Sunday, May 30, 2010

Hope You're Having a Breezy Weekend

I hope everyone is having the perfect long weekend filled with both fun and relaxing activities! 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Book Worm

When I set out to gather a little bookshelf inspiration, for one of my fav people, Megan, the photos that came across my computer screen were nothing short of overwhelming. There are so many gorgeous  images out there!  I have always struggled with arranging bookcases as there is a fine line between being too cluttered and too stylized.  When bookcases are large their shear mass can almost overwhelm a room with a chaos that can distract from the other elements.  I love how the following photos have embraced their bookcase walls and have either made them a focal point or a more subdued backdrop. 

Image Via Branca Design
Chicago mega-watt designer, Alessandra Branca has filled the bookcase in her office with all books. I love the accent light library wall lamps and how they reinstate her signature color scheme of red.

 Image Via Canadian House and Home
This is a serious pop of color, not only is the wall color a bold choice, but so is the contrasting color on the back of the bookcase.  Somehow this works for me.  I guess there are times where you have to go bold or go home.

Image via the sadly extinct Domino.
 This is an oldie from Domino Magazine. I really enjoy how this is a cabinet of curiosities. The unusual objects grab your attention and the arrangement keeps your eye moving across the 'case.

 Image Via Domino
Another Domino gem.

Image Via Elle Decor, Elizabeth Martin
Another image where the back is painted another color.  I am enjoying how it is a darker shade from the walls, thus creating a difference that is noticeable but a little more subdued.

Image Via House Beautiful
 Hanging photos is another fabulous way to add interest to bookshelves.

Image Via Jan Showers
A gallery of artwork really add an element that is unexpected.

House Beautiful, Fern Santini
These bookcases do not overpower this room, I don't know if it is their symmetry or the color palette, but this is very warm and elegant.

This is a little random, but when I originally organized my photos I always was including mantels. I love everything about this.  The soft, soothing colors that translate the feeling of clean sophistication, the symmetry of the architectural prints, the Federal style mirror and the unified unbalance of the orchid and the print.  Not to mention, that stone fireplace is nothing short of amazing.

Image via Martha Stewart
Martha really knows how to add a little pizzaz. If you decide to go for a jazzy color combination, just keep it simple on the accessories.
Just lovin' Domino. Again and again...

Image via Miles Redd
This looks like such a livable space. The not-overly-stylized-yet-perfect look that imposes styling jealousy.

Image Via Steven Gambrel
Black doors leading into a perfect looking study alcove... and I'll take the picture lights too.

Image Via Steven Gambrel
Okay, so the mantle images are a little sparse, but got a little overwhelmed with all the bookcase beauties. I do enjoy here how the artwork is casually leaning, not hung, and the off centered arrangement of vases. Simple, intriguing and the carpet isn't so bad either. 

Image via Windsor Smith

 Bookcase Elle Decor
This is turning into the longest post ever. I think I have stated how much I love bookcases and hope anyone reading has gotten some good ideas.  I am about petered out on bookcase talk... but then I came across the most awesome compilation of bookcase inspiration ever.... 

Image Via, Isuwanee, via Country Living
This blog has the most amazing bookcase photos... Here is a sneak peek....


Two above images via  Isuwannee 

Okay, That's all!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Flower Power

This weekend consisted of all things spring, the majority of which included farmer's markets and planting. With a mom who has a very green thumb, I am feeling like I ought to begin to cultivate my love for creating a green, leafy backyard haven. Really we all want our backyards to invoke a certain feeling and vibe- much like what we want to accomplish in designing our homes.


With Saturday dedicated to purchasing the goods at the Oakland Country farmer's market, Sunday was devoted to planting. I wish I could say I was sore because I got a tremendous workout, which people often say gardening is, but I really just think I strained musles and pulled ligaments I didn't even know I had. I do not feel anymore toned or sculpted after this foliage adventure, this endeavor just left me feeling hobbled and aged. I don't know if I would define my back yard as the "oasis" I had originally and optimistically set out to create, but it is looking much better. While the right side of the yard is looking cleaned up with boxwood, hostas and impatiens, the left side now looks horribly untended and messy. And so it goes. This is the same fact that usually applies when we try to tidy up life. We redo the living room and the family room looks tired. We get new carpet and the walls need to be repainted. It is a vicious cycle. Hopefully, we can all look at our worlds as half put together. Focus on the appealing right side of the yard, how pretty our living rooms look and how the new carpet has just snazzed up a room. There is always going to be disorder, chaos and a little mess-that's life. A fun life, a life well lived, can get a little dirty.

