Sunday, June 30, 2013

Google Reader is no more....I don't want to lose you!

As of tomorrow, google reader goes away for good.  For those 134 of you who follow me that way, I hope you will continue to follow me through another reader.  I don't want to lose you!

Love Your Space on Bloglovin

Also look me up on (their server is currently down due to high traffic volume because of this change!)

Designsponge has a good post about the different interfaces, here.

If you don't plan to switch to a new reader, you can always follow me on twitter or facebook--I share all of my posts through those outlets, too.  Right now, I don't really share additional content in these venues, so I would recommend following whichever you use more regularly to keep up with the goings-on around here.

Love Your Space on Facebook
hpetersondesign on Twitter

While we're at it, you might as well follow me on pinterest.  I don't curate my boards, but I pin a lot of great stuff as reference and resource.  I just tarted pinning some of my projects, too, including some client photography and lots of design boards.

All of these changes or additions are super quick--I hope you'll take a moment to follow me one way or another.

Thanks so much!


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thinking about headboard fabric

I recently came across photos of the girls' room nearly finished in the old scheme, and found myself wondering why on earth I went and changed it all up.  (I mean, I know why--I wanted to move the orange rug out of the living room and it worked with the pink walls and some vintage fabric I had for curtains.)

But now, as the room sits pretty unfinished again, I am asking myself why.

As in: "why, why, WHY?!"

It would be nice if something was just finished.

So.  What's left to do?

- strip and stain the desk and chair (ugh!)
- possibly paint the dresser
- find bedframes (preferably for free) to raise up the beds.
- make or buy bedskirts (or buy and modify with some vintage trim I seem to be hoarding)
- add wall lights to give much-needed task lighting to the beds and desk
- make new bolster covers
- re-make the headboards

That's all.  (yes: sarcasm.)

Right now, fabric for the headboards is torturing me.  The room looks like this:

Those are swatches of this:

Thibault Rinca in Coral, available locally through A.J. Maison

Which I LOVE.  Except for this room I wish it was blush pink, with an orange border around the white pattern.

I was also in love with these, but don't think I can justify the price point.

Amy Karyn, available locally through Tapis Decor

So there I go, thinking out loud again, and showing you very messy and unfinished photos of a room that changes constantly.

If you want to continue to tune in to the messy rumblings of my brain, and currently read on google reader, please follow me on blog lovin'.  Google reader is going away as of Monday!  I'll post more details tomorrow on where else (and how) to keep following this blog. 

I hope you'll stick around!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Boys Room Fabric Options

When I was cleaning up my on-line work life over the weekend, I came across so very many things I never shared with you.  Which, I gotta say, is kind of a nice little bonus as a blogging momma still getting her summer legs!

Like how about some selections for a little boy's room?
(And this is perfect timing, as his sister just entered the world about two weeks ago.)

The walls are a light blue and he has an excellent mid-century bedroom set (his father's from childhood!), but needed, well, everything else.  I put together three choices for rug/bedding/curtains/lamp, with the intention of bringing in strong color and playful elements without getting too far afield from the traditional nature of the house.

Solid rug and simple border curtains let 50s inspired rocketship bedding take center stage

New England coastal rug and traditional buffalo check bedding both get taken up a notch with electric color; woodland curtains bring the whimsy.

Grounded neutrals--brown and white--leave room for a whimsical mix of polka dots, stripes, and polka-dotted stripes.  And who doesn't love an owl lamp?

Might be a while on the "afters" with that new baby around.  congrats to mom, dad, and big brother!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Inlaid Table a bunch of ways

I was pinning and tagging this weekend, cleaning some things up around here, when I noticed on some old posts that people said they really liked my series, One thing/two design styles.  So I thought I would bring it on back.

The idea for the series was to take an item that seems set in its ways and show how you could push it into a different realm.  The first one was quilts, two ways, where I showed a minimal and maximal version, but neither went "country," as quilts are wont to do.  (I also played around with crewel work, lantern chandelierszebra ottomans, floral bedspreads, and zebra rugs, though that wasn't officially part of the series.)

Today?  Inlaid tables.  I've always wanted a mother-of-pearl inlaid piece, though I am most partial to chests or chairs.  To me, the obvious way to use them is that sort of collected Anglo-Indian vibe.  Like so.

Lots going on there, but keeping most of the fabrics in solids and the pattern around the edges of the rug let the table star.  Classic English-y upholstery shapes and side tables and some "blue and whites" keep it from getting too wild.

You can also start with that bohemian vibe and add an edge with some black leather, mouille-style wall sconces, geometric lighting, and mid-century wood pieces.  Yes you can.

And how about a little more glamorous?  The overdyed rug and deep-seated teal sofa take this table all the way to hollywood, and gold tables and woven leather lamps never hurt when you're bringing on the bling.

And then there is the complete departure: coastal/beachy casual.

