Thursday, December 5, 2013

Pantone Color of the Year 2014

Pantone's color for 2014 is Radiant Orchid.

Or as I like to call it, the color of my upstairs bathroom.

Which I painted 2 1/2 years ago.

Am I the only one who doesn't see Pantone as setting the trends but capitalizing on them? Honeysuckle Pink was the last one that seemed real. Tangerine Tango was an obvious grab at product placement, complete with Sephora tie-ins. It felt really forced, like they picked this color just because it would make a good lipstick. Did they get a new CEO or something? And then with 2013's color, it was so obvious - emerald was already popping up all over the place towards the end of 2012.

So yeah, not surprised at all that 2014's color is purple. It's the hot color right now and I LOVE it in my bathroom (makes my eyes look so green!), but purple isn't exactly new. House Beautiful has been featuring purple for years now. Apartment Therapy picked up on that back in 2009. And this year, many designers are realizing that they do actually like purple after all.  Two of my favorite blogs, Bossy Color and Centsational Girl, both did posts on purple this year.

Next year, I hope Pantone steps it up and picks a color that will start a trend, not copy one. Otherwise, they're basically just Andy from The Devil Wears Prada.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

a fun fridge

I love the tumblr Fuck Your Noguchi Coffee Table and I agree with it so much.

Crooked song lyrics in a non-working fireplace? Hate.

Overuse of antlers? Spare me. (click here for full pictures - I'll spare you)

What kills me is that most of these pictures seem like they're done by people who are trying too hard. Their antlers are ironic, not that they actually like antlers. The art often seems like stuff to fill up space (or to look cute for your Apartment Therapy house tour like the fireplace above) rather than because they actually like it.

I'm not a big fan of blank walls that stay blank forever. But I'm also not a fan of stuff for stuff's sake. I get itchy when I see a bookcase that has more tchotchkes than books (why not a curio cabinet instead?).

Some stuff is cool. A coworker once did a painting to fill up his blank wall by copying his striped area rug. Something you didn't even notice at first, but when you did, it was fresh and fun, not twee. And this was years before blogs so definitely his own idea.

And some stuff that FYNCT hates I love. Like this "fun fridge."

I mean, are you kidding me? My favorite David Hicks pattern on a fridge? And all the honeycomb lines line up? I want this. Bad.

My fridge works just fine. But it's white and I have it covered in magnets, which I kind of hate. But I have white walls in there and no real desire to paint them (I actually like white walls in a kitchen) so I think a white fridge would just be too boring.

Hmmm - removable wallpaper stuff is supposedly like contact paper. And Spoonflower lets you create your own design. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Crate & Barrel and John Robshaw

How excited was I when I got the latest Crate & Barrel catalog and saw the Verano chair slipcovered in John Robshaw fabric?

I love, love, love John Robshaw's patterns, which is why I recognized it immediately, even though the designer is not identified. They're just perfect. I tried really hard to figure out how to get this fabric into my developing living room scheme and was so sad when it wasn't working out. But there are other rooms and other projects.

Back to these chairs.

They have a full selection of fabrics so if you're like me and blue and brown isn't your favorite, no worries.

And the couch also comes in the same fabrics. So pretty!

I really hope it's successful as that could lead to more options for patterned couches. I'm not a fan of the belief that one should get a neutral couch because then you can change out the accessories. You know where that leads me? With a pillow graveyard in my attic. There's definitely something to be said for not having a lot of options.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

my New Year's resolution

No more white walls!

At least not for inspiration pictures. It's not like I'm trying to inspire anyone else. I don't blog much anymore and am just trying to slog through the remainder of my house (yes, slog is how I feel about this stage of decorating - the ideas aren't fresh anymore but I still like them so I just need to apply myself to geterdone. I hate applying myself).

I am drawn to white walls. They're so pretty in all those magazines and blogs and Pinterest.

Look at how all the pretty accessories pop! All the pops of color!

And how it showcases the pretty rugs!

And random bits of art in a gallery wall!

But wait - I don't like the term "pop of color."

And I don't really like having rugs (not to mention not having room for a vacuum cleaner).

And I kinda hate it when rooms look like someone stamped pieces of color all over the place.

Even when it's done by Miles Redd

(yeah, those are striped walls, but they read white!)

Or Kathryn M. Ireland

Or even Jonathan Adler

And in my own house, I like having a flow of color from the walls to the furniture to the floor (brown wood IS a color).

