ON THE BRIGHT SIDE

Claire Cowie

Claire Cowie

Antik Batik Clutch

Antik Batik Clutch

Multitone Rug | DWR

Multitone Rug

I’m feeling far from bright eyed this morning thanks to my dear husband who has a habit of setting an alarm for 5:00am (at full volume, naturally) and then setting and re-setting subsequent alarms until 7:00am. Note to self: feel more Valentines-y thoughts and less rage-y sleep deprived ones towards husband before the weekend. 😉

In an effort to change my ‘tude, here are a few things I’ve discovered lately that I find cheerfulness inducing. Claire Cowie’s Kubota Garden No.1 is making me dream of all sorts of tropical getaways. Perhaps Garrett could redeem himself with an impromptu weekend in Tulum? Never hurts to put it out there into the universe, right?!

Speaking of that getaway, I obviously would pack this clutch. It basically begs for there to be a fruity concoction in your other hand and I’m 100% on board with that. I’m also feeling super inspired by the color palette – maybe a future living room palette?  I’ll do some scheming.

Lastly, this rug. At first I wanted to hate it, but now I’m kind of thinking it could be everything in the right setting. Thoughts from the peanut gallery?

DAYDREAM DECORATING

Lindsay Speace Interior Design Headboard | Bedspread | Lamp | Nightstand | Pillow | Rug

Our first southern snowpocalypse has me revisiting my country mouse daydreams. Staying in bed just a little bit longer would be so much better in this bedroom with a view of the snow covered mountains outside the window.

The chocolate brown and blues in that gorgeous oushak laid a chic foundation and basically begged to be paired with this wooden headboard which looks like it could have come from a New England antique store. Perfectly classic lamps sit atop weathered wood nightstands and pile on boho textiles to keep things from getting stodgy.

All that’s left to add to the equation are PJs, a good book, and this gingham bedding. To everyone on the East Coast affected by the blizzard I hope you’re safe, warm, and snuggled up. If you haven’t yet watched Making a Murderer now’s the time to get that Netflix marathon rolling!

THE CASE FOR A COLORFUL SOFA

Conventional design wisdom dictates keeping your larger pieces of upholstery neutral to provide a transitional backdrop; meaning most people are steered to white, off-white, beige, and grey. I love a blank canvas as much as the next person, and neutrals do allow you flexibility if you like to switch it up often, but here’s the thing, neutral isn’t your only option.

You’re not a design deviant if you secretly think you’d love a moss green velvet sofa but your mother-in-law, best friend, HGTV, favorite blogger–whoever–told you it would be “too bold” or you really should “stick with neutral”. The truth is, you won’t be as limited as you might think you will be by choosing color.

I could make a convincing argument for just about any color being used as a neutral in a room, and I could definitely come up with at least three design schemes to show you how unlimited you are, but I’ll let a few of my favorite rooms below do the talking.

India Hicks Pink Sofa

McGrath II Pink Sofa

Ann Mashburn Pink Sofa

Miles Redd Red Sofa

Tilton Fenwick Orange Chaise

Ali Cayne Yellow Sofa

Southern Living Green Sofa

Sofia Coppola Blue Sofa

Caroline Sieber | Vogue

Tory Burch Peacock Sofa

Zhush Navy Sofa | Domaine

Aerin Lauder Purple Sofa

After that glorious ROYGBIV of sofas are you convinced yet? I’ll admit, you do have to be more thoughtful if you decide to go with a bolder sofa. It’s definitely not an impulse buy, and you’ll absolutely regret it if you try and plop a peacock blue sofa à la Tory Burch in a room without thinking how it will relate to the other elements within it and the surrounding rooms.

With that said, don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. It’s okay to not be “conventional”.  The photos above all embrace color, but are still all very classic to me–your house won’t be a circus. Take stock of what colors you gravitate towards or already have in your home, or better yet, hire someone to help you. 😉 I’m making it a goal to have at least a few colorful sofas in my projects this year.

Cheers to the year of the colorful sofa!

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COUNTRY MOUSE

The weather has gotten chillier which has only upped the ante on my desire for a cozy spot to hibernate. I’ve always thought if we had the opportunity to buy a little retreat I would want it to be by the water, but lately I’ve been thinking being a country mouse certainly has its own appeal.

This weekend I was browsing Rita Konig’s beautiful new website and was thrilled to find some new-to-me photos of Deborah Needlman’s country house in upstate New York. If my inner country mouse needed any persuading this gorgeous spot all but sealed the deal.

