Friday, October 29, 2010

My English Country House

Entry by Eileen Boyd

You are cordially invited to...... my imaginary English country house! Yes, it is only in my dreams (and pieced together like Frankenstein from many different homes), but, if I did have a little cottage nestled among the crags and fells of Northern England, I think it would have to look something like this!

Foyer by Robert Couturier

Does it get more British than a solemn grandfather clock? I love the tidy simplicity of this beautiful foyer.

Design by Michael S. Smith

Apparently toile (and chintz) play a big part in my make-believe getaway! How precious and cozy is this bedroom by Tom Scheerer, though? I love those bird prints and the exposed beams!

Design by Tom Scheerer

Design by Todd Romano
 Of course I'd have to have a toasty fireplace to cuddle up next to! Aren't the contrasts great in this room? I love all that exposed stone paired with the bright and formal chintz. (And check out that brightly striped shade!)

In the home of Anthropologie's Keith Johnson, panels of antique toile fabric are framed and hung as artwork which, combined with the large-scale gingham on the coverlet and the stripes on the chair, create a cozy and casual feel in the room.

Our final photo of the day is the epitome of English country elegance: a sunny room by Jill Morris. Can't you just imagine the Bennet sisters stopping in this anteroom to whisper their secrets, or Darcy staring, broodingly, at himself in that fabulous mirror? (Anyone else a Pride and Prejudice fan?)

I love the globes, those huge sconces, and that patinaed green on the walls! Understated and worldly elegance at its best!

Happy Halloween! Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pretty Pastels

Design by Joe Nye

Although I usually err on the side of bold, jewel tones in my decor, I am starting to see the light.... the pale lightness of pastels, that is!

I am absolutely gaga over the room above. I love the mixture of pale and bright tones, and that rug is just to die for!

Photo courtesy of desiretoinspire

I appreciate the sort of non-committal tactfulness of the design above. The walls, upholstery and furnishings are neutral, while the pillows and rug bring in the color. These accessories could easily be traded out for ones in dark greens and deep plums and change the whole look of the space. It's not a bad idea to keep your options open!

Jay Jeffers keeps the look of this dining area serene, using blue and lavender to quiet the bright space.

If you live in Palm Beach, you really need a way to cool down your interiors (figuratively and literally), and Kemble Interiors does just that in this ultra-feminine sunroom of an old church transformed into an abode.

Design by Katie Ridder

How glamorous is this room in the home of PR guru Georgette Farkas?! I love those plush pink bergeres and the lavender walls that flow right up onto the ceiling! Traditional layout and furnishings in modern color combinations? Perfection!

Here is one last pastel place for the day: a room designed by the versatile Thomas Britt. There is so much to see in this room: whisper-pink walls, brightly striped curtains, those loopy, white Frances Elkins chairs, the striped rug that leads your eye through the room, and that huge armoire! What a lovely room to end on!

Happy Thursday to all! (Almost to the weekend!)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

You are my sunshine

Unknown design
 Well, it is a gray and dreary day here in Alabama and I am needing a little pick-me-up. So, I thought good spaces to feature today are those that are lit from within, doused in sunny yellows.

Entry by Katie Ridder

I like the idea of leaving the cold, dark, and damp outside, and retreating into cozy, cheerful interiors like these. The yellow wallpaper that Ridder uses above is done in a warm tone, making for an inviting entrance.

Robert Passal uses a pale, buttery yellow to lighten up this large bedroom. I like how he contrasts such a bright hue with plush velvets in darker tones.

Jay Jeffers uses a hefty dose of lemony shades in the living room above and, again, in the second floor landing below.

I absolutely love this swing! It was one of my dream items to have in a house when I was a kid! (Along with a spiral staircase and a walk-in closet with a huge tufted ottoman and chandelier. I dreamed big!)

Dining room by Kelly Wearstler

Yellow is certainly a go-to color for coastal interiors, such as this living room in a Palm Beach condo by Aman & Carson. It keeps things light and cheery, and reminds you to smile cause you're at the beach!

Dining room by Leslie Klotz

With yellow, a little goes a long way, as Klotz illustrates in the dining room above in a lovely Hamptons beach house.

Stephen Shubel takes a more reserved approach with his use of this sunny shade as well, featuring it only in the drapery fabric surrounding the crisp white bed. (Don't you just love that stack of books as a nightstand? It makes the room feel so casual and lived-in.)

Our last photo of the day comes to us courtesy of the talented design duo John Dransfield and Geoffrey Ross from their fabulous Somerset County, New Jersey home.

I love everything about this house, featured in the July/August 2010 edition of Elle Decor, and this room is no exception. I love the black leather sofas, the driftwood table, the collection of sketches surrounding the mirror. Purely great design!

Hope you're having a sunny day wherever you are!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sur la table: Part II

Tablescape by Joe Nye
As I laid out in the first segment of this post, I have recently become wild for table settings. I have not done a lot of entertaining, but I am eager to begin!

It seems like an art, though, to not only weave together an attractive layout for guests to survey (i.e., the combination of china and flatware, flowers and linens), but also to prepare a meal appropriate for all palates (which is a delicate and logistically challenging process in and of itself). 

