Tuesday, April 17th, 2012
Even though the weather in Minnesota can’t seem to make up it’s mind if it should be a cool Spring or an early Summer, the itch to get outside is hard to resist this time of year.
Since the lilac trees are beginning to bloom (meaning the morel mushrooms will be popping up soon!), I’m going to start planning my summer outdoor decor now and remain optimistic that the warm weather will soon be here to stay.
So what items have caught my eye lately?
First I received this email from Crate and Barrel that heavily features this year’s accent color, Tangerine Tango.
Of course I’m digging the orange watering can and wishing for some orange cushions to liven up my standard stacking outdoor chairs we got at Target years ago. I also love the rustic style of the Driftwood Birdhouse as a foil for the modern boldness of the orange accents.
We already have 2 Emmet Lounge Chairs in green from Room and Board we got from a friend when he moved to San Francisco last summer. They’ve held up beautifully without any covers this winter, and they’ve been a great punch of color out the windows in the middle of the bleak winter. So how do I tie the orange and green together? Here are my inspiration boards showing the current state of the deck (it really doesn’t look like anything special in this photo) and my goal end results.
First off, what does this deck look like now? Well, the top left picture shows it in action the FIRST WEEKEND after we moved in. Our friend, Tom, was visiting for business so we had no time to wait before playing hosts. So what do you do? Send the guys off to golf, set up the patio furniture, grill a giant platter of veggies (foreground) and some steaks, open that giant bottle of Heineken beer you got as a gift, and enjoy the company of friends.
Now it’s a year later (almost) and our plans for the deck are pretty settled in our minds.
Step 1: Strip the red stain off the deck and flip/repair any damaged boards.
Step 2: Remove the existing railing.
Step 3: Remove the slanting and shallow depth steps to the yard. (They are tricky for kids and in the winter)
Step 4: Install longer, deeper steps in one location.
Step 5: Install new square posts along the perimeter.
Step 6: Stain the deck, posts and steps a warm gray color.
Step 7: Install a cable rail system around the deck for a more open and modern aesthetic.
Ok, you have that visual in mind now? Now here is how I’ll furnish the deck, utilizing the existing wood slat table and chairs (seen above).
First, I’ll use our existing umbrella that looks similar to the example above, though it’s in more of a narrow two tone gray stripe pattern.
Then pull the punch of orange I’m craving together with our green Emmet Lounge Chairs by mixing in throw pillows with large botanical prints in orange and green.
Though I’d love to buy the Layered Side Table in orange, it makes more sense in white when placed between the green chairs. I like that the width of this piece easily allows for both loungers to have a spot for their drink AND snacks.
The gray dining chairs will get a punch of orange with the striped throw pillows that pull together the gray colors of the house, deck and umbrella.
The deck, front entry, and garden will all get accessories of their own in the form of large gray planters, a new doormat (it’s a Fox!), stone lanterns along the paths for mood lighting, and sculptural pieces to tuck in amongst the plantings.
Finally, a deep orange watering can will inspire me to help with the gardening duties, which is key since my husband is planting a huge vegetable garden for the first time this year. I can’t wait for all that kale, tomatoes, cucumbers and fresh herbs to take over my kitchen!
Since the Fox doormat is sold out, I’ll be recreating this with the plain coir doormat I already have, a stencil and some paint. Easy peasy!
I can’t wait to get started on all these great projects (after I finish the nursery I’m working on now, of course.)
Ad from Crate & Barrel
Photo of my deck taken by me
13. Fox Doormat (no longer available)
Tags: cable railing, color palette, Crate & Barrel, deck, gray, orange, patio, pillows, planters, Room and Board, table, VivaTerra, West Elm
Posted in Design & Home Living Tips, Inspiration Boards | 2 Comments »
Friday, March 2nd, 2012
I saw a fabric with brilliant turquoise and raspberry colors in it the other day (wish I could remember where!), and it popped up in my brain again last night and I suddenly thought, “Blog Post!”
So here are some fun rooms that incorporate these two bold colors, whether in a large splash or a subtle mix of accessories.
