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Let’s Talk About Accent Walls

So I had this plan, see, to paint a dark accent wall in Ike’s room, see. But then I got to thinking: is that a really dorky idea? I mean, I’m not indicting all accent walls, mostly because I already have one:

That would be the long wall spanning the kitchen to dining area. PS, I really need to reshoot this room because all the stuff piled on the chesterfield is making me stabby.

The other side of the wall. Don’t worry, those sconces and their damned infernal cords are gone, baby gone.

So I feel like an accent wall can work well if you have something of architectural interest to highlight.

Anna of Door 16 just painted her fireplace wall black, and I think it looks smashing. Karly has a black fireplace wall, too, and it’s the bee’s knees. But those lovely folks have cool stuff in their rooms. What about an accent wall in a regular old box shaped bedroom, with regular old 8′ ceilings, and regular old windows.

Nate Berkus seems to think it’s ok.

But sometimes I can tell it’s definitely not ok. Sometimes it looks like Trading Spaces got all up in the room and was like, hmmmmm… I like blue AND I like red… I just can’t decide… I know! Let’s use them BOTH!!!!

And the result is nothing short of vomity drivel. Although that is one hilariously spectacular photoshop job.

So, I ask you savvy readers, when is an accent wall ok? Is it ever ok? Tell me all your thoughts while I continue to repaint 18 different samples all over Ike’s walls. Patchwork is in, right?

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In Living Color

From where I stand, things are about 2872% better than they were last week — give or take a percentage point. I would hate to be accused of hyperbole. I attribute this meteoric rise in not crappiness to three things:

#1. None of us are sick. Hoomutherbleepinray!

#2. Wine. Lots of it.

#3. A clean house. We scrubbed everything down and flipped our flatweave leather rug over. Best decision EVER. I’m never buying a single sided rug again — well, at least not until Ike learns to stop rubbing his yogurt face all over everything. So, maybe after he goes off to college?

To celebrate my new glitter encrusted sparkly rainbow unicorn outlook, I’m going to lift the angry ban on color and post some rooms guaranteed to tickle your pleasure center. If you’re at work, try not to have a When Harry Met Sally moment when you peruse these…

Miles Redd

Via MFAMB. Does anyone know where I can find the more pictures of this house? I am total lust with that coffee table.

Molly Luetkemeyer of M Designs (psst, check out her blog here)

Nate Berkus

Elle France

That was some powerful stuff. I hope you did a good job hiding your nasty face from prying eyes.

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Redesigned Ditties: Heart Of Glass

Once I had a love and you know it was brass

Soon turned out, had a heart of glass

You know I love gold bling, but now I find

It’s not enough

I need more shine

Once I had a love and it was divine

Soon found out I lusted after light

It seemed like the real thing cuz brass is so bright

It’s not enough

I need more shine

In between “what I find is pleasing” and “I’m feeling fine”

Love is so confusing

There’s no need, I find

To choose between the two

Glass is just so good, it’s changed my point of view

Lost inside this illumination and I love the light

It’s the thing I’m wanting, it just feels so right

I could even live with chrome, yeah…

Yeah, riding high on love’s true vintage light

Ooh ooh ooh whoa

Once I had a love and you know it was brass

Soon turned out, had a heart of glass

You know I love gold bling, but now I find

It’s not enough

I need more shine

Ooh ooh whoa

Ooh ooh whoa

Ooh ooh whooooooooa

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Pictures of Pictures

Art is an undervalued endeavor — it does not create algorithms to invest money, invent pharmaceuticals, or generally further business interests in any way. And so, when the young and ambitious set their sights on the humanities, parents get nervous and friends shake their heads, and the young and ambitious learn to eat ramen and wear black. Street cred is a necessity, but so are clothes that hold up to paint, chemicals, and infrequent laundering. It’s pretty glamorous, the life of an artist is.

Photograph by Tracey Moffatt, via Emmas Designblogg

I have spent 15+ years slaving over a hot darkroom sink, many more poring over art books, and several years teaching, but I still can’t get enough of the photographs that set me on the path to poverty in the first place. Once afflicted, there is no cure for what ails you, save to embrace the disease.

