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I'm the Interior Designer behind Janelle Steinberg Interior Design. I'm also a wife, mother, social tennis player, candle connoisseur and an avid list maker. I like wine, pearls, rainy days, museums and houses. I craft and bake on the weekends in my college sweatshirt and yoga pants. During the week I balance my toddler's playdates, my businesses and working with my clients throughout the country, (not in said sweatshirt or yoga pants).

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Maison Classique
Maison Classique

Posts for September 2009

Chevron Moulding

· September 10, 2009

Along with swing arm wall sconces, I have an unnatural fascination, adoration and passion for mouldings and millwork. They set the stage for great interior style- whether ultra traditional or hip + cool transitional. The fastest way to dress up a box is to "trick it out" with moulding. Wainscot paneling, base mouldings, chair rails, crown mouldings, window casings, ceiling plans....the possibilities are endless. There are, of course, times when mouldings and fancy millwork are completely uncalled for- such is the case in a Mid-Century Modern house I'm currently working on. However, the majority of my projects are suitable for classic architectural details, and I am only too happy to design them for my clients.

(Let me insert two sidenotes here: 1) fixtures and finishes looks better in a room that is appointed with mouldings. Its sorta' like when people say a beautiful girl can wear a potato sack and still look stunning....well, beautiful millwork can wear the equivalent of potato sack furniture and still look pretty nice. Just something to remember when you are first moving in/building and you aren't sure where to put the money. Put it in mouldings and millwork first. Your property value will likely go up (don't quote me on that in this market!), your style quotient will go up, all your furniture will look better, and perhaps best of all- you won't have to live through the sawdust and noise of putting up mouldings after you're already moved in.) 2) I realize that for you people on the East Coast and parts of The South, you all "get it" already....but for the people who grew up west of the Rockies, its a different ballgame out here (sadly). Anything goes in the Wild West and out here, houses are a mixture of mostly Contemporary/Modern/Fast and Cheap Construction (which means mouldings and millwork are not included with the house, and it was quite possible the house was designed to look okay without mouldings- hence the "mod" conglomerations of  various styles that only evoke a sense of style, if any, on the outside). Thank goodness for the peppering of custom houses and old neighborhoods that haven't been destroyed in hilly enclaves and coastal cities- that's where the good stuff is!) Okay, back to the post at hand...

This is a design for a powder bathroom that gets pretty heavy use on a daily basis. I only mention heavy use because if it were to get "light use" and it was tucked away never to be seen my anyone other than the cleaning staff, I would probably just have specified a gorgeous paint for it and called it a day. But because this water closet is off the main living area, it needed to reinforce and respond to all the rest of the millwork in the home's public areas. I came up with cutting beadboard sheeting on the bias to create chevrons. I allowed a small degree of human error by also specifying stiles (little strips of wood placed vertically) flanking each chevron. The meeting with the carpenter was interesting, he told me he had ever done anything like it (I could tell he was a bit nervous when I gave him the drawing below). Of course he had no problems doing it (really, he is fantastic!). In the end- he was really proud of the work he did (as was I! It turned out exactly how I envisioned!) and the client loved it (music to my ears!).

This drawing was originally a sketch on some flimsy (design-world lingo for trace paper on a roll). When the client liked the idea, I went to the drafting baord to design it and draw an elevation to communicate my idea and the specifics needed for fabrication.


In progress shot...


A close up after paint. The paint finish is glossy- both because I love glossy mouldings, and because its really easy to clean. The rest of the wall was finished with navy blue grasscloth to bring in a textural element and accentuate the crispness of the millwork design.


After the wallcovering, but before installing the mirror and art. (This is why professional photographers are important! Not the best photo, I know.)


(The before photo)


Designing a Custom Rug

· September 3, 2009

There are a few different avenues you can take to arrive at a custom rug. One is to supply an original design, select the colors and fiber type, specify the size, pay for it, wait for it, then its done! The other is modifying a rug you like (but one that's not *quite right* for your project either in color, size or scale). This post outlines the process we designers take our clients through when we embark upon the latter.

The journey to a custom rug is a long one. That's why, if you are fast-tracking a project, you order the rug as soon as possible (scratch that, you order it about two weeks before as soon as possible). This is assuming you aren't buying new or vintage off the rack (nothing wrong with it, but many clients understandably want new carpets). To me, there is nothing like a rug fabricated to your specific spec. Sometimes, the only part of a rug that is custom is the size. I typically order odd sizes, even if off by just a few inches from standard sizes. Sometimes those five or eight inches are crucial. One thing that's important when you supply a custom size, is that the pattern size should change accordingly. When you are dealing with a few inches, its not a big deal. But if you are supplying a size that is completely different than a standard size, the pattern has to be adjusted or else the proportion will be off.

Its no secret that I adore LOVE Patterson, Flynn + Martin rugs. Their value is unbeatable, their products span from traditional to fresh and transitional, and their customer service is flawless (L.A. designers who want the best vendor ever- call up Guillermo at the Patterson, Flynn + Martin at the Pacific Design Center location. He will take amazing care of you and your client! ). Aside from the aforementioned reasons, they will customize just about anything for you- either from scratch or by modifying existing designs.

One of the projects I just completed (aside from waiting on the rug, and therefore the photo shoot!) called for a few rugs, all of them custom in some way. This is an example of a kitchen runner. My client loved this Grand Ziggurat style from the Kelly Wearstler collection.

But...the colors, and the sizes offered, didn't work. So, we sat down with some poms, (poms are little bundles of yarn in hundreds thousands (!) of colors. As with anything in interior design, it can be very overwhelming to see how many options you have. We started with my client's kitchen paint color that she loved. From there, I built a five-color palette with my client sitting on the floor of the showroom, samples, poms and ideas flying about (its a really fun process!). Once we selected the colors, we allocated where the colors were to go on the pattern of the rug. The vendor took down our notes and sent away for the rendering from their art department. Not only were the colors custom, but so was the size- which meant they also needed to rescale the pattern to our specified rug size. After about a week (and a deposit!), they sent over the custom color rendering detail and the pattern size modification:


Isn't it pretty?! From there, we approved the artwork and all our specs. Since its a custom rug and there is no real life example to "see", we needed a strike off. A strike off is a small rug sample that is fabricated according to the custom specs. Although the renderings do a good job of illustrating the final outcome- its not what it will really look like. Strike off's are produced to show the exact colors, yarns and pattern. After submitting payment for the strike off, we waited...about 6 weeks. After the strike-off lead-time, I got a call from my vendor who is *in love* with what I did and can't wait to send it ships to my studio and this is what it looks like:

I receive it, inspect it, email my client that it has arrived, and ship it to my client with some other approval paperwork. My client approves it and ships its back to me. I approve the actual sample by singing my life away (not really, but sometimes we sarcastically refer to approvals as such):

Then I ship it back to the showroom with all the approval paperwork and final payment. They will use the strike off as a quality control measure, ensuring an exact color match. And, now.....we wait. Up to five months. (Understandably, the wait is long because its hand knotted- humans can only work so fast!) In total, the process will take nearly 9-10 months (it can happen a bit faster, depending on how fast your client approvals take).

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