There’s something magical about Abbe Fenimore. It’s evident from your first glance at the spaces she creates – rooms blooming with vibrant hues, creative twists, and a sophisticated nod to the eclectic. We stumbled across her work several weeks back while enjoying a cappuccino and reading D Magazine. To anyone who knows Fenimore, it will be no surprise to discover that she has won best of D for three consecutive years (2012, 2013 and 2014). Picture damask metallic wallpaper, brilliant peacock-blue ottomans, and coral- and gold-streaked art – her designs exude chic imagination. It’s part Hollywood Regency, part Modern Chic, totally livable comfort. No doubt Fenimore’s eye for color and glam, plus her magic touch at transforming discounted items into eye candy, plays a major role in the success of her non-profit Dwell with Dignity. We are so excited to have had the opportunity to interview Fenimore and get an inside look at what inspires this incredible artist.
1. What’s your favorite aspect of modern interior design?
I love the fresh and approachable look of sleek lines paired with casual and comfortable pieces.
2. Which colors do you tend to use the most?
I most often find myself gravitating towards jewel tones. Deep turquoise, fuchsia and plum are my favorite colors to work with. I believe that when they are used in the right places, they can create a striking color palette without taking over a room.
3. Favorite materials or textures?
Mirrored pieces are always at the top of my list! They have the ability to open up small spaces and add a bit of chic without being overly girly. For textiles, I consider Mongolian fur and embroidered fabrics two of my favorites. Both add visual interest and bring versatility to multiple furniture and accessory pieces.
4. What is your favorite interior design-related word?
Aesthetic! It’s fun to say and describes the philosophy of design succinctly.
5. What does your home look like?
I define my home’s style as rustic chic. After six years of marriage, my husband’s and my styles have blended and our home showcases the best of what we both love. My husband is partial to rustic and casual, and I’m more into the sophisticated and chic. We’ve achieved our own unique aesthetic by combining his rustic elements, like antlers and natural stones, with my bright colors and patterns, interesting accessories and bold graphic prints.
6. What inspires you when you’re faced with a creativity block?
Stepping away from work and throwing myself into the things I love to do with family and friends is my go-to for finding inspiration. I have realized that just taking the time to do the things that I enjoy is key for keeping me balanced.
7. Favorite designer or architect?
I love Ron Woodson and Jamie Rummerfield of Woodson & Rummerfield’s House of Design.
8. Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without?
I have too many favorites to narrow it down to just one! You can always find stacks of my favorite magazines throughout my home and office, which I love diving into when I have free time. And digitally, I peruse my favorites via the Feedly app frequently.
9. What is forbidden from your designs?
Believe it or not, I really don’t have a forbidden design element. I know my aesthetic and appreciate the fact that my clients come to me because they were inspired by the spaces that I have created in the past. My clients ultimately dictate any forbidden elements in their design. There will always be a component of design that I do not want to incorporate in a client’s home, and vice versa, but compromise is key. And I have found that some of my most favorite spaces were the result of compromise!
10. Is there a design rule you love to break?
I am quite fortunate to have clients that don’t care too much about design rules, which allows me many opportunities to mix things up. For instance, I love to mix metals. I think the right combination of brass, gold leaf, and polished nickel can really warm up a room and create a fun mix, all without going overboard.
11. Where’s your favorite spot in Dallas?
Hands down, the Dallas Design District! It’s my go-to, one-stop-shopping area. Because showrooms, vintage stores and retail shops are all right there, it’s beyond easy to make the best use of time when shopping. Now if I could just convince a few of my favorite stores around town to move there, too!
12. Which popular design trend do you detest?
That’s a hard one, as I don’t really detest any one trend! As with all trends, they should be utilized in small doses. In small doses, they’re much easier to phase out of the home when you tire of it and are ready to move onto something new.
13. Any new trends on the horizon in modern interior design?
Recently, I have been seeing quite a bit of lacquered furniture, bold accessories made from agates and minerals, and fabrics in over-the-top graphic patterns. I love all of these trends and think they work well within any modern home.
