Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Painting the ensuite

I was suuuuuper excited when I got a pair of white tramp art mirrors for the girls' bathroom, and for a steal.  But, naturally, these mirror were just a touch shorter than the old ones, leaving a bunch of big old holes in the walls.  Which means I need to paint.  Which dominoes into the sink skirts and the shower curtain and who knows what else.

As it turns out, my girls have opinions.  Specifically, they have opinions about what color we should paint their bathroom.  Clio would like either "swimming pool" (I mentioned I had two leftover samples we could try, "swimming" and "pool."  Naturally she thinks we should mix them because the names go so well together.)  Otherwise, she wants golden honey.  Eleri thinks we should paint a silvery grey, which would actually be very pretty with the marble tile floor, but I'm not sure I want to go for a pink and grey combo (their room is pink.)

Just to get the ball rolling (and in the name of no turning back), I threw some samples on the wall--colors in the general direction that we are discussing, but probably not the perfect color themselves.

You mostly see this color form in the girls room, but you can also see it from the hallway if you look in.  In these photos, I kind of like the intensity of that chartreuse (currently in the hallway, but also changing....).  But in person, I think the softer yellowy green (which is not reading very green here) might be better.  I just worry about a rainbow sherbert situation.....

What do you think?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Design Boards to start the week

Happy Monday--I think my painting arrives today!

I'm sharing some design boards this morning that show, yet again, how you can achieve wildly different looks even when using the same key pieces--in this case, the existing navy leather sofa and rustic/modern dining table, plus grey raw silk roman shades and fancy modern chandy.

The living room and dining room are one big room, so everything has to play nicely together.

And in the end, we threw most of this out and built a new look around a boucheorite rug, which is on the slow boat from Morocco.  It changed the palette completely.

Hope you have a great week!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Love this drawing.  It shows how the trend in side table + lamp has changed over the decades, but also illustrates the key point that the total height of the combo remains about the same.

I found this inforgraphic through a google search, but I happen to know that Dina at Honey and Fitz has compiled a number of infographic design cheat sheets, here.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Powder Room Paper

I'm making decisions lickety split.

Working on ordering one of these papers for the powder bath.

Which would you choose?

Friday, August 15, 2014

File under: I never would have done that, but it looks good!

Sometimes I realize that I have hard and fast design rules of my own that aren't, you know, like real rules.  And of course fake rules are meant to be broken.

Case in point:

Heather's rule: when layering rugs, one of them must be solid.

Breaking the rule beautifully:

A cowhide over a large-scale printed dhurrie!

What WHAT?!

And yet it works.  I think because both patterns have organic shapes, but one is high-contrast and one is low-contrast, and one has a regular repeat while the other is random.  See the house tour of these geniuses here.

I'm a gonna try my hand at this.  Look for some pairings next week!

Have a great weekend,


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I went for it!

I met with a photographer last week to plan to shoot my house.  (I know: my own photos are SO beautiful and not at all dark or blurry so why would I want to bring in a professional?).  The result is that:

a.  I am super excited and,
b.  Man, do I have a lot of work to do!

But you know what else?  Deadlines are awesome, and all of a sudden I am making long-considered, well-drawn out decisions lickety split.  The biggest one?

Art for the dining room.

I have been living with an 8x10 print out of this painting taped to my wall for weeks, nay, months, and I just bought it.  And now I wait...three weeks or more...while it takes the slow boat from Australia.

Yesterday on Design Sponge, Grace Bonney wrote about splurges and the benefits of "playing the long game."   The dining room wall is a huge focal point in my home--it is the first thing you see, in a way, when you come in the front door, and it is in the room where we probably spend most of our time as a family.  I've known for years that it needed a large canvas, and while my temporary solution lent a more finished air to the space, I am thrilled to have saved enough rewards points on my business card to, well, reward myself.

Right before biting the bullet, I read the artist's description of the work.

This is a portrait of my 107 year old neighbour in Nanning, Guangxi Province China. She was born the same year as Emperor Puyi, China's last emperor. She has lived through great social, political and economic upheavals. So much speaks for the lines on her face.

And you know what I realized?  This painting is a contemporary ancestor portrait, a fresh take on the kind I wrote about here.

Isn't it funny how we sometimes get an idea in mind, and won't let it go?

Monday, August 11, 2014

A little Zhush in a kitchen

It's a common problem: you bought the house in spite of a dated kitchen, but the renovation is a couple years off at best.  A client came to me recently with just this issue.  She didn't want to spend a bunch of money, but she couldn't stand being in her dated, drab, and unfinished kitchen.

Nothing a little zhushing can't help, right?

The floor is currently a linoleum tile in a peachy/terra cotta color.  Cabinets are going pale taupey grey, and walls white.  I gave her three looks with new hardware, lighting for over a built-in table (2 lighting options in each board--statement and simple), an outdoor rug to cover a good portion of the floor, and cafe curtains for a cheerful look that doesn't block too much light.

Look 1:

Look 2 (minus the valance on the cafes!):

Look 3:

Paint is happening now.  It will be fun to share the before and after!  
And as always, it is amazing what a little paint and fabric can do to lift a space.

Hope your week is off to a good start!


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