Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Henri Matisse, Georgia O'Keefe, and Almost Maine

I enjoyed a few great experiences in the past few weeks, together with my husband and our 8 year old daughter:
- two art exhibitions: Henri Matisse at the Legion of Honor,
- Georgia O'Keeffe at the De Young,
- 'Almost Maine' a live theater performance at Altarena Playhouse.

"Henri Matisse" exhibition at the Legion of Honor is not a very large, more exactly it's an intimate exhibition that features 23 paintings, drawings, and bronzes of the artist's work.
Although the time spent in there was short, nevertheless the immersion in the Matisse's world was great.

Visit at the Legion of Honor to see the Henri Matisse exhibition
Here, "La Conversation" (The Conversation), 1938 by Henri Matisse

"Georgia O'Keeffe and Lake George" exhibition at the De Young
Georgia O'Keeffe was a major figure in the American art, and I found her paintings captivating: she depicts images of single flowers in a large-format, and they are represented in a magnified, abstract, and reduced to the essential way (the exhibition includes panoramic landscapes too but the flower paintings are the ones that I loved most).

Visit at the De Young to see the Georgia O'Keeffe exhibition
Here, "Petunias", 1925 by Georgia O'Keeffe

Visit at the De Young to see the Georgia O'Keeffe exhibition
Here, "Jack in the Pulpit, II", 1930 by Georgia O'Keeffe

On Sunday we went to see a live theater performance - "Almost, Maine", at Altarena Playhouse.
It's a romantic comedy, by John Cariani, it premiered in 2004, and since then it has been produced by nearly 2000 theater companies in the US and by over a dozen companies internationally, making it one of the most frequently produced plays of the past decade.
It was a great performance.
We can't wait to be back.

Almost, Maine

'Almost, Maine' - a live theater performance we attended at Altarena Playhouse

I recommend all these three events enthusiastically.

I will take a week off from posting, and come with a new post next Tuesday.
Happy Easter!


Monday, April 14, 2014

Bright Yellow-Green and Pink in a Family Room in Ohio, USA
Family Room; Ohio, USA. Interior by Betty Murdock.
Interior photo via Traditional Home
Family Room; Ohio, USA. Interior by Betty Murdock.
Interior photo via Traditional Home

Mix of bright saturated yellow-green and pink (that makes me think of the cheerful colors of India), solid wall color, a dose of large contemporary pattern, and everything against white classic architectural details (crown molding, fireplace, ...), and classic furniture pieces.
Contrasts, playful, happy, vibrant, yet not kitsch. And, obviously, not for everyone.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Bedroom with Large White Tufted Headboard in New York
Bedroom, New York. Interior by Cristina Azario.
Interior by Veranda magazine

The large, white, tufted headboard adds not 'a touch' of drama, but a whole lot of drama - a bombastic gesture that cheapens the space.
And the stacks of pillows ... perhaps the idea was to try to go on the vertical and to compensate the height of the 'majestic' headboard but they look silly, a combination of fussy traditional.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Bedroom Makeover in Big Bear California
Bedroom Makeover - Before.
Interior photo via Elle Decor magazine
Bedroom Makeover
Interior photo via Elle Decor magazine
Bedroom Makeover
Interior photo via Elle Decor magazine

This is a makeover - a space that appeared on the TV show American Dream Builders.

The space looks more civilized, but I wouldn't say less cramped - the wardrobe has been replaced by a large bed.
Also, very interesting to place both a regular bed and a bunker bed in the same room ... but perhaps after the remodeling a whole family, parents and children, need to sleep in that space.
Quite surprising: no one has thought of changing the sad-looking bare bulb in the middle of the room with some lighting fixture?


Veranda in Puglia, Italy
Veranda; Puglia, Italy. Interior by Liza Bruce 
Photo via Elle Decor magazine

An unpretentious and relaxed space where the mix of textures (rattan cushions, metal table, textile in the floor covering), and mix of whimsical and simple patterns (dots on the cushions and folk pattern on the rug) brings interest and energy.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bedroom in Southampton, USA
Bedroom; Southampton, USA. Interior by Cynthia Frank.
Interior photo via Elle Decor

A white room with two out of nowhere chairs placed at the foot of the bed, and something that looks like a robe and that suppose to bring a color accent in the design scheme?
Except the adjacent garden this space has nothing worthy of an interior design magazine (I've said it before and I will keep saying it every time I find an image that shouldn't make it into the pages of a magazine).


Loggia in Texas, USA
Loggia; Texas, USA.
Interior by Sara Story. Architecture by Lake Flato.

Photo via Architectural Digest magazine

Beautiful open space with neutral colors that don't intrude with the nature, and crisp lines in the form of contemporary furniture pieces that create contrast and complement the richness of the nearby trees.

