Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Collectibles not Clutter

A collection is not, for example, a set of dishes that you buy in a box at WalMart or Bloomingdale’s. You may have a very fine set of dishes, but they are not a collection. If you were a "West Wing" fan, you may remember Michael Douglas in his role as the President of the United States call the West Wing China Collection the "dish room." Well, the "dishes" in that example are a "collection.
If you have a fabulous set of Wedgewood China displayed in your china closet, it is still not a collection. The operative word here is "set." "Collection" is just what it implies--you have carefully or not so carefully collected similar objects from various places at various times. They don’t necessarily have to be of great value. They may not even be beautiful. They may only have some significance to you. Two objects are not a collection. In other words, a vintage salt and pepper set on the back of a range does not make a collection. Three, four or a half dozen salt and pepper sets displayed on a shelf could be the beginning of a collection. A half dozen no name purses hung on a hall tree is not a collection. Three or more Judith Lieber purses sitting almost anywhere is a collection.

When does a collection become clutter? In interior design,clutter is when you have too many disparate objects or things spread about so little or no surface has been untouched, regardless of their beauty, value or significance to you. Clutter is when you get comments from friends, family, and acquaintances such as, "You have some interesting things," in that quizzical manner that implies they don’t know what to make of it all. Or, "Your house looks lived in." In other words, you haven’t had time to pick up the mess. Clutter makes it difficult to distinguish trash from treasure.

Grouping several like objects together allows the eye to rest and the collection to be appreciated. When it gets so crowded people are making a game of counting them, something has gone awry. Objects need to be well-displayed and have some relationship one to the other. For instance, a kitchen with old iron pots to antique silver spoons can make a series of great collections in the same room because their relationship is they are kitchen utensils.

A good rule of thumb is "less is more." Stash away some of your collections and swap them out when you find yourself walking past what once was a coveted treasure and now goes all but noticed. It makes your collection even more important and surprising. It will, also, spruce up your space and visitors will think you have redecorated. I particularly love oriental art, yet I am very selective, and again less can be more.

Expression in Art

This article is to introduce you to Bee Skelton. She has sent me the following information about her style and herself. We met when she made a comment on one of my articles about "Lighting Design".

"Unlike most artists who have a single recognizable style, I am focused on making art that is constantly changing. As a result I paint in a number of evolving styles, which include abstract figurative expressionism, pure abstract, contemporary realism and portraiture. I am motivated by the process and freedom of putting paint on canvas in different ways and love not knowing exactly what I will paint next! As a result I believe my clients are stimulated and excited to have the range of choice I offer when choosing or commissioning art for their homes or places of work.
For example; the abstract figurative drama and vivid colors of 'Something Together, Nothing Apart' is ideal for the wall requiring impact; a small format still life, such as 'Strawberry on Poppy Dish' can give color and uniqueness to a Kitchen or Dining Room; the oh so dreamy softer tones of 'Family 1008' would look perfect in a romantically styled Living Room or Bedroom; a portrait of a precious family member or much loved pet requires a place of honor and small format abstract gems look amazing when grouped together on a wall or shelf!
I create art for people any where in the world and my paintings currently are in private collections or galleries in the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Singapore, Cyprus and Holland."
The "Sensazione" is a book about , "How to think like Leonardo da Vinci", by Michael Gelb, it is dedicated to re-awakening and sharpening each of the five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.

As artists do, they get to play in the land of the senses as often as they allow themselves to. Their creativity is a gift to the world that helps others engage their senses through what they create.

da Vinci took great care to create an environment that nourished every one of his senses. Nothing was there by chance.

I've written about how to set-up an inspiring creative space in previous articles, Also about placing special art in a room where you can reflect on the peace it gives you or to simply escape to what the artist is telling you. If you enjoy abstract art, portraits and animals you will enjoy viewing more of Bee's art at the following link below:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Quick Change Projects

Add an arbor and or brick accent entrance to an outside garden patio!!!

Paint an accent wall design in just hours!!!!

Build your own table base for a unique look!!!!

Add a brick or stone accent wall for a little old world elegance!!!!!

Add a Room without adding on:

Breakfast room to laundry room

The challenge: How do you add space for a washer and dryer without adding on a laundry room?
The solution: Renovate a tiny, unused breakfast nook into a double-duty laundry room and serving area.
By concealing a front-loading washer and dryer in a custom cabinet, homeowners created a multipurpose space. One minute it's a fully functional laundry with plenty of room for folding and hanging clothes. Then, once clothes are put away, it becomes a decorative serving area.
Because the space is in plain view, the owner chose to conceal the washer and dryer within a cabinet. Baskets hide clothing, and a plate rack is adapted for hanging clothes.

Blank wall to bookcase

The challenge: How can you liven up an unused staircase wall while following a development’s design and architecture regulations?
The solution: Add a unique built-in bookcase for style and function in an unexpected place.
Instead of serving only as a path from one floor to the next, the savvy stairwell in this home offers creative storage and display space. To avoid ordinary linear shelves, boxes were built to fill the gap between the steps and the window. “Using random sizes and shapes, you obtain an artistic and visually stimulating stairway.

