Tuesday, January 25th, 2011
I just realized how quickly time passes when I went to post my favorite images from the latest issue of House Beautiful and realized that I never shared my favorites from the previous issue! Tisk, tisk, Colleen! But at least I’ve read both issues cover to cover, which doesn’t usually happen this quickly. Thanks are due in part to our local cafe North Washington Cafe where we’ve been going to listen to live music, enjoy a little dinner and wine and catch up on reading (me) and work (the husband). If you are in the area be sure to stop in for live music Thursday nights or any of the other events they are adding to the calendar. I helped them with design ideas to quickly transform it from the black, royal blue and industrial steel look the previous coffee shop sported to a warm neighborhood wine bar.
These are certainly not your typical sliding panels to divide a kitchen from a dining room. These laser cut oak panels were designed by Thomas Hamel, the interior designer, to reference Indian jalis. With ceilings that high you have a lot of room to make a statement. I’m a fan of a well-designed Klismos chair and these have a great silhouette and finish. I’m not sure what the material is but it looks like aged metal. The custom dining room table has great legs too.
I like the new editor’s choice to do more large photo spreads in the magazine so we can appreciate the details in these rooms, but it does make more work for me! Oh well, some rooms are worth the extra effort. I love this new traditional living room. The sofas have white slipcovers and velvet pillows in icy blues and purples. The wallpaper and the chandelier are traditional but not too fussy. The arrangement on the mantel is casual and the coffee table is downright unexpected (in my mind at least). I would expect to see a glass and metal oval cocktail table or a more refined wood table in this room. It’s taking traditional elements and mixing them with more casual elements to create formal living rooms that people actually feel comfortable living in. Crazy notion.
This living room reflects one of the new trend in interior design for 2011: global world traveler with an emphasis on indigenous textile patterns and natural fabrics. The window treatments are made of burlap. The sofa is a mattress and box spring covered in painter’s linen. Then to mix it up he added a 1960s brass lamp in the back corner with a custom red linen shade and a Hans Wegner Wishbone chair on the left with a bright red finish which add a punch to the room. It’s eceletic and feels authentic. I can tell this is a space that he has filled with objects that he loves over time.
So, could you see yourself living in any of these rooms?
Thursday, January 20th, 2011
I thought I’d give you a quick update on the construction project.
Here is the kitchen now that the walls have been primed and painting has started.
When you see the finished project you will see how dramatic the change is from this angle looking from the entrance. The angled wall to the right of the doors leaning against the wall will be covered in Moroccan tiles. A custom bookshelf will extent off the column in the foreground providing great display space for the homeowners’ vast collection of beautiful objects from around the world.
Look at this side by side comparison with the room pre-construction. Removing that wall allowed us to reconfigure the space and provide a modern flow.
Tuesday, January 18th, 2011
I’ve always focused on inspiring you with images and color palettes on this blog, but I realize I rarely include my own work. After the reaction I got when I posted a couple of sneak peak photos of some bathrooms I did this fall, I realized you might enjoy seeing more of the process involved in my remodeling projects for clients.
Since I have a fun remodel in process right now, I think I’ll share a few photos with you so you can see how the space is evolving as we move through the construction process.
This is a view of the kitchen from the living room on my first visit to meet with the clients.
Here is a wrap around view of the kitchen, moving from the left side to the right side.
And a view of the wall between the kitchen and the living room (to the left) and the entry (straight ahead).
The challenge with this space is that all the walls and openings between the kitchen and the rest of the unit chopped up the sight lines and hid their amazing views of the Cathedral and the State Capital. We wanted to open the space up, increase the functionality of it, and provide a better flow for both entertaining and hanging out at home alone.
Here is the kitchen on construction day #1, all cleared out and ready for demolition!
And after a bit of demo (to say the least) the walls are opened up, the electrical work is exposed, and we get to come up with solutions.
The view from the kitchen to the living room and dining room is suddenly vastly improved as sight lines are opened up.
A few days later, a new half wall opens up the kitchen to the rest of the unit even more. All the electrical has been rerouted to maintain an uninterrupted view from the kitchen all the way to the State Capital.
Isn’t it amazing how different it looks once the drywall is installed? The beams conceal the electrical work and accommodate new pendant lighting over the future raised breakfast counter. Now when guests walk in the front door they won’t be trapped in a narrow hall with no view – they’ll walk into a open space with views in every direction.
