Valentine’s Day Inspiration

What’s not to love about the Valentine’s Day color palette?  The colors for this holiday are happy, fun and vibrant.  Also, with the right shade, EVERYONE looks good in pink!

I have been obsessed with this pink and red silk dress from Staud Clothing FOREVER!!  It is simple and pretty, which is how I like my rooms 🙂  The second pantsuit is bolder with a strong silhouette.  Knowing the way you dress, is important when planning out any room in your home.  More than once, I have designed a room inspired by an outfit.  This is also one reason I tell people “If you don’t like the way a designer dresses himself/herself, you will not like the way he/she dresses your home”.

My design interpretation of the color palette above would look something like this:

The black is a really important element in this design, as it serves to keep this room from looking overly sweet and juvenile.  Mixing gold elements like the floor lamp, side table and mirrors give the room a luxe touch.

There are no shortage of pink and red elements available.  These two colors (especially pink) have been hot in home decor for some time.  Some decor Items I love for this color inspired room are :

Framed printRed striped art, Poppy Art, Pink and Red swirlBlush Art

 

Dot pillowMid Century chaise, Drapes, red pillow, geo table, red chairpink pillowred lampstulip pillow, side table, feather art, baskets

Would you ever do a room in this scheme?  If you have, what was the element you feel made the biggest impact? If not, what is stopping you?

I hope you enjoyed my Valentine’s Day inspired post 🙂

Wishing you love and happiness this Valentine’s Day!

XO

Laurie

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This 2017 trend is making EVERY retailer very nervous!

The SINGLE biggest trend in 2017 is the END of LABELS!!   Labels, in every sense, are OVER!!!  This year (and for the foreseeable future), we will be freed from the confines of a traditional, transitional, modern or rustic label.  One’s personal style will inform one’s approach to decorating.  Only the things we love, things that speak to who WE are, and how WE live will be added to our home.  Outfitting one’s home completely in Pottery Barn, or any other retailer, will be a thing of the past.   This is making EVERY retailer VERY nervous.  Some retailers have been spot on in embracing this trend and offering eclectic pieces that deviate from their brand (Restoration Hardware is genius at reinventing their brand every few years).  While others are throwing a lot out hoping something will stick (West Elm, Ethan Allen and Mitchell Gold, to name a few).  I predict that this trend will even spill over into fashion.  Wearing head to toe LV, Gucci or Chanel will be decidedly uncool (seriously, just kidding about Chanel 😛

Design, like so many other industries, is cyclical.  There are countless catalysts for it’s changing trends.  If you are interested in reading more about this, I delve deeper into this topic in my blog post here.  Every 8 to 10 years there is a paradigm shift in design; 2017 is one of those years.  Design philosophy, methodology and fundamental principles on style and design are changing.  Recently, there has been a lot of social, economic, political and generational tension brewing; it is no wonder we are seeing it spill over into home design.  This is a topic that I’ve been ruminating on for months.  I could feel the change.  In the past, a client would show me a picture of how he or she wanted his or her home to look.  Now, clients tell me the “feeling” they want their home to convey.   One of my favorite designers, Kelly Hoppen, was quoted saying, “learn to look not just with your eyes, but with your heart.  How else will you know how to design your home”.

In the past, my home had a transitional aesthetic;  however, I have been slowly adding some organic elements, as well as more ornate pieces.   I love the richness of pairing rustic with refined.  It translates to a chic, comfortable and stylish vibe.   I had been resisting the urge to mix these pieces because it didn’t “fit” seamlessly with the rest of my decor.  However, when I looked with fresh eyes, I realized that my home lacked the depth I had been striving for.  Now, I feel that  as long as I add things that resonate with me, then it will “fit”.

What won’t fit, is adding things just because one likes a myriad of styles.  This pitfall is an easy one to fall prey to.  One must fiercely edit and show restraint; thus, curating a collection of things that truly belong and make sense in one’s home.  For the past few years, a cleaner more minimalist style has been the trend.  LESS will still be more in 2017.  I don’t think we will EVER go back to the “let me cover/fill EVERY surface in my home” again.

Below, are some rooms that inspire me.  It is in the mixing of both sleek and organic elements executed in an orderly, minimalist fashion that inform the choices I make for my home.  I hope these images inspire you to find the things that celebrate your uniqueness and your story.  You know you have been successful when friends and family walk into your home and say “Wow, there is no mistaking who lives here; this home is so, YOU!”

Image via Pinterest

image via Pinterest

Image via Pinterest

image via Daily Home Planner

Image via Elle Decor

 

Image via All About Interiors

Below is my most recent lust list:

 

Marble side table, Lucite table, Mirror

Orb table lamp, rug, woven chair

 

 

Happy Reading!  Let me know if or how your style has evolved.  I would also love to hear what trends you are seeing emerge, or any trends you are predicting.

