Everyone needs lamps! The placement of your table lamps should always be strategic, leaving no dark spots while creating the ideal ambiance. Table lamps not only make a statement, but can change the whole feeling of a space. With so many different shapes, materials, colors, and finishes, you have endless options with table lamps! It’s important for a table lamp to have the right scale and shape for the space, so here are some of my favorite lamps to inspire you!
1. Brush Stroke Lamp from Bunny Williams
2. Sophie Lamps from Christopher Spitzmiller, Inc.
3. Trentham Vase Lamp from Vaughan Designs
4. Hudson Table Lamp by Dragonette Ltd.
6. Clayton Home Concrete and Brass Table Lamp
7. Tessaras Table Lamp by Pamela Sunday for Studio Van Den Akker
8. David Iatesta Nantucket Lamp
9. Diego Table Lamp by Dragonette Ltd
10. Drum Lamp from Uhuru
11. Julian Chichester Capri Table Lamp
12. Stiffel Ceramic and Brass Glazed Lamps
Coffee table books make great gifts! They are also a good way to fill shelves without using a lot of trinkets. Beautiful books are decorative and say something about your interests. I have tons of interior design books, which isn’t surprising, but someone else might gravitate toward books on fashion, travel, photography, art, nature, or gardening. Coffee table books come in an array of sizes and colors, making it possible to find a beautiful book on a subject you love that also fits well with your interior. To display coffee table books, you can stack them, lay them side by side, or simply leave out one book at a time. Your collection will tell an interesting story. Here are some of my favorite coffee table books to get you inspired!
1. Rothko: An amazing introduction to Rothko’s work!
2. Abstract Expressionism: A beautiful look at the abstract expressionism movement in NY following World War II.
3. Andy Warhol: Features the life and work of the iconic Andy Warhol.
4. The Art Book: A fun, accessible compilation of artists from medieval times to present day.
5. The Little Black Jacket: Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld’s reinterpretation of Chanel’s iconic little black jacket.
6. Cabinet of Natural Curiosities: Gorgeous displays of natural wonders!
7. Dealer’s Choice: Lush photos of homes belonging to the world’s foremost anitquaires.
8. Big Book of Chic: A lavish book featuring Miles Redd’s unique designs.
9. Cohler on Design: Cohler’s classic interiors interspersed with amazing inspirational design images.
10. Marilyn Monroe: Text from Normal Mailer’s biography of Marilyn along with Bert Stern’s incredible photography. I am so fortunate to have an edition of this book from my mother.
11. A Photographer’s Life: Everyone should have at least one book by Annie Leibovitz!
12. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty: A look at the full breadth of McQueen’s amazing career.
13. Woman in the Mirror: Richard Avedon’s poetic portraits of women.
14. By the Light of the Sea: Always a go-to book!
15. Slim Aarons: Once Upon a Time: Influential photos of the rich and famous in their exclusive surroundings.
What kind of story do your coffee table books tell?
Celadon is a great color for spring! It’s fresh, pretty, and pairs well with a variety colors. With blue and grey, celadon looks sophisticated and soothing. When paired with more vibrant hues, it balances out energetic colors for a well-rounded look. Celadon works with so many other colors because it stems from ocean blues, hazy greys, and muted greens. It definitely has a real zen-like quality!
2. Hand painted wallpaper from Gracie Studio
3. Dining room design by Suzanne Kasler
4. Evening gown by Zac Posen
5. Sage Wisdom from Benjamin Moore
6. Chic celadon. Image via Vogue.
7. Maribel Lantern Lamp by Coleen & Company
8. Celadon Grasscloth Wallpaper by The Wallpaper Company
When beginning a design project for a client’s home, I ask myself, “Who lives here?” It’s important for the design to tell the client’s story, not my own. With that in mind, I keep myself open to what my clients bring to the table. There is beauty in collaboration, and although I am surrounded by my own favorite and trusted sources, I appreciate being introduced to great resources by my clients. It broadens my horizons and adds to what I have to offer my future clients. Here are some examples of products, artists, and other resources I’ve learned about from clients.
Stocking a library or extensive bookshelves with antique books can be expensive. You also want to collect books you would actually read. However, putting together a set of books that also looks great with the room around them can be more of a challenge. A client introduced me to Books by the Foot, where you can order books by color, in matched sets, vintage books, wrapped books, and even faux books. This makes it possible to achieve just the pulled-together look you want in any style. This is an amazing site, even offering coffee table books and sets for commercial interiors!
Art changes the dynamic of a house and makes my work speak better. It creates a visceral reaction that varies from person to person, which is why art choices sometimes have to come from the client and not from the designer. When a client introduces me to an artist I am not familiar with, it’s such a gift! The photography of Ben Ham (who I’ve written about in the past), Eric Zener’s paintings, and Vik Muniz’s eclectic modern art, were all brought to my attention by clients. Expanding my knowledge of artists and having a relationship with a local gallery such as Samuel Owen Gallery, helps me collaborate with clients to find just the right art for each project.
A client from London who bought a house here in the US sent me a link to Trainspotters website and I fell in love with their amazing lighting. They have great scale and colors — I’d use these products in my own studio! This lighting, salvaged from a huge variety of places around Europe, are authentic and interesting. We used lighting from Trainspotters in my client’s kitchen and the results were fantastic!
This book is a great resource I first learned of from a client. As a guide to color and creating a palette for a room, it’s an invaluable resource to share with clients. With actual paint swatches from a variety of manufacturers and beautiful examples of rooms, Colors for your Home makes it easier for clients to visualize an unlimited number of color schemes.
One of my favorite tools for choosing colors with a client is House Beautiful’s 500+ Paint Colors App. This handy, visually pleasing app lets you browse colors along the entire spectrum. The app also puts complementary colors together and gives you related options. This useful app stemmed from House Beautiful‘s book Colors for Your Home.
