Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bedroom challenged

The bedroom in my new place is a little on the small side, but it is cozy and comfortable. The problem is, it is not quite "done". It needs curtains, maybe a bedding revamp, but I cannot decide what direction to take it in, what colors and fabrics to use, etc.

So, I thought today's post would be a small sample of bedrooms that I think are fabulous and are currently giving me some design inspiration.... despite the fact that silver-plated canopy beds are unlikely to be in my future!

Bedroom by Michael S. Smith

The room above is cozy, yet elegant and worldly, definitely what I'm looking for in a room.

Bedroom by Delphine Krakoff

This room by the spirited Miss Krakoff is so glam and modern, yet plush and luxurious, again, aspects I would love to have in a bedroom.

Bedroom by Alex Papachristidis

This is one of my absolute favorite rooms of all time. Although my design personality leads me to more layered and colorfully eclectic interiors, I cannot help but be overcome with admiration for the sheer beauty of this room. The drape and color of the curtains, the contrast of the gold frame of the mirror and the warm wood tones on the Biedermeier chest to that gorgeous wall color, the chandelier, the plush bedding, and the scarce, yet engaging accessories all combine to create this extravagantly elegant space. Papachristidis is, to me, one of the all time greats.

What are your favorite aspects of a bedroom?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Classic Colors: Gray-Blue

Foyer by Daniel Sachs

My sister was recently pining away for a beautiful gray-blue paint color for her "grown up" living room, and, as any good design-obsessed sibling would do, I began to do some research into rooms shrouded in this sophisticated, yet moody, color. The shade above is Knoxville Gray by Benjamin Moore, and I think it complements the dark wood of the entry table and mirror and the striped dhurrie just perfectly.

Bedroom by Phoebe Howard

The fabulous Mrs. Howard creates a casual, yet textural, feel to the bedroom above with a striped coverlet, woven window shade, and, again, dark wood furnishings. (Check out the bobbin, or spool, canopy bed. I think it well matches the historical feel of the wall color.)

Study by Ben Soleimani

This was actually my first photo find in my search for this beautiful color. It is in a study in the home of Ben Soleimani, one of the talented designers at Mansour Modern (the newer, more modern branch of the venerable rug company, Mansour). I love the masculine look of this room, which is filled with beautifully structured antiques.

Design by Jeffrey Bilhuber

I love the door surround shown above. It, combined with the golden shade in the curtains, creates a interesting and welcome contrast to the cool blue walls. (And aren't those painted floors wonderful?)

Another great Ben Moore shade in this color family is Jamestown Blue, which I have seen used in photos and real life, and is a perfect option for those looking for something that is neither too dark, too gray, or too blue.

Bedroom by Chad Eisner

This bedroom, like that by Mrs. Howard, uses wood furniture and interesting textures to create warmth in this room. Eisner's designs, in general, are masculine and textural, and his website certainly deserves a look!

I especially love the pattern on the curtains; similar styles can be found at John Robshaw on beautiful, blockprinted linen.

This last photo is a gorgeous, whimsical dining room by the ever-inventive Charles de Lisle. I love the scale of the objects in the room: the huge evergreen trees, the shimmering chandelier, the black armoire, the gleaming white table. A study in contrasts for sure!

Here's to the beginning of the end: the first day of the last week of 2010!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Real Living Room: Part II

Kitchen by fellow Alabamians Richard Norris and Mark Leslie

Again, the holidays have swallowed up a good deal of my time, but isn't that time well spent? I really do love the holiday season: the music, the decorations, the presents under the tree (mine are wrapped in a multitude of festive papers). To me, it is so much about time with family and celebrating what you have in your life and, in that way, I have a lot to celebrate.

But, enough about the holidays, let's get back to the pretty! The photos above and below are from a Montgomery, Alabama home featured in House Beautiful. Norris and Leslie did all the architectural and design work on the place, but did have a little help from Norris' employers, McAlpine Tankersley Architecture.

What a wonderful room! Norris and Leslie said that the kitchen was originally a dining room and so, in honor of its origins, they dedicated each piece in the new kitchen to a piece of furniture found in a traditional dining room (i.e., the sink is like a buffet, the island is like a dining table, etc). Quite creative! I love all the Gothic touches found throughout the home. (Check out those bat prints!)

I love, love, love Tom Scheerer. His interiors are so bright and interesting; eclectic at its best. He has used the same tile (shown above and below) in several of his projects and I just love the color and texture it brings to the spaces.

