Friday, May 4th, 2012
It’s the end of the day Friday after a busy week of pulling together furnishings for clients, signing up new clients, and managing a bathroom renovation. The renovation is going smoothly and we even discovered extra space in the wall to fit in the bigger tub we were hoping to be able to use. So what do I do now? Let’s start by looking at the pile of design magazines begging for my attention and trying to determine what to read first.
But first, here’s some of my favorite moments from the last issue of Martha Stewart Living.
This article about implementing the color blocking trend in your home was a particular favorite. Layering red, orange, coral, peach and pink could turn out weird, but here it has been done beautifully. I’m totally digging the painting over the bed.
Color blocking with greens. I love the 3 shades of green silk pillows across the back of this sofa. The curtains and fig tree behind the sofa add height, texture and interest pulling your eye up. This is an easy update for an existing room.
Finally, this jug of cucumber-lemon water has me longing for hot days so I can drink this for a thirst quencher. I particularly enjoy the idea behind the story this accompanies: a couple who needs help getting their garden back on track after missing a few weekends of maintenance enlist a group of friends to help pull it together over a weekend, providing plenty of delicious food to lure and sustain them. The rustic spinach sorrel tarts and strawberry rhubarb buckle bars will be coming out of my oven soon.
Despite a busy weekend with plenty of home projects to complete and a baby shower, I’m looking forward to some down time surrounded by page flags and the following magazines. Have a great weekend doing whatever you love in a greater proportion than the chores you dread. =)
An entire issue focused on clutter and organization? I’m in heaven.
I love their One Day Makeovers, and this one sounds good! Lime green and lavender certainly seem to be making a resurgence.
This is the cover of HOME you’ll see on newsstands and it has all the details about the ASID Showcase Home Tour I’m participating in again this year. PLEASE support the hard work of the 30 designers who donated their time, creativity and energy to make this home stunning. Plus the countless other designers and team members who helped put it all together. So many great events over the 3 weeks of the tour that you don’t want to miss out! I’ll post more information on this next week.
I’m still trying to decide if I like this magazine. Some of the spaces they feature are too traditional for my taste, but I’m giving it a chance. That’s why I have 2 issues to catch up on.
Tis the season for gardens and outdoor rooms to take center stage in design magazines as we finally get the chance to spend time outside and want to day dream about how to make our outdoor spaces as inviting as possible. I love the pop that dog provides on the cover against all that greenery!
Thursday, February 2nd, 2012
Usually it’s the September decorating issue that seduces me into buying a copy of Martha Stewart Living at the news stand (or the grocery store since we don’t really have NY style news stands here). But a cover like this with such a bright cheerful kitchen and the promise of more great kitchens inside? I give in.
But this issue isn’t just about great kitchens. In fact, my husband stole it before I could even sit down! He declared it a great purchase because there are also articles on sandwiches (his favorite food group), and topless terrariums (my new dining room table is quickly being taken over by his growing plant collection).
You know my love of organizing runs deep, and Martha’s does too.
Not only does she have great tips in her classic “Good Things” column, but she also has a multi-page article on creating a room just for her cleaning and organizing supplies! (see below) Holy moly!
I have nice 36″ wide drawers that are perfect for storing pots and baking dishes, but if I had to organize them in a traditional cupboard I like this solution above.
Hanging the cleaning bottles on a tension rod under a sink is brilliant. It looks so tidy plus you get bonus space underneath them if the bar is set high enough.
I won’t make you green with envy by showing the photos of the giant room she has for her “homekeeping” supplies, but I like these detail shots showing how she groups supplies by function. I don’t think I need to stockpile 3 bottles of each of her cleaning line for Home Depot, but the bins work well for grouping smaller collections of similar cleaning supplies. Imagine all your different wood polishing creams and tools in one convenient place for the Saturday you decide it’s time to oil the teak and polish the walnut? Ahh, the joys of organization geeks are endless.
I’m not a knitter, but these knit stool slipcovers are brilliant! I have a pair of plain Bosse bar stools from IKEA from our previous home that I was planning on hacking into counter height stools until I can pick the perfect stools (which of course means I have to decide on chairs for the dining room since they are right next to each other, so this will take a while. See my previous post on the issue for the full story.)
Here’s the Bosse stool. Now look at the examples above. I think I could shorten the legs, paint the ends an accent color and add a nubby knit topper and have a completely reinvented stool for a tiny amount of cash! Too bad I don’t knit. Any volunteers?
