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9 posts from September 2010

September 30, 2010

Interior Design In Downtown New York

Ghislaine Vinas is a force.  Her spirit bubbles over and is contagious when it comes to life and when it comes to design.  I met her and her lovely husband, Jaime, a while back at the Interior Design Magazine's Hall of Fame Gala.  Now, a Tribeca townhome she designed for long time client, Paige West, is featured in the current issue of Interior Design Magazine and even made the cover!  Go Ghislaine!  Cindy Allen, Editor in Chief of Interior Design Magazine, hosted a cocktail party sponsored by Benjamin Moore to celebrate the project.

The Invite is based on Lisa Ruyter's Oil on canvas at the featured home

Here are some photos I took at the apartment earlier tonight at the event held for a few hundred of Ghislaine's biggest supporters (myself included).

Some of my favorite moments in the house...and there were many more!

Lobby shot exterior 
Shot of the entrance Lobby from the exterior reveals two paint dipped chairs

Lobby Design 
The wallpaper in the lobby was designed by Ghislaine and her graphic designer husband, Jaime. Collaboration of beauty!  The chandelier?  It's made of Ping Pong balls. 

Arm Chair 
Another Jaime directed design-- the dining upholstery features photos of comfort foods that are so realistic, I almost grabbed that pickle.  

Sope Phang Raechel legakes Aaron three fingers 
Sope, Aaron, and Raechel are the genius painter trio behind 3 Fingers Painting.  They're standing in front of a shadow striping they did in a dramatic black.  For a real treat, take a look at the painstakingly perfect stripes they did below:

Guestroom 1a 
Guestroom 1 
These stripes really are as perfect as they look-- of course, they used Benjamin Moore to get the looks throughout the house!

Master bath ceiling 
The ceiling of the master bathroom is a gorgeous mural.  Can't you just imagine taking a bath and looking up to this splendor?

Cribs 1 

Kids room 2 
A shared room that is as much young at heart as it is all grown up with the mural art of Mark Mulroney.

Carl francine andrea sonu 
Interior Design Hall of Fame Inductees Carl D'Aquino and Francine Monaco with Andrea Magno from Benjamin Moore and me, Sonu

The party was in full effect.

China Wall 
A new way to display your china...by affixing them to the walls.

Lounge 2a 
A cozy view of one of the family lounge

Boys potty
 The little mens' potty

This shot doesn't do it justice, but this is the photograph on the dividing glass between the master bedroom and bath

The master closet.  No need for explanation.  Yum.

Guestroom 2 
The guest room is so inviting.  Andy Warhol adorns the windows.

Upper downer 

 Chainsaw bees 
Pipecleaner artwork by the little inhabitant, I assume, hung casually on the wall.  Obviously, creativity is alive and well in the next generation here.

The stairs are a hidden surprise.  They're industrial but still inviting.  I think it has to do with the mix of brick and the industrial white paint with the giant offset numerals in Orange!

Play area 
A play area with great big stripes that race around the perimeter of the space.

Ghislaine portrait 
A portrait of Ghislaine Vinas.  (All photos are by me)

Kudos to the woman behind bold color combinations, creative collaborations, and a vitality you just have to experience for yourself.  (Congratulations to Jaime, the man beside this amazing woman, too- their creative collaboration obviously reaches in many directions!)

Doesn't it just make you want to add an extra touch of humor, color, and joy to your space, too?

Ghislaine was also a winner of Benjamin Moore's 2010 HUE Awards.

Follow this to find Interior Design Magazine's official slideshow of the townhome.

Go here to see Ghislaine's site and here for more info on 3 Fingers Painting

September 24, 2010

Naturally Inspired: Color Insights from a Garden Expert, Stephen Orr

Stephen Orr has one of the most beautiful blogs you could find, called "What Were The Skies Like."  Orr has been the garden editor at House & Garden and Domino (double sigh).  His first book, "Tomorrow's Garden: Design and Inspiration for a New Age of Sustaintable Gardening," will be coming out in February from Rodale, and we'll be lining up to buy the first copy.  We asked him to send us some of his favorite images and talk about what's going on in them colorwise. "I always look to nature for color inspiration, and think of colors in terms of nature. Since I'm a garden person, I have a color memory of flowers and plants," he told us. We translated his images into palettes you can use in your own home.