With blue for a little contrast and the texture of worn leather, driftwood, bamboo blinds, and a gilded tree stump table lamp, it's another win.

What do you think:  any favorites?  Number two is reaaaalllly doing it for me right now, but of course I've got dhurries on the brain.  And I've always wanted a Donald Baechler artwork.

Also.  Any item in your home (or on your wish list) that's stuck in its ways that I can help liberate?  Brutalist light fixture?  Spool bed?  Chinese cabinet?  Leave me a comment in the notes and I'll see what I can do.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Committing a Cardinal Sin

Folks, I think I'm going to do it.

I think I'm going to install the one thing that every home show ever tells you to remove:  the good old ceiling fan.

Tom Scheerer via Pure Style Home

Here's the deal: my kids can't sleep.  With a big, open main floor and a small upper level, the bedrooms up there don't seem to have a chance at staying cool.  All the hot air rises right up to their room, and even with the air conditioning on, it just never really cools down.  And kids who don't fall asleep until 10pm are tired and crabby indeed.

Here's the problem.  Choosing a ceiling fan is a bit like choosing a car.  When you inherit one, you accept it happily for its good solid functionality, without thinking too much about what it looks like (like the fans in our townhouse in Brooklyn and our rental in Boulder; also like the Ford Taurus and Buik Century we are grateful to have but never would have chosen ourselves.)  When you are picking one out yourself, you discover that you really don't like the looks of any of the options out there.

We need ceiling huggers (basically flush mounts), with light kits and a blade span around 44".  I'm thinking white and contemporary.  We have nickel hardware through out the house, but an all-silver fan would be too cold and stark in the bedrooms.

Also they can't be too expensive.  Do you know how many options that leaves?  Just two.

1.  The Minka Aire Concept II 44" flushmount, around $264 from various sources

(Or this variation, the Minka Aire traditional flush ceiling fan, around the same price.)

2.  The 44" Encore Possini Euro White Hugger Ceiling Fan, about $199 from Lamps Plus.

There are some super budget-friendly options, but this one is too cottagey

And this one is pretty ugly.

I like to think that these fans will be a long-term investment and that it makes sense to go with the higher-quality ones that also happen to be more style-appropriate to our house.  But at the same time, I tend to be cheap about the boring stuff.

If you want to see some beautiful spaces with ceiling fans, check out Lauren Liess's post on the use of fans in Tom Scheerer's work.  Makes me feel like there is hope!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Source Alert: Colored Cord Kits

There are so many great pendant options these days, including fun DIYs, that require a cord kit.

Loving these cords from, in just about every color under the sun.  At just $20, you could buy a couple and swap 'em out with the seasons (if you're handy with electrical work, that is.)

And just to get you inpired, here are some fun lighting DIYs from around the blogosphere.

Dodecahedron at View Along The Way

Copper Geometric Pendant fixture at Design-Milk

Jute-wrapped, via Hand Made Home

Faceted pendant (that's folded paper!!) via the 3 Rs Blog

Wood veneer woven lamp on Poppy Talk

Lace Doily lamp on Dos Family (with colored cord kit!)

Um, I am feeling like the least creative person ever all of a sudden!

Have you created some whiz-bang amazing light fixture from scratch?

Do tell.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Letting a house be what it wants to be

The striped rug that I ordered (actually Jaipur, but found on Overstock for about 1/3 of the price) arrived last week.  With in-laws in town, the girls home from school, a dance recital, and father's day festivities, it just sat, wrapped in plastic, a little mystery of will-it-or-won't it, until yesterday.

I did what one does.  Moved all the furniture by myself, got the rug in place, looked at it from every angle, took some pictures.  I did my favorite trick of walking to the other side of the room and then turning around to "catch a glance" at it.  You know, for the good old gut reaction.  You do that, right?

My husband came home while I was out supervising some city block bike riding, then it was bath and bed.  When I was finally done with it all, he came in to the office and said he had three questions.  The first two were about the lemonade stand he is building with the girls (out of all the scrap wood left over form various headboard projects!)  The third?

What's that rug?

I'll skip the part where I explain about the musical rugs through the house and having an eye out for the perfect thing for the living room and how I forgot to tell him I bought a 9x12 rug.  (See?  Totally doesn't read the blog.)

I'll skip right to the part where he asked me if I liked it and I said, "well, I think that rug is kind of how the house wants to be."  And then he asked me if that's what the house told me when I asked it.

A real jokester, this one.

Anyway.  Do you see why I'm bad at twitter?  So many words just to start to tell you about letting a house be what it wants to be.

Here's how I broke it down for my husband:

People have a look or style that they are drawn to.
And a house can be bossy about what belongs in it.  You know?  I mean, it has it's own inherent style, too.

The style of the house influences you, I think.  Or it will if you let it.

