Thursday, August 25th, 2011
A common challenge for me is dreaming up the perfect piece (for an interior or my wardrobe), sometimes based on a sketchy memory of having seen something like it somewhere once upon a time, sometimes just completely invented. Then I have to try to find it out in the real world. I can drive myself bonkers with this search because of course now I know EXACTLY what I want and I don’t want to settle for less.
Recent case in point: I want an etagere (basically this is a bookcase with no side or back panels, often they taper towards the top) for an otherwise wasted odd corner of a room. I see the ideal version with sides that curve on each tier, and I want it brightly colored. I can draw a quick sketch to show someone, but finding an example image is much more effective. The open shelves on an etagere are great for decorative displays of stacks of books, small boxes and little decorative items.
So I scrolled through my digital image library (I don’t have time to go through my stacks and stacks of magazines and piles of hard copies of design images) and managed to find one example! Yeah!
See it in the back left corner? The open shelf on the right side is an etagere too, but I don’t want that gold leaf finish and rectangular shape.
I was soo excited to find it along with sources for the items… but wait, it’s for SIMILAR items.
Here is the Tall Curvee Shelf from House Eclectic that they recommend as a similar item. It is only available in black or white, but even more of an issue is the fact that it’s only 38″ high. Grrr.
Another option would be this Lia shelf by Oly Studio . It’s close, but doesn’t come in any bright colors. But I could make the white version work.
Here’s an example in a good height (67.75″) with a tapered shape, but no curves. I could live with this, and the antique red or black options are nice. But I want deep orange or kelly green. I want to be playful. This is a little too traditional in this shade of red for the room I have in mind. It could skew Asian influence or cottage in other settings, which is great.
Available in only black iron, this has a bit more whimsy with the top detail, but the black iron doesn’t feel right for my space.
This limited edition piece by Jonathan Adler has the fun punch of color and the mod styling is great. But the price is high for a piece that’s not supposed to be the star of the room, but the funny supporting character.
So, I’m still on the hunt. I’m sure I’ll find something that will work, but will it be the piece in my vision? Maybe not. But will anyone else really know how it differs from that vision? No. Will it still be fabulous? Absolutely.
Of course, if it was an important piece in the room that I didn’t feel like compromising on, I can simply design the piece in my head and have one of my custom furniture guys make the perfect piece for me with the curves, dimensions and color just right for my project. Sometimes that’s what it takes to get the right piece that makes the whole room come to life.
And that’s the reality of what I do. It’s the vision I have for that great piece that’s going to take the room to the next level that the client would never have come up with on their own, and the ability to track down items that will bring that vision to life.
But I’m still searching for that short sleeve wrap dress I saw in a dream the other night…. =)
Photo source: Inspiration room by Catherine Brophy for Real Simple, October 2010.
Wednesday, August 17th, 2011
After writing all about the new brights trend (see the post here), I couldn’t resist creating a bedroom concept to prove how doable this look is. Remember how I compared an outfit to a room:
“Kelly green jeans and a turquoise t-shirt with a grey cardigan and a skinny belt in brown leather over it could be bright but still have the safe touches to make it feel comfortable. The room equivalent: a bedroom with a kelly green bed frame, turquoise sheets, multi-colored throw pillows, light gray walls and a leather slung chair.”
Well, here’s the room example, with 2 different bedding and throw pillow combinations to chose from.
Start with the Piper Bed in Green from Room & Board. Paint the walls a soft gray, like Sherwin-Williams Argos (SW 7065). Add a leather safari chair for a timeless worn-in element that grounds the bold elements you’ll add next. 1st Dibs is a good source for these vintage chairs. A chunky cable rug in Charcoal from Room & Board adds texture and softness when getting out of bed or doing homework.
The room could start out with an updated preppy look. No turquoise, instead the blue is a crisp, classic navy. Key elements (clockwise from bedding):
This could work for either gender, it’s really about personality! The subtle pattern on the sheets in a soft gray adds some interest while tying in the wall and rug color.
Or take the room in a global chic direction (clockwise from bedding):
The duvet cover has great pattern and lots of colors to work with for accent pillows. Adding in the Ikat pillow is a no-brainer for the global look, as is the Samsara pillow with a Suzani-esque print. Both are right on trend with the current movement to incorporate native ethnic prints from around the globe. What I love is adding in the Bargello Jungle Road pillow with the crazy zig-zag Italian company Missoni is known for. It’s unexpected but still very global and the colors work perfectly with the other pillows. The Citrone sheets pull that color from the duvet cover and add a small scale pattern to the mix to balance all those large patterns.
