Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!

I just finished icing these scary little cookies that I'm bringing to a friend's party, put out the little dish of candy for kids in my building, and I'm putting on the finishing touches on our Edward and Bella outfits (sparkles)!

Have a safe, sugar filled and happy Halloween!

Alicia B.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Rando Design Inspiration Friday

This has been a super stressful week, to say the least, as I had my midterm presentation on Wednesday for my class. The night before I was at a Fed Ex/ Kinkos until 3AM trying to print out my presentation from my Mac and needless to say, the employees there didn't seem to care about my troubles. The presentation went well, I think, considering how tough the prof is! Now I can sit back and enjoy some good old fashioned interior design. Shall we?
Cullman & Kravis is one of my favorite design firms so I was thrilled when I heard that Ellie Cullman and Tracey Pruzan were picked for "Saturday Shopping" on 1st Dibs this week! She has impeccable taste--isn't this hall gorgeous? That archway is so inviting and from what I can see of that round fixture, I love it!

I may or may not have gone to another Margaret Russell event, but this time, she signed my new book, Style and Substance! The book (I've paged through it 4 times so far) is gorgeous and, like she said, full of timeless interiors.

This is a really cool old barn converted to a home in the Finger Lakes region of NY! Yay Finger Lakes! I wish I still knew how to play the piano because this one is beautiful. From Martha Stewart.

I have the rest of the week off from school so I can finally relax and have a fun Halloween! The beau and I are going to be Bella and Edward from Twilight! Do you guys have any fun plans? Dressing up? Tell me everything.

Alicia B.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Elle Decor: Women In Design Night!

Last night I attended the Elle Decor: Women In Design, a celebration of 20 years of Elle Decor and five amazing women in interior design. Among them was Charlotte Moss (who won an award!), Michelle Nussbaumer, Holly Hunt, Kelly Wearstler, and Josie Natori (who couldn't make it). It was amazingly inspiring and the panel discussion format made it a fun and interesting discussion. We were able to see each designers real personality, instead of a staged personality on a reality show (Top Design).

Margaret Russell was monitoring the discussion and she was SO gorgeous. Wearing a little black dress, four inch heels (and an ankle brace), she was graceful and so funny!

I don't know much about Michelle Nussbaumer but from what I learned about her last night she has impeccable style and amazing design. I can't wait to learn more about her.

Charlotte Moss was so feisty and hilarious but beautiful and graceful, as always. She said she keeps a little notepad (or blue leather bound Hermes notepad!) in each purse to write down ideas as they come to her. She also has a blog Tete a Tete that she updates every few weeks.

Kelly Wearstler was quite inspiring, actually. She has such a passion for art and design and beautiful things.

Holly Hunt is another successful entrepreneur and founder of Holly Hunt which started out as a tiny little shop in the Merchandise Mart in Chicago and how she has a huge design empire and amazing showrooms; one in the D & D!

What was the most inspiring thing for me, as a student was that all these women followed their instincts and passions. In school, there are so many rules that often times you get bogged down and inspiration is hard to come by. These women didn't live by a set of strict rules, and though they've made their fair share of mistakes, they live just by their passions. BTW most of the pictures are from Point Click Home. There is a Margaret Russell book signing October 29th at the D&D as well! I can't wait to go.

Alicia B.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Modern Kitchen Discoveries

I know I've been lagging on my posts of late and this acknowledgment doesn't mean that's going to change because I'm still just as busy. Don't worry though, I'm still here, still loving the blog and still loving design. I've been working tres hard (7 hours at school yesterday drafting) on this town house project and guess's MODERN. I started out with a traditional style because that's what I naturally drift towards, and the professor told me that I needed to challenge myself more. I decided on a somewhat industrial glam look and I'm actually warming to it! The room that I've had the most trouble with is the kitchen though. It's hard to design an industrial kitchen with some Alicia B. personality in it because of all the appliances and stainless steel.

If I could have any kitchen in the world, this would be it. Designed by Joan Schindler, this kitchen has so much character and amazing details: mini tile flooring, glass door fridge, and the most beautiful pendants I've ever seen.

Here are some modern kitchens that I actually like! They have some personality in them and they're sleek as can be (in my eyes).

The different greys and blacks (and whites) add lots of interest to this kitchen though I'm not sure how that table works so close to the counter space, right? I do enjoy the appropriate seasonal accents of orange though! From Marie Claire Maison.

I kind of super like this industrial look for this loft kitchen. I love how the counter juts out of the wall with the mysterious opaque glass on the wall and rough wooden column to contrast the sleek finishes. From Marie Claire Maison.

