Today's Ideabooks
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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mix It Up: Woods

Gone are the days of matchy-matchy wood finishes in décor. Today, you’ll find a mix of wood types and finishes creating a sophisticated look with character and personality. Think dark walnut paired with light bamboo or painted wood with wood tones in the same kitchen.

If you’re feeling a bit timid about how to go about mixing your woods, try a balance of light and dark throughout the room. To give you a few ideas of what this would look like take a look at the rooms below.

This modern farmhouse master suite boasts light and dark woods which add a nice contrast to the space.

Blonde floors offer a pretty canvas for a modern living room with mixed wood furnishings.

Dark, light and painted woods mix beautifully in this casual open floor plan space.

Mixed woods in a romantic bedroom come from the reddish wood flooring and furnishings including a dark wood headboard and bedside tables.

A refurbished barn mixes pine floors, a reclaimed wood wall and a medium wood dining table.

Perfectly balanced woods flow through an elegant great room. 

Painted wood accents offer a nice contrast with wood floors and dining table.

Images: apartmenttherapy.com; thevirginiahouse.com; decoist.com; elledecor.com; purestylehome.com

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Design Blog Round-Up: Sunday Edition

NYTimes.com Spaces Channel
“Spaces” is one of the newest YouTube channels being introduced as part of a push into original content. Targeting viewers addicted to HGTV, it promises to be a hipper version focusing on young urbanites. Find out more…

NYTimes.com Going With the Grain
This year quirky craft was nipping at the heels of sleeker machine-made goods which have been the highlight of the show for the past 23 years. “Wafting through the convention center and satellite design exhibitions around town was nostalgia for preindustrial and early industrial technology.” Read more…

Dwell.com: Ten Designers Discuss Knock Offs
"The Real Cost of Rip-Offs" for Dwell's June 2012 issue (on newsstands now)—contains interviews with many design royals sharing their perspectives on the subject of knockoffs and authentic design. With the most provocative quotes highlighted, from discussions of the “evils of Zara to America’s disposable culture” the exchanges promise to be thought-provoking. Read further…

Designer footwear deserves designer digs. Not all women have a shoe thing, but for those that do, it’s only right she have a shoe closet worth bragging about. Furniture Fashion takes a look at ten extraordinary shoe closets. Take a look…

NazmiyalanAntiqueRug.com:  Antique Coptic Textile – Who Is This Mystery Man?
If you don’t know, the Copts (the name “Copt” is derived from the Arabic word for Christians) were known for their beautiful textile production. Many of the earliest textiles and garments were woven from linen and some managed to survive because they were buried with the deceased in a sandy dry environment. Find out more about a textile fragment dating from the fourth to seventh century…

Hotel-inspired home décor is hot right now—Robin Baron of Simplifying Fabulous gives terrific suggestions for getting in that vacation state-of-mind without leaving the house. Plush towels, decadent robes and sleek décor are only a few of the tips Robin has up her sleeve….Check it out.

Friday, May 25, 2012

David D'Imperio's Drop-Dead Gorgeous Lighting

Lighting designer, David D’Imperio creates drop-dead gorgeous light fixtures from an 1880’s post office building in Stony Run, Pennsylvania. He’s won numerous awards and continues to wow with his inventive designs. I’ve gathered a few of my favorites below. Visit his website DavidDImperio.com to view additional works.

Swallow Wall Sconce

Hand-formed stainless steel structure with carved wood wings and polycarbonate shade. 

 It is 6 feet high top to bottom not including its suspension. It has a lacquered hand-turned teardrop counter weight and hand-carved crescent details.

Metallic champagne colored lacquer finish on hand-turned teardrop form.


Silver or gold anodized and engraved aluminum exterior. Silver anodized aluminum interior frame.


Faceted stainless steel exterior. Silver anodized aluminum interior structure. 

 Black anodized aluminum outer matrix. Silver anodized inner frame. 


Stainless steel construction. Made as a ceiling mounted or cable suspended fixture.

Hand-carved wood sides, stainless steel leaf, stem and base.

Virosa Floor Light

Metallic silver lacquer finish on hand-turned vase. Stainless steel base and stems with laminated and dyed wood leaves.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

New Ravenna Mosaics

If you’re not familiar with New Ravenna’s tile collections, you’ve got to see them!

Sara Baldwin, a native of Virginia’s Eastern Shore, founded New Ravenna Mosaics in 1991. While studying art at the University of Pennsylvania, she created her first mosaic design: a mural of Eve in the Garden of Eden. Her fascination for the ancient craft of mosaics grew and she began her tile business out of her home on the kitchen table.

Today, she employees 100 people, including three specialized mosaic designers. Sara has created mosaic designs for clients such as Madonna, Tom Hanks and the DuPonts. Her company, New Ravenna, continues to grow with new product lines introduced each year.

I couldn’t show all of her glorious designs below, so I picked some of my favorites. To see her lines in their entirety visit her website NewRavenna.com.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Round-Up: Decor8, Material Girls, Andie Day...

