Does This Sofa Make Me Look Fat?

Ok, just one more blog post from the archives:

Recently I was shopping with a friend at the Boston Design Center. She sat on a very petit sofa and being her funny self asked, “Does this sofa make me look fat?” We had a good laugh, but It really got me thinking about what is most important when sofa shopping. Here are my top three:

#1. Scale – Small room, small scale furniture, large room large scale furniture. Also the ceiling height should be considered. You can have larger scale pieces in a smaller room if your ceiling is high. Also, if you are placing your sofa in front of a window, the window sill height is important, because you must also consider the view from the outside in.

 

#2. Quality – Please do not buy a sofa that does not have springs. This is the foundation of the sofa, without springs you just have foam, and foam will compress and lose it’s supportiveness in a very short time frame.

#3. Versalitality – Although it’s always tempting to make a statement with a great pattern or a wild color, neutrals are your best options for sofas. You can always punch things up with pillows and accent pieces that can be easily changed.

Follow these guidelines and your sofa will always make you and your rooms look great!

Black Is My Happy Color

It has been a crazy busy summer here at 1865 City House! Why does summer fly and winter drag? In an effort to “catch up” I will be reposting a few of my favorite blog posts the next few weeks, just in case you missed any.  Enjoy!

I saw a girl wearing a tee shirt the other day that read “Black is My Happy Color” and I laughed because black is my “go to” favorite color. I remember my first black velvet dress at around age ten, I thought is was the most elegant thing I had ever owned. Maybe my love of black started then.

Today I strongly believe no interior is complete without a touch of black. It is a timeless color. Black always adds emphasis just like a black picture frame highlights the white mat and photo. Oddly it can make small rooms seem bigger, as the lines tend to disappear. Black will always add depth and can anchor a space like no other color.

There are many ways to incorporate black to your interiors. Consider adding accents and textiles in black when looking for a bit of drama or elegance.

Yes, I know, one of Benjamin Moore’s most popular colors is “Simply White”. However, pair it with black and you have a winning combination.

Opposites Attract

I was lucky enough to stay at my favorite hotel recently, The Edition in NYC.  Oh, how I love this place! While staying there I am always inspired by the interior design.  So much so, that in the moment, I am mentally redesigning every inch of 1865 City House.

What makes it so appealing?  It’s the repeated use of contrast.  Or in other words “opposites”.  Light colors with dark colors.  This is the best tool in a designers tool box!

Contrast works in paintings:

Renoir – At the Opera

Contrast works with food presentation:

Art of Food

Contrast most definitely works at The Edition:

Marriott International New York EDITION

travelforsenses

At The Edition light oak floors paired with dark wood entryways and beautiful dark oversized beds create contrast at its best.  The high contrast concept is implemented with variations on the same theme all throughout the hotel. Even the artwork is great vintage black and white photos in glossy white or black frames.

Here are a few examples of contrast for interiors:

Goodlifeofdesign

Kadvacorp

Decoist

Contrast (light vs dark) is important when designing a room.  It is an easy way to make a statement and add personality to your spaces.

Even monochromatic rooms can be visually exciting when paired with strong accents in constrating colors.  A room without any contrast can be quite boring.  I recommend taking a step back, or better yet photograph your spaces to ensure they are inviting, interesting, and have a good deal of contrast.  Often it is just a matter of adding a few dynamic colors to update the entire look!

Early Fall in July?

Just this week I went to Target to pick up some planters for my patio. Imagine my surprise when the home and garden section had been replaced with back to school items! Really? And the same day my much loved Williams Sonoma Home magazine arrived for “Early Fall 2017.”  My calendar says we are more or less in the third week of summer! I am all for planning ahead, but let’s enjoy today and all this beautiful season has to offer!

Interior design in summer is all about keeping it simple.  Some of the best ways to celebrate summer inside your home is to lighten up.  Put the area rugs away.  Or better yet have them cleaned and stored till October.

Digsgigs

Roomdecoirideas

Next, window treatments.  Same as rugs – time to take any heavy treatments down and just leave the blinds or shades.  Better yet, add some soft linen panels and  let all the summer breezes flow!

Simplifiedbee

 

Ikea

Lastly – Flowers

Fresh flowers are the best part of summer.  Be sure to have some in at least one or two rooms.  Of course it is a little extra work, but nothing will say welcome summer like fresh flowers!

Roomdecrideas

 

Unique

So enjoy summer and let’s wait at least until mid August to embrace “Early Fall.”

 

 

 

 

Looking Up

I have been to NYC more times than I can count (lucky, I know!). Still more often than not, I end up with a sun burn on my neck. Crazy, first because I should remember to use sun screen, and second, because I look like a tourist – at risk of all touristy pitfalls – but I digress.

I am always looking up in NYC to see the amazing architecture. The same is true in Interior spaces. The ceiling is often overlooked but a great opportunity to add a statement.

Here are some great options to consider:

  1.  Simply paint the ceilings

Decorpad

2.  Add wallpaper

lushome

3.  Apply Tin

Blogspot

4.  Add a coffered design

5.  Or add your own design

Decoist

So basically, just when you thought you were finished decorating (btw you are never finished) “look up” the opportunities are endless!

