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Light and Bright Feels So Right

Today I’m going to keep it casual  — bathrobe still on, coffee in hand, chillin’ on the patio, casual. Summer is over, but fall in Austin is a glorious time. For one thing, it’s actually hospitable, in that going outdoors may not induce spontaneous combustion. For another, things start to wind down and transition into the holidays, and it’s important to take a breather before the madness of Hallogivingxmas is in full swing. So I’ve got a double dose of cozy goodness for you, to help get the unparty started.

First of all, Alek of the very awesome blog From the Right Bank to the Left Coast is running the “What’s Your Style in One Picture” challenge, and Ima gonna play. Of course, I can’t really answer this question because I am the most schizophrenic decorator ever born, loving the sleek seventies one day and rustic touches the next. But today is casual day, and having a theme always helps me to winnow the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.

ace hotel palm springs

Ace Hotel, Palm Springs, via If the Lampshade Fits.

I know, I know. It’s so uncharacteristically spartan of me to choose this. But sometimes I feel I need a visual vacation from overdecorated spaces. I like the undone quality of this room, and the carefully chosen furnishings (that metal perforated dresser!!!!) help make it special. Of course, the tv would be replaced by art if it were my own home, but it is a hotel, so don’t blame me.

And now, my fine friends, a collection of images to help keep the Om Me Padme Hum going. Sit back and hang out.

hanging chair

Living Etc

gaelle le boulicaut

Gaelle le Boulicaut

hanging chair

Desire to Inspire

hanging bed

Via scubadam67’s Flickr stream. Found on Even Cleveland.

hanging chair

Living Etc

hanging chair

Crosson Clarke Carnachan Architects

hanging chair

Jeff Andrews Design

hanging chair

Apartment Therapy

hanging bed

And finally, this crazy inventive hanging bed is courtesy of the very awesome AB Chao, who will be guest posting for us while Karly in on vacay. Hooray! AB is currently leading against some serious pros in the best bedroom contest on All the Best and you peeps need to get your fannies over there and vote for her, not because I said so, but because her room is clearly the winner. Lady knows how to live casual to the max. Y’all know what I mean.

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Resolving to Tear. It. Up.

I’m not big on New Year’s Resolutions.  Seriously, I have enough guilt already, I don’t need to make myself feel even worse by failing to cease one of my (really not that bad) vices.  Besides, when was the last time you ran into someone in August who looked all crazy fit and they said “yeah, it was my New Year’s resolution to stop drinking, eat healthy, and go to the gym”?  Don’t lie, it was never.

I do think, however, that the New Year is a grand time to look back on the last year to consider what you’ve accomplished and compare that to what you’d like to achieve.  This is where the drinking comes in.  Once you’ve nursed your hangover it’s time to get crackin.  I have lots of goals delusions of grandure both personal and professional for 2009 but I also have a ridiculous list of crap I need to take care of around the house.  Mainly, some big, expensive, overly-involved renovations.  I swear on all things holy, I will not let 2010 peak it’s ugly head around the corner until my guest bathroom is completely gutted and looks a little more like one of these rooms:
Because I’m working with a laughable budget and Matt is a genius with concrete, I’m guessing there’s going to be a lot of this going on.  Minus the lame bench and utterly useless mini-counter.
Overt your eyes from the vassal sinks and focus on the counter, tub and poufy things.  See, concrete, not so bad. 
But then again, I do love the idea of a concrete floor and tub juxtaposed against a wooden counter:
Don’t give me none of your “where do you put your junk” jive talk.  Here are some solutions:
Nothing makes my heart race like neatly folded, matching linens.  Sigh. Of course, one day I’m going to have a gaggle of kids running hay-wire around this joint so I may need something a bit more practical:
Nice.  But in dream fantasy land, this Nakashima style counter would be the crown jewel of my bath:
I know, I know, why bother even showing another bathroom after this, it’s potty perfection.  But we’ll move on none-the-less:
Lemme tell you,  I really don’t like chandeliers in bathrooms.  And don’t try to sell me on those new-fangled chandelier shower heads either, they’re even worse.  It’s like, I’m trying to relax and take a bath then BAMB!  I’m assaulted with an electrocution fantasy.  You’re talking to a girl who shuts the toilet lid when she blow-dries her hair, so, nope, no convincing.
Here are some other things I don’t want in my salle de bain:
  • Glass or fancy painted vassal sinks.  Or any other vassal sinks.  I’m ok with raised sinks, but no bowls, please.
  • Anything not gold.  
  • A big deep cabinet, common in rentals.  Hey home builders:  these things are too deep.  All the stuff in the front gets knocked over when we’re trying to reach to the back.  A cabinet should be no deeper than a towel folded in quarters (the only way to fold a towel, right?)
  • pedestal sinks.  pretty, yes, functional, no.
Here is what I do like:
God give me the strength not to knock down all the walls in my home in order to achieve this look.  Breathtaking.  And, well, are we sure the kids will need cabinet doors?
Since I don’t have the stunning view, a wall treatment link this should do the trick:
I’m going to pass on the clock and the embroidered “sanctuary” towels.  Gross.
A big, bold shower curtain should liven up the joint, too:
While I’m not a fan of the country-cute, I’m not too mad at the idea of patch-work.  What I really love about this curtain is the scale.  I want mine to reach all the way to the top of my 10-foot ceiling.  Lika-so:
Ok, you got me:  it’s not a bathroom, but that is EXACTLY what I want my shower curtain to look like.
And it shall surround this tub:
I love how the legs look all robot-y.  Ok, ok, we’re scratching everything and moving in a new direction:  Gold Transformers!  I want everything to look like a giant pixelated transformer dipped in gold.  Where are my smelling salts??!!
If I can’t wrangle a bunch of shiny robot toiletries, this Starck tub should fill the void.
Or, I could just scrap the tup altogether:
Left: Murdock Young; Right: Sorry dude, I can’t remember where I found this.
Ok, so there’s a tub on the left, but that oval glass shower is clearly the star.  And yes, I know, I know, kids need a tub.  What’s with those babies, why can’t they just shower like normal people?  And get jobs?
When I was in Virginia in October, my mom and I went to go pick out faucets for her renovation project. Surprisingly, she didn’t choose any of my selections:
Note:  that dolphin comes in gold.
Who says no to a gilded dragon head faucet?  A crazy mother with “professional architects” that’s who.  Whateves ma, you’re going to be crying a river of tears when we have the renovation face-off.
And finally, just so you can get a firm grip on what I’m up against, here’s the dreaded bathroom as it stands today:
See, it’s going to be great, so long as we get rid of every. single. thing. in there.
There you have it, 2009 goal numero uno.   Of course, if I were going to make a real-life, honest-to-gosh resolution, it would surly be one that all of you would appreciate:  I would work on my spelling.  But, hey, I’ve managed 30 years without knowing the difference between sense and since, what’s one more?   

