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Selasa, 30 Juni 2009

Converting the Unconvertable

As I've mentioned before, Dave has a general dislike for wallpaper. I'm not sure if it's the expense (compared to paint), the difficulty in putting it up (not to mention taking it down) or just that he still associates wallpaper with the hideous cartoon borders and "grandma" florals that dominated our childhoods in the '80s and early '90s. I tend to view Dave's resistance to something as a

Fabulous Ways Of Using Curtains


Removing doors and replacing them with full length curtains is not only an inspirational idea in rooms where doors are impractical, they are also make a very elegance and frame through which to look through and an easy way for the eye to be naturally drawn through into the next room and the natural light coming through the window.

The aspect I really find an easy, yet brilliant idea is to have the tie backs up high to enable the space to be fully utilised. Of course, this type of door way is a perfect for any type of interior design, be it traditional, modern or contemporary, it would purely be just a matter of choosing the right style and colour of fabric and altering the pelmet to suit.

With the curtain pelmet touching the line between the wall and the ceilng also adds height to the room. Look closely and you will see that the windows in the other room have the same curtains, also with high tie backs, creating a real sense of cohesion and harmony.

Using tie backs up high would look wonderful on sheer fabrics such as silk and voiles, particularly if you were to use the latest trends of beaded tie backs in a contrasting colour. Opt for opaque beads to allow the sun to make fascinating patterns of subtle colour to give the room a wonderful and gentle focal point.

Much nicer than traditional style of net curtains used in many homes in the UK, predominately to stop prying eyes seeing into other people's houses rather than for their somewhat bland and in my opinion boring and outdated look which do little to enhance the beauty of anyone's windows!

Image: Absolutely Beautiful Things

Senin, 29 Juni 2009

Week Nine: Lights Up!

Hope everyone had a great weekend. I'm back again today with my weekly update on the progress over at the new house. [By the way, am I overloading you with new house pictures and posts?] We visited our soon-to-be-home on Sunday and were surprised to see how much progress had been made over the course of the past week. With the exception of the front door (which has not yet been installed), the

Great kitchen

What makes a great kitchen?

What makes a great kitchen? A kitchen may be crammed with pots, pans, whisks, cleavers, peelers and every other cooking utensil which you could mention. However, will this detail make your kitchen look great? You might just be the next candidate for the top chef if your kitchen is like one of those.
http://www.kitcheninone.info/kitchen/kitchen%20cabinet%201.jpg
 Modern elegant kitchen design
The kitchen is an everyday room-everyday of the week. An average person in a household uses the kitchen more than twice a day no matter what type of person you are.
If the kitchen is your favorite place, if cooking is enjoyable, if cooking is more than just fun, then here's a secret behind every great kitchen. Get your kitchen organized. Perhaps you might be still hunting high and low looking just for a plate!
 http://www.kitcheninone.info/kitchen/kitchen%20cabinet.jpg
  Modern and luxury kitchen design
"Kissing doesn't last: cookery do." said George Meredith, a famous chef. The lifespan of your kitchen cabinets is longer than what you think depending on the type of material it is made from. Plastic cabinets last shorter compared to wood based cabinets. Therefore it is better to give your kitchen the quality rather than quantity.
 http://www.kitcheninone.info/kitchen/wood%20kitchen%20cabinet.jpg
  Modern elegant colorfull kitchen design
From storage of food in the pantry to cupboards for silverware, the functionality of cabinets in the kitchen is bigger than the floor plan. In short it is more complicated than what you think. Cabinets now aren't only use for storage. Kitchen appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers and ovens are now integrated into kitchen cabinetry transforming your kitchen space more spacious, flexible, comfortable and more importantly functional.
 http://www.kitcheninone.info/kitchen/Kitchen%20cabinet%20remodeling.jpg
  Modern elegant Big kitchen design
An English oak cabinet in your kitchen might be too old fashion. Stainless steel kitchens which do not rust perhaps just shine too brightly. Installing a perfect built-in kitchen cabinet will help you to get your kitchen organized. Whether it is only a bank of drawers which forms a island in the middle of your kitchen or just a simple spice rack, make sure it suit your style and taste.

Great kitchen

What makes a great kitchen?

