"" MaDDI: February 2013

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Color Crush: Navy + Persimmon | Etsy Edition

I think we're witness a key shift in the evolution of Etsy. Etsy began as a celebration of craft and community. It's business function was to connect crafts people with each other, and provide them with an opportunity to reach buyers outside of their local market. That is to say that participating in the Etsy community was the end goal. 

Now, due in large part to the growth of the blogosphere's influence and in even larger part to the trend of retailers (like West Elm and One Kings Lane) partnering with Etsy, the online community seems to have evolved into a stepping stone for creatives. It's now a weigh station on the road to discovery. 

As a consumer, I'm so happy to see my favorite Etsy sellers (like OneFortyThree or Lisa Golightly of Kiki and Polly) move on to the next stage of their careers-- whether it's launching their own e-commerce site in order to accommodate increased demand or partnering with a retailer. 

I do sometimes wonder, though, what the founders of Etsy think about the shift. When you read their mission statement, you don't get exactly get the impression that they intended to be a stepping stone to partnership with big box retailers. But you can't argue with the benefit to the individual craftspeople. And, after all, aren't big box retailers just furthering Etsy's mission to make craft more accessible to the broader public?

Since all this was on my mind, I thought I'd do a round up of some recent discoveries on Etsy in one of my favorite color schemes-- Navy and Persimmon. Enjoy!

Sources (clockwise from top left)
  1. Moab I, 16 x 20" Archival Print - Limited Edition, Callie Helen @Etsy - $100
  2. Ouija Board, Melamine Decorative Plate, Burke Hare Co. @Etsy - $16
  3. Red Cardinal, A4 Print of Original Illustration, Tiny Kiwi Illustrations @Etsy - $14
  4. Modern Table Lamp, Ample Furniture @Etsy - $395
  5. 16 x 16" Vintage Turkish Kilim Pillow Cover, Sukan @Etsy - $170
  6. Urban Tote in Navy Waxed Canvas and Distressed Leather, Red Staggerwing @Etsy - $95

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Covet List: Brushstrokes, Geometrics, Muted Browns + Blues

I'd been coveting each of these items independently for the past week. It wasn't until I threw them together to share that I discovered the common threads. Muted browns, brushstrokes, geometric patterns, soft blues and grays...I guess this is just where my head is right now?

I am crazy about Rachel Comey's Revival Bikini-- although it's difficult to justify the purchase when it will be another 3 months before I find myself in circumstances requiring a bathing suit. (To say nothing of the pasty white expanse that is my February bod.) Until then, I can admire Portland artist Lisa Golightly's print, "In the Depths" via One Kings Lane or Etsy (one of my favorite Etsy artists, who I'm so happy to see receiving more recognition), and listen to summer jams on the walnut edition of Tivoli Audio's Model One Radio.

This weekend, I popped into Module-R, one of my favorite neighborhood spots for ogling things out of my budget, and discovered Fleet Ceramics by Zoe Garred. Wouldn't these pieces be perfect in Ryan's bathroom? It's almost like she designed her collection around our color scheme-- alas, not so much for our wallets. Maybe I could swing a teeny-tiny jewelry dish?

Also spotted at Module-R, a very dignified wooden dog-- Architectmade Oscar. Is it just the hound lover in me or don't you want to pet those floppy felt ears?

Speaking of my hound, I think Hektor would love to sink into the Urbanest Pet Bed by Lovethybeast.

In other patterned news, Dash & Albert's newest collection is worth a peek. While I have personal experience with their woven cotton and indoor/outdoor polypropylene rugs only, I'm particularly intrigued by their new Nordic Kilim wool. Dash & Albert is one of those companies I always feel 100% confident recommending to friends-- the quality and value is so dependable! Anyone need a wool rug?

If you're not in the market for a rug, how about tile? I'm also looking to live vicariously through someone with a place in their home for Ann Sack's Tiempo line of terra cotta tile. Such a fresh alternative to the now ubiquitous tumbling block motif, but with the same geometric appeal.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Trend Report: Rope Lighting Installations

Nautical-inspired lighting may be perennial in the design sphere, but lately designers (and DIYers) seem to be employing hardware store variety rope in a fresh way. This new trend is more in touch with heavy duty rope's industrial applications than its typical nautical association. I especially like the way these fixtures read as installations, but still play a functional role as light sources. Utilitarian in aesthetic and in the true sense of the word.

