Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Crush

Design by J.D. Ireland; Photo by Lydia Cutter

I love a good punch to your senses when you enter a home...and this entrance (at least I think it's the entrance...I wasn't actually there) to the 2009 DC Design House accomplishes that goal in a stunning way...I LOVE that wallpaper. And I especially love that painting juxtaposed against the wallpaper's pattern.

I'm heading to the Bare Bones tour tomorrow to see the 2010 DC Design House in its undecorated glory and see the concept boards from the designers - I'm SO excited...

But I'm also SUPER bummed... I had the most awesome weekend planned. My new blogging friend Camila of High Heeled Foot in the Door was coming for a visit! We were going to go to the BB tour together, do some fabric shopping and also meet up with fellow blogger Lauren of Pure Style Home - the perfect weekend, right? But alas, mother nature has once again reared her ugly head this winter and dropped a major storm on Camila's neck of the woods and her flight is cancelled. BOOOO.

I am SO ready for this winter and all of its plan-cancelling weather to be over!

I'll have pix from the tour on the blog next week...See you Monday!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Etsy Find: Pagoda Pillows

I was on Etsy (shocking, I know) and came across this fun pagoda pillow by one of my favorite sellers Decorative Instincts:

And it comes in these fun colors...
I want one of here for the listing

And while I was at it, I searched the term "pagoda pillow" to see if other Etsy-ers were creating similarly lovely pagoda-themed items, and I hit upon a couple more beauties...

A set of two 18" velvet numbers in this Ralph Lauren print from seller Swoon Studio

And this GORGEOUS silk pillowcase from seller Le Moineau that I think Chinoiserie Chic featured a while back - 10% of the sale goes to a charitable foundation.

My Etsy love affair continues...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dream Chinoiserie Powder Room

Did you catch Averill's post on Patterned Powder Rooms over at Odi et Amo yesterday? If you didn't, you need to! Pure eye candy...

And I just HAD to repost this picture of my DREAM Chinoiserie powder room...

This gem is the creation of San Francisco-based Jeffers Design Group. I can't even begin to explain how much I love this bathroom...every bit of it. The wallpaper, the mirror and sconces, the color of the window trim, the brass faucet fixture...and that gorgeous little tea tin atop the commode. Brilliant.

I am probably also incredibly drawn to this image because I am totally struggling with our own main-level's a stark white canvas (white tile, white walls) staring me in the face and I can't for the life of me decide what to do with it.

Perhaps I'll pull some elements from this gorgeous example! Thanks for sharing it Averill!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Kilim via GrandinRoad

I recently bought a set of cute monogrammed cocktail napkins from the GrandinRoad catalog as a gift for a girlfriend's birthday. Ever since then, I've received a GR catalog and a GR email about every other day. I guess their marketing blitz is working because here I am writing about them.

If you have the pleasure of getting the GR catalog on a daily basis, have you spotted their kilim toss pillows? I love them.  The colors are fantastic, as is the variety of patterns, and they come in two sizes.  And of course, if I'm recommending them, the price is right - the lumbar pillow is $29 and the 20" square is $39.

If you're interested, look for a sale. In my inundated email box (and sometimes via the catalog), I constantly get adverts for free shipping or a percentage off your purchase, which would make scoring one of these little suckers a great deal and a great way to add some fun color to a room.

Get yours by clicking here.

Monday, February 22, 2010

El Vendedor de Flores

El Vendedor de Flores by Diego Rivera

I consider myself a creative individual, but I have never been drawn to art. It's strange, I know. My dad is an artist - he's a beautiful painter. My mom has a great appreciation for art. The combination meant that I was dragged to many art museums as a child on family trips, and boy did I hate them. HATE them (but kudos to my parents for making me go).

And yet, I turned out to be a completely design-obsessed, color, scale, balance-loving fool. So you'd think that I'd live and breathe art as an adult, but I still don't.

