On a chilly winter's day, there are few reasons one would get out from under the comfort of the covers and brave the cold. Heading to one's favorite coffee shop and grabbing their favorite brew is one of those reasons. All coffee aficionados have their go-to cafes. Some people choose their spot based on coffee alone, others need a quality brew and vibe that fits them. For us, as you can imagine, the design of a coffee shop greatly impacts our experience. So, for this warming post, we'll share with you our favorite local, Dallas coffee shops where the brew and design make for a wonderful experience.
Popping out of the monotonous color-palette of Downtown Dallas is the vibrant blue-and-white-tiled coffee bar and market, Commissary. Trying to capture the beautiful Texas sky in an otherwise grey-toned city, artist Jorge Pardo designed the five-story building to incorporate over 27,000 blue-toned tiles, sourced from Guadalajara, that change in appearance based on the time of day. The meticulously thought-out design creates an energetic space, making it a great place for friends to grab a quick caffeine fix or for creatives to work and feel inspired!
DRINK OF CHOICE: Mocha Latte. Chocolate and coffee in one cup, mmmm.
There's nothing that doesn't impress about Brewed+Pressed (see what we did there?). Everything from their milks to their chocolate is house-made, which means the quality of their coffee and treats is unmatched. Using natural materials and colors, the space's modern, minimalistic design mirrors the coffee shop's organic purpose — which we absolutely love.
DRINK OF CHOICE: Honey Cinnamon Latte. Sweet, spice, and everything nice.
If you're looking for a classic French cafe, with an artistic, mid-century twist to it, Magnolia Sous Le Pont is the place to go. This is a coffee house that invites you to stay and leisurely enjoy your brew — honestly, you'll probably never want to leave. If you're a fan of artisanal coffee and unique creations, you'll love trying the various drink options Magnolia has to offer. Carve out some time and treat yourself to a chill afternoon at this one-of-a-kind cafe.
DRINK OF CHOICE: Lavender Latte or Matcha Latte — we couldn't choose one!
Based in San Antonio, Merit Coffee's popularity has grown exponentially in the past two years, allowing the Texas roaster to begin serving Dallas and Austin. Architect Michael Hsu (responsible for the design of Austin's Uchi, La Condesa, and Sway) designed the Deep Ellum location, turning the warehouse space into a modern, wood-toned cafe.
DRINK OF CHOICE: Batch brew. Keep it simple and fully enjoy.
In the heart of the Bishops Arts District lies SERVE, a healthy coffee house and eatery. In addition to serving unique and delicious brews, this go-to place for the southwest Dallas community offers acai bowls and scrumptious sandwiches and toast. The quaint, repurposed Dallas house has a white, curated interior with natural wood and black accents, two design features we absolutely love.
DRINK OF CHOICE: Honey lavender matcha latte. It's like our two favorite drinks from Sous Le Pont in one!
Now, after writing this post, we're going to have to excuse ourselves and take a latte break. We recommend you do the same!
In early 2018, a Dallas resident, feeling aligned with our international modern style, hired us to redesign her 2-bedroom Uptown condo. The client needed more than new furnishings — she wanted a full remodel. As a registered contractor with the city, Juliana reminded the Dallas modernista that we could project manage the construction work and see the design to completion. In the end, our client wished to use her friend who was a general contractor.
When a client offers to use their own contractor, we respect that decision. Hey — maybe if we like their work we'll consider putting them on our go-to list. Even if the torch is passed, we still like to collaborate with the GC to ensure the design gets implemented properly. In this particular project, we became concerned after not hearing from the GC, and, after scheduling an on-site visit with the client to check in on the work, we were disheartened by what we saw.
Among the many minute, but noticeable, design details the crew ignored, they also sourced the wrong materials for the bathroom and hadn't waterproofed the tub. (They also installed plumbing lines incorrectly, eventually causing the entire condo to flood.) We had to notify the client, and she was grateful we did. Eventually, she hired a different contractor to oversee the work, which only led to more unfortunate events. The new crew demolished items not on the demo list, including her newly remodeled fireplace and installed a water heater too small to heat the tub.
Our rightfully exhausted client has expressed her regret in hiring a third party to oversee her project. Honestly, we just empathize with her. No one should have to experience this worst-case-scenario. Our main focus now is figuring out how we can come in to get the project on track and give her the design she's been dreaming of for over a year.
Our client's story has compelled us to share with you the benefits of hiring an interior designer who can legally oversee the project from design to end-of-construction. It's imperative we clearly outline those perks so you can make an informed decision about what qualifications you'll look for when hiring someone to give you the home of your dreams.
Passing along a set of construction documents and specifications to a contractor acts like a real-life, high-stakes game of operator. To the initial communicator, the message is crystal clear, but one tiny misinterpretation can completely change the meaning. Maybe they decide to go with a slab of granite for your kitchen countertops instead of marble, or perhaps they choose a smaller, flat teal tile when we had meticulously researched and sourced a large, textured one. Small changes, big implications. Simply said, when the person who designed your interior is in charge of managing the project, you can rest assured there will be no misinterpretations of the design concept we both agreed was best for the space.
