October 28, 2009
October 26, 2009
Well, I am back. It was Amazing, and I love that beautiful city as much as I ever have! This time, however, i had some “firsts!” I stayed in Brooklyn with Gary and Katherine and the most beautiful smart little 4 month old, Isla. The other “first” is that I went in some of the places I had dreamed of visiting! Before I had stayed in small (yet amazing) apartments of people I knew who were just in New York for a short time. This time it was full blown homes of people who had been in New York for years, and really are not going anywhere, so that was cool. The places felt alot more “permanant.” Make sense?
Either way, I am back, and armed with all kinds of interior design goodness! We toured 8 or 9ish homes, and really got to go at our own pace and enjoy them each individually before zipping across town on a bus, cab, train, or by foot to see the next. The organizers did a great job with showing a variety of tastes and styles, so that was cool. Words failed us as descriptors, so we started naming each home after a beverage. For instance one of the super trendy socialite’s homes (think mirrors, pink velvet drapes, white and black and silver, blingy) was a Flirtini. Another one we especially loved was a gin martini up and clean. We also visited a chardonay (kind of boring and old ladyish, but classic nonetheless), a cup of hot apple cider (Katherine’s favorite! It was so warm and cozy and perfect), a Hurricane (Estee Lauder’s owner and boy was it over the top… OTT) …you get the picture.
We will start with some trends that stick out in my memory! I’ll elaborate through a series of posts. Here are some pics (starting with the fantastic footwear that we wore in the homes! haha:
October 22, 2009
Tomorrow I am going to New York and will be in search of all kinds of home goodness to share with you guys! My friend, Katherine, a Baton Rouge/London/New York/Brooklyn girl, invited me to come and go with her to the Junior League of New York’s Home Tour! Could I be more excited? Absolutely not! When I first got the email from her that mentioned the event, I wrote back and basically said – you need to tell me right now if you are being serious because I am shopping online for airline tickets! New York is one of my favorite cities on the planet, and I cannot tell you the number of times I have looked at those buildings and thought about how much fun it would to go inside and see the interiors! Saturday I will be doing JUST THAT! My brother in law has graciously accepted my LSU ticket and will go in my place! The tigers will have to make this one happen with out ole Ash! I’ll be watching from Katherine’s sofa in Brooklyn though!
About the tour- “will showcase stylish homes in Manhattan’s most sought after neighborhoods. Past tours have featured both designers’ own residences as well as their clients, including: Geoffrey Bradfield, Paula Caravelli, Alexandra Champalimaud, Robert Couturier, Diamond Baratta Design, Jamie Drake, Roberta Freymann, Steven Gambrel, Phillip Gorrivan, Thomas Hays, Christopher Hyland, Susan Zises Green, Larry Laslo, Eric Lysdahl, Todd Merrill, Campion Platt, Scott Salvator, Hunt Slonem, Stephanie Stokes, Sara Story, Alan Tanksley, Timothy Whealon, Matthew White, Frank Webb, and Vicente Wolf.”
Take a minute and google any of those names and you will find more beautiful interior images than you can stand! Here are a few I especially love:
October 16, 2009
I got an email from my friend, Katherine, asking for some ideas for cool centerpieces. She worded it this way… “see what you can find out there that’s not just flowers; I don’t have the time, money or energy to go out and buy new flowers every week!!! I love the ones with fruit in them but they just end up going bad eventually. I need something that will last for a season; I don’t entertain formally enough to warrant much else!!!” We have all been there! What do you do in the center of the table (or coffee table or end table) that will be pretty and low maintenance? The images and materials below are from Nettleton Hollow. This site is PERFECT for ordering something fun and unique for a centerpiece. Combine it with a simple glass or stainless vase and you are good to go! I love that you can get something organic and natural but not have the upkeep of swapping it out when it dies, They are dead already! 🙂 enjoy!
October 13, 2009
This was one of those Baton Rouge mornings that was so dreary and just SAD weather! These beautiful images are guaranteed to lift your mood! How gorgeous are they?? A PERFECT mix of glam/sophistication/quirkiness. Enjoy!
October 12, 2009
Have you ever thought about painting your floor? Well because I have been living in a house with 60 year old beautiful original wood floors, the answer is NO! But with the new house, painting is going to be a great option.
“Whether a classic checkerboard, bold stripe, or simple wash of color, a new look for your floors is as simple as a fresh coat of paint.” -web
Here is what we’re working with: kitchen/living/dining main area is currently VCT (think elementary classroom and hallways at the DMV), the study/formal living is mauve carpet, and the bedrooms and hallway are cork (pretty cool for the time being!).
I have been going back and forth on what to do with the kitchen/dining/living. I eventually want to put some Marmoleum in there, but for now I think I will paint the floor! Using the correct type of paint (specifically for floors) and coating with polyurethane give you a floor that is easy to maintain, guilt-free to change, and CHEAP! I just do not know what to do yet, so painting is a way to make it work for just however long this decision process takes. The whole space needs to be the same thing b/c there is no good place to change. I realy dont want ceramic tile and it is just a whole lot of square footage. All of my European and Australian design magazines are floor painting fools!! Most are doing white, but I’m tossing around the idea of spicing that up a bit.
