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, 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!
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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Friday, March 18th, 2011
Spring is hinting at a return of all things bring and cheerful. But until I see a week of 50 degree days I know not to get too hopeful. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have spring fever and start craving bright, sunny, and upbeat spaces that look filled with sunshine and warm air. Here are few favorites to help you through this transition season.
The light floors, walls and ceiling open up this living room and allow the bright colors room to breathe. The open chandelier isn’t visually heavy so it doesn’t weigh down the space.
Spring and summer I start bringing bright colors and patterns back into my wardrobe in more frequent rotation. The same is true with interiors. Why not go for it with a mobile of paper lanterns? This works over a couch in a living room with high ceilings too. Add a fun border or wallpaper to add pattern to a otherwise simple room. Notice that the crib and couch both have black frames and white bedding/ cushions? The pops of colors come from the lights, curtains, border and throw pillows. The one olive green side table is a fun addition.
The green backsplash is the perfect fresh cut grass color to remind me of the grass finally breaking through the melting snow piles to reclaim their turf (literally). So cheerful!
A few well placed accessories transform a home office nook into a springy destination. And the daffodils on the windowsill? What better representation of spring is there? I love buying the bunches of fresh daffodils during the American Cancer Society annual fundraising drive.
This is the way I want summer to feel. Sitting on a big veranda, lounging amongst the cushions, surrounded by greenery with interesting leaves, and a little cafe table where I can have a morning cup of iced tea and a scone. Oh gosh, I’m so ready for it… maybe this wasn’t a good idea.
But if I’m going to torture myself, let’s go for the full fantasy.
This shingled beach house says Cape Cod or the Hamptons in the height of summer to me. You can even see a bicycle leaning against the wall on the left, ready for me to peddle into town for a lobster roll from the best fresh seafood shack.
Or perhaps you’d prefer to escape to your rustic cabin with modern details. A modern sink and faucet are juxtapositioned against the raw wood planks and vintage mirror for an unfussy minimal aesthetic that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
In the end, the best part of summer is really the ability to hang out with friends outside, and the long nights which seem to never end and no one wants to go home. Get ready, because before we know it the warm weather will truly be here to stay!
What are you looking forward to in Spring? How about summertime?
Photo credits: 1 – Living Room by David Jimenez. 2 – Nursery source unknown. 3 – Kitchen by Eve Robinson. 4 – Home office by i-can’t-remember-her-name. 5 – Porch by Suzanne Rheinstein. 6 – Beach house source unknown. 7 – Bathroom source unknown. 8 – Backyard source unknown.
Tags: beach house, grass, green, home office, interior design, Kitchen, living room, nursery, paper lanterns, porch, spring, summer, wood planks
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Tuesday, October 5th, 2010
Despite the 70 degree weather we’re experiencing in Minnesota, the trees still know it is fall. Everywhere I look I see the most beautiful mixes of golden yellow, orange, sumac red, green and brown. I couldn’t help but be inspired to create some room palettes to help inspire you as well.
How fun is the orange on the back wall of the white bookshelf?! What’s great, is that could be changed up easily over the years to a new accent color or fabulous wallpaper since the rest of the room is in easy to coordinate with neutrals. Love everything about this room.
And the bold kitchen with the gorgeous wood lining the walls as well as the floor? A raw stone fireplace surround and sleek red cabinets and stainless steel provide a great balance of color and texture while making their own strong statements. And the fluffy chandeliers add great whimsy (and texture).
Again, pops of orange on a neutral but texture filled living room. Do you see how this works? The eclectic mix of furnishings work together because nothing is too fussy. This entry in a more traditional home features beautiful woodwork, which allows that elegant red table skirt with framed detailing really pop. The chocolate brown zebra print stair runner hints at the homeowners playful personality. Using a solid runner for the entry floor prevents that print from overwhelming the space.
Vintage riflery targets as bathroom wallpaper? Brilliant! The shotgun casings encased in a resin toilet seat cover certainly carries out the theme, but seems a bit much for most situations. I like the pops of color in the accessories on this bookshelf as bar cart.
The bold mix of red-orange and lime green in this library conveys the homeowner’s fearless personality. With such high ceilings and plenty of white to balance the bold colors, the room still feels balanced. Have I used this photo of a vintage red leather chair in front of a glass case before? Probably, since I love the tone of that leather and the simple form of the chair. It seemed a good match for this palette, so forgive me.
I think this really represents those golden yellow and orange tones that so many trees take on at this time of year. A harvest palette, if you will. I can picture that yellow pom-pom fringe on the bottom of a lampshade, along the side of curtains, or the bottom of a roman shade. Pom-poms are not just for the back of your socks (remember being 10 years old and wearing ankle socks with pom-poms on the back? I do!) I just flashed back to some pillows I made for a client years ago in a golden yellow cut velvet with braided trim and a ribbon detail that was similar to the materials in the top left photo.
