Your Home Isn't Working Hard For You- Here's How to Fix It.

 via Trim Design Co.

via Trim Design Co.

 via Trim Design Co.

via Trim Design Co.

Hello! It’s me, Annabel, your resident Elder Millennial.  Last week we talked all about the “Frat House Problem” plaguing too many homes.  They’re messy and dysfunctional and peppered with leftover furniture from the college days.  This week we’re highlighting a concrete solution for taking your home from frat to fab: creating an adult work space where you can get your hustle on!  I’m going to be taking us through a multi-week makeover of this apartment living room and the best part is YOU get to participate! I need you to vote for your favorite options by commenting at the end of this post and just like with our Trim clients, I’ll use your favorites for the final design!  

Since I’m representing the millennial contingent, I’m focusing on turning an apartment living room into a combination living/office space.  Stay tuned for Gen-Xer Jen’s upcoming redo of the she-shed in her backyard where she’ll enlist your help creating a sophisticated home office/studio space!

Here’s a “before” image of the living room we’re working with (you might recognize it):

 Via Trim Design Co. 

Via Trim Design Co. 

And here’s a floor plan of the full room, as it’s set up in the before image:


See how on either side of the fireplace, there’s a three-and-a-half foot wide nook?  Well, we’re going to take that nook on the right side by the windows (the one with the plant-covered trunk in the picture) and turn it into a nice little office space!  We’re going to keep all of the current furniture except one piece and all we’ll be adding is a desk, a chair, and some accessories for our new work space. At the end of this series, I’ll share a photoshop rendering of the completed design along with the total cost of the project and a shopping list of every piece we added, so you can “get the look” in your own place if you wish!

Here’s how I’m planning to rearrange the room:


Remember how I said we’d only be getting rid of one thing? Can you guess what it is? Since we’re trying to cure this space from “Frat House Syndrome” we’re going to get rid of that old Ikea cube the TV is sitting on.  Remember this guy?:

Yep, he was affordable when we were broke students and he was a real workhorse who served us well, but it’s time to put him out to pasture by donating him to Goodwill, selling him on Craigslist or passing him on to a current college kid.  And since we need to free up our nook for a desk, we’re going to take that vintage trunk and use it as the new TV stand! Perfecto! The rest of the furniture gets a nice rearrange so that it’s now oriented around the fireplace, which makes much better sense since it’s the natural focal point of the room.  And the thing that really makes the new desk space blend seamlessly with the living room is the desk chair. It’s going to be the MVP- it faces the desk when it’s work time, but we turn it to face into the room when we’re ready to kick back and suddenly we’ve got ourselves a nice conversational set-up!

The Design Process

Now that we have our floor plan, it’s time for the fun part: Sourcing!  But first, we have to talk about what style of desk and chair we want to go in our space.  There are several great options for creating a workspace in a small nook: leaning desks, floating desks, mini desks, consoles, and writing desks. I’ve found potential pieces for each approach and I’ve listed pros and cons for each. (Click any image for it’s source link)  

As for the chair, remember that the idea is to find a versatile armchair that will function as a desk chair during the work day and an accent chair the rest of the time.  So it needs to be substantial enough to work as an accent chair, but not so big that it’s difficult to maneuver or awkward to use at a desk. Below the desk options, I’m going to list some potential chairs, along with pros and cons like I did for the desks.  Your job is to vote in the comments for your favorite desk and chair combo! I’ll give each one a fun name to make voting easy.

Option 1: A Leaning Desk
“Lean In” from Design Within Reach

Price: $505.75 on sale

Pros: Our nook is narrow, but tall, so a skinny leaning desk is a smart way to utilize the space. The blonde tone of this wood works with the overall warm organic modern aesthetic of the room.

Cons: This look is a little industrial for my taste, and could skew the room toward the utilitarian end of the spectrum (like the coffee table) and away from the cozier vibe coming from the sofa and kilim pillow.  

Option 2: A “Mini Desk”

West Elm and a few of the other big furniture chains have started producing “mini desks” for their largely urban apartment dwelling clientele.  Perfect for our nook which is narrower than the width of an average desk.

“The Doppelganger” from West Elm

Price: $399

Pros: It matches the coffee table perfectly.

Cons: It matches the coffee table perfectly.


“The Curator” from West Elm

Price: $299

Pros: The price! And the brass frame and warm wood is right for the room which already has brass lighting and a mic of warm earth tones and neutrals.

Cons: Glass scratches easily and if you aren’t the tidy type, using that exposed shelf could result in a sloppy look.

Option 3: A Wall-Mounted Floating Desk

“So Scandi-lous” from Etsy shop Urbansize

Price: $307.82

Pros: A multifunctional wall-mounted floating desk is a great choice for small space living for obvious reasons.

Cons: The minimalist scandinavian style of this piece feels a little too stark for the space.

Option 4: A Console Table

Another great option is to repurpose a console table (sometimes called a sofa table or entry table) as a desk.  My own desk is a lucite console table with two wishbone chairs that doubles as our dining counter (no space for a dining table in our city apartment!).  It doesn’t have drawers, but for my purposes this isn’t an issue since all I really need to do work is my laptop and the notebook/planner that lives in my tote bag.  Another bonus of the drawer-less console style is the ability to push the chairs underneath it when they’re not in use, creating more passing space and improving flow.  

“The Ghost” from CB2

Price: $549

Pros: It would fit perfectly in our little nook and it’s quite deep so you’d have plenty of work space.  Lucite goes with every style of decor and has the added bonus of being visually light (you know, because it’s see-through) so it won’t make a space feel cluttered or dark.

Cons: Lucite is pricey and it can be a pain to clean because many typical household cleaners are too harsh and can damage it. Plus it scratches easily so you’d need to use a protective leather blotter (I have one for my lucite console/desk that rolls up into a tube for easily storage when I’m not using it.)

Option 5: A Writing Desk

“Ravishing Raffia” from Viyet

Price: $985

Pros: I have to admit I’m really biased towards this one! I LOVE the texture that raffia adds to a room and I’ve always wondered why raffia wrapped furniture isn’t more popular outside of very traditional designs.  If you’ve seen any of my designs, you know that warm neutrals + lots of natural texture is my go-to recipe and this material and color would be perfect for our organic modern space. Extra points for having some storage.

Cons: The shape is simple, which I want, but that cut-out around the top skews a little too traditional and I’d definitely need to change out those ugly knobs.

“Granny Chic“ from Chairish dealer Studio 180

Price: $1299

Pros: I’ve got a real soft spot for rattan and wicker, so I’m feeling the Palm Beach vibe of this fun little desk.  I like the lighter warm brown tone - perfect for our space.

Cons: I’d been leaning toward a woven rattan desk chair, but wouldn’t be able to use one with this desk because I hate a matchy-matchy look.


“The Betty Draper” From Chairish dealer The Collective

Price: $750

Pros: This low profile silhouette is just what I’m looking for and it even has 3 drawers for some storage! The warm maple wood will work with the colors already in our space.

