Oh zebra skin rug, how I have a love hate relationship with you. I love the dramatic feel you bring to a room, but oh wow you've shown up in every interior design over the last few years. You've been overused. I'm ready for something new...
With leopard, cheetah and other wild animal prints showing up on the Fall runways and magazines, I can't wait to bring this look into my apartment, but moderation is key. Covering my walls and bed in animal prints (ala 60s love den) is definitely not up my alley. However, I love the idea of using a few pillows and accents here and there...
(Issac Mizrahi for HSN)
A cheetah rug is an unexpected element in this neutral room
(High Street Market on Etsy)
I might consider zebra if it gets off the floor and onto a chair. Zebrachair.com
With summer quickly coming to a close, this week I plan to pack away my fun summer cocktail dresses and skirts and trade them out for cozy sweaters and jackets. I'm already dreaming of apple picking, bonfires, and crisp, cool nights. Hooray for Fall!
Researching color trends for Fall, I stumbled across Pantone's Fall color report. The folks at Pantone worked with some top designers to identify their favorite "it" colors from New York Fashion Week. I couldn't be more excited about the Fall color palettes of army greens, great jewel tones like ochre and purple, leopard prints and neutrals like chocolate brown, black and gray. I'm already thinking of ways to incorporate these color trends into wardrobe and my apartment.
I checked out House Beautiful's site this morning and I am completely in love with this bright campaign style high gloss nightstand. The cheery yellow, boxy feel and and great brass accents would be perfect in my bedroom. (Even better this piece used to be dark wood and has been revamped to this great sunshine yellow as part of a basement transformation. Check the rest of the renovation here.)
It reminds me Vanessa De Vargas' kelly green campaign style dressers that I loved from Lonny.
After living in a series of apartments in San Francisco where I couldn't paint, I declared war on bare white walls. I vowed that my next apartment would be bathed in color.
When I moved to New York, the lease on my new apartment was barely signed and I was on my way to Home Depot to get painting supplies. Believe me, I wouldn't trade the gorgeous Farrow & Ball Drawing Room Blue in my kitchen for anything, but after living with color for a year, I now starting to realize the importance of a crisp, white wall. White walls make a room feel airy, spacious and allow bright accessories like these vintage Catherineholm bowls and plates to really pop.
Do you prefer to paint your walls, or leave them a crisp, airy white?
There are certain stores that I would like to pick up my stuff and move into if they'd let me. One of these stores is Allsaints Spitelfields. The edgy, Brit clothing line winds a limited color palette of white, cream, black, brown and gray throughout the store from the clothes to the walls and fixtures. The new SoHo location has a natural curiosities cabinet feel to it with a mix of leather, distressed wood, animal heads. Sort of a John Derian meets British punk...
Antique sewing machines line the walls, racks made of industrial metal and burnt wood display neutral-colored clothing and vintage mannequins are adorned with chunky-chain jewelry. The only color is found sparingly in their distressed plaid shirts.
Wooden shoe forms are artfully displayed in shadow boxes...
Pure white cow skulls line the wall behind the registers...
While I love color, the neutral tones and moody atmosphere in this store are the perfect usher into Fall.
Revamping my office has definitely inspired this week's obsession. I realize more than ever that I need some place to store all of my office supplies and packing materials out of the way and hidden from view.
My fascination with credenzas started with this red one from Little Green Notebook. I would love to find a great credenza or buffet for my office. They're fantastic because they provide a lot of storage, but aren't as wide or deep as a desk. When purchased at an auction or off of eBay they're very reasonable and with a little work can be painted a gorgeous, bright color. The only issue becomes finding one that isn't 500 lbs!
Here are a few of my favorites...
A classic mid century modern shape, this credenza could easily be painted.
I love the modern look of this vintage steel and metal credenza.
The faux bamboo detailing in this credenza would look great painted in a bright hue.
This mid century danish credenza has a great design and is functional for office storage.
Pure function, this minimalist credenza in bright red from CB2 would be great.
More faux bamboo detailing and at $99 off of eBay, this is a steal!
More desk than credenza, but I love the bright green color and multiple drawers for storage.
Yesterday, I ventured out to West Elm to purchase the white Parson's desk for my office. Unfortunately, without a car the $99 delivery fee in Manhattan was a little steep, so I still need to figure out a creative way to get this home. I'm hoping I can find a kind taxi driver, who will let me shove it in their trunk. Wish me luck!
While I was there, I fell in love with these fabulous silhouette pillows, prints and trays from artist Mike Miller. I am a sucker for anything done in silhouette form, especially animals.
I love it when large companies invite independent artists in to do guest collaborations. The results are usually stunning and these framed silhouette prints are no exception.
While researching for this post, I also found out that West Elm has collaborated with Benjamin Moore to create a line of paints called Ben. All the perfect fall colors used in the new West Elm catalog (like the gorgeous blue above) are now featured on West Elm's site. Check it out here.
So I started in my office with the best intentions for my office redo this weekend and then it turned into a furniture swapping, clutter tackling, deep cleaning kind of weekend for my whole apartment.
One of the areas that needed the most help was my stash-everything hallway closet. In taking on this mammoth, there were a few issues I needed to tackle... 1) I wanted an area where I could easily access fabric, ribbon and paint supplies for projects 2) This closet has a lot of vertical space and depth, but no shelving 3) It's a multi-use area for hanging out of season jackets, laundry, sheets, storage, etc 4) I didn't want to spend a lot of money on shelving or containers 5) There was already a large storage bin in there that I used to store out of season blankets, etc...
Here's a look at the closet before (note: Just imagined junk piled up to the hanging bar)...
Here's the closet after...
This easy-to-assemble shelving unit, I purchased from Home Depot for ($19.99) fit the space perfectly...
I used white boxes that I already had from Ikea to store quarts of paint, paint supplies, etc. Fabric was folded and stacked neatly on the shelving unit. Ribbons were sorted by color and then contained in plastic boxes I already had from Ikea.
These two fabric Martha Stewart containers were a steal at ($6.87) each from Home Depot. I used them to store packaging samples, notecards, paper and art supplies (markers, fabric glue, etc). They come in a variety of colors...
And that's basically it. For ($33.73) I made quite an impact on this closet. Now if only I can keep it clean...
Ugh! I've about had it with these cloudy summer days! I need a dose of sunshine in my apartment stat! I think a bunch of zinnias are just the ticket. These bright and cheery flowers never fail to make me happy!
I adore the free-form nature of roadside bouquets.
Green zinnias are a great neutral color to use for summer arrangements, as an alternative to white...
Zinnias also have amazing detail and texture up close. When added to a structured bouquet, they look fabulous and elegant.
I think this weekend, I'll try to find a u pick flower farm and grab a huge bunch of zinnias for my coffee table.
In the quest to clear clutter from my office and my apartment, I have been going through the stacks of magazines and books to see if there is anything I can discard. Unfortunately, I have a hard time throwing out anything that isn't this week's People or US weekly. Design magazines (House Beautiful, Elle Decor and my collection of Dominos) are a source of inspiration for me long past the cover date.
Since I'm not throwing anything out, the issue is now how to store these them in a creative way...
I love the idea of using books or magazines in place of nightstands
Piled high against the wall, magazines and books are contained
Design books look great when creatively stacked on a lucite coffee table
Issues of the same magazine take on a design quality when stacked together
Topped with a small tray, books look stylish and sleek on a nightstand
Brightly colored books stacked on a console become part of the decor
(Images courtesy of: Nick Olsen, Domino Magazine, the Neo-Traditionalist, Elle Decor, Domino Magazine, Nick Olsen)