Friday, September 30, 2011

Thursday: Decorating Tips

"Each room needs to connect to another, not specifically in color like one might think but aesthetically. Each rooms needs to be its own but also part of a whole. There needs to be a thread that ties all rooms together."

For people who are trying to design their home and want it to feel cohesive I think the natural instinct is to think color. Each room must have some yellow or red in it somewhere. What you learn studying design is that spaces need to be harmonious but not the exact shade all over the house. I like the word harmony because when you think of it in music the plain melody being repeated is still nice but a bit boring don't you think? It's the same in a room or house. True beauty in music and interior design comes from simple harmonies. Each note (or furnishing) is different but complements the other.

"Just think of a summer garden, not one color matches any other, but can you think of anything more satisfying?" Billy Baldwin

Study these images. The are designed by interior design legends Sister Parish and Albert Hadley many many years ago. See how each room is it's own but the home is harmonious as a whole. 

Now, how does one actually do that?! Good question. I'll explain more next week in my new weekly decorating school.

Happy Friday! We are doing something really exciting this weekend but it's a surprise so I'll tell you about it on Monday. Can't wait!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Couldn't help myself. I'm missing New York.

(this is my favorite restaurant in New York called Perbacco in the east village)

I LOVE New York City. And I especially love it in the fall. I have a great list of my favorite things to do that I will get around to posting but over at A CUP OF JO I found she posted hers and it made me want to jump on a red-eye tonight. It's a magical city. Not as much when your super poor, don't know the people and places to see and live in Harlem (that was Kevin and I's very first experience.) Check out her link, I think you'll love it.

Click here. An afternoon in New York. A CUP OF JO.

Once the boys go to bed I'm gonna watch You've Got Mail and make some herbal tea I got at Dean and Deluca to get my Manhattan fix. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

What's your Architectural Style? Minimalist-industrial.

A few times each month Kevin and I will feature inspiring architectural styles. This amazing interior is CODE, a salon in San Francisco. It's one of my favorite salons.

I was in one of those moods where I really needed a change. A BIG change. So I told my stylist to do whatever she wanted! She gave me "fringe" aka bangs (that word is so 80's apparently) and colored my eyebrows and eye lashes. Goodbye mascara. It was AWESOME.

(red eyebrow-ed after tweezing.)

(I grabbed a picture while in the dressing room. I thought these aprons were so fashionable!)

(Me and Amanda, the magic maker for eyes. She was adorable. )

Friday, September 23, 2011

Cheap and Chic

Overstock should be a renter's best friend. Each week I'm going to share some of my favorite things from stores that have great design for an affordable price. All of these rugs are under $500 except one. It will probably be your favorite one, right? Most of them are under $200! Which one is your favorite? I would love to know. You can click on the links at the bottom to find them.

This week: Overstock rugs

purple rug
yellow and cream rug
chevron rug
missoni look-a-like rug
pink and green stripe rug
yellow strip rug
yellow and gray rug
purple and green rug
burberry look-a-like runner
green chevron runner
blue medallion runner
blue flower runner

Friday, September 16, 2011

Designing with Children

Eero, five months

I took my son (Satchel) to our favorite children's store that had opened a second location specifically for furniture. The entire time I was grabbing those glass pebbles out of his mouth from the coffee table's jar and the sale's clerk was asking him not to touch this and that. The price tag on the pillows he was leaning against on the sofa was over two hundred dollars. I was puzzled until I realized the owner of the store did not have children herself.

Families today are designing for children. They are the center of our lives. Everything revolves around our boys. When we are designing our home, we are constantly thinking about how the design will function with them on a daily basis. I always think of the late Sister Parish (one of my design heros) and how one of her signature touches was placing a child's chair in each of the living spaces.

What a wonderful idea. In our home we believe children should be honored guests.

On a very sad note: please read this link for Ruby Jane's family. I am so sorry for the pain they are going through. Children are gifts. Let us all cherish them everyday.


I like to make sweeping generalizations about what Men and Women are supposed to like. I also like to start posts with bold statements like that to prove a point. A good friend of mine in college (who now lives in a remote african country) would probably be able to tell me the name of this writing style, and how to change it for the better. 

Anyway, as a guy, I got a very late start on figuring out what I actually like. Sometime in College, I realized something. I actually needed creativity, beauty, and personalization in the spaces that I lived in. Many Women have had more years on that road of awareness, and therefore, make up the larger population of designers, fashion professionals, and for that matter, Bloggers.

Whitney and I have changed the furniture in our house about 27 times in 5 years of marriage. The interesting thing is that every single time that we do it, we look at each other and say..."We really nailed it this time"..."this one is perfect." The point is, design is an evolution, and the sooner that you accept that, the more comfortable you will be with your space, your spouse, and your couch. 

The above picture is a good starting point for what many couples are dealing with. I am sure that because I (KEVIN) chose the "She likes" pictures, that maybe they aren't the best representation of WHITNEY'S actual likes, but that is not the point. 


(Is it just the color you like? is it the single art piece, and you really didn't notice anything else? Is it just a really good photograph??)

2. Start BIG. Rooms take shape because of large signature furniture pieces. These come in two varieties. The "HEY LOOK AT ME!" Couch, Picture, etc, or the "Don't mind me, I am just here to blend in. Focus on something else please." Whitney and I error on the side that Physically Large Purchases should blend in. Change a $20 bold pillow, or paint some picture frames white. Keep your head on straight when you begin.

3. Be Brave. Change is scary. New is hard. Don't project your fears, anger, frustration, or anything else onto anyone else. Don't design too late at night, or when you are hungry, or with palpable stress in the room. This is an adventure in every sense of the word. Make it so.