Monday, October 29, 2012

Warm traditional living room in Tennessee, USA

Warm color palette.
Beautiful architectural elements - the coffered ceiling, the oak-paneled walls that give so much substance, and validity to this traditional interior.
Living room; Tennessee, USA. Suzanne Kasler. Interior photo via Architectural Digest.

Very nice:
- the sisal rug and the tufted leather chair choices - that introduce variety and contrast in texture;
- the mix of floral and geometric patterns (in the draperies, rug, decorative pillows) united by the same color and similar scale - that punctuate the large plain surfaces;
- the throw / tapestry / rug over the sofa's back - that sprinkle red and blue color accents in a discreet manner.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Yellow Living room

It's quite impossible not to notice the (amount of bright) yellow in this room, and the extremely eclectic and cluttered feel.

The step from exuberant, provocative, edgy to objectionable and irritable can be a small one.

The room leans on the latter pair of adjectives - everything literally screams at the same time in a chaos of contrasts and variety that has no trace of underlying unity, and visual hierarchy.

Living room. Muriel Brandolini. Interior photo via Elle Decor.
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My Style

Wearing a classic pattern dress in a casual way - with a jacket on top tied with a leopard print belt, the sleeves rolled up, the collar up, and a small cross-body bag.

The gold metal peacock pendant necklace, the leopard print belt, the black-and-brown bag introduce variety to the brown color palette.

The necklace is my own design.
My own necklace design

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Living area in muted colors in New York

The enfilade is spectacular: the glass doors / walls that delimitate the rooms in their sequence allow for a fantastic flow.
The red and yellow accents break the monotony of the subdued color scheme but not in a disruptive way.
The contrast the red and the yellow hues create is subtle: the red and yellow are not bright, and their dullness blends with the rest of the muted colors.

Very engaging and adding visual movement: the two cocktail tables that are placed together but not exactly side by side on their entire length (on what could form a more predictable and less interesting rectangular shape).

Living area, New York. Thom Filicia. Interior photo via Elle Decor.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Contemporary Living area in Lima, Peru

Very high ceiling. Too large art. An unhappy furniture layout.

The art on the wall above the sofa is way out of scale.
Yes, the space is large, and theoretically a large scale art would work, but theory and reality are sometimes two different things.
In this case, the art's huge size seems to overwhelm and dwarf everything else in this space - the proportions are not played well.

The act of playing piano might be in some cases a solitaire act for one's pure individual pleasure and relaxation.
Yet, to place a sofa with the back to the back of the piano's player transmits too much something like 'I completely ignore you, the person playing at that piano'.
And to choose two separate rugs for the seating and for the piano area placed at strange angles totally breaks off this social space.

Also, the back of a sofa placed in such a central position is very uninviting and obstructs a pleasant visual flow.

Instead, a simple re-thinking of the seating arrangement could lead to a much better continuity and relation between the two seating / piano playing areas:
- Just switch the position of the sofa with the ottoman's position and the room will have an entirely different, and more coherent feel.

By altering the room in this small way:
- the back of the sofa is so much less visible, therefore uninviting,
- the back of the sofa in this new position creates a nice path to / from the door near it,
- the low ottoman allows for a  much better visual interaction with the piano area.

Living area; Lima, Peru. Gomez de la Torre & Guerrero Architects. Interior photos via Freshome.

My suggestions for a different furniture layout don't intend to be a thorough or set-in-stone 'solution' but rather an inspiration.
And I hope they help.

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Monday, October 22, 2012

My Style

Wearing a pattern dress with a faux-fur vest on top, and gloves as an accessory.

My finishing details:
- a green scarf tied low,
- white-and-gold metal and pearl bracelets worn together on the same wrist,
- black soft gloves.

The gloves are the kind of detail that counts so much - paired with the short sleeves of the dress they create a contrast with the bare arms, and in this context they act / I wear them strictly as an accessory (not as functional pieces).

