Julia Jamieson Swenson

I'm a designer and manager working in Durham, NC. This is my personal site where I explore my interest in design, interiors, paper, and travel. Cheers!

New Living Space // Inspiration

New Living Space // Inspiration


Our New Place

When I found the listing for our rental house online I didn't even consider it. It looked perfect. But was way over our budget. I didn't bother getting in touch with the owner.

Until, a couple weeks later, I'd noticed the listing was still up. Finally, one evening while sipping wine on the couch, I got up the courage to email the owner and ask if they would be willing to go down on price. 

From months of searching online, I knew this rental was one of those really hard to find opportunities. Chris and I saw the house and we were instantly in love. I had made my decision before even getting through the foyer, this was the house for us. After going back and forth a bit to find a price that was closer to our budget, we struck a deal with the owners. Lesson learned, it's always worth at least asking for what works for you. Since the moment we signed our lease and started moving in, I've been designing the space in my head. Hardwood floors, a soft gray paint, white trim, traditional moulding—I've been given a blank slate.  

Living & Foyer

My design process—whether for interiors or for an iPhone app—is to first create a vision. In most cases, this means a mood board. For our living space and foyer, which bleeds into our dining space, I'm going for mix of modern and traditional pieces. For color palette, tones of blues, greens, and a blend of gray, black and white. To add some contrast, I'm considering a bright runner for the hallway to add an eclectic vibe. One part traditional, one part clean & modern, and a splash bohemian to keep the space from feeling sterile. 

Dining Inspiration

For our dining space, I'm keeping things very clean. Lots of black and white, natural wood, terra cotta & greenery, with art on the walls to accent the simplicity. And, the space is perfect for a bar cart (currently debating between acrylic or brass). We already have a hand me down dining table—that is traditional in style, and a dark wood stain. And, it wouldn't be right as a designer if I didn't pair it with molded plastic chairs. 

So, how to make it happen? Slowly, very slowly. First off, I'm going to focus on our living room space. It will undoubtedly be the most used room in the house. My goal is to create a home that above all, provides relaxation. I'm slowly investing in key pieces, while supplementing with bargain and second hand items. Last summer I invested in a sofa, in the fall I gathered a year's worth of birthday gift cards from Design Within Reach and some personal savings to buy a Herman Miller Nelson Platform Bench, and my parents have generously gifted us our living room rug. From here, I'm saving for a floor lamp from Target, and am keeping my eye out for another seating piece (before and after photos coming later).


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