Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day Festivities

I love the beginning of summer- the warm weather, the fresh fruit and spending time with friends and family. And especially on Memorial Day Weekend, I feel especially patriotic and like to pay tribute to the men and women of our military! Thanks for all you do to keep us safe. Here are some great, patriotic images for you on this nice, long weekend! Enjoy!




All images via Pottery Barn.
Have a wonderful, restful weekend with friends and family! I think I'll go have some more watermelon. Yum!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Why This Works- The New Series

I am starting a new series called, Why This Works. Every Friday, I will highlight a beautiful space and talk about why (I think) it's perfection! Maybe the colors are intriguing, the style is unique or the room's design just works so well! I am kicking off the series with a beautiful living room from the wonderful Lonny magazine.


The interior design is by Lisa Sherry shown in Lonny. I think this room works because it is fun, whimsical and doesn't take itself too seriously. I love the use of color in the bold patterned rug and seating. The circular seating mounted from the ceiling is modern and different, and it works so well paired with traditional style drapery and simple sofa. The designer uses one focal wall with the gorgeous print wallpaper, then juxtaposes that with a creamy white on the rest of the walls. The very modern, arched task floor lamp looks great paired with the traditional tripod base lamp. The graphic pattern and bold colors are there, but the designer shows great restraint in how she uses them.

In my opinion, this space works! What are your thoughts?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Blog Design Sneak Peek

In just a little while, I'll be showing my new blog design! I'm so excited. I've been working with blog designer Thais, from House 09 and she has done an amazing job and is so patient to work with! I thought it would be fun to show a little sneak peek of what's to come! Some images were shown to Thais, while others simply remind me of the style and colors of the new design. Here goes-

Make sure to stop by soon and check out the new design! Also, I'm starting a new series tomorrow- come back and see what it's all about! 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

If My Blog Was A Room - Next Up - Modern Jane

It's Wednesday and time for the series, If My Blog Was A Room... where I pose the challenge to think of your blog as an actual space. What would that space look like? I am so excited to have Jane here from her amazing blog, Modern Jane. Her blog is a daily read for me- she has great design style and has beautifully transformed her home. Here is Jane's great blog header:
And here is what she came up with! Take it away, Jane-


Hi all! I'm Modern Jane and I was so excited when Amber asked me to participate in this series because it gave me something to really think about. At first I took a look at the colors and design of my blog because I think it certainly reflects my personal style. I love shades of white, grey and blues and I like things to feel clean and crisp. I also thought about the content of my blog... what interiors inspire me, what style I'm drawn to and make makes a house a home for me.




Here is what I came up with!




It would definitely be a room filled with shades of white.






Beautiful architecture. High ceilings and perfect mouldings have me at hello. Every time.


And last. Who can forget textile?
A beautiful fabric in upholstery, pillows or drapes has the power to transform a room.










Now I wish my blog was a room and that it was mine! Thanks so much for having me Amber!





Thank you so much for being here, Jane! I love all of the gorgeous images you chose. They definitely all had me at hello! Stop by Jane's blog- you'll be so happy you did!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Thinking Outside the Box

I am always drawn to interiors that think outside the box, in a creative way. Whether it's with an unexpected color pairing, creative thinking or just plain gorgeous- I have always found it fun to see amazing decor. A great source for this type of inspiration is through all of the wonderful on-line magazines that wow us with unbelievable interiors. I always know I am in for a treat when I get on the computer and check out these creative images! Today, I am highlighting some of my favorites from Rue magazineThese images are from past issues and have always caught my eye! 

