The Lorimer Project Part III – Design Plan

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We’re nearing the final stretch at the Lorimer Project! Click here to see parts I and II. The challenge was to turn a nondescript white shell of a condo into a place that would reflect my client’s style: colorful, creative, and bohemian. She wanted a chic, unfussy, but collected look. We started by layering rich patterns and textures, then we combined rustic, age-worn, and hand-crafted items with polished, refined pieces.  The design plan for the main room. In the main room, we chose a white-washed wood paneled wallpaper which immediately added warmth and interest.  Our custom-designed kilim loveseat, with its bold colors and patterns, is balanced by a pair of laid-back leather and velvet armchairs. The Beni Ourain-inspired area rug is layered with a super soft faux sheepskin. Finally we interspersed metallic accents, like a vintage brass arc lamp and copper pendant lights, to give the room a touch of glamour. To integrate the loveseat’s bright color palette into the dining area, we found a funky boucherouite rug with bands of pink, orange, blue, and …

Trendcasting: Lacquered Walls

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Lacquered walls are a long-standing design tradition, but in recent years, they have been making a resurgence. Designers like Miles Redd, Steven Gambrel, and Markham Roberts have helped reintroduce lacquered walls to the popular landscape. The highly reflective finish of lacquer creates dimensionality, particularly when combined with a deeply saturated color like sapphire blue or emerald green. The liquidlike sheen is sumptuous, dramatic, and opulent. True lacquer, as opposed to high gloss paint, must be applied by skilled professionals. The reflective finish magnifies any imperfections, so expert prep and application is a must. Check out some of my favorite lacquered walls below!  Orange lacquered walls via Atlanta Homes Magazine.  Left: Aerin Lauder’s sophisticated black office via Elle Decor. Right: Blue-grey lacquered walls in Steven Gambrel’s W. 10th Street townhouse.  A peacock blue butler’s pantry from Lee Ann Thornton Interiors.  Emerald green lacquer via ArkPad.  A striking home library designed by Steven Gambrel.  Left: White lacquered walls pop against black herringbone floors, via Westerman Farm. Right: Miles Redd’s navy blue lacquer, via Apartment Therapy. 

Get the Look: Tropical Leaves

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Tropical leaf prints have long been a design classic, thanks in large part to two iconic wallpaper patterns. Martinique wallpaper, designed by Don Loper in 1942 for the Beverly Hills Hotel, features banana leaves in a rich forest green palette. Brazilliance wallpaper was designed by the one-and-only Dorothy Draper for the Greenbrier Hotel. Although similar to Martinique, Brazilliance has more saturated colors and accents of sea grapes amidst the banana leaves.  A side-by-side comparison of the iconic Martinique and Brazilliance wallpapers. L: Bathroom via Apartment Therapy. R: The Greenbrier Hotel via The Glam Pad. Tropical leaf decor lends an air of retro glamour to any room. Banana leaves and palm fronds make for gorgeous wallpaper and upholstery, but you can also incorporate the motif through lighting fixtures, artwork, and accessories. Here is some tropical inspiration for your home!  The Martinique wallpaper pairs beautifully with black and white. Via Sarah Sarna.  Black lacquer doors and Brazilliance wallpaper make for a bold, graphic hallway. Design …

Bookshelves + Etageres

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One of my current clients has a large library of books, and as I redesign her room, I have been thinking about how best to store her collection. Book storage can be tricky. Options range from entirely closed bookcases to open etageres. A closed system hides clutter (and any embarrassing trashy novels you picked up at the airport!); but open shelving allows your library to be a design element in its own right– a highly personal design element. I tend to favor an open shelving system, but I recognize its drawbacks. Disorganized shelves can make a room look cluttered, and books are absolute dust magnets. Etageres often require bookends to keep everything upright. If you want to display your library, but prefer not to deal with the practical inconvenience of an open bookshelf, glass door bookcases are a happy medium. 1) Muller Van Severen Marble Bookshelf via 1stdibs 2) Jefferson Bookcase 3) Jonathan Adler lucite and brass Jacques etagere 4) Metal industrial barrister bookcase via 1stdibs 5) Mission barrister bookcase with leaded glass …

