Josh Pincus and Claudia Mendelson created MPink Design LLC. in 2006. MPink Design offers a full range of design services, including: Residential and boutique commercial building design, interior design and decorating, exterior and interior planning, kitchen and bathroom design, basement design, full home renovations and additions, custom furniture design, new custom residences and space planning for home, office and retail. MPink Design can help you create the space you were dreaming of or the one you never thought was possible. At MPink Design, we believe that design should be approached with new and innovative ideas. We focus on solutions that maximize the potential use of your space and combine these solutions with a critical attention to detail and materials while also providing service that is efficient in time and cost.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Jackson Basement River Forest

This project was completed last year and made it to the facebook page, but never to the blog. A basement in need of renovation and full of program. This basement is only about 1,000 square feet, but includes a large living room, an office, a full mini-kitchen with a refrigerator and sink, a sewing station, a storage/work room, a full bathroom with walk-in shower, a large laundry room, a guest room and tons of new storage. The ceiling height was raised by relocated pipes above to the sides of the room. A costly endeavor, but well worth it. The hand carved limestone fireplace and use of dark wood accents on light colored walls and doors echoes the elements of the Tudor style home. 
View of the space before the renovation. Low ceiling due to unorganized pipes and conduit. The space lacked storage, lighting and organization.  
After shot from the same location. A narrow bar in the foreground provides a back to the sofa and defines the spaces without fully closing them off. 

Opening the office nook up on two sides allows the room to feel open while maintaining the option of privacy. On the left you can see how the placement of a new large egress window in the laundry area provides natural light in the living space. 

A window formerly covered up was uncovered and replaced with a frosted awning type window. 

Lots of varied storage helps to organize any space. Couches are by Mitchell Gold. 


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Painting With Kids Part 2

Finished product of our "Painting With the Kids" project. (see our previous post). Oliver (the 4 year old) did not want to sign his name yet. A fun project with the kids and a great way to spend indoor time. 
Now, where to hang it . . . . 

Friday, February 14, 2014


We are so close to finally escaping from the polar vortex. So, how did we all make it through? We’ve heard a number of ways families with young children have survived the winter and we thought we would share one of the ways we were able to spend time with our children, inside . . . without going totally nuts.

1.       Get a canvas and some acrylic paints. Canvases are really inexpensive now and you can find one easily at your local Michael’s or better yet, your locally run art store (if there is one). And don’t get a little canvas. Get a BIG CANVAS. One big enough for your kids to go “wow, this is going to be really awesome!”. And also big enough for you to reply, “this is going to take some time and we’re going to try and fill it all up.” (18x24 or bigger should do) Yes, as artists we’re taught all about negative space. That is, the space we don’t fill up on a page. But if we told our 4 year old son that he didn’t need to fill up the canvas, he’d been finished in about 5 minutes. When you have your child look at all parts of the painting they will learn to assess their work and it’s also important in making the activity long lasting (important for a winter activity).
2.       Print out a photo and tape it above the canvas. Find one together with your kids. We printed out a picture from a trip we’d taken together. It makes the painting personal for your kids.
3.       Turn up the music and mix some paints. We used a piece of cardboard and a plastic mixing palette. You can use either although the cardboard tends to soak up acrylic paints pretty quickly. Spend time showing your children how the primary colors mix together to make any color they want and try to show them how you can match the colors in the photo to the colors you’re mixing on the palette. Of course don’t be too exact (if you can help it) so that they don’t feel like they have to mix for hours, but it’s good to get them to understand that they can do more than just dipping the brush in the primary color and throwing right on the canvas.
4.       Outline the painting. Ok, you could let them go at it all by themselves, but we found that if we outline the painting a bit before they jump right into it, it helps keep them focused and understand the link between the photo and the canvas. This will vary greatly depending on the age of your children. Ours are 8 and 4 so they have different skill and attention spans.
5.       Paint together. Make it a group activity. Use different size brushes and help them fill in sections when your kids start to get stuck on one part of the painting. Make sure to remind them to move around, step back, and most of all, have fun!
6.       Take a break, let it dry and start a second layer. The more layers, the longer the project. 

Layer 1 with both kids. 
Layer 2, just me and my girl. Layer 3 (final layer) this weekend. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

HP Kids

Along with some other interior design work, we are creating bedrooms for two boys on the North Shore. The design must balance changing needs of growing kids, mess management, and an aesthetic that can appeal to both children and their parents. As with many of our projects, we are trying to maximize space. A large storage cabinet keeps clutter out of site while some open shelving still allows display. Keeping lighting off the surfaces creates varied light levels and frees up much needed space. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Ashley Basement

We just have about come to completion on our Ashley Basement Remodel in Long Grove, IL. A great study in how to make a big impact without breaking the bank. Making certain choices where you really want the architecture to "pop" and making smart careful decisions in other areas where costs can be conserved. This image shows the culmination of this approach. Tongue and groove cedar siding was used to clad the stair wall while ikea cabinetry was altered and customized to create a bar. To the left, a large storage area was created using the ikea wardrobe series. It's a great way to get deep storage cabinetry that is totally customizable. The hanging ceiling fixture, also from ikea, makes a great statement and is fun and cheerful in the designated kids play space. Even the selection of white cabinetry in the kids area vs. the grey cabinetry in the tv area and bar create this distinction of spaces. 
See our Facebook page for additional photos of this project. 
Ashley Basement Facebook Album 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Touch This Earth Lightly - The Inspiring Work of Glenn Murcutt

Why are we so passionate about design? Sometimes we need a reminder. While we work on a variety of projects from selecting wallpaper, paint color and pillows to designing large scale additions with new kitchens, bathrooms, etc., we strive to have some focus with each project: some element of interest, balance and perfection.  For us, it has become increasingly important as designers not to lose that spark, or when it starts to slip out of reach, to be reminded of how design can have an impact.
Taking a step back and looking at others work can help provide us with insights and reflection into why the profession is so meaningful, and why our decisions matter. 
Here are some of the works by Glenn Murcutt; considered by many to be the greatest living architect. We’re inspired by him and many other architects and designers and thought we’d share a bit with you. Maybe his work will inspire you as well.
In his Marika Alderton House, Murcutt addresses the issue of prototype housing for a family that was living in a typical aboriginal type home. Studying wind, solar and environmental impacts as well as construction methods led him to create a design that is simple and elegant. Simply constructed, it hovers above the ground. While his other projects are certainly larger in scale and fitted out with modern materials and amenities, the simplicity of the elements of this home are inspiring and clearly a thread that runs through all of his designs.

J+C MPink