Monthly Archives: December 2012

Ivy League Chic…

Ivy League inspired designIf you’re one of the lucky few who still has a winter break (we’re not jealous or anything) you’re getting ready to – in the words of Billy Madison go “back to school, back to school…” So, in light of school starting back up again next week, we’d like to focus on the Ivy League.

Sidenote: I’ve heard it said that some collegiate students hire interior designers for their dorm rooms, let me just clarify – GHID is totally up for that.

Ivy League Inspired Interior Design & Decor

So how does the Ivy League lifestyle inspire us designers? Think East Coast, brownstones, country clubs and that oh so preppy fashion we’ve seen circulate for years and years (think Ralph Lauren). Some interior designers incorporate Ivy League style and sophistication into their designs as a whole, while others of us utilize this aesthetic in smaller doses, such as rich color selections and splashes of ornate detailing throughout a space.

For GHID it really depends upon the client. We’re very much a contemporary-casual design firm, but with that being said we are still inspired by this preppy design look and feel as seen in our use of upholstery frames and fabrics – and every once in a while construction selections, use of color and accessories.

Ivy League chic interior design and decor

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design

Check out this drawing of FDR’s Harvard dorm room…okay classy!

Recreation of FDR's Harvard dorm room, ivy league chic

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Harvard dorm room

Vintage Photos of the Ivy League

While researching and studying the Ivy League lifestyle a bit,  I ran across these amazing images. In the mix you’ll find handsome and clean cut JFK Jr., guys playing spots in khakis and their letters as well as loafers galore (both with and without socks).

Ivy League inspired interior design

John F. Kennedy, Jr., graduated from Brown University in 1983

Interior Design inspired by the Ivy League

Preppy inspired interior design

Incorporating Ivy League Style into Your Home

When I think about Ivy League interior design style, I envision a cozy study-type environment, arranged around a brick fireplace flanked by bookcases filled with – wouldn’t you know it – books! A leather chesterfield is one of my favorite design statements and works incredibly well with our Ivy League inspired room. Throw in a few trunks, splashes of plaid and brass accents and you’ve got yourself a space perfectly designed with the gifted IQ in mind.

Interior Design inspired by Ivy League

Ivy League & East Coast Design Style

Check out a few rooms that we feel embody the Ivy League aesthetic to a tee.

Eastcoast and Ivy League inspired interior design

Taylor Interior Design

Living room interior design ideas inspired by Ivy League

Jane Kim Design

Interior Design ideas used in Brownstones

Reno Dakota

Ivy League inspired interior design ideas

Mark Dodge Design


What design element do you feel best represents the Ivy League?

Winter White Interior Decor & Accessories…

Interior Decor Accessories in winter white

via sfgirlbybay

Winter White

I have a special place in my heart for winter white. Maybe it’s that it reminds me of the soft stillness of snow, the beauty of birch or the slow organic movement of the clouds. Needless to say, this hue relaxes me, seems to invite me in, cozy up, enjoy a little jazz and a good read.

I love the hue in both fashion and interior design – there’s just something sophisticated about white, in all it’s varied shades.

We often associate winter white as being a one time of year design and decor opportunity – however, this sophisticated design element can be incorporated into your everyday design. Check out a few accessory items (both sophisticated and whimsical) below.

Winter White Accessories

Winter white feather wreath

West Elm Feather Wreath, White

Interior Decor Accessories paper mache stag

Papier-Mâché Stag, West Elm

Winter White accessories swedish snowball latern

Swedish Snowball Lantern, Terrain

Decorative baskets dipped in white

White-Dipped Barrel Baskets, Wisteria

Inteiror Decor Accessories in winter white

Pod White Set Of 2, Fab

I absolutely adore these rope coasters – can someone say Hamptons?

Winter white nautical coasters

White Nautical Turks Head Coasters, Mystic Knotwork

Winter White sheepskin area rug

Rens Sheepskin Rug, Ikea

Decorative boxes in winter white

White/Black Stacking Decorative Boxes, Pacific Connections

Tableware decor in winter white

Margherita Serving Papers, Medium, Anthropologie

Throw pillow in winter white

Fur Toss Pillow, Target

White horn sculpture by Jonathan Adler

Horn Sculpture, Jonathan Adler

Interior Decor accessories in winter white

Faceted Vases-White, Dwell Studio


What are your favorite winter white accessories?

Christmas Lights & Exterior Decor…

Orange Christmas tree

 Portland Oregon Interior Design Firm Garrison Hullinger Interior Design

Portland Oregon Interior Design Firm Garrison Hullinger Interior Design


Today we’re spending time with family and friends, hoping for snow and possibly checking out our neighborhood lights and decor. We love festive decor (almost as much as Clark Griswold) and wanted to share a few of our favorites while scouting the net the past few weeks.


Clark Griswold from Christmas Vacation


Exterior Christmas Lights

Christmas lights on a house

Exterior Christmas lights

Christmas lights at Opryland



Exterior Christmas Decor

Merry Christmas!

