Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Spanish Colonial... with a twist

I love the fun mix of patterns and textures Madeline Stuart uses in this beautiful Spanish Colonial home. The bold colors, plus the modern artwork, combine to create something really unexpected, fun, and beautiful!


Monday, September 19, 2011


Dining room by Wendy Meredith

The weekend before last I went to Scott's Antique Market in Atlanta (which is fabulous, by the way), and, although there were beautiful antiques of myriad backgrounds and styles, it was the early American and English antiques that grabbed my attention.

Maybe it's because my interest has been piqued by this style recently (think Darryl Carter and Bill Ingram) because I was working on my traditional, masculine study (pictures to come), but, either way, I have a new and growing appreciation for the classically blended, English-inspired "American" look.

So, today, I thought I would pay homage to that style with some photos of homes that are modern incarnations of classic American design (where Windsor chairs and Wedgewood abound). Enjoy!

Bedroom by Eddie Ross

Breakfast area by Phoebe Howard

So much character in such a small space (with the beadboarding perfectly punctuating the style). 

Grand foyer by Diamond Baratta Design

The formality of this grand foyer is played down by breaking the space up into smaller seating areas and by using durable, unpretentious materials like the embroidered pillows and the braided rug (which was an early American staple since carpets from Europe and Asia were not available - or affordable - to colonialists).

Den by Tom Scheerer

What a cozy but fun seating area: the bold coral of the upholstery against the white walls and wood accents. It is modern without seeming overtly so (especially when Scheerer throws a sculptural high back Windsor and pair of bobbin corner chairs into the mix).

Bedroom by Stephen Sills

Again, another cozy room, this one complete with fireplace, quilts, and those lovely black-and-white lithographs. So warm and serene.

Photo courtesy of Country Living

Classic, a little cluttered, but comfortable!

Bedroom by Chad Eisner

Love the stripes, love the quilt, love the trunk.

Dining area by Windsor Smith

What a lovely room. I am not usually a fan of the Windsor chair, but, here, it is the perfect, graphic counterpoint to the clean white walls. The rustic wood table and interesting artwork so casually propped on the mantle, all handsomely complement this delightful space.

Here's to a great week ahead, everyone!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Living room by Katie Ridder

As much as I love traditional design, I also adore the unexpected: that feeling of when you peek into a room and immediately want to see more.

So, today I am featuring rooms that are an amalgam of colors and styles. Whether it is a blend of mustard, moss, and purple hues (like the room above) or campaign chests living in harmony with graphic abstract art, I appreciate the energy and fun that these adventurous palettes and pairings bring to these spaces.

Family room by Windsor Smith

I love how Windsor Smith can do rooms that are so over-the-top glamorous and then do a room like this one that is so decidedly cozy and pretty. Don't you just love those ruffles on the ottoman?

Pillows in room by Windsor Smith

Here is a close up of the pillows placed on the banquette under the far window. What a lovely (albeit, girly) mix!

Design by Miles Redd as featured in House Beautiful

You know what is funny about this room? The palette that Redd used here is so vibrant that the "unexpected" color, to me, is that creamy apricot on the armchair! Redd's creativity and fearlessness are just endless.

Bedroom in home of painter Kolene Spicher

This is such a cozy space, not just due to the canopy and slightly rustic furnishings, but the combination of patterns and the softness of colors (like the almost untraceable pink on the walls and chair and the mauve-lavender of the rug). They all combine perfectly, creating interest without seeming busy.

Den by Sara Gilbane

What a happy room. It is just so cozy and interesting with its mixture of patterns and worldly accents, paired with such classical pieces as the Louis Philippe mirror and matching urn lamps. Just lovely.

Great room by Martyn Lawrence-Bullard

Mr. Lawrence-Bullard certainly does not shy away from a bold palette, as is illustrated by the room above with its mustard yellows and bold blues, combined with some mossy green and (why not) red for punch!

Unknown design

What a gorgeous layout. I love how the chaise is positioned in an unusual way: parallel to the entertainment console as opposed to facing it. A very creative plan for a small space!

Bedroom in home of Jamie Meares of Furbish Studio

Now talk about unexpected! Candy colored walls, bold artwork, a dalmatian print pillow, and black bedside tables all collide in this festive bedroom. Miss Meares often works with what clients already own, mixing high and low, modern and traditional, to create something new - a talent that, as her website says, is "a rare combination of good taste and accessibility that could only be born in the South". I totally agree.

Home of Sara Tuttle

I think this last photo of the day perfectly encapsulates the idea of how bold pops of color and irreverent combinations of styles in rooms can make them so fresh, happy, and perfectly personal.

(And I just cannot end the post without pointing out the fabulous gilded barometer, malachite box, and footed orchid bowl! Just gorgeous!)

Here's to happy spaces for all! I hope everyone is having a great week so far!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Admiring the view

Foyer vignette by Perch Interior Design

Growing up in a classically traditional Southern home (decorated by my very talented Mother), I was surrounded by landscapes: some dark and moody, almost all oil paintings. Back then (when I was a super-cool pre-teen, listening to Mariah Carey's "Dreamlover" and thinking that all color schemes should be based around a totally '90s pastel floral palette), I thought that they were so drab and boring. "Why even have a painting like that?", I would think.

