Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I am Thankful

A heartfelt Thank You to my fabulous family, wonderful clients, and all of YOU readers.

Enjoy this holiday season!

with love,


Thursday, November 21, 2013

An Office Transformation

I have just been kicking myself lately.  I never seem to remember to take the oh-so-important "before" shots.  I'm usually so excited to start a job, I sort of just dive right in.

Let's just say that this office looked like this before.

White walls, fluorescent lighting, commercial carpet, aluminum blinds.  Okay, the actual office is a little less NYC, a little more suburban midwestern office park, but you get the idea.

And now:


This is the office of a small family foundation, and it needed to feel comfortable, elegant, and classy, and to reflect the family in general and the foundation namesake in particular.  In my inspiration, I found myself thinking of Nate Berkus: masculine, traveled, neutrals and textures--only with a little less modern edge.  The photo above is the view from the front door.  When you come in, there is this seating area to the right.

The mix of antique walnut, leather, velvet, mohair, antiqued mirror, gold, and blue and white pottery feels collected and a little old money to me.

That small angled wall is actually an interior floor to ceiling window with that chicken wire glass and terrible aluminum blinds.  The blinds are NEVER opened, so instead of turning the angle into a feature, we decided to make it "disappear" into the wall, and softened it up with a pleated flat roman shade in a Schumacher silk the same color as the walls.

One of the fun things about this project was using the art that the foundation had collected one way or another over the years.  These Native american watercolors are beautiful, and helped set the color palette.

In the seating area, we swapped out the big fluorescents for recessed halogen floodlights, and supplemented them with wall sconces and table lamps.

I blogged the frame transofrmation (above) here, and the massive gallery wall here (and here.)

I'll be back with a few more details and ideas on accessorizing an office space.  And someday I will learn to not only take "before" shots, but to take a decent "after" shot as well!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Return of the ripplefold

Being a self-taught designer who obsesses over all kinds of source material, I generally know what I want, even if I don't know what it's called.  Design is a visual language, so, while knowing the lingo is super helpful, finding a photo can be equally--or even more--effective.

Take this room.  In order to quote the wall of sheers behind the bed, I dug up these photos for my workroom.

And promptly learned that this is called "ripplefold."   The next time I was in the workroom, the seamstress told me that she put ripplefolds in her living room 20 years ago, but over the years they sort of fell out of favor.  Now, all of a sudden, they have a bunch of orders for this style of drapery.  Isn't it funny how these details trend?  Sure enough, I got a catalog from Houles the other day, and they just introduced ripple fold heading.

Guess I'm on-trend with this one.  And now that I know what it's called, it is MUCH easier to find inspiration images for my client.

And guess what?  Turns out you can also order them through The Shade Store or Room and Board.

Or, better yet, go custom with a workroom.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I think we have a winner

Sometimes I have an instant vision and it comes together swiftly and effortlessly.

Sometimes I have to work a little harder.  Remember these?  Well, the space finally got figured out, and it is not the same design I alluded to in that post.

Feels pretty different for me, but I love it!

Keeping it short and sweet this busy Monday.  Meet you back here tomorrow!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Smart updates: slipcovered bedrame

I'm always thinking about ways to use fabric to bring new life to old pieces.  I am especially a fan of solutions that don't use a lot of yardage (cheaper!) and that are not permanent (commitment issues!)

How about these tailored slipcovers for wooden bed frames?

Martha Stewart via The Designer's Attic

Via Kathryn Ireland

Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair

I love the way they leave a bit of the wood exposed.  Much more character than a fully-covered headboard, which might go a little Pottery Barn on you.

And this last one is sort of genius:

via Cote de Texas

Those little corner slipcovers protect the antique french beds from little kitty claws!  This is one of those applications where the haphazardness really makes it work.

We have upholstered headboards in 2 of 3 bedrooms, and I love the Chinoiserie bedframe in our Master bedroom....but I also love this slipcover idea should I ever need to switch it up.

Which, you know, is like...never.  right?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Quickie (but goodie!)

I'm always thinking about different ways to display art, and in particular, ways to create interesting art displays (or showcase a collection of objects or ephemera) even if you don't have much of an art collection.

I snapped this picture in a Pottery Barn store recently.  I love the way the frames make a sort of architectural installation, and you want to go up and see the images.

The images (or objects) could be anything that forms a collection: special seashells with notes on where they were collected, postcards you send to yourself from years of travel destinations, foreign stamps, bowties, the placecards for special family members from your wedding reception.  This arrangement is all about creating emphasis on a group of things that become more special when placed together.

Installation would be simple: just choose a simple hook, buy in multiple, and add pretty ribbon, twine, or cord to to eye hooks on the back of your frames.

What do you think: if you hung a display this way, what would you put in the frames?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Tile Tats

At book club last night, we found ourselves laughing about the tile in my friend Lisa's new (old) house: hand-painted fruits and vegetables in 24 individual designs, scattered about on all four walls of the kitchen.  (Lisa, send me a photo so these folks can truly understand the problem!)

Now, these tiles I'm sure had their day. The problem is, that day is not today, and Lisa and her family are planning to just live with them until they eventually gut the kitchen.

I was reminded of a product I stumbled upon a while back.

Tile Tattoos from Mibo in the UK.  So smart, right?  They are waterproof when applied, and removable when you're done (great for renters.)  The drawbacks?  Well, they only come in two designs right now, the slightly Moroccan one above, and a very Atomic 50s look, below.

At 12.50 British pounds per set of 8, they aren't super cheap--but way cheaper than replacing the tile, and a lot of look for the dough.

What do you think: would you give your tile a tat?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Upholstered Strip/es

So, I'm still toiling away, trying to figure out what to do for almost no money in my long and boring windowless upstairs hallway.  I'm actually not even going to link to all the various and sundry posts about it (there are a lot).  It's embarrassing.  Lots of thought, little action.

For now I'll just let the ideas roll.

How about, for example, creating stripes out of upholstered sections joined by tape trim and upholstery tacks?

Yes: I like it.  And when you break up the square footage across 2 or 3 fabrics, I might even be able to make it happen with supplies on hand.....

Or, you know, not.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Loving lately: midcentury inspired lamps

I have been looking at A LOT of lamps lately, and if nothing else, it is reminding me of my penchant for the mid-century thing.  Particularly in ceramic (though wood is nice, too), I love the long, graceful necks and the slightly funky proportion.

Today it's making me thing of Naomi's reveal of her one-room-challenge "bachelor pad" over at Design Manifest.  Check it out, and check out all the bloggers who participated in Linda's brain child.  amazing how fast 6 weeks went...even though I was not actually playing along!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

My latest obsession/ inspiration

This living room

Plus this dining room

I have these torn from magazines (Both Traditional Home), and originally thought they were the same house and I wanted to move right in.  They aren't!

They both have the color palette that I am moving towards: strong golden yellow, red, and blue, with hits of black white and gold.  Both have the eclectic mix of worldly finds that I love, global textiles, and a heady dose of natural texture in sisal, bamboo, rattan, and hide.

I've been thinking a lot about personal style (and how to define it) lately.  I love finding inspiration that speaks so directly to what I love.

Things have been crazy, folks.  I have a ton of posts planned, just need to find time to pull them together.  I hope you will stick with me!


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