This year is all about BOLD. That’s why it should be no surprise to see the giant resurgence of wallpaper in 2014’s interior design trends. Wallpaper is hot and here to stay. From vibrant vintage-style graphics to bold florals to opulent foil textures, the writing is on the wall. Here are some of our favorite takes on the wallpaper trend:
A work of modern art carefully sculptured into an Upper Constantia home with vast open spaces over two inter-linked levels. A non-conventional, simple structure crafted into conventional living spaces whilst allowing vast open spaces to entertain light and the natural air of the Constantia Valley. Sold as a package to include the house with all fittings, fixtures, furniture & art, this modern home flows from living spaces, to work spaces, to art studio, to garden, to entertaining areas – and back. Vehicular access is through double “airlock” gates to an integral double garage which then offers direct entry to the house at ground level. Immediate entry into the kitchen area with modern quality fitted appliances including ovens, hob, extractor, coffee maker, steam cooker, double fridge, double freezer and multi-sided draw and cupboard storage. The adjacent, open-plan living areas are lounge/tv and dining and flow out to the deck & entertaining features around, and sunken, to the pool & gardens. Almost every vertical exterior wall is dominated by glass. A corridor leads away to a guest bathroom & two private, en-suite bedrooms.
A “Floating Riser” stairway leads to the upper level which is over the entire footprint of the house. On arrival, you are central and within the vast bedroom area. To your left, and very much in the distance, on the other side of an open void to the lower level, is a library & office study combination. Far enough away, but convenient for the work-from-home executive. Additionally, and by separate entrance is a large art studio bathed in natural light. Back into the vast bedroom area and you can explore the bathroom & dressing areas plus outside balcony. The home has under-floor heating, gas flue-less fires and hot & cold air conditioning ducts. A “must see” strictly by appointment.
For more information on this home click here.
7 Zomerlust Avenue | South Africa
We love this stunning executive family home in the exclusive Southeast neighborhood in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. With over 7,000 square feet of custom designed and decorated living space, the open floor plan provides a perfect spot for entertaining or simply enjoying a night in as you gaze out at the extraordinary snow-frosted views.
This beautiful modern home features an expansive gourmet kitchen and family room, spacious living room with a unique, two-story fireplace and cathedral ceiling, main floor den and gorgeous floor to ceiling windows throughout the main level. Click here to contact us for more information.
For more beautiful homes, see briggsfreeman.com. Click here to see the latest in real estate news. CEO Robbie Briggs independently owns and operates Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty with five offices in Dallas, Uptown, Ranch and Land, The Ballpark and Southlake.
Most of us are getting pretty comfortable with the recent influx of technology in our daily lives. We sleep with our smartphones inches from our heads, have cappuccino makers with buttons that rival air traffic control panels, and literally have an app for everything. With all of this tech whirling in and out of our lives, it’s easy to miss some of the coolest new modern gadgets for the home. Well no worries, friends, because we’ve rounded up the high fliers from this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), as well as a few older innovations gaining traction in the market. Take a look at these impressive modern attempts at transforming your home with the press of a button (or five).
Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt
Photo / consumer.schlage.com
“Integrated home security is nearly ubiquitous within the luxury real estate market. However, not all homes might lend themselves to all modern security systems – Historic estates are rarely ideal candidates for extensive rewiring and may require less intrusive systems.
Enter Schlage’s new touchscreen deadbolt. Providing a touchscreen for a four-digit lock and unlock code, the Camelot can be integrated with existing third-party wireless hubs. It also has an integrated alarm system that can provide a local sound and also alert the homeowner via smartphone notifications with multiple levels of customization: eg., one alert if someone fails to enter the passcode 3 times, another if the lock itself senses movement.
