hello september

hello september

There’s more to life than just area rugs and paint schemes.  So, with September upon us, it’s time for a makeover.  And what better time than now?  New season (the best one, no?) = fresh starts, back-to-school clothes shopping(!) (even though I graduated college 4+ years ago), and gorgeous-crisp- inspirational weather.  This all reeks to me like it’s high time to usher in the new.  My blog will be getting a major facelift, from layout to content.

A girl can’t subsist on interior design alone.  So, I’m going to introduce some new topics.  A few of my favorite things: fashion, food, furniture, fotography photography.  Damn, it would be so catchy if they had all started with the letter F.  Anyway, that is my grand plan- hope you enjoy!

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mad dash world

Mad Dash World

 

It seems like everywhere you turn mid-century modern designs are popping up again.  From clothes (think the new Mad Men Collection at Banana Republic– which I can’t get enough of) to replica Eames chairs on all the flash-sale sites, this 60-year old style is back in a big way.  Luckily for you there’s an inexpensive way to give in to your design cravings.  Check out my latest and greatest picks that I can’t wait to fill my house with via my collage above (love you Polyvore) and see where to buy em below!  My first choice?  The Jackie O Warhol print of course.

canine design: dog in an Eames chair

Well, my long-awaited Eames chair (from Cailifornia Modern Classics) finally arrived last week and I managed to put it together myself and even got it to the point where it was sturdy enough for my dog to hang out on it.  Here’s Skip giving his best mid-century modern doggy pose…

Skip posing for the camera

design inspiration: spring fever

With spring finally upon us I went out and enjoyed the balmy weather this past weekend by eating alfresco, partaking in some mini-golf, swimming in the (still freezing) ocean and allowing the blossoming flowers and bright colors all around me to give me some interior design inspiration.  My iPhone snaps’ vivid colors and springtime themes give me the urge to outfit my home in some bright new colorful accessories just in time to brighten up and lighten up for the new season.

My photos:

Outdoor lanterns and turquoise water

Pink toes (and matching ball and putter) on the greens

Bright pink flowers

Spring flowers

Spring flowers

Springtime accessories I’m now craving:

La Murrina turquoise chandelier

This bright turquoise chandelier from La Murrina might be considered too “out-there” for some, but I can just imagine it saving my bathroom ceiling from dreariness by replacing a boring white fan and injecting the space with a little bit of oomph and sparkle.  Don’t you agree?  The aqua color reminds me of the bright blue water in my picture above…

Fuchsia Moroccan Leather Pouf

For a pink item to match my fuchsia toes, this awesome Moroccan leather pouf (available here) will do the trick.  I can see it now: lounging in my living room, cold (spiked) lemonade in my hand, and my pink toes resting upon my new pink pouf.  Pure pink perfection.

Yellow bowl

Bright canary bowl

Nothing screams spring like some bright yellow sunshine added to your decor.  This bowl (get it here) could be used for anything from corralling fruit to serving as a catchall for your bangles.  No matter what purpose it serves, it is sure to bring some springtime life into any room.

weekend inspiration: old + new

The weekend is finally upon us after a (very) long week.  My plans include some vintage and thrift store shopping/antique hunting, and creating a new piece of art for my walls.

As far as “old” goes, here is a picture of a few of my favorite vintage jewelry items, nestled on an antique silver tray:

Vintage display

Vintage display in my bedroom

And for “new” I plan to re-create my own version of this adorable Jack Russell made by artist Denise Fiedler.

Jack Russell "paste" by Denise Fiedler

before + after: make an entrance

The entrance to a home is one of the first things you (and guests) notice.  At the same time, it is also the most often overlooked spot when it comes to decorating.  You really want to set the tone with your entryway.  Do you want to come home every day and walk in to a boring and uninspired space?  Or do you want to open the front door to an aura of calm, clean inspiration?  I’ll take the latter please.  When I moved into my house a year ago the front hallway was painted a jarring shade of red.  I took matters into my own hands and painted it a calming shade of light blue.  Blue evokes feelings of serenity and relaxation and those are definitely qualities that I like to come home to after a long day at work.

Front entryway

Front entryway

Above you can see what my newly painted blue entryway looked like before I added any decorative touches.  For me, the key to making a space personal is adding layers until you’re satisfied- be it artwork, furniture, rugs, or something else that suits you. 