Friday, May 21, 2010

New Additions

This week on Pine Street I welcomed a few new additions.  Our two new sofas finally arrived and I could not be more pleased with the result. These aren't the best photos as I was trying to strategically shoot to avoid photographing the clutter that seems to be taking over my house at this moment (mainly the plethora of wedding gifts and Scott's sports equipment!).  I love the traditional look of the tufting and nailheads but also the fresh linen upholstery and lines. As a pair they evoke a classically traditional feel without feeling heavy or outdated. I could have styled my coffee table for this impromptu photo shoot, but I wasn't quite ready for that. The coffee table is actually an antique cedar chest that some long ago relative constructed.  I actually saved this from my Aunt's garage sale circa 1993 (at the ripe old age of 9). To say that I have always had an interest in old things would be an understatement.

I also thought I would include a quick shot of the bookcases. I know all my "stuff" is centered, but for now it is the only way I felt I could make this massive unit not seem cluttered or messy. I still need something on that bottom right corner... I was thinking maybe a really cool piece of coral? Suggestions are welcomed.  All together this room is gaining the character and warmth of the "collected interior" that I had in mind.  Next step: draperies!

This is my find from this past Ann Arbor antiques show which I had the pleasure of attending with Nani and my mom last weekend. I am finding myself almost becoming obsessive about our 'in house' recycling program and the big blue bin from the city of Birmingham was not the best designer statement.  Functional? Yes. Good looking? No. My solution was to pick up this really cool bin that was used around the 1940's to store and transport tea. I felt lucky to find one in such great condition and the perfect size.  It solicits the general store nostalgia looks a heck of a lot better than the previously mentioned container. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

Showhouse Washout

On Tuesday of this past week, admist the torrential downpour, road construction and rush hour traffic, my Mom, Nancy (the future mom-in-law) and myself hopped in the car and drove down to Grosse Pointe for the Junior League Designer Showhouse.  Only being open for two weeks, we had planned ahead to go on this evening and then head out for dinner after we feasted our eyes on the works of some of Metro Detroit's finest designers.   This house seemed especially notable. Nestled along Lake Saint Clair this 6,500 square foot, French Normandy style home was built in 1928. The lake views, orginal cobblestone courtyard and meticulous architectural detail make this home a treasure. Having only 3 owners the home has been well cared for and is in fabulous condition.

It is always so fun and curious to see how other designers translate showhouse rooms.  With the Junior League showhouse only coming around every other year, it is a local partnership I always look foward to. Yet, it was not meant to be. As we leisurely drove (and by leisurely, I really mean leisurely. With my mom at the wheel I don't think we had seen the speed limit the entire way to Grosse Pointe. Just kidding, Mom. Kinda.) down Lakeshore Drive we saw in the distance a little power line problemo. Directly in front of the showhouse the power line lay on the street and, wouldn't ya know, the entire block was out of power. Hmpf. My night of inspiring design was just cut off at the knees.  Making the most of the night we headed over to The Hill restaurant and enjoyed selecting dishes from on of the best menus I have seen in a while. I few glasses of cab and some crabcakes later, we acknowledged that our little adventure had not turned out totally fruitless.

On Wednesday I was telling my showhouse misfortune to the ladies at the Schumacher showroom and they kindly let me flip through the booklet they recieved upon their visit to Grosse Pointe.  Next best thing!  Then our conversation took us to the DC showhouse and some ogling on the F. Schumacher website.  Kelley Interior Design from Bethesda, Maryland transformed this living space into a hip and cool study fit for all age ranges using primarly Schumacher products.  I always mosey on over to Schumacher for their modern day twists on florals, prints and all around versatile solids.  Their fabrics and trims all have a youthful, vibrant feeling that can really perk up any interior.  That being said, they really have some awesome go-to solids, like the linens shown here. 