1. A bold wall color choice for a hallway is balanced by the large black and white photo, an occasional chair with a subtle pattern, and a floral carpet with a blue background and raspberry flowers.
2. Fabrics on a throw pillow and seat cushion and a Rothko style painting bring drama without overpowering the small multi-purpose room.
3. See how well those turquoise throw pillows work with the raspberry throw tucked into the sofa? The hanging pendant repeats the blue.
4. This banquette is retro with a modern flair. Throw pillows and curtains tie the color palette together.
1. A kid’s bedroom is a great place to embrace bold color, especially on walls which can be easily repainted if they tire of it. Throw pillows and a bench cushion repeat the color.
2. I showed you this bold office not too long ago, and I couldn’t resist adding it here. Saturation is a beautiful thing, when done well.
3. A dining room with an oriental wallcovering and mirror get a modern twist with the turquoise benches and accessories.
4. This nursery with a great mix of artwork shows how easily this bold color could transition from nursery to an older child’s room (like in image 1)
5. Don’t think living rooms can’t handle these bold colors. A bright sofa, upholstered bench, and colorful curtains make for a vibrant room for lively conversations.
1. Raspberry seems to be embraced for bedrooms for all ages. Here is a young girl’s bedroom with a playful Tord Boonjte paper chandelier.
2. This bedroom for the daughter of a former Domino editor mixes classic design pieces (Eames chair, Knoll Saarinen table) with modern bedding for an eclectic look that can transition into young adulthood. Those pieces could easily work in her home the rest of her life.
3. Why should bathrooms always be in calming spa colors?
4. Check out this bold living room: the drama is provided by the wallpaper and window treatments, while the furniture is done in quieter tones to allow the walls to shine. Notice the trim has all been painted a red-pink to disappear by complementing the walls.
5. A grown up bedroom where the bedding, chairs and fresh flowers provide punch against the soft walls and gorgeous views outside.
1. From Children’s Spaces by Wilson
2. Dining Room by Sarah Tuttle via sweetiepie blog
3. Unknown. Perhaps from decor8 blog years ago
1. Kid’s Bedroom- inspired by The Incredible Book Eating Boy, from Cookie magazine
2. Office from Elle Decor 9-2011
3. Dining Room from Living Etc.
4. Nursery – Ashley Rose photography via Dwell blog 4-18-11
5. Living Room from Living Etc.
1. Bedroom from Cookie magazine
2. Unknown source. Domino editor’s home.
3. Bathroom from Ideal Home
4. Living Room by Katie Ridder via Elle Decor
5. Bedroom by Angie Hranowsky via Charleston Home magazine
Friday, February 24th, 2012
This bright bedroom caught my eye when I was flipping through my files, and it made me wonder what other bold, colorful bedrooms I had to inspire this winter afternoon with the snow swirling outside my window.
I love the crisp, classic color palette in this room with plenty of white to break up the large expanses of color, such as the bench at the foot of the bed. The inlay design on the nightstands works well with the pattern on the bedskirt. The red detail on the roman shades echos the red border on the sheets. And did you notice they framed the red bench with blue twill tape under the nailheads? Nice detail.
This is an old example from Domino magazine, but I love that they embraced the raspberry and lime palette in a way that could easily be updated down the line. The headboard is faux – a nice detailing using a lighter shade of the wall color. And the bed linens could easily be swapped out for a neutral linen duvet (like this one by Room and Board) to allow the walls to shine. Or a bold green and blue pattern like this duvet from Serena & Lily would emphasize the wall color while introducing a new accent color.
This purple and pale pink room is an odd mix with the bold large scale pattern on the rug and a medium scale more traditional floral print on the upholstered screen acting as a headboard. The pink trim is unexpected, but help to tie in the lighter tones in the floral print. I couldn’t rest in this room, but to each their own.
I love the mood of this bedroom. The Chaing Mai dragon wallpaper from Schumacher is one of my favorite crazy prints, and the almost chartreuse headboard is bold on it’s own, but also serves to break up this bold print. The vintage looking bedside lamp has great personality, and really adds to the room’s style. I wish the nightstand was a bit larger so the lamp didn’t take up the majority of the surface so there was room for a glass of water, a clock and book.
