Friday’s Photo: Colorful art glass

While at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show last week I saw bright, bold color everywhere. I was especially drawn to the colorful art glass that several different artists had on display. One studio I have had my eye on for awhile now is Vetro Vero and I was thrilled to see them at the show.

Vetro Vero: Linda Holt Photo

Vetro Vero: Linda Holt Photo

These three glass pitchers are just incredible don’t you think? You can see more of their beautiful work HERE.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Dining By Design 2015 room vignettes part 1

Last week I was in New York City to join in the celebration of Modenus’s (Veronika Miller) fifth anniversary as well as to attend the Architectural Digest Home Show. I saw so many new products and met some amazing new artisans and over the next few posts I will be sharing lot’s of inspiring photos and design ideas. Beside’s the Modenus bash (Veronika really knows how to throw a party) a highlight of my trip was attending a very special event called DINING BY DESIGN.

Each year Dining By Design brings together internationally celebrated designers as well as local talent to create dining installations that the public can view to help raise money for DIFFA (Design Industries Fighting Aids). Each dining room is so different and the creativity is off the charts. Some are whimsical while others are elegant and over the top luxurious and some are simply outrageous and fun.

I have already posted a few of my favorite rooms on Instagram but for those of you who don’t follow me or are not on Instagram here are a few more of the rooms. I will reveal more in my following post part two.

Sunbrella fabric sponsored this colorful happy room. I loved all the mix of different colored glasses and the rainbow of fabric swatches tied to the chairs.

Dining By Design Sunbrella :Linda Holt Photo

Dining By Design Sunbrella :Linda Holt Photo

If you are a D.I.Y.’er you could achieve a similar look with colorful ribbon tied to the back of your dining chairs. Mismatched colorful glasses can usually be picked up for a few dollars each at a consignment shop or flea market. I couldn’t get close enough to the “wall paper” but it appeared to be made out of buttons on fabric.

This next dining room is by Corey Damen Jenkins who paired up with Beacon Hill Fabrics. The vignette was one of my favorites.

Dining by design table

Corey Damen Jenkins: Linda Holt Photo

I especially loved Corey’s elegant place settings of gold detailed glass plates accented with agate “jewelry” and topped by a single succulent.

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Linda Holt Photo

Of course how can you not love Hermes. They could simply put their china on a beat up picnic table and it would be a show stopping table.

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Hermes for Dining By Design: Linda Holt Photo

At $350+ for a single plate I tried to do the math in my head of what this elaborate table with place settings for twenty might cost. I stopped adding when I remembered the old saying, “if you have to ask you can’t afford it”. Trust me, it would be a lot!

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Hermes IKAT china: Linda Holt Photo

For those of you familiar with the artist Hunt Slonem this will surely delight you. Wouldn’t you just love to be invited to a Spring brunch in a dining room like this?

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Hunt Slonem: Linda Holt Photo

Slonem did two tables for dining by design and I could not decide which one I liked better. They both were so colorful, fresh and fun.

Hunt Slonen: Linda Holt Photo

Hunt Slonen: Linda Holt Photo

Take note of the bullion fringe on both tables. I have been seeing this trend a lot lately and although I am not a big fan of it for furniture I love it used here on the table topper.

This last one was titled “getting lost in print”….get it? It was done by Echo and the viewers were encouraged to get in on the party.

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My traveling buddy designer Kim Macumber and I were more than willing to get in on the fun.

Echo vignette red

That’s it for part one. Be sure to check out my next post part two for others, some of which were quite outrageous!

Head shot tips from a former head shot photographer

I know it is ironic but I spent 25 plus years working as a professional head shot photographer and I dread having my picture taken. I think it all stems back to picture day in elementary school. When the class photo was posted I was always a full head taller than the next tallest kid and everyone would laugh at me. By the fourth grade I was as tall or taller than the teacher and being a very shy kid it was painfully embarrassing.

Fast forward all these years later and I still dread being photographed but for entirely different reasons. So when the magazine I write for, Merrimack Valley Home, informed me that they were sending a staff photographer to take new head shots of me in my home studio my initial reaction was that familiar feeling of dread and loathing.

The shoot was last Thursday and I am happy to report I survived the whole ordeal. Since some of you may also not look forward to having your head shot taken I thought I would share my tips for getting the best head shot possible.

1. Hire a professional head shot/portrait photographer. Just because your next door neighbor is a cracker jack sports photographer or your cousin Ed shoots the most awesome sunsets, does not mean they are going to be able to take a good head shot. Head shots, and portraits in general, have a whole different photography skill set than a product photographer or architectural photographer has so choose wisely.

Adrien Bisson

Adrien Bisson -Linda Holt Photo

My photographer was Adrien Bisson of Adrien Bisson Photography and he is an experienced head shot photographer so I knew I was in good hands. He has a very calm manner (he never once shouted “work it baby”) and was more than willing to share sneak peaks of the images to his neurotic subject.

