Saturday, October 1, 2011

Grown Up Heavy Metal (Sans bad hair and spandex)

I think it might be love...or at least a crush.  This is not your momma's rocker (well maybe mine but she would have it wrapped in garland and filled with prim dolls in about 2.2 seconds).  Ultra modern meets classic lines in this twist on the easy chair. Because the form of the chair conforms to the standard, the choice of material and finish can shine.  Simple, beautiful and easy to integrate into almost any design scheme. 

Hudson by Emeco at Made in Design

Kudos to Emeco on the design.  Unfortunately, my wallet is not currently set to absorb 1600 Euros for one chair. 

Cost aside, the idea of blending shiny metal pretties with pops of color and natural textures has me on the hunt for light on the purse heavy metals.

Shirley by ItalModern @

In walks the Shirley Stack chair by ItalModern.  Six of these metal and teak beauties can be had for half the cost of one uber groovy rocker. 

At that price, a new wall color, lighting fixture or even some accessories for the table top can be purchased without ending up sitting alone in a swanky rocker eating Ramen Noodles for three months to pay the credit card bill.

Over the look in six months?  Buyers remorse be gone...these weather resistant beauties can be used to transform a patio or outdoor seating space. Multifunctionality meet trendorizing...

Oceanic Breeze @
If  teak throws a curve in the decorating dreams or a more traditional style is preferred, try mixing slip covered or brightly painted standard wooden chairs (or benches) with a couple of these industrial quality aluminum beauties from Stack Chair Depot. For around 100 dollars a piece you can choose standard or bar height.

Just add cushions for an instant color pop or to tie in the current room scheme.   Another bonus, like the Shirley, these can also be used outdoors if the metal mood gives way to other ideas.  The standard shape also allows the use of standard side chair slip covers for fast easy changes.

As for fabrics to pair with metals...this year's color options are all over the wheel which makes the choosing difficult (and easy since it is hard to get off trend). 

Three I am loving at the moment are all from

 Barbee Buttons is fun and filled with almost the entire pallet of this years color trends.  Great for pillows or cushions.  This would also be fun as an under layer on the table topped with a runner the shade of one of the "buttons."

I'm considering this one for a casual chair...If I decide to use it I'll post pics!

 Another favorite is Ramon Sorbet.  Fantastic colors and texture.  This would be a fun way to add some punch to last year's silver and coffee colors.  Coral, deep pinks and organic greens are really hot this year (thankfully...we could all use some brightening up lately...) and a few pillows or even a wall hanging in a eye grabbing fabric like this can breath a bit of the fresh into any neutral or dark space.

 Chipotle Ocean covers a couple of areas.  Deep blues, indigo and cobalt are popping up on the runways and in the design books this year. Traditional patterns are also showcased across the genre. This is a nice clean update with great color that can crossover easily between modern and transitional.  I love it.  A great way to spruce up some island seating in a yellow kitchen.  Add a big red glass or ceramic bowl or maybe a few red screen prints of scenes or adverts and get that primary color trend covered without looking like a crayola box. 
That about does it for today...more to come including some DIY info for wallpaper panels, fabric art and filling walls on the cheap.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

How to go from meow to just ow...
Animal print can be fun, titillating and exotic... but these fab fabrics and posh prints can also make a sane human wish the animal had eaten the designer. 

Far from a print prude, I can snuggle up with some leopard or even sit back on a little jaguar. I do understand that visceral urge to pad the cave with the most recent kill from the successful clearance rack safari (although on a personal tangent giraffe prints make me sad...I mean, who would skin the mascot of Toys R Us even if he was a poly rayon blend?)

living room eclectic living room
And for respectful use of animal epidermis....
eclectic living room design by los angeles interior designer maison

The answer? Trendorize don't trendorate. It is easy for me go gaga and want every square inch of breathing space bathed in the glory of trendspotter goodness.  But when my cooler head takes over (and I step away from the sale counter, punch the x on the bargain site or set the glossy last chance sale mag to marinate a while in the rack), the memory of quickly dated past trends returns to temper my impulses...and so I trendorize...accessorizing my neutrals with affordable trend bent themes.

