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During the month of September, we rounded out the last few weeks of Summer (tear rolling down my cheek) and introduced the Fall Season. Even though I may associate September with the end of warm summer nights, I did enjoy a strong month of design news and events. The month kicked off with one of my favorite design trade shows in Paris - Maison&Objet. Many new products were introduced and you can find a trend report from the event on The Lonny Blog.
Not only do I love design, I LOVE fashion and was so bummed that I couldn't make it to Fashion's Night Out in New York. Since I couldn't make the event, I decided to take inspiration from the runway and pair it with interior spaces. You can't go wrong with forest green in fashion and interiors!
Love California architecture that was built during the 1930s - 1960s. The Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art (LACMA) is hosting the exhibit California Design, 1930-1965, which will be open to the public this weekend.
Lamps Plus Featured Around the Web:
Real Simple lists Lamps Plus as a great source for an extensive selection of light fixtures.
Love it when you find a way to create a high end look for less? Our Robert Abbey Genie Silver and Orange Ceramic Table Lamp was featured on a "look for less" inspiration board on Tobi's Blog.
Lamps Plus was listed in Catalogs.com's roundup of best sources for tech lighting.
Next month...Architecture Month in Los Angeles. The City of Los Angeles officially proclaimed the month of October Architecture Month, so take the month and appreciate and celebrate local architecture and historical landmarks.
Images: Maison&Objet, LACMA, Shopbop & Apartment Therapy via How to Translate NY Fashion Trends into Your Home
I think cane furniture gets a bad rap. Yes, it can appear a tad Granny, but I ask you to consider cane before you toss it out with Nana's tea cozie and curio cabinet. Caning and cane furniture has been around for a very long time and comes from the outer skin of the rattan stalk. Did the history lesson already turn you off? Sorry. Let’s talk about the fun facts regarding cane. Marie Antoinette used a cane chair in her toilette. Did I bring you back? Do you now think you might be beheaded if you incorporate cane furniture at home? C'mon, use your head. Cane furniture is truly versatile as it can be formal as well as fresh and modern, particularly in mid-century design.
Cane furniture is usually synonymous with fussy French style, but I disagree that it's fussy. I think if you have traditional taste French furniture and cane chairs in particular are a classic. This bed is thoroughly romantic and the attention to detail and craftsmanship is outstanding. It’s more like a work of art than a place to sleep. Paired with crisp linens, this bed is dreamy.
The time-honored cane side chair was chic in the 18th Century as it is today. Cane chairs became popular because they were lighter weight, durable, and easier to keep clean from dust, moths and worms. The delicate painted back of this chair adds a designer, custom look. This design detail can be done as a DIY project, but if you choose to try it, don't use an antique unless you are truly a pro.
Here is a great example of the classic chair used in a dining room situation. The rustic storage cabinetry balances the more refined table and chairs. It’s a good example to use, especially if you thought using cane chairs would turn your home into a doll house.
This dining room includes cane chairs that read British Colonial. The beefy, more masculine design grounds the light colored dining space and kitchen but does not become too heavy because of the light weave of the caning.
A great compromise is the folding chair. This lightweight cane folding chair allows you to introduce cane style when you want to, and store it when you don’t. They are great for additional seating during a party or as a last-minute desk chair. You'll find more ideas in our seating collection.
Speaking of desk chairs, this particular vignette uses the cane chair in a new way. Due to the gray and white paint and wash technique the room reads Swedish, not French.
Now for something completely different. This is what I call a serious weave! How modern does this woven chair look? Granny couldn’t even attempt to get out of this chair let alone have it in her home. Of course the overall design contributes to the contemporary aesthetic as does the room styling. The takeaway is that I simply wanted to get you excited about woven chairs. Did it work?
A great example of mid-century design using the cane is seen above. I could bathe in the rich wood, and write witty blogs for hours and hours if perched on the padded seat. It’s like an uber chic office chair from the Dick VanDyke Show.
Thonet is a classic brand that really knows the bent beechwood and cane chair. The sexy lines and featherweight cane seat are timeless and would look amazing in any room, truly.