2. Think about your Brand when you chose what to wear. Don’t go too crazy with this but if your brand is all about color then don’t be photographed in all black against a gray or white background (even if you do think it’s slimming). Also, if you always wear glasses or a signature statement necklace then wear these in your photo. The best head shot is ultimately one that looks like you.

3. Stand or sit at a slight angle. Nothing says “mug shot” more than a square shouldered, straight on shot. Try facing your body a bit to the left or a bit to the right. We all have one side that photographs better than the other so try out both if you don’t know which is your “better side”.

4. Lean in. No, not in the Sheryl Sandberg way but literally lean forward into the camera. Since you are facing a bit to either the left or right what ever shoulder is facing the camera, lean in and down a bit. You also want to jut your chin out and down a bit. Trust me, it might feel odd but it works. It is slimming, brings life to the shot and creates some visual interest.

5. Smile with your eyes. Dead eyes with a smiling mouth fools no one. I used to tell my clients to think of the person they most love in life and imagine they were standing right there. You want a genuine smile and sometimes it’s hard to muster up one in a photo studio in front of a stranger surrounded by lights or reflectors. Engage in conversation with your photographer. Talking helps relax you because unless you are a professional model, smiling “on cue” is nearly impossible. Note* Please don’t say “cheese” as that really never looks good.

6.Get a little help from your friends. Choosing “THE ONE” can be challenging. If you are a perfectionist (like me) or especially critical (like me, and most woman I know) then it is hard to be objective when making that final selection. Ask your friends and loved ones to help with the final choice. You want your head shot to not only look like you but ideally to express a bit of your personality. Are you quirky? Always smiling? Always tipping your head to the left? Whatever your friends and family think represent the true you is the one to use.

So my friends, now I am stepping out of my comfort zone and asking for your help in selecting my final head shot for the magazine. Please let me know which one you like the best.

Linda HSnumbered

Photos by Adrien Bisson Photography

 

 

 

 

Friday’s Photo: Blanco’s answer to the new warm grays

After my post earlier this week about trending brown/grays and taupes  I found it so timely that in my email today was this announcement from Blanco.

“BLANCO CERANA™ reinvents versatility with the addition of its warm, neutral Biscuit color to the one-of-a-kind Fireclay collection”.

Blanco Biscuit sink

Blanco’s new biscuit colored sink

Biscuit is a color the design world hasn’t seen much of since the 80’s . It makes perfect sense though to reintroduce it now since biscuit (creamy almond white) pairs better with brown/gray that bright white does. I see this as one step closer toward taupe and one step away from cool gray.

What do you think my friends…just coincidence?

Have a great weekend!

 

Color trend: Is cool gray on it’s way out?

While attending KBIS with BlogTourVegas I observed a color trend that really caught my attention. Neutral tones (especially in tiles and woods) are warming up and moving away from cool gray and shifting to more of a brown/gray or taupe. In fact, the presenter at our visit to Walker Zanger tiles told our group in no uncertain terms that “warm neutrals are trending for 2015″.

Walker Zanger tiles

Walker Zanger tiles

I won’t go as far as to say gray is out and brown is back as some trend forecasters are claiming but at KBIS, taupe and brown/gray was everywhere.

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Not only in tiles and flooring but in cabinetry as well.

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The designer (Blue Heron) of the New American Home which is about as “on trend” as it gets also chose kitchen cabinetry in this “not quite gray not quite brown color”.

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Here is a close up of this taupey color. It’s almost like a gray wash over brown wood. Side Note*(Seeing the wood grain was also a trend).

So color friends, what do you think? Are you ready to let go of cool gray and embrace a warmer hue or do you think cool gray still has a few more years to reign supreme?

Friday’s Photo: Creative wine display

Another highlight from BlogTourVegas was visiting the New American Home, built by Blue Heron and designed by Blue Heron’s interior design consultant Miquel Hutton.  The home was AMAZING and the two most interesting facts?

1. The home has a net zero electrical usage, thanks to a superior insulation package, passive solar design, LED light fixtures, Energy Star appliances, and an 15 kW photovoltaic array.

2. The home is the ultimate in modern luxury yet surprisingly, done on a “budget” with mostly off the rack items.

SAMSUNG CSCThe bar with the adjoining wine room was one of my favorite spaces in the home. Backlit onyx panels and standard metal pipes drilled with round holes created the wine display. A Mohawk Karastan carpet from the new Smart Strand Silk Forever Clean line, comfortable leather chairs and a geometric shaped table is the perfect tasting spot. I could move right in, couldn’t you?

You can see more photos of the home HERE.

Have a great weekend!

Look who was asked to share their thoughts on design

Recently, I was asked by Terrys Blinds to share my thoughts on design for their Designer Insight series.  Terrys Blinds are made to measure blinds based in the UK.  We connected on Twitter (ah the power of social media) and I was honored to be asked.
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Check out my Designer Insights below.
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 Thank you so much Terrys Blinds for including me in your designer series.
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Courtesy of: Terrys Blinds
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