STYLING

So much of the time we are focused on the big picture, and we forget about the details. Making decisions about furniture, wall colour, lighting, kitchens and baths provide a foundation - but we shouldn't forget about the styling of these interiors. Styling is the icing on the cake, the step that gives interiors their individual personality; sort of akin to accessorizing an outfit. I get so excited when I see a clean surface - a console table, or dresser, a fireplace mantle, coffee table or even a single tray that has yet to be given some personality.... oh the possibilities! One can choose to remain minimal, to fill a cabinet head to toe in books and objects, or just use a single piece of statement art hung above - there are so many choices. I have gathered some of my most favorite images of styled bookshelves, console tables and cabinets. To get the perfect look is an art; and I am constantly educating my eye.

This chest of drawers showcases a simple arrangement using books, flowers, a tall lamp and a statement piece of art. Don't be afraid to let the lampshade cover up to half of your art - this gives an interesting layered effect.

This chest of drawers showcases a simple arrangement using books, flowers, a tall lamp and a statement piece of art. Don't be afraid to let the lampshade cover up to half of your art - this gives an interesting layered effect.

This bathroom tray is beautifully styled and shows off a pretty perfume bottle, candle and a small bouquet of roses - but is also functional holding a storage box and container with q-tips. For a simple and cohesive look, stick to one neutral color such as black, white or gray.

This bathroom tray is beautifully styled and shows off a pretty perfume bottle, candle and a small bouquet of roses - but is also functional holding a storage box and container with q-tips. For a simple and cohesive look, stick to one neutral color such as black, white or gray.

This arrangement is concise and fits perfectly on this tiny side table without overwhelming its size. The grouping offers varying heights and textures with a small shagreen box, single hydrangea bloom and quartz obelisks.

This arrangement is concise and fits perfectly on this tiny side table without overwhelming its size. The grouping offers varying heights and textures with a small shagreen box, single hydrangea bloom and quartz obelisks.

A decorative occasional chair is also a perfect place to style a few accessories. Place a small piece of art on the wall above, stack a few books that are graduated in size and top it off with a small object such as an interesting paperweight or collectible.

A decorative occasional chair is also a perfect place to style a few accessories. Place a small piece of art on the wall above, stack a few books that are graduated in size and top it off with a small object such as an interesting paperweight or collectible.

Layering art is a great way to create a vignette atop a chest of drawers. Here the larger piece is hung on the wall, and the smaller drawing is layered in front. A simple lamp and crystal box add balance but don't overpower the artwork.

Layering art is a great way to create a vignette atop a chest of drawers. Here the larger piece is hung on the wall, and the smaller drawing is layered in front. A simple lamp and crystal box add balance but don't overpower the artwork.

This photo shows a styled area that is packed with different shapes, sizes, colours and textures. A dark wood console with bottom shelf allows for larger objects to be displayed below and the quirky modern chair and black & white canvas balance each other perfectly.

This photo shows a styled area that is packed with different shapes, sizes, colours and textures. A dark wood console with bottom shelf allows for larger objects to be displayed below and the quirky modern chair and black & white canvas balance each other perfectly.

The upper shelving in this antique secretary are simply but artfully styled using every last square inch of space, displaying a collection of blue and white porcelain broken up by books stacked horizontally and vertically covered in pretty pale-hued paper.

The upper shelving in this antique secretary are simply but artfully styled using every last square inch of space, displaying a collection of blue and white porcelain broken up by books stacked horizontally and vertically covered in pretty pale-hued paper.

This surface is one of my favorites - a fabulous sleek task light hangs over a smaller sketch and a grouping to the left with an African tribal mask and boxes atop a few books. The suspended sculptural wire object raises the eye up and balances the overall look.

This surface is one of my favorites - a fabulous sleek task light hangs over a smaller sketch and a grouping to the left with an African tribal mask and boxes atop a few books. The suspended sculptural wire object raises the eye up and balances the overall look.

An oversized bust sits atop a campaign chest, creating a dramatic and uncluttered vignette, and the art takes the stage arranged in "gallery" style on the wall.

An oversized bust sits atop a campaign chest, creating a dramatic and uncluttered vignette, and the art takes the stage arranged in "gallery" style on the wall.

The styling is kept simple and symmetrical here, allowing the base of this unique console to shine. At stone Buddha in the middle of the display and matching lamps either side create a statement in this room packed with pattern and color.   HAPPY STYLING!

The styling is kept simple and symmetrical here, allowing the base of this unique console to shine. At stone Buddha in the middle of the display and matching lamps either side create a statement in this room packed with pattern and color.

 

HAPPY STYLING!

