- Simplicity is key, try and keep business and fussiness to a minimum. In this room it is essentially monochromatic, it creates a splendid background for some of the more graphic pieces.
- If you forgo complexity in the color, be sure to counterbalance that with texture, I used an old rice basket as a side table that creates visual texture that I might otherwise have used pattern or color for.
- Try and have one piece of significance. In this room I used a coffee table by Christian Liagre it gives the room weight, and the quality of that piece raises all that is around it.
- Collections are a great way to fill space without the drama of a single overscaled piece.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
The room is is a Mediterranean house that is fairly new, but we did a lot of work on it to try and make it feel a little more time worn. The goal was not to make it feel old, I believe that doing that you end up feeling like Disneyland, what I wanted was some attention to detail, that created an old world feel.
These are some of the things that we did:
- Replaced the oak floor with a distressed Walnut floor
- replaced the baseboard with a ceramic tile border, based on a design from the 1930's
- Painted the walls a warm glowing gold
- Replaced the Fireplace with an antique
- Stencilled the beams in the ceiling
- Added more lights to the ceiling
All of this gave me a great background to work with. Then we started with the furniture:
- I built the room around this great cotton print that I found, and used on the drapery, and layered it with a split bamboo shade for texture.
- I pulled out colors from the drape and used it in solid textures around the room.
- The textures included, a rough linen, silk velvet and leather
- I also used a quirky carved wood coffee table that has a lot of detail on it, to add some interest opposite the fireplace.
- Then lastly, found an antique oriental rug to anchor the same seating group.
I think the room was a great success I hope you enjoy it.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
I hope You enjoy these, there are some gems here.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
For those of us, who love to go to flea markets etc, one of the greatest rushes can be had from coming across a great piece of vintage art, whether a painting, drawing of sculpture. The sort of thing done by a not so well known, but still quite talented artist, that can be had for a few hundred dollars, but can stand next to any fine art pieces already in your collection. Well, a friend recently told me of a store in San Francisco, that is a treasure trove of just that kind of art, they are called, Lost Art Salon. Now in the interest of full disclosure, I have never actually been to their store, however, they have such a great web site, I don't feel as though I need to rush.
The pieces that they have are the sort of thing that I would regard as Vintage, and vary from downright cheap to well priced quality pieces. They have paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture, all presented in an easy to use and well documented way. It is like stumbling upon the best of E Bay, all in one place. I have spent many quiet evenings at home, just flipping from one piece to another, so check out the site, but be warned you will keep coming back.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
The point of this post is to have you think twice about decisions you make around the house, that you may take for granted, but needn't be that way. Here are some other thoughts, that may help you look at your hose decisions in a fresh way:
- Try using real candles in a sconce or chandelier, the quality of light can be much warmer than what you can ever get from a bulb.
- Use masses of candles in your fireplace, rather than a roaring fire, it will cut down on smoke and make a romantic alternative.
- Use annuals in pots inside the house, instead of cut flowers, they will last longer, and are equally as pretty.
- Use old bath towels to recover your favorite bathroom chair, it will be as comfy as your robe
- When you redo your kitchen, use a wood top on the island, it is softer than stone or tile, and can be a nice old world element in any Kitchen.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
There are a lot of options open to people who want to think creatively about art on their walls without blowing the bank:
- Try using different empty frames that you canb find at any swap meet or junk store, try painting them all the same color, so that they are unified.
- Almost any group of things looks good on a wall, in a Powder Room I did recently, the homeowner, bought a collection of old hand held vanity mirrors on E Bay, as a set they looked terrific.
- What about a collection of travel plates, maybe something fun, like places that start with the letter P, or places that you want to visit but haven't yet,,,, let your mind go free.
- I have also done sets of old postcards, done in single frames or grouped together can also be inexpensive.
- But while you are looking on E Bay, what about an old store sign?
Try to find something that will make you smile each time you see it.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
I have to admit that one of my guilty pleasures is catalogues. For me, there is nothing better than the end of the day, sitting at my desk, flipping through the latest retail delights that are available to me. Whether it is cookies, clothing or candles, I will look at them all. Thank goodness, I don't buy a whole lot of this stuff, but I do love to look. An exception to this, is one catalogue that I think stands out from the rest, and that is Wisteria. I think that this company really has it going on. With a mixture of new and vintage stuff, it presents just the right amount of unusual things to set it apart from the norm.
