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There's a lot of talk about green home products and green decorating.
This post, however, is about the color green -- an always fresh color that ranges from pale sage greens to vibrant, lime green. Look around outside and you'll see every shade of green imaginable. The combination possibilities are unlimited and that's good because I'd hate to see you limit yourself!
I'm a sucker for beautiful fabrics and paint colors (which is good considering my life as an interior designer!), but I also love fine papers and beautifully packaged gifts.
We recently went to a wedding party that combined Eastern and Western cultures. The groom is American and the bride is Korean and they live in Japan. We received these lovely boxed gifts—so pretty I almost didn't want to open them!
The October 2009 issue of Traditional Home magazine opened with this great quote in the letter from the editor:
"A designer knows he has acheived perfection not when there is nothing left to add but when there is nothing left to take away."
I love this one! So true, don't you agree?
Sometimes when I am "shopping" around the home of client, I find really pretty and meaningful treasures that they own but they are scattered about from room to room in no particular or logical order. How fun is it to gather up these things and put some order and sense to them!
Notice the similarity in color, theme and style in these white ironstone pitchers and delft blue plates. But they weren't together! Now they have visual impact.
You know how you have to take a step back and decide...should I add one more thing? Should I take one thing away? This can sometimes be a hard call to make. I am not sure there is a "golden rule" to guide you. For me, I just usually have a gut feeling about it.
Do you have a guideline that helps you know? Do share.
Congrats to Antonio Ballatore, the new winner.
Does anyone else out there think he won over Dan Vickery just because he has a unique personality? One we don't currently see on HGTV?
They were both good designers, so it was a tough call, but maybe it wasn't.
I'm just sayin'....
Here in the Chicago area, we're starting to see the first signs of leaves turning. The goldenrod is in full bloom as my allergies are the first to let me know. Thistle and grasses have gone to seed ... a sure sign that snow will be flying before we're ready for it.
And although we've had what I think has been lackluster summer weather this year, September has helped to make up for it with almost picture perfect blue skies, moderate temps and low humidity. When the goldenrod starts blooming and the thistle goes to seed, I get in the mood for fall and probably my favorite time of year for seasonal home decor.
The wonderful thing about fall accents is that they blend very well with any design style. Even more wonderful is that these same fall touches transition easily over the next several months with just a few tweeks for the fall holidays. If you've started with fall leaves, dried grasses, harvested fruits and veggies as a base, it's nothing to add the appropriate accents to embellish them for Halloween and Thanksgiving.
I just finished throwing these fall florals together. As you can see, I like to craft floral arrangements with a certain formality that also look somewhat organic and haphazard. I try to mix colors and textures for visual interest. For inspiration, I imagine walking through an overgrown field this time of year collecting samples from all nature has to offer...then incorporating them into a single arrangement.
I hope these pictures get you in the mood to start your own fall floral fun. By adding seasonal accents, you can get a whole new look for your home without breaking a sweat.
Happy Fall Decorating!
Decor Designs, Inc.
Have you read Loving Frank by Nancy Horan? It had been on my nightstand reading stack for awhile, but once I picked it up I could hardly put it down.
It is the story of Frank Lloyd Wright and the sizzling love affair he had with Mamah Borthwick Cheney from 1907-1914. What makes this story-worthy? For starters, both were married to others. Both were upstanding citizens of Oak Park, Illinois with respected spouses. Both had young children that they abandoned when they escaped to Europe to carry on their illicit affair. Imagine the scandal this stirred up in 1907! The lurid headlines exposing their affair sold a lot of newspapers across the country. Suffice it to say that even back then, the media knew that "sex sells".
If for no other reason, pick up this book because Frank Lloyd Wright is deemed the "creator" of American architecture as well as "organic" architecture, because of his obsession to meld nature into his building designs. The book gives insight to his brilliance and his vision. When Mamah asks Frank about why he entered his line of work he replies simply "I couldn't think of anything more noble than making a beautiful home". Swoon.
Frank designed and built their love nest in Spring Green, Wisconsin and named it "Taliesin". The two moved in and built a life together though they never married. To my delight, I have learned that Taliesin still exists, has a preservation society, and is open to the public. Quickly I added it to my "bucket list" of places to visit. One thing led to another and soon I was researching Wright's most famous home, "Fallingwater". Built on top of a waterfall in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania, Wright designed it for the Kaufmann family, well-known department store moguls. I can actually DRIVE to that one I decided. And wouldn't IT be the perfect field trip for The Society of Decorating Professionals 2010 annual conference? (Hint,hint...it's only 90 miles from Pittsburgh).
Back to Frank and Mamah, I don't want to tell you how their love affair comes to an abrupt end in August of 1914. But I will tell you that it will simply shock you.
In all honesty, it has haunted my dreams of late.
Dear SDP Friends,
As I write this month's post on from my home office in San Diego, CA, I feel the smell of sweet September in the air! Does fall bring out your nesting instinct big time like it does mine?! My hubby Steve and I have recently completed a few around our home so I thought I'd share them with you.