DECORATING WITH STRAW HATS

Now that summer is in full swing, I have been thinking about ways to bring warm weather style into my home. Creating an airy, beachy feel seems to make me enjoy the summer months so much more, even though I don't live anywhere near the ocean... sigh. Straw hats seem to be the IT accessory for decorating summery spaces as of late; they offer texture and a casual sensibility creating a relaxed, vacation-like feel wherever your home may be.

Take a look at the images below; they are the perfect dose of tropical inspiration.

Anna Spiro displays her hats atop fresh nautical stripes

Anna Spiro displays her hats atop fresh nautical stripes

These hats hang out above a door frame adding whimsy to an otherwise stark white room

These hats hang out above a door frame adding whimsy to an otherwise stark white room

India Hicks stores straw hats for visitors above the alcove between her living and dining rooms

India Hicks stores straw hats for visitors above the alcove between her living and dining rooms

Clothespins hold these hats in a quirky and casual display on a white wall

Clothespins hold these hats in a quirky and casual display on a white wall

Straw hats hung on this bamboo hall stand create the perfect focal point in an entryway.

Straw hats hung on this bamboo hall stand create the perfect focal point in an entryway.

A simple collection of four hats hung over a console table finished off this beautifully- styled vignette.

A simple collection of four hats hung over a console table finished off this beautifully- styled vignette.

A casual grouping hung on a piece of driftwood in a hallway.

A casual grouping hung on a piece of driftwood in a hallway.

Classic straw hats frame a window in Aerin Lauder's Hamptons home.

Classic straw hats frame a window in Aerin Lauder's Hamptons home.

Hats mixed with a woven grass tray and seashells complete this beachy look.

Hats mixed with a woven grass tray and seashells complete this beachy look.

A fun collection in this otherwise simple all white beach house stairwell.

A fun collection in this otherwise simple all white beach house stairwell.

Hats frame a mirror and add height to this cottage bedroom.

Hats frame a mirror and add height to this cottage bedroom.

Why not start your own collection and add to your summer decor?

This hat from ETSY adds a fun dose of color to any room with its pom pom detail:

This classic hat from H&M with a black bow makes a vintage statement:

This preppy fedora with red and navy ribbon adds a masculine touch to any decor:

I love the fringe trim the pink accent cord on this hat:

Happy Decorating!

BACK TO BLACK

Over the past several years it seems that every bathroom that shows up online, or graces the pages of a shelter magazine has been highlighted by brass and gold-colored plumbing fixtures and hardware. This is a classic choice, however it's always exciting when new and upcoming trends hit the market.  I, for one am ready to move on from these warmer tones and focus on designs that exude a more stark and urban feel. In these gorgeous images below, simple hardware in matte black takes the stage and pulls together concepts that are both delightfully European and gorgeously modern.

Here are some examples of bathrooms and powder rooms that I am loving lately:

This rain shower head and handheld are a sleek contrast to the softer tones of the marble slab wall.

A black industrial-styled shower fixture works to update this otherwise simple space.

A minimalist shower stall is my dream; the circular styling of the fixtures offsets the stark white square tiles in this shower.

The glamourous style of this bathroom is accented with gold gilt and the smooth black hardware works nicely to sharpen things up.

This small powder room is super chic with its exposed black plumbing and minimalist styling.

Loving the unexpected pale pink tiles, dark grout and black hardware here in this bathroom.

The black also works in this casual country house bath with barn door and vintage tub.

The vintage and elegant lines of this black hardware add an old-world aesthetic and the space is freshened up by the Moroccan pattern tiled floor and oversized black paned doors in the shower area.

PINK AND RED

Since Valentine's Day is only a few short days away, I thought I would share a collection of interiors showcasing one of my favorite color combos; pink and red. For many, pink and red is too colorful and a pairing that they would never consider in an interior decor plan. I beg to differ - these two colors work very well together and even create spaces that are sophisticated, cohesive and pleasing to the eye.

Bubblegum walls, pink lamps and a red sofa...

Rosy-pink slipcovered armchairs, white walls and a vintage red rug...

Alessandra Branca's Red striped walls, and pink flowers in the floral fabric on this gorgeous armless settee...

A dusty pink wall color and a red cut velvet sofa with solid pink cushions...

Miles Redd; fabulous as always with his coral-pink walls and deep red velvet chesterfield...

Alejandra Redo's dark pink walls, painted red and white floors, red armchairs and red piping on the slipcovered sofa mixed with blue and white...

Happy Valentine's Day!

SPLASH OF COLOR

It's no secret that I love a good dose of color and pattern in any space that I decorate. So when I came across Pierre Frey's new "ARTY" fabric, I completely feel in love! Bold, abstract art;  brushstrokes in candy-colored hues covering a ivory linen background with abandon!

