I am so excited because in just 2 days and counting I will be heading off to Camp.
Well not actually this kind of camp but Design Camp in Atlanta GA. For those of you who know me, you know I am a life long learner. Maybe it is because I am a Gemini but I always seem to discover new things I am interested in; hence a College degree in Marine Zoology followed by 2 years of Photography School.
When I decided a few years ago to leave photography and pursue my life long passion of Design, I wanted to learn everything I could about the subject. I signed up for as many classes and programs that I thought would give me enough knowledge to launch my business. The thing about Design is that it is an on going learning process and every class I take I walk away with something valuable to pass on to my clients and blog readers.
I can’t wait to meet them. Both Lori and Kelli are mega successful Designers having appeared on HGTV, Bravo, NBC, Oxygen, TLC and the Food Network.
Lori Dennis and Kelli Ellis
The agenda for the three days is amazing. As if Lori and Kelli aren’t exciting enough, there will be other Design celebrities including World Famous Interior Designer Barry Dixon, Lisa Newsom (Founder of Veranda Magazine), Atlanta Socialite Danielle Rollins, and Design Author Susanna Salk (who’s new book “Be Your own Decorator” was a Christmas gift). I am so excited about the agenda that I actually watched their Camp Video three different times.
So I am off to pack. You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook where I will be sharing photos of the event and tweeting throughout the 4 days.
Also, be sure to check back next week because I will be sharing all that I learned at Design Camp.
This time of the year a lot of us are suffering from holiday let down or the Winter Blues. In the North East the days are short and cold, causing many to feel just a little tired. Our rooms can look tired this time of the year as well but adding a little energy is easier than you think and can be just what is needed for a mid Winter pick me up.
As a Boston area decorator here are my 3 favorite ways to add a little UMPH to a room.
1. Bold graphic patterns are not only a huge trend right now but a great way to boost your room’s energy. Incorporate a fun bold graphic in your room by bringing in new throw pillows, a rug, or a graphic fabric.
Graphic pillows, rugs, fabric
The graphic wall treatment and the three throw pillows add just enough energy to this bedroom to keep the room from looking tired while still retaining a soothing and restful look.
Laura Martin Bovard design
Try swapping out your current neutral rug with one of the new affordable Graphic rugs. This one below is from West Elm and will really add a punch to your room.
west elm rug
Using a colorful graphic fabric for window treatments will definitely amp up your room and add pizzazz to even the most neutral of rooms. I love how the red graphic drapes below really help this room come alive.
2. Changing up your room’s floor plan is another way to add new energy and it doesn’t cost a dime. Simply by moving things around you will create a new energy and that is sometimes all the refreshing up you need. Try moving your furniture off the wall. Float your sofa or chairs around a coffee table to create an intimate conversation area.
Maria Killam Design
If your room is somewhat square try placing the sofa on the diagonal; it will boost the energy of the room because diagonals are the most dynamic of all the lines.
Patrick Baglino design
#3. Color. You can never understate the power of color for adding energy to a room. Bright boldColor is so popular now and and the choices are endless. You can ease into incorporating a bold color simply by adding a bright pillow or go all out and add a statement piece of furniture.
I love these colorful lamps from Lamps Plus and they come in dozens of different colors. They are even color coded to Sherwin Williams and Pantone paint colors . I recently purchased one for my client in SW6882.
Of course if you are really brave and craving some energy you can always paint a high energy color on the walls. Just be sure you surround the bright color with plenty of neutral to give they eye a place to rest.
Using a very bold color in small doses especially with white and black is a great way to add some interest and high energy to a space without overwhelming it. I fell in love with the entrance below. Talk about adding energy to what could be a very boring entrance! It makes me want to run up those stairs to see the rest of the house.
What is your favorite way to add a little energy to your room? Graphic prints? Color? or by rearranging the furniture?
For most of us, our home tells the story of who we are. Our rooms are filled with an assortment of new and older furniture, inherited items, collections, kids art work, books, family photos, Flea Market finds and the stuff of day to day life. These are the things that give our home a personality and a soul.
Hudson Interior Design
So how do you give your home a soul when you have none of the above?
As I wrote about HERE, I am working with a new client who by choice, decided to decorate from scratch. There are no family heirlooms, no art work, no photos, no collections…Zero, Nada. The problem with decorating from scratch is that there is the risk your rooms will look “staged” or like “cookie cutter retail”. So that this doesn’t happen it is important to add in a few pieces that have some personality; something that will give your home a soul. Antiques, art work, flea market finds, custom drapes and pillows all have personality. For my client, I found a dining table not only with personality but with a wonderful story to tell.
