10 BEST INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS FOR INTERIOR DESIGN

Thank you to Elle Decor for this feature in the May issue. Happy to be included with so many great designer friends. Oh, and the cat is out of the bag: It’s true, my interior design book will be coming out in 2018!

For a new generation of designers, Instagram is not only an outlet for creativity, but also a crucial way to attract clients.

The design world isn’t what it used to be — and that’s probably for the best. Social media has become not only a creative outlet for a new generation, but also a crucial way to find clients. An innovative young jeweler exhibits her wares not just at the usual trade fairs, but amid the avant-garde innovators at Design Miami. And a communal studio space in Manhattan provides a new template for how designers can work, both together and apart.

In the six years since Instagram burst into the App Store, the social-networking site for the visually oriented has become the clickbait of choice for interior designers—Bunny Williams has 129,000 followers—and, for young decorators especially, a source of new clients as well. “I’ve met so many people on Instagram,” says Mark D. Sikes, whose preppy, all-American style has earned him 75,500 fans. “It’s less polished than a professionally produced design portfolio, but it puts you literally into the hands of the public, showing them who you are and what you love.” Here, 10 design firms talk about the power (and pitfalls) of Instagram.

This story was originally published in the May 2017 issue of ELLE DECOR.

You can view online HERE

“Awesome or Insane”

Thank you San Francisco Magazine for featuring not one, but two projects in the January 2017 issue.  You can check this out on news stands now or check out the online version HERE.

“Awesome or Insane”

Two sisters. Two husbands. Five children. One duplex. Let the design-off begin.

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Parents often try to instill in their children the virtue of sharing. Sisters Helen and Julie Kim, now grown up and both attorneys in San Francisco, must have learned that lesson well: They currently live in the same duplex in the Castro alongside their young families. Helen, her husband, and their brood of two sons and two daughters occupy the downstairs quarters. Julie, her husband, and their son reside above them. “People usually have one of two reactions to our living arrangement: They think it’s awesome or insane,” Julie says. “The reality is that it’s a bit of both, but mostly the former—and has a million advantages when you put four working parents and five kids together.”

Julie’s kitchen
Julie requested a “jewel box” with luxe surfaces and finishes. Brass fixtures and hardware polished to a high sheen adorn the custom cabinetry, the La Cornue range, and even the vent. A Calacatta marble backsplash is a grounding element for all the bling.

Helen’s kitchen
Durability was the name of the game in the downstairs unit, where four kids (or more) often hold court. Hence the white oak cabinets fronted with wipable Supermatt Blanco laminated boards and splatter-camouflaging tiles by Marianne Smink for the backsplash.

 

Not only can they easily coordinate play dates between cousins, but they can also divvy up babysitting duties, and most nights dinner is a communal affair. Friday dinners are usually followed by popcorn-fueled movie watching. “The thing I like most about [the setup] is that the kids are growing up together, and despite the occasional sword fight, I think that will really make a difference in how close they are later,” Helen says. “At the very least, if they all end up at the same school eventually, no one will mess with any of them on the playground!”

Julie’s den
Gibson juxtaposed a vintage chair reupholstered in hot pink velvet and a leather sofa from Furniture Envy with antiqued mirror-backed built-ins and a Stark rug.

Helen’s den
A low-slung sectional from Interior Define offers room for both families to lounge. For the nearby casual eating area, the clients couldn’t decide on a single style among the dining chair options that Gibson presented, so they went with a mix.

Before any joint habitation could take place, the Kims’ 1965 building needed an overhaul. The square footage was increased from 3,200 to 4,000—thanks in part to the conversion of a section of the garage into living space (allowing the lower unit to span two levels). And the interiors got a desperately needed aesthetic update, for which they turned to interior designer Grant K. Gibson. For older sister Helen, he conjured a warm environment with Japanese and Scandinavian influences. The palette is dominated by white and wood tones, with the liveliest motifs reserved for the kids’ rooms. Julie, meanwhile, wanted a “jewel box,” she says, “polished and bold in color and wallpaper.” So Gibson introduced a series of eye-popping patterns—Cole & Sons’ Nuvole Storm on the walls and ceiling of a long hallway, Kelly Wearstler’s Crescent in a watery blue in her son’s room, Makelike’s Lush in a red-gold-and-black colorway in a bathroom.

Helen’s bathroom
Gibson opted for a more subdued palette in Helen’s powder room. The wall is lined in a Quadrille pattern and punctuated by a pair of Cedar & Moss sconces.

