Saturday, May 28th, 2011
I just bought a new house, which was a bit of a crazy idea since my husband and I were both swamped with work when we stumbled across this house and we weren’t even house shopping. But it felt like it was meant to be ours, so we went for it. Of course before I could be sure it would work for us I had to visualize where EVERY piece of furniture would fit in the new space. Crazy? Do you experience the same thoughts when you move?
At least I knew I wasn’t the only crazy one in the family because my husband (who is a landscape architect) had to design the entire backyard landscape plan before we even decided to buy the house. Well, at least that helps explain how we are well matched. A pair of crazy, detail-oriented designers who excel at Excel spreadsheets.
Anyway, the point of this story is that I have been working on the design for the new place since we made an offer, and with 2 weeks until the move I’ve started honing in on specific details. The latest? Lighting for the living room.
There are sconces on two walls in the living room that throw the balance off in the room. They provide some general lighting now, but by converting them to adjustable arm sconces they could offer valuable task lighting on both sides of the room.
Here’s an example in designer Francis Costa’s home.
This Wall Sconce with Three Rotating Arms by Serge Mouille I found on 1st Dibs is the kind of piece I had in mind. However the more than $7,000 price tag is not really worth it to me, no matter how iconic a piece it is. (I’d rather buy a Womb Chair and Ottoman for half the price.)
So how can I achieve the effect of a wall mounted light fixture with adjustable lighting that can extend farther than the average bedside wall sconce at a reasonable price? Here are a few options I’ve found so far.
Here is one of my top 2 favorites so far. “1940s Architectural Boom Sconce” by Restoration Hardware is designed to allow the light to articulate in multiple directions a nice distance from the wall. At $450 it’s a steal compared to the Mouille fixture.
The No. 214 wall lamp by Bernard-Albin Gras available through Holly Hunt is another great option. It has two points of articulation on the arm plus it can be moved up and down the bar. The bar is rather long, so you would need to have the right space to let it breathe (visually), but at $485 retail it is very competitively priced compared to it’s rival the Restoration Hardware Architectural Boom Sconce. I’m sure someone can (or already has) made a hack version of this using a clip-on desk lamp and some plumbing parts.
Another option from Restoration Hardware: the Atelier Wall Sconce. Although it is only $239 and has that great caged industrial vibe that I love and has been really popular lately, I don’t think it will extend far enough to meet my functional needs in the new space. But it would be great as a wall mounted bedside lamp. I love that look, it opens up space on the bedside tables, and allows you to direct light where you need it.
Another visually interesting option is the 1940s Train Station Swing-Arm Sconce from Restoration Hardware. I like the lines and how it highlights the vintage style bulb. But with the extinction of incandescent bulbs impending, I can’t in good conscience purchase this fixture. Plus it only swings left and right, and that certainly doesn’t meet my needs for this project. ($160)
I know there are other good options out there, I just haven’t thrown myself into the search full force. But I’m keeping my eyes peeled as I’m searching for lighting solutions for my clients because you never know when you are going to stumble across the perfect piece.
Have you spotted any great lighting solutions lately? If lighting is a challenge you are dealing with, don’t be afraid to ask Fox Interiors for help!
Thursday, May 26th, 2011
I stumbled across a link to this new wallcovering from Maharam the other day and just had to share it with you.
Titled “Inthebeginningtimeliesasapresentinfrontofourfeet” by the artist Markus Linnenbrink, it is part of a collection of unique wallcoverings designed by artists for Maharam.
I recognized this artist’s work when I saw the detail shot (the first image is an installation shot).
When I had the pleasure of visiting the Sub-Zero/Wolf training program in Madison, Wisconsin (my childhood home town) a few years ago I was most struck by their use of large scale canvases by this artist throughout the facility. The texture and colors of these pieces are amazing in person.
So I’m loving the idea that I could have a piece of that in my own home! I think this would be a brilliant accent wall treatment in a kid’s room that could easily transition through every favorite color phase and still work. I would hope it would inspire creativity and experimenting with different artistic techniques. It would be just as cool in a toddler’s room as in a teenager’s.
What do you think? Could you live with a print like this? Where would you put it?
Wednesday, May 18th, 2011
Summer has begun in Minneapolis at last and it’s pretty hard to convince myself to work inside all day long with the sunshine calling to me like a siren. You know what makes it even harder? When I get emails with pictures like this:
Seriously Crate & Barrel, did you create a personalized ad for me based on a researcher’s discovery of my love of lemonade, macarons and glass beverage dispensers?? Dang it, now I want to bake some lemon macarons, whip up some infused summer drinks and invite some friends over to hang out on my patio. I only have one beverage dispenser though… what’s a girl to do?? Oh, I guess they answered that question by offering a link to their website in the email.
So if you need any of the above supplies in order to throw a cheerful kick-off to summer party, check out Crate & Barrel.
Photo source: Crate & Barrel, of course.
