Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Planning a Nursery

Babies are precious.  I love their fresh scent, and their adorable little fingers and toes.  They are a gift.  And when my best friend is told that she has been blessed with a gift times two, it's time to get the nursery in order. And this isn't just any nursery. I'm talking about a nursery for twins: a boy and a girl.  Talk about hitting the baby jackpot! Trying to design a nursery for mixed sexes is challenging but I think we are off to a decent start.  We have to work around freshly painted yellow walls and dark wood furniture from Pottery Barn that was inherited. Not too shabby! Nothing "cartoon-y" was the request, but chic with a modern flair is what the soon to be parents are looking for. I thought it would be a challenge to find something that fit the bill but I immediately thought of Serena & Lily.  Their nursery bedding is nothing short of fabulous.  And I love the fact that they offer matching paint colors and fabric by the yard for any extra coordinating pieces you may need to have made.  

It will be interesting to see how the room comes together....

Do you know of any great on-line vendors for nursery bedding and accessories? If so, do tell....

Baby photo via Serena & Lily; Sample Board by Mrs. B.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

It's all about details

Did you read the recent post over at Beach Bungalow 8? The post is about a chair with a rather unique detail- the ring pull on the back of the chair. And maybe not so unique anymore as this detail is seeming to pop up more and more frequently. I first fell in love with it a few years ago when Italian architect Michele Bonan designed JK Place Capri. Both photos are Bonan designs and this little detail seems to be one of his signatures.

JK Place (Capri, Italy)

Hotel Vendome (Paris, France)
The question posed to readers on Megan's blog was whether or not you like this particular chair detail. The comments were a mixed bag. Here is how I responded:

Megan's post got me thinking in general about details in design.  Details are very important to me and I will fret over the smallest feature. I never overlook them because they can make all the difference. You know, the difference between "wow" and "woooow". 

Here are a few design details that I absolutely love. From these photos you can see how they add interest or in some cases actually make the piece.

Ribbon and nailhead trim.  The space between the nailheads shows off the pretty pink ribbon.

Button detail.

Contrast welting.

Drapery detail in my office. I added a Windsor Smith fabric ("Purpose") to a pair of off-the rack drapery panels for a custom look.

So, my dear readers, I will leave you with this quote from Ludwig Mies van der Rohe:

"God is in the details." 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Weekend Entertainment

It's been way to long since I have been to movie theater. Seriously. I'm talking years. But "The Tourist" tempted me.  The beautiful costumes and the breathtaking backdrop intrigued me.  The majority of the movie is set in Venice, Italy so how could I resist?

The costumes and the scenery did not disappoint.  In fact, it made me long to be back in Italy.  I was in Venice last year so I  couldn't help but say to myself during the movie "I've been there" or "I've seen that" on more than one occasion.  I also fell in love with the classic modern style of Jolie's character, "Elise".  It turns out that Ferragamo designed the beautiful nude "Elise" shoe for the movie two heel heights, as well as with and without platforms, depending on the scene.  If you want to take home your very own  beige suede and/or  black leather versions of the "Elise," complete with metal heel, they are being sold in limited release in select stores worldwide coinciding with the launch of the film this past December. You  better hurry though....I just might beat you to it!

"The Tourist" Movie Trailer

The scenes in the lobby of the Danieli Hotel was actually a set. But I can tell you it was just as gorgeous as the real thing.  And the featured Doges Suite is actually in a different building! Ah, the magic of the movies!
I can't think of anything more magical than a coctail or late night dining on the Grand Canal.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Is it meant to be?

Several years ago I fell in love with a photograph in a magazine. I wish I would have scanned that picture.  It featured a beautiful dining room with an oversized antique balance scale prominently sitting on a sideboard like a precious sculpture.  I can't explain what the allure was but it was  love at first sight. Every time I walk into an antique shop I keep my eyes peeled for a beautiful balance scale ever since seeing that picture.   I have seen a few since then but not many. And none that took my breath away as the one in the picture did.

