Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bright Idea

Book Lamp. Designed by Ragip Erdem.

Designers are getting inventive with their use of old books. Not too long ago we saw Not Tom’s Book Bookshelf, which is actually made of unwanted books, both paperback and hardcover (Not Tom does Not discriminate). And designer David Karoff presented Book Chair, a chair constructed of repurposed paperbacks.
Now Ragip Erdem is using old hardcovers to make lamps. The transparently titled Book Lamp (and why not be obvious, since you want people to see the light?) uses one tome to create a unique lighting fixture.

American design, Book Lamp, books, design with books, hardcovers, Ragip Erdem, recycled materials, repurposed materials

Available as a table light or pendant light, Book Lamp uses all the parts of the book: pages, spine, and front and back covers. The idea behind the design is to emphasize the metaphorical beauty of the book, as well as to take advantage of the book as an object, which may be disappearing as it gets replaced by digitized versions. The romance of the book struck designer Erdem quite early: “When I was in high school just glancing at my books on the book shelves used to take me to the exotic worlds.” His Book Lamp attempts to harness “that lost mysterious feeling.”

Book Lamp. Designed by Ragip Erdem.

But Book Lamp works on a literal level as well, celebrating books as objects, turning them “into sculpturesque icons.” As such, Book Lamp is steeped in the atmospheric and the symbolic. The light it emanates works to set a mood; it is not meant to be used as a task light. Designer Ragip Erdem will custom make any order based on your literary tastes. Art and coffee table books lend themselves quite well to the creation of Book Lamp, which leaves open a world of possibilities. While he has completed Book Lamps around titles such as Maui and Chocolate, the possibilities are as far-reaching as the entire history of literature. You can create a beaming beacon out of fantastic fairy tales or weighty world histories.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


black wall lighting, Italian lighting, modern home lighting, wall sconce, white wall light

Who knew that the new lighting fixture called Polia by Manuel Vivian for Axo Light was conceived after the designer read a book called “Hypnerotomachia Poliphili”? Apparently within the covers of a book - whose lengthy title means “Poliphilo’s Strife of Love in a Dream” - wandering dreams are written down by the emblematic Italian Renaissance writer, Francesca Colonna.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

James DeWulf

Cage Pendant

James DeWulf, innovative Los Angeles designer, known for his original creations in concrete has applied his ingenuity in another medium to create stunning light fixtures. Photo above shows the hammered cast iron pendant. Below is the Triton pendant. Made of solid brass, the Triton is sand cast at a foundry to create a texture that plays with the light in a beautiful and unique way.

Triton Pendant

When asked about his reasons for moving into another medium, DeWulf comments, “I like materials that last and are real.  My mission in life is to bring beautiful things into the world and I do my best to let these come from my deepest self.”  As for the Triton Pendant, he went on to say, “The Triton Pendant is a celebration of light.  The design is a control of negative space while the fixture honors and protects the light.”  For more information about James DeWulf and his designs go to

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bath Ideas

The architectural element in this powder room is definitely unique. A floating vanity with under lighting is used to create a dramatic effect.

relaxation ready traditional master bath

Travel back to an age of grandeur in this Old World master bathroom. Warm wall colors and ornate wall sconces provide a feast for the eyes, while a marble shower and tub are ready to rejuvenate the body. Deep red and marigold yellow accessories accent the space, while a marble sink and dark cabinets make the room as functional as it is beautiful.

Nothing says country like plaid prints and flowers mixed together. For a touch of sophistication, choose bold prints with a strong ebony accent color.

modern wallpaper and bathroom LED lighting

This updated bathroom features a contemporary look with more storage than it had previously.

Natural stones, Tatami tile and dark woods contribute to the Zen-like experience in this sleek bathroom. A frameless shower door was used in this small guest bathroom to give the illusion of more space.

Custom sconces and oversized crown molding give character to a square bathroom. Photo by Mayer & Bowden Photography.

The custom concrete floating vanity with a Nakashima integrated sink brings the outdoors inside this contemporary bathroom.

I totally love, love, love this sink!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Black and Bold

A classic palette of black, white and navy blue combines the glamour of old Hollywood with the richest of bold neutrals. If black walls aren't your thing, consider white walls paired with black furniture and accents of blue. This will keep the overall look dramatic but give the room a much lighter feel.

