Tag Archives: interior design minneapolis

Custom Wall Murals – A Special Touch

I wanted to share this wonderful interview one of our team members, Katya, had with a local artist. The past year has been filled with transitions; for many, the greatest being a move from corporate locations to the home office. As life begins to normalize again, many folks are returning to in-person work sites, yet even more are shifting to permanent work from home or flexible remote work options. With more time at home, and a multitude of zoom calls, people are searching for ways to make spaces professional, comfortable and personal. Minneaoplis based artist, Molly McDougall, specializes in just that– helping her clients dream up their ideal space through custom murals and illustrations.

Molly

 

Molly, how did you dream of bringing your vendor art into private residences?

I’ve always felt that homes present an amazing opportunity to express yourself. You can hang artwork and collect furniture to build an environment that comforts you, and a mural is another great tool for personalizing space. When so many people transitioned to work from home during the pandemic, I decided to revisit my push for home office murals, and the demand has certainly picked up over the past six months or so.

 

As a homeowner, the idea of creating a full-wall, or even full-room, mural seems daunting; I wouldn’t know where to begin! What is your process for collaborating with the client on design?

We always start with a conversation. I have a lot of people reach out and say, “I would love a mural but I don’t know what I want!,” and I always tell them, “that’s okay, that part is my job!”. The cool thing about a mural is that it’s a commissioned piece, and that means that I work with you to interpret your vision into a final design. I like to get keywords from clients to learn what they want the space to feel like when it’s finished: calming, joyful, minimalist, organic, colorful, empowering. I welcome any piece of inspiration for the mural as well, such as photos, furniture, past work– I even did a mural recently that was designed around a client’s favorite poem!

 

Once you’ve clarified intentions with the client, what is your creative process and how long does it take you?

I always start with moodboards to narrow down the general direction of the mural. Once the moodboards have been reviewed, I present a few options to the client as first drafts. They choose their favorite design and we complete an additional two rounds of revision and editing. Some clients want a little more time reviewing each round than others, but typically the design process takes a couple of weeks and final execution is dependent on the size and intricacy of the mural. Generally, a residential mural will take between one and a half to three days to fabricate on-site.

Processed with VSCO with kk2 preset

Processed with VSCO with kk2 preset

 

Have you been commissioned to paint other rooms in addition to home offices?

So far it’s been mostly home offices and nurseries for residential murals, but I honestly think a mural would look amazing in any room of the house! I would love to do a kitchen or breakfast nook.

 

Typical ways to decorate a room include artwork, gallery walls, wallpaper, even custom wallpaper you can design online. Tell me the benefits of a custom mural versus some of the other decor options available. 

There’s just something about a mural that feels so luxurious and custom. When you walk into a room with a mural, you can feel immediately that you are in a one-of-a-kind space. When it comes to wallpaper versus murals, I love that you can explore larger images in a mural, it doesn’t have to be a perfectly repeated pattern. Not to mention, it’s way easier to paint over a mural than to remove or replace wallpaper, and you can absolutely still hang artwork over a mural. I’m all for eclectic stylings– mix and match it up!

 

We’re seeing more murals and grand illustrations in professional spaces. Is this a trend you believe we’ll see more of in private homes?

Murals have definitely become more popular in commercial storefronts and newer, luxury apartment buildings over the past five to ten years. I think there’s a lot of overlap between their rise in popularity and the increased focus on shopping local. Using a mural in your space underlines the idea that this particular environment was curated on-site and made just for this space, it’s not some commercialized artwork that you will find in a million other locations. Murals make a place feel special, and I think that’s why, with so many people working remotely, there has been an increased desire to lean into the uniqueness of your home. Make it special, make it yours. I foresee that trend only getting stronger.   Bedroom 1

 

Is there anything else you’d like to share about murals, your business or home design?

When you decide to put a mural in your home or business, you are taking the pressure off of yourself to make all of the design decisions. You’re not only getting a custom piece of artwork just for you, you’re also getting a professional artist whose job is to learn your space, interpret your needs, and execute your final choice. You’re basically hiring an interior designer and professional painter all in one! You’re also choosing to personalize your space by supporting a small business and independent artist, and that’s pretty special.

 

Molly

 

 

In addition to murals, Molly creates custom signage, window lettering, spot illustrations, and  teaches various creative workshops. You can see her work throughout the Twin Cities at popular shops, restaurants and workspaces such as Primp Boutique, The Coven Minneapolis, a&bé Bridal Shop, and Aster Cafe. Her latest work can be found on Instagram at @madebymollyjo and her full portfolio can be viewed on her website. To inquire about murals or other services, email madebymollyjo@gmail.com.

 

Making Your Home Office Homey

Many of us are finding ourselves working from home more and more if not full time. I have a feeling this trend is here to stay for a while so why not take the time to love the space you are in for so many hours!

Whether it is a designated room or just a nook you have carved out in the middle of another space, find a way to make it work for you both from an organizational standpoint but also an esthetic one.

 

8223-200th-St-W-Re_004 copy

 

The desk is the most important piece. Does yours need to be narrow for traffic flow to get by? Do you need a lot of surface space or just enough for your laptop? Maybe one that you can close and tuck away at night?

 

IMG_7776

 

I am a big believer that although your chair needs to be comfy, there is no reason it cannot be fun! Think outside the box from your standard office chair. This is a great place to add your personality.

 

7-gNXW4g copy

 

Opening shelving via a ladder system or floating shelves keeps a space looking open and modern.

And don’t forget color! Even if it is a tucked away nook, adding color to the walls or artwork can make the hours in your office space a happier place to be. Again…note the fun chair. 🙂

 

8223-200th-St-W-Re_032 copy

 

If you need to start out the new year with a refresh to  you home office, don’t hesitate to give us a call if you need help!

 

 

The All Important Flooring Question

It’s bound to come up….

“I’m selling my home and I know I need to refinish these floors. What stain color should I pick?”

“I am updating my home and want to get rid of these honey oak floors, what color is in?”

“I’m replacing all my flooring and upgrading to hardwood, what color should I be looking at?”

I get that question many times a week and what I tell you today, wasn’t what I would have told you two years ago and it more than likely won’t be what I will tell you two years from now.

That’s just the thing…..trends change but the good news is there are some things that have not changed in the last decade. That lasting componet is that the floor should be in contrast with your wood work and kitchen cabinets.

 

5195 Ranchview Ln N-21

 

A few years ago very dark espresso floors were all the rage. They were stunning and still are but people quickly realized  how tough it was to keep them looking clean. You saw every little spec of dust.

Flooring then became lighter, first to a medium walnut, and now to the current floor trend which is very light. These photos are of a luxury home I staged for the Parade of Homes Fall of 2019.

 

5195 Ranchview Ln N-1

 

How long will this current trend last? Who knows!

If you are refinishing your floors for selling purposes, go with what is on trend.

If you are refinishing your floors and plan to live in your home many years, go with what you like but still contrasts with the wood elsewhere in the home. You can enjoy the beauty of the color and down the road at resell time, refinish them in the color that is current at the time.

Refinishing hardward floors is not cheap and it is a messy process. If you are unsure about stain colors be sure to hire a professional home stager to assist you.