Friday’s Photo: RL breaking the rules

In both photography and design school I was told “first you have to learn the rules in order to successfully break the rules”. This image below taken at the Ralph Lauren High Point Showroom is definitely a rule breaker. A giant mirror is oversize for the console table (a mirror should be no more than 1/3 the length of the piece of furniture it is over), a teeny tiny lamp looks way too small for the table (the size of a lamp should be balanced with the size of the table)  and a large framed photo overlaps the mirror (never obstruct a mirror).

Ralph Lauren Show room

Ralph Lauren Show room High Point

Does it work? Absolutely. Every single element is placed perfectly so that the overall vignette is balanced and cohesive. What do you think?

Have a great weekend!

Friday’s Photo: Excitement in the details

One of my favorite things to see at High Point Market is how the experts style the show rooms. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to observe because the rooms are almost always packed with sales reps buzzing about and with designers sitting in the room to test out the furniture or to simply relax for a few minutes.

One lucky afternoon I just happen to get this “person free” image at Wesley Hall.  I had about 5 seconds before someone walked back into the frame and sat down on the chair.

Wesley Hall

Wesley Hall

Just look at how much thought went into styling and decorating this one small space. The green in the art work perfectly coordinates with the green leather sofa. The flowers on the tray which is angled “just so” is a perfect compliment to the floral fabric on the chair. My absolute favorite detail though is the small red crystal on the chandelier that forms a little color triangle with the floral fabric and the red pillow on the sofa.

Call me crazy but it’s these perfectly thought out design details that gets me so excited about design.

Have a great weekend everyone. I think here in New England we are going to have our first absolutely gorgeous weekend.

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. This vignette was one of my favorites. Who says you need a chandelier when two fabulous statement lamps will do the job?

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.

SAMSUNG CSC

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.

SAMSUNG CSC

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!

SAMSUNG CSC

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?

SAMSUNG CSC

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.

SAMSUNG CSC

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!

Trend Alert: Mad about plaid

Being of half Scottish heritage, I think I have plaid in my DNA. My maiden name is MacFarlane and as a kid I remember my dad wearing a bright orange and green tie that was “The MacFarlane Plaid”. My mother joked she thought it was one of the ugliest plaids and that she should have married a Campbell because she much preferred that clan’s dark green and navy plaid.

Plaid, or Tartan actually goes back as far as 100 BC, created by ancient Celtic populations. As early as the Roman conquest of Britain in Julius Caesar’s day, the Celts of Scotland and Ireland wore primitive tartans. Each clan or tribe wore their own unique plaid which was associated with their specific region or district of the country. Your clan’s plaid colors and pattern would quickly identify you as friend or foe. Actually, not unlike the Bloods (red) and Crips (Blue) of today.

I’ve always associated plaid with European country homes, Ralph Lauren, rustic cabins and Christmas like in these images below.

5d138afbf2e392dda88c79aeb9a1643c

 

19d7567d7d3bc10cb3820185befee054

 

98190df0f9e2e4b1a3ac7a69b381c868

Technically, plaid is really not a trend since it’s been around for centuries but what I have started to see is a new interpretation of plaid. A fresh spin so to speak with updated colors like on this chair I spotted last week at the Boston Design Center.

Fushia plaid chair at Boston Design center

Fushia plaid chair at Boston Design center

I wonder if any of  my clansmen ancestors would have worn fushia plaid even if the dyes were available at the time.

Plaid rugs are becoming very on trend. This is the latest window display at Stark carpet at the Boston Design center.

Stark Carpet

Stark Carpet

Plaids are also on full display at Kravet Fabric with at least a dozen panels displaying plaids in almost every color and size.

Kravet Plaid Fabrics

Kravet Plaid Fabrics

Plaid is one of those prints that has a lot of personality so if you really love it take a look at this room done by Anthony Baratta.

Anthony Baratta

Anthony Baratta

A more subtle way to bring in plaid is to use it on the floor like in this fresh and airy beach house designed by Victoria Hagan.

issa Cullman

Victoria Hagan

Using plaid on a piece of furniture is also a fun way to bring in plaid without too much of a commitment.

BHS design

BHS design

cba560bb543ab3d89e85fbf3835b8cb1

Also, don’t forget about pillows and accessories as a way to add a bit of plaid.

7060d97ea285fa5baf87f0a765637f7e

Since this post is about plaid I want to share with you one of my most coveted possessions. This tiny book entitled Scottish Clans and Their Tartans has been passed down the generations and has ended up with me. It is so old that there is no publish date on it. My great grandfather’s name is written on the inside in pencil but it might go back even farther.

clan book 3

The book gives a brief history of all the Scottish clans with their corresponding plaid. Here is my ancestral plaid on the left and my late mother’s favorite, the Campbell plaid on the right.

OB-Plaids

I agree that the MacFarlane plaid isn’t for everyone but at least it makes a statement!

How about you? What do you think of the return of plaid?

 

Decorating: A Small Change with a BIG impact

If you are anything like me, you have a “wish list” or a “to do” list of things that you need (or want) to do in your home. The big things like a new kitchen or new furniture will have a huge impact but are also a huge expense. Sometimes though even a small change can have a big impact. Changing out throw pillows, bringing in fresh flowers or something as simple as washing the windows can add happiness to your home and life.

