One freezing cold January, Vicky and Marinique Dabissiere visited an uninhabited house in Queens, New York, after receiving a call from a former client. Her parents had bought an older house, and the client wanted the sisters of LaVie Design to bring it into the 21st century for them. When Vicky and Marinique crossed the threshold, they discovered a house stuck in the 1970s. Mirrored walls loomed all around. Layers of dust covered the wood floors, parts of which needed serious repairs. The old cracked plaster walls were painted a shade of white that had obviously lost its umph over the decades. As you’ll see, this talented design duo turned the neglected 1,438 square-foot New York house into a traditional, but unexpected refuge that exceeded their clients’ wants and needs.
Vicky says: After touring the first floor, we asked the clients about their design style and tastes. The wife, who was at first hesitant, eventually voiced that she liked prints and that while she liked color, she tended to gravitate towards earth tones. She described her style as traditional, but not too traditional. The husband’s main wish was that the family room be “comfortable”. We had four weeks to work with their contractor before the family would need to move in. That is no time in the design world! As we sketched, photographed and measured the space, we could see that the rooms had great bones and underneath the layers of dust and years of neglect, there was indeed a hidden treasure.
The clients were originally from the Caribbean, so we chose to interpret the island feel through color, fabrics and accessories. We painted the living room walls in Benjamin Moore’s Leisure Green. The only moldings in the room were those that accented the walls, and they were caked with decades old paint. We all liked the visual interest they provided to the walls, so we had the contractor replace them and paint them in Benjamin Moore’s White Dove. The moldings certainly help the mother of pearl mirror and black/amber accent chest pop against the possibly overwhelming green walls. Since the clients decided to forego installing central heating and opted to keep the radiators original to the house, we painted those the same color as the walls so they would seamlessly disappear into the background. (On the right in the top photo.)
When it came to the lighting in the living room, in addition to the wall sconces, the space needed more central lighting. Rather than adding wiring to the ceiling for a chandelier, we had the electrician install an electrical socket in the floor in the center of the room for side table lighting. This gave the clients the option of turning on only the table lamps for a more intimate mood.
When beauty meets function, it’s truly a match made in heaven. There’s no better feeling than walking into a store, seeing something gorgeous, taking a closer look and discovering it’s multi-functional. (“It has storage, too! SQUEEE!”) That’s what I love about these vine design garden stools from Outer Banks Trading Group. They are super stylish conversation pieces, come in several colors and make fantastic seating options both indoors and out.
We’re giving away one of these superb ceramic stools this week for Freebie Fridays. The winner gets to choose from any of the fab colors above. (I’m partial to the orange one, but the choice is yours.) To be entered for a chance to win, simply leave us a comment in the field below before 12/11c Monday, September 5.
This week’s question: If you are the winner, where and how would you use this indoor/outdoor garden stool? Front porch or back patio? As a side table in your living room or a stool in your master bedroom?
Click for official rules.
|The name Louis Comfort Tiffany may not be part of your everyday conversation, but there’s definitely a chance you’re familiar with his family’s store. Hint: They’re famous for little robin’s egg blue boxes. Well, Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848 – 1933), the heir of the Tiffany & Co. fortune, is famous for much more than engagement rings. Does this lamp look familiar? “Oh! Of course!” someone might say. “Those used to hang above the tables at Ruby Tuesday!” Well, sort of. Tiffany lamps are often imitated, like this dragonfly pendant lamp which is a replica, but they’re never truly duplicated. We’ve all seen some sort of knock off at a home decor store. But they cannot compare to the absolute pleasure of viewing 45 original Tiffany stained glass lamps up close at the Tiffany at Biltmore exhibit housed in the legendary Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. Trust me. I did, and it’s design-geek heaven. Tiffany is celebrated as one of the preeminent designers of decorative glass. The exhibit at Biltmore showcases his designs in a dimly lit room allowing their translucent glass to light the way through the halls. It’s truly magnificent to view all of the colors and motifs up close and personal.
