Monthly Archives: December 2011

Contemporary Stencil Designs…

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design

Looking for a more creative way to liven up your walls? One word: stencils.

Hold up, before you judge me for even allowing that ancient terminology to proceed out of my mouth brain and onto this page – please, hear me out.

I’m not talking about the mauve, dusty blue circa 1994 madness – but rather a sophisticated and contemporary take on this fairly traditional aesthetic.

Just like wallpaper – stenciling has come full circle in the past twenty or thirty years. The duck stencils of days old were rockin’ back in the 90s, however like anything in life, evolution is inevitable. Speaking of change…

A few years ago Garrison Hullinger transformed a small basement into a new room for entertaining at his client’s northeast Portland home. Garrison transformed a finished but blank basement into an eclectic and colorful place for his clients to relax and entertain. -Vanessa Brunner, Houzz Staff Writer

That’s right, Garrison decided to make this tiny basement sing by adding sporadic pops of color and textural elements throughout the space. Not only did this help to define the various activity areas, but added additional interest to the space.

As you can see from the photos below, Garrison had his faux finisher, Lucinda Henry (who’s no longer in the business) stencil a faux crocodile texture on both the nook counter-top and wet-bar area – similar stencils can be found via Garrison chose a neutral finish for both surfaces to create a cohesive feel that would provide additional lift within the already small basement quarters.

Miss Henry was working exclusively with a LusterStone product that was applied using a palette knife as seen below.

The design was created using a variety of circular stencils layered on top of one another to create added depth and dimensionality.

Finished wall:

The clients were so pleased with the final outcome as it accomplished all that Garrison set out to achieve.

Garrison took a wall that could’ve easily been left blank and made it special by adding a simple yet sophisticated design element in the form of a stencil. As you can see from the image below, Garrison painted the focal wall the same color as the rest of the basement in order to maintain a sense of visual flow. He then created a unique design using various stencils and chose softer metallics as the stenciled accents. The end results are beautiful.

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design

Here are a few more rooms that incorporate stencils…

Megan Arquette

Designer Mark Uriu, Photography by William Waldron, via Elle Décor

Janell Beals

via Houzz

Paint A Lifestyle

Janell Beals

GHID Gets Organized

The new year is quickly approaching and GHID is kicking organization into full gear. We are in the finishing touches of our office remodel (its lookin’ good!) and what better to prepare for a new year than to start fresh and organized. We all have our fair share organizing to-do’s, I know I have my challenge of getting organized in a one bedroom apartment. But, man, it does feel great when you get it done! One of the biggest obstacles in any space is clearing up the clutter and creating storage.  Here are some great tips on getting clutter-free and staying organized in your own workspace …

  • Don’t fear the file cabinet – there are other options other than the standard beige four stack file cabinet – choosing cabinets that coordinate with your desk color are a fun way to mix it up and add storage without having to buy a giant “all-in one” desk.

Coordinating Colors -via

An updated look – via

  • Baskets are your Best Friend – they are aesthetically pleasing and can hold a lot of stuff. Add tags or labels  to keep things tidy.

Our newly organized library @ Garrison Hullinger Interior Design

Organization by color  – via

Catagorizing is key - via


  • Lock it Up – Vintage lockers are a great find when it comes cute & funky additional office storage options.

Vintage locker finds – Garrison Hullinger Interior Design

Large lockers give plenty of storage – via


  • Keep it off the Desk – From Bulletin boards to Shelving units, the options are endless, here are just a few of our favorites.

Keep lose papers from getting lost by tacking them up – via

Open shelving = easy fix - via

Lift the cabinets off the floor -  via

Hope everyone has a safe & happy New Year!! See ya next year!! ;)

Framed Wallpaper: DIY Art Option for Any Budget

Framed Wallpaper via Garrison Hullinger Interior Design

Art is a very important element of completing a room, but is most often overlooked and/or out of the budget. I’m a sucker for DIY, so what better than to create your own personal piece of art in your own home. Framing wallpaper not only creates a custom piece of art, its easy and affordable. GHID loves incorporating wallpaper into spaces to give life and color to the room. Although, the cost of covering entire walls with expensive patterns can sometimes fill the budget when doing it yourself. So whether it be a large scale pattern or landscape -or- a textured paper like grasscloth or cork there are endless options for sizes, shapes and purposes of your framed wallpaper. Here are some great examples and options for you to try at home…