Original Manila Rope Lights, Atelier 688 via Etsy
via Gilles and Bossier
Outdoor Rope Lights, Atelier 688 via Etsy
DIY Rope Light Strand via A Merry Mishap
Hemp Rope +  Copper Pipe Lighting by Jay Sae Jung, via Flodeau
West Bridge Restaurant in Boston, via Remodelista

Waldraud Concept Store in Zurich, via The Perfect Lounge

Monday, February 25, 2013

Dispatches from a Student/Blogger

Yikes. The truth is I didn't have a post prepared for today. Bad Alex! Instead of skipping today and hoping no one notices (a strategy that crossed my mind...), I thought I'd share a few instagram shots of what's been keeping me so busy lately.

Back in January, I enrolled in a 24-session continuing education class at Parsons called Interior Design Basic Core. We meet for three hours, two nights a week. It's taught by two architects and is essentially a crash course in architectural modes of communication-- floorplan, axonometric, perspective, collage, diagram, etc.

Here are a few of the assignments I've completed so far, plus a gratuitous shot of coffee (the fuel that keeps me powering through late night homework sessions) and a lovely valentine's day bouquet that is still going strong 10 days later!

(I so wish I could share some photos of my classmates' work, but I don't want to put them up on the interwebs without their express permission. You would be blown away by some of these collages. Suffice it to say, I am not the class prodigy.)

Clockwise from top left:

  1. Week 1: Orthographic Drawing. A floor plan of my bedroom + bathroom in 1/2" scale and my bathroom in elevation.
  2. Week 2: Axonometric Drawing. An axonometric collage of my bedroom and bathroom in 1/2" scale.
  3. Week 3: Perspective. A collage of Tadao Ando's Modern Art Museum of Fort Forth, identifying the vanishing points and focusing on our own interpretation of material selection.
  4. Weekend Diversions. My morning coffee from Bien Cuit and a floral bouquet by Flora, courtesy of my very thoughtful boyfriend.
  5. Week 3: Perspective. A collage of Peter Zumthor's Therme Vals,  identifying the vanishing points and focusing on our own interpretation of color and light.
  6. My homework taking over our dining table. Sorry, Linzee!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Artist + Designer Spotlight: Tahir Mahmood

Alex here. Time for another installation of Artist + Designer Spotlight-- but with a geographical twist. 

The original idea behind this feature was to highlight local artists and designers. I figured I'd start with my home base of Brooklyn-- a borough with a seemingly inexhaustible source of fresh talent-- and make the occasional virtual foray into Long Island, the Hudson River Valley or even (gasp!) Manhattan. I knew from the start, though, that I wouldn't be able to contain my enthusiasm for artists and designers beyond these shores.

So in honor of my mom's trip to Toronto this weekend, I'm highlighting Tahir Mahmood, one of my favorite Canadian lighting designers. I am very much in love with his Chand Lamp. I want to see it in my home so badly in physically hurts. But for now, I've put it at the very tip top of my  "things-to-buy-if-one-day-no-longer-broke-list." In addition to his mesmerizing lamps, Mahmood also designs a line of whimsical household goods. 

While images of Mahmood's work are beautiful, his is the sort of work that photographs cannot do justice. Particularly his glass work. There's a translucence to the material and a richly saturated depth to the color that's lost in translation. Ditto for his richly grained and deeply conditioned wood. 

If you find yourself in the Toronto area, please please do yourself a favor. Stop into Pimlico Design Gallery to see his creations in person-- and wind up walking out with all sorts of other goodies (Soaps that looks and smells like lemons? Tea lights that look like succulents? All sorts of charming things that look like other things! And even some charming things that look just as they're meant to look!)

Happy weekend.

Sources (Clockwise from top left)

  1. Girgit Four, Table Lamp
  2. Girgit Mini Two, Table Lamp
  3. Baylun One, Rolling Pin
  4. Chanda, Floor Lamp
  5. Chand, Table Lamp
  6. Roshan Blue, Candle Stands
  7. Assu, Mortar + Pestle
  8. Poh, Mortar + Pestle

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Covet List: Nesting - Part II

Alex here. Remember my Covet List: Nesting Season post back in January? I just discovered Part II in my draft folder-- Oops! 

Okay, yes, it IS very sunny outside. But it's still only 33 degrees. So clean your apartment, light a pine-scented candle, grab a blanket and a furry friend and cuddle up in front of a (ventless, smokeless, odorless) fire. How cute are West Elm's Izola soap dishes? I like the apothecary symbol best.

