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 »
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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Wednesday, May 4th, 2011
Last week I featured the Octavia Headboard by Serena & Lily in a girl’s bedroom setting. This week I want to highlight how that headboard could be used in an adult or teenager’s bedroom. Depending on what style of bedding you select. a room can exude a playful personality or subtle sophistication. It’s all about the mix and match.
First option: The classic Octavia headboard in Navy Linen with nickel nailhead trim is given a fresh, modern twist with graphic prints. Dwell Studio’s Labyrinth duvet set in Dove reminds me of a snake charmer, and their Masala sheets in Citrine provides a pop of unexpected color against the neutrals.
Option2: Here I played the greek key inspired detail in the nailhead design against a loosely drawn Greek Key duvet set by West Elm. I was feeling playful when I chose the Red Star sheets from Serena & Lily to complete the look. It feels a little like the stars & stripes with all that navy, white and red. Or maybe it’s conjures up a bedroom that feels like you are in Greece and looking at the stars in the expansive sky over the ocean. What feeling does it inspire in you?
Option 3: This is a softer look than the 2 previous combinations, but the stripes keep it graphic. The Pewter Linen Octavia headboard is not as bold as the navy version. I wanted to use Dwell Studio’s Draper Stripe sheet set in Poppy with a duvet cover that might be a bit of an unexpected pairing. So I first chose the Parachute Duvet set in White from West Elm (upper right corner). The ruching of this airy cotton creates a lot of volume and a relaxed feminine effect. White sheets with a colored edge or subtle dots would be a more obvious pairing. But I like how the poppy stripes anchors the floaty duvet and makes it more guy friendly.
I couldn’t resist including another version with West Elm’s Stripe Duvet set in white and feather gray. The width of the stripes on the sheets in narrower, which allows the two stripes to work together. Can you tell I like a pop of color against neutrals?
Option 4: The headboard remains in Pewter Linen but a new combination of bedding provides a very different look. Here Dwell Studio’s Peacock Duvet set in Dove has a more traditional styling than previous selections, but the color palette and scale keep it modern in sensibility. Pairing this duvet with Dwell Studio’s Gate sheet set in Azure has been a favorite combination of mine since they introduced it. But I wanted an alternate option for sheets since it is always nice to be able to tweak the look of your bedding. I selected the Dot Print sheet set in Mushroom from West Elm to pull out the soft browns in the duvet cover. Without seeing the two sets in person I’m not positive the colors are right together, but this is illustrative people, so don’t kill me if they don’t work, ok?!
Option 5: Finally, switching up the Octavia headboard to Antique Gold Burlap with Brass nailheads creates a more classic traditional style. The Bativa Duvet set in Citrine by Dwell Studio is a modern update of the Ikat pattern that is so popular in interior design right now. The soft color palette keeps the room from feeling too formal. The coordinating Masala sheet set in Citrine blends in here rather than serving as a pop of color as it did in Option 1.
I’m sure I could create an alternate option for the final headboard color option… but I ran out of energy. So why don’t you create one and show it to me?
So which option would you choose? Or do you prefer something completely different? Bedding shouldn’t be intimidating to select and it should definitely be washable. Beyond that, anything goes. A duvet cover is often the largest expanse of a pattern in your home. It can be switched seasonally or whenever the mood strikes, unlike a the upholstery on a sofa or chair (though slipcovers can serve the same purpose). So don’t be afraid to go for something bid, bold, unexpected or just a little out of your comfort zone.
Photo sources: All product shots from each company’s website. See links for more information about each product.
Friday, April 1st, 2011
Why is that when the weather is gray outside, people say they feel “blue”?
I’ve been noticing that saturated blues are experiencing a fresh surge of popularity in everything from home decor to fashion. To me these colors are far from bummed out, melancholy mood inducing tones. Instead they are strong, assertive, and yet classic.
For another perspective on the trend, check out the article Sherwin-Williams recently ran in their magazine, Stir, about the color indigio as a trend for 2011. See the article here.
To start with you can see how the concept of the ocean, white sands and fish is playing out in West Elm’s new collection (top left corner). Oscar de la Renta has used saturated blues in his latest fashion collection and in his home (middle top and bottom) Yves Klein Blue is even moving from the runway to make up collections. Wallflowers need not apply!
The richness of these shades of blue shows confidence and sophistication when integrated into your wardrobe, as shown above in a feature from Oprah magazine. The center photo shows how this color can be integrated into your summer wardrobe with all those colorful brights we talked about last week. Even your table settings can be bold and playful as this mix and match table setting highlights.
