Create Your Own Industrial Modern Master Suite

Create Your Own Industrial Modern Master Suite

A lot of work goes on behind the scenes creating design schemes for our clients. I have a strong philosophy in presenting only what I like because as soon as I don't, it will definitely be the client favorite. So that means there are schemes that aren't selected. Most often the client goes with a different concept or price point so we are left with one or two leftovers. They are perfectly good concepts that sit in the archives never to see the light of day. Every now and then we'll pull a piece or two from a previous concept but a full concept never gets reused.

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Find your interior style - A QUIZ

Find your interior style - A QUIZ

I am asked what my personal style is all the time. The question comes up in almost every new project interview. And when I tell someone I've never met, I'm an interior designer and have my own firm, the question immediately following is, so what's your style? It's a hard question to answer quickly. There's so much nuance to style, it's like describing your personality. But having an answer and owning it simplifies your life in amazing ways.

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For our Big Dreams of a Small Chalet project, we needed a statement print. Whitewashed floors, white walls, black trim and high ceilings felt too stark, especially for a mountain home. Our client mentioned the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, a city that was a major source of inspiration for this project early on and a place near to their hearts (they lived in Amsterdam for a few years). The Rijks is special. The museum promotes using their masterpieces so you can attempt your own "masterpiece". Rijksstudio makes high resolution images of their art available for download. For free. Yes, FREE, it's amazing what you can do and they hold a competition each year to support the art others make from their art. All that they require is an account. So incredibly innovative and forward thinking! 

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When you think of mountain cabin, modern and funk aren't words that come to mind. So we jumped at the opportunity when our clients talked about their dream of a small, modern chalet. Words like alpine, funk, and gezellig drove the design direction.

With a simple palette of black, white and whitewashed wood in place, we planned calculated hits of color and pattern to warm the space but also keep the focus on the high ceilings and big windows.

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Last December, I spent a week in Havana exploring the city and the architecture. I left the US seeking colorful Cuba, yet, quickly upon arrival, I found it is so much more than that. Havana is vibrant. Entering the city--surrounded by the streets, the buildings, the cars--feel like going back in time, at least 50 years. My home base for the trip, sponsored by Airbnb, was a 1925 family-owned mansion. Modern day conveniences like safe tap water, one-stop-shop markets or convenience stores, and an easily accessible internet are not available.

It's also a city of paradox. Culturally rich, but often structurally in ruins, it's a place where an up-and-coming artist supports his doctor parents because they make only $60 a month each.  The country is well educated, because of subsidies, and everyone has a roof over their head. Overall, it ranks high in human development, but the average salary in the state sector is $20 a month.

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Gallery walls can be daunting. The amount of art and the quantity of holes in a single wall can stall even the most seasoned designer. But with enough strategizing and by following the simple tips below, you’ll have art on your walls in no time. We documented our process while hanging a gallery wall in the Casework office to help show you how it's done. 




Depending on the number of pieces you have, plan to spend a few hours arranging art to find a good composition. Make sure all of your art is ready to hang and you have all of the tools and hardware needed to hang each piece to make the process smoother.




Something prominent is what I’m drawn towards lately. I really love a full floor to ceiling gallery wall but if you don’t have a dozen or so pieces of larger art and a large wall, creating a composition over a horizontal piece of furniture like a sofa, buffet or bed works great too. Strategically placed art can also cover up eye sores like the outlets below.



The best gallery walls have one unifying element. If your art doesn’t have anything in common (from color to style), then the frames can all be black, white, brass or whatever you choose. Consider objects, mirrors or things to break up the grid. I like to throw in something a little sculptural, round or tactile to mix things up a bit.




Are you more minimal and modern? Then keep things orderly with a gridded arrangement or line up the top or bottom of the frame. If your style is more eclectic, the collected gallery is where it’s at. Think about the composition, lay everything out on the floor, measure, tweak, move around and don’t be afraid to put a hole in the wall and then decide to move it. Holes are easy to patch. Really easy. Remember, the composition is just as important as the art itself, becoming a larger form of art.




The tools are simple; hammer, hanging hooks/hardware, level, tape measure and a pencil. Don’t be afraid to put a hole in the wall. The gallery wall is meant to evolve just as any collection does and you may not get it perfect the first time. Make sure your hardware will support the weight of the frame. When marking the hooks, make sure you know whether or not you are marking the bottom of the hook, top of the hook or where the nail should enter the wall.



When deciding where to hang, find the middle of the room, vertically and horizontally and pick your most prominent piece. Everything else will surround it if you are doing true gallery style. I center this piece horizontally and hang it from  just above the horizontal middle at around 60”. This might seem low, but it’s not. Far too often people hang art too high. You want people to lean in and see the art, not peer up at it. From there, work your way out.

Gallery Wall Detail



Consider the spacing between the frames and try to get some consistency here. I like to use the frame thickness as a guide or double the frame thickness between spacing. Balance is key. Try to create balance from opposite corners or connection between pieces that are different.


1 Rug . 2 Pendant Light . 3 Barstool . 4 Wall Lamp . 5 Fabric 6 . Swivel Chair
7 Floor Lamp . 8 Side Table . 9 Stool . 10 Faucet . 11 Knob . 12 Pull

Let's get real here for a second. There was never a "new black". Black is black and it can't be replaced. If you think orange or pink or beard is the new black, you might be in the wrong place. 

Here at the Casework studio, we're always on the hunt for the best products for our clients and even for ourselves. We like well made, and easy on the eyes never hurt anyone. The combination of good looking and good quality gets us excited because we literally look through hundreds of cabinet pulls and dozens of barstools to find the best of the best. Sharing our favorites seemed like the logical next step and why not start this series with a favorite, black.