I predict 2012 will be full of navy! Navy is seriously trending as the new neutral. Navy is also bringing sexy traditional back with a bang incorporating the use of blue and white porcelain in just about everything.
Trend or not, we've always been into navy over here. It's got so much depth and is a fabulous alternative to black. As I've mentioned before, black just isn't me. Navy, however, is.
You know who's not surprised that navy's trending right now?
Or anyone else who incorporates even a touch of prep in their lines a la the makers of these fine wares below.
What's your color prediction for 2012?
And I don't care what Pantone predicts 'cuz let me tell you... I saw a whole lotta "Honeysuckle" going on in 2011… NOT!
I had the best Christmas I've ever had. I sure hope you did too! I think mine was so magical because, for the first time in my life, I wasn't hung up on presents and caught in the ebb and flow of anxiety, disappointment and over-joy all rolled into one. And because it wasn't an emotional roller coaster, it just so happened I got the surprise of my life.. diamond studs 2.0 from my stud! I was so moved by that grand gesture that I am looking at him with a new found wonderment and certainly brimming with love.
The holidays are so refreshing for so many reasons. One of the things I look most forward to is spending time with my distant and somewhat aloof brother. At least once a year I can take comfort [and joy] in his quiet and uplifting presence around the house. I love him fiercely. I feel protective of him like a mother tiger. Odd, considering I compartmentalized most of his early years to an area far back in my brain that takes some searching to dig up. Our six years difference barely feels like anything now. Now, as I understand the importance of family and of the delicate balance and difference between of siblings. The exact same makeup gone so differently in each direction.
He doesn't want. At least not like I do. He is content with how his life is. He understands sacrifice. And he embraces the imperfect when others would feel like digging their hands in their pockets, turning their toes inward and dropping their head down to hide. He's not like me. He's a bigger thinker. He's OK that it means that he lives modestly so long as he doesn't have to compromise his ideals. I hate to think how that will inevitably and uncontrollably change the farther removed from college and the promotion of free-thinking he gets. I hope he carries his spirit of ingenuity long after he's old and married. It's people like him who change the world slowly. And though his impact will most likely only greatly affect those closest to him, it will be one that leaves a very deep and scaring mark. A nice one, not an ugly one. Nothing about his nature is ugly.
If I've learned one thing from him this holiday it's 'to thine own self be true.' I started reflecting on that for all aspects of my life and one of the best ways to do that is through creative expression. It holds true for just about anything. If you are doing 'you', there are no imitations and it comes through as authentic because IT IS. So as I evolve in designing my spaces, they can't be wrong as long as they are 'me.' Not phony. Not trendy. Just things I love.
So with that, I give you my living room 2.0 board. (Another idea sprung from dear brother is to try to do a few design boards a week to get my ideas to gel and to understand what I like and don't like). Still looking for that wall color idea. But first up on the list is to take down the shade, replace with long neutral drapes and to paint my window sills dark navy. This is a good start and feels a bit more relaxing without the 'white mint' paint on the walls.
I guess this year is all about lessons learned. It's been my first full year in my new home and I've loved every moment of it. I went from working outside of the house, which involved a 2, sometimes 3 hour commute in addition to the 9-5 thing and now I'm working from my home which takes off so much stress and gives me much more time to focus on what to do next. I've been sloooooow to finish each room. I was given some very sage advice when we first moved in, which was to wait a while to see how the house speaks to us before filling it and decorating it. I couldn't do that with the main living area; that obviously had to be done first. But as I move through trends and design style and my own personal growing up, I realize that I've moved beyond my current set-up for my living room. I've mentioned before that my living room also functions as my kitchen, dining room and family room. We live in an 1100 square foot cottage and we have one central living area. For the past five years, I've dreamt of how to decorate my own home once I had one. After living inside the builder's grade white and tan walls of rental apartments, I couldn't wait to throw some colors on my walls. Although I now am realizing I am a neutral-ist at heart (punctuated by pops of color of course), I initially wanted something breathy that hinted at a very specific color for my small quarters.