What makes a great kitchen? A kitchen may be crammed with pots, pans, whisks, cleavers, peelers and every other cooking utensil which you could mention. However, will this detail make your kitchen look great? You might just be the next candidate for the top chef if your kitchen is like one of those.
http://www.kitcheninone.info/kitchen/kitchen%20cabinet%201.jpg
 Modern elegant kitchen design
The kitchen is an everyday room-everyday of the week. An average person in a household uses the kitchen more than twice a day no matter what type of person you are.
If the kitchen is your favorite place, if cooking is enjoyable, if cooking is more than just fun, then here's a secret behind every great kitchen. Get your kitchen organized. Perhaps you might be still hunting high and low looking just for a plate!
 http://www.kitcheninone.info/kitchen/kitchen%20cabinet.jpg
  Modern and luxury kitchen design
"Kissing doesn't last: cookery do." said George Meredith, a famous chef. The lifespan of your kitchen cabinets is longer than what you think depending on the type of material it is made from. Plastic cabinets last shorter compared to wood based cabinets. Therefore it is better to give your kitchen the quality rather than quantity.
 http://www.kitcheninone.info/kitchen/wood%20kitchen%20cabinet.jpg
  Modern elegant colorfull kitchen design
From storage of food in the pantry to cupboards for silverware, the functionality of cabinets in the kitchen is bigger than the floor plan. In short it is more complicated than what you think. Cabinets now aren't only use for storage. Kitchen appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers and ovens are now integrated into kitchen cabinetry transforming your kitchen space more spacious, flexible, comfortable and more importantly functional.
 http://www.kitcheninone.info/kitchen/Kitchen%20cabinet%20remodeling.jpg
  Modern elegant Big kitchen design
An English oak cabinet in your kitchen might be too old fashion. Stainless steel kitchens which do not rust perhaps just shine too brightly. Installing a perfect built-in kitchen cabinet will help you to get your kitchen organized. Whether it is only a bank of drawers which forms a island in the middle of your kitchen or just a simple spice rack, make sure it suit your style and taste.

Jumat, 26 Juni 2009

When Decorators Go Bad

My good friend Christina sent me a link to the real estate listing for this home here in Houston earlier this week and I couldn't resist sharing it with you all. If you'd like to take a look at the full listing, see HERE. Located on one of the nicest streets in town just minutes away from downtown, right near Rice University campus, this lovely 5,000sf. home is on the market for just under $2M

Kamis, 25 Juni 2009

KWID Imperial Trellis at a discount!

Talented interior designer and blogger Shannon over at Pink Wallpaper is offering a great -- and incredibly generous -- discount on the iconic (and normally available to-the-trade only) KWID Imperial Trellis fabric and wallpaper for the next 7 days. If you've always loved this pattern, but couldn't stomach the price (or didn't have access to a designer), now is your chance to snap some of it up.

Tips to decorating A Child's Bedroom


I'm staying with the theme of bedroom for children and teenagers as these rooms often pose dilemmas for parents.

Things I would recommend:

* Children grow very fast, silly statement I know but it's true! You send money and hours decorating it the latest fads of favourite TV characters and before the paint is dry they have changed their minds! Stick with more neutral themes and let them add their own identity by have their favourite toys (of the moment) and opt for cheap duvet covers which can be replaced without spending a fortune.

* Window dressings, always opt to have black out lining unless you want to be woken every morning by your children rather than the alarm clock! You can fit blackout linings to any style of curtain fabrics, and if you prefer to use blinds chose the ones which are made with light blackout fabrics.

* Flooring, this needs to be easily to keep clean. In the UK carpets are now being replaced with stripped floor boards or wood effect laminate flooring which is much easier to keep clean and far more 'accident' proof than carpets! Don't be fooled into thinking it's only toddlers who have 'accidents', as your child enters teenage years 'accident' of a different kind, usually alcohol related, will also take their toll on a carpet!

* Furnishing, trendy beds and furniture made from wood or metal are a good investment for children of all ages. Bunk beds or bunks which have a working space underneath are great space savers.

* Above all keep things simple! The more fancy you try and make the room the more cluttered and untidy it is likely to become. Always have lots of storage space and add shelves to store books, DVDs etc.

Image: Freshome

Rabu, 24 Juni 2009

Ideas for the Study

I've been thinking a lot lately about how to incorporate my existing furniture, art and accessories in my new house. Certainly I can't afford to replace everything -- nor do I particularly want to as I rather like much of what I own, even if I want to go in a slightly difference direction for the new house. And so, much of what is in my current living room will be making a new home for itself in

Hipster Rug


Following on from my last post I had to share this fantastic rug with you! Created by Lil Mo this 'Hipster' rug it has to be one of the coolest rugs you could possibly choose for a teenager's bedroom.

You may not know what all the abbreviations mean but I can assure you with most teenagers using text chat and internet abbreviated speak all the time they will find this rug really trendy and will be the envy of all their friends!

