February 26, 2010

green home ideas & inspirations

A few years ago, while on vacation in Hilton Head (oh, how I wish I were there right now!) I took a tour of HGTV's Green Home, which I believe was their first. (You can tour all the green homes here.) The house was chock-full of design ideas, and I keep going back to these pictures for inspiration.

This shot is one of my favorites and encapsulates the "green" idea, as this vignette is all about the extra-long, extra-gorgeous antique console that's been repurposed for storage, display, and serving. Tall skinny lamps shed some light but leave room on the surface for picture frames and a tray of wine glasses. I especially love the mix of materials here: worn wood, wicker, linen, metal, and then of course the crispness of the framed black and white photograph (by the talented Ben Ham).

Here are a few more ideas you might want to steal:

Table lamp on the kitchen counter—relaxed and unexpected.

Lantern wall light above each set of French doors.

Reclaimed wood mirror over a vanity. The home was scattered with lots of rustic touches like this.

Don't forget to look up! Lots of the character in this room comes from the painted wood planking, all recycled, instead of standard drywall or even beadboard, on the ceiling.

Hope you enjoyed this very mini-tour, but if you (like me!) were just getting into it and need to see more, check out on the HGTV green home site. Enjoy your green inspirations and idea-gathering, and enjoy your weekend!

February 24, 2010

get the look: fresh green & white foyer

This amazing entry has been featured many times, but to me it never gets old. It belongs to the fabulous Chloe Sevigny, and I wish it belonged to me. Love the crispness of the green and white and the boldness yet timelessness of the imperial trellis pattern. The play of these elements off the worn wide plank floors and bright white trim really makes this room sing though. Pops of black in the shades are nice too, modernizing everything. That classic bike with sweet basket is a cool, creative, casual touch.

I'm totally inspired to try to recreate this in my teeny entry. I've got the hardwood floor and the white trim. I've also got a touch of black with this:

To get the look, you just need to add:



February 23, 2010


Have you noticed a trend toward exposing things that are usually hidden? Like how light bulbs in light fixtures are suddenly on display? It goes with the whole industrial-chic look. Do I love this? Do I hate it? A little bit of both, I think. With some things yes, with some no.

More importantly, is this a trend or is this a look that's here to stay? The look says "the material things in my life are functional" and "I don't give a shit about prettying things up." OR, it actually says "I am a design enthusiast and embrace every trend. So say hello to my hip pad. It's so now." Which is it?

Exhibit A: Lighting
("The bulb's kinda ugly, but kinda cool too.")

Exhibit B: Glass Front Refrigerators
("I buy organic, how about you?")

Exhibit C: Glass Showers
("I have no body issues")

To be fair, the glass shower thing is not really a trend. It's been around for many years (and for good reason, with the only shower enclosure alternative being a curtain) and it's not likely going anywhere. It's functional and user-friendly and fabulous-looking in it's simplicity.

That said, back to industrial chic in general. I really like adding industrial elements to more traditional design. But what say you? Expose it all? Or should some things remain hidden and mysterious?

February 19, 2010

inspiration: steel-framed windows

William Hefner, architect, via things that inspire

architect Malcolm Davis, via daly essentials 

Southern Accents

Sleek, timeless, sophisticated, strong. Maximum light. I love the look of steel-framed windows. I love bringing the outdoors in, a view, a life inside that's practically immersed in the outside.

February 18, 2010

what's in the designer's bag?

If you're a designer/decorator/stylist or any kind of creative type, you need a big tote bag to carry all your assorted tools and folders and pencils and papers around to your various client appointments. Lately, my bag has not been doing the job. The opening is too small, and since I can't see into it I find myself blindly digging around inside and grabbing everything but what I need: a screwdriver, paper clips, and who knows what else that lives hidden in the depths of my bag. I need to get organized. And find both a practical and stylish solution.

I've had my eye on this cool tote from Land's End Canvas. With leather trim and handles, it's a sweet little upgrade from the standard LL Bean variety.

Adorable. But it's a little pricey at $138.00. I would splurge, but I just refuse to pay an extra 15 bucks to ship this awesome bag to Massachusetts. It's great, but it's not that great. So, while I search for second choices, I'm also dreaming about upgrading what goes into my handsome and handy new bag. I'm finding all kinds of cute stuff, along with the required and totally useful things. I could completely lose myself in a shopping spree and buy all new goodies. Must. Resist.

Clockwise from top left, products from stanley toolsbluedogz design, canon, office max, see jane work.

February 15, 2010

project sneak peek: sudbury home

Happy Monday, everyone! Here's a little sneak peek into a project that is nearing completion and starting to look really fabulous, if I do say so myself! This Sudbury home started out with really great bones--check out all that fancy trim and moldings!--and some great pieces, like the antique farmhouse dining table (in the foreground of the picture, but trust me, it is beautiful). This room needed a little love though. And some comfort.



Enter lots of fabrics and a little sparkle (in the form of a cool mirror-framed mirror) to liven things up. Still it's all kept pretty simple and classic and true to New England with tailored styles, a pretty but casual mix of textures in velvets and linens, and neutral tones of caramel, ivory, ebony, and butterscotch. Still to come: rug, art, and linen draperies. Stay tuned for the finished result!

February 12, 2010

red & pink for valentine's day

A little inspiration for Valentine's weekend!

Miles Redd

via Home Sweet Home

Olga Naiman



via Mrs. Blandings

And more flowers, because a girl just can't get enough...


February 11, 2010

how much pattern is too much? and what does it say about you?

I will say that for me, this is too much. The rug's busy, one sofa's got stripes, the chairs are Bloomsbury floral, and there's even decorative veneering on the table. That's a lot going on, people. But Madeline Stuart knows pattern. This next space that she also designed was recently featured in House Beautiful, and I for one think it's amazing. But much more simple. The awesome rug is the graphic...

Small picture, but you get the idea. To me, this vintage Moroccon rug is a show-stopper, and the blocks of color in the chairs, sofa, coffee table, and ottomans also work to create enough additional pattern on top the rug to complement, not detract.

What say you? Is this too much? Not enough? This room is so not boring, but it also has a simplicity that is so appealing to me right now. Maybe with all our hectic craziness of our lives these days, one way we can create some calm is by taking control where we can, our environment in our homes. If home is a true reflection of my personality, of course I want it to be fun and layered and interesting, but I also want it to be serene and focused and without drama.

What do your favorite spaces say about you? Does their intensity or serenity reflect the way you live or represent the way you want to live?

February 9, 2010

why your sofa needs pillows

You've heard the phrase "Clothes make the man"? Well, the decorating corollary is "Pillows make the sofa." Start neutral/simple/solid. Add color and pattern with pillows. Change your room's look in minutes flat. All for about the cost of movie night or a mani/pedi. It's an easy-as-pie update and an affordable treat.

Eric Cohler via decorpad

Ellen Silverman via decorpad




These sofas just wouldn't be the same without these gorgeous pillows. Here's where I'd start shopping...

good old Pottery Barn

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