Bold and Vibrant with Jamie Drake, Eileen Kathryn Boyd, Lynn Morgan and Alex Papachristidis


Last Friday, I'd had quite a week and posted some beautiful, serene, restful rooms that looked like just what I needed for the weekend.  I thought it would be fun today to feature some rooms that instead make me feel energized.  These designers are so skillful with color.  I'm afraid I'm too timid to attempt these color combinations in my house, but it's fun to look!

Alex Papachristidis

Alex Papachristidis

Do you have a favorite here?  I love the scale and the art in the second Jamie Drake photo.  The Lynn Morgan rooms are so clean and fun with all the white and the pops of vibrant color.  I'm crazy for the white, green and orange rug Eileen Kathryn Boyd used.  The Alex Papachristidis room with the leopard fabric and geometric painting is amazing.  Thoughts?  


Michael S. Smith's Kitchen Design Advice


I'm looking forward to the new Michael S. Smith book Kitchens and Baths.  I already have Houses, and Elements of Style.  They're both full of beautiful, inspiring design, and I know his third book will be equally compelling. 

The following interview is from the blog Mouthing Off by the editors of Food and Wine.

What are some easy ways to update your kitchen?
I think paint is the number one thing. If you have a kitchen that can be repainted, you can do that yourself. You can paint the ceiling a beautiful color. It's a bit more work, but if you have a wood floor, you can stain it, either in a pattern or one color. And many stores sell inexpensive hardware that you can install yourself, or you could change out the front of your cabinets.

How do you optimize space in a small kitchen?
Think about what you really need. If you live in an apartment and have a small kitchen, but don't cook that often, maybe refrigerator drawers instead of a whole refrigerator would be best. Make it charming and utilitarian. Like a boat: very efficient with no space left unused.
How do you approach giant kitchens?
Big kitchens tend to be filled with too much. Do you need a huge refrigeration space? I'd rather have a great bookcase with glass doors to store and protect cookbooks. Or a great niche with a sofa and ottoman so someone can hang out and talk with you while you cook.
What's your favorite kitchen trend?
Reusing things: refurbished stoves, old St. Charles cabinets, and lighting being reused. It is great environmentally and it gives the space charm.
What design elements are you obsessed with?
I really am obsessed with countertops. I think there are so many good options. People get into really expensive marbles. There are some pretty and really inexpensive stones, though keep in mind care issues. Butcher blocks can be inexpensive. CaesarStone is impervious to stains and is terrific. In my own kitchen, I have zinc countertops.
What are some kitchen decorating mistakes?
Trying to give your kitchen an entirely different look than the rest of the house—like if you walk into a fairly traditional house and the kitchen is Tuscan-style, and filled with sunflowers. That's wacky. Know what your house is like and what works. The things that come out of the kitchen, the food and conversations and all of those things matter—the look is important and should be attractive and cheerful.

Michael S. Smith from Elle Decor

                                                           Michael S. Smith from Elle Decor

Michael S. Smith from House Beautiful

Michael S. Smith from House Beautiful


Custom Fine Art Print and DIY Framing


Linda, from My Crafty Home Life, contacted me about a print for her powder room.  She already had several beautiful prints in the room, so we wanted to sure the colors would work well together.  Please check out her post from yesterday here.

So many customers ask me about framing.  I'm going to start sending them links to Linda's post from today where she gives step by step directions with great photos of how to create the frame below with materials from IKEA and Home Depot.  This is a great DIY project from a very crafty girl!  See her post here.


Blue and White Monday with Nancy Corzine, Michael S. Smith, Katie Ridder, Todd Romano and Alessandra Branco

Three Wise Monkeys -- Customer Photo

My thoughtful customer, Ashley, sent me this pic of her new prints hanging over her sofa.  I love the colors she chose with those great, graphic pillows!


Needing Serene -- Rooms by Nancy Corzine, Jan Showers, Kelley Proxmire and Suzanne Kasler


What's the energy level of the room you typically prefer?  Do you like lower or higher contrast rooms?  What about colors?  This has been an unusually hectic week at my house, and I'm wanting a restful weekend.  These beautiful, serene rooms by Nancy Corzine, Jan Showers, Kelley Proxmire and Suzanne Kasler look so calming and inviting.  What about you?  Are you drawn to interiors that are peaceful, or do you want your environment to create lots of energy?


Incredible Etsy Finds -- Art, Accessories, Fabric and Furniture


The three beautiful paintings above are from Eastwood Art.  I want all three of them, but in larger sizes.  Aren't the colors amazing?

These two lamps are from Jill Rosenwald.  Everything in the store is fantastic.  I was interested to see that she's now creating lamps.  I'll have to find out if custom colors are available.   

Trina Turk outdoor fabric from Mims Child and Home

Celerie Kemble fabric for Schumacher from Mims Maine

Windsor Smith fabric for Kravet from Gray Birch

   My dining room table is a mahogany double pedestal table, so this 70's table from ubercasa looks very fun and glamorous to me.

What do you think about what's available on Etsy? Do you have a favorite here?


Dorothy Draper Espana X Benches


I love having a pair of benches in front of the fireplace in my living room.  My Mother gave me these more than ten years ago as she didn't need them anymore.  I had them reupholstered in Nobilis fabric with Scalamandre trim and loved them.  A lot has changed in 10 years, including, to my husband's dismay, my taste in interior design.

While these aren't so happening anymore, I'm too practical to replace them.  They're well made and would look great lacquered and reupholstered.  However, if I were to splurge, I love the X benches that are everywhere.  Here are some beauties for you.

If you're looking for some unique X benches, I found this glamorous pair of Dorothy Draper Espana benches on eBay.  What are your thoughts?  Are X benches a passing trend, or will they be around awhile?



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