I found these wonderful "patina green" metal letters at in La Jolla, CA. It's one of my favorite design stores as they carry a lot of Old World style decor. Be sure to check it out if you ever get to San Diego. As for the metal letters, which are very heavy, here's so they don't fall off the wall!
If your jewelry is a tangled mess, here's a dollarwise way to get it all organized so you can feel well put together when you get ready in the morning. I bought a bulletin board which my hubby hung in our walk-in bedroom closet. I give more . Of course, I could have made it even more "designer-ish" by covering the cork with a lovely fabric and painting the frame a nice color, but I elected to keep it simple.
We like our master bedroom and bathroom suite to feel like a Bed & Breakfast Inn because we stay in I found some lovely new white embellished pillows at Target, and a pretty new lilac-patterned quilt at Marshall's to freshen things up a bit. I also did some tweaks to our master bathroom. The "NEST" letters are in the bedroom corner.
I love nothing more than to have . We like our privacy out there, so I found these two metal folding screens which my hubby Steve painted and then he built a track for them to stand straight in and fastened them to the railing. Now we still get the sunshine, but we have privacy too.
Wishing you sweet September nesting!
This past weekend I said goodbye to my daughter on a sidewalk at The University of Kentucky. She is beginning a new life for herself as a college student and it's a life without me. After 18 years, it's a harsh and sudden realization and I would be lying if I said it was easy. But this is what we raise them to do, and through the sadness there is a happiness. It's bittersweet.
I got to thinking about the coming of Fall and the changes that it brings. I realized, for me anyway, the season that marks going back to school, or going away to school, brings with it the browns and the ochres and the oranges that range to rusty red. It's bittersweet.
Ralph Lauren Home
Today I took out my silk bittersweet spray and arranged it in a black and cream diamond-patterned container on my entry table. The bright yellow silk tulips I had in there began to look silly on this late August day. The lazy days of summer are ending and soon the cicadas will go silent. It's bittersweet.
It's all bittersweet.
I love men's dress clothes and the "science" behind putting the right suit, shirt and tie together. Even selecting the right color shirt to compliment your skin tone is a learned art.
There are the different suit jacket lapels and the number of buttons to consider. The variety of shirt collars can send your head spinning. The right tie knot with the right shirt makes the outfit and don't forget about mixing shirt and tie patterns (which I think is great fun).
I recently saw this page in the Lands' End catalog and believe it or not, it made me think about interior design.
A while back I had a decorating job for a young girl's bedroom. Actually it was a surprise room makeover for the girl as her 13th birthday gift from her parents. Initially I met with her mom and we discussed different ideas and I learned about her interests and hobbies. I learned she was an avid soccer player. I had in mind something fun and colorful for the wall that would be unexpected.
Months before that I had cut out an ad from the back of a magazine for and pinned it to my bulletin board. I thought it looked like something fun to try when the opportunity was right. It gives an Andy Warhol look to any photograph you care to submit. You can select the colors, size, and shape of the art. You can determine the number of the images you want to appear. They work up a proof and send it to you for approval via e-mail. The art is shipped shortly thereafter.
The finished product is not inexpensive, this 20x24 panel was about $250. But really, not so terrible for a one-of-a-kind piece of art that might just be unique enough to keep forever. How cute would it be to do your baby's face or your family's black lab?
I know that this young teen was delightfully surprised when she saw the colorful and modern rendition of herself kicking a soccer ball downfield.
This week on a job I "freshened up" a master bedroom. By that I mean I re-accessorized with things my client already owned and purchased a few new things to put in the mix.
My client is a delightful single mom who loves soft, restful colors in her bedroom and already had a shabby chic vibe established. She also has a waterbed which she LOVES and does not want to part with.
When I first saw the bedroom earlier this summer I suggested she might want to paint her natural pine bedroom set a creamy white and distress it a bit to help her shabby chic look along. This included the bed, 2 dressers and a large mirror. She hired a painter who did the priming and painting (smart lady) and then she got out her electric sander and did her own distressing. We also selected some clear glass knobs to add to the previously knob-less dresser drawers.
Her waterbed is the old-fashioned variety that sits very low to the ground. Add to that the room's high vaulted ceiling and the bed looked even lower. So, while "on the job" I ran out to HomeGoods and selected this large picture to add some height and visual interest to the bed.
I couldn't resist the "dream" pillow and snatched that up as well.
Have any of you experienced "waterbed issues" in a bedroom you have decorated? What have you done to help it fit in with the decor?
There are a lot of interior design principles, theories, rules and guidelines. They come in handy to help make or explain decisions to clients.
There are times when those guidelines fail me and my ultimate reason for making a design decision is based on my eye and a gut feeling about what works. Try as I might, I can't always explain these things as well as I'd like.
Imagine my delight when I read an interview with interior designer Bunny Williams in the Aug. issue of House Beautiful.