My a few of my favorite hues are included in this fabric - black, coral-red, and varying shades of blue and pale aqua. I see this as a classic choice - one that could work equally well in a modern or traditional space. 

The image below shows the fabric upholstered on a fabulous antique chair. I mean, please...this is a total show stopper!

Not sure you are ready to commit to purchasing a few yards for a project? Why not try this textile out in the form of a throw pillow or two. There are several vendors on etsy.com that offer options just like the cushion pictured below - they are even available in custom sizes!

I am lucky enough to have just received a vintage black lacquered James Mont Style Ming chair from my mother. It currently has a ivory seat cushion that is so awful -  a total insult to the beauty of this sexy beast.

Here she is, begging for some fabulous new fabric. I think "ARTY" could possibly be it!

 

 

Even if you are not convinced it should be in your own home, at the very least, take a few moments and run over to your local designer fabric showroom. This fabric is definitely worth a look - if only to indulge in some bright, fun color for a moment or two.

 

CHRISTMASTIME

I love decorating for Christmas. I have fond memories of helping my mother fix the garland down the main interior staircase, design the wreath for the front door, and place pine boughs on the fireplace mantle, and of course decorate the tree with family.

Here are some of my favorite Christmas wreath images in pine, boxwood, mixed greenery and even dried hydrangeas!


THE NEW HOME DECOR "MAGAZINE"

Don't get me wrong, once a month I do love to sit down with a brand new home decor magazine, devouring each and every detail, page by page; House Beautiful, Elle Decor, Architectural Digest; I don't discriminate.  First, I flip through each editorial piece and advertisement furiously, then go back to the cover and starting again carefully reading through each feature, googling products and designers as I go.

For the rest of the month, it is a whole other obsession - scrolling, scrolling and scrolling through some of my favorite NYC real estate websites. This is a decor addict's best kept secret; some of the most fabulous interiors never reach the page of a magazine, but are inside a family penthouse on Central Park South or a tiny studio co-op in Greenwich Village!

Yes, Manhattan is known for its multi-million dollar apartments, but as you can see, not every look inside these homes is totally out of reach. Below are a few places that I am seriously in-love with:

This fabulous entryway is from an apartment on West 81st St. Chinoiserie wallpaper, green lamps, a matching green folding screen and chevron floors - I am in heaven!

This gem is on east 52nd St. is just fabulous with those black paned windows, white floors, beamed ceilings and minimal white tuxedo sofa:

Check out the living area in this co-op on East 84th St.  The room has a neutral base but you will find several unusual elements that definitely set it apart  - the bright teal occasional chair near the window, the quirky antler ottoman, a pink throw over the back of the sofa and lavender rug. Very "Elle Decor" if you ask me:

Next time you are looking for some interior inspiration in between magazine issues, hop on over to real estate site CORCORAN and check out some of the best apartments in NYC!

ALL WHITE

Lately, I have been dreaming about taking a break from all the pattern and colour in my life. Although I find it energizing and cheerful, there are times when I come home and think...hhhmmmm what would it be like to live in a space that was completely restful and monochromatic.

I am not talking about that "all beige" look that is in every catalogue and at every big box retailer. but all white furniture, white/off-white accents, a slightly creamy wall and minimal clutter - lets call it scandinavian-chic. 

To achieve this look I already have several key pieces that have been with me forever:

- white slipcovered sofa

- white ming-style console

- a pair of oversized white ginger jars

- BM Cloud White walls

- all white bedding

- two white three drawer chests 

That would mean new throw pillows, new drapery and a re-upholstered headboard and bed skirt - all in an off-white solid linen perhaps?

Here are some favorite images that serve as great inspiration...

Love this space for its white walls, white slipcovers, casual wide plank flooring and low-profile coffee table.

Love this space for its white walls, white slipcovers, casual wide plank flooring and low-profile coffee table.

Can't go wrong with a white wing chair, matching ottoman and a brass floor lamp to create the perfect reading nook.

Can't go wrong with a white wing chair, matching ottoman and a brass floor lamp to create the perfect reading nook.

This room is a little too stark for me, but it does have some great elements such as the pale washed flooring, textured rug and terrific ceiling height!

This room is a little too stark for me, but it does have some great elements such as the pale washed flooring, textured rug and terrific ceiling height!

Love this laundry room especially because of the white subway tiled floor and classic farmhouse sink

Love this laundry room especially because of the white subway tiled floor and classic farmhouse sink

I am really smitten with the oversized hammered pendant above this sleek and sexy white lacquered dining table.