This is the mood board for my current living room
The next iteration of this room won't be much different. Instead of the roman shade hung on an outside mount, I'd like to emphasize my cathedral ceilings and large window with some dramatic neutral drapes. I'm unsure of whether I want a dupioni-look, a velvet or a linen on the drapes but I do know I want them to be floor to ceiling.
I'm done with my 'sorbet' phase as paint goes. While I've loved sorbet colors for the last five years, I can't help but feel little-old-ladyish with this color. I also think it feels inauthentic in my cabin in the woods - it's too coastal.
I love my couch. I'll keep the pillows and the rugs. Maybe I'll layer in a different rug on top of the jute in order to use my hide under my new round dining table. I've got a fabulous neutral rug in my office that's dying to be appreciated elsewhere.
I would like to add a tribal brown or black with white throw, to give it some globalness, like this one on Joss & Main today.
I'd also like to put some wall sconces on the side of my wagon wheel mirror. Maybe even a wall shelf with my hurricane vases.
I have to figure out a way to ground the room with some black, like Mom always says. Maybe even a little trim on the drapery for some punch.
For the time being, I'm left to decide on a new paint color. I'm thinking something that will highlight the neutral theme but anything but pure white. I'd like just a whisper of an elephant-or dove-gray to make the white accents pop. Any suggestions out there?
I've always had a hard time differentiating between what I need and what I want. Mom always used to ask me "need OR want?" when I would bust through her office door and rattle off my latest obsessions.
I still find myself at the check-out counter asking the same question. I am serial 'editor'. I show up at the register, cart full of goodies, and then decide I must edit or be forced to pay a gazillion dollars for the thousands of accessories I've picked up along the way. Target and Home Goods probably shutter when they see me walking up.
Despite the scrolling marquee running through my shop-a-holic brain, I still manage to WANT SO BAD I NEED quite a few things ;)
Bryn's recent post inspired some introspection on my first big sofa purchase last year. And while not regretting it one bit, I learned some valuable lessons about furniture. I now know what I will avoid next time: Down-wrapped cushions and loose back pillows. Next time [wait, how many chances do you get at this? I'm pretty sure buying a new custom sofa every few years isn't in the cards] I want a tight-back sofa; no detached pillows on the back to mess with and no down to refluff. I love down. But next time, I'll re-up on the down comforter instead. The down feather fill in my seat cushions and back pillows is super cloud-like and was just what we wanted when looking for the perfect 'sink into' feel. But in real everyday life, it's not practical. Our couch sits in our living room, which also functions as the family room and dining room in our small cottage. It gets a lot of action. And I have a husband and a bulldog who love nothing more than to lounge away on said couch. This makes for serious migraines when primping the area because the cushions flatten and sag. Our first sofa is still the most expensive piece of furniture I have purchased to-date. And it was well worth it. We had the fabric custom ordered which tacked on a few clams, too. Leather would've been the smartest choice for my household, but I couldn't get past the initial chilly shock when you sit on it. My second choice would've been a neutral danish linen, but knowing my bulldog and husband, I'm sure it would have stains before it came through the door. I ended up with a gray herringbone suede that I am crazy about. It's very durable and heavier than a cotton or linen and I love the pattern in it. I have never been a fan of anything microfiber, and the suede can be a bit reminiscent of that, but either way, I love it. And knowing what I know now, I'd take a poly-blend or down-wrap on the cushions and attached or no back cushions at all, because of the frequency which I have to rotate everything around to wear evenly. And, while we're on the subject… I like to think sofas come in three distinct categories. 1- inexpensive 2 - moderate 3 - custom The first category really describes what you can get from any large retailer that specializes in bulk furniture. Around here we have Room Store, Value City and Ikea. Despite the low price, these goods seem to hold up reasonably well with normal use. These are perfect buys for folks just starting out or on a budget, but the quality is generally compromised. The cushions are typically filled with a poly-foam or stuffing and the frame is not benchmade and is made of soft woods. The leather options tend to be dominated by bonded leathers versus real hides. Not a bad investment if you only plan on having it for a couple of years and you can certainly find imitations of current styles. Plan to find a sofa around $500. This is your economy car class.