  Digitalis Pam's Choice

"Nature doesn't make color mistakes. We don't get upset about nature's color sets.  That's why it's good to look in nature because you kind of can't go wrong.  What could be better than the deep reddish burgundy color in the throat of this foxglove called 'Pam's Choice'.  I'm always drawn to colors that are hard to name . . . is it maroon? wine? ox-blood? carmine?"

Rosate 2078-10, Peony Pink 2078-70

Perfect for a little girl's room, with pale pink on the walls, and accessories in deep purple.


"Nature teaches you subtlety.  Most flowers shift their color as they mature. The mauve-pink of this common foxglove starts to take on blueish color of lavender and lilac as the individual blossoms start to age. Think how marvelous it would be if you isolated all the different shades seen in this one flower and made a garden just of those tones."

Purple Easter Egg 2073-50, Lavender Mist 2070-60

I've picked up two of the paler colors here as an idea for a powder room, where you could use either as the primary wall color and the other as trim.

Actaea Racemosa, Bugbane

"A strict black and white color combination is a rarity in the garden.  I like to photograph plants against the dark charcoal walls of my lake cabin (a color chosen to match a neighboring house that was painted with creosote).  Instantly everything is thrown into high contrast, like the white bristle-brush flowers of this bugbane.

Black Horizon 2132-30, Potpourri Green 2029-50, White Heaven 2068-70

"You could work this a number of ways--pinkish, almost white walls, black lacquered furniture, and a few green accessories.


"In nature, jarring combinations naturally occur.  This tight little cluster of plants was on Anacapa, a remote island I visited last spring off of the coast near Santa Barbara, CA.  I love how the pudgy leaves of the orange-flowering ice plant turned a dusky blue-green.  Maybe they were reflecting the intense blue of the sky.  A study in complementary colors if I ever saw one."

Calypso Orange 2015-30, Cool Blue 2058-40, Fresh Scent Green 2033-30

What a bold room this could make!  Orange walls, with the cool blue picked up in an area rug and green plants everywhere.

White Lake

"When you're outside, you see combinations that go beyond what the object is --not just the flowers and plants themselves.  Even in the most barren season, I keep my eye out for unexpected color lessons.  While walking on the frozen lake last February, I saw this last bit of red fruit hanging on some bare branches by the water's edge.  The deep red was particularly eye-catching against the slatish-blue of the frozen water."

Bedford Blue 1679, Smoked Oyster 2109-40, Million Dollar Red 2003-10

Oyster walls, the brown of wood furniture, and red accents in tableware/vases/lamps in a dining room would be incredible.

lichen on fence rail

"There is a little community of lichen that grow on the wooden rail fence in my front yard.  I'm fascinated by the pure silver of their "leaves" and how they take on other colors like mint green and mustard as the seasons progress."

Silver Marlin 2139-50, Gray Horse 2140-50, Luminaire 374, Hint of Mint 505

A chic and subtle living room.  You could use the silvery color on your walls, pale wood furniture and neutral drapery, with pale mint picked up in your upholstery fabrics.

Boletus Porcini

"I recently went on a hike to a remote lake above Aspen and was happy to discover that the trail went through a forest full of hidden treasures--porcini.  At first it was hard to spot these mushrooms since they huddle so close to the ground but I tried to train my eye to look out for their tell-tale chestnut red coloring and bingo!  They made a delicious dinner that night."

Carrington Beige HC-93, Grand Canyon Red 2090-10, Brilliant Blue 2065-30

I like a very formal living or dining room painted a classic color like Carrington Beige, but with strong colors in the furniture (chestnut brown) and accessories (bright blue).

Varieties of Dahlias

“My friend the potter Frances Palmer grows dozens and dozens of varieties of dahlias for her vases. I think she gets any color she can and all those bright clashing magentas, oranges, yellows, scarlets, and pinks look great together. As I said, nature doesn't make color mistakes.”

Spring Azalea 2077-40, Vermillion 2002-10, Pink Taffy 2075-50, Blazing Orange 2011-20, Victorian Purple 1370

This is one of those bold groupings where you can pluck any of the colors and put them with any of the others--and the more the better!

Stephen's blog: http://www.whatweretheskieslike.com

September 23, 2010

A First Date With Nate Berkus- Will He Call Again?

We've all had awkward first dates, right?  This is the story of about 100 design bloggers and Nate Berkus on a first and somewhat blind date...