Closet to compact home office

The challenge: How do you add a home office to accommodate busy family life?
The solution: Take an underutilized hall closet and turn it into a useful and attractive home office.
Here the owners began to think outside the box — and inside the closet. They added shelving and a laminate desk that runs the length of the closet, and installed electrical and phone lines for proper lighting and computer use.
They also livened up the space with vivid colors (aloe green for the walls, blue for accents and accessories), a custom framed bulletin board and a decorative butterfly motif.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Rugs/The Finishing Accessory

With a unique synchronization of ambiance, beauty, comfort, elegance and style a unique area rug can transform a room from plain into a dreamy paradise. This is why area rugs are enjoying demands at a great level everywhere in the world. Especially, in America the demand for these aesthetic rugs seems to be at a zenith. Bring in the muted multi-colored rug into any room to pull out the color theme from accessories and painted walls.

Elegance and a fruitful theme for the kitchen, looks like a still photo tapestry for the floor.

Machine woven using 100% Polypropylene. Features transitional & themed designs such as roosters, nautical & florals . Offers a variety of sophisticated, transitional motifs for today's upscale living How fun is this for the southwestern design.

The Generations Collections boasts a wonderful new coloration in Sphinx's famous cross woven construction with up to 36 colors in each design. The new color palette includes reds, greens, browns, and plums that vary from soft to deep tones. Designs range from transitional to traditional and tribal to contemporary.

Offering a chic, upscale array of casual-contemporary designs extends lavish comfort to virtually any area of the home. Each pattern, from the tone-on-tone animal print to the sprawling scroll motif, is reflective of popular trends in modern interior decor as well as classic outdoor furnishings.

Watercolors, a vibrant and new collection, have modern and eye catching transitional designs. Ideas inspired from both American and Indian artists. Special dyeing and weaving techniques transition each color to the next, so each rug gives the feeling of being a one of a kind piece of art. Hand-carved from premium quality wool, Watercolors will make a statement in every room.
With a unique synchronization of ambiance, beauty, comfort, elegance and style a unique area rug can transform a room from plain into a dreamy paradise. This is why area rugs are enjoying demands at great level at every in corner of the world. Especially, in America the demand for these aesthetic rugs seems to be at a zenith.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cherry Grove

American Drew/Cherry Grove Collection

My showcase of furniture for the month is an American Drew/Cherry Grove Collection .

This lovely sleigh bed is my personal favorite.

A sleigh bed is a style of bed with curved or scrolled foot and headboards. Often made of wood and quite heavy, the sleigh bed is a result of the French and American Empire period of the early 1800s. The Empire Style drew its inspiration from the empires of ancient Rome and Greece.

American Drew 791-250/251 - Cherry Grove Door Chest

This is a piece of art in itself! Armories will add color and value to family rooms, foyers and bedrooms. We use them for entertainment centers as well, when concealing the tv and stereo equipment became the trend in design. This is a recommended investment in any home or office.

American Drew 792-480 - Cherry Grove Bed Bench

"This is a must have item", for the extra throw or to place your delicate custom pillows on at the end of day, the perfect touch, where practical meets elegance .

American Drew 791-37X - Cherry Grove Pediment Poster Bed

Usually, the function of the tester, which is a canopy frame, was to hold bed curtains that could surround the bed to keep out drafts. In the modern Western world, this function has become unnecessary because of improvements with more insulation and draft exclusion. Nevertheless, the four-poster bed without the tester has remained a popular style for many bedrooms because of its traditional and luxurious appearance.

American Drew 793-910 - Cherry Grove Coffee Table

Part of the Cherry Grove collection (View full Cherry Grove collection)

The 45th Anniversary Cherry Grove Collection is a blending of new and old adaptations from 18th century and higher end traditional styling. Cathedral cherry veneers, alder solids and select hardwoods create a new and exciting collection of bedroom, dining room and occasional furniture for American Drew. You'll be investing in a timeless piece of furniture that will be cherished for generations to come with its attention to detail and exquisite craftsmanship. Celebrate tradition with Cherry Grove.

I chose to showcase their Cherry Grove collection, however, they are offering a sale on their Bernhardt Collection which you can read about below, then visit their site for a fun shopping experience previewing their entire inventory.

Enjoy UNBEATABLE SAVINGS on high quality, close out items from one of the most recognizable, eco-friendly furniture companies in the U.S!

Bernhardt Furniture Company, Inc., located in the foothills of Western North Carolina, is one of the largest family owned and operated marketers of fine wood and upholstered furniture in the United States. Committed to high business standards and the principles of fine craftsmanship, the Bernhardt family has led this American enterprise to its current ranking among the top U.S. furniture companies in annual sales worldwide. Bernhardt collections have won multiple Pinnacle Awards for outstanding product design, and Bernhardt brand loyalty is one of the strongest in the industry. (More information on Bernhardt)

You need to also review their collection of Platform Beds for a contemporary look.

