Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Deck the Halls
One of my favorite things to do during the holiday season is to go on house tours to see all the festive decorations and get ideas to share with my clients.  Today there are many creative ways to make a holiday environment in our homes.  Recently, I visited an historic mansion where all the rooms were decorated by local garden clubs with the theme "Fire and Ice".  The photo above illustrates a similar theme with the hot red stars and cool white snowflakes which repeat the colors in the upholstered chairs, painted walls and woodwork.  A charming and unusual way to display the traditional colors of red and green on a front porch can be seen in the photo below.
Another whimsical way to decorate stairs can be seen in the next photo where brightly-colored packages and ribbons festoon an interior staircase.  The color pink is used as an alternative to red and leads the eye upwards.  Pink is the preferred color in the following living room where the fanciful tree brings a smile to my face.
Another example of using favorite colors to enliven a holiday home is the teal blue living room in the following photo where accents of purple and turquoise glow like jewels in the space.

Mantels are a favorite place to display beautiful swags and candlesticks which often provide a theme
to the holiday decor in the home.  The photo below highlights a swag of multi-colored glass balls and a collection of white vases.  Note how the balls repeat the colors of flowers in the painting while the vases reference the white sofas.  The second mantel announces the homeowner's love of music with the candles and simpler display of natural greens.  The third mantel showcases the homeowner's paper artistry and craft skills with the two wreaths flanking the stag head in a refreshing green and white color scheme.

Tablescapes can be sparkling and dramatic like the gold and silver display below.  The candles and  cone trees are artfully placed in varying heights for a glamourous centerpiece.  In contrast, the following photo presents the beauty of unadorned flowers for an equally dramatic but natural setting.  Both are good examples of the designer's skill in repeating the same elements in a stunning pattern.
Most people like to decorate every room in the home and bedrooms can certainly be included in the design scheme.  All the elements used in the entertainment spaces are also displayed in the photos below...fragrant evergreen swags, a tree covered with favorite ornaments, and wreaths hung in the windows.

For those who prefer simplicity in their seasonal decor, the Scandinavian style displayed in the next two photos is subdued but equally as beautiful as in more lavish and abundant visual statements.
Every holiday home is like an artist's palette with colors to suit every style and mood.  Do you prefer the warm and cheery natural setting of the living room below, or the wintry elegance in the following photo?
For everyone, the only rule is to have fun while expressing a personal vision...after all, the season is short so make the most of it.

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.