The hottest trends from the style spotters

Last week was the home industry event referred to in the designer world simply as High Point. It is a HUGE home interiors market that takes place in High Point, North Carolina. All the top manufactures and dealers of anything related to the home gather to showcase their newest products to members of the trade.  Although I did not attend, I lived vicariously through several of my designer friends and acquaintances who did.

For the past few seasons, High Point has designated 9 “Style Spotters” to search out the hottest trends from all the different showrooms and “Pin” them onto a Pinterest board. I have loved following their pins and getting a sneak peak of what we will soon be seeing in our local home furnishing stores. You can check out all 9 style spotter boards here but here are some of my favorites.

Bold bright color, especially when applied as a high gloss or lacquer, is still trending. Look at this gorgeous lacquered teal chest spotted by Tobi Fairley

Century Pinned by Tobi Fairley

Century Furniture

Lisa Mende spotted the color orange still going strong and pinned this fabulous orange lacquered lamp from Dunes and Duchess.

Dunes and Duchess

Dunes and Duchess

Stacy Naquin chose this mint lacquered console from Hickory Chair with trending gold accents and gold table lamps.

Hickory Chair Lacquered chest with gold

Hickory Chair

Graphics continue to have a strong presence and  Traci Zeller spotted this collection of graphic removable and reusable wallpaper from Casart Coverings. Removable wallpaper is so great if you want the punch of wallpaper but don’t want to make a permanent commitment. When you tire of the look, simply peal it off.

Casart Coverings High Point Fall 2013

Casart Coverings

Our natural world has been trending for awhile now and agate seems to be especially popular. I love these Shagreen boxes with agate slices on top from Regina Andrew that was spotted by Shay Geyer.

Shagreen and agate boxes

Regina Andrew

This agate sconce from RoshamBeaux seems like it was a market favorite and was spotted by Lisa Mende.

Agate chandelier High Point 2013

RoShamBeaux

Nail heads are still trending as is the color pinkGretchen Aubuchon  spotted this hot pink and silver chair outlined with silver nail heads.

Hot pink and silver chair

Wesley Hall

Shay Geyer also spotted the color pink as trending and pinned this white lacquered chair covered with hot pink velvet from Caracole.

white lacquered chair with hot pink velvet.

Caracole

Lastly, I want to share this bold blue and orange show room by CR Laine. I love everything about this room and look at all the trends it incorporates: bold color, lacquered furniture, the color orange and a graphic rug.

CR Laine at High Point

CR Laine at High Point Fall 2013

I invite you to check out my Pinterest board of all my favorites from the 2013 Fall High Point Style Spotters here and discover a few other other trends this room also incorporates.

What is your favorite trend from High Point?

 

 

Kravet Blogfest NY (part one) and a Winner!

Almost directly after all the fun at Brimfield I traveled to NYC to attend Blogfest.  Sponsered by Kravet, Blogfest is an opportunity for interior design bloggers to attend design industry events and showrooms.  I went with my friend Yvonne Blacker who writes the design Blog  Design Vignettes . We stayed at a very “hip” hotel called Yotel. It was completely automated including both check in and baggage storage. See that huge robot arm? It stores your luggage for you. Yvonne and I weren’t sure why there was a bike hanging overhead in the lobby but we did both notice that the bike was bright green and complimented the purple neon quite nicely.

Yotel Lobby, Yvonne next to “check in”, robotic luggage storage

Yvonne is such a fun traveling companion and between the two of us we knew quite a few of the other attendees. The event kicked off with a cocktail party at Jonathon Adler’s NY store.

photo by Yvonne Blacker

There was so much to look at while at the same time everyone was excited to connect and reconnect with fellow bloggers. I was so happy to see my friends Lesslie Hassler of TX and Ann McDonald of CA. We all met through our mentor Tobi Fairley.

Lesslie Hassler, me, Ann McDonald

JA’s store is a filled with fun graphic prints, fabulous furniture, hot pops of color and so many great accessories.

I want this bed!

I couldn’t decide which one of these I loved more

I’ve always been a fan of JA’s head vases.

I seriously considered buying all three of those pillows.

I could have taken home half the store if budget allowed. Another one of my favorite things in the store was a huge hanging sign that said “Jonathan Adler’s Manifesto”. It hung directly behind the register and although I tried my best to get a photo, the sign was too big and the lighting was not good.

