Thursday, January 29, 2009

Designer Spotlight: Cheryl Tague

Cheryl Tague is an amazing designer that I just discovered yesterday (thanks Amie). Her style is traditional with a fresh kick to it. She uses many textures and colors in her interiors, and integrates antiques amazingly well. Besides absolutely falling in love with her style, she is very inspirational, as a person. She started out in the finance world, but left it and graduated from The New York School of Interior Design (where I go)! Ever since then, she's been working in London, Chicago, New York, and all over the US.

This is from an incredible project that Cheryl worked on in Chicago. How much would you love to have an entrance to a courtyard like this? Or at all?

CAN'T BREATHE. I love this so much--the distressed wood, the light streaming in, the white china collection.

Living room. Check out the white paneling on the walls. She uses a lot of neutrals but they don't seem to get lost in themselves.

This is the entry foyer I believe. Isn't this floor classic? I love how she used the washed out wood paneling and then a neutral wall paper above it.

In the dining room, she uses more beautiful tile work on the floor and then mixes it with fun, bright fabric on the dining chairs with a round dining table.

Now, we move to Bronxville. I've been seeing this striped rug a lot lately and I super love it. Of course that map above the desk (which is perfectly accessorized) is making me insane with how much I love it.

This is the other side of the room. Every detail seems to be taken care of in these interiors. A column in the corner to add height and then a painted plain moulding really finishes off the room.

A child's room. I love yellow for a child's room. It's gender neutral (what a strange term in this situation) and you can keep the room yellow as the child grows! Also, I really want that cow.

In the bedroom, she makes a typical display of photographs seem edgy by arranging them asymmetrically; which reflects the asymmetrical ceiling (with exposed beams!).

I think her interior in Aspen, CO impressed me the most. I have seen too many cliche western interiors with exposed wood, Navajo rugs, and deer heads. This interior was calm, natural and beautiful.

Gingham bedspread, a display of mini antlers, and the antique bench at the foot of the bed are only a few things that I love about this room.

I LOVE how, though there is a lot of wood, it is antique and you can see the imperfections in it. I love this little scene with the rough heavy blanket and the smooth little apples. Adore.

Another lovely scene that you might walk by on your way to the bedroom after a few runs down the slopes. SWEET.

This bedroom is SO mountain chic. The patterned bedspread and then the big fur lying on top of it? Are you kidding me? L. O. V. E. Again, her color scheme is also so beautiful and surprising.

This kitchen is so cute. I love all the natural elements contrasted with the polished nickel hanging lights.
Clearly, Cheryl has amazing taste. Her furniture choices are not typical, and that's what makes each interior special and surprising. What do you all think? Definitely something to look forward to when(ever) I finally graduate from NYSID. The amazing pics from Cheryl's website are taken by the talented Kate Cordsen.

Alicia B.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hit the Ceiling...with paint!

Domino Mag. Soot paint from Benjamin Moore

Picking a paint color for your wall can be challenging, making sure the color is coordinating with the furnishings, and is harmonious with the look of the room. What you don't usually think to do is to paint the ceiling! I've been seeing a lot of that lately and it looks quite fun. It can either make the room look very cozy and warm or it if you do it with enough drama, it can raise the ceiling as well!

This Sills Huniford sitting room has a light lime green painted ceiling. It really draws attention to the beams above and draws your eye up. I really love that ladder off to the left with the newspapers on it--like a library.

Sara Story, who is always quite fun, used a magenta paint in this long kitchen area. I think it works well because there is so much light flooding in from the window and she used little purple and grey accents around the room.

You are, of course, never limited to just paint on a ceiling. Using ceramic tiles reminds me of an old villa or estate somewhere in Europe--perhaps Italy! Robin Bell used this Moroccan tile design in an outdoor space. I think it makes the space look very exotic, yes?

This is a child's room from Domino. Using wall paper on the ceiling is also a fun idea. The walls are a plain light green color, while the ceiling is the element of interest. This is a sweet and whimsical idea for a child; they can lie in bed and look at the stars! This is Osborne and Little Firibata Star pattern.

From House Beautiful: the walls are nearly the color as the ceiling and is only separated by a nice thick moulding. Quite pretty and classic in this small kitchen.

Exposed wood beams such as these add to the "lofty" feeling. These look like they are stained and even have brackets. Interior by Fern Santini of Abode.