How gorgeous is the setting by Joe Nye above? I love that fabulous bamboo flatware and the contrast of the blue bowls and plates with the other, more neutral items on the table.

Isn't this warm and sunny setting by John Peixinho so perfect for fall! The bright yellow tablecloth and the warm, rusty orange china create an easy, autumnal ambiance, while the simple glassware keep the layout from being too heavy.

Table setting by Ralph Lauren

Did someone say "cozy"? Oh yeah, I did! Well, if you are getting in the mood for elegant, but comfortable dinners at home, here are some pics for you! (I love the blanket thrown over the back of the chair above! What a good idea for making the scene more casual and inviting, especially if the weather outside is frightful!)

Table design by Mimi Maddock McMakin

Table setting by Jeffrey Bilhuber

Now, if you are all about glamour, these last two photos are for you. (But, seriously, who doesn't love a huge, sparkling chandelier?!)

Room by Jacques Grange

Pink, pink, and more pink! I can't imagine why this room by Jacques Grange caught my eye! I do think that the pink creates a lightness in a room that could easily become overly formal. The dining table is large and solid wood, but it feels so fresh with the rosy linens, subtle florals on the plates, and delicate orchids crowning the whole arrangement (as well as leading your eye up to the drapey chandelier).

Here is one last example of a lovely table; this one set by the colorful Hal Williamson in his clients' New Orleans home. I love the color of the walls (Shantung by Martha Stewart for Sherwin-Williams) and the crystals dripping from the chandelier. I also love how personal this room is. The photo on the wall is of a local gospel singer done by a local artist, and the toile on the chairs features historical images of the Louisiana Purchase and was created by New Orleans enthusiast, Roulhac Toledano of Architextiles.

I love the amethyst glasses that so perfectly contrast with the simplicity of the tablecloth, china, and other linens, but perfectly complements the wall color and toile on the chairs. I recently purchased a set of Franciscan amethyst goblets and can't wait to create a setting like this to display them!

Here's to a fabulous table with lots of friends and family to gather around it!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sur la table: Part I

Table decor by Meg Braff
Ever since I read Joe Nye's "Flair", I have been obsessed with everything sur la table! (More about Nye in a moment...) I just love looking at these beautiful table settings and all the wonderful little details included. Take a look at those fabulous salt and pepper shakers that Braff uses above: so ornate and polished, the perfect combination of function and interest.

Here is the same room at a distance. I love that, when you are actually at the table, it acts as its own little world. And, when formally setting a table, you can create whatever world you like!

Tablescape by Melissa Rufty
I love the tulipiere (aka, the jar holding the flowers) used by Rufty above. I recently purchased a tulipiere of my own and, since I am moving soon (yay!), I cannot wait to use it! (I will definitely be posting a host of pictures once I get settled in!)  

I love how the table setting here matches the design of the room (by Tom Scheerer). It is so soothing and natural, with the woven placemats and simple china and glassware.

Miles Redd certainly knows how to keep things fun and bright. (Oh, what I would give to go to one of his dinner parties!) Here, he contrasts a bold blue (on the tablecloth, glasses, and those super fun foo dogs) with red plates and carnations. Festive and exotic, yet with a modern elegance.

Since Joe Nye literally wrote the book on tablescapes, we can't forget to include some of his gorgeous settings! This particular tablescape was featured on the cover of "Flair", and I can absolutely see why! Not only does it feature a good helping of my favorite color (pink!), but it also uses my dream fabric! (I believe it is Le Lac by Bruschwig & Fils, but Nye states it is actually by Travers?)

Gold, leafy candlesticks, pink china, black goblets, and black bamboo flatware? Perfection!

I will leave you this week with a picture from a room by the elegant and eclectic Ms. Nussbaumer.

More beautiful tablescapes to come! Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

You're so vain, you probably think this post is about you

Room by Timothy Whealon
There is nothing more decadently feminine than a vanity, and I absolutely love them! I think I love the idea of having a place reserved just for your daily, girly activities. It is far better than leaning over the bathroom sink!

Plus, vanities and dressing tables give you the opportunity to bring some glamour into a space. Look at the fabulous bathroom by Stephen Shubel above. I love the color of the walls (guaranteed to make you look like you just came back from St. Tropez!) and those billowing silk curtains. (Have I mentioned I love silk?)

Room by Martensen Jones Interiors

Bedroom by Meg Braff
It appears a lot of designers turn to mirrored pieces to find that touch of glamour. I love all the different incarnations of this diva staple: femmed-up (like the version by Braff above), flashy and European, or truly eclectic.

Design by Martyn Lawrence Bullard

Unknown design
However, you may prefer to have a simple and quietly elegant place all to yourself, like in Broadway producer, Candia Fisher's, Manhattan bedroom (designed by Aman & Carson).

Although you may not have space for a true dressing table, I think it's important to create a space just for you (even if it is just a small mirror and shelf, or an antique valet, like in the home of Waterwork's Barbara Sallick below). 

Here's to convenient primping for all!