Wallpaper, Off the Wall

There’s no hard and fast rule that says wallpaper can only go on your walls.

There’s no hard and fast rule that says wallpaper can only go on your walls.  Applying wallpaper to the ceiling instead adds color and interest to an often-ignored part of the room.  Most people spend a lot of time considering how they want to decorate their floors and walls but neglect the ceiling.  Think of it as a potential canvas, blank and usually bare of obstacles.  Why leave it white and bare when we have access to an infinite world of wall coverings that work just as well on a ceiling?

 

 

 

Here, a colorful striped paper on the ceiling of a nursery gives warmth to the black and white color theme.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This bedroom ceiling, with its pressed metal style wallpaper, has a stunning, classic look that works perfectly with the room’s interesting architectural elements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This starry paper makes a lovely bedroom ceiling for a child or teen to fall asleep under.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Applying wallpaper to a ceiling isn’t only beautiful, but can be functional as well.  It’s an easy solution to cracked paint or other flaws that paint alone can’t cover.  If the idea of papering the ceiling of a large bedroom or living room is too intimidating, consider a smaller space like a stairway, closet, or bathroom.

A Luxurious Guest Room

Being nestled away from the main section of the residence, this small room offered a place where we could be more whimsical and theatrical with the design elements and colors.

For this project, I designed a beautiful third-floor guest room.  Being nestled away from the main section of the residence, this small room offered a place where we could be more whimsical and theatrical with the design elements and colors.  I wanted people to walk up the stairs and feel pleasantly surprised by this hidden jewel of a room.

I loved working with so many material in this room that it’s difficult to talk about just one or two favorites.  Our color palette of yellow, grace, and sienna gave me ample room to explore the capricious style of the room.  I covered the walls with a gorgeous Brunschwig & Fils chinoiserie grass cloth left over from the client’s previous residence.  I hadn’t the heart to discard it and was so pleased to use this amazing paper again.

One striking aspect of the guest room is the overabundance of elements that work so nicely together.  From the solid cotton velvet fabric of the canopy to the leather window seat and tortoise shell window shades, details such as the unusual guacamole color of the seat and the amazing tiger print silk on the interior of the canopy make this room a real treat for the client’s guests.

You know you have a great client when that client truly lets you shop.  Finding wonderful items for this guest room made it such a fun experience.  I found these amazing Chinese male and female lamps, the final piece added to tie the room together.  They both wear custom green silk shades with a yellow trim accent.  Initially, the client had a different, extremely heavy and massive bed allocated for this room.  We decided it overwhelmed the small space.  Instead, I found an antique bamboo bed at United House Wrecking.  The bed was a true diamond-in-the-rough, needing to be cut down to Queen size and missing several turnings.  I was so excited when I found it, and even more so when the client was also able to see the bed’s potential.  After refurbishing the entire piece, we couldn’t be happier to have such a gorgeous bed as the main focus of this guest room.

Designing a room like this takes a certain willingness to take risks.  Don’t be afraid to add multiple color combinations.  Sienna ingested with yellow and lime green adds warmth and striking contrast to this room.  Mirrors on the side tables add reflection at a completely different level and are an unexpected touch to the room.  Be careful not to overdress every window, as a simple and inexpensive tortoise shell works equally as nice.  Finally, invest in at least one set of high thread count sheets.  You (or your guests) will sleep better for it!

 

 

 

 

Antique Mirrors

Antique mirrors are hard to miss. They stand out in any space with their aged patina and elaborate beauty

Antique mirrors are hard to miss.  They stand out in any space with their aged patina and elaborate beauty.  Mirrors can make a room look larger, reflect light and scenery, and even become pieces of art.

Mirrors aren’t only meant for walls but make a lovely addition to a fine piece of furniture or a dramatic headboard.

For an even more visually impressive effect, work antique mirrors into kitchen cabinets or a back splash.

When you think of what mirrors can do beyond hanging on walls and take advantage of the aged beauty of antique mirrors, their possible uses in home decor become almost limitless.

Design Therapy by Brad Ford

One of my favorite designers, Brad Ford, writes an incredible blog called Design Therapy.

Brad Ford

One of my favorite designers, Brad Ford, writes an incredible blog called Design Therapy.  Having been involved in the world of interior design for 13 years, Brad uses his blog to share sources of inspiration with his readers.  His blog showcases everything from images to other designers in his desire to give others some of passion for design.  In his own words, Brad is “drawn to a more modern sensibility that’s equally warm and soulful.”  Readers of Brad’s blog see this immediately in the wonderful variety of images in each blog entry.  For inspiration, resources, and ideas, take a look at Design Therapy and enjoy some blissful browsing time!

 

The Adirondacks

The Adirondack Mountain region of New York is a visually stunning landscape of mountain peaks, vast forests, lakes and waterfalls, and soaring blue skies.

The Adirondack Mountain region of New York is a visually stunning landscape of mountain peaks, vast forests, lakes and waterfalls, and soaring blue skies.  It’s no wonder the area attracts so many tourists to its millions of acres of natural beauty.  Many aspects of the Adirondacks translate well into interior design.

