November 7, 2016
It’s a classic that never seems to fall out of favor. Blue and White feels appropriate in any season, in any place, and in any room. The above image is a family room I designed for a summer house on the South Coast of MA. The clients were young and I wanted the room to feel sophisticated and classic but relaxed. The wide striped rug from Barrier Island Rugs sets a sporty tone and the ticking stripe on the swivel chair and the Kelly Wearstler pillow fabric all play nicely together. (Upholstery by LEE Industries)
Stark Carpet is a leader when it comes to broadloom and rugs. They have an endless supply of patterns and styles and there is not shortage of blue and white. I’m particularly fond of the ones in my photograph that I’m using for current client. As you can see these patterns go from bedroom to living room to staircase, blue and white can be used to suit any space. (headboard by LEE Industries)
The color story doesn’t have to stop at fabrics and rugs, Front doors, art and accessories are all fair game. Here’s a shot of my front door, a clients house and one of my most favorite pieces of art by Marine Edith Crosta. Her unique miniatures are hand painted and framed in her East London studio. The frames and glass that she uses are antiques so the sizes and characteristics can vary, which I love.
A blue and white palette benefits from an added neutral or a pop of color like red, but that doesn’t mean you have to add another color. That said you can also play with the amount of each color you use to find the loo you want. I love a dark blue room with a crisp white chair rail, like the Private club house I designed for a local Golf Club.
March 27, 2016
Easter for me is a time for Bunnies, Chicks, Eggs, Easter Baskets and of course Egg Decorating… However you choose to spend the day, I hope you and your loved ones are together, sharing food, prayer, or your Easter Baskets. I chose to spend the morning peeping some eggs and this year I thought why not try the natural approach to coloring. I decided to try coffee, turmeric, chili powder, and spinach (because I really wanted green).
The colors are subtle, some more successful than others, and some didn’t really work at all. The big surprise is that I like the coffee the best! Turmeric worked well too, but chili powder and spinach were a bust… so I broke out the food coloring. I was carful to not over dye the eggs, because I wanted a soft natural palette this year. I’m not sure where this technique of wrapping the egg with mesh or a piece of nylon stocking came from (or I’d give credit) but I think it’s a great way to add visual interest, while keeping it natural. Here are the results. I’m pleased with how they turned out, there were one or two I’m not showing you but for the most part the method is easy, and produces good results. I love the flower , I used hellebore because it’s really the only thing blooming in my yard right now. I foraged some bamboo leaves, some evergreens and a small fernlike plant that I’m pretty sure is a weed… but a pretty leaved weed. Hey, on March 26th in the garden you can afford to be too picky. Note: choose soft non-woody plant materials and avoid thin spindly plants, they don’t work well. I added vinegar to both the traditional dyes and my “spice dyes” , i have to be honest I don’t really know what is does, but we did it when I was a kid, and you add it to PAAS so I added it. Good luck if you’re dying eggs today.
April 5, 2015
I regret not taking some pictures while I was in the process of creating these blue and white Chinese pottery themed Easter Eggs so that I could make this post a “How To”. I only have the “pretty” pictures to show you but I will explain my technique. I will tell you the hardest part was keeping my fingers clean and not smudging the fresh white egg with food coloring. Once I mastered holding the egg in play with a paper towel and blowdrying the egg as I painted, the lot of them happened in just a few hours.
Before I began I gathered Q-tips, a few toothpicks and lacking a tiny paint brush I grabbed a lip-stick brush from a make-up kit (but the brush was less predictable than the Q-tip, so skip it). I layer a barrier of plastic and then layed paper towels to make a “place mat” to work on. For the Dye I used blue food coloring right out of the bottle. I used some full strength, and for the lighter blues I mixed food coloring with white vinegar (avoid cider vinegar it will change the color of your dye). I googled “Chinese blue and white pottery images” to use a few pictures for reference and borrow styles and designs for my patterns. When you’re ready to start decorating hold the egg in one hand with a paper towel and paint with the other hand. Before you roll the egg in your palm or paint too far around the egg, hit it softly with a hair dryer to dry the dye to avoid smudging. it’s really that simple.