Kitchen by Kathryn Ireland

To me, Kathryn Ireland is the queen of colorful interiors, and this kitchen is no exception. It is part of a 1920s Spanish-style home that was my dream home for a while (when I thought a move to sunny Arizona was in the cards). I love the color of the cabinets in this room. I think, if this were my home, I would only do the green on the bottom cabinets and white on the top, but it is lovely either way. Note how the window opens out to the patio by the pool as well. What a fabulous touch!

Kitchen in home of John Dransfield and Geoffrey Ross

Our last kitchen of the day is from a home I think I have posted excerpts from time and time again. And with good reason! It is gorgeous! The talented duo used a deep paint shade (Chelsea Gray by Ben Moore) and antique rugs and furnishings to create this supremely elegant kitchen.

One thing I find truly amazing about this kitchen is that Dransfield and Ross didn't gut the whole thing and start from scratch: the floors and countertop are laminate and the cabinets are original. I love that they created such sophisticated style without feeling the need to tear everything down first.

I hope these interiors give you some inspiration for you and your own kitchen-design challenges!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Real Living Room: Part I

Design by Peter Dunham

I will go ahead and admit it: I am no chef. Not even close. I make coffee and that's about it. But, since my move to a home with a kitchen that is less than six feet wide and counterspace at a premium, I have come to appreciate this room quite a bit more.

Design by Phoebe Howard

Many kitchens (especially those exceeding 42 square feet) are truly the heart of a home, where the family congregates and meals, stories, and laughs are shared. In that way, they seem to be the truest living rooms of all.

Design by Krista Ewart

I think what I appreciate so much in these featured kitchens is that they look like actual rooms. It seems so often that the style of the kitchen is disjointed from the rest of the home. It is understandably hard to create that synergy between the kitchen's modern appliances and materials and other living spaces' more traditional (or, sometimes, antique) furnishings.

However, I believe these designers have created rooms that carry the feeling, colors, and style from the rest of the home into the kitchen just beautifully. (Isn't that little pink fridge above so fun? It is a line called Smeg, carried by Sears. Even cooler is the fact that for every pink fridge sold, Smeg will donate $100 to the American-Italian Cancer Foundation.)

Kitchen by Phoebe Howard

Design by Katie Ridder

I think the use of color and accessories, like rugs, aides in creating warmth and carries the style of the home into the kitchen. I love the rug in the kitchen by Peter Dunham at the top, the cabinets in the kitchen by Mrs. Howard (they look like beautiful French doors), and the chairs used by Miss Ridder above. All of these items bring texture to the space that typical cabinets and countertops alone could not.

Design by Hal Williamson

Even limited space is not an issue for these talented designers. The narrow kitchen above becomes an exotic and sunny sitting area due to large windows and the whimsical banana-leaf wallpaper (a Beverly Hills Hotel signature), while the one below is made cozy with warm colors and interesting details, like the round window, vintage pendant fixtures, and checkerboard floor.

Design by Cathy Kincaid

I think this is a perfect room to end with today. It is elegant, comfortable, and efficiently functional. Great design all around!

Have a great day! 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Turkish Treasure

Design by John Saladino

Hello, all!

I am so sorry to have been away for so long! The holidays are certainly upon us and visiting family, setting up Christmas trees, and, not to mention, moving have set me back a bit!

Anyway, I wanted to share one of my favorite treasures I found this last summer, oddly enough in Florida: my Turkish cistern. I think they were originally used in fountains in the ancient baths there, and are generally made of very heavy marble or granite (as my mom and I found out when we were trying to haul that thing onto the table).

I enjoyed searching for how other artistic individuals out there employed their treasures....

Bathroom in home of photographer, Pieter Estersohn

Living area in home of Juan Carlos Arcila-Duque

My new place, a lovely little white house in a historic section of town, is still a work in progress, but, as I'm sure you all know, good design takes time! With that said, you must be kind when looking at these next two photos!

I nestled the glowing white basin between my two vintage lamps and found that gorgeous cascading rosemary plant to go in it. I love having herbs in the house: natural aromatherapy at its best!

The room has five windows and gets a good deal of light, although it's hard to tell in these photos since we've been experiencing our typical Alabama winter gloom recently.

I am slowly getting projects done, like the gallery-style grouping of pictures (in the top left area of the photo above) and the custom pillows on the couch (in funky-yet-neutral tigerstripe and deep aubergine fabrics). The fringed, pale orange, herringbone throw is by Sferra and was a gift from my super-stylish Mom.

There will be plenty more pictures to come, so make sure to check back often.

Have a happy Wednesday!