Decorated entryway

Decorated entryway, part 1

For stage 1 of my decorating process I added a white table to contrast against the blue walls while also coordinating with the baseboards.  Then I hung up a colorful painting, threw in a patterned rug (in a neutral pattern to be sure it wasn’t too much color), and topped off the white table with a vintage birdcage that I made the home of an iron pig (don’t ask why, I just thought it looked interesting- conversation starter?).   A vintage owl mirror above the table finished this layer.

Decorated entryway
Decorated entryway, part 2

For stage 2 of the process I hung up another painting- a black and white acrylic of flowers that I did myself, and a framed and matted photograph I took in college- also in black/white and flanked by a black frame and white mat.  The black and white from the photograph plays off of the painting and goes well in an otherwise pretty colorful room, thanks to the blue on the walls.

Now, when I enter my home I am greeted by a space distinctive of my style and filled with personal touches.  It also sets the tone for the rest of my house and the style that lies beyond the front entryway.

friday eye candy

I must have woken up in a nautical mood today as I put on a navy blazer, bright red shirt, and my favorite Coach navy + white boat shoes when I got ready for work.  Fridays make me happy, and anything and everything nautical makes me happy, so I suppose it makes sense.

For today’s interior eye candy I’ve decided to showcase Jonathan Adler’s room designs in the red and blue color scheme.  While Adler’s designs are not exactly sea-inspired, at least the colors are!

 

Jonathan Adler Barbie Malibu Dream House bedroom (Xinhua/Reuters photo)

Adler designed Barbie’s Dream House bedroom in 2009 in glorious shades of red and pink.  I love the red tufted headboard and the way the white duvet cover pops against all that pattern and color.

 

Jonathan Adler, Brian Colby sketch (via instyle.com)

The above Adler sketch is a re-imagination of  Obama’s White House Oval Office.  The red, white, and blue color scheme screams “USA” and the design is completely modern and fresh.  I’d love this for my living room (minus the oval shape).

 

Jonathan Adler red living room (via sofadesigns.blogspot.com)

The above Adler-designed interior is more muted in palette (not typical for him) but still piques interest with the myriad of patterns and the abundance of comfy-looking furniture.  It looks like a great place to hang out and relax with friends for the perfect Friday night (in London perhaps? Lots of Union Jack flag pillows in there…).

design for less: the classics

There has been an ongoing debate in the design world over whether or not that small and elite group of pieces that have reached “classic” status should be remade, redone, recolored, or mass manufactured and sold at Ikea for $100.  While I hope Ikea doesn’t start selling Saarinen knockoffs anytime soon, as long as the classics are reproduced with care and thought in regards to the history of the product, it is a great way to allow more people to experience the joy of owning one of these iconic masterpieces. While many are against this I can’t help but think that good design should be available for all.  As a recent buyer of an Eames rocker lookalike (can’t wait til it arrives next week!) I cannot argue that the classics should remain untouched.   West Elm has a new collection called “Respectfully Revamped” and it is a great example of some archetypes being redone in great fashion.

West Elm Modern Windsor Accent Chair, $399

West Elm’s version of the windsor chair, above, is a stylish take on the classic design at an affordable price.  Meanwhile, a handmade vintage windsor chair will cost you somewhere close to $1,000, like the one below, which is approximately $895:

Handmade windsor chair, $895


Another great revamp from West Elm is their Elton Setee which looks oh so similar to the classic Florence Knoll two-seater…

West Elm Elton Setee, $699

For the cost of the original, you could purchase the West Elm version 8 times over:

Florence Knoll Two Seater, $5,741 (dwr.com)

Lastly, my own recent purchase, the chair that is omnipresent in any design-savvy person’s home, the famous Eames rocker chair.  I got mine at a super-low price since I bought it during a Hautelook flash sale, but the “fake” is made by California Modern Classics and usually goes for $350.

California Modern Classics Plastic Molded Rocking Chair, $350

California Modern Classics Plastic Molded Rocking Chair, $350

Now, take a look at the original, below, designed by Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller.  Is it just me or do they look identical? 🙂  Guess I scored myself a great bargain!

