Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Going to Seattle!

Dear readers, I am going to Seattle tomorrow for a long weekend with my sister-in-law!  I am so excited!  Seattle is a place I've always wanted to see.  As you can see, I am all prepared.  I have the perfect purse, and I have a set of cards describing the sites.  They are part of Chronicle Book's City Walks series, and they are amazing.  Each card details a walking tour of a part of the city.  There is so much I want to see!  Belltown (Chartruese is in Belltown, I'm hoping to shop there), Georgetown, Seattle Waterfront, the International District, Gas Works Park, California Avenue, Kubota Garden, etc.!  Of course, I also want to see Pike Place Market.  We want to visit the original Starbucks.  Seems only fitting since she and I had our first cup of Chai tea together.  We didn't even know what it was at the time.  Now we are both Starbucks fanatics.  I'll be signing off until next Wednesday.  I'm sure I will have plenty of pictures to share, and I hope to bring back a pretty vase.  xxoo

My apartment, the process

Dear readers, posts will be light this week because I am going to Seattle tomorrow!  More about that later.  In preparing for my trip, I gave my apartment a good cleaning and more than ever I've been struck with my desire to live more simply.   As you know, my apartment is my color lab.  Unfortunately, however, I have not been very inspired by this apartment.  I still miss my studio apartment.  Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for it, but I really desire clean and modern.  I'm tired of quirky old buildings.  Here's some of my current processing when it comes to the layout and color of my apartment.

I sometimes get frustrated that I have no space to work on my art.  I decided to turn my bedroom into a studio and move my bed into one of the alcoves in my strange L-shaped living room.  After all, I'm a master at living in a studio apartment and this way I could shut the door on my mess. So I moved my sofa to the alcove near the front of the apartment.

I have a beautiful 50s Danish sofa, and yes it's red.  I love that thing, except for the fabric.  It's a very itchy fabric sort of similar to microfiber (which I hate).  That's why I usually cover it in sheets.  I'd love to have it reupholstered.  It didn't fit in the alcove, and I really don't like furniture on an angle.  That's my new rug from Urban Outfitters.
Here's the corner.  I really hate those mirror tiles on the wall.  If this weren't a rental, I'd rip them down.  I put the bed in the other alcove.  Not sure why I didn't take a picture of it.  Probably was too lazy to make the bed that day.  I really wasn't happy with the layout.  It seemed too crowded, I like a more open space.

I decided to hang curtains over the mirrors.  Big improvement.  I experimented with different colors.  I adore that turquoise pillow.  It's from Burlington Coat Factory and was only $10!  Don't look too closely - the rug is dirty.  I still didn't like this lay out, so I moved everything back.

Here's the view of the alcove from my sofa.  I know the turquoise curtains are not long enough.  I'm not a very good DIYer.  I have loads of ideas, but when it comes to execution, that's a whole other story.  For me, this is great DIY and it's a definite improvement over those mirror tiles. 

I didn't cover the mirrors on the other side of the alcove, which is okay.  I can't see them from my sofa.  I have my paintings piled up there.  That kind of drives me crazy, but I don't have any where else to store them.  I may donate my paintings to charity.  If you'd like to buy a painting, please contact me.  We can arrange a sweet (cheap) deal.  You can see most of my portfolio here.

I'm not happy without hot pink so I changed the sofa's sheets and pillows.  I also really wanted a pop of yellow and orange.  Pillows in my closet did the trick. I hung my favorite Dee Adams painting asymmetrically.  I decided it's too predictable to have a painting centered over the sofa, and I'm tired of my art.  At the moment, I don't have much of my art hanging up, it seems too self-involved.  But I supposed obsessing about my apartment is rather self indulgent as well, lol.  I'm not enamored with these low ceilings and the ugly color of the walls.  If I owned this place, all the walls and floors would be painted white.  I thought I'd test my Urban Outfitters rug in this layout, but it's too small for the space.  I'll probably put it in the bedroom.

The vases in the corner, are wrong.  I need much more of a statement piece.  Maybe this gorgeous yellow glass vase.  At 13 inches tall, it might work.  Vase available at Oneilsarts.  I love the shape of the turquoise lamp, I wish it were about twice this size.
Here's the space with my furry white rug, which I'm happy to report has now been cleaned.  I hope I can find a new vase in Seattle.  I love coming home to a clean place.  What about you dear readers?  Do you spend a lot of time cleaning before a trip?

