Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Thoughts on coffee tables

Coffee or cocktail tables are always a challenge when designing a room. It's easy to go out and buy a matching set of coffee and end tables, but you will have a set of three things the same colour and design.  Three is good in design but all the same is not! Mixing it up allows you to add variety in texture, scale and colour.  The eye seek interest. Here's a little variety in coffee table options. 

Glass or lucite

New England Contemporary Living Room contemporary living room
Sleek Living Room modern living room

Sometimes you do not want a coffee table to dominate a room.  Perhaps you have a small space between furniture pieces or you want to control the amount of weighted colour. Maybe you are not fond of wood tones or you have a colourful rug you want to show off.  In all of these cases a lucite or glass coffee table fits the bill.  


Organic

family room modern family room
Dufner Heighes Inc

Organic shapes or the real thing can make an interesting conversation piece and serve as a coffee table. Large pieces of driftwood and a piece of tempered glass make a great do it yourself table. 


Media Room contemporary media room
James Cleary Architecture

showhouse contemporary living room 
Dillard Design Group, LLC

Ominous artwork but great coffee table. The combination of organic wood and hard edged metal really works.  The lucite end tables are insignificant when paired with it.  Rethinking might be in order.

Trunks 

family room contemporary family room
 twenty7 design

 Beach House eclectic living room

Think trunks when you want interest and function. You can find great thrift store finds or buy new.  

Upholstered

Family Room eclectic family room
Busybee Design

 Casual  and functional

Mascheroni Construction contemporary family room
Mascheroni Construction

More sophisticated  

Benches 

Sometimes you need a long,  narrow coffee table but they are very difficult to find .  Think outside the box and look for benches.

Nesting Tables

Venice 4 Living Room  living room

There's so many options one post isn't sufficient to explore them.  Stay tuned for more on this topic.

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

DIY wreaths

Want to liven up your entrance?  A wreath is always a quick way to give a nice jolt of colour and texture.  Of course there are lots out there to buy, but there's something special when you make your own.  Here are some of my favourite DIY wreaths.  For instructions click on the link under the photo. Hope you find one you fancy.


Take a little felt and...


Beans you say?

The Cottage Chick

Who knew a coffee filter could look like this?

Design Your Revolution

Everybody can find twigs and yarn.

Craftapalooza

Button wreaths look especially good when you keep them monochromatic.

Curbly

A great way to display old photographs.  You could make a temporary one for a special birthday by using "poster sticky stuff" which can be removed. 

Curbly

and for those who like it modern.


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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Growing a room


 Function and budget are two words I use quite a bit in my design work. It makes  no sense to have a beautiful room if it doesn't work for the people who use it, nor does it make sense to develop a plan for a room that is not within a client's financial reach. That's where creativity and a good sense of what's possible in DIY comes in. It also helps to know where to get a good deal. I've had lots of practice with both as I've decorated my own homes. I never seem to completely redo a room; my rooms are usually in a subtle, constant transition. It's a state I've come to define as "growing a room". The guest room in my summer house is a perfect example of this.

Before

 Going back in time to 2002 when we built our summer place, we constructed frames for two twin beds and  purchased a  bedside  table from a second hand store.  Functional but certainly not interesting.

 Time passed....  new headboards were made by the resident handyman and we found a way to connect the two frames to make a king size bed when we had company who wanted more than a twin.  That meant two separate lots of bedding to store, but it sure is practical! 

We recycled an old IKEA chair from our basement but it needs  recovering and the area over the bed is very bare. Needless to say the white pillow in the chair doesn't work. 

What happened to that dark brown bedside table? 


It had new life when painted Benjamin Moore Calming Cream. I love the richness of that colour.  It has a slightly yellow undertone but it has lots of body and works well with most colours.  The vignette on the bedside table is lacking. I didn't like the lamp, flowers and headboard being the same height. The vase below is a great find at a local store and elephant grass from an existing arrangement in my porch helped to add height.  This solution cost exactly $11.44.

 
The books were tidied and the hand carved bird on a piece of driftwood helps to bridge the two heights.


The IKEA chair was painted Calming Cream and recovered with a striped cotton and  a  pillow to match the one on the bed was made. 

And something appeared over the bed as if by magic. 


One of the best things about being an artist is that you can whip up an artwork to fill any empty spaces you have on your walls.  My favourite fun approach is collage with hand made textured papers and subtle applications of paint. 


This landscape strata references the many colours and textures that can be seen outside the bedroom window especially in fall. 


My favourite way to dress a bed is to turn back the sheets.  I took away the striped grayish pillows and now I need to make one more striped one to match the one above.  The rectangular pillow was made from the bottom of a ready made panel that has a beautiful cherry blossom design.  Of course  I bought it on sale.I managed to squeeze  two pillows out of one panel.  


And now for my next challenge.. the closet doors.  They are too choppy with the three colours ... what to do next? I think I will try painting the inside  rectangles Monroe Bisque the same as the walls. And if that doesn't please me the whole door will be Cloud White.  That light has got to go.  Something softer and more rounded.  Thrift shop or Homesense  here I come.... What about the handles on the bureau? And you can't see the very ugly light fixture that needs replacing. 
Stay tuned for more updates.

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