All images via Rue

In the first image, I love the rustic brick wall paired with the ornate mirror and modern lamps and drapery. In the second image, I thought it was so creative to place the sofas back to back. I would have never thought of that! And in the third image, I love the playfulness and creativity of the large chalkboard paired with the chic rainbow style book organizing. I have to try that!
Always inspiring, always creative! Thanks, Rue! They are out with their May/June issue now. Check it out here!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Great Week's Re - Cap

Some fun things happened last week, that I wanted to share with all of you! One of my favorite blog buddies, Carrie from Hazardous Design, passed on a blog award to me! Thanks so much, Carrie! She writes a great blog about design and renovating her beautiful home. She's funny, talented and has a great eye for design. Definitely stop by and check out her blog. The award is the Liebster blog award, which recognizes and gives love to the blogs that have fewer than 300 followers.
And I get to pass this award on to 3 other wonderful blogs! So, here goes- 

About Last Weekend
Ashley White Interior Design
Hello Newman's

Stop by and check out these talented ladies!

I also won the Waverly fabric giveaway from Cassandra's amazing blog, Coco + Kelley. I was one of 5 lucky winners, and I received the gorgeous fabrics in the mail this week! I am so excited about the colors, and I have been busy thinking about how to best use these gorgeous fabrics. I want to make some pillows, and maybe also frame some of the fabrics, for easy art! What do you think? 

I love the colors! These beauties will probably make it into our family room and living room! More to follow, on that! When making the pillows, I think I might add some extra linen fabric in a coordinating color for the reverse side, to make the fabric last longer. And also add some piping too- to give them an extra bit of pizazz. How fun!

And another exciting thing to announce, is a new blog design will be coming my way!! I have had so much fun working with Thais from House 09. She has been so patient, as I write with so many questions, ideas! I cannot wait to share her talents with the new blog design! A big thank you to the great blog, J&J Home, for telling me about House 09!

A great week, to say the least! And here's to another- Happy Week Ahead!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

E - Design Complete - The Den

As you may know from previous posts here and here, I recently completed some design boards for a reader looking to spruce up some spaces on her first floor. So far, I have shown you the entry and living room designs. Now, on to the den! This space is directly off of the living room, with double doors leading into the space. So when thinking about this design, I knew I had to carry the colors in from the living room, since the rooms almost act as one. Not only did I want to use similar colors as the living room, but also allow the furniture pieces and art to be interchangeable, in case she wants to move things around in the future. (I love to go "shopping" in my own home, moving things around from room to room. It almost makes you feel as if you really did go out and buy new pieces!) For the den, she was looking for a kid friendly space with added storage. She wanted this room to be a gathering place where they could spend most of their time together. The den is also off of the kitchen, so this room would be a great play area for her toddler. Here are a couple pictures of the den now:


  
I love that the gorgeous wood floors are carried into this space as well, and the molding details are great! For this room, she was looking for new furniture and accessories and also wanted to carry in light beach colors with pops of color in the furniture and accessories. And here is what I came up with:

      The loveseat is the PB Comfort Square by Pottery Barn. The material is easy to keep clean and a great choice for an active room. I propose this loveseat be placed where the other loveseat is now. (I would suggest she move the 3 square art pieces she has above the loveseat and move them on the wall as you are going up the stairs by the entry.)
For this room, I tried to make it more kid friendly, by incorporating open storage systems, child sized table and chairs, colorful accessories, playful art and a fun chalkboard wall! I wanted to keep the furniture and area rug darker, for easy care. I wanted this room to be playful and a fun place to interact with her growing toddler! For this room, I am suggesting the walls, chair rail molding and baseboards be painted Paper White, by benjamin moore, in an eggshell finish. Here is a breakdown of the room's design ideas and sources:

