11/30/2017

Christmas Decorating Details with Taste

When it comes to adding all the fa la la to a holiday home, the tree can become an afterthought. Becoming reacquainted with your decorations, along with other festive pieces used in all seasons, you can achieve Christmas decorating pizzaz simply and beautifully.

Metallic ornaments in soft, trending colors do not need a tree to shine.

The other holiday go-to that delights the senses is food. Christmas cookies, candy and even boxed brownies spruced with red and green sprinkles can achieve instant oomph.

Festive cookies set with springs of herbs, vintage Christmas tree balls, over a handmade placemat made from Midori gift wrap.

While there will always be a craving for gingerbread and candy canes during the holiday, food does not have to be Christmas themed to have value. This also applies to everyday favorites like your child’s toys or mittens, which can add a personalized touch to a holiday vignette.

Create your own Christmas spectacle by following a few basic tips:
  1. Look to tree ornaments in new ways, such as adding flair to vacant, fragile-friendly spaces or shiny ornamentation in a table setting.
  2. Wrapping paper can do double duty as placemats or wallpaper.
  3. Treat any visual edible as an opportunity to embellish a vignette.
  4. Keep some of the Christmas decoration boxes in storage and look to everyday items as holiday props. Such decorating thriftiness will be even more valued once the holiday is over and cleanup begins.

Baked goods and candy highlighted on gold trimmed dessert dishes create a sophisticated, personalized look.

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11/16/2017

Everything You Need to Know About Framing Your Own Art

Art creates a Cinderella effect to a space, transforming a basic room through color, visual excitement, and scale. Though an unframed work will make Cinderella appear like she’s wearing her ball gown with mussy hair and no makeup. It takes the right frame to accentuate a piece’s beauty and understanding framing’s intricacies, like matting and scale, are nuggets framers earn top dollar for. Online framing resources allow you to take control of framing your own pieces, but there are few considerations you need to know before choosing that route.

A notable transformation with a silver frame that captures the style of the art.

Chrissy Droessler, co-founder & president of framed & matted, oversees an online framing destination where art enthusiasts can customize a frame to their piece’s specifications. “Our selection includes 14 frames and 30 mat colors, giving customers the confidence to choose their own custom framing materials at home. We also offer complimentary design assistance and samples. And if you are stuck deciding between two mat colors, we will send a second mat color so you can make your final decision at home,” says Droessler.

A larger painting has a styled look with the thick mat and white frame.

While many will be deterred by that key one to one interaction with a framer, where the ability to play with a variety of frames to the actual physical piece is lost, framed & matted is doing what Warby Parker does for buying eyewear via the web for picture frames.

A basic white frame gives a colorful piece a calming presentation.

How It Works:
Droessler shares tips on how to make the best choices when framing your own art.
Selection: You can select up to five mat and four frame samples to see the colors in actuality with the artwork. There are also detail images and a look book that offer a sense of how the frames look on the wall.

Customization: If you are going to pay for a custom frame, why not make it look custom? There are so many great ready-made frame options out there. Add some personality to your frame with a pop of color or interesting mat margin. You can either go bold and pick a bright colorful mat, or just add a little color and design a double mat with a neutral top mat (white, grey, black) and a colorful bottom mat.

How to choose: Pick a detail in your artwork and selecting a complimentary mat color. This will help draw attention to your artwork and make it look special. Of course, if white is what works best, try framing with a double mat using the same color white. This will add a little extra custom look to your frame.

The blue under mat subtly picks up the colors in the art for a distinctive look.

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11/11/2017

Color Crush: Pink, Orange + Gold

Pink and orange is not just for kids coming off a sherbet rush, especially when glamorized with a hint of gold. Tapping into the retro era of rainbows and illuminated disco floors, the scheme has a modern resurgence when paired with like minded decor-reliables such as books, wallpaper and textiles. However you wield pink, orange + gold, the result is fun and vibrant.

Despite a varied mix of accents, the design keeps from looking cluttered by sharing the same color scheme. Original art atop metallic wallpaper by Aimee Wilder creates a classic composition.