As the general contractor of a project, our goal is to follow every specification to the tee. With that said, all projects incur some unforeseen changes. For example, if we design custom kitchen cabinets that extend to the ceiling, but the area's building codes prohibit ceiling-high cabinetry, as the general contractor, we can implement a change with the overall design in mind. A contractor without our unique skill set and inherent knowledge of the concept will make decisions that could compromise the entire space.
As designers, our primary goal is to give our clients the space of their dreams — the space we designed for them and of which they energetically approved. To ensure this occurs, we select the best tradesman for each job. This might mean we're organizing the work of nearly 10 different subcontractors, but we're more than pleased to do that if we know the quality of their craft is supreme.
When we oversee a project, the buck stops with us. If something does happen to go wrong in the construction phase, our clients simply reach out to us and we're immediately on it. It surprises many interior designers that we take on this responsibility (and liability), but having grown up around construction and contractors, Juliana is just as passionate about overseeing a design to completion as she is about creating it.
It's common practice for general contractors to markup the cost of materials for a given job. For example, if the laundry room tile costs $5000, the contractor may apply a 20% markup, leaving the client with a $6000 bill. Because we're design professionals, suppliers often award us an industry discount, which we share with our clients. In other words, if our industry price is 20% less than retail, we split the $1000 discount with our client, saving them $500. Unlike the formally mentioned perks of hiring an interior designer who is also a GC, this practice may only be observed by Beyond Interior Design, but we thought it was worth mentioning (who doesn't enjoy exclusive discounts?!).
We still wholeheartedly believe and respect that, at the end of the day, you choose who manages your redesign. We simply want to guarantee our client's satisfaction. As cliche as that sounds, it's true.
You finished your interior design before the holidays — what a glorious feeling! Now, you can share your new space with your family and friends by hosting this year's holiday feast. You're sure to invite out-of-towners who will be thrilled to stay in your revamped guest room(s). And while we have no doubt you've maintained your home as if the installation was completed yesterday, there some finishing touches you can make to ensure your family and friends achieve full comfort in your space.
To help maximize your guests' stay, we've created a checklist of ten guest room must-haves. Don't worry, we'll provide a printable document you can have on-hand when preparing for your family and friends.
Having clean bedding is kind of a given (we hope), but providing your guests with extra blankets and towels (wash, hand, and bath) will ensure their comfort needs are met. If you're lacking a particular space for these items, not a problem. A basket can hold extra blankets or towels and act as an extra decor piece in a space.
If you're anything like us, the thought of keeping your nicely pressed holiday dinner ensemble squished in your suitcase any longer than absolutely necessary makes you cringe. Therefore, you know it's essential your guests have a place to store their hangups as soon as they get settled in. If you don't have a closet, an over-the-door hanger or wall hooks can easily solve the problem.
Don't forget the suitcase itself. Lying on the floor, luggage can consume valuable walking space and get in your guests' way. A simple luggage rack can take care of this problem if your room is lacking an empty dresser and closet.
While you can't be expected to stock up on everyone's particular moisturizer or after-shave, supplying your guests with basic toiletries — shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, and toothpaste — will help alleviate the possible need for them to make an extra trip to the local drugstore. A good rule-of-thumb when selecting products: choose something you'd be happy using at someone else's home.
Even if you enjoy a phone-free night of rest, we live in a world where 71% of people sleep near or with their phones, so having a nightstand with an accompanying outlet or extension cord is another guest room necessity.
If after seeing number 4 you couldn't help but shake your head at us for slightly enabling phones near the bed-zone, don't shame us just yet! We also recommend having a clock with an alarm sitting on the nightstand so guests who prefer sleeping without their phones can still have the convenience of knowing the time and setting an alarm if they choose.
Cold weather sure has a way of bringing in the sniffles, and, as we all know, tissues sure do beat walking to the restroom to use that square of toilet paper. Having a box of tissues in your guests' room is a small detail that could go a long way.
Whether your guest needs to dispose of a tag from a newly purchased dress or one of those tissues you so conveniently provided, they shouldn't have to search for the nearest wastebasket. Placing one in your guests' room can help them, and inevitably you, keep your space clean and organized.
Usually, when guests come into town, it's for a special occasion. They've prepared an outfit from head to toe, and it's hard to capture the whole look in a vanity mirror. Placing a full-length mirror in your guest room can be super easy. Just like the over-the-door hook, you can hang a mirror behind the entry or closet door or place a standing mirror along a wall, creating a stylish and functional piece of decor.
Because those staying with you will find themselves in an unfamiliar space, having a nightlight can help your guests avoid stumbling around at night. If the guest bathroom isn't located off the room, another nightlight or two guiding the way will be greatly appreciated.