Finally, West Elm’s vision of a weather bleached dock with a lounge surrounded by endless blue waters evokes a calm peacefulness in me. If it was all white it would be boring to me. But those indigio pillows in a variety of patterns and textures and the blue stool in the background add the interest I need. The thatched roof and woven tote bag add great texture too. The principles of design here can just as easily be brought into your living room.
As always, I’m happy to help you get there.
Have a great weekend everyone, and I hope you only feel “blue” in a bold way!
Friday, March 25th, 2011
One color trend I’ve been noticing lately: Yellow. Sometimes it heads towards buttery yellow. Sometimes it has a hint of green undertone that takes it slightly towards citrine.
Here are a few examples from the retail sources West Elm, Crate & Barrel and Dwell Studio.
The trend of bright punchy colors is definitely in for spring/summer. Gray, white and navy will always be strong partners for yellow.
And you know what I couldn’t resist when I saw the West Elm summer preview? (Hint: Check out those vintage style orange kitchen containers in the upper left corner. PERFECT accessory for pulling the orange accents in the adjacent living room into the kitchen to tie the two rooms together!)
Think spring thoughts this weekend and maybe we can wish the snow away and get those spring flowers to pop up at last!
Wednesday, December 1st, 2010
Can you believe how time flies? Summer ends, I try to transition into fall, and then suddenly snow is flying, sidewalks are covered in ice and it’s time to think up creative gift ideas for every person on your holiday shopping list. Yikes!
Well thanks to West Elm‘s Festive Edition holiday catalog I’m brimming with ideas for fun gifts my loved ones might not have indulged in buying for themselves, but will put a grin on their faces nonetheless.
I don’t know about you, but I can never manage to spend the month of December shopping for other people without falling in love with a few things for myself. Fortunately, at these prices I won’t feel guilty buying myself a fun accessory to dress up my own house for the holidays!
With all the green and red overload in stores throughout December, I’ve chosen to give myself a color break and decorate my own house in silver and blues for the holidays. It feels fresh but still has that wintery, sparkly, cheerful vibe that’s perfect by candlelight. How do I break up the silver and blue palette? Why will white accessories, of course. And since white is a neutral my accessories will still work perfectly with a different color scheme in the future. Should I add a white nutcracker to the collection this year?
The holiday season seems to be filled with parties, and if you don’t have your bar cart stocked yet with the essential tools, this is a perfect time to build a collection. The Sheesham-Wood Cocktail Collection could just as easily fit in on the set of The Graduate or in a swanky downtown bachelor pad.
I love a good geometric pattern and I love simple animal shapes. So those cocktail plates with four of my favorite animals (of course I’m partial to any collection with a Fox) are right up my alley! Crate and Barrel has a similar small square white plate in two sizes and you could easily mix and match them together.
While you are stocking your bar cart, you better be planning to serve your guests some food! Cheese is an absolutely essential at my parties. If I don’t serve at least 3 really good and interesting cheeses my friends threaten to leave (they don’t really, but they rely on my excellent cheese choices.) I like the idea of having a nice glass dome to protect the cheese over the course of the evening.
I’ve told you about our mushroom theme before, right? My husband and I like to go foraging for wild mushrooms during the summer. I find the textures, colors and variety of species in the woods inspiring. So I documented the wide variety of mushrooms we’ve spotted on our expeditions, printed out the photos, and created our own wall of photos in our living room that tells a unique story about our lives. It never fails to start a conversation with a new guest to our home. Knowing our love of mushrooms, one of my best friends just surprised me with a set of the mushroom plates above! They are gorgeous in person and have an uneven edge that makes them stand apart from your average dessert plate. It’s a great way to have your party tools reflect your personality.
After you get your place styled and party ready for the holidays, it is time to find presents for everyone on your holiday list. I like these office themed gifts, which could easily translate to the home office. I’ve been thinking about downsizing from my big stereo components to a small radio like these, and the iPod connection makes them perfect for the modern lifestyle. How much fun would crunching numbers be with a orange calculator you can clip to your project binder?
More animal silhouettes – this time as minimal black bookends. Simple bookends are hard to find – they are so often gaudy or so large you can’t fit more than a couple of books on the shelf with them. I also recommend the wood boxes with laquered lids. I used a pair of them on the desk in the Showcase House bedroom and in my own office. They keep all the little bits and bobbles contained and out of sight so nicely. The small square one is the perfect hiding place for all those business cards I get that have yet to be entered in the computer. What would you hide in there?
I hope that has you inspired for your own holiday needs. Be sure to check out the rest of the decor and gift ideas on West Elm’s website as this was just a sampling of all their great products. Happy hunting!