Julie’s bathroom
“Because Julie loves color and pattern and that more European feel,” says interior designer Grant K. Gibson, “we could take more risks.” Take, for example, the exuberant Makelike wallpaper in the powder room.

The kitchens provide perhaps the best snapshot of the siblings’ divergent tastes: Helen’s is outfitted with clean-lined white oak shelving and cabinetry, a durable outdoor table plucked from a Restoration Hardware sample sale, and mismatched wooden chairs and a 15-foot bench. Julie describes her sister’s space as “the workhorse of the building. With [her] four kids and us down there for most meals, practicality was definitely taken into account.” The kitchen upstairs is decidedly more luxe—with a Calacatta marble backsplash fabricated from a single slab, alongside cabinets painted to dramatic effect in Farrow & Ball’s Drawing Room Blue. Further adding an exclamation point in here is the combination of the striking La Cornue range and the brass vent overhead.

“I really thought of this as two separate projects, rather than one,” Gibson says. “Just because they are connected—the sisters and the spaces—that didn’t mean there needed to be any flow between the units.” Indeed, while they admire elements of each other’s decor—“I should’ve done a leather couch!” says Helen, referring to Julie’s living room seating—there’s little overlap in their design sensibilities. Adds Gibson: “I wouldn’t be offended if someone looked at the two homes and didn’t even realize that the same designer worked on both.”

Top 5 Interior Design Trends for 2017

Last weekend, The Wall Street Journal published it annual article on trends.

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They asked me what I thought was in and what was out for 2017.

You can check out the full story HERE

Happy 2017 to you!

20 INTERIOR DESIGN TERMS

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20 INTERIOR DESIGN TERMS DEFINED BY THE PROS

Is this room clean, tailored or edited? Whatever it is, it must be chic… right?

Interior designers weigh in on what designer jargon actually means, so you can make sure you’re using the right terms in the right ways.  You can read the entire article HERE

Thanks to Elle Decor for including me.  I defined six of the 20!

 

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DECORATING YOUR FIRST HOME

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Thank you at Architectural Digest for including my thoughts on decorating your first home!

You can see the full story HERE

5 Top Designers on Decorating Your First Home

 

Take paint colors on a test run
“I insist on putting up physical paint samples on walls and in different locations. Paint chips from the store are a good starting point. Looking online for advice on peoples’ favorite colors is a great start, but the reality is every color looks different in different spaces and under different light conditions. A color that people love in New York might not work well in San Francisco. Light temperatures must be considered. If there are a lot of trees outside of a room, the green casts a tone in the space. Invest in sample cans of paints and paint large swatches on the walls. Also go back at different times of the day—even at night. One way to really drive your contractor and paint store crazy is to work on a custom formula. If you are really drawn to a color but think that it might be too dark, have it mixed at 50 percent or 75 percent strength to see if lightening the color helps.” —Grant K. Gibson

 

The 50 Best Decorating Tips of All Time

Thank you to Elle Decor for including me in its list The 50 Best Decorating Tips of All Time!

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You can check out the other 49 tips HERE

 

 

Architectural Digest color story

Big thank you to Architectural Digest for sharing my thoughts on adding a POP of color to interiors!

You can read the article below or check it out online HERE.

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Transform a Traditional Space with a Modern Pop of Color

 

Energetic shades can actually complement classic decor

Traditional decor tends to conjure up a restrained palette rather than an electric one, but there’s no reason a classic interior can’t handle a shot of color. In fact, a bold hue can make elegant, timeless elements stand out all the more. “My overarching philosophy is that traditional design provides the ideal backdrop for layering in color,” says San Francisco–based designer Grant K. Gibson, a master of adding a vibrant pop to spaces. “I like to say—only somewhat facetiously—that I am taking your grandmother’s home and making it livable for today.” Here, Gibson gives us his expert advice.

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Take chances in casual spaces

A breakfast nook is an opportunity to have more fun with color and pattern. For this family home, Gibson worked with Quadrille to have a toile textile custom colored, then took the blue from the toile to create a complementary zigzag fabric for the chair cushions.
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Bring in natural materials for balance

“This client is clearly not afraid of color,” says Gibson. “Pink was our accent color of choice, as seen in the vintage Danish modern chairs, which belonged to the client’s grandmother.” By layering the walls with a Phillip Jeffries gray grass cloth, he both grounded the room and let the magenta hue shine.
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Reenvision iconic pieces

In kelly green, a Louis XVI chair takes on an entirely new identity. “The color achieves a sense of modernity in a classic style,” says Gibson.
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Choose one element to lead the way

“Upon seeing this Galbraith & Paul wallpaper, we fell in love with the shapes and colors, which clearly dictated our choices for the rest of the design,” says Gibson. He chose an aubergine Christopher Spitzmiller lamp, saffron-color bedding from Matouk, and an ikat pillow from Sue Fisher King.
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Showcase brights with neutrals

For this young baseball fan’s room, Gibson blew up a photograph of Willie Mays to create one-of-a-kind wallpaper. But it was a strategic move, too. The grays and whites of the photo create a neutral backdrop that shows off the royal blue bedside tables from Bungalow 5.

