Thursday, January 31, 2013

Crazy Stupid Love

As Valentine's Day quickly approaches, I can honestly say that I'm in "crazy stupid love" with Briggs Edward Solomon's interiors Have you ever looked at the work of a designer that makes your heart go pitter-patter?  Have you ever wanted to take in every bit of that person's style? Have you ever felt like a stalker constantly sneaking over to their site to see if that person has anything new to share?  Well, that's me...I can honestly say that I've been stalking Briggs Edward Solomon's work.  He's fabulous... I love what he does with contrast and could easily move into any one of his spaces...tomorrow.  He's a genius at mixing old with new, black with white, wicker with metal...OY...I'm in love.... enjoy.

All images from Briggs Edward Solomon's website.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Road to the White Duplex

Several years ago I worked with a client in Newton. Her  house was featured in The Boston Globe Magazine (check out the press section of my website to read the entire article)
The article was titled, "The Road to the White House".  It talked about how with the help of my services we were able to create a home that my client loved, using mostly whites, textures and wood.  The exciting news is that after 45 years in this home my client sold her house (in a day) and purchased the first floor of a two story home in neighboring Waltham.  That's where I come in. Luckily for me, she enlisted my help from the get go. This new home is all about the things that she loves, using many of her favorite pieces but also down-sizing and letting go of STUFF. We were so lucky to be able to choose everything (pretty much)as this was a complete interior gut job.  The builder wanted to use dark wood cabinets and we vetoed it, he wanted to use everything that he had used successfully in the past with other clients and we fought him.  I am happy to say that my friend and fabulous photographer Russ Mezikofsky is photographing this space and I'll have new images to share with everyone.  Here a look at some of the other rooms in her old house.

All images Eric Roth

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Ch, ch, ch, changes

I love to change things up from time to time in my home. And I love spending time in my kitchen and decided to switch some things up.  My design aesthetic is always full of contrasts. I'm a huge fan of industrial pieces mixed with weathered wood and I think that's why I always loved my metal shelving unit from the Container Store.  The shiny metal added so much to the space and contrasted with my wood table and plate rack and it is also really practical(I know that dreaded P word). Recently I decided that I wanted to try something different in place of the metal unit.  Normally when I  purchase something for our home, I know it's going to work.  Things don't grow on me, I either like it right away or hate it right away.  That said, I decided to purchase this shelving unit from Restoration hardware in a narrower size.  I love the unit but hated it in my house.  The wood shelves were much darker than the image and it looked like I tried to match the wood to my table but did a really bad job, I knew right away that it wasn't going to work.

The same shelving unit but a different image
So, I sent the RH piece back and left the space bare for a bit.  I liked it, felt like it made the room look bigger but everyone missed the practicality of having something there.  So, awhile back I bought the Polo Etagere from Bungalow 5. I realized from my Restoration Hardware mistake that whatever I put there  needed to be white, anything else added too much distraction .

So, here is the thing...I'm just not sure, I'm hoping that maybe it will grow on me....... (remember this last image is not professional, the other ones are and that makes a world of difference).
All my best, kelly
First image by Russ Mezikofsky
3rd image   by Eric Roth
last image by me

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Black and white and Black and white and Black and white

Hugo Guinness image from the Zhush blog
 I may have mentioned in a past blog that purchasing art was something that scared me . My go-to art tended to be architectural elements or mirrors.  And no one is going to  say that you can't do that (I wouldn't listen if they did) if it's something that you like. However, a few years ago I had a desire to add art to my home, I didn't want to nix my beloved mirrors but I did want to add some things that "spoke to me". That was when my lightbulb moment happened.  I realized that art is extremely personal and I needed to find what it was that I loved.  Was it  contemporary art, maybe photography?  I happened upon two amazing London based artists, Hugo Guinness and  Tracy Kendall.  Hugo is know for his bold graphics and black and white block prints.  I've seen his work over the years and was always drawn to it.  My love of black and white and my love of everything big seemed to draw me in.

Dandelions from Sugar and Meows blog

Another amazing artist is Tracy Kendall.  Tracy is a London based wallpaper designer who specializes in using found objects.  I just love her style.

I'd like use several of these "airheads" above and frame them individually.