The colours are just as cool and will blend with any d├ęcor scheme and style quite easily. It may just shock your kid's to know that you are just as hip as they are even though you prefer not to speak in abbreviations all the time! The rug is available in different sizes and is 100% acrylic giving you the durability you need in a teenager's bedroom!

If this rug is not quite to your liking Lil Mo has created other great designs with kids in mind. Visit Atticmag to see others in the the collection. These may not be cheap rugs but the certainly do cater for children of all ages and tastes and a ideal way to keep your kid's happy!

Your kids will be astounded at your impeccable taste in soft furnishing and they may even teach you how to text at ultra fast speeds...in abbreviated text of course!

Well, you have to LOL occasionally even if you really would prefer to stay straight-faced!!

Selasa, 23 Juni 2009

Week Eight: Trim, Paint and Tile -- oh my!

Sunday I managed to make it out to the 'burbs to visit the new house (which is feeling more and more "real" by the day, especially now that our current house is under option). I had always been under the impression that landscaping didn't go in until the house was nearing completion, so you can imagine my surprise when I saw that two small oak trees had already been planted out front. With the

Senin, 22 Juni 2009

Bunny Williams and Beeline Home

Interior designer Bunny Williams is perhaps the most famous of the "society decorators" still in business today. Her clients are the true "blue bloods" (the likes of whom I didn't believe still existed until I went away to college in Connecticut): the folks who inherited their fortunes rather than those who made them in reality TV or in Hollywood. Williams' style is evocative of Parish-Hadley (

Decorating Children's Bedrooms


Decorating children's bedrooms can be a real nightmare! It's fine when they are toddlers because you can use the alphabet, animals, circus tents just about any theme and they will be happy!

However, reaching those in between years when they are no longer little and yet not reached their teenage years can be a real problem. I love the design concept of this boy's bedroom, especially the baseballs used on top of the bed posts which add a really individual touch.

Including names of the children who occupy the room has always baffled me! Is this to remind them who they are and which bed they are supposed to sleep in or it a psychological symbol indicating their own individual space?

With that dilemma put aside, I do believe it is important to let children have a say in the colour scheme and style of their room, as they are far more likely to want to spend time there in a space of their own as well as sleeping of course!

Having personal touches is another great way to let them express their individuality, home-made quilts and bedspreads may not be to everyone's liking but they are a great way of showing how much you care, and until they reach the rebellious stage I say 'go for it' in a big way!

Once they reach the age, when it's pointless trying to help them make choices, they can have their own space decorated and kept in whatever disarray they want! If they want black walls and ceilings then agree enthusiastically, you may be surprised to find that if you whole heartedly agree with anything they will want something different! It may be mind games but it works...well nearly always!

Image source: AtticMag

Jumat, 19 Juni 2009

Sold!

Yup, just three days after my public display of despair (which in retrospect I am ever so slightly embarrassed about), we managed to sell the house for nearly 98% of our asking price. For the next ten days we'll be in the option period, during which time our buyer has the right to walk away should the inspection (scheduled for tomorrow!) or anything else go awry. Until the option period has

Beautiful Bedroom Designs With A Modern Twist


Finding the right colour combinations for bedrooms is a matter of balance, to create trendy yet serene places of tranquility and peace. Opting for two basic or main colours is always a good idea and then add an injection of one other accent colour to achieve a harmonious and stylish look.

Too many colours and your mind will be full of confusion which is not conducive to restful sleep. Black and white are classical monotone colour schemes which are used successfully in all styles of homes and interior design styles. These colours look great on their own and yet but adding just a couple of accent pieces the whole effect is easily transform.

Add an accent colour by including a cushion or bedspreads neatly folded in half across the bed for a more conventional look or folded in thirds to make one of the latest trends of bed runners across the bottom third of the bed.

At least with bedspreads you can pull them up if you feel cold, whilst these latest trends of bed runners are purely for aesthetic appearances or for keeping you feet warm!

Rooms which are coordinated do not have to be stuffy and old fashioned looking if you choose your colours carefully. If you opt for the totally coordinated style opt for plain bedspreads, duvet covers and curtains as well as plain walls as these provide a sense of cohesion to the room.

For great inspirational ideas and image source visit A Life's Design blog.