And the light doesn't stream in except for one hour in the morning (when I'm usually not home)

and then it's more dappled as it peers through all of the trees. Definitely doesn't make everything glow so white walls in my house would end up looking more like this sad room:

I mean, sure, my bedroom walls are still white and I don't hate them, but my bedroom is also the least decorated room in my house (besides my kitchen, which is completely undecorated). As soon as I gird myself for some more painting, my bedroom will no longer be white (though I'm no longer sure what color it will be).

The only exception is my powder room. My wallpapered ceiling is the perfect exception to not liking white walls in my house and I only discovered that because painting the walls would have been such a pain.

So unless there's another large graphic element in the room like tile halfway up the wall,

or a purposefully black & white kitchen (though the wood counters DO add some color!),

my resolution is to not save any more white-walled rooms in my inspiration files or on Pinterest. It will be all color,

all the time,


and anywhere.


And not just bold colors!

Oh, no.

I like them soft, too

And pretty

And even neutral.

Just not white.

Not for me.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


I bought a new-to-me couch the day before Thanksgiving.

It's an Ethan Allen Chippendale-style couch that I got from Salvation Army for $150. It's very similar to their current Chippendale sofa, which starts at $1,700. So yeah, I got a good deal :)

There's a bit of wear on the legs, but nothing some light sanding and new stain couldn't help and the fabric is in perfect condition. Unfortunately, I really don't like the fabric. It's a bit grandmotherly and doesn't go with my style. It's especially awful with my pillows.

So I'm going to get it reupholstered very soon. Meanwhile, I've been looking at fabrics online to get some ideas. It's a big decision because I know I'm not going to get it recovered anytime soon. Plus unless I stick with solid off-white, it's going to change the look of the room so I have to decide how much of a difference I want, if any.

I do like my curtains, but wish I had another pair and Anthropologie doesn't carry the green anymore. I've looked on ebay but haven't seen them there either. So if the new fabric doesn't go with the curtains, that's okay.

I've been down on the color of my walls for a while, but the idea of repainting makes me want to curl up in the corner and cry. And even if I hire someone (which is probably what I'd do), what color? I've thought seriously about a darker turquoise like Hague Blue. And possibly doing the woodwork the same color instead of keeping it white.

I've also thought seriously about going white or just barely off-white.

But then maybe I'll keep the current turquoise. There's nothing wrong with it and it does go nicely with just about any color I throw against it. I like bright colors that act as neutrals.

 I'm not sure I like having a couch full of pillows anymore so I'm fine with getting a fabric that doesn't go with all of my current ones. It'd be nice for it to go with some of them, maybe the Kelly Wearstler ones, but then I don't mind the idea of getting new ones, either. I think I could reuse these in my guest bedroom and shake that room up a bit. Or maybe switch so my bedroom is more blues and greens instead of pink. Ideas, so many ideas!

The one thing I do know is that I'm leaning heavily towards a printed fabric. And I want something that makes me smile, like the wallpaper in my powder room (which I also use for the background of this blog and my twitter page and have yet to tire)

So something a bit bold and geometric over floral. Flamestich patterns have especially been calling out to me, though I have yet to find one that's perfect. Or even close to perfect. And of course the ones I'm most drawn to are the most expensive. But I'm not going to pay $150, 250 or 350/yard (yes, I picked one out that was $350 - I've since started sorting by price). Even $100/yard is too much. I'd like to keep it well under $50/yard, though for something spectacular I'd go higher. The couch was dirt cheap, after all. I was thinking that a new couch would be $2,000 - 2,500 so ideally when all is said and done, this couch won't cost more than that.

I'm almost finished with my new TV stand and am pretty darn excited for that. I think once I have that installed and my living room cleaned up and the old couch taken away, I'll be able to get a better vision on what's right.

And if I can't find the perfect print, I'll just go with solid off-white. It has made me pretty happy for the past three years!

Monday, September 10, 2012

color thoughts

For about a month now, I've hated pink. HATED. When I wear pink to work, I can't wait to get home to tear it off my body. I really want to finish my bedroom - and all I really need is to paint the walls, buy a new accent pillow and maybe some new lamps - but I can't help thinking about replacing the coverlet and repainting the side tables so it's all not so pink and purple.

This picture, that made me so ridiculously happy when I took it, makes me recoil just a bit right now.

 (though now my sheets are orange-y peach & pink paisley, which takes out the candy-ness of the room a LOT and I only use one of the pillows)

This is kind of shocking for me because I've loved pink for years. It's my happy color. Feeling sad? Put on some more pink blush. Feeling happy? Put on a pink sweater. But I'm not unhappy at all right now so what's with the pink hate?

