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.

Hello World! I should have renamed the post...Recycle, reuse though right?

Anywho...hello world (or maybe just hello mom is more in order) and welcome to my little corner of the matrix.

A HUMUNGOUS thanks to Lexie of Savvy & Co 
I'll get right down to the brass tacks (about which I may have to cook up an article since brass is sort of pinging the design radar...).

First warning (if you didn't read the "about" page):  I am not a "decorator."  I do not own a white velvet sofa. My favorite chair is fur covered though.  Unfortunately, it is golden retriever fur.  My sink is stained with paint and coffee. I always forget to clean behind the refrigerator (I just added it to my list though...if I don't lose the list it might actually happen) The laundry is usually fit for recreational scaling and sometimes doubles as floor covering.

I also do not have a collection of framed tropical leaves on my gallery fact I don't even have a gallery wall.  Gallery walls require too much dusting and if you get sick of the theme there are 40 empty frames screaming at you to have a moment of illuminated brilliance (those are rare for me so I try to use them where it counts).

My house, like most, is replete with half finished, quarter finished and yet to be started projects. I guess the cobblers wife having no shoes is nothing compared to what happens when the wife IS the cobbler...

That aside, I love real world decorating.  There is nothing more satisfying than helping another person pick out colors, source finds and decor and then watch as their residence exhales into a home.

So, no I am not a decorator but more a mediator for the texturally tentative, pantone paranoid and home sick of the world (or the 4 people in it who accidentally stumbled into this space...sorry for the mess...I swear I just dusted a few days ago.)

This is decorating down and dirty...with a few side notes, interludes and some time hanging out on the stoop.