Showing posts with label Projects. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Projects. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

British Invasion! Fab!

The British Invasion happened back in the 1960's with rock groups "invading" the USA, including the most famous Beatles. It also launched a whole fashion style and decor trend. Everybody wanted to wear Mary Quant and Biba, and have a piece of pop art kicky plastic furniture in their home.

Emily Henderson styles a British Invasion living room

Emily Henderson,
star of HGTV's Secrets From A Stylist, recently showed a living room she decorated in a style she called "British Invasion". The low slung modern couch, and kicky fabrics, and sleek metal trunk were her gestalt touchstones. Not one Union Jack in the room. Emily is too cool for school to use that in a room called British Invasion style.

Pink Union Jack rug via Design Blahg HERE

Vivienne Westwood rug hung on the wall as art

The Union Jack has had a tremendous revival as a decor object. Somehow it just adds a little cool factor. I don't think any flag except perhaps the Jasper Johns series of the USA flag has such panache in the decor world.

Chaise lounge upholstered in a Union Jack fabric

The Union Jack is used as upholstery, and on rugs, and on painted furniture.

Union Jack rug

Dresser painted with the Union Jack at Decor Demon HERE

Appliances even get covered with it.

Visual Vamp kitchen with Union Jack dishwasher

I like it as a graphic image, although I think you can only have one thing in a room using it, or perhaps only one thing in the entire house.

Union Jack even looks fab with pink!

My friend Sabina recently passed onto me a deco style armoire. She just moved to a new home, and had no room for this piece. We might have trashed it, but I just can't seem to abandon any old piece of furniture with some life left in it.

Old armorie - before

At first I thought of just giving it to the local thrift shop, but then I thought: British Invasion!
What a perfect piece to paint the Union Jack on! Not that I needed another project ha ha, but what the hell.

Primed and taped

I found an image on the internet of a refrigerator covered with the Union Jack, which was perfect, since this humble little closet resembles the shape of a refrigerator.

Many more hours were spent taping and painting

I primed it first, then taped off the stripes, and the Jack started to emerge. Alberto helped out alot, fascinated by my project. The red is called Spanish Red, and the blue is Old Navy, and both are by Benjamin Moore, and the white is some Kilz white cabinet paint we have around due to the kitchen project.

The Union Jack armoire - styled for a child's room

It turned out so cute! I never meant to keep it. I think it would be so perfect in a child's room, so I am going to put it on Craigslist at a very good price.

So what do you think of the British Invasion in decorating? Do you have any pieces in your home?


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bzzzzy As A Bee

Moving things around, painting, cleaning, and spiffing up. We have dear friends from Germany arriving Friday who will stay with us for ten days. We met them when we taught a week long tango workshop in Umbria in Italy (we did this for a wonderful three years in a row). Subsequently they hosted a tango workshop for us in Hamburg, Germany where they live, so it is so nice to have them come and visit us in New Orleans.

Before Marilyn moved in
I silver leafed the lamp on the right and changed out the shades

I moved Marilyn in and silver leafed a floor lamp in the living room. I also painted a little junky table I had, following the explicit directions for The Bayou Contessa, who has much experience doing this.

The table got a light sanding.
Then a coat of XIM primer (also recommended by Optimism and White Paint professional faux painter Mitchell). I was told it's very stinky so take the project outdoors.
Then the Contessa says she paints every piece of furniture with a first coat of brown called Texas Leather. Okay.
Then on goes the color I chose, the ever popular China White
Two coats later with sanding and steel wool in between, and a little accent painting with the brown paint, a little knocking back some of the white, and it was done. It took a few days to allow each coat to dry, so if you're in a hurry you are out of luck.
And here it is insitu looking as cute as it can be! Thanks Contessa for the tutorial!
Also, New Orleans bloggers Save The Date Saturday March 28 for a very special evening. Please send me your e-mail if you'd like to be included
And if anyone will be visiting New Orleans then, please let me know so you can join us.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

This And That

Another hot trend trickles down to the masses. Nate Berkus moved his affordable design line to The Home Shopping Network. He had it at Linens 'n Things, which is closing its stores forever. Material Girls has a story about it. Nate brings the hot trend of Suzanis to HSN in the form of these pillows, priced at $59.99 for TWO! And you can split the payment in two, using something HSN calls Flexpay. So for $29.99 you get them in your house. Your credit card is charged twice with no interest. Nate's Suzani pillows are made in India, and are printed cotton with sequins. They come in three color ways. Though not a real Suzani, the gestalt is there.The other flavor of the month is still Ikat. I bought one of Nate's Ikat pillows from Linens 'n Things, on sale for $9.99. It's okay. Again it's kind of the gesture of the real thing. His is the dark brown square pillow. The custom Ikat pillow from Perch Home shown on the couch cost ten times that, and alongside Nate's pillow they look like they are in the same family. However the custom pillow is so much nicer in person.
Joni Webb of Cote de Texas loves Suzanis, and one that she has was recently featured in a nice little article about her called French Tex in the November issue of Better Homes and Gardens. I tried to find photos on the BHG web site to no avail. I believe Meg at Pigtown covered this, and of course Joni has tons of photos and information about Suzanis on her blog. I would also like for her to toot her own horn, and (pretty please) post the photos from the BHG article, and tell us her back story about the shoot.Pottery Barn is selling authentic vintage Suzanis from $650. - $800. Now you know the trend is totally main stream. With genuine Ikat and Suzanis being costly, do you think this a trend that will become a classic? Will we still use and love these beauties ten years from now? Twenty?
From the PB web site:
These stunning panels add magnificent color and incredible character. Rich in culture and history, the suzani was originally used as a wedding canopy in central Asia. Each of our exclusive limited-edition suzanis was carefully selected from a collector who buys the elaborately hand-embroidered textiles from artisans throughout the Middle East and Asia. Ranging in age from 50 to 80 years, each panel is handcrafted and completely unique, showcasing details and variations characteristic of an authentic vintage piece. Details include occasional timeworn holes, missing threads and artful patterns created by piecing together scraps of fabric. Each comes with a certificate stating the age of the piece and the region where it was originally created. I'm always rearranging the furniture in my house. Maybe you do this too. This antique French metal folding chair has a wide stance, and has always been difficult to fit in. I've moved it from the living room... the bedroom... my office...
It's a rather nice chair, with a lovely patina, though not very comfy to sit in.
So I folded it up, and was thinking of just stashing it in the magic closet that holds all the odds and ends: Pillows, lamp shades, vases, lamps, pictures - all the little things that get rotated when I start moving things around.
Then it came to me that folded up it was very beautiful and useful, and I turned it into a magazine rack that has been in my office for a couple of months, which is a long time with my nomadic furniture always roaming around the house.
Maybe you have such a chair, and I know you have the magazines! So give it a try.
After all the hoopla and emotion of the election, it's kind of hard for me to wrap my mind around interior design and the blog right now. So forgive me for a "this and that" kind of post.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Am I Blue? Kitchen Edit Part Two

