Let’s be honest: most of us probably have pretty safe (and sometimes boring) sofas, myself included. As the backbone of a living room, making a neutral color choice can be wise.
But after seeing Jeanine Hays’ new collection of AphroChic home accessories, I got excited about the potential for a more lively living room without having to go completely out of my comfort zone. Jeanine’s intuitive sense of color leads to a collection of completely mix-and-matchable pieces that pair with each other perfectly despite their contrasting patterns. Bye bye dull couch!
Tufting is one trend that I’m glad to see growing some legs and evolving in such pretty ways.
This small scale sofa in West Elm’s new line has such nice, refined proportions which balance the tufting out so well. And at only 60 inches wide, the Elton Settee is small enough to be a love seat, and big enough to feel like it can hold its own in a living room.
It’s here, it’s here! The 2011 HGTV Green Home tour has finally arrived. Step inside this year’s Green Home in Denver, Colorado and take a look around the prairie-style home.
I’m having a hard time deciding what I love more: this fabulous and functional kitchen or the loft space on the second floor. Or maybe it’s the breathtaking Colorado surroundings….
On a rainy morning like today, there’s nothing better than creating a mood board for your dream spaces, yes? Surely it’s not just me? Anyway, I mocked up some plans for my future living room:
Where Dala Horses Roam
The Carlyle New York, one of Manhattan’s most celebrated hotels, has enjoyed an eight year relationship with the award-winning design firm Champalimaud. Over the years, the firm has completed renovations of a handful of suites. Champalimaud’s goal has been to satisfy the high expectations of visiting celebrities and dignitaries who often take up the suites as long-term residences. (In the past, rumored guests have included Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, Jack Nicholson, maybe Mick Jagger, but we won’t confirm.)
When designing the suites featured in this month’s tour, Champalimaud ensured that comfort and usability were brought to the forefront of the designs, so these rooms would feel like a home away from home, rather than impersonal hotel rooms. (A quarter of the hotel’s 239 rooms and suites are occupied by long-term renters or co-op owners.) Senior Designer Craig Mitchell, who leads the firm’s ongoing design work for the Carlyle, and President and Principal Designer Alexandra Chamalimaud explain how they were able to keep history and classicisim alive in this Manhattan landmark located on Madison Avenue, while also moving the design into the 21st century.
SUITE: 3001 • Says Craig, “Each suite at the Carlyle is unique in its design. When we were asked to renovate Suite 3001, it was decided the vision for this suite would be to exemplify contemporary classicism. We had 10 weeks to complete it. We searched many antique stores and showrooms. We mixed contemporary art with vintage lacquered furniture in beige and soft grays, with accents of orange. I will never forget frantically installing the finishing touches mere minutes before the guests checked in.
Can You Say Room Service?
The March issue of Country Living is redefining just what qualifies as “country” these days.
Toile, when paired with a punchy purple walls, is modern country along with eclectic “worldy” art collections, a comfy dining room and outdoor elements used indoors. Vintage fabrics are one of the defining characteristics of a country style, and this living room embraces them while still looking fresh.
Happy Valentine’s Day all you design lovers! On this day of love, I thought I’d share one of my favorite red pieces of furniture with you: the Womb Chair.
I know that it may look a tad space-aged to the traditional furniture fan, but it is just so darn comfortable. True to its name, Eero Saarinen’s chair is womb-like. You sit in it and the coziness is undeniable. Of course it comes in colors other than red, but today this one seemed the obvious choice.
This week, Dan Faires builds a rugged coffee table with a touch of industrial chic.
For this simple DIY project, all you’ll need is reclaimed wood, casters and L-brackets.
Dan Shows You How
Finding a sofa for a small space can be quite the challenge. If you want something bigger than a loveseat but smaller than a standard couch, you may be stuck.
The compromise that this small Parlour Sofa from cb2 reaches is a fantastic solution to that dilemma. As one of their new pieces for 2011, this small-scale number measures in at just 61″ wide. The sleek lines and steel blue color really won me over.
Tampa’s Studio M is a full-service interior design firm founded by principal designer Michelle Jennings Wiebe in 1991. Having lived in Florida for most of her life, Michelle has always been inspired by coastal living . “Florida is home to not only beautiful tropical weather, but also to some of the most luxurious waterfront homes in the world. Over the years, our firm has been blessed to work on some truly exquisite waterfront projects.” Shake off the winter blues as Michelle walks us through a warm and sophisticated Florida home that challenges notions of tropical design.
Michelle says, “My clients did not want their waterfront home to have the traditional tropical feel that so many Florida homes have. Instead, they wanted a sleek, contemporary home that melded their chic lifestyle with the oceanfront exterior of their home. What I call “living coastal contemporary” is both a lifestyle and design philosophy that I used in defining the theme for this home. With so much beauty right outside their door, they wanted to be able to see it and enjoy it from different parts of the house. The tropical vibe is subtle — this house make sense anywhere in the country. It’s not themed, but it does reflect the beauty of the area.”
