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Wednesday
May142008

Another design dilemma

Living Etc.
This time it's an office, and here's what Heidi had to say: "I have been searching and searching for inspiration... maybe you could help. I am in the process of furnishing my new home. I have a great sized, dedicated home office. I use it every day as I run several businesses out of it. Problem is, right now it is just a Brazilian Walnut hardwood floor, blank walls, and an incredible bay window. I NEED some inspiration! I want a modern, clean, minimal look. This is so hard to achieve in an office! I need storage, desk space, and a sitting area, but beyond that, I have no idea which direction to take this room. I'd love to see what you could find to get my brain working again. It's been in a slump since the construction phase has ended." I tried to find photos of modern office spaces that weren't shoved into little corners as they often are (Heidi, you are SO LUCKY as it sounds like you have a decent amount of space to work with). So hopefully this gets your brain going and have fun with it!

New York Social DiaryJowa
Alda PereiraAlda Pereira
Apartment TherapyDelshon or Sherman Architects
Ghislaine ViñasHans Zeegers
Jeff AndrewsPaul Massey
Apartment Therapyphoto-locations.com
PointClickHomeStephen Alton

Wednesday
May142008

Killing two birds with one stone


Sorry for the rather murderous analogy but it will all become clear soon I hope. I'm in a retro kind of mood today. It must be due to the lack of retro posts lately. I've also been inspired by Tessa's design dilemma. When Kim bewailed the fact that no one paints a room burgundy my immediate thought was "they used to". The light bulb went on in my head and one name was there - David Hicks. I've paid homage to Hicks before but I realised he was part of the solution. These are his lush rich rooms, not always burgundy but brave in their dark hues.

Imagine that Buddha vignette in a burgundy room! Or that yellow and white abstract canvas.

Tessa leans toward super bright hues (oranges, yellows, apple greens, etc.), Kim had some great ideas and with David Hicks' help I'm going to suggest a few more. White, white, white. Tone it down with white. White furniture - think sleigh bed in white gloss, white sheers and fabric that uses white. Chocolate and white, navy and white, pink and white, black and white and even certain greens with white. Treat your burgundy walls as a deep dark neutral.


Bright colours? Why not! All these fabrics were pulled from Lee Jofa's Groundworks Collection. Many are by David Hicks. Bright colours particularly orange and yellow and pink and green are all happy with burgundy. You don't have to buy these fabrics but they give you an idea. Maybe florals are more your thing Tessa. I suggest a trip to the paint store. Gather together as many burgundy paint chips and every possible accent colour and play to your heart's content. My second suggestion is dark wood with an ethnic twist, suzanis and kilims in rich reds, pinks, oranges and black. Layers and layers of pattern. Cocoon yourself in the mysterious dark. OK now I have retro rooms and Tessa's burgundy dilemma out of my system. Two birds - not bad!

Wednesday
May142008

I've been a bad bad girl....


I haven't put together a retro post in ages. Today my laziness stops. Today I give you what you crave - retro good and bad. Scans are from Woman's Day All Colour Book of Home Decorating & Design, Edited by Babette Hayes, Octopus Australia, 1977. I promise you won't have to wait so long for your next fix. Don't forget to click on the images to enjoy a larger serve of retroliciousness.

Tuesday
May132008

Design dilemma

Tessa wrote us with a design dilemma hoping we could offer some help: "I am writing to you now with a problem of my own. We live in a beautiful 19th century mansion in Washington, DC. It is gorgeous and wonderful, but we rent it and are not allowed to paint any of the rooms. I am about to move into a different bedroom that is gorgeous, but painted one of my least favorite colors- burgundy. I hate burgundy! I tend to lean toward super bright hues (oranges, yellows, apple greens, etc.) when I decorate, and I am wondering (and hoping) that you guys might have some suggestions of what could possibly look good with this awful dark mess. Anything I have tried makes the room look like either a men’s smoking lounge or a cheesy Victorian salon. I haven’t seen you post many pics of burgundy rooms, so I thought you might have some cool ones hiding somewhere. Please help me out."

I went through my photo stash and just as I suspected, no one paints a bedroom burgundy. :) And I hate burgundy too!!! First, here are a few bedrooms that have dark walls (a couple burgundy-ish) that might inspire you to work with what you've got.

For alternatives, if you're allowed to put holes in the walls, maybe you should consider finding some not-too-sheer sheers and hanging them from those wire systems (Ikea I think has it) around the room (if it's not too big). Also, how about painting some really large pieces of foam core (if you can paint that stuff)/thin MDF and leaning it behind your bed, dressers etc. to hide as much of the burgundy as you can, or you can make a screen, like the one below.


And the following photo I thought was very inspiring and SO gorgeous. Now the walls are not burgundy, but imagine they were, and maybe the light shade of bluey-green that are used in the large upholstered pieces were a light pink. Sounds crazy but it could work to tone down the darkness, as they do in this photo.

Tuesday
May132008

Alda Pereira


Alda Pereira is based in Vancouver and she is an unbelievably talented interior designer. I adore her style - refined modern with bold hits of colour, graphic artwork, and to-die-for furnishings. It's young and hip and simply fabulous. And I love it. LOVE IT.