Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
I'm kicking off this week with another Mood Board Monday courtesy of Sarah at Pewter+Sage. This round, Sarah has asked her readers to create mood boards inspired by one of three summery bedding sets. Now bedding is a great jumping off point for pulling together a bedroom and the three options Sarah proposed were all wonderful examples of that. I chose the Bohemian Medallion duvet from Urban Outfitters (featured above). I love the yellow and charcoal gray color palette and the intricate pattern, which has a lovely, exotic quality that I wanted to further incorporate into my bedroom.
With that as inspiration, I decided to create a warm, summery bedroom that reflected the duvet's more traditional print as well as its thoroughly modern color palette. But I also wanted to imbue the space with a subtle coastal vibe -- if for no better reason that it's summer and we all have vacation on the brain, but also as a challenge to create a coastal interior that does not rely on blue!
The key to creating a colorful coastal interior that does not rely on watery blues and greens is to bring in a good dose of natural textures (grasscloth, rattan, bamboo, seagrass, etc.) balanced by breezy whites. A few wonderful examples from my favorite designers include:
Keeping these elements in mind, let's see how I'd go about incorporating this colorful medallion bedding into a bold (yet still soothing) coastal bedroom:
I'd start by painting the room in White Tie from Farrow & Ball, which they describe as "the white of old, pre-brightened, starched cotton" -- and I think that's a brilliant description. It's vintage-y and warm with just a touch of yellow. On the floor, I'd bring in a simple and modern gray and cream rug with a geometric print to ground the room. Curtains in a gray diamond print echo the rug's print without exactly matching it. The yellow slipper chair has a decidedly more feminine twist with its curvy spade print and elegant, spare shape. I'd echo this more feminine shape with a stunning, gray Rococo bed in a modern charcoal gray. The shape also reminds me of a shell, which I'd reference more overtly with a pair of Adler's modern shell lamps (and I love their gray shade). To balance the colorful duvet and shams, I'd stick with white sheets, which will bring in a strong dose of soothing white to the room.
To create more visual space (and keep the focus on that incredible bed), I'd bring in lucite nesting tables for side tables. This modern touch also works as a great foil to the ornate bed and intricate medallion pattern of the bedlinens, while emphasizing the on-trend gray and yellow color palette. To incorporate that textural element so essential for coastal interiors, I'd add a rattan and bamboo woven pendant (whose clean, modern shape is yet another nod to the other modern touches in the room), a grasscloth dresser (with tons of great storage to keep clutter at bay) and a jute pouf (which can perform triple duty as a side table, ottoman or extra seating). Finally, I'd bring in a few pretty and romantic accessories like the antique mercury glass vases (perfectly sized to hold one or two summer blooms) and a pretty lotus candleholder.
Clockwise from top left: 1. Bohemian Medallion Duvet from Urban Outfitters. 2. Leran Pendant (24") from IKEA. 3. Shell Lamp from Jonathan Adler. 4. Antique Mercury Wine Bottles from Mothology. 5.Peekaboo Clear Nesting Tables from CB2. 6. 3-piece lotus candleholder from CB2. 7. Coralie Bed from Anthropologie. 8. Surya Fallon Collection FAL01 Gray Rug from Rug USA. 9. Maize Spade cotton fabric and Bark Diamond cotton fabric from Serena & Lily. 10. Avignon Chair from Serena & Lily. 11. Bungalow5 Frances Six-Drawer Dresser in White from Clayton Gray Home. 12. Jute Cube from West Elm. 13. Paint (Shown as background): White Tie from Farrow&Ball.
Be sure to check out all the other great mood boards HERE.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Great Sources for Chinoiserie:
1. Farrow & Ball paint -- whether you need a Chinese red, a Chinese blue, a celadon, or an imperial yellow, the best paint money can buy.
3. Pigtown Design on Etsy (and Meg is a lovely fellow blogger) for pillows.
4. Quadrille/China Seas, Brunschwig & Fils, Thibaut, Schumacher, Cowtan and Tout, and Scalamandre for fabric. Check The Designer's Attic (another wonderful fellow blogger Shannon from Pink Wallpaper) daily for incredible deals on high end fabrics.5. Caspari for paper products, chargers, lacquer trays.
