Friday, December 9, 2011

Turquoise + Tangerine Dream

Yesterday it was announced that Pantone's 2012 Color of the Year would be Tangerine Tango. I just had to repost some of Erin's (House of Turquoise) great shots of the sassy hue. Apparently it's one of her favorite colors. (Of course turquoise, the 2010 Color of the Year, will always be her number one.) Looks like my client isn't alone in her love of this hot color combo. 

This room is basically perfection in my mind. Those lacquered walls, the artwork, the velvet on that amazing sofa, the cocktail table with those ikat pillows... But remember (I know I say it over and over): Wall prep and plaster perfection are key before spraying lacquer. Imagine a trace of orange peel under this color. A true tangerine nightmare!

Schumacher's Chiang Mai Dragon makes a reappearance. Haven't seen this once superstar of the blogosphere in a long time.  

If you like these cheerful images, you'll LOVE Erin's blog(s). Check out all of them. They'll brighten up your inbox everyday!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Deco Delight!

Once in a while the universe hands you a golden nugget on a silver platter. By that, I mean this spectacular inspiration photo handed to me by my francophile client. I mean SPECTACULAR! How can I even begin to recreate this periwinkle bedroom fantasy? I literally gasped when I saw it.

Okay, maybe you've seen it, but I hadn't. So, excuse me while I discuss it ad nauseam! Who did it? When? Is that ottoman Ralph? Or a vintage find? I think the mirror is Vaughan. And the fabric? Custom? Sources please...!

It is, in fact, the boudoir of Jeanne Lanvin of the famous House of Lanvin, completed in 1925! I can never emphasize enough that beautiful design is timeless. After researching it a bit further, I found these other images and this fantastic article by Eloise Moorehead:

"Jeanne Lanvin, one of the most illustrious Paris couturières of the twentieth century, hired Armand-Albert Rateau to create an elegant... Art Deco... bedroom suite in her [Paris] townhouse. Lanvin was so delighted by the results that Rateau was commissioned to design her two country homes, her boutiques, her theater and her iconic Arpège perfume bottle, as well as named head of the Lanvin-Décoration department of interior design (established in 1920).
Perfume advertisement, 1927
"The dominant motif of the room is the daisy (Lanvin’s daughter was named Marguerite, the French word for daisy). The flower appears throughout the suite, heavily stylized in fabrics, carved in wood and cast in bronze.

"Cornflower blue was Lanvin’s signature color, and it appeared so frequently in her clothing designs that it became known as 'Lanvin Blue.'...The white-silk-embroidered fabric used on the walls, draperies and bedding was made by the same seamstresses that embellished her robes de styles."

"The tufted low-slung Louis-Louis chairs nod to 18th-century France, and the bronze furniture (torchère, low table and coiffeuse) hearken ancient Pompeii (a major influence on Rateau’s style)...Curtains called portières hang over the doorways, a popular design element up to the 19th century."
In a word, spectacular.
Jeanne Lanvin, painted by one of my favorite painters, Edouard Vuillard, 1933.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

What I'm working on...Breakfast Room

Tonight I'm up too late thinking about a breakfast room for one of my clients. One of her inspiration photos is this Tobi Fairley image, which, I agree, is just beautiful. However, it's a bit too traditional for our tastes, or for the rest of the house. Here's what she's really responding to (I broke it down with her):
  • soft color scheme: aqua with pops of peachy coral
  • touch of walnut, mixed with painted wood
  • graphic patterns, mixed with light florals

She wants fun, "updated," and kid friendly. We're already having a round walnut table made for the space. Three active kids will be eating, crafting and spilling at it, so I'm covering all seating in either an ivory faux leather or an aqua "snakeskin" vinyl. (I have some beautiful embossed vinyls that you'd swear were the real thing. And they're totally kid proof!). 

I did some very quick mood boards tonight. Hopefully they'll convince her to add some deeper teal to flow with the intensity of the rest of the house.

A slightly refined, yet eclectic version. (Remember the kids can rub cranberries into those chairs.)

Would love to snag something like this artwork for her. I don't care where we put it! Couldn't you just see it over a brass bar from Society Social.

A more casual, global version. I love this chair from Layla Grace. I know, they are getting a bit ubiquitous, but I still love them. Cushions, of course, would be covered in something wipeable.

Okay, just a quick episode of 30Rock with the hubs and a glass of wine, then it's off to bed.

Good night!

Monday, November 28, 2011

My Christmas Table

Obviously, from last year. (God knows I'm never that ahead of the game). I'm just starting to decorate for this holiday and thought I'd share. 

I've done all kinds of "themed" Christmas tables, but I always go back to super classic Christmas decor; poinsettias, plaid and all. It just has that warm, familiar traditional cheer.
I made place cards from white card stock (use ivory if your china is ivory) and marker. I'd considered watercoloring the holly leaves, but since I was days behind with the baking, I went for the quickie magic of layered marker.