Not one pillow is part of a set yet linked by the unifying palette.

A simple way to verve up a wall with paper goods in our color crush.

A bedroom has a modern classic style from its grouping of vintage and contemporary items in this fresh palette.

Accessories used to layer the look.

Resources:

Art: ducks goose

Pina Sola wallpaper: Aimee Wilder

Bicycle pillow: Art Goodies

Bunting: etsy

Kate Spade New York Bow quilt: Bed Bath & Beyond

Toiletry case: Roberta Roller Rabbit

Journal: Motto journals

A Little Princess: Rifle Paper Co.

Notecards: Waste Not Paper

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10/30/2017

Ultimate Guide to the Romantic Home

A long time ago in publishing turnover years I helmed a magazine that celebrated grown women who hosted tea parties, collected antique dolls, and cherished pieces with fat cabbage roses and chippy patinas. While some of the styles look like the remnants of a dried flower explosion there were designs that showed a restrained elegance, hallmarking the perservaitionist feel in a modern way, which the Europeans do so well. The woman who owns this style is Joanne Coletti of Vintage Rose Collection, her lifestyle enterprise that offers an edited selection of original artwork, shabby chic wares, and tips on achieving the ultimate romantic home.

The decor maven is an author, artist, photographer and writer for decorating magazines. “I absolutely love what I do!” she gushes. Coletti is so feminine she addresses you as “doll” and makes you feel pretty even if you haven’t washed your hair and ate a garlicy lunch. A stunning woman in that Charlie’s Angels knockout kind of way (she’d play the Farah Fawcett role), I don’t think she ever has a bad hair day or eats garlic.

She speaks of her husband, Mark, with the same passion reserved to a new relationship. They have been married for 26 years and are the parents of “two amazing boys and our little special yorkie, Jessy.”

You can never have too many roses in a romantic home, the main theme in Joanne’s art and vignettes.

 Men Can Live in a Romantic Home

You would think a household where Coletti is outnumbered by men would tone down all the poof and puff, but Coletti attests that her husband finds that soft tones “calm the bull in me.” Mark operates a landscape company and is in charge of the outdoors, contributing to his wife’s design with outdoor cuttings.

 

Their boys grew up with white sofas and feminine things, it’s what they know. “But, their own rooms, that’s a whole different story. I always allowed them freedom of their own creativity, after all it’s their personal space,” she says.

Joanne Coletti pictured with Jessy.

Feminine Outlook

Perhaps breathing in all that rose infused air has given Coletti a sensitive outlook toward her environment. “My surroundings are very important to me,” she says, “it’s like fresh air. For me my home is not only my visual art board but it alludes a feeling of goodness. And the ‘good life’ is not about riches but rather living lavishly modest, in-the-moment, and in a caring way. To care about your surroundings and to take pride in wherever you may hang your hat–that is the ‘good life.’”

Blushing pinks compose this unabashedly ladylike vignette.

5 Steps to the Romantic Look:
1. Honor your space’s natural light and do not obscure with dark furnishings or color.
2. If you love something you will find a space for it, a romantic home is about items with a story.
3. Look at vintage in new ways by pairing with like minded pieces or embellishing with flowers.
4. Keep the palette soft and light.
5. Texture, texture, texture. A surplus of textiles, pillows and accessories is both comfortable and pretty.

Pillows from the Vintage Rose Collection.

Resources:

Vintage Rose Collection of hand-painted items, note cards, bedding, fabric and vintage finds handpicked by Joanne Coletti: www.vintagerosecollection.com

Joanne Coletti’s blog: https://vintagerosecollection.com/wp/

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10/23/2017

Chunky Knit Throw: Three Price Points

The mental prep work has begun for winter’s arrival. A process where I outline how each frosty month will be spent and the gear needed, which includes wares for the home. Make hibernation more comforting, and stylish, with a chunky wool blanket that recalls the days when mom dressed you in the Irish knit sweater she wore as a lass. We found three chic blankets at your price.

3 Chunky Wool Blankets – 3 Different Prices

  1. Etsy, $45

The homemade feel of this blanket shows the construction of a fishing net that is both affordable and stylish.