At the same time, I'm incredibly drawn towards yellow. Bright, sunshiney yellow, drab mustard, even this neon-ish yellow-y acid green cardigan that's much more yellow than green that completely washes me out gives me a thrill when I put it on.

I want some yellow in my house. My kitchen is the obvious choice since it doesn't have a color yet, except that I have orange-y maple cabinets and I don't think yellow would work. But maybe I just haven't found the right shade of yellow. Yellow would be pretty with the blues and greens I have going on in my living and powder rooms. It'd be a good transition. Or maybe I could paint my kitchen navy and have yellow accents. Hmmmm...

But what I really want is a yellow couch. Like a yellow & white ikat or chevron - something completely impractical and unrealistic. Impractical not because the light colors would show dirt, but because I'd want to repaint my walls since I think bold walls & bold couch would be overwhelming in my tiny house

And then I'd probably want new curtains since the pattern may not play well with my current curtains. Unrealistic because  know I wouldn't be satisfied with a bargain priced fabric. But it'd be really really really pretty. It is in my head. Swear.

I couldn't find any pictures of yellow-print couches that I liked, but here are some pretty rooms with solid-yellow couches. And I would be happy with any of these.

Of course, less than a year ago, I would have sworn that I'd be happy forever with a pink couch. So maybe there is some truth to the conventional wisdom that one should have neutral couches and jazz it up with pillows. Though I do still love my pillows (and they'd be pretty with yellow!)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

bad magazine reader

So I'm sitting here procrastinating doing real work and catching up on House of Turquoise, thinking how I seem to read more DIY and real-life blogs instead of pretty-pictures blogs and maybe that should change when I see this picture


The turquoise with the dark red candelier. The dramatic picture on the wall adding that perfect, purposeful touch of black.

And then the rest of the room? C'mon. It's so freaking fabulous it almost hurts to look at it.

Finally on the third picture I notice the House Beautiful in the lower corner and I'm totally ashamed. And it's a house in DC, too! I have three or four issues of this magazine sitting on my coffee table. I also have three or four Martha Stewarts, about 6 Vanity Fairs (suckers are dense!) and god knows how many Spins. I also haven't read an issue of Lonny in forever and a day, forget about any other online mag.

I love magazines. I love seeing the perfect rooms. They keep me focused in decorating my own house. The DIY/real-life bloggers also have gorgeous homes, but they're often a bit more cutesy than is my taste. Well, I'm not sure if cutesy is the right word. But definitely not as sleek. The room above is sleek and it's what I ultimately want. There are some sleek elements to my house, but not enough because it's a lot easier to not be sleek. To buy that bright, roundish floral-printed whatever that's calling out to me at Target. To half-finish some crafty DIYish project.

So I need to get back to reading my magazines and need to resubscribe to a few pretty-picture blogs and get my head back in the game. Keep my eye on the prize. And no, I don't think athletic references are out of place in a design blog whatsoever.

Friday, April 27, 2012

I Want! I Want! I Want!

One of my favorite parts of Jonathan Adler's website is the "I Want!" section. Style icons list their three favorite JA items and it's pretty cool to see how Jonathan can be so perfect for both Iman and Lara Spencer. And because I love JA so much, I decided to do my own.

Keep in mind, I dream big.

1. Lampert sectional in Tanzania Indigo, $5,490
C'mon, a sectional in navy zebra? Of course I need this! I would have no problem redecorating my living room around this couch (think navy zebra on top of turquoise walls would be too much, even for me).

2. Chippendale chair in Ireland Avocado, $645 x 4
This chair is how I found Jonathan Adler. I don't even know where I first saw it, but it was instant love. I need four of them to go around my faux-Saarien table (and around the real one once I can afford it).

3. Large Fontana bowl, $198
Lately I've been keeping my fruit in a bowl on the kitchen counter. I've been using the pretty floral one I found at Salvation Army last year, but it's very round and thus takes up a lot of space. This one is oval so will fit better - and it's gold striped.

But you know what, I also love all of the little JA items. The smaller bits of pottery, the various things dosed in flamestitch patterns and wildly bright colors. So I'm going to do a second set. And since this is my blog, I'm going to do four more items, not three. Basically because I couldn't think of which one to not include.

