Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Orange & Aqua Nursery Inspiration

Here are a few images inspiring me today. Clockwise from left: (1) Blueprint's modern baby shower; (2) Amy Atlas's orange & aqua dessert bar; (3) orange staircase from Canadian House & Home; (4) Binth Alphabet poster; (5) Leslie Klotz's serene coastal bedroom (and that awesome quilt); (6) fabrics: Serena & Lily's orange seersucker, Thomas Paul's zinnia in turquoise and Thomas Paul's Aviary in tangerine; (7) Miss James's darling baby girl (and that orange & white striped outfit and sheet!); (8) Massucco Warner Miller's cozy reading nook; and (10) Kristen Hutchins's nursery.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Orange + Aqua = Love

So in my last post I mentioned in passing that I was really loving orange lately. And I am. In fact, I've been itching to design the nursery in orange and...well, and something. I didn't want to do brown because it's too harvesty. I don't want to do just white because it's too monochromatic and modern for my taste. And then I saw the divine Ms. Tobi Fairley's feature in Traditional Home earlier this week as I paged through the magazine en route home from LA. And I fell in love. Aqua and orange -- that's it! It's fresh, young and fun but still sophisticated and interesting. And even more important: it's gender neutral. I've decided to eschew traditional gender decorating (for now) and go with a more neutral theme for a nursery.

But back to these rooms....Tobi Fairley designed the master bedroom and adjacent sunroom for a Showhouse in Arkansas using predominately green materials (and plenty of antiques and refurbished furniture). And this may be about the freshest, happiest approach to reduce, reuse and recycle that I've ever seen.

I'm particularly fond of how Tobi doesn't try and match tones too closely. The aqua Rubie Green fabric on the vintage sofa isn't precisely the same tone used on the legs of the orange chair or on the finish on the cabinet. And I like that. The overall effect is more layered and less stuffy -- but still conveys the pulled together look that a tighter color palette can give you. Also love how there are only two throw pillows on the sofa and none on the armchair. Much as I love a throw pillow (and you know I do), I get tired of seeing designers completely cover furniture in them. It's impractical and they'll only end up on the floor.

Mmm...pretty lamp, pretty flowers, pretty curtains. All around great styling generally and I appreciate that this nightstand isn't completely cluttered with stuff. All too often these vignettes just read as overstyled to me. Here, Tobi sticks to a classic group of 3 (I consider the orange book more of a stand than an object itself) with staggered heights. It's a simple formula, but it always works.

In the sunroom, Tobi painted mismatched vintage frames the same coral shade and displayed simple shells within, treating them as shadow boxes rather than traditional frames. This a trick that's been used to great effect by a number of designers -- and even on HGTV, but I still like the look. It's a great and inexpensive way to fill a big wall. And of course I love the hit of KWID Imperial Trellis in that great spice colorway.

So yes there are a lot of throw pillows on this daybed, but I make an exception for daybeds as they're deep enough both to accommodate a plethora of pillows and a person (or two), especially if they're backless as here. The embroidered teal pillows are particularly gorgeous -- would love to know the source if anyone knows it. But is it just me or does that art look an awful lot like a chalkboard?

Those lamps are actually old flea market finds that Tobi painted orange -- brilliant trickery for decorating on a budget. I also have to add that the Izze orange sodas displayed on the makeshift bar are personal favorites of mine. I've been drinking it regularly since I found out I was pregnant in an effort to stave off the boredom that comes with abstaining from alcohol and diet soda.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Natalie Umbert makes me happy.

Last week I was flipping through the latest issue of Town and Country and saw this picture included in their feature on up and coming LA designers -- and I stopped dead in my tracks. Now this is the type of room that just makes me happy: bright colors coupled with lots of crisp whites and a great mix of patterns and styles. So of course I had to google the designer behind such a great room and boy was I not disappointed.

Natalie Umbert's portfolio is, start to finish, just as jubilant, fresh and eclectic as I had hoped. In short, I have a new design crush -- and a serious and new found appreciation for the color orange.

I'm so in love with that window seat. And all the built-ins around the fireplace. Okay and those floors.

I love the colorful patterned backs of these charges -- such a great injection of color into an otherwise neutral space. I also love the juxtaposition of the very casual floor and rug with the formal coiffured ceiling. Gauzy linen drapes and a capiz shell chandelier bring in a beachy vibe.

