Thursday, January 12th, 2012
I find that once I start noticing a new finish or color around me, it suddenly starts appearing everywhere I look. The latest instance of this? Gold. Not 1980s brass gold that feels cheesy. No, now it has a shimmery sophistication that I’m open to for projects. To show you what I mean I’ve gathered a few pieces to highlight how this trend is popping up throughout the interior design world.
First up: Lighting
Here are three examples of chandeliers that embrace the gold trend in a modern interpretation. The one on the left would fit in well in a mid-century modern home or a transitional home with a youthful attitude. The middle one could be a nice addition of texture and playful shapes to an entry way. The pendant on the right references the traditional shades of Morocco but would be totally appropriate in a sophisticated downtown condo.
Here are a few tile samples and accessories I pulled together that highlight how metallics are popping up across multiple categories in fresh new ways.
I’m loving the large format tiles with raised honeycomb and ovals patterns on top of solids with a bit of color variation to them (hard to see in these photos). Imagine a whole bathroom wall in the honeycomb pattern with a floating white rectangular sink in front of it, stunning! The long narrow tile would be a great accent between solid large format tiles to add punch and glamour to a minimal modern space.
The small square dish is from West Elm and is currently being used as a key tray on my sideboard. I love the abstract pattern and how the gold lines aren’t solid everywhere.
The stag ring is in a bronze finish, but I still consider that part of the new metallic trend. A fun find from Target, I love the surprise looks I get whenever I wear it.
The cream crackle finish tile and small crushed glass accent tile could be combined to create a sophisticated transitional back splash without reading as gold, but coordinating well with gold accessories nearby. In fact, here is an example of the tile used in just that way on a recent project to update a standard builder kitchen in a condo and inject the home owner’s personal taste without going too flashy to turn away future buyers.
While gathering fabrics for that same project I found all of these great examples of modern textures and patterns in metallic tones that would fit right into this sophisticated urban condo. Against the deep espresso stained bamboo floors we installed, these gold accents are really going to pop. The bronze fabric on the lower left has a great tone on tone pattern that doesn’t really show up in this photo unless you study the lower left corner of the sample. Another example of a traditional pattern made modern by stripping it down to it’s basic form and doing it in one color instead of lots of colors.
Now I started gathering images for this post back in October, and in the months since others have noticed the trend too.
I spotted this gold wallcovering in the December/January issue of House Beautiful.
And in December, Elle Decor featured Gold in the Trend Alert column.
Gold’s resurgence is going to continue in upcoming seasons according to the trends spotted at High Point Furniture Market this fall and the forecasts I’ve received from trend spotting experts. So keep your eyes open and watch it start popping up more and more.
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
Friday, September 17th, 2010
Inspiration, round 2. I find it fascinating that someone I know thought this was the best issue of Elle Decor they’d seen in a while. But when I scanned through it to find my top pictures, I was underwhelmed. Maybe it’s more of a slow burn issue: I’ll get into reading all the articles in depth and suddenly get new appreciation for the designs. Or not.
Case in point: this is one of my favorite images – and it’s an ad. Granted, I’ve had favorites that I wanted to share in previous magazines that were ads, but there was always too much good editorial content to waste a spot on an ad. But this kitchen is beautiful in it’s own right, plus it’s well staged, well lit, and the copy tells a story. Doesn’t that stroller throw it off from expectation just right? It’s showing the viewer that this kitchen is not only beautiful but it’s functional for real life. There’s food in the cupboards that requires real cooking. Those copper pots aren’t just a collection for display, they get used. And you thought it was just a cabinetry ad.
How lovely is this Alpine retreat? I’m not a hunter, so as much as I appreciate the beauty of animal hides, I’m not always completely comfortable around them. But this room pushes the limit. The pillows and stools covered in springbok pelts are still beautiful in all their natural coloration. But I’d feel odd leaning against those pillows, I can’t lie. Nonetheless, there is something so chic and clean about this room. The Serge Mouille floor lamp and navy sectional against the rough hewn wood walls, antlers and stacks of firewood framed in white is a beautiful balance. The bleached floors keep the room from feeling too dark.
I’m not normally a purple girl. But this room has a sofa warm quality thanks to those gray couches and amazing window treatments. The flounces on the valances remind me of a wedding dress, in the best way possible.
This is a punchy living room with a great mix of styles. Bold contemporary art influences the color palette, but the furniture pulls from diverse periods. A 1940s sofa, a contemporary faceted coffee table in three laquered finishes, a traditional table lamp from the 1950s, and an 18th century chair. A difficult mix to achieve without it feeling choppy and disjointed, but when it’s done right, it works. What’s interesting is that this is just one side of a double sided living room. There are two sofas back to back across from this sofa, and there are chairs upholstered in orange velvet on the other side of the room, to tie in with the oriental rug.
