Jazzing up our white box apartment

If you’ve been following me through this blog you know that my husband and I recently downsized from our big suburban home to a very small urban apartment. It’s hard to believe but we have been here almost four months now. For the most part we love our new small care free life style. The apartment is the perfect location for us but being a rental we are forbidden from making any changes and that includes painting the walls.

Side note* If we owned this place the very first thing I would do is rip out those short little 26″ kitchen cabinets and bring those babies right to the ceiling!

white room dark floor no windowsNot being able to paint the walls has been tough for someone like me who loves color. The long wall to the right of the photo is where we have our sofa and I have covered it with art work so for now I have made peace with that wall. The wall that continued to bothered me though was that back wall. I was desperate to add a pop of color there to add some life and visual interest.

I looked at removable wall decals and temporary wallpaper options but I didn’t see anything that really excited me. I envisioned something really bold that would pop against my marine blue lacquered dresser that was against that wall. I had more or less given up until Spring High Point Market when I discovered product designer Jill Seale. I first spotted Jill’s fabrics from across the room and made a beeline right to her booth.

Jill Seale fabrics: Linda Holt Photo

Her fabrics are a riot of color and pattern and I when I found out she designed wallpaper and that it could be had in a removable option I was sold. Well…kind of. I was so worried about doing anything to the walls and loosing a very hefty security deposit that I made Jill send me a sample that I left on the wall for a few weeks to see how easy it was to remove. It was just as advertised, easy on, easy off and it left absolutely no residue or stickiness on the walls. 

This past weekend my husband helped me put it up and other than getting on a rickety ladder to reach the nine foot ceiling it was SO easy. It took less than an hour from start to finish. I chose Jill’s green Algae paper.

I am so thrilled with the result! It adds so much life to that dark back wall and when we move out of the apartment I will simply peal it off and no one will ever know my secret!

Here is the “after”.

Linda Holt Photo

The crowning touch is the fabulous mixed media painting by my good friend Susan Siefer. This painting was inspired by her trips to Morocco and the blues in the painting were made with pigments she brought back from Morocco.

accent wall with blue chest

Linda Holt Photo

I know you all want to see the rest of the apartment but I am not quite “there yet” for a full photo reveal. I’m working on it though and will soon (I promise). This accent back wall though has made such a difference in my happiness level.

I would love to hear what you think!

To find out more about Jill Seale and Susan Siefer you can check them out below.

 Jill Seale at www.jillseale.com 

Susan Siefer at www.susansiefer.com or IG : @susansiefer-art

One last thing, I will be taking a couple weeks off from blogging because on Saturday I leave for Berlin for ten days. I hope you’ll follow me on Instagram because I will be sharing lot’s of images and iphone photo tips while there.

 

A master class in window treatments from three Summer show houses

Now that Summer is behind us and the kids are back at school I have been getting phone calls from new clients wanting to get their home ready for the upcoming holidays. The number one thing on their wish lists are new window treatments. Having just returned from visiting three different show houses I have to say, window treatments are taking on a main role in decorating. No more wimpy thin drapery panels that I remember from some of the show houses even just a few years back. Instead, I saw room after room of full luxurious panels and roman shades and the one thing they all had in common was some kind of embellishment. 

The Coastal Living Idea House  that I blogged about HERE was designed by Mark Sikes and although I loved his use of blue of white and the many layering of patterns, my favorite design element in the home were his window treatments.

blue drapery with leading edge trim

Linda Holt Photo

Gorgeous wide trim on the leading edge was on every panel and most had top banding or trim as well.

