November 18, 2013
Ok, Ok… I spend more time on Instagram and Pinterest these days than I do writing blog posts. I’m sorry. In an attempt to satisfy my hunger for interior eye-candy and to share here with you I am combining in today’s post.
Here are just some of the images I pinned, or re-pinned today on Pinterest. I’m searching to a commonality, a theme and what stands out to me is a conscious “undesigned” vibe, as if these rooms just happened (they didn’t, btw). And, I think they all have a masculine vintage-modern vein to them… something old something new?
I want to label these images, most have some mid-century element but the look ranges from mid-century, 70′s loft-style, minimal, and a whole lot more. There is a spare yet eclectic aesthetic that I think I’m responding to. No pattern per-say, earth tones, it’s decorating made (to look) easy. I for one have a hard time stopping, I like to just keep adding but I have to say I aspire to less is more. Let me tell you that all these undecorated spaces were thoughtfully stylized, edited and controlled. Theres a big payoff if you can just say no to prints, and all the other bells and whistles available to us all via the design market place.
Let the furniture say what you want the room to say. Invest in quality sofas, chairs and case pieces… and by that I don’t mean expensive ( although expensive is often built well, and I wouldn’t say no to it). Buy it because it’s right, buy it because you love it.
October 29, 2013
I’m in the market for a day bed. These images reminded me of one I had seen in the pages of Elle Decor. I love the high-sided coziness, the relaxed look… not quite a sofa not really a bed. You get all the guilty pleasure of being in bed, but sitting – or laying – on something that a whole lot nicer than a twin mattress with a few big pillows on it.
This day bed shown in grey and flax are available from West Elm. The upholstered Nailhead Trim Daybed comes in your choice of brushed heathered cotton and is finished with a nailhead trim.78″w x it is 41.3″d x 34.5″h. and has a solid and engineered wood frame. It is recommended for use with Twin Mattress (sold separately). I think I’m going to need a full-sized day bed so I can’t buy this one but you should. It’s great looking, buy two for a guest room / media room. Here’s the one that started this whole thing… pretty right?
October 6, 2013
If I am ever lucky enough to have a second home near the ocean, I promise myself to not overdecorate it.
I swear I will do my best to keep the furnishings simple and clean, understated and comfortable. I’ll keep the finishes low sheen and matte, the fabrics soft, light and easy. I won’t insist on trendy patterns, I won’t use strong trendy colors and I won’t make so perfect that it’s not easy to relax in.
I vow to keep interesting books on hand for guests and renters, and firewood near the fireplace to cut the chill on cold nights. I will honor the bones of the structure, and celebrate the quirky oddities. I won’t remodel with the latest and greatest, I won’t insist on marble countertops and stainless steel appliances.
and…I’ll paint everything white (Simply White – Ben Moore).
October 5, 2013
My family owns a small cabin on the north shore of Lake Tahoe, and it has stood largely unchanged for the past 70 years. I love the cabin just as it is and I’m thankful that the knotty pine interior is intact, the original stove and refrigerator are still there and in use and that it has never been stripped of its charm, raised or even added on to. But, I do think that it would be a very cool up date to the little house’s exterior by painting it black.
I don’t tend to use a lot of black in my design work, accents mostly but It always seems to be “current” it all depends on how you use it. These days a black room is not unheard of. As you all know I covet a black bathroom… I will have a black bathroom. Dark colored walls are very current and black has not been left out. The bedroom above however relies on black to be an accent, and it works. Black acts like good punctuation, for any room, any color palette.
I love black mixed with these camel and wood tones. A hardwood floor would work as the foil to the black walls but if you happen to have something other than hardwood, mix in some lighter neutrals. I like the mix of browns, tans and other neutral tones to keep the space warm.
I could even find my way to a black kitchen if there were plenty of white walls around it (like the one below). Black is sexy, mysterious and strong. It works in urban settings, but I’d love to see it used to play against the natural (like a cabin in Tahoe) such an interesting ying yang. Where would you use black?
August 21, 2013
A: Creating a black bathroom.
Our house is circa 1907 and it has lovely details like leaded glass, quarter sawn oak floors, built-ins and plenty of room for the two of us and our dogs (and guests) BUT it doesn’t have 2 full baths. Who builds a 5 bedroom house and only puts in one full bathroom? Victorians I guess… it’s not working for me. The good news is that I get to be my own client and I want black. I think it’s very sexy and masculine like the above bathroom designed by Mark Sikes. I love his use of mirror to “lighten” visually where there isn’t paint but I know I want a stronger floor like this one I found on Pinterest.
Here are a few more black bathrooms I plan on using for inspiration. If you think black seems risky, my advice to you is it’s only paint. Why not take a risk on something that can be changed for under $100 and in a day (or three, black might take several coats to cover) and yet make such an impact?
