Monday, November 17, 2014

Bold backdrops

I've long wanted to do a bold mural or wallpaper background in a space - either my own or a client's. I seriously considered doing something here at Nook Cottage, but I have a lot of art to hang and not a lot of wall space, so the mural concept hasn't come to fruition. But, it hasn't stopped me from collecting some great image ideas. 


Wallpaper from Mr. Perswall


Designer Jarlath Mellett

via House to Home. Photography Katya De Grunwald


source unknown. Map from Toys R Us

from Laqfoil



source unknown

Designer Raji Radhakrishan for Kips Bay show house featuring a photo mural of a painting by Pierre-Paul Prud'hon.


design by Carlyn And Company Interiors + Design


designer Lauren Liess


design by Paul Marra


designer unknown


I just love how these bold backdrops have such flexibility. In some cases they are the true focal point of the design and in others, they ground the space. You can use real art, paint a mural, wallpaper murals or photo murals - there are so many options and resources available. Some are listed above in the credits. I would also like to point you to Laurie Laizure's Customized Walls company. They have a wide selection of artwork available or you can send them a photo for them to reproduce on a large scale.  While mural wallpaper can be very expensive, photo murals can be a very well-priced option. 



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Outlander: The Glassware



Found 'em! One of the most asked questions I've received since I started doing posts on the Starz Series "Outlander" was about the glassware. I will admit I was surprised that blown glassware would have been typical during the period for an outpost such as Castle Leoch, but there's no doubt the glasses they used are period appropriate and very beautiful. 



I received a nice email yesterday from Mark and David of Georgian Glassmakers in the UK letting me know that they were in fact the makers of the beautiful wine glasses and also some of the bottles used in the series!

This glass #51 is listed under "Early Balusters" on their website.  They advised me that they do ship internationally. For pricing, they don't do bulk discounts as these are individually hand blown and it's best to contact them for pricing. 





Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day: Gary Sinise Foundation - R.I.S.E. - Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment


One of my favorite celebrities is Gary Sinise. I've long had a crush on him (love me a cute red head!) but beyond that, he's dedicate his life to helping our active military service members, veterans and most especially those who have sacrificed so much so the rest of us can go about our daily business in safety.






One of the Gary Sinise Foundation initiatives is to build smart homes for severely wounded veterans so that they can live the most "normal" lives possible. The technology available is remarkable, as is the dedication of all the volunteers and donors to this amazing program. By the end of 2014 they expect to have 30 homes across the country either finished or in the active building process.  This video below shows what amazing features a completed home will have. If you visit this page on their website, you will see information about each home. 


My dad, Bob Merrill, was in Naval flight school during World War II and though the war ended before he graduated, he was ready and willing to serve. My maternal grandfather Edmund Costello, was an Army Pilot in World War 1.

 Robert Matthews Merrill

Edmund James Costello




In honor of them and all those who serve, I have made a donation to support the R.I.S.E. initiative which includes the building of smart homes for those most in need. 

I would ask you to consider making a donation of any size as well to this wonderful initiative. 

100% of donations to the Gary Sinise Foundation is dedicated to serving and honoring our nation's defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need. 

As a sign of my commitment to providing ongoing support of this wonderful organization and most especially the continued growth of their smart home initiative, I will offer anyone who makes a donation between now and the end of 2014 directed to the Gary Sinise Foundation RISE program a FREE virtual design plan (Jump Start Level 1) valued at $500. You can read more about this plan here.  This would make a great holiday gift for a new homeowner in your life as well!

If you wish to participate, please email me proof of your donation and we'll take it from there! Donations of any size will be fine, but the bigger the better.  


Obviously, there are many, many worthwhile causes to support and I appreciate your consideration. Hug a Vet today. 


Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Ruby Lane's Holiday Magazine

Ruby Lane is one of the world's largest online marketplaces for vintage and antique goods including art, furnishings, jewelry, silver, crystal and more. I was asked to select a favorite item from their offerings to be included in their holiday issue of Ruby Read, their digital magazine.






Here is the online listing for the Royal Danish Bar set that was my selection.  It's unfortunately way out of my current budget to buy for myself - but I'm keeping it in mind for someday!



Monday, November 03, 2014

Design & Architecture Resources

Interior design and architecture is a world of details, historical facts and mathematical figures. There's a lot to know. I wanted to be sure to share my Pinterest Board called Resources and Info where I collect infographics on all kinds of subjects, including:

Styles of Chair Backs


Optimal dimensions for light fixtures over a table


Sofa shapes and historical details


There's so much more, so, please feel free to follow my board and re-pin any items you find useful. Even if you don't have a Pinterest account, you should be able to access the board and download any of these images as needed.