Here's an added bonus:  Apartment Therapy featured a 500 square foot cottage today that is perfect, I absolutely adore it.  I would love a home like this.  If interested, click here.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Perfect Furniture

Here it is - the perfect furniture for my perfect loft!  In my two favorite colors, hot pink and turquoise.

I've been dying for a turquoise credenza.  This one is sheer perfection.  And the styling is too fab.  Love the painting of Steve McQueen.

And here is the perfect sofa to go with it.  Aptly named the Down with Love sofa, because it's a sofa Barbara Novak would be envious of.
Oh dear, maybe I should get the Koenig sofa.
Or the Mademoiselle sofa.  Decisions, decisions.  What's a girl to do?  Well first I need to win the lottery.  Until then, it's fun to dream.  All images by RoomService, a very addicting website.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Inspiration, II

Dear readers, I've written of my love of the color sage, here and here.  I love it coupled with hot pink. 

Now, I'm not usually a pattern person, but I adore this room!  I love the use of color, the large ottoman.  The pillows and accessories are skillfully done.  I didn't even need to guess who could pull off a room like this - it's by Designers Guild.  Tricia Guild is one of my favorite designers, I simply adore her use of color.  She is one of my influences when it comes to color.  Before discovering her work, I used to decorate in all white.  A look I still love, but for now I'm addicted to color.  Image via House of Turquoise.

As I said, I'm not much of a pattern person.  But, if anyone could convince me to use pattern.  It's Tricia Guild.  After seeing the beautiful room, above I decided to peruse Designers Guild's website.  Always a delight.  I was completely enthralled with this beautiful new fabric.  I'd love to see a pillow made of it added to the room above.  Look at that, I'm adding more pattern.

I'd like to have her book on pattern.  Image via Amazon.  And just as an aside, aren't those Hella Jongerius vases on the table making you drool?  Me too.


Dear readers, I constantly fantasize about decorating a new place.  For some reason I'm never satisfied.  As you know, I've been living in old buildings for the last several years and I crave clean and modern.  Some days I dream of a peaceful monochromatic home in aqua and turquoise.  Other days it's all white with pops of hot pink.  Here are some of my favorites from around the web this week.  Hope you enjoy!
Ahh.  Very peaceful and clean.  Love the aqua.  Image via House to Home.
Beautiful painting.  Beautiful still life of vases on the dresser.  Image via Lonny.

 Love this glass collection.  Image via Shelter Pop.

Love the mid-century vibe of this wallpaper.  Love how it is surrounding the mantel.  Image via House to Home.
I really crave simplicity.  I adore this simple painting.  Image via Apartment Therapy.

Love these lamps.  Love them against the red wall.  I'd probably paint that cabinet white.  Image via House of Turquoise.
And speaking of red, white and blue - how fabulous is this roomroom!  The furniture and lamps pop off that white wall.  Love the monochrome of the white painting against the white wall.  Image via House to Home.  Can you tell that's my new favorite website?

I suppose this gorgeous bedroom doesn't really fit here, except that I love it!  Love the white headboard.  But even more than that, I adore the windows, and how the outside is part of the decor.  The pink panel is too fab.  I love the light it casts.  Would be amazing to watch how the light changes throughout the day.  Image via Desire to Inspire.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Piet Mondrian

No discussion of color blocking would be complete without discussing the enormous influence of Dutch painter Piet Mondrian.  Mondrian was the father of geometric paintings.  He is most known for his paintings which he called Neo-plasticism.  They are are grids of black and white with pops of the three primary colors.  This is a style which is much coveted and copied.  Here are a few of his marvelous well-known works.

 Above two images via Department Art.
le modalogue.

Above two images Kent Wang.

As you can see, the paintings are simple, but they are not easy.  I once had a discussion with an artist who said he could execute these better than Mondrian.  I doubt that.  Simple grid lines are difficult to execute, they require precision.  One line out of place and the painting is ruined.  Even if you can execute these, you still know that you didn't conceive of these.  Conception is arguably the most difficult stage of art.

As you can see, any of these would work well in a modern environment.  Mondrian's art is often copied on merchandise.  Here are a few examples. 
 World Art Resource.