The horizontal lines of the brown shade are a great detail, and the way the photo is taken with only one shade down, in an asymmetrical arrangement, creates a very nice visual effect. 

Nice additional details in the form of quiet choices: the green plant arrangements spread throughout the space, the dried branch displayed on the floor behind the sofa.


Friday, April 4, 2014

Bedroom in Texas
Bedroom; Texas, USA. Interior by Shannon Bowers.

Interior photo via Veranda magazine

All I can see here are cheap looking fabrics covering everything or hanging from everywhere (OK, they might not be actually cheap, but they look terrible).
Oh, and a 'color accent' in the form of a hanging thing covering another thing at the foot of the bed.

Depressing - both the interior and the fact that a high end interior design magazine published this image.


Bedroom in Cream

Bedroom. Interior by Sue Burgess.

Interior photo via Veranda magazine

Completely lacking any personality.
It feels like a generic hotel room.
Perhaps in person the eye might discover something to look at, but in photo ...
Sorry, this doesn't look like design - to cover / choose everything in the same color, hue, texture, etc without any element of variety.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Small Bits of (my) Daily Life - Playing with Colors and Shapes (II)
Playing with shapes and colors - Abstract Geometric Composition, Acrylic on Canvas.

After conquering the emotions associated with my first attempt at painting on a large canvas, and enjoying the process greatly, I started a new painting.

I have been working on this abstract geometric composition for the past few weeks.
It's a larger canvas than the first one (it has 36" X 48" or 91cm X 122cm), and it's done in a combination of flat and metallic acrylic colors.
In my initial sketches I included additional details.
But I think I like how it looks at the moment, so I might leave it this way.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Classic Dining Room in Manhattan, New York
Dining Room; Manhattan, New York. Interior by Rob Southern.

Interior photo via Veranda Magazine

Very nice, with a couple exceptions:
- the choice of two contemporary abstract decorative elements on the wall - they create contrast but their placement, apart, accentuates the contrast too much and although it looks interesting the distance between the pieces feels like a crater, visually splitting the room into two halves,
- the daybed at the window - it looks inviting but very much like a piece more suitable for a living or bedroom rather than a dining room, also the piece doesn't make sense, it contradicts the formality of the room.


Living Room in Georgia, USA
Living Room; Georgia, USA. Interior by Furlow Gatewood. 

Interior photo via Veranda magazine

Very good use of space - visually light console tables are spread along the walls to anchor artwork and objects compositions above them, several seating areas are created throughout with symmetry and repetition in the furniture and furnishings arrangement so the large space doesn't get confused via too much variety (two identical white console tables-chairs-lamps-artwork arrangements flank the sofa in the background, two identical upholstered chairs face the fireplace in the foreground).

A relaxed, unpretentious, charming countryside style interior very nicely done.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Bedroom with the bed placed in front of the windows
Interior photo via Traditional Home magazine

Placing a bed in front of the windows ... just wrong.

- Pull this bed from its position in front of the windows into the middle of the room, especially that it looks that's enough space,
- Get rid of those Moroccan style poufs, you don't need them at the foot of the bed, and they look like a senseless design ingredient and an afterthought anyway.

You'll gain access to the windows, you can flank the bed with a couple of accent tables and lamps, ...


Salon Area, Jim Thomson Showroom in Atlanta
The Salon Area, Jim Thomson Showroom; Atlanta, USA.
Designed by Rockwell Group

Interior photo via Architectural Digest

Jim Thomson is a purveyor of fine Thai silks, fabrics, and wall coverings.

This salon area is an exuberant space: a shimmering blue wall covering acts as a background for a mix of very colorful artworks coming in various sizes, and arranged in an asymmetrical layout. 
These choices create a daring enough composition, it gives the eye plenty to deal with ... don't add more pattern on the chairs just to dilute the effect, and make everything leaning on the kitsch side.


Monday, March 31, 2014

Seating Area in White
Seating Area. Interior by Rob Southern.
Interior photo via Veranda magazine

Very nice mix of classic and contemporary forms and variety of textures (coarse on the rug, smooth on the table and the chairs, tufted on the sofa) on a unifying color, white, punctuated by a few objects in accents of color.


Study Room with Red Lamps in Chicago
Study Room; Chicago, USA. Interior by Alessandra Branca.
Interior photo via Veranda magazine

What is the collection of red lamps for?
This is (they look) just comic.
The red color looks great against the dark tone of the wood indeed, but that color accent could be used in different ways, via different objects.
When you choose to put such a large number of lamps what a clutter they create on the ceiling ... an agglomeration of lighting sources … completely spoiling what could actually be a good interior.