I am really smitten with the oversized hammered pendant above this sleek and sexy white lacquered dining table.

This image from TH shows a more traditional take on a white room, mixing in antiques in dark wood, classic wall paneling and a pleated lampshade.

This image from TH shows a more traditional take on a white room, mixing in antiques in dark wood, classic wall paneling and a pleated lampshade.

Obsessed with this small space NYC apartment - the minimal kitchenette is so stunning - that white fridge and those clever upper cabinets just disappear... the round marble top dining table and acrylic chairs create the perfect area for dining.

Obsessed with this small space NYC apartment - the minimal kitchenette is so stunning - that white fridge and those clever upper cabinets just disappear... the round marble top dining table and acrylic chairs create the perfect area for dining.

Here are two of my favorite traditional off-whites for walls...

Ralph Lauren Tibetan Jasmine - this is on the walls at the RL Mansion on Madison Ave. (I am dying to try it)

Ralph Lauren Tibetan Jasmine - this is on the walls at the RL Mansion on Madison Ave. (I am dying to try it)

Benjamin Moore Cloud White - a warm creamy white with a touch of yellow and black

Benjamin Moore Cloud White - a warm creamy white with a touch of yellow and black

BELOW ARE A FEW IMAGES OF THE ITEMS I NEED TO COMPLETE THE SPACE:

    THE PERFECT PINCH PLEAT DRAPERY IN OFF-WHITE LINEN - MOUNTED RIGHT AT THE CEILING OF COURSE!

    THE PERFECT PINCH PLEAT DRAPERY IN OFF-WHITE LINEN - MOUNTED RIGHT AT THE CEILING OF COURSE!

A FEW OFF-WHITE RESTORATION HARDWARE ALPACA PILLOW COVERS (I already have the feather inserts!)  

A FEW OFF-WHITE RESTORATION HARDWARE ALPACA PILLOW COVERS (I already have the feather inserts!)  

                 DASH AND ALBERT''S IVORY ROPE RUG TO ADD A LITTLE TEXTURE!

                 DASH AND ALBERT''S IVORY ROPE RUG TO ADD A LITTLE TEXTURE!

The more I daydream and gather these new ideas, the more I am seriously considering heading in this direction!

 

NURSERY PLANNING

I have babies on the brain. Not mine... Oh goodness no, my sister is having a little one next spring and I couldn't be more excited.  She and I will be working together on planning the nursery. Over the past few weeks, we have been gathering all sorts of inspirational images on pinterest over a shared board and have lots of ideas swirling around; color, no color, wallpaper, paint, vintage, traditional...who knows at this point. I am really leaning towards all-white or a combo of cream and white to keep things soft and restful, a full departure from the rest of their home which combines a fair amount of color and pattern.

 

Here are some images that I just love:

these balloon shades are stunning!! (but please just remove that neutral-toned chair)

these balloon shades are stunning!! (but please just remove that neutral-toned chair)

love the textured ceiling, white walls, vintage campaign chests and the Restoration Hardware pendant

love the textured ceiling, white walls, vintage campaign chests and the Restoration Hardware pendant

Ivanka Trump's nursery is gorge. Love the scalloped valance, all the white and soft touches of taupe....

Ivanka Trump's nursery is gorge. Love the scalloped valance, all the white and soft touches of taupe....

....here it is again, same nursery featured in Elle Decor.

....here it is again, same nursery featured in Elle Decor.

Sharon Montrose prints and a Ro Sham Beaux chandelier - love the simplicity!

Sharon Montrose prints and a Ro Sham Beaux chandelier - love the simplicity!

What about a dark blue wall with a star ceiling?

What about a dark blue wall with a star ceiling?

we can't forget to think about closet organization for towels, bedding and tiny clothing!

we can't forget to think about closet organization for towels, bedding and tiny clothing!

Here are a few products that I am loving lately that have provided lots of inspiration...

 

Robert Abbey Ant Bee swing arm light in brass with pleated shade.

Robert Abbey Ant Bee swing arm light in brass with pleated shade.

White Swivel rocker with brown contrast welt - would work perfectly with the JC fabric below...

White Swivel rocker with brown contrast welt - would work perfectly with the JC fabric below...

Every baby needs a Swan's Island baby blanket - now available at J.CREW!!

Every baby needs a Swan's Island baby blanket - now available at J.CREW!!

Do we focus on coastal nursery design and hang a white ship kite over the crib?

Do we focus on coastal nursery design and hang a white ship kite over the crib?