6. iomoi for stationery, desk and home items.Etsy, eBay, One Kings Lane, and Craigslist for amazing finds online for everything.
9. Flea markets, thrifts stores, HomeGoods, and Tuesday Morning for great in person shopping.
10. My number one tip and source is to make eBay your friend. Can't afford Schumacher Chiang Mai Dragon, but love it? Keep checking on eBay and you will find it, especially if you are looking for just a yard or two of fabric. Many interior designers sell their designer samples and leftover fabric on eBay. I recently bought 7 yards of brand new Brunschwig & Fils Le Lac that retails for $390 a yard for $14 a yard because the seller didn't put down the name of the fabric and I spotted it. Be patient and what you are looking for will show up. My home is filled with fabulous finds from eBay.
Use what I have listed here as search terms on eBay and you will be delighted by what you will find. Happy Chinoiserie hunting!
Beth of Chinoiserie Chic
Next Week's Guest Blogger: Sarah from Haute Design.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
As most of you know, I'm a huge fan of using pattern in interior spaces and one of my favorite patterns to use are simple stripes. Sure, bold zig zags or suzanis are wonderful, but stripes are timeless, and a wonderful partner to florals, polka dots, ikats -- and yes, zig zags and suzanis, too. In addition to their ability to seamlessly work with almost any other pattern and in any decor style, stripes have that almost magical ability to create illusions of space (either vertical or horizontal) and architectural interest in even the plainest and boxiest of room.
What follows are a half dozen simple tricks and ideas for working stripes into your own home:
1. Use horizontal stripes to widen narrow rooms. While I try to avoid horizontal stripes in fashion, horizontal stripes on your walls are a wonderful way to make a narrow room like wider. Try this in a hallway, mudroom or in an awkward shot-gun style bedroom.
2. Use stripes of varying widths and colors for a fun, fresh accent wall. Three to five colors and widths seem to be the sweet spot for this project as too many colors/widths make it difficult to see any pattern and can create too much visual noise.
3. Use vertical stripes to elongate a room visually. As with vertical stripes in fashion, vertical stripes on your walls emphasizes height rather than width. Use wherever you want to highlight high ceilings (or beautiful crown moldings) or to create the illusion of higher ceilings in low-slung rooms. If you want a more playful room, try wider stripes, which lend a more circus- or cabana-like feel to a space. If you'd rather go for a subtler, more sophisticated vibe, try narrower stripes.
5. Striped, flatweave rugs add a touch of casual elegance to any space. I really love a flatweave cotton rug in the summertime (or, if you're like me and live in a warmer climate, yearound). There's just something so casual and fresh about them. This look is ideal in beach houses, cottages and coastal interiors, but it is also a wonderful way to make just about any space feel a bit more casual and dressed down. If you like the look of exposed floors, painted stripes like those in the breakfast nook by Tobi Fairley in the last photo below are a wonderful option as well.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
After a morning of walking around a battlefield, we pressed on to Cawdor Castle, the family home of the Thanes of Cawdor, leaders of Clan Calder. The most famous Thane of Cawdor is, of course, Macbeth, though the castle itself was built centuries later in the late 14th-century. What I enjoyed the most about Cawdor Castle, aside from its lovely gardens, was that it truly felt like a home, full of all the knickknacks, pictures and photographs that are in all our homes. (And, in fact, it is a home, as the Dowager Countess Cawdor spends half the year there, when the castle is closed to the public.) The castle is also reflective of layer-upon-layer of renovation, from the medieval basements to the Victorian bedrooms to the very '70s-tastic kitchen.
Day 9. The following day, we headed west along the Great Glen, following Loch Ness down from Inverness to Fort Williams and the west coast. The drive is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful drives in the UK. En route, we stopped at Urquhart Castle, which is situated directly on Loch Ness. I kept my eyes peeled for Nessie, but alas, I never did catch a glimpse of her. [And yes, the Scots take Nessie seriously (or at least they pretend to for the many tourists who throng to the loch in hopes of seeing her).]