1. Utopia Elephant mug, $26 x 2
I've never been much of a brown girl. My dinner plates are bright white, my salad plates are various bright colors on white backgrounds. But my mugs are brown-based. I don't really know why, but it makes me very happy to have them be brown. Maybe it's because all the things you drink in them are brown? Coffee, tea, hot chocolate. Even green tea is an earthy shade. So these elephant mugs would fit in quite nicely because you can see the brown clay through the glaze. Plus I get a kick out of the little faces.

And why two? Because while I like things to be mismatched when I'm hosting a big party, for just two, I like being matchy-matchy. And the person I have most often for tea tete-a-tete is my mom and she'd get a kick out of the little faces, too.

2. Blue Boxed matches, $5.95
I'm so getting these on my own. $6 for a little brightness inside my junk drawer? Yes, please! And the match tips are pink! I might have to buy a box for everyone I know. (sorry, just ruined Christmas)

3. Peacock coasters, $68
With my old coffee table, wet drinks never bothered me. I stained the table myself and it looked like it. Plus I didn't apply the stain until after using it for a while unstained - and didn't bother sanding out the pen marks and other dark blobs. It was rustic, it was fine, and glass rings weren't really noticeable.

But on my glass table? I notice - and am bothered by - every single random mark. I need coasters, bad. And ones with shiny gold graphic peacock feathers would be quite perfect.

4. Flame umbrella, $28.95
This is also going into my shopping basket. 30 bucks for such prettiness? Total bargain! Plus it will go with my green scarf. This will definitely have me wishing for rainy days.

So what do you think of my picks? What would be yours?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

rant of the day

I'm going to use this term a lot in this post so I just want to get out of the way that I hate it. And it's related to my rant, but not the actual subject.

pop of color


I used to like it. Pop is such a bright and happy word, but man is it overused. Everything is considered a "pop of color" including the actual subject of my rant.

And because the term is so popular (pun intended), temporary accessories being used to justify color schemes.

House Beautiful did this recently. Talked about how a house had so much pink in it. But in almost every room, the pink "pops" were flowers or other accessories that just screamed "the stylist added me!"

The worst offender, to me, is the dining room.

Yes, the pink livens up the space, but how likely do you think it is that the homeowner buys a bunch of hot pink hydrangeas every week? A better "pop" would have been hot pink dishes or a large hot pink glass bowl in the center of the table. Something that at least pretended to be permanent. You know, like the pillows and throw in the living room.

I do think they're pretty fun, but I also have my doubts as to their existence before this photo shoot.

And while I'm sure the orchids in the kitchen were also brought in for the shoot, at least they're plants and could theoretically be considered an integral component to the room.

Now, the faux accents in this house are not all pink. In another dining area, the accent is green and - again - to me, this is how flowers should be used in a photo shoot.

I'm going to assume that the large green cabinet was already there. And, yes, I know that it could have been brought in as easily as the flowers, but it at least seems more permanent. So then the greens in the floral arrangement just highlight the green cabinet and the green in the little painting on the other side of the doorway.

So yes, flowers are very important for photo shoots and make rooms more enjoyable in real life. But they shouldn't be considered the accent color, they should be used to bring out the actual accent colors.

But wait - this isn't even my real rant. All of this is also just background.

My REAL rant is that since magazines do this, now bloggers and blog-followers do this as well. And it's not just design blogs. I remember one blogger - who I no longer follow so can't remember her name - talking about her "pop of color" for her outfit being her orange watch. That she was pairing with a long-sleeved shirt. Which meant that the only way one could see her "pop" was if she happened to move her arm in the right way.

To me, this isn't a pop of color. That's like saying your pop of color is the pink lining of your shoes. Or, back to the home design world, the back of your throw pillows. Sure, it's a fun little surprise (and I highly encourage fun little surprises), but it shouldn't be considered an actual part of your color scheme. A better half-hidden pop would have been a necklace that you tucked inside the open neckline of your button-down shirt. From the back or even the side, it's not seen. But full-on, it's obvious. Or instead of the backs of your pillows, have one or two actually be a color (or a different color). Throw a few colored vases into your bookcase, keeping the rest of the room neutral. Something purposeful and that you don't need to rebuy every week.

It's also like reading a fashion magazine and trying to emulate the models or celebrities, many of whom were airbrushed. And even if they weren't airbrushed, the hairdresser might have back-combed their hair so it looks fuller than normal from the front.

Magazines are about inspiration and one shouldn't try to completely copy the look. It just isn't realistic and, frankly, looks as much a hot mess in real life as that overly back-combed hair.