A simple yet powerful integration of modern connectivity with long-standing homeowner needs.” (Via Sotheby’s International Realty Blog)
Schlage Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt with Alarm, consumer.schlage.com
Photo / Sony.com
“While 4K HDTVs have seen a big push from major manufactures for 2 CESs running, there were some fringe TV technologies, also developed by two of the big producers, that offer a glimpse into what the future of home entertainment might bring.
Sharp’s 8K glasses-free 3D TV is almost absurdly ahead of it’s time. Clearly only at the prototype stage, the TV has a resolution 4-times that of 4K (which in itself is 4-times that of current 1080p HDTVs) and allows for 3D viewing without the use of any glasses. However, the viewable angles for the 3D itself is so limited and the depth of the 3D so constrained, that consumer applications are still far ahead in the future.
Sony’s idea of the future of home entertainment is a dazzling (or dizzying) combination of multiple projectors splashing images on surfaces all over the home and versatile touchscreen panels. The centerpiece of this Life Space UX concept space is a 4K close-proximity projector that could fit into any modern or contemporary home with ease.” (Via Sotheby’s International Realty Blog)
HUE – A Really Bright Idea
Photo / Hue
“Lighting should be highly personal; overhead fluorescents are not. Hue helps you create just the right ambience with this ultra-customizable system: You can tinker with the color and brightness of every Hue LED in your home through a smartphone app. Philips Hue Connected Bulb Starter Pack | $200″ (via Wired.com)
Mother by Sense
Photo / sen.se
“At its simplest, Mother is a motion tracking system. In practice, this is one of the most versatile items announced at this year’s event.
Consisting of a friendly hub and an expandable set of tracking ‘cookies’, the system allows you to capture a near unlimited amount of applicable data:
- Attach a cookie to the door or window to track when a door/window is opened or closed
- Keep a cookie on a key chain or bag to see where your family members are at any given time
- Is the temperature in the living room when you’re out of the house too cold for the dog? Cookies have a temperature gauge
- Are the kids getting enough daily exercise? Cookies can measure distance walked & steps taken
Coupled with unique applications for each use case, and mobile push notifications to keep you informed at all times, Mother is designed to keep you more informed about your daily life, even as you live it.” (Via Sotheby’s International Realty Blog)
Mother by Sense, sen.se
Sleep Number IQ Bed
Photo / Sleepnumber.com
“Finding the right bed for both you and your partner is the most literal pain-in-the-neck of modern living. Sleep Number has long been offering a solid solution by adjusting each half of their bed to the sleeper’s own personal comfort level. But with the IQ Bed, they’re aiming to tell you what you need before you know you need it.
Each bed monitors your own unique sleep patterns, offering suggestions for adjusting the firmness, softness and angle of the bed as you sleep. The accompanying app can also track your out-of-bed activities such as workout time and food/drink intake, detailing what changes you can make outside of the bedroom to help craft a more restful you.
Other features include voice-command functionality, built-in lighting for safely getting up at night and massaging movement to help lull you to sleep.
Oh, and an anti-snoring program which changes the angle of your partner’s head, clearing the airways and cutting off the snoring at it’s source. Yes, please.” (Via Sotheby’s International Realty Blog)
Sleep Number x12, sleepnumber.com
Photos / Off
So your off to the alps for a week of skiing and as you’re pulling away from the driveway you think, “Did I turn off the gas?” Well this all too familiar scenario is up for extinction with the newly designed Off door handle. It’s a door handle with connections to your mains like gas supply and electricity. Simply switch off both (or either one) of the services by rotating the dial. When you return home, just switch it back to re-activate. It’s really that simple.
Off is a 2011 red dot design concept winner.
Kohler VibrAcoustic Hydrotherapy Bath
Photo / Kohler Co.