Cons: Something about this piece as a whole feels a little blah, even though it checks so many of the boxes on my list.

Time to oggle some chairs! Remember, we’re looking for a versatile armchair that can function as both desk chair and living room accent chair.  (Tip: This means we need to pay attention to seat height. Accent chairs can have seat heights as low as 12”, but our chair needs to be 18-20” in order to be high enough for working at a desk.) Click on any photo to visit the source.

  1. “Refined Rattan” from Caitlin Wilson

  Price: $375     Pros: I love cane furniture and the wrapping technique on the arms and legs, plus the shape of this chair is perfect for doing work.      Cons: This chair is less substantial than I typically choose for a living room accent chair, and has more of a dining room feel.

Price: $375

Pros: I love cane furniture and the wrapping technique on the arms and legs, plus the shape of this chair is perfect for doing work.  

Cons: This chair is less substantial than I typically choose for a living room accent chair, and has more of a dining room feel.

2) “Sassy Sonoran” from Eclectic Goods

  Price: $225    Pros: This will make a great accent chair, especially with a throw pillow to cozy it up!    Cons: This look might be a little too boho.

Price: $225

Pros: This will make a great accent chair, especially with a throw pillow to cozy it up!
Cons: This look might be a little too boho.

3) “Swivel Me Timbers” from Article

  Price: $499    Pros: The ability of this chair to swivel makes switching between desk and accent chair super easy!     Cons: Some people think swivel chairs have too much of an office look for use in a living room, but I personally don’t have a problem with it.

Price: $499

Pros: The ability of this chair to swivel makes switching between desk and accent chair super easy!

Cons: Some people think swivel chairs have too much of an office look for use in a living room, but I personally don’t have a problem with it.

4) “Bamboozled Brighton” from Chairish dealer Tricia M.

  Price: $248 (on sale)    Pros: The built-in cushion will keep your derriere comfy during long work sessions.    Cons: With the mango wood coffee table and the cognac leather couch, this could add up to too much brown.

Price: $248 (on sale)

Pros: The built-in cushion will keep your derriere comfy during long work sessions.

Cons: With the mango wood coffee table and the cognac leather couch, this could add up to too much brown.

5) “Dream Weaver” from CB2

  Price: $399    Pros: The seat on this chair is nice and high, great for working at a desk.     Cons: This is an indoor/outdoor chair, and some people may feel the look is too summery for year-round indoor use.  

Price: $399

Pros: The seat on this chair is nice and high, great for working at a desk.

Cons: This is an indoor/outdoor chair, and some people may feel the look is too summery for year-round indoor use.  

6) “Wishbone Upon A Star” from Poly & Bark

  Price: $149    Pros: This is the same style of chair that I use at my console desk behind my living room sofa, so I can say from experience that’s it’s very comfortable and great for working at a computer.     Cons: Like option #1, this chair has more of a dining room feel and might not be substantial enough alongside the sofa to truly multitask as an accent chair.

Price: $149

Pros: This is the same style of chair that I use at my console desk behind my living room sofa, so I can say from experience that’s it’s very comfortable and great for working at a computer.

Cons: Like option #1, this chair has more of a dining room feel and might not be substantial enough alongside the sofa to truly multitask as an accent chair.

7)  “Yes We Cane” from Wisteria  

  Price: $720.97    Pros: Seat and back cushions make this chair uber comfy, while the upright shape keeps it functional for working at a desk.      Cons: Of all the chair options on our list, this one skews the most traditional, and might not be laid-back enough for our organic modern living room.  It’s also the priciest on the list.

Price: $720.97

Pros: Seat and back cushions make this chair uber comfy, while the upright shape keeps it functional for working at a desk.

Cons: Of all the chair options on our list, this one skews the most traditional, and might not be laid-back enough for our organic modern living room.  It’s also the priciest on the list.

8) “Just Oaking Around” from Wisteria

  Price: $448.97 (on sale)     Pros: In terms of look, this chair fits in perfectly with the rest of the room- it has a rustic feel from the raw wood frame, and it’s a midcentury modern silhouette like the sofa.    Cons: With a seat height of only 17.5” this chair is just barely tall enough for comfortably working at a desk.

Price: $448.97 (on sale)

Pros: In terms of look, this chair fits in perfectly with the rest of the room- it has a rustic feel from the raw wood frame, and it’s a midcentury modern silhouette like the sofa.

Cons: With a seat height of only 17.5” this chair is just barely tall enough for comfortably working at a desk.

OK- now it’s your turn to weigh in!  Based on your votes, I’ll select a desk and chair for our office nook design and next week I’ll be back to talk accessories! We’re going to need a desk lamp, some wall art, and maybe a throw pillow and a plant to complete the look!  Review your options on the mood boards below, then comment with you favorite desk and chair combo! (Note: Any desk can be paired with any chair; desk #1 doesn’t have to be with chair #1 etc…) I can’t wait to see how you vote!

The Desks:


The Chairs: 


Time to cast your vote! And be sure to tune in next week for Part 2!



Apartment Therapy House Tour!


See the condo...

that Apartment Therapy calls "serene & soothing" 

Happy Thursday! Annabel here.  I'm popping in with a mid-week mini post because my Boston condo was featured for a second time on Apartment Therapy today!  Don't worry if you already saw last year's article, because the space has changed quite a bit since then (and this time the photography is much better! My iphone paparazzi skills have come a looooong way).  I'm so excited to share a peek inside my home with you- I had lots of fun chatting about my favorite design advice and how I create my eclectic, organic-modern mix!  I'll stop jabbering now and just let you read the damn thing.  Full article here.  

The Ugly Truth About Your Home


Life in the Frat House:

The Inspiration behind Trim Design Co.


A Gen-Xer’s POV: Frat House Living 2.0

 My 6-yr-old daughter’s bedroom in typical disarray

My 6-yr-old daughter’s bedroom in typical disarray

I’ve got a few questions for you:

  • Are you between the ages of say...35-50?
  • Have kids?
  • Maybe a pet?

If you answered yes to any of the above, I’ve got news for you: You live in a frat house.

Think I’m out of my mind? Look around your house. Look very, very closely. Because if you’re like me, you might be doing everything you can to cover up the symptoms of frat life 2.0. But really open up your eyes and look. I guarantee it’s there…lurking.

 Current Design Situation: Lunchtime at the Dulacs on a summer weekday when everyone’s home

Current Design Situation: Lunchtime at the Dulacs on a summer weekday when everyone’s home

Symptom 1: The Kitchen

Now, the symptoms will vary depending on what stage you’re in, but I’m certain you’re suffering from at least one. Let’s start in the kitchen. I know, you probably don’t have beer bottles stacked on your counters (don’t worry, I won’t point out the..ahem…wine bottles that may or may not fill your recycling…), but chances are, you do have a slew of water bottles, sippy cups, baby bottles, binkies, and all the accompanying tops, inserts, straws, and everything else filling the drying rack and any flat surface area available. (My sister in law calls it “Flat Surface Syndrome”: the gravitational pull of clutter to any flat surface in the home). And don’t get me started on that case of juice boxes you’ve got stashed somewhere for all that spontaneous entertaining you do (aka last minute playdates).

