I love coming across a home in a magazine and thinking – yup, someone actually lives there “as is”. So many features today are excessively fancied-up by stylists, and while they may be beautiful to look at, they’re also completely impractical for most people to maintain. In turn, presenting unrealistic standards in the industry – similar to 90 lb. models walking the runway in sportswear.
I think this lovely Cape Town home belonging to interior designer Caline Williams-Wynn and her family, is a great example of placement and styling executed for the way people actually live. Well edited, graceful, lived-in and breezy are a few thoughts that come to mind – some of my favorite adjectives in decorating!
When it comes to accessories, styling and placement, I think execution should include items that serve some type of purpose. Whether it’s the set of colored glass bottles you’ve collected throughout your travels, books piled high on your coffee table that inspire you or a few stems of flowers on your bedside table that put a smile on your face when you wake up.
Do you have any pet peeves when it comes to styling in magazines?
I’m currently working with a lovely client on her gorgeous prewar apartment. A few radiators are awkwardly scattered throughout the space, completely negating the beautiful lines of symmetry found in the original architecture. They’ve presented a little design challenge (which of course, I love!), so I’ve been researching a few ways to go about redirecting attention away from the heat exchangers, while still abiding by necessary safety precautions (those babies get hot!). Here’s what I’ve found, and liked:
A cabinet manufacturer can fabricate custom built-in’s based on the individual space, your specifications and storage needs. The design should be complementary to the existing moldings and architectural details found in the room for a seamless look.
Furniture Placement:A less permanent and more cost-effective option (more ideal for yearly renters) is to place a console or shelf above the radiator, treating the radiator as an actual piece of furniture.
Radiator Cover:The most traditional way to redirect attention is with a radiator cover. They are available in a variety of styles and price points – from custom fabricated options (also available through many cabinet manufactures), to off-the-shelf models found online or at your local hardware store, to homemade versions for the adventurous DIYer.
No matter which method of disguise implemented, keep in mind you are trying to avert attention from the radiator. Style with pretty accessories that are appropriate for the location (no bars in the bathroom, please!), hang art and/or mirrors on the wall to assert intention on placement, and incorporate the design in a way it works best for your every day.
Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Tom Scheerer’s frist book is released September 10th and I’m giddy with anticipation! Relaxed, authentic, collected and well-lived-in are all adjectives I strive to achieve in my own designs, and this gentleman has perfected these notions. I came across this Rhode Island foyer Scheerer designed on Gabrielle’s blog, and the map wallpaper really piqued my interest! I spent the better half of last night “researching” Pinterest in a quest for additional inspiration, daydreaming how I would employ the nautical wall covering.
After many hours of searching, I wasn’t able to find the exact wallpaper Scheerer used in the Rhode Island foyer (any ideas? I’m starting to think it may be custom…) but think Ralph Lauren’s Great Harbor is a pretty good alternative!
Or what about EGI’s World Map for a bolder color pallet?
Decorating a small space is usually one of the biggest challenges for city dwellers. Every square inch needs to have a purpose, and multi-functional home decor is not typically the most attractive. Developing a detailed floor plan is essential for any room – especially for small space living – and finding new ways to use everyday items is cardinal. This lovely 800 sq. ft. NYC apartment designed by Ashley Whittaker follows these notions to a T.
LEFT: The oversized parsons desk doubles as a dining table, and the settee (similar) in the “reading nook” can be pulled up to accommodate guests. The Madeline Weinrib rug defines the work/dining space from the rest of the living room, and the bar cart makes entertaining from the table a breeze.
RIGHT: Ms. Whittaker was even able to carve out an entry in the tiny apartment behind the front door, using a petite demilune (similar) as a console. Osborne & Little’s Maharani wallpaper is a showstopper creating a wonderful first impression, while the bamboo mirror reflects light into the dark corner.
The clear acrylic coffee table (similar) appears to float in the middle of the room taking up little visual residency, and the pops of pink guide the eye throughout the room.
LEFT: Hanging the roman shade (or any window treatment for that matter) above the molding is a great design trick, bringing the eye up and making the window appear bigger than it actually is.
RIGHT: White Ikea dressers stand-in as nightstands providing additional storage, and D. Porthault Demoiselles linens add the perfect amount of luxury!
And how incredible is this kitchen?! White cabinets and light countertops always make the space appear bigger, while the Rose Cummings Zebrine wallpaper and birdcage chandelier (and similar here) add so much whimsy! I love how the designer used a countertop high breakfast table that can double as a workspace, and the stool can easily slide under the table when extra space is required.
Check out more tips for small space living here and here.
I was browsing through Southern Living last night and came across the new Idea House located on the grounds of Fontanel in Nashville. The new Southern farmhouse is comprised of one main house and several outbuildings in a horseshoe configuration, reflecting the classic farmstead. The wraparound porch ties all of the buildings together seamlessly and the gable roof adds the perfect amount of charm! While not all the interior rooms are my style – some are a bit too conservative for my taste – there are several show stoppers!
Let’s start out with this AMAZING herringbone inlaid wood door – gorgeous!!! The front porch is so enchanting, I’d drink ice tea out there all day and never leave!
The custom cabinets in the kitchen are stunning painted in Sherwin Williams Pewter Green, and the shaker-style compliments farmhouse aesthetic perfectly. The lighter green (Sherwin Williams Oyster Bay) planked walls provides just the right amount of contrast, bringing depth and dimension to the space. And don’t even get me started on the schoolhouse pendants from Circa!
A complimentary hue in the same color palette (Sherwin Williams Palm Leaf) was carried into the study on both the walls and bookshelves, making the room incredibly cozy, further complemented by the cut out in the built-in’s for the sofa.
The pleated gingham table skirt on the sink makes me incredibly happy!
How do you feel about new construction based on older designs that served a specific purpose – like the classic farmstead? I think there’s a lot of really bad examples out there, but it looks like the Idea House was done well. I’d love to see it in person!
I consider browsing through the newest design catalogs as part of my weekly “homework”. Pottery Barn is one of my top resources for affordable well-made furniture and home decor, so I always make sure they’re on the top of my stack. While flipping through their most recent catalog I enjoyed seeing some of their new products coming to market, but was blown away by the set stages! I mean look at this gorgeous wine château!
Some incredible inspiration here for a chic man cave – those buttery leather bar stools are amazing!
And these dazzling double-story windows framed with reclaimed wood are what dreams are made of!
The hand-pounded platter hung above the fireplace is simply stunning, and I adore the built-in’s stacked with firewood.
And what about this gorgeous city loft?!
Pottery Barn’s stylists put together some of the BEST gallery walls around – not an easy task!
Have you checked out the new PB catalog? Any new product favorites?