#2. These stores include Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, Room & Board and many other well-known names. The quality is pretty good and you're still going to pay about $1500 for your seat. They have sofas that are available either immediately or by delivery and you can generally choose from 5-10 colorways and fabrics per design on their stock models. Many of these stores also offer the option to choose your own fabric, for anywhere from $500-1000 more and about a 4 - 8 week lead time. These sofas are usually benchmade and have solid coil structure and hardwood frames that are often kiln dried for extra durability. Many people opt for this variety due to quickness from store to home and the variety of customizable options. The quality is good and will last for about 10 years or so, depending on use. These are your Hondas and Toyotas of the sofa world.
Lastly, we have the custom category. The European driving machine of sofas. These bad boys will run anywhere from $4000 and up. They are the best quality you can buy and will last a lifetime if you so desire. When you make an investment like that, go for strong bones and classic style so you can reupholster or recover when the trends change. High-quality custom craftsmen like Lee Industries and Hickory Chair make phenomenal seats and have the best names in the industry because of their durability, classic design and custom options. You can pick or provide virtually any fabric you can dream up and have just about any kind of welt, piping, trim or nailhead added or removed.
They all look the same right? That's why no option is right or wrong. It's all about where you are in your life and your current phase of decorating. You buy what suits your home and your family. If it gets no use and you need a simple white couch, who cares if it's from Ikea. But if you plan to buy a nice piece of furniture that will last through the trends and as your tastes change, go get your Lee. Personally, I can barely commit to a career for ten-plus years, much less a couch so I doubt a Lee is in my future. But if I think about my dream couch, it's probably a navy velvet tight-back with an English roll-arm or the perfect distressed saddle leather Chesterfield.
I love a good dark lacquered door, don't you? So much so that I put myself (and my poor Mom) through total agony and defeat trying to find the exact shade to paint my french door.
Two problems with that idea. Numero uno - I didn't want to go with a simple black because black is just too harsh for me. Just like black nail lacquer is too harsh on my nails with the bluish undertones, black wouldn't work with the sorbet vibe I've got goin' on in the room. So navy it was. Easy enough, right?
Problem dos: the right KIND of navy. I have 'white mint' walls in my living room and in order for the navy color to be content on my door, the undertones had to work with the green-tint to the walls. So if you look at the color wheel (let's visualize, people) green is complementary to orange and purple in the color wheel. Sooooo the navy had to err on the side of purple undertones to work here. That meant anything with a super blue tint looked way too little-boys-room-blue. Finding the right navy was a trick but 4th times' the charm and I was finally happy with the outcome. But that was an expensive little project after four rounds of paint, in both time and money. Cuz we all know time IS money, honey…
As I think back as to one of the early guides to my (re-) arranging a room, I think this tip will help some of you with the design elements to pull a room together. It is simply the word " B R A G G"; easy enough to remember!
The "B" is for black. Every room needs a black element to "ground" it, to balance all the lighter tones, and give the room a breather, something dark and black as a resting point for the eye.
"R". This is for RUGS. ( a passion of ours) Rugs are like pictures for floors, I always say. They add personality, color and warmth. Whether layering over wall to wall carpet or using over a hard surface, they are a must in your home. You can be bold and whimsical for that element of surprise, or you can be predictable, harmonious with your plan, and add your accent colors here. NOTE: today on OKL, they have FABULOUS rugs, and some cool ideas for tips using them.
"A" is for Art. The personality and character of the home owner lies in the art choices. Here you can add whatever you like, but your selections can really 'push' the design quality of your space. You can add an 'edgey' vibe to a traditional space, or go the safe route with traditional art selections. Most people are comfortable with the 'safe' pieces, subject matter most people can relate too. If you are bored with your space, add some Modern Art! That will refresh your look and make it look more current.
