Saturday, October 30, 2010

Decorating With A Box Of Chocolates.......

Yummy Godiva chocolates dressed for the season

It's Halloween weekend and candy is on everybody's mind!! I am not going to lie..... I am a chocoholic!! I love chocolate, dark, rich, smooth and aromatic. When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better for me please!! I love the crisp sound it makes when breaking a chunk off of a bar!! My love for chocolate goes far beyond the taste, I love the color. To me, nothing is as welcoming as a dark chocolate brown velvet chair or sofa; it looks so cozy and relaxing. I love the way velvet feels on the skin, simply luxurious!! Like biting into the most decadent dark truffle!!

Years ago, when I was contemplating my first real furniture purchase, I saw a dark chocolate brown velvet sofa in the Ethan Allen catalog. As I recall, it was in a white room with low bookshelves below the windows, lots of books piled around and cream colored pillows. The shape of the sofa and the color were exactly what I wanted for my first purchase. I went to purchase it, but decided on a dark caramel colored velvet and upgraded the sofa model also. But my love for chocolate brown interiors never faded. I painted my kitchen and eating area brown. I love the look of cream cabinets and brown walls!!

Chocolate brown goes with so many colors; it is a nice contrast against cream, nice with pinks, blues, greens..... the possibilities are endless!! Think of a box of chocolates, the different hues of the milk and dark chocolate work very well together. Think of how the colors of the fillings look with the chocolate, the pinks, the raspberries, the lavenders, the creams, the whites, the mint greens and blues let this be your color pairing guide.

Below are photos of rooms with chocolate brown; I have included many, because just as when I'm eating chocolate, I couldn't stop!! Real Halloween eye candy sure to satisfy your decorating sweet tooth!! Happy Halloween!!

All above photos from Decorpad

Friday, October 29, 2010

Just Add Flowers........

You need little more than a vase full of one type of flower to dress a table or other empty surface in a room. When in doubt on how to address the empty surface, add a vase of flowers and a stack of books or a few other objects. Vary the heights if adding 2 or 3 vases of flowers and you will have a lovely little vignette without much effort. Simple, beautiful, elegant and easy. Add flowers to your Friday, it is an effortless luxury!!

Photos from Sarah Richardson, Mariette Himes Gomez, Decorpad and my house!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Have A Settee At The End of My Bed.......

Yesterday I blogged about my fondness for settees at dining tables. My other favorite place for a settee is at the end of a bed. I love this look!! An upholstered headboard with a settee acting as a foot board is such a chic, luxurious and functional look!! A bedroom is a room for relaxing, why not add another space to lounge? I always imagine a glamorous scene, sitting on the settee, at the end of the bed having a cocktail before going out for a fabulous evening..... having a romantic chat with a significant other while seated on the settee at the end of the day..... starting out the day with a cup of coffee and a book while lounging on the settee.... I have a settee at the end of my bed and have done none of the above on it, but a girl can dream, can't she?; and what better place to do it than at a settee at the end of your bed.......
Enjoy the pictures to follow!!

This room, by Frank Roop, is one of my all time favorite bedrooms!! It's chic, sophisticated and urban feel makes me want to put on a jazz record and have a cocktail. I would have friends for cocktails in this bedroom!!

This bedroom, by Mariette Himes Gomaz, is another of my all time favorite bedrooms. It's soft tones and upscale furnishings would be like waking up in a luxurious hotel suite everyday!!

Photos sourced from Elle Decor, House Beautiful and Vicente Wolf

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dining on a Settee......

I love settees!!! A settee is a small or medium sized sofa for 2 or more people, with a back and usually with arms. Settees date back to the 17th century Europe, which shows that well designed pieces or archetypes never go out of style!! I think that settees are appropriate in many settings (foreshadow to future blog....), but my favorite use is at a dining table.
I first became enthralled with the settee when I first moved into my house; I have a kitchen with a breakfast nook that is also open to a dining room. I didn't want to enter the kitchen and see a table with chairs looking onto a table with chairs. I thought a settee would be a perfect solution for this space; as luck would have it, the day I moved in there was an estate sale in my neighborhood and they had 2 settees available!! I fell in love with one, it had wood arms and legs and a simple straight lined upholstered back. It was from the 1950's and the price was good, but alas, sigh, it had a big stain on the seat. I was planning on having it reupholstered anyway, but the owner had several cats and I was afraid it was a urine stain and I would never be able to get rid of the smell; I could get new stuffing, but was worried about the wood and the springs being sprayed also. On to settee number 2 - it had a wing back and was quite charming. I bought it , took it home and it sat in my basement for 2 years until I found a Mitchell Gold settee that sits in my breakfast nook now. Settee number 2 ended up at Goodwill and I hope it found a good home!!
There are several reasons I like settees in dining areas: First of all, I love the look of them, I like the soft upholstered surface in a kitchen area, I like the unexpected element of it at a table, I like that they add a pop of color or pattern to a space, I like that they are comfortable and people can lounge when watching you cook, I like that they remind me of dining in a restaraunt (in my own home) and I like the fact that they encourage people to linger after a meal and have a glass of wine or coffee. In short, I am a big fan of the settee!!
Below are a few photos I found of settees in dining areas (including mine). Enjoy!!

My Breakfast Nook........
All other photos from, Elle Decor, Canadian House and Home, Sarah Richardson Design,
Decorpad, Barbara Barry and Frank Roop Design

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Chris Coumo's Hampton House From Elle Decor

I was really impressed with Chris Coumo's, from Good Morning America, Hampton home when it was published in Elle Decor a while ago. I came across the photos and thought I'd share.
The color palette and materials suggest a relaxed comfortable and breezy space. It reminds me of a lazy, breezy summer day!! (To put it in "designer" lingo :) ). One thing that I would love to see accompanying all interior photos in magazines, is a floor plan. I try to piece the homes together in my head, but sometimes they photograph portions of the rooms and I would like to see the progression of spaces!!

The sunroom. The Gray and the yellow are surprisingly fresh together!! Love the white trimmed furniture with the gold table; the warm color of the gold works so well with the cooler tones of the grays and whites because of the warm honey tone of the floor.
I love a settee!!! The fabric used here is sophisticated enough to stand up to the ornate trim on the settee, but modern enough to feel bold and fresh!!

What I love most about this living room is that it is a bold choice of colors, but it works because they are all in the same tonal family. You would not think that brown, magenta, olive green, yellow and soft grey would produce such a warm and sophisticated room, but they work very well together!! Notice how the drapes, wall color and the furniture and accessories along the wall are soft muted tones that blend well together as a backdrop; the furniture and accessories in the front are all rich tones of color that pop in the foreground. This careful and clever color play makes this a playful, yet very sophisticated room.

This is such a lovely vignette!! I wonder if this is the eating area and the chairs are pushed away for the photo, or if this is a display table and there is one beyond...... this is why I'd love to see a floor plan!! I really like the idea of having a "display" table between the kitchen and the eating area, it is very charming!!
Beautiful kitchen!!!