Bromance: Julian Chichester

Bromance (ˈbrōˌmans) noun – a close friendship between dudes.

Hey dudes, welcome to a new blog series I am doing – “Bromances.” In this series, I will be highlighting products, brands, and other things that I really love and want to share with you guys.

For my first installment in this series, I wanted to highlight a furniture brand I recently was introduced to: Julian Chichester. This brand embodies individualism, and they create really cool modern pieces that have a fun personality as well.

If you haven’t learned my style by now, I like to have a classic base and incorporate fun elements that offer some surprise and really make an impact in the space. So, when I found this brand I instantly fell in love. The attention to design detail in the pieces is amazing, and they can even create custom pieces that are one of a kind – just for you!

Here are some of my favorite pieces from the new spring collection.

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Dorothy Chair

A stunning Leather wrapped steel dining chair with 1950s origins. There are Brass details on the legs and Brass feet.

What I love: The clean lines and mid century look of the piece made me fall hard for this chair. Also, red leather – how cool is that?

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Alfred Chest

A beautiful chest of two Black Vellum drawers, Brass drawer frames and a Smoked Oak body. Brass is a hand applied finished which is moulded and beaten by hand. As a result, the finish is unique in both appearance and texture. Vellum is a natural skin with no two pieces exactly alike, therefore variation in shade and tone along with physical characteristics are inevitable and may change over time.

What I love: The asymmetrical draws of this chest made it really stand out to me. I like that dynamic element of surprise. The brass accents also highlight this perfectly, without making too big of an impact.

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Royere Dining Arm Chair

After the original, this is a superbly elegant dining chair, finished in Distressed Walnut.

What I love: The floral fabric is what made me fall in love with this chair. The pattern is bold and offers some fun colors and movement. And yes, dudes can have florals in their apartment too.

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Fontana Mirror 

After a 1950s mirror, this design combines an Aged Brass frame with an elegant vintage green glass strip. Brass Wrap is a hand applied finished which is moulded and beaten by hand. As a result, the finish is unique in both appearance and texture.

What I love: Well, we know I am a big fan of teal and vintage green. As my go to accent color, I definitely fell in love with this mirror when I saw it. This piece would be great in an entry way, bathroom, bedroom…ok it would look great anywhere.

 

Hope you dudes enjoyed checking out the Julian Chichester spring line with me! If you want to learn more about the brand make sure to visit their website at us.julianchichester.com. If you need help styling your pieces, make sure to reach out to me at heydesigndudes@gmail.com.

Spring Cleaning for the Unorganized Dude

Alright dudes, we’re headed into springtime. That means it’s time to wake up out of that hibernation and get down to some spring cleaning. This may sound like the worst task ever, but you got this dude! Pop in those earbuds and play a hype playlist, because we’re about to do some work.

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Put the D in Declutter

Now, let’s put the D in Declutter: Duds, Decor, and Digital.

 

Duds

Don’t be a hoarder, dude. It is time to recycle those old jeans and band tees you never wear, along with any other out-of-date clothes. I clean out my closet every spring to make room for new garb. Pro tip: if you haven’t used it in one year, you probably don’t need it. Resale stores will give you some cash if the clothes still have value. Otherwise, donating is a great way to let go and give back. For those dudes who still can’t part ways with their high school gym clothes, find a mediator! Invite someone you trust will be honest with you, sometimes you need that extra perspective telling you not to hold on to certain things any longer.

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Decor

There is one “D” you don’t want: DUST. Take knick-knacks off of the shelf and witness the outline of dust that has collected. Once you wipe down your surfaces, evaluate the items and see if they are worth keeping or just outdated. Stick to the minimalist approach, and show off those items that really mean something to you.

This last decor suggestion with help you breathe easier, literally. Get a plant and place it in a spot with decent sunlight. It will clean the air in your space, and surely bring a fresh start into your home.

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Digital

In 2019, one of the biggest forms of clutter we all have is in digital format. I spend plenty of time on my phone and computer but hardly ever find myself cleaning up my files. However, organizing a smartphone can be done in less time than scrolling through an Instagram feed.

The first thing to do is create individual folders for apps that are similar; such as productivity, finance, food, games, travel, photography and so on. When I begin to classify these apps, I notice the unnecessary and scarcely used ones. You guessed it, let’s delete those. This method can also be used for computer files that need cleaning up. Additionally, photos take up a lot of storage, so delete those blurry pictures and screenshots that have only been used once. For usable pictures, save them on an online storage platform to visit later. Get familiar with the Cloud and stop e-hoarding!

