Posts Tagged ‘decorating’

Monday, April 9, 2012

cmi in the news: another featured space on houzz.com!

Always a plea­sure when some­one selects a room I've done to be fea­tured in a houzz.com idea book! Here is a fun book on rolling kitchen stor­age, fea­tur­ing my bar cart from Spaces & Places 2010! Enjoy a peek…

Idea book

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

before & after: Barbara Barry to the rescue

Newly-married cou­ples often must work toward blend­ing their worldly goods. There are always a few pieces embraced by one spouse that the other spouse sim­ply can­not stand to look at. Maybe it's a reminder of a for­mer life, or maybe it's just plain or ugly or both! Case in point, the sofa seen in this picture.

curved sofa before barbara barry

curved sofa before

Try not to be dis­tracted by the ghastly pink car­pet! The sofa is cur­va­ceous and fem­i­nine, but a pre­vi­ous dec­o­ra­tor chose to swad­dle it in what appears to be a bathrobe. Blah, bland, bor­ing! My client's first incli­na­tion was to replace it. In exam­in­ing the cush­ions, I noticed the high-end man­u­fac­tur­ers' label and decided to rethink the "pitch-it" plan. (But seri­ously, how is it pos­si­ble to make a VERY expen­sive sofa look so damn ugly? Same designer doubt­less chose the pink car­pet. Enough said.)

As we were work­ing through the meld­ing of house­holds, my clients pur­chased a new home. The own­ers of the home had a very def­i­nite "look" — one that involved the exten­sive use of faux flo­rals with feath­ers — six feather flo­rals in the liv­ing room alone! Yikes. Here's the before (fea­tur­ing four of those florals):

living room by the prior owners

liv­ing room by the prior owners

Frankly, I can't imag­ine any­one sit­ting in this room with­out falling over fast asleep. A snooze-fest of muddy col­ors. It looks like it came from the Bom­bay Com­pany cat­a­log. But notice the room has good bones and great light. It just needs an injec­tion of life and beauty, in other words — my client's personality!

So back to our poor, under-appreciated sofa and my glam­orous, viva­cious client. She favors blues and sil­ver with a lit­tle touch of mod­ernism. Cool, crisp, graphic but not cold. And Bar­bara Barry rides in to save the day — a match made in design heaven.

This is Bar­bara Barry's Inlay, in Delft from Kravet — a con­fec­tion of blue, cream and sil­very gray.

Inlay in Delft, from Kravet

Inlay in Delft, from Kravet

And herein our frumpy sofa sheds her ugly-duckling bathrobe, shows a lit­tle leg and cel­e­brates her curves:

glastonbury glamour living room barbara barry sofa

liv­ing room with a seri­ous dose of Bar­bara Barry glam­our! photo credit: Michael Partenio

Improved, yes? The unchanged Baker chairs and the inher­ited art­work are won­der­ful sup­port­ing play­ers, but the sofa leads this liv­ing room sym­phony! Thanks Bar­bara Barry for unmask­ing the swan!

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Friday, August 26, 2011

fabric friday: eco-friendly parlor textiles

If you've been look­ing for tra­di­tional fab­rics with a slightly mod­ern sen­si­bil­ity, some­thing that fits effort­lessly into your tra­di­tional home, then Par­lor Tex­tiles is a ter­rific option! And amaz­ingly, they are eco-friendly too! Intrigued yet? This com­pany wraps social respon­si­bil­ity in a beau­ti­ful pack­age. The fab­ric itself is a blend of eco-friendly hemp and organic cot­ton. Made in the United States, their process uses water-based inks, heat and pres­sure rather than chem­i­cals to print the pat­terns onto the cloth.