As mentioned in our previous post, Five fragrances to fill your home, our olfactory sense helps shape the way we experience our surroundings, so having a pleasant fragrance placed in your spare room is a must. Choose something warm and inviting and place it a couple of days prior to your guests arriving. That will give you time to test the fragrance's potency and, if you enjoy the scent, allow it to settle in its environment.
Once you've completed the checklist, your guest room is ready to accept all family and friends for the holidays. Just be careful, they may enjoy their stay so much, they won't ever want to leave!
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As we step into the holiday season, we all begin preparing our homes for those occasions where we invite our family, friends, and colleagues to share the joy and company of one another in our space. Often, this involves a dose of fall cleaning and perhaps some decorating, but it should also include updating your home fragrances.
While it was once believed the olfactory sense had little importance to humans, in the last decade, scientists have discovered quite the opposite. Just like it shapes the way other living creatures interact with their surroundings, smell plays an extremely important role in how humans experience their environment. Therefore, even if you're planning to tantalize your guests with the aromas of your home cooking, there's always an opportunity to create a moment that triggers positive reactions to your space via enchanting scents. It could be in the bathroom where your family will wash up before dinner or the guest bedroom your sister and brother-in-law will stay. If you've gone through the effort of designing and preparing your space for them, you can elevate it even higher with a wonderful home fragrance. To help you pick the right one for your home, we'll give you five of our favorites so you'll have a quality selection from which to choose.
We don't want to call this scent our favorite, but there's a reason it's at the top of our list. It pleases everyone. Period. Just recently, we were photographing one of our home designs and our design assistant kept commenting on the fantastic smell of the client's home. We informed her it was Jo Malone's Pomegranate Noir and our two other colleagues broke out with emphatic nodding and praise because they too obsess over this scent.
NEST consistently produces fan-favorite home fragrances (and perfumes), but Moroccan Amber truly is a classic. While coming in both the candle and diffuser, we tend to favor the candle, as it produces a lovely smell even when unlit.
The legendary, Parisian perfumery, Diptyque, creates some of the most elegant, high-end fragrance lines on the market. While encapsulating the scent of freshly picked berries, blended with roses, Baies (berries) extends its warm-weather notes and can be appreciated during any season.
West Elm's Apotheke Pur Charcoal reed diffuser is an easy go-to for us. The simple, black design complements any modern space, and the scent that fills the air is one of white cedar and sandalwood.
"This candle smells exactly like Anthropologie's Capri Blue Volcano" is how other candle stores try to pitch their similar smelling, but inferior, products. This Anthropologie home staple is highly sought after by those trying to recreate the olfactory atmosphere so beloved by the store's customers. While the candle also comes in a standard container, this iridescent jar carries a bit more style.
The great thing about these home fragrances is that they also make great gifts! So while you're out picking up your NEST Moroccan Amber or Jo Malone's Pomegranate Noir, grab one for someone else and you can cross that person off your gift list!
To get a sense of an interior designer's specialized style, one can peruse through the professional's portfolio of work. To truly understand the designer, though, you need to know what and who inspires them. By knowing these facts, you can see the whole picture of what your designer could bring to the table.
For our head designer, Juliana, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe has been one of those great inspirations. Juliana has embodied his "less is more" approach, which has shaped the way she designs spaces.
While an architect by trade, Mies van der Rohe paid great attention to every element of his designs, including the interior. He even created minimalist, and eventually iconic, items of furniture to fully articulate his principles.
One of his most known creations was the German Pavilion, which was showcased at the Barcelona International Exhibition in 1929. Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich's (his co-designer) work emblemized the Modern Movement of the early 1900s. While disassembled after the exhibition ended, the pavilion was so well received that the head of Barcelona's Urban Planning Department designated a team of architects to research and create an exact replica of the original design. In 1986, the new pavilion opened to the public, named as the Barcelona Pavilion.
In the original pavilion, Mies van der Rohe and Reich showcased a newly designed chair made of leather and steel, which later earned the name the "Barcelona Chair." Since the German Pavilion was set to host the King of Spain and German authorities during the opening ceremonies of the exhibition, the spaces were outlined by floor-to-ceiling panels of glass and various kinds of marble. The latter material, in particular, was posher than typical Mies van der Rohe style, but it needed to accommodate royalty. As did the furniture the reception guests would interact with. Cue in the Barcelona Chair.
The simple but sumptuous article rose to the level of the meticulously designed pavilion. The final product pleased Mies and Reich so much that they created a Barcelona sofa, which appeared in a client's home for the first time that same year.
Mies van der Rohe designed numerous furniture pieces throughout his career, each with their own essence of luxury, creativity, and simplicity. These elegant and pragmatic principles are what Juliana and the Beyond team bring to their designs every day.
The influence Mies had on Juliana is indescribable by words, but each of her concepts highlights a principle the German architect held so dearly nearly a century ago.