Deborah Needleman's Country House| Rita Konig

I think what’s most appealing about the idea of a country house is the opportunity to go in an entirely different design direction than what feels appropriate in our city apartment. I would love to furnish an entire home with antique and flea market finds.

Deborah Needleman's Country House| Rita Konig

Of course, I wouldn’t be able to resist adding in some of my favorite textiles here and there. I’m imagining a lot of Colefax & FowlerCarolina Irving, and Kathryn Ireland–linens in subdued hues that are a departure from the saturated colors and patterns I generally gravitate towards.

Deborah Needleman Country House | Rita Konig

With touches of Rita Konig’s signature design insouciance the home is feels inviting rather than stuffy. The patina of antiques add warmth and the unpretentious arrangements of pieces let you know you can sit and stay awhile.

Deborah Needleman's Country House| Rita Konig

The brass articulating sconces feel very of the moment even though these photos are years old–I’ve had this bathroom image saved forever and somehow never connected the dots that it was part of Needleman’s country house.

Deborah Needleman's Country House| Rita Konig

I just love an inset niche in a shower.

Deborah Needleman's Country House| Rita Konig

If we ever buy an older home, painted floors are happening in some capacity–I’ll be saving this photo for reference. The white with wood feels like less of a commitment than some of the other examples I’ve seen over the years.

Deborah Needleman Country House | Rita Konig

I’ve written about Marianna Kennedy’s lamps before and this red one with its purple shade is the perfect foil against the chocolate toile wallpaper.

Deborah Needleman Country House | Rita Konig

It might be counterintuitive, but I find a sloped ceiling in a small room to be the perfect opportunity for wallpaper to create an enveloping cozy space.

Deborah Needleman Country House | Rita Konig

This desk scene is another longtime favorite from my inspiration files. The combination of the black walls, bamboo matchstick blinds, tortoise frame, and French desk with bentwood desk chair is a primer in the art of the mix. If you have to bring your laptop to the country, this is the place to do work.

Deborah Needleman Country House | Rita Konig

Then, when you’re done, why not head out to the cutting garden and do some informal arranging in your soapstone sink? I know, it’s perfect.

Deborah Needleman's Country House| Rita Konig

Set your new arrangement out on the patio and enjoy dinner al fresco!

Anyone else ready to completely forgo city life and become a country mouse? At the very least it’s given me a goal to work towards–especially since we’ve been hearing such great things about the mountains in North Carolina.

We’re hoping to get an Asheville weekend on the books and I’d love your recommendations if you have any!

#HOUSEGOALS

Let’s finish the week strong with some serious, undeniably envy inducing #housegoals. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve clicked through the Vogue slideshow of Caroline Sieber and Fritz von Westenholz’s London home. I’ll also cop to buying not one, but two hard copies for posterity.

Caroline Sieber | Vogue

Where to begin – obviously with the custom colored Zuber wallpaper in the living room. I actually saw a photo of this room years ago floating around Pinterest and tracked it down to Caroline Sieber’s Insta (so worth following) so to say I was excited to see the entire home would be a massive understatement.

Caroline Sieber | Vogue

I laughed out loud on my first scroll through of the feature when I saw this photo because it is exactly the beaming with contentment face I’d be making in this room.

The fab feathered skirt is just the icing on the cake, but come on, would you expect anything less from the stylist responsible for taking Emma Watson from Hermione to ingenue?

Caroline Sieber | Vogue

Other areas of note: the library-cum-dining room with its lacquered blue shelves and the most perfect use of Braquenié’s tree of life fabric as a Roman shade that I can promise you I will “borrow” at some point in the future.

Caroline Sieber | Vogue

And Caroline’s dressing room – I’m dying to know what shade of pink that is and also loving the Madeline Castaing fabric (one of my design idols!) on the shade.

Caroline Sieber | Vogue

The kitchen which opens out into the garden is straight out of a Nancy Meyer’s set. The floor to ceiling cabinetry–“stocked with porcelain by Herend” Vogue notes 😉 –coolie shade pendants (perhaps another nod to Castaing who loved a coolie shade), and rush seat chairs (these are kind of similar, but the lines are not quite as graceful) at the breakfast table are personal favorites.

Caroline Sieber | Vogue

I have to admit, at first I thought I hated the master bath, which is modeled after the Duke of Windsor’s in Paris, but strangely it’s growing on me. You have to admire someone who dares to be different, and Carrara and subway tile this is not!

I’ll end on a quote from Caroline that resonated with me: “I had a very strong idea of what I wanted, and I wasn’t that worried about making mistakes, because this is for us, you know? So we went for crazy colors and lots of patterns.”

In decorating, ‘you do you’ is kind of the ultimate motto.