These photos made me change my mind about two things I thought I didn’t like – Thonet chairs and chalkboards.
I have to admit, I was getting a bit sick of seeing chalkboards popping up in just about every kitchen I looked at. But this actually looks great. Maybe it’s the scribbling on it – making it look more like a piece of modern art (that you can change whenever you want to!) than a place to write your grocery lists and what time little Timmy needs to be picked up from soccer practice.
And the Thonet chair. These are so easy to take for granted because we see them everywhere – I’m used to seeing banged-up versions at cheap restaurants. But these glossy orange numbers have got me rethinking my stance. I guess they’re one of the best selling furniture designs in history for a reason.
I am a huge fan of the color combination orange & grey (as maybe you could guess by the colors on this site). I’m seeing this combination quite a bit lately, but I’ve got to say, I think I was ahead of the curve on this one. My wife & I had orange & grey as the colors for our wedding a couple of years ago. Some people had their doubts about it, but it looked great and ended up being a big hit. So today, here are a couple of bedrooms I’ve seen lately that are rocking the orange & grey:
Isn’t this a fancy little room? I like the orange headboard with the white wood frame, and I love the Rodolph fabric on the stools at the foot of the bed.
This room makes me a little bit weak in the knees…
There’s really nothing about this room that I don’t love. Well, alright, I’m not crazy about the bench they chose for the end of the bed. But the dark grey walls, the vintage dresser, the chevron rug, the orange headboard, the black & white bedding and the plates on the wall – yes, yes and yes.
I thought zebra prints were finished, but then I saw this photo that has me shopping for zebra print throw pillows:
I have such a crush on this room. It’s not even like me, really, but I do. Forget about the wicker chair on the right, I could do without that. But the bookshelves, the ottoman, the sofa (which is almost a dead ringer for my living room sofa), the fact that they used a caquetoire in a contemporary interior, the punches of red and yes, even the zebra pillows – I love it all. So it has me questioning my stance on zebra. What do you think about zebra prints – still kicking or kicking a dead horse?
I’ve posted before about my love of cabinets of curiosities, and I’m slowly collecting interesting specimens to create my own one day (right now I have a very small tabletop of curiosities). I’ve found a few photos of modern-day takes on the cabinet of curiosities:
This version is kind of toned down. I have to admit, I’m not a fan of cow skulls (though other animal skulls are fine), so I’m not crazy about that one lying on the floor. I do love the collection of small busts in the cabinet.
This one’s not so much a cabinet of curiosities as it is a bird skeleton in a glass box. But I think the idea is the same. And I like how the skeleton is showcased. I hope all this talk of skulls and skeletons isn’t freaking anyone out…
I love this collection of butterflies housed in a glass cabinet. It adds a little whimsy to this very simple dining room.
Well, we seem to think that trees & branches aren’t quite over yet, so here are a few more finds.
This twig coat rack from Z Galerie is kind of fun. Does anyone have a coat rack anymore? Or a denim jacket to hang on it? Just curious.
These palm leaf bowls from Jayson may have crossed over into the realm of ugly, but I’m not quite sure. Any thoughts?
I love these gold leaf candleholders from Pottery Barn. They also had a great looking lotus leaf version, but it looks like that one’s sold out.
I would be remiss if I didn’t include Tord Boontje’s Blossom Chandelier in my roundup of all things branch related:
I love Tord Boontje because he does super high end items (like this chandelier for Swarovski, which costs a fortune), but he also does items the rest of us can afford, like this shade to go over a bare hanging bulb:
You’ve got to love a designer who embraces “high” and “low” and seems to put the same amount of thought into each.
Ok, so enough animal furniture for the moment. But I’m keeping it natural by checking out some items inspired by trees & branches.
I love this little side table, from my favorite site Jayson Home & Garden (do you think they’ll give me a killer discount if I keep mentioning them?):
It’s not cheap, but I’ve seen similar tables at the San Francisco Design Center for a LOT more money.
This is a more contemporary (and less expensive) option from West Elm:
I’m also loving these table lamps from Pottery Barn:
I’ve been seeing branches used more & more in interior design in recent years. What do you think – still ok or totally passe?
Yesterday I posted about my love of old portraits. Today I thought I’d share the love for some more contemporary examples.
I love this office – they’re using a very traditional desk & sconces, then putting in this quirky portrait of James Dean. It’s interesting and unexpected, and keeps the room from looking stuffy.
I’m not crazy about the furniture in this next one, but I love the large scale portrait:
This one’s interesting, but I don’t think I would want it in my own house:
Call me crazy, I just don’t feel like having dinner with a strung-out looking Mick Jagger every night. One more semi-creepy dining room example:
I actually like this one, I think the odd painting give the room a little edginess.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a big fan of old portraits. I especially love seeing them in unexpected locations.
Here, an old portrait is used in a more contemporary office to great effect. I love the way it looks next to that very contemporary door:
Here is a portrait in a more casual location. So casual, in fact, that a parrot is perching nearby:
I really like this black & white library, with a dark oval portrait placed unexpectedly against the white bookshelves:
It looks like they have smaller portraits lined up on the bottom shelf of the bookshelf as well.
Finally, check out this closet:
Totally unexpected, and very cool. Of course it helps if you have natural light in your closet. And that great Gregorius Pineo light fixture doesn’t hurt either…
Toile de jouy has been around since the late 1700s, but it’s still going strong today. While you can still find the traditional patterns favored by Marie-Antoinette, there are some very cool updated toiles on the market today. Many of the more interesting ones available are representations of places, like Pierre Frey’s “Nolita,” which depects the buildings and water towers of lower Manhattan:
Also by Pierre Frey is one of my favorites, Hong Kong toile. It’s a vibrant, sketchily rendered look at a contemporary Hong Kong street scene, complete with crowds, taxis and skyscrapers:
One last modern destination toile is South Beach toile de jouy by Studio Printworks, which features condo towers, palm trees, bikini-clad beachgoers, and (not pictured below) an alligator:
Definitely not what you’d expect to see in your grandmother’s house!
Is it just me, or are octopuses showing up in home decor lately? And don’t argue with me about the plural of octopus – Random House tells me that octopuses and octopi are both perfectly acceptable. Anyways, just in the last week I’ve seen three octopus throw pillows from major retailers. As a longtime fan of the cephalopod, this is a trend I like to see!
First up, Z Galerie is doing a very nautical blue and white version:
Thomas Paul has a printed linen version that’s a bit more abstract:
And finally, my favorite - Pottery Barn’s embroidered version. I love that it’s so detailed, yet it’s embroidered, not printed:
What do you think – any other octopus enthusiasts out there?