Wednesday, May 11th, 2011
There are so many products in this shop that we had in my parents’ kitchen growing up, and frankly most of them are still in their kitchen. That is a testiment to their quality craftsmanship, which we need to remember to value in our disposal society.
What are my favorite flashback pieces?
My mom used to make rosette cookies at Christmas every year (before she decided they were too tempermental) and this Vintage Nordic Ware Rosette Iron for only $16 would allow me to continue that tradition with my kid(s). Or I could just borrow my mom’s. But if your mom doesn’t have a set to share you could buy this and start your own tradition!
My mom picked up a saucepan similar to this Descoware Saucepan in Berlin when they lived there in their 20s. She got it for a steal because it was meant for a left handed cook. 40 years later it’s STILL difficult for us right handed cooks to use. Not sure if that’s worth 40 years of frustration, but it still performs very well.
Thanks to this shop I now have a brand name to go with this iconic mixing bowl. You might recognize this vintage Texas Ware Confetti bowl from Rachel Ray’s 30 Minute Meals show on the Food Network. Unfortunately the bowl we had was used for a very different (but necessary) function. There was a lot of throwing up in my childhood, and it’s helpful to have a designated bowl for said function if a person wants to be able to lie down with an emergency backup system. This bowl was our designated emergency backup system. Sorry if that’s too much information or if I ruined your memories of your favorite pancake mixing bowl. Every family has it’s stories, and that’s mine.
So go and check out Pot + Pantry and find some beautiful new or vintage pieces to incorporate into your own kitchen and start some new stories of your own.
Photo credits: all photos courtesy of Pot + Pantry.
Wednesday, May 4th, 2011
Last week I featured the Octavia Headboard by Serena & Lily in a girl’s bedroom setting. This week I want to highlight how that headboard could be used in an adult or teenager’s bedroom. Depending on what style of bedding you select. a room can exude a playful personality or subtle sophistication. It’s all about the mix and match.
First option: The classic Octavia headboard in Navy Linen with nickel nailhead trim is given a fresh, modern twist with graphic prints. Dwell Studio’s Labyrinth duvet set in Dove reminds me of a snake charmer, and their Masala sheets in Citrine provides a pop of unexpected color against the neutrals.
Option2: Here I played the greek key inspired detail in the nailhead design against a loosely drawn Greek Key duvet set by West Elm. I was feeling playful when I chose the Red Star sheets from Serena & Lily to complete the look. It feels a little like the stars & stripes with all that navy, white and red. Or maybe it’s conjures up a bedroom that feels like you are in Greece and looking at the stars in the expansive sky over the ocean. What feeling does it inspire in you?
Option 3: This is a softer look than the 2 previous combinations, but the stripes keep it graphic. The Pewter Linen Octavia headboard is not as bold as the navy version. I wanted to use Dwell Studio’s Draper Stripe sheet set in Poppy with a duvet cover that might be a bit of an unexpected pairing. So I first chose the Parachute Duvet set in White from West Elm (upper right corner). The ruching of this airy cotton creates a lot of volume and a relaxed feminine effect. White sheets with a colored edge or subtle dots would be a more obvious pairing. But I like how the poppy stripes anchors the floaty duvet and makes it more guy friendly.
I couldn’t resist including another version with West Elm’s Stripe Duvet set in white and feather gray. The width of the stripes on the sheets in narrower, which allows the two stripes to work together. Can you tell I like a pop of color against neutrals?
Option 4: The headboard remains in Pewter Linen but a new combination of bedding provides a very different look. Here Dwell Studio’s Peacock Duvet set in Dove has a more traditional styling than previous selections, but the color palette and scale keep it modern in sensibility. Pairing this duvet with Dwell Studio’s Gate sheet set in Azure has been a favorite combination of mine since they introduced it. But I wanted an alternate option for sheets since it is always nice to be able to tweak the look of your bedding. I selected the Dot Print sheet set in Mushroom from West Elm to pull out the soft browns in the duvet cover. Without seeing the two sets in person I’m not positive the colors are right together, but this is illustrative people, so don’t kill me if they don’t work, ok?!
Option 5: Finally, switching up the Octavia headboard to Antique Gold Burlap with Brass nailheads creates a more classic traditional style. The Bativa Duvet set in Citrine by Dwell Studio is a modern update of the Ikat pattern that is so popular in interior design right now. The soft color palette keeps the room from feeling too formal. The coordinating Masala sheet set in Citrine blends in here rather than serving as a pop of color as it did in Option 1.
I’m sure I could create an alternate option for the final headboard color option… but I ran out of energy. So why don’t you create one and show it to me?
So which option would you choose? Or do you prefer something completely different? Bedding shouldn’t be intimidating to select and it should definitely be washable. Beyond that, anything goes. A duvet cover is often the largest expanse of a pattern in your home. It can be switched seasonally or whenever the mood strikes, unlike a the upholstery on a sofa or chair (though slipcovers can serve the same purpose). So don’t be afraid to go for something bid, bold, unexpected or just a little out of your comfort zone.
Photo sources: All product shots from each company’s website. See links for more information about each product.