It's time once again for some changes in the showroom where I spend my days. I'm lucky that my location is a bit larger so I have a little more flexibility.
I pulled this bedroom together using black furniture with lots of cream and tan fabrics to keep it from getting too heavy. A few bright splashes of color, inspired by the floral fabric on the windows (detailed shot below) and pillows, keep it lively.
I'm one of many fans of Ron Marvin's design aesthetic. His work is proof that it's possible to design a masculine space without sacrificing style. Take the room pictured left: no bright colors, nothing over the top but still both attractive and practical. One thing that I noticed right away, and that I've brought up several times before, is the mix of materials to create visual interest. Here you've got glass, metal, wool, wood and faux fur (just on the pillow) all in neutral tones. Lonny magazine has more of Ron Marvin's styling tips in their current issue.
Image courtesy Lonny Magazine
Blue is one of those colors that never really goes out of style. After years of teal, peacock, and Tiffany blue, however, there's a resurgence of cobalt and royal blue in design. I got some great ideas from ZGallerie's site and found lots more browsing online. Most people gravitate towards nautical, but cobalt is beautiful with red (Tobi Farley did a beautiful room in a Richmond show house with this palette), canary yellow or even orange, if you're feeling brave.
I've got to give the folks at West Elm serious props. They rolled out some great things in their spring line in one of my favorite color ways-yellow and grey. I've got the formal version of it at the day job, but this is a great modern interpretation.
I'm a big believer in investing in quality pieces for your home and very often one of those pieces is an area rug. The rug in my living area was one of the more expensive things I purchased but it completely set the tone for the room. Sometimes, though, you just want a little fun. This rug may be a little trendy color and pattern-wise, but it is still 100% wool and nicely made. I found it on the World Market site for $449 (on sale with no shipping charges) for a 5'x8'. The deal of the century? No. But a good balance between fun and smart.
As you may have heard, color authority Pantone has christened turquoise as the 2010 color of the year. I wanted to share a decidedly cool representation of turquoise currently on display in the front lobby of the day job designed by the folks at HQ. It's ikat, which I think has only a few minutes left on the current style clock, but the miter square pillow makes it irresistable. And lest the other colors of the rainbow feel slighted, the rest of the lobby is a shout out to chartreuse, magenta and orange. I don't care what Pantone says, I love you colors all equally.
I shared one of the new room vignettes a few weeks ago that featured a charcoal grey and yellow palatte that is really stunning. The vine fabric....oh my! I know the Pantone folks are saying that turquoise is going to be the "it" color for this year, but I think yellow is going to be a contender. I was reading a favorite design blog last week that featured some of DwellStudio for Target's new line of bedding and pillows.
Check out the pillows that are part of the new line, too. That back one is fantastic. And the texture of the 2nd, with the roses, really great. Pillows are always an easy, low cost way to participate in a trend without going bankrupt. So, where have you seen grey and gold lately?
Perhaps it's because of the recent project I completed, but I'm noticing more grey being used by designers. And not just with pale blue as part of that "icy chic" look--which, frankly, is overdone at this point. In this picture it's mixed with chartreuse (that's the fancy way to say bright green) for a fresh look. Over the summer, I stopped into Lignet Roset's showroom where they had grey paired beautifully with lilac, orchid and some white lacquer pieces.
An easy way to make your space feel larger is to design using a more monochromatic color palatte. This picture shows a skirted table in front of drapery made from the same fabric. The table blends into the drapery seamlessly, making the space feel larger. The shape of the table, a demilune, also contributes to a more open feel. This idea would also work in a living room for a sofa--match it to the wall color so that the sofa fades back. It's important to note that you don't need to stick with light colors to make this work. The fabric in this photo is a medium tan and works really well. You'll notice, too that the designer used several elements to give the room more height: drapery mounted right at the ceiling, pinch pleat drapery (no fussy tieback), and a dramatic floral.
As promised, I wanted to do an entry that went through the 2nd new vignette I added to the Portfolio section last week. This one is also adapted from a stunning showhouse room put together by the very talented design team in my corporate office. Again, they were working in a much larger space (5x what you see here) so I was tasked to pick the right pieces that would both suit the space and appeal to clients.
Christine Schwalm is an Interior Designer and Visual Merchandiser based in NYC. This space will keep you updated on what's going on with CSD along with some ideas to inspire you. Go here for more information about pricing and services and here to make an appointment.