I've always loved Nate Berkus  and his style.  He is someone who's art totally reflects him.  His  God Bless America piece was created by a Spanish artist.  He mentioned somewhere that he loved having it displayed prominently because it reminds him of how important it is to be a citizen of the world.
Nate Berkus for Elle Decor
Nate took  vintage handwriting samples , blew them up and framed them (see them in green on the back wall), so simple and so beautiful.
I did the same thing a few years back.  I found a letter at Brimfield from the early 1800's, it was written by a brother to his two sisters.  The handwriting is gorgeous but the content of the letter make me cry when I read it.  He talks about missing them dearly and being  sad about not being able to visit during the beautiful New England fall.  I brought the letter to my local print shop and was able to enlarge the pages  and frame it.  I think I'll experiment on a much bigger scale.

Country Living
This gorgeous home in Country Living Magazine has this amazing grid of framed specimens.  I love the look and the repetition is brilliant. Well, now that I know what speaks to me, I need to start looking at making a purchase or maybe I'll add this to my 
 Christmas list for next year might ,  but wait, Valentines day is just around the corner.
All my best, kelly

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Be Still My Heart

As a stylist and designer  I am in awe of really good styling.  I did a post awhile back about FLOR  and their absolutely gorgeous catalog, they totally "get it". When a company has the ability thru print ads or commercials to grab your attention and make you want to take in every aspect of that space, they have gotten it... I never really knew Hinkley lighting and I'm not even sure that I love their products but I can say that I love their styling and I've bookmarked their online catalog.  For me this space makes me look at everything;  those black brackets holding up the open shelf, the gorgeous black steel doors, the simple parsons table with the fantabulous (I know it's not a word) Sister Parish Burma fabric upholstered stool (I want that). I used the same fabric years ago on a clients bedskirt and pillows, still love it.  It just works.   Contrast abound here; the stark white flat walls with all the black contrasts, the textured wicker chair next to the the simple  clean white parsons table..oo la la... And of course those gorgeous pendant light fixtures... Try doing this on your own, paint your window trim black and add some black framed images. Pick up a West Elm parsons table, they are so reasonable and last forever, mix it up as a desk with a wicker chair, or add some of the gunmetal stools from Crate and Barrel (on my last post) as an island...FInd an old stool at a garage sale or flea market and have it upholstered or slipcovered with fabric that makes you sing. Ikea has some really great light fixtures for very little money, try them out.

 HEKTAR pendant from Ikea  $29.99

Who said that white walls were boring...not me.  I love white walls (if you didn't already know that), any neutral color would work but I'm loving the white.. By adding these amazing elements to this space you create so much interest without over-doing it.  All the textures and interest come to life without cluttering the space. The brown mohair or velvet sofa, the old bound books, the coral reaching out of the container on that beautiful old table and oh yes, and those light fixtures.....

This kitchen is brilliant, in my next house I'm incorporating the horizontal painted paneling (i'm sending that out to the universe). I'm  in love with the glass front fridge, the Carrera island makes me weep(not really but you totally get it), The cylinder vase with green hydrangea is perfect, it all works so well together and yes, those fixtures....

Loving all the contrast in this bathroom.  All the black and white. Subway tile installed 3/4ths of the wall is brilliant with the dark gray grout...consider doing this in a bathroom if you are renovating or building, it's beautiful but also really practical, say good bye to dirty walls.  The styling is perfect...that little stool with the white coral...and I do really like these light fixtures.

I'm not digging this fixture but I love the bathroom. People tend to forget finishing off the bathroom, why not make it a gallery like space. Pick up inexpensive frames from ikea or West Elm and have your favorite images blown up.  I love the black  and white images but anything would work.

This room is flipping gorgeous.  I'm a huge fan of repetition, this wall of framed landscapes is amazing. Look for prints at flea markets or antique stores, you can find them for little money, frame them yourself with frames from Ikea, West Elm, Pottery Barn.  I did the same thing in my living room with bird prints from Brimfield.  They cost me $5.00 each and the frames were from West Elm, I never get tired of looking at them and I din't break the bank doing it.