House Beautiful Kitchen of the Month

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Thrilled to share that House Beautiful magazine selected one of our kitchen projects as Kitchen of the Month in the latest issue (May 2016).  You can check it out article below (including some extra photos that didn’t make the article).

Photos by:  Kuoh Photography

 

Tour an Old World Kitchen With Surprising Floors

Classic European details and warm finishes give an updated San Francisco kitchen perennial appeal.

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When the owners of a 1950s galley kitchen — complete with laminate countertops — came to a meeting armed with tear sheets of old houses in Spain and France, San Francisco designer Grant K. Gibson knew one thing: His clients did not want a cookie-cutter look. With this in mind, he nodded to old-world details, such as oil rubbed-bronze hardware and antique-inspired floor tiles that really charm. Time-tested, time-approved.

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BALANCING DECOR STYLES

“Making sure this space didn’t lean too country or too rustic required a delicate balance,” Gibson says. To draw the eye upward and ensure the room wouldn’t be dominated by the encaustic-tile floors, he installed handsome bin pulls on the Shaker-style cabinetry.

ADDING AN EXTRA SINK

He cooks and she bakes, so two sinks were necessary to keep the clients’ love alive at dinner hour. The prep sink (above) is perfect for rinsing vegetables or filling pots with water — pasta, please! — while the farmhouse sink on the opposite wall (below) is deep enough for often-used rolling pins and mixing bowls.

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REUSING VINTAGE PIECES

Rather than buying new fixtures, Gibson stripped and coated the existing chrome ones in unlacquered brass. To complement this living finish — which develops a patina over time — he chose Carrara marble countertops, which do the same. “They are used throughout Europe,” he says. “The coolness of the stone is ideal for kneading dough.”

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INSTALLING REALISTIC SHELVING

Instead of the bank of open shelving requested by the clients for displaying vintage finds, Gibson placed a single ledge over the sink. “One shelf is simple and dynamic,” he says. “You have to be able to hide clutter, and this way, you can rotate your collections!”

 

 

PARIS

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Thrilled to share from SF Chronicle article:

In the aftermath of the November attacks in Paris, the world showed its support in myriad ways, from the waves of love on social media to landmarks lit up in France’s national red, white and blue.

For San Francisco interior designer Grant K. Gibson, visiting the City of Light is the preferred way to express solidarity with the European capital and its residents. “Paris has always been one of my favorite cities to visit,” he says. “Walking for hours each day and exploring — I can never seem to get enough.”

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 Gibson’s more than 50,000 Instagram followers no doubt have noticed that he frequently travels there for pleasure as well as for work, picking up fabric and furniture for clients. He hopes to live full time in France someday, tapping into his experience at the Paris flea market and offering tours paired with buying services. In the meantime, he has his next trips planned, with these favorite spots on the itinerary.

PARIS FAVORITES

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Must-visit museum: “Since reopening in 2014, after a five-year remodel and expansion, the Picasso Museum is one of my go-tos. The architecture — a Baroque mansion — is stunning, and the artwork glows on the crisp white walls.”www.museepicassoparis.fr/en

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An urban respite: “L’Hotel was remodeled by designer Jacques Garcia with warm yet flamboyant interiors, and you don’t need to stay at the hotel to enjoy it. After spending a day out and about, I love to go for a quiet drink at the chic bar, simply called Le Bar.” www.l-hotel.com

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To market: “I spend hours each trip exploring the stalls of the Paris flea market, Marché aux Puces de Paris/St.-Ouen. The market is huge: 1,700 dealers in 14 markets spread over 750,000 square feet. Bring measurements of your interiors and a tape measure. There are shippers to help you get your treasures home; I suggest Hedley’s.” www.marcheauxpuces-saintouen.com

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Garden delight: “Jardin du Luxembourg, located in the Sixth Arrondissement, is an oasis in the city. Stroll the large gardens, stop to see the fountains and statues; the original model of the Statue of Liberty and the Medici fountain are highlights. It is a great place to take your picnic fare; sit on a bench to rest and people-watch.”