If you read my blog, you know I have been revamping things around the house. The most recent addition are dining chairs and the kitchen edit.
After I rearranged things, I thought about adding a different color to an accent wall. This swatch of chintz is the fabric my kitchen, dining area, and office curtains are made of. So this was the starting point in the paint department. In the store the blue colors in the fabric looked more green than blue, and the best match was a color called Milky Jade.
To me it was more green than I wanted, because I was also pulling the accent wall color from the Majolica plates and one spectacular Majolica pitcher, and also from one stripe of blue in a painting, and also from the blue of a Bombay Sapphire Gin bottle. Can you guess which color I chose? Those of you who I have already told are not eligible for this guessing game ha ha.
The paint chips I considered were: Milky Jade; Wading Pool; Vintage Aqua; Atonement; Arcadian Blue; Always Aqua; Blue Bottle; Forstoria Glass, and Saltwater (wouldn't you love to have the job of naming paint colors!).
Other color inspiration included a blue box from Tiffany's, and the color of the new Domino book.


Here is a view from the breakfast area looking into a side entry hall, and into my office (that was once the dining room). The chintz curtains are in the red room as well as the kitchen, including a small panel over the transom of the side door.
You can also see the aqua blue streaked lamp, and the Majolica plates (with touches of the same aqua as the ones hanging over the fireplace) hanging over my desk from the kitchen. Even though I use alot of color in my house, the colors repeat in some form in another room, so that the effect is unifying.
Here's a view of the fireplace. There used to be one in every room when this house was built over 100 years ago, and they were the main heating sources in winter. This is the only one left, perhaps not a room one would prefer to have a fireplace be in. I find it charming to have it in the kitchen.
You also can get a good view of all the color inspirations for the accent wall. Do you see the blue stripe of color in the Michalopoulos painting?
Do you see the blue glass of the gin bottle on the little bar in the corner?
I love the folk art painting perched on the bar. The tango dancers are Alberto and me, done by Charles Gillam and given to me on my birthday by the hubs.
Here you can really see all the aqua blues in the Majolica plates.
Some of you ask how I can just up and change things so quickly. It comes from my days as a stylist, when you had to make something happen to get the shot that day, in fact many shots in one day. The clock was always ticking, and the budget might have only allowed for that day's photo shoot. I always had to improvise on the spur of the moment, and this carries over to decorating. Once I get an idea, I can usually execute it quickly.
Paint is the easiest and cheapest quick change. And doing an accent wall is pretty easy.
I have mixed feelings about accents walls, but when they work, they work. My mother used to do them all the time, either painted or by using wall paper. What do you think of accent walls?
Jane Seymour used to do a commercial for Clairol Hair Color. She would quip in a perky continental accent "It's just a little box of hair color..." whilst trying to sell the idea to women to just take the plunge and color their hair. Well that's how I feel about paint (and hair color). If it doesn't work out, you can change it right away.
Jane Seymour as the Bond girl
Solitaire, in Live And Let Live

I'm pretty happy with the accent wall color. I think the newly reupholstered faux white leather settee and chairs are so fresh looking that they needed a fresh infusion of color to enhance them.
Here's a close up of the fireplace. I used the flash, so you could see the Majolica tiles, and the details on the hearth panel, especially the Fleur de lis. There are a few tiles missing, and I 'm always on the look out for them.
We only lighted this fireplace once. It was Christmas Day and it snowed in New Orleans! This is extremely rare in this sub tropical climate, and it hadn't happened in 25 years.
Alberto tells the story that when it snows again in Buenos Aires (which has very much the same climate as New Orleans), another Carlos Gardel (a very famous iconic tango singer and super star who died in the 1930's, and is revered and loved like a saint) will be born again.
We thought perhaps on this snowy day in New Orleans, another Louis Armstrong might have been born.
We haven't ever lighted the fireplace again. Katrina blew a few bricks off the chimney, and if it wasn't a fire hazard before, it certainly must be now, so we won't chance it. The fireplace remains a charming piece of decor that we enjoy very much.