 Flat Surface Syndrome and the Daily Grind: fill, empty, clean, refill, repeat

Flat Surface Syndrome and the Daily Grind: fill, empty, clean, refill, repeat

And while you may pride yourself in cooking a home-cooked meal every night, and you shudder at the thought of a bunch of pizza boxes or take-out containers in sight, how about that never-ending cycle of kids’ lunchboxes waiting on the counter to be emptied, cleaned out, and re-packed each day? Not so very different, right?

And how’s your kitchen floor looking these days? O.k., maybe you have a dog who scarfs down every last crumb so that the floor appears clean (minus those dog slobber streaks), but if you don’t have a pet then:

  1. Your broom is either attached to your hip (my broom is like a fifth appendage) or
  2. You’re waging a constant battle against the Cheerios, Special K, noodles, Goldfish, syrup and Spaghettio sauce that’s threatening to overtake your domain.

Any of this starting to sound familiar?

 Public offender #1

Public offender #1

Symptom 2: The Bathroom

Just for fun, let’s move into the bathroom. Is the toilet seat raised in its permanent upright position? Or maybe no one even bothers to lift the seat so you never know what you’re going to find when you go in there? Does flushing seem optional in your household? How often do you go in to use the bathroom only to find an empty toilet paper roll in place? Should I point out the toothpaste gobs in the sink? Wet towels piled on the floor? (I purposefully omitted a photo of my bathroom revealing the above-listed symptoms to save you the revulsion)

Symptom 3: Toys and Sports Equipment without a Home

And now for the paralysis of paraphernalia. Again, this really depends on the ages you’re dealing with right now, but let’s see if you’re suffering from any of these chronic issues: Legos, Magnatiles, Calico Critters, Polly Pockets, American Girl Doll clothes, Pokémon cards, a Thomas the Train table, slime, Shopkins, cleats, stinky football or hockey pads, lacrosse and field hockey sticks, swim gear….need I go on?



The Result:

And so, what’s the result? You’ve put off replacing that dingy IKEA sofa you bought for your apartment at the height of the first dot com boom, and you still have that area rug from Pottery Barn you got when you first wanted to try “adulting.” Your coffee table? You’re not really even sure where that came from.

Now let me ask you, are things really all that far off from that old college apartment you lived in all those years ago?

Your response: “What’s the point?” “Why bother? We’re outnumbered anyway.” “Let’s just wait until this phase passes.”

And how does that make you feel? You’re working harder than ever these days, you’re busier than ever, you finally own a real house that you put so much effort (and money) into buying. Don’t you deserve to come home to an environment that both calms and re-energizes you? Not one that adds (more?) frustration, overwhelm, and stress to your day?

The Solution: Take Back Your Home!

This is how I’d felt. I’d had enough. I didn’t want to hand over the keys to the house to my kids. I wanted to be the one steering the ship and I wanted the ship to look like it belonged to me (o.k., and to my husband, and to some extent my kids, but you know what I mean!). There are ways to live with kids and still have a beautiful home that looks and feels like you at your best. And it was this feeling, this craving to take back my home, that inspired my POV for starting Trim Design Co.

A Millennial’s POV:

Congrats, Elder Millennial! You’ve made it. You finally figured out this adulting thing, and you’re killing it at work! You’re well traveled and you’ve got your finger on the pulse when it comes to pop culture. BUT...your dorm-room furniture tells another story. I hate to break it to you, but you’ve got a bad case of Frat House Syndrome.

Not sure I’m talking about you? Allow me to demonstrate. You are, in fact, suffering from Frat House Syndrome if:

  1. You’re in the 25-35 age range
  2. You own your first place
  3. You exhibit two or more of the symptoms listed below

Symptoms of Frat House Syndrome:

  • Perhaps you still own a version of this ubiquitous Ikea chair:
Screen Shot 2018-08-04 at 11.24.04 PM.png


  • Or (shudder) an overstuffed recliner that’s definitely had beer and god knows what else spilled on it over the years.
  • In fact, a larger percentage of your furniture than you’d like to admit, came from Ikea.
  • Your “decor” still includes little white Christmas lights (even if they’re on the balcony or deck, it still counts). Sorry, but this is tough love time.
  • Your wall “art” is in those plastic ready-made frames from Michael’s, or even worse, you just have some unframed canvas prints thrown up on the walls.
  • Maybe you own one of these atrocities:
Screen Shot 2018-08-04 at 11.24.20 PM.png

                        via                                                      via                                            via

  • If you still own anything from the Room Essentials brand, or your storage system mostly consists of plastic tubs, don’t panic, but you’re definitely living in a frat house.
  • Take a look at your bathroom. Do you see moldy grout between the tiles or permanent soap scum stains in the shower? Maybe it’s not as bad as back in your student days when you literally didn’t dare enter without shoes on, but I’m guessing it’s not exactly insta-ready either.
Screen Shot 2018-08-04 at 11.24.32 PM.png
  • What about your ceiling lights? Do any of these “boob lights” look painfully familiar?
Screen Shot 2018-08-04 at 11.24.43 PM.png


                                   via                                        via                                          via

  • I’m guessing the rug from your first tiny apartment looks way too small in your current living room.
  • And your kitchen counter is cluttered with cereal boxes and loaves of bread that you keep meaning to conceal in attractive storage vessels...
  • And when you treat yo’ self to some fresh flowers during your Sunday night Trader Joe’s run, you’re forced to stick them in a margarita pitcher or the cheap vase that came with the 1-800-flowers some relative sent you several years ago.
  • How about the walls and windows? When was the last time you painted? And do your window treatments (if you have them at all) include plastic blinds, tension rods, or vinyl roller shades?
Screen Shot 2018-08-04 at 11.25.21 PM.png

Wouldn’t you love to put the “Dorm Chic” look behind you for good? You deserve an upgrade.

Screen Shot 2018-08-04 at 11.25.33 PM.png

If any of these symptoms apply to you, it’s time to face reality and seek treatment. You’ve become a successful ass-kicking adult, but your home is stuck in the college phase. I know this is frustrating. It’s no fun feeling bad about your place every time you scroll through Pinterest or Instagram. Heck- your job title sure sounds like you’re a professional Professional, and you always assumed that this life stage would include a seriously instagrammable abode. In school, when you imagined your thirties, you pictured yourself throwing intimate cocktail parties in a grownup apartment like the ones from Sex and The City, New Girl, or Friends. And sure, space-wise those were super unrealistic, but you were still expecting to have better furniture and decor by now. What gives??

Well for starters, with all the time you’ve been putting into your career and social life, you don’t have time to search for the perfect pieces that are special, create a cohesive look, and fit your space and budget. When you do get free time, you’d rather travel, go to brunch, or take a yoga class than spend it at the design center browsing through light fixtures.

Your time is valuable and you need someone who can deliver a personalized, completed design that checks all the boxes on your list and meets your budget goals.

