Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wall Decor- Go For Impact!

Add personality to your walls by highlighting your collections - then create visual impact and make a bold statement by using repetition.

Hanging a wall grouping "salon style" is fun because anything goes. Try a bigger piece in the middle to ground the composition and fan it out out from there. Or use pieces all the same size that share a theme or coloring.  Paintings, prints, photos, mirrors- anything you can frame will work.  Add on to the collection whenever you like, letting it constantly evolve and don't be shy- bring it down to the floor, up to the ceiling or follow the architectural lines of the wall:


Baskets add texture, warmth and dimension to a narrow vertical space next to a fireplace. The basket on the stool becomes part of the composition and anchors it:

Plates and platters of different shapes above a sideboard in the dining room add color and charm:

The repetition of the plates here creates a focal point in a narrow space above a kitchen window:

On a kitchen wall the plates echo the round shape of the clock and add balance to the shelf: 

Antlers only used to be seen in traditional settings, where they added to the rustic hunting lodge look. Now they are very popular in all types of decor - here they are hung over contemporary black and white photographs, creating a modern classic feel:

Make a statement on your walls- treat them as your own personal canvas and make your home a true reflection of who you are!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fall Foraging

We are big fans of seasonal decorating, and especially of using elements from nature. It's a great way to add atmosphere to your home, especially around the holidays, without spending a lot of money.

Branches create a warm ambience in any room- we love their sculptural quality and their dramatic height and use them everywhere: 



 Sunflowers, succulents, dried artichokes and pods cozy up a mantle...

Dried hydrangea, eucalyptus, dried chili peppers, pine cones and cat o'nine tails add warmth to a hutch.                                      

  Kale leaves are as beautiful as flowers on the table:                                                            

And for "high" drama, draping a dining room chandelier with a branch and some ribbon creates a sensational centerpiece: 

Your imagination is the limit of what you can create....what's in YOUR yard?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Before and After- Sausalito

This home belongs to a flea market enthusiast whose taste leans toward Asian baskets, lacquerware, and bamboo. She called us to help her place her furniture to maximize the small space, make her office more functional, and display her collections.

BEFORE: Our client had created a narrow pathway by placing her sofa parallel to her entry table; while we applauded her creative use of rattan screens to camouflage her kitchen cabinets from view in the living room, the pathway felt cramped coming in from the front door and the entry needed some "punch":AFTER: By moving the sofa, we were able to create a graceful entryway, while highlighting some of her beautiful urns and introducing some color:BEFORE: The back of the sofa and massive height of a large tansu chest confronted you as you entered the living room, making it feel closed in and blocking the view and the light. The large contemporary piece of art was very impressive, but was competing for attention with the 2 rattan panels on either side. The TV was on the etagere, hiding behind a wicker tray:

AFTER: In order to create a greater sense of space, we moved the sofa away from the entrance and placed it against the far wall between the panels, creating a pleasing symmetry.
We separated the 2 tiered tansu chest, eliminating the boxed-in feeling and allowing you to look straight into the room and out to the garden upon entering. We placed the TV on one side of the chest and then hung the decorative screen on the wall above it, diverting the eye. The wicker etagere was moved out of the room. The large contemporary painting was hung next to the front door, again creating a greater feeling of space when you first walk in.

BEFORE: In her office, one of our client's requests was for a surface to work on. She was frustrated at having to use the coffee table as her desk - it was uncomfortable to lean over, and too small to contain everything so her papers were scattered everywhere. Also, her sofa was worn and soiled, and she was trying to hide the fact under several pillows and throws:

AFTER: We brought in a matching wicker table from another room, paired it with the one here and placed them under the window to create a desk for her. An inexpensive slipcover was purchased for the loveseat, and we pulled some of her charming accessories together to create a vignette for the end table to the right:

Our client was thrilled with the results- (Jeanne, thanks for letting us show your space!)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Make an Entrance

Welcome yourself home with a warm reception- create a space, no matter how small, that is attractive and inviting. Let's go in, shall we?

Have some flowers at the door to greet you. A hall stand, hat rack, or simply some hooks help minimize clutter, as does a small table or shelf to throw your bag, keys and mail on. A mirror is always useful for a last minute check when you're running out the door. A small rug at the door is often needed; a small kilim or seagrass runner is decorative and camouflages dirt. Treat your entry as an important part of your home; it's where first (and last) impressions are made!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dress your Desk



Clients sometimes have an old rolltop desk or an antique secretary in a room, all closed up and lonely in the corner. We say, open it up and fill it with all the things you love to look at: greeting cards, photos, mementos, etc. Create a cozy nook you would enjoy retreating to when you want to send off a note or pay a bill- it makes the process much more pleasant.
(By the way, the first photo is of Al Capone's jail cell - note his charming desk!)