Black tights and black booties that blend with the tights don't distract from the mix on top. border=

You can see me wearing the same dress in a different combination here:

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

(Legendary) Living room in Paris

Monochromatic color scheme, symmetry, exceptional pieces, and a large amount of them.

Living room; Paris. Yves Saint Laurent. Interior photo via Architectural Digest.

Or: excellent variety and contrast of textures, sizes, styles introduced on a very limited color range that helps things from running chaotic, and in a symmetrical central arrangement combined with asymmetry on the sides.

Or: as much as we love the beautiful things and we love to collect them a home is not a museum after all. Even a museum has a curator for its exhibitions.
The purpose of a coffee table in a home is to have a place to put your glass on (after all).

This display and agglomeration of objects makes me think of a woman that wears at the same time all the jewelry she possesses.
Sometimes we should refrain from displaying more of what we have collected. We can always rotate the pieces ...

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Style

My version of going bare midriff: I kept my arms covered and I wrapped my neck in a very feminine voluminous ruffle scarf.

A silver metal flower brooch pined on the scarf and a creamy-white pearl bracelet on my wrist are the only two additional accessories that open up the dark colors of the jeans pieces.

Although I love nail polish and I have a collection of lovely colors, and a right color can add so much to an outfit, I normally don't have time (or patience) to color my nails. 
In this case I felt that a coat of light green nail polish (well, two coats, one wasn't smooth enough) is a must to complete the outfit.

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Our own house. The Living room - Work in progress (I)

It took me a lot longer than I estimated to take photos and to write this post, sorry for the one day delay. 

So, here is our living room, the way it looks at the moment - as a work in progress.
This is not a formal living room where we never enter unless we have guests.
I don't agree on (the existence of) such artificial rooms. I like a house to be lived in. In beauty of course, but not as something you don't dare to touch / use.  
This is the room where my husband and I spend the evenings reading, enjoying a glass of wine, ...

The space will continue to evolve ... so follow my future posts.
Our living room as work in progress

To start with, the space / the shell of the room has two beautiful elements:
- the French doors on the right that open to a very nice green area with trees in front of our house,
- the fireplace.

I decided to emphasize the presence of the fireplace, and to arrange the furniture using the fireplace as the main focal point mainly because we use this room mostly in the evenings when the view of the green area is not as noticeable (if at all during the winter time when the days are very short). 
Also, this furniture arrangement offers the best view of the green outdoor area from most of the seating pieces as no main seating piece is placed with the back against the windows.
Our living room as work in progress

I placed a console table with a horse sculpture on it behind the sofa / at the entrance in the room so the eyes don't stumble on the back of a furniture piece but they notice the sculpture and then they flow over to the rest of the pieces, and they embrace the room.

The color scheme is white-yellow-blue-brown-black with yellow-green and green accents.

A yellow-blue-brown color palette can have a very traditional appeal, and several big pieces in the room have a classic inspired design - the rug, the two brown chairs, the statue of a woman in front of the fireplace, the white mirror on the mantel, the black console table in the wall niche on the opposite wall, the two reproduction artworks after famous paintings. 

Yet, by adding black and white, and by incorporating / mixing in in the decor pieces like:
- the Asian floor-screen and the Asian occasional table/trunk (in front of the windows in the background), 
- the mirrored pieces - the small accent table in front of the screen, the mirrored-tray on the coffee table, 
- a contemporary artwork on the wall opposite the French doors,
- the very tall blue vase in front of the floor-screen,
- the tripod lamp - that illuminates the palm at night,
- the sequin decorative pillows on the two brown chairs,
- the zebra-upholstered ottomans on the sides of the seating arrangement, ... the room gets a very different feeling - eclectic with glamorous touches, and this classic-eclectic-glamorous mix reflects the combined aesthetic of my husband and I.
Our living room as work in progress

I mixed brown worn leather chairs that have a classic inspired design with black sequin pillows - I love the contrast that is created 

- I kept several pieces from our previous living room and I arranged them in completely different, new way,
- I gave up several pieces from our previous living room (meaning I am going to use these pieces in a different way and in different rooms in the house), 
- I 'borrowed' several pieces from the other rooms, so ... the new living room is a very fresh mix. 