I was however able to find it printed online. Here is JA’s company manifesto and his outlook on life and home.

We believe that your home should make you happy.

We believe that when it comes to decorating, the wife is always right.
Unless the husband is gay.

We believe in carbohydrates and to hell with the puffy consequences.

We believe minimalism is a bummer.

We believe handcrafted tchotckes are life-enhancing.

We believe tassels are the earrings of the home.

We believe in our muses: David Hicks, Alexander Girard, Bonnie Cashin, Hans Coper, Gio Ponti, Andy Warhol, Leroy Neiman, Yves Saint Laurent, and Madonna.

We believe in the innate chicness of red with brown.

We believe in being underdressed or overdressed always.

We believe in infantile, happy emblems like butterflies and hearts.

We believe celebrities should pay full price.

We believe in rustic modernism: Big Sur, A-Frame beach houses, raw beams, and geodesic dome homes.

We believe in Palm Beach style: Louis chairs, chinoiserie, Lilly Pulitzer, The Breakers circa ’72.

We believe our designs are award winning even though they’ve never actually won any.

We believe dogs should be allowed in stores and restaurants.

We believe in mantiques –
suits of armor, worn chesterfield sofas, heraldic tapestries.

We believe you should throw out your Blackberry and go pick some actual blackberries.

We believe colors can’t clash.

We believe in blowing your nest egg on our pots.

We believe our lamps will make you look younger and thinner.

We believe in irreverent luxury.

 I am in total agreement…how about you?
.
.
While at Blogfest I was one of the lucky winners of a Jonathan Adler bowl. I thought it only appropriate to pick the winner for my  Benjamin Moore Williamsburg fan deck giveaway out of  my new bowl.
And the winner is:
.
.

Kelly!

Congratulations Kelly!! Send me your address and I will mail it out right away.

 

 

My 15 Seconds of Fame in House Beautiful Magazine

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! House-Beautiful-Feb13-cover 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.

AnnieSloanChalkPaint

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

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

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) HB quoteand 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 classKate 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.

 

 

Does This Color Make My Room Look Big?

Last week while touring a client’s home she told me she painted her guest room Benjamin Moore Cape May Cobblestone because she was told it makes a room look bigger. When I got home I did a little research and the Benjamin Moore website does indeed say “This classic, elegant gray confers a sense of spaciousness that makes it ideal for small bedrooms and areas like hallways and mudrooms.”

Wow…wouldn’t it be great if there was a specific color that when painted on the walls would make the room magically look bigger? Personally, I’m not convinced that Cape May Cobblestone is the answer but if you want your room to look bigger here are three ways to create a more spacious look simply with paint.

1. Use light(er) colors over dark(er) colors. Creams, pastels, and light cool colors (blues and greens)  generally make a room look and feel bigger over dark warm colors. Light, cool colors have the effect of reflecting the light around whereas warm and darker colors tend to absorb the light making the room feel cozy but smaller.

light colored living room

Pinterest

The dark walls in the living room below create a cozy but seemingly smaller space than if it had been painted in a light or pastel color.

dark walls

Pinterest

2. Choose low contrast over high contrast. Consider painting your walls the same color as your furnishings; this will give the effect of the large furniture items virtually disappearing into the walls and will create an open feeling in the room.

Tobi Fairley

Tobi Fairley

Even dark colors when used in very low contrast can make a room appear larger. Notice how the trim is painted the same color as the walls keeping the contrast down making this seemingly very small room appear bigger than it actually is.

Pinterest

Pinterest

In comparison, high contrast colors act to break up a space, and can make the room look cluttered and smaller than it is.

Mary McDonald

Mary McDonald

Even though the room below is high contrast look how the wall color matches the biggest piece of furniture in the room, the sofa. Try if you will to imagine how much more chopped up and smaller the room would look if the sofa was yellow like the chair or orange like the ceiling.

high contrast den

Pinterest

3. Paint a horizontal stripe around the room.  Just like with clothing, horizontal stripes tend to trick the eye into thinking something is wider. A horizontal stripe, painted on one wall or all four, will carry your eye around the room, making it appear wider.

horizontal stripe

Pinterest

I’m guessing this room below looks as big as possible since it incorporates all three tips: light colors, low contrast with horizontal stripes.

stripes

Pinterest

As a  final note: be careful not to confuse making a room look and feel bigger with making a dark room look and feel brighter.  Maria Killam wrote a great blog post about this and you can read it here.

