It’s that magical time of year when we need to get our hands into the good earth and plant wonderful flowers and vegetables. My garden was fairly well established until the happiest woodchuck I have ever seen racked havoc on my beautiful garden. As a result a lot of TLC is needed to bring it back. But also a good opportunity to incorporate some changes. By change I mean less flowers and a large hammock. I am thinking less work and more relaxing!
I don’t have the luxury of two big trees, but a hammock stand will suffice:
I have narrowed it down to these choices (all available at Hayneedle.com):
What is it about a hammock, is it the simplicity of the design? The way it cradles and rocks us? Is it the way it clearly states it’s chill time?
But here is the real question, a single or a double?
My favorite place to stay in NYC is The Edition. I have blogged (see Opposites Attract) about this hotel! It has everything I enjoy! The only drawback however is I feel no desire to leave and venture out into the city!
Of all the many amenities of this beautiful hotel, the way it smells is my favorite! I inquired about how this wonderful scent was achieved and was told it was a signature scent, Black Tea, created just for the hotel. Of course this scent is available for purchase in the form of candles etc. How lovely!Our sense of smell is our most primal and is a way to influence moods and behaviors. There are many easy and inexpensive ways to add a signature sent to your home.
Flowers and greenery are a natural way to perfume the air. My favorites: lilies and eucalypus; I especially like the way these earthy scents mix with citrus and lavendar:
Cut lemons at a slow simmer on the stove is a great way to infuse the air; add your favorite herb to make it unique:
Cleaning solutions of vinegar and essential oils; lemon or lavender are my favorites:
And any products by Mrs. Meyers; all a delight:
Candles; well you can never can have too many:
Stay consistent with your choices (lilies, lavender, lemon, etc.) and your home can have its own signature sent!
I have been doing a good deal of work related travel lately and enjoying it! The travel has involved meeting some interesting people from all parts of the US. A lot of our conversations center around regional architecture in our home towns.
These conversations started me thinking how important the idea of a “sense of place is”. I live in a beautiful town on the Hudson River with gorgeous 19th century architecture. To place a Gap or a McDonalds here would be a crime! Archictural landmarks make a city unique and gives each city a sense of identity.
My colleagues span the country, from New York to California. As you may know I have a rich fantasy life (see previous blog post). So when someone says the are from Long Island and have a 1920s style home, my mind goes to – yes the Great Gatsby:
Gatsby – Perfect set design, the location speaks to “a sense of place”. It is important to embrace where you live and celebrate the regional history and landscape. Enjoy the ways your city and your lifestyle are unique and incorporate these ideas in your home design. A few good ways to accomplish this:
Framed photos depicting area landmarks:
Also framed area maps:
Books about area History:
The idea is to give a glimpse of what makes your city or town unique.
I hope you love your city as much as I do mine. How great it is to appreciate all the uniqueness of where we all live across our beautiful country!
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.
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…
Where you spend your time each day and night should be a place you love spending time in. But so often people will wait until they own a home to decorate. So here are some five easy ways to give your rental a great look without upsetting your land lord:
With the help of a YouTube video it’s pretty easy to switch out your overhead lighting. This can make a huge difference! When it’s time to move just reinstall the old lighting fixtures and take the new fixtures with you.
4. Renters are often afraid of putting too many holes in the walls to hang art. Although a little wall spackle and touch up paint can correct this problem, large scale art and mirrors can just lean against the wall – a great solution!
5. Lastly, window treatments. My favorite inexpensive window treatments are rings with clips. This makes any fabric (a table cloth, twin sheet, canvas drop cloth) a window treatment. Just keep it neutral, prints can look too distracting from the outside.
Have you ever watched a movie with the sound off just to appreciate and study the set design? Welcome to my world! I often do this when the set design of the movie is outstanding; outstanding being a space I could see myself living in happily.
One of my absolute favorite set designers (as well as being a film director, producer, and screenwriter), is Nancy Meyers. I have been a fan for years without even realizing all of the movie sets I loved were designed by the same person.
Her lastest work, and my latest Interiors crush, is The Intern:
Some of her other work:
Something’s Got to Give
I think the photos say it all. Please, do your self a favor and watch one, or all of these films. Enjoy the story and enjoy all those beautiful spaces!
As an Interior Designer people are always asking me if I mentally redesign homes I visit, even when I am not working. Of course, the answer is yes. I just can’t help it. There is always great potential in all the homes I visit, and many frankly are just perfect. However, when things aren’t working it is because of one of these common mistakes:
Furniture pushed up to the walls. Better to arrange furniture in conversational groupings.
2. Rugs too small. Better to have large scale rugs that anchor conversation.
3. Lamps too small. Lighting should be layered, with the ability to dim and brighten, but attention to scale is a must.
Lamp heights too different. Ideally the base of the shade should be at eye level for reading. Do layer your lighting. Every room should have more than one light source. Dimmers are an easy install and give a lot of flexibility. Have several lamps providing task and ambient lighting.
4. Art work and mirrors too high. The ideal center of an art piece or painting should be 54 inches from the floor. If you are hanging a grouping the center of the group should be at the 54″ mark.
5. Seat heights too different. Best is to keep the range of seating to a difference of two to three inches.
6. Occasional tables too high or too low in relation to height of chairs, sofas, and beds. A practical consideration. Similar heights allow for easy access with cups and glasses.
7. Window treatments too long/short. Just like pants, they need to be the correct length.
8. Absence of focal point. Essential for drawing the eye into space.
9. Lack of visual flow from room to room. Ideally the room colors should compliment one another. Some think of this as a cross pollination type idea. For example, red room with green accents and a green room with red accents.
Congratulations! Follow these guidelines and your rooms will be perfect!
Benjamin Moore and Pantone both recently announced their picks for color of the year. Benjamin Moore’s pick is “Shadow”: deep and moody from the purple family. Pantone’s pick is “Greenery”: lively and rich from the green (duh) family. How can this be you may ask? Two colors of the year? Well, while different, they do have some similarities. Both are beautiful jewel tones. Just think of amethyst and emerald! They work beautifully together.
Let’s look at Shadow:
Amethyst, aubergine, shadow, all beautiful soft muted colors! I love to use them all on interior walls and accents. As a matter of fact I used a very similar aubergine for a historic show house a few years back:
It is a timeless color that can be historic or contemporary. From a design perspective it’s a great backdrop for furniture and accessories. Much the same way jewelery stores will use dark backdrops to display gems to their best advantage, this wonderful jewel tone does the same for your interiors.
Let’s look at “Greenery”. Fresh as newly cut grass, full of promise. Here is what Pantone has to say:
“Greenery”, also a beautiful jewel tone, is reminiscent of emerald, peridot, and tourmaline. A timeless and elegant look:
These 2017 colors are absolutely wonderful and will go the design distance. Use them boldly and with confidence!