Saturday, August 14, 2010

What's on the Wall....

Walls are one of my most favorite spots to add Wow Factor. High gloss lacquer, wallpaper, faux paint, upholstered suede (like I have in my living to come), and intriguing arrangements of prints, mirrors and quirky objects add so much too a room, even if you are not ready, or can't afford, to add a stick of furniture! Chic walls are also fairly immune to the ruff and tumble living scars of goldfish crumbs, spilled cokes or pet hair :)
I will write a lot about this topic in the future but just wanted to throw out a few ideas to start...

***A note about high gloss lacquer. My absolute favorite is Farrow and Ball. They have stopped making their oil based lacquer but the water based one they replaced it with is just as great. It almost makes the walls look wet. I have many clients that have one or two rooms that aren't in the budget to tackle right away. This is a fairly inexpensive way to make a spot fabulous. Paint these empty rooms in a bold color....charcoal grey, mustard the high gloss lacquer. Instead of these empty rooms being sluffed off and hidden when guests come by they will be like a movie preview of what is to come....

This is part of Tory Burch's home featured in Vogue a few years ago. the walls are upholstered in kelley green velvet...yummy!

Mirrors are a great alternative to expensive artwork. While I am sure this fabulous one cost a pretty penny there other great ones out there....I love to hunt them down in antique markets.
Even piece of coral can become art on your wall. This is from Mrs. Howard, a fabulous site!

Even the white walls of this hallway fell finishing and luxurious in white lacquer!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Family Style -- elegant, chic and completely cozy

No matter how many toddlers, teens or canines live in your home, every room can look like it fits on the pages of Elle Decor or House Beautiful and still be enjoyed by every member of your family. Why leave the decked out living room for only the occasional guest?  
My Connecticut cottage is my cocoon, my refuge from the hustle and bustle of carpools, pediatrician visits and client meetings. I love to spend time in every room in my home and since a brood of three toddlers and two mutts follow me wherever I go, they feel at home in every space too. The advice I give my clients, and which I live by too, is to embrace the chaos of young and energetic households...plan spaces for the way you  live, but do LIVE in every space. Then, this is the fun part, while planning your life add in a layer of sophisticated eye candy to cater to adult tastes, I like to call it the "Wow Factor" and every room needs one: exquisite trims, rich fabric and faux painting have a home in even the most boisterous space and when added thoughtfully do not need to comprise the life inside the home.

I started this blog to address all those other design savvy mothers out there that may have a fabulously well styled closet but put the house on hold until juice boxes or skateboards were a faded memory. I am telling you...don't wait! Embrace your home and do not compromise your design aesthetic

I plan to offer advice in this blog on some of the  more vexing questions others moms have presented me what do you do with bookshelves!?? or paint, yikes! as well as share some of my tricks for creating spaces, like  your living room for example, that are comfortable for babies, cocktail party guests and Sunday morning lounging --- all while looking completely fabulous.

Here are some examples of rooms I adore, for different reasons. But if you look closely, most of them would stand up to life!

I LOVE this playroom by Alessandra Branca. Why can't the kids space look like a million bucks!

The ceiling is a great place to spend your design capital with no fear of messy footprint.
This is such a dreamy room for a little girl...can't you just see the curtains pulled back before the show!
(this is by Mary McDonald, one of my absolute favorite designers)

Anyone would feel at home in this room with a glass of wine or story book. Ottoman coffee tables are a great way to beckon loungers into a room.