  1. Izola Soap Dishes, West Elm Market - $20 ea.
  2. Goodwin Blanket, Jayson Home - $295
  3. SoHo Ethanol Fireplace (Wall Mount), via Overstock.com - $339
  4. Metro Compact Canister Vacuum, West Elm Market - $280 (*sale price)
  5. Reknitz Sweater - Red, Fab.com - $24
  6. WUD Tray by David Rasmussen, via AHA Life - $48
  7. Le Labo Hand-Poured Candle - Pin 12 (Pine), via Barneys New York - $60

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Color Crush: Turquoise + Apricot

Alex here. Spring is in the air! Or so say my allergies and the frisky bird who thinks my window sill is a hot spot for courting lady pigeons. (I wish I was kidding. I am not. It's like a feathered, rabid version of The Bachelor out there.)

I'm leaning into the warmer, pollen-filled months ahead with a spring-inspired color combo: Turquoise + Apricot. I especially like the cool, dusty undertones to the images below. Just like spring, it's cheerful  and fun, but a hint of winter chill lingers under the surface.


  1. Photography by Petra Bindel, Agent Bauer
  2. Geo Stool, Timber & Ore, via Pinterest 
  3. Pre-Fall 2013 by Chloe, via Pinterest 
  4. Kaleido Trays, via The Future Perfect - $33+ (price varies based on size/configuration)
  5. Smukke Stackable Chair, ABC Carpet & Home - $395
  6. Ceramics by Misa Kumabuchi, via OEN

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Winter White

Sherry here!

On a bright sunny morning, looking out over a snowy landscape, Winter White immediately comes to mind. Here are a few rooms that are cozy, inviting and reflect the whiteness outside.

This room makes me want to get into my pj's, climb into one of the twin beds with a cuppa and stream a ten hanky movie!

White boring? Not at all! The multi shades and many textures keep the eye moving, but soothed at the same time.

White walls, white washed wood, white shelving make for a bright background highlighting art, books and a patterned colorful rug.

This long clean white kitchen creates a space for the  food and the chefs to take center stage. Only white food? No!

 Winter White looks  "snow right"! (Sorry, can't resist a bad pun!)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Color Crush: Mustard + Gray

Isn't it funny how ones' taste changes? They say your taste buds are completely replaced within a 7 year cycle. I wonder if there's a similar cycle for aesthetic taste.

Never in a million years would I have guessed that I might go through a mustard phase. We don't even need to go back seven years-- if you'd have asked me a year ago what I thought of mustard-colored decor, you'd have gotten a spirited, "bleech." 

And now? I'm so drawn to it. Can't get enough of it. I think it's the pairing of muted, dusty mustard with a crisp, cool and sophisticated gray that makes it work for me. Happily, the combination is popping up all over the design sphere. 

What you think? (If you're looking to add a little mustard + gray to your home, Dwell Studio should be your first stop. They're really nailing this color combo.)

  1. Portfolio of Spanish interior designer Maria Llado, via Desire to Inspire 
  2. Osa Pillows - Mustard + Charcoal, Dwell Studio - $125 ea.
  3. Draper Stripe Duvet Set, Dwell Studio - $350
  4. Alvine Ruta Rug, Ikea - $249
  5. Ontario Home of Jeremy & Carrie Wreford, via the marion house book
  6. Pegasus Necklace, Stella & Dot - $198

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day from Mother/Daughter Design Interest

Sherry here!

While in Colorado I came across a scapbook of Valentine's from the early 1940's. A mother of a loved only child had put together an album of Valentines received from aunts and uncles. When the young man was school age, cards were added from friends. This one struck me as the perfect Valentine to send from two bloggers asking our loyal readers to be ours! 

Alex and Sherry

Monday, February 11, 2013

Buenos Aires: Hub Porteno

Sherry here!

I have been in Colorado where the weather was mostly cold. Now having returned home,  a snowstorm. My thoughts are turning toward the Southern Hemisphere and Buenos Aires, where it's summer!

When I was last in Buenos Aires (November) I checked out Hub Porteno, a new boutique hotel. It is perfectly situated in the Recoleta, a central area of Buenos Aires with beautiful old mansions, great shops and restaurants, and an upscale shopping mall. A popular spot for tourists, Recoleta is very easily navigated by foot.