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You Make Life Worth Living, Etc.

Wow, it has been quite a week here!  Between meeting Sanders, an illicit yacht party and my trip to Albuquerque, I’m just plum tuckered out.  So, what do you get out of this?  Why, my favorite thing to show you after a vaca:  select scans from my inflight reading material.  Yesterday’s inbound trip kept me filled with colorful glee vis-a-vis the fine pages of Living etc.  Ici:

The stairwell in a Montauk Island Beach home.

Yes, yes, that blue is not nearly exciting as the shades we’ve been drooling over this week, but get a load of this close-up:

Pool Pushers, photograph by Anthony Goicolea

A perfect portrait for a beach home or for my dining room, whateves.  Have I ever mentioned how much I like swimming?  AND staged photography?  I really, really love staged photography.  I want to marry it.

If you execute an art heist at this Long Island home and find yourself a little weary from throwing bricks and climbing in windows, you can take a nap here:

See how that ceiling-mounted wallpaper lovingly rocks you to sleep and whisks away all your worries about pesky little things like:  “impending prison sentences” and “failing polygraphs”

Yep, no need to worry, I’m sure the federal guards will let you decorate your cell just like this:

Are you dudes getting the full effect of that high-gloss white vinyl headboard? Dreamy, right?  It’s eerily similar to the one I plan to make for my own bedroom.  I will invite you all over to drool over it once it is completed.  Through bullet-proof glass, of course.  I saw how you were eyeing the paintings in the first photo.

Speaking of paintings, I’ll let you have these (take them!  get them away!) but I’ll be keeping the mirror, thankyouverymuch:

What do we think of a red bathroom?  How do you envision the shower in this joint?  Is it tile?  Red tile?  I just don’t even know.  Help me out here.

Also in this issue were a couple more scan-worthy visions from other homes:

STICKER WALL!!!  It’s like a car covered in bumper stickers, only not stupid and annoying.

and finally:

A nice place for me to rest over the weekend.  Schew, I’m oh so sleepy after all this hard work Erin and I have done on your behalf this week, I feel like I really do deserve this entire room all to myself.  For free.




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The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades

As promised, today I am presenting Sanders the Paint Guru‘s picks for the hottest upcoming trends in color, and when I say “color,” I mean COLOR. If the gray days of fall are getting you down, then this palette is sure to jump start your morning. When I asked Sanders what the most popular colors for next year would be, he immediately said “electric blue, bright orange, acid green, red, yellow.” As usual, Sanders was on the money. Check out what the October issue of Elle Decor UK said would be the “Hot Trend For Homes”:

elle decor uk

Versus the color palette Sanders put together during our interview:

sanders color palette

I told you that Sanders was good! If you ever had a crush on Roy G Biv in school, then these rooms are for you. Witness the power of dramatic paint to completely transform a space. (All photos courtesy of Domino)

domino colors

Don’t you feel more cheerful, well rested and motivated, already? Maybe you won’t even need that extra cup of coffee. Perhaps you should start a new exercise routine… Who’s up for climbing Mount Everest???! Ok, let’s take it one step at a time, shall we?

