Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mountain High

Kitchen by Dan Carithers

As the temperatures rise here in the South (as, I imagine, everywhere else), it makes me think of a tradition held in some parts of the country of retiring to higher ground for the summer, where the air is crisper and even a few degrees cooler makes all the difference in the world.

Foyer/hallway by Kim Winkler of Westbrook Interiors

I think a mountain house can be warm and inviting - and atmospheric in a rustic sort of way - without being cliche or overbearing in its presentation of theme. (Although a few antlers here and there are to be expected!)

Great room by Kathleen H. Rivers

The room above is from a house located in Cashiers, North Carolina. Cashiers and its close neighbor Highlands (covered by Southern Accents some years ago) are two hot spots for escapees from cities across the South (such as Charlotte, Atlanta, Charleston, and even Birmingham).

I think this room is a great example of tastefully rustic design, which Rivers says was inspired by the mellowed, layered look of English country houses. Southern antiques and handsome fabrics mix beautifully with exposed wood beams, weathered stone, and exotic tribal rugs.

Paneled bathroom by Westbrook Interiors

As you are probably beginning to see from my selection of photos, there are certain fabric patterns I favor for a rustic, mountain or lake house setting; gingham, ticking stripe, and crewel being the front-runners.

Dining area by Jane J. Marsden Antiques & Interiors

I love all the fabulous rugs used by these designers. Whether tribal or traditional oriental, rugs can really complete a room, don't you think?

Bedroom by Jill Morris

Vignette by Phoebe Howard

Guest house living area by Marshall Watson and Jeffrey Kilmer

What a beautifully eclectic room! I love how it has crewel and gingham, a fabulous mix of antiques (Swedish, Italian, English), flashes of gold accents, and those perfect lanterns. A lot of thought was given to the wall treatments, as well, where a combination of beadboard (around the fireplace) and multiple layers of pigment and glaze, applied by decorative painter Judy Mulligan, was used.

Porch by Myra Hoefer

You've got to have a place to take in the cool mountain breezes, too!

Bedroom by White Webb

When paired with a simple iron bedframe and unfussy furnishings, the crewelwork becomes the star of this elegant room.

Living room tableau by Elaine Griffin

We are finishing off the post today with a picture that, I think, perfectly exemplifies sophisticated mountain style. With a deer-head chandelier, neutral fabrics on classic furnishings, oversized hurricanes, and a grand oak-leaf arrangement, this room perfectly illustrates a theme done right!

I hope you all had a great holiday weekend (for my Stateside readers) and I hope for a great week ahead for everyone!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Home of Bernd Goeckler - Photo courtesy of NYSD

Love the pop of red on the sofa. Love the ikat pillows. Love the carved lattice on the chairs.  Love the subtle pattern of the rug. Love the soft gray-taupe of the curtains. Love that fiddle leaf fig. Love the architectural elements (aka, columns). Love the neutral animal print pillow. Love the black lacquer table.

Home of Bernd Goeckler

What do you love?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Nobody's Foo

Pair of wild-eyed foo dogs by Todd Alexander Romano LLC for 1st Dibs

I think by now you all know my penchant for unique and unexpected accessories (and colors... and artwork...). One fun little trendy set of creatures that keeps popping up everywhere are foo dogs. Known in China as "guardian lions" (the animal they actually mean to represent), these figures are thought to possess mythical, protective powers and typically come in design-friendly pairs.

One lonely foo dog on the first cover of online magazine High Gloss

It has become easier and easier to find affordable versions of this festive accessory, and they certainly pack an exotic punch wherever they reside.

My friend and I found this hand-sculpted guy at a local antiques store.

As you can see, they come in all shapes, colors, and sizes and can work in lots of different interior styles! (Although a predisposition to bold color and eclectic furnishings does seem to help!)

Living room shelving by Molly Luetkemeyer of M. Design Interiors

Where's Waldo foo....

Den by Tracey Garnet

Barking foo....

Vignette by Scout Designs

Cool white foo....

A pair of large, ceramic garden foo dogs from Urban Suburban

Chinoiserie Chic recently did a post on these little fellas as well. Check it out here to see even more incarnations of this exotic accessory!

Mod living room by Jonathan Adler

What do you think about this trend?

Monday, May 23, 2011

In living color

A glimpse of the many pillow options at Kathryn Ireland's West Hollywood store

A friend of mine just recently purchased the most fabulous, most enormous, vintage rug. The massive piece is 10 by 14 feet and is alive with color. Indigo blues, fiery reds, and leafy greens mingle in happy patterns all over. I am unsure of its origin, but it is handmade and signed in a language that I could not read. So unique!

One corner of the folded rug

As I was looking through my pictures of the rug (and its new home) today, the bold colors and exotic designs immediately made me think of a similarly exuberant designer: Miss Kathryn M. Ireland.

Using fabrics from toiles to suzanis (and everything in between), Ireland creates one-of-a-kind, fun, festive, and truly liveable interiors.

I love the Spanish flair that many of her homes have. So effortlessly elegant!

What do you think about her color combos? Could you be this daring in your own home?

Here's to living a colorful life and having a great week ahead!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Heaping Spoonful

Sitting area by Steven Volpe

I love to see how various (and quite different) designers use the same piece of furniture. Here, I am featuring just a few photos of graceful spoonback chairs. They are so lovely and, as you can see, quite adaptive to their environments.