Custom Entry Bench Built-In…

Installation of a custom entry bench and storage unit

GHID recently met a young family in need of some interior design help – one of the areas on their list was their back entry and need for some much needed organization and storage space. After a bit of brainstorming we mentioned the possibility for a custom built-in unit, an idea which quickly became a reality.

We began the process by asking our clients a handful of questions in order to understand how this unit would best accommodate their active lifestyle and storage needs.

After a bit of research and info gathering we began drawing up a few sketches of the proposed piece. A few drawings and a client presentation later, we agreed upon a unit similar to that of the sketch below.

Drawing of a custom built in bench unit designed by Portland Oregon Interior Design Firm GHID

Rough sketch of custom built-in

Before Images

The client’s needed a space for their children’s backpacks, coats, shoes and miscellaneous items – whereas the husband wanted a space to set and charge his ipad and cell phone. We were also tasked to design the unit with a compartment large enough to hold the client’s ironing board and broom, and a drawer large enough to hold her purse.

Custom built-in design ideas for a family


Custom entry bench built in for a family


Built-ins for a family



Built-In Drawings

Here’s where we draw our rough sketched down to scale…

Built in bench custom designed for a family

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design

Drawings for custom built in unit for entry way bench unit

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design

Here you see a 3-D model/elevation of the piece (without hardware)…

Built in bench unit for a family

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design

Working with Existing Elements

It’s important to work with the home’s existing elements, such as cabinetry/crown and molding style, paint colors as well as hardware (which we’ll talk about a little later on) when designing a custom built-in piece. This is especially true if you want the piece to feel like it’s been there since the home was first built.

For this particular built-in, because we wanted the piece to reflect the home’s architectural style and date in which it was originally built, we opted to match the new cabinetry/crown molding to that of the existing (as seen in the images below).

Built in bench custom designed for an entryway

Portland Oregon Interior Designer helps design custom built in unit for young family

Close up of existing laundry cabinets

Rejuvenation Hardware

We selected hardware that complimented the client’s existing hardware, found in both the kitchen and laundry room (the two rooms that flank the newly installed custom built-in unit). All hardware was sourced through one of our favorite vendors, Portland-based Rejuvenation.

Pull: Plain Bin Pull in Oil Rubbed Bronze

Knob: Saturn Cabinet Knob in Oil Rubbed Bronze

Coat Hooks: Classic Double Coat Hook in Oil Rubbed Bronze & Classic Single Coat Hook in Oil Rubbed Bronze

Rejuvenation hardware for custom built in unit

Rejuvenation Hardware

Installation of Custom Built-in

We had the pleasure of working with our go-to custom cabinetry company, Vancouver Washington based Custom Interior Spaces. CIS does wonderful work and once again, we are so pleased with their craftsmanship and customer service. Check out their great work!

Installation of custom built in unit by CIS designed by Portland Interior Design Firm Garrison Hullinger Interior Design

Installation of custom built in bench and storage area by Portland Interior Design Firm

Custom Entry Bench designed by Portland Interior Designer Garrison Hullinger Interior Design

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design installs custom built in bench

Don from CIS preps area for installation


After Images

The piece turned out awesome and our client’s are so happy with the finished product! Thanks again to CIS for another job well done!

Portland Oregon Interior Designer designs custom built in unit for a family

Custom built in entry bench with beadboard

Built in bench unit designed for a family


Are you thinking about building a custom unit in your home?

12 Modern Holiday Cards & a Holiday DIY party favor


Well folks, its definitely that time of year again, and as our favorite Buddy the Elf would say, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” What better way to spread holiday cheer but by sending out bright festive cards that aren’t your average seasons greetings, lets take a look at 12 great Modern takes on Holiday Cards via DesignMilk….

Holiday Card DIY 2012by Wit & Whistle via DesignMilk

Holiday DIY cards for 2012 Christmasby The Indigo Bunting via DesignMilk

Holiday Etsy Cardsby egg press via DesignMilk

DIY Holiday Seasons Greetingsby Flora & Fauna via DesignMilk

DIY Holiday Cards 2012by Paper Papel Papier via DesignMilk

DIY Holiday Cardsby Modern Printed Matter via DesignMilk

Holiday Cards DIY 2012by Ruby Press via DesignMilk

Christmas Cards DIYby Sapling Press via DesignMilk

Holiday Cards 2012by Karte Design Fabrik via DesignMilk

Holiday Cards 2012by Blue Barnhouse via DesignMilk

Channukah Cards 2012by Silly Reggie via DesignMilk

Holiday Cards 2012by Sad Shop via DesignMilk

Last Minute Holiday DIY Card

In need of a Last-Minute Holiday DIY idea? Check out this quick & easy tutorial to create a unique handmade holiday card wreath. Hosting a Holiday Party? These would make perfect favors! So Cute!

Holiday Cards 2012 diyGet the instructions and the full scoop here from FrolicBlog!

Hope everyone has a safe & happy holiday!! Happy Holiday Wednesday!