White on White on White

January 17, 2013


218283913159571427_5wEholVO_fWhite on white (on white) to me is like a little slice of heaven – and heaven looks a lot like a slice of cake to me.  I have a young couple I’m working with right now and we were discussing the direction for a pair of guest rooms in their summer-house, colors, etc. I suggested white and surprisingly they agreed.  Now I know that doesn’t sound like a milestone or a “stretch” by any means but when a person asks a decorator what color to paint, trust me they don’t expect to hear white (in this case Simply White by Ben Moore).  They want to hear about the latest and greatest, the trendy color, the color that going to make them look the thinnest or most tanned or the color that will work with EVERYTHING.  Frankly, you can not go wrong with white.  its timeless, classic, traditional, modern, neutral and given the day, hour and whether it’s cool, warm and everything in between.

doc_164_1_jpgI can not wait to fill these guest rooms with old dressers painted white and family beds white or maple or what have you.  Lay down a seagrass rug hang a few do-dads and a big mirror and call it a day.  Easy, chic, beachy – did I mention this project is on the water? – and a room that anyone would feel comfortable in.  You could ask your mother-in-law to use a space like this, let your teenaged niece crash with friend in it or treat your best friend for some landlocked state to escape to the ocean for a long weekend in a room like this:  Neutral is something everyone can love… including those who “live for color”.  Think about it what stands out in a room full of white? The person standing in it ( dripping in color and pattern )!

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A bit of shiny never hurts a space this neutral…I think I will spec a few mercury glass bedside lamps for one of the two bedrooms.  And skip the seashell prints and cutesy  light house lamps… If your going to go coastal, use one big statement piece like this shell mirror.  Mixed with a few traditional pieces like a tiger maple bed or a chest on chest the whole thing comes together in a refined, luxe sort of way.seashell-mirror If you paint your space all white, yes… you eventually have to put something in it… I don’t care how pretty the mouldings are!tumblr_mes06rnycD1qd2v7fo1_500TomD_mantel_retouched-ARTICLE_0RH_AntlerSconce-white__93355_std planks White-v-Cream1-791x1024

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Chocolate

January 15, 2013

tumblr_mgcfqyCzbp1rbllmfo1_500I thought that would get your attention, but that’s not the type of chocolate we are discussing today.  Sorry.  Today I wanted to use my blog to share my hope that our family chooses to paint a small cabin in Lake Tahoe CA we have owned for decades a DARK DARK brown.  I found these images to help them envision our little house several shades darker than its current Pecan colored stain.2128_589276083847_6294_nWhen I was very young the house was pink.  I remember it had a frame work made of pipe over the front porch that my father would tie an awning to.  I loved that awning… it was pink and white(ish) stripes.  I’m pretty sure and it had a scalloped edge and that edge had long white(ish) fringe… 50’s chic!  Well at some point the cabin got re-sided and the exterior wood walls got a coat of stain and that was that.  I think it’s about time to give that little house a lift and a dash of style by going to the dark side.
521603_10100581378739147_1061830002_nIt’s sort of a classic combo in the Lake Tahoe area, a dark brown stain with a buttery trim color.  We wouldn’t be the crazy random stand out house on the block (although we might already be that for other reasons) if we went to this color.  I love the way it looks in the snow.TAHOEThese last few images are all from the Tahoe area… Green trim, white trim, butter trim… it’s a classic.

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My Style

January 13, 2013

429866_10150493660947371_381753538_n 228198_1041252237320_2581_nBeing an interior designer is a funny thing.  You create environs for others to live in and during that process, you negotiate… you are the curator but the result must be something the client likes, you are striving for good design, taste, scale, aesthetic but ultimately the client will pay for it, own it and live with it.  There are handfuls of designers that execute their own style every time the decorate for a client.  This client is typically wealthy beyond your typical well-off client and emotionally removed from the project in some way ( It’s hard to care about a ski house in Aspen when your on Mustique with family and worried about your New York City apartment not being ready when you get back from vacation).  Those clients exist, they are great clients to have but most people spending tens (ok 100’s ) of thousands on the interiors of a home are invested, have an opinion and want a certain look.  You’re a lucky designer if they tell you they want “your look”.