Next steps: painting, installing flooring, installing cabinetry, installing countertops and appliances, finalizing updates to the bathrooms, installing new blinds, and installing new lighting. (You don’t want to see the actual super detailed list of steps involved in each of these tasks, but trust me, we’re so on top of it!)
We still have a lot of work to do, but you can see how much work has been accomplished already. The messy phase is almost complete, and now we get to start bringing in the color, texture and patterns. I can’t wait to see it all pulled together!
Did you enjoy this sneak peak behind the scenes of a construction project? Would you like to see more?
Friday, January 14th, 2011
To wrap up a week of purple we’re going for saturation. I’m talking about deep, royal purples. There’s nothing bashful about this color. It says “I’m purple. Like me or don’t like me, I don’t care.”
Look at these deep purple walls. They add drama all on their own. In the dining room the furnishings have minimal lines and silvery accessories add a restrained touch of modern glamour. You could be bold and choose a saturated purple velvet for your sofa and mix it up with old shutters as wall art to create an unexpected pairing. Or stick with a neutral sofa and let the wall color, mirrored tile and artwork be the focal point of your room.
Incorporating purple in your bedroom could be an exercise in all out layering (see the bedroom on the left) or just a couple of accessories could be added to a otherwise quiet palette (see the bedroom on the right). Notice how they upholstered a folding screen to create a headboard, and pulled the pale pink color from the fabric for the trim color. Unexpected but interesting. The living room in the middle has deep purple layered in the rugs, throw pillows and wall art. Mixed with gold, chartreuse, violet, silvery grey on the couch and charcoal on the armchair the palette feels balanced and not focused on one specific color. It feels like it has evolved over time, which is always a good quality to achieve in a room.
So, have these purple posts made you a convert yet? Are you itching to paint or run out and pick up a couple of new purple accessories to update a room? I’m actually thinking about painting my own bathroom!
Have a great weekend. I hope you get to enjoy fun decorating projects to give you a fresh look for the new year. And if you want a designer’s perspective and ideas, I’m here as always to help make your home a place you truly enjoy living in day after day.
Friday, January 14th, 2011
Maybe the color lavender makes you think of fields of lavender swaying in the afternoon breeze in France. Perhaps it evokes a favorite baby outfit you dressed your daughter in every chance you got. Color memories and associations are different for everyone. No matter your associations with this shade, lavender is a flattering color that works well in most rooms. The glow from lavender walls would look lovely against white tile in a bathroom (a client just selected this for their bathroom yesterday in fact!) A master bedroom in this shade would feel restful.
Here are some examples of how others have integrated lavender into their spaces.
This dining room balances simple lines in the furniture and lighting against a colorful wall. I find it interesting that they chose to wallpaper the opposite wall in a gray-green overscale floral wallpaper (seen in the reflection in the mirror). Without seeing the whole room in context I’m not sure how I feel about that pairing. But otherwise the room is nice.
The living room on the right showcases how you can furnish a room with major pieces in neutral colors but interesting shapes and then update it periodically with an accent color like lavender. Here the lavender is utilized for the ottoman, small side chairs and window treatments. The side chairs by the fireplace are a great element to include in every home as they provide flexible seating that can easily be pulled up when you have a larger crowd over or brought to the dining room when you need additional seating there.
Painting the table in this dressing room to match the Quartz wallpaper from Osbourne & Little creates a special corner to play dress up. Lavender in a nursery with taupe and white accents is mellow and sweet without being predictable. I like the arrangement of art over the glider chair in a mix of sizes and frames. The chaise lounge with pale lavender walls, sitting on a purple carpet and piled with assorted purple pillows is a great example of how to layer different shades and tones of purple without it feeling like a PURPLE room.
Now the color rendering of these paint colors isn’t exact since they been photographed then shown on a computer monitor, but this gives you an example of all the shades of lavenders out there. On the 5 color cards you would want to stay in the top 2-3 colors if you are looking for a lavender. As you can see, each color is violet, grey, purple, grey-purple or grey-violet in tone. All are lovely, it’s just a matter of preference and what you are going to coordinate with it.
Thursday, January 13th, 2011
Continuing our purple theme for the week, I’ve created two sets of inspirational room images that feature furnishings and accessories in shades of violet.
I love how the chartreuse accents pop against the purple in these rooms!
As you can see in these photos, this color can be incorporated into rooms with very different styles based on where you apply it. Whether you use the color for sumptuous silk drapery, a bold wall color, or to brighten up a classic Saarinen Womb chair, you will be adding a statement to your room.