XO

Laurie

 

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Fall 2016 Trend Report

My Summer break is officially over 🙁  I had such an amazing Summer of traveling and relaxing.  I am excited to share my experiences from London, Barcelona and Paris in upcoming blog posts.  I was so inspired by the beautiful architecture and culture of each place I visited.  Oliver Wendell Holmes said ” A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions”.   When I travel, I feel that each place I visit and each experience I have changes me in the most profound ways. It creates a new filter by which I view everything new and old.

So, its back to reality for me 🙂

It is hard to believe during this oppressive heat wave here in the Northeast, that Fall is right around the corner.  Sooner than we would like, Summer will wind down and each day will become just a bit shorter than the last.  Soon we will be sailing into September; salty air and sandy toes will be a (not too) distant memory.

Therefore, now seems a good time to preview fashion and home trends for Fall of 2016.  Even though New York Fashion Week was in February for the Fall/Winter season, I can never wrap my mind around planning two season in advance while I am still wearing snow boots and a down jacket.  Dreaming of Summer in February is the only thing that gets me through the Winter; I refuse to disrespect Summer!  It is only right that Fall waits her turn.

Fashion-home decor posts are among my favorites; the parallels one can draw are endless.  There have been many times when I am designing a room and contemplating color schemes that I ask myself “would I wear that if it were an outfit?”   I draw much inspiration from fashion, and it definitely informs my design choices.  There are so many trends I am loving for the Fall that I am making this a 2 part post.   Here are the first few trends for 2016 that I am loving:

 

  1.   Pinstripes– Menswear is always chic.  Crisp tailoring and a rich navy are as flattering for one’s wardrobe as they are for one’s home.  Navy pairs well with yellow, camel, orange and gold.
Image via Elle

Image via Elle

2.  Velvet – This textural powerhouse creates a soft sheen that is as beautiful to the eye as it is to the touch.  It is a rich fabric that elevates any piece it adorns.

Image via Elle

Image via Elle

 

Ethan Allen Baldwin Settee, West Elm Cross Base Ottoman

3.  Patent Leather – Admittedly this is a hard fabric to make the jump from runway to real life.  Its glossiness adds a smooth surface that reflects light beautifully.  The key to making this look work is to use it in small doses.  Picture frames, stackable trays or boxes are a great way to incorporate this trend without making a big commitment (although, a statement piece of furniture is the way I would go with this trend). Pick a classic color such as the cream or black as shown below, to make this trend more employable.

 

Image via Elle

Image via Elle

4. Statement (faux) Fur –  This soft fuzzy texture conveys warmth and boldness.  Adding fur in unexpected colors adds a fun element to any space. There should always be one thing in each room that people want to run their hands over.

Image from Style Caster - NYFW

Image from Style Caster – NYFW

West Elm Mongolian Fur stool, Lulu & Georgia Dekla pillow

5. Ruffles – this feminine trend is very flattering if the ruffles are structured and strategically placed.  Adding small touches to drapery or pillows is a great way to incorporate this trend.

Image via Style Caster -NYFW

Image via Style Caster -NYFW

One of my favorite apartments in Paris

One of my favorite apartments in Paris

Evelyn Drapes, Flounce Pillow

6. Gold Metallics – Gold is my favorite metal.  I could (and probably will) devote an entire post to gold.  It is warm, compliments every skin tone and gives a luxe feel to any outfit/space.  This trend has been going strong for quite a few years now and doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.  If you are still wary of fully embracing this metal, try using a champagne hued gold which will allow you to still incorporate silver into your space.  The list of colors that gold pairs well with are endless.

Image via Style Caster - NYFW

Image via Style Caster – NYFW

MGBW Pillow, MGBW Vase

Great design can be much more obtainable if you view colors and patterns like you would when putting together an outfit.  Pay attention to the scale of each pattern you choose, as well as the intensity of the colors you are pairing.  A good rule of thumb is, if you wouldn’t wear it together, don’t pair it together.  Most of all, have fun with it.  Trends are a guide, not a directive.  Choose a classic style that incorporates fun trends in small ways.

I’m looking forward to tackling Part 2 of Fall/Winter 2016 trends.

Let me know what trends for the Fall/Winter that you are loving.

XO

Laurie

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Shop Like A Designer! Where, When, How……!

One of the most FAQs I get is where I shop for Chic home decor.  My answer: EVERYWHERE!  The honest answer is that great things can be found anywhere.  It is learning what elements are critical to the look trying to be achieved, that will determine one’s success.  However, I do have my little black book of the best places and websites for certain things (I will save that post for another day).

Every designer will use elements that are a splurge and that eat up a hearty portion of the budget, as well as elements that cost next to nothing.  This high/low design strategy is used often because it keeps the budget in check, as well as provides the perfect juxtaposition that is crucial in successful design.  Now, Juxtaposition is a design buzzword.  Personally, I find buzzwords annoying.  At their best, they clarify a concept that has become mainstream; at their worst, they anesthetized us to their impact, rendering the word meaningless.  That being said, juxtaposition is a VERY important design concept.  If I had to choose only three design principles that are crucial to good design, juxtaposition would be one of them.