The easiest way to trendorize is by starting with a neutral base.  If the expensive, big permanent pieces (sofa, big tables, storage, large rugs and good frames) are neutral, the rest can be redesigned, accessorized, amended and manipulated on whim and on budget. 
Find a fun piece that melds with your current decor or slip some slinky sexy sheets onto the bed with a neutral coverlet or duvet.  The options below can work in almost any home (without a commitment to jungle madness):

Sheets, storage and throws...affordable and easy to integrate into most warm or cool neutral homes

For homes already theme driven or well designed there are less obvious options too. My personal favorite is the powder room as experiment zone.  There is no better room in the house to let loose the creative urge.  A perfect (and if not at least impermanent) implementation of the safari fever boom would be a deep base wall in a chocolate, jewel tone blue or pewter.  Once the walls are finished look up...grab the animal print wallpaper book and find a fierce, savage design and paper the ceiling.  Make sure to use a wallpaper primer so you can just peel it off when the fad has flung.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Paint, fabric and the Love of All Things Temporal

Orange. I am a fangirl.

In fact it is a bit of a sickness for me to find excuses for the use of orange. One of my favorite clients went out on a limb and painted her yoga room dirty jalapeno orange. Two of my nieces ended up with very orange (and very different) bedrooms and I had an orange bathroom forever.

Despite my love of all things ochreous, the thought of slinking into a carrot kitchen for the morning Joe wouldn't sit well (color theorists say it "causes" over eating too so I guess should get a list of diet mauve).   

Bold colors are a commitment. 

Attempt at fashion design...

Put on a bright magenta dress and you can forget the jewels, shoes and handbag...the dress is the accessory. Put on the same dress in an ankle length maxi with a bold neckline and the dress is not only the accessory but becomes your statement. In my youth, statements were fine (I made many a statement in leather pants...but it turns out they didn't make much sense after all) my age I would rather make a memo and be done with it.

Maxi dresses and saturated colors are both plinking the trend targets this year. Since I can't afford RTW couture, I tend to blur the trend line between fashion and decor to sate my fashion fever without blowing the back out of my knockoff bag.

Translating this year's hot colors and long lines into a liveable space without waking up in a Sunny D bottle every morning can seem daunting but you are really just a few yards and a couple hems away from a trend attack that won't leave your wallet (or your partner's eyes) bleeding.

Fabric is the greatest gift ever bequeathed upon mankind. Alright, not THE greatest but it has to be in the top 100 stuff humans did that makes sense (unlike Twitter...not judging just saying.) You can do anything with fabric. Cover crappy sofas...hide messy bookcases...hang some panels from the ceiling for a shake and bake laundry room (if you have the kitchen/dining/laundry room like we do you know it is NEVER romantic to dine in a laundromat.)

Plain Jane khaki walls in something like Sherwin William's Jogging Path or Accessible Beige (tans and khakis are fabulous and do not have to be boring assuming you don't pick a pink thinking it is a tan...we'll talk know who you are) can become the backdrop to a cheap, quick and easy art installation.

SW Accessible Beige
Bright Tangerine Fabric swatch

Problem walls are an easy fix too...a little savvy, some iron on hem tape and a curtain track system like the KVARTAL at IKEA mixed with monochromatic textures, voluminous panels of wispy sheers or bold solids blocked with a neutral wall color and you have an almost instant, non permanent color injection which also covers the 30 nail holes from the gallery wall that didn't quite work out...

Layers of fabric from floor to ceiling behind a bed make a huge presentation for a few bucks (headboards are for people who like to dust...I am not one of those people...if you are call me and I will satisfy your every desire). Find some coordinates for pillows, throws or curtains (This is where the handy dandy folks at the fabric store shine. Use your resources!!
Hot Pink Pillow with beading

Don't forget textures too. Pairing different weights, weaves and textures can add a ton of interest with a minimal investment (and effort). 

Fantastic orange pillow with light blue design

The best part of the gig? If you hate it in a year, change it. No lament, no crying over broken budgets and without dog sitting for decorating cash (save the desperation for shoes...).

Don't be afraid of color. Have fun with it in ways that are less permanent and at least semi disposable (or pack awayable...I know, not a word.)

If you are renting, the landlord will thank you for not painting the walls Electric Limeade ultra gloss with a Canary yellow glaze rake pattern and if you own your hacienda, future you will thank current you for not painting the walls Electric Limeade ultra gloss with a Canary yellow glaze rake pattern.