The table’s story actually began when by chance I saw a custom woodworking sign while exploring antique stores in Essex MA. As it turns out, the man behind the sign is a gifted Master Woodworker by the name of Friedl Brosch. Friedl himself has an amazing story to tell (he grew up in a 105 room Castle in Austria) but this is the story of my client’s table.
Friedl Brosch photo by Linda Holt
As it so happens, Friedl had recently been contacted about purchasing some 100+ year old American Cypress wood from the old Birds Eye Freezer factory in Gloucester, MA. The factory has been abandoned since the 1940’s and is soon to be torn down to make room for a new boutique hotel with shops. This is the factory building today.
Origional Birdseye factory: Linda Holt Photo
It was in this very building that flash freezing was invented by Clarence Birdseye in 1926. This was before stainless steel so the freezer was lined not with steel but with American Cypress wood. This is the inside of the factory today and the stack of wood that would become my client’s new dining room table.
photo by Friedl Brosch
I actually didn’t see this picture until the table was completed or I might have panicked and pulled the plug on the whole deal.
After getting the okay from my client, Friedl and I met at a coffee shop to talk about the design. I told him what I was looking for, the exact size I wanted the table to be and Friedl made some sketches on a napkin. I stopped by to check on the progress and here is the table with the leaf opened and before the stain went on.
Linda Holt Photo
I could not believe how beautiful the wood was after Friedl worked his magic on it. Everything was hand planed and the surface felt like silk. Just imagine the skill it takes to create something so beautiful with wood that looked like this. This is a piece of the original wood on top of the finished wood.
Linda Holt Photo
The table was just recently delivered and my client has the most AMAZING one of a kind dining table . We especially like the unique legs. This table is not only a work of art but what a great story my client can tell his guests when they sit down to eat. This table gives his home a soul.
Here is a close up of the top: since the dining room is open to the kitchen the table is accented with brass nails to relate to brass hardware on his kitchen cabinets.
I still need to hang the chandelier, get art work on the wall and the rest of the room decorated. I will be sure to post a final photo but I was so excited to show off the table.
How about you? What are your favorite things that give your house a soul?
If you are interested with decorating or color help please give me a call.
And if you would like Friedl to make something wonderful for you just click HERE to visit his website.
When I received a call from an editor at House Beautiful Magazine back in November I was driving home from an appointment and only answered my phone because I thought I must have left something at my client’s house. When the caller, Christine Pittel, said she wanted to interview me about painting my first nanosecond thought was “oh, she must be looking for the OTHER Linda Holt“. There actually is one and she lives just a few towns away from me and is a well known Artist. Although we have never met we have been confused for one another for the past 20 years. In the next nanosecond I heard Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and painting furniture and it was at this point I pulled off the road to try and collect myself and calm down my rapidly beating heart…OMG…House Beautiful, OMG…House Beautiful! Many of you already know that I am a huge Annie Sloan Chalk Paint fan. My good friend Susan Siefer of MadPatter Art Design actually was the one who turned me on to it a couple years back. She was likely one of the very first around to check out and start using the paint. Now of course it seems like EVERYONE is using it.
Since I am basically lazy when it comes to painting furniture, I love the fact that you don’t have to sand or prep a piece before starting to paint. It’s instant gratification and you can have a fresh updated piece in a day…love that! Painted furniture is so “on trend” right now and I usually try and incorporate at least one painted piece into each of my projects. My client’s love to have something unique and custom without spending a huge amount of money. As I recently shared in a previous post, I just painted two chairs with Annie Sloan Barcelona Orange for one of my clients.
Annie Sloan Barcelona Orange
Anyway, I digress… Pittel asked me to name my favorite Annie Sloan paint color and to talk about a piece I used it on and why. My pick? Florence: one of Annie’s newest colors.
Annie Sloan Florence
How funny that I picked this color even before I knew that Pantone’s Color of the Year was to be Emerald Green. Below is my actual quote in the February House Beautiful feature on Color Painted Furniture. (click on photo to enlarge) and here is the piece in mention; done with my painting partner Susan.
If you would like to see other pieces Susan and I have painted that are currently for sale check out my Pinterest board here.
If you had told me 5 years ago when I was still working full time as a photographer and only dreaming of being an interior decorator that one day I would be quoted in House Beautiful I would have said you were crazy. It’s been an exciting journey and I have to give credit to a few teachers and mentors who made my quote possible: namely Maria Killam for her True Color Expert training, Leatrice Eiseman for her Color Expert training class, Kate Smith for her friendship and advice, Susan Siefer, close friend and painting partner and most recently Tobi Fairley, my teacher and business mentor. They have all educated me, inspired me, and fueled my passion and love of Color and Design. I thank you and love you all.
If you would like a custom painted piece of furniture in your home or decorating help, give me a call.