As you well know, if you follow my blog, I love the black pallette with splashes of color. This is a winner for me although blue is not a color of my choice. It does look great in this setting.

Homeowners with a flair for the dramatic may find black and cherry red an ideal color combination for their interiors. Painting walls is an inexpensive and easy task. So, if you want to audition these colors in your home, it's best to use red on walls and black on pricey upholstery. Because black goes with virtually every color, upholstered pieces will fit in perfectly should the red be swapped for another hue later on.

While many designers consider teal and lime green to be two of the most difficult colors to work with, when used together, they create a look that is fresh and inspiring. Experiment with this high-energy pairing in a small space where you don't spend much time, like a bathroom. Because the blue-green tone of teal is less intense than the electrifying citrus color of lime green, it's best to use teal as the dominant tone and lime as an accent.

Pumpkin, medium gray and dark brown is an excellent combination for orange lovers too intimidated to use red-orange or tangerine for their interiors. Adding medium gray to the mix prevents the otherwise autumnal palette from being labeled as seasonal.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Markus Johansson’s Cirrata Lamp

Cirrata lamp, corian, Corian lamp, lamp, Markus Johannson design, Markus Johansson lamp, Octopus lamp

Who knew that a behind-the-scenes look at design could reveal a process as multifarious and complex as that of making a major film? And a Tim Burton film at that. The comparison holds in regard to Markus Johansson's Cirrata Lamp, especially when one sees the dozen or so miniaturized prototypes that culminated in this over-sized lightpiece that resembles a gigantic octopus.

Cirrata Lamp. Designed by Markus Johannson

The large lamp’s name refers to a suborder of octopi characterized by an internal skeleton and a set of two fins—unusual qualities in an octopus and ones which actually make it more vulnerable to predators. Perhaps Johannson chose the name for this reason, because Cirrata’s increased vulnerability prompts it to favor deep, dark spaces.

Cirrata Lamp. Designed by Markus Johannson

In such depths the creature can avoid predation, and one imagines Johannson’s imaginative vision of Cirrata profited from this biological fact. It seems likely as well, that the designer chose the hard—and heretofore less malleable—material of Corian for similar reasons, not the least of which is the intriguing way in which it absorbs and reflects light.

Cirrata Lamp. Designed by Markus Johannson

Using a high-heat forming process in which he molded Corian around wooden boxes, Johannson was able to stretch the material out into the luminously-long and many-appendaged parabola of Cirrata: “a body with many arms which sweeps along and lights up the depths.”

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Springing into Summer

One of my favorite artists/photographers is Irene Sucholcki and I captured this beautiful photo from her website. You owe it to yourself to preview her talents.

Ahhhh, finally able to enjoy the patio without spring pollen, and the weather is perfect for it right now!

A close up of a tulip my son sent me for Mother's Day, I took this to capture the raindrops on the flower.

As the tulips opened up, each took on a different look, this is the inside of the purple tulip which has a beautiful pattern of blues, browns and yellow in the center.

Ready to hit the outdoors, I visited Kings Mountain NC, the dogwoods were in full bloom.

Another bouquet I recently received, featured a spring arrangement of carnations, roses and zinnia's (below)

Spring has been wonderful, now I guess it is time to hit the Blue Ridge Mountains again and then the beach, living in NC gives you the best of so many worlds. The mountains are two hours away, the beach is three hours away. The numerous Lakes which surround Charlotte are also on my "to do" list for spring/summer outings.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wall to Chair

The proverbial folding chair just got alluring thanks to designer Dror Benshetrit.
The Pick Chair is an amalgamation of art and functionality as it transforms from a chair to wall art in seconds. As the studio’s website puts it across best, the Pick Chair “intertwines the emotion of art with the single poetics of form following function.”
The Pick Chair is a perfect design specimen to represent the natural and unstructured vision of designer Dror Benshetrit. The chair doesn’t conform to any conventional design norms but still has an extremely beguiling quality to it. So how does the Pick transforms from 2D to 3D or into an object that is both metaphorical and literal? Well read on.
The chromed aluminum frame consists of flat wood veneer panels that are fixed on the top of the hinged metal structure. If the need of the hour is furniture then just fold the hinges to create a perfectly normal seating solution. However when aesthetics come to play then the Pick can be flattened to adorn any wall and moonlight as “a work or art”. Innovation at its best, don’t you agree?
When it comes to form there is nothing cacophonous about the Pick Chair as each design element of the Pick is in complete synchronization. Designer Dror Benshetrit understands that art is purely subjective and hence leaves the option of the graphics to the customer. Hence the Pick Chair is a great medium for one to express their individuality and is not just about saving space.-via

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Color Psychology

Get on board and renew your style and space with a decorative paint finish.

