Posts Tagged ‘courtney’

Mix, Don’t Match

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Courtney Lake and I met years ago via the internet over a trellis wall and we’ve been friends and cohorts in decorating ever since.  We both live in the Bay Area, him to the east, me to the north, and we’ve met up over the years at various events. 

Courtney and I both agree with the “not everything should match” philosophy of interior design, in fact, efforts should be made to not match, but instead to complement.   Spaces should feel collected over time and the phrase “it doesn’t match” is a welcome one in our world.  Please welcome back Courtney as he explains his rules for mixing pattern in interior design. 

“I often hear this phrase uttered when working with clients “I would have never thought to put those two things together…”  I like to think this is because I am a design savant that has impeccable style and taste.  Truth is, it is because I adhere to some basic rules for mixing patterns and fabrics to create interesting combinations which Kate asked me to share with you so let’s dive right in with the first rule…

1) Build On Your Existing Canvas   Unless you are starting a room from scratch, then look to your walls for inspiration when selecting fabric.  If your walls are beige, then at last two of your fabrics should have an element of beige in them.  Typically a room’s walls are the largest expanse of color (yes beige is a color) in a space and by tying in the room’s largest element to your fabrics, you instantly are creating a sense of harmony and balance in the space.

sr gambrel living room

Steven Gambrel

2) Pattern Is Everywhere.  Take a moment and look around your surroundings. From wallpaper and wainscoting on the walls to the floorboards and carpets, pattern is everywhere so uses it to your advantage.  Take cues from the room to help determine which patterns may work.  Have a stained glass window in your living room?  Why not use damask on a chair?  If your you fireplace has mosaic tile, then you may want to avoid putting a busy pattern next to it.  Your room will give you visual notes on how to decorate it, so pay attention. 

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Wondering About the Walls

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

It’s that time again, I always look forward to these articles by guest contributor Courtney Lake.  Courtney writes the DIY blog Courtney Out Loud and he is back this month with a predicament. 

Courtney is searching for the perfect statement to make on the walls of his master bedroom.  Follow along with his interesting thought process as he weighs his options in deciding what to do in The Case of the Problematic Bedroom Walls.  Perhaps you can help him find the perfect solution. 

“If you ever wondered how I met Kate, it was through paint…well stenciling to be exact.  For some reason, I ended up stumbling upon Kate’s site the day she debuted her bedroom stencil last year.  It so happened that I had just completed a similar trellis stencil a few days earlier in my own home which I shared with her via email.  One thing led to another and Kate kindly featured my living room stencil on her site and thus began our DIY blogger friendship.

Fast forward a year later and I stand in my master bedroom stumped about what to do on the walls. 

Master Bedroom

 Image: Courtney Lake

The bedroom is on the third floor in what would have been attic space, and has one huge issue.  The walls are a mix of angles, peaks, and curves that have proven to be a real challenge for me.

The one thing I do know is that I do not want to do another stencil.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the stencils I have done in the other parts of my home, but because I have done them already throughout my house, I am looking for something different.

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How To Brunch with Simplicity and Style

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Ah, brunch.  Truly, nothing brings to mind relaxation on a weekend morning more than the thought of a leisurely brunch with friends.  If I’m ever on vacation on a Sunday, one question I always ask is “Where should we head for brunch in this town?”   Even at home, and especially at Easter, one of my favorite things to do in the spring and summer is host a brunch. 

Today, Courtney Lake is back for his monthly contribution on the topic of how to stage a simple and stylish brunch for your friends and family.  

Please welcome Courtney on the subject of How To Brunch in Style!

“Summer is the season of alfresco dining.  Simple, easy and care free meals with friends and family at a leisurely pace are one of the season’s little perks.  I can’t imagine a meal better suited for this type of entertaining than brunch -  that wonderful combination of breakfast and lunch.  Brunch is the perfect opportunity to break out of your formal entertaining rut!  Here are a few quick and simple steps to creating an effortless brunch for six on a budget.

MENU PLANNING

Look at the people coming to your brunch and ask yourself a few important questions.  What time does the brunch start ?   The general rule is the later the brunch, the hardier the menu.  Do any of your guests have dietary restrictions?  Food allergies, low-sodium and gluten-free diets are becoming more prevalent, so think about dishes that can hit multiple categories. 

How much food should you prepare?  I go by the rule of having two additional servings for each dish. Since the number I typically expect for brunch is six, I plan that the dishes should feed eight.  It guarantees that those bigger eaters in the group will have plenty, and also that you will not be stuck with a fridge full of leftovers.

When I serve brunch at my own home, I love using this menu for its ease and ability to please a variety of palates:

1) Baked Eggs with Tomato Compote:  So simple and versatile, this dish has earned an honored spot on my brunch menu. It can be morphed into any number of variations but I found this particular version is especially tasty.  Add crumbled feta if you like an extra layer of cheese.

Graphic 1 - baked eggs

Recipe here.

 

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