 I love the design detail of the base of this sofa. Such an interesting way to apply the nailhead trim. The dark walls really make everything pop.  I think the interest of the striped lamp shade is another added point of curiosity.  Nothing is fighting to compete here, because in using the solids for upholstery there is an opportunity to bring in patterns in the pillows, skirted table and the throw blanket. The contrast welting on the ottoman is an understated way to coordinate with the color palate.

Ceiling detail? Yes please. Lantern? Yes please. Wall to wall sisal floor covering? Yesssss please. The translation of a skirted table from the traditional round to a more intriguing hexagon? Clever!

Love this desk. Also love how it is arranged (Megan, take note!).  Even the color scheme is translated in to the accessories, but I am really enjoying the pops of green in the topiaries.  I also like how the back if the hutch is painted the wall color.  It doesn't interrupt the flow or make the unit seem overwhelming for the space.

This detailing on the drapery panels is delicious.  I also like the pairing of two totally different chairs. The traditional winged back chair with the more modern wood framed chair create fresh contrast.  

While I could not get my designer showhouse fix in person, there is always the plethora of inspiring images on the internet.  The best thing about the world wide web is that with a few clicks we have access to the design happenings all over the country and world. While it is not the same as seeing the spaces in person, it is a satisfying substitute!

DC Showhouse images Via Angie Seckinger

Friday, May 14, 2010

Weekend Rewind

I cannot believe it is already Friday!  Time is flying and I am honestly begining to think that there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done.  I took a few photos on last weekend's trip that I will share here. First of all, I was probably the only person to pull out their digi as we were landing in Omaha, but how cool does this look? There is probably some totally logical rhyme and reason to the squiggly lines (professional term, I know), but I just thought they looked really beautiful.  I loved the organization of the farm grids combined with the organic lines.  I guess I just was suprised by the interesting terrain of America's bread basket.

We spent our Saturday at the Omaha zoo.  After hangin' at the monkey house (see "bullfrog" monkey below) we decided that we are all eerily similar.   All I can say is that thank goodness the bullfrog mating call was ditched in the evolutionary process!

This peacock is so amazing. A very refreshing color palate. I love the contrast of the bright blue next to the darker, black and white wing feathers. I even kind of like the chartreuse green of the green in the background. Possibly an interesting translation into an interior desugn scheme!
The wedding on Saturday took place at the Joslyn Art Museum.  The ceremony was in front of this huge Dale Chihuly sculpture. It was such a unique and cool backdrop.  I felt like the drama of the sculpture was a modern translation of the ornate alterpieces that adorn many of our magnificent churches. The reception was in the main hall and it could not have been more gorgeous. Awesome location and great weekend!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Off to Omaha!

We are going to Omaha today for Scott's cousin's wedding.  I have never been and decided to google some activities.  Old Market seems like the spot to be and I plan on exploring all it's restaurants and shops on Saturday!  It is always fun to check out a new city and sometimes the ones with small expectations end up being full of suprises.  These Flicker images by Doug French got me even more excited for my visit to the "Cornhusker" state! Yee haw!

Monday, May 3, 2010

May Day! May Day!

Well, if this isn't the story of my relationship with technology then I don't know what is.  Last week my jumbo Dell XPS had a blackout and it has yet to recover. First of all I should state, my Dell XPS is pretty snazzy, as my Dad bought me a 'gamers' computer for my design programs. Very nice thought... and it does have a great screen.... but the computer's size, weight and intro laserlights show has always been a small source of teasing by my friends. All I have to say is I think Jason Bourne used an XPS is one of his movies. 'Nuff said.

Anyway, having less than desired computer skills, I ignored the computer screen blackout and thought a few days of rest and relaxation might get the ol' girl up and running again.  Obviously a desired plan of attack.  Ignoring problems rarely makes things better and it never fixes anything.  This is probably a wise statement we could all apply to every aspect of life.  I had  just saved a ton of images on my computer on bookcases and mantles (for you, Megan!) and also a really neat furniture line that a rep brought into Duncan Fuller a few weeks ago (along with about 5,000 pictures that basically document the last 7 years of my life).  On Wednesday I am going to run over to TechBench after work and see if some professional TLC will get this trusty lap top up and running again. Please cross your fingers for me!

Image Via Getty Images