At JTD, we do not limit ourselves in this way, we consider the entire architecture of the space when designing. 

We have curated a few of our favorite ceiling installations that are begging for your attention. These show stoppers will inspire you to start looking up. Let us know what you think of these inspiring, bold moves! Do you have the guts?

Color Palette Inspiration — Camel and Blush Pink

We love starting a new project with fabric and wallpaper selection. Opening a package of freshly sent samples is the best mail at the office. We love sourcing fresh prints and colors from new lines that are typically a small business run by an artist putting their ideas into print and paper. 

A couple of our new favorites are St. Frank, Skinny Laminx, Imogen Heath, Adelene- Simple Cloth. Check out a couple inspiration boards we are working on for upcoming projects. 

How to Decorate with Plants

Plants are often overlooked as a potential element to design a space. Plants not only bring in needed color and life, but can be integral in finishing a space. Plant life is also a great way to keep the space fresh visually and satisfy the need to mix it up.  One of the most popular "designer" plant trends is the Fiddle Fig tree. It has big waxy leaves on a long stem and is very sculptural. 

Below are a couple examples of plants being used in the designing of the space. Imagine the rooms with out the plants or hold up your finger to block out the pops of green and see how different the space would feel without. 

I love plants and find it relaxing to do my Spring plantings, but I also understand are not for the fait of heart and not everyone has a green thumb or patience to care for a plant. There a several companies that are doing a great job with high end artificial plants. They are not cheap, but the investment is a pay off verse killing a $180 – $250 Fiddle Fig tree several times over. One of my favorite companies is here

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How to Add Color in Your Home, Naturally

In the last several years, I've noticed a trend in the striping of color from wardrobes and adding it to environments. Color can be tricky and much harder as a sweater paired with someones complexion. In art school students are first taught to draw in pencil, only using black and white- in order to understand highlights and low lights.  If color is introduced too soon students are not able to get a full understanding of how light affects a shape and ultimately affects the color when finally applied.

The same rules apply when adding color into your space, be thoughtful and selective about which colors and how much color to add.  Pick two colors and keep with those two mixed with neutrals. Feel free to use a variation on tones of the color you picked- meaning not all blue need to match to feel cohesive. If you mix the tones of blue, it will make the space feel more natural. Often times the use of selective color can make that highlighted color stand out more than if a multiple of colors were combined together. 

Be Brave! xo, Jen

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Dark Painted Cabinets

Dark painted cabinets are having a moment. A moment that I think is going to stick around for a awhile. We have spent 20 years in the beige range that dulled our senses and put us to sleep. It is an exciting time to be in design and see the marketed shift in peoples comfort zone. It's not like this is our first time in history experiencing dark cabinets. They pull from points in history of old drawing rooms and English libraries, which are rich, warm and inviting. For your first dark cabinet plunge, start with a dark neutral tone paint color, such as gray, blacks or navy.  I couple of my go to favorites are Benjamin Moore Hale Navy, Farrow & Ball Hague Blue, Benjamin Moore French Beret or Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray.

xo, Jen

West Shore Dr Library

West Shore Dr Library

 
Hyde Park Butler Pantry

Hyde Park Butler Pantry

 
Hyde Park Family Room Built In

Hyde Park Family Room Built In

Best Up & Coming Artists

Author: Sydney Piwowar

Finding affordable, art can be hard.. it's expensive! To find affordable art that is original, is even harder. This is one of the main reasons why I love to embrace new, up and coming artists. Often these artists have not only a fresh, new look, but more reasonable prices too. It's a natural blend from my background in art installation, and I'm always on the hunt for the talented and promising artists.  Here is a quick list of a couple of my current favorite up and coming artists. 

Colorful Front Doors – Stand Out from Your Neighbors

Author: Sydney Piwowar

On October 31st, many Americans were standing on each others door steps. Accompanied by our children, doorstep-to-doorstep ringing door bells and listening to our kids yell "TRICK OR TREAT!"  As a creative person, I was paying as much attention to the costumes as I was the doors. After half a dozen of white and glass doors, I was pleasantly surprised with a bright yellow door. Everyone knows that the kids' favorite house on the block is the one that gives out the full size candy bars – but this one was my favorite. 

When thinking about design, people often get stuck on the soft goods. We think about the potential for a sofa, coffee table, maybe some chairs. Things like windows, trim, doors, and passageway areas are neglected. The bones of a space are just as important though! They hold the power in a room to pull everything together, and I think they deserve our designated attention. 

The options are endless when it comes to paint colors, finishes, and details though. Here are some of our favorite doors to help inspire you to give your home some character.

If you are going for more of a natural look, one of my favorite wood options is Cypress. The long, rustic woodgrain although it looks very rough, creates balance in space to create the perfect rustic modern look. 

This door has a high gloss, lacquer finish. This finish is absolutely stunning! It is guaranteed to make your home stand out from all the others on the block.

Not every great door has to be a bright color. Not every home calls for bright color. A white on white showstopper may be the perfect way to give your door some much needed texture and character.

The antique look isn't for everyone, but I believe that antiques bring character into a space that some contemporary design cannot replace. There are some amazing dealers out there that sell beautiful doors like these to implemented in a modern home. 

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Maybe you are looking for a more bold move. Consider these unique door painting patterns. It doesn't need to be all one color! Did this for a clients tween bedroom, mixed with black and white checked head board and leather pillows. 

This is a fun approach for a more temporary option, using Washi Tape to create a pattern or design to freshen up the front.  And when you are tired of it or want to change things up, you can easily removed it and start fresh. This is a great way to jazz up a kids space as they grow. It's also a great way to get them involved in the process because it is not permanent. 

Nesting Notes – Top 5 Bedroom Design Ideas

I am busy mom and business owner and am constantly on the go. When it comes to the end of the day, my favorite part is finally falling into bed! This is my wrap of top 5 bedroom design ideas. It should become your own personal haven.  Sleep tight!

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Don't be afraid to add a mix of pattern. A great way to do this in the headboard fabric and paired with bit of wallpaper. via sfgirlbay

Keep it clean, light and fresh. This will give you a fresh start to everyday, although you may not want to get out of bed! by Jen Talbot Design

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I love crisp white bedding punctuated by color in other areas, such as rug and accent pillows. via Amber Interiors

Embrace color! Don't afraid of color, just be smart about where you apply the brush. Be sure to edit and mix in textures as well as color.  by Charlotte Lucas via Dominio

Focus the room on an amazing vintage find and then let rest fall into the background. I simply love this headboard and how it got to be the star in the room. Thumbs up! via The Decorista