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Food scene: “In the heart of the Marais, one of my favorite neighborhoods, is Chez Camille, on Rue des Francs-Bourgeois. Pop in for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. I typically order an omelet or a salad, and a glass of rosé.”

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Artful excursion: “Fondation Louis Vuitton is housed in a Frank Gehry-designed building resembling a futuristic boat that almost appears to float on a lake. It is a bit far from the center of Paris, but there’s a 1 euro shuttle to the museum that you can catch near the Arc de Triomphe. Walk around the entire museum to experience every angle, including the light installation byOlafur Eliasson.” www.fondationlouisvuitton.fr/en

MATOUK

Sorry that it has been a while since I have posted.  The holidays are here for sure!
Perhaps we should just make this Wesley’s blog.  He seems to be getting all of the attention these days.
Thanks to our friends over at Matouk for this great feature!
Happy Holidays to all of you.  Looking forward to sharing more in 2016!
Interior Designer Grant K. Gibson Makes a Matouk Bed

Interior Designer Grant K. Gibson Makes a Matouk Bed

Interior Designer Grant K. Gibson is known for a crisp, masculine style that doesn’t sacrifice on warmth. Though he’s based in San Francisco, Grant’s work takes him to locations as varied as Palm Beach, New York, and Los Angeles. And while each project is unique, there are inevitably a few signature touches: a hint of black; a dose of geometric prints; and a test drive from Wesley, Grant’s adorable (and photogenic) Westie, who has become a bit of an Instagram star.

We’re huge fans of Grant’s work, so we invited him to use uMatouk, our interactive bedding tool, to design a bed and make it come to life in his own bedroom. The only requirement: the dog must be in the picture.

For this collaboration, you used the uMatouk tool to pull together bedding for your room. What was that experience like? 

Since I am a designer, I am pretty visual. But I have a lot of clients that are not—I guess that is why they hire me! This tool is such a great resource for sharing the whole bedding vision with clients and visualizing all of the bedding together. Brilliant!

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Gibson’s 3D virtual bed made using Matouk’s proprietary uMatouk bed design tool.

What’s it like being your own client?

I would have to say that I am a pretty picky client. I want a high quality product that is fairly priced and will be classic and timeless.

How do you approach picking out bedding, either for yourself or your clients?

I often remind people of what a huge relationship bedding has to the quality of your sleep. I think of my bed and bedding as an escape from the world. To me, there is nothing like getting into a well-made bed. Luxury!

I am a pretty light sleeper, so I sleep with an eye mask and earplugs every night. Thanks to the combination of sleep aids and nice bedding, I honestly sometimes get between eight and ten hours a night.

You were immediately drawn to Matouk’s iconic Lowell in black. What was the appeal?

I have always loved crisp white bedding, and Lowell offered the contrast of bold black. It feels classic but modern at the same time. I love how graphic the Lowell looks. Someday, if I choose to add in another pattern or collection, it will be really easy to layer in.

You added monogram Style 2061 to your pillowcases. Do you use a lot of monograms in your work?

The joke is that if it isn’t nailed down, beware, because I will monogram it. I do end up doing a lot of bedding, pillows and towels for client projects that are monogrammed. But honestly, this is the first monogrammed thing that I have in my place! It’s just such a nice way to personalize something and make it your own.

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Grant monogrammed his pillowcase in our monogram Style 2061. He used his own monogram on his side of the bed and his partner’s monogram on the other side.

What other considerations did you have in terms of designing the bed?

Wesley doesn’t sleep on the bed, but he does come to visit in the morning.  So since he is white, I wanted bedding that didn’t show dog fur!

Ummm. . . What does Wesley think of the final product?

He loves the bedding and now is upset that he isn’t allowed to sleep in bed all night long. Ha!

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Grant’s pajamas (purchased specifically for this photoshoot!) are the perfect contrast to the bedding.

And finally, in addition to your interior design work, you’ve become quite a blog and Instagram celebrity! What has that been like? How do those two mediums complement your design work?

Instagram is my favorite use of social media, hands down—mainly for the really beautiful photos. I love to see design, fashion, food, and travel to get ideas and be inspired.

People often ask me if it is actually me posting the photos to my own account. Yes! I just love sharing a snap of a project or a detail that I am working on.

Shop Grant’s Bedding

Lowell
1 King Duvet Cover
2 Euro Shams
4 King Cases
1 Standard Sham

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A combination of standard pillowcases, euro shams, and a single king sham, all in our Lowell in black, adds interest at the head of a bed created by Interior Designer Grant K. Gibson.

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