Kamis, 18 Juni 2009

Mixed Media Painting Techniques, Frottage and Grattage

                                                                 Frottage 1 - 24" x 36" Mixed Media Painting: Pastel, Acrylic, Gesso on Glassine

For this summer's program of continuing education (last summer I studied Architecture in Italy), I have embarked on a course in 'Mixed Media Painting Techniques' at Emily Carr University of Art. The course teaches the process of image-making on built surfaces and works with a range of materials such as gesso, plaster, paint, ink, charcoal, and various papers. I am learning to explore 'expression and emotion' through layering, drawing, brushwork, Frottage and Grattage following in the footsteps of the greats in mixed media painting like: Max Ernst, Mark Rothko, and Paul Klee. I particularly like my teacher, Diana Kubicek's style of teaching. She teaches us to explore the various techniques fearlessly and says repeatedly there are "no mistakes"in painting. As a matter of fact "mistakes can be the building block of a great masterpiece". I like that! I have always been interested in drawing and sketching since my days in Design School, but find that I never have the time to take a brush to paper and do larger abstract paintings and works of art. So this course is a perfect opportunity to allow myself the freedom to explore different mixed media painting techniques. The last class we spent exploring the technique of Frottage (from French frotter, "to rub") a surrealist and "automatic" method of creative production. Frottage was developed by Max Ernst.

Frottage 2  - 8
Frottage 2 - 18" x 24" Mixed Media Painting: Ink, Acrylic & Pastel on Paper

In frottage painting the artist takes a pencil or other drawing tool and makes a "rubbing" over a textured surface. The frottage drawing can be left as is or used as the basis for further refinement (which we are supposed to do for homework with the pieces we created in this class). While this technique is superficially similar to brass rubbing and other forms of rubbing intended to reproduce an existing subject, frottage painting differs in being aleatoric and occurring by chance. Frottage was developed by Max Ernst in 1925. Ernst was inspired by an ancient wooden floor where the grain of the planks had been accentuated by many years of scrubbing. The patterns of the graining suggested strange images to him. He captured these by laying sheets of paper on the floor and then rubbing over them with a soft pencil. In my Frottage Paintings 1, 2 and 4 the textured surface that I used to make the Frottage rubbing was a bamboo mat, string, and screen. In Frottage Painting 3, I did the rubbing over a Gessoed canvas that was prepared with the free form focus on the bark of a tree. As I was doing Frottage Painting 3, rubbing on the Gessoed canvas, it slowly evolved to resemble a Japanese mountain landscape with a waterfall collecting into a pool at the base of the mountain. Our teacher guided us in exploring this technique in creating our Frottage paintings which is based on Surrealist automatism*. *Automatism is a surrealist technique in painting, practiced without conscious aesthetic or moral self-censorship. Automatism has taken on many forms: the automatic painting and drawing initially (and still to this day) practiced by surrealists can be compared to similar, or perhaps parallel phenomena, such as the non-idiomatic improvisation of free jazz.
 

Frottage 3 - 18 

Frottage Painting 3 - 18" x 24" Pastel on tracing paper

Frottage 4 - 12

Frottage Painting 4 - 12" x 18" Mixed Media Painting: Acrylic & Gesso on paper

In the first class we explored the technique of mixed media painting starting with a base of Gesso

 11

Study 1 - 11" x 14" Mixed Media Painting Technique: Gesso, Acrylic and Watercolor on Card Stock

Gesso is an art supply used as surface preparation or primer for painting and sculpting. Gesso is believed to have been developed in Italy, since the word gesso is Italian for 'chalk'. Preparation varies according to intended use, but usually consists of mixing glue with plaster, chalk, or gypsum. (Gesso is the perfect base for starting a mixed media painting.)

Gesso resembles paint, but is thinner and dries hard. Gesso is applied with a brush and must dry before the surface can be painted. This technique of applying Gesso was first created for use in painting, in order to give the surface the right properties to receive paint. In Gothic and Renaissance panel painting, the technique of applying gesso over a panel of wood was used in order to give the paint something to adhere to. It created a slightly rough surface and prevented the paint from seeping into the wood. We were taught to apply the Gesso to our surface of our mixed media painting with a palette knife using broad strokes to building up the surface. Then various tools are used to create the textures. In Study 1 I used a metal clay sculpting tool with a comb like ridge to scrape across the wet Gesso. I then used the edge of my pallet knife to scrape in the diagonal ridges, then finished off with blotting areas with a sponge. I let the piece dry and then applied watercolor and acrylic in layers to the painting, while at the same time using a roller to take off the excess wet color on the surface so that the paint pigment settled into the crevices of the Gesso. I used the side of my palette knife to scrape off the raised portions of the diagonal lines to reveal the white Gesso below - a technique called Grattage*. Also the Gesso doesn't extend to the edge of the paper and gives it an interesting border. *Grattage is a surrealist technique in mixed media painting in which (usually dry) paint is scraped off the canvas. It was employed by Max Ernst and Joan Miró

Detail of  11

Detail of Mixed Media Painting Technique: Study 1 above.

