August 23, 2012

ON VACATION

Sorry…

Didn’t expect to take a break but if you all promise to come back I promise to come back early September.

xoxo

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Provincetown

August 18, 2012

Darn it, I’ve been a day (or two) behind for as long as I can remember getting a blog post up… sorry, life has been full to say the least!  I’m not complaining mind you.  The amount of travel and social events this summer has been staggering and I’m off to Provincetown today for a two-week stay – lucky for me I have family that stays with our dogs.  But I digress, I’m behind by two days and I’m feeling the same pinch in life so the vacation couldn’t come at a better ( or depending on how you look at it worse ) time.  I need to regenerate and build up the creative juice it will take to get me through a productive fall and a long cold winter.  What better  place to relax and unwind than Provincetown?  It’s an easy hour plus drive, countless friends will all be there, the beaches, restaurants, shops, bars, shows and the like can keep me busy all day and all night if I choose, or I can stay on the wharf and watch the beautiful cape light chance throughout the day and simply read, draw, sunbathe and of course eat.

I’m not a cyclist per say, what I mean is i don’t do long bike rides for exercise but I have to say one of most favorite parts of a Provincetown vacation is not getting in a car for two weeks.  And, I love my old-fashioned olive-green bike, bell and all.  It’s really not a good bike for long treks out to the dunes, Herring Cove or hatches harbor but I make it work.  And no, that’s no one I know in the picture above… it’s just a very cute ( and very vintage ) image of the camaraderie and playful nature of people drawn to Provincetown.  I guess it is a bit surprising to think that the community has been so accepting for so many years, what a wonderful tradition and what a wonderful spot to feel so safe, included and equal.

What does all of this have to do with design? ..not much really.  But, it is a magical place where everyone – for the most part – is happy and pleasant, creative and smart, or at least silly and fun.  A guilty pleasure for me in the next few weeks is the Provincetown pool at the Provincetown Inn.  It is literally at the very tip of Cape Cod, the end of the continent and I am somewhat embarrassed to admit I love going there.  Surrounded by natural beauty, the most amazing beaches, and I’m happy to sit in a plastic lounge chair listening to loud dance music and being served burgers n the hot sun all surrounded by a safety fence and attache to a motor inn that frankly could use a facelift.  Why? well because it’s sorta fun to relax into the casualness of the place, it’s not the type of resort where you have to mind your maners, think too much about your outfit, or have the right pool bag… it simply is what it is… thats what Provincetown really is for me.  Simply put it’s a place where everyone is accepted, they are who they are, and we all coexist, beautiful right?  I think so.

Of course seeing friends from all over the world is priceless.  There is always a gang willing to go out, beach it, hit the pool, take a walk, sit for hours at the coffee shop or to swim with off the wharf.  I was going to take two weeks off from blogging, but the truth is I think I’d miss it… so if it’s ok with you, I’ll post throughout my vacation when time and WiFi allow.  I can’t say that the posts won’t influenced by where I am and what I’m doing, because they probably will.  But I’ll continue to troll Pinterest, and the great blogs I read daily and sometimes share with you.  Thanks, as always, for reading Billblog… Hope the remainder of your summer is filled with fun and laughter.  xo

I love the look created in these shelves… perfectly organized, color coordinated, and balanced.  The art of arranging is a gift, you either have it or you don’t but getting the shelving right matters too and that’s a task for your architect, designer or you if know what you’re doing.  A favorite blogger of mine – Orlando at www.hommemaker.com – just posted a great blog on bookcases, shelves and cubbies… that’s where I found this image.  Today I’m going to ask that you click over to his blog and checkout the entire post, you’ll love him, his dry humor and wit and he posts some very interesting things.

http://hommemaker.com

 

 

Everything old is new again is putting it lightly.  With the exception of chrome and vinyl from the 1950’s it appears that every other era is fair game in interior design today… even better if it’s a healthy mix of many decades.  I don’t know if the 1970’s vibe is more apparent to me because it was one of my major development decades ( 4 to 16 ) but it stands out and seems to not be going away as quickly as I thought.  It’s been popping up in design for a few years now and what I though might be a flash in the pan seems to have turned into a quasi-classic.  So, go down to your basement and dust off that brass coffee table you thought was going to the rummage sale, send the flokati to be cleaned and embrace the style of mixed vintages, you’ll be current by being retro, because everything old is new again.  