I am a self-confessed collector (almost hoarder) AND I love to put out seasonal decor. I find that kept in groups and displayed similarly my collections make a stronger impact and keep the house from looking cluttered. I prefer handmade items and a soft colored palette but if you prefer a lot of color or stronger impact go for it! To display my Easter decorations I like to use my collection on ironstone tureens. Yes, that a collection to display another collection… genius huh? lol. The bunny collection is a tradition I have with my husband. Each year he gets a small bunny in his Easter Basket. We’ve been together 21 years, I started this idea a few years late so the bunny count is only up to 16 or so.
These eggs (below) I made a year or two ago. I must have have more time on my hands back then because I blew the eggs, dyed them and set them with beads. Elmer’s white glue is easy to work with and dries clear. I love the texture and sparkle but my favorite from this group (not pictured) is an egg I left white and applied white beads to. White on white, so clean and fresh and pretty. I hope you have a lovely Easter holiday and you have fun on whatever creative project you decide to tackle this year!
March 13, 2015
Ladies and Gentlemen I give you the Mona Lisa in the form of a kitchen… or a living room, or anywhere else you might want to employ this moody palette. Everyone knows I’m wild for a white kitchen, but sometimes you just gotta go a different way. I respond well to the colors and textures in this kitchen especially if it’s done well and in the right house. Inspiration can come from a sea shell, the side of a barn, an open field and yes… a painting.
This room (below) by Tom Filicia is also a match. The color is distributed very differently, consider this when using an inspiration for your decor… You do not have to use the same amount of pigment or color when designing your space, whites and neutrals can mix in to lighten the look.
… oh, and I love the creative way the paint chips were used to make modern day versions of the classic!
December 5, 2013
Winter isn’t quite here but it’s snowing on WordPress so I thought I’d pass this along. Art, in a fleeting medium, winters paint… SNOW, a gift from nature. Enjoy!
Working up to 9 hours a day, each snow quilt is the size of three soccer fields! How long these magnificent geometric forms survive is completely dependent on the weather. Beck redesigns the patterns as new snow falls. Sometimes he is unable to finish a piece due to overnight accumulations.
November 24, 2013
Squint (or pull off your readers) and anything, any view can become inspiration for a color palette, texture, arrangement or order. I look at a painting and see a living room, I look at a living (without my readers) and see a painting. I’m fascinated by color, texture, form, arrangement and balance (or imbalance) or light and dark. And as much as I love a white room, white floors and furniture, I react positivity to color too. But, I know my comfort zone.
Finding the right palette to decorate with can be a challenge for some people. Unsure of their comfort zone, or looking to branch out from a safe place, often people don’t know where to go. My first and best advice is always:
BUY WHAT YOU LOVE.
DON’T MATCH YOUR FURNITURE TO YOUR ART.
BUY THE BEST, CRY ONCE.
If you already follow those principals and need color inspiration… go look at your closet, color and pattern? Then you know how to decorate to make yourself happy… All grey? Go with what you know. My closet? See above… Khaki, Navy, Camel and dashes of other neutrals. Or, go to your favorite museum, yes get on a plane or train if you must, and seek out your favorite painting… BAM, theres your new living room. It’s that easy… really it is. Don’t stand there thinking up a thousand reasons why it won’t work, because it will. How you translate the colors, textures, weight and forms will make it adaptable to any space in and climate, anywhere. Stuck, call a decorator. But do them a favor and show them a picture of your favorite painting once you’ve had them over.
November 14, 2013
Found on a friends Fackbook page today, the write-up on this amazing LOCAL young artist put a smile on my face… I wanted to share it with all of you. Enjoy!
14-year-old Zev from Natick, Massachusetts, has taken the photography world by storm with his surreal photo manipulations. Better known by the nickname of ‘fiddle oak’, Zev presents a highly imaginative portfolio of surreal self-portraits, which he created together with his sister Nellie (aged 17). His work seems to mirror the transition from the fairy-tale childhood worlds into those that are way more complicated and still unknown.
Please do yourself a favor and follow the link above to see the other amazing images created by this young talent.