This little den by Eric Cohler is one of the most creative ones I've seen. The colors in the room are gorgeous and you can find each one of them on the ceiling in the cross word puzzle! I wonder if it was customized for the client, and what it says. I love how the lines of it flow right into the lines of the windows and the curtains. SO amazing.

This living room has light chocolate colored walls, but is mainly covered with wall to wall bookcases. The top part of the wall then moves right into the ceiling so you're not sure where the wall ends and the ceiling begins. The blue color is agua vert by Philip's Perfect Colors. I love how they kept the mouldings white, even on the fireplace. They're such a beautiful architectural element.

Another ceiling treatment that I've seen is tin ceilings! Apparently they are quite affordable and definitely adds a vintage look to this room. Usually they are used in kitchens, but in a bedroom can be interesting as well. By Kathy Andrews Interiors from Point Click Home.

You can read more about ceiling treatments in Point Click Home HERE. I super wish I could paint the ceilings in my apartment. Usually they are painted the plain white and I'd love to add something fun like a painted ceiling someday. Do any of you have painted or wall papered ceilings? Thoughts? Feelings?

Alicia B.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Contempo House in Wyoming.

Okay, this one is better. Remember my blog posting a few weeks ago railing against that hideous concrete mess in Idaho? If not, HERE it is. Anyway, I just have a thing about modern houses set in natural landscapes just to make a statement. Why don't you work with the landscape--it's so rare!? Well, I came across this house above in Western Interiors (amazing mag), and was pleasantly surprised. I feel like they (the couple and the designer) actually gave a little thought to the location of the home. They worked with the landscape and tried to integrate it in a modern sort of way. The house was designed by a couple, Lori Ryker and Brett Nave in Wapiti Valley, Wyoming. Take a look.

The materials that were used were glass, wood, steel, and rammed earth. I'm not sure what rammed earth means but it sounds natural.

You can see right into their living room from the outside, but they don't exactly have close neighbors. I like how the angle of the roof is a mirror reflection of the jutting angles of the mountains behind it.

From the magazine: "We took our cues from the rock formations and their varied colors,” says Ryker. “The exterior forms were shaped by our thinking about the interiors, and we strove to make them an integral part of this wild and beautiful landscape." I think this choice is quite apparent. Well done.

Like the other house, the decor feels a tad stark for my taste, but I know that must reflect the style of the home. The window to the right looks like a framed landscape picture and can you imagine waking up to that view?

What do you all think? Better? Worse? Same? I feel like this home looks like a string of old miners huts on the side of a hill. I like how they respected the old style of the area but brought a little of their modern personality to the site.

Alicia B.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Devon Kelley Yurdin

I just got this adorable signed print from Devon Kelley Yurdin on Etsy! She's an incredibly talented artist, originally from the east coast, had a stint in Brooklyn and now lives in California. She uses watercolors, which I think are very hard to master, and her own drawings. I'm so excited to have this framed and put it in my new apartment! I'm thinking a charming print such as this one, would be great in my front hall or in my cute grey bathroom, for a fun pop of color. You best check out the rest of her work, as she is amazing.

Alicia B.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Alfred Stevens at The Clark Museum

Last weekend, when I was home, I went to see the collection of art at The Clark Museum up in Williamstown, MA (the town where Williams College is). The art was amazing, but one artist in particular really struck me. Alfred Stevens was an amazing Belgian painter from the mid 1800s. At first the paintings seemed like your typical portraits of beautiful women in beautiful dresses, but if you look closer there is something different about each woman. Some of them have a look of regret, some of loss, some of insecurity. Take a look at some of the ones I like the best.

The Blue Dress.
This dress is obviously gorgeous but you look closer and see so many things in this painting: the tiny footstool peaking out from under the dress, how in her haste, the woman has only taken off one glove to read this letter, and in person how beautiful and delicate that screen is behind her.

Pleasant Letter
Another painting of women reading a letter which was a popular subject of the time. I especially love the screen in the background and then the lacquer chest off to the left.

What a pretty pink dress. This painting is from a series that Stevens did called The Four Seasons. They are installed in a round shaped room in the Clark Museum which used to be a house.

Another beautiful woman from the series of four paintings. Such an elegant pose as we see this woman looking at herself in a similarly elegant full length mirror. I love the lighting in this painting too and the wall paper.

