Something new for spring !

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As spring approaches and you are anxious to freshen up a room or two but are not ready for a total makeover, consider some of these ideas that will give your rooms a fresh touch now.

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Botanical prints are a great way to add a touch of nature-inspired art to your home. Place them over a headboard, as a grouping in a dining room or hallway. Classic. Timeless.

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Consider a new pair of bedside lamps. These unique lamps from Damien Fox Studios will add a touch of glamour to your bedroom. Customize your shade color and shape to the lamp and you have a unique, personalized forever pair of lamps.

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Any piece in this bedroom would be a welcome change: the tufted headboard, chandelier, custom bed covers and pillows, tailored draperies on a slim metal rod and a beautiful plant.

Design Tips

If you have never had custom accent pillows made, now may be a good time to consider it. The sky is the limit for fabrics and custom designs. Since it will be your very own personal design, they will be with you forever.

“Throw pillows with Turkish corners are much plumper and more luxe than regular knife-edge squares, and they really soften a modern sofa.” ~ Nick Olsen

Spring cleaning can last for more than one spring. Sweep away all those old tchotchkes, outdated accessories and rethink your life.

” Everything in your home should reflect your vision for the life you want.”~Peter Walsh

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2014 Design Color Forecast ….introducing Radiant Orchid

25“Chill air and wintry winds!
My ear has grown familiar with your song;
I hear it in the opening year, I listen, and it cheers me along”~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Pantone has announced the new color of the year -Radiant Orchid. It is not purple, not pink, often called fuchsia, and we will be seeing much more of it throughout the year.

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Nature makes its own statement of Radiant Orchid.

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“A n enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones . It inspires confidence and emenates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”!~Leatrice Eiseman

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Popular design blogger, Tobi Fairley’s take on color trends is that we will see more “moody hues”, like charcoal , navy and teal.

From Tobi Fairley’s blog

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Design Tips

36 inches is becoming the new norm for bathroom vanity cabinet height.

LED under cabinet lighting for kitchens is coming on strong. I wonder if it will soon surpass Xenon as a favorite choice?

Tufted sofas, chairs and headboards remain popular.

…until next time, stay fabulous and keep interior design in mind.
Carol

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Interior Design Trends and Movements

24There are trends and then there are
movements in design.

Trends come and go but movements are more permanent based on a set of ideas by a large group of people.

A current example of a movement is green design, and it appears to be here to stay. Consider the rise in popularity of LED lighting.

Another important movement is Universal Design that allows for people to have more ease with aging.

These are 4 examples of Universal Design:

  • Master bedrooms on the first floor
  • Levers instead of door knobs
  • Larger hallways to accommodate wheelchairs
  • Motion censored faucets.

7 of Carols favorite design trends

  • Classic monochrome styling using black and white.
  • Homey kitchens using modern materials to look vintage: slate, weathered floors and natural crackle glazed tiles
  • Art will be a big focus.
  • Luxurious bed linens with a thread count of at least 300 plus.
  • Embellished walls such as gilded wallpaper and patterned bath tiles.
  • African and other exotic influences such as animal skin patterns and warm colors.
  • The color blue.

Example of Embellished Wallpaper

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Design Tips

Keep sofa heights to a minimum of 20 inches for ease in sitting down and getting up.

The ideal distance from the sofa edge to a cocktail table in front is 18 inches.

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Autumn Events …cultural fun in Texas

14With so many upcoming events happening in Houston, it was hard to choose what to mention; but here are some that caught my eye:

Alley Theatre’s “You Can’t Take It With You”, considered (perhaps)the greatest American comedy ever written,opens September 25 through October 20th.

The Imax at the Museum of Natural
Science is showing “Jerusalem” starting October 4th. A 3D visceral tour of the city from 4 different perspectives: Jewish,Christian, Muslim and secular.

orange-leavesThe book festival in Austin October 26-27 is free and sounds like a day of delight. The “Literary Death Match” has authors actually performing their own writing. Texas State Capitol.

The Houston Design Center will hold an all day International Risotto Festival on November 9th with lots of food, fun and festivities. 7120 Old Katy Road.
You can choose to celebrate a day long event on design, color and emerging trends at The Decorative Center of Houston with House Beautiful’s editor in chief, Newell Turner. Keynote 10:00 A.M. 5120 Woodway. November 9th.

SPA welcomes the fabulous Harry Connick Jr. at Jones Hall on November 9th at 8:00 P.M.

The Museum of NaturaL Science will have a film screening of “Cave of Forgotten Dreams ” Tuesday , November 19th at 6:30. Chauvet Cave was discovered in 1994, perfectly preserved for over 20,000 years and containing the earliest known human paintings. 3D documentary.

Design Matters

Book : “Designs on Film “by Cathy Whitlock is a film history book with rare, archived photographs.

Film: “Monuments Men” is a film about the recovery of works of art before Hitler destroys them. Director & star, George Clooney with Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, and Bill Murray. Release date December 18th.

10Design Blog: Urban ID. com color crush -emerald. Great post on the use of Pantone’s 2013 color of the year.