Hub Porteno is located in a belle-epoque mansion formerly owned by an Argentine family. It was designed by architect and furniture designer, Ivan Robredo and interior decorator Valeria Bonnano. Each room was designed to create a different mood and story with art work "chosen from the collection of Alejandro Bengolea,...and grandson of Amalia Lacroze Fortabat, once Argentina's richest woman and renowned for building up one of the world's most impressive private collections, on display in Puerto Madero."

There are no markings to indicate that the beautiful building is a hotel and restaurant. Which could be a problem if one is unfamiliar with the area! However, in reading some guest reviews this was never mentioned as an issue. Another concern I had when visiting was whether or not there was sufficient security. I didn't see a doorman or bellman in evidence when entering the building for lunch at the restaurant, Tarquino. Perhaps something to keep in mind and ask about before booking!

The luxe rooms and bathrooms are beautiful and large, which is unusual and desirable in a big city. I thought the outdoor bar and lounge area with a shower for cooling off was a great place to hang out and the restaurant, Tarquino, served excellent fare. There is feeling of quiet restfulness when in the hotel. Lots of trees and greenery surround the building and there is even a big fig tree growing right up and out of the restaurant!

The siren songs of helado de Dulci de leche, hot and sunny skies and Hub Porteno beckon. Vamanos!

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Master Plan for a Master Bath

Now that I've got a master plan for Ryan's bedroom (if not any demonstrable progress towards execution), I've started to turn my thoughts to the adjacent bathroom.

The bathroom was beautifully renovated by a previous owner and further accessorized by a subsequent owner, so there are a variety of built-in design elements. For example, contemporary faux bois floor tile and mint green square glass mosaic tile co-exist with polished chrome towel racks from Restoration Hardware's Asbury Collection. I like a mix of styles, but I need to careful not to rock the boat too much in one direction or it could seem as though I'm trying to ram a modern aesthetic down the throat of a traditional space.

Here's my master plan for the bathroom-- with a few decorative accents thrown in to convey the personality of the space (if you don't have natural light for plants in your bathroom, how about these candles disguised as succulents!):

  1. Running Horses by Kevin Russ, Society6 - $16 - $25
  2. Porcelain Wall Socket and Chrome Tipped Bulb - $2 and $3 ea., respectively
  3. Asbury Wall Hook, Restoration Hardware - $21 (*sale price)
  4. White Oak Veneer
  5. Glass Mosaic Tile - Mint
  6. 3-unit Componobili, via MoMA Store - $169
  7. Succulent Candles, via Joss and Main - no longer available (see similar option.)
  8. Turkish Bath Sheets - Azure, Restoration Hardware - $49 (*sale price)
  9. Malin + Goetz Bath Products
  10. Cachi Square Tray, Aire del Sur
  11. Horn Vase with Metal Rim, via One Kings Lane - no longer available (see similar option.)
I would also like to find Ryan an attractive laundry hamper. The master bath has a bamboo waterfall curtain that rolls down to hide the stacked washer/dryer, so I was thinking of keeping it the woven family to try to tie the bamboo in with the other materials. I also just love the look of African baskets-- if your hamper is going to be on display, might as well make it a statement piece, right?

  1. Victoria Lidded Storage Baskets, World Market - $39.99 - $59.99
  2. Senegalese Woven Hamper, Brookfarm General Store - $145 (similar option via West Elm for $99)
  3. Woven African Striped Hamper - Acqua, Connected Fair Trade - $150 (similar option via Land of Nod for $45)
  4. Senegalese Storage Baskets - Blue, Serena & Lily - $68 - $148
If you're purely here for visual inspiration, I won't hold it against you. But if you're interested in a breakdown of the functional problems that require solving, read on!

1. The light fixtures over the sink are permanently damaged.
One was actually damaged before Ryan even bought the apartment, but the realtor claimed the lightbulb merely needed replacing-- in retrospect, we should have figured out that if that was true, the owner probably would have taken the time to change a conspicuous broken light bulb before an open house. Another fixture gave out soon after Ryan closed on the place. The electrician wasn't able to fix them, so they will need to be replaced. Florescent tubes are a huge nightmare for a variety of reasons, so we've decided to go a different route. I love the utilitarian look of porcelain wall sockets with chrome tipped lightbulbs. The price tag doesn't hurt either. Rather than try to match replacement tile to patch the spots where the current fixtures will be removed, we plan to frame out the mirror-- possibly in an oak veneer frame. Thoughts on the viability of oak veneer in a humid room are most welcome.

