Give Me Just a Little Color, and I’ll Let You Have Your Beige

Posted 9 July 2016 at 9:45 PM | Comments (0)

I know.

I know you’re trapped in your beige living room. Beige carpet, beige sofa, beige armchair. Or maybe it’s a cross between beige and gray (greige). Whatever you call it, it’s a lot of neutral and zero personality.

A friend in Dallas e-mailed me a picture of her very beige living room and asked for armchair suggestions. But you can’t send me a picture like that and expect one measly little armchair! She needed more than an armchair. She needed color.

So I made it super easy. The terracotta armchair below is so muted that it’s practically a neutral. To keep it sunny and joyful, I added some muted yellow accents, and to bring in glamour and shine, I added gold.

Classy and Neutral Terracotta and Corn Yellow Home Decor Inspiration Board

Now wasn’t that easy? Terracotta, corn yellow, and gold don’t go very far out of a beige comfort zone. This color combination is super palatable, and it looks great in Texas. So, y’all ready to embrace color?

A Chic, Mountain-Cabin Inspired Entryway

Posted 4 August 2015 at 10:58 PM | Comments (0)

I was just reminiscing about the ‘90s, the era of my youth. Specifically, I was trying to remember textile design trends and decided that the most popular of the decade was probably plaid. Am I right? Grunge plaid, lumberjack plaid, camping plaid. Man, we were so much more rugged back then. (In contrast, 2015 feels so polished. It makes me want to grab 2015 and mess up her hair a little.)

And then I started thinking about how great plaid wallpaper could be. In the right space—perhaps something a little mountain-cabin inspired?—it would be so nostalgic. I could listen to Smashing Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream and Nirvana’s In Utero all day in a plaid wallpapered room, hopefully draped across something better than flattened beanbag chair.

What would be really great is a plaid entryway, to welcome guests into your home with a bold and fearless representation of your youth. Add a practical but rugged hall tree, a rounded ceiling pendant to contrast all the straight lines, textured pillows that are fabulously mismatched, and lastly, a gold-framed art piece to avoid going too far into mountain-cabin theme and keep things chicly grounded.

It’s enough to make me want to put on a pair of Doc Martens.

Chic, Mountain-Cabin Inspired Entryway with Plaid Wallpaper

Simple Office with Pale Blue Walls, Both Traditional and Contemporary

Posted 6 July 2014 at 9:23 PM | Comments (0)

My parents’ 1976 house has been, for lack of a better word, unmaintained. Though they have earnestly displayed all of their trinkets and treasures from around the world, the outdated backdrop imparts a sense of melancholy from wall to wall.

It has been an ongoing dream of mine to take it all down and start over, and the upstairs office has always seemed like a decent place to start.

Because the room is south-facing, the afternoon light is brilliant. Even on gray days, the room fills with light, more than other rooms in the house. I like pale blue walls in a room like that, because a south-facing room can handle cooler colors.

My mom likes a certain softness in décor. She has always been partial to pastels, lace, and florals. Picture frames are gold and ornate, and rugs are always traditional.

I think I’ve finally figured out how to decorate her office for her taste, while keeping it in this decade. It goes something like this:

Office with Light Blue Walls, Clean, Simple, and Transitional Decor

I like how the light fixture adds a little ‘70s flair while the daybed and throw pillows are more modern. Still, everything works together. So… who wants to help me tear down the laminate-paneled walls?

Lime and Taupe Living Room with Birch Tree Wallpaper

Posted 21 July 2012 at 8:35 PM | Comments (0)

Confession: For many reasons, I haven’t stopped thinking about birch-tree wallpaper since I wrote this post last December. So I finally decided to channel my obsession productively and create an inspiration board.

Lime and Taupe Living Room Inspiration Board with Birch Tree Wallpaper

It feels like a contemporary ode to the ‘70s with its organic shapes and earth tones, doesn’t it? So I added the sleek glass lamp and French Deco coffee table to keep it fresh, to avoid digging too far into that decade.

Alright, so I was hoping this inspiration board would get the birch-tree wallpaper out of my system, but it didn’t work; now I just want to create another one. What’s a girl gotta do to eliminate an unhealthy obsession? Make a wallpaper voodoo doll?

Pillows for a Bold, Oversize-Floral Rug

Posted 11 July 2012 at 2:54 PM | Comments (0)

My friend, Heather, just bought this bold, floral rug from Overstock and a brown leather sectional. Now in the market for throw pillows, she came to me for advice.

I advised her against too many solid pillows, which can look blocky, and too many shiny fabrics/sequins, which, when overdone, can look cheap instead of glam.

Instead, I encouraged her to think contrast. An earthy or nubby pillow can look great against a soft, silky one; a stripe can look great against an ikat.

Also, I would steer clear of pillows with a bold, oversize-floral motif like the rug. The scale of the pillow patterns should contrast with the rug, not match it perfectly.

Something like this.