Biltmore Estate is the perfect venue for this exhibit. The Vanderbilt family built Biltmore House at the height of the Art Nouveau movement, of which Louis C. Tiffany was a highly revered central figure. Art Nouveau celebrated the natural world and captured it in art, architecture and design. Lamps featuring Tiffany’s favorite natural muses — dragonflies and lilies — reflect his appreciation for the natural world. It is those designs that are most popular.
However, Tiffany also found inspiration in some creatures of the organic world that you wouldn’t expect. My visit to the Biltmore exhibit marked the first time I had ever seen (or heard of) a Tiffany lamp with a design influenced by the form a spider and spider web. (Be sure to keep an eye out for it when you take the tour.)
I’ve never been able to figure out how to craft paper airplanes that don’t crash and burn in under three seconds. I’ve given up. If you haven’t, check out Guinness record holder Ken Blackburn’s high-flying jets and exclusive patterns. (His Top Gun designs stay aloft for almost 30 seconds!) I’m happy sticking with quirky designs inspired by the papery little flyers. No, you can’t write a secret love note on them, but they are pretty dang cute and won’t (accidentally) get thrown in the trash.
1. Paper Airplane Seating Cards from Pink Loves Chocolate :: 2. Paper Airplane Pillow by Etsy Seller diffractionfiber :: 3. Airplane Bouquet from Smile and Wave :: 4. Plane Plant Picks from Eat a Duck I Must :: 5. “Super Fly” Notecards by Etsy Seller BrushandMallet :: 6. Airplane Mobile from Lauren Clark :: 7. Wall Decals from Etsy Seller lushlifestudio
What about you? What’s your personal record for paper airplane hang time?
Tell us in the comments below.
In our August 26th giveaway, we asked you to go wild dreaming up a list of the ugly (but necessary) everyday items that need cool new covers design by Dirt Couture in order to better fit in our stylish lives. Design Happens fan Olivia would like to see those ghastly white house alarm key pads get a fresh makeover. Fuse boxes, window A/C units and curbside trash cans apparently are also in need of their own “hose clothes.”
Our winner, Alicia Cocco, was too busy gushing over the funky leopard print of the hose clothes to pitch an idea for a product makeover. But that’s quite alright. Freebie Fridays winners are randomly drawn, not based on clever answers.
Our Freebie winners always have two weeks to reply to our messages before we pick another random winner.
If you came to my house right now, you’d see 50′ and 100′ garden hoses strung out all over our front yard and backyard. It drives my husband crazy, but I have no desire to wrangle these unwieldy, slick beasts all the way back to home base when I’m just going to have to pull them out all over again to water the garden the next morning. I’ll admit, though, it looks a little ridiculous to have two giant green mambas strung out in the grass, but I’m not changing my ways. That’s why I was overjoyed when Anna shared with me the chicest garden invention since paisley printed watering cans. I’m talking about Hose Clothes, people.
A sassy leopard print covering for my gangly, green monstrosities? MEOW! We partnered with Dirt Couture (my new favorite online store, btw) to give away one handcrafted and mildew-resistant Leopard garden hose cover. To be entered for a chance to win, simply leave us a comment in the field below before 12/11c Monday, August 29.
This week’s question: What ugly household necessity should Dirt Couture produce covers for next? The boring, black cable TV receiver? Utilitarian washing machines and dryers? How about the metal fuse box?
Click for official rules.
If your garden is anything like mine, it starts to look a little haggard come August. It’s not that I’ve given up on keeping it in tip top condition. I’m watering it regularly, I swear! But all that was once lush and bright has faded, and my spindly petunias and wilting gladiolas are making me sad. That’s why I’m ready to take on another garden project. August and September are the perfect time to refresh your outdoor space with some hardy, colorful plants that will thrive through cooler fall temps. While you’re at your local garden center, swing by the hardware store for some metal trashcans and the limited additional supplies you’ll need for featured blogger Brian Patrick Flynn’s fast and easy mobile container garden how-to. The combination of glossy metal containers and fresh plants is the perfect decoration to wow guests at your up-coming labor day party!
