Animal Print is a Neutral

Animal print is a neutral.  I’ve heard this a lot lately, and I think it’s so funny!  But true!  Jenna Lyons at J. Crew is really the one who has made leopard a mainstay in all of our wardrobes.  That trend has carried into interior design.  Be careful though, it can start looking cheap really quick!  Don’t be afraid to use animal prints with bright colors and other patterns.

January February 2013 Issue - A leopard-print ottoman and wooden occasional chairs surrounding a white mantel

Lonny Magazine Designer Jessika Goranson
leopard chairs and yellow drapes
MMR Interiors
Beautiful beige living room with leopard pillows
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Sally Wheat Interiors, entry, leopard stools
Sally Wheat Interiors
leopard print chair with nailhead + coral pillow
Suellen Gregory Interior Design
Leopard chair.
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a little leopard.
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This look can be so sophisticated or really cheapy!  It’s tough to pull off, but when done right it’s so chic!
sjn

To Faux or not to Faux?

T0 Faux or not to Faux?  That is the question.  At least around these parts.  I would say for the last 10 years the Old World style has been very popular in Oklahoma.  Things are changing a bit lately.  Things are becoming a bit brighter and cleaner.

I have a philosophy when it comes to this style.  I really like it if it’s done right.  Some people tend to go way over the top (as in anything in life, right?).  The key to successfully decorating in this style is moderation.  Too much fringe.  Too much gold.  Too much velvet.  Too many faux painted walls.  This has such a heavy feeling to me.  However, I think Old World can be done with out going to the extreme!

My Old World Rules:

Rule #1- Never faux finish or crackle paint an entire kitchen or bathroom.  Instead, do just one piece of furniture.  I think this makes it look more authentic.  People wonder: Is that really old?  But if the entire kitchen is done that way, it’s pretty obvious it’s not really antique.

Here are some examples of this I really like.

Now this Swedish armoire is probably really old, but you get the idea.  The patina of the piece also goes with the rest of the rustic furniture.
This living room is bright and beautiful.  The antiqued mirror adds character to the room.
Design by Lisa Luby Ryan.  Notice the chest, mirror and settee all have a patina.  These few pieces add that Old World charm without being over the top!
Rule #2- Never faux finish the walls of an entire room.  Of course, there are exceptions to this rule.  If you have a professional that knows how to create a beautiful patina to woodwork, it can be extremely beautiful!  I’m really talking about what they used to do here in Oklahoma about 5 to 10 years ago.  They would paint the walls then take a rag and rub a stain or another paint over the top.  I think the goal was to create a cool finish.  Some did look okay, but a lot of the finishes just made the walls look dirty.  I think you can still achieve the old look without this effect.
Another design by Lisa Luby Ryan.  This room still has an old French/Belgian feel because of the furniture, art and lighting.  Nothing needs to be done to the walls to give this effect.
This home is by Loren Interiors in Houston.  It has a distinctly European feel because of the rock, wide plank floors, furniture and lighting.
Decor de Provence.  Notice old-looking floors, old fireplace, art and beams.
I think this room is so homey and beautiful.  The beams add richness and I love the painted bookcases.  They might even have a patina finish on them that would be a great little touch.  The smooth cream walls keep it so soft.
This has a more rich look without being over the top.  It’s still livable.
Rule #3- Keep fabric and trims to a minimum.  I would say the majority of us do not live in a palace like Versailles, so why do we try so hard to make our homes look like a castle?  Everyone has their own taste.  I understand that.  For me, I like to keep the opulent finishes to a minimum.  I love a very formal look, but I’m talking about embellishments.
Reece Witherspoons ranch in California.  It is very Old World Spanish without fringe and red velvet.
The iron staircase and luxurious rug add the richness to this space.
Room by Patricia Healing and Daniel Barsanti.  It’s Old World in architecture, but the furniture is simple with luxurious upholstery.
These homes are really Mediterranean in origin.  And who doesn’t love the Mediterranean? It’s glamorous and rich looking. I think that’s why people around here want to try to copy that European look.  In moderation with a few great pieces, it can be extremely lovely and luxurious.

 

Curtains and Shades

I’ll use the term window treatments to include: curtains, shades and panels.  Window treatments can make all the difference in a room.  I can’t think of too many rooms where I wouldn’t want some sort of window treatment.  They finish the room.  Shades and curtains are meant to be used.  They are supposed to open and close and go up and down.

I know this might offend (sorry), but in most cases blinds are not the best option.  Blinds do NOTHING for your space.  Everyone needs privacy and also to block out the sun, so why not make that function beautiful?

The fabric used in your window treatment can add texture, color, shine and softness to your room.  It’s a HUGE deal in the overall scheme of your room.

I will not lie.  Window treatments are expensive.  Most of the time they have to be custom made for your particular window.  Or if you buy off the shelf, you might have to have them hemmed to the right length.  Save up your money because it’s worth it!

Let’s talk shades first:

roman shade designs

I won’t go into all the details of these shades, but each and everyone is different.  They can totally make or change the look of your room.