Because I get inundated with these things, I start to notice that certain items can show up in 3 or 4 different catalogues. I don't find that with Wisteria, the stuff is always fresh, well presented, and most importantly to me well-priced. So if you have a moment, check them out and see what they have to offer, you will be pleasantly surprised I think.
Just as a general note, Resource Day, is a day a week that I dedicate to a different resource that I like. I don't write about resources that I don't like, my experience may not be yours and I don't think this is the venue for me to vent. I also do not get paid or asked to write about these companies, I write because I genuinely want them to succeed because I think that they offer something worthwhile.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
This kind of imaginative use will go a long way to making the world a better place, and a prettier one too. Here are some thoughts for your own projects:
- Almost any old, interesting object makes for a great lamp, I have used, old toys, pulleys as well as all sorts of old industrial glass ware.
- If you are at a loss how to adopt your idea into an illuminating project, take your pieces down to your local lighting store, you might be surprised how quickly your idea is embraced by the people there
- Old recycled materials, such as wood, old tiles etc make terrific additions to tables, and give them an instant patina.
- When shopping at flea markets etc, be creative, an old classic hub cap, makes a great fruit bowl, with an industrial edge. An old sari or antique textile can be quickly reserviced into a table runner, napkins or a terrific wall hanging.
Scout out all the flea markets and sales in your area, they can be a wealth of opportunity,,,,, remember shop to save the planet!
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
- Many of the big retailers, like Smith and Hawken still have some portable firepits still available (it's a seasonal item and now is not the season).
- If using a firepit, be sure to use it on a hard surface and have lots of comfortable chairs. As the nights get cooler, your friends are going to want to sit closer and closer.
- Another idea, if you are having a special party is dig a firepit in the ground, this will let you build an even bigger blaze, perhaps its not even too late to try this at the beach, now that the summer crowds have gone.
- When building these fires, don't forget that adding some scented woods, such as apple or pear can make it even more festive.
Monday, September 10, 2007
- If you have a flat screen TV you can use a good size picture frame around it to make it fit in more with your decor. Try using a CD of family photo's running while you are not watching TV, it's a simple way to turn it into art work.
- If you have a bigger budget a hydraulic lift can work wonders, but it can get expensive, and watch out for those fingers!
- Don't fall in to the trap of getting a huge, over sized TV, a smaller one can work just as well, and offer as much viewing pleasure, without taking over your room.
- Try to avoid putting the TV in the middle of the room. If it is a bit off to the side you may be able to "zone" the space so that it can function multiple ways.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Even on the scale of projects that I am used to working on, budget is always an issue. One way to make your budget go further is reusing some of the clients old pieces of furniture. This sometimes takes some creativity on the part of the designer. You can see above a perfect example of this. The top picture shows the clients existing Dining Room chair (the blue/green rinse over the wood really adds something don't you think?). Well, in the new Dining Room, that really wasn't going to work, so I re imagined the chair in a deep wood stain with this vibrant cut velvet seat, and all of a sudden it looks pretty cool. One other thing I did.... We needed more chairs that we had existing, so I simply created some very simple dark brown leather chairs, in the same silhouette as the existing ones.....they mix really well.
Here are some tips for reusing your old pieces in a new way:
- Be creative with the color, often all it takes is a coat of paint or stain and you will have a whole new piece.
- If it is a cased piece, such as a set of drawers etc, change out the hardware too, that can give a whole new direction.
- Another idea is to upholster the panels on your drawers etc, this can give a very custom loo9k, and is something you can do easily at home.
- The less important the piece the more vivid a color it can take, make it look a little frivolous and fun.
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Have fun, checking these new, and some not so new Blogs out.
I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to Jo and Kim, from Desire to Inspire for their amazing contributions. I had a chance to log on quickly while I was gone and checked it out, I have to admit, their posts really raised the bar! So Thank you!
Thanks also to Ashleigh, from my office who contributed an article. It has helped me realize what a huge pool of talent I have right under my nose, so expect to see more from her, and perhaps a few others from the office too, they are an opinionated bunch!