Thursday, December 1, 2011
I recently worked on a quaint, one bedroom apartment in Santa Monica. My client, Shalini, wanted bold strokes mixed with soft neutrals to create an atmosphere that was part Hollywood glamor and part livable serenity. The rest of the apartment has a soft color palette of light yellow, gray, and pink with brown for grounding and silver for some glitz.
The bedroom was an area where we were not afraid to go dark because of ample natural lighting. Shalini wanted the room to be very relaxing and plush. She also wanted to incorporate a few Asian and Indian references to provide a subtle nod to her heritage. We were working within a very tight budget, so I had to get creative to create a sumptuous look and feel. The incredible bedding from Saffron Marigold became the inspiration for our color scheme. Quality bed linens are an area where you shouldn't skimp in a bedroom. This is your refuge and you should feel pampered.
One issue in the room was improper scale. The mismatched nightstands were too small for the bed and the width of the room. There were also extra pieces that added more clutter than function. We found these terrific nightstands at 45 Three Modern Vintage for a steal. They anchor the bed and show off the glamorous wood and brass lamps that are large and tall enough for the up-scaled nightstands. We found these on Ebay, as well as the bamboo headboard. These items would have been at least twice as much in a store. I like shopping online, but nothing beats working with local merchants for their vast knowledge and it keeps these great stores OPEN. You will generally find more quality for less money when you buy vintage and antique pieces. Mixing new and old also creates a sense of timelessness.
We decided to go with dark navy blue walls to add drama and depth. I think dark blue makes a great neutral because it is calming like the night sky and other colors look great with it. We popped in the turquoise of the bedding in the satin cherry blossom custom drapery. There are so many gorgeous and durable fabrics out there that will not break an arm and a leg. I am very lucky to live in Los Angeles where quality, economical design materials are plentiful. If you don't live in such an area, the internet is a great resource. You can order samples easily to see them in person.
In order to save money, you keep existing furniture that works such as Shalini's nice, modern, white vanity. We hung the leaning piece of mirror in the living room and put in a large curvy gold mirror which I found in an antique store for less than $100. We used gold as our glitz element in the bedroom, but sparingly. Light buttery yellow, white, and cream accents pop against dark blue walls and dark brown curtains. We replaced the standard flush lighting with a gold vintage chandelier in the bedroom and we created a light out of a capiz shell lamp shade she already owned. The fabulous black and white shower curtain from Dwell Studio compliments the floor tiles and the light pink walls in the bathroom. All of this adds up to a Luxe look for a whole lot less.
Monday, November 21, 2011
We are currently working on some wonderfully fun and functional rooms for Roddy Bottom in the Silverlake area of Los Angeles. Nature is the concept and the style is a whimsical mix of Traditional , Organic Country and a little Mid-Century Modern thrown into the mix.
The small area above is a lovely little nook leading out from the kitchen and adjacent to the living room. The area was a moderately functional office and catch all that included a hardly used player piano, records, and doggy items. Since we would be relocating the office and there was already a nice breakfast nook on the other side of the kitchen, we had to figure out the best use for the space. We decided to create A Victorian inspired gentleman's parlor that would interpret our nature concept in a fun and fresh way. We used and autumnal color palette inspired by the drapery fabric below. The wall paint color was inspired by the caramel color of the small leaves. Using an earthy color on the walls will pop your bolder colors, while at the same time grounding them. We reupholstered the vintage 70's sofa in a vintage leaf print from the same period. The green and orange bee fabric on the French country inspired armchair has a traditional mod flair. All of the fabrics are united by the use of our dominant palette colors of brown, green, orange, and white.
Accessories ad the next layer of color story and texture. We moved Roddy's purple chandelier from his dining room to add to the Victorian Luxe vibe and to pop in the color of the mums in the curtain fabric. This would be a secondary color to the scheme. The petite olive green ottoman and the floral Wool rug work with the other patterns and colors because of the shared palette. The Lyre table adds a formality and the stag mirror gives us reflected light and a rustic organic texture.
Put it all together and you get a relaxing lounge area for family and friends to spill out into from the kitchen. We also added a tall and narrow Danish modern shelf ( not pictured) to house my clients books so that the room can also double as a library for an evening of cozy reading. I love to take rarely used spaces and make them inviting and useful.