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Do you have any other questions about decluttering? Reach out to the Dude at heydesigndudes@gmail.com for tips and design suggestions for any type of living space. Happy spring, and good luck with your organization goals!

 

Luxury Design for the Frugal Dude

Dudes, if you’re anything like me then you have an eye for the finer things in life. Much like Ariana, I see it, I like it, I want it…

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But, then I check the price tag. And I put it back.

Those student loans are not going to pay off themselves, and unfortunately we aren’t all multimillionaires with the capability of buying whatever we want whenever we want. At least not yet…

However, just because you may not have an overabundance of money, does not mean that your living spaces have to look cheap. It is possible to show off your champagne taste without it looking like you’re on a beer budget. Here are a few quick and simple tips that can take your home from lame to luxe!

Keeping It Brassy

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One of the easiest and low-cost options to kick up the classiness of your kitchen is to update your hardware. Knobs, cabinet handles, and drawer pulls are all small details that can have a large impact. So swap out your dull fixtures for ones with a high-end sheen. Brushed gold and brass fixtures are trendy, yet timeless, and they SCREAM luxe!

 

Throw in the Towel

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An easy addition to make your bathroom look more upscale is to invest in some quality linens. Dudes, it’s time to toss those ratty towels that you stole from your college roommate and get yourself some crisp white, fluffy towels (like the kind you would find in a fancy hotel or spa). This will immediately give your bathroom a posh vibe, and your guests will get a more luxurious feeling from the space.

 

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To boost up the “luxe factor” for your bedroom, keep the color scheme simple, light, and airy. A palette of clean, bright whites and soft greys is ideal here. Grey painted walls with a classic white trim is an excellent way to make the space look effortlessly upscale. Plush, all-white bedding will also help create that luxury hotel feel — and you will be the one getting a 5-star review!

 

Set the Stage
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Want a simple way to dress up your dining area? Set the table! A staged tablescape will make this space feel much more elegant. I recommend buying some simple, white dishes paired with gold flatware. Gold is still a trending color, and a small investment that will show off some high-end style. Add a vase of fresh cut flowers (you can buy these cheaply from any local grocery store), and your guests will think that they are dining at The Ritz.

 

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Help your living room live its best life by adding some luxurious crushed velvet pieces. A contemporary velvet sofa, accent chair, or throw pillow will definitely elevate the space without breaking the bank. World Market carries a lot of on-trend velvet products that are inexpensive in cost but will look (and feel!) very upscale.

 

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For a truly elegant look, keep a simple color palette of whites and greys throughout your home. This creates a crisp, fresh feel that is seen in many luxury home magazines. Accent with trendy finishes, but in a low cost way — for example, a simple light switch made out of gold brushed hardware. Pick 1-2 complementary accent colors and use these throughout your home to keep a cohesive look. Adding too much color can start to feel shabby chic or boho, which is nice but a very different vibe than luxe.

 

If you want some additional tips to take your home decor from drab to fab, check out these two articles that I was featured in: Better Homes & Gardens and Reader’s Digest. And as always, feel free to reach out to me for some tailored advice on luxe design! Just ask your Design Dude at heydesigndudes@gmail.com.

The Drowsy Dude’s Guide to Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

Every dude needs a good night’s sleep to function properly. In 2019, catching some Zzz’s can be harder than ever. We’ve all had nights where we’ve binge-watched one too many shows, stayed up way too late watching celeb conspiracy videos on Youtube, or downed one too many cold brews after 6pm. Our bedrooms, though, play a big part in our sleep cycle. From color to curtains, here are my tips to optimize your space into the snuggly palace you deserve.

 

KEEP IT SIMPLE:

When designing a bedroom for better sleep, my suggestion is to streamline the space to make it less stimulating. I always take a minimalist approach when designing bedrooms. First, a bedroom should only be used for sleep. So, don’t make it your home office. Eliminate all electronics, including computers and TVs. Don’t add any office furniture, or anything work related.

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COLOR IS KEY:

Stick to simple colors and emphasize texture over pattern. I recommend painting the walls a light grey and sticking with all white bedding. An all white bed has been shown to improve sleep. Stay away from bright colors and patterns, as they will keep your mind stimulated and hinder sleep.

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TAKE A BREAK FROM YOUR FEED:

Studies have shown that electronics, blue light, bright colors, and over stimulating spaces can keep you up and mess up that sleep cycle. That is why I recommend removing all electronics from the space and sticking to a simple, clean design with subdued colors.

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FIND THE BEST FIT:

I can’t stress enough how life-changing the right mattress can be! Whether it comes in a box or you’ve picked it out in store, make sure you find the best fit for your sleep positions. I recommend bamboo mattresses like this one from Amazon. Selecting the right bedding is also key. Are you a duvet dude or do you prefer a classic comforter? Cooling gel or down? Two pillows or 25? Consider all your options.