Here they are in my living room. Photo by Eric Roth

And last but certainly not least, make a great first impression by creating that feel outside as well as inside.  The front of your home can be transformed easily and inexpensively by following the same design tools use use inside on the outside.  New light fixtures make a HUGE difference, try adding a great container with some type of plant that will last the season in front of your home.  Keep is simple but beautiful and it will make you sing.
Have fun...
All my best, kelly
All images other than the Eric Roth image are from the Hinkley Catalog

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Million Dollar Catalog Designer

Ikea...brilliant  via REMODELISTA blog

On a recent episode of Million Dollar Decorator, Jeffery Allan Marks had the difficult (really come on) task of designing an amazing Nantucket home with only catalog finds. First, let me say that I love the show and I love  and identify with the work of Jeffery Allan Marks however, I found his entire approach to be so overly dramatic ( and I know that some of the drama is for ratings??).  As a designer, when I work  with a client I usually use from all sources (catalog, custom (if possible) and vintage).  The trick is to mix it up.  It's that contrast thing again, I love Ikea but I would never use everything from there for a home or a room.  I like to find old farm tables at flea markets and add modern chairs to the mix or I'll try to  add an old guild frame with a black and white photo  to any room.  Find vintage wallpaper and blow it up, frame it and  you've immediately added major appeal.  Most catalog's do the same thing, they appeal to so many people because they not only show their products but they add  vintage or one-of-a-kind elements to a space.  I do this all the time in styling and designing.  Here are a few of my favorite picks from catalog's. And here is another plus for catalog purchasing,   if you don't like what you've purchased, you can usually return it and you've only lost the cost of the shipping, as opposed to custom anything...which can never be returned.. So, you don't need to buy a Christian  Liaigre bench for $15,000 to "make the room", just look at Ikea or restoration hardware or Jayson Home and Garden or West Elm or CB2 or Crate and Barrel or Pottery Barn or or or ........I'm sure you get it.
Ballard design Betsy Ruffled Skirt bench $329

Ballard Paulette Servers $2999, I have always loved these...So simple and beautiful.
Restoration Hardware Circa Bakers Rack starting at $595
Restoration Hardware Apothecary display $2995

I love these stools from Crate and Barrel $249

A rug that I use over and over and over from Pottery Barn , the Heathered Chenille Jute rug 

Wouldn't this Sonny bench from Crate and Barrel look great in a foyer or kitchen $499

Crate and Barrel has really caught on, their new catalog and website is  fabulous, they make you feel like you want to buy everything because you want that look. I want to be here with these people for breakfast.  Love the breadboard and love their plates, and love, love , love the people (just kidding).

This new lamp from Ikea is even better looking in person $79.99

The following five images are from Jayson Home,   Philippe dining table 76" long $1250  This looks custom.
This is the desk that was used in the Nantucket home, it is the Harbor desk from Jayson Home and is only $995

 Botero Coffee table from Jayson home, so unique $1195  on is 36" square
 Wallace Ottoman from Jayson Home $895 66" long
This bench reminds me of the John Derian Field bench, it is the Bastide bench and is 85.5" long and is $2995, I'm in love......

 fabulous black bureau or side table from Jayson
.AMAZING, AMAZING, Amazing .The  Antique wood bench above is one of my favorites $895 and is 117.5" long
 Crate and Barrel Petrie sofa, so fine $1699
 This Silvano Console is amazing in person $ 1199
 Restoration Hardware Stockholm Pendant $429

 Restoration Hardware Drydock pendant $1695 and look at that table.......
 CB2 Zemi stool $119
 Restoration Hardware Textura wool rug, starting at $596  Would look great anywhere
CB2 AVEC sofa $1299
 CB2 bruno task lamp $99.95
 West Elm   Stephen Antonson Natilus Chandelier $379  Delicious
 West Elm Spindle coffee table $399 Has a striking resemblance to the Noguchi coffee table that costs $1500.
 Love these lamps from West Elm, they would look great in any setting $349

The reproduction Mid Century Modern side tables and bureaus would work anywhere (family room, dining room, bedroom) starting at $549 From West Elm....

Love these chairs from IKEA PS 2012 $79.99 I'd mix them with an old farm table or  white painted table.
Another great find from Ikea

Paint the Norden table  above white from Ikea for $279 and add some of the Gunmetal stools above from Crate and Barrel.
 Wisteria Catalog has these amazing bird engravings $149, so beautiful
 I love this desk, which could be used in so many rooms, I'd love to see a pair of heavy textured baskets underneath.  From Wisteria $499
 Restoration Hardware Milano Chair $495
 These chairs from Wisteria remind me of the much more expensive Hannah Chairs from Oly Studio. Cane chair $899
West Elm Narrow legVanity $349

And last but not least this Fabulous Raleigh Upholstered Wingback Bed from Pottery Barn (starting at $679).
I'm up for the challenge, if you own a home on Nantucket or anywhere , let's get together and design it with amazing catalog finds......... I promise no DRAMA!!!  All my best, kelly