Hesitation? Why? I love how each of these have a narrative that makes you want to know more about the woman. What is her story? Doesn't she have everything? The colors in these paintings are also very beautiful. They don't come across as strongly in the Internet, which is a bummer. Anyway, the colors are brilliant and very deep. I'd love to have a door like that in my house someday.

I was also drawn (obviously) to the beautifully rendered interiors spaces. I was surprised that the artist took such care in this and I found out through some reading that his father was an interior designer(though other sources say that he was just an artist). No wonder I had such a strange fascination to this painter. If you're ever in the area, I would highly recommend going to the Clark Museum. Sterling and Francine Clark had such a grand and extensive collection of paintings.

Alicia B.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Floor Lamps Galore

Many designers say that adding light to a room is a great way to add space to an otherwise small room. I'm on the hunt currently for a really cute and classic floor lamp but don't really want to spend a lot. Finding a great floor lamp is a piece of cake, but finding one for a reasonable price is NOT. Therefor, I have put together a collection of beautiful, classic, and good quality floor lamps all for UNDER $200! Enjoy.

Shades of Light is my new GO-TO (i know, I hate that phrase too.) lamp source! This beautiful wooden twisted floor lamp is $198.

This is cute and feminine from Shades of Light as well. The Fleurette lamp for $150.

My sister just got this one (with a drum shade) for her apartment in Chicago! The Library Floor Lamp is classic and simple from Restoration Hardware for $175 in Antique Nickel.

This polished nickel Chase Pharmacy Lamp is also on sale for $119. I like is crisp, refined look; from Restoration Hardware.

CB2 Photography Lamp for 99.95. I secretly love this one because of the name.

Adair Floor lamp from Pottery Barn. $179. I love the swan neck; it's very graceful.
This might be as funky as I get, folks. I really love this french GLAM floor lamp from EQ3, a great source for lighting. Only 179.99!

From Ballard Designs, this one is a bit more architectural and you can adjust it. Lancaster Floor lamp for $99!

Apothecary floor lamp, also from Ballard is another one of my favorites and comes in brass and bronze. For $169.

So, if you live in a small space, add a little light in your life (besides the daily dose of ME). The pharmacy lamps are so charming and great for reading in a club chair, or on your sofa. I love the architectural look of some of the others and remind me of working in a studio or doing drafting! I know I have a more classic and traditional taste in things but if you think you want something like a torchiere or an up lighter...think again.

Alicia B.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Shopping Spotlight: Wade Hampton Home

Last night apres work, I went on a little shopping trip in my never ending search for things for my new apartment! I had been hearing lots of things about this cluster of fun high end boutiques in the Plaza hotel and I thought I'd treat myself to a little swank and ventured in! I found the most glam fun shop I'd seen in a long time! This shop, Wade Hampton Home sells mainly fur pillows but also carries some accessories as well. I super love fur, so I was pretty much in heaven. Travis, my new friend at the store, was also selling the most super elegant accessories: Swarovski Crystal spiders. Take a look...I'm obsessed.

Look at how beautiful these pillows are! They are hand stenciled on the fur. They have cheetah, zebra, palomino (my personal fave), and black--and they come in different sizes, too.

Stack of pillows...LOVE. They are all backed with soft suede.

These two are nearly as big as I am, and super soft. The quality of this fur is completely different from any other fur pillows I've felt before.

Gorgeous. How much do you love those grey and white ones?

Here are the handmade Swarovski crystal spiders I was mentioning above. They are sitting on a huge rabbit fur pillow (come in white and black). So soft against the gorgeous crystals.

Travis tells me that they are made exclusively for Wade Hampton Home by an artist. I've never seen anything like these before--how glam are they?

They remind me a lot of those diamond encrusted broaches that glam women wear. How cool would these look on my new pillow (I got one--will show you picks when I move to my new apt!). This orange spider is sitting on a black leather pillow.

I just loved how beautiful the contrast was between the soft organic fur and the hard, but beautiful crystals. How gorgeous would they look on a tray of drinks at a cocktail party(for my housewarming party), or on a stack of books on a side table? So far my apartment is shaping up to be a mix of soft country style with a punch of New York edge. The store was such a lovely surprise as it was snowing last night and I went right from the Plaza into Central Park. Such a nice New York winter night.

Alicia B.