Featured Designer- Renee LeJeune Hallberg

The featured Interior Designer of August is Renee LeJeune Hallberg, of RLH Studio in Minneapolis.  Renee is truly an icon in the design industry.

Share your background
  •       I began my Interior Design career as an assistant to Dorothy Collins in the mid 1980’s, a prominent Interior Designer. After assisting her for 2 years, I worked as an Interior Designer at Durr, Ltd, which specialized in English and French antiques. It was at Durr, Ltd that I built a wonderful clientele and began to hit my stride as an Interior Designer. After 5 years at Durr, Ltd  I brought my business to William Beson Interior Design where I continued to grow until I opened the doors to my own design studio in January of 2010.
 If you could live anywhere  in the world, where would it be and why? 
  •       I’d love to live on the the coast of South Carolina. I’m a summer girl at heart and would prefer the milder winter season. I also love the southern hospitality and graceful design sense. Truth be told, I wouldn’t leave Minneapolis, Its home.

    Describe your dream home in five words:
  • Classic, American , understated, properly proportioned.

What are your hobbies:
  • Travel, reading, designing, family
 Five things you can’t live without:
  • My husband and children, dog, extended family, ability to create beautiful rooms.
What are your favorite local shops and restaurants:
  • Ampersand, Five Swans, IMS showrooms
  • Restaurants: Piccolo, Blvd, Bacio, Gianni’s
 Describe one of your favorite projects:
  •       Recently completed two renovated colonial revival homes-classic, strong bones and beautiful millwork. I really enjoyed honoring the era while adding updated aesthetics and using family friendly materials. The homes are located in Orono and St. Paul.

Who is your favorite furniture/ lighting designer:
  • Victoria Hagan and Suzanne Kasler
Victoria Hagen Furniture                                                         Suzanne Kasler Pendant Light

 Fill in the blank, No room would be complete without…

  • Artwork and green plants

    What is your favorite room in your own home, why?

    • My favorite room in my own home is the sunroom. It’s surrounded on three sides with windows and it feels like I’m in a tree house. It is the place I go to read or chat with family members.
    Do you have go to paint colors, if so which ones? 
    • Benjamin Moore Historic Colors

    Thank you Renee! Check out more of Renee’s work here

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    Trends in Kitchen Design

    We Spoke with Kayla Vig, a designer at Gunkelmans interior design regarding trends she is seeing in kitchen storage and design, and here is what she had to share: 

    LED Lighting
       LED lighting offers a clean light and is energy efficient, with the ban of incandescent bulbs at a higher wattage (which is going to continue until incandescent bulbs are nonexistent).  LED’s are the way to go. 

    Drawers and Integrated Handles
       Drawers are everywhere these days! Many people prefer drawers instead of cabinets for the lower storage of their kitchen. This makes accessing your items easier and keeps you more organized.  Integrated handles are becoming the norm, offering a more streamlined look.

       Microwave drawers

    These allow you to place your microwave below your counter and out of sight.

    Corner Drawers   
    Drawers are also starting to replace your traditional lazy susan for your corner cabinets. Again easier access and more organization. 

    Images: 1 /  2 

    Trends in Counter Tops

    We spoke two local stone distributors regarding which trends they are seeing in countertop selections and specifications lately. 

    Paul Hilborn of Minnesota Tile and Stone here is his input on trends of countertops: 

    The most recent trends in stone counter tops are quite varied.    
    Leather Finish- Granite

    Textures are hot. We are seeing more leather or brushed surfaces than in the past. The use of polished and honed surfaces are quite common but the strongest growth is in textured material 

    •  A honed finish offers a matte look, that has more of a dull appearance and is non-reflective in nature. It is also fairly popular, but the honing process does make the material more susceptible to staining and scratching.    
    • A satin finish is somewhat similar to a honed finish, but offers a smooth, softer look with a vibrant, non-reflective finish.
    • leather finish offers a smooth, yet soft look and appears slightly more polished than a honed finish, but with a slight texture. This finish has the same care recommendations as say a honed finish but is much more forgiving (i.e hiding crumbs and fingerprints)
    Vermont Danby White Marble.The sales of white marble in kitchens is also quite strong but the problem has been White Carrara is not a great performer in the U.S. Sales are quite strong for White Carrara but the new trend is the Vermont Danby Marbles. These stones are much better performers and have soft veins of tan and black similar to Calcutta Gold but at a very reasonable price. With softer and warmer looks it has become the next “Thing” in white kitchen counter tops. 
    Vermont Danby White Marble
     If Marble scares you in a kitchen the look to “Super White” a granite with soft blends of gray and white with varied layers which produces a “dreamy” effect to the looks but performs as most granite’s have done, very well.
    Super White Granite

    Barb of Paramount Granite shared the following tips regarding trends she is seeing in  countertop sales: 

    Exotic Colors—While most people have heard the phrase, “Keeping up with the Jone’s,” when it comes to countertops, consumers may want granite, but they may not want the same color, as their neighbor, or someone else they know. Many consumers are willing to pay a little more for a stone that is unique and speaks to them.

    *Amazonia Bamboo Granite                        *Typhoon Bordeaux Granite- Leather Finish

    Multiple Color Combinations—Some consumers, these days, are mixing and matching colors for their countertops. With the multitude of colors available, some people like variety and are choosing one color for an island, and another color for their perimeter tops. We have seen others that mix it up even more, choosing 3 or more colors, depending on the kitchen layout.

    Backsplash Variety—3-1/2″ high backsplash runs are still quite popular, but many consumers are also adding tile. With hundreds of tile options and varieties, this combination makes it easy to tie a variety of colors together with their countertops and other decor.

    Images: 1 / 2

    Trends in Kitchen Lighting

    Current trends in kitchen lighting include: bold, black and glass finishes.

    More and more we are seeing large industrial style pendants and stream lined chandeliers.
    These are great options of timeless pendants in a bold color to add a fun pop of color to the kitchen.

    Images: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 /

    Featured Designer- Tasha Tyler

    The Up and Coming Designer

    Share your background

    • I went to school  for interior design, and landed an internship at Gunkelmans in Minneapolis. I have been working along the great designers at Gunkelmans for two and a half years.

    If you could live anywhere  in the world, where would it be and why

    • If I could  leave everyone that means anything to me, I would move to Paris. I was fortunate enough to travel there and it was a life changing experience, I cant wait to go back!  However I would never do that, so realistically… I would say Los Angeles. I love being surrounded by creative and inspiring people, places and I enjoy the weather.  I would miss Minnesota summers, they are the best!

     Describe your dream home in five words

    • Warm, Unique, Historic, Eclectic and Bold

    What are your hobbies

    • Thrifting, Bike Rides, BBQs, and DIY projects

    Five things you can’t live without

    • My family and friends
    • My morning Coffee
    • Vacation
    • Music
    • Internet/ Blogs- so many great sources of inspiration

    What are your favorite local shops and restaurants

    • Currently my favorite restaurants are: Barrio- They have great small plates and blackberry mojitos, and my other is Salut.
    • My Favorite shops are: Hunt and gather, Find Furnish and my top secret thrift stores

    Describe one of your favorite projects

    •  My Home, I live in a renovated shoe factory and I love the history of the building. Its modern and eclectic. 

    Who is your favorite furniture designer

    • I love everything created by Eero Saarinen as well as The Eames

     Fill in the blank, No room would be complete without…

    •  Art

    Do you have “go to” paint colors, if so which ones

    • No I dont