Lili Diallo is definitely someone you'd want to invite over for decorating advice. As an interior stylist, it's her job to make spaces look their absolute best for photo shoots, and her work has appeared in Domino, Real Simple, Town & Country, Glamour, and Everyday with Rachael Ray, as well as on several popular websites (including Apartment Therapy). She also lends her eye to private clients, helping them find their "design story" by focusing on colors, textures, and objects that make them feel at home. For Lili, it’s all in the details, and she believes small changes can have a big impact. In her new book, appropriately named Details, she shows off a few of her most stunning projects and lets us in on what it took to create these incredible rooms.
This is a corner in Lili's loft in Dumbo, a neighborhood in Brooklyn. Most of the place is white, with unpainted concrete floors, but Lili didn’t want it to feel cold and industrial. "I love white, but you can feel a little bit lost, a little bit floaty, if everything is white." She wanted to have one wall that was dark and earthy, which she says is grounding. "The decorations were built around the color, to compliment it." She found the orange U, for instance, at an antiques store nearby, and assembled objects that worked with each other and the chocolate color. "Brown is a good color to bridge all these brightly colored objects that I have."
Although this incredible Italianate apartment in the West Village in New York City is pale, the subtle color does a lot for the room that might not be, at first glance, obvious. "It's so much more enveloping when you have a color. It makes everything feel more intimate. The ceilings are so high that it would be easy to feel lost in the space. Also, the moldings are so beautiful that they needed to show." Lili says the pale gray with white ceiling and trim makes the space look tailored and chic, highlighting the details. "The owner is a minimalist, so the color fills the room, makes it more dense."
This house is in Upstate New York, and was designed by Minoru Yamasaki, the architect of the World Trade Center. Although it’s in the woods, it's no log cabin--there are few walls and a lot of glass. The owner wanted a palette that was an interpretation of the Hudson River School of paining, so she custom-mixed various shades of green, yellow, and brown throughout the house. The couple also had a lot of keepsakes from their travels, primarily furniture pieces from India and Africa. "The challenge was to make their belongings feel natural in this contemporary environment." Neutrals such as this creamy white are the perfect choice for this situation. "More saturated hues like blues and reds don't change so much. These colors change a lot with the light throughout the day."
For the book's cover, Lili chose the home of her photographer for the project. The apartment is bright and open, and this bold wall has a pocket door that moves and can separate the living room from the dining and kitchen area. The color is an reference to Yves Klein Blue (also known as International Klein Blue), made famous by the post-war French painter, who often exhibited nothing but giant canvases painted this color. "The rest of the room is pale and very Nordic color-wise, and could get a little cold. So it's really nice here. And instead of clashing, the sofa matches the ferocity of the wall!"
For Lili, every color has an energy: blue is serene and expansive, red is vital and warming, gray is elegant and chic, and yellow is social and charming. "Color enhances, refreshes, and often completely reconfigures a home's DNA." For more ideas on how you can use color (plus tips how to use texture and objects) in your home, you can find Lili's book here http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780307591517.