The prices and style vary and start as low as 209.00 and they provide free shipping.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Heart of the Home

I love this elegant look of a bistro kitchen. The only thing I would add is a great rug with black and splashes of color.

Quiet, peaceful yet fun.

Here I created a traditional breakfast room for my client by adding the elegance of vintage style pillows with lots of trim and fringe and added a coordinating mini print on the bench seat for the total custom look. I selected the fabric to bring out the wood floor, toned it down with a light and airy feel using a glass table to create the feel of a garden room taking advantage of the beautiful window view. My client loved this and we carried the vintage look throughout other rooms in her home. On the walls we selected a faux finish bringing out the lighter shades as a contrast to the floor and darker tones in the fabric. Simply elegant yet functional.

Clean and crisp!!! More my style!!! Love this.

I can see hanging ferns in the window here, otherwise, a great look!!

This is my sister's home, where she tied in the turquoise, beige and reds, GREAT JOB Sis!!!!! No help from me, she did this on her own.

A little country flair going on here!!

Love the clean fresh feel in this country style kitchen.

Getting fun and funky in this one !!!!!

Where are the plants????

Crafty and fun kitchen, love the antique look on the cabinets!!! A great rug will always warm up any kitchen. Check out selections at rugs USA.
We call this the heart of the home. Where everyone loves to hang out and help the chef. We love to add color and personality to our kitchen designs. We create delicious recipes for great kitchens and a sweet life! I hope the ideas have inspired you.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Man Caves

Everyone in the family could handle this indoor media room!

Serious entertaining here, women can relax and let that man cook away!!!!! For Charlotte readers check out Charlotte Outdoor Creations.

Ready for some FOOTBALL!!!!

Back to the 60's tonight!!!

Idea for the game and movie lover guy! A definite in home sports bar!!

Idea for empty stairwell. A definite sports fan fanatic!

This would be for the music, cars and game fanatic !

Gone are the days when men hung out in the garage with a ratty old couch and a battered television stand. Today’s men have their own rooms indoors, often called “man caves” and they have evolved into a wonderful haven for masculine relaxation. Visit any man cave and you will find a plasma tv stand holding a monster television and some modern chaise lounges where the man can relax with his friends. Today’s masculine rooms have become so popular that entire TV shows are dedicated to them.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Animal Instinct

I placed this leopard statue under my personal coffee table. Decorating with animal accents allows creativity to go wild!!!! (Pun Intended!!!)

These hand drawn animal prints are a personal private collection given to me by two of my favorite and very creative friends. They know I love accenting with animal pictures, statues, etc.

My friend drew this picture which was featured on the back cover of a national geographic photograph.

One of my favorites!!!!

I am always in search of accents with animals and this was a gift by another friend who knew my style of decorating with black, animals and oriental touches.


Now that you know my love for designing around animal accents. I was so excited to find another designer that shares that love and I am making his home the "Featured Home of the Month"!!!!!!

I found his photographs at HG and emailed him asking permission to publish his room. WOW, guess I can spot them, it turns out he is a creative designer living in Atlanta and also working on his own reinvented vintage style clothing line for ladies, a high end suits line fashioned after the late great Coco Chanel. His website is under construction and I will publish that information when he has completed it. Lon has used the basic black theme, which I love and created lovely rooms with his animal accents and fabric selections.( Chanel created the classic design of the little black dress) as we realize clothing fashion will flow into home interior fashion.
In this photograph Lon has a great accent chair and has covered the cushion in yet a different print pulling it all together as a focal point into the room.

I love the total look here, clean, stylish and comfortable!!!

Accenting the photo, Lon selected this leopard frame , a simple yet perfect touch.

How chic!!! BRAVO!!! to you Lon, can't wait to see all of the clothing line. It is a privilege to showcase such a multi-talented designer.

This is one sample of Lon's clothing line!!! Talk about animal instinct...we will keep you posted when his website is up and running and provide a link.

Just the name, Coco Chanel, was enough to define a pair of shoes, a hat, a purse, a suit, perfume, jewelry-an entire look. It conveyed prestige, quality, impeccable taste and unmistakable style.
Since Coco Chanel introduced it in 1926, the little black dress, has become the epitome of timeless fashion. It is the answer to every "What should I wear to..." question from cocktail parties to casinos to class reunions. Just add pearls or completely change the look by adding color accessories or a patterned scarf . It is the same concept many designers use in homes or offices , simply changing the accessories changes the total look for a timeless design.
As a concept, the little black dress has even moved on to represent an ideal of a perfectly simple, yet sexy object. Even the computer industry recognizes the need to inject a bit of "little black dress" into its design and marketing.
A fashion anomaly, the concept of the little black dress never changes, much unlike the trend-crazed home interior and fashion industry.