White Houses of Instagram

October 28, 2014

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I confess to being an instagram junkie. (Many) Self portraits, puppy pictures, food photographs and vacation snapshots are all constant occurrences for me.  I admit it has stolen me away from my own blog and It’s in large part because Instagram is the perfect platform for someone visually minded that has perhaps a shorter attention span than typical (like me).    Pick any topic and you can find it there… Fitness, fashion, food or the Arts of course, theater, dance, design and yes, plenty of architecture. I am no some one that should suffer from house envy, but I can’t help myself… just look at these beauties…

ga-resid-rehab-firnewFancy an updated farm house?  It’s on Instagram.  I love the front porch on this place an the large french doors overlooking what seems to be endless vistas of green!  ahhh.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMaybe formal is more your thing?  it’s there too (on Instagram).  The Gerogian influences on this colonial charmer sure charm me.  It strikes me as odd that there isn’t more symmetry to this house if is indeed turn of the century.  Georgian style dictates symmetry so perhaps this house was devided at some point, altered by fire or maybe just maybe it isn’t as old as we might think. Either way it’s a handsome house, you can’t go wrong with a white house.

image11This last house is one of my favorites in Provincetown.  The lead image is the front, don’t you love the trellis over the bump-outs? they disguise the wings of the house, keeping it looking like a tall, narrow antique.  the wings allow for views and modern amenities.  and the texture of the trellis is interesting I think.   Oh, and the water front property doesn’t suck either.  This house is beautifully maintained, that makes any house (even yours) more attractive.  where you lack in architectural detail or grandeur you can make up for by keeping the paint, trim shutters and yard in ship shape!

Here are a few others that I’m going to leave untrimmed… love them all…could keep going but I won’t…

  IMG_5630IMG_5627IMG_5628IMG_5631Yeah, yeah… this last one isn’t technically white, but it’s too pretty to not post and the trim is white.

Joggers

October 28, 2014

imageI didn’t create the trend but I’m certainly helping it gain momentum. The mens “jogger” is starting to show up everywhere (and by everywhere I mean every guy with style in NYC) and, I have joined the movement.  I have 3 pair of mens pants with elastic at the ankles. Two are wool – one pair navy, one pair grey tweed and I also have a cotton pair… And I wear them in public. What’s the big deal you might be wondering, well two pair have elastic waists and one pair has a drawstring. To me those details belong on clothing  only if worn at a gym, playing sports or on a sofa.  But i pair them with chambray shirts, chunky sweaters and my favorite corduroy unlined sport coat and make sure my outfit looks “pulled-together”.joggersThis trend is not just for the guys… Girls are rocking pants and jumpsuits with cinched ankles and drawstring waists…  SplendidLA in the SOHO area of NYC sells every type imaginable.  If your going to make the leap, pair it with a tiny leather (or Vegan leather) jacket and ankle booties to be completely “on trend”.

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Black & White &…

September 29, 2014

tumblr_mfbsjdeouv1rk7lm8o1_500 I debated calling this post “confessions from a converted beige addict” but We’ll stick with Black & White &… I am here to tell you, white(ish) walls and trim are always appropriate.  Sure, sure, you love color.  Thats great, I do too. But, a dash of color or flash of texture in a white room makes a statement and has such a cool aesthetic, you really don’t need to paint walls to match your sofa (or your art! please no.)  White is also adaptable to any architectural style, high Victorian to Mid-Century and everything in-between it’s always appropriate.

living-3-dog-0003a_prvpenneySee how well the furnishings show in this beautiful room. I’m not sure this may be the work of Daryl Carter (or maybe Thomas O’Brien) I love the look and I love that you get to see the stuff in the room, the beautiful shapes and the silk gloss of the leather, the grain of the side table, the knot of the sisal rug.  This room doesn’t slap you in the face.  The occupants would be the stars of this space and the detail harmonize to create a beautiful space that holds you without being obvious.  That’s what I love.