10

Study 2 - 10" x 10" Mixed Media Painting Technique: Masking Tape, Gesso and Watercolor on Glass

7

Study 3 - 7" x 10" Mixed Media Painting Technique: Gesso and Watercolor on Paper

 
Emily Carr University of Art  - Patricia Gray

Have you had any experience with Mixed Media Painting, Frottage or Grattage or other Mixed Media techniques?
Please let me know by leaving a Comment.

Abstract Art Slide Show 

Another post you might be interested in: Abstract Art - Go Big or Go Home


Patricia Gray writes about 'WHAT'S HOT 'in the world of Interior Design, new and emerging trends, modern design,
architecture, and travel, as well as how your surroundings can influence the world around you.
© Patricia Gray Interior Design Blog, 2009

Rabu, 17 Juni 2009

My Favorite {Uninteresting} Things

Yesterday Sarah Klassen tagged me to list my six favorite "uninteresting things". Well, Sarah, while I'm not exactly sure what classifies as "uninteresting", here they are six of my favorite things (in no particular order):1. Gift wrap. For me, the presentation is almost as important as the gift itself and I absolutely adore wrapping gifts (at Christmas, I'll even volunteer to wrap others' gifts)

Finding The Right Colours In The Bedroom!


Neutral colours create a relaxing atmosphere which are ideal for guest rooms or for those who prefer a non flashy style of design. Neutral tones are perfect for creating a serene ambience which can give the illusion of more space which is a real asset in small rooms.

Master bedrooms are intimate places which are rarely shared with anyone but the houseowners, irrispective of age. Keeping bedrooms private places enable people to have much needed santuaries of peace and privacy in modern hectic lifestyles.

If you are able to keep your bedroom private and child free, at least for some of the time! you will sleep better and furthermore feel better. I know that I'm a clutter free freak, however if there is only one place that should be kept immaculate it has to be the bedroom!

Get into the habit of putting clothes away, either by re-hanging in the wardrobe or putting them into the laundry basket. Always make your bed after an airing. Walking into a bedroom which has an unmade bed is one of the quickest ways to deflate you!

Add injections of colour in neutral colour schemes, this is a great way of keeping up with the latest design colour trends, scatter cushions, beautiful bed sets, bedside table lamps and personal touches by way of photographs or your favourite objects. Remember uneven grouping always looks far more styish, three and five are perfect!

Luxury bedding in deep rich colours offers a sensuous and very stlish look to a bedroom. Make your bedroom your personal space which is not shared by anyone but your partner!

Image: So Chic Interiors

Selasa, 16 Juni 2009

"Second place is just the first loser" - Dale Earnhart

Update (6/17): The prospective buyer's deal fell through today (apparently, the seller decided they didn't want to move after all). Buyer and her parents are coming back tomorrow to give our house a fresh look. Wish us luck! I've tried to keep my personal trials and tribulations on selling a house in this market off this blog -- in part because it's a bit depressing (and I aim to entertain) and

The Best Garden Pathways

Boxwood Garden Pathways

This is the time of the year, summer, glorious summer to spend time outdoors. Renew, refresh, get inspired. Visit your favorite garden or park, or dream about making your garden a little more special. I love gardens with pathways that invite exploration. Gardens that make you want to meander, to spend time and to contemplate the finer things of life. I love all the different colors of green in gardens. You don't necessarily have to have color in flowers to make a garden pop. Try different textures, shapes, and colors of greens. A well placed statue or urn gives the eye a place to focus and center on. A water feature can add a cooling element, and a splashing fountain can be a calming and soothing to the soul. Well designed gardens with meandering pathways with well placed plantings and focal points are truly works of art using nature as the canvas.

Garden Pathways
Garden Pathways

Lavender Garden Pathway
Lavender Garden Pathway
Smell the lavender as you walk down the gravel path to the fountain with lily pads awaiting you.
I imagine that this pool is filled with Koi and that there is a bench or comfortable seating on
the other side to sit and contemplate.

  Garden Pathway
Garden Pathway
What a feat of design this elliptical planting between the slate pavers is.
A well placed statue draws you to the end of this pathway.

