Friday, March 27, 2015

The Birds Are Back
Looking out my office window, I can see birds flitting around the backyard and water fowl flying across the sky.  Despite the lingering snow, the birds know that spring has officially arrived and design trends reflect their renewed presence.  Bird motifs occupy every facet of home decor and have been the most popular image in interior design since the time of the Egyptians.  Many designers
like to plan interiors around artwork featuring bird life.  In the photo below, the owl painting inspires the rich color scheme for all the furnishings in the living room.
In the next photo, water fowl in an Audubon print dictate the woodsy tones and casual design of the family room.

The following two photos feature examples of artwork where the bold bird colors brighten the space and add a whimsical feeling to the rooms.
Collections of framed bird prints punctuate the walls in the two photos below and add drama whether the palette of the furnishings is neutral or very colorful.
The peacock has always been a favorite design motif for it's dramatic style and bold colors.  In the next three photos, I like the variety of ways the peacock is represented in the overall design for its' color palette, the details in the feathers, and its' elegant shape.
Fabrics used throughout the home confirm the versatility and appeal of bird designs.  The cheerful patterns and colors enhance the mood of any room and bring Nature directly into the interiors.
Bird motifs for wall decoration provide many possibilities for creating fascinating backgrounds to any room.  I love the classic beauty of handpainted de Gournay wallpaper showcased in the following photos.  They are especially suited to luxurious living and dining spaces.
Bird-themed wallpapers energize the contemporary design of the following rooms to create vibrant backgrounds for the modern furnishings.

Bird life in bedrooms bring decorative beauty and enhance the tranquility of our most intimate spaces. The following photos show rooms that are exotic, modern and traditional, all featuring
the charming appeal of birds in the trees around us like waking up to birdsong out the window.
I find bird-themed wallpapers and painted designs to be especially charming in guest bathrooms as in the photos below.  They say alot about the personality of the homeowners and create drama in a small space.
Childrens' bedrooms and playrooms are wonderful places to incorporate the fun and activity of birds.
In the photos below, the silhouette of trees and birds expands the small space like a window at the end of the room.  The bright-eyed owls flourish in the following colorful baby room.
Popular bird motifs and accessories include birdcages, nests and birdhouses.  It is always delightful to include these images and items in a design scheme and they can be used throughout the home and garden.
When someone speaks of having "the nesting urge", we know it means the desire to create
a happy and nurturing environment. How do you like to nest?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Timeless Beauty of Seashells
I was fortunate to have a Florida vacation this winter and brought home a collection of seashells.  One of Nature's special treasures, the seashell has been a decorative icon since the beginning of human civilisation and one we continue to feature in our homes today.

New England design trends have always included seashells from the carvings on an 18th-century chest of drawers, to a mid-century modern shell chair as in the photos below.
I think seashell motifs are so appealing, it's tempting to include them in design schemes throughout
the entire home.  While perfectly suited to coastal design and beach decor, seashells are beautifully
represented in many different styles of furnishings including sophisticated country, casual, traditional and modern. In the photos below, shells are used to enhance the spaces in subtle ways without dominating the decor.
In the family room above, shells  embedded in the fireplace wall create sculptural interest.
In the living room below, decorative shells accessorize all the surfaces and add elegance to the room.

In the photo below, seashells add a lighthearted touch to the porch filled with black and white
The kitchen dining  area in the following photo has a contemporary beach theme with modern shell chairs and marine-inspired art.
A dramatic display of seashell artwork creates an exciting wall arrangement in the living room below.
 Seashells are always very effective when used in lighting.  The following photos of dining rooms  display stunning chandeliers fabricated from a variety of actual shells.
Bathrooms provide a favorite setting for seashells in the home.  Often applied to mirror frames,

the shells contribute to a relaxing and spa-like atmosphere as seen in the examples below.

Bedrooms in the following photos showcase the influence of seashells in very different design schemes. In the first photo,  clam shell motifs appear in the furnishings including the headboard, the mirror and the chair.  In the second photo, shells create a variety of patterns and textures in the bedding.  I love the bright colors used in the third photo, all derived from the seashell accessories in the room.
In the following photos of a home office and a foyer, seashells provide a visual delight to enhance both spaces.  In the first one, shells and coral are decorative accessories which complement a colorful blue and white scheme. In the second one, they create stylized details in the carvings of the lamps and mirror with a neutral palette.
Seashells offer an endless variety of design possibilities in modern fabric and carpet. The following are but a few examples available in today's market.

One of my favorite ways to feature seashells is in table settings and centerpieces.  I use them year-round for both casual and formal displays and appreciate their versatility and natural beauty.

Many designers and architects throughout the ages have used seashells for inspiration. In particular,
the Sydney Opera House in Australia and the Guggenheim Museum in New York City are examples
of their enduring appeal.  How do seashells inspire your home design and decor?