Natural, organic materials form the basis for design inspired by a wild place like the Adirondacks.  You don’t have to live in a post and beam home to borrow the beauty of the look for your own rooms.  No ceiling beams in your home?  They can be installed and either stained or painted by a professional decorative artist to match existing wood or look like any type of wood you might prefer.

Wooden beams don’t need to be confined to the ceiling.  Reclaimed wood beams make furniture that is rustic, beautiful, and green.  A nice complement to this look is an accessory reminiscent of old tin roof or barn tiles.

The extensive forests of the Adirondacks can also provide inspiration.  Luxurious wall coverings evoking wood patterns or leaves as well as paintings or prints can easily reflect the botanical influence of the Adirondacks.

Gary and Luke Stretar: Artists

I recently attended an art fair at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, where I stumbled upon two wonderful artists: Gary and Luke Stretar.

I recently attended an art fair at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, where I stumbled upon two wonderful artists:  Gary and Luke Stretar.  While these two artists share some similarities in style, they each have their own perspective and focus.  Both are from Ohio, a place that seems to figure largely in their work.

Gary Stretar’s landscapes struck me with their mood and rich colors.  These large, warm oil paintings with clean lines and sparkling realism draw the eye again and again.  Conservative enough to fit the most classic decor yet intriguing enough to appeal to more modern tastes, Gary Stretar’s paintings can’t be done justice on a computer screen.  To contact Gary about his work visit here.

Luke Stretar also takes a realism approach to his oil paintings.  His work features subjects not commonly thought of as beautiful.  Under his brush, however, beauty is revealed.   His current work focuses on metal and industrial objects.  For more information about Luke’s paintings, contact him.

Garden Stools

Who says garden stools have to stay in the garden? This is a perfect example of a functional object transformed into something beautiful and given a new purpose.

Who says garden stools have to stay in the garden?  This is a perfect example of a functional object transformed into something beautiful and given a new purpose.  As a place to sit, a place to rest a book or drink, or to add a spunk of color, garden stools come in a surprising array of colors and styles.  Take a look at these fantastic garden stools and the many ways they can be used in the home.

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Ikat

Ikat (pronounced ‘ee-KAHT’) is a very old dyeing technique used to create beautiful patterns in fabrics.

Ikat (pronounced ‘ee-KAHT’) is a very old dyeing technique used to create beautiful patterns in fabrics.  The ikat weaving style is common to many cultures from South America to India.  The process is rather like a reverse tie-dye.  In tie-dye, the fabric is first woven, then bound, and then dyed.  When the bindings are removed, the tie-dye pattern is clear.  The process of ikat varies in that the material (silk, cotton, etc.) is first treated with wax or tied in some way to prevent all of the dye from being absorbed.  After dying, the material is woven into fabric.  The pattern and complexity of ikat varies widely, which makes it an ideal choice for home design.

 

 

 

This colorful ikat rug from Madeline Weinrib demonstrates why the classic look of ikat has endured for centuries.

 

 

Ikat also makes a stunning fabric for furnishings.  This ikat chair adds exactly the right blend of color and pattern to accent a client’s India-inspired decor.

 

One of the wonderful things about ikat is that it has more than just the usual fabric applications.  Window treatments, pillows,wall art, and even lamp shades can showcase this timeless method of producing gorgeous textiles.

My Vibe My Life by Kelly Wearstler

Kelly Wearstler is one of my favorite designers and I love her blog, My Vibe My Life.

Kelly Wearstler is one of my favorite designers and I love her blog, My Vibe My Life.

Known for her luxurious take on interior design, Kelly is an American designer who has worked with resorts and hotels around the world.  She designs home furnishings and recently turned her talents toward the world of fashion.   Enjoy this taste of her designs, then visit her blog for more inspiration.

 

The Versatile Ottoman

There’s a good reason why we associate the idea of relaxing at home with sitting back and putting our feet up, maybe with a nice glass of wine.

There’s a good reason why we associate the idea of relaxing at home with sitting back and putting our feet up, maybe with a nice glass of wine.  That level of comfort is something most people experience at home, and nothing invites you to put your feet up at the end of the day like a well-placed ottoman.  Finding an ottoman to coordinate with a comfy chair or sofa is relatively simple.  What I’d like to do is show you some alternate placement for the many styles of ottomans and the various ways they can bring more to your home than rest for weary feet.

Let that ottoman double as a coffee table!  This is particularly a good option if space is limited and can work with both modern and traditional decor.



Along the same lines, a small ottoman can act as a side table.  Again, there are many styles to choose from and placement options to consider.  At the end of a sofa or between two chairs, for example.

                    

Finally, consider adding ottomans to a living or family room to act as both decor and extra seating for guests.  They are typically smaller, lighter, and easier to move than other seating choices.  An ottoman can certainly be more attractive and stylish than something like a folding chair.


With the ability to custom-design an ottoman by choosing your own fabric, the possibilities for adding such a versatile piece of furniture to your home are limitless.  When you consider how many choices you have for patterns and texture, it’s easy to see the many uses for an ottoman besides a simple foot rest.

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