 Flickr user Mad Modern.
How awesome is this?  I could bore you with a philosophical discussion regarding combining the two icons of  Mondrian and Hello Kitty.  But I won't.  Sometimes I think too many words are written and spoken about art.  Art just is, and it's subjective.  It's a feeling.  Sometimes a piece just speaks to you.

Here's a bonus:  if you love Hello Kitty you simply must check out the collection by Plasticgod at Ananas a Miami.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Color Blocking

Dear readers, are you worried that the royal blue you love so much will overwhelm your room?  The solution for that is an accent wall.  I love a dark accent wall in an otherwise light room.  They look especially great with white accessories.  Want to get even more daring than an accent wall?  How about color blocking?  Color blocking is just that - blocks of solid color.  Mixing of various hues together.  Some experts will tell you to use complimentary colors on the color wheel.  Others will tell you to use contrasting colors.  I say forget the rules - use whatever colors you like. 

Can't decide on a color scheme?  Then block your favorite colors as art, no need to worry if they match.  There is really no such thing as colors that don't go together.  My personal preference is vibrant blocks of colors with large backgrounds of white.  By keeping pattern to a minimum, you can use a lot of different colors and still keep the look simple.  Color blocking works well in art, design and fashion.  Here are some examples:

Not sure how to update your buffet or entertainment center?  How about adding panels of color blocks.  To see my recent color blocking project, click here.  Image via Apartment Therapy.

Color blocks work very well in art.  I love painting canvases and then just living with a color for a while.  It's a great solution if you are in a rental and not allowed to paint, or not sure which colors make you the happiest.  Plus they can be switched on a whim.  Much easier than painting a whole wall.  Beautiful colors.  Image via ah-yi.

Here's a twist on the theme.  Imperfect blocks.  I've seen people use this technique when they are trying to decide what color to paint a room, but why not make it art?  Love the acrylic tables and the white floors.  Image via Graham and Green.

One of my favorite rooms.  I've shown this room before, I simply adore it.  A very fine use of color blocking.  Love the pink wall with the yellow border.  Image source unknown, my bad.  I think it's from Elle Decoration UK Edition.

Here's a another twist.  A block of yellow pops in an otherwise all white hall way.  In the living room, a sage block works well with the lavender coffee table and yellow pillow.  Notice pattern is kept to a minimum.  Images via Design Sponge.  I really love that coffee table.
Here it is in hot pink!  Available at Habitat.  I want it!  Did you ever notice the fab furniture in Europe and the UK?

This bedroom looks great with these color blocks.  I think the squares are a great foil to the circles on the bedding.  Terrys Fabrics.

I showed this room below, but I adore it.  Great use of color blocking.  Love the asymmetrical block by the window.  Solid Frog.
Of course Tricia Guild would be a master of color blocking.  She's a master of color.  Orange, yellow and sky blue chair.  Orange sofa and purple curtains.  It works because the walls and floor are neutral and pattern is kept to a minimum.  The room is colorful, but still fresh and simple.  Image via her book Think Pink.
Here is a use of color blocking I may use in my next apartment.  I love the idea of framing a piece of art - in this case a starburst - in color.  I also adore a block of color behind shelves, and I love that the block is wrapped around a corner.  This is a great way to pull off a minimal room and still have a little coziness, the blocks of color become the art.  Image via Turquoise.

Color blocking works great in the kitchen.  Do your kitchen cabinets need a face lift?  How about blocks of color?  Images via Elle Decoration, UK Edition (April 2009 and April 2010).

If that shed in your backyard needs a little lift, color blocking may be the solution.  I love the juxtaposition of the bright colors with the industrial looking materials.  Jennifer Causey via Design Love Fest.

A block of color looks great behind a mantel.  Love the gray and the yellow coffee table.  Yellow and gray is one of my favorite color schemes.  Pops of purple and black complete the look.  House to Home.
Are you a lover of neutrals?  Not to worry - you can still block colors on your wall.  I love the idea of blocks of color above the sofa in lieu of a painting.  Image via Style at Home.

Of course, anything that can be done to a room can be worn as fashion (and vice versa).  I love this black and white dress.  Image via Squidoo.

Color blocking.  It's a not a new trend, but it is a fun one.  Color in your home and in fashion - it's addicting.  Images Only Fashion Bloggers and Gucci via Dress Lola.


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