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
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?
Lately I have really been loving lucite. For me it evokes the 1970s, a decade that I could happily live in forever. In fashion and design, lucite accents add a modern chic touch. It is strong, crystal clear, and easy to shape into any number of things. Because lucite is nearly invisible, it brings brightness to a space without visually cluttering up a room. It can work with any color and, when done correctly, looks so classy. Here are some examples of lucite pieces that caught my eye.
1. Brass and Lucite Mirror by Charles Hollis Jones, c. 1970
2. Great benches from CocoCozy.
3. This lucite tray from Eclectic Cool is a great accent on a ottoman.
4. A Place in the Clouds: Bedroom design by Jennifer Post.
5. Lucite overload! Image via Marie Burgos Design Blog
7. Great hardware from Nest Studio.
8. Mongolian Lamb Bench by Jonathan Adler.
9. Clear heels from Le 21eme
10. George II Chair from Plexi-Craft
11. Pandora Clutch
12. Joss and Main coffee table
Just south of Cancun, Mexico lies a strip of perfect, white sand beach bordered by the lush jungle of the Yucatan Peninsula. This gorgeous area on the Caribbean Sea is known as the Riviera Maya and is at the top of my must-visit list.
The Riviera Maya is about as close to paradise on Earth as you can get, with a heady mix of natural beauty, stunning ruins, rich local culture, luxurious accommodations, fine dining, and a huge variety of entertainment. The area consists of ecological reserves, jungle, mangroves and lagoons, Mayan ruins, a large coral reef for diving and snorkeling, and picture-perfect turquoise seas.
Riviera Maya boasts many luxurious places to stay, from all-inclusive resorts to smaller, personalized hotels. The Viceroy Riviera Maya was designed to blend seamlessly into its surroundings outside Playa del Carmen. The decor shows an influence of Mayan simplicity, using natural materials to achieve a sophisticated and sexy environment.
For a true escape from the rush a daily life, retreat to a cliffside villa at the Azulik resort in Tulum. These incredible villas perch on rocky cliffs with stairways to the beach. With no electricity or telephones, you’re truly surrounded by only the sights and sounds of the ocean, day and night. These villas may look and sound a bit rustic, but guests are steeped in luxury with huge windows for incredible views and in-cabin massages.
The most impressive aspect of Riviera Maya is the natural landscape. When not taking in the wonders of the ocean and the coral reef, visitors can enjoy a guided tour to experience both ancient and modern Mayan culture. The ruins at Tulum offer an incredible glimpse into the distant past at the intriguing Mayan civilization. It must be a humbling experience to make the short trip from modern, luxurious surroundings to ancient ruins built by people without sophisticated tools or machinery. You can even tour the Tulum ruins at night for a totally different perspective. At night, the sounds and sights of the jungle are a completely alien experience from the daytime jungle. Animals that aren’t active during the day emerge, the ruins must seem larger, more imposing and mysterious, and the brilliance of the stars isn’t dimmed by city lights.
Wouldn’t this be the perfect escape from the ridiculous amount of snow we got last week?
According to legend, the Chinese zodiac originated long ago with the Jade emperor. The emperor decided there should be some way of measuring time, and so challenged the animals to a swimming race across a swift river. The first 12 animals to complete the race would each have a year named after them. The story says 13 animals raced, with the cat coming in last after being tricked by the rat. The sixth animal to complete the race was the sneaky snake.
Tomorrow marks the start of 2013, the Year of the Snake. Snake characteristics include traits such as intelligence, motivation, and influence. In honor of the Year of the Snake, I’d like to use today’s blog post to look at the influence of snake imagery and snakeskin on the worlds of design and fashion.
Snakeskin is a very conceptual texture, something a lot of people love. It’s not for everyone and typically works best in small doses. Snakeskin is about confidence and bringing out your inner fangs!
The use of snake imagery doesn’t have to be literal. It can be incorporated into hardware or mirrors or simply suggested in shapes and lines. Snakeskin is a dramatic choice as well. I used this gorgeous Maya paper on the face front of interior doors in a NYC residence with really amazing results. It’s high glamour, over-the-top chic that doesn’t scream “reptile.”
In fashion, snakeskin is all about confidence and bringing out your inner fangs! I sport snakeskin about once a week on my shoes or bag. It’s a really bold pattern and I love it!
What does the Year of the Snake have in store for you?
Quintessence is a lifestyle blog I really enjoy. Written by Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence focuses on “those special discoveries that make life just that much better.” After working as an art director in NYC for 17 years, Stacey left that world to raise her four children in Connecticut. She then created Quintessence to continue to say involved in every aspect of the world of design and fashion. Stacey attends design, lifestyle, and fashion events, and then blogs about them to bring the experience to her readers. She also shares content on topics from art to movies and food to books, meaning you’ll always find something new and interesting at Quintessence.