Clockwise from left: Galvanized mobile container garden :: “Killer Klown” coleus :: “Purple Knight” alternanthera
This project is so easy and involves so few steps that there’s no excuse for an ugly summer or fall patio. My favorite thing about this project is the price — metal trash cans are a fraction of the cost of new containers. I also think the wheels are a major selling point. Do you know how much a container weighs when it’s filled with soil and plants? Being able to push them around to accommodate extra guest seating or a dessert table is absolutely priceless.
What are your best tips for lifting your garden out of the dismal days of late summer?
Share them with us in the comments below.
Monograms, wedding photos, quirky doodles of squirrels and even a USB drive were some of the original ideas Design Happens readers would want if given the opportunity to design their own Vapur Anti-Bottle. In our August 19th giveaway, we introduced you guys to these fold-and-go bottles sporting quirky artwork that our own Antonio Ballatore helped pick out. Now, it’s time to announce the lucky winner of all three Vapur Artist Edition bottles. Drum roll, please…Our sweepstakes winner is Miriam Losada! Congrats, Miriam!
Just like all Freebie Friday winners, Miriam has two weeks to respond to our congratulatory email. If she fails to do so, we will pick another random winner to take home the prize.
Hi, my name is Karli, and I’m a water-bottle-aholic. If a 12-step program for funky, fresh water bottles existed, my family would rush to sign me up and stage an intervention. My kitchen cabinets are crammed full of water bottles — pink, orange, clear, floral — I’ve got them all. I love having a bottle for every day of the week. (And every outfit!) What I don’t love is how much space they take up. You can imagine how excited I am with my new find…water bottles that take up barely any room. The “fold-and-go” design of Vapur’s Anti-Bottle makes them perfect for purses, backpacks, gym bags and cramped office spaces. When your water is gone, just clip the “bottle” onto your bag or fold it to tuck away.
Vapur wants one lucky Design Happens winner to take home the Vapur Artist Series collector’s box filled with three limited edition Vapur Anti-Bottles designed by international artists. (HGTV’s own Antonio Ballatore helped pick out the winning designs!) To be entered for a chance to win, simply leave us a comment in the field below before 12/11c Monday, August 22.
This week’s question: What design would you put on your Vapur bottle if you got to play artist? A cool chevron pattern? A photo of your beloved pet or favorite HGTV star? A Louis chair?
Click for official rules.
I’ve seriously been jonesing for fall and its most-spectacular holiday, Halloween. Not because of this brutally hot summer weather. I’ve had Halloween pumpkin carving on the brain since May when I planted jack-o’-lantern pumpkins in my summer vegetable garden. I’m itching to cut the perfect orange spheres off their stalks and fill my house with carved pumpkin designs until my little Halloween heart is content. Luckily, I found this fabulous pumpkin project that will work perfectly as I transition my decor from a late summer to full-on fall feel.
This pumpkin silhouette project is so easy — it only has four steps! You simply print out a picture of a silhouette (this particular silhouette came from Susie Harrington of Petite Prints), trace the outline onto the flattest side of your pumpkin, paint inside the lines and glue trim around it. Simple! The pumpkin used in the project was already white, but I can easily spray paint my orange ones. (Spray-painting pumpkins couldn’t be easier. I’ve done it for countless Halloween parties in the past. Guests are totally impressed!)
You can find the complete materials list, step-by-step photos and tips on HGTV.com. Plus, you’ll find lots of other Halloween decorating ideas and pumpkin carving templates to give you a headstart on fall. Admit it. You can’t wait for Halloween either.
When you’ve finished your silhouette pumpkin, take a picture and share a link with us on the blog.
Tell us all about it in the comments below.