More on Michelle’s Coastal Contemporary Style
While tons of people obsess over certain Hollywood A-Listers, I find myself weak in the knees for the unsung heroes of glamour — shelter magazine photographers. My obsession is somewhat justified, because, unless you’re going to barge into the home of my latest client, you’re most likely going to see my work (and hire me) through the work of these photographers. And interiors shoots are kinda fascinating. Not in an OMG-look-what-Suri-Cruise-is-wearing-on-the-playground type way. More like in a WOW-that’s-how-the-Egyptians-made-the-Pyramids kinda way. So prepare to be amazed, like one of those TV specials, as I reveal…secrets of shelter magazine photographers.
After this post, when looking at interior photos, you’ll not only appreciate the work it took to create them, you’ll — like I do — notice the curious absence of everyday things like corners. And toilets. And if you do see them, you’ll know that someone either made a major faux pas or deliberately embraced the photographer’s “kiss of death.”
I could keep typing, but, instead, I’m going to let the professionals do the talking since (a) I find myself irritating after two paragraphs (b) this is all about photographers anyway (c) I have a photo shoot in an hour, and if I don’t leave now, someone else will snatch the peonies, and I’ll be left with Alstroemeria.
EMILY JENKINS FOLLOWILL Photographer
Foyer: Neely Design Associates, Brian Watford ID | Living Room: Liza Bryan Interiors
Clicky-Click for the Q&As
Fall is upon us, and I’m in search of snuggle-up-by-the-fire-inducing designs.
It seems furniture artist Claire-Anne O’Brien had the same idea when she created these adorable knitted stools, which tap right into a recent hot trend in home decor: warm, cozy weaves. I love the playful quality of Obrien’s designs. One of these stools would look cute in an office or even a kids’ room.
Sherry and John Petersik are full-time bloggers with a knack for all things DIY. Meet one of their babies, Young House Love, a blog dedicated to the adventures of their first home renovation project.
We enjoyed spending time with Emily Henderson, host of the show Secrets From a Stylist, at our design bloggers luncheon in Manhattan last week. (You can read about the 40 bloggers, including Design Happens contributors like Emily, who joined us at our New York offices here.) Before winning HGTV Design Star, Emily enjoyed a busy career as a photo-shoot stylist for top lifestyle and design publications. Now she’s even busier.
Read on to learn more about which designer has influenced Emily the most and what she finds impossible to pass up at flea markets.
Back in the early 1990s, I sat front and center for the best fight in suburban South Florida history. There were no ropes and no screaming fans; nor were there disgruntled, black-and-white striped dudes with whistles. Featured opponents? My mom and dad. Location: formal living room, 8300 NW 54th St., my tropical childhood home.
Just to fill you in, my parents rarely fought. Even if they did, it would involve (a) coupon-expiration-date-induced bickering over where to eat dinner (b) Thursday Night Remote Control Tug-of-War (Chicago Hope versus NYPD Blue). When they did unabashedly lose their cool like housemates circa episode six of The Real World, I was unapologetically pleased, because it was mostly decorating-based.
The catalyst for that night’s explosion? Straight from the taxidermist, Dad snuck 12 feet of stuffed elk and sailfish in the front door as Mom pulled up from a PTA meeting, dinner in one hand and a 3-year-old in the other. What followed can best be described as the sound of all hell breaking loose.
Meg Ryan Marathon Meets Monday Night Football
This week’s Style Jolt is inspired by my current apartment dilemma: the long, narrow living room. My main living area desperately needs privacy from the office space. Any one of these gorgeous room dividers could solve the problem. (I especially love the idea of bookcase dividers to showcase my constantly growing book collection.)
Both images from The Digital Panda
Our friends at Etsy are back this week with another Get The Look: Home Decor Edition inspired by rooms from Designers Portfolio. This week they dive into traditional styling and have some great finds for your traditional living room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. Some of my favorites are:
We were so inspired by Etsy that we felt like continuing the fun by taking a look at items for a traditional home office and a traditional dining room.
With the holidays around the corner, a cozy, welcoming living room is a must. From arranging your furniture and art to creating the perfect fireplace, we’ve pulled together the ultimate guide for designing your living room.
9 ideas to customize your fireplace:
Stylish living doesn’t have to break the bank. We’ve pulled together over 200 ideas for updating your bedroom, bathroom and living room on a budget!
Get inspired with our 10 favorite bedrooms from readers of Rate My Space and find simple DIY projects for updating your bedroom without hurting the bottomline.