Take a peek at a few of their pat­terns. Any one would seam­lessly work on a wing chair or drap­ery, with Ori­en­tal car­pets, in a trad home. Equally lovely in a mod­ern set­ting, the pat­terns have an East­ern fla­vor. Very ver­sa­tile from a design standpoint!

parlor ailey in indigo

par­lor ailey in indigo

parlor blockstripe in indigo

par­lor block­stripe in indigo

parlor dixie in red

par­lor dixie in red

parlor indian deco floral in red

par­lor indian deco flo­ral in red

parlor simple ikat in indigo

par­lor sim­ple ikat in indigo

parlor pinwheel in leaf

par­lor pin­wheel in leaf

I'm lov­ing the Indian Deco Flo­ral — so stun­ning in it's sim­plic­ity! Do you have a fave? Visit their site for more options.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

tuesday musings: green decorating

Imag­ine if you will a room, not overly large, rec­tan­gu­lar in shape.  Now add into this space five win­dows, three door­ways, six built-in book­cases and one fire­place.  This sounds like a room with quite a lot going on, doesn’t it? As some of my read­ers may remem­ber from an ear­lier post, I was con­tem­plat­ing paint­ing my home office all one color, in high gloss. Yes, this is the room in ques­tion, and yes, I finally did it.

Once upon a colo­nial time, rooms were mostly painted one color, before the advent of “white-trim-and-colored-walls” as an Amer­i­can design mantra. Recently pre­mier shel­ter mag­a­zines have shown more and more rooms with­out (gasp!) white trim – beau­ti­ful rooms with walls and trim all wrapped up in one rich shade.  Libraries, offices, liv­ing spaces with tra­di­tional or eclec­tic décor — I will admit I was both intrigued and a tad envious.

My office, with its white wood­work, tiny sliv­ers of painted wall and numer­ous por­tals, was a visu­ally dis­tract­ing expe­ri­ence. But the view out the win­dows is lovely and green. Ah, inspi­ra­tion!  Could I erase the line between indoors and out, set­ting my desk in the yard, at least virtually?

Out came my fan decks, search­ing for the per­fect green. But this one is too yel­low, this too blue, this too gray — I felt like Goldilocks.  I decided to use the custom-blended olive green (in Ben­jamin Moore's Aura, nat­u­rally) pre­vi­ously rel­e­gated to those tiny bits of wall — a color I loved, but never had enough of. Green dec­o­rat­ing, with the color green — two favorites rolled into one task.

Down came the five enor­mous bal­loon shades left by the pre­vi­ous owner. Even design­ers need an incen­tive to replace what were clearly cus­tom, albeit weighty and grand­moth­erly, win­dow treat­ments. (Those win­dow treat­ments I hap­pily donated to a fel­low designer's tag sale to raise funds for Komen CT). The influx of light was astounding.

Some­times paint­ing a room sim­ply means mov­ing all the fur­ni­ture into the cen­ter and cov­er­ing it with a tarp.  But is my case, every­thing was already in the cen­ter of the room.  The desk had been nigh impos­si­ble to get through the nar­row door­way, so it was stay­ing. And if it was stay­ing, I was stay­ing too, with files and com­put­ers and projects, oh my!

And those six, over­stuffed book­cases?  All needed to be emp­tied, onto the floor of this not overly large room. Stacks and stacks to be nav­i­gated around, sorted through and even­tu­ally re-shelved.  Surely I can endure the dis­rup­tion for a week? A lit­tle voice in my head is won­der­ing if there really is any­thing wrong with white book­cases and trim. Hun­dreds of books made their way to the town library. Part­ing is such sweet sorrow.

But I car­ried on – and the result is truly… lush.  That’s the best way to describe my home office’s new aura (no pun intended), like sit­ting in a rain for­est.  Those of you who thrive in all-white spaces may shud­der, but this room now embraces me in glo­ri­ous, warm, con­tem­pla­tive color. The new, spare Roman shades, in Quadrille’s Conga Line (moss & aqua on tint) trimmed with Robert Allen’s Cabin Weave (surf), add a funky vibe with­out being cliché. It feels so like work­ing out­side, I’m tempted to swat the mosquitoes.

cabin weave Robert Allen

cabin weave from Robert Allen in surf

Roman shades in Quadrille's Conga Line

roman shades against rich mossy trim

Sorry, can’t show the rest of the room with­out blow­ing the mys­tique that design­ers live in pris­tine spaces. It’s a work­ing home office that looks like total dis­ar­ray – and not in an art­ful, dressed-for-a-magazine way!

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