Friday, August 20th, 2010
Time for a new issue of Elle Decor to drool over. Here’s my favorite pictures from the current issue.
This is a cool column that Elle Decor does every issue: it focuses on one area of the house and pulls together examples of these spaces from previous issues.
I love books. I love shelving. I love the different ways you can mix books and decorative objects together on shelves. My parents are both librarians by training, so it’s no surprise that when I was a kid I turned my own book collection into a library (complete with checkout cards in inside pockets – remember those? – and library cards which I passed out to all my family members.) I don’t follow the Dewey Decimal system in my own library, but I definitely group by subject matter. How would you find anything otherwise? Color coding your books is a recent trend, and it can look great, but I like to find my books with minimal effort.
I think this feature shows a nice mix of traditional to contemporary libraries. Notice how artwork is hung directly on the shelves in the bottom two photos.
What a peaceful bedroom. I’m not always interested in leaving a room white, but this is a great example of how to do it well. Love the texture and color of those bedside lamps. Simple clean linens are unfussy. But it’s the photos over the bed that pull me in every time. I like that it’s a collection of images, and they are a nice size for that wall.
What a great kid’s room! The colors are bold but yet they don’t overwhelm since pattern is used to tie the colors together. The big basket with lacrosse sticks, golf clubs and hockey sticks is a great example of how to corral their gear. This basket was probably used for toys when they were younger and easily transitioned to gear as they picked up new hobbies. Plus I love the transportation map on the wall! (I’ll never forget my background in transit planning.)
What a gorgeous kitchen. The palette is restrained and it floats like an island inside this massive Miami house. The textured tile on the outside of the walls adds some interest and frames the kitchen. I really like the use of wood paneling on the back wall to break up the white cabinetry without using two finishes on the cabinets. And the toekick on the island is extra high and looks like it’s stainless steel, which is a neat touch you don’t notice at first.
Finally, I like the arrangement of artwork in this living room, which ties the color palette together (with that purple-pink-black painting). I like the finish on the cabinets in the kitchen and the fun colorful rug they added which really adds fun personality to the space (in a non-permanent way). And how adorable is that dog bed?!
What shelter magazines do you read? Are their ones you’d like me to feature? Just wondering. Have a great weekend.
Wednesday, July 21st, 2010
Have you ever tried to find a light fixture and felt overwhelmed by all of the options out there? Well imagine having access to every lighting catalog out there, and then try not to hyperventilate.
That’s why it is so important to have a great lighting team to work with that knows every catalog they have and where they are most likely to find that fixture you have in your mind but aren’t sure really exists. My favorite local resources (in alphabetical order) are CitiLights Lighting (across from the Basilica in downtown Minneapolis), Filament Lighting (on Excelsior Blvd in St. Louis Park), and Lappin Lighting (in the warehouse district of downtown Minneapolis). They all have great staff that know their products and are fun to work with.
But sometimes you see a light fixture in a magazine and you just know it’s the one. You start daydreaming about how it would totally transform that boring front hall. Often lighting ends up being the last thing we select on a project so that it fits well with all the other players in the room. But sometimes a fixture is so special you just have to go for it and build the room around it.
When I saw these gorgeous photos in Elle Decor recently I had one of those daydream moments. The photography shows off these fixtures so beautifully and it’s rare that you get to see how they cast light in a pure setting like this. But which one to pick? I’m a kid in a donut shop who can’t just pick JUST ONE thing (candy is nice and all, but there are so many yummy types of donuts, scones and croissants!)
Drool. I love how it pops against that dark background! The modern asymmetrical shape could work as an unexpected touch to make a traditional room feel fresh.
Not usually my style, but it’s a fun spin on a chandelier with a more casual vibe.
Hello gorgeous! I love the Moroccan vibe of the top light. And is it just me, or does the bottom light remind you of a donut (in a really good way)?
Clean, simple and chic. Thomas O’Brien gets it right again (the clip on desk lamp at the start of this post is another of his designs).
Aren’t the patterns on the wall and floor amazing? Think how magical these shadows would look in a dining room or bedroom at night.
Sources: All photos from Elle Decor September 2009.
Lighting Sources: Visual Comfort, Matter, Currey & Co., Niche Modern, Visual Comfort, Oly, IKEA, and Moooi.
Tags: Citilights Lighting, Currey & Co., Elle Decor, Filament Lighting, IKEA, Lappin Lighting, lighting, Matter, Moooi., Niche Modern, Oly, Visual Comfort
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