A leather and fur pairing creates the ultimate yin and yang

A leather and fur pairing creates the ultimate yin and yang

driftwood and glass

driftwood and glass

Williams Sonoma mixes a cozy faux fur throw with leather; coincidence?  Crate and Barrel artfully mixes rough organic driftwood with sleek glass.  The mix of yin and yang creates the perfect visual tension.

Determine what elements are crucial in aligning you with your theme.  If you are going for a Farmhouse Chic look, the accessories and wall decor will be the elements that make this look successful.  If it is a mid-century modern look you are going for, it will be the furniture that will be the star of the room.  Spend your money on the things that are crucial in establishing your theme.  Upholstery is always a wise place to invest.  Historically, January and August are the best months to buy furniture.  This is when the new inventory for the upcoming season arrives, resulting in deep discounts on last season’s pieces.  If you are looking to buy a splurge worthy piece, it is worth it to wait to purchase during these months.  A couple of my favorite places to buy furniture are Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams and Crate and Barrel.

Undoubtedly, accessories make the design.  They are the jewelry that serve as the finishing touches.  Accessories bring one’s theme to fruition, as well as add authenticity.

Below, this glam (albeit tiny) living room is well-appointed due to the shag rug, tactile throw pillows, gallery wall and table top decor.

Image via Home and Fabulous

Image via Home and Fabulous

Below, this rustic chic entertainment area features a TV mounted on a distressed white washed wall panel.  The vintage suitcases add another rustic layer to this room.

image via Rustic Crafts Chic Decor

image via Rustic Crafts Chic Decor

Here are some accessories I am loving now:

Spring is drawing near.  Rough organic elements (such as the driftwood bowl) and soft colored decor (such as the blush velvet pillow) are very on trend for Spring.  Although Spring in not here yet, it has already sprung in the stores.  Now is the time that Designer’s start shopping for elements to update client’s homes for the upcoming season.  Start making a mental list of all of the Winter accessories that you would like to put away, so you can make room for the new accessories you bring in.

I hope this post helps you to shop like a Designer!  Thanks for reading!

xo Laurie

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Winter White Done Right!

In Winter we seem to crave comfort and warmth.  Thoughts of steamy soup, creamy hot chocolate and crackling fires pervade our thoughts.  Creating a cozy atmosphere at home during the colder months feels primal.  A Winter white palette is one of my favorite Winter palettes to use.  It looks clean and sophisticated, yet relaxed and warm.  The key to successfully achieving this look is texture.  Using as many tactile materials as possible is really important in getting this look right.  A sister color scheme to the Winter white palette is the all-white color scheme.  Contrary to its moniker, not every single element needs to be pure white.  It is aloud (and necessary) to mix in varied shades of white, such as a very light gray and very light beige to achieve this look.

Below, I put together a Sample Board to show you how these elements work together.

I used a soft white area rug with a thin black zigzag pattern to ground the look.  The other elements are a linen sofa, cable throw and pillow, a white and gold canvas, a concrete cocktail table, white lacquered end table and console table and a Capiz mirror.  I relied on many textures such as shiny, fuzzy, sleek and matte to achieve this look.

Below, are some more elements that can be used to achieve this look.

 

Here are some rooms that I love.  These rooms beautifully illustrate this look:

 

Monika Hibbs All White Living Room

Monika Hibbs: All White Living Room

This designer used bleached woods, and linen slip covers to achieve a relaxed all white living room.

This second living room is designed by Victoria Hagan, and successfully pulls off the all-white scheme:

Victoria Hagan White Living Room

Victoria Hagan White Living Room

So, a few tips to pulling off this look:

  • incorporate as much texture as you can.  Fluffy pillows, animal skins such as lizard, shagreen and croc, bleached woods and Capiz shells are all great materials to use.  Materials that are rough, smooth, bumpy, matte and shiny add even more depth to your room.
  • Play with tone.  Use as many shades of white as you can.  Try ivory, grayish-white, cream, bright white, eggshell, linen white etc…There are over 1,000 shades of white, so the options are almost endless.
  • Add patterns in light gray and light beige to break up large expanses of white.  Pattern adds visual interest.
  • Choose a rug with some type of pattern (keep the color scheme light).  The rug is almost always the visual anchor in an all-white room.
  • incorporate metals to add depth.  I like to use gold with white.

Another look I love is the all-white palette for an entire home.  This is an extremely hard look to pull off; it is easy to wind up with a bland and sterile looking home.  As with the rooms above, texture (and pattern) are the key.  I smell a future post 🙂

Here is a no fail paint palette that you can use when creating an all white home.  I love painting every room a different shade of white.  The layered look it creates when you are looking from one room to the next looks very sophisticated.  The walls are an incredible backdrop to just about anything you put on them.

White Paint Palette

White Paint Palette

Let me know what you think of the all-white color scheme.  Have you successfully achieved this look in your home?  I would love to hear your tips or see a picture.

I will be posting on how to achieve a beautiful all -white scheme for your entire house.  Some other topics I plan on posting on this year are tile, art & window treatments. Let me know what topics you are interested in reading about.

xo Laurie

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