 

 

You Had Me at Small Batch . . .

Just when I thought I knew everything there was to know about paint, Benjamin Mooore has introduced their “Century Collection”.

This stunning new paint line is pre-mixed, small-batch paint, in a soft touch matte finish. The depth of color is amazing!

There are 75 colors in this collection and even the paint decks are hand painted to give a true representation of the color.

Here are a few examples of the look:

 

 

 

Impressive, right?  The price is a little high, approximately $125.00 per gallon, similar to the cost of wallpaper for a room.  I can’t wait to try it!

 

Time to Fake It

June, so many beautiful and amazing flowers! Early last week I bought a bouquet of Peonies. I wish I had photographed them, so pretty! In my opinion Peonies are the frangance of summer! But alas all good things must come to an end. I awoke today to a vase surrounded by fallen petals. So sad.

I adore fresh flowers, my garden is planted with the intention of having cut flowers for display inside my home.

However fresh flowers and plants need tender loving care and have an expiration date:

This being said, I will admit to the purchase of fake flowers and plants. These beauties can fill up an empty space and require no care at all. However best to keep them on the small side, as it is harder to find larger arrangements that look natural.

Here are some of my favorities fakes:

Of course there is nothing like the real thing, but once and awhile it’s ok to fake it.

Please Wait to be Seated

Chairs – let’s be honest.  We all have “our” chair.  Growing up I remember my Dad had “his” chair.  We all knew it was off limits when he was home.  It was a comfy recliner.  It’s funny how these chairs become part of your personality.

Just think of popular tv shows and movies:

Joey and Chandler from Friends had their BarcaLounger chairs:

Agent Kay and Agent Jay from Men in Black and their Iconic Egg chairs:

Morpheus and Neo from The Matrix had Red Leather Wing Chairs:

Personally, a wing chair is my chair.  I actually own three.   They work for me.   Just like black dresses, I keep telling my self “no more,  you have more than enough.”   But at the end of the day you can’t have too many black dresses – or wing chairs.  Here is a definition and a little history about wing chairs:

wing chair
[ˈwiNG ˌCHe(ə)r]
NOUN
a high-backed armchair with side pieces projecting from the back, originally in order to protect the sitter from drafts.

Called the wing back, easy chair or fireside chair, the wing chair as we know it developed over time. Wing chairs appeared in English manors sometime in the late 17th century and soon thereafter appeared in colonial houses in America.

Design
The basic wing chair consists of four legs situated in a squat little square. A long back with slight incline and high arms on each side surround the square. Two small ears, or wings, flank the sides above the arms. Since its inception, the design of the wing chair has changed little.  

Purpose
The wing chair sprang from necessity. Residents of stone-cold English castles and chilly New England houses huddled around their fireplaces, seeking to soak in as much heat as possible. The angular shape of the wing chair retains warm drafts from the fire.

Noahsnet.com

Here is my favorite wing chair at the 1865 City House:

Somewhat vintage, and so comfortable!  Like Goldelocks this one is “just right” for me.

Whats your favorite chair style?

Denial

What’s the old joke, “Denial, it’s not just a river in  Egypt.”?  Ha ha ha, right? I had one of these moments when I realized I have been living in denial regarding my minalmalist quest. I was feeling overwhelmed with all of the springtime maintance of my home, and decided it was time to put my minimalistic goals into action.  It was time to downsize yet again! I came up with a list that looked something like this:

#1. Essential sprucing up details to make 1865 City House market ready for a quick sale.  A couple intense weekends, an it could be done!

#2.  Loft type rentals close by.  Many great options.  Some so appealing!

#3. Essentials to keep. This is where it got real. Choosing just a dozen or less furniture pieces, yikes!

Artwork, even harder, and the China, if you follow me you know I have this China obsession:

So end of story, it’s not happening at this minute in time. I have often blogged “it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for an interior designer to become a minimalist”, so very, very true.  And of course “minimalism is a different thing to different people; it’s all a matter of perspective.”  Even truer.

So I will continue to edit my “stuff” and I will complete my sprucing up list, at a more leisurely pace however.  And by the way, I just picked up this beautiful china set from a friend…

That’s all for now, Happy June!

The Year Of the Succulent

It’s been building for some time now. Everywhere you look there are succulents on display.  Just yesterday I noticed a beautiful display at the hardware store and came home to find a furniture catalog in the mail – just about every display photo featured succulents! These lovely plants may just be taking over, we need to excercise caution!  Just kidding, but you could use them everywhere as they are quite beautiful.  Succulents are easy to care for and mix well with all decors.

House to Home

If your not sure what succulents are here is a brief description:

Succulent plants, such as Aloe, store water in their fleshy leaves. In botany, succulent plants, also known as succulents or sometimes fat plants, are plants that have some parts that are more than normally thickened and fleshy, usually to retain water in arid climates or soil conditions.
Succulent plant – Wikipedia
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/succulent_plant

I love to use them as a centerpiece:

Center Stage

As unexpected display in a dark corner:

Display

Or just about anywhere:

In Groups

Gardenista

Or all alone:

Too Cute!

FourWalls

If you are missing out on this great trend, don’t worry, you can pick up some of these beauties anywhere, even the hardware store!