Monday, January 31, 2011

Creatures of the Deep

Strangely, I've been noticing a lot of Octopuses (or is it Octopi?) and lately and these mysterious invertebrates have been leaving their mark in the decorating arena, quite a bit further than the watery abyss they are known to inhabit.  Have a look - I happen to love their sinuous lines. 

Now, I just need a beach house...

ANTIQUE OCTOPUS art print on recycled vintage dictionary old book text  page, vintage illustration picture, handmade wall decor, vintage print on text page, vintage art on book page, vintage art on text, black and white, octopus 3 unframed print, 8x11
a fun print available through Etsy, online, and at only $8.00 (frame not included).
For more things handmade - visit
Indoor/Outdoor fabric available through Duralee Fabrics - and just how cool is the jelly fish style side table!
photo credit, Design Sponge

Lord Bodner's Octopus Study - Natural Curiosities
Lord Bodner's Octopus Study, through Natural Curiosities

Black Octopus Pillow
Black Octopus Pillow, by Dermond Peterson Design.  Be sure to check out Dermond's framed hand block prints, of various sea life, available through Outer Banks Trading Group

beach decor octopus accent pillow

Another fun one - a hooked pillow available through By The Sea Decor

One melamine dessert plate, from a set of four;The Sea Life Dessert Plate Collection from Thomas Paul

An octopus pillow - Thomas Paul

An octopus shawl - Thomas Paul
Octopi Orange, by USA glassworks artist, Jennifer Umphress, worth the splurge at $400

"From the Deep", salad plate available through Anthropologie

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mad for Chartreuse!

Hollywood Regency Floral Mirror - photo
I saw this mirror and thought, wow, this could be a super DIY project - simply purchase an ornate (or not) ceiling medallion through a lighting supplier and add a mirror and a coat of glossy paint and viola! 

Okay, so a couple days ago I loved orange, but what's a gal to do with all the great color choices out there!  One cannot help but be wowed with all the bold choices and fun accents to choose from.  Today I am crazy over chartreuse - it's never gone anywhere, just sat quietly out of the way waiting to rev up again and now I am loving it as a wall color, in home furnishings, decor and fashion.  Come to think of it, I still have a favorite sweater from the late eighties that's chartreuse and still cozy up in it from time to time.  It pairs nicely with black and white, gray, chocolate, turquoise and even orange - but I always say, trendier colors come and go, so go neutral for your largest pieces, but go wild with your accents!  If you want to go bold with chartreuse on your walls, remember it's paint and can be changed out affordably.  Well priced accents from Crate & Barrel and CB2 make it easy to add those bolder colors without blowing the budget.  Who knows, tomorrow I may be in love with periwinkle, but today it's chartreuse!

A quiet little nook dressed in chocolate walls, creamy white and orange accents and chartreuse roman shades.
Springhill Center's Annual Holiday Decorator's Showhouse 2009, bedroom by Rabbit Runn Designs

Showhouse 2009, with bedding in the same color choices, by Rabbit Runn Designs.

Check out some of my other finds!

This is a great piece, the gray credenza body with "grellow" powdercoated flip pulls, I just love this! 
The Archive Credenza, again, through CB2.

Floor cushion, CB2 - you can never have enough floor cushions.

An inspiration vignette, through CB2, just love the warm gray with all the accents of "grellow".  Grellow is CB2's combination color name for green and yellow - I still call that chartreuse, but the name grellow is way cooler.
City Slicker Grellow Table, Lime Flower Rug and Chartreuse Bookcase, all from CB2.
Container Store's Twiggy magazine file

Garden Stool Vine Design - Yellow
Emissary Home and Garden's garden seat -
They call this yellow, but I see a little chartreuse peeking out...  regardless, I love it.
It also comes in black and white - how stunning would that be in a chartreuse room?

from Elle Decor, love pairing it with the black and white.

from Country Living, I love the crisp look of chartreuse with white.  I can even imagine a vintage hexagon tile of Carerra marble being used with this bath - that'd be awesome!


