27 posts categorized "books"

October 20, 2010

San Francisco Treats-- The Culinarium at the Design Center

It's a feast for the eyes at the San Francisco Design Center (SFDC) this week.  Tuesday, they kicked off the event with a panel discussion that celebrates my 3 of my favorite things-- Design, Food, and Fashion-- with San Francisco Magazine's style director Elizabeth Varnell, food and wine editor Jan Newberry, and contributing design editor Diane Doran Saeks.

SFDC Culinarium 
 See all the details for the Culinarium here.

The event was is already in full swing with a full scale kitchen designed by Christopher Peacock for House Beautiful, the official media sponsor of the SFDC Culinarium.  Chef Tyler Florence's cooking demonstration was followed by his book signing for this book just published and released this month.  It's a conversation on the fun and social side of gathering for a meal with those you want to spend time with.

Tyler Florence 
Chef Tyler Florence talks at the kitchen exhibit in San Francisco

If you can get there, the rest of the event promises to be just as enticing.  A few highlights:  Chef Tanya Holland for World Market and Chef Lea McIntosh of Nesting Newbies will demonstrate on Wednesday, Newell Turner will be on hand to talk about the "The Kitchen: The New American Living Room", and I'll be there on Thursday talking about the Social Palette:  How trends, social media, and palates influence Color.

The event ends with "The Art of the Cocktail" hosted by bartenders from Perry's and a serious happy hour.  You can purchase tickets for one or three days here.

Hope to see you there!  Oh and a little treat from Chef Tyler Florence's book in case this post made your mouth water just a bit:

  Chocolate Tart 

Tyler Florence recipe 
Recipe via here.  Let me know how it turns out!

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

August 10, 2010

Designer's Favorite Colors Will Become Yours Too


If you haven't seen House Beautiful's 500 Favorite Paint Colors yet, here's Newell Turner's take on why you need this color bible.

Smart and savvy designers are sharing their fail-safe and favorite colors for you to pick up and bring your space to life.  Here are some of the manyBenjamin Moorecolors cited in the Bookazine.


Larry Laslo calls out Appalachian Brown 2115-10 when he says "Brown is the new neutral"


Jarret Hedborg says about Tangerine Dream 2012-30 "It ain't white, honey.  It's a wonderful, glowing Luis Barragan color, an orange that doesn't look silly"


Todd Klein loves the name and color of Come Sail Away 846 


Jeffrey Bilhuber says Van Deusen Blue HC-156 has "a lot of dignity"


Brad Ford likes Bright Yellow 2022-30 as a more relaxed yellowElephantpink_dollop

William Diamond tells you how to use "Elephant Pink 2087-70 and Benjamin Moore White to create a flattering warmth in any room" 


Steven Gambrell raves about Horizon 1478

Go out and get your copy before they're gone and get a head start on your fall makeover projects!

Find more about it here: House Beautiful's Bookazine 

June 28, 2010

Learn from an Expert: Stencil Artist Ed Roth

Let’s admit it--stenciling can be scary.  It seems like something that can easily go wrong, leaving weird Rorschach blot blobs on the wall instead of nice,  crisp rows of fleur-de-lis.  And how do you choose what to stencil in the first place?  What colors will give you the look you want?  We recently got a chance to talk with stencil artist Ed Roth about his exciting new book, Stencil 101 Decor, and to learn how the whole process doesn't have to be stressful--you just need a few basic rules and a little bit of practice.  Ed gives clear, step-by-step advice on how to choose a pattern and color combination that's right for you--either a subtle accent or a bold, major statement and get it up on the wall without making a mess. 

Stencil 101 Decorcover

My first question to Ed was:  How do you pick what you're going to put on the wall?  (Seemed like a good place to start!)  He told me it's basically about how much or how little pattern is going to fit into your lifestyle.  "How much can you live with and how much do you want to come home to every day?"  There a couple of basic things that tip the scales in the bold direction:  large, over-scale patterns and high contrast.  This black and white houndstooth is the perfect example of BOLD.  But be careful!  Too much of a good thing isn't always wise.  "Putting a pattern like this on every wall in every room could feel like a madhouse!"

Hexagon stencil pattern 

If you're not feeling quite so graphic and high impact, you can tone it down some.  Smaller elements (the individual shape that gets repeated over and over again) are generally more subtle than bigger ones.  Also, making the colors of the foreground and background less contrasting is a big step, like with this pretty and low-key wall.  "With a more tone-on-tone technique like this, you're allowing people to see the rest of your stuff more, rather than the main focus being on the wall."  I love the way this looks like mod wallpaper, but it's not hitting you over the head.

Ace Hotel and EdRoth

Ed gets to work on some really high-end projects, like this one at the ultra-hip Ace Hotel in New York, where he created a really interesting look using different finishes together--in this case, matte charcoal gray walls and a high-gloss pattern of birds-on-wires.  Okay, you might not want black walls (or maybe you do), but the technique could work with any color.  "The pattern catches your eye when you move through the room, when light is hitting the wall.  It's really very tasteful, and something I've wanted to do for some time."

So how to you apply stencils without making a mess?  Practice.  For a complete, start-to finish video on how Ed makes the magic happen, go to his website.  The basic idea is that you should practice everything on scrap cardboard until you have the right feel for the brush or roller and the way the paint handles--how much you put on the roller or brush matters a lot--and the intricacies of the stencil pattern.  Start with a simple shape and simple repeat.  Once you've got your patterns and colors picked out, and you've done a few practice runs, you're ready to go!  Have fun--and don't make your home a madhouse!

June 23, 2010

Darryl Carter: Demystifies Design For All

So many people think working with an interior designer is only about deep pockets, high brow ideas, and feeling like you live in a museum.  This may change your mind. 
Of course, interior designer Darryl Carter is no stranger to exclusive clients, impressive projects, and recognition for his great design work.  But have even one conversation with him and you'll find he is also a gracious host who doesn't use coasters, that he values friendships, and that has a smart sense of humor about...pretty much everything.   
Earlier this year, I shared my opinion about his book, The New Traditional and recently, he and I sat down to talk about the designer secrets and discoveries he reveals in its pages.  Not only did he share his thoughts, he literally shared his home with us.  It was such a treat to talk with Darryl and see how his life reflects his ideas on refined yet relaxed design.

Check back in on Friday as I post more videos from Darryl Carter's home.