January 14, 2013 castlebri

Hello Castle Friends!

Let’s give a warm winter welcome as Hannah sits down with our January Featured Designer of the Month: Emily Blonigen!

Emily Blonigen received her Bachelors of Science in Interior Design from the Art Institutes International Minnesota. One thing that she appreciates from her education is the artistic approach Ai takes to the Interior Design profession. Emily is currently studying for her LEED Green Associates Certification. Her main interest in the field is to find opportunities to create sustainable and healthy environments. Design may be achieved through trends, unique styles, colors, and materials- but great design is found through considering the users experience and the continuing future within that environment. With knowledgeable design practices and smart material selections, she is opening the doors of design towards a prosperous and more sustainable future that she is excited to be a part of. Blonigen enjoys traveling and has been to South America three times and Central America once. She hopes to one day move to the southern hemisphere for the great food, sunshine, fun music, architectural history, and cheap drinks.

So tell us Emily, what do you have going on this month?

E: I’m working on a bunch of kitchen groupons at the moment which can be very fun because we get to do many of them! The groupon packages we offer are the first phases of our design process and a discounted cost. We’ve found that this first phase is very educational for the clients to see what can be possible for them. Educating clients about the remodeling process and trying to assist them with budgets is tricky and takes a lot of dedication.

I also am part of some really fun projects with Castle! I’m designing Castle’s very first full house flip! We have purchased a home in St Paul with the intent to renovate it back to its original charm, and then resell. A custom home in a great location designed by Castle! I just started drawing up the floor plans and I can’t wait to see our finished work! We are planning on doing many more house flips in the future with our main focus on older homes in the Minneapolis/St Paul area.

Wow you seem really busy! Do you have a favorite designer blog, magazine, website, book, etc? Where do you get your inspiration from? Do you have a “recommended reads” for home-owners as they plan their remodel?

E: While in school my favorite website was  http://inhabitat.com/ . Their slogan is “design will save the world.”  I would literally sit on this site for hours! They focus on sustainable design in architecture, interiors, fashion, art, and technology. I submitted a recipe once for a contest they had to win a Room & Board picinic basket and Emmet outdoor lounge chair (constructed from 100% recycled HDPE plastic) and I won! The chair is awesome- check it out!


For design inspiration with Castle, I like to use Houzz.com. It is a great site that you can select your room type and style to find inspiration! I am also addicted to pinterest! Some great magazines that I like to read for residential design are, “This Old House” (for those DIY-ers), “Lonny Magazine” (great free online magazine with a somewhat eclectic style), and “Beautiful Homes and Gardens” (they also have a great Pinterest to follow!).

What are your current favorite design trends that you see on places like Pinterest and Houzz?

E: My favorite design trend….hmmmm. It is hard to pick just one element of the design world! For me, design in incorporated in every element of your life. I guess my favorite “trend” in design, is the new use of bright colors. In general, I love spaces that feel clean and crisp but I also want something in the space to catch my eye.

Stay tuned next week to see what Hannah found out about Emily’s in home must haves, favorite home décor shops, and her tips for potential homeowners!


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