Living Room in Blue, Brown, and Zebra Pattern
Living Room. Interior by Rob Southern. 
Interior photo via Veranda magazine

This design scheme feels very basic, with a very limited range of colors: take a solid blue and use it as a primary color, take a solid brown and use it as a secondary color, and then add a zebra pattern as an accent.
The problem is that the two solid colors both come in deep saturated hues, and instead of emphasizing each other, they actually create tension.
A lighter hue on the wood could create a much better balance for example.
Or create some variety within that solid blue, it's a beautiful color, but it's way too much of it repeated in an identical kind ...


Friday, March 28, 2014

Living Room at Sotheby's Designer Showhouse's-designer-showhouse-daun-curry
Sotheby's Designer Showhouse. Interior by Daun Curry.
Interior photo via Veranda magazine

This was a room at a Sotheby's Designer Showhouse, meaning that the designer that created this interior had free access to selecting whatever he wanted from the famous auction house's inventory.

How the result looks to me: 
It seems that the designer ran wild and lost control, unable to realize that this isn't an auction, and you don't put together in a room whatever attracts your eye just because it happens that you have access to that object.
This space looks like an amalgam of objects: you look at one object, then you move on to the next one, and so on ... (sure, each object is interesting on its own, and expensive I suppose).

In short, there is no unity, but a random variety. I wouldn't call this scrapbook interior design.


Large Bedroom in Cream and Blue
Bedroom. Interior by Cindy Smith.
Interior photo via Veranda magazine.

The ceiling is the main visual element, and it's great that this detail doesn't get confused by introducing various other superficial flourishes.

However, the designer seemed overwhelmed by the large space to deal with, and the clarity of the space gets ruined via the large number of seating pieces.
This is not a living room, this is a Bedroom, right?
Unless you intend to preside a family reunion from laying down in the bed don't create a large conversation area at the foot of the bed, it just looks silly.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Blue and Green, Contemporary and Traditional - Entryway in Manhattan, New York
Entryway; Manhattan, New York. Interior by Rob Southern.
Interior photo via Veranda magazine

The contemporary art doesn't balance the traditional elements in this entryway at all.
The two analogous color combination, blue and green, is OK but pretty much that's it.
The two main objects don't engage with each other, they don't complement each other, they don't create a successful contrast.
They are just two objects that are stiff in each other's presence.


Mix of High and Low - Entrance in a House in Bahamas
Entrance; Bahamas. Interior by Andrew Raquet.
Interior photo via Veranda magazine

What a bold statement in the form of an unexpected and engaging contrast: a glossy classic black-and-white checkered floor in a diamond pattern, slender and refined console tables and mirrors paired with very informal and unpretentious rattan baskets for towels and a pair of chairs in the same texture!

This space reads to me like: “I put the money where it counts, and I can have fun with the rest, I don’t need to have fancy ‘designer baskets’ to hold some pool towels. Some rattan baskets will do the job as well.”

Or, in other words, a great mix of high and low, a space that has an attitude, it shows confidence, ...


Bedroom in Red, Blue, and Yellow
Bedroom. Interior by Miles Redd.
Interior photo via Elle Decor

Primary colors scheme (red-blue-yellow), pattern, solid color, and accent color... good intentions. Correct as an idea. Hard to pull off well.

The light blue graphic pattern all over the walls and the bright solid yellow on the floor compete as a focal point ... something should be tone down.  

The floral pattern on the chair works very nicely - red is introduced as an accent color, and in a different pattern style.

I am not sure how the small decor piece placed low on the wall at left (next to the chair) works with the large size mirror that is placed at the eye level. 


Living Room Makeover

This is a makeover - a space that appeared on the TV show American Dream Builders.
Living Room Makeover - Before.
Interior Photo via Elle Decor magazine
Living Room Makeover. Interior by Erinn Valencich
Interior photo via Elle Decor magazine
Living Room Makeover. Interior by Erinn Valencich
Interior photo via Elle Decor magazine

The result is Not really dramatic as conveyed in the Elle Decor post, but there are some good things that came with the makeover:
- the new furniture layout - the seating pieces are pulled in the middle of the room to form a conversation area;
- the chandelier choice - good scale to fill the space, yet visually light not to overwhelm it;
- nice fireplace.

And not so good changes:
- there is so much less (comfortable) seating, I wonder if this works for the family. Also because the space seems quite generous, it could have still accommodated very well two sofas.
- the clear focal point of the room (fireplace flanked by two bookshelves, filled with books!!) was replaced with what? Something that looks like an unfinished space above the fireplace flanked by an asymmetric bookshelves arrangement, and distracted by the large mirror on the adjacent wall?