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I think the deep black floors of these spaces ground the white walls and create interest.  I like a white on white look too but I appreciate – now that I have white floors – that they are a maintenance issue if you have kids, dogs, or a life other than cleaning your floors daily… but they are pretty.  The sinister darkness is the perfect juxtaposition to the pure light of the white.  tumblr_mzx1l9eft31qzleu4o1_500In every room a bit of color must fall.  And I’m falling for the look of this sofa covered in a Hudson Blanket, Genius!  I have a pair of chairs that were my grandmothers in a very similar style to this sofa.  When I got them they were covered in a beige vinyl.  I had the covers replaced with an off white silk and it has lasted more than a decade but I think I’m ready to embrace this look.  So cool in a clean simple space, a statement for sure but surrounded by subtle, I think it could be great.  I am saying keep color to a minimum to get the look, but bend the rules a bit to make it your own.

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My Fall Fashions

September 27, 2014

To the horror of my husband, I went out in sweatpants last night…

Like OUT out! To dinner at a nice place!!

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I wore a white dress shirt and a pale grey cashmere sweater with dark blue sweats from JCrew, and I think I looked cute… I’ll tell you one thing I was wicked comfy. You all know I love my cozy.  The pants are a skinny cut and the ankles are elasticized, they don’t have a knit cuff, so honestly, it was probably hard to tell they were sweats.  Here is the honest truth, I typically dress for everyone else, not myself.  I wear what I think is appropriate vs what I want to wear.  Maybe it’s the “F” it forties, but I think I’m done caring about what other people think.

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I am very happy to dress in clothes from J.Crew.  They are a classic brand that tends to not chase trends but seem to update the look they present and stay current and relevant by adjusting silhouettes, and details.  A company probably looking to sell to folks a bit younger than me, but happy to have multiple markets.  I like mixing a bit of “designer” with the basics from J.Crew that tend to be well made a relatively well priced.  My palette dosen’t vary from Navy, Khaki, Grey and White.  I will wear a gingham, or plaid but thats a about it.  Give me a Navy corduroy jacket paired with some dark rinse jeans and a grey cashmere sweater anyway, or grey sweater with khaki shorts works too.  I like the idea of looking nice but keeping the “fashion” subtle.  It’s not unlike my decorating style.  I don’t need to walk into a room and get slapped by the loud drapery.  I use more color and pattern in my work, but there is a subtlety to it than allows the package, the entire envelope of the room to hold together, you see the room not the sofa, then the drapes then the… I think you get my point.

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Bedroom Inspiration

August 22, 2014

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The color trend everyone is thinking will be the next big thing is OliveGreen, but I have my sights set on a current hot color… Dark inky blue, deep marine, sapphire blue.  I’ve been thinking about the little bedroom at the cottage, and was contemplating an all white room – which you know I adore – but the longer I live in that tiny space, late in the evening and early mornings (and the dogs make sure it’s EARLY) and I think I really like being held by a deeper color.  currently the walls and ceiling are “previous owner grey” and the sad carpeting is a dark brown synthetic industrial berber… it’s as awful as it sounds.  I’m surprised I haven’t called my therapist yet, but plans to make the change early fall are helping me get through this design dilemma. tumblr_n5r2cj13fR1qatvvoo1_500

 Anyway, the plan is for Simply White – my go to white – on the ceiling and Simply White floors.  I think the deep color will look rich and evoke a marine vibe without being overtly beachy.  I also like the idea of mixing high and low, glam but easy like a sisal rug mixed with an old gold mirror leaning on the floor.  The old gold is important i think, a dark room needs the pop or luster of a metal… I could go polished nickel but thats really just not my look.  I always advocate for white cotton sheeting so thats a given and maybe in the colder months I’ll mix in some navy sheets (Ralph Lauren, love them) to add depth and amp up the cozy factor.  

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lunchtime-fix-7-blue-on-blue-rooms-similar-to-sarahs-house-4-dining-room-you-like-0The room is pretty much together in my head – now to find that mirror and call the painter – with the exception of window treatments.  I LOVE a shutter, but I am not so sure I’ll like a white shutter on a dark blue wall and with the trim painted out to match the walls (that was the plan anyway).  Do I paint the trim white and go with white shutters? that feels safe and too traditional doesn’t it? Stay with the plan to paint trim blue and use a inside mount roman shade? match stick? Split bamboo?  Offer up a vote in the comments if you want to vote or come back and check for an up-date once I’ve had the painter in!  
greige and gold living room

 

Design Crush

August 16, 2014

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As I have said many times, inspiration can come from anywhere and everywhere.  The colors of a leaf can spawn a color palette in a room, a vintage photograph can educate the eye towards texture and the balance of lights and darks. Sound too esoteric for you?  I get that, but it’s really very true… Nature, art, architecture heck, ANYTHING can really be a spring-board for a creative project no matter the medium.  In my design work I find people are drawn to certain shapes, colors, textures or patterns because of some recall that might remind them of something, or makes them happy, this too is inspiration.  Embrace it.  when something “feels right” move toward it.