Rich ivory and delicate celadon create a kitchen whose beauty is timeless.
Step-by-Step Instructions
1. Prime the surfaces with Fresh Start® Primer. Allow to dry.
2. Roll on the ceiling color first. Allow to dry.
3. Next, paint the cabinets. Allow to dry.
4. Roll on the wall color. Allow to dry.
5. Paint trim and allow to dry.
Supply List
• Drop cloth
• Benjamin Moore rollers
• Roller tray
• Painter's tape
• Benjamin Moore paint brushes
• Rags for cleanup
• Fresh Start Primer
• Ceiling: Regal® Flat Finish N215 in Raintree Green 1496
• Cabinets: Regal Eggshell Finish N319 in Paris Rain 1501
• Walls: Regal Matte Finish N221 in Natural White OC-1
• Trim: Regal Semi-Gloss Finish N333 in Cloud Cover OC

Shades of red stimulate both the appetite and conversation, so it’s a perfect color family to explore for the dining room.

Keep the feeling cozy by selecting a deep shade of red, not a bright one. This Dining Room was painted at the top portion of the wall with a luscious rich, raisin tone, atop a wainscoting of golden tan which helps keep the deeper color from overwhelming the space. The ceiling and crown molding is soft white which visually extends the height of the room as well as highlights the detailed craftsmanship of the molding.


Golden brown walls and a soft yellow ceiling form the perfect backdrop for the subdued golds and bronzes of the artisanal carvings, metallic silks, and textured embroideries in this alluring bedroom. Soft lighting and an intricate rug complete the look of luxurious tranquility. Just add incense, and you’re ready to leave the stresses of everyday life behind!

  • Fresh Start Primer 023
  • Walls: AURA® Matte Waterborne Interior Paint 522 in Valley Forge Brown (HC 74)
  • Ceiling: AURA Matte Waterborne Interior Paint 522 in Bronzed Beige (2151-50)
  • Accent colors: Golden Chalice (2151-20), Adobe Dust (2175-40)
Discover the adventure of color. Learn why and how colors work the way they do. Keep pace with the latest trends and styles in color at Benjamin Moore Paints.
When you explore color, you can create new color palettes for your own home that are exciting and unique.
The "buzz" about color is usually called "color psychology." But the effects of color are subtle and significant; physical and psychological. Color use is not something that results in a definitive equation between "color and our moods," as is a currently popular expression. Wherever we go we respond to color, but the importance of color is often underestimated. Color use is important to us personally in our homes and in the places where we work.
  1. Start Small
    If you're not sure where to begin with color, experiment in a powder room or bathroom, a small hall or area between rooms, or an accent wall. If you're doing your own painting, pick an area that's quick to do so you can see your results sooner, and be happy with it or change it. Look at the process as an adventure. To get started, select a favorite color drawn from artwork, a rug, dishes and an accessory or furniture piece as a main color or accent.
  2. Think About Your Mood
    When selecting a color, consider the mood of a room. In a bedroom do you want the feeling to be restful and soothing or dramatic and intimate? Soft, cool colors and neutrals usually create a quieter feeling while stronger colors are for drama. Do you want a dining area to feel sociable and stimulating or appear formal and quiet? Warmer, contrasting and somewhat brighter colors add to a sociable atmosphere; deeper blue-greens and neutrals will give a more formal ambiance.
    Do you want kid's rooms to create an active and exciting energy or an orderly and restful feeling? Be careful not to overstimulate your children with intensely bright hues. You may not know it, but some brighter colors can lead to unrest and irritability.
  3. Pay Attention to Lighting
    The reason why paint stores have light boxes for you to test paint chips:

    • Natural daylight shows the truest color;
    • Incandescent lighting brings out warm tones and yellows;
    • Fluorescent lighting casts a sharp blue tone.
    So, a strong color might be too bright and overpowering when used on all walls or next to a large window, but it might be effective when used as an accent wall with indirect light.
  4. Learn the Color Terms
    It helps to understand the terminology used to describe color.