Dash and Albert Cleo rug by Bunny Williams - this could be the perfect way to add a subtle pattern to the room

Dash and Albert Cleo rug by Bunny Williams - this could be the perfect way to add a subtle pattern to the room

Growing up, our nursery had Beatrix Potter wallpaper, so it would be lovely to carry on this tradition. This quilt is by Jane Churchill - love the blue gingham ruffle trim!

Growing up, our nursery had Beatrix Potter wallpaper, so it would be lovely to carry on this tradition. This quilt is by Jane Churchill - love the blue gingham ruffle trim!

What nursery is complete without a silver piggy bank?

What nursery is complete without a silver piggy bank?

The key is to design a space that is gender-neutral as they are keeping the big boy/girl news a surprise!

Adirondack Style

It's no secret that I am a blue and white girl at heart and having spent lots of time living by the ocean, I can't help but love coastal decor; blue stripes, fresh colours and white slipcovers are never out of place in my book. But every fall, my focus seems to shift a little toward woodsy cabin decor and I crave items like plaid wool blankets, antler chandeliers and shearling rugs. One of my favorite destinations to visit in the fall is the Adirondacks. There are miles of hiking trails and gorgeous views; this area of upstate NY is lovely and is the perfect place to visit in October when the leaves are fiery shades of red and the temperature is still perfect for enjoying the outdoors.

Below are some of my favorite Adirondack-style interiors:

a refined adirondack interior

a refined adirondack interior

Famed interior designer Celerie Kemble at her family's Adirondack cabin

Famed interior designer Celerie Kemble at her family's Adirondack cabin

eclectically cozy

eclectically cozy

an elegant four poster bed and crisp linens

an elegant four poster bed and crisp linens

outdoors with lots of warm shearling

outdoors with lots of warm shearling

rustic cabin decor with a touch of chinoiserie...love this!

rustic cabin decor with a touch of chinoiserie...love this!

a colorful log cabin bedroom

a colorful log cabin bedroom

collected and personal

collected and personal

If I were to decorate an Adirondack cabin it would be a toss up between using Scalamandre's Edwin's Covey in Linen...

If I were to decorate an Adirondack cabin it would be a toss up between using Scalamandre's Edwin's Covey in Linen...

...Kravet/Mulberry's Flying Ducks...

...Kravet/Mulberry's Flying Ducks...

...or Lee Jofa's Kirtan Ikat stripe

...or Lee Jofa's Kirtan Ikat stripe

For the past few years in October I have stayed at Lake Placid Lodge for a mid-fall getaway. This intimate resort has it all; fabulous decor, picturesque views and even better food. I couldn't be more excited as I am headed there to spend Thanksgiving and the following week with my family and the dogs. I plan on filling my days with lots of hiking, canoeing, fly fishing and relaxing by the fire with s'mores, a cup of hot cocoa and my current needlepoint project.

Here are a few photos of LPL:

the lodge's exterior is in the traditional Adirondack camp style

the lodge's exterior is in the traditional Adirondack camp style

the view is spectacular - perfect for morning coffee and a good book!

the view is spectacular - perfect for morning coffee and a good book!

after dinner tea on the covered porch with the cozy fireplace

after dinner tea on the covered porch with the cozy fireplace

each cabin is unique, furnished with one-of-a-kind artisan pieces made in the Adirondacks

each cabin is unique, furnished with one-of-a-kind artisan pieces made in the Adirondacks

each cabin has gorgeous stone fireplace

each cabin has gorgeous stone fireplace

Maggie's Pub is a great place for pre-dinner drinks! (the rugs in here are to-die-for!)

Maggie's Pub is a great place for pre-dinner drinks! (the rugs in here are to-die-for!)

The art throughout the main lodge is stunning and hung alongside a collection of vintage antler plaques

The art throughout the main lodge is stunning and hung alongside a collection of vintage antler plaques

You don't have to be in vacation-mode to enjoy this rustic, woodsy style. Why not add a few touches to your current space? Mixing a few iconic Adirondack decor objects into your home will most definitely create a collected and unique interior.

Enjoy your long weekend!

MING CHAIRS

I am a chinoiserie fanatic. So much so, that I need to be careful that it doesn't overtake my apartment. Give me anything with faux-bamboo styling, fretwork detail, lacquered finishes, pagoda-inspired objects and blue and white ming porcelain, and I.AM.FINISHED.

A few months ago I came across the most stunning pair of chairs  - two vintage glossy green Ming chairs with brass detail. I would love to have them for myself, but I am bursting at the seams, so I kindly passed them on to my client, who will soon be moving into a new space and starting fresh with her decor.

Below is a snapshot of these gorgeous nuggets...the photo doesn't even do them justice! The color resembles a muted, multi-toned, faux-malachite finish. There is something like 22 coats of lacquer on these lovelies...I'm just dying!

check out that lacquer!!!

