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.
September 11, 2016
I want to do something unusual in my bathroom remodel and I love the look that brass fixtures give a room but I worry that in my marine environment that the brass won’t stay pretty for long. I don’t need it to stay perfect forever but that’s not the only reason I’m afraid to use it on this project. You see, it might come off as a bit to glammy for the house. In fact I’m pretty sure I’ll have to save that look for a different project. I need something a bit more subdued, rustic but modern. The obvious choice is black.
To me black fixtures in a bathroom give a Scandinavian vibe. It’s european for sure but there is a modernity that says Danish modern and mid-century to me. I also like the 20’s 30’s aesthetic black and white give, again it’s modern… but modern with a twist. I’ve never in my 25 plus year career spec’d black fixtures for a bathroom, if you can believe that. So, I have no idea how it will hold up. or if it will look bad in a year. or if upkeep is hard… but i think I’m ready to experiment with my own bathroom, before I tell a client they ought to go for it.
I’m going to go with Dorn Bracht for my faucet and shower sets. There are many brands that offer black as a finish, but I love the X handles of the Tara series and the clean smile neck of the faucet. Pop back in a few days… I’ll share some inspiration images with you so you can see the look I’m going for.
October 28, 2014
I didn’t create the trend but I’m certainly helping it gain momentum. The mens “jogger” is starting to show up everywhere (and by everywhere I mean every guy with style in NYC) and, I have joined the movement. I have 3 pair of mens pants with elastic at the ankles. Two are wool – one pair navy, one pair grey tweed and I also have a cotton pair… And I wear them in public. What’s the big deal you might be wondering, well two pair have elastic waists and one pair has a drawstring. To me those details belong on clothing only if worn at a gym, playing sports or on a sofa. But i pair them with chambray shirts, chunky sweaters and my favorite corduroy unlined sport coat and make sure my outfit looks “pulled-together”.This trend is not just for the guys… Girls are rocking pants and jumpsuits with cinched ankles and drawstring waists… SplendidLA in the SOHO area of NYC sells every type imaginable. If your going to make the leap, pair it with a tiny leather (or Vegan leather) jacket and ankle booties to be completely “on trend”.
January 25, 2014
I thought I’d make my point by posting this the day after I suggested brass if you’re thinking about going grey…
The timelessness of a white kitchen is not lost on me, it’s something that will NEVER feels dated, or a relic of a time-capsule from days (or years ) gone by. Brass on the other hand has had its heyday and has been out of favor for some time.. but “it’s back”! The younger set who didn’t live through the last go around have discovered the warmth and beauty of brass and other warm finish metals are showing up everywhere. Show here with White and Grey, the brass is the perfect complement to the cool crisp aesthetic these kitchens possess. And, yeah… sure, brass could fall out of fashion again too, but remember it’s a lot easier and cheaper to change than countertops, cabinets and other major kitchen items.
Fearful of taking the plunge but love the look? Add some accessories to your countertops or swap out a light fixture to update your kitchens look. Mixed metals is OK, trust me. Gone are the days of matching dining room sets, and matching metals… you just have to do it in a way that feels thought out, designed.
I’ll be honest it took me a while to get on this train. I have disliked brass for many, many years… but to be honest now that the market is so oversaturated with nickel, pewter, stainless and chrome a dash of brass really feels special.
November 13, 2013
Color today is not about the red room or the multicolored wallpaper of yesterday. Todays color is bold, bright and fresh, but it is given room to breathe. It’s surrounded by neutrality, it’s an accent not a wash of pigment. Again, rules can and should be broken but this general rule of thumb is about whats current, how color is being used today. Wanna get the look. Strive for and all neutral room and buy the big pieces (or most of them in whites, tans, greys, and/or soft earth tones.
Embellish with 5 to 10% color in the form of a pillow, a lamp shade or ottoman, hell go crazy and get all three. Add a lamp or two with color and you’re about done… Once life creeps in – books, guests, stuff, there will be more than enough color. Thats it. it sounds easy but restraint is more difficult than exuberance.
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 9, 2013
Grey is still trending and to be honest, I like it. I am the self proclaimed king of beige but there’s no denying that grey feels young, current and fresh. BUT, I’m especially in love with it when combined with blue and white. Look at how fresh this room looks, not your mothers blue and white scheme right? the grey seems to urbanize it and make cooler, less fussy… however the room holds a traditional vibe that is timeless.
Of course, many accent colors would work with grey but I particularly like maintaining the cool color palette by using blues. Slate, Aqua, Royal all work. Many people chose yellow as the accent color to grey – I know I have – and it’s good, very good… But I love the depth of the blues and frankly because it’s less expected, newer. I usually go on and on about each picture I use in a post, but today I’m going to leave it short and sweet, let the pictures ( all pretty ) do the talking AFTER I just say… LOVE the high gloss white V groove ceiling in the picture below.