Friday, January 28, 2011

A Kitchen Makeover

The snow on the ground today has me recalling, nearly a year ago, the snow of February 2010 - naturally that's when I began one of my favorite kitchen renovations. 

My clients brought me the inspiration for their "feature" wall, from an advertisement by La Cornue, for their Chateau Collection, a mix of color enamel and stainless.  With an idea in my head, I was off to see my custom fabricator in Tyson's Corner to discuss the idea of stainless framed wooden drawers and doors.  He was quite happy to accomodate the request and soon we were making sawdust! 

I chose to keep the palette white and gray, since Carerra marble was also a must-have in this kitchen.  However, I ended up with White Fantasy granite, since it's more durable than marble, which is softer and can etch more easily.  I did choose a blend of Carerra marble for the backsplash - the finish is a combination of polished, honed and "flamed" (simply meaning a rough surface) - it's really something when the light hits it.

Take a look at the "Before" photos, below, and scroll through for a quick play by play and the reveal of the "After". 


Before, take note of the kitchen window -
we ended up swapping out this window for a taller one to gain the view of the landscaped backyard - it was a smart move.




Of course we started this project during the major snow storm of February 2010, shoveling our way to the front door...

Demo begins

I donated all the cabinets, appliances and even the counter tops to the Alexandria Habitat for Humanity ReStore - I know they were thrilled to get the donation and my clients were elated with the donation tax receipt.
In addition to renovating the kitchen, all the floors on the main floor were sanded and given a darker finish - a perfect compliment to the gray and white color palette.

My new floor finish - a one of a kind color - don't even ask me which colors I ended up mixing together!

So, now my new floors are covered and protected for the arrival of the new cabinetry.

Install has begun!

It's shaping up!  The island is a custom lacquer finish of Benjamin Moore's color, Kendall Charcoal.

Look!  My new (taller) window has been installed!  What a difference!

Now we can really appreciate the view - Spring is here!

All moved in!  The custom stainless framed cabinetry, along the back wall, is finished in a custom lacquer of Benjamin Moore's color, Wrought Iron, as well as the range hood shroud.

White Fantasy granite on the island and a compliment of Storm Grey Zodiaq, engineered quartz surfacing, for the perimeter cabinetry counter tops.

A closer view of the Storm Grey Zodiaq counter top.
In addition, a commerical grade sink faucet from KWC and Franke's Double D bowl sink, help round out this kitchen.

There's even a little coffee bar - I chose a smokey gray glass tile mosaic for the backsplash here, just to mix it up a bit.

Oh Boy!  Matching Sub-Zero refrigerators!

Here's a nice detail - I chose "Glacier" glass to use in my doors.  It was interesting and helped obscure, ever so slightly, the contents behind.

Here's a fun pop of the orange I've been so intrigued with lately -
custom lacquer counter stools in Benjamin Moore's color, Salsa Dancing.
This photo was taken by my friend, Jennifer Chappell

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Turn Up the Heat!

                                                                                     French Key Secretary

With much of the east being hammered by snow, I thought I'd take the opportunity to share a little warmth, this after I pull on a sweater, over my turtleneck, and slip my feet into my Winnie the Pooh slippers, you know the ones, they look like big pooh bear heads... now, where did my kittens run off to?

Anyway, while looking for a little "warm" inspiration - I am noticing that orange, in all shades, is hotter than ever, so let me point out a few of my sizzling favorites. 

Take notice of the French Key Secretary, pictured above, available through Tonic Home.

Flex Orange Sofa, through CB2
CB2's Burnt Orange Noodle Pillow, how fun is this!
Love this knitted pouf and it comes in gray -
currently one of my favorite color palettes is gray and white with a pop of orange.
Pouf available through CB2

Martini Side Table, Metal, Persimmon
you know how much I still love this Martini Table, through West Elm
Arabesque Rug - Coral
The Arabesque Rug in coral, through Tonic Home

Ombre Tribe Throw Pillow - Adam & Viktoria
The Ombre Tribe Throw Pillow in velvet and linen, by Adam & Viktoria

Phoneix Orange Bar and Counter stools, when you need a pop of color, through CB2