I actually just got back from an all too brief trip to Pasadena, CA, late last night and I'm still definitely California dreamin'. The weather just could not have been better (or a more welcome respite from the humidity we've been suffering through all month). In any case, this room just screams California beach to me with its bleached floors, clapboard walls and brilliantly fresh combination of orange and aqua. So spot-on.

The orange Eames Eiffel base chairs are a classic choice, done up more playfully in orange. I do wish the rug underneath the Saarinen table were a bit bigger though, I prefer a rug large enough to cover the floor area underneath the table and the chairs.

More orange and aqua, but this time in a more saturated setting. I love how you can go with just a few hints of bright color set against a white backdrop for a calmer, more casual air or really go all out for some major drama. The palette stays the same, and yet the mood is so drastically different. The Chinese wishbone arm charms all done up in bold orange lacquer and fun stripes are my favorite elements in the space.

Another view of the same room. Note how Natalie goes with just one large piece of art on one wall and a large mirror over the fireplace. I'm a big fan of using just a few large-scale pieces on your wall and with this bold wall color and all the ample patterns on the soft furnishings, not only do you want to avoid cluttering up your walls, but smaller pieces would really just get lost here.

Natalie's portfolio has a separate section entirely devoted to children's rooms. I absolutely love how she picked up on the hot pink of the Serena & Lily bedding with just the narrowest of pink stripes on the walls. The wide spacing makes the small room appear larger and less busy than a more traditional stripe would have.

When I first saw this room I couldn't help but think: "Okay, that's a pretty sophisticated kid's room", especially with the fairly tight black, white and silver color palette. The playful rug does inject a more youthful note, but it's the feature wall of silver-foiled wallpaper that I really love.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Shop Like a Design Blogger: EverythingLEB

It may be hard to believe, but today marks the end of the extended "Shop Like a Design Blogger" guest post series here on Odi et Amo. Every week, I have been continuously amazed at how each and every guest blogger has managed to come up with an incredible (and unique) list of design resources -- and this week proves no exception. Bostonian Lindsay of EverythingLEB proves that while she may be last, she's certainly not least. And I totally share her obsession with office supplies and great organizational tools.

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Hi Everyone- Lindsay here from EverythingLEB. I'm so excited to be participating in this awesome series. A huge thank you to Averill for putting it together and including so many amazing bloggers.

I actually find myself coming back here over and over again to see everyone's choices for inspiration. It was so hard for me to pick just a few, especially since alot of my favorite places have already been mentioned. So these might be repeats for you, but maybe the reasons and some of the products are new to you :)

1. Home Depot- Oh Home Depot where would I be without you? I know they don't carry everything for home projects (like Ben Moore paint, uhhhemm) but they have a wide selection of paints, stains, glues, nails, wood, etc to get projects started. And most times you can find someone helpful to guide you in the right direction. Another reason I love Home Depot is there selection of inexpensive plants and orchids. A must for a decorator is something living in each room and this is the perfect place to pick something green up.

2. The Container Store: This might be the one store that I could spend thousands of dollars in and no dinner guest in my home would ever see what I spent all that money on. From closet organizers, drawer liners, gift wrap and more, they have everything for the complete organizational freak like me :)

My favorite things here are the beautiful fabric covered boxes that come in so many fun colors and the plastic shoe boxes that I use for just about everything in my house.

3. Trader Joe's: One word, flowers! Having fresh flowers in my house is such a luxury and at Trader Joe's you cant go wrong bringing home a $3.99 bunch of carnations or a $15.99 bunch of roses. They have a great seasonal selection and I just love the color and cheer they bring into my house.

4. Ikea- for obvious reasons every design blogger loves Ikea. They have a huge selection and you cant beat the prices. The above items are new and I'm so excited to go check them out in person. #1 reason I want to go right now, that acrylic chair- so pretty!

5. Freddy Farkels: I've got a local pick here. All you Bostonians out there, this ones for you. Freddy Farkels is in Watertown and its one of those hit or miss stores for the bargains. They carry a ton of regular priced fabric in their front section and in the back they have an amazing section of bargain basement priced fabric in the back. I've found some really fabulous fabrics for $2 a yard, you cant beat that!