Photograph by Andres Serrano, via NYT

And as much as I enjoy just browsing images on the net, it warms my cold, dirty black heart even more to see some of my favorite artists in the homes of the rich and famous. Thank jeebus somebody can make a living off their work, because who else could inspire the young and ambitious to sacrifice wealth, hygiene, and nutrition, in the name of art?

Vik Muniz, Bernd and Hilla Becher, and Christopher Bucklow, via David Netto

Photos by Mark Shaw via Nate Berkus

Images by Rineke Dijkstra via Fox Mahem

Work by Adam Fuss via David Duncan Livingston

Image by Candida Hofer via Richard Powers

Image by William Eggleston in the home of Krysten Ritter

Photos by Thomas Struth and Andreas Gursky via Michael Richman

Photo by Thomas Struth (on the right) via Met Home

Photo by Gilbert and George via OWI

Works by John Coplans (left bottom) and Loretta Lux in the home of Vicente Wolf

Photos by Steven Klein in the home of Nacho Figueras

I got a little obsessed while doing, ahem, “research” for this post, so I hope you won’t be terribly disappointed if I hit you with a two-fer. Back on Monday with another roundup of not quite so epic proportions. In the meantime, I’m entertaining out of town guests, but Karly will be here to regale you with her always acerbic wit.

Have a great week!

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Sleek Streak

DC superfriend and badass interior designer/blogger Raina of If the Lampshade Fits found the silver foil lining of the clouded real estate market when she landed a sweet 70s home in Denver. In celebration of her spectacular find, I’m posting a cornucopia of 70s inspired interiors that manage a modern twist on classic geometric lines. You don’t have to import an entire Karl Springer showroom to get the feel — just a dab will do ya. But a ton of brass, gold, chrome and glass never hurts, because it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that bling.

richard powers

Don’t worry if you’re a shy wallflower. See how subdued the 70s can be? No disco balls necessary. Via Richard Powers Photography.

joe serrins

Or you could go the other direction and bring it all on. Baughman chairs: check. Chrome and smoked glass table: check. Driftwood sculpture: check. Via Joe Serrins Studio.

desire to inspire

Ahhh… it’s quiet again. A smoked glass chandelier and muted color palette ooze restrained elegance. I want to knock that superfluous flower pot off the table, though. Via Desire to Inspire.


Wheeeee, it’s loud again! You could apply lipstick in the reflection of that wallpaper, and the light fixtures are divine. Not loving the starburst wall clock. Via OWI.

70s kitchen

Foil wallpaper may be the most ingenious backsplash, ever. I might have to do this in my kitchen… Via Style Files.

phillipe stuebi

Of course, I would trade my entire kitchen, the house and everything in it for these cabinets. BRASS cabinets, people. Holy Jeebus Moses! Via Philippe Stuebi.

colombe stevens

And while we’re on the gold trip, I think I want to cover something, anything in these gold mosaic tiles. Maybe a headboard…? Via Colombe Stevens.

nina campbell

Nina Campbell’s brass mantel is almost as delicious, but the clutter kills. Just take a mental snapshot of the brass and mirrors and close your eyes and mmmmmmmmmm. Via Domino.

jerry samuelson

If I had enough space and didn’t think I might burn my house down, you can bet your sweet ass I would have an indoor firepit. Hello fondue party! Via Jerry Samuelson Photography.

fawn galli

Milo Baughman is definitely the go to designer for all things sleekly seventies. Fawn Galli breathes new life into his iconic chairs with some rockin’ fabric and more awesome foil wallpaper.

nate berkus

My gay boyfriend Nate Berkus’ apartment with his Baughman chair. Copious amounts of mirror action, the chrome coffee table, Arteluce lamp, and tufty time sofa complete the look. The hand chair is available here for $69. Spraypaint is the nectar of the gods. Via Elle Decor.

living etc bathroom

Cultivating a 70s vibe doesn’t mean you have to keep your original 70s bathroom. Just say no to the triple threat of fiberglass tubs, formica and linoleum and say yes to burnished golden tiles, a black (!) pedestal sink and some fresh accessories. Via Living Etc.

joe serrins

Finally, the bathroom we all dream of. If not, you may be reading the wrong blog. Via Joe Serrins Studio.

Whew, that was a lot of pictures, but Raina’s dreamy home score deserves nothing less. Congratulations, Raina, on your swingin’ seventies pad — can’t wait to see it shine!

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