I will say that now, I have an appreciation for art that I never had before. I understand its draw and purpose in the world. And I of course always want to learn more about the intersection of art and interior design.

As we decorate this new house, I'm struggling with art. I often decorate with mirrors, prints, photography (all forms of art, I suppose) but fine art pieces have yet to make it in, and this time, I think I want to add a little art to our walls.

As I contemplated this, I came across the painting above by the famous Mexican artist Diego Rivera. It is so beautiful - not to mention it has many of the colors I'm using in my living room. It is titled "El Vendedor de Flores" or the flower seller.

Some other works by Rivera:

Aren't they beautiful? I won't pretend this is a blog post to educate you on the work of Diego Rivera as that would be quite a lengthy piece, and best not written by me, but he is one of few artists whose work I've always enjoyed - especially his calla lily paintings.

Reviewing some of his paintings this weekend got my brain thinking about what I'm drawn to in art and why. A little self exercise, if you will, to help me gauge the kind of piece(s) I might want to add to our home.

What are your thoughts on art in your own home?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Crush

Image via

I'm not gonna lie, it's been a long, hard week. I need the colorful punch of a John Loecke interior right about now.

I am ecstatic that this week is over - and my weekend will be filled with QT with the girls. Hope you have a nice, relaxing weekend. See you Monday!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Alright KG and were right! I was totally lovin' on those orange chairs in yesterday's picture...the upholstery fabric to be exact. My blog friends know me well...

I have an ardent passion for Quadrille fabric - I love the stuff.  The color palettes of Q's various lines coupled with so many Chinoiserie options are enough to make a girl crazy (in a good way). But I have a dedication to one particular pattern, Paradise Background:

The Chinoiserie silhouette pops against such beautiful colors. Any time I see this fabric used in a room, it sings to me (at the top of its lungs). Check out some PB usage:

Chloe Warner used Pistachio on Tint

Can't remember where this pic is from, but the cube is covered in Raspberry on Tint.

 And lets not forget how Kendall Wilkinson used Orange on Tint (my obvious favorite) in this iconic bedroom

And another bedroom that is becoming iconic by Meg Braff who chose the beautifully neutral Taupe on Tint (doesn't Taupe on Tint just roll off the tongue?)

I never tire of rooms that use Paradise's just so lovely. But it's also quite pricey so my little hands have yet to get a hold of any to use in my home. 

But, a month or two ago, I had a ray of sunshine enter my life during one of my many, many fabric searches. No, I didn't find PB for $4.99 on eBay, but I did find a rather similar fabric that is quite afforable - Crystal Lake Amber by Robert Allen @ Home:




Bed dressed in Amber

The color palette is a bit darker than PB's, but it still uses a beautiful Chinoiserie silhouette - and for $27.93/yard available here, it's a price that I can live with until I attain PB status.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Busy, busy bee

I'm a busy, busy bee. I was planning a great post for today, but frankly ran out of time to finish it up between last night and this morning. So, I'll leave you with a teaser, which is the image above...I'm posting about something in this room...hmmm...

Have you ever seen purple and orange looks so chic? I can definitely say I do not like that color combo, but it works here. It's a pretty traditional space but the colors keep it comfortable. If I was a Clemson fan, I would totally dig this as my football-game-watching room.

Back tomorrow with a full post!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Page 94 of Elle Decor

Photo by William Waldron via Elle Decor

Did anyone else's heart FLUTTER when they saw this drop dead gorgeous room on the cover of March's Elle Decor (and then on page 94)? Anyone?

This room will take me a while to get over/study/absorb. It's the beautiful Chicago home of Ellen Rakieten and family - Rakieten being the executive producer of The Oprah Winfrey Show. AND, the room is designed by none other than Nate Berkus partnered with Anne Coyle. Wasn't I just saying that I hadn't seen a lot of Nate's work? HELLO. Hi Nate's work. I love you.

