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8 posts from August 2010

August 30, 2010

Living In Color Loves Lonny

Have you seen Lonny?  It's revolutionary.  It's only online.  It's one of the best shelter publications out there.  It's the new answer to my beloved Domino.  And I'm gabbing about it!

If you were as enamored with Domino's casual perfection and intimate style as I still am (present tense intentional) and mourned when they folded, you'll love love love Lonny (named for London New York), too.  Michelle Adams and Patrick Cline are the young face of publishing and the fresh perspective on what can be considered "good design".  A peek into Michelle's own home as photographed by Patrick Cline will give you great understanding of their youthful optimism.  Don't we all need more of that, anyway?

Michelle Adams 1

Michelle Adams 2 

Michelle Adams 4

All photos by Patrick Cline via here

Lonny is coming upon it's first anniversary this fall and I can't wait to see the celebration they're planning!  As a quick look back, here's how they've developed in the last year. 

Lonny Retrospective

All Photos via here

It just keeps getting better!  Perhaps that's because they "believe that good design and affordable design can coexist and that true inspiration can be found in the teeniest of homes or in the grandest of spaces."  Bravo, Lonny, Bravo! 

See what the NY Times has to say about this new dynamic duo here.  Wednesday's treat:  Callie Jenschke is on the cover of the current Lonny and she's sharing some new styles exclusively with me!

See you then!

August 25, 2010

Dorm Style Redefined

These days, dorms are a combination of high-tech gadgets and low maintenance style.  Here are some fabulous ways dorms are being done today.  What does/did your dorm room look like?

Graffiti dorm 2

My Chibi Dorm Room :D

My Dorm Room

My Dorm, After

The above photos via here


photo via Lovely Undergrad

If you're inspired and want to start designing your own dorm room, go here to create a web-based 3-d rendering like the ones below of your dorm and actually buy all the accessories you choose.  You can customize it and start buying the accessories you can't start the semester without.




August 23, 2010

Big Design on a Dorm Room Budget

Does being on a budget mean you can't access beauty?  I don't think so.  Fences simply teach us to build more creative ladders to go beyond them.  I can't tell you how many people say they'll start to add design and color to their space when they have more money or time or when they own a home.  The time is now!  Add some clever ideas that will get your friends talking about how chic you are!

Ikea dorm room 

Photo via Ikea 

Some of the best budget design ideas I've come across happen in college.  That's the time when ideas are big and budgets are minimal.  Talking with some friends, we were reminiscing upon our days of personalizing our college dorms and apartments.  In retrospect, I'm not sure why we thought that plastering posters of our idols was the only option.  Today, dorms, rented rooms, and apartments can become full force statements of design even with spare change. 

Here are a few ways to inject design, color, and fun into your space.

Have a Seat.

Swap out your college issued desk chair for something with style.  You can buy something fresh and fun that adds a ton of personality into your room or you can buy, barter, or find a vintage piece that drips with character and stories.  

I found this mid century style chair for $49.95 on Ebay.  It would look fabulous with simple new upholstery and a new color on the wood.  If you're opting to paint furniture, be bold.  A gorgeous violet like Twilight Magenta 207430 or an electric green like Paradise Green 2131-20 looks great in the right proportion.  Consider using your school colors in this way.  My Longhorn Orange would have been fabulous with a fabric like the one below.

Wood Upholst Desk chair 1

$49.95 for this chair!

 Cotton black white red fabric

$6.95/yd for this fabric

Longhorn orange 

Buy your favorite paint colors at your local store or here.  My choice is University of Texas at Austin Longhorn Orange...Hook em'!

Or if you're not in a big DIY mood, buy a chair that's already a simple and colorful statement like this one from Ikea.

Ikea Snille Pink Chair
$19.95 for this Pop of Color from Ikea

The Devil's In The Details.

Any great designer knows the importance of the right details.  Accessorizing with little finds that feel worldly, worn, and personal adds a feeling of comfort and trend to your space. 

Heard of freecycling?  The idea is what we learned in Kindergarten-- sharing is caring-- Freecycle connects you with others in your area who are looking to simply give things away to keep them from landfills.  Get a houseplant, furniture, or a bike-- you never know what you may come across.

Of course, don't forget about estate sales, Etsy, Ebay, Home Goods or any local favorite thrift stores where you can find beautiful things that add layers of beauty to your space without leaving deep holes in your wallet.

Upcycled Jewelry Magnets

$16 for 3 original jeweled magnets

 Switchplate Madrid 
$5 for this switchplate that will turn on style in any room. 

Add a Little Life.

I remember my little beta fish in college- he added a lot of color to my day!  Consider a colorful, yet simple fish tank or plant to add some fresh air to the space.  I love these orchids that are inexpensive and super easy to care for- just add 3 ice cubes once a week and it thrives.  Look at this smoky color I found!

Just Add Ice Orchids are a great find and here's how you can support both orchids and the environment in an easy way.

Leave a Message.

You can create a simple chalkboard calendar or message board in some clever ways.  Pinch Design out of London created this for an office, but it can easily be used to keep you on task all year, too.

Chalk Calendar 1
Image Pinch Design via Apartment Therapy Ohdeedoh 

Pinch design used wooden blocks coated in Chalkboard Paint.  You can also buy canvas boards and paint them since they are lightweight and can be propped up or moved around without any trouble.  Find them here starting at under $.50 each for a 4"x4" board!