I like the natural wood paired with the hard steel surfaces and art in the kitchen always gets me! Elle Decor.

Another kitchen with black glossy cabinetry! This one designed by Eldon Wong has open shelving under the island with pretty glass dishes which as a bit of sparkle.

If you imagine this open kitchen in a different finish than the wood as it currently is, it would be super streamlined. In the wood though, it gives off a softer more textured look. Can anybody explain the super thin sink in the island?? Designed by Ann Wolf.

I will admit, if pushed to it, some of these modern style kitchens do have their own personalities. Its hard to balance a contemporary look without it looking too much like a restaurant kitchen. I have certainly learned a lot designing one for my class and I guess I've come around! Cement counter tops, opaque glass cabinetry, and who doesn't love a brand new ultra sleek Wolf range?? I definitely do.

Alicia B.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Bookworm: Backwards Edition

It's no secret that I'm a bit of a book nerd. Sometimes I don't read the most intellectual books per se (Twilight will be a classic in 50 years, mark my words), but I do love to read when I have the time. I enjoy the use of books in design. I think that a library is important when I have a house of my own and I've been known to have opinions about book arrangement. I'm referring to the color coding idea for book arrangment which I'm morally opposed to. Dramatic? Rigid? Perhaps. Anyway, the latest book trend I've seen is turning the book spines inward so that the inside is visible. Take a look at some and then we can talk about it.

Luke Vahle was featured in this week's Decorati newsletter. The books here are turned spine inwards which works with the clean white color scheme of this desk. I like the use of stacking the books on either side like bookends.

Ms. Lauren of Pure Style Home did a similar bookcase display; hers with more interest and "objets". The top row really accents the little bust sculptures. The crates at the bottom break up the mass of books as well. Well done!

From The City Sage blog. Book spines turned inwards everywhere! I love how you can tell how old the book is by how yellowed the inside is.

From Country Living (via Dover Pl. blog), this shows that you don't need a neutral color scheme for this idea. Here, bright colors pop from the background of the books.

I decided to try it for myself on a small scale. Should I be embarrassed of my book selection? I'm not...

I thought I'd break up the monotony with two of my most gorgeous book spines off to the side. I kind of like the look of this but I'm still torn.

I have a really pretty cloth Pierre Deux journal that I included in the stack on the middle shelf. I understand the idea, and maybe when you're finished reading an embarrassing bestseller book you might want to turn it spine inwards.

What do you all think of this idea? I saw this done at the J. Crew in Westfarms mall in Farmington, CT (yeah!!), and in the store display it looked amazing! I wish I had a picture to show you. I'd love to do something interesting with my bookcases besides the mini displays I've created but I have so many design books that I love to show them off and admire them myself. I'm thinking of wallpapering the back of the bookcase or painting it a bright color.

Alicia B.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Book Signing: Celerie Kemble To Your Taste

About two weeks ago, I went to a super fun book signing/panel discussion with Celerie Kemble and Thad Hayes and bought their books and got them signed! It was amazing to briefly meet each designer as they were really friendly and encouraging. I'm enjoying their books whenever I have a spare moment. Celerie's book, To Your Taste is full of amazing interiors that she's designed.

I love the use of this bell jar turned upside down to put a spot light on this sweet scene.

Amazing colors here. Light, airy, and timeless. The contrast of the dark turquoise with the chartreuse is really surprising.

So beautiful. The color on the upholstered chair to the right is so pretty!

I'm a huge sucker for painted furniture (if you've ever seen my apt you'll know what I mean.) and that chest reminds me of an old Florentine painted chest.

I highly recommend the book. It was as much an auto biography as it was a collection of gorgeous interiors. I think I was most taken by Celerie when she sniffed the Sharpie marker that she used to sign my book. At least she was honest about liking the smell--who doesn't? Did I go too far there? Whatever, go get the book. HERE. Have an amazing Wednesday!

Alicia B.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pink Drapery Adventure

Here are only a few of the pink fabrics that I was working with. We ended up going with a soft and sweet silk taffeta.

As I mentioned before, over the weekend I was going to visit a client's to advise them on new updated pink drapery for their bedroom. As pink is my favorite colors, the fabric shopping I did for this was incredibly fun for me. Here are some pictures of rooms with pink drapery that I think are just fantastic.

Sixx Design. This is a sweet and fun kid's room with fun flowery drapery. Also please note the wall of pink red and yellow flowers. A living wall? In a little girl's room? LOVE.