  • #1 – CREATE SYMMETRICAL PIECES TO HELP FRAME THE ROOM – simple placement gives the room a luxe feel.

via Apartment Therapy

via Apartment Therapy

  • #2 – CREATE A HEADBOARD – easy way to add color to the bedroom

Photo via ElleDecor via Filipacchi Publishing

  • #3 – FRAME LARGE SCALE PATTERNS OR LANDSCAPE TO FILL ENTIRE WALLS – this gives you a large scale piece of art with out the ‘large scale’ price.

via Domino circa 2008

via Apartment Therapy

via Domino circa 2008

via Apartment Therapy

  • #4 – CREATE BULLETIN BOARDS TO ORGANIZE DESK SPACE – mount on cork for easy use with pushpins.via Martha Stewart Living


via Garrison Hullinger Interior Design

Our own Associate designers Nicole & Lisa’s “Inspiration Boards” made from grasscloth wallpaper framed with simple white trim.

Happy Wednesday … Now lets get crafty!!

Host/Hostess Gifts Even You Can Pull Off At the Last Minute…

Hostess/Host Gifts – Even You Can Pull Off At the Last Minute

The Don’ts:

Don’t bring cut flowers – The hostess/host has to search for a vase, don’t add to their stress…and don’t you think the hostess/host already thought of the flowers they wanted.

Don’t bring wine that you want to drink during the party – seriously is this a piece of advice you need? Wine is a great hostess/host gift, but not when the giver brings it so they can drink it…that is rude.

Don’t make a big deal about your gift – others may not have brought a gift and now they’re feeling uncomfortable.

The Dos:

Coffee Shops – they always have ground coffee or beans and a lot of times they have great gift items.

Trader Joes or Whole Foods – here’s where you can find some great things that tell the hostess/host you thought of them. Check for seasonal items or splurge for a gift basket. A big trend that goes over well are the specialty salts. *Tip…they have some of the best orchids at Whole Foods.

A Favorite Liqueur – J and I love St. Germain (it’s wonderful when added to a glass of champagne)

Candle – of course my favorites include; Diptyque, Jo Malone, and Ormonde Jayne. Even the small sets are a nice gift…who doesn’t love a different fragrance to switch out every few months?

Treats for the hostess/host’s pets – What pet owner doesn’t love the attention you give to their pet(s)? Don’t make a big deal if the pet isn’t present for the big party…your gourmet goodie can be gobbled up long after the party is over.

An Amazing Hand-Soap – Even if you haven’t planned ahead a great gift is one that shows the hostess/host you thought of how he/she uses their home. Citrus fragranced soaps are great for kitchens while maybe a hydrating or softer scent for the guest bathroom. We love Mrs. Meyers soaps…

An Ornament – Stop by a local business and pick out an ornament…support local/buy local.

Don’t forget to put a tag on your gift and don’t be disappointed if your hostess/host isn’t greeting you at the door to take your gift…they’ll see the note you left on the gift later.

Within a few days of the event take the time to send a hand-written note thanking the host/hostess for their hospitality. You don’t have to say a lot…your gratitude will go a long way.

About Face Magazine Interviews Garrison Hullinger…

Garrison Hullinger was recently interviewed by local writer Becki Singer for About Face Magazine. We’re so excited about this opportunity and couldn’t be more proud to be apart of such a stellar publication. Garrison is headed to the launch party for this month’s issue later on this evening – today, we’d like to share a few conversation points between both Becki and our founding father…

BS: Describe your design aesthetic in 5 words or less.

GH: Warm, streamlined and comfortable.

BS: Please give us some details on the project we’re featuring – location, owners, approach, etc.

GH: A beach house in the Pacific Northwest is different than a getaway in a sunny spot…this house is located in the sleepy village of Seaview, WA which gets an average of 82” of rain a year.