These walls are lacquered in a rich, deep cobalt blue. And the gallery display on the walls together with touches of brass and lavender is just heaven sent. I haven't seen many cobalt (almost navy)/lavender rooms, but boy am I a believer.

I don't want to be a spoiler, so I'll only showcase this picture, but the whole place is GORGEOUS. I mean, there is a gold pig on the dining room table (which I'm sure is there year-round and not styled specifically for the shoot) with an outrageous De Gournay wall covering and custom brass dining table. It's too much to take, really. 

If you don't have a subscription to Elle Decor (why not?), you really must purchase this issue simply for this home. I haven't read the whole issue (just flipped right to this spread), but I'm sure it's a good one.

p.s. Did you know you can get an Elle Decor subscription for $7 (yes, $7) here?

Monday, February 15, 2010

I Spy...

Do you recall this vintage room designed by Peter Shore from my post last week?

I couldn't stop thinking about those brass birds on the coffee table - they look like cranes or flamingos or some other lanky, beautiful bird. I have a thing for all things "oiseau", so I'm in love with these figurines - especially with my as-of-late obsession for brass.

So I went to one of my sources for vintage items, Etsy, and sure enough, I had a plethora of brass bird beauties to choose from...

Brass cranes from Etsy seller RoomServiceVintage - $20

Brass cranes from Etsy seller old2newmemories - $17.50

Brass shore bird from Etsy seller ImSoVintage - $38

Brass crane on a turtle from Etsy seller ImSoVintage - $20

Ok, so the crane on the turtle is a little quirky, but I find these brass birds so fact, I love all brass animal figurines (especially elephants!) but these birds just stole my heart. I LOVE that we have Etsy to look for these little treasures!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Crush

Carter! Obviously this Valentine's Day weekend, my crush is Mr. Shuffler. Here he is replacing our dining room chandelier (he had just come in from a run and was kind enough to do the task before dinner). 

Carter is such a huge part of my interior design life. He constantly helps me think through how to implement my ideas. I joke about his resistance to my nutty antics, but he truly is incredibly supportive of me (in everything). Carter's attention to detail is amazing and he has done beautiful work around the AO house (I've been neglectful in showing your our kitchen, but he installed a lovely beadboard ceiling). I have been completely amazed/awed/floored at what he has done in our house...I've made it pretty but truly the home's renovation has been Carter's labor of love (with help from his dad).

Mr. Wonderful has been on a business trip - leaving me to weather the snow alone - so I'm incredibly happy to have him back home this weekend. 

Hope you enjoy a wonderful V-day weekend with your crush...See you Monday!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dining Room Lantern

Do we remember my dining room lantern that I purchased last month? Well, it arrived about a week after I purchased it and I convinced Carter to install it that it's been up in our dining room for almost a month and I love it!

But, the only pictures I was able to take of it have been night pictures, which are not so good. I finally had my chance to take a good daytime picture yesterday because I've been working from home due to the EXTREME snow we've had here in the DC area.

So here she is in all of her glory:




Sorry...the pictures were a bit hard to take to show her well...and the snow glare made the windows SO bright, but you get the idea. I'm still debating if I should hang it one notch lower, but I'm afraid the bottom edge would be in Carter's line of sight when he sits at the table (he's 6' 3"). 

For now, I'm looking for a large ginger jar or vase to put in the center of the table to fill up some of the vertical space.

Oh, and my plan DID work! Once Carter saw it up, he liked it and all was well at the AO House. Not to say there wasn't a bit of grumbling and lecturing about the chandy we had already purchased, etc., etc....but once it was up we were all good. 

p.s. Did you catch how Averill over at Odi et Amo used this lantern? I think you'll like it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Vintage Blue

I did my second run through my current House Beautiful issue last night - do run through your favorite mags several times? I feel like the first time I read it I'm so excited and flipping the pages so quick that I miss I always go back at a slower pace a second and maybe a third time to absorb the goodness...