” Green will continue to be important. We want to celebrate and preserve nature, and green is the first color we see every spring. It’s renewable and refreshing. There’s hope in green.” ~Leatrice Eiseman

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Design, Fashion, Nature, Food and Beautiful Things from the World of Pinterest

8Pinterest is all about collecting and sharing images, quotes, recipes and all sorts of interests
and favorite things found on the web. I consider Pinterest to be the ultimate digital scrapbook. It is now the 3rd most popular social network according to Comscore, with over 11 million unique visitors every month. I am still organizing my boards but please drop by to view my pins.
…….Carol

“While style evolves and shifts with the times, it should never be confused with things that are of the moment.”~Thomas Burak & Michael Devine

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“Always surrond yourself with things that inspire and reflect your point of view”~ Brian Patrick Flynn

“Few things are better than living an authentic life and sharing that world with others.” ~Barry Dixon

Design Tip:
Whenever a sofa is floating in a room, put a console table behind it for a more appealing and finished look.

 

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Is It Modern …or Contemporary ?

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The First Professional Interior Designer – Elsie de Wolfe ( 1865-1950)

Before Elsie, there was simply no job description or title “interior decorator” or “interior designer.”

Throughout Europe in the late 1800′s, architects, painters, craftsman, upholstererers, and cabinet makers provided their talents and trades to the wealthy.

Elsie de Wolfe began to change this by combining all the sources and services needed to personally decorate a home. Daughter of a doctor, an amateur-turned professional- actress, Elsie dedicated her life to beauty and style. She selected and supervised the installation of everything she purchased for her clients.

Elsie moved out the Victorian style and brought in a new elegant style. She often chose 18th Century French furniture of the Louise X and Louis XVI style. Woodwork was painted white and ivory. Windows were uncovered to allow natural sunlight in. She changed collections of smaller pieces of art on a wall to a large dramatic painting or a mirror.

Elsie had created her own signatute style but also took part in the glitz and glamour Hollywood Regency style, decorating the homes of  film luminaries in Hollywood’s Golden Age of the 1930′s.

 

By the mid 1920′s the new “profession” of interior decorators began to flourish. Many society women  started representing  themselves as decorators during this time. They were referred to as “the ladies” for several decades.  Interior design was not taken seriously and was consideredd a “hobby” for the rich and famous.

Elsie de Wolfe paved the way for serious decorators to estsblish themselves as professionals. By the 1930′ s other decorators like Dorothy Draper and Billy Haines emerged.

I will try to have some good photos posted later, but hope all of you who love interior design will enjoy learning about its origins.

We’ve come a long way since Elsie !

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Gettting Out of Your Color Comfort Zone

“Using strong color can be a high-wire act, says Amanda Nisbet, author of Dazzling Design, but if you can keep your balance, the effect is transformative.”

Start with a color you love and experiment with other colors to establish a color palette.  This room has a pinkish-orange wallcovering, with 2 shades of green fabric accents and an animal print, with a neutral chair and floor. These colors are perfect choices, harmoniously used to accentuate the window view.

A living room designed with turquoise in mind.

The color is subtle on the textured swivel chairs but shows up much stronger in the accessory pieces in the shelves. The sofa throw adds color and texture to the neutral leather sofa and the book covers offer more accents of turquoise-and some pink to repeat the colors in the painting.

Whatever color scheme you choose,put something black in every room. A black  lampshade, a black box on a table, a black picture frame. Black clarifies all the rest of the colors in the room.  

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The Klismos Chair…we are seeing it everywhere !

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Designing with Asian Influence

Asian style home décor is a style that reflects the interior design of China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand and other Easter cultures. The most recognizable design styles are Chinese and Japanese.

Many Asian themed rooms are a combination of two or more cultural influences and should be used in an eclectic style, not as a pure style that is strictly representative of a region, culture or country.      

 Chinese Design

Chinese interior design favors bold colors and ornate furniture, carvings, lacquer and embroidery are all common facets of this style. Animal scenes from mythology and homage to ancestors are all commonly represented in this type of interior. Murals, folding screens and large plaques are also common. 

Red is a prominent color. Other bright colors such as yellow and green are also used as accents. Wood tones tend to be dark and rich in color. 

Chinoiserie is an art form where furniture and accessories are patterned after the detailed embellishments and complex decoration of Chinese designs. It was originally popular in mid 1800’s Europe.

Japanese Design

Japanese design favors more cool colors and minimal decorations.  Wall décor is often minimal. Brightly colored walls are avoided. Emphasis is placed on simple architecture.

Natural materials are preferred, such as tatami mats (supple straw mats edged in cloth which measures 3ft. x 6ft.) and silk. Bamboo, stone and other natural materials provide the basis for a soothing color palette of brown, gray and green, soft floral patterns and colors are incorporated with decorative pottery and embellished textiles. Plants may also be used to blur the lines between interior and exterior space as well as indoor water fountains. 

Furniture is carefully constructed, but has little adornment. Furniture and accessories tend to be clean-lined and geared towards living near the floor of room. Japanese style is particularly appealing to modern and minimalist design fans. Simple elegant floral arrangements such as orchids and bonsai add a graceful touch.

Tips to add a touch of Asian design to your home:

  • Woven sea grass blinds & roller Shades. Hunter Douglas.
  • Woven wood & bamboo shades. Hunter Douglas.
  • Flat weave sisal rugs.  Great with fabric borders.  
  • Shoji screens.
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