Archive for the 'design' Category

For Crystal

Here is some work I completed recently.  My neighbor Crystal is an amazing, gifted designer.  She owns a furniture store called Trappings Too! that sells quality, high style furniture for very affordable prices. (if you love Pottery Barn style, you’ll love her store)  I had the pleasure of doing some work for her recently, check it out!

Ten (or seven) Things

Ten thing I love about THIS space

1.  My favorite thing in the design realm is crisp, white, comfortable bedding.  LOVE IT!!!

2.  The layering of the bedding.  The coverlet, stacked bed pillows, euros, and the folded duvet at the end of the bed, a punch of unexpected, that custom touch I point out so often.

3.  The drapes (#1) and the pattern.  Because of the soft, simple scheme in the rest of the room, the drapes can be a bold pattern and not be overwhelming.

4.  The drapes (#2) and the way the gracefully “rest” on the floor.

5.  The wood pieces bring in a focal point and add another custom look because of their antiquity. Their formal structured lines ground the space.

6.  The nuetral background allows for you to play with color if you want.  Cream carpet and soft golden cream walls.

*** I can’t stress enough HOW important the neutral background is.  We live in a time that trend changes too often so if you give in to neutrality for your bones, your bones will last you a lot longer!

7.  The chair in the foreground has very formal lines which is a great contrast to the informal and comfortable  bedding.

8.  …

I really tried to come up with ten, but give me a break, the picture is small… but the fact that I can’t come up with ten doesn’t mean it isn’t a good space, I just ran out of things to say… shocking… I know…

The Tween Room

I have recently been asked by a few friends to help them with their daughters’ rooms, a privileged I NEVER turn down. I have boys, but LOVE girl-y things. So I love the opportunity to help out when I can. So I have been doing some research on spaces that aren’t too “grown up” and that can last into those traumatic teenage years. What am I finding out? Bright colors, bigger beds, couch style beds, graphic florals, modern artwork, floor pillows, study areas, computer desks, storage and lots of funk…

The above space is a great example. Fresh green walls, bright pink bedding with fun pom-poms attached, bright graphic pillows, modern Warhol style daisy prints and a classic black and white stripe that is repeated around the room on the bed skirt, table cloth, drapes, and lampshade.

For cost friendly suggestions… try this bed, this bedspread and shams, this bed skirt (and maybe an accent pillow), these pillows and these, make some with this fabric, these drapes, this lamp. Add a ribbon to the drapes and attach it with either fabric glue, steam a seam or stitch it. Get your tween involved by using a picture they take, print it out six (or however many you want) and brush a color wash over it and throw them into some simple frames. To mimic those side tables, buy those cheap “put together yourself” tables and throw a cloth over it. You can then also hide some baskets underneath for extra storage.

Another way the tween like to personalize their room is with pictures of them and their friends. Add some photos around the room and maybe invest in or make a few “memory boards”. They are a great way to take up wall space on a budget.

Happy decorating!

Apron

I made this apron last week. It was really fun. It has been a long time since I have done anything for “fun” in my creative realm. Love it. I find myself wearing an apron quite frequently these days while I am cleaning, cooking and working around the house. I figured, if I want to wear an apron, it may as well be a cute one. I had a great time picking out all the fabrics, and coming up with the design as i went along.

If “free style” sewing projects aren’t your thing, try a pattern. Aprons make great host gifts or presents for your domestic friends and family. Add a cookbook for bigger occasions. (you could even do a collection of your own favorite recipes and have it made through allrecipes.com.)

Two Spaces

Two spaces.  Contrast.  Style.  Which do you prefer?

The above is such a clean dining room.  It mixes so many elements that give it that custom feel.  The architectural detail around the windows and in the recessed detail on the walls.  These add the traditional element.  The build-in china cabinet has lines and style identified with European style, specifically Swedish.  The color is just enough different from the woodwork on the walls to make it a focal point, but without it screaming at you.

The walls are then just a shade of cream darker than the china cabinet, thus again creating the very neutral base which adds the ability to be versatile with your space.  The rug is more transitional in style, but in keeping with the colors of the walls and woodwork.

The chairs, oh!  the chairs!  They are more contemporary in line, with that Asian detail on the backs.  Such a nice unexpected touch.  The round table is such a great way to create conversation amongst all your guests, as there is not “two ends of the table”.  Simple drapes, neutral in color.

