Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What do Easter and San Francisco have in common?

Color! Since this coming Sunday is Easter, I thought it might be appropriate to spotlight some design inspired by the colors of the season. Generally speaking, I forgo pastels for deeper and more saturated hues in both fashion and home decor. The pale pinks, yellows, purples and blues that are the hallmark of Easter seem can often seem just too childish for adult consumption. That being said, there is a time and place for everything and, if Spring is the season for pastels, then Victorian architecture is the proper place. And I can think of no better illustration of this than San Francisco. Whenever I picture San Francisco, I imagine block upon block of stately Victorian homes awash in an array of lovely pastels. The lively colors serve to highlight the architectural details and intricate mouldings and form the perfect backdrop for arguably the most colorful city in America (literally and figuratively).

Undoubtedly inspired by the plethora of pastels in The City, NoCal design firm
Jeffers Design Group creates rooms that evidence a traditional design aesthetic (often Victorian) with a modern twist. If you flip through their portfolio, I think you'll agree that the firm's style philosophy of "Sophisticated Fun" is very fitting. While some of Jay Jeffers' spaces may be a bit "out there" for more conservative decorators, many of the concepts could be modified (or applied in smaller doses) and worked into less esoteric settings.

Sure, a periwinkle bedroom is typically reserved for children, but the sophisticated headboard (love!) and pops of red make this one feel much more grown-up. I love how the moulding stops just short of the ceiling, which is painted a deeper shade of the same color. The painted border mimics some of the detailed fret works typical of Victorian exteriors.

I love how the bright green walls make this work nook glow. The contrasting blue desk and eMac (when will they bring those back?) are a great contrast to the yellowish green. By painting the mouldings a similar shade of green and using modern pendant lighting (which is a great alternative to a desk lamp when space is at a premium), Jeffers Group helped to modernize very traditional architecture.

I can't decide if the colors here make this room look cartoonish or not, but I do love the subway tiles all the way up to the ceiling. The placement of the mirrors over the windows is also a unique touch -- natural light is so much better for applying make-up anyway.

While I'm not sure I could live with this room (I think it runs the risk of feeling too busy, too done), I really like it. All the contrasting (and yet still coordinating) graphic patterns, the striped walls that continue up the high and pointed ceiling, the traditional furniture tweaked just enough to feel fresh and non-traditional...lovely.

While the yellow and green color palette is nothing new, so much of this room is really unique. I love the idea of the upholstered headboard wrapping around not just the bed, but the side tables as well. With some some sturdy plywood, fabric, batting, a staple gun, and a reciprocating saw, you make something similar very inexpensively.

I can't get enough of the bench/chairs combination for casual dining. While I'm not generally a fan of salmon pink, I think the color really helps bring out the rosy tones of the mid century modern chairs. The coordinating striped fabric ties everything together.

Just a lovely vignette. I suspect the fabric was the jumping off point for the color palette -- note how it works perfectly with the painted cabinets (and even the inset color) as well as the wood side table.

There's a lot of great stuff going on in this room, but of course the fireplace takes center stage -- I wish I knew how Jeffers achieved that shimmering effect...it almost resembles crushed mother of pearl. I also like how Jeffers kept the walls white, but painted the mouldings a cool shade of blue. I tend to default to white trim and painted walls, but this is a great way to get a more subtle effect while still highlighting great trim work. The mercury glass candlesticks in the fireplace is also a sophisticated and more unique alternative to displaying pillar candles in a non-working fireplace. And finally, I want that throw pillow on the accent chair...it is, in a word, awesome.

So what do you think? Are you a fan of Easter pastels or do you generally prefer more intense colors or neutrals?


lady macleod said...

so pretty!

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