Finally, we have this palm beach vibe bedroom by Celerie Kemble. To me it looks crisp and fresh, just like the first bedroom above. You can see there is pattern introduced both in the headboard (what a task to get those leaves to line up across the creases!) and the wallpaper by the vanity (upper left). Again, simple bed linens with an accent border color were utilized to balance all the green on the window treatments and side chair. I’m guessing this room is typically flooded with light and can handle all this brightness.
So the question is: do you prefer a bright, bold bedroom or a calm softer color palette to ease you into sleep? Or does a balance of the two suit you best?
1. House Beautiful 2-12 by Lindsey Coral Harper.
3. Living Etc. 3-09
4. Schumacher, Design by Christopher Kennedy.
5. Celerie Kemble, “To Your Taste”
Thursday, May 27th, 2010
Rather than move to a new home, more and more people are investing in their current homes. The classic conundrum is whether to design with a neutral palette to make sure that when the client is ready to sell it won’t scare off potential buyers, or to design without thought to a future owner and just do what makes you happy.
I’ve always subscribed to the philosophy that it’s YOUR home NOW, so enjoy it while you live in it!
If a future homeowner doesn’t like your style, they can change it. Frankly, often the potential buyers don’t like the overly neutral spaces that are devoid of personality, and they’ll want to change it up when they move in anyway. Certainly it’s possible to go overboard and make a home so custom that it will be a challenge to find a buyer that fits it as well. But there is a lot of ground in between these extremes.
Products that are installed in a home tend to make people especially cautious. But injecting personality doesn’t have to overwhelm a space if there is a good balance established between pattern and solids.
For example, this is a bathroom shower that I worked on with Mercury Mosaics recently that achieves that balance well.
Here is the Before condition. They have since ripped out all the tile and tub (the previous tile installation was bad and the walls are falling apart behind it) and built a new shower in the same location.
We started with elevations in AutoCAD for each wall and surface in the shower to show the client how the tile would work around the existing glass block window.
But let’s be honest. With a shower as complex as this, it’s hard for most people to visualize how all these pieces would look put together.
So we created a special perspective rendering of the shower in SketchUp so we could show the client what the shower would look like from several angles.
Now isn’t that easier to understand?!
We even did a version with the glass walls and shower door so that they could see where the glass would be placed in relation to the tile design on the top of the knee wall.
Now comes the fun part where you see how pattern vs. solids, colors vs. neutrals plays out.
Here are some shots of the tiles laid out and ready for the tile installer to pick up. All the mosaics are mesh mounted for easy installation.
Here is the tile which will run over the top and down the front of the knee wall. The gap in the middle is where the two planes of the wall will meet, so they were about to add edge glazed tiles to the end of the top surface where they would be exposed.
Here are the three sections of Bubbles that will wrap around the main walls of the shower. Don’t you love that bold mix of colors that wind like a river through the riverbed of darker tiles?!
And a detail of the bullnose half Bubbles created for the ends of the walls to correspond to the bullnose edged field tiles that will surround the band.
Here is a shot of two pieces of cove base molding with edge glazing for the bottom front corner of the knee wall. This is the color of the main field tile in the shower. This is the level of detail required on a project like this to make it really work smoothly for everyone involved (especially the installer).
Excited to see the final installation shots? So are we! Once we get photos I’ll be sure to share with you.
Now the final question to mull over is: is this design bold enough in personality to make the homeowner thrilled without being so overdone that it would scare away potential buyers if they ever decide to sell? (But why would they want to sell with a bathroom like this?!)
Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010
Celerie Kemble is an rising star in the interior design community. Based in NYC but raised in Palm Beach, her mother is an interior designer as well, so she was exposed to great design from an early age. I had the chance to meet her a few years back at an event promoting a line of textiles she designed, and I even got a photo with her! Unfortunately, the person who took the photo gave the camera to her techie, who deleted my picture with Celerie (sadness!) But I’m sure I’ll get the chance to fix that in the future.