Many of you already know that the Moggit Girls started a twitter revolution in the design sense when they began a blog and tweet craze around Nate Berkus last summer.  Their bold and inventive shout out to Nate convinced the folks at The Nate Berkus Show to do a design blogger audience on Tues, Sept. 21.  I was excited to be invited! 

Nate berkus tix
 Tickets to hang out with Nate

Almost 100 design bloggers actually sent rsvp's and showed up.  We were graciously invited a week in advance, so many people rearranged their lives to get to the show from all over the map.  I wasn't one of them.  I sent a couple of friends/cohorts (Andrea & Lisa!) that would be my eyes and ears at the show since I couldn't get there.

Nate berkus holding room 
"Holding Room" at The Nate Berkus Show 

They sent me photos that I tweeted, told me about all the great segments and the awesome q&a where Nate opened up to the audience.  There was even a reference to Nate's favorite grays, Dior Gray and Silver Lake, from Benjamin Moore.

2133-40_Dollop4_2x2_72dpi    1598_Dollop3_2x2_72dpi

Dior Gray 2133-40 and Silver Lake 1598 

What was missed was the connection to the design blog audience.  The segments didn't relate to the specific audience or the potential of the free good publicity they could have created because of the special event.  Perhaps it's a chance to get back to basics?  A chance to remember the golden rules of any public engagement?  Acknowledge your guests and know your audience.

Nate berkus q a
Q&A after the taping 

The audience was disappointed and felt undervalued, to say the least, that there was no on-camera acknowledgment of a unique audience filled with people who love to gab about design, color, ideas, and Nate to millions of fans.  Susan Serra, of The Kitchen Designer, calls it as she saw it here.  Whether from LA or Long Island, several people moved around personal and professional priorities and used their own funds to get to the show.  So, there's a great deal of Nate bashing going on right now on twitter.

It was obviously a bad call on The Nate Show's part, but he, as a professional, is still talented and does a great job getting out a message on design to people.  And thanks to all the Nate Day posts, I'm sure he's now becoming an avid reader of tweets and blogs to discover the true perspective of his audience.  THAT is a gift that is not often given.  I wonder if the show is considering how to make it right?  Well, here's a silver lining from Janell.

Design blogs have always been about new ideas and I want to thank the Moggit Girls again for putting this one out there and to Nate for making it happen.  I'd say "yes" to a second date!

September 22, 2010

Can't Commit to Color? Let The Experts Help

Are you tired of staring at paint chips on your wall?  Can't commit to Color?  Before you paint yourself into a corner (so to speak), remember that there are professionals out there that are ready to help put your mind at ease and remind you that this is supposed to be FUN!  Here's one way to get professional color advice for free.  Yes, free...

Gossamer blue living room benjamin moore 

Pottery Barn is teaming up with me and a few of our experts from Benjamin Moore Experts Exchange on Facebook to help you out! 

Bm experts exchange 

All you have to do is send in a photo of your room and answer these three questions below.  Email your entry to pbpaint1@gmail.com

3 Questions:

1. Describe your style.
2. How do you use your space?
3. Do you have a favorite color or combination of colors that you’d love to use in the room you're submitting?

Entries will be reviewed and we will select 20 photos & provide paint color recommendations. Winners will be posted on Pottery Barn's Facebook page and each will receive free pints of the recommended paint colors from Benjamin Moore!

Hurry!  The deadline to enter is Friday, September 24!

Resources: Benjamin Moore Experts Exchange, Pottery Barn Fan Page

September 20, 2010

Color Help From Benjamin Moore and $10,000 Dining Room Makeover From Pottery Barn

This post is just a major FYI!  If you've been trying to convince your significant other, your pet, your kids, or even yourself that it's time to redesign your dining room, this is the perfect time to do it! 

Pottery Barn is offering up $10,000 worth of their products and Benjamin Moore will gift you the color consultation, paint, and labor for your dining room if you're the lucky winner.  All you have to do is enter by November 1, 2010.  Full disclosure here-- I'll be the color consultant on the project, so I hope you'll enter to win!

PB Dining Room

Here are the details, how and where to enter.  (Image via Pottery Barn)

Benjamin Moore has teamed up with Pottery Barn for years bringing out the fab color choices in their catalog each season.  Did you know you can see all the tempting colors in the catalog and get a seasonal fan deck from Benjamin Moore right here?

And stay tuned for another fun project we're working on with Pottery Barn.  Clues:  It involves Color, Benjamin Moore Experts Exchange, and hopefully YOU!