Browse Month: October 2018

Geometric Detail Inspires Artful Home

Dana and Joe Sheppard lived in their tiny home in Ocean City, N.J. for at least 20 years until they decided it was time for a large shift. As they outgrew their 2-bedroom, 1-bath cottage, they gradually incorporated bigger improvements, but the time came when adding on to their home yet another time simply didn’t make sense. Regardless of the memories their previous home held for them, they decided to tear it down and start from scratch.

The Sheppards collaborated with architect James Chadwick and contractors Fuschillo & Hamilton, and the end result is the envy of the area. It is filled with fresh, geometric details using a color palette inspired by the sea glass Dana gathered on local shores. As a painter and stained-glass artisan, she believed each design decision a manifestation of her creativity. The contemporary home, peppered with her art, serves as Dana’s personal gallery and her proudest bit of work.

Colleen Brett

at a Glance
Who lives here: Dana and Joe Sheppard
Architect: James Chadwick; Builder: Fuschillo & Hamilton
Ocean City, New Jersey
Size: 4,000 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bath

Colleen Brett

Joe and Dana Sheppard tore the home they lived in for more than 20 years to make room for their dream home.

Colleen Brett

Geometry is king in this home, as it is possible to see the minute you walk in the doorway. Looking up from the entryway, you are going to see the hexagonal ceiling which frames the very simple light fixture, and a large stained glass window Dana designed.

Colleen Brett

Plush curtains hang from the ceiling of this lofted staircase to make a slight branch of space in the open floor plan of the floor. Showcased involving the curtains is an elegant wooden dining table, with a sleek, curved standalone. As it turns out, Dana is not the only performer in the family. Her son Justin built and designed this table in his high school wood shop class to mimic a 3,000 table from among his mum’s inspirational magazine clippings.

Colleen Brett

Spilling out of the entryway is the entire first floor: a large and inviting gathering room which flows easily into the kitchen. The walls are the colour of sand, and the furniture, in soft shades of teal and brown, right relates to the sea glass exhibited on countertops and tables.

Couch and chairs: Century Furniture

Colleen Brett

Sea glass is exhibited throughout the home, as it had been the inspiration for both the colour palette and the prosperity of glass details in the home.

Colleen Brett

Joining the two rooms is a curved eating nook. As opposed to go the conventional route using a high countertop and line of bar stools, Dana wished to make a place to eat that was part of both rooms. The fan-backed seat occupies the round glass table and supplies function as a kitchen table, as well as additional seating close to the fireplace.

Colleen Brett

Straddled between the kitchen and family room is a large air conditioning duct, among the significant design issues in this home. In order to hang out a light right above the kitchen table, then it would have been required to go directly through the duct. Dana collaborated with the architect to look this custom fixture fixture. It comes with a round base and thin sheets of textured glass to be built round the duct, preventing any damage to the beam and getting art from a essential light source.

Colleen Brett

Glass is also artfully showcased from the kitchen, among the most gorgeous rooms of the home. The mosaic tile backsplash is reminiscent of sea glass in colour and feel. The tiles have been tied into the delicately backlit geometric contours of this stained glass strip above the cabinets, which Dana created.

Colleen Brett

Even the cabinets are facing textured glass, which divides the contents of each one, but keeps the airy, open feel of this downstairs.

Kitchen design group: Holloway Home Improvement
Cabinetry: Heritage Custom Cabinetry

Colleen Brett

The kitchen is filled with geometric details, from the curved counter of this island to the stained glass above the cabinets. Even the throw rug and hardware on the cabinets honor geometry in this room.

Colleen Brett

Colleen Brett

The fireplace is the focus of this first floor. Dana chose southwestern stones in keeping with her earthy colour palette and enjoy of simple geometric shapes. A massive slate hearth provides warm additional seating on harsh winter days.

Colleen Brett

I had to share a glimpse into Dana’s art studio, hidden from this open floor plan of the first floor. She loves painting the Ocean City sunsets that her husband, Joe, photos. She’s looking forward to an upcoming juried show at the Ocean City Arts Center.

Colleen Brett

Leading up to the second floor is a geometric stair railing, using a Mondrian-like grid at each post. There are also beautiful lighting fixtures set against the backdrop of marble-like faux painting.

