Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Family Room Preview...Almost There!

The curtains have been hung and the built-ins are almost complete, just a few more finishing touches and I promise I'll be sharing pictures of my (mostly) finished family room later on this week. Stay tuned!

{And please forgive the hideous utility boxes in plain view through the window -- the backyard is next on the "to do" list!}


Monday, June 28, 2010

Mood Board Monday

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:

Robin Bell

John Willey

Phoebe Howard

Amanda Nisbet

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.

Source List:

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

Shop Like a Design Blogger: Chinoiserie Chic

Today I'm honored to welcome Beth of Chinoiserie Chic (and Style Redux) for another installment of my Shop like a Design Blogger series. Beth is perhaps the first friend I made through blogging. We both started our blogs at about the same time and it's been so much fun to watch each other's blogs grow and evlove. She's been a great source of inspiration, support and encouragement for me since day 1. If you haven't explored both of her fantastic blogs yet (and shame on you then!), you simply must check them out.

* * *

My blog is Chinoiserie Chic. In my daily postings, I indulge my passion and enthusiasm for all things Chinoiserie. The term "Chinoiserie" refers to Western interpretations of Chinese style in architecture, interiors, art, furniture, pottery, textiles, and gardens. It originated in Europe in the 17th century and is enjoying a resurgence today. This wonderful look works with literally any style of decorating. There is no house anywhere that would not be enhanced by some well chosen Chinoiserie. It works beautifully with French, English, Hollywood Regency, modern, you name it. Chinoiserie is fresh, whimsical, playful, and flexible, yet adds elegance, sophistication, and character to any room. I have no magical sources for Chinoiserie-it can be found anywhere! Start at 1stdibs. Whether or not you can afford to buy there, educate your eye. Then study the work of interior designers you love and who love Chinoiserie like Charlotte Moss, Alessandra Branca, Meg Braff, Ruthie Sommers, Mary McDonald, Miles Redd, Michael Smith, and many others. See how they use Chinoiserie. Learn about the style and decide what you like. Then go out and explore.

Here are my top ten tips for adding Chinoiserie to your home. Any of these ideas will add Chinoiserie flair to your home and can be found from budget to luxury:

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.

2. Fromental, de Gournay, Gracie, Osborne & Little, Clarence House, Scalamandre, Designers Guild, Thibaut, and Phillip Jeffries for wallpaper.

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.

7. Gump's, Horchow, Williams Sonoma Home, The Well Appointed House, and 1stdibs for high end online.

8. 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

My Style in One Picture

Last week Ally at From the Right Bank... challenged her readers to post one picture that thoroughly encapsulated their style. Intrigued, I set out to find my own picture...and it was a lot harder than I had initially expected. While I blog constantly about rooms and homes that inspire and awe me in some way, shape or form, I found it really hard to find a single room that felt like it was 100% me, that I wouldn't change a thing in. But this dining room does include a few of my favorite colors, motifs and elements: coral (both the color and the motif), gilt, quatrefoil, cotton velvet, slate blue, lanterns, clean lined dark wood furniture, a statement-making chair, and white ceramic animals (though I'd swap the greyhound out for a dachshund!). And, as a whole, this is a pretty incredible room, don't you think?

For today, at least, this is My Style in One Picture. What's yours?

Also, please join Sue and I today over at The Zhush where I'll be sharing some of my favorite summer style secrets. See you there!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Style Essential: Stripes

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.

Amanda Nisbet

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.

Mary McDonald

Frank Roop

Mary McDonald

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.

John Oetgen

4. Carry the vertical stripes up the ceiling to create a tented room. A bolder statement to be sure, but this is a wonderful way to highlight slanted ceilings. By taking the stripes up and over the ceiling, you can also create a cozy, cocoon-like effect (even in rooms with higher ceilings). This look is particularly successful in powder rooms, children's rooms and dens, where the playful vibe is most at home.

Leslie Klotz

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.

Marshall Watson

6. Use bold stripes on upholstered pieces to make a big statement. While the general wisdom is to keep larger pieces of furniture pattern-free, stripes on smaller upholstered pieces like accent chairs, benches and settees are a wonderful way to bring in a good dose of pattern that can be easily mixed in with other fabrics on pillows, draperies or rugs.

Sally Steponkus

Steven Gambrel


Monday, June 21, 2010

10% off at Rugs USA!

If you enjoyed Janell's recent guest post in the Shop like a Design Blogger series, then you'll be excited to hear that Rugs USA has offered Odi et Amo readers 10% off their entire order from now until July 4th. Simply enter coupon code WINRUGS at check-out.

I've been searching for a rug for my master bedroom for some time now so I'm off to check out their inventory.

Happy shopping!


Friday, June 18, 2010

Vacation Recap: Scotland, Part 3

{Inverness, Scotland}

[Note: This is a continuation of the recap of my recent trip to the United Kingdom. To view Part 1, click HERE. To view Part 2, click HERE.]

Day 7. After a nearly a week in London, we caught a plane to Inverness, the unofficial capital of the Highlands.

That evening, we were able to take full advantage of the long Scottish summer days and walk around the city. Situated on the River Ness and the Moray Firth, Inverness is a picturesque town full of B&Bs and all manner of tourist amenities. It is, for many, a great launching pad for day trips around the Highlands.

Day 8. We decided to spend our first full day in Scotland driving east. [And yes, we rented a car and drove ourselves around on the "wrong" side of the road. Fortunately, Scottish roads are well maintained and well-marked and we found getting around (with the help of my trusty Garmin) pretty painless.] Our first stop was Culloden moor, where the Battle of Culloden was fought between the Jacobites and "the Government" in 1746. Not only did Culloden effectively end Bonnie Prince Charlie's bid for the British crown, but it also brought an end to the Scottish clan system (which was made illegal shortly after the Jacobite's crushing loss) and the beginning of the Scottish diaspora to Canada, the USA and Australia. In short, it's a pivotal moment in Scottish (and really, world) history. The gloomy moor lends itself that kind of reflective, melancholic mood that the conjuring up of tragic parts of history tend to leave me with.

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.

Our final stop for the day was Elgin Cathedral (or what's left of it, anyway). There are a good many ruined cathedrals, abbeys and monasteries throughout Scotland (and we'll visit more of them at the end of our trip) and these are remnants of the violent Reformation that took place in Scotland in the 16th century. Despite their ruined state, I still love roaming the grounds of these places, admiring the architecture and that gothic romanticism that seems to settle onto ancient, consecrated grounds.

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).]

From Ft. Williams, we drove through Glen Coe, which is another breathtaking drive for the mountain-lover. Much of the drive follows the West Highland Way, a hiking and biking trail that traverses the highlands. My hope is that Dave and I will be able to return to Scotland and hike at least a part of it so we have more time to soak in the beauty than we did in a 45-minute car ride.

Next up: We wrap up our vacation with visits to Stirling, St. Andrews and Edinburgh.

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