Selasa, 27 Desember 2011

A touch of the unexpected

Isn't it always interesting  when you walk into a space and see touches of excitement in the decor? It could be a great piece of art, a collection of objects or unexpected colour combination.  This ottoman is a ray of sunshine in an otherwise monochromatic room (flowers don't count).

Vases massed by colour are pretty spectacular as a focal point.  Finding interesting ways to show collections can add excitement to a plain room.

Why not choose an exotic colour and paint a cabinet, table or the inside of a bookcase?

Spectacular draperies can make a room.  This tight colour scheme becomes interesting when various patterns are added. The bold stripes in the drapes are very eye catching.

 A stenciled wall  is sure to be a focal point in  any  room.

If you're going to hang photographs you may as well go for it and create a gallery wall.

Rabu, 21 Desember 2011

Making Christmas Sparkle

Making Christmas sparkle is not a difficult task.  There's the little things you add to your home decor, there's music and family and friends. All you have to do is sit back and make enough time to actually enjoy it. It is too easy to get caught up in the frenzy of shopping and preparation.  I'm a fast forward kind of person, but lately I put the breaks on at Christmas, and make  every effort to notice all the small things.

 the sparkle of light on an iridescent wreath; the contrast of shape and colours

 pleasing colours in a gift from a friend who knows me well

 the reminders of great dinners with friends

 a flower that inspired my first series in art

a  reminder of a trip to Ottawa where I actually got lost in an Ikea store

twigs from my daughter's garden

  the lamp I spent two years looking for, greenery from my garden, my husband's guitar he made 

music from my sister

 a gift from a friend who has moved to the opposite side of Canada

 finding small pieces of slate and turning them into unique Santas

 my son's ornament collection one for every Christmas, laid out for his nieces to play with, the odd guy playing the guitar is a  mummer, part of Newfoundland tradition

new  candles waiting for friends to arrive

my granddaughters

grimy fingerprints

and even the snow falling outside.

What puts sparkle in your Christmas?

Selasa, 20 Desember 2011

What do I do with the TV?

 Here I go again ranting about my favourite pet peeve in home decor- TV's! I'm always collecting ideas about this design dilemma.
In a home theater the TV is king,  but in a smaller space meant for family living it needs to know its place.   If you want a TV to be the focal point in a room you certainly don't have to work at it because  it is  big and black, commanding attention through  scale and contrast.  I must not be the only one who feels this way because questions about where to put a TV continually crop up with clients.

Family room contemporary family room

These dark bookcases  provide a frame for the TV and it is tucked nicely into other aspects of the room. I don't know why  so many TVs have shiny black frames! Then you need an equally dark wood to balance it.

Media Unit 002887 modern media room

Finally a gray/silver  frame.  This is a similar set up, but I personally prefer the overall lightness of the bookcases and TV within it. If you use a similar set up it is important to leave open space around the TV.

Consider placing your TV on an entertainment console.  In this way it is visually part of the structure.   Your neck will also thank you for your efforts.  Continually jutting your chin up in the air to watch a TV hung too high on a wall is not healthy for your neck.  Then there's the practical aspect for people who wear bifocals.When you tip your head up you are looking out through the wrong part. 

Newtown Terrace contemporary living room
 Crawford Architects

  And my most favourite of all is the magic disappearing TV!


In a minimalist decor, the TV is often treated  starkly.  The white framing which stands out from the wall makes it look like a picture.  The extra storage behind is very functional. 

Here's another modern solution where the TV is treated like another accessory and the black banding on top and bottom connects nicely with the TV. The stacked art/photos replicate the rectangular shapes. Very pleasing overall. 

 And there you have it- installment 2 on that pesky TV.  Hope there was an idea you liked.

Minggu, 18 Desember 2011

Benjamin Moore colour trends 2012

 Benjamin Moore's Color Pulse trend forecasts have won  awards and international recognition in the design world. Each forecast is compiled by leaders in the industry at  least two years in advance and other bloggers have had their go at this topic long before me.  It's not because I'm tardy, it's because I like to wait until people are thinking about change in the new year.
The 2012 forecast theme Preservation reflects our current social and economic climate and connects our past with our future.  The impending palette from this forecast will be influenced by four key elements:

 our past
 our journey
our vulnerability 
 our future

Image source: MeCC Interiors

What will all this mean for your walls or accessories  in the coming year or so? 

Doty Horn, director of color and design for Benjamin Moore, explained that the palette continues to be reflective of the gray and brown scale that’s been prevalent the past few years. “We’re seeing camel and khaki as the new neutrals upon which richer, more traditional hues can be layered and accented,” she said.

As in most Color Pulse forecasts there's something for everyone.  The grays are still prevalent, as are the purples from last year.  Yellows seem to be moving more toward the gold which isn't surprising with the current trend to brass and gold away from silvers in metallics.

Great Room Re-Styled eclectic living room

There's a range of greens from silvery to teal tinged. An obvious pairing is green with the heavier yellow golds.

Yellow girls bedroom eclectic bedroom

Reds range from the feminine to orange tones.

Same room - different look eclectic dining room

Blues are experiencing  a resurgence.

West Coast Hampton traditional living room

From the four categories above I'm personally attracted to  Protection and Enlightenment.  I like my colours light and fresh and my neutral preference has always been gray- long before it gained popularity.

What are your thoughts?

Rabu, 14 Desember 2011

Pantone's colour of the year

Pantone founded in 1963, began as a system to identify and match colors, which led to a standardized color book. Each year Pantone announces its colour of the year which influences various design industries including fashion, textiles and  paint.   The colour of the year 2012 is...

Tangerine Tango

Pantone noted that Tangerine Tango  is "Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive". Certainly it is dramatic and more red than orange with lots of depth.  Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute," said  it is  "Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy."
You certainly would need to have a love of vibrancy to paint your walls this colour. I'm not that adventurous in my own home.  I see it being used in home decor accessories, e.g.,   pillows, bedspreads and tabletop accessories.
Similar Benjamin Moore (my favourite brand) colours would be:

 tawny daylily 2012-10
tomato red 2010-10
redstone 2009-10

So... let's tango

 You could go for it and paint your walls.  I like the way this red orange looks with a soft white (not too much yellow) to tame it down.


or choose it  in a chair 

It looks fresh in pillows and a duvet cover. 

Patterned wallpaper used with cream and a bold black creates a stunning effect. 

How about a vibrant night table, sculptures and pillows, 

or a patterned headboard

or beautifully patterned bowls?
Ashlee Raubach 

Doesn't it look great paired with blues? 
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