Monday, September 1, 2014

Fashion for the Home

The season is changing, New York Fashion Week is soon upon us and everyone is thinking about a new fall dress or slipcover for the sofa.   The world of fashion has always had a major impact on interior design and it's always fun and exciting to see how both industries influence each other.  The Pantone Color of the Year for 2014 is Orchid and the photos below illustrate how this color has prevailed in both fashion and home furnishings.
Blue and White is an enduring color scheme that never loses favor.  This year was no exception with a strong preference for denim as well as other dazzling blue colors.
In 2011, emerald green was the color of the year.  Most recently the color green was saturated with teal while peacock hues and designs paraded through every facet of fashion and items for the home.
The global market has inspired a fascination with the patterns and colors of many different cultures.
Asian influences are always an important element in design and I really like the following examples.
Bold and exciting colors predominate, with an emphasis on yellow.
In contrast, black and white, graphic patterns and architectural details have all been frequently seen on the runways and in the showrooms.
As I described in a previous blog, floral colors and patterns are always favorites for both fashion and interior designers.  Going far beyond our grandmothers' chintz curtains, a more modern approach is evident in the following wallpapers and fabrics.

As a designer, I look forward to seeing the focus of fashion and design in the year ahead.  I know I will be excited as I convey the variety of new options to my clients in future projects.  What will be your inspiration?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

All-White Style

Summertime offers an opportunity to lighten up our home environments and what can be more refreshing than all-white style.  Designing a room that is all white can be just as daunting as using bold colors.  Many people are afraid their rooms will look cold and formal, rather than
warm and comfortable as in the photo above.  I think this inviting room is a successful combination of painted surfaces, fabrics and accessories all of which are limited to one color...white!

I love a classic all-white kitchen as in the photos above and below where the work areas evoke a feeling of cleanliness and efficiency.  The neutral backgrounds are also a perfect foil to all the busy activity and colors involved in food preparation and contrast with the shiny metallic appliances.
All-white bedrooms can be very soothing and relaxing.  I love to luxuriate in white sheets and duvets and like the serene atmosphere in the following sleeping spaces. The baby's room is especially charming despite the lack of bright colors often desired by parents of little ones.  Soft gray, beige and taupe accents add warmth to the rooms without detracting from the overall white scheme.
In addition to kitchens, bathrooms are the most preferred rooms to showcase an all-white design plan.
The room below is very functional, as well as beautiful, with several different shades of white complementing each other in the painted woodwork, sinks and tub, tiled floor and painted walls.
Sometimes a single other color used sparingly can enhance the look of mostly white furnishings.  The elegant dining room below is both elegant and casual where touches of green accents are a refreshing contrast to the painted surfaces.  The following photos offer turquoise as a color accent
to enliven the all-white dining area and pale blue in the large living room.
The challenge of creating an all-white space does not have to be limited to one room.
The last two photos show a small apartment and a larger interior where the color white has been successfully used throughout the entire home. Whether charming or sophisticated, all-white style
has year-round appeal.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sunburst Motifs
An ancient design motif that is still very popular today is the sunburst.  Looking through home furnishings catalogs recently, I noticed many different examples of this sunny design element.
The sunburst has always denoted wealth, power, prestige, prosperity and happiness.  It's no wonder
that it continues to be a dominant motif in architectural and interior design.  Most often, I  see sunburst mirrors used as the main focal point on the wall of a room.  The following photos offer striking examples in a living room, dining room, bedroom and bathroom where they give an eye-popping impact to the spaces.

Traditionally made in metallic gold finishes, they can be very effective in other colors as well. The following examples seen in white, turquoise and silver are just as dramatic and bold. They reflect more of the color scheme of the rooms rather than a contrast as in the previous photos.
Most often displayed as a single item, the sunburst mirror can be beautifully displayed in a collection as in the photo below.  The wall arrangement gives visual excitement to the room while keeping to
the neutral color scheme of the furnishings.
I love to see the sunburst motif used as decorative elements in a wide variety of home furnishings.  It can be both classical and whimsical when used in carpets, upholstery fabrics, pillows , artwork and furniture design.  The following photos confirm the abundant selections available to the homeowner today. 
If you're wanting to add drama, sparkle and a joyful spirit to any room of your home, add a sunburst motif and feel the space come alive.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Color Red
Recently I went on a garden tour and stopped to admire a pretty patio complete with a red table umbrella, two red Adirondack chairs and large pots of red geraniums.  The color red is the color of summer and brings to mind Fourth of July picnics with steaming lobster, salad with ripe tomatoes
and American flags flying in the breeze.  Many people are reluctant to bring the color red inside their homes because they don't quite know how to use this intense hue.  Anyone who likes the color red would enjoy working in the laundry/storage room above.  Red is a great color for dining rooms because it promotes the appetite. In the photo below, red walls add contrast to the neutral tones of the upholstered chairs and richness to the finely-furnished room.  The following photo highlights red used as a  focal point with the dramatic chandelier and painting in the all-white dining room.

Red is also associated with cozy dens and family rooms where the warm color invites people to relax in a comfortable setting.  I love the soft red color of the two settees in the library below.  The eye picks up the red tones of the books and collectibles as it travels around the room.
One red wall in the family room above repeats the red in the carpet and provides a dramatic backdrop
to the artwork.  Red is a good choice of color for one or two bold pieces of furniture as seen in the photo below.  The red sectional sofa in this small apartment below becomes the centerpiece of the room and counterpoint to the neutral tones of white and gray. The same effect is evident in the following photo where one large painting provides a dominant focal point that enhances the somber colors in the room.
In the bedroom above, a red duvet and pillows are an unexpected but perfect complement to the use of green throughout the room.
If all the walls of a room are painted red, keeping the furnishings to one muted palette avoids having an explosion of color that makes one feel uncomfortable in a space. In the photo below, I love how the white woodwork, light woods and white furniture pop from the fiery background.  Conversely,
the living room in the next photo prefers the walls and flooring to be light in color while the dramatic red color is used on the expansive window treatments and other accents around the room.
A current trend in interior design continues to be a preference for all-white kitchens and bathrooms.
For those not afraid to use color, the use of red in these busy spaces creates an ambiance that is exciting and full of energy.

Lucky is the child who calls the next room his or her own.  Bursts of color provide a playful
environment and bring happy thoughts to mind...  like wearing a pretty new red dress or finding a shiny new red wagon under the Christmas tree.