Design crew

Posted on Sat, 30 Apr 2011 by midcenturyjo

Got a problem? Need some help? Just standing there shaking your head? Don’t know what to do? You’re not alone. Send us a link to photos of your design quandary and let the Desire to Inspire design crew help you …. that’s you lot… the readers! Kristin needs your help this week. She’s a woman with strong ideas on a mission. I know you’ll love giving your 2 cents worth 🙂

I just moved from a small one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan to a 3 bedroom house in Denver.  Luckily, my mom is selling her house and I was also to take some furniture with me.  My design dilemma comes to us in the shape of an awkward living room.  The living room is long and narrow.  The entry from the front door is smack in the middle and located on the walls on either side of the entrance are long radiators (i.e. no furniture along one of the two longest walls in the room.)  The other long wall is closed with the exception of the entryway into the dining room (about 12 ft wide).  The two shorter walls have a fireplace and staircases (one upstairs and one to basement), respectively.  What a challenge! 

I have decided to create two seating areas separated by the entryway.  However, in order to help the room flow, I would like to tie them together (using the existing furniture I have from Manhattan and from my mom – I’m on a budget) by using a navy/lilac color palette.  I have the basics – a neutral/ivory sofa, a navy sofa (a very dark ink color), a brown leather chair, a marble top coffee table with a walnut base and disparate wooden side tables. 

I discovered a local upholsterer who is selling two British cane chairs.  She will reupholster them in any fabric I choose (the frame finish can also be customized).  They will be located next to the navy sofa (the ivory sofa, leather chair and marble top table comprise the other seating area in the room).  As everything in the room is solid, I would like to introduce a lilac print.  I’m looking for a grayish-lilac or khaki-lilac, something neutral to play against the navy.

To tie it all together, I eventually want to buy two matching area rugs and to use throw pillows, throw blankets, curtains etc to help spread the color palette throughout the room.  Does anyone have any navy/lilac inspiration for me?  Also, can anyone recommend an affordable lilac fabric for the chairs?  I’ve been told that lilac is not a popular color by every single fabric store in Denver (including the Design Center!)

And here is what she has to work with.







Posted on Fri, 29 Apr 2011 by midcenturyjo

It’s my niece’s wedding tomorrow. I thought I’d give her a virtual honeymoon. Of course I went to Welcome Beyond to find the perfect boutique hotel. How about Ratua Private Island? Seriously sexy. Seriously simple. Seriously the perfect spot for the perfect honeymoon. Congratulations Jane and Chris! You’ll just need to pack some swimmers, sarong and maybe a t-shirt?

Stuart Membery

Posted on Thu, 28 Apr 2011 by midcenturyjo

Fashion designer, artist, furniture and homewares designer, Australian icon Stuart Membery. Welcome to his piece of paradise in Bali. Stuart’s home is elegant and relaxed, catering to all the senses. A tropical paradise as it should be. A little OTT, a lot of fun Stuart’s compound consists of a main house with extensive outdoor living areas and a guest house all wrapped in the lush greenery of the tropical gardens. And of course it is the perfect showcase for Stuart’s latest range of furniture and homewares. Gorgeous rattan and wicker, carved timbers with an asian plantation touch, lashings of blue and white. I’m booking my ticket for an extended stay or at least dreaming of where to place a rattan chair or two in my place. You’ll find it all on his website.

Photography by Tim Street-Porter.

Simple Swedish summer house

Posted on Wed, 27 Apr 2011 by midcenturyjo

Remember those simple summer holidays? The ones where you packed up the car with all the essentials and just a few little luxuries and made the trek to your holiday spot. Year after year your family always stayed at the same cottage or shack. Simple, basic but oh so special. Days were spent lazing about, swimming or hiking, winding down and enjoying the slow life. I do and I wish I had been able to spend my summer days in a house in the woods like this one in Sweden. Simple but stylish, nothing that isn’t necessary and just enough to enjoy your stay comfortably. From water to couch in your still damp swimmers. Picking herbs for lunch from the overgrown patch by the back door. Cooking up a storm and relaxing afterwards with a good book or good friends. Bliss. This lovely summer house belongs to Swedish stylist Mikael Beckman. Unfortunately it is time for him to say goodbye to it and he is selling. Maybe a group of us can pool our pennies and buy it. Link to the sale site here.







Want to spend more time in church?

Posted on Tue, 26 Apr 2011 by midcenturyjo

We love a good church conversion on Desire to Inspire so when I was real estate stalking in Adelaide in South Australia I all but shouted hallelujah when I came across this 1889 bluestone church given just a little contemporary makeover. Love it! Especially the “kitchen sign” and the supersized Tretchikoff. Link here while it lasts.