Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Let me tell you, I love the color pink. From rich raspberry to barely-there blush, I don't think any other color can create such a glow in a room. Of course, your use of pink can be restrained to a few accent pieces or fully committed with petal-hued walls. It's really up to you how rosy you want to go!

Now, I believe in diving head first into color, so most of the rooms featured in this post are fairly saturated. However, they still show great design and give examples of where to add color, whether you decide to turn the volume up or down on the intensity.

 Suzanne Kasler knows how to warm up a room with color. Although she painted only one wall of the dining room above in this cooler-toned pink, it was just enough to add a nice glow to the whole room.

The linen colored walls and furnishings in this dining room offset the pale, coral-hued drapes and accents just enough to make the room feel soothing, sophisticated, and calm.

Both of the photos above are included in Suzanne's wonderful book Inspired Interiors. I have recently finished reading/perusing it and just love all the pictures, ideas, and tips she included. I highly recommend it!

Designer, Mary McDonald, is certainly not one to shy away from color, and her expertise allows her to pull off the bright pink above perfectly!

Kelly Wearstler's interiors are always exciting. From residential projects to lavish hotels, she knows how to bring gilded glamour to any space.

The following photos feature blushing spaces by Steven Gambrel, a designer I just recently came across (although he's been around for years). His website describes him as having a "passion for timeless, comfortable houses that improve with age", which I think describes these two spaces perfectly. Regardless of the rich, rose wall color, these rooms have a classic feel, making them seem like they've been there for a century.

 Like I said before, you don't need flushing pink walls to create a glow in your room (although I highly recommend it!). Accents as small as a bouquet of peonies or as striking as full-length coral curtains, can bring just the right level of luminosity that you are looking for.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Texture through color (and vice versa)

His fearless use of color and the melange of artwork he uses in his projects make Miles Redd another one of my absolute favorite designers. His interiors make for perfect examples of how to gain texture through color and, also, color through texture.

Note how the black and white stripes create movement and depth in this room... how the blue in the curtains cools off the space while the ruffles create softness and visual interest... how the red coffee table adds a touch of intense color while adding another textural element of glossy lacquer (one of my favorite finishes!)... Need I even mention the wonderful cheetah/leopard print on the two side chairs? A perfect contrast of the classical and the wild.

Cool stone, vibrant roses, leafy artwork, cheery paint. I am loving this whole composition.

How bold can you go? In this gleaming, yet masculine, bedroom above, the answer is "very"!

I know there is a lot going on in this fairly traditional room, but, be patient, and really try to let your eye scroll over every inch: the rich oriental rug, the lush velvet on the couch, the dainty trim on the lamps, the sheen of the various hardwood surfaces. What a complex and warm picture it paints!

This picture encapsulates what I try to achieve in my own home: color, texture, playfulness, and the comfort of being able to sprawl out anywhere!

I love the contrast of pink and red. It is so unexpected (and, I'm sure, not for everyone), but seems to have an almost European feel to it.

The picture above and the one just below are from one of Miles' projects that was featured in House Beautiful magazine (yet another "absolute favorite" of mine) in July of last year. 

So much to see in this last pic: the leather, the lacquer, the patterns, the pictures, and, of course, the colors!

There are so many ways to bring color and texture into your home. Think of every item or treatment or fixture you buy as an opportunity to create depth: artwork (paintings, photos, prints), paint (high gloss, eggshell, flat), hardware (chrome, polished nickel, rubbed bronze), fabrics (chunky chenille, shimmering silk taffeta, Belgian linen). The possibilities are endless!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Modes of Expression

One good way to make a home more personal, a reflection of one's particular interests or personality, is to display art. I, for one, must have tons of paintings, prints, and photographs around me. Nothing feels more homey than a room with the walls blanketed in rich artistry!

So, today, I am featuring two of my favorite artists who use two very different modes of expression: Massimo Vitali, the cinamatographic (it's a word!) photographer, and Michael Wayne, the abstract painter.

Massimo Vitali's website describes his work (especially the Beach Series, of which I included several pictures) as a "sanitized, complacent view of Italian normalities, at the same time revealing the inner conditions and disturbances of reality: its cosmetic fakery, sexual innuendo, commodified leisure, deluded sense of affluence, and rigid conformism."..... Yes, yes. But also, these pictures are graphic and just plain pleasing to look at!

I love all the natural settings that the pictures feature. Obviously the Beach Series focuses on coastal destinations, but, as the photos above and below illustrate, he does display more lush locales as well (achieving the same visual reward).

Aren't they fabulous? I could just stare at these forever! It's almost like "Where's Waldo", looking for the detail in all the action.

Michael Wayne introduces us to a whole new form of exposition. His paintings are huge (some as big as 12 feet long!) and, although the layers and the materials in his work are many, his paintings maintain that same pleasing, graphic quality as Massimo's above. That texture and complexity of color also keeps your eye moving all over the canvas (which, at times, is made of pure silk!).

And my two favorites.....

I came across Michael Wayne's work while on a visit to San Antonio, Texas. A friend and I stopped into a great little gallery there, called AnArte, and I immediately spotted one of his works from across the room. I can't begin to tell you how much more awe-inspiring and detailed these paintings are in real life. You absolutely must check him out!

So, as you can see through the work of these great artists, inspiration and interest can come in an array of media. As Michael himself puts it best, "There are no limitations on the means to create beauty." 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Starting over; starting out

So here we go! This is my first blog, my first dealings with HTML language (thank goodness for Blogger Help!), and really my first chance to delve into the world I love: interior design!

Frankly, this time of my life has been quite filled with change: lost love, nomadic living situation, precarious financial standing. Plus, I recently turned 30 (definitely a time to evaluate my "life plan", as it is)!

So, what better way to accentuate the positive and start out, start over, than to focus on those things that I am passionate about and that bring color, depth, and brilliance to my life.

The way I see it, all homes need that something, that glow, a shimmering reflection of those who live there. (Ha!) That's what I see design to be all about: bringing luster and richness to a home. Elegance and sophistication don't have to eclipse comfort to make a truly beautiful home. (As the designer featured in this post makes apparent!) 

So, with all that said, let's get to the pretty! Here are a few pictures from a designer whose work is so vibrant and intriguing, I never fail to be inspired when I look at his projects: Peter Dunham. (Note the gorgeous "Fig Leaf" fabric on the sofa in the foreground above!)


I absolutely love his ability to mix so many textures and colors. His interiors feel elegant, yet so liveable as well. A true talent!

I look forward to researching and posting many more exciting interiors and aspire to bring all my readers a little bit of luster!