While Christmas shopping a few weeks ago I walked passed Z Gallerie.  Their window display stopped me dead in my tracks.  There it was- a beautiful modern balance scale. It made my heart swoon. I chose not to purchase it due to its grand scale (29.5" wide by 37" tall). The scale is actually a good thing. But a statement piece such as this needs to be in just the right place.  I don't think I have a spot in our home that would do this piece justice.

Fast forward to this afternoon. I was thumbing through the January 2011 issue of Real Simple and there was an article that caught my eye.  This was the title:

"Love it but not sure what to do with it? Armed with know-how and a bit of courage you can make even the most intimidating objects...blend seamlessly into your home...".
This article automatically made me think about the modern balance scale.  Was it meant to be?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Drapery Walls in the Bedroom

Can you see a trend in my posting these last few days? Bedroom design is on my mind.

Windows in a bedroom can sometimes be tricky. It's typically unorthodox to place a bed in front of a window. But what happens when this is the only wall where it actually makes sense to place the bed? This is the case in our home. I have been considering doing wall-to-wall drapes, a small departure from what was specified by KD Space where shades are also incorporated.  Our room is fairly small and I think the wall-to-wall look will be very theatrical. But not in an over-the-top kind of way. I think it will make the room feel like a cozy cocoon. 

If you have sources information, please let me know.

Using On-line Interior Design Services

I really can't go any further posting about my bedroom design without saying thanks to Katie of Katie Denham Interiors. Katie has a delightful blog called Katiedid and offers KD Space, an on-line interior design service.  If you are in the Sacramento area she also provides traditional design services.

You must know that early last year I solicited KD Space for my bedroom re-do. I gave Katie a few requirements:
(1) Work around a fabric I love (shown on the drawings as no. 13).
(2) Incorporate lots of storage.
(3) Provide options for a non-upholstered bed.
Katie put 2 designs schemes together for my bedroom.  Although I love each of the 2 options she presented me with you'll notice as the room comes together that I am using her designs as inspiration. That's what I love about using an on-line design service. You can put your room together identically as the designer specified or use bits and pieces. You have tons of flexibility. Now a days, there are many designers offering similar services but Katie was a pleasure to work with. She was quick to respond and her fee was very affordable. Most importantly, I love her creativity. If you ever have considered using an on-line design service I would highly recommend it. Working with a designer is a collaborative effort. They can help you put together a cohesive design and prevent you from making some costly mistakes.
Option 1:

Option 2:

Floorplans and Elevations:
Inspiration boards and drawings by Katie Denham Interiors.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Bedroom Makeover

Have you heard the phrase "It gets worse before it gets better"? A water leak prompted us to move up our bedroom re-do to the top of the list.  A blessing in disguise? I would say so. 

I hate picking paint colors. You can pull together the most beautiful fabrics and finishes but if the basics, like paint, are not right it can throw off the whole look of a room. Like you missed the mark. Not a good thing. After testing six Benjamin Moore paints, I actually decided to go with "Latte" from Restoration Hardware.  It was actually the first paint sample I put up on the wall.  I always tend to circle back to my first choice. And it drives Mr. B crazy (sorry!). I guess I like to see all my options before making a selection so I have no regrets.  

Carpet selected. Check. Paint selected. Check. Next up are fabrics. I decided to go with a rather monochromatic look and here is a sampling of some of the fabrics I considered.  Not all of these will be used.  And there are a few not included here. You will have to stay tuned to see which were selected and which didn't make the cut.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The morning after....

The story behind the photo goes like this.  Mr. B. and I stayed at The Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara, California last New Year's weekend.  We were up bright and early on New Years Day to take a walk around the property and surrounding neighborhood.  It was a cold, foggy morning. And it was quiet and so very peaceful.  It was on this walk that we spotted this party hat; a remnant of the previous night's festivities.  It  looked as if someone took great care in strategically placing it on top of a tall hedge.  I hope whoever it belonged to had a great year.

As we start this New Year I wish you all the very best. I hope your 2011 is filled with love, joy, peace, prosperity, friends, and family.  Let's make 2011 the best yet!

Happy New Year.
I hope you have a fabulous 2011.