"G" One of elements of warmth and coziness is to add GREENERY. Bring the outdoors in, with plants, and leafy accents at all levels throughout your home, i.e. floor, shelf or tabletop , and something tall. It doesn't mean the color green has to be in your decor, it can be considered a part 'the great outdoors' and treated like a neutral which works in EVERY room. No silk plants please. The dust they collect soon becomes more noticeable than the greenery. Even if you have to purchase new inexpensive plants every year, it's worth it.
The last "G" is for glass. All rooms need reflection and shine. In light of the current mirrored furniture trend, mirrors and glass enlarge your space, give you portals and glimpses into other spaces, and generally add a little glitter and bling to a room. It's like jewelry, and what woman doesn't love a little bling! I use lots of mirrors in my home in every room. ( Not to look vain, but to enlarge the space) It really works, try it.
My glass pendants arrived today and I was so excited that they were EXACTLY what I wanted! You KNOW how many times you order something online and it's just not what you dreamt it up to be… This was the one exception following a long line of returns and exchanges from previous online shopping snaffus.
As I read that title while I typed I remembered, wait-a-minute, I'm supposed to be saving and tackling some unwanted meandering debt in the New Year… Yep, that's way more important.
But on the off-chance I do that in record speed, and because I know I can't resist a project (or starting lots of little ones and never finishing one to completion…) I bet I'll start finalizing the look for my kitchen in 2012. I ordered my new pendants from OKL and need to paint the bottom original cabinets a deep navy (the choice is Naval by Sherwin Williams, thanks to a suggestion from the uber-sweet Lauren Leiss). I have practically new appliances so this should be a relatively inexpensive project (in theory) because all I need to do is purchase new cabinets for the top. And there is only two larger ones and four smaller ones. And on the other side of the galley, I'd like to put in some open wood shelving.
So I'm thinking I could REALLY lessen the bill if I just purchase some airy glass cabinets from Ikea for the tops… Any experience out there with the quality and durability of Ikea cabinets? Doesn't seem like the smarter of ideas, but… it's a money saver.
As we still try to get our shiz together and our site up and running, I'm shamelessly plugging our wares that we have for sale (instead of focusing on putting them in a tab where you can go to peruse and buy...). Like anything? Give us a ring-a-ding... firstname.lastname@example.org
I can't tell you how many orders I've made with One Kings Lane in the past two years. And for the most part, I've been over the moon about everything! Granted, you can pay a pretty penny for the perfect antique find, but there are some serious deals to be had. I'm kicking off a diatribe-slash-love letter of my favorite things on the site today. OKL?
We believe in the holy trinity of decorating. Rugs, Lighting and Chairs. Hence all the rugs. We could look and source and drool over rugs all day long. I feel like I'll never find the perfect rug that would satiate my appetite, because my taste is forever changing and I will always want a new or different rug.
Loving the three rugs, the fox doorstop, the Stray Dog Designs metal trees, the rabbit fur throw, a vintage sign and who DOESN'T need the Top Chef cookbook? Perfection.
Theholiday season is here! and I am feverishly getting ready for a large family party this Sunday, so here are some pictures of the entry, the garlands around the interior doorways, the collections of Santas, snowglobes and Nutcrackers. I love this part of Christmas, and I know my family counts on me to dress up the house.
I have been baking Gingerbread men, cookies, breads and brownies, and the house smells glorious.. I enjoy giving these goodies away and like to have plenty available when we have guests! It is really hard to not grab a cookie everytime I walk through the kitchen, though!
Here are some of the garlands and collections. I'll post more as I practice taking interior shots of these groupings.. (I can see the need for a professional photographer!)
We here at Powell Brower have a philosophy about decorating that also rings true for wardrobe styling, too! If you don't have beacoup bucks to spend on clothes or home goods, pepper in some cheaper or lower quality items with a few well-made, more expensive items and no one will know the difference. If you pair smart-looking slacks with a cashmere sweater, but go cheapo on the accessories and shoes, no one will know your whole outfit isn't top-shelf.
Ikea goods sprinkled in sharp interiors is the perfect case and point. Here are some of my favorite Ikea spottings
Lauren Liess' bedroom, from Pure Style Home, with Ikea Malm dressers