2. The wall-mounted sinks are beautiful, but don't provide enough surface area for two people + one dog.
What kind of bath products does a dog need, you might ask? You'd be surprised-- he's got about as much stuff as Ryan and I put together (granted, we are a relatively low maintenance couple.) Since we often use the toilet as a grooming pedestal, I'm toying with adding a floating shelf above it. But for human grooming, we really need a surface that's easily reachable from the sink. The trick is to find something tall enough to reach without bending over, but narrow enough to fit comfortably between the two sinks. At first, I was swooing over CB2's TPS mint file cabinet, but both the dimensions and color are just a tiny bit off. Lucky for me, I think a 3-unit Componibili will be just about perfect (albeit pricey). And in addition to providing extra surface area, a Componibili would provide covered storage. Which brings me problem #3...

3. Lack of easily accessible covered storage
The previous owner who renovated the space did something pretty nifty to maximize storage in a small bathroom. A bump-out behind the sinks contains small cubby-like storage on either side of the unit. It's great for stashing extra rolls of toilet paper, contact lenses or small cosmetics. But the cubbies are trickier for larger or irregularly-sized toiletries. And although the master bath is not really a public space, I don't love to have unattractive, infrequently used yet necessary products (like this) on display 24/7. The Componibili will help stash toilettries, but since the master bath does double-duty as a laundry room, we also added a simple Ikea Expedit unit next to the washer/dryer to provide extra storage.

4. All towel bars, no hooks.

Don't get me wrong-- I love a good towel bar. But what to do when your towel is sopping wet? A hook reigns supreme in those situations. Lucky for me, Restoration Hardware is holding a bed + bath sale! Although the Asbury Collection may not be what I would have picked out, it makes sense to keep the hardware consistent throughout. Swapping it all out for a more contemporary line of hardware is most definitely not in the budget.

5. No toilet paper holder
Okay, here I have a dilemma. The Asbury Collection includes a toilet paper holder. But it's $50...and that's the sale price. What to do? I don't know if I can bring myself to pay that much money for a toilet paper holder. Maybe we can continue to use the cubbies for toilet paper storage?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Midwinter's Morning Dream: Ryan's Bedroom

Alex here. As I took a coffee break and perused my Google Reader feed, I happened upon this post by Emily Henderson. As I've mentioned before, her update of Glee co-creater Ian Brennan's house in LA is one of my favorite before/after shoots. It's rich with inspiration for-- as Emily dubs it-- "dude design." The headboard color in Brennan's bedroom also happens to be a near identical match for the custom headboard I made for Ryan's bedroom in Brooklyn, back when he moved here in 2011. (That's right-- I said made. Let it be known that I have exceptionally advanced stapling skills.)

Styled by Emily Henderson. Photography by Bethany Nauert.
Image Source: Style by Emily Henderson

Emily's description of how she pulled together and styled the bedroom under time pressure for HGTV's show Secrets from a Stylist reminded me how I've been "working on" pulling together Ryan's bedroom for going on 2 years. And by "working on," I of course mean occasionally thinking about, but not making material progress on. But if I was under the gun to meet a production schedule, how would I pull it together?

Commence fantasy. Well, let's first assume I have a generous corporate sponsor. Second, let's say it's an extremely limited time frame-- and that estimated shipping time from One Kings Lane is 5-10 mins (we're in a fantasy world, remember?) If both those conditions are met, I could pull together Ryan's bedroom lickity-split.

Here's how I think I'd do it:

Sources (clockwise from top left)
  1. Industrial Extending Scissor Sconce, Restoration Hardware - $159.99 (*sale price)
  2. JARA Shade - Gray, Ikea - $19.99
  3. Ash Dustbox, Muji - $49.99
  4. Kevin Russ, Colorado Canyon Railroad, via One Kings Lane - $189 - $299
  5. 9" Up in the Air Plane, via One Kings Lane - $25
  6. 16" Silver Desk Globe, via One Kings Lane - $49
  7. Rustic Wood Tray, via One Kings Lane - $45
  8. Alpaca Pom Pom Throw - Navy and Beige, via One Kings Lane - $389
  9. Shibori Sham - Blue, Vera Wang Bedding, via One Kings Lane - $45 - $49
  10. Set of 2 Industrial Metal Side Chairs - Iron, via One Kings Lane - $269
*Italics indicate items Ryan owns. His duvet (not pictured) is Restoration Hardware's Stonewashed Belgian Linen in Indigo.