I find the value of this app comes from the ability to help clients visualize ideas and color interactions. When I can show my clients their preferred colors next to complimentary hues and examples of those colors in a room scheme, they begin to think about how colors work together and feel confident we are on the same page.
For homeowners who want to color shop on their own, the House Beautiful app encourages them to branch out from their safety zone and consider colors they may not use on their own.
The app includes several tools to help choose a color palette. Color River lets you browse paint colors and read reviews from professionals. Editor’s Picks features House Beautiful’s top color picks in ten different hues while the Color Personality Tool lets you learn your personalized color based on numerology. In My Paint Box, you can save and compare paint colors. There’s also a social aspect to the app that allows you to share your favorite colors via Facebook and Twitter.
You can download the House Beautiful 500+ Favorite Paint Colors App on iTunes!
A night table is a piece of furniture whose use and appearance depends on your habits. For example, my own night table has so much stuff on it! It’s usually covered with magazines that I never quite seem to finish reading. For you, the night table might be a place to store things, display things, or simply keep certain items within easy reach. The style of your night table can also be a reflection of the rest of the bedroom, using different materials to create an overall mood. The night table can be sexy with a glossy coat of lacquer or serene when layered with an ottoman. Or, it can be a simple, understated table! Here are some examples of great night tables in a variety of styles.
1. Astro Bedside Table by Oly. This table presents a lighter feeling when storage isn’t required.
2. Custom St. Tropez Nightstand with marble top.
3. Julien Chichester night table I installed in a client’s bedroom.
4. Jet Setter side tables by Room Service
5. Weems Table by David Iatesta
7. Eve Table from Dering Hall: I love the combination of nail heads, wood, and fabric.
8. Frances 2-Drawer Side Table from Bungalow 5
9. DL Marie Side Table from Profiles: Old world glam inspired.
10. Another custom night table for one of my clients.
11. VH Jeffrey Side Table from Profiles
12. Olin table from Dering Hall
Blue is a safe color that a lot of people gravitate toward. With so many different shades of blue, it can be bright, serene, bold, subtle, or dramatic. You can drench a room in blue or use it as a strong accent color. In fashion, blue looks good on almost anyone and pairs well with a lot of other hues. What do you think of blue?
1. Blue Living Room via Home Ideas Mag
2. Blue Agate from Concetto
5. Custom chair in a client’s home.
6. Christian Louboutin Lady Highness
8. June Short Pleated Peplum Dress by Alice and Olivia
9. Ornate blue door, image via W5RAn
Brass was a popular finish in the 1970s on furniture and accessories, and in the 1980s brass fittings, plumbing, and hardware were mainstream choices until the clean look of polished nickel edged it out of common use. Lately brass has made a comeback, and not in an over-the-top, opulent manner. Brass can be tactfully done to add warmth and elegance to a space. It can be chic, lend an art deco feel to a room, and have a visually grounding effect. Similar to using gold accessories, brass can be that pop of something extra in a beautiful interior. Here are some of my favorite examples of using brass in interior design!
3. Brass Coffee Table by Mastercraft
5. Brass Console Table by Taylor Llorente
7. Brass Sink
8. Iacoli & McAllister Brass Pendant Lamp
9. Brass Door, image via Fffound
10. Folded Brass Wall Decor from Dwell Studio
11. Lumiere Chandelier by Jean de Merry
12. Brass Door Handle, image via Dwell
Cover image: Steampunk Panel from Spoonflower
One of my clients is in the process of adding a wine cellar to their home. While they are working with a wine cellar professional on this project, they have consulted with me on architectural elements like flooring, paint, and lighting. With a 10,000 bottle capacity, this wine cellar is no small undertaking! I find their plans for the wine cellar really interesting and inspiring.
As I watched their excitement over the design of the wine cellar, I thought of my ideal vision for such a space. I like the idea of incorporating traditional wine cellar materials like wood and stone, while adapting these things for a more modern look. A wine cellar doesn’t have to be obvious, with grape vines on the walls or wine barrel tables.
I also like the idea of making the wine cellar more than just a storage space. Rather than keeping the wine out of sight in a place where the host or hostess retrieves it alone, why not incorporate some seating to turn the area into a gathering place? Being able to sit with a a friend or two (or several!) surrounded by great wine sounds like such a relaxing way to socialize.
If you like the idea of making the wine cellar a place to spend time with friends and family, it’s not much of a stretch to take the entire place out of the cellar. With modern technology making climate control possible in any part of the home, there’s no reason to confine a beautiful wine cellar to the basement. You can capture the wine cellar look and feel in a not-so-obvious spot, such as a room divider or a nook you aren’t really using. It’s an appealing and practical approach to create a usable wine area in a more accessible part of the home.
What would your ideal wine cellar (or room!) look like?
Upholstered chairs are a great way to bring a fun, personalized aspect to any room. By creating your own custom chair, you let the piece take on its own personality. With a wide variety of sizes, styles, and fabrics, you can make the chair your own. Combining fabrics and materials and adding details changes the pitch of the furniture. A traditional wing chair with some modern elements can completely change the mood of the room. Chairs don’t have to exactly match; there’s a lot of room to play. I love designing chairs for my clients and seeing the way they really complete the final project! Here are some examples of upholstered chairs I really like.
2. Wynn Chair
3. Rapunzel Collection by Kenneth Cobonpue
5. Hopkin Chair from Cisco Brothers
6. A chair I designed for a client — one of my favorites!
8. Great desk chair — I love the arm detail. By Coddington Design.
9. This patterned club chair is a great piece in a client’s living room.
10. Emma Wing Chair
12. Modern Wing Chair with Chippendale Base from Dennis & Leen