Quintessence appeals to me because it is very cultured. Stacey is worldly and involved and is always current on what’s happening. She really does her homework and is clearly knowledgeable. Her posts are interesting and relevant. Having had the opportunity to meet Stacey, I know she is a lovely lady, very passionate and direct!
One of my favorite Quintessence posts was about NIBA rugs. It jogged my memory of a source I had seen before but hadn’t logged into my mental catalog of go-to rugs. I am so excited to incorporate some of these rugs into my interiors!
Red is simply a sexy, va-va-voom color. It makes people think of lipstick, fast cars, love, and risk. Red excites people with an enticing, energetic jolt of color. Brunettes and blonds look great in red, and it’s hard to think of a color that implies more emotion. You can saturate an entire room in this bold palette or wear it all over for a glamorous night out!
1. Stitched Puzzle wallcovering from Maya Romanoff
3. Mark Rothko
7. Christian Louboutin, Platform Red Pumps
8. A-line Mini Dress from Victoria Beckham
10. Red and white design. Image via High Street Market.
Located on the coast of Providenciales, one of the Turks and Caicos islands and part of the British West Indies, Amanyara Resort is an intimate, secluded destination. Situated away from the more developed areas of the island, Amanyara is surrounded by white sand beaches, ironshore rocky coves, and mahogany trees. When not relaxing on the beach or enjoying the spa, visitors have access to fishing, golf, eco tours and adventures, whale watching, a nature center, and kiteboarding. Amanyara itself features a beautiful restaurant and bar.
The setting is certainly amazing enough, but the resort itself is exactly the serene type of place I’m always drawn to. The design is sophisticated, yet simplistic. The quiet palette and minimalist decor give the place something of a spa feel with a decidedly tranquil atmosphere.
Whenever I go on vacation, I find myself constantly looking at the decor. It’s something I can’t disconnect from, so when I have the chance to get away and relax, I want to go someplace where I won’t feel overly stimulated by my surroundings on my down time. I look for peaceful places to relax and rejuvenate, and Amanyara is the epitome of intimate and serene with a design that’s been pared down to essentials.
To learn more about Amanyara, visit the resort’s website. While there, you can explore other Aman resorts around the world, all of which are designed with the same attention to peace and tranquility.
Whether the dining room is formal or informal, the dining chairs are an important part of the room. They add a sculptural element that can be very present in the room without competing with the rest of the space. I like to mix and match the chairs, using one consistent style for the side chairs and another, complimentary, design for the host chairs. I also like to add layers to the chairs by using different materials to cover the seat or back, depending on what works for the shape of the piece. Comfort is an important factor in choosing dining chairs, but that doesn’t mean they can’t also look great!
1. Royere Armless Dining Chair from Mattaliano. Love this art deco inspired chair – so chic.
2. A recent dining room project, where I used host chairs from Hickory Chair Furniture Co.
3. Greek key infusion, from 1st Dibs.
4. Vendome Side Chair from Jasper.
5. Poliform Grace chair.
6. Another dining room, where I installed these beautiful Queen Anne chairs from Jasper. A very classic and traditional chair!
7. Matahari Home Chair – for a more informal and casual dining chair, this one is perfect and so comfortable.
8. Martin Host Chair with Loose Cushion – great as a header chair.
10. 1940s French Upholstered Barrelback Chair From Restoration Hardware – Think about using two different fabrics, one for the front and the other for the back. Stain the legs darker and it is a totally different chair. I just did it for a client and it is an amazing transformation!
11. Great combination with the rush back, from Dering Hall.
One of the 20th century’s most acclaimed and important designers, John Dickinson was born in 1920 and grew up in Berkely, California. He attended Parsons School of Design and launched his own firm in San Francisco in 1956. Dickinson was one of the area’s top designers in the 1960s and 1970s when he produced his signature concrete plaster furniture. He died in 1982, but his pieces are still highly collectible and resell for thousands.
From 1980 until his death in 1982, Dickinson’s furniture designs were represented in David Sutherland’s Texas showrooms. Dickinson’s rather fragile plaster pieces became known for their unique combination of whimsy and austerity, humor and elegance. These imaginative designs are easily recognizable and can be found today in museums and high end furniture galleries.
If you’re hoping to add one of Dickinson’s iconic pieces to your home, you can now purchase reproductions of these designs from Sutherland Furniture. Ever since he represented Dickinson’s work in the early 1980′s, David Sutherland hoped to recreate the collection and bring those designs to a wider audience. Sutherland’s hopes have finally been realized. Sutherland now offers Dickinson’s designs, recreated with a more durable glass-reinforced concrete.
I think it is really great that Sutherland carries these reproductions. The indoor and outdoor collections are amazing! Everyone now has access to these fantastic pieces. With Sutherland’s innovative materials, you can not only have a John Dickinson design but actually use the pieces in your home without any worries. I would love to have one of these pieces of history in my own collection!