As for another kitchen? Well, here’s another sneak peak to entice you…
Isn’t the pop of bright green wallpaper on the back of the open kitchen shelves wonderful? Not only do the colorful dishes stand out against it, but so do their white bowls. The rest of the finishes are classic neutrals, allowing the bright accents to shine. Making a commitment to color this way doesn’t have to be scary. This could easily be updated with another wallpaper or fabric covered panels down the line when you want a new look.
Thank you to the Martha Stewart Living team for another inspiring issue!
Tuesday, October 4th, 2011
Catching up on my mile high pile of design magazines is always a challenge for me. For instance, I made it through 3 new design magazines in one night while catching up on favorite TV shows, but then it took another evening of late night scanning to get it all in the computer for me to share with you. It’s worth it though for all the inspiring ideas and products I discover each time.
I’ll start with the most recent issue of House Beautiful because there were so many beautiful homes and fun features that it is really hard to narrow down to a top few. So here are the hightlights, but I recommend you pick up your own copy soon!
This is an example of one of the fun features in the latest issue. With so many social holidays coming up in the next few months, now is a perfect time to make sure you have options for setting the table. These linens by Sferra are offered in so many sumptuous colors that I’m having a hard time picking my favorite! Of course that Sunset napkin is a top pick since that’s my favorite color these days, but I could just as easily go for the Modern combination or so many of the other options. Which would you pick?
I don’t always like the designs featured in the Instant Room column, but this one is very well done. The ottoman fabric and design is lovely, and the fabric for the couch adds interest without being overpowering. Overall, it’s a balanced room with a mix of shapes, textures and subtle patterns that I would be happy to live in.
How creative and stunning is this bathroom wall feature?! What a great way to add a waterproof punch of color and pattern without overpowering a master bathroom. It feels so fresh.
I like when designers utilize mainstream bedding like these sheets from Dwell Studio. It’s all about the high-low mix, and while Dwell Studio’s bedding isn’t exactly cheap, it’s certainly not as crazy expensive as many other lines. This room could easily be recreated using pieces from popular retailers without compromising many details.
The high ceilings in this living room are brought down slightly with the gold ceiling finish and pendant fixture. Even though you see the lavendar and green first, the repetition of gold in the ceiling, curtain rod, pendant and cocktail table ties the vertical space together. The spun sugar feel of the cocktail table is airy, fresh and divine. A chunky wood cocktail table would have thrown off the balance of the space.
I love these stairs. What a way to honor the material and highlight craftsmanship. The rest of the house is not to be missed. (Consider this a teaser!)
Finally, a sneak peak of the annual House Beautiful Kitchen, designed this year by celebrity chef, Tyler Florence. The overall kitchen is well done, but I wanted to highlight this unusual choice: upholstering the kitchen table chairs in 5 different fabrics on 2 styles of chairs. I don’t think I could live with this much difference in color and palette. Maybe it works better in person? I do like the idea of the hostess chairs at the ends being in a different fabric than the side chairs. Maybe if they had just used 2 green fabrics it wouldn’t be so jarring. Thoughts?
So that’s the highlights of the latest House Beautiful. Be sure to pick up a copy and let me know what your favorite spaces are.
Photo credits: House Beautiful, October 2011.
Friday, September 23rd, 2011
So in the time I’ve been meaning to scan the best images from the latest issue of Elle Decor many things happened, pushing it onto tomorrow’s to do list. Over and over again. Guess what happened? Before I could get through the Septmeber issue, I got October’s issue in the mail. Oops! So I guess this isn’t quite “Hot Off the Press,” but I still wanted to share the great spaces and details I enjoyed from this issue. If the weekend isn’t too bad maybe I’ll actually get the October issues of Elle Decor and House Beautiful up for you too. Maybe.
Once I’d saved all my favorite images I realized what stood out to me in this issue was really the juxtaposition of very different approaches to similar spaces. For instance, here is a conservatory that is so bright and filled with light that I can’t imagine having a gloomy day in here. It’s an expansive space and fairly formal feeling.
Here is a porch that I’m sure is normally flooded with light thanks to those large windows and high ceilings. But the dark shades are a bit of a color surprise and allow the space to become a cozy den like space. The furniture is more casual and curl up ready. The dogs clearly have the run of the space, and the concrete floor is fuss-free.
Here is the dining room from the same house as the conservatory. I love the mix of furniture and those peacocks at the back are spectacular! It took me multiple looks at this photo before I saw the white peacock on the right. The color palette is crisp and vivid. The furniture is not overpowered by the homeowner’s impressive art collection.