If after all of that you are still not convinced, would you consider a woven lantern? The curved lines of this lantern remind me of the Thonet chair but would cost much less. Any way you slice it, cane furniture has weathered the test of time, kept current and has come out on top or bottom, depending upon where you desire your cane.
Photos courtesy of beekeeperscottage.com, lalalinen.blogspot.com, decorpad.com, grangeny.blogspot.com, bauhaus2yourhouse.com, architonic.com.
Last week I attended a fall dinner party at a colleague's home and was admiring the tablescape design. Nothing makes me happier than the soft laughter of friends sitting around the dining table. Half the fun of dinner parties is preparing the food and styling the table with flowers, candles, and dinnerware. I could spend the entire day creating just the perfect presentation to welcome my guests.
Now that the fall season is upon us, the style of the tablescape design changes slightly. Pumpkins are in season, so don't be afraid to use them in the tablescape decor. The different styles and colors of pumpkins can make for an interesting design. Mix the pumpkins with gourds to solidify the fall theme. To switch up the usual bouquet of flowers, I love the idea for displaying a branch of multi-colored leaves in a clear vase. A basket of apples can also make a beautiful and seasonal centerpiece for the table. You can never go wrong with candles and they are especially appropriate for the fall season, which is all about creating a "warm" aesthetic.
In design, it is the details that create the "wow" factor. Coordinating the napkins and napkin rings with the theme of the tablescape brings the design together. You can also bring another decorative element to each individual place setting. One example is placing a leave on each plate. Take your time and have fun creating the perfect tablescape for your fall dinner party.
Images: Clean&Scentsible, Better Homes and Gardens, The Little Apartment, This is Glamorous
In the United States, shabby chic is a look; in England, it’s a lifestyle, which is why there’s so much to learn from this enchanting northwest London house.
First, it’s all about the light. All these rooms capture the watery English light in a variety of ways—soft colors, reflective paints and wall coverings. (Hint: You can get the most from your own exterior light and lighting by using semi-gloss hues on your ceilings.)
Don’t be afraid to mix periods in your selection of lamps and a statement chandelier adds both the drama of tradition and, in the contemporary context, a hint of whimsy. Pieces with crystal elements, particularly pendants, lend a room sparkle in the daylight and a welcome bit of romance at night.
Some key items to capture the look: Emerald glass decanters, an antiqued round wall mirror, a warm silver silver chandelier, Essex nesting tables with gold accents, a sky blue ceramic ottoman, a damask jacquard pillow.
The slip-covered club chair beneath the portrait in the corner virtually demands that you curl up in timeless comfort with a good book and a steaming cup of tea.
The English look always includes a wonderful mix of modern and eclectic: A glass bobble chandelier, an antiqued wall mirror, a modern white swivel chair, a jeweled woodland bird decorative box, a white carved resin container, a cyan and orange art glass vase.
One of the things that’s key to the English look is mixing furniture styles and periods. Let yourself be guided as generations of Londoners have been by a couple inspirational thoughts: John Ruskin, who conceived what we think of as the English look, insisted that buildings, particularly homes, should convey a sense of “changefulness”—of lives lived and time passing. His disciple William Morris wrote that you should have nothing in your home that isn’t “useful and beautiful.”
Incorporate vibrant colors and amber hues: a scroll chandelier with amber art glass, expressionistic giclee wall art, a hand-painted swag pendant light, a lavender jeweled bird box, an antiqued brass letter rack with glass ink pots, a tall turquoise glass vase, a glass coffee table, a round blue pillow.
Once again a fearless mix of periods is essential: The Saarinen dining table and chairs—mid-century modern classics—bring a whimsically traditional kitchen right into the moment in a way that’s both stylish and comfortable. It all boils down to keeping what you love and remembering that when it comes to lighting and furniture, beauty and comfort always are loveable.
Do you have a little "London Lifestyle" in your home? If so leave a comment telling me how you incorporated it.
Interior photos by 1st Option, a London location managment firm.
Now that Autumn is truly here and the air carries a hint of chill, it is lovely to think about lighting the season's first fire and how wonderful everything looks by candlelight.
