Say hello to Megan, our newest designer
Thursday Jul 23 2020 by Stacey Beyer

Meet Megan VanLeeuwen, the new assistant manager at The Black Goose Design.

 Megan VanLeeuwen

Megan comes to us from the bridal industry, where she designed custom wedding gowns and owned her own bridal business.

“With my background in fashion, I’m skilled with fabrics and high-end textiles,” Megan said. “It’s been fun to see how those skills easily translate to interior design and the work we do at The Black Goose Design.”

fabric options at The Black Goose Design

While design skills absolutely translate from one creative world to the next, we couldn’t help ask what prompted Megan to make the switch. 

“Running a business out of both Utah and LA proved taxing, pricy, and difficult,” Megan explained. “As difficult as it was for my business partner and I, we finally decided it was time to close that chapter in our lives. It was so emotional to decide to close, but I still do custom dress orders here and there, which makes it feel a little less final. For full-time work, I moved on to positions that weren’t as design focused, however, and I found myself greatly missing the design world.”

 bridal design

As timing would have it, Megan’s longing happened to hit just as we had an opening for an assistant manager.

“I was so excited when I saw this spot open up,” Megan recalled. “It spoke to my love of design and reminded me that I can still be a part of the design world, even if it’s not in fashion.”

With Megan’s extensive understanding of design principles, her impeccable eye for style, and her fresh take, she’s already an outstanding fit at The Black Goose Design.

“We have what we call ‘floor day’ here,” Megan explained. “It’s when new pieces come in and we place them on the floor. Being new, I spent much of the time this week simply watching Ali and Denise work their magic. They and the rest of the designers here really are like magicians, the way they put things together in spectacular ways that just work. I’m excited to learn all I can from them. And they’re all so approachable… It’s nice having that kind of friendly wisdom surrounding me.”

As much as Megan appreciates the company she’s in, our team appreciates HER. We can already tell she’s the perfect fit, bringing her own special magic to all she does here at The Black Goose Design.


Q&A with Megan


Q. What room is your favorite room in the home to design?

A. The bedroom! It’s one of my favorite spots in my home because it’s so relaxing. It’s all about comfort and feeling light. Lightweight fabrics, comfy bedding, calming colors… It’s a fun and peaceful puzzle to put together!”

 bedroom design ideas

Q. What is your favorite thing to buy for the home?

A. There’s no way to pick a single thing, but I do love pillows. You can change them from season to season to completely update the look of a room without a huge expense.

Summer 2020 decorative pillow trends 

Q. What is your favorite design style?

A. Traditional with a modern twist is how I’d define my style. I also adore the modern farmhouse look and California ranch style.

California Ranch design style 

California ranch style is where mid-century modern meets rustic. This painting, available at The Black Goose Design, is a gorgeous example of that vibe, with its warm hues and the clean lines of its frame.


Q. How did you get started in design?

A. My dad is an artist, so I grew up drawing. As a young child, I spent much time drawing figures and making my own paper dolls. I guess you could say my calling was clear from an early age, and I’ve loved the journey that has brought me to this point. I can’t wait to see where things go from here!

 bridal design sketches

Thanks, Megan! We can’t wait to watch you spread your talented wings at The Black Goose Design. You’re a tremendous asset to our team.

If you’d like to learn more about California ranch style, using textiles, or any other design-related topic, Megan is happy to meet with you. Stop by any time.

A Look at Mountain Modern Design
Thursday Jul 2 2020 by Stacey Beyer

Q. What do you get when you combine the scenic backdrop of Utah’s Wasatch Mountains with a style that epitomizes contemporary cool?

A.  Mountain Modern Design


And Mountain Modern style is exactly what this stunning Park City residence embodies!


“When it comes to a Mountain Modern design, striking the right balance is crucial,” says Ali Thomson, The Black Goose Design lead designer on this home project. “You go too modern, and it feels like an art gallery. Not modern enough, and it says cabin.”



With any client collaboration, our goal is always to begin by capturing the client’s dream for the look and feel of the home. Just because this divine dwelling sits at 6,000 ft. in elevation doesn't mean it needs to feel the least bit rustic.


“The homeowners had a very clear vision for their home,” Ali explained. “This is their primary residence, not a lodge, so we intentionally avoided commonly used mountain-inspired motifs. No skis on the ceiling. No moose head or pictures of buffalo on the walls. No wool blankets. But we did want to weave more subtle outdoor inspiration throughout, balanced with a blend of contemporary.”


While you won't find a buffalo on the wall, that's not to say you won't find other interesting animal influence here and there. ;) 



Even in an amazingly modern home, it’s easy to bring the peace of the outdoors in. From plant placement and wood works to stone styling and metal marks, let’s check out a few of the many striking mountain-meets-modern touches found inside this home:


MOUNTAIN: Walnut stain

MODERN: Front door design

Before you’ve even set foot in this home, its style is made clear. The front door is a brilliant blend of mountain and modern.


