Thursday, March 27, 2014

Mirror Madness from an unexpected source

You know who is killing it with interesting yet reasonably priced mirrors in all styles?

Pier 1.

After falling for the black and white octagonal(ish) mirror from One Kings Lane in my powder room design, I thought, what else is out there at or below this price point ($200)?  Folks, I only needed to make one retail stop to round up a dozen mirrors under $200 (many under $150).  I threw in lucky number 13--the peacock mirror--even though it clocks in at $234 on sale.

Check 'em all out here.  There are 109 to choose from--these were just my favorites.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Striped Wallpaper: Hallway (Two Ways)

Yesterday I showed you plans for a striped powder room, based on my impulse wallpaper purchase in a bold brown and white stripe.  Truth be told, I bought it for the upstairs hallway (but made sure I had enough for the powder room, if it came to that.)

When I put my original vision to paper, I wasn't so sure:

The striped paper, my grandmother's gold tole sconces (which I have mentioned many times but have thus far failed to photograph), all to set off my idea for a strong yellow and white abstract work, divided into a grid of white frames.  I threw in the boucherite rug for good measure.

Only problem?  When I saw my vision in something other than my own brain, it did't look like me.

So I tweaked.

MUCH better!  (For me).  I ADORE those yellow Paul Marrot prints.  And I had to get my leopard rug in somewhere, right?  The idea of the big abstract in the first scenario is to give a lot of movement against the stripe, but I think the hand-drawn quality of the prints does it in a way that is a little more ladylike, if less cool.  A little more me.  And of course, that's what matters most.

It's funny, when I saw it mocked up I realized that the grid of prints on the stripes reminds me of a tearsheet from many moons ago, from a Sheila Bridges project:

So good.  In fact, I like the way hers meander off-center from the stripes, don't you?

So now I love my proposed hallway.  But still....I am loving the powder room plans, too.

Do you have a favorite? you think the paper should go in my laundry room?  My husband's vintage Smashing Pumpkins tour poster would look pretty good over brown and white....

Weigh in!  I would love to hear what you think.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Striped Wallpaper: Powder Bath

There's nothing better than an impulse purchase that could actually work in multiple places/ ways in your house.  (The secret: pick something in a color that is a major player in your whole-house color scheme, and in a pattern--like a stripe--that mixes well with almost anything.)

Right now, I'm leaning towards using my striped Schumacher wallpaper in the powder bath, sort of like this:

I recently remembered a bamboo plant stand that I had stashed away in the basement; it makes a great little occasional table for a powder room.  I bought those vintage Chinese drawings when my husband was planning to rent his own space for his practice, but love them stacked on the narrow wall over the toilet.  Loving the black and white inlay mirror and how it relates to the other Indian pieces in the house (mirrors, coffee table).  We have contemporary white square sinks, and while I love the softening effect of the girls' gathered sink skirts, in here I would go tailored like the trimmed orange table skirt above.

Fun, right?

But it would also look great in the upstairs hallway....Or the laundry room.....

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Another impulse purchase, and a great resource

Can you guess what it is?

I love wallpaper, and have been using it with many clients, but I have never had it myself.  So I am so excited!  I picked it up from The Designer's Attic.  Do you know this site?  There are amazing deals on designer fabrics and wallpapers nearly daily (one a day).  The paper I bought is discontinued Schumacher and was basically priced less than cost.  I don't know how she does it, but you should definitely bookmark her site!

More to come on how I'm going to use it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I wish....

Do you ever pass on something amazing when you are thrifting, only to have an intense need for it come back to haunt you?

I wish I had snatched these up.

Aren't those AMAZING?  Recovered in a nubby neutral linen to dress them down a bit, they would be such a talking point in any room.

I guess I have a thing for swans?  

(here and here).  When I was a teenager, my parents had an amazing swan-base coffee table, where the wings held up a circle of glass.  I always sort of coveted that piece!

Anything you've passed on recently, only to regret later?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Elegant Dining (Design Board)

Just ordered all the furnishing for this elegant dining room.  (Don't worry: the chandelier is actually a dark antique brass that read more in the iron family.  And yes, there will be six chairs.)

Working on the adjoining living room now.  Can't wait for everything to arrive!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sneak peek: Tween girl's room


I was hanging art in this space yesterday, a room that has slooooowly come together over the past couple of months.  My clients decided to save a little dough by spray painting their existing curtain rods from white to black, (a move I fully endorse, of course!) but it hasn't been warm enough to paint.  Hoping to get the curtains up next week and do a proper reveal.

But in the meantime: I am impatient!

(And a peek at the before:)

Full reveal and before and afters coming soon!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

New to Me: Waiting on Martha

Here it is mid-March, and I am just getting to my second post in one of my promised new categories on this here blog.  (Well, third: I didn't call it such, but the sunburst post is really, categorically, an "It Always Works.")

New to me: where I share a source that is--you guess it--new to me, with the idea that it might be new to you, too.

Waiting on Martha is an e-commerce shop (with brick and mortar opening in Atlanta this year) and social media platform run by a woman who started out selling beaded jewelry on etsy.  There are lots of online "curated" boutiques these days, but what struck me about Martha is that there are tons of items that I haven't seen everywhere, and plenty that I haven't seen anywhere else.

