Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Design In Five: The Enchanted Home

This week for my series Design in Five, I am thrilled to have Tina from The Enchanted Home here!  Tina has fantastic taste that she applies not only to her insanely popular blog but also to the gorgeous home she and her husband are building.  She is also a lot of fun, very supportive and recently I have also added "incredible integrity" to the list of things I admire about Tina!  I'm sure most of you know of Tina's blog already but if you don't, head over there and you will become a lifetime subscriber - I guarantee it.  :)   So here goes!

Good morning! I was so excited that Barbara asked me to be her guest for this wonderful new series, entitled Design in Five. Its all about five things I would want to start with,  for a blank canvas, a room with absolutely nothing in it. Furniture is a given but what else makes a room warm, inviting, what gives it character and a room that feels welcoming and like "home" to me?  What are five things that would be must haves......well, I thought about this and it didn't take long for me to come up with my five. These are all time proven classics, that for me just make a room. The rest is just the icing on the cake. So lets begin shall we......

1. RUGS. preferably an antique rug or a rug meant to look antique, I like a worn in look, that slightly aged patina, colors that are a little faded. The good news is that if an antique rug is not in your budget, there are so many rugs being produced today meant to look old and distressed that fit nearly every budget so you can essentially get this look for far less than say a few decades go. At last,  its all about the savvy and budget minded consumer and not having to compromise on great design and style. So first a few on the "high end" that are real Persian antique rugs, down to a few replicas, and to me, in the right space with all the right "fixins", any of these rugs could do the trick!

These are old Persian rugs and are several thousands and more......

Now all of these below are under $1100.00 some around 700 and 800!!!!!!!


2. BLUE AND WHITE. One of my most favorite decorating elements!! I think there are basically no interiors where blue and white does not work and once again thanks to a vast and highly competitive global marketplace, there is the high end of blue and white but the low end is plentiful as well, I have known some to get phenomenal deals on Ebay, Overstock, here are some pieces that  I think add instant pizazz to a console, table, side chest, kitchen island or buffet. To me, this is a must have in several rooms in my own home. It just adds instant elegance to a room, I like it in a grouping of various sizes and shapes. It really is a relatively inexpensive way to create an "expensive" look.

I like a grouping of sizes WS Home

Williams Sonoma Home is a good resource of pretty ones in all shapes and sizes

One word....SWOON!

This is 15.00 from Pier One!

Stunning..a pair of antique large Ginger jars

Look how beautiful these blue and whites look in this otherwise neutral tonal room!

And to me the height of elegance is a huge white orchid plant in a blue and white bowl...fabulous!

3. ART. Once again, this can be found in everywhere from art galleries, to flea markets, consignment shops, garage sales and online sites. I love groupings and gallery walls. I think its not so important necessarily to have a really important piece of art, but more to make it an interesting piece of art. If you are doing a grouping, try to stay with the same theme, if you are doing florals or botanicals, then work around that, ditto landscapes, still life, etc...whatever you are doing. Also often with less expensive art, you will likely not love the frame (if you do then you that's a big bonus) but changing out a frame is not a big deal and its amazing how it can transform a piece of art or a painting. So do not let a frame deter you. I really love antique mirrored frames. I also like mixing up a gallery wall with brackets to hold a plate or other decorative object to create an interesting wall. The reflection gives the room an elegant bling, and allows a little light and reflection as well. Some pretty examples below.....

This is so interesting, love all the different sizes, makes for such an interesting wall!

Everything here is done in gold leaf, makes it feel cohesive

Love this, its all the same theme, but like the different sizes equally matched on both sizes

4. SOMETHING FROM NATURE. The beauty here is you can literally walk outside and pick it up! I kid you not, I have done this many times, walked outside, gathered up pine cones, a huge basket of fall leaves, big tall branches, acorns, obviously flowers, are only limited by your imagination! Nothing softens a room and creates interest like an element of nature. It works every time and you can vary the look with the seasons. A big vase of hydrangeas in the summer, an over sized bowl of pine cones in the fall, tall branches on a center table in the winter, etc.......some pretty examples below, something we can all do today!

Add a little greenery and pine cones to your chandelier!

Something as simple as fruit in an urn is so simple but so beautiful

Love the look of greenery from outside with pinecones atop a chest or armoire....beautiful!

Everyone can afford a bushel of artichokes, lemons, green apples or limes...they look stunning in an urn or large bowl on a console, mantle or coffee table!
Try will love it!

5. HURRICANES. I am big on soft lighting. OK, call me vain, I hate bright overhead lighting and the way it shows my fine lines and the fact that botox might be in order, it is just so bright and rarely flattering to a person or a room. I much prefer the soft lighting of lamps, sconces, maybe a chandelier and definitely the gentle glow of a few candles preferably in beautiful hurricanes!

I like over sized hurricanes, the more substantial the better in my book, they give importance when on a larger scale and anchor a space or whatever they are resting on, whether it be a console, coffee table, mantle, whatever. A few I like below and how I like to use them....

Mercury glass is quite pretty especially around the holidays

Love using them outside as much as I do indoors!

So there you have five essentials to start building a beautiful room. Granted, you need much more but these are certainly great starting points. Again, in today's marketplace, there is literally something for every price point which makes stylish living available to every budget. It is all about using those resources,  knowing how to cleverly put it all together combined with using a little imagination.

Hope i have given you some ideas or inspirations. This was a fun exercise and got me thinking too! Thank you Barbara for having me!

What great ideas!  A white orchid in a blue and white ginger jar is such a classic, beautiful look and what a great suggestion to add something to a gallery wall to mix it up a little.  I also love hurricanes and especially mercury glass...all of her suggestions struck a cord with me.
Thanks again so much Tina!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

More French Decorating Ideas

I had so many beautiful French inspirations to share that they couldn't all fit into yesterday's post.  So, here are a few more that will probably leave you with the feeling that you need to add "a shopping trip to Paris" to your Christmas list.  However, I always find that when I travel I want to bring home housewares, and those don't fit very easily into a suitcase.  What's a girl to do?  ;)

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Lovin' those double towel racks...
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It doesn't get any grander, does it?


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Are you ready for the trip to Paris now?  :)

Sources and more French Decorating Ideas can be found here.


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