  The orange area rug is from Ballard Designs and would work in a 5x8 size. (It is a soft material too!)
  The faux leather storage ottoman has safety hinges and is from www.kirklands.com
  The tray on the ottoman is the same as the living room and is from west elm.
  The white cube end table is from ikea and would look great with one on each side of the loveseat. (Toy baskets would look great in this little space!)
  The 4 sea inspired art pictures can be placed above the loveseat and are from Ballard Designs.
  The orange and green pillows by the rug are from a great etsy source and would look pretty placed on the loveseat.
  The set of 4 pillows on the left of the design board are also from the same etsy source
  The patterned wing chair is from Pier 1 Imports and could either accompany her leather chair or replace it. 
  The espresso stained end table next to the chair is from IKEA. 
  The floor lamp is the same as in the living room design and can go next to the loveseat (Pier 1).
  The grommet drapery is from Pottery Barn and can also accompany dark woven shades from www.blinds.com (same shades as in the living room design). Please keep in mind the long cords these shades can have and tie them up high out of reach.
  The kid's farmhouse table and chairs are from www.potterybarnkids.com. I would suggest 2 of these chairs. The set would be placed under the window.
  The long wall where she has the large art piece can now have one of these two large open storage units from the design board. The large white cube shelf system is from ikea. I would suggest using some of these baskets from Pier 1, as well as other toys and books. The metal inspired basket system is from www.rhbabyandchild.com and is great for storing toys and books as well. (For either storage system, I would suggest a way to secure the unit to the wall, to prevent tipping!)
  On this wall only, I propose applying chalkboard paint  below the chair rail. She could use Onyx by Benjamin Moore and purchase the chalkboard finish. Her toddler can spend many hours of fun with the chalkboard area, while it also being a space saving solution! Above the chair rail and on either side of the storage unit, I propose the tree decal stickers from www.landofnod.comShe can purchase them in a set of 2 45 inch trees. It's a fun way to add some color and playfullness to the space. 
And there is the den design! I had so much fun working on these projects! The client also asked for ways to include her kitchen into the look of the design. She was looking for flooring and paint ideas. Right now, she has tile floors in her kitchen. I suggest she carry the gorgeous wood floors from the rest of her first floor, into this space as well. I also suggest the kitchen's walls painted either Paper White or Sterling, to tie into the rest of the design!
If you are looking for some design ideas for your home, please e-mail me at simpledwellings1@gmail.com. I would love to work with you!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

If My Blog Was A Room - Next Up - Roost

It's Wednesday and time for the series, If My Blog Was A Room... where I pose the challenge to think of your blog as an actual space! What would that space look like? I am so excited to have Marissa here from her wonderful design blog, Roost. Her blog is a great place to get amazing decor ideas, and she's also as sweet as can be! Here is her great blog header:


And here is what she came up with! Take it away, Marissa-


Hello! I'm Marissa from the interior design blog Roost. As you'll see on my blog, I like about a hundred million different things when it comes to design. But if my blog were a room, here's what it might look like:

If Roost were a room,  it would be an office because I am always working on something. (I'm kind of a busy body, it's bad!)  Here are some of the things it would have:


There would be big windows with a great view (lots of trees).


It would be very neutral, classic, and textural. Think linen, velvet, gold, and crystal. A chandelier is totally necessary.




My blog room would definitely also be very feminine and a bit preppy. If I brought in any color beside my favorite neutrals (white, grey, and gold), it would be either blush or blues. Both favorites.


                 
 I would definitely have a campaign desk! And comfy, french-inspired chairs so my friends/family/clients would have a great place to sit.



Because I'm dreaming here, how about some de Gournay wallpaper? I love bird motifs
(even my blog’s name is bird-y). 



There would be beautiful books and delicate flowers...
 


... a BIG, gold mirror and a soft geometric rug.


If my blog were a room, it would be my dream room! 
Thank you to Amber for hosting such a cool series and letting me dream up my blog room. 

Thank you so much for being here, Marissa! I love your color and room choices, and a geometric rug is also a favorite for me too! Stop by Marissa's wonderful blog today.