Roman shades with trim

Mark Sikes: Linda Holt Photo

Sikes also layered his windows with natural fiber shades which added texture but also helps protect the fabric from the harsh sun.

blue and white floral drapes

Mark Sikes: Linda Holt Photo

Luxurious pattern matched blue and white panels had trim along the top that coordinated with fabric trim running under the molding. The home has so many amazing details like this in every room. Speaking of details, Sikes even covered his drapery pull wand with matching fabric. Now that is something you don’t see very often…if ever!

fabric covered drapery pull

Mark Sikes:Linda Holt Photo

Natural fiber shades and a wide band of decorative trim added to the charm.

drapery panel with trim

Mark Sikes: Linda Holt Photo

Last week I visited the Hampton Designer Show House and this year there were two homes to tour. Each was very different in look and feel but the one commonality were statement window treatments in every room. Even the bathrooms were adorned with statement drapes!

Linda Holt Photo

Unless you are looking at the above photo on a large screen you won’t be able to see but pink pompom trim runs down the leading edge of the panels.

These sweet roman shades were trimmed with little crystal beads. They were so pretty glistening in the sunlight.

roman shades with crystal trim

Linda Holt Photo

I love the way these shears mimicked the lines of the layered custom molding that was throughout the home.

White shears with black trim

Linda Holt Photo

Eddie Ross trimmed the Roman shades in his room with a contrasting nail head tape.

Roman shades with nail head trim

Eddie Ross design: Linda Holt Photo

Rather than a sewn on tape, these panels in Rajni Alex’s room had a geometric design embroidered directly onto the edge of the fabric. (notice the rug is also embellished on the banding cloth).

orange drapes with embroidery edge

Rajni Alex Design:Linda Holt Photo

When you add trim to a drapery panel you need to decide where it should be placed. Some designers like to put it right at the leading edge of the fabric but others prefer it inset a few inches like this drape below.

winow panels with decorative trim

Linda Holt Photo

I did notice that Mark Sikes placed his trims right at the leading edge of the fabric on all his panels.

patterned drapes with decorative trim

Mark Sikes design:Linda Holt Photo

The one thing I should point out is that these beautiful trims and tapes add considerably to the cost of the drapery. In some cases the trim is even more expensive than the fabric. It does make for a beautiful statement piece in the room though and often times that makes it all worth it.

Lastly, I want to share one more trend with you that I have been seeing in both magazines and spotted at all three show houses I visited. The table skirt is back!!

blue and white table skirt

Mark Sikes:Linda Holt Photo

The one above was in a bedroom at the Coastal Living Idea House and the one below is from the Hampton Show House.

table skirt

Linda Holt Photo

I had this exact same style of table skirt in my own home back in the early 90’s. It’s a great way to add some color and pattern and also doubles as storage underneath. One thing I will leave you with is that sparse rooms and minimalism seems to be on the way out and layered rooms with “more is more” is making a comeback.

After just having downsized and donating 70% of our belongings I am very conflicted about this trend. Personally, I am loving me new very edited small living….however those window treatments are beyond beautiful!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on embellished window treatments but also what do you think about table skirts making a comeback? Do you like the more is more look?

 

 

 

 

The new Domino book and a GIVEAWAY!

Back in 2005-2007 I was huge Domino junkie. Domino magazine came out about the same time I was starting to get serious about interior design. I was taking design classes at a local college and devouring every shelter magazine and design book I came across. I remember how excited I was when the first Domino book came out. I read it cover to cover and studied it like a text book. Remember this was before Pinterest, Houzz and design blogs so it wasn’t all the easy to get pertinent design information.

Domino schooled me in design basics and explained with illustrations the difference between a chesterfield, a tuxedo and a camel back sofa. I learned how high to hang a chandelier and the names of all the different design styles such a Mid Century, Boho and Hollywood glam.

Now Domino has come out with their second book, Domino, Your Guide to a Stylish Home. Whereas the first book was a guide to make a home complete, this new book is a guide to make a home your own, decorating in your own unique style.

domino-book

Domino’s new editor Jessica Romm Perez was in Boston with her team last week on a book tour and I had an opportunity to chat with Jessica about Domino and want to share with you part of our conversation.

Linda: How has Domino evolved since 2005 and who is your target reader?