And sure, you’re making good money now, but you still have a mortgage and school loans to consider, so you want to make sure your investing your hard-earned dough into quality pieces and you’re certainly no interior design expert. You could go the traditional full-service designer route, but that feels stuffy, intimidating, and shrouded in mystery. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ve heard about some big e-design tech companies that offer fast and cheap design services, but you want more than a cookie-cutter space decked out from a trendy chain-store.

You’re looking for someone who can translate your personality into the perfect design for your space- one that’s “So YOU.” You want it to look a certain way, but you also want it to feel a certain way. And you want it to feel collected and curated, with a mix of vintage and modern, peppered with little details that represent your favorite memories and experiences.

I know how you’re feeling, because I went through it too. And after playing design-doctor to cure my own Frat House Syndrome and that of several friends, I realized that there was a real need for this kind of design service. Something in between the fast-food experience of the giant edesign companies and the fine-dining, prix-fixe experience of traditional firms. That’s why, when Jen and I found ourselves bonding over this shared experience (see her POV above) we realized we were really onto something. We recognized a pain point that cut through both our generations and we were uniquely positioned to address it. And that’s the origin story behind Trim Design Co. So if you’re ready to be cured, we’re here for you!

*All photos except source-attributed product images are our own.

Why eDesign? 7 Ways eDesign Can Change Your Life

Screen Shot 2018-07-30 at 12.11.02 PM.png

But first...What is it?

You may have heard the term eDesign or seen an ad for a company that offers it, but do you know exactly what eDesign is all about?

Simply put, “eDesign” refers to interior design services offered via the Internet.

And the process is pretty simple. Rather than the in-person meetings and consultations of traditional interior design,  eDesign uses the Internet to connect interior designers with their clients--both near and far away. With the help of email, Skype, and other online platforms, designers determine what their clients are hoping for in their homes and they deliver a design plan to help them achieve it.

The Common Denominators in eDesign

eDesign varies depending on the design company you work with and the type of package you purchase, but there are some common denominators in the process. To start, you are typically asked to fill out a questionnaire about your current design situation, style preferences and renovation budget. You also send in photos and measurements of your space. The result: This does vary, but you will likely receive a mood board showing suggested items for your space (furniture, decor, paint colors...), a to-scale layout of the space with those items in place, and a shopping list with information on where to purchase everything.  Then, you get to implement the design plan at your own pace.

BUT, buyer beware: not all eDesign is created equal…(nothing like adding a little suspense, right?)

So, Why Choose Trim? (We’re so glad you asked!)

Screen Shot 2018-07-30 at 12.11.13 PM.png

1. Convenience

Just like Amazon, Instacart, and Blue Apron, eDesign offers unbeatable convenience that just wasn’t available before the age of the Internet. At Trim Design Co., we want the design process to be as relaxing and enjoyable as possible. So pour a glass of wine, put on your jammies, and snuggle up on the sofa with your laptop or phone! Now, you’re all set to begin. No need to schedule in-home meetings with us into your already hectic calendar. You get to give us all the information we need to transform your space whenever and wherever you’d like. As long as you can snap a few pics with your phone and you have a tape measure handy to take room measurements, you are on your way to having your ideal home designed for you. Depending on your preferences, we’ll communicate via phone, email or Skype as the design process unfolds.

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2. It's Fun!

Do you love imagining your ideal environment? Do you get inspired by images on Pinterest, Houzz, Instagram and in all the shelter magazines out there? Well, this is your chance to make that inspiration a reality. Think of eDesign at Trim as an interior design cocktail: a little bit of DIY mixed in with a whole lot of professional expertise. Magazines and Pinterest are great for inspiration, but all those images can also be incredibly overwhelming. You might love a brightly colored tribal rug in one picture and the clean, simple look of sisal in the next. But what does that mean for your own space? Let us cut through all the noise and zero in on the best design options for your individual environment. Avoid inspiration overload and enjoy the fun part of the design process with us guiding you at the helm.

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3. You are in total Control

Traditionally, the design fees involved in full-service interior design seemed shrouded in secrecy. It was difficult to know exactly how much you might ultimately end up paying for a room design plus all the new furnishings. At Trim, we’ve taken all the guesswork out of hiring a professional interior designer. Our pricing is fully transparent on our website. You purchase your design package up front based on the square footage of your space. We ask you how much your furnishings budget is and we stick to that number when we make our design selections for you. Then you get to purchase the items we recommend whenever you’d like. You’ll receive a clickable shopping list with direct links to every piece for your room, and you buy them when you want. So, even if you’re planning to renovate your living room but won’t be able to budget for it for another six months, you can still purchase your design package now, have a detailed plan in place, and implement it when the time is right for you.

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4. You get to see what it will look like

Our favorite part in all this is revealing the transformation of your space...before it is actually transformed! As part of your design package from Trim, you will receive a realistic 2-D rendering of your room, complete with all of our suggested furnishings, decor, paint, wallpaper, etc. in place. No more wondering, “will that light fixture really look O.K. over that dining table?” You’ll get to see it, before you order it.

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5. Not Near Boston? Not a Problem! 

Trim is located near Boston, MA but even if you’re in Tennessee or Tallahassee or Tulsa, absolutely no worries! That is the beauty of eDesign. We can work with you regardless of where you’re located. (And, if you are close by, we also offer an in-house consultation service so we can come to you for design dilemma help as well!).

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6. Full Customization

At Trim we pride ourselves on sourcing unique furnishings for your home. We want your home to look like you, not like a catalogue or a hotel room. Most eDesign companies only offer items that are available from large on-line retailers. At Trim, we make it a point to search for that needle in the haystack. We work with small, artisan vendors, vintage sellers, and companies that represent goods from across the globe so that your home will look as though it’s been layered over time with special, eye-catching pieces. No one wants a bedroom that looks like it came from a big-box store.


7. You Get US!

OK, we think saved the best for last!  Most eDesign companies are selling quick, churn-it-out room designs. They often employ a fleet of designers who are required to spit out a completed design in a few days. At Trim, you’re working with us: Annabel and Jen. And that’s it. We are at the core of our eDesign services. Our goal is to make eDesign as personal and individualized as traditional full-service interior design. We want to understand and deliver what you want. And to do that, we want to be available to you. Need to set up a phone call with us? Great! Let’s do it. At most other companies, clients are required to communicate with designers via a direct messaging system, or they communicate with a “project manager” that represents the designer whose style they’re hoping to emulate. Not at Trim. When you sign up for a design package with us, you know that you’re getting our guidance and expertise, always.

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Ready to get started? Hang on tight...our website is almost ready for action. Stay tuned for the formal launch date of Trim Design Co. and until then be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram (@trim_design_co), and Pinterest.


The Secret Sauce: Our Recipe For Success

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There are so many talented interior designers out there (we really mean that), but of course we’re a little biased when it comes to Trim Design Co.  We’re not ones to toot our own horns, but as soon as we started working together, we knew we had something special going on. So today we’re getting personal and sharing how we make design magic happen in your home.  Our ‘secret sauce’ if you will.


