Archive for the Interior Design Category

Dramatic Interior Dark Walls

Choosing interior paint colors for your home can be a daunting process, there are so many factors to consider.  Does it go with your furniture, finished surfaces, lighting, personality…etc?  Often times we ended up with safe, light, neutral tones that would work with majority of the items in our home.  For your next home painting project I would suggest to go dramatic and to go dark, really dark.  Dark paint colors can be as flexible as the light neutral paint colors.  They can work with a lot of shades and textures.  But coupled with something light or bright dark colors will create a theatrical contrast and really bring the room to life.  Here are some great examples of dark walls.

 

1. Bathroom doesn’t need to be in blues, greens, and whites.

dark walls, dark interior paint color, black interior paint color, bathroom, interior design

dark walls, dark interior paint color, black interior paint color, bathroom, interior design

2. Dramatic and moody living room.

 

dark walls, dark interior paint color, black interior paint color, living room, interior design

dark walls, dark interior paint color, black interior paint color, living room, interior design

dark walls, dark interior paint color, black interior paint color, living room, interior design

 

3. Not your typical kid’s room color.

 

dark walls, dark interior paint color, black interior paint color, kid's room, wall paper, interior design

dark walls, dark interior paint color, black interior paint color, kid's room, J.Crew, interior design

 

4. Sophisticated retail space.

dark walls, dark interior paint color, black interior paint color, retail space, built-in shelves, interior design

dark walls, dark interior paint color, black interior paint color, retail space, built-in shelves, interior design

 

 

Wood Top & White Metal Frame Outdoor Dining Table

Summer is just around the corner, and I have been busy shopping for outdoor furniture.  I am having a serious crush on all these outdoor dining tables with white metal frames and wood tops that are popping up everywhere lately.  Room and Board has this beautiful one from their Montego collection, but it is priced between $999 – $1,099.  If, like me, this baby would eat up most of your back yard furnishing budget, I do have three other fabulous and affordable options to choose from.

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Wood top white frame outdoor dining tableRoom & Board Montego Table

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White frame wood top outdoor dining tableCB2 Chelsea Dining Table

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white frame wood top outdoor dining tableWest Elm Baltic Dining Table

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IKEA Hasselon outdoor dining table wood top white frameIKEA HASSELÖN Table

Customize Your IKEA Furniture

I am constantly in awe of the things people do to “hack” their IKEA furniture, with the endless creative ways they transform a mass produced product into something uniquely theirs. If you are like me who just can’t seem to find a free weekend to attempt such a project, then there are a few new products out there that are specifically for customizing IKEA items.

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Pretty Pegs IKEA hacker

Swap out the legs on your IKEA sofas, chairs, bed frames, night stands, and dressers with the colorful and playful ones from prettypegs. With a simple swap, Voila! your IKEA furniture gets updated and no more boring legs. This is a Swedish company and all items are produced in Sweden, but shipping for US customers is a flat rate of $26.

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Bemz slipcovers for IKEA furniture

You can also bring new life to IKEA upholstered pieces with new slipcovers. Bemz specializes in making slipcovers that fit both old and new IKEA furniture models. They have 180 classic and modern fabrics to choose from. This is truly an easy transformation for your tired looking IKEA sofas, chairs, and headboards, allowing you to tailor each piece to suit you personal decorating style.

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PANYL custom finishes for IKEA furniture

The very popular EKBY wall shelf and EXPEDIT bookcase door and drawer inserts can now have a new facelift as well. PANYL offers a variety of architectural vinyl panels available in finishes such as wood grains, stones, solid colors, and metals. All you need to do is pick from a range of vinyl samples and PANYL will send you the shelf ready to assemble. But don’t forget to purchase the EKBY BJÄRNUM bracket from IKEA to hold the shelf up.

 

‘Bloom Skin’: Issey Miyake’s Dancing Window Display

I am often inspired by store front displays — they create the first impression before you walk into a store.  The most inspiring ones are never obvious; they are usually an introduction to a story you are about to read.  It grabs your attention and makes you wonder.  For Issey Miyake’s Spring/Summer 2012 collection of ELTTOB TEP, he has enlisted WOW a visual design studio to create a stunning window display called ‘Bloom Skin’ out of a single piece of organdy fabric.  It is the same type of fabric used throughout his new collection.  WOW installed and aligned eight computer-controlled fans in the store windows and programmed them to rhythmically turn on and off.  The barely-there organdy fabric would then dance with a wave-like motion.  The simplicity and minimalistic nature of the design, in turn, brings a mesmerizing and powerful celebration of the dancing fabric.

 

 

Brass and Gold Accents

Bring some bling to your space with brass or gold accents and hardware.  I think it is especially refreshing to see these tones for kitchen hardware, where nickel, chrome, and oil-rubbed bronze have been dominating the scene.  The warm tone of brass and gold gives that perfect final touch against gray and white cabinetry.  Brass or gold light fixtures can also add a slight layer of opulence to a rustic or minimalistic setting.

