Saturday, June 30, 2012

Outdoor Spaces

Today I am obsessing about outdoor spaces.  I have a tiny balcony off my living room, and am so fortunate that there are several trees outside my balcony. I love the little space, but am in a quandary about how to decorate it.  I appreciate the natural light I get, and want to make the patio an extension of my living room.  It's such a luxury opening the glass doors and getting a nice breeze.

Whatever I do will have to be on the cheap.  The only thing I'm sure about is I'd like a large Buddha head and some over size white ceramic vases.  Not sure what to do about a table and chairs, so will be searching the Goodwill and flea markets.   I'd love to hang lights and fabric, but that might not be realistic.  I'm not very good at DIY.  And, then of course, there's the issue of choosing plants that I won't kill.  Maybe succulents?  Here are some gorgeous spaces from my inspiration file.

One can dream, right?  This gorgeous gazebo from Bali has me drooling.  Budi & Andrew's Global Oasis via Apartment Therapy.
On a closer look, maybe I could incorporate a few of the elements.  This corner is particularly striking.  I could hang a bamboo blind, a swatch of gossamer fabric and a lantern.  Hmm.

Love the idea of a painted rug on the floor.  Beautiful colors.

Also love this idea of painting the concrete.  I like that they've played up the color of the concrete rather than masking it.  Above two spaces designed by Brian Patrick Flynn for HGTV.

Photo by Peggy

Here's is my brother and sister-in-law's outdoor deck.  She updated the look this summer with the fab solar lantern and gorgeous pillows.  I am proud of the space too, because I helped her pick out the pillows.  Hmm, I've noticed a pattern here.  Seems the outdoor spaces I featured here all have prominent touches of orange!  Guess I need to incorporate some orange in my scheme.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


It's a difficult balance to be design-obsessed with no money to spend.  On the other hand, having no money to spend forces creative solutions.  I am always more interested in how resourceful people become when faced with a design challenge like a small budget or a small place.  Still, wouldn't it be great to decorate a room - just once - where money was no object?   I am always trying to come up with new ways to display my pottery collection.  I like open display, but am tired of the ubiquity of Ikea's Expedit and its many copy cats.

The gorgeous Kansai Bookcase from Anthropologie is haunting me.  I love its severe geometry and its simplicity.  I would love to set this between my living room and kitchen, still giving the look of an open space.  Ah, but at $1,200 it is not to be.  I wish I could build furniture, but I am sure this is difficult even for a skilled builder.
It seems my list of wants for my apartment goes on and on.  I'd love to have a new ottoman.  This shiny teal one from Target would fit nicely.  The price of $89 is comparatively reasonable, but still too high for me.  So I keep my eye on the Goodwill.

Here is a piece I had to pass on at the Goodwill, and it broke my heart.  It was only $5.00!  I would love to paint this baby yellow (like this dresser in previous post) and add some new handles.  And look at those cute little legs!  It's difficult to be an artist without a pick up truck or a studio.  But I will not give up, I will find a new medium that is clean and non-toxic.  Because I must create, I have no choice.

A Wrap Up

Hello dear readers!  I hope you are enjoying your summer.  Sorry for being a bad blogger.  I know I've been obsessing for weeks about the color blue, and I'd like to wrap that obsession up.  For now.  I'd love to bring more blue into my place.  If you are a long time reader of my blog, you know that I first considered blue when I saw this cover of Domino.

I miss Domino magazine!  This was my favorite cover.  I love the royal blue sofa with the pink and lavender pillows and her lovely orange dress.  If you'd like to add a little blue to your place, it's easiest to do it with accessories.

This quilted slip cover gives a nice pop of dark blue in this room.  And dig those canvases above the sofa.  I may need to steal that idea.  Image Mauricio Arruda.
These lovely dipped vases would look great in the above room.  Michelle Williams Ceramics.

Feel more turquoise?  Here's a beautiful vase I'd love to have for my collection.  Clear Mountain Craft.

Need a little bling with your blue?  How about this gorgeous pillow.  I seem to be a sucker for anything shiny lately.  Comfy Heaven.  I guess you've noticed Etsy is my go-to place for fab accessories.

And don't forget the outdoors!  I love the use of blue and white in this gorgeous outdoor space.  Above two images Ikea.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Color Scheme: Hot Pink and Cool Blue

Dear readers, I hope you will humor me a little longer on the subject of the color blue.  Color is an obsession for me.  As you know, I get a color in my mind and it will not go away.  Right now I am seriously digging blue.  One of my favorite color combinations is hot pink and cool blue. 

How fabulous is this pink armoire, blue walls and bench?   Image vtwonen.

Tiffany box blue is haunting me.  I want to do an accent wall in this color.  Looks gorgeous with matching hanging light and the hot pink bedding.  Image source unknown.

You already know I'm not a big wallpaper fan, even though it is immensely popular right now.  My least favorite of all wallpapers is the faux bookshelf.  It makes a room look dusty and cluttered to me.  I prefer a more streamlined interior.  However, I do adore these chairs and the gray textured poof.  Image Abigail Ahern.
If you're going to do wallpaper, I prefer an accent wall.  This seating area is comfy, cozy and airy.  I need those chairs, that lamp and that ottoman.  Image via Little Inspirations.
I love this color scheme!  Chartreuse added to hot pink and blue.  There's a lot of color in the furniture and accessories, but the room remains airy looking because the floors and walls are left white.  Image source unknown.  I'm generally not a fan of dark blue, but I do love it with hot pink.  For some fab examples, click here.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Design Star, White Box Challenge, Season 7

I'd like to take a quick break from the scheduled posting to talk about my favorite show, Design Star!  Have you been watching?  It's great fun (except for some of the drama and the fact that HGTV runs far too many commercials).  My favorite challenge is the White Box Challenge.  Designers have a chance to really cut loose and show who they are.  Before I begin, let me say this:  it's much easier to criticize than it is to do.  I would like to applaud all these brave designers who put themselves out there.  I could never do what they do!  And I am really grateful they do what they do.  Okay, here are some of my humble opinions.