“Kohler’s VibrAcoustic Hydrotherapy bath takes relaxation to a new level by turning music into pulsing waves while you’re bathing in it. Of course, you can also use it as a huge speaker when it’s not filled with water. There are a total of six speakers embedded in it, and an auxiliary-in cable lets you play your own jams. The VibrAcoustic series of tubs comes standard with a touchscreen controller that gives you access to a few sound-and-body relaxation presets, and the higher-end units come equipped with a subaquatic light show.” (Via Wired.com)
Revolv Home Automation Hub
“Revolv’s hub is a multi-protocol wireless receiver with a 65-foot range that also consolidates controls into a single streamlined app. In addition to cleaning up your app arsenal, it’ll let you make presets that adjust several of your devices at once; one tap will adjust your lights, speakers, and thermostat to the perfect levels for watching a movie or getting work done. It also uses your phone’s location services to automatically perform certain actions — turn the lights on, flip on the air conditioning, or open the garage door — when you’re approaching your home. Revolv supports several devices in this gift guide, including Sonos speakers, Nest devices, Philips Hue bulbs, and Belkin’s WeMo products. It only works with the iPhone and iPad right now, but an Android app is coming in early- to mid-2014 — as is compatibility with more devices.” (Via Wired.com
A fabulous addition was added in 2011 and was architecturally designed to enhance the original modern home. It is situated on a double lot which is well hidden by a pocket park and dense landscaping. There is a large courtyard and parking area that features a stucco wall with an artistic fountain feature.
The double-door entry opens to a large dramatic Ogelsbyesque living room, dining room accentuated with a cooper fireplace, slanted wood-beamed ceiling, bamboo floors, and windows looking out to the pool and garden. Click here for more info!
Located in the HPISD-Armstrong Elementary School district and within walking distance to Snider Plaza and SMU, this two-story Tudor at 3647 University Boulevard in University Park is staged impeccably. Listed for $1,575,000. Photo / Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty
It’s an exciting time – you’ve decided to move from your current home into the home or neighborhood of your dreams. Now it’s time to consult with your Realtor, because an expert agent can advise on how to prepare your home to make a beautiful first impression and attract maximum attention – and buyers. These tips from the National Association of Realtors will help your home shine!
(1) Clean out, declutter and repair—Buyers want to imagine themselves living in their own home, not yours, so remove all personal items such as photos, quirky collections, knick-knacks and most art objects. Buyers also want light and bright, so clean windows and shades and let the sunshine in. For the most part, today’s buyers are not looking for a project. Consult with your Realtor about which repairs are needed to make sure your home is in tip-top shape to attract desired buyers.
(2) Stage to perfection—Some surveys show that sellers get back the money they paid for a professional stager times three. When potential buyers tour your home either online or in person, you have only seconds to hook them, to make them want to see more. A stager, working closely with your real estate agent, will help you set the tone for that first look.
(3) Elevate curb appeal—Power wash your home, walkways, porches, fences, driveway, deck and all other outside surfaces. Freshen landscaping with seasonal plantings and a layer of mulch, add floral pots to key areas to draw attention to the front door or courtyard and consider a neutral coat of paint to convey the image of a perfectly maintained residence.
(4) Hire a professional house photographer—Data shows the 97 percent of new home searches start online. Eye-catching photography is the first opportunity you have to engage potential buyers—whether online or in print.
(5) Price strategically—Smart sellers know that a strategic pricing brings more offers. Today’s buyers understand home values. They’re jumping on things that are well priced, and they’re paying full price. But they’re passing on homes they don’t think are worth what the seller is asking. Pricing is still critical in this market.
Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, serving the Metroplex from our office at 5600 Lovers Lane, Suite 224, Dallas, Texas 75209, and Southlake, 112 State Street, Suite 200, Southlake, Texas 76092. For more beautiful homes, see briggsfreeman.com. Also see updatethemetroplex.com for the latest in real estate news. CEO Robbie Briggs independently owns and operates Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty.
Domes for the World is based in Italy, Texas and can withstand tornados and hurricanes.
Home is, for many people, a special place filled with comfort, love and a sense of security. But not everyone can be so fortunate. Communities throughout the world suffer from natural disasters, poverty and lack of resources. Designers and architects worldwide are coming together to create economical, quickly assembled, low-cost housing for the world, so that everyone may enjoy the comforts of home.