I wanted to utilize the elements of surrounding nature to inspire my color palette…while adding pops of color that would invigorate the soul. I emphasized the use of natural lines, hemp and cottons that were easy to care for and yet were great to lounge on.

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design - photo by

BS: How did you get into the world of interior design?

GH: My partner and I had completed the rehab of another home in San Francisco and as our realtor was walking thru the house he asked who we used to ‘stage’ the house…we both laughed and said this is how we live. He whipped around so very quickly on his heels and said you should be doing this with other people’s money. I worked for a large retailer in many different capacities; ending up at their HQ developing technology solutions and in my spare time I was a ‘serial remodeler’.  My uncle was a custom homebuilder in the Midwest, where I grew up, and I was always on the job sites helping where needed – I’ve been able to take that experience along with my refined aesthetic for design and create a business.

BS: Where do you begin when starting a new project? What’s the first step?

GH: Meet with the decision makers of the household (both is so important), have them walk me thru the project, whether a blueprint or a space and along the way I ask questions about their lifestyle (e.g., do you prefer entertaining another couple or a few couples along with their kids or do you want a serene and calm bedroom or a space that will energize you). I also ask the client if they have any inspiration photos that they’d like to share as a launching pad for the design discussions.

BS: What tips do you have for someone interested in completely overhauling a room or a house?

GH: First remember the old adage: Cost – Quality – Speed …pick two.

Have a list of must-haves for your project…let the professionals help you determine the realistic aspect of the project (that’s why you’re hiring them). Also it’s wonderful to know the non-negotiables (you have to keep your grandmother’s chest in the house)

Lastly remember any large project is a tedious process…make sure you’ve voiced your opinions along the way, if something doesn’t seem right it’s okay to make some adjustments…if a client is having a hard time visualizing the space then we will do a full color rendering to ensure the client can see what I’m seeing…it’s so difficult to visualize what a tiny little paint chip is going to look like when that paint color has been applied to all the walls…I get that some people need a little more help with the conception phase.

BS: What about tips for a more modest update? What are some of your favorite ways to transform a room on a budget?

GH: Wallpaper! I love how wallpaper can add some drama (to help draw the attention away from something you dislike in the space)

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design photo by

When you paint the room take the same color up onto the ceiling this can add some fresh color to your space and the commitment isn’t huge.

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design - photo by

Another great idea for updating a space is to hit the resale shops like Revolver Vintage Interiors…they have some great classic pieces that have some character and once you begin to add these great gems your space takes on a more comfortable but refined feeling.

BS: How should a client go about selecting a designer? Any tips for finding the perfect fit?

GH: I always tell people you should hire me because you like something from my portfolio…look for elements of a portfolio that ‘speaks to you’. It’s really important to see the range of work a designer is comfortable doing. I would suggest you look thru the professional business organizational websites ( or and see if you like someone’s work.

Call the designer and ask for an initial meeting, your interaction with the designer in that first meeting will tell you if you’re going to want to spend the amount of time it’s going to take to complete your project with this person.

BS: What trends in design are you most excited about now?

GH: Curves are coming back…things don’t have to be so rigid. I’m also very excited about the amazing advancement in technology that allows us to work with upholstery fabric that is 100% natural fibers but yet is stain and soil resistant…that opens up so many possibilities for people with kids and/or pets.

BS: What is feeling passé/overdone to you?

GH: Ebonized wood floorsDark chocolate/brown stained furniture (cocoa)

BS: What is your favorite unexpected color palette?

GH: It has to be turquoise and kelly green

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design - photo by

BS: Since it’s the holiday season – what’s your favorite go-to gift?

GH: Everyone loves a hand-woven scarf or set of place-mats from local artisan Tom Poirier,

BS: What do you love about design in Portland?

GH: The U.S. is having a love affair with Portland and that puts the pressure on make sure we’re coming up with something fresh and new all the time. Portland seems to understand that buying something of quality for their home really does translate into sustainable and that pushes me as a designer to look to our local artisans and crafts-people for amazing products.

Be sure to pick up your copy of this month’s issue at Rich’s Cigar Store - or contact the GHID office!