Anyway, I was flipping through it again and spent a good bit of time looking at the fun collage HB put together of their blue rooms through the years. Some of the rooms looked like their decade, but there were several that I thought would work perfectly today....probably because we're experiencing a bit of throw-back "Mad Men" style in decor, but also because these rooms have so many timeless elements.

Some of my favorites:
All images via
All photography by Philip Friedman/Studio D
February 1950
Design by Mrs. Wright Richardson

This one was my #2 favorite...I had a hard time picking out something that I thought was outdated. Decorating with china is timeless, I LOVE that chair and the lines of the sofa that are peeking through seem perfect. I like the tables and the lamps and the painted fireplace is it all.

December 1955

Ok, I think the Jello mold gives this one away, but only the food is outdated in this image. I ADORE that centerpiece. And obvi the color turquoise is here to was named as the color of the year by Pantone. I think this picture could hold its own on House of Turquoise (ps. Stephen Drucker mentioned HoT in the issue...way to go Erin!).

November 1965
Design by Otto Zenke

This one was my #1 favorite...those peacock velvet chairs!! And the matching cabinet behind them is wonderful...I also love the lamp and just the overall feeling of the room. 

April 1966
Design by Inman Cook

I don't love the particular choice in wallpaper/fabric, but I could see this easily done today - even using this pattern. I love the mirror, sconces, framed prints and the overall concept...and is that a peek of a garden stool at the bottom of the pic? 

November 1976
Design by Peter Shore

I love all the fabrics in this one - the drapes, the pillows, the chairs. I also love the lines of the couch (kind of similar to ours) as well as the brass birds sitting on the neat coffee table. 

January 1977
Design by Mario Buatta

Totally timeless...this room would work for me now. LOVE the fabrics and colors...and that mirror over the fireplace is amazing.

So are these rooms eye-catching because we're having a throw-back to vintage style, or because they are truly timeless rooms that withstand decades and trends?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Searching for Brass and Glass

Carter and I painted our bedroom last weekend. Just like that. We painted it. I thought it was going to take us weeks to slowly tackle the task, but I was amazed at how quickly a paint job can go in a team.

So to get said painting done, we moved everything out of the room (minus the bed). I always love doing that because it gives me a moment to rethink the arrangement of the space and be picky about what I let back in. After some thought, I  decided to put the chest of drawers in a slightly different location...which brought about the "need" for a new end table ("need" is my word..."unnecessary" is Carter's).

Although the main level of our home is definitely colorful and punchy, our bedroom is quite traditional (actually it's nothing at the moment but the design scheme is traditional). And my metal of choice is definitely leaning toward the brassy in our I started my search for a small brass end table to use between two caned tub chairs that sit facing our bed.

Some of my choices:

WOW...the stuff of dreams. I needed the sniffing salts after setting my eyes on this beauty. 

Yup...I'll take this one too. I love the geometric border and the skinny legs.

I dig the twig. I've seen lots of these faux bois inspired tables around...and I love them. Kind of like the one we saw yesterday from Nate


I'm always a fan of a piece with bamboo lines...gorgeous.

The epitome of a beautiful, traditional side table.

I'll never turn down a Greek key motif.

Hexagonal Brass Side Table - Please Call for Pricing

A hexagon with a kiss of bamboo detailing...too good to be true.

I had SO many to choose from...I couldn't make up my mind.

Then I woke up. 

My budget was $0.00. This end table was a new, last-minute addition to the room's design scheme so if I had ANY chance of owning one, it had to be inexpensive.

So armed with my inspiration photos, I went to my favorite antiques dealer - Craigslist. Sure enough, after a week or two of searching, I happened upon this little beauty for $20.


Maybe not the stuff of dreams, but certainly something that would work with my non-existent budget. And, I think this table actually fits the space better than its fancy counterparts because it is not terribly high (only about 17") - perfectly suited for my pair of low tub chairs. 

I'm a happy camper.

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