I had to find you a picture after that description! It wouldn’t be fair to leave you hanging.
I love this media room with those inviting chocolate brown velvet couches, golden yellow pillows, and plenty of throw blankets. Did you notice the bookshelves in the back are orange? Difficult to tell from a photo, but it could even be Hermes orange. What a great punch of color that doesn’t overwhelm because the frame of the shelves has a narrow profile.
Finally, the deep reds of the Sumac bushes make a bold backdrop for two very different kitchens. You can see how it mixes well with orange tones and either dark chocolate brown wood and marble or crisp white cabinetry and stainless steel. I couldn’t resist throwing in the great Weimaraner photo – the chair and the dog both have such great personality!
So that’s your fall inspiration, courtesy of the trees and bushes I see on my drives around town visiting clients and vendors. What is inspiring you right now? Are you drawn to the fall colors or does another season capture your style best?
Tags: bar cart, Bathroom, bookshelf, chocolate brown, fall, foyer, golden yellow, green, Kitchen, living room, orange, pillow, Red, white, Wood, zebra
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Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
Here is my confession (for those who didn’t already know this about me): I am a magazine addict. It is so difficult to walk past the racks of shiny new glossy magazines and resist their siren call. So you can imagine how difficult it is to hold out at an airport with all that time to kill before my flight!
To help my willpower and wallet (or not, depending on how you look at it) I subscribe to a lot of magazines. The rationale is that it’s cheaper to pay a reduced fee to have all the issues magically appear in my mailbox each month than to sporatically buy 3 or 4 issues a year at the bookstore/Target/Walgreens, etc. Then when I’m tempted buy a glossy magazine with pretty pictures promising me new design inspiration or the best burger joints in town, I can remind myself in my head that I have stacks of magazines at home waiting patiently for my attention. Usually that’s enough to help me walk away.
But then the flip side of that is that I do literally have stacks of magazines to be read each month. I get through most of them rather efficiently each month, but the design magazines always seem to have to wait a couple of months to get my attention. So when a new issue of House Beautiful arrived today I had a moment of joy when I spotted it’s bright, colorful cover amongst the pile of boring mail. Which was quickly followed by dread as I realized it would be ages before I got around to actually reading each article (skimming does not count for me).
Then I had a moment of brilliance. I should start a recurring column here that features my 3-5 favorite pages from the newest design magazine, which I will post THE DAY IT ARRIVES. Now do you see the brilliance? This will force me to stop, flip through the issue, and find great content to share with you while it’s still on the news stands and accessible. Since so many great design magazines have been forced to shut their doors in the past 2 years (House & Garden, Domino, Cottage Living, Southern Accents, Metropolitan Home - the design magazine I discovered at age 15 that got me hooked in the first place, etc.) it’s more important than ever to support the remaining design magazines. So keep an eye out for each new post since you never know what day I’ll get a new delivery of design inspiration in the mail. And if I cave in and fall for a gorgeous magazine at the book store, I will post that too (my weakness will be a gift to you).
I hope you all enjoy this new project along with me.
So here are the images that grabbed my eye in the September 2010 issue of House Beautiful:
Like I’ve mentioned in the past, a small bathroom can handle a bold wallpaper. I love how this marbleized paper was mixed with a 1940s French metal mirror and balanced by the paneled white walls and vintage marble sink.
The breezy, worn quality of this room is so peaceful. The texture of the chunky sisal rug against wood floors, old metal and worn wood is so visually interesting even though it’s a very monotone palette.
What caught my eye in this photo is the quatrefoil mirror over the bed. This would not be nearly as eye-catching if the designer hadn’t framed the mirror is a slightly darker paint color than the main wall color, and further highlighted it with a loose mural of ivy in off-white around the darker paint color. Not to mention the piles of books at the foot of the bed look so inviting in this cozy room.
What a bright cheerful room! I have always loved apple green and chocolate brown, and the designer handled these earthy tones with such a light hand that they almost feel breezy. All the natural light pouring into the space doesn’t hurt either. Don’t miss the free form pattern of lily pads and flowers painted on the white floors. A bold but fun choice.
Finally, I always think it’s fun to see how people really live. So this profile of designers and the sofas they own and how they live in them is fun. I think the black couch at the bottom looks just like one of Alexander Wang’s chairs in the Black & White color palette post. I love the high back and sides of the banquette in Liz O’Brien’s office with those colorful pillows. I sat in a off-white sofa upholstered in a fabric like sheep fur with a high back and arms in a showroom in Chicago 3 years ago and I still fantasize about it. There’s even a sofa that was originally from Crate & Barrel that was reinvented through reupholstery (I hope you don’t have to learn that lesson yourself: there is a reason some sofas cost more and last longer.)
Now go pick up your own copy of House Beautiful and find your favorite images!