2. Berkshire Blanket, $110

A true relation to the classic Irish knit.

 

3. Artizen, $275

A current, modern take on the chunky knit composition.

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10/18/2017

Color Crush: Navy + Pink

Certain combinations, while unexpected, do not fail to entice. My current chocolate and peanut butter obsession is navy + pink. Sophisticated navy lightens up with pink, creating an almost unisex dynamic. In design, the colors are stylishly executed in an assortment of current pieces–I even created art based on the scheme. Add some accents in the color pairing and you have a designed space.

A corner takes a bold, colorful direction with navy + pink guiding the scheme, as seen in the art and pillows.

Pink is becoming today’s neutral, which is so accepted in a color palette even men are embracing the feminine hue. When balanced with navy it’s perfectly at home in a room of men yelling at football plays.

Accent pillow by Therese Marie Designs is a simple, subtle and transitional way to bring in navy + pink.

You don’t have to paint your walls or add furniture in the colors to create the look, accessorize with pillows, textiles and art.

Color block pillow with a softer shade of pink by Jillian Rene Decor connects the colors.

Resources:

Navy + Pink color block art: ducks goose

Color block pillow cover: Jillian Rene Decor

Navy pillow with pink accents: Therese Marie Designs

Covetable Navy + Pink Accessories

  1. Sneakers 2. Sailor shirt 3. Hat 4. Pom poms, lanterns 5. Quilt 6. Ties 7. Throw 8. Tote 9. Socks 10. Valet tray

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10/10/2017

The Charms of an Older Home

While the Jetsons may be amusingly space aged I am comfortable living in this year, even a few centuries back. It’s the customs that engage. You can’t have an elegant pheasant meal served by footmen when a robot beeps by.

Our parlor room brought into the modern day.

An attention to craftsmanship and history is seen in every detail, like how our 1915 farmhouse was built around the fireplace as it was the main source of warmth. We have not fallen into your typical suburban model, which shares the same style imprint as every other home in this community. The marble baths, rugs that capture the same motif as the valences, lucite coffee table bought from cb2 and stacked with coffee table books in ruler edged precision–it’s the same concept as the Benetton sweater every girl wore back in high school. While it’s a very nice sweater it made overplayed appearances in the classroom. I am more inspired by the student who broke from the norm and wore something a bit alternative, found from a vintage shop, or styled the basic uniform in a personalized way.

Detailing of our original bannister.

My favorite homes are from my childhood, notably in the Hamptons. We lived In a house unique to the other’s with a pink tiled bathroom and floorboards with holes that led to enchanting places. This was all that we knew. Finding beauty from imperfection was revered, the decor composed with pieces that had stories behind them, or a kitchen designed with materials sourced from salvage yards.

An antique cupboard displaying motley pieces linked through color, scale or style.

Another trend that baffles me is new constructions. Everyone appears to want the same home. When I grew up the older homes were considered more authentic. You can’t replicate their clusters of rooms with thick walls and artisanal bannisters. Now it’s common to extract these architectural gems from the space.

The girls’ bedroom has a mix of old and new.

Our home is like fashion, I am constantly tweaking by bringing in my latest paintings and editing vignettes. While sometimes it looks like a child with a box of crayons who had a color meltdown, I try to maintain a merchandiser’s eye. The decor has a mix of pieces from all time periods but they typically share a theme through color, pattern or scale. It’s a constant process but the result reflects a singular style.

Resources:

Belle Bloom Robert Allen fabric for customized pillows, seat cushions and valances: Robert Allen

Lemon painting: Ducks Goose

A True Love Story Never Ends picture: Tuvalu Home

Dipper ceramic blue bowls: Wagoo

Pink pedestal plates, striped dishes: Rosanna Inc.

Mosser Jadeite Cake Stand: Sur la Table

Kate Spade bow tiled pink comforter: Bed Bath & Beyond

Standard pillow cases: Stamattina

Bicycle throw pile: Art Goodies

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10/06/2017

The Jetsons – Ultimate Design Guide to the Future

I am starting to think about the future and not in the investment and derivatives sort of way. With the release of Blade Runner 2049 and watching “The Jetsons” with my son after a thirty years hiatus, we discovered what imagined trends have become reality.