I'm going to be California later this week for a design business summit which I'm really looking forward to. It was in the 30's and snowing here yesterday. It's expected to be in the low 80's in San Diego by mid-week. While I'm not a huge fan of hot weather, a touch of it will be nice!


Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Review: Rug Pad Corner - Protection for area rugs


There are many aspects of interior design that aren't the pretty and sexy parts, but it doesn't mean they aren't important. A good quality carpet pad will not only protect your floors and carpets, they are safety items as well. According to the National Safety Council "Falls are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the United States, accounting for approximately 8.9 million visits to the emergency department annually (NSC Injury Facts 2011)."

I've had personal experience with the hazard that slippery area rugs can pose. When my Dad had his stroke in 2000, the rehab hospital (the amazing Spaulding Rehab's facility on Cape Cod) would not release him back to his home without the removal of the smaller area rugs since none had rug pads. And more recently, a close friend's elderly Mom tripped on an area rug that was placed on top of of a wall-to-wall carpet and she's now in assisted living. Tripping on rugs is a big deal to both old and young alike.

The folks at Rug Pad Corner contacted me a while ago offering me three pads to check out and review. Since I've just moved, I did have rugs that definitely needed pads. And, since I have a little dog who loves to race from one end of the house to the other, my rugs were always askew.

I was sent three cut to order pads from their Ultra Premium line. These are felt on one side and a rubber on the other.



One of my rugs is a vintage (or even antique I'm not sure how old it is) runner that just came out of my parent's house. Although the rug is very heavy and my dog is not, he was still pushing it around with his playful antics. Since I've installed the rug pad (and of course by "installed" I mean laid it under the rug which not easy when the dog is on top of everything!) the rug hasn't budged an inch. The felted side is placed towards the rug and the rubber side is against the laminate floor.




My other two rugs are in the kitchen. They are indoor/outdoor rugs from Ballard Designs sitting on ceramic tile.  These rugs were always out of place and crooked with just daily wear and tear and most especially RoyRoy's running over them like a mad man. The rug pads have stabilized this greatly, though the rugs themselves are so light that they do move a bit over top of the rug pad and I have to readjust every couple of days or so.  But it's nothing like it was before.


Not only are the rugs more stabile but they also feel so much warmer and plusher to walk on. The ceramic tile floor is very chilly and will be downright freezing in the winter I suspect. But the added insulation of the carpet pad has made a huge difference in that regard as well.

Rug Pad Corner uses natural felt and rubber and their rugs are made in America with American materials. There are no imported materials or chemicals and their rugs are hypoallergenic. There are no adhesives used; they use a trademarked RPC Heat Pressed (TM) process with reinforces the materials within the rug pads.

Thanks to Rug Pad Corner for sharing your product with me. While I have received these goods, my opinions are my own based on testing the product for a period of two weeks.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Peachy Keen - Or is it?

I love the color peach in interiors. It has such a romantic feel and it's flattering to most skin tones, without going twee as many pinks can - especially pale tones. 



One of my favorite bedrooms was this pale pinky/peach one that I did a few years ago. The wall was painted peach with a pink wash overtop, which added a very pleasing depth (hard to capture in a photo).  One of the things I most love about peach is that it works with so many other colors that it's almost a neutral. 


Soft whites and grays mixed with the peach canopy drapes has an easy feel that's very romantic.



Peach can be filled with life.


It can be kind of casual/bohemian in feel




Or super formal.

It can add warmth to very traditional architectural elements. 



And it pairs well with black accents (above and below)



It's funny though, when we think of peach, we usually think of these paler tones as shown above.  (or at least I do).


When I google searched on peach paints by Benjamin Moore, these above were the top results. In this grouping, we're seeing a broader range of hues including pale pinks, yellows and a nearly pumpkin color.  When we look at a real peach and really take in the range of colors, the pale peach is less prominent that are the yellows and deeper tones.






I took the image of the peaches shown above and selected on the color ranges found. It's a beautiful and wide range of colors, isn't it? And only one (top row, 3rd from left) is actually a soft peach as found in most "peach" colored rooms.

So, the question I have is, if you see this image:


Do you call it peach, or is it orange?


Or coral. Or terra-cotta?