Inspiration

Design Crush: Dine-In Libraries

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

I have a crush on built-in bookcases in all rooms, home offices of course, living rooms, family rooms, and bedrooms too. Another place I love to see bookcases is situated in formal dining rooms (and decorated with actual books!) so that the space possesses a library-esque feel. 

The dine-in library holds practical appeal as well – it’s a place where books and collectibles are on display and where meals are also enjoyed. Feed the mind and the stomach at the same time! Mix in pottery, dishes, books, collectibles, and artwork and how cozy a dining room becomes when a wall (or two) is dedicated to display. The large table and chairs in the middle makes the space a place for a transitional home office as well.

My sister in law homeschools her younger kids and uses their formal dining room as the schoolroom during the day. The upper shelves on the hutch store dishes, art, and collectibles, and the hidden storage below houses the schooling materials. The room quickly transforms into an elegant space for formal meals, so it multitasks in the best way possible.

I can’t achieve the look in my own home with a dining room situated in an open space, but I’ve made a mental note of the look for any future homes or spaces. Today I thought I’d share a few favorite dine-in library looks, from fresh and bright to dark and dramatic and everything in between. Notice how the bookcases add an air of sophistication and the mix of all styles, contemporary and traditional.

dining room bookshelves

Diana Bergeron

 

library dining room klikk

Klikk

   white bookshelves in dining room

via Casa Sugar

 

built in library

El Mueble

  

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Tongue + Groovy

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

I just couldn’t resist using the word “groovy”. #totaldork

So I’m getting ready to start on a new space and it’s great having a friend who enlists my help! This time it’s a dining room and here is my blank canvas.

dining room before

  

Okay it’s not exactly “blank” right now (quick iphone pic) it’s a catchall space, but wiggle your nose and make the furniture and chandelier disappear. Aha! See? Blank canvas!

The first step is going to be jazzing up the walls, and I decided on a classic tongue and groove or plank wall treatment. I’ve considered everything else, stencils, bold wallpaper, etc. but keeping coming back to a look that I know she’ll love for years to come. It’s the same friend who loves classic meets modern (remember this dresser?) and so that’s where we’re going with this. I’ll be installing it later this week – meanwhile here’s a peek at some of the looks I’m loving right now. 

Tall & White?  Ooh, gorgeousness – love how it makes a room feel taller ha! and adds fab texture to a plain wall. Very elegant and cottagey and my fave for this space right now.

tall tongue and groove

Lauren Leonard Interiors

 tall tongue and groove in hallway

Albertsson Hanson Architecture

 lauren leonard tongue and groove entry

Lauren Leonard Interiors

 vertical tongue and groove in entry

 Mackle Construction

 

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The Power of Pink

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

I’ve been increasingly drawn to deep pinks and pale blush shades in recent months. I love a vivid raspberry paired with classic navy, so much so I use the combination in my home office. Equally as appealing to me are shades of blush and pale rose partnered with gold, the two together are a chic and sophisticated match made in heaven.

So I was delighted when contributing writer Courtney Lake decided to tackle the topic this month in his most recent article. Please welcome back Courtney and his reflections on this often ignored color that deserves a second look.

Diana Vreeland Pink Quote

“There is something delicious and whimsical about the color of pink yet frequently the hue is aligned with Barbie’s Dream House or romantic sunsets. There is a dichotomy to this color that can’t be ignored – it is what I think represents the best of design duality. Pink certainly has the ability to skew towards juvenile delight but also to uptown sophistication. It’s because of this dueling personality that I find it to be one of the most interesting, under-utilized, and least appreciated colors in a designer’s arsenal.

country living pink walls

Country Living

pink walls elle decor

Elle Decor

Pink is technically a tint of red – a red base that is then augmented with white, which gives unbelievable control to a designer to create the perfect intensity of color. So when a client states that he or she doesn’t like pink, I always ask them to point out what their concept of "pink" on my color wheel and without fail it either veers towards Bubble Gum or Hot Pink – both of which lean toward a younger audience. 

It is only when I inform them that pink encompasses all the hues from pale pink to purple leaning magenta that they start to fully comprehend that pink can be a sense of depth, visual interest and calmness to a room that few colors can match. Keep in mind that pink plays well with other hues from blue to yellow to green, and gets along superbly with dramatic black.

pink and yellow living room mwells

Michael Wells Photography

 pink and black sitting room tobi fairley

Tobi Fairley

 

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