Friday, September 18, 2015

The Color Coral

Trendsetters all have their favorite color of the year. One of my favorites is Coral.  This is a beautiful color to segway between summer and's vibrant , playful and warm.  It also enhances every space in the home, whether the style is casual, traditional, or contemporary.  Coral mixes well with any other color and is suitable for every surface and material in the home.  In the two photos below,
one living room is unified by a bright coral color applied throughout the space, while the second
living room offers a muted version of the color to accent the neutral grays.
As a designer, I encourage my clients to be courageous in their color choices and often suggest
painting just one wall of a room rather than the whole space so the color doesn't overwhelm the interiors.  The following photos feature a dining room, a kitchen and a study where color coral lends personality, warmth and sophistication and contrasts beautifully with both the lighter and darker furnishings.
Creative treatments using coral as a bold color include painting stripes, applying a contrast wallpaper, adding the color to the interiors of cabinets and bookshelves, and featuring one piece of painted furniture.  I love the examples in the following photos of master bedroom, baby's room and living room below.
Using the color coral on furnishings adds the "wow" factor to rooms when used sparingly in neutral settings. The painted bar stools in the photo below instantly warm up the all white kitchen.  In the bathroom following, coral towels and floor runner keep the soft green room from being boring.
The coral upholstered chairs in the third photo give great personality to the large open space and draw
the viewer into the room for convivial gatherings.

Coral has always been a favorite color to use in bedrooms. When paired with other colors, the mood
can be both cozy and sophisticated as seen in the next three photos where coral is partnered with brown, blue, black and turquoise.

Coral seems to be a color that never grows old.  It's a wonderful choice to convey comfort and drama
throughout the home interiors and deserves it's rightful designation as a Color of the Year. It's not just for beach houses, anymore!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Animal Prints

Last week I enjoyed one of my favorite activities...visiting a designer showhouse.  More than one room featured a variety of animal prints on furnishings and accessories.  Always in style, and especially popular now, animal prints are a fun and versatile addition to any design plan.  In the photo
above , zebras linger outside the window of an upscale safari lodge in an African game preserve.
Who doesn't love zebras!  These striking animals leap across the walls of the hallway and bathroom in the iconic wallpaper used below. The affect is charming and gives a lively energy to the spaces.

Zebra prints are often used as accents to give personality to a variety of rooms as in the photos below.
Sofa pillows, ottomans and an area rug are a vibrant counterpoint to the white surfaces.

Cow prints on the sofa in the living room below and on the rug in the following photo are equally fascinating way to introduce a pop of black and white into modern living rooms.

The bedroom and living room in the next two photos showcase the warmth of leopard prints
in earthtoned color schemes.

Forever a favorite animal motif, leopard and cheetah prints can add subtle touches as pillows on the chairs below, or make a bold statement as the stair runner and the sofa in the following two photos.

All surfaces and locations in a home benefit from a splash of animal prints as featured in the living room wallpaper, the baby's room rug and the wall tile in the bathroom below.
I like combining a variety of animal prints in one design scheme as in the study/den below.  Leopard
print pillows on the loveseat blend beautifully with the zebra pattern fabric on the armchair.

I wouldn't hesitate to use animal prints in a variety of colors to add both whimsy and elegance to any room.  The stunning bedroom below includes drapery in a blue zebra print to complement the wall color.

I love how the turquoise area rug in a large giraffe print brightens the solid gray sofa.
 This delightful girl's bedroom with a cheetah wallpaper in pretty pinks makes me happy.  What animal print will you choose to add pizzazz to your space?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Restful Chaise

When a client recently asked me to create a whole new living room, the only piece of furniture
she wanted to keep was her beloved chaise.  The name "chaise lounge" comes from "chaise
longue" or "long chair" in French.  It has been an icon of residential furniture since antiquity
and became especially popular in 19th century Europe from where it came to the United States.
In today's home decor, the chaise is a staple in most's not just for the bedroom anymore.

The intimate bedroom spaces in the two photos above feature romantic French design with
a feminine style chaise in soft colors.  The scene creates a very relaxing ambiance for reading
and repose.  In the two bedrooms below, each room features a chaise in a more masculine style.
One is a traditional upholstered piece and the other is contemporary in leather and metal.
Both speak to the homeowner's desire for comfort and versatility in the bedroom spaces.

My client's chaise fills a corner by a sunny window in her living room which creates her favorite
area to read books.  In the following photo, a chaise appears in a home's library and is well situated
to provide hours of restful reading.

When purchasing a new sofa or sectional , many clients request a chaise extension for lounging
while watching television or visiting with friends.  The two rooms below offer two examples of
this current trend which blends the chaise with the largest piece of seating in the room.

Another option is to highlight a chaise by making it contrast with the overall color scheme of a room.
The following photos feature a chaise with a pop of color or fabric to brighten and add personality to the space.

In a small den or apartment living area, the homeowner does not have to sacrifice comfort where
the placement of a larger sofa might not be possible.  In the rooms below, an open-sided chaise adds more seating and spaciousness.

Finally, you can't have too much of a good thing when it comes to using a chaise in the design
scheme.  A popular trend is to place a pair of chaises flanking a fireplace in the living area or in a  bedroom.    They create an ambiance that invites lounging which suits our increasingly casual culture...and also provide extra sleeping surfaces for overnight guests.

Aesthetically appealing and practical when used throughout the home, the restful chaise will continue
to be a favorite piece of furniture for ages to come.