Here are some examples of shades:

love

I love this combination of curtains and pleated butterfly balloon shades.

 

 

Shades

Example of plain roman shade with ribbon trim.  This shade adds a crispness to this room.  So clean looking!

trim on Romans

Love these!  Custom detail work at the bottom of a roman shade.  This makes the room look so expensive and thought out.

love the shades

I love a beautiful pattern on a simple roman shade.  The simpler the shade, the more crazy your pattern can be!

Ways to hang your shades:

Roman on door

Inside the window casing.

Chandelier & window treatments + red accent color

Inside the window casing.

shade...

Outside the window casing.

Love the small grey outline on this roman shade

Outside the window casing.

I like both ways. If you don’t have any wood casing around your windows, I suggest taking the shade all the way to the ceiling, right under the crown molding.  This will make the window look a lot bigger!  Good tip!

Curtains:

decorative side panels and floor drape samples

Some of these different pleats, I’ve never heard of.  It seems like everybody calls it something different.  Anyway, this is great example of the different types of curtains you can do.  Just know, if you do any type of pleat, you’re looking AT LEAST two widths of yardage.  That’s where it get’s expensive!

Great illustration - the difference is amazing.

I love this drawing.  There are always exceptions to this rule, but I would say this is how curtains should be hung 75% of the time.  This is what’s in style, and it makes the window look bigger.

pink curtains + blue walls

Cute pleated striped curtains.  Notice: they went up as high as they could above the window.  This is to make the window appear bigger.

Gray & Green

I can’t tell if these are just panels or if they have pleats.  And that’s my point.  Sometimes it’s not worth the money to have the fancy pleated curtains made.  You can pull back panels and pleat them.  This can save you a ton of money.  Typically, you’ll only need one width of yardage for this.  This is great option for something you’re not going to use a lot or they are going to stay open all the time.

pink in the hallway

Don’t be afraid of color or shine!  This curtains are beautiful.  They make this room.  The silk adds shine and the color adds fun and richness.

peach curtains

Again color and shine.  Everything else is neutral.  If you get tired of them in a few years all you have to do is replace the curtains and do nothing to the walls or floors.

crazy for these yellow curtains

More color and softness!  Lovely full pleated yellow silk curtains!

yes to the curtains

I love how these stripes lengthen the windows and add pattern.  Notice they are installed directly under crown molding.

GEORGICA POND: The pull of pretty

This rod is probably custom made for this bay window.  I had to have one made for my bay window.  Look how the blue green fabric frames each window.  Beautiful!!

ribbon trim

Instead of adding softness to this room, these curtains add structure!  Love it!

I hope this helped!  I have so many blog post ideas swimming in my head right now.  It’s just finding the time to post…  Please let me know if you have any questions or thoughts.

 

 

 

 

 

The Pink Pagoda

I was browsing through the latest House of Fifty online issue, and I noticed the beautiful add for The Pink Pagoda.  The add was so colorful and it said “dress up your walls”.  I was curious, so I clicked on the link that took me to the website.  The Pink Pagoda is a cute little etsy store that has high quality, colorful prints.  If you’re looking for something to dress up a room in your home, check it out!  I think they would look great in a nursery, bathroom or girly guest bedroom, and they are so affordable!  The Pink Pagoda Etsy Shop

Hot Pink Ming Chinoiserie Ginger Jar on White 11x14 Giclee

 

Orange and Turquoise Elephant with Chinese Border Giclee 8x10

 

Yellow and Gray Giraffe Giclee 11x14

White Elephant on Chocolate Brown Lattice Facing Right Giclee 11x14

 

Tangerine and Hot Pink Chinese New Year Dragon Giclee 8x10

 

Lime Ming Chinoiserie Ginger Jar on Bamboo Stripe 11x14 Giclee

 

 

The Right Light

Well I hope you all are feeling better the me right now.  I have been sicky for almost a week.  Pregnancy + upper respiratory infection = misery.

I’m working on a kitchen project, and I just want to share my thoughts on how important lighting can be for the overall design of a space.  Basically, you can spend thousands on decor or cabinets, but if you have cheap or dated lights, it will totally ruin the space.  Lights add character, personality, and shine.  Don’t skimp on lighting.  Look around and find the best deal, but save room in your budget for beautiful lighting.  Here are some examples of how lights add juxtaposition, character, richness, and shine in a kitchen.

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These lanterns help draw your eye to the beautiful windows.  It brings it all together.

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Again, these lights accent the dark metal in the room and bring a modern contrast to this Euro rustic dining room.

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I love the contrast of this traditional kitchen with the modern pendant.

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These mini chandeliers give this kitchen a feminine sparkle.

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I like the industrial look of these dark pendants paired with the modern square chandelier shade.

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I love the contrast of this dark chandelier with light cabinets and walls.  It’s also got a rustic look that really draws your eye up.

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These pendants give great shine.

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These pendants give this kitchen a chic glamorous look. Doesn’t it look expensive?

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This lantern reiterates the traditional aspect of this kitchen.