Colleen Brett

The master bedroom awaits at the peak of the staircase. They sacrificed space here to let for a private balcony, which feeds in a lot of light, which makes the dark plum fabrics and mahogany furniture texture tasteful without overwhelming the smaller room.

Colleen Brett

Here you get a close look at the cloth installment that Dana created behind the headboard. She originally wanted a window to move above the bed, but when structural limits stopped that, she went directly to her sewing machine.

Colleen Brett

Having built on precisely the same place as their original home, they knew where the light and views were going to be the best. The balcony off the master bedroom provides a lot of sunlight, as well as a view of the house’s beautiful landscaping, and even a glimpse of the bay.

Broad Cottage on the Jersey Shore
Geometry and Art in Chelsea
From Building Blocks to Buildings: Balanced Geometry in Architecture
Modern Icons: X Marks the Spot

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Warm Up Your Rooms With a Gorgeous Off-White Paint

One of my favourite clothing items is my off-white winter coat. Though it’s such a light color, it has a hot glow, looks comfy, and I will wear whatever with it. That is exactly how I feel about using off-white paint in a room. Unlike stark white, warmer tinted whites bring a subtle radiance to a room that produces a cozy neutral setting or a blank background for unlimited color choices. Off-whites are classic but they are also on-trend, and that gives you countless design options that are both fresh and timeless.

More: How to Select the Right White Paint

Michael Knowles, Architect

If you’re not certain which kind of off-white to use in your area, take clues from the existing furnishings or materials. In this foyer, the parchment wall color is close to the lightest hue in the floor. This type of coordination creates a nice flow from 1 surface to another.

Stonewood, LLC

The yellow-green tint in this warm paint color is also seen in the upholstered chairs and area rug.

MANDARINA STUDIO interior design

Off-whites aren’t restricted to ivory, ivory and pale yellow. Expand your range by using whites that are tinted with colours such as coral or apricot. These hot peachy-pinks are ideal to traditional spaces and they are always in vogue.

Maraya Interior Design

Ivory is a common neutral for Spanish and Mediterranean homes. This allows other architectural features, such as wood beamed ceilings and ironwork, to really stand out.

Matthew MacCaul Turner

Colors such as sand and tan are a little more earthy than some of the other off-whites. These hues will give your space a more natural, earthy texture. However, the overall feeling is still airy and light.

Jennifer Brouwer (Jennifer Brouwer Design Inc)

Creamy white cupboards are a great way to brighten up a kitchen while also adding warmth and fashion. Here, instead of using snow white cabinetry, off-white was utilized which is much more in harmony with the gold tan countertops and backsplash.

Dijeau Poage Construction

Rose and blush are very flattering which is the reason why I love using them in baths. Even an understated rose-tinted white will capture your attention and make you look good.


Who will withstand vanilla? This hot white is delicious and inviting, and it makes everything around it look luscious, too.

Off-White Paint Picks:
Futon 7101 by Sherwin-Williams
French Vanilla 7118 by Sherwin-Williams
Albescent OC-40 by Benjamin Moore
Cottage White 1813 by Behr

Next: How to Select the Ideal White Paint Color
How to Select the Ideal Gray Paint
10 Ways to Make Your Neutral Palette Shine

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Guest Picks: Handicrafts from Rwanda

I have always loved global layout. Once I stumbled upon a few plateau baskets created by women in Rwanda, I searched for more of their beautiful handicrafts. I love that every piece is so complicated in detail and they all tell a story in their own culture. These are the types of things that I love bringing into my home: one-of-a-kind statement bits which also tell a story about the entire world. And all these purchases benefit the neighborhood craft — what could be better than that? — Lillian out of Unstitched

Eclectic Baskets – $44

This plateau basket includes such calming colors, and the special swirl shape is indeed eye-catching — it resembles a wave or even a kaleidoscope. This could be perfect used as a bowl or hung on the wall as artwork.

Shop 4 Rwanda

Friendship Baubles – GBP 1.25

These friendship baubles are perfect little Christmas gifts. Produced from sisal and sweet grass, each is unique.

