Here’s what we started with: Heavy low support beams, 40 year old linoleum flooring (and everything else!), and NO ACCESS TO THE WATERFRONT DECK FROM THE LIVING ROOM! betweenherehflidhflsdhfi suhdfzuhfiusdhfisdhfiueyhkujyhtsi8ytiutyh8iytaielyaiuyhiluyoahfuzyrhliaylcaiufiugaiugfagiu
andherejflvsidfkxinvru kxdfhgv dfhx idkcirno9ehvsjdhfjcno98yvriudvhfvi8enurieyvrbsixjnliwyvbisughfki8euyr
Here’s the design concept: Vibrant, colorful, cheerful and casual…a slice of beach heaven! lekrjnvp9oucrk8fncuvilweruncstyvhsi8tyhnv8eythvoe8syrhvleiuvo98eythnvliseyseiuyhavlieuvhliseurvliuerhuieiui
lekdrjwo9ujkdifvjneithfdufhvseirvfldxfhvsiertn vxdfhvseirytnvsidurhyvsieyrhfidufvsieufhsiuetvhosiufh iueyrvoi
Here’s how it turned out:
lksdfjosieuclserhicsuyfsiuyvoildryliryhlsidrhsithsiethsierhslidrhtsielrhtsilrthl siurhtslidhslirhgs lihgb lhg bdhg lidghld
This is the master bedroom. Not a bad place to wake up, don’t you agree?
lkdjflvirufijfvlijkihg xnldfhgxlkfhgj xlfkhgjbl kfjg lxfhg lxkfjgsloirjowieuri8ytrowiuejclowiaiseukhriueyrciurhnoundoirf
The fabrics above are from Thibaut, Thibaut and Designer’s Guild
In the photo above from Coastal Living, an outdoor lounge is brought indoors. If summer is your favorite season, then this is a great way to keep that feeling year round.
At the High Point Furniture Market a few weeks ago, I visited one of my favorite makers of fresh, modern, well priced furnishings and accessories, Arteriors.
Seeing the collection in person, I was struck by the range of highly saturated blues and greens in their lighting collection…and I thought…what a great palette for summer!
A summer palette need not be bleached out! These deep greens, blues and aquas evoke the richness of a long summer day, from the bliss of a brilliant turquoise sky, to the cool depths of the deep green sea… and every hue in between.
IMAGESABOVElskeir;eortunvlrtukxdnvryu,y,bxdr8ydrxufh,dicur3485f6vb87tvkbutrva8 47t6akcuvbtrav8w74trvauker All of the lamps above are from Arteriors, and are available through Gaita Interiors. All of the fabrics are from Duralee, also available through Gaita Interiors.
First, get a slip cover made for your sofa out of this joyous floral from Robert Allen, Kiki-color pinata. Don’t be afraid, you’re going to love it, I promise! And this fabric is super sturdy, with a 30,000 double rub rating. That means you can let the monkeys jump on the sofa, no problem!
Fabric and custom slipcovers are available at Gaita Interiors.
Then add a couple of cheerful pieces from Maine Cottage. The look is whimsical, but the quality is very serious. This is some solid furniture, and the paint finishes are as tough as they are beautiful. In my neighborhood, we get our Maine Cottage fix from Wendy Gee! right on Boston Post Rd, in Larchmont, NY. At Wendy Gee! it’s spring all year round. I highly recommend a visit. Just browsing there always cheers me up!
MAINCOTTAGEFURNITUREoeut984tulvi8enukievurtyolviuntiserj0w93f857yl8nytlnirhfcwo8iytvsieylnierylieul Wendy Gee! also sells these rugs from Dash and Albert. This particular one is an indoor-outdoor rug. That means you can take it outside and hose it down, no worries!
For the table top, check out these floral plates and towels from Crate and Barrel.They do spring right! I guess somebody there knows that we need a little cheering up, and beige just wont do! What could be nicer, first thing in the morning, than a bagel with flowers!
Pick up any of the hipper (or recherché, depending on your viewpoint) design rags and you’ll see at lot of looks. What used to be called “eclectic” is “classic” now; combining periods is the baseline. Elements of glamour (egormoulu and brass) that used to be old are new again. Corian is the new marble. Colors that once ‘clashed’ now ‘sizzle’.
You’ve seen everything, and you’ll see everything. But the one thing you won’t see is “matchymatchy”. At least not in this decade.