Garden Pathway
Garden Pathway
Still there are moments when the shadows fall And the low sea of flowers, wave on wave,
spreads to the pathway from the rosy wall Saying in coloured silence,
"Take our all; You gave to us, and back to you we gave.
Vita Sackville-West

This beautiful arbor (above)is supported by a brick wall. It reminds me of the gardens that English poet and novelist, Vita Sackville-West created at Sissinghurst Castle Garden. In April 1930 Vita Sackville-West and her son, Nigel, were looking for an old house where she could make a new garden. Vita fell in love with Sissinghurst Castle and bought it, along with 400 acres of farmland. She spent the next 30 years planting and designing the layout of the garden using the walls & buildings already in place. She was also the first to plant an "all-white garden" because she wanted the color of the flowers and foliage to act as an illuminating factor to prolong the daylight hours and hence to be able to extend the time she could spend in the garden. I spent a delightful summer, several years ago, reading her book: Garden. The gardens at Sissinghurst that Vita so lovingly created, are now part of the National trust and are open for public viewing.

villa san michele Garden Pathway
Garden Pathway Villa San Michele, Capri
The house was small, the rooms were few but there were loggias, terraces, and pergolas all around it to watch the sun,
the sea
and the clouds -- the soul needs more space than the body.

Reading this poem just makes me sigh and relax. It is so true that "the soul needs more space than the body" and how wonderful to recharge by spending time strolling under this pergola and hearing the soft crunch of the pea gravel under your feet - A thing of beauty is a joy forever! Excerpt by Axel Munthe from La Strada della Dolce Vita

 Garden Pathway
Garden Pathway

Garden Pathway Photograph David Duncan Livingston
Garden Pathway Photograph David Duncan Livingston

Garden Pathway
Garden Pathway

Garden Pathway  
Garden Pathway
The best garden pathways can be the simplest, like this cut grass pathway above.

Garden Courtyard Pathway
Garden Courtyard Pathway
Pea Gravel Pathway Bulgari Hotel Milan
Pea Gravel Pathway Bulgari Hotel Milan  
I love the use of old brick for garden pathways. Old brick has a character and charm that is hard to duplicate with new materials.

Garden Pathway michael van valkenburgh associates1
Garden Pathway
Garden on Turtle Creek, Dallas TX, (above and below) was designed by renowned Landscape Architects, Michael van Valkenburgh.
The backbone of the garden is a continuous path of varied walking surfaces and garden pathways that flow from the house down the slope.
The meandering stainless steel planks are hollow underfoot altering the pace of the walk through the garden.
A brilliant juxtaposition of materials!

Garden Pathway michael van valkenburgh associates
Garden Pathway
Garden Pathway Versailles
Garden Pathway Versailles
And who is not in love with the beautiful gardens at Versailles.
The French really take their strolling in garden pathways seriously!
Some of my most memorable and refreshing times have been spent in gardens
walking their beautiful pathways while taking in the sights and smells around me.

What makes a perfect garden pathway for you?
Please leave a
comment and let me know.

PATRICIA GRAY INC is an award winning interior design firm writing about lifestyle and
WHAT'S HOT in the world of interior design, architecture, art and travel.
2011 © Patricia Gray | Interior Design Blog™

Fresh for Summer

Houston is currently in the midst of a sweltering heat wave and drought. Either event taken on its own is painful enough, but together these two meteorological events have combined to make a typically milder summer month downright miserable. As temperatures soar to nearly 100 degrees during the heat of the afternoon, I've started to notice that my signature fragrance is starting to come off as

Senin, 15 Juni 2009

Housewarming

As a housewarming gift to my parents, I commissioned Anne Harwell over at Annechovie to paint my parents' new home. Custom art is always a great personal gift, but this time it felt particularly appropriate given that my mother has a painting of each one of her previous homes (several of which were painted by my maternal grandmother, an amateur artist herself who was highly skilled at watercolors

Minggu, 14 Juni 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

So today is my 28th birthday and I celebrated the occasion by buying myself [do you ever do this?] the Havana large hobo in Eucalyptus from the Brooklyn-based accessories company Hayden-Harnett. Even better, I scored it off Ideeli for about 60% off (because it's so much better when you treat yourself guilt-free). While I love the utilitarian/goes-with-everything gray color, I absolutely adore the

Jumat, 12 Juni 2009

Appealing Summer Design Styles


There is something about this room design which I love, not my usual type of style, however the more I look at this room the more aspects of it I like!

In a nutshell that is what good design style is all about, liking the look, loving the colours and feeling comfortable with the style. This is a room which would suit many homes and could so easily be copied, even if you were to follow the design principles if you are not keen on the colours a striking style could be achieved very cost effectively.

If you are not adept at painting features and focal points on your walls there are lots of places where you can obtain transfers which are quick and easy to apply.