This year my favorite entry is the box designed by Stanley Palmieri.  Stanley used the drab furniture to create light sculptures.  I love it!  I've always wanted to create a minimal room and paint only with light.  I've often wondered what I would do in this challenge, and I think I'd create something blindingly white.  Stanley didn't win this challenge because his first camera challenge was less than impressive.  But hey, the amazing David Bromstad (Season One winner) was not always the seasoned professional he is now, David wasn't that great on camera at first.  It's been great fun watching David grow.  I hope Stanley can step up his game a little.  He might start by getting a hair cut.  Sorry, Stanley.  Just sayin'.

This season is different from past seasons because many of the designers had very strong starts.  Karl was the one to watch last season (and in my opinion should have won).  This season it is the ladies who dominate.  My prediction for final four:  Danielle Colding, Britany Simon, Bex Hale and Rachel Kate.  My favorite to win:  Danielle Colding.

Here is Rachel's white box.  I'm a little worried that the judges have chosen Rachel as their pet.  She was the winner of both episode 1 and 2.  I do dig the back wall layered with the chevron dressers.  The graphics are executed with a high level of skill.

And I really dig her fashion illustration, but the rest of the room falls a little flat to me.  Great job, but not worthy of the win in my humble opinion.

Here's her room from episode 1, which also took the win, and again I disagreed with the judges.  She painted the black accent wall and hung the moose head on it.  The judges gushed incessantly about it.  I am probably biased on this point.  I've seen it a million times and I was over it the first time I saw it.  Taxidermy whether real or faux makes me want to barf.  C'mon at its worst it glorifies dead, hunted animals.  At best it is boring and over done.
This is Danielle's room from episode 1.  She definitely should have taken the win.  This was a huge task!  She conceived of this room almost single handedly.  Love the gorgeous color, the layout, the art and accessories.  Love how the blue accent wall is repeated in the pillows.  Love the balance.  I am not a huge fan of the applied moldings.  But having watched the show many times, I knew the judges would ding her if she did not deal with the verticality of this room.  Astonishing beginning.
Here is Danielle's fabulous white box, inspired by a photo of her mom from the 70s.  Again, I felt Danielle should have taken the win with her sleek, cool, glam room.  How many times have we heard Vern say to make things look expensive?  She did that with spray painting the sofa and with the gold touches.  How many times have we heard Vern say to wrap a graphic around the corners of the walls?  She has obviously watched the show.  The lamp was an unfortunate last minute touch, but hey it's a small detail in an otherwise amazing room.  And her camera challenge - she nailed it!  She's incredibly poised.  I like that.  I'd watch her show.
Ya'll now I am a lamp tramp.  I am always amazed by the custom lamps on Design Star.  Luca is one of my least favorite contestants.  He talks with such bravado and then does not deliver, nor can he articulate his thought process.  I expect he or Hilari will be next to go.  I probably would have sent him packing this week.  That said, the custom hanging lamp he designed is gorgeous, I could see this in Danielle's room.
Or maybe this gorgeous hanging lamp designed by Britany Simon for her white box.  I'd like to make a copy of this lamp.

Here is Britany's room from week 1.  The room was largely conceived of by her.  Mikal was paired with her, but really rode her coattails.  I love the 3D graphic on the wall and the color scheme.  Animal skin rug, yuk.  Faux ram heads over beds, yuk.

Here is Bex Hale's white box.  I am in love with those cut PVC pipes.  I'd like to make a room divider similar to that.  Man, I wish I were handy!  I adore Bex.  Her personality is sweet and engaging and she looks adorable in her hats. 

One thing is for sure when it comes to Design Star.  I really prefer the individual challenges.  Oftentimes, design suffers when they pair up designers, and there are some difficult personalities that I would not want to work with:  Kris, Luca and Stanley.  I am looking forward to next week.  The designers will be creating an office space for the Kardashians.  It will be interesting to see who is paired up.  Danielle and Rachel would be a formidable, unbeatable team.

I was really sorry to see Jordan go.  He's such a cutie and I love his style, but when it came to the white box challenge it's like he gave up.  Here are my predictions:  Next two to be eliminated are Luca and Hilari.  Neither have impressed so far.  Followed by Kris and Mikel.  Not sure about Miera yet.  Hope Stanley can step up his game.  Final four:  Danielle, Bex, Britany and Rachel.  Final two:  Danielle and Rachel.  Winner:  Danielle.

Have you been watching, dear readers?  What's your take on this season?  Who is your favorite so far?  To see my comments on the previous six seasons of white boxes, click here.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Girls' Night Out

I know I've been a bad blogger lately, but I am hoping to catch my breath soon and rectify that situation.  I have a lot of exciting creative things to share.  But first, it's my sister-in-law's birthday and we are going out for a girls' night!  I am so excited.  I found this lovely creature on the internet and tried to do my eyes just like hers.
Well, I don't look quite as exquisite as she does, but I look pretty darn cute!  I love makeup and being a girl.  Sorry, I don't remember where I got this image, let me know if you know the source.

What are you doing this weekend, dear readers?  Need some makeup tips?  Have you checked out Promise Phan on YouTube?  She's amazing!  She transforms herself into various celebrities:  Angelina Jolie, Scarlett Johanssen and Nickie Minaj - just to name a few.  Have a great weekend, stay tuned for exciting creative posts next week!  xo


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