The Jetsons is you typical 2062 family as imagined in the Hana-Barbera cartoon.

 

“The Jetsons” is a futuristic family but the sitcom American profile abound. There’s George, the bumbling patriarch who is always trying to work his way out of some snafu with the boss, supported by a sensible wife, attractive teenage daughter, and young son who never ages since this is a cartoon.

While everything seemed unimaginable in the Jetson’s account of 2062, in some ways we have surpassed the Jetsons aside from sky high traffic jams. (Though read below, as that may happen by decade’s end).

High Fashion Home

The Bea Sofa by High Fashion Home is a modern classic that endures.

 

Everything is technicolor in the Jetson’s world, which hits today’s designs as bright colored sofas add futuristic drama to a room.

Etsy

Abstract art gives a boots to your desk vignette no matter what year it is.

Delpozo Fashions

Delpozo’s winter “Serenity” collection has theatrical composition. Perhaps for The Jetsons the movie?

 

Ditch the ripped jeans and wool sweaters, fashionable cuts and innovative materials from Delpozo is where Jane and Judy Jetson would shop.

Galaxy S8 Phone

The Galaxy S8 helps make us smarter.

 

Expansive display screen, iris scanning for security, and multiple image camera processing are some of the Galaxy S8‘s features that have catapulted us into a futuristic world.

Waveforms Lighting

The Sonneman Waveform pendant would be a natural addition to the Jetson’s home.

 

Sonneman’s dome shaped pieces are more than contemporary gems, its LED lighting uses 90% less energy and lasts longer than regular bulbs.

Aeromobil Flying Car

The Aeromobil flying car gives the driver a choice of road or air, how’s that for tackling road rage?

 

You can literally take off with the Aeromobil flying car, which is looking to launch in 2020–regulations permitting.

Robot NAO V5 Standard Edition

A robot programmed with software, sensors and customizable operating system.

 

Friend or foe? The Robot NAO V5 is capable of experiencing seven senses, it’s up to the owner to customize his/hers/its functions.

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10/04/2017

Creating a Crafted Home

Keep reading, crafts are not exclusive to macrame pot holders and cutesy wares sold at a church bizarre. There are handmade items with a finished look to add design and function, setting apart a space as personalized over a home decorated with brand identifiable fixtures. We have welcomed an age where we customize everything from dogs to thousand dollar jeans. The trend is catching on, with two books that celebrate the crafted home.

The handmade fabric dyed ottoman blends with the other pieces in the room and offers a signature touch.

 

A Well-Crafted Home by Janet Crowther is a departure from craft books that feature home’s jammed with Sunday art crafts. The projects are specifically created to add function and style.

Find the handmade crafts by Janet Crowther. Answer: wooden herb planter, quilted cushions, cutting board, tea towels.

 

When Crowther moved to New York City with her husband on a limited design budget, they discovered that handmade pieces was an affordable way to decorate their home without denting the budget. From a dyed fabric ottoman to a knotted rope ladder, the book offers a variety of projects that look like home store highlights you’d pay a premium for.

An acrylic side table adds a modern, styled touch to an entry. Yes, you can make this.

 

Artist Tamara Maynes spills her crafty secrets in the gorgeously produced book The Maker. Maynes is an established artist who is known for her modern graphic interiors but in her book she features a variety of projects, categorized by such mediums as wall art, ceramics and furniture.

 

Maynes takes a historic and psychological approach to the art of making things, and how the basis of a simple craft can evolve into a modern form. Her projects are expressive and original, like the beaded light fixture that recalls her days as making jewelry as a little girl. The countless projects, not to mention the artistically presented book with covers that mimic slabs of wood, will add intrigue to your home.

 

Resources:

Reprinted from A Well-Crafted Home. Copyright © 2017 by Janet Crowther. Photography by Julia Wade. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

The Maker: Crafting a Unique Space by Tamara Maynes with Tracy Lines. Published by Abrams. Photography by Eve Wilson.