So there you have it, my list of favorite shopping sources. But in all honestly I think all of the shopping sources the other bloggers listed are my favorite too! This is an amazing source to bookmark, and I'm so happy Averill decided to put this together!!

Thank you, thank you Averill!

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Thank you Lindsay -- and thank you to all the other design bloggers who've contributed such great content and ideas over the past few months! You've all made this series successful beyond my wildest imagination and I can promise you that I'll be referring to your posts regularly whenever I'm on the hunt for great design sources.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cutest. Gliders. Ever.

Until very recently (like maybe yesterday) I really hadn't given much thought as to how I'll decorate the nursery. Chalk it up to exhaustion, preoccupation with work or perhaps just procrastination, but the likely truth is that I really couldn't bear the idea of launching into yet another home improvement project right now. But fortunately that's all changed thanks to that second trimester high that I'd been promised for weeks but only just now seem to be hitting. And now I can't stop scouring the web for resources and inspiration.

My intentions are to stay on a pretty tight budget for this nursery because (a) the kid will outgrow it rather quickly and (b) the kid will inevitably make a mess of it. But there are a few areas I'm willing to splurge a bit on and one of those is a great glider. Not only will I appreciate a comfortable place to spend the next few months of my life, but it'll prove useful around the house long after I quit nursing. And tonight I (very randomly) stumbled upon these fabulous wingback gliders from Shetter Palevsky Interiors.

Unfortunately I'm going to have to file these into my "for inspirational purposes only" file as they qualify more as extravagant than a splurge (at least for my budget), but I couldn't resist showing you sharing them with you anyway -- besides, just because a great piece is out of your budget doesn't mean it can't serve as inspiration. And fortunately these looks are replicable on a budget as any old glider can be recovered in fun (and contrasting fabrics). Even better: many of these specific fabrics are available at retail from Mod Green Pod (e.g., the butterfly print) and Calico Corners (e.g., the Annie Selke blue and white print). So I may just have to start hunting around on Craigslist for a good DIY option...

But while we're still fantasizing here, there are two other great glider styles on offer through SPI Interiors:

Beckett Glider (from $2250)

What can I say? I love a tufted back. And curves on this chair are sweetly feminine without being cloying. Not a huge fan of either of these fabric options (they both read a bit granny to me), but rest assured there are plenty of other lovely prints and solids to choose from. And, of course, you can always C.O.M.

Kingston Glider (from $2500)

I love the tailored , clean lines of this piece. And the upholstery job is subtle, but still really special. The trim along the skirt is a wonderfully crisp finish and the contrasting stripes peaking from underneath has be weak in the knees. This would be the perfect piece to anchor a nautically-themed nursery (which is one option I'm mulling...think lots of crisp navy and white with pops of color from nautical flags).

And of course you'll need an ottoman to put your feet up on during those late night nursing sessions...

While the offspring ottoman is less expensive, it still clocks in at $370 (for a solid fabric!) and at $545 for the super cute Hable Construction print (bottom left). Again, these ottomans are simple and inexpensive DIY projects -- and, unlike the gliders, needn't require a professional upholstery job. Indeed, I'd opt instead for a close flitting slipcover option over any tired ottoman cube. Indeed, here's a $60 option from Walmart, though you could certainly find one used even cheaper on Craigslist or Ebay. Sure, with a slipcover you won't have the nifty self welt but the savings/ease of use is probably well worth forgoing that small detail. Extra bonus: a slipcover would be washable! Very key for a nursery.

But let's take one last look at my two favorite prints on that gorgeous wingback again:

To die for, no? Of course, the question that remains unanswered though is am I decorating for a baby girl or a baby boy? Alas, you (and I) will have to wait a few more weeks to find out!


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Guest Post at JourneyChic

Many thanks to everyone for their sweet comments and e-mails; y'all have reminded me exactly what I've been missing the past few weeks as I've been taking a break from the blog. I know I promised to be back in full swing here at Odi et Amo but today you can find me over at JourneyChic blogging about a few of my transitional essentials for this fall. Thanks again Laura for inviting me to guest post; it's always an honor to be featured on one of my favorite blogs. Go HERE to check it out.

