October 20, 2013
|From the cool people at Dornob I give you the easy way to get that rustic wall of wood…
The charming mismatched look of a weathered scrap wood wall can be achieved with a lot less time and effort using a wood-textured wallpaper series by Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek. The patterns range from rustic barn wood stripped of white paint to time-worn cottage-style wainscoting.
It’s the designer’s second collaboration with Dutch wallpaper company NLXL; the first was based on ‘waste furniture’ and came in a soft palette of pastels and creamy off-white, with individual strips looking like the legs of dismantled tables and chairs.
The new collection is even more convincing, with a matte finish that eliminates tell-tale glare. While it may not have the tactile benefits of real scrap wood, nor the sense of history, it’s a fun way to get a similar look.
October 14, 2013
If you have been following me for 8 months or more then you might remember my love letter to Tulum. I had the pleasure of visiting for the first time last winter and was blown away by the intense natural beauty. The small town is quaint, the people warm and friendly and the food is oh so good ( many local restaurants are a blend of local fare mixed with a hipster ex-pat vibe ) but the beach, oh my god the beach…
Prettiest beach I’ve ever seen, so I’m going back. I like the idea that I know where I’m headed, something exotic yet familiar ( I know where the best coffee is ). Yeah, I could discover another place just as mesmerizing but I’m just not done with Tulum. We stayed at a small resort called Zamas just off the main stretch of beach, in a cottage in the sand just steps to the water. I liked it, the food there was great. But I did long to be on the 7 mile strip of white sand where you can walk forever without climbing over rocks or popping up to the road. So this year we will stay at Ahau Tulum (all pictures are of Ahau) it’s right in the middle of the prettiest beach ever! I can’t wait.
It’s sort of Gilligan’s Island meets Yucatan jungle. Thatched roofs, romantic – yet necessary – bug nets and of course ocean views out every window. Now I am a pool guy I will admit, but with water that beautiful I think I’ll manage.
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?
September 29, 2013
I don’t have a pink room in my house, or much pink at all to be honest and when I work with pink it tends to be more of a fuchsia not the soft tones in these images. Truthfully, I don’t know why that is. Pink is such a pretty color, it’s warm, soft and people of all skin tones look good surrounded it. Of course there is the obvious, it is synonymous with feminine gender. Guys don’t tend toward pink (a pocket square or dress shirt, sure… but not a master bedroom or living room). The above image is pink perfection in my book. The decor has an unstudied look, it’s not prissy or careful in its execution. That alone allows the pink to just be a color and not a style, if that makes sense. The mix-matched pillows (purples and orange) take the value of the pink to a “is it coral?” or “verging on violet” tipping point and layers the overall aesthetic with a loose easy vibe.
So, this fireplace shot is what i imagine or what i see in my mind when i think of decorating with pink. Lots of white trim, white furniture and maybe a dark grey to cut the sweetness. That fretwork display case is pretty isn’t it? Anyway… I also like the hotter pink pillow on the sofa to further “punch up” the palette. Both of the above rooms also tweak the expected formula by introducing (left) Scandinavian elements, traditional and contemporary elements or (right) mid-century, vintage modern and a subtle 70′s vibe all of which are unexpected styles to accompany pink walls.
And then there’s just plain pretty. Who wouldn’t want to wake up in this room? It really would feel like waking up on a cloud. I wouldn’t choose to own this particular look (ok, maybe in a guest room) but if I booked a room for a long weekend and opened the door to my suite and saw this set up, I’d be a happy Glam-camper.
Afraid of pink? Try an accent wall or just the interior of a cabinet or bookcase. Better yet mix it with stronger colors like Black, grey or chocolate-brown… all good companions. I think I’ll try it at the beach. white trim, bedding, maybe even white floors and a soft pale peony-pink wall… like sleeping inside a seashell. I’m already there.
September 15, 2013
I am loving this abandoned stable turned family dwelling in Cáceres, Spain designed by architecture firm ÁBATON. There is something very modern, mixed with the rustic stone and the traditional twist of the clay tile roof that sounds like a hot mess but looks like a dream come true. I would love to design the interiors for a structure like this one for a client (or myself). You know me, it’s all about the juxtaposition of light and dark, modern and rustic or hard and soft. I love the idea of linen slip-covered sofas, floor pillows and a flokati rug in the living room of this house. I would do my decorators best to keep the accessories to a minimum – I am a self-confessed packrat – and the colors should be those found in the stone that makes up the pool, walls and architecture.
I don’t really have a reason for wanting to show beds with this structure, but I do think these bedroom shots exemplify the vibe of the house. Relaxed, tonal, clean. Who wouldn’t want to tumble into one of these beds…
If it was up to me I’d make the pattern, texture and visual interest the beauty of natural stone. This would make an amazing shower surround for a bathroom. Maybe open to the sky and a teak floor slatted to allow the water to be caught in a cistern and recycled into the landscape. Add in some big gnarly olive trees and you have one rough yet beautiful modern mediterranean compound. I’m ready, are you?
September 10, 2013
The season may be coming to an end ( sad ) but we are gearing up for Fall planting and the construction of a pergola! at my house now that we have finished a much-needed fence across the back of our property. We are hoping to keep the project simple but the more I study the construction of these whimsical pavilions, the more I realize that I may need to shell out more for something a bit more than “basic”. What I really seem to like is a structure with double round columns at the corners. Double columns means double the materials which adds up to probably double the money AND round columns definitely means more money.
So what that means is I can probably afford something that looks more like pergola in the image above. Four square posts, no doubling up, simple cross pieces and not too many bells and whistles. Our plan is to paint any structure white so disregard the finish of the above example. I think if this is what I end up with I’ll be happy, but I’d be happier if the posts are doubled on the corners because I think the detail adds visual weight, a visual quality and a nice detail. This is what I imagine it will look like…
This one is elegant, love the extra height and the trellis insert between the posts. I think I like the idea of the additional sense of enclosure the trellis gives the structure. And, I think I like the smaller more tightly spaced cross pieces. I plan on experimenting with the spacing of the cross pieces to get the right amount of shade at the right time of day… those details will need to be discussed with the carpenter including and maybe most importantly, the direction of the cross pieces.
Promise to post before, during and after pics. Stay tuned.