First, the definition. The Urban Dictionary (www.urbandictionary.com) defines “matchymatchy” as, “…used to describe an outfit that is too coordinated and consists of too many of the same types of colours [sic], patterns, fabrics, accessories, designer pieces, thematic elements, etc. Can also be used in reference to interior design…”
The expression itself embodies a mild though mocking rebuke of the old aesthetic. Even if you don’t fully understand the concept you can tell there’s something undesirable going on here. But matching is a hard habit to break! Nevertheless, when you let go of the compulsion, you’ll be surprised to find that a whole new dimension of beauty and richness awaits.
Here’s what I mean. Take, for example, this nice room here. Nothing bad one can say. It’s a comfortably appointed, calming, traditional room. I have seen this room, or a close cousin, in a thousand homes. I’ve seen this room in every city in the US. Even in the homes of very-this-century people.
It’s certainly lovely…but is it interesting? Stimulating? Enlivening?? There is little or no acknowledgment of the intervening 150 years of design history and innovation anywhere here. Edith Wharton likely would be as comfortable in this room as my grandmother would’ve been.
Now let’s look at these rooms.
Are they transitional? postmodern? what? To say they’re “eclectic” sounds quaint, or maybe ironic, kind of like calling large item collection day at the dump “a hodgepodge”.
One common feature of these rooms is that the scale of the elements is similar to classical decorating. You’ll note that the stone sculpture above is nearly the scale of a painting that might hang over the bed in a modern room. The bronze silk upholstered X bench at the foot of the bed is a common enough item, albeit one with more “pop”. But five or ten years ago, would one have seen this bronze paired with the yellow lacquer nightstands? And stones above the bed? No, this is definitely a new way of putting things together.
Here, there are lots of different colors, periods and styles, but no over-sized pieces or oddly mismatched items, such as a cherry Queen Anne stool or a 70s redwood tree stump coffee table. This room also has pairs of items that do match, lending the room a pleasing symmetricality. Would we have seen this room in the 70s or even the 90s? Likely not.
In this room, there’s very little to match – another great strategy. All-one-hue rooms with different components in various tones or values is another, more subtle, way to avoid matching too much. This room encompasses traditional, classic, modern and contemporary elements with a minimalist aesthetic and looks “mixed” rather than “matched”, but quietly so.
The point is, in this day and age there are so many ways to achieve stylishness living, and only a tiny subset of these requires that all of the elements match. Today, “go together” can mean combining similar elements in unanticipated ways just as easily as it can mean containing disparate elements within a classical framework. Whichever way one wants it, the result is distinct, crisp, provocative – and new.
Lately the elegant trend toward greys and silvers, mixed with black and white, has been picking up speed in the market place. There’s a new wealth of available fabrics, furniture, rugs and lighting in this color family, and at every price point.
Furthermore, this is a trend that is versatile, and has lasting power. Since grey is the “new neutral”, I can happily recommend jumping aboard, if the look appeals to you. You’ll never regret buying a grey sofa, or a classic Carrara marble table. Such pieces are timeless, and can easily translate into new looks, and work with new color palettes in years to come.
When you bring greys and silvers into your home, you introduce a sense of calm, cool tranquility, and order. Soft greys lend a subtle femininity, while deep greys indicate a masculine presence.
This beautiful room, by interior designer Jennie Abbott, is the epitome of glamour, with deep rich grey upholstered pieces, against pale wall and floor treatments. The strong black and white art and black fireplace surround, bring some weightiness up to the walls. Without those touches, the strong furniture pieces would appear to float in their cloud-like surroundings. Here the feminine and masculine are expertly balanced. The results are DREAMY!!
This is one of the few situations where I can recommend plain white walls. (OMG!) This silvery pale grey palette gives white walls a reason to exist! In fact it’s the ideal backdrop for it. Here are a few things I put together to help you create this look:
In my work, I spend many hours looking at, and thinking about the work of other designers, artists, textile designers, furniture makers and craft people of every ilk. But whenever I can, I turn my focus to NATURE, the original, fundamental, and primary source of all inspiration!
October in Vermont is perfect for this kind of creative refreshment. It’s no wonder Vermont is known for it’s crafts and artists! I just spent a couple of days there taking pictures. Here’s a very small example of what I saw, and the direct inspiration for interior design that I took from it.
This incredible fuchsia foliage is the aptly named Flame Bush. I love it at this stage, half green, half fuchsia.
…And, I love it as a color scheme. Green and pink are natural companions. At this depth of saturation, they bring earthiness, glamour and passion. The combination amps up the exotic feel of these Moroccan inspired patterns.
Fabrics: Top row- All three are from HIGHLAND COURT 180933H-298, 180939-298 and 180944H-338. Second Row- KRAVET 27148-430, Highland Court 180949H-299, Kravet (wallcovering) W3080-630. Third Row-Highland Court 180934H-298, Kravet (wallcovering) W3093-640, Highland Court 180954H-298 All fabrics are available through Gaita Interiors (914)834-8282.