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Also, please take a moment this week to visit (Chef)uality a new food video blog by my super-talented, super-fun, super-gorgeous sister-in-law Dani. She's hosting a great giveaway, but be sure to check out some of her recipes while she's there. I can personally vouch for many of them and those that I haven't yet sampled are in my "to cook" queue.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

My distraction...

As many of you have suspected for weeks now, I am indeed pregnant! As of today, I'm 14 weeks and 5 days along, which means I'm just into the second trimester and due March 8, 2011. This ultrasound was taken two weeks ago at a routine first trimester screening. I'll be back at the doctor's this Wednesday for (yet another) check-up. So far, everything's looking great and I'm feeling good. I feel very blessed that I was able to get through the first trimester without morning sickness or weight gain. Unfortunately though, I have been suffering from truly miserable fatigue that's made it all but impossible for me to do anything other than work and sleep -- which is why I've been such a terrible blogger the past 6 weeks or so.

Recently, I've noticed that I'm slowly starting to perk up...and that means my blogging will be perking up, too. Of course, expect more postings on pregnancy, babies and -- of course -- nurseries than I've done in the past, but I promise not to alienate those of you who aren't pregnant or who don't have young children. Rest assured there will be plenty of posts of decorating and style that have absolutely nothing to do with children. Above all though, I wanted to thank you all for your patience and understanding as I've taken the end of summer to focus on these major mental and physical adjustments. Your sweet notes and comments have been much appreciated. Believe me, I've missed y'all big time.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Shop like a Design Blogger: Design Darling

Today I'm thrilled to welcome the fabulous and talented Mackenize from Design Darling. I remember when I first found her blog I was absolutely astounded to learn that Mackenzie was still in college -- indeed, her style is far more sophisticated and refined than her college age status would suggest. And I'll admit that I was just a tad jealous over her fabulous internship this past summer with one of my all-time favorite design gurus and personalities, Jonathan Adler. But Mackenzie's sweet and sparkling personality makes both her youth and her enviable C.V. hard to hold against her.

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Hi everyone! I’m so excited to share my shopping secrets with you on Odi et Amo today. I just recently completed my first interior design project — the bedroom of my off-campus house for my senior year at Bucknell — so this subject is certainly fresh in my mind!

Without further ado, number one on my list: Craigslist. In a perfect world, I’d have gads of time to scour flea markets for hidden gems — thankfully that’s where Craigslist comes in! This is undoubtedly my go-to for quality pieces at a reasonable price point. Remember Emily’s gorgeous green campaign dresser project? I don’t want to ruin any surprises but I recently scored a similar dresser off of Craigslist and gave it a new lease on life... Anglophile style ;)

My second stop is the apartment section of Urban Outfitters. If you’re looking for bohemian bedding, chic occasional chairs, or inexpensive rugs, this is a must-click!

For throw pillows — hands down the easiest and least expensive way to update a space! — I turn to two of my wonderful sponsors, Elegant Touch and Fabricadabra. Olga at Elegant Touch carries beautiful suzani pillow covers and Fabricadabra has the best online selection of ikat fabric in a variety of colors.

I love to support my blogging friends’ small businesses so I spend more time than I care to admit on Etsy — and at Jamie’s new online boutique Furbish! I’ve long admired her quirky sense of style and her talent in turning plain wood pieces into painted works of art so it’s a treat to be able to shop her wares online. For those not in the market for d├ęcoupaged dressers or seashell print ottomans, she also carries fabulous pillows and prints and plenty of goodies for under $100!

There are plenty of amazing Etsy shops but one of my favorites is Katie Armour Home. She has a great eye (and an adorable blog, of course!) and her vintage finds are not to be missed. She also happens to share my love of elephants so I know I’ll find a few brassy miniatures each time I click over :)

I’m a little biased having interned for him this summer but I know Averill is a fan so here goes: Jonathan Adler is stop number three! If you’ve never been to one of his stores, you must! Color and styling inspiration abound. Thankfully for those of us in the suburbs (or rural Pennsylvania, as the case may currently be) his site features all the same gorgeousness — tongue-in-cheek pottery, graphic needlepoint pillows, design-your-own rugs... Clearly I’m a little obsessed!

