Friday, December 31st, 2010
I wanted to share with you these paintings of crystals by Carly Waito I’ve been loving for ages and keep spotting all over the blogosphere, in magazines, etc.
It amazes what she can do with paint! I would love to have a collection of these, but for now I’ll be admiring from a far. At least I can appreciate them now as my current desktop background image and I love the mix of colors in this compliation.
She also has some fun multi-colored options.
This image is from Oprah magazine and I think it also beautifully highlights the color variations and beauty of natural crystals.
Rawn crystals make good artwork, accessories (check out the unique pieces category and geoded bookends), and even table lamp bases (here’s another option, and one more). Keep them in mind as an alternate natural element to utilize when accessorizing your home. There are more options than the usual mix of logs, twigs, and pine cones vs. seashells and coral.
Happy New Year One and All! It’s been a pleasure sharing my inspiration, advice and ideas with you this year. I look forward bringing more beauty into our lives in 2011!
Wednesday, December 29th, 2010
Okay, so this came in the mail a little while ago, but I figured I had a bit of buffer since it covers both December and January.
I like the cover image – all that great worn wood, tons of bookshelves, a minimal chandelier, linen slipcovered dining chairs and a giant farm table sound like the perfect place to gather with friends on a snowy day with mugs of hot cocoa (with a bit of Baileys or Kahlua for the adults).
This bedroom in a London townhouse designed by Alex Papachristidis has a fun groovy meets eccentric glam vibe that you don’t usually see. The Missoni inspired print on the bench pulls together the colors of the bedding and bedframe. The open framework of the base of the bench helps balance the weight of that large upholstered bed. The nightstands are open as well to keep the proper balance of visually light and heavy items in the room. The neutral walls and flooring let the bed be the start of this room, as they should be in a bedroom. The leopard print footstool, statue base lamps and artwork show the homeowners aren’t afraid to be quirky and individuals. I love that!
This living room is from the same London townhouse as the bedroom above. This room has a similar mix of ’70s, modern and antiques with a warm color palette and curving legs. The lamps have great personality. The gilded finish on the armchairs is a dull brushed finish which somehow seems more casual to me. Again neutral walls and flooring allow the acccents to shine.
This living room was designed by Brazilian Sig Bergamin. It has a very David Hicks meets Billy Baldwin (those slipper chairs!) quality with a preppy meets world traveler (minus the souvenir objet d’art) style. The modern art collection helps keep it fresh so it doesn’t read as your grandmother’s Park Avenue apartment. Clean transitional lines on all the furniture keeps it from being fussy and lets the patterns play against each other without being TOO overwhelming.
All photos from Elle Decor December 2010/January 2011 issue.
Monday, December 13th, 2010
Now this is a living room that real people live in. When I read shelter magazines like Architectural Digest I sometimes wonder how people REALLY live in the rooms because they have been worked over so carefully by a stylist that they have lost some authenticity.
Even though this room was done with the help of a designer, it still feels like a collection of pieces that were gathered over the years. The candles in the hurricane vases are all burnt down and imperfect. Blankets are draped at the ends of the sofas for easy access when curling up in front of the fireplace with one of the many books stacked around the room. The end tables are eclectic pieces that look like they were picked up in vintage shops. The coffee table looks like a weekend project utilizing reclaimed rough hewn wood planks. Flowers picked from the garden are placed in an old mason jar and a white pitcher for a casual touch.
The only things that I’m not crazy about in this room? I love the zig-zag striped rug but it is too small for the space. Even turning it 90 degrees would work better since it looks like a section of the rug is lost under the sofa. Or they could put two of them side by side if they wanted to maintain the current direction of the zigs and zags. A strip of carpet tape would help hold the two rugs together without permanently attaching them (in case they want to move them to other rooms in the future). Also, the stone tile under the fireplace is bugging me. I understand needing tile there, but the khaki sofas clash with the yellow undertone in the tile. If the tile was a darker brown more in line with the tones of the beautiful wood floors it would disappear and not fight the other elements in the room.
I like that the lamps on the end tables have different shape shades, but the shade on the lamp on the right end table blocks the art above it, and it makes that area feel cramped. You can see how just a little bit of breathing room between the lamp and the art on the left side of the sofa feels better to you eye.
Maybe I’m being picky, but I want to educate your eyes to catch the details that help make a room better. Then you can look at your own home with a discerning eye and tweak those things you might not have noticed before that can take your home to the next level of fabulousness. People might not notice the difference, but they will feel the difference without knowing exactly why.
Are there any spaces you would like pointers on?
Photo source: Michigan Farmhouse living room by Rebekah Zaveloff of KitchenLab via Houzz
Sunday, December 12th, 2010
Setting up a playroom so that it is fun and inviting with plenty of room to play while still being organized and easy to clean up seems to be a challenge for many families. I like the bold colorful palette of this room that will work well for the kid(s) as they get older because there isn’t a hint of pastel anywhere. I can see the room converted to a hang out as they get older with a TV on one of the red locker storage units and comfy chairs or a big sofa added for teenage activities. The open floor space will be used for playing Wii games and dancing. Even the Star Wars artwork above the red and green storage bins will still appeal to (most) boys of all ages.
Since this room will transition over the years the parents wisely utilized affordable storage solutions from IKEA. Both the red storage lockers and the white units with red, white and green bins are from IKEA. Everything is at a height that the kid(s) can easily reach which makes it easy for them to get and put away their own toys.
What solutions have you found for keeping your kids’ play spaces and bedrooms organized?
Photo source: freunde von freunden via dwellstudio 3-2-10
Saturday, December 11th, 2010
The weekend is the perfect time to tackle little projects. I love the sense of accomplishment they give. Recently I reorganized my jewelry collection set up on top of my dresser and now I get to experience the pleasure of using the new system everyday.
This isn’t my bedroom dresser, but you can tell the homeowner has used an ecclectic mix of vintage bowls and serving dishes to create a pleasing arrangement on top of her dresser too. The imperfections of the dresser, the dark walls, the faux trophy animal head and the winter tree branch curtains (Woods fabric from Cole and Son) all create a relaxed but well thought out space. It’s approachable and shows someone really lives here. It doesn’t feel staged the way it would in a magazine. Remember to make sure your space shows your personality and has fun quirks that will put a smile on your face every day. (I have that same print of a girl in a red jacket turning away hanging in my powder room art gallery!)
So, what project are you going to tackle this weeknend?
Photo source: Elizabeth Blitzer’s bedroom via mydeco
Saturday, December 11th, 2010
There are about 12″ of snow freshly fallen on the ground outside and more continues to swirl to the ground (they say we’re only about half way through the storm system!) On a day like today there are two types of people: those who are chomping at the bit to go hiking knee deep in the snow, and those who curl up on the sofa in front of a roaring fireplace with a big blanket and a mug of hot cocoa.
Today’s photo is for those who are with me in the later group. I’d have to throw some of those pillows off the sofa so I could fit on it better, but I appreciate the higher arm on the sofa so I can lean a few pillows against it without them falling off the end of the sofa (as happens on sofas with a shorter arm height.) I would pull the adjustable lamp in the background over for reading light. I have a stack of books and magazines to catch up on, and this is the perfect day for it. I might need to add a small side table (a 12″ diameter stool would work) next to the sofa to set my cocoa on because I hate having to lean to reach my beverage when I’m curled up on the sofa. When you are arranging the furniture in any room always think about how you will live in it so that it fits the function of the space. Form follows function, but the space should be pleasing to your senses as well. It’s the balance of the two that makes a room truly great.
So which group do you fit it?
Photo source: Elle Decor, December 2008.