Decorating

Meaningful Modern Design

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Greetings friends, today I have a very special writer contributing his perspective on a style I am finding myself more drawn to these days: modern design!   Courtney of Courtney Out Loud is here to share how to pull off modern design in your home without leaving it feeling austere, cold, or looking like a designer showroom.  Courtney Lake is a fellow Bay Area resident, and lover of thrifting, great design, and good eats. 

Please enjoy Courtney’s article on meaningful modern design:

“Modern style typically evokes images of sharp edges, clean lines and monochromatic color schemes.  This style’s “less is more” mentality makes it appealing for those looking to par down their lives, forcing its advocates to only choose and display what they love.  However, modern’s edited approach can lead to stark environments that look more ‘show room’ than ‘living room’.  So the question remains, how can you get an edited and tailored modern look in your home that doesn’t leave you cold?

I posed this question to three design and merchandizing experts to get their take. All agreed that today’s modern aesthetic is less about utilitarian chic, and  more about an aesthetic that is constantly in flux. It’s this constant evolution that makes it one of the most versatile design styles.

Today’s modern design has to look to the future as well as the past for inspiration in order to ground it in the present.  Iconic pieces such as the Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chair, the Saarinen Tulip Table or the Starck Ghost Chair, are beautiful and speak to modern design of yester year, but alone they may leave a room feeling cold.

saarinen tulip table modern

Mid-Century Modernist

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Tamika, Jamaal, & Nate!

Friday, April 8th, 2011

Happy Friday all!  Yesterday was the airing of my design plan for Tamika and Jamaal on The Nate Berkus Show.  It’s surreal watching yourself on television, but what an honor to be given the task of designing a space for a wonderful family.  For those of you who missed it, here’s a bit of background.  Tamika and Jamaal are a happily married couple with two young children.  They were not feeling ‘House Proud’ so they submitted their family room dilemma to Nate.  The Nate Show called me and asked if I would put together a new design plan for Tamika and Jamaal to suit their lifestyle and personality.

Tamika and Jamaal were looking to add comfort and style to their bland family room space.  Tamika has been busy pursuing her masters degree so she hasn’t had the time or energy to create the colorful welcoming family room of her dreams.  If you saw the opening segment yesterday, what was clear was their room suffered from two design dilemmas: disproportionate furnishings and lack of color.

Before:

tamika before

 

In the questionnaire submitted to the show, Tamika’s revealed her favorite colors were orange and pink, so that became the starting point for adding color to the new space.  As much as Jamaal loved his huge TV, Tamika envisioned a comfortable space that would serve more than just TV viewing.  She wanted a space where her family could gather for not only movie nights, but also a room where she could entertain.

We were in a time crunch because the segment and room design came together mere days before the show was filmed so I had to work with readily available décor, nothing custom or special order this time.  Big props to The Nate Show for their ability to grab these home furnishings in a quick turnaround!

Here’s a clip from the show talking about the new ‘After’ design:

kates room design

 

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A Wee Bit o’ Spring

Friday, March 18th, 2011

The good news is, it’s Friday and also Spring Break!  The bad news is that I read it is scheduled to rain all weekend and all next week.  Of all weeks, why why why did it have to be Spring Break?  I was hoping to do some gardening and have some outdoor adventures too.  Boo.

Well, I decided if I couldn’t spend my week outdoors, then I would just have to bring a wee bit o’ spring indoors instead!  A quick trip to the market for some ranunculus, and some daffodils from mother nature inspired a few pops of yellow in the living room this season. 

cg ranunculus

 

I shopped all around my house for some accessories for the living room mantel to brighten this room.  I pulled one of my citrus trees indoors for the the month and then threw last year’s outdoor pillows on the sofa and chair.  The gray geometric cashmere throw I found on clearance at Tar-jay last year. 

cg living room chair

 

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