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10 posts from May 2010

May 27, 2010

Transform An Office Using A Bold Palette

Can you imagine sharing a dark, cluttered, uninviting home office with your spouse?  The right color palette may help ease the situation.  Samantha Nestor and her husband share an office at home and designer Christopher Coleman made it work!  Wait until you see this transformation.  A surprising cast of colors includes blue, pink, green, orange, and yellow.  And it's topped off with a marigold ceiling! 

Would you put these colors together?


Christopher Coleman did.  See  how multiple Benjamin Moore colors work to create casual sophistication at home.

Did you see the "Before" images at the beginning of the video?  There was irreparable wood paneling all throughout the room that had to be removed.  What a difference it made!  The vertical stripes of color help to make the space feel taller and the bright colors partnered with good lighting breathes freshness into the space.
Can color help you work better, focus more, and keep you going?  The right environment can motivate you no matter what the day brings. What room in your home is begging for color(s)?

May 24, 2010

Nestor's Nest: Designer Tips For Style On A Budget

Does everything have to be exclusive labels and high dollar spend when you're renovating an area of your home?  How about if you're working with a design professional?  The answer is NO!  A good designer is focused on keeping in line with both your lifestyle and your budget. 

Sonu open high low
Making myself at home at Samantha's house  

Being smart about your money and creating design solutions with a pro is definitely "in".  Have an honest conversation with a professional and determine how you want to prioritize Timeline, Money, and Quality on your project.  It will help you decide where to spend your resources and how to find some deals.  You'll balance your interior and your checkbook without flinching.  Here's an example of how Samantha Nestor and designer Christopher Coleman  did it for a reading area in her home. 

A Few Designer Secrets From This Project:

Never skimp on things that protect your environment.  People often think paint is just about color, but I'm constantly reminded through experience and professional contractors that paint is also about protecting your walls so your home is beautiful and durable for a very long time.  Pair the right paint with your project-- Aura for durability, Natura for zero VOC, and this for wet areas like bathrooms and kitchens.  Window treatments are another example.  The Hunter Douglas window coverings in Samantha's home are gorgeous, but they also help to filter out natural elements like heat and sunlight that can increase your utility costs and damage interior fabrics and finishes. 

Now, for the blend.  These smart moves helped to keep the project in budget. 

The graphic fabric used on the valance may have been pricey off the roll, but Samantha's designer had remnants of it from a previous project and he was able to offer it to Samantha for a fraction of the cost.  Asking your designer if they have remnants you can use is a great way to save money and re-purpose the material.

Dive into your local Home Goods when you want something fashionable, affordable, and get "Home Goods Happy" as they say.  The mid century modern style armchair and ottoman from Home Goods were inviting to begin with and adding the Alpha Workshops custom pillow was the proverbial cherry on top.  You can also try resale shops, ebay, demolition auctions, flea markets, and local estate sales for ideas that will keep your project on track.  Remember these options not only save money, but are a great way to give something a new life cycle.

Together, all these elements combine to make an ideal spot to sit back and admire Samantha's style and sensibility! 

Test your ability to tell what's high and low.  Can you tell which of these rooms was designed with a $9000 budget and which was designed with a $3000 budget?  Take a guess and then click below for the answers.

High-low-dressing 1

High-low-dressing 2

[View Photo Source and Answer]

The trick is to mix and match elements from both to make it your own!  What's your High-Low secret?

May 21, 2010

Nestor's Nest: What Does Foyer Color Say About A Home?

What color do you and your guests first see as the front door opens?  Is it inviting, invigorating, calm, subdued, complex, or busy? 

You can determine the mood you want to set and plan your weekend around making it come to life!  Make a statement with with just the right paint color, edited accesories like artwork or furniture, and details like a unique lighting fixture.

Remember to use a high quality low or zero VOC paint that can be made in your choice of colors;  it dries quickly with no lingering smell.

Here's how one homeowner, Samantha Nestor, and her designer, Christopher Coleman, combined Pear Green walls in Aura, heirlooms from her family and well-priced pieces from Home Goods to create an entrance that sets the mood for her home.