(photos courtesy of VFO in Toronto)

(photos courtesy of VFO in Toronto)

Here are some images that I have saved to my pinterest page that showcase similar chairs...

The fabulous DUMBO apartment of Anne Maxwell Foster of Tilton Fenwick - black ming chairs 

The fabulous DUMBO apartment of Anne Maxwell Foster of Tilton Fenwick - black ming chairs 

image from elledecor.com - a pair of ming chairs in dark red

image from elledecor.com - a pair of ming chairs in dark red

Breckin Ridge Taylor Designs - a pair in glossy white

Breckin Ridge Taylor Designs - a pair in glossy white

image unknown - brass ming chair with upholstered back panel

image unknown - brass ming chair with upholstered back panel

Meg Braff designed a bedroom for the Lenox Hill Hospital Designer Penthouse - she incorporated a black Ming chair with, it looks like, Scalamandre's Le Tigre fabric and added a little lumbar pillow!

Meg Braff designed a bedroom for the Lenox Hill Hospital Designer Penthouse - she incorporated a black Ming chair with, it looks like, Scalamandre's Le Tigre fabric and added a little lumbar pillow!

The fabric that is currently on the chairs is an great choice, but unfortunately won't work in this particular space.

I think we have narrowed it down to this lovely print from Schumacher - Chiang Mai Dragon. The colors are perfection with the paint color and the rest of the room.

A fun combo with Farrow & Ball's Blue Ground paint

This will be one fabulous space - watch out for pics from the install that will take place in October!

Skirted Tables

I have always loved a skirted round table - they are traditional and timeless -a soft and elegant option for any room.  Tailored, draped, panelled, embellished or simple - in my mind they are the perfect piece to soften a space. Choose a fabulous fabric, maybe some trim, a utilitarian base and you are set! Ideal as a dining table, bedside or to display a collection of objects in an entry - these tables, made in any size, can work anywhere! The best thing about this whole scenario is that if you are short on space, plenty of storage can be created underneath!

Some images below of the look:

Albert Hadley

Albert Hadley

unknown

unknown

Alex Papachristidis

Alex Papachristidis

Suellen Gregory

Suellen Gregory

Tory Burch's apartment - design by Daniel Romauldez

Tory Burch's apartment - design by Daniel Romauldez

unknown

unknown

Ballarddesigns.com

Ballarddesigns.com

unknown

unknown

unknown

unknown

Peter Dunham

Peter Dunham

Grab an IKEA Billsta table top - available in a variety of sizes...

and an IKEA BILLSTA star base...

Then the fun part; choosing the fabric and style!

My favorite fabrics I am loving right now - perfect for a skirted table!

Hill Brown Patola

Hill Brown Patola

Sister Parish Design Cecil

Sister Parish Design Cecil

Suzanne Kasler Mackenzie Plaid

Suzanne Kasler Mackenzie Plaid

Why not add some trim?

Fabricut Athens key trim in Blue

Fabricut Athens key trim in Blue

Kravet Couture Faille Tape in Citrine

Kravet Couture Faille Tape in Citrine

Stout Synergy in Mermaid

Stout Synergy in Mermaid

My go-to sewer , Robin at Threadneedle Sewing in Toronto can whip one of these up in no time Contact them at 416-739-1233.

 

 

BUNNY WILLIAMS HOME - MUST HAVES

I have always admired Bunny Williams' style - her traditional interiors are layered and colourful and always incorporate a touch of the unexpected.

Not only does she run a busy interior design business but she also co-owns a decor boutique, Trelliage in NYC's Upper East Side neighborhood and has a fabulous collection of furniture, lighting and accessories which she offers through Bunny Williams Home.

Here are a few items that are at the top of my perpetual wish list... 

 

Hourglass Table - I love octagonal tables - and the wood detail is incredible:

ZIG-ZAG drinks table in glossy lacquered wood  - such an unusual design:

Brush Stroke Lamp - love the blue & white combo and the antiqued gold detail:

Reverse Regency Mirror - obsessed with the gold snake scale detail - so ridiculously chic:

Retro Decorative pillow - perfect for seaside living; loving the blue geometric link pattern on this guy: 

Head over to Bunny Williams website and check out the other delicious finds!

'SISTER'

I am sure you are all familiar with Sister Parish, the late great New York interior decorator and partner at Parish-Hadley Design. Sister's cozy, eclectic style was created using lots of colour, quirky patterns and painted furniture - she created rooms that were classic and timeless, whimsical and free-spirited - she always nailed that quintessential english look! Her society clients included the Kennedys, Annette de la Renta and she also partnered with Nancy Lancaster on American projects.