Monday, May 16, 2011

E - Design Complete - The Living Room

I recently received an e-mail from a reader, in search of some new design ideas! She was looking for some changes to her living room and den, to match the gorgeous dining room remodel she recently finished. There is more on her inspiration image and dining room furniture here. I continue this week with the living room design. As I stated in my last post, she was looking for beach inspired colors, along with pops of color in the furniture and accessories. Here is a snapshot of her living room now:


I love the wood floors and all the room's natural light from the big window! Behind this photo is the entry into the house, with a staircase and doorways leading into the dining room and kitchen. I completed the entry's design here. Across the wall of windows are double doors leading into a den. With all of the rooms exposed in some way, she was looking for a better flow with color and furniture selections. Here is what she was looking for in this room: she wanted to keep the existing tv cabinet, lighten up the walls with a blue/gray/white color and add colorful furniture and accessories. With a toddler in the house, she was not looking for a coffee table at this time. So, here's what I came up with!

I tried to keep the room's overall look light and airy, by suggesting the walls and baseboards be painted Paper White (1590) in an eggshell finish by benjamin moore. (Which is the design board's background color!) On the tv cabinet wall, I suggest painting two, wide horizontal stripes in Sterling (1591), the next darker color on the swatch. These stripes will be in a semi gloss finish and give the wall some added interest and depth. (This wall is opposite the chain link stenciled wall I spoke about here.) On this wall, I also suggest she purchase two large, rectangular mosaic mirrors and hang on either side of the tv cabinet. (This is on the bottom right of the design board.) With a toddler, I wouldn't suggest she lean the mirrors against the wood floors at this time. I suggest she purchase the same chenille/jute rug as in the entry, but in a 5x8. It's a soft and durable material on little feet! The main seating in the space will be this comfortable sofa in a flax color. This sofa is smaller than her existing sectional and will help with ease of flow in the space. The chic, affordable pillows on the sofa will add pops of color to the space. In front of the sofa is this beautiful ikat ottoman, which is a great alternative to a coffee table. On the ottoman is a sturdy tray, for placing sippy cups! When it's naptime and the adults have free reign of the space, this beautiful vase can be out for show, while also incorporating a pop of color. Flanking either side of the sofa will be two of these floor lamps. They can be placed about 6 inches behind the sofa on either side, to keep out of child reach. On either side of the couch, she can purchase 2 natural wood side tables at a great price! The chosen drapery for this room is a pretty floral, which ties the inspiration colors together. She has 8 ft. ceilings, so I suggest she purchase this drapery in 96in. and hang to the ceiling. It draws your eye up, giving the illusion of a bigger space. To add extra depth to the window, I suggest she also hang woven shades onto the window casing. Since these shades come with long cords, I suggest always securing the cords out of reach of children. The clock is a fun accessory and can be hung to the right of the door leading into the kitchen. (Not seen in the living room photo above.) The sailboat pillow is a nod to the beach inspired theme in the space, and is a great deal! I suggest she purchase 2 wing back chairs and place opposite the couch, a couple feet in front of the double doors leading to the den. To me, this style of chair is reminiscent of coastal inspired living! The pillow on the chair brings a pop of color into the space. In between these chairs, I suggest this fun side table in a shiny green finish. It can easily be moved out of the way when not in use, but also have safe, rounded curves when in place. So there you have it! My interpretation of beach inspired living with pops of color for fun!
Check back later this week, as we move on to the den!   

If you would like some design ideas for your home, e-mail me at simpledwellings1@gmail.com. I would love to work with you!    

Friday, May 13, 2011

E - Design Complete - The Entry

I was so excited when I received an e-mail from a sweet mom looking for design ideas for her first floor. She has a one year old and is looking for kid friendly spaces, more storage and a beach inspired color palette. She wanted to have soft blue grays/whites on the walls with pops of color in the furniture and accessories. She recently purchased this beautiful farmhouse table and gray wicker chairs from restoration hardware for her dining room.