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CREATE YOUR OWN OASIS:

Make your bedroom your own comfy little enclave with things like blackout curtains, plants, diffusers, weighted blankets, and noise machines. If you live in a city, blocking out loud noise and distracting light can be essential. Figure out what works for you. Remember, this is arguably your most personal space, so treat yourself, dude!

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THINGS TO AVOID:

I think the worst bedroom faux pax’s are introducing electronics and a TV into the space. Save that for the living and family rooms, as the bedroom should be a retreat from all of the crazy stimuli of the day to day. As for the design, bright colors and crazy patterns are a no for the bedroom. Stick to whites and greys and introduce soft and varied textures to create a calm, spa-like retreat.

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Check out this article I was featured in on nonagon.style for more of my tips as well as some great ideas from other designers to get the best sleep in your space. Have another question about designing your bedroom? Ask your dude at heydesigndudes@gmail.com.

 

Happy snoozing, dudes!

Styling Your Kitchen

*This is a sponsored post.

Hey, dudes! Are you feeling uninspired while making your weekly meal prep? It may be time to spice things up with a little kitchen update. Now, this can seem overwhelming, but I have a few tips to make small and manageable changes in the kitchen without gutting it and starting over. Let’s get cooking!

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Image: Premier Surfaces

 

(Back)splash Zone

A backsplash is a super simple and relatively inexpensive way to bring a new look to your kitchen. A wallpapered or painted backsplash might be the cheapest option, but it is definitely not the most effective. Between grease splatters and splashes, your backsplash can really take a beating. Instead, spend a little extra and go for a more durable material like tile or stainless steel. This can be an easy weekend job for the DIY expert, or if you get stressed watching how to videos, you can hire a professional for less than redoing your entire kitchen. This is a big impact but low cost project!

 

Take a Seat

If you are needing some socialization and company while cooking, find some unique chairs or stools for your guest. After all, the kitchen is truly the heart of the home and we all end up there anyway, right? When shopping, try finding some thrift items for less or even repurpose some stools that you already have. Some new seat cushions and a paint job can make a brand new piece for your kitchen space. Make sure you get something that is the right height for your counter and functions well!

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Image: Premier Surfaces

 

Countertops – Treat Yo Self

Now, are you ready to make a big change with big impact? Let’s talk about updating those countertops. Personally, I love natural stone counters. This is a little bit of a splurge, but well worth it. Primer Surfaces has a great selection and also a ton of resources to help you pick the perfect stone. Natural stone offers a truly unique surface, because no two slabs are alike. From limestone, to granite, to marble, they remain a classic and timeless choice.

Now you may have also heard about quartz but what about quartzite? Unlike quartz, quartzite is naturally occuring. It’s a hard metamorphic rock that originated as sandstone. With high heating and pressurization, the sandstone is transformed into quartzite which is extremely strong. It’s a bit lighter in appearance and ideal for any countertop surface because of its durability. Stone will definitely make a great addition to any kitchen’s style.

 

Pump Up the Jam

If you are like me, you might hate the chore of cooking. Why not make it more fun by playing some tunes on a new sound system? I also like to keep the music playing while friends and guests enjoy dinner, because it sets the mood of the party. My tip is to hide your speakers in a place that no one can see, so that you save counter space. You can install them in your ceiling or you could even put them on top of your cabinets behind a plant. Get ready to dance the night away straight into dessert.

 

Let’s Dish

One really simple way to spice up the kitchen (and the food you’re cooking) is new dishes! New dishes are the perfect (renovation free) way to bring some new flair to your kitchen space. You can also come up with a creative way to showcase your new dining bling. Switching out solid cabinet doors for glass fronts is a great way to make the space seem more open, and this offers the perfect storage option for dishes. Open shelving is also a great option. The best part of open shelves is that you have even easier access to those plates for some midnight snacks. Do you have an island or a peninsula in your kitchen? Then you need to set the bar. Styling the space and making it dinner ready is the perfect way to showcase your new plates and bowls. It will make your space look great too.

 

Keep It Functional

Despite all the gorgeous kitchens you may see on Pinterest, you want your kitchen to fit you and your needs. Do you need a chef grade space with plenty of storage to cook up a storm, or do you just need a microwave and a wine fridge? Whatever the decision, make sure your kitchen functions to fit your needs.

 

Need some specific tips on styling your kitchen? I’d be happy to help! Ask your dude at heydesigndudes@gmail.com.