Sister and her beloved dogs

Here are a few of my favorite Sister Parish rooms.

chocolate brown lacquered walls, pink drapes and a red parsons coffee table

chocolate brown lacquered walls, pink drapes and a red parsons coffee table

zebra skin rug, toile chair and a chinoiserie screen - quite the mix!

zebra skin rug, toile chair and a chinoiserie screen - quite the mix!

blue walls and lots of color

blue walls and lots of color

Sister's legacy is continued through her family who founded Sister Parish Design in 2000 re-printing Sister's favorite fabrics and wallpapers. They have also expanded to offer pottery, dog accessories, totes and custom pillows.

Here are some of my favorite fabrics from the collection:

"Albert" in blue

How fabulous does it look on these x-benches!

'Burmese' - available in lots of fun colorways

'Campbell' in yellow

'Campbell' - Tete de Negre on a dining chair

'Eliza' - green 

'Kismet' - gold

Kismet 'gold' used on an antique cane chair - love this!!

Here are some accessories from SPD that I have had my eye on forever!

Laminated fabric trays

Pottery pieces 

Nomad Tote using their 'Burmese' fabric in Indigo 

I have just ordered a wonderful selection of fabric samples to present to clients - I know they will fall in love!

*All images courtesy of sisterparishdesign.com*

Adding to the Library

I dont know about you, but I am always on the hunt for a delicious new hardcover (especially on home decor topics) book to add to my collection. There are so many talented designers with lots of incredible work to showcase - it seems like lately they have all authored a must-read. The covers alone are great eye candy; I use them to style my coffee table, add colour to my cabinet, and of course to read and gather great ideas! Lately, it seems that I have an endless wish list (the total in my amazon cart right now is $656.78... yikes!) that I am slowly making my way through.

Below are some great titles that I have picked up recently and then a list that are in in my perpetual queue.

Mr. Redd is one of my all time favorite designers. A must for those who love color:

Indulge in the best of "relaxed country style" with this fabulous book about the late, great work of Sister Parish:

Learn about traditional silhouettes and classic styles that are still great bases for decorating today:

Are you wondering what the living room of your favorite designer looks like? Well this is your book:

A great read, but to be honest, I bought this book for the gorgeous metallic, art deco cover - love it:

These are waiting patiently in my cart..

There is something so elegant about palm trees... Love the large scale of this book:

Sailboats are my jam, and the photos in this book are INSANE:

Tom Sheerer's eclectic style just takes the cake, his interiors are mad eye candy. This one is really calling my name:

This designer is a new fav of mine; his work is sophisticated and elegant with unexpected touches. Need this:

I just love Thomas O'Brien's classic, tailored interiors:

I mean who doesn't love the "Prince of Chintz"? Mr. Buatta is a legend:

SMALL AND DARK? MAKE IT EVEN DARKER.

I have always been a fan of choosing dark colours for tiny rooms - be it a small kitchen, pint-sized entry or a cramped powder room. I find it makes the boundaries somehow disappear, it just saturates the room, creates drama and makes it feel more spacious.

Currently, just my kitchen is painted a dark charcoal - ceilings and all, but I have been toying with the idea of painting my bathroom black; both walls and ceiling and even selecting a black linen shower curtain to complete the look.

The images below show a selection of fabulous black bathrooms where homeowners and designers have taken the plunge and created gorgeous little spaces...

black trim and tile with red chinoiserie wallpaper

black trim and tile with red chinoiserie wallpaper

black walls, black mini shades and black monogrammed handtowels

black walls, black mini shades and black monogrammed handtowels

black walls with bright white, gold and red accents

black walls with bright white, gold and red accents

white walls with black woodwork and trim

white walls with black woodwork and trim

black, white and orange

black, white and orange

Cole & Son Palm Jungle wallpaper with black subway tiles

Cole & Son Palm Jungle wallpaper with black subway tiles

black walls and white vanity

black walls and white vanity

So, why stick to all white? The black in these photos creates a glamorous and sophisticated backdrop - I love the look!

R&R

In a few days I am leaving for a full 10 days of R&R - Chester-style; lots of sailing, sunning, lobster and probably more D&S's than I will admit to.

Here is a shot of the lovely village where I have summered since childhood - a small sailing town on Nova Scotia's south shore. 

I plan to spend every waking minute on the water...

Capt. P will be serving these up like they are going outta style...

