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19 posts from June 2009

June 30, 2009

Mondrian Madness!

I was so excited to see these examples of other people who love Mondrian's art as much as I do, that I have to share!  I guess we'll call it collective consciousness that everyone is mad about Mondrian these days.  I was actually reading an article about the SF Moma's Blue Coffee Company Cafe in the SF Gate with pastry chef and photographer, Caitlin Williams Freeman.  She literallly draws her inspiration from art (in a sketchbook) to create incredible desserts that pay homage to various artists featured at the museum.

YSL Mondrian Dress

Mondrian has been providing inspiration for years.  Remember the 1965 Yves Saint Laurent Mondrian dress and all the copycats that have evolved over the years?


My son's room was completely inspired by Mondrian's use of bold primaries and offset with lots of white and strong black outlines.  I decided to do this before I even knew whether I was having a boy or girl.  Art can be a non-gender specific source of inspiration for color and theme in many ways.


If you're in Portland, stop in at Portland Modern for a dose of Northwestern Mondrian, too.  It's the bold colors that set these walls apart.

Try these accents if you want to invite Piet Mondrian into your home, too.  Click on each image for a link to buy it.

Mondrian vase

Mondrian vase


Mondrian Pendant

 Mondrian espresso

Even Mondrian Espresso

I'm fascinated by the fact that Piet Mondrian started out as a more traditional painter and moved into the modern/abstract arena later in his career.  Essentiallly, he started squinting at things.  Literally.  As he would squint at vistas, he could easily group together color families and geometric shapes and let the details fade to the background.  This led him to his work with strong geometric shapes that is so iconic today. 

In my video interview with Essie Weingarten she mentions a similar technique of "squinting" for color that you can do at home.  Turn a magazine so the edges of the page are facing you & quickly flip through the pages like a deck of cards.  Usually, you'll see colors from the pages blend together to give you the overall color story of that particular publication and it can be a great source of color inspiration when you need it.  Give it a shot and see what colors and inspiration jump out at you!

June 29, 2009

Color Quest for Nails

I had the pleasure of meeting Essie Weingarten recently.  She's brings brains and beauty together in smashing collections at Essie Cosmetics.  I wanted to interview her because we share a passion for color and because she's just a fun person to know!  What I learned is that we have a few other things in common.  Our passion goes beyond color and into the importance of quality and performance, too.  Here's a bit of insight into what Essie's all about.

While we were visiting, Essie told me all about a new product line they've launched called Naturally Clean.  I'm getting all the information on it together so I can share that with you soon, too.  My favorite color by Essie right now is called Chubby Cheeks.  It's a funny name for a bright coral color, but it makes me think of my little one!  If you've ever wondered who makes up those names, you may be surprised to know its all Essie!  From my experience doing the same for paint names, I can say it's like naming hundreds of your own children.  Do you have a favorite color name?

June 26, 2009

Colorful Words to Live By

An excerpt from an articulate article by Samantha Critchell on Michelle Obama's sense of Color & Style:

"Mrs. Obama - we've seen a lot of her in the color. She happily gravitates to color. Queen Elizabeth (II) and Princess Diana knew this: If you want people to be able to see you, wear color,"- David Wolfe, creative director at The Doneger Group, a retail trend guide.

Princess di  Michelle obama jcrew  Queen elizabeth II crop

Channel your inner Michelle Obama, Queen of England, or Princess Di this weekend and wear something colorful!

If you need more direct inspiration, go to Style Bakery where they disect countless looks the First Lady has sported right down to her love of all things J.Crew. 

No Sunny Skies? A Little Squidarella Color May Help

I've been hearing for weeks from people in various cities about the miserable rainy weather in the Northeast and Chicago.  Well, just to cheer you all up a bit, I thought I'd share an innovation from Squid London's designers, Viviane Jaeger and Emma-Jayne Parkes.  The designer duo has invented an umbrella that changes color when water touches the surface. 

Squid london umbrella 1

Their mantra is to use smart materials and explains how they came up with using hydrochromatic ink on the umbrella's textile surface to create some fun.  (The graphic is London's skyline)  How does Squidarella work, you ask?  Check out SquidLondon's own You Tube video to see it in action.

Initially, they produced 100 limited edition umbrellas and sold out in under two weeks.  These umbrella's are priced at about $40 and can be found here.  Let's hope they start to sell in the US soon because unless you go there to pick it up, they charge an additional $59 for shipping to the US. 

Squid london umb bwSquid london umb color

If you have a friend or a visit planned to London, be sure to grab one of these for yourself and one for me, too.  Only kidding.  Regardless, it's a great idea and they're definitely a group to watch for what's next.  They've got me wanting to go dancing in the rain!

June 23, 2009

Identity Crisis of a Floorplan

Okay, I told you all about the colors and inspiration I chose for my dining room here.  I lived in it.  I loved it.  I've changed my mind.  It happens.  I've decided to change my dining room into a small sitting/play area and convert my formal living room into a dining room.   I found a fabulous table from Henredon that changed everything. 

Henredon table

The devil's in those details of gold lattice and zebrano inlay paired with ebony wood.

The oval table extends to seat ten and is made of ebony wood with an inlay of zebrano and accents of gold.  Delicious!  We bought it knowing that it would fit only as a six seater in our original dining room but planned to extend it into the living room as needed for larger gatherings.  Initially, it did fit perfectly in the dining room this way.  

But getting together around a dining table with our extended family and sharing food, stories, and time is central to our lives.  So, we opted for a little change.  Why not question the sanctity of space allotment in a floor plan?  Thinking a bit out of the box when it comes to space allocation can help reinvent your home.  Does a hall closet have to be a closet?  If you're short on space, you can remove the doors and transform it into a niche for a desk or artwork.  A utility room can be a playroom and a bedroom can turn into a full blown media room.  Most of us aren't moving out to bigger homes these days, so why not make the most of what we have and let it reflect who we are?

In my case, one benefit was that my old living room furniture from my previous home fits perfectly into the new sitting/play room.  Since we plan to let our little one run loose in that area (and anywhere else he eventually chooses), I won't be too concerned with the wear and tear on these older pieces. 

The New Sitting Room

The new sitting room before my son and his toys get a hold of it.

Placing art and finding the right window treatment are next on the list.  For the dining room itself, I'm looking at hand-painted wall covering from Alpha Workshops.  Wallpaper can be fun when you do it right.  Stay tuned to see what I end up with!

Dining room overall view

An overall view of the new dining room looking into the sitting room.  See all the blank wall space to be adorned with art and color  I'm still looking for the right covering for a huge window facing out. 

Okay, now our dining room is a sitting room and our formal living is a dining room for ten, and we really spend most of our time in the den.  This specific mix seems to fit us just perfectly!  What unique ways have you found to redistribute space in your home?