In contrast, this dining room in an urban loft has a dark warmth thanks to the giant original beams, large wood table and vintage chairs, and the big bookcase. It has a library meets dining room casualness that feels inviting in a totally different way.
Now I have two offices that look nothing like typical offices to me, but perhaps that’s because they really work at the kitchen table with their laptop most of the time (no idea if that’s really true).
I love the vivid peacock blues of the wall, lamps and chairs that so brilliantly pull the colors from the painting by Kim Douglas Wiggins on the back wall. I love that painting! The crisp white trim, desk and rug help balance all that saturated blue.
Or you could chose to work in a “chamber of curiosities” filled with botanical drawings, 19th century taxidermy songbirds and Pedro Friedeberg’s Hand chair. It’s the complete commitment to a style that I love about each of these rooms. If something is your passion, then embrace it!
The twine faux taxidermy head reminds me of Ballard Designs’ recent collection of rattan bull heads to hang on the wall in a similar fashion.
Finally, I love the ironwork holding up the draped fabric over the bed and windows in this Master Bedroom. Adding the lantern hanging from one of the branches is a brilliant touch of whimsy that reminds me of dark stories set in times of old like the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, where walking through dark forests with only a lantern would be a common occurrence. The faux bois wall treatment subtly references back to the branches.
Or you could have a masculine bedroom filled with lots of rich woods and leather. It’s all about solid sturdy pieces in this room with enough visual weight to balance the visual weight of those beams and pillars. I love the arms on the Frits Henningsen armchairs.
Are you drawn to one room more than the other? I love how many options there are out there for decorating a home to truly reflect your personal style. That’s why I can’t ever design in just one style. I can select what would work in my house and my life, but every client has a different answer to the questions “what do you like?” and “how do you want your home to feel?” Translating that into a home they will love is an honor and privilege.
All photos via Elle Decor
Thursday, February 10th, 2011
It’s time for another edition of my favorite photos from House Beautiful. You can tell we’re deep in the depths of dreary winter when magazine covers look like this. A light-filled room in bright cheerful colors helps remind us sunny days will return, even if Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and we’re stuck with plenty more winter ahead of us.
I really like these rooms by Alexandra Angle because they all have intesting but subtle details that add to the rooms rather than detracting. The top left image is a reading nook. It’s difficult to tell with the cropped photo, but it seems like the cushion is much larger than a typical window seat cushion, so you could really relax and spread out like on a full size mattress. I could see a pile of kids on here reading books when they are little, and a group of teen girls gathered here gabbing, reading magazines, and talking about boys. Or maybe it’s where mom escapes to read a little Jane Austen (or Jonathan Franzen) in peace and quiet.
The double office would be a great little space to take care of personal documents, and with a desk for each person you don’t have to worry about someone moving that bill on you. Clearly these aren’t home offices, but most people don’t need that much space and storage for managing their home life. A low bookshelf or cabinet fitted with file storage and boxes for basic supplies would be sufficient to provide a functional work space with these desks. I really like the legs on those desks, the small lamp and the artwork leaning on the desks.
There is a nice symmetry to the bedroom with the matching dressers and rugs, but the different lamps and artwork mix it up. I’m loving the green lamp on the left by John Derian. Where can I fit that in my house? (That’s one of the biggest dangers in being an interior designer – we see soo many beautiful objects, fabrics, etc and it’s difficult to not want to enjoy it all in our own homes.)
The detail on these kitchen cabinets by Garrow Kedigian were inspired by the details on the windows in this NYC pre-war apartment. Paired with slab Calcacatta Gold marble countertops and backsplash the look is fresh but timeless. Pairing this look with an Artemide glass fixture (top left corner of the photo), 18th century bamboo chairs and a modern wood and steel table is truly a contemporary spin.
This is a fun feature they have added to the magazine that really shows how a room can be transformed by design professionals in one (long) day into a more functional and beautiful space, even utilizing mostly off the shelf items. What’s really nice is they break the process down into all the steps that took place over the course of that one day, from analyzing the space, to shopping, to setting up the space and trying out different pieces in different locations, to final staging details. These are the steps we take with our clients but the process is not as condensed, which allows us the time to develop custom solutions and evolve the design over a series of meetings with our clients in which we get to know their lifestyle and personal style in more detail.
Would you allow a designer to make over a room in your home (other than a kitchen) in one day? Would you feel it was a benefit utilizing retail products or would you prefer to mix them with custom or to-the-trade pieces?