House Beautiful. I think i might have posted this before but it is true perfection for me. This guest room has the perfect relaxing shade of pink and I can't resist a Dash and Albert rug. I love how the light shines through the pink curtains.

House Beautiful. Again, pink and green had me at hello. This is a more subtle shade of pink and certainly lightens the room.

Country Living. I love nearly everything in this room except for the powdery pink cabinet on the left. Too much. I think the pink stripe drapery though is fabulous.

Bierly Drake. I saved this one for last because it's to DIE FOR. Everything in this scene is just lovely and perfect. I love how high the drapery is hung, the choice of furniture which has dark accents to counter act the light feeling in the room, and how the curtains are all cinched together at the top and flow out at the bottom.

Needless to say I'm excited to see the pink drapery when it installed in a few weeks. My clients instantly loved the pink that I picked out and the fabric is on it's way! I'll show a before and after sometime soon.

Alicia B.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Random Design Inspiration Friday

Even though I gave myself a four day week this week, it was jam packed with busyness. My class just kicked into high gear and I have just about everything due next week, I'll be showing drapery fabrics to my client this weekend up in CT (SO JAZZED), and I'm working on decluttering my apartment. Hopefully I'll get a moment this weekend to just breathe. Here are some pictures that are helping me do just that!

I saw this amazing series of balloon pictures on You Are My Fave. Aren't they incredible? It reminds me of the hot air balloon races that used to happen when I was younger; all of a sudden you'd look up in the backyard and there were masses of balloons floating above you. (Btw, this has nothing to do with those lunatics who lost their son yesterday in a balloon. Weird.)

I love to photograph balloons whenever I get the chance. These are my latest; taken in Central Park a few weeks ago. Picnic Balloons.

Sixx Design is one of the most intensely inventive design firms right now. I'd just DIE for the garage door opening into the space. I wonder how that would feel to be in a space that open.

Keith Scott Morton. Everyone knows I love a good Windsor chair. The color of the door is perfect for fall right now.

In a few hours I'll be off on the train up to CT in this icky rain. I haven't been home in a while so I'm really looking forward to this. Rumor has it that we'll be eating dinner HERE! SO delish. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Alicia B.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tone on Tone Design

I've been brainstorming for a client lately. They have requested new drapery in their semi new home's bedroom. The current drapery is a gorgeous chintz, but it comes from their former home and need more of an updated look. They have very pale pink walls and have requested pink drapery. Pink is my favorite color so of course I'm all for it. I think the idea of the walls being the same color but a different tone is perfect for this room. Tone on tone, if you will. Let's take a look at the merits of this idea.

Jan Showers. In this library, the dark drapery matching the dark walls makes the room cozier and adds to the enveloping feeling, but still allows a generous amount of light in.

Designed by Grant White Design. I really wish this image in the top left was larger so you could see better but the walls are a pale mottled grey and the drapery is more of a cement color.

Janet Simon's soft blues and neutrals bedroom here is made a bit edgier with these brighter window treatments. They really pop in this room and draw your eye to the gorgeous bay window.

Gary Mcbournie. I feel like here, the very vertical drapery is used to accentuate the architectural elements of this room with a high ceiling. The green he used is so elegant.

Through these pictures you can really see how the brighter tone of each color simply brings that color forward even more. It also unifies the room a bit more without it being just one shade or many colors that may work, but are floating too much in the room. This helps tie them all down. I'll be showing my fabric choices to my clients over the weekend and seeing them in the space so I'll let you know how it goes!

Alicia B.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cowboy boots are a standard.

Up here in the Northeast, cowboy boots are a trend. They are so hot right now according to the fall trend reports, but I've had a pair for a few years. Anyway, down in Nashville, any one who's anyone has at least one pair. Each one is different, black, brown, embroidered, with flowers, even wellington style! Take a look at some of my faves, y'all!

I LOVE THESE. Embellished and fabulous.

This entire wall was covered dollar bills with people's names on them! And Paul turned 50 in Nashville.


Not a cloud in sight but these wellies were spotted and loved! Peacock feathers!!!

Clearly these bad boys get used a lot-scuffed and authentic!

I'm pretty sure these have a metal tip on them. Badass.

These are in a store that was pretty much on every corner.

I wanted to bring my own pair down to Nashville but was told that they would be "cliche" but they in fact were not. I've been a country fan since high school and have had many family trips out west so I do have my fair share of country gear. Do y'all have any boots or hats?

Alicia B.