the LINEN SOFA

August 13, 2012

 

I guess I’m a sucker for a neutral linen sofa.  Search it on this site and almost every post will come up… and here I am posting another living room with a creamy linen sofa as the centerpiece.  Whats not to like?  When you’re going classic and by that I mean picking a sofa that needs to last through trends and your moods think about getting the best fabric possible.  A plain sofa with average fabric can always be disguised with pillows and a throw but by putting the prettiest and highest quality fabric on a piece you keep simple and neutral without sacrificing a specialness.  It’s a large piece and often the most obvious in a room, you’re sitting – sometimes lying on it – so but something nice on it.

Make a stately statement. Pared-down styling transforms a typically highly ornamental piece into one grounded and subdued. Natural linen upholstery on an exposed natural oak frame give this sofa an elegant form and visual interest… Neutral doesn’t have to be boring.  This piece is $2400 from Global Home – globalhomeny.com

 

Sleek and modern can benefit from the quality of a well woven natural fiber like linen.  Often a bit cold looking modern or contemporary lines often look even better with the softness of a linen cover.  There is a bit of topography and an ease to the fabric that plays nicely with straight, simple lines.  This sofa is from zinhome.com and runs about $2400.00

 

Can leave out all the big box retailers so I’m going to include this sofa from Crate & Barrel.  It’s a transitional piece if you ask me, somewhere between classic and modern.  It would live well with antiques but could go the way of concrete floors, repurposed coffee table and exposed vent work easily.  At only $1600.00 its a great price – albeit perhaps not as well made as other options – from Crate & Barrel
And last but not least, I would be remiss if I didn’t include one of my favorite and best upholstery lines Lee Industries in this write-up.  Lee has been in business for many, many years, their sofas are hand crafted with kiln dried wood, 8 way hand tied springs, cushions are available with down-wrap or all down options and the number of styles available will astound you!  p.s. their lead time runs about 4 weeks!  …and you can’t complain about that.

 

 

 

Grey is the it color right now in design.  Neutrals like taupe, tan, beige, cream & white are still in rotation but the trend is grey.  Pale dove grey to dark smokey gun-metal grey are finding their way onto upholstery, walls, rugs and just about every surface in the homes of people who live on the edge of what is current.

The “cement” like wall behind the bed is the perfect color and texture to set off the greys in the bedding and to reinforce the “mood” that grey can give.  Sure, grey can go glam but this room is industrial chic.  I love the sparseness of the space, but I don’t have to discipline to maintain this level of minimalism in my own home.

Grey is setoff well by white.  You could paint a room grey, upholster in a different shade and still use black as an accent but I think grey is at its best surrounded by white.  

The commitment to grey in this space is limited to pillows… you get a driftwoody and relaxed vibe from the palette and styling  and it’s easily changed if/when you grow tired of the grey.

Three words: Polished Concrete Floors.  Love the look the vibe and the durability of this bomb proof floor. We have polished concrete at the shop/studio ( Surroundings ) and moving furniture, snow covered boots, and many fallen Christmas trees later the floor still looks brand new.

So, I know I missed a day (or two) sorry about that.  I have so many “GREY” photographs saved up I’m going to do a multi post on grey, a4 part series if you count the grey blog from a short while ago.  I’m all about grey right now. I have a client remodeling a home and one request was for grey.  My first presentation included very current and up to date textures, colors and forms like a beautiful Ikat rugs from Asmara (see July 18th’s blog) shown with pale grey slip-covered sofas… while the presentation went well, it seems we will be taking a slightly more traditional approach to the furnishings than I had planned on.  I mention that because it set me on a mission to strike a balance of young and updated but still traditional, what it’s proving to me is that grey is truly a chameleon color.  Cool in the summer, warm in the winter, dark enough to say something but light enough to take a back seat, Grey – the IT color right now – can and will work in any space, anywhere and in any style.  Go buy your self some grey.