Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"The Color Purple" continuation...

This is a follow up with a previous article in which I was actually terrified about using the color purple but the project actually turn out a great work experience.
Well, this is a small Dining Room in which conserving the space was very important. I use the old trick of a mirrored wall to make area look more ample by using 3 mirrors. If in the future, client decides to change the decor all they have to do is remove them from hooks and patch the walls.
The Chairs belonged to the client, they were re-finished with an old Silver Leave tone just like the night stands in the MBR. The chairs have sort of an oriental flair and are in excellent condition, so why not recycle them! Chairs were re-upholstered with a simple tone-on-tone small diamond pattern with a hint of lavender and purple.
An oval dining room table with a pedestal was the best choice for the room because of the space limitation. A simple area rug was carved to make it look like waves. The lighting is just a Drum
Shade, also finished in the silver tones.
In this space, the color purple was tone down a bit, just a touch here and there!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Inspiration, A Wine Lable?

One of my friends asked me the other day; Where do I get inspired for my lampshades? I answered, "from anywhere".
My inspiration this time took me to one of my favorite hobbies in life, "Wine". Hanging in my kitchen wall there is a piece of art work made out of old French Wine labels. The picture tells a story of wine regions such as Anjou, Champagne and one of my favorites, Bordeaux.
After analysing the art work; the color hit me "Burgundy or Bordeaux". I remember seeing a small French Toile pattern and when I found it, I absolutely loved it. Whether is a Toile based on Oriental influences, botanical or just a simple French Country scenery, all Toile fabrics tell a story!
The pattern for this "Bordeaux Collection" is in a beautiful burgundy on a cream or ecru-white background. It depicts a story of the daily life in a farm. Fishing on a pond, making Bread and wine and perhaps at the end of a long day of work, families end their shores to enjoy a feast and dance all night.
I utilized this fabric which has a small repeat and I combined it with a wide stripe for a different symmetry. All the materials are 100% cotton. Shades are embellished by a burgundy very fuzzy chenille fringe at the bottom and on the top and sides there is a coordinating French gimp. This lamp is from my VERANDA collection. Lamp has a distressed white finish, which makes it very shabby and old. Also, lamp has a few crystals which can be custom ordered in different colors.
If you want to inquire more about the Bordeaux Collection, please kindly leave a comment and I will be more then happy to reply.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


What would you with grandma's old Quilt? The first thing is not to discard. I'm sure you can salvage banquet and turn them into a unique art work. This picture depicts something old in a modern space. Notice how the modern glass vases seem to pick up the blues and golds from the quilt.
Here is how to do this project:
1. Lay quilt flat on a table and decide how big squares can be. It all depends on the design.
2. Purchase a blank artist canvas at your local craft store. Our sample is a 19x19 canvas. Also
purchase thin frames just like in the picture (20x20 inches). Frames must be a bit bigger than canvas. Remember that after square is quilted it will be thicker and you want to make sure it fits into the frame.
3. Cut quilted fabric 2 inches extra (22x22).
4. Lay quilted square centered on canvas and start hot gluing all four sides, leaving corners for the end.
5. When finished, carefully place quilted canvas inside frame and you are ready to hang it.
6. There is a trick to hang art when they are in sets. Take any type of paper (construction paper, newspaper, etc) and cut four pieces at 20x20 inches. Place on wall leaving for example two inches apart from each other. There is no formula but sometimes the closer they are the better they look.
7. Look at the back of your frame and see what type of hook it has.
8. Mark a dot with pencil or nail directly to make an indentation on the wall.
9. Remove papers and proceed nailing.
10. Hang Quilted art work, step back and enjoy!
p.s. You can substitute quilt and use vintage clothing for example.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"Color Purple"

"The Color Purple"
was my clients favorite
color and believe or not
not one of my favotite but I went along, took
notes, paid lots of attention
to all requests and went along
for a purple ride.

When my client requested "The Color Purple" I remember my face turning exactly that color. I don't think I ever had the opportunity to work with such a beautiful, passive, clean and elegant tone. Well you get the idea! I was wrong all the way. Balancing the color purple with greys, silver and cream colors was very easy.
This project was a small master bedroom in a Condo or 2 Floor Apartment. Space wise, room was tight but I manage to bring the eye up with a huge tufted Head Board Bed consisting of a grey Ultrasuede material. I found two traditional style silver night stands and anchored them with a pair of Modern lamps. I used a bold modern large leave wallpaper and window treatments are made with a beautiful silver raw silk from Robert Allen. I design a simple 2" grommet panel style and stainless hardware was manufacturer same as above. Also, I like the idea that a stainless steel wand that matched hardware was available. This way it will be easier to close panels if clients wants more privacy.

The Bedding was not custom but found it in a local furniture store. I love the combination of the cream shiny quilted bedspread. I also was able to use textiles with stripes, flowers and solid satins as accent pillows. The bed sheets are a light lavender and also cream colors. These are cool tones perfect for any season. They are 100% Egyptian cotton and it feels very nice to the touch.

On the other side of the room a flat screen TV was installed on the wall to save space. A 72" dark wood dresser was added to hold client's art work. Also, I still had room for a comfy chair for some reading or just to seat and kick back. This apartment is a second home, so client wanted hotel look but with a little more bling-bling!

It was a fun project!

Monday, July 13, 2009

"Chandelier and Lamp Covers"

In an earlier blog I was making reference to an old decorating trick to concealed the cord or wire from lamps, chandeliers and even some other electrical items.

This lamp is a simple and elegant way to hide that ugly cord and can be made with a variarity of fabrics but the most common is silk. Here is some information in how to make it:

1. Measure the length of the chain. This measurement doesn't have to be precise because the cover is going to be long enough for the material to create a ruffle effect around the cord. Double the measurement. If you would like a fuller ruffle effect, triple the measurement.
2. Measure the width of the chain, double it and add 2 inches. The extra 2 inches is for the side seam, and will leave enough room for the cover to slip over the chain. Cut the material to the appropriate length and width.
3. Hem the bottom and top of the material. Fold 1 inch of the fabric on either end to create a clean edge. Pin the hem and sew it in place.
4. Pin the material together to create the cover. Sew the length of the material, using a 5/8 seam.
5. Trim any loose threads with sissors and slide the cover over the cord.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"Chandelier Shades" types and style

Choosing a chandelier may be difficult or very easy for some of people. The most important point is to focus on the style and size. This of course means that we must keep other elements in mind such as the furniture style, space, textures, etc.
So often, I visit a client's house on a consultation and find the smallest chandelier (size 19" dia.) anchoring a massive 72" round dining table. Unfortunately, these proportions are way off the scale. What I advice to do is to divide the size or diameter of table by 2 or 3. It would mean that in this case, you look for a chandelier between 24"-36" in diameter. These rules may be different on other table styles. (another post)

The following are some samples of shades for small, medium or even some large chandeliers. The first one is just a plain, followed by a bell shape and then a strait shade. My favorite shade to work with is the bell shade. It lends itself to be properly upholstered and it is very easy to make a template. When this product is completed it looks very elegant and custom.