Which would you go for? Preppy or global chic? Or would you rather have the bed in pink…red…yellow…orange…white? So many color combinations, so little time! Have fun creating your own layered look. I’d love to see what you would create!
On that note, check out West Elm’s new mix-and-match bedding interactive program where you can see how sheets, duvets, and shams from their collection will look together with your wall color. (They don’t have a ton of paint color options, but it’s nice that they included this element in a room.) It’s a fun way to spend your lunch break. =)
Tags: 1st Dibs, bedroom, Bliss Living, Blue, brights, cable rug, Dwell Studio, gray, green, interior design, Jonathan Adler, Room & Board, Serena & Lily, Sherwin Williams, West Elm
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Tuesday, August 16th, 2011
I just wrote an article for a the MN chapter of ASID’s quarterly publication, Design Directions, on how trends are forecasted and then evolve between different industries. I knew a little about the subject, but it was really fascinating learning more about how the forecasting industry works.
I mean, do you ever think about how Kleenex picks the colors and patterns on their boxes? They are studying the color trends and style trends 18 months out to be ready to introduce the perfect look just as a trend happens. I think about it with fashion, interiors and cars, but I hadn’t really thought about it in product packaging as much, even though I know the graphic design world styles are always evolving as well.
Anyway, I wanted to share a trend I spotted in my own magazines before I even wrote the article, and had verified by an industry forecaster at a presentation of the trends for the next 18 months. BRIGHTS! No wallflowers here. I’m talking about those saturated bold shades that announce their arrival with a bullhorn. Don’t believe me? Check out the latest furniture evolution from (Minnesota based) Room & Board:
These pieces are not just available in the usual stainless steel or natural steel finishes. Now you can add a punch of color to your room beyond those accent pillows you rely on to liven up the room. Be bold! Say “I’m not afraid of vivid color that wakes up my room.”
Even better, these pieces are all made by a local company in Minnesota, reducing the carbon footprint of transport, and it’s ultimately recycleable. I’m digging the Kelly Green Piper bed frame. I could easily see it in a kid’s bedroom that evolves into a hip teen’s bedroom and then it moves with them to their first apartment.
Just like a room, the pops of color in your outfit shouldn’t be relegated to a few small accessories.
Here is the proof, straight from the pages of Lucky magazine. Colored denim jeans are another trend big for fall, in brights just as bold as these outfits above. I’m going to have to switch from colored top and neutral pants and try out a bright pant and see how bold I can go with the top without feeling overwhelmed. Kelly green jeans and a turquoise t-shirt with a grey cardigan and a skinny belt in brown leather over it could be bright but still have the safe touches to make it feel comfortable. The room equivalent: a bedroom with a kelly green bed frame, turquoise sheets, multi-colored throw pillows, light gray walls and a leather slung chair. (hmmm…. I might need to do another post just to show this room idea…)
So what colors are going bright? Here are the key color trends to keep in mind:
Bright saturated colors are emerging as a trend. Think tropical greens and neon green as accents perfect for kids’ rooms and patios. Mid-tone orange and corals with a rusty hue will move to neon in-your-face tones in 2013. Look for tropical pink with a coral tone. Fuchsia with more blue in it serves as a bridge to purples. Purple is trending down, moving towards smoky gray and blue tones rather than red tones. Fire reds reaching out to orange will appear, while blood red taunts brown. Military olive and khaki that have been hot in the fashion industry the past couple of years are moving into home décor. Instead of gold, camel is rising, influenced by the military trend. Blue and white combinations are jumping forward again. Denim and turquoise also make an appearance, while the spa blue evolved to a warmer blue with green and gray undertones for a sophisticated feel.
On a side note, this weekend I painted my bathroom a gray-blue with a hint of green in it, so I’m clearly right on trend. =)
Want to see what these brights will mean in fabrics? Check out the Lily Pulitzer collection of fabrics through Lee Jofa. Not for the faint of heart, but I don’t think you have to live in Palm Beach to embrace these fabrics. Start small and layer, layer, layer!
Can I mention that I’m digging the art on the walls? I know it’s not the focus of the ad, but I love how they used a modern painting and photographs to bring a fresh young feel to a room that could skew to grandma’s Boca Raton condo. The lucite table, zig zag rug and cheeky elephant side table help keep it young too.
So are you game? Are you going to give brights a try in your home, wardrobe or both?! Come on, if I can do it, so can you!
Photo credits: Room & Board, Lucky magazine, Lee Jofa.