Mix and Match Throw Pillows with a Bold, Oversize Floral Rug

Spicy Living Room Seating

Posted 16 April 2012 at 2:49 PM | Comments (0)

I’ve been in an obsessive house-decorating mood. If you’re new to my blog, this is a dangerous mindset for me—I live overseas where my husband is doing volunteer work, and our fully-furnished apartment is provided for us. So, unfortunately, I can’t really work on our own space.

Instead, I: 1) keep a blog, 2) offer decorating advice to friends, and 3) surf the Internet as if I were actually in the midst of decorating and remodeling (which I’m very much not).

Today’s pointless surfing led me to Room&Board, my favorite mass-market home furnishings retailer after Crate&Barrel. I always like to check their clearance section, and came across these living room pieces: York 87″ Sofa in Teton Paprika, Holden Ottoman in Stenson Spice, Murray Chair in Trey Maize, and the Orson Chair in Terri Mink.

Room&Board Upholstered Seating on Clearance April 2012

A color palette comes together quite nicely with these pieces, reminding me of one of the many spice markets around town. Ooh, a spice theme could be carried out through an entire house!

Spice Market Inspires Living Room Decor

Saturated Orange in a Soft, Eclectic Space

Posted 7 February 2012 at 4:35 PM | Comments (2)

I was just thinking how most examples of bright, saturated orange in living spaces are in sleek, ultramodern rooms. Don’t let that scare you into thinking it won’t work elsewhere! I actually think it would give a perfect bit of punch to a soft, eclectic space—think pale blue walls, weathered gray wood, vintage style pillows, and white ceramic accessories. Something like this:

Bright Orange/Tangerine Tango Also Works in Soft, Eclectic Home Decor

You, Too, Can Love Chinoiserie

Posted 26 November 2011 at 9:23 AM | Comments (0)

In yesterday’s post I said I wasn’t really a Chinoiserie girl and then qualified it by saying I could be. Honestly, all it takes is the right pieces!

And actually—this comes as no surprise—I’ve always fantasized about living in an American Chinatown and pulling outside inspiration into my home. So I went ahead and created an inspiration board for a chic and sunny Chinatown abode. Check it:

New Chinoiserie Living Room Ideas Inspiration Board

The trick would be to avoid looking like my home belonged in a museum or theme park, so these pieces would need to be balanced with other styles—maybe modern lucite (yay), mirrored Art Deco, or Midcentury Modern furniture—though Asian influence would definitely dominate. I love how this home featured in Trad Home did just that, oh-so-subtly:

Trad Home Spring 2011 Chinoiserie Home Decor Elements

Trad Home Spring 2011 Chinoiserie Home Decor Elements

Lastly, if you love this look and want more ideas on how to get it, read this, History of Style: Chinoiserie, pulled from a past issue of Lonny (click to enlarge):

Lonny Magazine September/October 2011 History of Style: Chinoiserie

Teal Zeal

Posted 12 November 2011 at 11:04 AM | Comments (7)

Most people are at least two years past their obsession with peacock blue. For me, teal was never really a trendy obsession—it’s more like an ongoing fascination.

I don’t know why this color provokes me so much. But it does, especially when it’s paired with clean neutrals and brights, like in these rooms from the current issues of Adore Home and Lonny:

Teal Wall Paint in October/November 2011 Issue of Adore Home

Teal Wall Paint in November/December 2011 Issue of Lonny Magazine

This image from West Elm showcases Benjamin Moore’s “marine blue” wall paint, which coordinates with their current line of furniture and accessories:

West Elm Bedroom with "Marine Blue" Teal Wall Paint

Years ago, when I attacked my first (and only) upholstery project, I was desperately looking for teal velvet to recover my vintage chair. I searched everywhere I could get to by train but found nothing, so I eventually gave up and bought plum-colored velvet instead (you can kind of see it in the corner of our living room here), which was nice, but I’m still pining for that teal velvet piece of furniture. Don’t tell my husband, but I’m secretly hoping to own a teal velvet sofa someday!

Something like one of these, perhaps?

Teal Upholstered Furniture, Peacock Blue Sofas

Or, oooooh—maybe the teal piece to invest in is a luxe upholstered bed. And then to accent it with modern geometric pieces, like this:

Clean Modern Bedroom Ideas in Teal and Peacock Blue

So while you’re onto bigger and better trends like camel and lipstick red, I’ll still be out there, creating my perfect room with peacock blue!

Yellow and Green Outdoor Living Space

Posted 18 July 2011 at 2:57 PM | Comments (0)

All afternoon I’ve been sipping limonana, one of the greatest summer drinks ever, and it got me thinking. Or, more accurately, daydreaming.

Cafe Liz : Limonana Lemon Mint Drink

I don’t even have to close my eyes to imagine myself with good friends, lounging on a cushioned wicker sofa, eating hot dogs, drinking limonana, and watching our kids jump about in a lawn sprinkler. We’re enjoying each other so much that we stay through nightfall, Citronella candles flickering in the moonlight.

Yellow and Green Outdoor Patio Decor