The Firmdale Project Reveal

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The Firmdale Project is complete! This master bedroom makeover in Boston has come a long way. Check out the introduction to the Firmdale Project to see where we started. The original bedroom did not function well. It was trying to play too many roles– bedroom, closet, office, and library– all at once. Books from the large shelving unit were piling up on the desk. The desk was crowding the bed and making it difficult to access the en-suite bathroom. The dresser and bed were nestled in so tight, there was no room for a second nightstand and the dresser drawers couldn’t be opened fully. Our main priority was to pare down the room to its essential role: bedroom. We relocated the books and desk to another part of the house (and my clients actually undertook a massive book donation drive!). We moved the bed to the long wall opposite the windows, which suited the room’s dimensions much better. This change allowed us to upgrade from a double to a queen …

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: Geological Genius

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A large agate mural is the focal point of this breathtaking bathroom from JSE Interior Design.  The design world’s flirtation with geological decor has grown into a full-blown love affair. Rock forms, minerals, geodes, and– most commonly– agate have truly stolen our hearts. Why are we so drawn to these elements? Take agate as an example.  Agate is simultaneously chaotic and systematic; it forms highly irregular organic shapes, within which are aligned perfect parallel bands of color. This balance of tumult and order is so pleasing to the eye, I can’t imagine the design community will abandon the trend any time soon.  JSE Interior Design, helmed by owner Jared Sherman Epps, created the breathtaking bathroom shown above. They used a custom waterproof panel from Alex Turco on the back wall of the shower in lieu of standard tiles. The freeform organic shape and vivid blue of the agate mural perfectly complement the room’s sleek minimalism. The oversized scale of the mural demands your attention, while beautifully framing the room’s two windows.  Strata Study wallpaper …

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 …

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: Scottish Style

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Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of Scottish influence in interior design. The iconic Scottish style is of course plaid, but Scottish influence comes in many other forms: pheasant motifs, needlepoint hunting scenes, rich velvet sofas, and (faux!) mounted taxidermy. Here’s how to add a wee bit of Scotland to your home! Sources: 1) Braemore Phaesant Hunt Leather Fabric 2) Dark Green Tapestry Hunt Scene Pillow 3) Off-White Belgian Hunting Pillow 4) Lyre Chesterfield Sofa 5) 5th Avenue Throw in Breslin Plaid 6) Resin Stag Head 7) Cooper Navy Plaid Rug 8) Rustic Saltire Flag Pillow 9) Thomas Kay Weaver’s Plaid Pillow in Cedar Bark  Sources: The Gifts of Life, Betsy Speert  Sources: The Enchanted Home, Apartment Therapy  Source: House Beautiful via Tartanscot