Of course the room has lots of white, well I doubt I’d like it so much if it didn’t! along with some beautiful striking summer colours in the cushions, mural and the ready made curtains. The white coffee table has all the hallmarks of a sixties style which only has the all important three objects placed on it.

Always display objects in uneven numbers as this is far more pleasing to the eye. The other thing I love about this room s there is no clutter, which I admit is one of my greatest dislikes!

The flooring makes a pleasant change in mustard yellow, however I’m not a lover of wall to wall carpets and would change this for a large rug on stripped floor boards or ceramic tiles in a neutral shade.

Image: Decorology

Kamis, 11 Juni 2009

Ideas for the Master Bedroom

For the master bedroom, I'm thinking about taking the vibrant color palette I chose for the dining room down a notch. A navy blue and Chinese blue color palette, accented with hits of metallic and cream-colored furniture, will work well with the public areas of the house but still be a departure from the more vibrant colors and dark wood furniture I plan on using in those spaces. Plus, these

Rabu, 10 Juni 2009

Inspiring Master Bedrooms

Mary McDonaldSo I found out today that the new house should be completed by late July -- about a month earlier than Dave and I had expected. Yikes! Suddenly, there's a renewed urgency in not only selling the current house, but in figuring out what I want to do with the new place. I find the best way to get in decorating mode is to look at beautiful spaces. Fortunately for me, more and more

Selasa, 09 Juni 2009

{New To Me} Revival Home and Garden

Today I stumbled upon Revival Home and Garden, the online home to the Seattle-based home decor boutique owned and run by husband-wife duo Leah and Chad Steen. The store combines fabulous vintage pieces with pieces from some of the best in today's design world (think Jonathan Adler, Thomas Paul, Rubie Green). Revival is definitely reminiscent of Atlanta-based Pieces, but a tad less expensive (

Wearing Your Party on Your Bikini

Aside from the phenomenon that has become her Reva ballet flats, Tory Burch is perhaps best known for her bright and fun prints and, more often than not, I'm completely in love with them (particularly her '60s-inspired prints and her ikats). For summer though, the divine Ms. Burch has come out with a red elephant print bikini and coordinating tote and towel and I'm thinking this is a big "miss"

Using White In Your Home


White and so chic this is the ideal hallway for me! Simplicity really is a matter of less is more in many styles of interior design and this is one of those designs where nothing more is needed, its striking simplicity speaks volumes!

Injections of colour are all in-vogue within the world of interiors, however white continues to be the most favoured of colours. purely because it look stylish on its own and even more stunning when a natural wood table on which a few objects, including plain table lamps, nothing fancy or flashy, are placed. Natural coloured flooring is used as a purely functional necessity and to make this design feel homely.

The great advantage of using white is that it looks good however old or new your home, unless you are trying to replicate a particular period of time, such as the Victorian era or before, then white is an excellent option. (you shouldn’t include brilliant white paint if you want authentic looks in Victorian homes for the simple reason it hadn’t been invented!)

Any room of your home can be predominately white, of course total white is also acceptable but needs to be used carefully and skilfully otherwise it can look very cold…think of snow and ice and you will realise what I mean!

Injections of any colour, pale pastel to vibrant neon will lift the coldness and turn your room into a chic and very stylish place to be!

For great interior design inspiration and image visit Decorology

Senin, 08 Juni 2009

Week Six: All Walled Up

A lot of progress was made on the new house this past week as the workmen laid the brick and hung the drywall. And I'm happy to report that, from the outside in particular, things are really starting to come together. {By the way, if you're new to Odi et Amo or afraid you've missed a week or two of the action, go HERE to view my weekly updates on the new house.}Here's a view from the backyard.

Jumat, 05 Juni 2009

Vacationing and The g.

You may or may not have noticed the new widget I added to my sidebar the other day, but it's a countdown clock for my upcoming vacation to London, Dublin and Galway. To say I'm excited is a gross understatement. Dave and I haven't had a vacation in over two years. And, for the record, I don't count attending weddings, bachelorette parties, in-law visits etc. as vacations -- not because they

Kamis, 04 Juni 2009

Danke Schoen!

