Trim Take: Casual Modern

It’s the final week of our Trim Take blog series, and we are getting so close to the the official launch of Trim Design Co.!  Before I jump into my take on ‘Casual Modernist’ style, I thought I’d give you a chance to get to know Annabel and me a little better.   

Trim Design Co: The Back Story

Annabel and I met while working together at an interior design firm in Boston, bonding immediately over our mutual love of vintage Kilim loafers (shout out to Artemis Design Co.!), collected interiors, and the hunt for that perfect, one-of-a-kind piece.   


The more we worked together, the more we realized how disheartened we’d become by certain developments in parts of the design industry: a lack of quality in so much of the furniture being produced, a move toward ‘fast-furniture’ (like ‘fast-fashion’)–the churning out of new, ‘have-to-have it’ trends one after the other, and the devastating environmental effects this type of disposable mindset has on the earth.   

Our answer: To create Trim, a firm focused on designing eclectic, collected interiors that are deeply personal, that celebrate timeless, vintage pieces,  artisanal items, and emerging brands whose priority is environmental sustainability.

And through the building of our business, we’ve realized there are others out there who share our values. We now see there is a positive development percolating in response to the ‘fast-furniture’ frenzy:  There are companies whose mission it is to create quality, sustainable products celebrating the skills of people throughout the world. And there are still other companies whose sole focus is breathing new life into beautifully crafted items from the past. This inspires and excites us. We look forward to being a part of this movement, and to share with you, through our designs, some of the amazing work going on out there.

And so, on that note, today I’m bringing you some “Casual Modern” style and some advice on how to get the look! This was a fun one for me. Since Casual Modern is nearly synonymous with easy California living, and I have always had this feeling like maybe I was supposed to live in California (the dream is not dead, by the way!), this was a chance for me to vicariously try out that  lifestyle! (Or my romanticized vision of it!). Annabel took on ‘Boho Chic’ this week, head over to her blog at Interior Joy to check it out. And be sure to check out our previous Trim Takes on ‘Classic Coastal,’ ‘New Traditional,’ ‘Rustic Industrial,’ and ‘Modern Farmhouse.

Trim Take: Casual Modern

Lindye Galloway
Source Lindye Galloway
Source Jordy Fagan’s Home via Style at Home


Source Victoria Smith

Casual Modern Bedroom

Here’s a rendering of a ‘Casual Modern’ bedroom I created:


I took a restrained approach while designing this room–the Casual Modern aesthetic emphasizes simplicity, not fussy ornamentation. So I kept Coco Chanel’s famous mantra in my head: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off.” That really is good advice in so many aspects of life!

My favorite way to start a room design is with the rug. It becomes the foundation for all the other design decisions.  I knew I wanted a soft, neutral Moroccan rug with a pattern that added interest but wasn’t too loud or overpowering. I love the vintage one I found from Doris Leslie Blau in New York City.

The natural wood stain of the bed complements the colors in the rug, and its simple lines offer a clean palette to work these fantastic pillows into the mix! The second I saw this lumbar pillow from The Citizenry, I knew I was hooked. The Citizenry is one of those incredible companies I was mentioning earlier in the post. They partner with master artisans around the world, “blending…modern style with…time-tested techniques.” Once I found this pillow, I selected several others from their site to round out the bedding. Overall, the room is quite neutral, but the pillows give it a nice pop of color and add some cozy texture.

Can you guess my favorite pieces in this room (well, aside from that lumbar pillow…hmmm, I guess I have more than one favorite if that’s allowed!). It’s those leather chairs. I mean, c’mon, how much do you want to put those somewhere in your house?!?!? They’re vintage Safari chairs (circa 1960’s), by Swedish designer Arne Norell. I love the aged cognac leather, the simple wood base, and I just love the history in these chairs!

Because there are quite a few pieces in this room that have fairly geometric lines, I offset that by selecting lamps that have gentler curves. This pair from Regina Andrew Design comes with a very cool Shibori style shade as well that would be fun to use (but it would’ve been too much with the navy pillows in this particular room).

As for the art: I’m a huge fan of incorporating your own special travel photos into room designs when you can. Since we don’t really keep photo albums these days, it’s a great way to be reminded of past adventures and the beauty of other parts of the globe beyond our daily bubble. For this room, I decided to incorporate one of my own photos. It’s a picture I snapped of one of my nephews entering the surf in Rincon, Puerto Rico on a family vacation a few years back. I had it enlarged in black and white and used a simple white mat and frame to display it.

I love black and white photos for modern rooms designs. Michael Dweck is a famous photographer who captured the surf community of Montauk, Long Island in the ‘90s. While many of his photos might be considered a tad racy (think surfing in the buff!), there’s something I love about this one in particular, entitled “Ray”:

Source: Artnet

Of course, since his work is in the collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, it’s just a bit out of my price range, but I still included him for inspiration!

Get The Look: Shop our ‘Casual Modern’ round-up!

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  1. Doris Leslie Blau Moroccan Rug
  2. The Citizenry Dara Indigo Cotton Pillow
  3. The Citizenry  La Nieve Textured Pillow
  4. The Citizenry Pampas Leather Pillow
  1. Lumbar Pillow (oops! Sorry, 2 4’s by mistake!! Link is correct though: The Citizenry  
  1. Restoration Hardware Wyeth Split Bedside Table
  2. Shop Candelabra Regina Andrew Design Santiago Lamp
  3. Contemporary carved wood side table
  4. Shop Candelabra  Surya Foreman Lamp
  5. Michael Dweck Photographer “Ray”
  6. Selamat Brass Coffee Table
  7. Arne Norrell Chairs
  8. Diamantha Indigo Throw
  9. Vintage Mexican Wood Caned Chairs
  10. Amelia Table Lamp
  11. Linea Bed
  12. Arteriors Mariella Lamp
  13. Vintage Rug, June and Blue  
  14. My own photo

I hope you enjoyed this week’s Trim Take: Casual Modern. As always, thanks for stopping by and would love to hear your thoughts!



Would love to hear your thoughts!