Since I’ve asked for help from you dear readers at least twice, you probably all know by now that I have a red dining room and kitchen, and I’ve been worrying that maybe it’s a twee bit overblown. Perhaps instead of taking it down a notch, instead I should pump it up with a steroid injection of brighter, orangier, funkier, red:

red kitchen

(Photo courtesy of Living Etc.)

Or maybe, like Karly, you’ve been craving some sunshine in your space. Why not go for a zany shade of yellow on the walls?

yellow room

(Photo via A Mad Tea Party With Alis, who also has some great posts on color)

I love the super bright funkadelic yellow paired with dark dark trim and subdued, weathered floors. Shall we just say that the dead fish on the table adds to the rustic charm? Yes, we shall. Those chairs are pretty boss, too.

For those of you who love color but want something a little more sober, why not a bold, cobalt blue?

cobalt bedroom

(Photo via Living Etc)

It’s much more unexpected than the usual aqua tinged walls, but still restful enough to catch some much needed Zzzzzz’s at night. A silver leafed ceiling could be a magical complement (and gold is always fab).

Or perhaps you prefer to just scramble the whole color palette together and have a delicious rainbow omelette?

m interiors

This whole house decorated by M. Design Interiors is a madcap acid trip fantasyland, and I really want to live there. The sleek furnishings and square lines have an awesome 70’s vibe, so perhaps we should throw a hip blogger’s disco party? I think I’d have to ditch the tulips, though.

If you’re not into all out color, maybe just a peep of bright paint would do the trick.

m interiors

I love the use of primary shades in this super white space, courtesy once again of the fabulous M. Design Interiors.

Ok, I know that lots of you out there love color, but would prefer to confine it to accessories and furnishings for a splash of bright something something against a neutral background without the commitment of paint. Here are some renter friendly solutions that will still give your pad some punch.

colorful accessories

(Photo credits for each row, left to right: Living Etc, Living Etc. Domino, Living Etc. Terramia, Andrew Suvalsky. Living Etc, Domino)

Why not reupholster a vintage couch or chair in a shockingly bright fabric to create a substantial focal point in your otherwise neutral room? Or you could always do some super mod pillows for a cheap and easy burst of color (bonus points for resourcefulness if you can sew your own). Also, I kind of want a lime green clawfoot tub now… If only I had a bathroom big enough for one!

Anyone want a cush headboard fit for a princess in a color that won’t make your prince cringe?

m interiors

(Photo via M. Design Interiors)

Yeah, baby, I can dig it. Now how about a red green combo that’s miles away from Christmas?

flux interiors

(Flux Interiors)

That is one delicious lampshade, and I love the repeat of the color on the window frames. Is that an Ikea couch? If not, they have a very similar version that comes with a zillion different slipcovers, so you can redecorate annually without breaking the bank. I am voting for new pillows though. How about a row of Obama heads instead of Mao and Marx? Yes we can.

If you already have great bones, highlight them.

yellow couch

(Photo via A Mad Tea Party With Alis)

A burst of sunny yellow makes this old school stunner look fresh, clean and modern. How much do you love the charcoal piping? Fabulous.

Even bold color can be subtly softened by its surroundings.


(via If the Lampshade Fits)

Purpley gray walls set this versatile tomato red couch afire, but an otherwise subdued color palette keeps things cool and sophisticated.

If you’re feeling more daring, go for the gold:

orange kitchen

(Photo via Living Etc)

I really hate barstools, but at least these are camoflaged by a similarly hued tangerine kitchen bar with matching countertops. I love the harmony with the orangey wooden floors, as well as the contrast with the blue mirrored glass in the background.

And last but not least, some gorgeous shades of green and blue that are fresh but not overwhelming:

fawn galli

If you’ve never checked out the Brooklyn home of Fawn Galli, go there now. Her house is a gorgeous reminder that color is fun and doesn’t have to be opressive or vulgar. And she has a giant deer sculpture. My hero.

That’s it for this Sanders-inspired roundup of ultra ultra brights. What do you think? Could you live with these acid hues, or are you planning to stick to neutral basics? Tell us all about it.

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I’m Pining For This Panorama

While you await the WWF Top Design Smackdown, I thought I’d post this little tidbit to tide you over.

Meet my new object of lust:

panorama pillow

I spied this Panorama Pillow in my new issue of Living etc. (it’s the gift that keeps on giving!) and I think I know what I want Santa to bring me for Christmas. I suppose I had better start working on being good now so I don’t get a lump of coal instead (which is what I most likely deserve). Sadly, I will probably have to be REALLY good, because it costs $250. FOR A PILLOW. Did I mention that we both know how to screenprint and Karly can sew? Maybe we should get busy on that.

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