This past weekend I made a small change that has made me so happy that I want to share it with you. I have (had) dated and ugly wall switch plates throughout the entire house.  When we moved in my husband switched most of them out but we had one room he never got to. I know this sounds silly but everyday I walked into that room and made a mental note of those ugly plate covers. Changing them out has been on our “to do” list for years..crazy right??

So image how interested I was when I received an email from  Legrand asking me if I would like to sample a few of their Adorne wall switches and plate covers. Umm…YES please!

It was so hard to decide which ones I wanted to sample because the options as far as colors and style are so numerous. What I really needed though was the most basic of things…plain white wall plate switches and covers. I chose white because although the walls are currently green they are being painted a soft white within the next couple of months. Had I wanted green though, Adorne has it, as well as 34 other colors and metals. Like I said, it was really difficult to choose.

SAMSUNG CSC

My husband actually did the work but it took him only minutes. He joked that it took him longer to shut of the main breaker and get the packages open than it did to change out the switches. (He used his hiking head lamp for light since we had no power). The results?  I think the photo below says it all!

what a difference!

dated and ugly to new and beautiful!

My original ugly outlet on the left and my brand new Adorne outlet on the right.  I love the clean sleek contemporary design of the Adorne and also the fact that the two plug outlets are off register. It is such a simple change but makes it so much easier with two different cords.

An even bigger change was my dated (and yes ugly) light switch for my office. I chose to try out the Adorne Wave switch to replace it. Talk about convenience, I simply wave my hand in front of the black dot and voila! the light turns on and off.

old switch vs. new Wave

old switch vs. new Wave

I feel like my home’s electrical system has entered the modern age. I really am so happy with my new switches and wall plates. Who knew that something as simple as banishing those ugly yellowed plastic wall plates would make such a difference but it has. Thank you Legrand and Adorne..now on to the rest of the house.

 

 

 

 

Friday’s Photo: watercolor walls

Watercolor walls is a very big trend in interior design right now and this ethereal bedroom from the Holiday House Hampton is one of my favorites. Designed by Jen Going it was inspired by an abstract water color given to her by a friend.

Jen Going-Linda Holt Photo

Jen Going Interiors-Linda Holt Photo

Such a beautiful and unique way to treat an accent wall don’t you think?

Have a great weekend everyone.

Five decorating ideas for tall ceilings

I have noticed a trend lately among new builds in my area; especially in over 55 housing communities. It seems the rooms sizes are smaller but the ceilings are really high to give the illusion of more space. This may seem great at first glance but figuring out what to do with all this vertical space can be very challenging for my clients. The problem with really tall ceilings is that if you don’t address them then your room can feel cavernous and cold.

Last week while at the Hampton Show Houses I took notice of what the pros did as they were presented with very tall ceilings in both the Hampton Show House and the Holiday House Hampton. Here are five decorating ideas if you have tall ceilings.

1. Hang em high. When it comes to window treatments the higher the better. Designer Tobi Fairley took her window treatments right to the ceiling in the master bedroom of her show house room. Even though that head board was quite tall, it was dwarfed by the soaring ceiling height. The window treatments visually filled the space and kept the room feeling balanced.  It’s not inexpensive to do this but it really is the best solution. Hanging the window treatments lower would simply draw more attention to the tall ceiling and could make the room look “top heavy”.

Tobi Fairley Design/Linda Holt Photo

Tobi Fairley Design/Linda Holt Photo

2. Use tall art work to fill the space. Art work should always relate to the shape of the wall you are placing it on and a tall wall begs for tall art work. Designer Gil Walsh used what appeared to originally be a screen to fill her soaring wall space.

Gil Walsh Interiors/Linda Holt Photo

Gil Walsh Interiors/Linda Holt Photo

3. Add a hanging light. Using a hanging light in a room with a tall ceiling is a great way to not only add more light but also bring the eye down to a more comfortable level. Notice too that designer Katie Leeds hung her window treatments right up to the ceiling.

Katie Leeds/Linda Holt Photo

Katie Leeds/Linda Holt Photo

4. Paint horizontal stripes. Designer Michelle Smith of Studio MRS used the age old trick of painting wide horizontal stripes to “fool the eye” into thinking the room is not as tall as it really is. She too hung her window treatments to the ceiling and used the same horizontal stripe so that they seamlessly blended with the wall.

Elsa Soyars design/Linda Holt Photo

Michelle Smith studios/Linda Holt Photo

Melanie Roy also used horizontal stripes in her show house bathroom to make the super tall yet small bathroom seem less imposing.

SAMSUNG CSC

Melanie Roy Designs/Linda Holt Photo

5. Create a lower wall height with molding. Elsa Soyars chose to create her own wall height by adding clearly defined molding at the top of wallpapered walls. She cleverly created what she wants you to see as wall vs. ceiling. The large sputnik shaped chandelier also fills in some of void between the ceiling and walls as well as adds visual interest.

SAMSUNG CSC

Elsa Soyars

Do you have tall ceilings? If so, what’s your favorite way to decorate?

Page 1 of 812345...Last »

Subscribe to my blog

Browse by Category