The pieces that I 'borrowed' (more or less permanently) from other rooms (in our previous place):
- the console table behind the sofa - this piece used to be on the hallway, but now it's a perfect piece behind the sofa;
- the white mirror above the fireplace - this piece used to be in the master bedroom above my vanity table but now it looks perfect above the mantel and with the other white decorative objects they create repetition and provide continuity in the room;
- the small vase on the mantel - this piece used to be on the hallway but now it punctuates so nicely the presence of the white mirror. 
Saying that this vase used to be on the hallway is not exactly "correct" - we have a lot more decorative objects and accessories than I display at once, and I keep rotating, and rearranging them in new ways.
- the black console table in the wall niche at left - I used to have this piece as my vanity table in our previous master bedroom but now it looks perfect in the wall niche together with the classic paint and the beautiful flowers lamp shade on top.
Our living room as work in progress

I created a symmetrical central seating arrangement - I feel the space needs this clearly defined symmetry.
But then I introduced variety by creating different compositions for each corner of the room. 

I balanced the tall floor-screen - small accent table - small plant - tall vase composition on one side of the fireplace with a more substantial accent table - large palm plant - small lighting source composition on the other side of the fireplace.

The repetition of white decorative objects and accessories displayed throughout create unity: 
- white horse sculpture on the console behind the sofa, 
- white coral sculpture on the mirrored tray on the coffee table,
- white decorative pot for the palm,
- white mirror above the mantel,
- white decorative urn for the small plant.
Our living room as work in progress

The vignette with the palm - the illuminated palm casts beautiful shadows on the ceiling and the walls

The general light is coming from the ceiling in the form of recessed lights.

The accent and task light that I added to create an evening mood:
- behind the floor-screen there is a floor lamp that creates a very pleasant, diffuse light at night,
- the tripod lamp illuminates the palm so the plant casts beautiful shadows on the walls and ceiling,
- on one side of the sofa there is a very slim, barely-there reading lamp,
- the lamp on the black console table creates local light on the other side of the room.
Our living room as work in progress

I haven't placed any piece of art on the walls so far.
I feel we have to live with the interior the way it is for a while, and to get a feeling of what pieces to display on the walls and where to display them exactly.

The very interesting shadows on the walls are from the mirrored tray on the coffee table.
Our living room as work in progress

The faux-fur blanket is not for decorative purposes, or for introducing pattern only, it has a very functional purpose too: it's so soft and cozy to wrap yourself in on a chilly evening.

The asymmetrical arrangement on the opposite side of the room: I balanced the presence of a console table - classic art - table lamp in one wall niche with classic art on an easel - plant on a pedestal - bird-cage candle holder on the floor in the other wall niche.
Our living room as work in progress
Our living room as work in progress
Our living room as work in progress
Our living room as work in progress

I will probably keep the walls and the ceiling white for a while - it works very well for now.

There are no draperies yet, the ones we previously had no longer work in this new context - I have to buy new draperies. 

I would like to install ceiling crown molding - I love the elegant touch they bring to a room.

The space will continue to evolve ... so follow my future posts.


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Monday, October 15, 2012

My Style

Wearing a blue sequin top in a casual way, during daytime.

The necklace is my own design.
My own necklace design
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The first room that starts taking a shape in our new house

The past ten days have been absolutely hectic - moving in in our new house, unpacking tens of boxes ...

One room starts taking a shape ...

I will come with more photos and details tomorrow.
Work in progress - the first room that starts taking a shape in our new house
Work in progress - the first room that starts taking a shape in our new house
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Thursday, October 4, 2012

My Style

Wearing black, white, gold and silver in a mix of textures.