Entryway staircase in Veranda showhouse by Tim Clarke

Ahh, but isn't that the way of things? You are young and have it all figured out and, then, you get older and you realize you didn't (and still don't) know anything at all! Ha!

My opinion of landscape paintings, for certain, has come full circle. Now, because of their moodiness and depth, they are something I crave for my own home.

Living room by Barry Dixon

This room is so great. I love how he grounds the neutral upholstery, neutral rug, and neutral (and totally fabulous) curtained bookshelves with dark accents on the furniture, on lamps, and accessories. A beautiful balancing act! (Oh, yeah, and doesn't that landscape instantly add class to the whole room, giving it this sort of sophisticated sense of significance?)

Foyer by Yvonne O'Brien

Here, Miss O'Brien breaks from tradition, using a plein air style landscape with a parsons-style console, kuba cloth pillows, and weathered old trunks, all of which makes for an engaging yet clean presentation.

Grand stairwell by Joe Minton

It seems like many designers prefer a neutral backdrop for the artwork they choose, but, here, Minton lives into the grandeur of the ornate woodwork and architecture of this house choosing, instead, a warm damask wallpaper for the space.

Living room by Patrik Lonn

I love the scale of the painting in this room by Patrik Lonn. The whole space has a geometric characteristic to it, I think, due to the clean lines of all the pieces: the painting and the coffee table, angular sofa and stools. It has a modern look to it, but not at the expense of softness and comfort.

Dining room by Phoebe Howard

The inimitable Miss Howard seems to be a fan of landscapes, using them in most of her projects in incarnations both large and small. (Love the combined drama and warmth of this room!)

Living room by Paolo Moschino

I love this space, mainly that facing wall. There is symmetry (for instance, on and above the mantel), but then there are also some individual groupings, like the pair of landscapes and lamps on the marble-top console table. So classic.

Dining area by Country Living editor Randy Florke

Here, again, I am loving the scale. The painting runs almost the length of the table itself, and Florke makes sure not to block the view, using a diminutive (yet quite sparkly) chandelier. (And what an apropos choice for a cozy country house: pairing the painting with gingham and amber-toned dinnerware!)

Dining room by Mary McDonald

And here, last, but certainly not least, is a gracious and elegant dining room by the fabulously fun Miss McDonald. (I mean, have you seen her on "Million Dollar Decorators"? What a hoot!) I love the luxe, aubergine-hued chocolate velvet (or, perhaps, mohair) on the dining chairs, those taupe/gold silk curtains, and glimmering silver accents, all punctuated with the cloudy, moody, and totally entrancing landscape.

What type artwork do you all prefer? Do you think these traditional pieces could work in your own home?

Have a happy Wednesday, everyone!

Friday, September 2, 2011


Vignette by Jackye Lanham

It is finally Friday, time to start relaxing and thinking about the long weekend ahead!

Home of Jim Aman and John Meeks - Photo courtesy of NYSD

What better way to do that than kick off your shoes and kick up your feet?

Bedroom by Thomas Hamel

I hope you all get plenty of rest and have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Parlez-vous Francais?

Paris apartment of designer Lisa Fine

The French seem to have their own way of looking at, and living, life. With elegance and flair in apparent abundance, style seems to come naturally to our friends from the l'Hexigone. With today's featured spaces, I hope to give you a glimpse of that modern French style in homes both here and abroad.

Bedroom by José Solís Betancourt

Doesn't this room just glow? I love the cool grey, pink, and lavender tones combined with the warmth of gold.

Foyer in home of Matthew White - Photo courtesy of NYSD

How fun is this little dog bed under the fabulously grand console and picture? (And check out that faux limestone-block wall treatment!)

Design by Stephen Sills

Although rich wood tones fill this clean and classic space by Mr. Sills, the pale walls keep the space light and airy.

Living room by Timothy Whealon

I adore this giant room designed by Timothy Whealon. The combination of textures keeps it interesting, while the limited color palette keeps it serene. Pure elegance.

Living room by Timothy Whealon

Here is what appears to be a more casual seating area on the other side of the bookshelves on the left side of the first Whealon photo. I love how he breaks up the space into livable portions, without losing any of that wonderful natural light. (Clean and thoughtful design!)

Living room by Paint & Paper Library's David Oliver

"Soft", I think, is the best word to describe this room. As a color specialist for the UK's Paint & Paper Library, Oliver knows how to create mood with color, as is well illustrated in the grand-yet-comfortable seating area above.

Bedroom by Ryan Korban

Ryan Korban is an intriguing, young designer. His work is so glamorous, but not over the top. I love the idea of living with supreme elegance everyday. Truly French style!

Now, can't you just imagine wandering through the arrondissements of Paris to your own stylish little pied-a-terre? Ha!

Have a great day, everyone!