Just for the record: It does bother me that I could’t get the last image to line up with the one above it.
May 6, 2013
It’s been a while. I’m sorry.
I’ve been distracted by, I’ll admit it, Instagram. It’s so narcissistic and a bit voyeuresque… but for a kid with a little ADD, it’s great. I still troll design sites, blogs, retailers, vendors, and manufacturers of blog worthy design. I have a desktop full of images I had intended to say something about over the course of time I have been neglecting this blog. So here is a deposit of chic white rooms, with black and natural wood tones dominating the aesthetic.
I do love a clean and serene environment but damn if I don’t fill up every table top with birds nests, twigs, stones form trips to beautiful beaches and do-dads I pick up along the way. These rooms for the most part have a un-designed design to them, intentionally “thrown together” creating an environment that is comfortable, feels organic, and is beautiful to experience.
I should mention two things: There is not really anything new about black and white in design with the exception that it seems to go along with the quirky anti-design design and feels current and clean and edgy. 2. Black and White was the strongest trend to come out of High Point ( the furniture and lighting and home show in North Carolina).
The rooms shown here are curated, found objects, collections… each item chosen for it’s color, texture, shape value and visual weight. A balanced room dosen’t feel like a museum, or shed for that matter. Don’t over do the amount you decide to display or live with. Less is typically more (unless however, the pieces used in the simpleset of vingettes must be of stellar quality beauty and form. Put your best feet forward kids!
March 8, 2013
James Perse Furniture is a natural extension of the brand, with the same essential qualities as the clothing. It is classic, simple, and timeless — the essence of casual living. The collections – Malibu, Nor Cal, Los Angeles and Brentwood – appeal to a broad style of homes, from traditional to modern, and include both indoor and outdoor pieces.
James Perse Furniture is made in the USA and sold exclusively at James Perse Boutiques and the James Perse Showroom in Los Angeles. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the James Perse Showroom.
The Brentwood collection is sleek and sophisticated lending itself to a wide variety of décors. Its design is classic and suits both elegant and casual environments. The collection is available in ash wood with an espresso or white finish, as well as top quality teak grown on an environmentally friendly farm. The collection includes the Balfour Dining Table, BurlingameTable, Barrington Coffee Table, Hillcrest Console, Concord Desk, and the Helena Dining Stool.
The Los Angeles Collection is a modern interpretation of the Craftsman style – warm and rustic with clean elegant lines. Pieces are available for indoors, in rough sawn white oak and can be upholstered in 100% Belgium or Italian basket weave linens or a cotton linen blend. For outdoor use, the collection is available in top quality teak grown on an environmentally friendly farm and upholstered with premium all weather fabrics to ensure lasting outdoor use. The collection includes the Craftsmen Bed, Sofa, Chair, and Ottoman.
Nor Cal Collection
A collection of upholstered pieces that capture the refined and relaxed quality of the James Perse aesthetic: modern and timeless. Fabrics are offered in 100% Belgium and Italian basket weave linens as well as a cotton linen blend, and express a lived in and laundered look. The collection includes the Sonoma Bed, Sofa, Chair and Chaise, the Napa Sofa and Chair, and the Carmel Ottoman.
A collection of classic outdoor furniture updated and refined to reflect the James Perse aesthetic. Made of top quality teak grown on an environmentally friendly farm, the Malibu Collection is upholstered with premium all weather fabrics to ensure lasting outdoor use. The collection includes the Malibu Sling Chair, Westward Wedge, Montecito Daybed and Chair, Carbon Chaise, Cross Creek Director’s Chair, Colony Chair, and the La Piedra Side Table.
Pacific Design Center
8687 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles CA 90069
Tel 323 606 7660
January 7, 2013
I want one. NO, I REALLY WANT ONE. So much so I might just make one. how hard could it be? Looks to me like you sew two small blankets together and you’re done, Bata-bing Bata-boom! But I have to say the above “slicker” style poncho is very cool – harder to make so I might have to figure out who designed this one and buy it. I don’t remember where this image came from… something makes me think it’s Tommy Hilfiger, I’m not always a fan of his but this poncho rocks. A Bing or Google search came up with some great alternatives…
Theres even a poncho for people in wheelchairs at buckandbuck.com!
Who wants to help me sew one? Stay tuned…
December 19, 2012
I’m not much for faux finishes, but I have been known to use decorative paint in my work. I’m typically trying to add architectural interest where there is none when I employ decorative paint, or to add color in a room where I don’t want the color to be the focal point and sometimes I’m “adding visually” to a room where I’m limited by budget and by that I mean I’d rather wallpaper a back wall of a bookcase but a shot of vivid color (paint) usually does the trick.