Gosling's Dark & Stormy 1.5 oz Gosling's Black Seal Rum  +  Gosling's Stormy Ginger Beer In a tall glass filled with ice add 4 - 5 oz of Gosling's Stormy Ginger Beer and top with Gosling's Black Seal Rum. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Gosling's Dark & Stormy

1.5 oz Gosling's Black Seal Rum  +  Gosling's Stormy Ginger Beer

In a tall glass filled with ice add 4 - 5 oz of Gosling's Stormy Ginger Beer and top with Gosling's Black Seal Rum. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Most of all, just looking forward to having a super casual and relaxed vacation...

Chester has definitely influenced my interiors in more ways than one...especially my love of blue and white. I am lucky enough to have a few clients that love the combo too. I will head out east super excited about this concept I put together for one of my favourite clients in Toronto; white furniture, lots of blue and a hit of yellow. Excited for the install which will take place in August!

Fabrics and rug...

This stunning lantern hung high up above the coffee table...

and these yummy lamps...

Now THAT is a room worth coming back for!

HAPPY SUMMER!

shades of red

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to inherit a ceramic lamp in a stunning shade of celadon with a chic black ming-style wood base - a super fabulous addition to my space (props to my lovely grandmother who had such a great eye). Don't get me wrong, I loved the look of the lamp when I received it, but I am sort-of addicted to detail, so in my mind It still needs one more little finishing touch. Currently its crowning glory is a predictable white paper shade which is fine, I guess....but too safe for me. I added a tassel that hangs from the socket, which I love, but I am still not there yet...

Here is the lamp:

I think the necessary next step is to paint the shade a punchy red. I love all of these spaces below and feel that the bright lampshades are key to these looks. I mean imagine the rooms below with plain white linen shades....hhhmmm....not so good.

a fantastic silk pleated pair 

a fantastic silk pleated pair 

red lacquer with gold edges

red lacquer with gold edges

Asian-inspired red fabric shades

Asian-inspired red fabric shades

a classically simple barrel-style shade in red

a classically simple barrel-style shade in red

red drum shades with white banding - fab!

red drum shades with white banding - fab!

coral-red silk shades for bedside reading

coral-red silk shades for bedside reading

Headed to my local Benjamin Moore dealer this weekend to grab a quart of "TRICYCLE RED". I plan to give the shade a light sanding and then slap on a few coats in high gloss . Stay tuned for the finished product.

CORAL WALLS

Lately, I have been noticing a trend in wall colour choices. More and more images are showing up over instagram and pinterest with living areas, dining rooms and bedrooms in corally-orange and salmony-pink hues. It's a chic colour that works really well with neutrals, black, blue and white - in fact every colour! Could we go as far as to call it a neutral?

Here are some fabulous images I have collected that showcase this trend.

Here are two Benjamin Moore colours that would re-create the above looks beautifully:

Benjamin Moore 'Coral Gables'

Benjamin Moore 'Coral Gables'

Benjamin Moore 'All-A-Blaze'

Benjamin Moore 'All-A-Blaze'

I would love to settle on one of these colours and re-paint my entry way... stay tuned!

 

'FAUVE' vs. 'ARBRE de MATISSE'

The best thing about decorating is finding that perfect fabric in a great colourway that you can't live without. I have had a love affair with fabrics since I was young, following my mother around to various showrooms in search of new yardage for an ottoman or selecting trims for a custom pillow she was dreaming up.

Two of my favourite fabric houses are Quadrille and Clarence House. Quadrille for their bright hues, summery geometrics and ikats and Clarence House for their unusual colour combinations and bold prints.

Both companies produce a similar print - a colourful organic silhouette of trees and leaves in lots of colourways.  Clarence House's version is simply called "Fauve" and Quadrille has named there fabric 'Arbre de Matisse". I don't necessarily have a favourite - I would be delighted to use either fabric!

Below are samples of each...

Clarence House's "Fauve" fabric in black 

Clarence House's "Fauve" fabric in black 

Quadrille's 'Arbre de Matisse' fabric in blue.

Quadrille's 'Arbre de Matisse' fabric in blue.

I find it hard to keep them both straight! Especially since the option from Clarence House looks more similar to the style of Matisse....to me anyway.

Here are some images that show the fabric on a larger scale:

A pair of armchairs  (Arbre de Matisse)

A pair of armchairs  (Arbre de Matisse)

Tory Burch's family room (Fauve)

Tory Burch's family room (Fauve)

 a green colourway for a kitchen roman shade (Arbre de Matisse)

 a green colourway for a kitchen roman shade (Arbre de Matisse)

  a green colourway on a black bamboo bench (Fauve)

  a green colourway on a black bamboo bench (Fauve)

Either fabric is a timeless choice...a designer fabric staple in so many interiors.  An investment, but definitely worth it!