Foyer Color


This foyer is full of color kissed with sunlight.  It draws you into the home and says the homeowners are fun, well traveled, and confident in their colors!  What do your foyer colors say about you?

Stay tuned for Monday's post on how to really design areas of your home on a real budget and always in high style!

May 19, 2010

Nestor's Nest: Redefine The Dining Room With Brilliant Strokes Of Color

Samantha had dreams of a dining room that would be as chic, unique, and sophisticated as her.  Initially, this was not that room.  Samantha's designer, Christopher Coleman wanted to make her fantasy a reality. Here's how they used specialty finishes, a bit of creativity, and some serious talent to create this dining room solution. 

Dining room 

If you love the Metallic Glaze technique in Samantha Nestor's Dining Room, you will fall head over heels for this book, Paint Style.  It outlines ideas, gives you details, and offers color combinations from both Benjamin Moore and professional Interior Designers.  It can boost you from Blah to Beautiful in a jiffy.  We still have a few treats to share from Samantha's house in upcoming posts.  Keep checking back to see her bedroom, home office (I call it the Rainbow Room), and some tips on where to spend and where to save.

May 18, 2010

Color Trends from ICFF

Over the weekend, the ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair) opened at the Jacob Javitz Center in New York and at numerous parties around town.  It's the time of year when top producers of modern furniture, furnishings, and accessories converge for a 4-day-long celebration.  Crowds spill into the streets in Soho, Noho, and the Meatpacking District, sipping white wine and looking at the offerings, everything from more commercial pieces from large companies to artisan-produced one-offs.  After the more "play it safe" vibe of last year, it was encouraging to see designers and stores embracing lots of color again.  While in most cases it was fairly subdued, sometimes it went to the extreme.  Come have a look at some of this year's finds!

Albers Tables__Bernhardt Chairs_Council Design Screen

Joseph Albers tables / Bernhardt chairs / Council Design screens

This pairing of color with wood immediately caught my eye.  Although these stacking tables were designed in 1926-27, they looked completely fresh and contemporary.  The same theme showed up at Bernhardt in a set of armchairs with multi-colored cushions.  And a set barely-there room screens from Council design, in wood and lime-green metal, were appealing because of their lightness, both in material and palette.

Cassina Chairs and Sofas_Oskar Zieta Stools at Moss

Cassina chairs and sofas / Oskar Zieta stools at Moss

Bakelite Lamps_Adler trays

Bakelite lamps from Ameico / Jonathan Adler trays

The multi-color theme showed up everywhere.  It was eye candy seeing a grouping of same piece, each in a different color.  A set of love seats and armchairs at the Cassina showroom in Soho in pale blue, orange, yellow (and, yes, white) looked very sophisticated in these bright colors, which can be difficult to pull off.  Even the metal frames came in contrasting colors!  A grouping of "blown-up" metal stools at Moss in primaries plus green, white, and metallics made me think of a very progressive school room.  Bowling ball lamps in bakelite (the material they were originally made from) and plastic trays from Jonathan Adler looked great on their own but even better next to one another.

Moroso silver_Trove wallpaper_Panton lamps at Vitra

Moroso / Trove opera house wallpaper / Panton lamps in Vitra showroom

On the opposite end of the spectrum, there was definitely a theme of more ornate and shimmery opulence, with metallics, black and white, off-whites, and grays.  A vignette at Moroso, paired different textures and time periods to great effect.  I even fell in love with a beautiful wallpaper from the New York company Trove.  It's done in photographic style and shows patrons at the La Fenice opera house in Venice between acts.  A small area would come alive with this wallpaper!  And although they're not new, the giant gold-spiral lamps by Verner Panton at the Vitra showroom, which is quite minimal and neutral, really transformed the space.

Cappellini event_Moroso showroom

Cappellini event and showroom / Moroso showroom

I couldn't help it!  I was completely attracted to these bolder displays of color.  On the left, the Cappellini showroom, with a white table and chair set by Dutch designer Marcel Wanders.  The red walls and floors, multicolor panels, and even the colorful guests made this an over-the-top place.  On the right is another vignette at Moroso, pairing a gigantic orange couch with some throw pillows, in front of a graphic wall that packed a major punch.

For more information on show visit the ICFF website.