So how about you? Do you have a small room that you used a paint color or technique to appear  bigger?

If you need help with finding the perfect color, decorating, or home staging give me a call at 617-965-3342.

 

Popular Color Myths Busted!

A few weeks ago I received a call from a writer at the Huffington Post. She was interviewing color experts about how different colors affects us.  You can read the article Here.  She asked me if I knew about the study that indicated the color Pink calmed and pacified criminals. Well it so happens that I did know about the study because when I attended Leatrice Eiseman’s color class this past January, she was intent on clearing up several popular color myths. One of these myths is that Pink calms down prisoners.

pink-prison-uniforms

pink-prison-uniforms

The (Pink is for girls) color stereotyping began in the late 1930′s and early 1940′s when clothing manufacturers began assigning the color Pink to little girls and the color Blue to little boys. Blue was marketed to boys in order to show support for the soldiers who were marching off to war in blue uniforms. Pink became the default color for girls as it represented softness, sugar and spice.  It was falsely assumed that little boys dressed in Pink would become weak and girly.

As laughable as this all seems today the myth still persists. Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona dresses State prisoners in bright pink garb believing they will become passive and cooperative…like girls??  The fact is, this myth has been busted!

What studies show is that when unruly prisoners are put into bright Pink holding cells they do indeed calm down; for about 5 minutes. They are initially surprised and shocked by the unconventional bright Pink color. After a few minutes though the shock value wears off and they return to their original unruly behavior.

Leatrice also busted a few more color myths.

The color Yellow causes babies to cry. This is just plain silly. Long story how this myth was started but it is just simply NOT true.

crying baby wearing Yellow

crying baby wearing Yellow

The color Orange is a cheap color. Back in the 50′s ans 60′s  Orange was perceived as a “cheap” color but this is certainly not true today. This year Orange has reached it’s highest form of respect by being named Pantone’s 2012 color of the year.

pantone-tangerine-tango

pantone-tangerine-tango

The color BLUE should never be used in a kitchen or around food. This myth says we loose our appetite around the color blue. …REALLY??  I don’t know about you but I sure think I could eat in this kitchen.

Blue Kitchen by Diamondbarratta Design

Blue Kitchen by Diamondbarratta Design

or this beautiful turquoise one designed by Tobi Fairley.

Tobi Fairley

Tobi Fairley kitchen

So how about you?  Have you heard any of these color myths?  Did you believe they were true?

Lessons from Arkansas a.k.a Tobi Fairley’s Design Camp (part 2)

Today in part two of ” Lessons from AR” I have 3 more tips to share from designer extraordinaire,  Tobi Fairley.  If you missed my first three Tobi Tips you can read them here.

 #4. Don’t try and make something work that you don’t love. I think we have all experienced this at one time or another. Say you have a dated sofa. You don’t love it but to make it work you find a wall color to go with the sofa, then window treatments that have the same colors, then you find a rug that also “goes with the sofa” then you work in your accessories.  What you end up with is a room designed around something you never really liked in the first place so you never really love the room. Better to start from scratch than to try and make something work you don’t love.

#5. Beware of living only with “decorator art“. When Tobi said this, I knew EXACTLY what she was talking about. I call it ” staging art” and I use it all the time when I Stage a home for sale. It is generic art that doesn’t offend,  or make too much of a statement. You know the kind; mass produced and sold at your local Home Store.

Something like this:

 

"Decorator art" a.k.a Staging art

 

A small amount of decorator art is fine to add some color or to fill in where needed but original art that has meaning and speaks to you is what will stand the test of time and enrich your life.

Original art does not have to be pricey fine art. Your kids drawings, photo enlargements taken by a loved one, or the $6.00 etching you bought 15 years ago from that colorful street vendor while on your honeymoon will all have meaning for you and give your room some soul.