Jessica: What was once just a print magazine has today evolved into three divisions. We have the magazine, the website and e-commerce. We are very fortunate in that our readers span all ages from early 20’s and up. We have our original loyal Domino readers who are now somewhat older as well as a new younger generation who mainly interact with Domino online, through social media and especially through our curated e-commerce site.

Linda: What do you think attributes to Domino’s huge success as a brand?

Jessica: I think one key to Domino’s success is that we are what I like to call “elevated approachable”. Unlike the other shelter magazines that feature somewhat unattainable rooms (for the average person), we feature homes that are livable and showcase how people really live. They are not perfect “show house” spaces but instead highlight the people who live there and reflect their unique personalities and show how they really live.

Linda: What is inspiring you today in design?

Jessica: Wallpaper, especially removable wallpaper, has really caught my eye. It is such a great way to add color and pattern as well as personalize a space. I am also loving the mixed metallics, the return of leather, painted cabinets and smokey colors with depth.

Linda: Speaking of color, what is your take on Pantone’s color of the year Greenery?

Jessica: I love it. So fresh and uplifting!

Linda: Where do you see Domino in 3-5 years?

Jessica: I envision more digital content, and evolving into more of a life style brand and not strictly a decorating brand. I see more content relating to food, entertaining, health and wellness.

Linda: Lastly, what three things should someone spurge on in their home?

Jessica: A good sofa, the best light bulbs you can afford, and good sheets and towels.

I really enjoyed speaking with Jessica and now the best part! I have a signed autographed copy of Domino’s brand new book to give away. Just comment on this post and you will be entered to win. (US only please). For extra chances to win follow me on Instagram and tag two friends in the comment section under the domino book photo.

Winner will be announced this Sunday the 18th just in time for Christmas!

Friday’s Photo: Sleeping with the family

One of my favorite things about going to High Point Market and visiting the different show rooms is seeing how the rooms are styled. The designers are so creative and I always see something unexpected and unique. Continuing last Friday’s Photo theme of wall murals I spotted this idea at Universal Furniture.

wallpaper family portraits

portrait wallpaper at Universal Furniture

I know it’s not for everyone but I thought it was a cute idea for a child’s room. It would be hard to feel lonely when the family is watching over while you sleep. Having the actual wallpaper made would be a huge commitment but another idea would be to cover the wall with either cork board or foam core. Then using adhesive spray (for the foam core) or pins (for the cork board) attach the images. When the fun had run it’s course just remove the foam core or cork board and the walls are back to the origional state.

Have a good weekend!

It took 11 years but I finally have a decorated dining room

As is true with many designers, our own home often takes a back seat when it comes to decorating. Between client projects, blogging, family obligations and an overall busy life it’s a wonder anything gets done at all. Case in point, my family room was filled with junky/yard sale furniture for over two years after we gave almost all the origional furniture to my son for his apartment. It took the public pressure of the One Room Challenge to finally kick my butt into gear to getting it decorated. (the six week deadline almost did me in but at least it got finished)

I also have a few other unfinished spaces in my house and the dining room was one of them. You see, I never got around to buying a carpet. It’s not that I didn’t look, it’s just that every carpet I liked was either the wrong size, too high of a pile or over budget.

Last January a perfect solution presented itself when Karastan Carpet, one of our Modenus Blogtour sponsors for KBIS, explained to us that any of their wall to wall carpets could be cut and bound to just about any size. Eureka! Wall to wall carpet is often a more affordable option than a large area rug and the fact that I could have it cut to a specific size was even better.

Due to allergies and a dog that sheds like crazy, I wanted a 100% wool low pile carpet. Karastan has so many great choices but in the end I chose the Woolston Plaid in Domino. It arrived last week cut and bound to my exact size specifications and I am thrilled! It’s a black and white grid pattern and here is what it looked like as soon as we laid it down. (The edges have since relaxed and it lays flat)

dining room before

Karastan Woolston Plaid carpet in Domino

I am now happy to say I have one more completely finished room in my house.

dining room with black plaid rug

Linda Holt Photo

My new gallery wall from Fracture is on the adjacent wall and if you want to read my blog about the process of mounting images on glass you can read it HERE.