A couple of items merit some explanation. The Muji dustbox, for example, was purchased 4 months ago with the intention of turning it into a lamp. This will happen. Just as soon as I learn how to balance a full-time job, evening classes, a blog, freelance design work, my personal relationships, my beloved pup and mastering the basics of electric wiring without being so darn lazy. And without making excuses like, "but it's cold outside and the electrical supply shop is far away."

I would re-purpose the iron side chair, part of a pair available today on OKL, as an end table. This is a favorite Emily Henderson trick and a really nifty one at that. This vintage drafting stool could also make a cool (albeit small) side table-- and it's adjustable! Bonus.

Styled by Emily Henderson. Photography by HGTV.
Image Source: Style by Emily Henderson

The reversible alpaca pom pom throw I am deeply in love with, but sadly, cannot buy because it is nearly $400. I wish someone out there would just buy it already, so I could be saved from myself. (I briefly tried to make the argument that if my 2012 tax refund exceeded the cost of blanket, then it was like the government was buying me the blanket. But even I knew those were just the deranged justifications of an shopaholic.)

Alpaca Pom Pom Throw - Navy and Beige - $389

In terms of a floor covering for the bedroom area, it's got to be Flor or nothing. The aforementioned beloved pup has the occasional potty training slip-up (mostly when he feels he is not receiving sufficient attention-- "sufficient" being defined as 100% of the attention of every human being or animal in his immediate environs.)

I ordered Flor tiles for Ryan's study a couple months ago and have been over the moon with how dog-friendly they are. I would even go so far as to say that they meet the insane-in-the-membrane puppy-friendly standard. Hektor is as about as rambunctious as they get, and besides some light damage to one corner he decided to chew on (maybe just his way of saying, "hey! welcome to the apartment"?), the Flor tiles look good as new. For around the bed, I've narrowed it down to three pattern options:

Images via Flor
Since the patterns are large-scale, it's tricky to get a sense of the full effect from the samples-- click the links below for an in-room view. But the common theme is a cool grey with subtle blue undertones (I swear the blue undertones are more subtle in person.) The best thing about purchasing Flor tiles for around the bed is that we won't waste money on square footage underneath the bed-- we'll just purchase enough tiles to create a border around the bed, with a small amount of tile underneath the bed to give the appearance of a full area rug.


  1. Reoriented - Pepper, Flor - $18/sq
  2. Kilt - Smoke, Flor - $14/sq
  3. Reoriented - Grey, Flor - $18/sq

End fantasy. The Flor carpet around the bed is a realistic proposition and I think I might one day make that lamp. Check back in 2017 for a before/after that will knock your socks off.

Important Note: Mother/Daughter Design Interest is a member of One Kings Lane's affiliate program. We are very grateful for the opportunity our partnership provides us to create new content for our readers on a daily basis. Read more about our relationship here.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

complement | contrast: Pink + Green Unprepped

Alex here, with another installation of complement | contrast.

There was a shameful period in my past, which for the sake of convenience I'll refer to as "high school", where I essentially morphed into an illustration out of the preppy handbook. Challenging times, folks. In fact, at a recent gathering of old classmates, a friend reminded that I (allegedly) once said, "I don't understand why anyone would wear a shirt that doesn't have a collar." Yikes. I'd like to believe I'm more collarless shirt tolerant these days.

Even though my personal style may have evolved considerably, I still nurse an affection for a pink-and-green pairing. To prove that you don't have to be Lilly Pulitzer to pull it off, I'm taking on the classic color combo-- pink + green unprepped.

complementary palette | contrasting style

complement | The room takes its color cues from the artwork, introducing a green carpet with two disparate shades of green found in the figurative work. Picking up the black in the background of the work helps to temper the pink-and-green. An oak headboard softens the palette and alludes to skin tone-- a shade, it took me a moment to realize, that isn't actually present in the art work, but is one I inferred and so closely associate with the exposed torsos of the subjects. (Isn't it fascinating when our brains project what isn't there?)

contrast | The challenge lay in contrasting both the organic outline of the mens' figures and the sharply geometric, almost geode inspired, interior detail (an interesting contrast within the work itself). I opted to introduce a curved lampshade and pillow with a circular motif to contrast with the interior geometrics, while rigid horizantal lines in the carpet, headboard and locker dresser contrast with the casual posture of the human forms. Cold steel and a pale oak contrast with the heat scanner-inspired warm color variation in the piece.

