Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Beautiful Spring-blooming Arbor

Since prom season is upon us, I thought I'd share these pics of an adorable couple (our next door neighbor and her boyfriend) posing under our arbor. 

I mean, really, could they be any more beautiful?

As a matter of fact, yes!
My handyman husband, Patrick, built this when we were in our last house and when we moved, it came with us. 
My dog, Georgia, photo bombed my photography session here.

Lady Banks roses need a little help to attach themselves, but make a beautiful statement.
The plant on the other side of the arbor isn't doing quite as well.
If you'd like the plans to build one of these yourself, I'll have to climb in the brain of my creative husband and draw something up for you. It's a combination of about six different photos I showed him. (And it was ten years ago.)

The climbing Hydrangea vine, which can tolerate some sun, isn't climbing as high as I had hoped. I know it needs some sun to flower, and it has enough shade to keep the foliage happy, so what is up?
It's been in the ground for six years and has ONE bloom. Can any of you green thumbs tell me what I'm doing wrong?

One lonely bloom on the climbing hydrangea vine.

I'll share a little tidbit about my husband and I: we are CRAZY for copper. Copper lanterns, copper bathtubs, copper roofs, copper gutters; basically anything copper.


He custom designed the arbor to have curving copper pieces that will weather to a pretty, green patina.

Even the post caps are copper. I thin he would copper-plate his car if he could. I'm going inside now, as the pollen hasn't quite made it's way North just yet. Hope you all enjoyed my Spring photos!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Dining Room or Office? Office or Dining Room?

In my last house, we had a great dining room....

...that we hardly ever used. 

In fact, we wrote an entire blog post about the Dining Room Dilemma.

I spent gobs of time & money on furnishing and accenting the room because it was the first thing you saw when you walked in our home. 

When we moved this summer, I was determined not to have a room that wasn't used. Since we downsized some, that wasn't really an option anyway. 

Here's the layout for our first floor:

As you can see, the "dining room" is again the first thing you see.

I was so inspired by this picture from Duo Ventures.

How perfecto is this space??? The paint, the credenza, THE SHELF STYLING!!!! 

I love it all.I don't have a ton of black furniture so I wasn't thinking about using gray as my neutral. I've always loved NAVY so I decided to go for it. At the front door no less! 

Here's the blank canvas:

And, I mean B-L-A-N-K!

Here's what Jacki whipped up as a guide:

I love the emerald accents but I'll tell you, for the Pantone of the Year 2013, it sure was difficult to find any in home decor.

It all starts with a little paint, Sherwin Williams for Pottery Barn, Naval.

Here's how it turned out:

This room gets a lot of light and has white wainscot so the dark paint was not overpowering.

Still working on the shelf styling but I love these Ikea Vittsjo Shelves that I painted silver:

How cute is this guy? 

For the "foyer" side of the room, I found this buffet on Craigslist. It is perfectly accented by lamps & a mirror I already had.

It is a great place for a seasonal display:

I'm still looking for a rug, some curtains and a piece of art for over the credenza behind the desk. Maybe a lamp too. But, I couldn't wait to share the progress with all of you. 

What do you think so far?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ghost Chairs? Yes, please!

Tiffany Leigh Interior Design

How cool are these chairs? Inspired by the classic Louis Chair, these affordable knockoffs are popping up everywhere!

They're stackable and come in a variety of hues.

They are perfect for smaller spaces because they take up almost no visual space AND provide extra seating. 

They are a great way to add some texture and interest to a room by adding a pillow or small throw.


I added one next to my stairs for all these practical reasons.

It sure did come in handy for all the guests we had over Christmas!

What do you think of this trend?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

To match or not to match? That is the question.

You'd have to be crazy (like certifiable!) not to covet this sanctuary. And, if the post title didn't tip you off, it would've taken you a hot minute to notice that these nightstands don't match.

Right now, I'm working with clients that are really into symmetry. Trying to convince them that their nightstands don't have to match has been...um...challenging. 

I love a little dimension in my decor. My first "student" was Catherine. When we met, she was a newlywed in her first home, trying to nest, while using her new hubby's bachelor pad decor and a few pieces she had acquired...on a limited budget. Dang! I'm good but a miracle worker? While I don't have pics of her first attempts at asymmetrical symmetry, here's where she is now:

Nicely done!

If you're struggling with a few pieces that don't match (yea!), here are some tips for pulling it all together...stylishly.

Pair similar styles


Similar doesn't mean same. The nightstands can relate to each other in some way to create a sense of cohesion. 

Perhaps one is a mirrored piece and the other has mirrored hardware. One may be a laquered chest with brass hardware and the other a traditional chest, also with brass hardware. Another safe bet is to choose pieces from the same manufacturer line. Often furniture companies will offer an open leg-style nightstand, and also a sturdy chest. This option offers similar style details without being matchy-matchy while adding depth of design (read: a more polished, designer look). 

Utility vs. Style

Another part of the decision is the functionality of the room. If you need storage, you're not going to want to do a leggy desk and a skirted table.

Now, that you've found your two pieces of furniture, how do you make it look like they were meant to flank your bed?

Here are a couple of tips (I said tips, not RULES):
  • Height Symmetry
    Make sure the two pieces are roughly the same height
  • Match your lamps
This isn't a hard and fast rule, but if you are trying to tie your nightstands together with the room, a matching pair of lamps is a safe bet. If the lamps are a similar style but not exact, you can try matching the shades. 

  • Match the art over the nightstands
To enhance height (ALWAYS a good idea) and visually balance the wall, this picture shows a mirror over the nightstand. Not only does it add another layer or dimension, it bounces light around the room.

House Beautiful

Got just one?

If you have one piece you love and you're distraught because you can't find its "match", try a skirted table like this one from Ballard Designs:

Their Terrific Trio (table, skirt and piece of glass) offers an affordable option to another piece of wooden furniture. Their skirts come in every color under the sun. We suggest a solid skirt and then adding a topper (54" piece of square fabric) for a soft, layered look.

I hope these simple suggestions have given you just enough motivation to look around your home and repurpose a piece you never really liked in the living room anyway. If you can't bring yourself to go asymmetrical in the Master bedroom, try it in your guest room first. Good luck!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...