Good design can also inspire others.  I love Daryl Carter’s work, Kelly Wearstler, Thomas O’Brien and host of others but I have a new crush.  Ken Fulk.  I might be late to this party, but he stepped into my peripheral vision when he refurbished a water-front home in Provincetown, MA.  On bike rides in the East End of town, I would always slow up to check out a decrepid old house with great bones that was slowly being lost to neglect.  I guess it was a year or two ago that the house got the attention of Mr. Fulk who has brought the house back to something that might be even better than what it once was.  Now I haven’t actually seen the interiors myself, but I have seen an image or two – I think it was on Instagram, and it’s quirky, details are made to give the house soul and patina.  It’s sort of layered up with antiques, oddities and old-fashioned charm but it’s thoughtful, comfortable and feels effortless and that is how a house should feel.

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Clearly a designer than marches to his own beat – in a very good way – his use of color, his mix of styles and the talent of merchandising he shows makes me want to see more… I’m smitten.  Here are a few images, favorites that I borrowed from his website (click his name above to be directed there).  Ken Fulk, like the other designers I mentioned all inspire me.  It’s ok to like other peoples style, to borrow a look or an idea.  That’s how trends are born.  Just give credit when credit is due, don’t copy… make it your own, tailor an idea to suit you and by all means… share the knowledge or pass the idea along if it’s really that great.

 

20140803-122617-44777496.jpgI have read back and it seems I’ve made many promises about what I’d do (and not do) if I were to be lucky enough to some day have a beach house.  No “designer pillows”, “paint everything white” the list goes on and on. Well…

I’m a liar.

I’ve got a few pillows – 6 so far to be completely accurate – that are made from “designer” fabric, Not everything in my little getaway is painted white, and it is quickly becoming a mini petri dish of design experimentation.  Curated and decorated but with authentically aged pieces, family pieces, antiques, local art, and even the occasional seashell.  I’m happiest in a space that blurs the lines between something very vintage and something a bit more updated…  A mix of modern and vintage.  The interiors of our little house have mostly come together with items we had in the basement of our other house, things that belonged to my father and grandparents, shipped across the entire continent to be held in storage until now, and a few recently purchased pieces that give the spaces a modern punch.

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Here I simply stacked a bunch of old crates that came out of my fathers plumbing shop in down town San Mateo.  My sister shipped them all out to me – way too cool to get rid of – and now they provide the perfect storage in our dining/guest/library room.  A white Saarinen gives this space a modern edge and creates a place to sit and eat, work or do a puzzle on a rainy day.

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We have also decided to live with the green woodwork in the living room, for now… but it totally works and the over all color palette seems to have followed suit – neutrals of course and a lot of white with splashes of blues and greens – expectedly coastal I know, but it works.  I have embraced the green and it gives a turn of the century vibe, a 40’s 50’s vibe and a modern “designer” vibe too and I’m great with all of that.  You can’t tell but we hung an off white grasscloth wallpaper in this room to clean it up, soften the edges a bit and to add a layer that didn’t feel too heavy but gives depth.  There were box valances and curtains, those are all gone.  In their place are clean lined bamboo blinds that fold up like roman shades.   20140803-122618-44778175.jpgNot going to lie… I’m now on a tear.  Buying vintage pottery like a drunken sailor, oil paintings from the 20’s to the 60’s and  nautical themed ditties that have patina.  The coffee mug(s) pictured above is the latest splurge.  I love them.  I have my eye on a set of mixed color mixing bowls that remind me of a set my family has at our lake house in California and an oil painting of waves crashing on rocks painted sometime in the 1930’s.  The house is tiny so it shouldn’t be much longer before I run out of room.  Let me know if you want me to fill up a little (or not so little) house for you.

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