Indego Africa

Wine Coasters – $15

Each of those wine coasters, made from conventional Dutch fabric, is closely stitched with foot-powered sewing machines. These would make wonderful presents.

Rwandan Peace Basket

These conventional woven baskets represent that the artisan craft of Rwanda. Made of sisal, they’re sturdy and perfect for storage. I especially love the vivid red — we can all use a bit more reddish in our homes, could not we?


Handwoven Sisal Basket – $48

This basket includes such a bright and happy color blend; it reminds me of sunlight. Each of the colors is dyed obviously by plant or tea leaves. This is likely to make you smile each time you see it.

Indego Africa

Woven Coaster Set – $25

This is the perfect cultural piece to add to some cocktail party. These woven coasters are handmade with needles and conventional threads. My favourite part is you can observe the intricate job that went into creating them.

Indego Africa

Plateau Basket – $44

The soft muted colors of the basket are so calming. Even with all the complex details and patterns, it is still so easy to check at. It is just designed enough that is isn’t loud or overbearing — a great piece to add to some room to get a bit of a global feel.

Indego Africa

Banana Table Runner – $48

This bamboo table runner is the perfect organic touch to any table. I love finding unique ways of bringing the outside in, just like this. Each of them is handmade with strips and needles of banana leaves, therefore no 2 will be the same. The intricate technique employed in creating this makes it a really intriguing piece.

Indego Africa

Agaseke Basket – $40

These agaseke baskets are so distinctively shaped, they would make certain to be a statement piece. These are traditionally created for newlyweds, each distinctly designed to represent something about the bunch. They take five days to make, so that you know they’re quite a gift from the heart.

Indego Africa

Large Woven Platter – $75

Dynamic and cultural, these platters would be the perfect unique piece to spice up a coffee table or display. They would be perfect as a tray to group sculptures together or on their own as art.

Indego Africa

Agaseke Basket Ornament – $11

These tiny agaseke basket ornaments make amazing and socially responsible gifts for the holidays. I love the colors of the one — equally relaxing and bright.

In the color to the print, I love the fabrics used to make these wine bags. Simply made yet still representing the civilization, these would be such unique global housewarming gifts (with a bottle of wine inside, of course).

Shop 4 Rwanda

Violet and Natural Fruit Bowl – GBP 10

Produced from earthen materials (sisal, papyrus, bamboo leaf and sweet bud ), this basket is ideal for holding fruit. I especially love the patterns and colors: checkers and dark purple stripes.

Shop 4 Rwanda

Dark Blue Rwandan Table Cloth – GBP 6

This tablecloth is made from East African fabrics. The bright blue color is so dramatic; it would make any picnic or outdoor meal intriguing.

Shop 4 Rwanda

Set of 5 Placemats – GBP 10

These hardy placemats are not only functional, but also so intriguing to look at. You can observe the carefully woven pattern in every and every one. And they’re so durable, they will surely help shield a tabletop from scratches.

Sundance Catalog

Handwoven Wide Nyanza Baskets – $145

The colors of those beautifully woven baskets are simply stunning, and there is that little dash of detail with every line of color. Like all the other crafts, these baskets are made from organic, earthly materials. It is so inspiring to find that beautiful objects like these can be created from natural materials.

Eclectic Baskets – $40

This ageseke basket reflects a piece of historic significance in Rwanda: the reconciliation of the 1994 genocide. Both lines represent two women walking together hand in hand, stopping to meet a friend before moving ahead. This is a slice of home decor that reflects hope.

The large, bold patterns on the fabric of the wine tote are so intriguing. They make the cloth seem so cultural. Tied on the top with a drawstring, these wine bags are excellent little pouches for storing wine.

Indego Africa

Woven Banana Box – $110

These sturdy baskets are made from banana leaves. I love that the weave produces such a pretty routine alone. These are also quite sturdy — perfect for storage.

Shop 4 Rwanda

Keza (“Beautiful”) Sissal Grass Bowl – GBP 8.50

The brilliant mixture of pink and turquoise in this bowl also make it so beautiful. It is woven with a number of all-natural materials, sweet grass among them. You can still smell the sweet grass, including an aromatic component to the room as well as visual eye candy.

Next: More ideabooks from Lillian

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