This is a challenge when you don't have the budget to scrap everything and start over when you move.  And while I do believe that you should buy what you love--and that the things you love will mostly go together--I also know that what worked in your last house might not work now.

When I moved to New York after college, I lived in a tiny fourth floor walk-up with basically no architecture of any kind.  I was in a barkcloth phase and decorated with a mix of my parents cast-offs and flea market finds, and my roommate's orange fur beanbag chair from a store in the East Village and a sheepskin rug we bought with his mom at a suburban New Jersey Costco.

When I moved from that Hell's Kitchen 1-bedroom to a gorgeous pre-war co-op apartment in Park Slope Brooklyn, with real parquet floors and picture moldings in every room, the rug went in my bedroom and I re-purposed my one-window curtain panel and a bed throw, like this.  But the apartment wanted something a bit more dressed up, and piece by piece, over 5 years, I invested in some good stuff, like the rug that's now in the dining room.

I love that rug.

But I'm not sure this house wants it.

When it comes down to it, this house has California dreams.  White walls, light-wood modern trim, open plan, oversize windows.  And most of the purchases we've made since moving in play to that.  Vintage eames chairs, mid-century tall boy, campaign chest, rattan swing chair, brass garden seat: all could fit right in out west.  And all things we love.  It's about WHICH of the thing you love that you choose to fit a space.

This new blue and sand striped dhurrie?  Fits that California vision.  Makes me think of this.

Ione Skye's house, design David Netto, in Domino

(You can see Ione Skye's whole-house tour here on Meg Biram's old blog.  And you can see it in the context of designer David Netto's oeuvre here on Habitually Chic.)

But the rug is fighting with my old favorite dining room rug.  So.  Do I put it in storage and let the house be what it wants?  Or do I find a different rug for the living room that bridges the two styles?

Do you let your house boss you around?  Or do you wrestle it in to submission?

Just curious.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Teensy Nursery

The family with this boys room and this girls room has an unexpected guest coming their way: baby number three, due in September!  Eventually two of the kids will share the map room, but for now, they're turning a small office in to the nursery.

The room is maybe 6x9 feet, teeny indeed, with a weird niche that is too small for a crib.  Taking inspiration from all the recent crib-in-the-closet design, we're talking about building a custom platform and storage right in to the niche, in lieu of a traditional crib.

Here's some inspiration.

via apartment therapy

Love the drawers below and shelf above; we would just add a rail of some kind to the front for now, leaving a little reading nook later

One Little Minute Blog

There's a simple example of a rail.  And space for baskets below may be easier than drawers.  Stripes are cute, too, but I love the solid color of this next one.

via Daddy Types

If you really wanted to get creative, you could create cutouts for crawl spaces (for a toddler)

Or build a playhouse underneath

Or keep it simple, and build a curved rail instead of a slatted one.

via Oh Happy Day

What do you think: would you put the baby in the closet?

I think this is such a smart solution to open up a small room!

Friday, June 14, 2013


So luscious.  
Just goes to show, you can layer without a ton of pieces.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Source Alert: Jaipur at Zinc Door

Searching for flatweaves the other day, I was surprised to see that Zinc Door now sells Jaipur rugs.  Jaipur has a wonderful selection of wool flatweaves in variegated stripes and contemporary patterns, and while I've seen them pop up on the flash sale sites now and again, I haven't been aware of a simple, direct retail source until now.

Some favorites:

Prices for wool flatweaves go up to about $1100 for a 9x12.  Not dirt cheap, but very reasonable!  They also make beautiful hand tufted pile rugs, but those cost more.

See the whole collection here.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Striped rugs: how to keep it global

It is, perhaps, and understatement to say that stripes are having a major moment.
It is, perhaps, even an understatement to say that striped RUGS are having a fairly major moment.  More specifically, Ikea's black and white striped knock off of Madeline Weinrib's great broken-stripe dhurrie is having a cultural moment all to itself.

The original in Nate Berkus's former living room

Reading the most recent issue of Matchbook, I was struck by a dhurrie of another stripe in John Robshaw's living room (see what I did there?)

Striped rugs can go coastal quickly, but I love the way this one had a global vibe instead, acting as the perfect foil to all of Robshaw's trademark block prints and far-flung metallics.

After all, this type of dhurrie has been around forever, and it's no new trick in design.  The key to keeping it bohemian?  Muted, earthy color, wool rather than cotton, and a worn-in, vintage feel.

Amanda Peet's house in Domino

Ellen Pompeo's house, by Matyn Lawrence Bullard, in Arch Digest (I had forgotten how much I love this house!)


On another tack, I love the way the antique striped rugs take the formality down a notch in these spaces.  Even when using blue, there is nothing ocean-side about these rooms.

I may or may not have found an incredible deal on one I've been eyeing for my living room, and it may or may not be on its way....

It also may or may not work, in which case we'll pretend we never had this conversation.  Deal?


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