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Oak-paneled Library in Los Angeles
Library; Los Angeles.
Interior photo via Architectural Digest

Nice: The parquet and the oak-paneled treatment on the walls. Interesting contrast with the rustic inspired lighting fixture.

It could be better: The painting above the fireplace feels that is placed too low, or a larger piece could work better.

The rest makes almost no sense.
I don't get it how a person should move his/her hips in order to pass through the utterly (ridiculous) narrow space between the stool/accent table in front of the sofa and the desk.

Unless the purpose of this space is for photos only, and not for real living ...


Mix of Colors and Patterns in a Bedroom
Bedroom. Interior by Taylor Borsari
Interior photo via Traditional Home

I don't know what to feel in front of this image: to feel visually offended or to burst into a loud laugh?
I suppose it all depends on the sense of humor one has ...

This room feels happy, full of energy, and it's fantastic if you love color and patterns.
But then do your job, and learn, well, really study how to work with them (colors and patterns).

More exactly: there are four different patterns in this image (four visible, who knows what surprises can be on the either side of the room), and there is no sense of continuity, unity, emphasis, ... each pattern comes in a different size, form, and color, and each one is crying desperately for attention, ....


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My Style - Wearing a Salmon-Pink Ruffle Special Occasion Dress in a Casual Way, During Daytime
My Style
Wearing a Salmon-Pink Ruffle Special Occasion Dress
in a Casual Way, During Daytime
My Style
Wearing a Salmon-Pink Ruffle Special Occasion Dress
in a Casual Way, During Daytime

I love this very feminine dress.
The problem is that it's an occasion dress, so I don't get to wear it often.
One of these days I wanted to enjoy it without any 'special occasion' being involved.

So, I wore this salmon-pink ruffle special occasion dress in a casual way, during daytime.
I paired the dress with:
- a cream sport style jacket,
- a pair of cream high heeled sandals,
- a yellow-brown clutch,
- a large wood and metal bead necklace of my own design,
- and sleek hairstyle.
My Style:
I paired a Salmon-Pink Ruffle Special Occasion Dress
that I wore it in a Casual Way, During Daytime
with a large Wood and Metal Bead Necklace of My Own Design


Monday, March 24, 2014

Living Room in San Francisco
Living Room; San Francisco, USA. Interior by Charles de Lisle.
Interior photo via Traditional Home.
Living Room; San Francisco, USA. Interior by Charles de Lisle.
Interior photo via Traditional Home.

I love contrasts. But not this one.
In other words I don't like this room at all - the Shell (the architecture) and the Interior are fighting.

What's the point of having / keeping beautiful architectural details if you completely destroy them by furnishing the place with (an irritating) selection of contemporary pieces ONLY?
What's with that rope inside the transparent coffee table?
These choices don't enhance the architecture, but make a mockery out of it.

To make a contrast like this work one should first respect the space and furnish it with pieces that complement it.
And then you can blend in A FEW contemporary pieces to show your personal flair.


Living Room in Manhattan

Living Room; Manhattan, USA. Indre Rockefeller.
Interior photo via Elle Decor

Living Room; Manhattan, USA. Indre Rockefeller.
Interior photo via Elle Decor

Living Room; Manhattan, USA. Indre Rockefeller.
Interior photo via Elle Decor

One would think of Manhattan as chic, stylish ... I don't know what this interior wants to be.

This space has personal feeling, that's for sure, and I really appreciate that.
But the Vintage, Chinoiserie, Modern, Floral print, Graphic print, Oriental rug pieces ... it's a mess, a house is not a shop .. And the space looks terribly dated.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Living Room with Red Wall Lamps in Chicago
Living Room; Chicago, USA.

Interior photo via Veranda

The red wall lights in this interior are fun, and they are great - as an idea. I mean it’s not often that a designer pays attention to good lighting, and creates layered lighting.

However, when three aspects are combined:
- the lamps have wrong scale (they are too big),
- they are too many for such a small footprint,
- they have a contrasting red color,
the result is that the lamps become a focal point in the room when they really should not.

In other words, some banal wall lamps to be emphasized like that … they only succeed in putting the other (more valuable) elements in the background.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

White Canvas for Colorful Accessories - Living Room in Manhattan, New York, USA
Living Room; Manhattan, New York, USA.
Interior photo via Elle Decor

This room feels like wearing a simple white dress - you can create so many looks by simply replacing some inexpensive accessories (basically the pillows).

A lot of symmetry often gives a space a certain formality. What is very nice in this project is that there is a lot of symmetry but the result feels relaxed.

The leopard stools are a great choice, they add pizzaz.

If you remember seeing this interior on my blog it is because I actually commented on it before.
It happened that I came upon this image again, so I thought of bringing it back, and share my present thoughts without reading the past ones (I am quite sure that my previous comments captured different aspects of this project).