Living room by Barry Dixon

What an eclectic assortment of pieces here. (Love those touches of yellow combined with a gray-toned base. Isn't that just one of the most perfect color combinations?)

Seating area by Alessandra Branca

Here, Mrs. Branca uses a more dramatic, black-painted chair to complete a fireside arrangement.

Living room by Jeffrey Bilhuber

I love Bilhuber's use of unexpected items in a room. He manages to create interest, without overwhelming the viewer. The room above is actually quite serene, despite the bold, oversized artwork, touches of saturated color (LOVE the purple chair), and sharp angles of the star accessory.

Living room in home of designer Paula Caravelli

Sorry for such a quick post, but I am getting my wish and heading to the beach today! (Yay!) I hope you all have a great remainder of your week and I will be back with more beautiful rooms on Monday!

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Dark Side

Dining room by Markham Roberts

I am growing more and more fond of chinoiserie and the flair that that style of fabric, furnishings, and accessories can bring to a home. However, it seems to me that a lot of the styles we see right now are brightly colored, festive sort of pieces. Since I am girl who likes a bit of moodiness in my interiors, these black chinoiserie pieces strike the perfect balance between the dramatic and the exotic. They are dark and glamorous and fit in such a wide array of spaces.

Living room by Amanda Malson and Jolene Ballard

What a great combination of elements in this room: Moroccan rug, mid-century Eames lounge chair, large chinoiserie cabinet, neutral upholstered pieces, colorful accessories. Doesn't black ground a room just perfectly? I like that Malson and Ballard balanced the cabinet with the Eames chair, setting them opposite each other and using them to create a nice contrast with the paler-hued items in the room.

Bedroom by Timothy Whealon

Here is another large cabinet used, this time, in a bedroom. The size of this piece works so well with the scale of the room and other large furnishings (like the grand canopy bed).

Vignette by Phoebe Howard

I love all the textures in this arrangement! Wicker, chrome, wood, glass.... Just fabulous!

Photo courtesy of Southern Accents

Here, again, this painted piece is providing a lovely contrast to the delicate wallpaper and curtains, as well as to the painted armchairs and glass side tables. Light, dark, large, small, colorful, neutral: it is all about that tension.

Study by Mary McDonald

Mary McDonald is well versed in chinoiserie style, but, here, uses only one dramatic cabinet which she then contrasts against decidedly different styles, such as the baroque-style desk and Louis XV armchair. I love all the black accents in this room, especially when paired with the unexpected grayish-teal and magenta curtains.

Vignette by John Robshaw

Robshaw uses this amazing chinoiserie find as a bar (above), while Couturier (below) uses the subtle hint of black from a desk to contrast with the dark hues of the tapestry over the bed.

Bedroom by Robert Couturier

Our final pic of the day is from one of my favorites, Mr. Miles Redd, and this photo shows just why. Combining grand and, often, glamorous pieces (such as this mirrored canopy bed and oversized chinoiserie screen) with more traditional elements (like the diminutive side table and creamy linens), Redd creates unforgettable, truly one-of-a-kind interiors.

Bedroom by Miles Redd

Here's to a great week ahead (and, hopefully, no more Blogger technical difficulties)!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Saladino Style

Living room by John Saladino

Always comfortable, sometimes minimalist, and typically enhanced with unexpected colors like lavender and apricot, John Saladino has such intriguing style.

Living room by Saladino - photo courtesy of House Beautiful

With interiors so classic and elegant, he is certainly a designer to be admired..... and emulated.

Great room by McAlpine Booth & Ferrier

The folks over at McAlpine, Booth, & Ferrier certainly have a soft spot for Saladino-style interiors. Even Bobby McAlpine's upholstered pieces for Lee Industries (aka, McAlpine Home), such as paneled screens and high-back, knole-style sofas, give a nod to traditional Saladino design.

Seating arrangement by Susan Ferrier of McAlpine Booth & Ferrier
Living room by Eleanor Cummings

Miss Cummings also puts her own, slightly more feminine, spin on Saladino.

Bedroom by Eleanor Cummings
Design by Barry Dixon

I love the ceiling-height, upholstered bench and how the pressed flower panels conveniently conceal a flat screen TV: grandeur combined with liveability.

Vignette by Amelia T. Handegan

Seating area by Phoebe Howard

Neutral, cozy, classic. Certainly rooms to live in.

Design by José Solís Betancourt

Note the scale of the various pieces in this room: from the visual weight of the wall hanging, lantern, and stone table down to the diminutive bench tucked underneath the coffee table.

Living room by Birmingham native Melanie Pounds

Melanie Pounds also has that Saladino touch. She actually worked for Circa Interiors here in Birmingham at one point, which has a definite McAlpine/Saladino vibe.

Living room by Melanie Pounds

Isn't this room just fabulous? Pounds says that she likes to live with things that are "quietly beautiful", and this room well illustrates that idea: so serene and warm.

Design by John Saladino

Whether real Saladino or Saladino in spirit, these designs are sure to last a lifetime.

Bedroom by Jeffrey Bilhuber

I hope you all have a great week ahead!