I finally got around to reading Celerie’s book “To Your Taste: Creating Modern Rooms with a Traditional Twist,” and while our styles can be very different at times, I love both her bold use of color and her restrained application of color and pattern. The book explores her own personal design evolution, and then covers how you can create your own personal style. It’s worth checking out from the library and seeing what inspires you.
Here are a few of my favorite images from the book.
Last week I wrote about using bold greens, and here is a great example of incorporating a bold green and bold patterns, but tempering them with restful expanses of white. It’s fun and playful, but still retains a polished hint of traditional.
Don’t you just love these palettes? I love the use of orange in different color palettes, either as a dominant element or a supporting player. It’s always fun to see the paint, fabric, wallcovering, and trim details pulled together to tell the story.
Lest you think all she can do is bold, check out the lighter palette of this breakfast nook. Spring yellows, greens and white are layered with textures. The chandelier, the bamboo style chairs, tweedy fabrics on the banquette, ruffle edged plates on the wall, and wainscotting on the wall and ceiling add layers of interest that the eye only observes slowly.
Can I just say I love the mix in this small dining room? The morse code like dots pattern on the banquette and drapes is fabulous! The tree like base on the table is textural but subtle in black. The metalic finish on the slim chairs is unexpected, but works. And the faux snakeskin fabric on the chairs is one of my favorites from her line of fabrics. I can’t wait to have dining room chairs that I can reupholster in something similar. They look so fancy, but wipe clean with a wet cloth. Excellent!
So can you relate to any of these rooms? Do you like the mix of traditional and modern elements? How do YOU define your personal style? I’d love to hear your definitions!
Wednesday, February 24th, 2010
The long Minnesota winter has hidden the grass, trees and flowers for too long. I’m itching for bright green as far as the eye can see. But since Mother Nature isn’t ready to start spring, I guess these rooms filled with bold greens will have to inspire me for now.
It’s easy to see the power of tile in these kitchens – talk about a wow factor! But are you bold enough to not only tile the walls to the ceiling in shades of green and blue but also paint your cabinets a bold green? It may be too much for some, but that kitchen certainly packs a lot of personality.
These living rooms have just the right balance of green and neutrals. The armoire and coffee table add punch to this casual living room on the left. The pillows on the couch serve to pull the palette together.
The living room in the middle might be one of my favorites, if only for that kelly green armchair. I would consider breaking and entering to make that mine (if I knew where the house was in the first place). But I guess the look could be achieved with no criminal activity by finding the right vintage chair and reupholstering it in the perfect shade of silk velvet. Notice how the large plant adds height, drawing your eyes up to the high ceilings, accentuated by those silky spring green curtains. Wonderful!
Finally, why not treat green as the focal point – upholster a sofa and ottoman in rich shades of green, add coordinating pillows and window treatments, and then top it all off with plants that provide the variations of green that nature does best.
Now these bedrooms clearly demonstrate the power of paint. Without that vivid saturated green on the left, the bedroom would be nice, but not eye catching. By using two shades of green paint, a “headboard” was created on the right to give height and interest to an otherwise simple bed (though the bold pink bedding is hardly tame). But it is the kelly green bed in the middle that I can most see recreating in my own home. The bold color is perfect for a guest room, where it won’t overwhelm, especially when tempered with lots of white. I appreciate how the woven shades on the windows and the cowhide pillows add texture and whimsy, respectively.
Green can add a punch to other rooms as well. A bright cushion, throw and accessories liven up this corner of a home office. Kids tend to be more comfortable with bold colors, so their rooms are a perfect place to experiment with mixing together bright shades. But since they tend to tire of a look quickly, be sure to implement this palette in easy to update accessories, like the bedding and stool, as seen above.
Finally, green can be incorporated into a home in truly breathtakingly surprising ways. For pure wow factor, the winner would have to be this ivy wall in a Manhattan apartment! The (all-white) kitchen is just up the stairs, where the homeowner can look down on their reflecting pond and enjoy their own private calm oasis in the city.
So how can you going to bring green into your home? Or how have you already incorporated green in your home? For example, I’m sitting in my office with walls in two shades of bright green with accents in white, brown, pink and orange. It’s bold, cheerful, and stimulating (just what an office should be, especially in a dreary Minnesota winter).