    • Hue is what we call a color. Red is the hue; blue is the hue.
    • The value of the hue is how light or dark it is.
    • Saturation refers to how dominant the hue is. As we go from red to pink, the red hue becomes less dominant.
    • Intensity is the brilliance of the color. The pure colors such as red are more intense than the combined colors such as yellow-green. A stronger intense color usually has a more dominant hue.
    If you want a more active space, consider introducing stronger, more intense color. Even if you want a light-colored room, choose colors that are slightly more saturated than off-white or light pastel. Very light color can feel bright and stark when it appears on all surfaces in a room. However, two or more medium-light, closely related pastel colors can create a luminous effect when used in the same room.
  5. Test Your Color Choice
    Boost your confidence by testing colors on poster board or large areas of a wall. Don't be afraid to go beyond your comfort zone: Consider strong, vivid colors or soft, deep neutrals like chocolate brown or olive green as main or accent colors. Or add drama with a stronger color on the ceiling. Tinted ceilings can dramatically change the whole look of a room.

  6. Add Depth With Decorative Finishes
    Transform flat, dull walls into interesting and personal spaces with subtle or dramatic visual texture and broken color. Burnished mineral/metal finishes and layered colored glazes add depth. Some examples of softly reflective metals are mica, copper, pewter, bronze and, of course, antiqued silver and gold.

  7. Walk Into Another Room
    Consider walls as planes of color, and see how they interact when viewing one next to the other in adjacent rooms. Approach it like a composition: You're in one room, but you're going to see a piece of another room through it. So as you're choosing colors, consider how they will flow from room to room to create your picture.

  8. Follow the Color Wheel
    A small color wheel is a great reference tool for modifying and intensifying two or more colors. For example, red and green, which are complementary (opposite) colors, are most intense when used together. You may be surprised at how many combination's function beautifully together, and you may even become attracted to entirely new color palettes. The color wheel also illustrates the visual temperature of a color. Draw a line from the yellow-green mark on the color wheel all the way down to the red-violet; you'll see that all the colors on the left are warm and the colors on the right are cool.

  9. Play Up Monochromatic Schemes
    Think one color is boring? Create bold or subtle variations within one color group with contrasting paint finishes. For example, use closely related colors, or try a single color in different finishes, for walls and trim in one space. For an accent color, select a warmer (more toward reds) or cooler (more toward blues) color to complement your main color group. For a quieter ambiance, make sure your colors are not extremely bright. White or an off-white tint can be a striking accent when used as trim with a monochromatic color group.
  10. Choose Different Paint Finishes
    A single color used on walls and trim takes on new significance when applied in different finishes. For example, wall and trim colors can remain the same hue, but use an eggshell (matte and less reflective) finish on walls and a satin or semigloss on trim. The color will appear slightly different on each surface. It's a good way to create a cohesive look in rooms with many windows and doors, and relatively little wall area.
These pointers were written by Barbara Jacobs at hgtv...I agree!
Now that homeowners no longer obsess about how much their homes have increased in value in the past week, they're reacquainting themselves with the joys of home ownership from a new, healthier perspective.
Recognizing that larger is not necessarily better and that less can actually be more, many homeowners are looking for ways to make the homes they're in more useful, comfortable and enjoyable.

Show your true colors. "Paint is the cheapest and most powerful thing you can do to put your personal stamp on a home. Paint your home the colors you enjoy living with, the colors you feel happiest within.
Frank Harrelson is the owner of the local Matthews Paint Store, a Benjamin Moore franchise. He is recognized as one of Charlotte's leading experts in color selections. Frank," Knows What Women Want", he can be contacted at 704-844-6818.
The pale green cabinets set against the warm cream walls, gives the space an expansive feeling. The darker green of the ceiling balances out the visual weight of the base cabinets, while the soft white trim quietly outlines the bank of windows.
Classic white counter tops and stoneware complement the kitchen’s clean, simple lines. Pleated Roman shades and accessories such as the dinnerware, vase, and platters in deep olive work as monochromatic accents while the bowl of oranges adds a citrus burst of refreshing color.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are a creative and inexpensive way to accent a room with color, and work particularly well in kitchens. Here, we’ve paired a single fruit, oranges, in a solid color container for strong visual impact, but experiment with keepsakes and containers to create an appealing color accent that expresses your own special style.
The just released Paint Style from Benjamin Moore is a glorious book to guide you in transforming your home with paint, whether using a brush, roller, sponge, or cloth. With more than 180 exquisite images illustrating how to create various tonal effects, faux appearances, patterning and textural designs, Paint Style instills imagination and confidence to interpret your style in a whole new fashion.
Benjamin Moore’s experts cover every possible detail to ensure picture-perfect results. From mottling and color washing to strie and stenciling, they provide clear instructions for each technique, plus build upon the basic “lesson” showcasing compelling effect created by layering techniques or changing the palette. The ideal guide for creating custom designs, choosing colors along with the right brushes, and tools of the trade.