The knitted top has / introduces a wonderful, delicate pattern.

The gold belt and the silver brooch pinned on it repeat on a smaller scale the gold and the silver colors in the scarf and the hat.

The small yet very noticeable accessory placed at the waist line (an area that I normally like to accentuate) - acts as my final touch.


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Blue master bedroom in London

A deep, rich color palette of blues - blue-greens - gold - browns envelops this master bedroom like a soft, deep cushion.

Excellent use of furnishings / decorative objects: the choice of two screens to flank the bed works so well - they add depth to the room and balance the grand scale of the four-poster bed.

Excellent use of space too: the two desks double as night tables, while a chair on the opposite side of the room creates a comfortable reading (reading lamp included) and dressing nook.

The choice of a red upholstery with graphic stars on the chair comes as totally unexpected, and creates a whimsical contrast.

The similar yet slightly different choices of screens and table lamps introduce a subtle variety that keep the room from having too much monotonous symmetry.

Master bedroom, London. Hubert Zandberg. Interior photos via Elle Decor.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

White contemporary library in Rome, Italy

The size of this library room is quite impressive.

Library; Rome, Italy. Cesare Rovatti, Interior photo via Architectural Digest.

But also is the interior itself:
- the crisp white acts as a wonderful background for the collection of sculptures that are displayed on the accent tables, fireplace mantel, and bookshelves. Their similar sizes create a repetition and continuity that keep your eyes moving around;
- the same white creates a strong contrast with the black floor and together they act as a great background for the very large rug that introduces color and a bold contemporary graphic pattern on its large scale, and both the rug's size and its large pattern play so well with the proportions of the large room;
- the back-to-back sofas placed central create symmetry, anchor the room, and beautifully divide the space.

However, like many other interiors I have made comments on so far which don't incorporate a good lighting, this place unfortunately is deficient in terms of lighting design also: there is no reading lighting in here.

And, with the exception of a white torchiere floor lamp tucked in a corner actually there is not much of a sign of artificial light at all.

And considering that this room is specifically a library, such a miss in terms of lighting is a huge one.

Unless you are at home during the daytime and you are / use / read in this beautiful room when it has natural light is quite hard to imagine how someone will get to read anything sitting in any of these chairs in the evening.

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My Style

Layering / combining two necklaces that have two different designs over a ruffled collar.

The necklaces have: 
- a more classic design, with freshwater pearls - the short necklace,
- a chic, yet very relaxed feel, metal chain with a flower pendant - the long necklace.


There is enough interest and variety going on in the combination in the upper part so I kept the color palette very simple: two colors with a silver accent in the belt, and blue accent in the skirt. 

The small, casual bag and the casual, neutral color sandals (not seen in the photo, they are in the same color tone as the bag) are meant to give an easy wearable feeling to the outfit.
Also, the small bag and the sandals relate to the casual look of the long necklace.

The short necklace is my own design.

You can see me wearing the same skirt in a different combination here:
My own necklace design

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A new topic on my blog: (Decorating) Our own house

Here we are: we'll be moving in in our new, 2,900 sqft, house in just a few days.

And moving in a new house it's a perfect opportunity to start blogging about the decorating process. 

So, follow me - I will post photos of each step: you'll see how things happen, how the process progresses.

I hope you'll enjoy!

Our new house

The entrance hall of our new house (the way it was staged for sale)

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Monday, October 1, 2012

Classic living room in white. Chicago, USA

A refined and calming pale color palette in white, cream, blue, and gold.

However, such a color palette can easily slide from the restful, serene side to the boring, monotonous one.

The repetition over and over of classic, luxurious pieces only within a limited color range and without variety in pattern and texture, or without a contrast - in the form of a color accent, or a piece of art or furniture in a contemporary design for example - leads to an interior that, although elegantly restrained, lacks personality, and can feel plain and sterile.

Living room; Chicago, USA. Gail Plechaty. Interior photo via Traditional Home

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