A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from Dering Hall, with a simple design challenge: design a living room by picking images from the vast array of items available on their website, create a favorites board and email that to them along with a description of the room. Normally, I don’t bother to enter these things but for some reason, I figured…”Why not? It could be fun to design for an imaginary client.” And so the hunt began.

I curated a selection of interesting pieces, chose my paint color and the story began to take shape. Even I was shocked at what I ended up putting together. Antiques mixed with modern upholstery and a variety of textures set against a moody dark palette. While a variety of furniture from different time periods isn’t necessarily new, using crimson and black as part of the color story was definitely a new palette for me.

Slide1

“This was a fun and interesting exercise in that I used it to create a space for a fictional character that would probably be more fitting for a movie set than something that translates to real life. And it is something completely opposite from what I typically create for my clients. So thanks for the opportunity to think outside the box!

Now that summer is over, my almost four-year-old son has turned his attention to all things Halloween, particularly bats, spiders and ghosts. Our countless conversations have obviously entered my subconscious because as I was perusing the items on the website, I stumbled across the “Vampire” cocktail table and that’s where my living room design began.

I envision a modern clean-lined living room painted entirely in Farrow & Ball’s Wevet allowing the furnishings and accessories to tell the story. Furniture is a collection of antiques spanning various time periods and chic modern pieces. A French boulle commode and Louis XVI armchairs upholstered in a cut red velvet take you back through history while the A. Rudin sectional upholstered in the Donghia mohair feel luxurious. The David Adler abstract rug was the foundation for the color palette, moody black and dark browns mixed with crimson accents and cream pillows. The black Beidermeier candlesticks echo the more modern Jean de Merry mirror. A curated mix of pillows and accessories feel collected over time and add more pattern and texture. This living room is the perfect lair for a dark but discerning and sophisticated character.”

It was very freeing to design for a fictional “character” rather than a living, breathing client and I’m happy to say that the creative freedom paid off. I’ve been selected as one of 5 finalists!!! But now I need your help….please click HERE!!!! to vote for me. Pretty please! Pretty please with a cherry on top….because the winner gets more press through Dering Hall and we all know that good press is a great thing. Thanks so much everyone!!

CLICK BELOW TO VOTE!!!!

THE LAIR

It’s Valentine’s week and I always get caught up in the exuberant romanticism of Cupid’s holiday. What could be better than a day focused on spending time with the ones you love celebrating with delectable food, bubbly champagne and decadent dark chocolate covered strawberries? Typically I gravitate to all things pink…from baby girl pale pink roses and sparkling rose in crystal glasses to deep fuchsia fuzzy cashmere sweaters worn with black pants for a date night out. Red is not a color I tend to use often in my work nor have I had many clients specifically request it; however, I wanted this year to be different. I spent some time perusing some of my favorite inspiration images with ruby accents and found beauty in this bold hue. Here are a few of my favorites incorporating daring color in large splashes and small flashes.

Red chinoiserie bamboo chairs add a pop of color to otherwise neutral rooms. Left Image: Interior Design by Alessandra Branca (one of my color heroes!). Right Image: Pinterest.

A study in contrasts. Some expect that a piece of red furniture in a bright room especially one as large as a sofa will dominate what the eye sees and be too overwhelming. However, the living room on the left designed by Mark D. Sikes still feels light and bright even with the bold crimson sofa. This is also true with the library designed by Mona Ross Berman on the right. The black high gloss painted bookcases tone down the dominant red upholstery and soften the room. Notice how they both use animal print pillows to accessorize? So chic!

I’m always inspired by the work of these three. From left to right: Carolyne Roehm, Sarah Richardson and Alexa Hampton.

What a gorgeous nook! Waking up here with a cup of tea would certainly kickstart my day. Image from House Beautiful.

And lastly, if painting a bedroom crimson or wallpapering a powder room with cardinal colored chinoiserie panels seems too bold, you can easily incorporate the saturated color in a small scale by framing a small piece of Scalamandre’s classic Zebra wallpaper and hanging it like artwork or styling a cherry painted chest with traditional blue and white ginger jars or even black small accessories.

Images from left to right: Pinterest