“If this door were all black, it would have been way too cold and modern,” Ali noted. “By warming it up with a walnut stain, it creates the welcoming feel of home.”


MOUNTAIN: Wood trim

MODERN: Metal accents

Upon entering the home, the three lights above the entryway continue to bridge the mountain-to-modern gap. Find these and other wood/metal fixtures at The Black Goose Design.



MOUNTAIN: Stone mantel

MODERN: Linear beams

It doesn’t get much more mountain than rock. The eye-catching rock surrounding the fireplace meets its modern counterpart at the ceiling, where the clean lines of the beams intersect.



The fireplace stone is actually part of the home’s structure, both inside and out. In fact, this house was designed by Upwall Design Architects, with the stonework being a key element. The architectural design of this floorplan is as technical as it is incredible. And to see the flawless way the construction team at Kent Construction brought such involved blueprints to life is remarkable.  The Black Goose Design experts were thrilled to round out this design trio!




MODERN: Planters

Whether you opt for real or artificial, potted plants are an on-trend way to bring the outdoors in. There isn’t a right or wrong in the number of plants you use. That has more to do with personal preference. But you do want to pay attention to your plant containers. To go modern, consider a concrete finish, hairpin legs, or other midcentury-inspired aesthetics.   



TIP: If you’d love to go green but find your thumb doesn’t always cooperate where real plants are concerned, check out the gorgeous artificial fig and olive trees available now at The Black Goose Design.



There’s nothing cool about this home… errr, by that, we mean nothing cold or uninviting. From a design standpoint, it’s all sorts of cool. It can be easy to go too modern with design, creating a harshness that is anything but inviting. By working in the natural influences of the home’s mountain locale, it creates a welcoming warmth that’s undeniable. Even with all its cool sophistication, it feels like a home you can rest and relax in with the ones you love. Doesn’t get much better than that.



Now that we’re rock solid on what Mountain Modern is all about, let’s look at several tips to note as you consider your next design project or home update.


TAKEAWAY TIP #1: Find your common denominator

The easiest way to design a home is to first select a key inspiration point to take the lead on all remaining choices. In the case of this casa, that element was the incredible stonework. Because it incorporates a plethora of amazing neutrals, it acted as a color coach for everything else.



“You should have seen us as carrying huge pieces of rock with as we shopped for every home detail,” Ali laughed. “We’d walk into fine showrooms and unearth this slab of stone from a big, beat-up bag, covered in debris, all to ensure we were selecting the perfect paint, carpet, and wood finishes.”  


TAKEAWAY TIP #2: Create something all your own


Did you know The Black Goose Design can order handcrafted, 100% custom furniture pieces for your home? This dining set, for example, was handmade by Amish crafters at Fusion Dining. No production line here. Everything from the stain, the wood used, the shape, and even the apron (beveled edge) were hand selected by the homeowners. Fabric was also selected and sent to Fusion Dining for the chairs. The rug that ties it all together is available at The Black Goose Design. What does the dining room of your dreams look like? We want to make it your reality!


TAKEAWAY TIP #3: Expand your seating

Up your seating with a thin console table behind your sofa. Besides added seats, you’ll find it’s a great place for kids and adults alike to craft, snack, play games, do homework, and so much more.


Sofa, console table, and bar stools: The Black Goose Design


TAKEAWAY TIP #4: Bring the backsplash to the bathroom

Why should the kitchen have all the fun? Tile the space surrounding a soaker tub to create a sleek bath backsplash (bathsplash?).


Bath and kitchen tile: Venetian Tile & Stone Gallery

Bench and accessories: The Black Goose Design

Of course, the kitchen tile isn't to be ignored. It's equally as elegant and also from Venetian Tile & Stone Gallery.


TAKEAWAY TIP #5: Keep things light

Free up valuable nightstand space with wall sconces or hanging pendants.


Pendant lights: Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallary 

Speaking of lighting, take a look at these lights, which hang above the kitchen counter. They're definitely modern in design, while they almost have a mountain look to them with their fun shape and all. Cute! 

 Same is true with these darling bathroom pendants. 

TAKEAWAY TIP #6: Embrace subtle asymmetry

One of these things is not like the other. That’s right, there’s a lone black pillow on an otherwise light, neutral sofa. You might say the sleek black decorative pillow is the splash of modern mixed in with a mountain of nature-inspired neutrals. Don’t be afraid to mix and match your decorative pillows, including both asymmetrical placement and color selection.


Decorative pillows: The Black Goose Design

You'll notice an asymmetrical placement with the pillows on this bed. It's a subtle touch that adds interest.


This guided hike through Mountain Modern at its best has yet to peak. Let’s take in a few final scenic shots of our sophisticated surroundings.





For help turning the home of your dreams into the home of your reality, whether it’s a new build or a update to an existing one, call or stop by The Black Goose Design today.