With the dining room well on it's way, she was looking for some design changes in the rest of the rooms on the first floor. She sent me this beautiful inspiration photo when thinking about the colors in the rooms.

 via

What a fun project! I'm so honored to be asked to work on these designs! She has a great starting point with the gorgeous dining room furniture, and her rug inspiration has some of my favorite colors too! So after some discussions together, I got right to work on these designs! She was looking for design boards for the living room and den, while also some suggestions for pulling the kitchen into the design. I will start by discussing the entry, which leads right into the living room. Here is a picture of her entry now:


Those wood floors are gorgeous and a great starting point! To give the beautiful wood stairs some extra pop, I suggest she sands, primes and paints her stair risers, spindles and bottom railing White Dove by benjamin moore. I would then sand, prime and paint the newel post and top stair railing a glossy black. It would make the entry a focal point when you first walk in the space! I also love the wall space she has by the stairs and the space to the left of the front door. I decided those two spots would be great for practical seating and storage. I decided to give this space its own design board, primarily focusing on this area. And here's what I came up with for the entry:

I proposed that the walls and baseboards be painted Paper White (1590) by benjamin moore in an eggshell finish. The color is a very pale gray/blue, almost showing white at certain times of the day. On the wall by the stairs only, I proposed a nautical chain link stencil painted in Sterling (1591) also by bm and is the next darker shade on the swatch. It will give the wall a subtle sense of texture and attention. This wall will have a chic practical bench for seating, with baskets underneath for storage of toddler shoes and toys. She likes some DIY projects, so I suggest she purchase a paisley/floral fabric to cover the bench cushion. It will be another way to add her inspiration colors into the space. It's also an outdoor fabric, so it will hold up well in a high traffic area. Above the bench will have a gallery wall of family photos in these frames and the addition of these chic convex mirrors. The gallery wall will be hung on a diagonal, following the line of the stairway. By the front door, this soft and durable chenille/jute rug will be a great addition to the entry and would fit well purchased in a 3x5 size. To the left of the front door, this practical hall tree would fit well in the space and serve as a functional extra storage/seating option. The two pillows on the hall tree are fun and add a pop of color to the entry. 
She loves the design, and I'm so excited for her! I will continue next week, with the living room and den designs. 
If you are looking for some design ideas, please e-mail me at simpledwellings1@gmail.com. I would love to work with you! 

If My Blog Was A Room - Next Up - Chic Coles

It's time for the series If My Blog Was A Room... where I pose the challenge to think of your blog as an actual space. What would that space look like? I am so excited to have this blog group here today! The wonderful, amazing Chic Coles is a beautiful design blog written by a mom and her three daughters. I love that this family stays connected and is inspired by design! Here is their beautiful blog header:


I love their style already! And here is what they came up with. Take it away, Ladies!


Thank you so much to Amber for having us participate in the series "If Your Blog Were a Room!" While some people may have to think long and hard about images and inspiration they would use if they were a part of the series, it was different for us. Since we recently had a complete blog redesign, the four of us Coles were sending each other room images and inspiration as to the colors and fonts we wanted to use in our blog. We would send rooms and headers, color combinations and more. We took a couple of images and colors, patterns and fonts and combined them together in the blog re-design. Our blog as a whole and the images we post about reflect each of our individual styles. So therefore we are going to include multiple images think our blog would be like if it were a room!




I love pink, navy and bold fun colors and patterns. Therefore, my idea of Chic Coles as a room is the fun and bright room from Domino as well as the living room done by David Lawrence.


Anything by Massuco Warner Miller or Martha Angus is to die for! I love their work and these spaces in San Francisco are no exceptions. Turquoises, pinks and emerald greens are my favorites!
 
The color navy is our go to color so of course we use it in and on our blog. These rooms have the color navy in them so they represent our blog. The splash of pink we use adds just the right amount of fun. We always like to add peony's or pink tulips to an interior. Grey is such a nice compliment to the navy and pink colors of our blog as well.






Thank you again, Amber for having us and we would love for you to come visit us at Chic Coles!

Thanks for being here, ladies! The rooms are gorgeous and very fitting of your blog! I love all of the beautiful graphic prints. Definitely stop by and check out their stylish blog.
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