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09/18/2017

Living in a Modern Day Teepee

The teepee will always fascinate from its lore, tribal romance, and having the habitable efficiency of a portable umbrella. It has grown in popularity, designed in trendy fabrics as a decorative novelty for children to retreat and reboot. On a grander scale tepees are associated with Ralph Lauren’s Telluride and shelter on glamping trips.

Teepees are more than just novelties but unique, eco-efficient homes.

While commonly associated with American Indians, teepees have also populated parts of Europe and Asia. The structure not only has benefits for a nomadic existence but in the current day they are eco-friendly.

The “pointy-hat” cantilevers are erected slightly above ground, which prevents insects, humidity and fallen snow from entering the house.

In this home in Nasu, Tochigi, a resort area in Japan, the homeowners are a young couple who enjoy an environmentally-aware existence with organic gardening and limiting their carbon footprint in this natural environs. They enlisted architect Hiroshi Nakamura &NAP with the task of preserving the surrounding woods where they plotted the home. “We avoided large-scale construction to build the rooms on the few remaining flat surfaces of the sloping ground, as if sewing them together,” says Nakamura.

The high ceiling allows the structure to receive direct sunlight, which is especially needed in the dense woods. To offset the expense of air-conditioning they eliminated unnecessary space.

The teepee’s form matches the neighboring tree branches.

Nakamura’s design process:

+ They began by cutting down the upper space diagonally to make the ceiling lower based on the way people move.

+ The new form matches the tree branches that spread out radially. This resulted in a tent-shaped house with only one-third of the volumes. Although the highest ceiling is 26 feet, the average ceiling height is 16 feet. Dwellers cannot stand upright close to the walls, so Nakamura simply turned the spaces into sleeping and sitting areas. The ceiling descends like a tent and enables the creation of a warm living space that mingles with the trees. “You will feel the warmhearted embrace of the house around you,” he says.

+ Other eco-conscious design tricks include the “pointy-hat” building cantilevers, which are slightly above ground in order to prevent insects, humidity and fallen snow from entering the house.

+ The windows are all double glazed in order to ensure that the tall spaces are airtight and well insulated. The fireplace and the air-conditioning underfloor capitalize on the floor heating and pit.

+ During summer, warm air gathers at the top and escapes through the upper window. In winter, warm air at the upper part will be drawn in and blown out at floor level, creating a comfortable air flow.

A constant surprise with light and, in this instance, sheds an intriguing profile.

The design fosters family gatherings and connecting naturally. “It is similar to primitive spaces seen in the houses of the Jomon People (Ancient Japanese) and Native Americans. The structure of the house initiated a lifestyle with close interaction, because the family sat along the low wall facing each other. A fire, a light or a table was set in the middle to initiate conversation as the family gathered around the center. The architecture has had an influence on people’s habits and it strengthened the connection and bond of the family,” Nakamura says.

Built in tables detailed with wooden poles capture the outdoors into indoors theme.

“Design touches include light wood, natural tones and artisanal additions like the pressed flower glass door. “Akebi, viola, anemone, geranium, larkspur – the wild flowers found in the pressed flower glass all came from the surrounding woods,” says Nakamura. “Our idea was to find a new way to reflect the blessings of nature, not just in the context of samples or picture books. We manufactured the glass by sandwiching the pressed flowers in resin films between two thick glasses and firing them in vacuum.”

Flower cuttings from the surrounding area are immortalized within indoor glass windows.

Pressed flowers sealed between two panes of glass protect the flowers from decolorization.

An almost space age feel happens at night.

The home takes on a new direction once night falls. Moonlight naturally illuminates the exterior, wild animals circulate freely around the home, which has a presence that is as natural as its neighboring trees. “In the darkness of the night, you will find a house filled with warm and gentle looks,” Nakamura says. It’s like living on a camp ground with all the efficiencies.

There is an alluring quality from the lit teepee, like a jack-o-lantern at night.

For more information please visit http://www.nakam.info/en/

Photography by Koji Fujii / Nacasa and Partners Inc.

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