Mineral Lust: Malachite

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I am a big fan of emerald green interiors, so it’s no surprise that malachite is one of my favorite patterns. Malachite exudes opulence and luxury. Products made with real malachite can be very expensive, but luckily the pattern is easy to replicate. Design blogs are full of DIY faux malachite painting techniques– something I would love to try one day– but in the meantime, I’m enjoying these inspiration images! Malachite wallpaper via Lonny. Malachite throw pillow via Etsy.   1) Malachite chair via Dwell Studio and 2) L’Objet dinner plates via Architectural Digest.   1940’s faux malachite dresser, which has been covered in Fornasetti wallpaper and then lacquered via 1st Dibs. Tony Duquette’s home via Architectural Digest.

Trendcasting: Rose Gold & Copper Decor

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Rose gold and copper hues are cropping up in many areas of design– fashion, jewelry, packaging– and I have an inkling these metals will soon be popular accents in home design. Sources: 1) Joseph Dirand / Interiors / Varenne, Paris 2) Lamb & Blonde 3) Heal’s 4) Slow Luxe Design 5) Helly & Co  Sources: 1) Forecast Single-light Rose Gold Ceiling Lamp 2) Anthropologie 3) Swan Chair by Windsor Smith 4) Rose Gold Faucet 5) Elephant Sancal 6) Nate Berkus Lamp

Welcome Wagon

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In Colonial America, pineapples, then an exotic and expensive import, were considered a symbol of friendliness and hospitality.  To this day, pineapples often adorn gardens and gateposts as a way to welcome guests.  But pineapples are a great decorative motif anywhere in your house– a fun, graphic accent and a message of hospitality to all your visitors.  Here are a few ways to bring pineapples into your decor:     1) Brass Candlestick Sconces 2) Mid-Century Wooden Dish 3) Pineapple Print 4) Adelphi Paper Hangings 5) Ice Bucket 6) Pillow

Blue & White Garden Stools

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Ceramic garden stools can do a little bit of everything.  Indoor or outdoor.  Side table or extra seating. Or simply a beautiful accessory.  Ceramic is also a lovely counterweight to more common textures like wood and upholstery. Sources: 1) Horchow 2) 1stdibs 3) Christie’s 4) Amazon 5) One Kings Lane 6) One Kings Lane 7) Instyle Decor 8) Scully & Scully

Weekend Project: Mid-Century Sunroom

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My sister, Elizabeth, asked for a little help tackling the last undecorated room in her home: a 4’ x 6’ sunroom.  Elizabeth, an actress and screenwriter, wanted a comfortable place to read scripts and memorize lines.  She requested a mid-century modern style that would complement her adjacent office.  The room is not weatherproof, so we chose items that would not be ruined by sun damage or dust.  Our maximum budget was $600. We found the armchair and ottoman on craigslist for $100.  The chair is a mid-century reproduction from Urban Outfitters, so we aren’t worried about abandoning a valuable vintage piece to the elements. We purchased a 3’ x 5’ grey and white chevron rug for $80 from Potted, a fabulous garden store in Los Feliz.  Our big budget splurge was a Modernica Case Study ceramic pot and Brazilian walnut stand, which we found on sale for $120.  The Case Study planter is manufactured locally in Los Angeles. Our next …

Campaign Dresser Makeover

Luca DIY, Furniture Before and After, Thrifting 1 Comment

I had been on the lookout for a campaign dresser for several months when I spotted the perfect piece on craigslist.  It had sturdy dovetail construction and solid brass hardware.  I was not a big fan of the original wood tone, so I decided to give the dresser a classic kelly green makeover!  Here is an overview of the process. First I removed the hardware and gave the whole piece a good sanding.  I used ScotchBlue painter’s tape to keep all my edges clean and then painted one coat of Zinsser primer.  Primer will prolong the life of the finish. I decided to use Benjamin Moore Advance high gloss paint in jade green.  It has a built-in self-leveling property, which helps hide brush strokes and provide a smooth finish.  I ended up doing three (long and painful!) coats to get complete coverage.  Fortunately this paint does not require a top coat. I also polished the hardware.  You can use a …