The Real Vermont, Why I Keep Going Back: I took this shot on the edge of a quiet country road, on a cloudy afternoon in Ludlow, Vermont. To me in exemplifies all that is lovely about Vermont in the Autumn. The shady old tree, the stone wall, the mix of reds, greens, and yellows. Too bad you can’t smell the pines! Pines smell best in Vermont, in the crisp air of Fall.
We can call this the Harvest Palette,andfor many it is the only color scheme necessary…EVER!!(Blue need not apply!) It offers a generous helping of warmth and cheer to carry you through the coldest winter.
I like my Harvest Palette on the light side, with lots of orangy reds and yellows, and low notes of clean, deep greens. This combination lends itself to a range of settings from a casual farm house kitchen, to the most formal Manhattan townhouse, and everything in between. It works beautifully with classic chinoiserie details.
Fabrics: Top row- KRAVET Fendton D-420, Kravet 27772-640, Kravet 31786-21 Second Row- HIGHLAND COURT 180664H-268, Kravet 22302-24. Kravet Holistic-16 Third row- ROBERT ALLEN Atlas Peak citrus mango, THIBAUT Alder Damask green wallcovering. All fabrics are available through Gaita Interiors (914)834-8282
Rug from Safavieh Heirloom Collection, the following items are all from Gump’s- Hand Painted Lotus Vase, Open Work Green Garden Stool, Hand Painted Chrysanthemum Screen, Shanghai Red Lacquer Boxes.
I recommend photography as a way of developing a deeper enjoyment of the outdoors. When you decide to photograph something, you’re forced to REALLY look at it, with a concentration you may never have used for JUST LOOKING. You don’t have to be a great photographer (eg: ME!) Any old camera will do. The photographs are not the point. They’re just a means to an end; a new way to see.
Small Investments: The marketplace is filled with pretty little things to add Fall’s special ambiance to your table. The prices are recession friendly, and you can use them year after year. Here are a few I found.
All of these beautiful , nature inspired objects (above) are from the Michael Aram Collection from Horchow. M.ARAMFROMHORCHOWPRETTYTHINGSsleslfjeos;ojfeps;jfpeifjlsiehfoshifowseihfosaiefhsoifhosiefhsofihos
This exquisite hand painted china from Bloomingdale’s, “Frivole” by Brenardaud (left) has a leafy, whimsical pattern, that transcends the season, but can certainly be interpreted for Fall. Truly a collectible heirloom pattern. It might be worth it to get married, and register at Bloomie’s, JUST to obtain this stunning china!!
The Majolica Overlapping Begonia Leaves Plate (right)
is from Marys-Antiques.com and is a collectible antique pattern. Thanks to the internet, collecting old patterns is SO EASY and so much fun!
Red is warm, vibrant, sexy and exciting. White is fresh, pure and bright. Together they make a great base for almost any style of interior design. Just add the color or neutral of your choice. You can’t go wrong!
Interior design by Amanda Kyser
I love the modern rusticity of this foyer with a brick red accent wall in a white setting. The use of the same color on a mid-century chair with great bones is just brilliant!
Interior design by Todd Romano, The walls are Farrow and Ball, color Blazer
Did I mention COZY? This traditional room makes the most of red’s cozy factor. the red and white plaid, rich jewel toned oriental and soft plush furnishings make this a great room to curl up in with a good book.
Red walls make everything pop! Your art and furniture will look better, more important. I can’t think of any color that looks bad against red. If you own neutrals, they’ll show up like they never have before. The bold backdrop will make a disparate collection of objects look related and integrated.
From Elle Decor, October 2009, designed by Bibi Monahan
This is the quintessential transitional living room. The feel is very up to date. The furnishings are a gorgeous blend of the traditional and the contemporary. The red backdrop with white matted art keeps it all beautifully pulled together.
Design by Eldon Wong, with Rosenthal China Service.
Here’s a great way to add a little red and white- paint the interior of a china cabinet red, then display classic white china in it. Your china will look better than ever!
Here’s some great stuff out there that can bring some of this warm-sexy-cool-bright-vivid prettiness into your home:
WHITECHINAONREDWALLdlirtpojfpsdjldigodihgldfhgldhgldropwjflshgoeirhgldkfnglkfghpwihskdhflsihgshlsdhloihpoih The Mod look:
hiohiohoifhniehrfeihnfiednhinhfiheihftniknfhiehwindfvnhewifhiwefifwehif The above items are:
Red Fabric (Duralee 25245-98), White Leather Chair (Le Corbusier), Red Lamp (Graham and Green), Black Fabric (Kravet Goodell-819)