Items are in a range of current styles, and while the stock includes objects from the somewhat predictable Dwell Studio and Jonathan Adler, most of the vendors seem to be smaller.  The result?  Everything feels special.

There is also a great price range, from super reasonable all the way up to not-at-all-crazy.

Oh, and right now it appears there is a little spring fever sale, with 20% off everything.  Just use code SPRINGAHEAD at checkout.

You're welcome.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Puzzle Pieces

Do you do puzzles?

If you do, you know the feeling that inspired all those expressions about the pieces falling into place.  With more and more done, you pick up the pace as you spot the right piece more quickly.

So, too, in decorating (or really, any large-scale creative venture with a million little pieces.)  The more that has been determined, the less there is to be determined about what remains.

Friends, I am feeling that momentum in my house, and damn, does it feel good.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

So how did that impulse rug work out, anyway?

I'm kind of cheap, did you know that?

It's true.  For myself, I think I would rather "get a great deal" than "pay for the perfect thing."  But.  The more I work towards a finished product around here, the more I realize that it pays to wait.  It's the lesson I refuse to learn

The moment I opened the package for this rug, I knew it was not going to work.  The colors were brighter/cleaner/ sharper than they had appeared online.

But of course I unpacked it anyway, and moved all the furniture, and tried it out right proper.

And: nope.  Still didn't work.

It's actually pretty cute in the room as seen here, but in an open plan house that's just not enough, and it fought with the living room.  Like, dukes up.

And it would have been cats and dogs with the leopard print chairs I just bought.

Yup, I will leave that one hanging.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Little peeks into some goings-on around here.

An awesome chandy goes up in a historic townhouse.

And amazing cement tile goes in to a teeny powder room and front entry

Gorgeous wallpaper over an antique mantel.

More wallpaper, this time in a sunroom.

A living room in progress  (sectional, pillows, and TV were existing, everything else = new!).

A (now complete!) girl's room gets a sparkly chandy.

Progress shots of a tiny, funky nursery

Hmmm.....I guess I like color!

So fun to share these little peeks into projects I am excited about!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Before and After

Don't you just love a good before and after?
It really makes it all worth it over here.

I wrote about this bedroom project and shared three possible looks here.  But here's what she DID choose:

Here is the space before:

and after!

Some much needed texture, lightness, and personality.  The biggest issue was breaking up all the brown and bringing in lighter tones (and one strong does of cheerful color!).  The space was also short on softness with no rug, no upholstery, and aluminum mini blinds on the windows.  Using a trio of euro shams filled in the wood headboard and gave more of the effect of an upholstered headboard, and fabric romans are a huge upgrade on the windows.


and after:

Before I came on the scene, they had already purchased the second dresser.  It just needed a focus, which a right-sized mirror will do instantly.


And after (okay, progress):

These frames will house personal photos.  Again the scale makes a big impact here, as well as hanging the art much lower.   (They hung things on existing nails when they moved in--something people do ALL the time to avoid putting another nail in the wall!)

A few more:

Those lamps were a total score.  They are more than 3 ft tall, which the overscale furniture really needed.  and you know how I love the mix in patterned sheets for a mostly-hidden layer of interest.

I took this one in the full length mirror on the closet.  It's funny how different a room looks when you flip the image.

What do you think?  amazing what a little "fluffing" can do.

Monday, March 3, 2014


Sometimes a pretty room is just a pretty room, based on the things we like.  Nothing wrong with that!  But more and more as I work on other people's houses, I challenge myself to start not only from a favorite color or beloved rug, but also from an idea, a concept that helps tie the room together.  I loved reading a story in Architectural Digest recently where the designer talked about fog or "fogginess" as her inspiration, which played out in color palette, materials choices, etc.

Two cases in point from my own work.

This guest room design was for a duplex penthouse in New York, a building that had been converted from something else into luxury apartments.  I loved the idea of transformation, of taking something quite old and making it new.  But even more than that, I was intrigued by the notion of fascimile, of transformation through the process of copying.

Here, the Restoration Hardware bedding takes a Baroque medallion design and deconstructs it into a hand drawn, printed motif.  The CB2 Stick Around chair recreates the Novogratzes' own dining chairs, which are authentic vintage finds. And the artwork is a fine art photograph of a very old painting, manipulated into a new work of art by my aunt, Melissa O'Shaughnessy, a very talented photographer.  Do you "see" all of this the moment you look at this room?  No.  But I love that it adds another layer to the design.

In this girls room, we wanted a space that worked now for the 9-year-old occupant, but would also work later with minor changes.  I liked the notion of hand me down antiques, the way young people sometimes have very grown up furniture because it is on hand (mom and dad redo their bedroom, a grandparent downsizes, etc.)  The bed is one such piece, repainted for this use, but then we brought in "future heirlooms", like the gustavian chests, and then contrasted them with very "teen" elements like the modern white lamps.  It almost feels like a nine year old inherited the guest room and made it her own.

Having a little story in mind can help create a framework for choices, just like a framework of formal elements repeating around a space.

Here's to a new week!  Hope yours is starting off right.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...