I've debated with myself all day on whether or not to post on this, but ultimately I decided it would be remiss of me not to thank the Washington Post publicly for including me today in its weekly "Blog Watch" feature (see HERE). Thanks to Ms. Terri Sapienza, my blog traffic has gone through the roof and I feel a bit like dancing in the street (hold the tracht). Sometimes blogging can feel like

Rabu, 03 Juni 2009

Ideas for the Dining Room

When it comes to planning how I want to decorate the new house, I find myself focusing on the dining room. Perhaps it's because it's right off the entryway, so it's one of the first spaces you see when you enter the house. Perhaps it's because I don't currently have a formal dining area, so I get to start from scratch, unrestrained by existing pieces that have to be incorporated. And perhaps it's

Selasa, 02 Juni 2009

A doxie by Jonathan Adler = Love at First Sight

Should a certain husband still be on the look out for a birthday present for his devoted wife, might I ever so subtly suggest that this might just be the perfect gift? You'll find it here -- and if you order now, you just might get it in time for said devoted wife's birthday. There. Was that (un)subtle enough? For those of you who AREN'T my husband, I still highly recommend checking out the

Wishing On A Star!


This gorgeous bedroom has the most beautiful uninterrupted view, with the curtains being used as a divider for privacy within the house rather than the more conventional use of being a window dressing.

A wonderful twist on the use of curtains and is a great way to show their versatility around a home.

Curtains with tab-tops or eyelets and becoming an increasingly popular method of creating functional wardrobe space in alcoves but rarely used as a simple yet gracefully elegant room divider.

I love the concept of sleeping under the stars and not being in a tent….

I’m not sure about the audio protection this curtain would provide. Having said that anyone who lives in such a beautiful home is unlikely to have children and no doubt guest rooms are far away in another area of the house so noise wouldn’t pose a problem.

There are obviously few worries of having to provide window protection from prying eyes with a room so open to the world. This is an aspect that few of us are able to do and typically spend our lives trying to find effective and stylish ways to stop people from intruding on our lives by covering our windows with vertical blinds or net curtains both day and night!

Waking up to such a beautiful view must be lovely, a dream come true, however surely you be quite literally be awake at the crack of dawn as the sun rises…or maybe that is something you would just get used to and learn to ignore! However, being woken in such a natural, gentle and unobtrusive way would make a lovely start to your day!

Image: Freshome

Senin, 01 Juni 2009

25 Top Patio Chairs

Why is well designed outdoor furniture so hard to come by????????? Everywhere I look I am visually assaulted by poorly designed and equally stinky, (as in smell) off-gassing furniture manufactured in China. I have through diligent searching found some truly amazing, beautiful to look at, and environmentally friendly outdoor furniture that is not manufactured in China. FYI Knoll practices Sustainable Design. All Knoll Space seating is GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified® for low-emitting products.

First the UGLY........

0080659970375_150X150 0080659908726_500X500
image

Okay that's enough of that, now for the sublime...................

image

These chairs are so beautiful and sculptural and are appropriately call "The Clover Chair"

knoll bertoria chair & paper clip table

A truly classic and timeless design by Knoll - the Bertoria Chair and
the appropriately named Paperclip Table

bertoria chair
I am partial to the Bertoria chair in white powder coated finish with a white vinyl chair pad.
It also works equally well indoors.

one cafe phillipe starcki
This is a design by the prolific Philippe Starck called One Cafe

The One Cafe also comes in black/ivory and a bar stool is available
with slip cover options in white cotton.

dr no chair phillipe starck for kartell

Another design by Philippe Starck called Dr No by Kartell is stackable.
The Dr Na aluminum table is practical, simple and a perfect companion piece.

lord yo chair

The Lord Yo Chair (above) designed by Philippe Starck, is a take-off on the classic Lloyd Loom chair.
I like the cotton slipcover. They also come with Leather Slipcovers so you can take them
indoors in the winter for an attractive addition to your kitchen or dining room.

Knoll Noguchi Cyclone Table kissi-kissi table driade designer miki astoria driade one cafe table by philippe starck

Knoll Noguchi Cyclone Table Kissi-Kissi Table One Cafe Table

bo chair miss lacy by philippe starck toy chair phillipe starck

Bo Chair Miss Lacy Chair Toy Chair

Now for a few divine settings to get you in the mood for those lazy, hazy days of summer

Patio Furniture Deluxe
martha stewart living
gasl outdoor rooms
Mary McGee
House Beautiful
gramercy park hotel
Michael Taylor
kettal spain
kettal spain
kettal spain
kettal spain
kettal spain
Tobi Tobin
Veranda
cecconi simone
achchitectural digest

Sigh

What makes a perfect outdoor setting for you?
Please leave a comment and let me know.

Patricia Gray writes about 'WHAT'S HOT 'in the world of Interior Design, new and emerging trends, modern design,
architecture, and travel, as well as how your surroundings can influence the world around you.
© Patricia Gray Interior Design Blog, 2009