Designer Spotlight // Grace Castaneda

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT GRACE CASTANEDA KATE DWELL IN STYLE KITCHEN

If you’re ever truly passionate about something; baking, drawing, *insert your interest*, in this day and age, you’ll be able to come up with some names from those fields, people who you truly admire and want to be successful like them.

I personally have more than a few very talented and inspiring designers/stylists in mind. I’ll be sharing their works on the blog regularly. As a designer or stylist, mixing styles is a balancing act that some just excels in, like Grace Castaneda. She does this modern and country thing effortlessly and it shows in these home-envy-inducing photos.

So why is it so hard to balance or mix styles? Because some styles are just too different from one another. Why do we need to mix them? Just choose one style, you might say. Someone out there might be feeling silly wanting a traditional style for their modern condo or buying all modern furniture for their historical house. It’s not silly because traditional doesn’t always means old, and modern doesn’t always means new. Yes, you’ve heard it right.

By doing more than one style in your home, it allows more livability (different people in the house might have different styles, and they usually do). More affordable; this means you can mix existing furniture with new ones or use items you really love but might feel “out of place” with the overall style of the space. A successful example is the eclectic style.

Read about all 12 styles here.

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT GRACE CASTANEDA KATE DWELL IN STYLE COUNTRY BEDROOM

Grace used black and white as bases for this bedroom. Choose calmer colors (neutrals) for bedrooms because it’s the place where you relax and sleeps. Black and white never go out of style but beware of making your space looks like a black and white photo. The asymmetrical bedside arrangement keeps it interesting. A bit of greenery and pattern also adds to the loveliness of this country bedroom and that headboard. Notice the use of matte and shiny surfaces? It isn’t overwhelming because the color palette is tight, in fact it’s shows how much Grace knows her stuff; I love her style of mixing and contrasting yet ever so calm and serene. She has very classy taste.

See DWELL IN STYLES replicate the asymmetrical look in this bedroom makeover.

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT GRACE CASTANEDA KATE DWELL IN STYLE KITCHEN ACCESSORIES

Patterned tiles can be a highlight for your kitchen (as well as bathrooms); it makes your kitchen stands out in a good way. But beware of multi-colored tiles or very busy patterns. They either look dated in a few years or makes you feel uneasy spending time in there. A designer/stylist should be able to tell you whether the pattern is suitable for your intended space because sometimes they might look OK alone as one tile but when they go up your wall, it can get crazy fast. This is the opposite of what you want.

So when do patterned tiles actually enhance your space and when it doesn’t (and you’re better off saving that money)? 1 // if you have more than two height difference for your upper cabinets (includes your hood). This kitchen (image above) has only two height difference; the hood and the uppers. Anything more than two combine with a patterned backsplash makes your eyes hard to focus on what’s going on and you end up with a messy look.

2 // don’t choose cabinet doors that are too contrasting (like very distressed woods or multi-colored). Have one focal point (not two) in your kitchen especially if your kitchen is apartment size and not like this.

3 // use patterned tiles or expensive tiles if they can be viewed by someone sitting across, like an open concept kitchen. If you have a galley kitchen, consider saving money on your backsplash or try this.

4 // Always coordinate the color(s) on your tiles to the rest of your kitchen. If you pick a tile that has yellow in it, make sure you’re ready to buy a few beautiful kitchenware in yellow. Displaying a few will do, you don’t need the entire collection. Coordinating colors is the easier and simplest way anyone can try to get that “design look” instead of the “I thought this tile is cool so I slapped it on my walls”. Remember some of those fashion mistakes we made while we were younger because at that time we thought it was a good idea. Kitchen mistakes are a pain in the ass because it’s costly and troublesome (hacking the tiles) to rectify and you’ll be reminded of it every.single.day.

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT GRACE CASTANEDA KATE DWELL IN STYLE CLASSIC

Classic built in book shelves with color coordinated books and timeless white kitchen. They never hurts. Flat paneled fireplace, chrome and stainless gives the traditional look a modern feel. Can you see yourself reading a book on the couch or cooking in this kitchen? A good designer can make your space functional AND inviting, plus let you get tons of envy!

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT GRACE CASTANEDA KATE DWELL IN STYLE LIVING ROOM WARM

Traditional style can sometimes be associated with looking like a granny lives there (not the same as shabby chic). Generally, using warm colors in your home tends to lean towards feminine (cooler colors like grays and blues are viewed as more modern or masculine colors). This living space that Grace designed feels more like a luxury hotel than my grandma’s place for sure. The color coordination and styling makes for a lively space that is appealing to many.

Read previous post on shabby chic or cottage chic style.

See DWELL IN STYLE used warm colors for a condo designed for a bacholerette. 

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT GRACE CASTANEDA CONDO

This is the condo that Grace designed that really got me hooked. You can’t see from here but the unit is weird shaped (like triangular). She uses a rug to ground and define the space. The size of your rug is determined by the size of your space and furniture placement. She layered a patterned and softer rug on top of the sisal rug (the latter is more affordable and durable rug). Without this layering, the size of the top rug DO NOT work in this space. A wrong sized rug is like a man wearing a too small hat. It’s very awkward.

I counted a sofa, a chaise and an armchair, I wanna write a post on seating option in our living space (even for small spaces), like do we need an armchair, side chairs, stools/ ottomans, where to place them? How to make them work together? So stay tuned.

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT GRACE CASTANEDA KATE DWELL IN STYLE CONDO SOFA

Husband and I shortlisted this sofa for our home (coming in a few months, waiting… waiting…). Please be excited because I plan to document my inspiration, reno journey entirely on the blog. Yes, real life transformation made by an aspiring interior stylist for her first home, excited yet? Ha. The ever so awesome designer Orlando Soria has the cream version in his condo. We’re planning on a navy blue version. And I’m thinking should I write a post on my blue sofas obsession (to be fair, it’s not just me, it’s my husband mostly, though don’t tell him that I said that…), what do you think guys?

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT GRACE CASTANEDA KATE DWELL IN STYLE CONDO KITCHEN AND FRENCH DOORS

The color black and moldings painted the same color as the walls makes the space more modern, and black is a warm color. White trims with black doors, yes. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to add some architectural interest to a typical modern condo.

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT GRACE CASTANEDA KATE DWELL IN STYLE CUSTOM BUILT

This sideboard is custom built to hide the radiators. While we do not need radiators in the ever so hot and sunny Singapore, if you wanna do some custom carpentry, instead of doing five generic ones, why not spend your bucks on one that looks as jaw-dropping as this one. Cabinet with a few shelves? Meh…I bet you can buy them anywhere. This one however is one of a kind.

You can view more of Grace’s works at her site. She is based in Toronto, Ontario. I’ll be featuring a lot more designers and stylists that I will TOTALLY hire (in the perfect world). And in the mean time, I am ever so inspired by their works and hopefully I will get to replicate some of these design magic that they seem to be able to wield at will (like in my own home huh!). Ha. I hope you are inspired too. See you next post!

Image Source: Grace Castaneda and photography by Leigh Tynan, Tynan Studio.

See more talented designers – Jessica Helgerson // Fiona Lynch // Orlando Soria

All words by me. This is a non-sponsored post.

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