1) We’re both former teachers.

Although we’ve both been designing our own homes (and those of friends and family) for as long as we can remember, we didn’t start our professional lives in the field of interior design.  After completing her master’s in education at Simmons College in Boston, Jen spent the next decade teaching social studies and English language arts to grades 4-8, first in the States and then overseas in Singapore and Japan.  I too, began my career in the classroom. After completing my master’s at Boston College and earning my English Language Arts and Special Education licenses, I spent six years teaching special education and English at Framingham High School.  

Jen and I agree that aside from the amazing connections made with students and coworkers, our favorite part of teaching was the process of creating lesson plans.  It offered the chance to envision and build a framework that took all of the information and synthesized it into a meaningful concept with real-world implications.  There is something so satisfying about creative work that’s both functional and intellectually or emotionally resonant. And our love for this process is what makes our background in teaching so pertinent to our interior design work.  We know first-hand, the importance solid organizational strategies play in optimizing success, both for students and in a person’s home. When your home isn’t working for you, it impacts every aspect of your day-to-day life. Our background as educators uniquely qualifies us to identify the challenges keeping you from achieving your ideal home.  We work with our clients to pinpoint exactly what it is that’s not working in their home and then we fix it with the dedication and attention to detail that only two former teachers could possibly achieve.  

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Top row, from left: A student’s portrait of Ms. Joy (Annabel) | The view of Annabel’s classroom from her desk | Annabel dressed as Holden Caulfield for Spirit Week

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Bottom row, from left: Mrs. Dulac (Jen) at her desk, Singapore American School | With several of her 7th-grade students, also at SAS

2) We’re world travelers.

Between the two of us, we’ve lived in and traveled to 30 countries, spanning every continent except Antarctica (but we’ll get there eventually!).  Experiencing this wide variety of cultures has informed our eclectic, collected aesthetic and given us a deep appreciation for traditional craftsmanship around the world.  If you spend any amount of time scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest, it can start to feel like there are only a few types of textiles or rugs out there, because you see the same styles over and over again.  Through our travels, we have encountered so many different materials, textiles, and adornments (ever heard of Ghanaian kente cloth, Indonesian pahikung, or Moroccan boucherouite?). We love to incorporate these into our designs to create sophisticated spaces that are truly one-of-a-kind.  We create spaces for our clients that set the trends instead of following them.

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Top row, from left: Annabel rides a camel in Axum, Ethiopia | A handweaver at work in Barrydale, South Africa | Middle row, from left: Colorful baskets at a market in Mekele, Ethiopia | Jen, on the hunt for Ming treasures at Beijing’s Dirt Market | Bottom row, from left: Browsing through vintage goods a shrine sale, Tokyo  | Traditional textiles for sale near Chiang Mai, Thailand

3) We represent two generations.

Maybe the most surprising thing about our partnership is the fact that we’re a duo from two different generations.  Jen is Gen X; I’m a millennial. At first glance, this might seem like it could present a challenge for our collaboration, but we’ve found it to be our greatest strength.  Generational stereotypes are often exaggerated and used to make some pretty silly arguments, but in many cases these generalizations do have some level of truth to them. Our generational differences have helped us find that sweet spot between risk and caution, pragmatism and idealism.  Most importantly, we’ve pushed each other forward creatively and together have developed a cohesive and focused point of view for our designs that’s neither too trendy nor too traditional.

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4) We love us some vintage!

We include vintage pieces in every one of our designs, intentionally blending the old with the new to create homes that are truly one-of-a-kind.  Vintage pieces have history and patina; they have a powerful effect on the feel of a space. We incorporate vintage pieces in order to give you a home that tells your story; a home that’s personal, eclectic, and collected.  And one of our favorites parts of designing is the chance to do some upcycling--breathing new life into pieces that otherwise might find their way into a dump. There can be a lot of life left in older pieces, and the craftsmanship can be (and usually is) far superior to new makes.

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Top row, from left: Brass candlesticks from Thailand, one has been converted into a floor lamp. | A vintage Anglo-Indian tea table Jen spotted covered in cobwebs at an estate sale and a bergere chair she found at a church rummage sale and later reupholstered in a fun, bold print | A pair of mid-century barrel-back chairs and a set of vintage acrylic nesting tables make up some of Jen’s top estate sale scores. Bottom row, from left: A vintage oushak rug from Turkey anchors this contemporary lucite console desk, accessorized with a leather goatskin ottoman from Morocco, and a lidded senegalese basket. | A flat-top trunk from the late 1800s sites behind a Chinese jardiniere on a rosewood stand.

5) We source the uncommon to set your home apart.

Have you ever paged through one of those furniture and home decor catalogues (we won’t name names, but you know the sort we mean) that come in the mail and thought, “This stuff is nice individually, but all together it’s so matchy-matchy! It looks like a picture from a chain hotel!”?  We believe you deserve a home that reflects you as an individual, not one that looks like it came from a cookie-cutter. Whenever possible, we source from individual artisans and emerging brands so that your home will never look like a catalogue! And as two women who decided to start their own company, we also love the chance to support other small-business entrepreneurs like ourselves.  Community is central to our philosophy and mission. Sourcing from small and local makers is one of the ways that our designs reflect those core values.

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From left: A bespoke walnut and cherry side table made using traditional joinery methods in Amenia, North Dakota, by Bryan Cramer and handmade macrame pillow shams from Etsy shop Homesunshine. | A modern take on traditional shaker stools handmade  in Bethel, Maine by S. Timberlake. | A turquoise bracelet flask by Annie Hanks Ceramic Studio in Chattanooga, Tennessee, sits on a shelf above a linen dish towel, screen-printed by hand, from Savannah Hayes.

All photos property of Trim Design Co. LLC

Trim Take: Boho Chic

It’s the final week of our Trim Take blog series, and we are getting so close the the official launch of Trim Design Co.!!  Before I jump into my take on ‘Boho Chic’ I thought I’d give you a chance to get to know Jen and me a little better.   

Jen and I met while working together at a design firm in Boston and bonded immediately over our mutual love of vintage kilim loafers (shout out to Artemis Design Co.!), collected interiors, and the hunt for the perfect piece.   As we worked together, we discovered that we shared a passion for people and quality over trends, and we felt sad at the developments we were observing in our industry: Environmental degradation caused by mass-production of fast-furniture, and impersonal trend-driven designs being churned out by big edesign tech companies.   Our answer was to create Trim, a firm focused on designing eclectic, collected interiors that are deeply personal and celebrate timeless vintage and artisanal pieces as well as emerging brands that prioritize environmental sustainability.  We are putting the finishing touches on the new website and we can’t wait to show it to you!

I had a blast creating this week’s design, because I’m taking on ‘Boho Chic’ style, one of my very favorite influences.  I found so many fantastic pieces to incorporate into both my room design and the mood board. I really hope you like it as much as I do!  To read Jen’s Trim Take on ‘Casual Modern’ head over to her blog Persimmon Design.  Be sure to check out our previous Trim Takes on ‘Classic Coastal,’ ‘New Traditional,’ ‘Rustic Industrial,’ and ‘Modern Farmhouse.