Thank you so much to Averill for having me here today — it’s been a pleasure!

Next week's guest blogger: Lindsay of EverythingLEB.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Shop Like a Design Blogger: Good Life of Design

This week's guest post comes courtesy of the darling and stylish Kathysue of Good Life of Design. Kathysue is one of those bloggers who just gives you the warm fuzzies. Not only is she full of great ideas for your home, but her plethora of positive energy and kindness always manages to brighten my day.

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I think shopping like a designer has more to do with How you shop than where you shop. For instance I think it is important to train your eye by shopping at High end stores, by going to museums and art galleries and study what you see. The reason for doing this is so when you see something at a great price, no matter where you are shopping you will be confident in making a purchase. I have a friend that has a saying that I have borrowed, “LLM” Looks-Like-More!!

I think our lovely host Averill showed us her ability to do this in her bathroom post where she purchased a stool from JC Penney's and did a slight makeover and Voila!! Gorgeous! Definitely “LLM.”

With this in mind I know you want some shopping resources so here are few that I think will make the “LLM” criteria! I will also give some other resources that might be in a higher priced category but worth a visit.

I think by changing out your accessories you can totally change the look of a room so I am going to give some resources for:
  • Art
  • Lighting
  • Pillows/slipcovers
  • The Unique


Artaissance: You will find all different styles of art at all different price points. They are prints and you can pick your size and framed or unframed. They even have a sample program for $6.00 you will get a small piece sent to you so you can make sure the subject matter and colors will work for you. I am in love with their Biltmore Collection.


Panteek.com: You will find a wonderful resource on this website for antique botanicals at very affordable price points. You will find some at higher price points too. I believe if you love botanicals or any type of historical print, this is the site for you.

Harrison Howard

Harrison Howard: This art is on my “Someday List” I love a touch of Chinoiserie and a touch of whimsy and Harrison Howard does all of that and more. The colors are amazing and the subject matter is captivating. The beauty of this site is it offers different price points in the form of prints in Giclee to the original where you must contact the artist. I love my visits on this site and I think you will too.
Shall we move onto Pillows?


We all know about Etsy.com. This is a wonderful site of vintage and handcrafted items. I have found a few sites that I think have decent fabrics and prices.

Marie's Cosy Cushions: You will find pillows made in more of a modern/contemporary style for a very affordable price point starting at $20.

Elegant Touch: At Elegant Touch you will find a higher price point with fabrics that I call more current and today. Definitely worth a visit!

Nena Von: Nena Von makes pillows out of designer fabrics that are also very current, but at a lower price point starting at $25.

Bemz: If you own any Ikea furniture this site is for you!! They have all kinds of fabric choices including Marimeko to make a slipcover out of for your Ikea pieces. Very affordable and Fun!!


I have a couple of sites that just fall into the unique category. They seem to have items that are unusual and eclectic and would a wonderful touch to any interior.

Pieces: You name it they have it and at all price points, High-Low!! Fun site to peruse for something different.

Furbish: At Furbish you will always find the unique!!

InMod: This site can actually fit in the UNIQUE PILLOW category. On this site you can design you own pillow in a modern Icon chair,pop-culture print to a classic damask. You get to choose the fabric content, size and the thread color that the design will be embroidered in. Love this site!!

Last but not least is lighting……


I am only going to give you a couple of sites that I found to be very affordable, but it will take a bit of looking to weed out some of the, shall we say less desirable lighting. These two sites will fall under the criteria of : “LLM.”

Great Chandeliers: You can find chandeliers for under $300. They have a lot of variety so it is worth the looking.

Look at how cute this is for a little girls room for only $99!

A little glamour in black for $196

TVStands.com: I know ! Don’t let the name scare you off, it almost did me, but then remember? “LLM” This will fit under that criteria with some major web-shopping.

So there you have it!! This was so fun for me to line my shopping sites up for you all.

Averill, thank you soooo much for inviting me to do this. It was an absolute honor to be asked in the first place by a fellow blogger as yourself. I have admired you and your design aesthetic and your writing skills for a very long time. I consider you a blogging friend and this was truly and honor and a lot of fun!!

Kathysue signing off,

Remember: “Enjoy The Process”

Next Week's Guest Blogger: Mackenzie at Design Darling.

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