Friday, June 20, 2008

Favorite Geometrics

If you've read my blog before, you know that I love Lee Jofa Fabrics. I've always said that if I had to pick just one manufacturer to stick with from now until forever, it would be Lee Jofa. I love the classic hand blocked prints just as much as I love these geometrics that have a little edginess to them. Better yet, pair the geometrics with some classics for a really great look. They can go masculine or feminine, depending upon what you pair them with, how you use them, and the colorway you choose.... So the next time you're at a loss for that "other piece of the puzzle" to complete your interior look, try a geometric.

This would be great on a dramatic chair. Perhaps a wing back?

I love this for bar stools or even fully upholstered mini stools for extra seating. Great for a pillow too....

Hmmm... what about a love seat or a very angular chair with contrasting cording? Great for a study or an intimate setting.

This is just plain old fun. I have this sample in another color. I think in the right room, it would be a great pillow. Or on bar stools... although I've even used something similar on a cornice.

If you prefer something a bit more subtle, try this cut velvet geometric. Both elegant and orderly....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Under the Table

I'm always the first to admit that a lot of what we see in magazines doesn't exist that way in real life. I have seen super talented stylists do amazing things to a room that you thought could never be published... but I've also seen the same "props" throughout an editorial spread- they travel from room to room! My point? Good styling can be the difference in creating a successful room. A lot of my potential clients come to me because "our home has never been quite the way we want it" and it boils down to the fact that there are no finishing touches. Great styling is not easy, although the best stylists make it look like "this suff just sort of fell together".

One of the often ignored opportunities for styling is under a console table or a desk without a chair. Even a nightstand. I don't believe in a lot of clutter, but some of these are just right. Above, the stack of books with the silver box on top brings a nice finishing touch.

Under this bedside table, Mary McDonald uses to large blue & white porcelain pieces to bring contrast to the orange wall and to add some scale and drama to this bedroom.

Here David Jimenez keeps a clean look and adds a practical leather tote underneath this nightstand.

I don't care if it doesn't fit under the table perfectly (um... it's not supposed to), an ottoman is always a winning choice. What about a pair of stools with a beautiful fabric upholstery on top? Wouldn't that be fun to have peeking out from under a table?

Another example of the ottoman tucked under a table that could easily double as a desk.

And lastly, Charlotte Moss tucks a well-proportioned basket under this nightstand.

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Townhouse Visit

This was my second time seeing the Charlotte Moss Townhouse. I loved checking out how things had changed since my last trip in February. Some areas were totally different (and equally lovely) and others were the same. Lined bookshelves, accessories, and a whole new collection of papers. (See them in the lower left corner of the photo collection above) I enjoyed checking out the new merchandise and, as always, the books.

Some of my favorite things: the material sample boards elegantly framed- who wouldn't want to have these beauties in the house? Oh- and when we walked in the door, a lemon verbena candle was burning. I'm not a big candle person, but I walked straight to the cashier and asked her to pull one aside for me. They were sold out!!! (see, I'm not the only impulse buyer out there). Lucky me: my Mom ordered one online and included it in my birthday gift!!

I wish I could have taken my own pictures, but for understandable reasons they don't allow you to snap your own photos... and let's face it, you've seen all of the press photos by now anyway. The above pictures are courtesy of House Beautiful, who featured Charlotte Moss as the "Queen of Accessories". After spending what seemed like hours studying her shop, I wholeheartedly agree. Actually being in the rooms of the Townhouse you get a sense of what she does with scale and proportion. From the largest pieces to the accessories that are "little gems" she has a knack for layering and arranging. The day I was there, the room full of tabletop pieces had a table set with a giant centerpiece full of tightly packed pink carnations. I would never have picked carnations, but they were in tight bunches and there must have been hundreds of them. So simple and so genius.

Needless to say, Charlotte Moss & the Townhouse did not disappoint. If you can't make it to New York... well, you're missing out on something special, but you can always visit online.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

New York

If you know me, you know I love New York City. I was lucky enough to be able to spend a few days there last month. My husband took care of the puppy and I had a great time meeting with my fellow designers from around the country, seeing the Kips Bay Showhouse, shopping a little, and even got a few quick hours in the D&D Building.

The D&D Building was a quick stop this time, but since Columbus has limited resources for designers, it's always important to spend time in a few key showrooms. I might get myself in trouble here, but I had to snap a quick, covert (really bad) photo of the Lee Jofa Showroom. I'm such a huge fan though... Here is a vestibule in the showroom with amazing floral (large scale, Asian style) wallpaper. The trim color and the ceiling color were both drawn from the colors in the wallpaper. It's so posh and elegant.

In another room, which I didn't take a picture of, they were renovating. On the walls from the last design was fabric. Typically you see fabric upholstered on the walls, but this was cut from the selvage and then glued to to the wall. You could barely see the seams... very cool, but would require a very good eye and a very steady hand. Any takers?

A lot of what I saw this trip was very contemporary, even from the most traditional suppliers. Brunschwig had a whole new look in at least half of the showroom. It was nice, but not exactly what I associate with Brunschwig as a brand. It made me wonder if times are tough and they are trying to appeal to a wider audience? I'm no branding expert, but I've worked with enough of them to know that you have to stick to your brand, especially when times are tough.

Overall it was a great and inspiring trip. New York has so much energy and there is creativity and genius at every turn... after many years I'm getting better at spotting the little details in the sea of urbanity. I come home with a refreshed outlook each and every time.

Above is a picture from the 2008 Kips Bay Showhouse. This is a corner of a room that I found very detailed, layered and elegant. I did not take photos, so I can't show you the bed that was the centerpiece of this room. The room was designed by Kondylis Design and should eventually be featured on House Beautiful's web site. In reality, you won't be able to get the full level of detail in a photo. The bed was fully upholstered on all sides and had layers of silk, an immaculately pleated canopy, and lush bedding. The layers of white window treatments gave the room an ethereal quality- they were very full, yet pretty simple. Throughout I found many really good applications of materials and details, but overall the spaces didn't blow me away. One of the other designers I met with noted that the showhouse this year was in an apartment building that didn't have many interesting architectural details and only had 8' ceilings, so that left a bit to be desired. It can't be a great time for designers to invest in a showhouse and finding a willing townhouse owner in Manhattan right now might be a little tough.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Dog Portraits

I'm a sucker for a great dog painting. Jeanne Hedstrom was featured in House Beautiful recently with her charming dog portraits. I don't know a single one of these furry best friends, but based on the colors and the personality she captures in each painting I'd agree with House Beautiful when they say that she gets it right every time.

I would love to honor my sweet beloved Harley with one of these portraits, and will do so when I'm ready. What about you? Got a best friend to immortalize? You can contact the folks at Penine Hart in New York to find out how to commission a Jeanne Hedstrom portrait of your very own K-9 bundle of love.

Friday, June 6, 2008


I've left you with a picture of a toilet rug for an entire week! Sorry! I've been bogged down with some extra tasks for the new building and keeping client projects moving.... I've got the weekend and I'll get some new posts up soon. Sorry about the pink toilet rug for so long. It wasn't intended to be that way.....