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
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011
This afternoon I was reading an article in Sherwin-Williams magazine, Stir, by Jackie Jordan, their director of Color Marketing, when I was struck by a couple of comments she made. Having discovered a photography book of homes of designers from the mid-century era, she was struck by:
“a distinct commonality among the various homes: They were lived-in, unpretentious and unassuming, yet still beautifully crafted, detailed and personally curated. A visitor would feel very much at ease in any of them. … As designers and architects, I’m sure you occasionally get the comment from your clients, “Your house must be amazing!” And I’m sure it is — but perhaps in a very unexpected way, just like the homes of these famous design icons.”
I do indeed hear that reaction from people I meet when they hear what is my profession/ passion. The challenge of course for so many designers is that we are constantly discovering new products and therefore it can be difficult to select a piece for your own home when you know there are so many other options out there and you may have not found “THE RIGHT” piece yet. Not quite the same as a plumber’s wife with a leaky sink, but you get the idea.
Somehow it’s so much easier to see a client’s taste and determine the best products for their home in part because there is a limited time window we are working in. Our own homes are constantly evolving and the layering process is never ending. So where does that leave me? With a dining room table surrounded by folding chairs.
Why? Because having moved recently we finally have enough space to comfortably fit a dining room table that can fit a crowd. In our old home we had to set up the table and chairs, and then pack them up at the end of a dinner party to fit at the back of a closet.
We’ve selected a beautiful dining room table we can both agree upon, but now I can’t find the perfect chair! Mind you I’ve been thinking about this for YEARS. Of course, the new house impacted the selection somewhat because of the space and style of the home. The biggest challenge is that I don’t want anything expected or overdone. It shouldn’t look like any typical dining room in Dwell magazine just because it’s a mid-century home. It shouldn’t be obviously mid-century or too classic Danish design because that room already has three Danish teak pieces and it would be overkill. I want comfortable chairs (I mean really, why WOULDN’T you want comfortable dining room chairs?!). And they need to be easy to clean since kids spill and cats scratch.
If the IKEA chairs above were still available in orange we would have gladly used those for our dining room. Alas, no longer available.
But I think we might have a winner, or at least a top two.
Here is the table, for your reference. Reclaimed wood plank top with cast metal base. Slightly industrial but with clean lines and a little ornamentation. The chairs above were all considered at one point or another. Some were too expensive, some too plain, some didn’t feel right with the table base. For all I know I might go back to one of these or mix them in with another selection.
It’s funny how something catches your attention but you didn’t realize it until the third or fourth time. I snapped a picture of these chairs at the Hickory Chair showroom last month when I was there for a book signing. I’ve always liked them, but hadn’t given them a lot of thought before.
The next week I spotted these chairs on designer Linda Engler’s website and thought “Oh, those could work for our dining room!” Didn’t realize it was the same chair yet.
Then reading the latest issue of House Beautiful last week (about a week after the second sighting) I flipped to this picture:
I quickly pulled out my phone, snapped a picture, noting the manufacturer and made a note to research it when I got home. Oddly enough, I spotted this right before Jackie Jordan, from Sherwin-Williams (see above), gave her annual presentation on color trends for next year. Wacky!
Looking at the website it all suddenly came together. It has a unique shape that doesn’t look like any retail products. It is comfortable, easy to clean (with the right material choice), and not a full upholstered back (another wish list item). The price is high, but it might just be worth it.
Unless this chair wins me over. It might be too classic Danish, and reupholstering is a must (the cushion is shot), but the curved back is so comfortable and allows you to crook your arm over the top in a delightful way (perfect for long intellectual or silly conversations after dinner). I found this when I went in to buy a different dining room chair set and it halted the decision process.
Now neither of these are cheap options, but for pieces like this I’d rather save up for investment pieces I love and will use for the rest of my life. These can be reupholstered in 20 years when there are no more kids to spill on them (but I’ll have to plan for grandchildren’s spills). Remember my mantra:
Buy the best and you’ll only cry once. - Miles Redd
So what will I choose? Goodness knows, but that’s the fun of it. I love the pursuit, the visualization exercise of figuring out what looks best together. I love doing it for clients and I love doing it for myself. Think of all the chairs I’ve looked at to narrow it down to those options. Now you can see why it’s faster for me to find great chair options for clients – I have so many already in my brain, on my computer and in my reference library. Let me spare you the same fate. Let me pick your dining room chairs and table for you and you can spend your time doing what YOU love.
1. Sideboard by Knoll, design by Christofi?
4. Chairs by IKEA, design by Pam Hill
5. Composition by Fox Interiors
6. Fox Interiors
7. Engler Studio Interior Design
8. Photo by Victoria Pearson, design by Parrish Chilcoat & Joe Lucas, House Beautiful, November 2011.
9. it’s a secret (I don’t want you stealing my chairs!)
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
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?
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.