valentine's day

i'm getting really excited for valentine's day around here.  love... love.... love.... (did you sing it?)

that's all.


jewel tones in action

for those who may not be believers yet.  check out some rich, luxurious jewel tones.  it's a completely different feel - way more luxe, no? - than the all-white spaces that seem to be dominating the airwaves.  and again.... i must add that i love white.  it's fresh and bright.  but these rooms...mmmm... me gusta.




have i converted you?  


inspired: jewel tones, gem stones

chris went to the natural science museum last week.  it's always interesting to see what new exhibits they have.  today i was particularly taken with the gemstones.  i've been seeing a lot of brights and neons lately.  they're super trendy right now.  and don't get me wrong, i love me some neons, but the deep, rich jewel tones were especially beautiful to me since i haven't been seeing them all over the place.  

could jewel tones be the next way the trend pendulum will swing?  who knows, but right now i'm loving these gems.   could you see yourself decorating your interiors with deep, rich jewel tones?


life: a little more green

so remember my goal for living smaller?  well...let me just say that it is a CHALLENGE!  it is HARD not buying stuff!  i think i'm just wired to be a consumer.  anyone else feel like that?
  but probably the easiest part of my 3 goals (for me, anyway...) is the third challenge - to surround myself with more green.  

along that vein, i saw this inspiring talk on TED (have i told you how obsessed i am with ted?) that got me really excited about growing plants in my apartment.  take it or leave it, but it's a provocative idea.  the idea of growing your own food, without soil, in your window.  talk about small-space friendly!  

here's a link to her window farming site, where there are pdfs on how to build your own window farm, or links to where you can buy your own pre-built window farm.  

though i like the idea of window farming a lot, i think the simplicity of good old dirt and sunshine farming suits me better.  first project: some herbs for my kitchen!  inspiration?  here it comes:
 here's the one i'd really like to try:
 the comments say to make a few modifications for drainage and to avoid mold.  but this is a great starting point!

do you have plants in your home?  do you grow your own herbs?  do you think it adds to the quality of your life?  or the quality of your food?


inspired: pantone's color of the year - tangerine tango

2012- pantone has decided that the color of the year is... tangerine tango!  

yeah, there has been some talk that the color has already been done...  but in my opinion, it's a great color!  it's got the punchiness of orange but just enough red in it to make it liveable.  i love it in small doses to enliven  a room and enrich a palette.  

so...maybe you are intrigued by this color?  and maybe you want to incorporate it into your home, but aren't so sure you'd love it on all your walls (don't worry... i wouldn't either.)  here's one example of how i'd do it:

you've got your neutral grey sofa and indigo rug that are staples.  good!  don't change 'em.  since tangerine is a trendy color, you may get sick of it quickly.  so add it in as high-impact accents that would be easy to change out.  

1- throw in some poppies.  real or canvas.
2- anchor your room with a great paint color for your walls.  go dramatic with a dark fatigue green.  or choose a neutral, light khaki.  for bright color, pick one that pulls in grey, green, and blue! 
3- you could add accents of tangerine into your draperies.
4- add some colorful throw pillows.  
5- and while you're at it, a natural side table to balance out all the bold color.
et, viola!  you've got yourself a taste of tangerine, without citrus overload.  

here are some other great examples of what you could do with tangerine tango:
earthy palette - greys, browns, and r-o-y.

sophisticated with olive.

jonathan adler makes orange a key player in this fuchsia and persimmon room

love it with some robin's egg blue.

and it's almost peaceful when paired with a sea foam green
all sources on my pinterest.  

so there are many ways to incorporate bright tangerine into your space if you dare.  which color combo would you be most likely to try?


inspiration: warm yourself by the fire

does this time of year make you want to curl up in a thick blanket next to a fire with someone you love?  it's not even that cold right now in texas and i still want to!  here's a little visual inspiration to light your fire.

a modern cube fireplace, outdoors
or use the cube fireplace inside

a slate fireplace with a rustic feel

a marble fireplace in a bright, colorful space

southwestern influence with a stone hearth

sleek stone fireplace with teak casement

a warm, wooden room with a great fireplace.  and look!  the inside of the fireplace is brick.  neat-o.
what kind of hearth would you most like to cuddle by?  can you guess which is my favorite?


2012: the year of living smaller

A new year is here and I've been thinking lately about my lifestyle. I'm not super materialistic, though I do like nice things. I'm not a pack rat, though I do keep things for sentimental reasons. And I am not messy, although I wish I was more organized. One thing I certainly am, however, is a consumer.

As an interior designer I do a lot of shopping for myself or for others. The nature of my profession calls for people to buy furniture, change paint and fabrics, and otherwise alter their spaces. New design means change. And that's definitely not a bad thing! But it can potentially cause a lot of waste. And that's not what I'm all about.
don't wanna be this person.

I feel responsible, as a designer, to produce design that will last. I will specify green materials and processes where I can. I will keep materials out of the landfill by recommending high quality products that will stand the test of time.  And I will reuse or repurpose products that have already been loved* where appropriate.  As a designer, 2012 brings for me a new commitment to produce truly creative and eco-conscious design.  

I feel responsible, as a human living on planet earth, to take care of the planet.  I think we should nurture nature  and not be selfish with resources.  Plus, I think I am personally happier when I'm taking care of the earth.  When I garden, when I'm out in nature, when I see a beautiful vista.  Happy.  And all of those are brought to you by the letter H.  Ok, joke.  But really, I couldn't do those things if our earth was covered in trash.

So in 2012 I'm giving myself 3 goals to live by, for my personal life as well as my design profession. I'll go into more detail in the next few weeks but here are the basic rules:

1- buy smarter.  here's where i want to be less of a consumer and produce less waste.  i want to cut out my impulsive buying to buy only what i need.  i also want to keep the "buy the highest quality you can afford" mentality.  beautiful (furniture, clothing, accessories, gadgets) that i know will last forever (or at least a long time!).

2- live smaller.  i don't want to be a space hog when i don't need the space.  this doesn't mean that i'll be living an  uber-minimalist lifestyle.  i love the way it looks, but i don't think i could ever live a super-minimalist life.  it's just not my personality.  mostly, this goal is going to entail monthly purges to donate unneeded stuff, scaling back, etc.
704 square foot house.
small and simple
3- more green.  more $$??  sure, hopefully...  but not what this goal is about.  i love plants and i want more of them around me.

Sometime soon I'm going to give each of those rules distinct parameters so I can measure if I am "living smaller" or not...You know...a mental checklist to go through before I buy something.  If you have any good ideas on what could or should go on that checklist, I'm all ears.  Goal #1 is a hard goal to narrow down to a simple checklist.

 Yes, you can expect many posts about these 3 ideas coming up real soon.  I'll post about how I'm doing on my goal of living small and would love to hear your thoughts on the challenge, too!  Maybe this will turn into a huge project of mine and I will change my life.  I do like the idea of living simply...  Maybe it will be easier than I think to live small.  And maybe you will want to join in on this quest?  Any takers?

*I ended up buying a great red poang chair for $40 off craigslist until we save money for a Scandinavian rocker.

all images on pinterest.