The other night new friends hosted a dinner party at their home and before I could even ring the doorbell I was smitten with the interesting paint treatment on the glass doors to their turn-of -the-century homes vestibule (regret not taking a picture). Dark blue mullions were “built-up” with a decorative band of robins eggs blue painted directly onto the glass, adding dimension and visual interest from inside as well as out. Inside the first floor foyer, the drywall between the coffers on the ceiling was painted a milk chocolate-ish deep taupe-y color that gave the room a rich and masculine feeling… a wonderful detail, well executed, and an inexpensive way to create a beautiful space.
Which finally brings me to these images. These clever boys have painted the ceilings of their double parlor with bands of gold that highlight the crown detail and again added richness and detail to a room with just paint. Impressed? um, yeah.. I was in love. I immediately started thinking about where in my home I could use this pretty detail. Now on the prowl for more paint details and without asking I took a peek into the office off the front parlor… more banding only this time it ran up the corners of the room across the baseboard and under the ornate crown. The effect was fresh and modern and added a spin on the traditional architecture, the modern furniture is largely white, glass and chrome the dark taupe bands really popped and helped the furniture fit into the space…I’m still jealous.
Last room, didn’t really have to go but during dinner I checked out the bathroom and discovered a bold bright yellow medicine cabinet and more taupe banding, these guys got it going on. the bathroom detail reminded me of the other rooms tying it all together and unifying the rooms. Clearly they have good taste, and they are clever and come to find out handy…they did it all the painting themselves.
December 15, 2012
I need one, so I’m guessing that there’s a guy in your life that needs one too. I think the Swedish Ary splinter camouflage is interesting and the pop of the orange contrast bottom makes a statement. Not sure how long I’d want to carry a tote that looks like this (there’s that bag again) but a travel dob-kit is the perfect thing to take some liberties on. Jack Spade is the mastermind behind this design, click over and take a look at all the cool things they are offering up.
December 14, 2012
There’s a sort of macabre thread that they masterfully weave into beautiful and cerebral design.
December 7, 2012
Crushing on, and might have to treat myself to, a pice or two from Ramblers Way - available through Cuddle down, an amazing resource for all things Cuddly - 100% American made wool comfortwear. This earth friendly and sustainable company is second major eco-friendly venture from the folks that spent nearly 40 years building Tom’s of Maine. You owe it to yourself (and maybe a few lucky people on your list) to experience these revolutionary lightweight, luxuriously soft, wool garments. I just love the look and feel of them and knowing that they are American made and sustainable, is icing on the cake.
December 6, 2012
I believe in some sort of heaven. I don’t know what it’s like… how could I? I’m still alive! …and the jury is still out on whether they will let me in when it’s my turn to depart this life, but I sure hope it resembles something close to this: Don’t you just want to put on freshly laundered PJ’s and climb into something that feels the way this bed looks? I do!
I have studied this image and tried to imagine how I would ask my upholsterer to make something that looks like this. A boxed frame with knife-edge bedskirt-like layers filled with down attached up the sides, like shingles? I think the illusion of stacked duvets would be lost if there were splits at the corners where side pieces met the foot board pieces. Maybe it’s more like a coverlet that simply has a multilayered edge that goes over the box spring but not the mattress and then several more make up the top layers? that would be the easiest and most cost-effective I’m guessing but how would you ever clean it? OK, OK … I’ve got it:
lay a duvet (or three) on the floor, set the box spring over it/them… add two or three more duvet covers, add a mattress and then add more duvets… Voila! That’s a lot of duvets, maybe I should google “discounted duvets” or “duvets-for-less” I’m beginning to doubt this will ever happen for me or a client in this lifetime, so I’ll just have to keep wishing that this is what heaven looks like.
November 21, 2012
Hi, my name is Bill Barr and I’m addicted to bags. Messenger, tote, back-pack doesn’t matter.. If it holds stuff, and I get to think about how it will look with a given outfit or lend style to a look short on style then I’m in! I have actually wondered if starting a new blog exclusively for bags would make sense. it would allow me to indulge my obsession… mens and women’s, ones that I covet, ones others covet, ones that should be coveted, whats trendy, whats out… the list could go on and on, there are so many good bags.
I seem to be a fan of the tote. I like totes for their ease of entrance. you can find what you need without a flap, zipper or latches, buckles or even a snap. If I’m on your list, I would LOVE this navy bag. It would be my “go to” summer bag, I’d wear it with khakis, and white Jack Purcell sneakers and yeah, a navy and white striped D-ring belt.
November 14, 2012
Sometimes I know what I want to write about, sometimes I have a picture, a room I love and the words just come to me… and, sometimes I’ll pull a few photos from the littered desktop on my laptop and see what stands out. In truth, this was going to be a White Kitchen (and technically still could be) but I wanted to post these images too:
So I guess it’s a White on White post. Everything white is so fresh and clean and cool in the summer months, but it is oddly comfortable in the colder months too. Autumn and Winter are highlighted by the neutral and simple look, branches of Fall colored leaves on a dining room table or a snowy view blurring indoors and out. It doesn’t have to be all white mind you, a black floor or a neutral sofa or coverlet adds depth especially if your room is lacking architectural interest, texture or other focal points. Not that I’m suggesting your coverlet become a focal point! …I simply mean with multiple whites and neutrals the over all palette gives the eye something to discover, layers.