  1. Chantalle Lumbar Pillow, via Joss and Main - $19.95
  2. Murano Rug - Green by Missoni Home, via One Kings Lane - $315-$999
  3. The Lads, 2008 by Jeffrey Cutaiar, via Artsicle
  4. Locker Dresser, PB Teen - $999
  5. Low Wood Cut-Out Headboard - Barley, West Elm - $249-$399
  6. Bruno Scissor-Arm Pharmacy Sconce by Robert Abbey, via Lumens - $187

complementary style | contrasting palette

Since it's fairly easy to contrast with a black-and-white palette, I thought I'd extend the idea of complementary style one step further. How far could I stretch the thematic element before it felt hokey? Granted, the heavy-handed 'flora and fauna' theme is fairly site-specific. For a sleek SoHo loft, I overshot my mark. But in a Palm Springs mid-modern bungalow, for example, it might just the right about of kitsch. (Try picturing concrete flooring to help balance out the print overload.)

complement | The leaf pattern sets the motif for the room. An iconic print by Josef Frank and a larger-scale abstract floral pattern by Bemz play off the theme, but lend a Swedish vibe. The impact of negative space in both prints echoes a similar use of negative space in the artwork. Slab-cut coffee tables hint at the flora motif more subtly, both by virtue of their organic matter and their petal-like shape. The twisted, winding nature of the Ikea PS 2012 lamp reminded me vaguely of a climbing vine.

contrast | A black-and-white photographic print contrasts with an over-abundance of color. A deeply saturated green and magenta compete with a rich teak wood tone. The piece's photographic-- and therefore hyper realistic-- depiction of leaves contrasts with Josef Frank and Bemz's highly stylized and disparately-scaled patterns. 

  1. Mohair Throw - Magenta, Serena & Lily - $250
  2. Ikea PS 2012 Wall Lamp, Ikea - $49.99
  3. Long Sofa by Josef Frank, via svenskttenn
  4. One Kind of Paradise (08) by Tim Trompeter, via Artsicle - $35/mo. (rental fee)
  5. Roots Coffee Table, ZinHome
  6. Ikea Lillberg Rocker w/ Flamingo Park Printed Cotton slipcover, Bemz

Monday, February 4, 2013

Color Crush: Farrow and Ball's French Gray

Alex here. I'm crushing hard on a very particular shade of green. It's a pale green, but with a hint of grey. Almost a muddied undertone. In my head, I think of it as "succulent green" for its similarity to the plants' color-- and, now that I think about it, maybe it's also linked to my cactus fixation?

The closest official match I can find for the shade is Farrow & Ball's French Gray. And it looks like I'm not the only one with a crush. Here are few images that have popped up in my blog and Pinterest feeds (I'm particularly in love with the first image, of a Clinton Hill apartment that features the killer Case Study Daybed by Modernica.)

The Clinton Avenue Apartment of Photographer Susanna Howe.
Image Source: Remodelista
47 Plaza Apartment by Workstead
Hotel San Jose in Austin, TX
47 Plaza Apartment by Workstead
The Grid Set by Valvanera Arrieta
Image Source: Design-Milk
Deer Bed Photography by Katherine Wolkoff
Image Source: A Cup of Jo

Friday, February 1, 2013

Please Vote! Apartment Therapy's The Homies 2013

Alex here! Happy Friday.

Every February, Apartment Therapy hosts The Homies, one of the premier award competitions in the design blogosphere. Our blog is one of the hundreds that will be nominated over the course of the next week. If you enjoy reading our blog, we would love for you to vote for us on Apartment Therapy's website! Remember, voting ends on Feb 8th.

To vote, click on this link to navigate to the The Homies 2013 Best Home Design & Inspiration Blog. Voting is easy, although you will need to sign up for an Apartment Therapy account. (This step is just so they can enforce the "one vote per person" rule. It doesn't mean that you'll receive emails from them.)

Apartment Therapy's The Homies 2013

Once on the page, scroll down until you see Mother/Daughter Design Interest. Click the "Vote" button and your vote will automatically be counted!

Thanks for reading Mother/Daughter Design Interest! This has been such a fun project for us. We're super excited for some surprises coming down the pike this Spring. Can't wait to share them with you all.