Gallery wall

Linda Holt Interiors

Now I just have the the master bedroom and guest room left to tackle. Oh well, one room at a time….unless of course we move which is a continuing topic of conversation.

How about you? Do you have any unfinished rooms in your home?

Friday’s Photo: Look how wealthy I am!

What material possessions do you think of when you imagine great wealth? Luxury cars? Second (or third) homes? Designer clothing and jewelry? Fabulous art? I bet the one thing that doesn’t come to mind is a dining room sideboard.

Back in the 1850’s the dining room sideboard was the ultimate trophy to show off one’s wealth. The more intricate and lavish the carvings the more impressed your dinner guests would be. It was the 1850’s way of showing the world, “look how wealthy I am”!

1850's oak sideboard

1850’s Pennsylvania sideboard Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Intricately carved fruit, birds and animal heads added to the wow factor and expense of the piece. The sterling silver urns and tea sets completed the look. Today, we have moved on and replaced side boards and silver tea sets with other possessions as a way of showing off our wealth. It is fun though to look back on history and see how trends have changed. I wonder what prized possession of today will be passe in the next hundred years?

Have a great weekend everyone!

Adding coastal flair to wardrobe and decor

Recently I spent a night at the Attwater Inn in Newport Rhode Island with my friend Susan Kanoff, along with photographer friend Emily O’Brien. The Inn was designed by Boston’s own Rachel Reider and she did an amazing job. The Inn is fresh, colorful and full of unexpected ocean inspired decor.  I was there to photograph the interior with my iPhone while Emily was photographing both the interior and fashion for Susan’s blog, The Midlife Fashionista. Susan is a fabulous wardrobe stylist who specializes in styling the more mature woman (hence the name of her blog). We often discus how fashion and interiors are so closely related. Susan’s outfits were reflective of our coastal location so I thought it would be fun to do a coastal fashion and decor match up.

“A coastal vacation calls for a comfortable and laid-back look—nothing fussy or stuffy.  Think crisp white with pops of vibrant color…bright and fun! Stripes always fit into the nautical theme and a flowy maxi dress with a poncho or wrap is a stylish and comfortable night-time look.” Susan Kanoff

Based on what Susan was wearing here are three different ways to add some coastal flair to your wardrobe or home.

1.Stripes: what says coastal more than stripes? Incorporate stripes into your interior with paint, pillows, fabric and accessories. Choosing a nautical blue color like in the powder room below adds even more of a coastal feel to the room.  Speaking of stripes, I thought it was funny that we both showed up wearing almost the exact same outfit. Sunglasses, white jeans and a black and white striped top. Hey, you don’t hang with your stylist friend without some of her teachings rubbing off on you!

OB-stripes

2. Fringe: Fun, relaxed and casual, fringe is trending in both fashion and interiors and adds a Summery coastal vibe.  Susan added a fringe open cardigan over her striped top for the breezy Summer evening. Denim drapes are given a boarder of fringe for a casual coastal vibe in a beach house.

OB-Fringe inspiration

3. Colorful beach inspired accessoriesShells, sea glass balls, and a sea horse lamp bring lots of coastal flair into the sitting room below. Susan added a vintage inspired straw beach bag and hat to her bright orange dress and denim jacket for her Summery look. Summer is the perfect time to have fun and go “beachy” with accessories.

OB-coastal accessories

See how fashion translates directly to interiors? The same trends and colors are popular and many designers get inspiration from the runway. I hope you enjoyed our match up!

For more style inspiration follow Susan on Instagram and if you are interested in having her help you with your style, you can contact her here.

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