See how the Lovely Undergrad rounded up more great chalky ideas here.  Plus, look around on her site for some fantastic ideas on living the great undergrad life in style!  Armed with a quart of Chalkboard Paint and some imagination, what beautiful ideas will you have?

Cork Board is another alternative.  Buy corkboard tiles in modular sizes and paint them in any color you choose.  You can still stick messages and photos on the cork and add a flattering hue to your room, too.

Just Add Color.

A friend recently said she really wanted to use Crushed Velvet 2076-10 on one wall of her new apartment, but everyone is telling her she's crazy to paint and have to repaint when the lease is up.  I shared these two ideas with her.

Painting girl

First, plan to use Aura when you paint back to the original color.  It covers in 2 coats and is self priming, so you can paint your favorite deep or bold color quickly today and know that in no more than two coats, you can paint it back to the standard issue greige (yuck) that you started with when you leave.

Floor cloth modern
Creative artist Lisa Gaumond has created one of my favorite modern floorcloths that shows how to bring in color so well!

 If you're still roller-shy, try this age old idea that's getting some new life.  Paint a floorcloth.  Floorcloth is made from a canvas that's meant to be used on the floor as a rug.  It's more well known in the historical and country comforts kind of style, but you can really adapt it to any style you choose.  And, a floorcloth can be hung like a tapestry using a ceiling mounted drapery hardware or really strong wall tape.

Create Some Tension

Take a look at your closet door.  Can it be removed?  If so, one college student (Jessie Oliver, winner of Benjamin Moore's Envision Color Student Design Contest) says take it off!  She opted for a tension rod in it's place and hung a lovely fabric shower curtain with ribbons of fabric linking it to the tension rod.  What a space saving, style-adding idea!

Fabric Shower Curtain Overstock
This lovely curtain is under $25 here

Ribbon Shower Curtain

Or make your own curtain by simply attaching ribbons with a quick knot or bow and letting the ribbon flow freely.  The colors you choose for your ribbons will change the mood of your space instantly.

Those are just a few of the many things you can do to add some legendary looks to a temporary space.

Still looking for more ideas?  I like these from Stylehive and these from Emily over at Material Girls.  I'm gathering up some images of real rooms and apartments to share soon.  If you want to share your dorm or apartment style, send in pictures!

August 18, 2010

Three of My Favorites from Pottery Barn and Benjamin Moore for Fall 2010

Pottery Barn's Fall 2010 catalog is hitting the streets.  They've shared a select group of images on Flickr.  Here are three of my top favorites from the mix.  Which are yours?

Newburyport Blue HC-155

Newburyport Blue HC-155, Benjamin Moore

Schooner AF-520

Schooner AF-520, Benjamin Moore

Fairview Taupe HC-85

Fairview Taupe HC-85, Benjamin Moore

All photos via: here

August 13, 2010

Get Inspired: Painted Garden Benches

It's been so hot this Summer that there haven't been many cool evenings for strolling and sitting outside.  But there will be soon enough.  I love having a place to sit outside and relax or just look at nature.  Recently I saw some wood benches painted beautiful colors in a friend’s garden, and it got me thinking about how you can make your outdoor furniture really come to life and be a year-round color accent in the garden. It's easy--just paint it a beautiful color!

painted blue bench

Yin Yang 824

If you have a wide expanse of lawn (especially one that overlooks a vista or other pretty view), a bench gives you a place to perch and enjoy.  Imagine sitting here in the late afternoon or early evening with an iced tea or glass of chardonnay!  Or even a place to go in the early morning with your coffee and newspaper.  For a situation like this, I love using blue, because it's a component of the green of the lawn--different but harmonious--and picking a punchy shade that'll make an impact even from a distance.  I prefer a semi-gloss or matte finish, but if you want the look of the wood to show through, consider an Arborcoat stain.

painted red bench

Tomato Red 2010-10

Here's another example, this time in eye-popping red, which makes the bench really stand out from its surroundings, almost like a piece of sculpture. It doesn't look out of place--just bold and inviting.  This is a great way to create a special refuge in a tucked-away area (maybe a place to go for a little romance!)
ÄPPLARÖ Ikea wooden bench

If you don't already have a bench, or can't find one at a local flea market or yard sale, you can find inexpensive ones and paint them.  This one's called ÄPPLARÖ from IKEA, it's solid acacia wood, and it costs $79.99!

Fermob Bistro table and chairs
Don't feel like painting yourself, or don't have a spot for a bench?  These bistro tables and chairs, from the French company Fermob, are available in over 20 colors.  They have many sizes and shapes as well, so you could put together a really amazing grouping on a small patio or terrace.  They're metal, can stay outside, and fold-up for storage or to clear the deck for some dancing.  You can find them at:


My blue bench

Okay. One more example!  This charming outdoor love seat, in an intense robin’s-egg blue with violet undertones, is something i found on a wonderful gardening blog called Life In Sugar Hollow.  It's operated by Tracey, a certified horticulturist and organic gardener in Charlottesville, Virginia.  (She's also a wife, mom and amateur photographer).  There are tons of images on the site of her beautiful gardens in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Highly inspirational for ideas about gardening and good living.

Do you have a favorite blog where you go for gardening inspiration?  I'd love to hear about it!