Posts Tagged ‘Inspiration’

Styling Traditional Wood Furniture

Monday, May 11th, 2015

I received an email from Sarah with a design dilemma, she like many has inherited a unique piece of furniture, it belonged to her grandmother and recently was restored by her father to its original wood state. Sarah wants to keep the heirloom buffet in her home, it has sentimental value, but her dilemma is how to create a stylish look with this piece that sits in her dining room.

grandmothers buffet

Personally, I love seeing wood pieces like this in a home, they add richness and warmth, and mixing pieces from different periods makes a home feel collected over time. The use of traditional wood furniture like this can be a purposeful placement by antique lovers, or a much treasured heirloom like Sarah’s that a family wants to keep.

In this case my first instinct is to change the wall color to anything other than brown with fresh paint or perhaps a wall treatment, and add a large scale mirror or art gallery  above. I might replace the pulls with something sleeker like these and place a large potted plant or tree to the right.

To style it there is so much she can do with decorative accents to create a layered appealing look. Here are a few examples I found where both bloggers and designers have tackled this same issue and styled traditional wood furniture in a contemporary way.

Below a gilded mirror and trio of classic blue and white chinoiserie accents (two vases, one lamp) introduce shape and color. Books and a smaller work of abstract art balance out the center of the arrangement.

traditional chest modern styling

the pink pagoda

A monochromatic white palette dominates this vignette, from the wall paneling to the shapely accents in an odd numbered arrangement; the purposeful use of white allows the piece to take the spotlight.

antique chest of drawers white objects

traditional home

You can’t go wrong with a pair of sleek lamps, partner them with a few smaller pieces of art in various scales and petite shapely objects, then add a touch of greenery.

traditional chest modern lamps

house seven

Simplicity is another approach, using a large scale mirror anchored by a pair of lamps with modern black shades. Prop another smaller piece of art in front and rotate a bowl of fruit or vase of fresh flowers weekly.

modern mirror lamps on traditional console

mark ashby design

Don’t overlook the opportunity to make a statement on the wall, beautiful grasscloth wallpaper and a glossy bamboo pagoda mirror add panache and a pair of ginger jar lamps introduces a lovely blue and white pattern.

wood buffet jessie miller

jessie d miller

Again a chinoiserie ginger jar always complements the style of the traditional chest, and an orchid in a polished silver champagne bucket adds an elegant touch. Above this chest hangs a mercury leaf mirror flanked by two gold leaf sconces, on top a smaller piece of abstract art and stack of books balances the vignette. 

ashley goforth traditional chest

ashley goforth design

What’s happening with the furniture around the traditional piece can also influence the styling. Below Tobi does an masterful job of layering blue accents in the form of books, artwork, and a lamp on this wood bedside chest, playing off the tones in the fabric on the headboard and wallpaper.

traditional wood bedside chest

tobi fairley

In Jana’s great room she styled her bookcase simply with varied book placement and floating artwork, but also notice the use of contemporary textiles to balance the traditional furniture in the room.

traditional bookcase

jana bek

This antique chest was modernized with lucite knobs then surrounded by a collection of art, and how fresh the space feels with that fabulous pink tufted chair off to the side. The styling on top is eclectic and fun, mixing a whimsical cachepot and fern with a unique sculptural lamp.

traditional chest lucite knobs

house beautiful

Pairing traditional wood furniture with contemporary accents can be done and successfully! How have you included antiques or heirlooms into your home’s design?

Stay Cool: Modern Ceiling Fans

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Warmer weather is here and summer is approaching fast! The season brings higher temperatures which is welcome for growing gardens and outdoor adventures however soaring temperatures can make it uncomfortable for lounging and sleeping indoors without the circulation of air that comes from a ceiling fan. Perhaps you’re thinking of upgrading yours?

No longer is there the need for ceiling fans to be an unattractive practicality and one that collects dust in the off season, today we’re fortunate to have access to plenty of contemporary stylish versions. I’m a fan of the three blade design because they mimic airplane propellers. I installed this one in a guest room and this one in the master bedroom last year, both are wonderful fans that provide circulation with a remote.

modern ceiling fan in bedroom

Ceiling fans are a necessity in homes in warmer climates, on my last visit to the desert it was already in high 80s in April which reminded me I’m in need of one more flush mouth ceiling fan for the upstairs bedroom so I started looking for another.

The lightless version of the one I used in the master bedroom is featured below in a living room, the curvy blades and koa wood make it an attractive option for multiple spaces from coastal to contemporary.

coastal living room with wood ceiling fan

allee design

Like a chandelier, a good looking ceiling fan can be a focal point in a room. Introduce contrast with a metal and wood combination suspended from a white ceiling; twisted nickel blades pop against the stained wood tray ceiling in the bedroom below; nickel is always a goes-with-everything option.

wood and black bedroom ceiling fan

apd architects

silver ceiling fan

spaces designed

aluminum fan pitched ceiling

clayton and little

You could go big and bold! I love the design of this customizable Essence fan (it reminds me of thin petal flowers, like the Stenopetala Plumeria that blooms in Hawaii.)

essence fan

big ass fans

If your preference is the opposite and you want your ceiling fan to escape attention, choose one that blends in with the ceiling. In these spaces the airy white blades recede into the background which allows for other accents to take the spotlight.

coastal living room

ashley gilbreath

modern white ceiling fan

 

white ceiling fan

baxter design group

Another option is to use directional fans, like pendants they are smaller and can be installed as a single or used as multiples to create breezes in different directions. 

directional fans

max crosby construction

If you’re looking for something a bit more contemporary for use in warmer weather and different than the basic five blade, consider these fans, most of them come in multiple finishes from white to wood to metal.

modern ceiling fans

 

cirque / minka aluminum roto / black twisted blade / fanimation zonixpancake / fanimation levon / minka aire aviation / nickel lapa / bronze directional / chrome directional

 

Covered outdoor spaces also require a ceiling fan to circulate air …

mod ceiling fan covered deck

wayne windham

for more inspiration, read my latest article at Lamps Plus featuring outdoor ceiling fan options certified for wet areas!