These stuffed penguin ornaments were so adorable. I could just see them marching across the kids' table. 

So I had my daughter help me glue gun black foam core to the bottoms to make a base.

Voila! Kids' place cards/favor ornaments. Sorry they ravaged the kid table before I could snap photos.

I bought fresh boughs of holly, evergreens and ivy before I had a plan. Here I am the night before the night before Christmas. (I say, last minute pressure is the real mother of invention!) These crystal candelabras were a find years ago. I usually use their bowl shape for groups of pillar candles, but I lined them with moss before plopping in garden soil, poinsettias, ivy and spruce. That floral arrangement lasted for weeks. (Boy, I miss Bombay Company for cheap, classic-looking finds!)


My three favorite gifts of all time...

Hope you're enjoying your holiday decorating and wishing you and your loved ones the joy of the season!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Girl in the Abstract Bed

While sourcing things for a client's modern playroom, I came across the coolest book ever.  Originally published in 1954, The Girl in the Abstract Bed was written by Vance Bourjaily and Tobias Scheenbaum. It's a tongue and cheek story of Modernism and the (anti-art) reaction to it, Dadaism. The illustrations are to die for – all in a Cubist style, and tell the story of a little girl whose bed was made for her by her parents' modern artists friends.

Love this illustration, with her Danish Modern place setting

"There once was a girl
named Nicole Pennsylvania Snow
who, when she was ten months old,
slept in an abstract bed
designed and decorated for her by a famous artist."

It all plays out with a Reactionary grandmother tearing Nicole away from her modernist Danish tableware and Mother Proust stories. Grandmother then brings the girl into the sunshine where "Dada" and "jane" learn that "our baby is primitive after all!" Hilarious! (in a really art-geeky way.)
The gorgeous Modernist silk-screened illustrations by Tobias Scheenbaum mesmerized me. They would have made Braque, Picasso, or even Beckett smile. Unfortunately, the price of the recent reproductions is steep, and getting steeper. But, Godot willing, they just might end up in my space. ;)

Friday, September 30, 2011

Hello Weekend!

Really looking forward to some downtime this weekend. Besides the kids' games, I have no plans other than to watch those overdue movie rentals (yes, I still physically 'rent' them) and eat eggs benedict with a side of sausage. Maybe I should throw a workout in there.

I'd love to sit around and read the papers in here. 

And when my husband offers to take his tired wife out for brunch, I'll be ready in this.

Have a nice, relaxing weekend!

Images: Adam Bram Straus' killer Hollywood Hills pad (via Lonny); my style board.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


That's pretty much how I've been feeling this week. Hence the tardy posts. But today isn't about my schedule. It's about the the joys of reading and displaying books.

There's something very comforting about shelves packed with books. Like a pantry stocked with food, it's a subconscious security blanket against cold nights one might be holed up at home--either by weather or by choice. Today let's focus on a few simple ways to up the chic factor of you bookshelves.

1. Vary heights and directions. One key to a visually interesting bookshelf is variation. Be sure to vary the direction you lay books, the sizes you place together and even the colors (unless you go for something like these images above. Gorgeous!)

Stand back and be sure you have balance, not just on each shelf, but overall. If one cove is crammed with books, the surrounding spaces should be left more open and airy, with a single vase or with larger art books, lying horizontally. Atop this flat stack, prop small paintings or other framed art with tiny easels or plate stands from any craft store. Framed art also works bookcase magic when propped against the back wall of a shelf.

2. Group like colors or items. Groupings always make single items sing. Group similar objects (like bottles, coral, shrunken heads, whatever you've got) and display books by collections. Penguin recently released these redesigned classics; some of the best reads of all time in amazing cloth covers. I've had these beauties bookmarked for months!

Wouldn't these smashing Penguin designs make fabulous gifts for any age or sex? (Holidays are just around the corner!)

3. Consider the way you'll use each book or object.  Remember my post about The Un-Staged Home, which addressed keeping it comfortable and functional? Well, it's especially important here, in this room where you'll cozy up to read and relax. When organizing your shelves, keep in mind how you use each object and which books you'll access frequently. Don't set yourself up for a high-maintenance situation or, worse, for an untouchable library. I love this look below for an avid reader's shelves. It feels chic, organized and super easy to maintain.

Love these lacquered bookcases with the silver tipped edge! And the sconces with silhouette shades. More on those later.

A well styled bookcase. (Though no one's cozying up in that chair!)

Next time I'll give you some great library lighting tips.

What are you reading this weekend?

Sources: Windsor Smith, Penguin Publishing, Pinterest, Kerri L. Kelly.