Here is a hallway in my home where I have a collection of small water colors my son did in high school. They cost zero dollars and I found the frames on sale at the Crate and Barrel Outlet for $5.99 each. I never tire of looking at these and they are a great topic of conversation when friends visit.

art work by Ben Holt

#6. Carefully consider the architecture of a home BEFORE you build or buy. What looks interesting, different, cool, or unusual  is usually NOT easy to decorate. Super tall ceilings, large arched windows, or big open floor plans might seem like a good idea at the time until you actually try and arrange your furniture, hang your art work or put up window treatments.

 

I am not sure what is going on with this room but I bet it looked great on the blue prints.

And although these windows are gorgeous; it would be a challenge if you needed window treatments for privacy.

 

So going back to Tobi’s very first lesson #1:  always think about Function Driven Design. If  it makes sense to how you live on a day to day basis then you will always feel comfortable, and decorating your home will be a lot more enjoyable.

 

I hope you enjoyed my 6 Tips from Tobi, and as always, I love reading your comments and feedback!

If you would like help with choosing the perfect Color, Staging your home for sale or Redesigning a room, give me a call.

 

Lessons From Arkansas- aka Tobi Fairley’s Design Camp (part one)

This past week I had the wonderful privilege of attending Tobi Fairley’s Design Camp in Little Rock, AR. What an incredible experience to not only learn from Tobi but to share the experience with such a wonderful group of talented Designers. Not only did I come home with my brain over flowing with ideas but made many new friends as well.

The tone was set for a great week on the first morning of  Camp when 2 stretch limos arrived at the Hotel to chauffeur all 34 campers to Tobi’s offices.

Hot Pink Stretch Hummer

 

Tobi Fairley is just amazing. Not only does she run a very successful Interior Design business,  she teaches, coaches, blogs, and has recently launched her own home furnishings line. I have no doubt that Tobi will be as well known as Martha Stewart in a just few short years.

I learned SO many things in camp; not only about good design, but about the business of design.  Since there were  so many things I want to share with you I was not sure where to start. After some thought though, I decided in this first blog, I would explain how Tobi approaches designing a room.

#1. When Tobi designs a room she always starts with the floor plan. She doesn’t even think about color or fabric or any other elements in the room until she has created a workable floor plan. She believes in function driven design and asks the clients lots of questions so that the floor plan fits their particular life style. Also, contrary to what we often see in magazines Tobi is NOT a fan of floating the major pieces of furniture in a room. She believes you should use ALL the floor space and that you are wasting valuable square footage if you float your sofa or other big pieces. What Tobi does float are the lighter movable pieces ( small chairs, benches, garden seats, tables, etc). Here is an example of a floor plan with “floating furniture”.

 

"Floating" furniture

See all the unused floor space? Really not much more than seating for 4.

And here is the same space AFTER with seating for 8-10.

Floor plan AFTER

 

A side note: Tobi NEVER puts the sofa on an angle. (Redesigners and Stagers are often taught to do this in school but Tobi says NO, it almost never works and eats too much square footage.)

#2. Always design the room as a whole. In other words, don’t buy the sofa, then look for some curtain fabric to go with the sofa, then spend months hunting for a rug that goes with the fabric…no!…The room MUST be designed as a whole. Tobi always starts this process with an inspiration board. She pulls fabrics, then looks at trims, and plays around with different finishes. Every choice is intentional and “speaks” in some way to everything else. Nothing is piece meal and even if the client can’t implement everything at once they know exactly what to buy when budget allows. When Tobi designs an entire house she creates a different board for each room and makes sure there is some continuing element (usually color) that creates a cohesive flow room to room. Again, think about each room “speaking” in some way to each other room.

One of Tobi's inspiration boards

 

#3. DO NOT use what Tobi likes to call “Filler” in a room. She believes we function best and live happier lives without all the clutter or what she calls “filler” that so many of us surround ourselves with. She sees so many homes where once the room is “done” the home owner runs to Homegoods or Pier One and fills a cart with a bunch of meaningless dust collecting “stuff”. Filler is just like junk food…it fills the space but adds no value and does nothing for the room or your soul. Better to save up and purchase one beautiful item that you cherish and which has meaning than fill a whole room with meaningless stuff.

I hope you enjoyed learning a few things from Arkansas. I have so many more tips and ideas to share so look for part two later in the week.

 

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts. Do you design a room beginning with the floor plan? Do you make inspiration boards for all your rooms?  Are you guilty of using filler?

 

If you would like help designing your room or choosing color, give me a call.

 

 

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