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.
There are many designers I admire. Originally, I was going to blog about my top ten favorites, however, that seemed a bit long. So after giving it a lot of thought, I decided to narrow it to my top three:
#1. Ilse Crawford
Ilse Crawford is known for an emotional approach to design which engages all the senses. Her interiors always have a collected look of well loved objects. She believes “Interior Design is a tool to enhance our humanity, and acts as a frame for life”. Crawford embraces good design for all people; she has designed for IKEA as well as high end hotels.
Victoria Hagen is able to create interiors that are classic with a modern sensibility. I first started following her (the old fashioned way, through print) in the early 90s when I was a design student. Hagen was featured in a design magazine for designing a Nantucket summer home. A simple and inviting interior, I have been a fan ever since. Hagen believes “Design is about using your imagination to create special environments to live in and enjoy”. A fairly basic Idea that gets to the true goal of good design.
Billy Baldwin (not the actor) is known for streamlined modernism mixed with classic design. His famous quote (which I use often) “Be faithful to your own taste because nothing you really like is out of style”. Baldwin designed the “Slipper Chair” in 1930. Were would civilization be without the armless slipper chair?
What I love most about all of these interiors is their timeless quality. Any of these photos could have been taken yesterday or many years ago. Each of thes designers have published many books. Treat yourself and pick up one or all!
Ok, so you know your style, (you are Minimalist or Maximalist) this is half the work. Next, how to decide what to add? First start with your emotional response. Your initial feeling, the gut check reaction; the “I will know it when I see it” feeling. This is where interior design and psychology come together so beautifully. Whether it’s a chair, or a painting, if it makes you feel happy, go for it! The objects you interact with every day should be pleasing; not only visually, but from a tactical perspective as well.
Always be aware of these everyday interactions. How does the softness of a throw blanket feel? What about the weight of the silverware your using? Why not surround yourself with everyday items that celebrate the everyday common rituals! A great coffee cup, soft napkins, a spring flower in the perfect ceramic vase. You get the idea. Nothing dramatic but these types of everyday interactions are important. These little decisions can add to small everyday pleasures.
So when it’s time to make purchases, keep in mind functional aspects of course, but don’t rush; make sure your purchases are appealing to your senses as well. Go for the “good stuff” and enjoy!
Ok, truth be told, I appreciate both. Last year, I read and blogged about The More of Less, a great book by Joshua Becker about the joys of Minimalism. It really inspired me! Recently I watched a great documentary, Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things, which I highly recommend! It runs just a little over an hour, you can find it on Netflix. As a result of this documentary, I am editing yet again; it must be a Spring thing!
However, anyone who knows me would probably not think “Minimalist”. I always tell my friends minimalism means different things to different people. Some people might think 6 pairs of shoes is excessive, some may think 6 is the bare minimum. It’s all a matter of perspective.
Yet, Maximalism in design is on the rise! Interiors are definitely becoming more layered and colorful. Maximalism’s motto is “more is more”. I am ok with this idea, but just remember there is a big difference between maximalism and clutter! Be careful! A successful Maximalist room is well planned, with special attention to mixing patterns , colors, and styles.
Here are some of my favorite minimalist and maximalist rooms:
I was not able to post last week and I hope some of you noticed! “1865 City House” blog just celebrated a 2 year anniversary! It’s a wonderful creative outlet for me and I always enjoy hearing your comments! As a result of changing the format a couple times I have lost some of my favorite followers and posts. The likes of “Black is My Happy Color” and “Does this Sofa Make Me look Fat” are lost forever! I hope my followers are not lost as well. If you like the blog, please hit the “Follow” button and receive it in your inbox. If you already follow, please share it with a friend. Thank you! Have a great day!
I am so glad February is a short month. No offense to all the February birthdays, the only redeeming aspects of this dark and cold month actually, so thank you from the bottom of my heart for having your birthday in February. Aside from the birthdays I have little to look forward to and just do a countdown to March 1st. Really, I wish I could just hibernate. Maybe Florida next year!
February is also the month I miss my garden the most! I start dreaming of tulips and daffodils. While waiting impatiently for this glorious event, I like using branches and twigs in lieu of flowers to bring the outdoors in. You can collect them on your nature walks or purchase them at a craft store. Branches can be interesting, they add a sculpture like quality to any lonely corner patiently waiting for summer’s gladioli or peonies.
Here are some of my favorite arrangements:
And if your want to really “branch out” and take it to the the next level here are some great branch ideas:
Hope you have fun “Branching Out” and remember, spring is just around the corner!