Can you imagine sitting in a chair worth $29 million? Eileen Gray’s Dragon Armchair, crafted between 1917 and 1919, was recently sold at auction for just that amount! Find out more about furniture that tops the list of most expensive in the world. 

I love getting fresh ceviche every time I go to the beach. We have this quaint little bar and grill we get it at and it’s the best. Recently, the Adventure Life blog posted a tasty recipe for Peruvian ceviche that I can’t wait to make. Check it out…

Andie’s team featured Ralph Lauren’s to-die-for Desert Modern Collection. I’m salivating over the dining table (price tag $17,000) and the dining chairs ($3, 945 each). Take a look at the complete line for an inviting al fresco experience.

I’ve been so busy with Houzz.com lately I haven’t had a chance to get my Pinterest on. But everybody, including Girly Modern, is talking about Pinterest.  They recently posted “10 Steps to Finding Your DesignStyle with Pinterest".

I’ve been fascinated by Absinthe, since I saw the movie Moulin Rouge years ago. While today’s Absinthe doesn’t invoke the green fairy like the wormwood version of early 1900s Paris, there is an art to making it that is intriguing.

Cocktail expert Warren Bobrow mixes one “woven of Absinthe, freshly squeezed, charred grapefruit juice and a splash of Q-Tonic water.”  Get the recipe…

“Abstract art seems to be the “it” thing these days and it’s hard to stay focused on just one artist when there are so many amazing talents out there like Reagan Geschardt,”  writes the Material Girls. “Her current paintings study the interplay of color and light using water and landscapes and things that surround her.” Take a look at the most colorful images you’ll see all weekend.  

Here’s a little project for the weekend when you get in the mood to DIY. Holly over at Décor 8 gives you step by step for making a cute something to hang in your wall. Find out how…

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bold Wallpapers Make a Big Statement

If you want to add visual and tactile impact to your décor, bold graphic wallpaper is trending hot right now. Whether you want just an accent wall or are going for a big statement, there’s sure to be a paper you’ll love. We’re seeing quite a few nature-based papers in giant florals and foresty prints of branches and birds. If you really want to go out on a limb, don’t stick to just the walls think of papering the ceiling!

This busy wallpaper might be too much on more than one wall, but for an accent wall it adds personality. The solid wood chairs tone it down a bit as well. 

Bold florals are so popular right now. This wallpaper becomes subtle with soft colors. 

This natured inspired wallpaper would make any color pop, but the lime-hued accessories, shown here, look lovely in the space.

If you love your dog, this doggy wallpaper is for you. Poodles, terriers and bulldogs grace the walls of this little powder room.

I’m loving Graham & Brown's selection of hip wallpapers right now. They carry designer papers from Amy ButlerKelly HoppenMarcel Wanders and more. Children will love coloring on the walls with Graham & Brown’s quirky art wallpaper. I would love to doodle on it myself.

A big floral wallpaper gives a relaxed casual look to a twin bedroom. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Union Jack Style

If you’d like to get in on the London Olympic Games frenzy early (they commence on July 27), bring a little Union Jack style into your home. From pillows to stoves, you’ll find stylized versions and colors to fit your décor. This staple of English culture looks terrific in both formal and informal spaces.  Below, I’ve collected some images to give you an idea of how to work the flag into your space.

If you want to go big with the British patriotic trend, you might like the The Falcon 1092 range standing proud with the Union Jack design. Get it at FalconAppliances.com

An uber-formal settee gets a bit of fun personality with two British-style pillows.

An ornate sofa gets covered in Union Jack, notice how it still gives it a look that’s chic.

Love this twist on the Union Jack with a heart motif. You can work in pillows and a wall hanging like this without overdoing it.

A fashionable library gets a touch of the British and the French from two regal chairs.

Think pink with this alternative to the original red, white and blue version. 

This room gets all dressed up with a Union Jack hailing from the floor. 

A stacked sideboard from StevenShell.com features a Union Jack in distressed paint and chromed-brass royal crown pulls. I think it would look lovely in an entry or eat-in kitchen.

Natalie Porter created this knitted chair as a one-off design. Imagine one in the living room as a cushy reading chair.

This vintage-like version of the flag is a nice contrast to the all-white space. 

A Little History Lesson about the Union Jack Flag from CRWFlags.com

When King James VI of Scotland ascended to the English throne, thereby becoming James I of England, the national flags of England and Scotland on land continued to be, respectively, the red St George's cross and the white St Andrew's cross. Confusion arose, however, as to what flag would be appropriate at sea. On 12 April 1606 a proclamation was issued:

"All our subjects in this our isle and kingdom of Great Britain and the members thereof, shall bear in their main top the red cross commonly called St George's Cross and the white cross commonly called St. Andrew's Cross joined together according to a form made by our heralds and sent to our Admiral to be published to our said subjects."