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brass hardware at kitchen~

gold hardware and light fixture at kitchen~

brass hardware at kitchen~

brass, gold, and gray room~

brass and gold light fixture at bathroom~

brass and gold accents~

Images via (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)

No Crib Bumpers – & a clever crib bedding solution

Parents, it is official.  The American Academy of Pediatrics released a new policy statement Tuesday, October 18 at the AAP National Conference & Exhibition in Boston entitled “SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Expansion of Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment”.  The report stated “There are other products that attach to crib sides or crib slats that claim to protect infants from injury. However, there are no published data that support these claims. Because of the potential for suffocation, entrapment, and strangulation and lack of evidence to support that bumper pads or similar products that attach to crib slats or sides prevent injury in young infants, the AAP does not recommend their use.”.  And this also includes the breathable crib bumpers.

Let’s face it, being an interior designer the first thing I did was to pick up a crib bedding set for Aiden’s nursery.  And unfortunately we dropped around $350 for his crib bedding set before Aiden’s pediatrician told us that we are not to put anything in his crib, including crib bumpers (this was about 10 months before the official announcement).  Knowing the danger of SIDS, we quickly put the bumper away.  So the adorable bumper makes its first and only debut at a photo shoot and is now sitting in Aiden’s closet.

I was so excited to see this patent pending super clever crib bumper alternative – the “Complete Sheet” by Skip Hop.  The Complete Sheet is essentially a standard fitted sheet but the sides have a different and larger pattern than the top to give the illusion of a decorative bumper.

The Complete Sheet comes in 7 designs (Lattice will be available in two colors) and will be in stores in November selling for $24 or $120 for a coordinated 4-piece set including the sheet, crib skirt, blanket and wearable blanket.

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Skip Hop the complete sheetSkip Hop the complete sheetSkip Hop Crib beddingSkip Hop Crib Bedding

 

 

Desk Accessories

I recently purchased a new desk for my home office, which started an obsession with desk accessories for my new desk.  Since the desk is white with a glass top, I want to stick to neutral palette and bring in some natural materials to add a little warmth.  If you are like me, you probably have tons of little things everywhere on the desk (receipts, paper clips, sticky notes…etc.).  The easiest (and cleanest) way to store them is to use containers and boxes, and this is also a perfect opportunity to add decorative elements while keeping the desk organized.  I have selected two boxes that deliver both neutral and natural elements.  A vintage Shagreen box, which has a jewel like texture and it is oh-so exotic, and an art deco-inlay, wooden box to bring a subtle pattern to the desk surface.  Below is a wish list I have put together so far:

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Office Accessories~

No. 1: Task light

No. 2: Tape dispenser

No. 3: Tab sorter

No. 4: Art Deco box

No. 5: Pencil cup

No. 6: Mechanical pencils

No. 7: Wooden calendar

No. 8: Vintage Shagreen box

No. 9: Trash bucket

No. 10: Pollock Executive chair

White Table Lamp

Now a days there are so many table lamp options out there for us to choose from, yet  I’m often drawn to white table lamps.  I like the simplicity it represents and the color white allows me to appreciate its shape without distraction.  It serves as a sculptural piece to the room without overwhelming the rest of the decoration.  I especially like to use it in the bedroom, where I think the philosophy “less is more” should apply.  A bedroom should be a space that is comfortable and serene.  No matter the design direction, a pair of beautifully shaped white table lamps seem to always bring that peaceful element.

~table lamps at bedroom

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table lamps at bedroom~

table lamps at bedroom~

I really like this Fiona table lamp from circa lighting.  It is very tall, though, so you will want to make sure that it is properly proportioned to the headboard.

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Circa Lighting

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ALTERNATE UNIVERSE

Here is one with the same feel but easier on the credit card.

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West Elm

Bedroom images via Lonny Magazine

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Glass Vase & Planter as Storage

We have quite a collection of glass vases and planters in our kitchen cabinets and garage.  Some we bought, some we got for our wedding as well as others, some are from flower arrangements my sweet husband Gary had bought for me, and a lot of them are from our orchid days and when we were trying to have our own indoor herb garden.  Over the years I have used them for flower arrangements around the house, as fish bowls, for loose change storage, and as snack serving bowls (don’t worry I washed them really, really well).  There truly are tons of uses for them other than just holding flowers, so next time you are at a wedding make sure to collect all the unwanted glass vases because they can be an elegant and functional way to store and display things.

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Aren’t these ideas clever?  I especially like the glass vase that serves as a toilet paper holder.  I know it is always awkward when the toilet paper runs out and the guest has to search for it by digging through the host’s bathroom cabinet or, god forbid, even worse when they have to ask for some.  This is a good looking way to store the toilet rolls, and you’ll know at a glance when you need to refill some more.  Nail polishes stored in the glass vase can be a playful way to add some color to the white bath counter and/or dresser.

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Glass vase as storageGlass vases can also be use as planters; it is a modern and sleek way to grow plants.  I am tempted to buy some succulents and plant them like the image, but knowing me, I will just end up killing them.

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Finally, here are some beautiful ways to re-purpose all the planters I have sitting in the garage.

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Images via (post cards, croquet mallets, utensils, bath accessories)

 

Rope Pendant Light

I have always loved the look of clustered pendant lights.  It creates unexpected layers and a beautiful glow when the space is dark.  When I saw this room for 4-year-old triplets, designed by the Novogratz, I can’t help but notice the colorful rope pendant lights hanging over the custom-built desk.  It is such a fun way to add a pop of color to the space.

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Below are some lighting options for you to achieve the same look.

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Bare bulb pendant~

Images via (pendant 1, pendant 2, pendant 3, pendant 4, pendant 5)

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