Then the lighting.  SO contemporary!  It helps that there is repition in all the circle elements going on; the lighting, the table and the circles on the china cabinet.

The dark wood floors “ground” the space (funny, floors used to ground… he hee)

The lack of texture in the elements used helps to create a more contemporary feel as well.  The glass accents on the table are usable in any space, thus making them a good investment.

Next space, so differnet and equally as beautiful.

So French.  Notice, unlike the last space, there is SO MUCH texture.  The table cloth couldn’t have more texture.  The drapes hang gathered with natural branch like tie backs.  The chandelier with its scroll work is very textural.

Antique chairs with a distressed finish add more depth to the space, along with the salvaged looking mirror above the sideboard we can’t see (bummer).  Atop the unseen sideboard are three topiaries which are classic in French design, done in a group of three.  Quick tip, when accessorizing, odd numbered arrangements are always more visually pleasing

The space remains very cool, due to the light wood floors, light walls, French Grey drapes and table cloth.  (I kind of feel bad calling it a tablecloth, as it seems to deserve a better name since it is so sophisticated).

To add to the antique feel of the room, we have an eclectic mix of glass, silver, transferware and white china.  Mixed together in neutral and cool tones.

I love both, but my style tends to feel more comfortable in the later.  I love antiques, silver, eclectic French-y style, which do you prefer?

Interiors 1

Here is a space I have been drooling over for months.

Photo: Tria Giovan; Designer: Jackye Lanham

I found this room on the Coastal Living web site. They have a great design portfolio of spaces that aren’t all necessarily “coastal” if that’s not your thing!

Why do I LOVE this space? It seamlessly mixes so many great elements and is so versatile.

Great design involves a couple things. First, it is mindful of the USE of the space. Second, it HAS to have repetition, proper scale and balance throughout the space. Third, it creates a “feel” through the colors, line and accessories.

This space just looks comfortable. It looks like a place where you can sit down and have a great chat with great friends. While there are very traditional, antique lines on the accent chair in the right corner of the photo or the coffee table, the pieces that you would utilize most frequently for conversation are big, white, slipcovered sofas and chairs with very informal lines. And take note that the MIX of the traditional and not so much look great.

Can you see the repetitive elements around the room?  First, color.  The space has a neutral base throughout; the upholstery, flooring, walls and drapery are all neutral.  Next, there is the soft blue being used in throws and pillows.  Also notice the honey colored brown elements.  The table in the foreground, the basket in the other end of the room and the ceiling beams.  If you were to take away any of those pieces, the balance would be off!  I am sure by now you have also noticed the dark wood elements; the trunk, the rattan chair, the antique chair the coffee table.  Again, notice how they are disbursed around the room to create that balance and repetition.  Lastly, the iron in the curtain rods, the chandelier, and the candle holder on the wall.

One of the other things I LOVE about this room is that it creates a color trend without to much commitment.  What do I mean?  The blue, brown color trend is hot.  It has been kickin’ for about 5 years now.  I love how soothing it looks and feels.  Here it the issue.  It is just that, trend.  While you can’t escape trend, you can decorate in a way that accomplishes trend but can be easily changed.  Remember that neutral base?  Visually take the blue elements away (pillows, throws…) and think of those in green, or red, or black… This room could very easily be changed to follow another trend, thus giving it new life and longevity.  Most color trends stay relevant for 7-10 years.

This interior also stays away from immediately identified artwork trends.  To explain further, I bought those French store front pictures for my first house.  I loved them.  Within the year, I was able to find the same image on dish towels, rugs, place-mats, pillows…. you get the picture!  Whenever this happens, you KNOW the piece at hand will be very easily “dated”.  On the other hand classic art, iron work or antiques are not easily “timestamped”.  The only item that can be “timestamped” that is always appropriate is family photos.  Not only do they add a personal touch, but they are a conversation piece when entertaining as well.

Hope you learned something new, or found a minute of creative inspiration.

Interiors!

Part of homemaking is the way your home looks. Let’s face it. Although it makes some of us feel “worldly” or focused on things that will “burn”… a comfortable, well put together home CAN help your guests and friends feel more at ease. Hospitality will still always lie in the the spirit of the host. But again, pleasing interiors can help.

I am going to start posting pictures of fabulous interiors, talk you through the main points that strengthen the design, make suggestions on completing a comparable interior space on a family friendly budget. There you go. And if design doesn’t interest you, sorry. If you are too busy to do it yourself, shoot me a line (I am pimping myself out!).