Trim Take: Boho Chic

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If these images are giving you heart eyes, then ‘Boho Chic’ is the style for you!  A true bohemian at heart, you’re drawn to natural textures, colorful patterns, and globally inspired details.  It’s important to you that your home be an expression of your personality, and you enjoy combining new and vintage pieces to achieve a collected, eclectic effect.  However, you understand the importance of curating your space to achieve a warm and care-free, but also modern and sophisticated feel. This style is sometimes referred to as ‘modern eclectic’.

Here are some suggestions to pull off this style:

  • Start with white walls to keep the design fresh and bright.

  • Add in color and pattern through accessories.  This way you can easily turn the volume up and down on your color palette.   

  • Incorporate natural materials like rattan, worn leather, raw wood, and jute.

  • Consider layering smaller rugs on top of larger ones to create depth and add interest without clutter.

  • Combine textiles from different regions such as African mud cloth, Japanese shibori, Turkish kilim, and Moroccan cactus silk to give the space a global nomad vibe.

  • To add some contrast and balance out the natural, vintage feel of the space, choose streamlined light fixtures and hardware in warm metallic finishes like brass and gold.

  • Keep things cozy and casual with floor pillows, pouf ottomans for extra seating, fuzzy sheepskins, and of course plenty of plants.

Related Styles to Explore: Classic Coastal, Casual Modernist, Rustic Industrial

Here’s a rendering I created of a ‘Boho Chic’ bedroom:


I have a formula of sorts for designing bohemian inspired spaces, which I used to create this room.  First, I started with white walls to keep things light and bright. Next I sourced the rug. I prefer to bring in color with a large rug and then use a few accessories to sprinkle the color around the space, while keeping all of the furniture neutral.  I do this because, for me, having the saturated color on the floor grounds all the neutral furnishings and keeps the space from feeling visually chaotic. It’s also a good rule of thumb to start with the rug, because it’s easier to match furniture and accessories to a rug than to find a rug that is the right size and goes with all the furniture and accessories.  Notice how I chose a rug that’s colorful, but also has some beige in it? This makes it easy for me to create a room that feels cohesive, because I can pull out that beige color and match it to the furniture. That means I’m going to be looking for lighter than average woods and leathers. This stunner is a vintage rug from Loom and Kiln, but I also recommend Blue Parakeet Rugs, New England Loom, Collectiv Co., and Etsy.  Lulu & Georgia is an awesome source for both vintage and new rugs.  I have two vintage Turkish runner rugs in my hallway from an Etsy seller called The Oushak Shop.

After walls and rug, step three is bringing in furniture in a variety of natural textures. I like to aim for a mix of rattan, leather, wood, and woven natural fibers.  I’m going to detour for a sec here to talk about rattan because I get a lot of questions about what it is exactly and how it’s different from wicker. Rattan refers to several hundred species of climbing palm, similar to bamboo, that is commonly used as a material to make furniture and other decor items like baskets.  Wicker is not a material at all; it’s actually a style of weaving.  In fact, often times rattan is used to create wicker-style furniture, which is why you may hear people use both terms to refer to the same piece of furniture.  One word describes the material, the other describes the style of construction.

Back to the design- I started with the bed because that’s going to be the focal point.  And I prefer to use upholstered headboards because they just hold up so much better than anything else.  Tufted or nailhead styles are typical for upholstered headboards, but they’re too traditional and formal for my taste, and definitely don’t give me boho vibes.  So I look for very simple upholstered headboards without any fancy stitching details- it’s almost a slipcover look that I’m going for. I choose a nice beige to build my warm neutral palette off of.

After the bed, I add the chair.  I’ve been dying to use this chair in a design.  It’s a traditional club chair silhouette, but done in a woven rattan with an exaggerated swoop to the back.  Now I need a dresser with a natural, organic feel and the right color of sandy beige. I could choose a painted one, but I prefer the look of raw wood for that all-natural boho spirit.  I found this dresser at Mcgee & Co which specializes in modern farmhouse designs, but actually has some versatile pieces that can work for a variety of styles as proven here.  

Last, I need some contrast to add depth and interest, so I pull out the black from the rug and use that color for bedside tables.  If you look at the furniture in this room, with the exception of the chair, all of these pieces would be right at home in an uber modern design.  That’s my trick for achieving the ‘chic’ in ‘Boho Chic.’ But *mostly* limiting the global and colorful elements to the accessories, the room retains a sophisticated, adult feel.  Global is the other important piece of the formula. The ‘Boho Chic’ style is all about the idea of a collected aesthetic, informed by your travels around the globe and an appreciation for the arts and traditions of other cultures.  In this room, I included a lidded African basket for laundry, a leather pouf from Morocco, African mudcloth pillows and a Chinese Hmong pillow.  The rug is Iranian and the lamps are by American artists Priscilla Hollingsworth (bedside) and Jonathan Entler (dresser).  

Side note on rug terminology: When you see “Persian rug” this means it comes from Iran.  When you see “Oriental rug” this means it can be from Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, China, Uzbekistan, and a few other places.  All of these rugs are hand knotted, but the knot used in the Iranian technique is different, hence the distinction in the names.  Oushak and Kilim also refer to styles of rugs from Turkey, and Cactus Silk or Sabra Silk rugs are Moroccan.

Thanks for tuning in to see how we do ‘Boho Chic’ here at Trim Design Co.  I hope you enjoyed this design as much as I did.  I love it so much I may try and convince Kean to let me do a One Room Challenge and get this look in our bedroom.  If you want to bring a ‘Boho Chic’ vibe to your own space, check out the shoppable mood board below, featuring some of my favorite sources for vintage and handmade pieces!

Get The Look: Shop our ‘Boho Chic’ round-up!


Source list:

  1. Francesca Armchair, One Kings Lane

  2. “JT 3” Art Print, Shop A House in the Hills  

  3. Lodge Chandelier III by Workstead, Shoppe Amber Interiors

  4. Moroccan leather pouf, Babasouk

  5. Vintage Tai Lu Embroidered Hmong Pillow, CollectivCo

  6. Tassel Pillow, One Kings Lane

  7. Mid-century Fiber Art Wall Hanging, Chairish

  8. Custom Chautauqua Ottoman, Shoppe Amber Interiors

  9. Handwoven Eyelash Basket, Chairish

  10. Sabra Silk Pillow, Babasouk

  11. Vintage Rattan Peacock Headboard, Etsy

  12. Antique Khotan Rug, Chairish

  13. Zagora Tasseled Night Stand, Anthropologie

  14. Palma Lounge Chair, tinekhome

  15. Salt Glazed Table Lamp, 1st Dibs

  16. Marte Lounge Chair, Urban Outfitters

  17. Opening Credits Knit Blanket, Cold Picnic

  18. Stoneware Bottles, Helen Levi

  19. Miya Hanging Planter by Justina Blakeney, Jungalow

  20. “Sunset Vibes” Art Print by Lou Lou Avenue for The Poster Club

  21. Uli Dresser, McGee & Co.

  22. Entler Ceramic Table Lamp, 1st Dibs

  23. Ines Etagere by Justina Blakeney, Jungalow

  24. Vintage Persian Rug, Loom and Kiln

Trim Take: Rustic Industrial

Last week I broke the exciting news that Jen and I are starting Trim Design Co, a boutique online interior design firm specializing in an eclectic, collected aesthetic.  Trim is our response to a world of fast-fashion, big-box stores and manufacturing that’s wreaking havoc on the environment.  With Trim, we’re embracing sustainability and bringing a sense of history into our designs by including vintage and artisanal pieces in every room.  And because these pieces are our passion, there are several in today’s shoppable mood board!