There's nothing more romantic, of course, than a candle lit dinner and the way the flame dances in a wine glass. This Iron and Wood Candle Holder would add to the dreamy atmosphere.
It's a sense of thoughtful intimacy and soft beauty. There are no sharp edges by candlelight.
Is there anything more relaxing than a hot bath by candlelight at the end of a busy day? This Honeycomb Hurricane Glass would be perfect!
Every conversation conducted in that flickering light -- whether in elaborate candelabras, sparking chandeliers, or simple votives -- seems to come right from the heart.
Photo credits: Martha Stewart Weddings, Apartment Therapy, Brian Dorsey Studios.
Can we discuss the frenzy surrounding Missoni? Missoni Madness has gripped the nation and I think it’s amazing. Way back in the day when European countries had their own currency and the dollar was strong, you could zip off to Italy, buy Missoni clothing and it would still have been cheaper than filling up your gas tank and driving to Target to be part of this new design crazed paradigm.
I must admit that I am thrilled about the “every man/woman” embracing the zany and elegant Missoni aesthetic. I suppose it’s a far cry from shopping at Dress Barn, and I love how a Missoni pattern can add some zig zag into boring interiors. Another blurred line, no pun intended, is the cross-over as fashion influences interiors. Kinda timely now that we just finished Fashion Week in New York.
Committing to entire room of pattern takes a bold vision and personality. I think all of the pattern in the soft furnishings work because the walls and headboard are monochromatic. Remember, a key pop of color can do the trick. Pillows and throws are a great way to dip your toe into the water.
If you want to immerse a foot, what about a floor cushion. This would be great in a family room or a teenager “chill zone.”
If you can believe, Missoni is not only a leader in fashion, but they have branched out into the hotel business. This shot is from the Missoni designed hotel in Kuwait. Again, bold pattern livens up the lobby that sports simple walls and a shot of lavender in the lighting.
Speaking of lighting. Let’s say you have monochromatic furniture and basic sisal flooring. No problem. You can incorporate bold pattern and color through a groovy lamp like the one above.
For serious groove factor, the Bar Missoni in Edinburgh is the ticket. Here the lighting is fresh and clean and similar to the fixture I blogged about in my Mad Men post. But, look at how saturated the room is with regard to tone and color.
Again, remember you can always start small and work your way up to daring uses of color. If turquoise walls are “down the road,” I would opt for bold wall art for a first baby step.
Home decor is another way to go ciao Italia in a smaller way. Dishes and bowls are a fun way to add pizzazz.
As are cups and saucers. Considering the Dollar to Euro exchange, making your own cappuccino in these sporty cups is a frugal way to go Italian at home for a lot less.
Photos courtesy of casasugar.com, chicagonow.com, habituallychic.blogspot.com, dailytonic.com, amara.co.uk, fashionindie.com, interiorzine.com, target.com.
Amanda Malson and Jolene Huitt are the dynamic duo that make up Domicile Interior Design. Their full service interior design studio specializes in residential, hospitality, retail and commercial interior design. Recently I asked them a few questions. This is what came to light.
What are the most important items to spurlge on when designing? Wall art and lighting. Both can make or break a room.
What is the best design advice you have received? Make your client feel like they are your only client.
How important is lighting to your designs? Very. Not only the aesthetic, but also the quantity and lighting volume.
What tip of the trade can you share about lighting? Always use light dimmer switches.
What is one “trick of the trade” that you implement in your designs? Reupholster any quality pieces of furniture you may already have.
What do you see as the next design trend? Prairie style.
What or who has most influenced your design aesthetic? Our family and where we have come from.
What would be your dream project? Our dream project would be a high end boutique hotel with owners who have style parallel to our own. And, cough cough, no budget.
Images courtesy of Domicile Interior Design
I will admit I don't watch that much television, except for the occassional reality show. However, I love seeing pictures of the set designs. While perusing the Los Angeles Times blog, I came across the set design of ABC's "Castle." Love the design and discovered that the designer used Lamps Plus lights for the set. I jumped on our site on a mission to try to find the name of the clear glass spherical pendant light, but unfortuantely I couldn't find the exact fixture. Therefore, I found the next best thing - an almost identical spherical glass pendant light and a few alternative spherical pendant light options.