Blue Ridge Parkway/Natures Grand Designs

The Blue Ridge Mountains

Grandfather Mountain

Rhododendron on Grandfather Mountain

Blue Ridge Parkway Drive

Blue Ridge Parkway Drive 2 miles from Blowing Rock NC

Bass Fishing Lake feed by natural streams
1 mile from Blowing Rock NC

Blowing Rock NC, the little La Jolla and Tahoe of built on sides of the Blue Ridge Mountains and quaint shopping throughout the city, will make you feel you are in La Jolla or Tahoe, replacing the ocean with the mountains.

My Mother's Day trip was spent 2 hours from Charlotte NC in The Blue Ridge Mountains. Charlotte has the best of all worlds being 2 hrs from the Mountains and 3 hrs to the beaches along with the many lovely lakes like Lake Norman. first stop was Grandfather Mountain walking across the swinging bridge it was quite windy and a little frightening due to the altitude, however, the view took my breath away more than the wind!!! Next was a tour of the Natural Minerals Museum displaying minerals found in around the mountain area, this was located in Boone NC, which was named after Daniel Boone himself.
The second stop was Linville Falls which is a 3 mile hike to reach the back and the front of the falls....words can hardly describe the beauty and the serene sounds!!! The falls are located 19 miles from Blowing Rock, you won't be bored for that 19 miles on the Parkway, the boulders shown were just a few of sights along the Parkway not to mention the natural water falls you can see while driving.
The third stop was Blowing Rock NC where you find quaint shopping, which I did, purchasing a water fountain urn of my own to bring home....I got use to hearing the lovely sounds of the water falls. I have placed it beside my flower the sound of the water along with the birds has created quite the garden setting. A great place for me to relax and get over my soreness from all of the hiking, but it was well worth it.

The Raft Table by Andre Joyau

Andre Joyau table, coffee table, heavy wood table, modern wood table, reclaimed wood table, rustic wood table, sustainable table, sustainable wood table

Chunky wood beams make beautiful, simple furniture that is elegant and modern. They also make furniture that is nearly impossible to move, but thats another story.
I am continually drawn to this type of furniture for its straight forward design that feels timeless, for the moment.
Reclaimed beams and salvaged wood are materials that come up a lot in the search for sustainably designed furniture, which begs the question - where is this material coming from? Reclaimed wood is a finite resource, and I wonder what happens when the material runs out. I also wonder what is being taken apart for these pieces of wood to become available for reuse. Although started with the best of intentions, at some point old structures that could be saved will, or already are, being taken down for the sake of reclaimed stock.

The Raft Table designed by Andre Joyau

Moving on. Andre' Joyau, the founder of the company and head designer, uses reclaimed beams simply with contrasting materials to create his line of rustic contemporary furniture. The Raft Table is a series of assembled reclaimed beams that have been connected, hand waxed and balanced on solid cherry footers. The finished product has the quality of old wood without the splinters and with all of the backaches. Imagine delivering this baby to a 5th floor walk-up, I think not. The chairs that are featured with the Raft Table have a complimentary aesthetic that gives the set a Japanese feel.

The Raft Table designed by Andre Joyau

The Raft Table designed by Andre Joyau

About the Designer: André Joyau is a small, cooperative studio of designers and cabinetmakers that is based out of Brooklyn, NY. The group believes in creating fine, modern pieces marked by attention to detail and enduring craftsmanship. André Joyau is the company founder and head designer, who oversees design and production for the studio. Their mantra is producing hand-crafted furniture that combines sustainable and traditional methods with new technology.