But before I dive in to this week’s Trim Take- many of you have been asking what exactly we’ll be doing once Trim launches later this summer, so I thought I’d give you the basics real quick.

What we do: Trim Design Co. provides boutique online interior design services for the discerning client nationwide.  We use email and software platforms to provide our design services to you online for maximum convenience. You provide photos and dimensions of your space and tell us about your style preferences and goals.   Then we get to work on your full room design, just like a traditional design firm, from paint color and floorplan to furniture, lighting and accessories. At the end of the design process, you have everything you need to implement your new room design including a shopping list, realistic room rendering, and detailed set-up instructions.  Then you’re free to purchase and install when the time is right for you.

Why we do it:  It’s time for a change. The customization and service expected from full-service interior design should be available to clients who prefer the online experience.   

What sets us apart: Trim Design Co. is the only online interior design firm incorporating vintage pieces, artisanal items, and emerging brands into each and every design, creating homes steeped in individuality. Trim knows that beautiful, authentic spaces are achieved only when the words that describe your home are synonymous with the words that describe you. 

Alright, back to the matter at hand! To read Jen’s Trim Take, head over to her blog Persimmon Design.  And be sure to check out last week’s installments if you missed them: I took on ‘Classic Coastal’ style and Jen covered ‘New Traditional.’  

This week I’m going ‘Rustic Industrial’ and sharing my advice on how to pull off the this look without sacrificing sophistication or comfort.  I have to be totally honest and say that this is not my favorite design style, BUT it is my husband’s favorite, and we’re roomies, so I consider myself somewhat of an expert when it comes to designing in this vein without sacrificing my own aesthetic.  And I surprised myself by how much I ended up loving the design this week! I may need to reconsider my stance on the ‘Rustic Industrial’ genre.   

Trim Take: Rustic Industrial  

Source: style files

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source: Tom Dixon

Source: nyde

If you love this look, you’re a study in contrast (in the best way, of course!).  Your aesthetic combines the industrial feel of an urban loft with the rustic coziness of a mountain cabin.  You have a fondness for exposed brick, weathered metals, and reclaimed wood. You’re not necessarily a minimalist, but you value function and find elegance in simplicity; you prefer your furnishings without unnecessary frills and embellishments.  In fact, you actually prefer your space with an air of unfinished rawness rather than a perfectly styled setting.

Here are some suggestions to pull off this style:

  • Don’t shy away from mixing refined and raw materials.  This style is all about marrying urban and rustic influences, so go ahead and put those shiny chrome tub chairs around that live-edge oak table, and drape that fuzzy sheepskin over the back of that sleek plastic Eames dining chair.

  • Embrace repurposed decor: a table made from an old door, or wall shelves fashioned from steel pipes and wooden pallets.

  • Select unadorned pendant lighting with simple metal shades reminiscent of the industrial lights used on construction sites or in warehouses.

  • Choose open shelving rather than cabinets, to utilize your household items to bring color and interest to the space and eliminate the need for additional decorative pieces.

  • Welcome a Scandinavian influence, characterized by understated, functional furniture and a black and white color palette punctuated with bright pops of color.  

  • Less is more: a headboard for your bed or curtains for your windows aren’t requirements for this look.

Related Styles to Explore*: Casual Modernist, Modern Farmhouse, Boho Chic

*Stay tuned for an upcoming Trim Take on each of these styles.

Here’s a rendering I created of a ‘Rustic Industrial’ dining room:

But then Jen saw it and said that dirty buffalo were gross to look at while eating.  And, while I wouldn’t go so far as to call them gross, she does have a point. So I swapped out the art for a nice Pacific coast beach shot:

Of course, then my husband Kean complained that the buffalo were way cooler.  This just goes to show how personal interior design really is. If I was designing for Jen, I’d never pick the same piece of art as I would if I were designing for Kean.  Personally I like both options, but I hope you’ll vote for your favorite in the comments because I love a good contest!

The trick to nailing a sophisticated ‘Rustic Industrial’ look is to maintain a balance between the rustic elements and the industrial ones.  Too much of the rustic stuff starts to feel like a ski chalet, and too much industrial becomes a cold factory. As always, careful editing is a must.  We’ve all heard the Coco Chanel quote to take one thing off before leaving the house, and this same philosophy applies to decorating a room. Exercising restraint not only avoids clutter, but results in a clean and light space that centers and welcomes you.  I think the most sophisticated spaces are so often the ones with the least stuff in them. I’m not talking about minimalism here, it’s more like when you put together that perfect outfit- it’s not a million scarves and bangles; it’s a couple pieces of jewelry that work perfectly with your shoes/bag/jeans/hair to make you feel as though you’ve been transformed into a cooler version of yourself.  Not that you’re not already cool- you are!! I’m only speaking from personal experience here and maybe my inner monologue is crazier than average.

For this design, I kept the walls a neutral white (white walls are my favorite- I’ll always love them no matter how far they fall out of fashion) but I made the back wall brick because it’s such a quintessential ‘Rustic Industrial’ material and I love the texture it adds to the design.  Next I chose the table. Normally I would start with the rug, because matching your furnishings to the color of a rug is MUCH easier than trying to find a rug that matches furnishings you’ve already bought. However, I already knew I was going to do a neutral rug for this room and when I saw this table I was inspired to build the design around it.  I like this table so much because it’s rustic reclaimed wood in a farmhouse style, but the unexpected black gives it a modern edginess that I’m digging.

Now, to keep this design from feeling too cold or dramatic, I needed some warm tones.  So I selected a brass metal pendant light in an industrial yet still sophisticated silhouette.  Even when I’m working within the rustic industrial space, I need a clean look. And industrial decor can veer into steampunk territory pretty quickly if you’re not careful.  For more warmth, I selected dining chairs in a rich, red-brown leather. I’m loving how they pop alongside the black and white!