537030_420269384655083_146440612037963_1928101_2139081493_nI get pretty charged when I fall for something, a sofa, piece of art, a certain print fabric, a rug… I fall hard and I hit an emotional brick wall when client don’t respond to said item the way I have.  I bounce back, I have to and I learn something about the client along the way, his/her likes or dislikes and I move on… But a tiny little piece of my creative soul dies – trust me it is minuscule and there is plenty of creative soul in me, I can afford to lose that weight!  But the project doesn’t stay on the route I saw it taking, even if we end up at the same place in the end, forks in the road are not certain when there is a client who approves ( or disapproves ) colors, furnishings or art &  accessories.  When it comes right down to it, my style is not such an easy target to hit.  I love a white-painted floor and exposed rafters, but it has to be appropriate to the structure and it’s location.  I’m partial to clean masculine lines and modern details, but currently I live in, and celebrate, a turn-of-the-century house so my “look” has become a tad traditional in recent years.  And, of course there is the small detail of budget.  I love what I have but if $ were no object, I’m sure things would look a tad different in my house.

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Not just a pretty face… Neal Beckstedts interiors are as easy on the eyes as he is.  He describes his style as “modest luxury”.  The Manhattanite creates spaces that are modern yet warm, layered but clean and has worked with high profile clients like fashion star Derek Lam. A self-described “farm boy from Ohio,” Beckstedt says that his home state has had a major impact on his mind-set.  Neal worked with S. Russell Groves for almost a decade before opening his own studio in 2010. Authority, functionality, and a Scandinavian-style appreciation of how natural light enriches such honest, straightforward materials as nubby wool, polished wood, stainless steel, and velvety plaster are hallmarks of his work. No matter the location Beckstedt’s style always lends itself to interiors for  living rather than for simply admiring.   Get to know more of Neal on his website: nbeckstedtstudio.com

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MANPONCHO

January 7, 2013

259519997247108103_WqD7sBHx_c 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…

non1417bei_01This one from – NonnativeALRBB138_v1LThis one from – alpacamall.com
4190030751_2-ponchoThis one from – earthwatch.comAALPO036_L…or if this was brown or grey or navy. Don’t care that it’s “for ladies” (also from Alpaca Mall).

product_737_fileTheres even a poncho for people in wheelchairs at buckandbuck.com!

Ponchos for EVERYONE! Look even the cool kids are wearing them…capa-poncho

Who wants to help me sew one? Stay tuned…

Bill Ingram – Architect

January 3, 2013

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Facebook is a crazy and great place.  It’s where friends are made, kept, re-made, and where family, friends stay in touch and sometimes friends of friends of friends turn into friends.  Bill Ingram is someone I have never met, but I’m friends with a member of his staff and now we are acquainted via Facebook.  His work is some of the best I’ve seen in a very long time.  Bill’s work can have a whimsy, but it’s not silly,  It says quality and luxe without being unnecessarily extravagant,  it’s updated and fresh but it has the look that it might have been there forever.  Frankly his work is so top-notch, I’m fearful that I won’t do it justice.  Enjoy these images and click over to his website to see more of his beautiful work.  
579836_10152138414965615_1635416157_n five two551040_10151437592060615_1586732844_n 304743_10151983055905615_645750673_n 538993_10151983056595615_918053669_n 385568_10151983057285615_1595166884_n Enjoy more of Bill’s work here: http://billingramarchitect.com

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White Kitchens

January 2, 2013

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Some day I’ll have a summer-house, and in it a small WHITE KITCHEN.  Not a trophy kitchen, just a simple white kitchen, with cutting board countertops and painted floors.  My big splurge might be a soapstone or farmers sink, and maybe inset doors on my base cabinets, that is of course they need replacing.  I’m hoping for funky, old and paintable.  Easy feeling and relaxed…white-kitchen-l I might even paint the cabinets taupe, who knows…474989091918878327_Va9x42Fc_c inside glass cabinets could end up a color…59532026294096779_7HhwlTKv_c if it’s really tiny, I might put a shelf in front of the window…274156696035968355_hE0I9aoW_c...but it will be white, easy and casual.  I want to feel relaxed in my summer (all year) escape and for visitors to feel like they can exhale.  Til then, I’ll keep dreaming.