Eames® Molded Plastic Rocker, $479 (dwr.com)

trend report: fashion and furniture

Home décor isn’t my only passion- I am also very much interested in fashion as well.  But since becoming a homeowner I do feel as if my attentions have shifted much more to shopping for home items than for haute couture (well maybe I never shopped for haute couture, but you know what I mean).  To take a line from the newly nested Carrie Bradshaw in last year’s SATC2 movie, “I feel like I’m cheating on fashion with furniture.”  However, I realize that my two loves can be combined.  While poring over recent runway pictures from last week’s NY Fashion Week I found some wonderful similarities between what’s going to be hot in clothing for fall and what is currently in vogue in home design.

Saturated color on the fall runways (image via style.com)

As you can see above, bright and bold primary colors were all over the fashion designer’s canvas.  This can be easily translated to home decor by adding pops of bold colored accessories to liven up a room.  The outfits above pair a bright eye-popping color with a more toned down neutral to tamper the effect.  Below, the bold blue of the walls, red door, and pop of pink in the lampshade are tempered by a white ceiling and black and white tiled floors :

Bold interior foyer (image via elledecor.com)

The best way to introduce so much color to a room is to do it in a hallway or a foyer, as seen above- this way you don’t feel like you’ve taken too much of a risk if you absolutely hate it- and it is confined to a small area.

Another prevailing trend seen on the runways was the billowy and silky rich blazers, skirts and pants done up in a shade of Yves Klein blue. 

Yves Klein blue outfits (image via style.com)

This monochromatic yet rich look can be translated beautifully into a room.  The Yves Klein blue-colored painting in the room below really gives the space a sumptuous and luxurious feel.  After all, it’s so close on the color chart to royal blue that  the overall effect has a glint of royal luxoriousness to it.

Yves Klein blue artwork pops in a neutral room (image via casasugar.com)

I saved my favorite runway looks for last: rustic preppiness.  There is nothing that makes me happier than plaid (except for maybe several bottles glasses of pinot noir) and layers.  This look was all over the runways, and while plaids usually call for a muted palette, their print is anything but.  The heavier nubby texture lends a feeling of warmth and coziness- perfect for cozying up to a fire on a chilly fall day. 

Plaid looks ruled the runways (image via style.com)

Similarly, an interior clad in plaid makes you want to spark up a fire and lounge about in comfy coziness inside.  The plaid wallpaper in the interior below brings a welcoming and homey vibe to the front entryway of this home:

Rustic plaid entryway (image via postandbeamliving.com)

So there you have it.  To my delight, fashion and home decor can be combined.  What’s in style on the runways is often well-translated into the home.  Whether it’s a bold shot of blue or a whole room wallpapered in preppy plaid, fashion and design are not incongruous entities.

weekend project: avant-garde(ning)

While most of the country is still mired in the miserable winter weather (the northeast got more snow today!?) I am lucky enough to be in sunny south Florida enjoying the warm air and 80 degree days. Not to worry- in three short months when everyone else is rejoicing spring’s arrival, I’ll be wiping the sweat from my brow and awaiting the return of autumn and winter. But in the meantime, I’ve been taking advantage of the weather and getting some outdoor projects crossed off my never-ending list of to-do’s. First up, planting a mini garden in my front yard.

Mini garden

Projects like these enhance the curb-appeal of your home, which in turn increases property value. When I moved in to my house over a year ago this area was filled with ugly weeds and plants that never met their full potential. So, I ripped these all out at the root, headed over to Home Depot for some new flora, and TA-DA my new mini garden!

Hibiscus plant

I planted pink and yellow hibiscus plants in the back row of my “garden,” planted golden shrimp plants in the front row for some variety, and flanked these by two simple green leafy plants on either end.

Golden shrimp plant

Then, I covered the dirt surrounding the plants with mulch. The upkeep is fairly simple- water the plants 2 to 3 times a week, prune them when dead leaves or flowers show up, and fertilize every three months (this will vary depending on the type of fertilizer you buy- see the packaging for directions). The most important thing to remember is to find out exactly how much water/sunlight/fertilizer the particular plant that you chose needs and then to follow these guidelines for a healthy garden. Most of this info can be found on the fact sheet that comes with the plant or flower when you purchase it. For additional information, simply Google it– there are tons of helpful web sites out there for the clueless gardener.

While I am on the subject of plants- don’t forget to add some indoors.  They bring a breath of fresh air  and calmness to a space.  To bring the outdoors in I chose a european fan palm- it requires very little upkeep or watering, all I have to do is put it near a window so it gets adequate sunlight. 

European fan palm