Now, what should it look like?? Here are some pics of examples. Lets discuss, my friends 🙂
October 8, 2009
This is what the room looks like now. As I mentioned in the previous post, this is an extra room off the kitchen/living. Its pretty large- 350 square feet, and has a huge window to the front yard. This is also the room that you will enter into if you come to the front door. That being said, I am thinking cozy, comfortable, conversation, no tv, reading, coffee, magazines, music, glass of wine, etc. I have never had an “extra” room (seeing that our house is 900 square feet and I have been in apartments before that), so I am especially excited about what will happen here! Check out the before…
Here are my “after” thoughts…
October 7, 2009
This is one of those posts that will be especially interesting to design nerds 🙂 There is alot of talk these days about “modern” furniture, “trendy” furniture and “contemporary” furniture. I thought I’d take a minute and break down what that really means. There are alot of misconceptions out there and now we can all move forward in our decorating and designing (distinguishing b/t the two of those can be for anothe day!) adventures with a better grasp on what all of this means.
Modern– This really is an actual era of design. It started around 1946 and has continued until today. There are tons of furniture designers who fall into this category, and there are a few who have designed pieces that are considered “Modern Classics.” The previous eras had focused alot on adornement, guilded finishes, ornate fabrics and carvings, and were basically “OTT” (over the top. haha). Designers of this began to push the envelope with form and this eventually became abstraction. You can see this in all design fields- architecture, furniture, interiors, art, etc. Think the really impressionistic paintings of Claude Monet vs Picasso’s expression through shapes and lines. You may also come across the term “Mid-Century Modern” and that is really that 50’s-70’s time of design.
If you are considering making an “investment purchase” in furniture, old items are better than new. I’d say spending $4000 on an antique armoir is smarter than spending $2500 at Pottery Barn. Dont get me wrong- i love Pottery Barn! If we are thinking of “investments”, however, old furniture can be sold for even more than you pay for it as time goes by. It is sort of in the world of a diamond.
Trendy– this is keeping up with the latest fads. This is not a bad thing. It is just a different way of thinking of design. Blue is a perfect example of this… blue from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s are really easy to pick out – that dusty 70’s blue vs the electric of the 80’s vs the 90’s navy! Trendy is the opposite of timeless.
Knowing this is helpful when shopping for furniture. We tend to immediately put “modern” or “contemporary” furniture in the category of being trendy and out of style in a few years, but it really is not the case if you are smart about your purchases! People pay TONS online (ebay, for instance) for modern pieces. The re-sale value is often better than the investment. Look back at some of the classic pieces from the Mid-Century if you want to make a purchase that will not go out of style. Here are some examples…
October 6, 2009
Wingback chairs are in that category of things I never really am drawn to, but once I stop and really consider it, they resonate well in a ton of interiors. Traditionally they were designed to keep the heat from the fireplace around your body, and to cut down the drafts on your head and neck! Crazy huh? They are not as “loungy” as alot of today’s overstuffed comfy chairs, but that isnt necessarily a bad thing! Sometimes you really want to stay awake and read or talk or hang out! Wingback chairs give you a level of comfort that is between a dining chair and a loungy chair/ottoman combo. PERFECT for a library/study/formal living area. All this talking about our spare room got me thinking abour wingbacks and how they really do fill a niche in the home furnishings world. Because wingbacks are a very traditional style, try pairing that shape with a contemporary fabric to give it a new life! That being said, you can often find these chairs at thrift stores because they are a style that has been around for the ages. Pick up an old wingback and give it a new life with one of the fantastic fabrics you can order online at places such as Calico Corners (my favorite online fabric resource! you can order a “sample” that is large enough to make a good sized throw pillow for $7!)
We’re in the market for a sofa (well, I am b/c kyle wouldnt care if we kept the old navy leather overstuffed sectional until the day we die. have i mentioned that i LOVE the fact that he leaves these decisions up to me???). The second living area right off the kitchen/living is something I’m very excited about! I cant totally decide what to use that room for but I’m leaning toward study/library/living. I have a TON of books- as does Kyle- so we could do a wall of books, a leather (little more serious) sofa, a couple of chairs, and our desk/computer. I dont want this to be another TV room, so no TV. The TV will be on the far wall from kitchen in the main living area so that you can see it while cooking and eating. I see the other living area as more quiet and conversational.
About the new sofa- I’m thinking a lighter camel-ish leather. I’ve never had a leather sofa, so please give me some pros and cons! My dream leather sofa is that soft buttery, really worn and broken-in look. I’m not into the over-stuffed dark ones, especially for this house. Here are a few examples.
A. This one is basically my dream sofa. It is from Room and Board. I cannot imagine it being any more perfect. The color… the lines… the simplicity…the tufted back and fixed cushions. It is my dream. It is pretty expensive (and by pretty i mean very), but at the same time it is most definitely a lifetime investment piece. I would ALWAYS keep this sofa, and the more it gets worn and broken in, the better. Sort of like a perfect pair of camel boots!
B. Here is a great one from Bassett! (thanks, Amanda!) It really is classically beautiful.
C. This one is from Pottery Barn. Slightly less expensive, great color, would wear beautifully. Its a little more traditional, and at first that is a turn-off, but at the same time, maybe not necessarily a bad thing. I also like that it does not have loose cushions on the back.
D. This sofa is sort of a cross between the two! Is is WAAAAAAAAAAY less expensive and can be ordered through Rooms-to-go. I have never bought anything from there and have heard mixed reviews on their quality. Does anyone have any experience with them?? Let me know!!!