But then, of course… white on white on white is so pretty. I’m dying to paint floors white, in my house or someone else’s the problem is my floors are so nice (original quarter-sawn oak circa 1097) and clients are afraid of the maintenance (who can blame them?). I’m sure the effort is worth it… maybe I’ll go paint the attic floors.
November 11, 2012
Maps have always been a fun way to decorate your walls but have you ever wanted a more personal map, like one specifically for your town or zip code? Wallpapered creates just that – custom wallpaper maps for any spot on the globe that means something to you.
Punch in the location you desire, the radius you want covered, then you customize the size and colors to your liking, and you’ll have your very own, one-of-a-kind mural.
Read more at Design Milk:
October 23, 2012
October 3, 2012
So I mentioned in my last post that I enjoy poking though the antique store in my area on my day off… I often will buy things with clients in mind, hoping they might like what I’ve found and secretly hoping I’ll be forced to keep it if they don’t share my vision. Well this week I found a few things I – they – couldn’t live without, and many things I wanted to buy, but left behind… I’m wondering if there isn’t some web-based business where I could post the things I didn’t buy and offer to buy them for someone should they want it, and deliver or ship it to them. That business model probably already exists but I’m thinking it could be a slow winter project – assuming I’ll have time over the winter… it’s already shaping up to be quite busy. Anyway, here are the things I let slip by…
9 plus feet long, $400.00… I know it’s a crazy deal, I just don’t have a need for it.
September 28, 2012
Wild Ones: Gentler Pocket Knife Has Animals, Not Blades as found on dornob.com and it’s too cool not to share…
Suhami’s goal was to invent a toy for adults who enjoy playing with small objects. The safari “knife” is completely harmless, yet still beautiful enough to be appealing to discerning adult minds. The object features interchangeable heads, legs and tails for three animals: a rhino, an antelope and a giraffe. The pieces fold out just like those of a Swiss Army knife, creating multiple animals which all share a torso.
According to Suhami it is also possible to mix and match the animal parts to create some fascinating new hybrid animals. The animal parts are made of stainless steel (to represent modern technology) and the knife’s body is made of Tabebuia wood (to represent traditional craftsmanship).
September 20, 2012
So I guess it’s been awhile since I posted product. I mostly focus on the overall aesthetic of a room so today I’m going to post a few of my favorite pieces from vendors I use with some regularity… Starting with the Farm House Wing Chair from Hickory Chair. It’s got great style and its a comfortable sit, it looks good in traditional and modern settings and you can order it from 28 inches wide up to 120 inches wide! I’ve seen it upholstered with a “racing stripe” down the middle and that is a great look, breaking tradition further and adding to its modern sensibility.
Random I know, it’s a mixed bag today… but I’m just loving the Vincent table from Oly. Inside or outside I love this table in pairs, flanking french doors, a fireplace or a sofa. Available in several finishes the organic look of the faux-wood table adds interest to a space, plays well with traditional furniture and the dash of whimsy isn’t “too cute”… the table has sophisticated polish. A great foyer piece too, I like it in white with a mirror above it.
This is the Cabrillo Nailhead Chest from Bernhart. It’s gotten a lot of attention since it’s debut, and why not? It’s a stunner and Bernhart is known for good – not great, but good – pricing. This chest probably isn’t “cheap” but well worth the cost, just look at the detail. The chest is linen wrapped and the decorative nailhead details are most likely applied by hand, that’s some serious labor. The piece itself is a show stopper. I’d love this chest of drawers as night stands in a big bedroom against a dark wall. POP!
Ahhh… McGuire. a San Francisco based company that has been around forever, just keeps putting out chic product that feels fresh and holds up to the test of time (never trendy, always timeless). The Barbara Barry designed Caned Lounge Chair is designed for comfort. The square back offers a delicate pattern of square mesh caning framed in rattan and accented by the collection’s signature half-oval, cutout detail… and it looks good too! Click over to McGuire to see more.
And finally, I would be remiss if i did not include a rug from my favorite rug vendor Asmara. This rug in particular is so elegant and so beautiful and so easy to design around and live with. Silk, cotton, linen, leather… Eveything looks good with this rug. I work on many coastal homes and the pale color palette is perfect to compliment beautiful views and maintain a balance between whats going on indoors and out. Using ancient French Savonnerie dyeing and weaving methods and fine hand spun wool yarns, this hand-knotted Oushak pile rug has subtle shade and texture variations rivalling the best antique Oushak rugs. If you want the best, start with Asmara.