But uh-oh, so far the only neutrals I’ve got going on are the white walls...what about my signature foundation of warm neutrals! It’s time to get a rug in there! A textured and subtly patterned wool rug and champagne sheepskin are just the ticket.  Now, since I’m a strong believer in limiting the number of different colors in a space to keep it from becoming visually busy, I used the colors I already had to source the rest of the decor. I added a mirror with a black metal frame across from the windows to reflect light and brighten up the room and then a black bench to round out the seating situation.  I knew I needed this sideboard the moment I saw it because the golden tones in the exposed wood front echoed the brass of the pendant, while the white sides blended nicely with the walls. I had to add some plant life of course (no room is complete without a little life!) and finally wall art. I already covered the debate swirling around my selections, so I won’t rehash it, but I will add that if you’re having trouble picking wall art, black and white photography is an affordable, sophisticated, and versatile option that works with virtually every design style.  

So what do you think? Would you enjoy wining and dining in this ‘Rustic Industrial’ space? This is how we do ‘Rustic Industrial’ over here at Trim, so if you like this look, stay tuned for more inspo and details leading up to our big launch!   If you want to incorporate this style into your own space, scroll down for a shoppable round-up of furniture and decor inspired by this look!

Get The Look: Shop the list to get this style in your own space!  

Source list:

  1. Limited edition photography art print, Minted  

  2. Blanket Ladder, Etsy

  3. Smoked Alabaster Canister, Loom and Kiln

  4. Roadhouse Leather Chair, CB2

  5. Bernilia Rug, Anthropologie

  6. Emmerson Reclaimed Wood Dining Table,  West Elm

  7. Bedside Pendant Lamp, Etsy

  8. 1960s Eames Fiberglass Shell Chair, Chairish

  9. Limited edition photography art print, Minted

  10. George Nelson for Herman Miller Modern Black Platform Bench First Dibs

  11. Mira Dining Table, Article

  12. Cube Trunk, Hayneedle

  13. Tapered Metal Pendant, Pottery Barn

  14. Natural Hide Rug, One Kings Lane

  15. Vintage Mid-century Belt Mirror,  Etsy

  16. Tana Stool, Article  

  17. Mongolian Sheepskin Rug, Houzz

  18. Archive Rustic Oak Bookcase, Article

  19. Vintage Industrial Iron Desk, Chairish

  20. Plant Box by Ferm Living, YLiving

  21. Soicher Marin Print, One Kings Lane

  22. Stacking Bin, McGee & Co.

Trim Take: Classic Coastal

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source: Surfrider Hotel Malibu

You may have heard the exciting news that Jen and I are starting Trim Design Co, a boutique online interior design company specializing in an eclectic, collected aesthetic.  Every one of our designs incorporates vintage finds, artisanal pieces, and emerging brands. And while we embrace a global and deeply personal style, we believe in the power of careful editing to achieve a clean and light space that centers and welcomes you.  As a team that’s one half millennial and one half Gen X, we work together to hit that sweet spot: designs that are neither too trendy nor too traditional, but always “so you.”

Every Monday for the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you our Trim Take on a popular interior design style.  We’ll share inspiration images, a how-to guide on bringing this look into your own home, and a shoppable mood board.  To read Jen’s Trim Take, head over to her blog Persimmon Design.

This week I’m going coastal (couldn’t resist sneaking in a pun) and sharing my advice on how to pull off the coastal look without going overboard (so many puns!) and ending up with a home that feels like a Sandals resort.  

Trim Take: Classic Coastal

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source: Holy City Chic       source: edbdesigns

source: cityfarmhouse                                            source: Studio McGee    

You don’t have to live in a beach house to love and design with this relaxing, beach-inspired style.  Characteristics of classic coastal design include neutral color palettes paired with blue and green accents and natural materials like wicker, linen, and rattan.  If coastal is your jam, you’re drawn to happy, laid-back spaces filled with natural light and design details that evoke nature such as driftwood and seashells.

Here are some suggestions to pull off this style:

  • Start with a white, bright, and neutral foundation
  • Bring in natural materials and texture with natural fiber roman shades, woven baskets, sisal and jute area rugs, rattan and cane furniture
  • Mix in your accent color in solid or patterned prints and be sure to include varied shades to soften the overall design and create interest.  
  • Include some plants like large palm leaves or a fiddle leaf fig to bring a sense of serenity and calm to your space.
  • Finally, create depth by including something dark, like an indigo rug or a piece of dark wooden furniture.

Related Styles to Explore*: Boho Chic, New Traditional, Modern Farmhouse

*Stay tuned for an upcoming Trim Take on each of these styles.

Here’s a mood board I created of a modern coastal living room:


The key to pulling off a modern and sophisticated coastal look is to balance  quintessential coastal materials like rattan, wicker, cane, and jute with plenty of clean-lined, classic pieces.  This keeps the space from going too Margaritaville or boho beach house. Not that there’s anything wrong with a boho beach house, but it might feel a little odd on a daily basis, especially if you don’t live near the beach.

For this design, I kept the walls a neutral white, and chose warm neutrals for my furniture.  My big coastal statement is the oversize rattan pendant, which can be used for indoor and outdoor spaces.  I also selected Franco Albini style ottomans which have been turning up in lots of eclectic modern designs lately, but still pull coastal to me.  Finally, I added art with a coastal theme- a lovely dusky harbor scene. To contrast with all the neutral and create depth, I went with a blue rug and then I pulled that blue through the design in the pillows and wall art.  I chose lamps and tables with brass hardware to keep things warm and played up the hint of blush in the art by incorporating a blush pillow and a jar of peonies. The final touch is a fiddle leaf fig tree, because no design is complete without a little life, especially a coastal design!

So what do you think? Does this read as coastal to you? This is how we do coastal over here at Trim, so if you like this look, stay tuned for more inspo and details leading up to our big launch!   If you want to incorporate this style into your own space, scroll down for a shoppable round-up of furniture and decor inspired by this look!

Get The Look: Shop this round-up of coastal-inspired favorites!  



  1. Sebastian Sofa in Parchment, One Kings Lane

  2. Dusk Pillow, Shoppe Amber Interiors

  3. Phoebe Stacked Table Lamp, McGee & Co.

  4. Vintage Bamboo Rope Stool, Kibster

  5. Penelope Chair, McGee & Co.

  6. Newport Grasscloth Cocktail Table, Society Social (customizable to the color of your choice!)

  7. Blue Armless Settee, Joss and Main

  8. Alysha Rug, Lulu and Georgia

  9. White Garden Stool, Safavieh

  10. White Marble Top Coffee Table, Chairish

  11. Pacifica Pendant, Serena and Lily

  12. Willow Round Lamp, Jayson Home

  13. Vintage Sun Mirror, Jayson Home

  14. White Juju Hat, Chairish

  15. Vintage Draped Wicker Coffee Table, Chairish

  16. Torrey Pillow Cover, Serena and Lily

  17. Apartment-size Sofa in white, Apt2B

  18. Rattan Chair, Caitlin Wilson Design

  19. Indigo Pillow Cover, Danielle Oakey Shop

  20. Cascade Harbor, Art Print by Alison Jerry Designs, Minted

  21. Diving Ladies, Art Print (digital download), Jenny’ s Print Shop

  22. Ceramic Wall Hanging or Wind Chime, Minimalist2015