Mini Isla Clear with Bronze Fusion Jack Mini Pendant (featured above)
Below are a few other spherical hanging pendant light options.
Pele White Glass Sating Nickel Tech Lighting Mini Pendant (left), Bangle Collection 7" Wide Pendant Chandelier (right)
Robert Sonneman 3 Light Bubbles Globe Pendant Chandelier (left), Possini Euro Design Dandelion 4 1/2" Wide Chandelier (right)
Images: Los Angeles Times Blog
As the fall season approaches, home fabrics transition from bright hues and bold patterns to natural tones and organic patterns. Many of the fall interior design trends include fabrics that simulate nature and include leaf patterns. The fall leaf patterns featured can work in any style interior. I have included both playful patterns with warm hues and more refined patterns with natural tones to satisfy both contemporary and traditional interiors.
Fall fabrics can be incorporated into your home through many different home decor accents. One of the easiest ways to update the look of your sofa and style your living room for the fall season is to pick up a few pillow inserts and use fall fabrics for the pillow cover. Do you have an old table lamp that needs a new look? Simply changing out the shade (and using your new fabric) will make you fall in love with the lamp as if it were new.
If you want to get creative with your artwork in the space, framing fabric is a great way to bring pattern and color into the space in a very non permanent way. On the opposite end, using fall fabrics for drapery or reupholstering a side chair can also set the mood for the upcoming season.
Images (left to right): Jocelyn Warner, Mood Fabrics, CalicoCorners, Mood Fabrics, Mood Fabrics (middle)
Movies and TV have always influenced how we decorate, but creating a form of Mad Men Style at home is all the rage and can go in many directions. Now, I’m not suggesting you take three martini lunches or start smoking, but what I am asking you to do is open your mind to the idea of marrying mid-century office interiors with your home interior.
It would be pretty easy to show images of the traditional Draper home and offer up copy cat ideas on how to replicate the interiors, but that’s not what interests me. The show is so intoxicating because of the way work and home intersect and what makes me noontime gimlet giddy.
Don Draper kicks back in this minimal, linear, mid-century chair that is intended to be for office use, but similar, roomy and low-slung chairs look amazing in contemporary spaces. In fact, the entire set-up would make for a crisp living space. My only word or caution comes with using those 1960s pillows that resemble a Cheez-It cracker and would be as comfortable as a napping on a block of wood.
This brown velvet club chair is a great example of how to interpret the office chair into residential use.
Another great office shot includes Asian design touches. I can remember my grandparents peppering their house with Asian elements from trips to the far east during the 1960s. It was always fun to look at the carved jade and run my fingers across the similar screen in their living room. Whether it is a grand, black and gold lacquer screen or the seagrass wallcoving that simulate screens, these design touches can look amazing in the right room. If you choose to incorporate a bold screen it’s always a good idea to use a monochromatic piece of furniture in front of it so the elements don’t fight one another.
This creamy, quilted chair is a good example of a hybrid marrying residential and office design.
Do you love this room as much as I do? Of course the house and room are pure mid-century so the design works, but what really stands out is the residential/office decoration. It reads pure dining room, but borrows elements from an office. The chairs are more industrial and the credenza could work just as beautifully behind a desk as well as it does offering storage and a much needed surface for entertaining.
That crazy mod metal wall art is also a typical of mid-century design and can generally be used over a sofa or in a dining room. It’s back and can be seen in the most chic shops coast to coast, at flea markets and online. The great thing about these pieces is that they take up a lot of wall space which saves money.
Classic fashion of that era is also influencing color choices. Gray decorative elements, for example, are hot, hot, hot. Try to infuse some in your home whether it be in furniture, bedding or subtle gray lighting for a trip down memory lane where the men are hard living and the women are stunning.
Photos courtesy of examiner.com, grizzlybearmodern.com, vanessareilly.com, blog.modernica.com, ladypeachblog.blogspot.com, modenus.com.