Very Vignette: Softly Lit Window

Pastel & Brass Flower Pots By Ferm Living

Ferm Living Spring 2015

Brass hexagon flower pot by Ferm Living

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ARTmonday: Photographer Filippo Minelli

I’ve featured the work of Filippo Minelli in the past, having discovered his colored smoke images on Pinterest. This Saturday, January 10, 2015, marks the opening of his first solo exhibition in the U.S., at 886 Geary Gallery in San Francisco.

Minelli initiated his series of work titled Silence/Shapes in 2009 inspired by political demonstrations, with the aim of visualizing silence as a physical shape in the landscape by decontextualizing the violent media of smoke grenades and juxtaposing it to the beauty of nature.








Filippo Minelli at work in the landscape.

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Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Art Monday

Sunday Bouquet: Wrapped in Kraft


Flowers in kraft paper by Caroline Khoo of Nectar and Stone


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Saturday Say It: That Hazelnut Chocolate Spread

Nutella Brings Happiness To Everybody, Right?

You can’t make everybody happy.
You aren’t a jar of Nutella.

 •           •          •

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Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Saturday Say It

Giveaway: Win $200 at BeddingStyle


Early last year, bedding website was in touch about partnering on a bedding giveaway. But first, they wanted me to try out a set of bedding for myself. Since we didn’t need (nor could we store) more bedding in Boston, I chose a white quilted coverlet by Vera Wang for the bedroom in Florida. (Photos of the Florida beach bedroom makeover here.)

 Now it’s your turn to pick out new bedding and give your bed (and maybe your entire bedroom) a makeover. BeddingStyle is offering one StyleCarrot reader, chosen at random, to win $200 worth of bedding at BeddingStyle. Read below for the two requirements of this $200 bedding giveaway. (And don’t forget to include your email address so I can get in touch if you win!)

E N T E R  to  W I N  
$200  at B E D D I N G  S T Y L E*

1. Tell me in the comment section of this post:
What color is your bedroom?

2. Sign up for the newsletter.
(Use the widget below!)

Enter by Friday, January 16, 2015 at noon EST.
One winner will be chosen using
You MUST include your email address!

*  Excludes Marimekko and White Goods.


Vera Wang Puckered Diamond Matelasse Coverlet
compliments of BeddingStyle, on our bed in Florida.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

B E D D I N G  S T Y L E  
C O M F O R T E R S  +  D U V E T S


Clockwise: City Scene Wisteria; City Scene Ink Wash; Vera Wang Shibori; City Scene Amelia.


Clockwise: City Scene Treetop; Grove Hill Silhouette; Candice Olson Cross My Heart; City Loft Good Vibes.


Clockwise: Not Neutral Pom Pom; City Scene Radius; Teen Vogue Something Blue; Candice Olson Rise and Shine.


Clockwise: Perry Ellis Asian Lily; City Scene Arlo; Not Neutral Half Moon; City Loft Honeycomb.


Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Giveaway

Workbook: How To Measure Windows for Blinds

Now that the walls at the Florida condo are white, we’re faced with the pricey proposition of ordering shades for the windows. The former owner had installed sheer fabric honeycomb blinds. While they’re quite practical, they’re not our style. And, since we’ve painted, they look horrendous. The walls are bright white, but the blinds are the color of cigarette smoke stained shades that one might find in a train station from the 1950s. That bad.


I didn’t think to take a photo that highlights just how bad the window treatments look now, but here’s what the living room looked like when we first got it. (Yes, the beadboard panelling was flesh toned.) I realize that the blinds don’t look like an atrocity here, but believe me, they do, especially with all the white walls and furniture.


When we first moved in, we swapped out the metal Venetian blind (hard to believe people still have those) in the kitchen for a solar shade. What a difference. (The wallpaper with rows of nautical flags is gone now too.)

I wish I could show you brilliant “after” photos with sleek window treatments, but alas, we only have “before” pictures. However, we measured and recorded the dimensions for every window in the condo (thankfully, at his point my (handy!) husband knows how to measure for blinds.) I plan to place an order for as many as I can afford within our budget. (It will be holiday cash well spent.)

Here are detailed instructions for how to measure windows for blinds.


• Decide on whether you want to mount the shades inside the window frame, or outside. 

• Use a steel measuring tape for accuracy. 

• Measure all windows, even those which appear to be the same size, especially in older homes.

I N S I D E   M O U N T 


• An inside mount is a cleaner, sleeker look. Outside mounted shades are affixed to the window frame or above or beyond the molding, so the window frame is covered when blind is closed.

• Inside mounted shades can have at least a half-inch gap on either side due to the brackets. A lot of light can stream through so if you want complete darkness, best to opt for an outside mount.

• If you want an inside mount, check not just the minimum depth required for it to be securely fastened, but the minimum depth required for a flush mount so the roller does not stick out beyond the window frame.

• To measure the width for an inside mount, measure the distance across from the inside of the window frame at the top, middle, and bottom of the window. Round down to the nearest 1/8-inch. Use the smallest of the three measurements.

• Then measure the height on the left, middle, and right. Round each measurement down to the nearest 1/8″. For blinds, use the longest measurement; for roller shades use the shortest measurement.

O U T S I D E   M O U N T how-to-measure-outside-mount

• For an outside mount, measure the width of the area you want the shade to cover. This is normally about  2-inches beyond the window frame, to prevent light from shining through. Some companies subtract from your measurement to accommodate the brackets, so be sure to account for that if need be.

• Measure the height from top to bottom from the top inside edge to the window sill. Round up to the nearest 1/8-inch. Add at least three-inches to the height for optimum light control. If you want the shade to cover a larger area, account for that too.

• Be sure to read the instructions for how-to measure for blinds for the specific brand you are purchasing; each company has its own quirks and guidelines. Shades can be expensive and they’re not returnable, so record your numbers carefully and double check your work. Or, you could always hire a professional.

•          •         •

Shop window treatments at American Blinds >


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Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Workbook

Montage: 28 Rooms With Roller Shades

Yesterday I was having lunch with a friend who also happens to be an interior designer about to embark on gutting her family’s new home. “I hate roller shades,” she said, to which I gleefully replied, “I love our roller shades! They disappear at the top of the window; you can’t see them at all.”

She reasoned we must have had a good installer, rather than the cheapie versions meant for homeowners to pop in themselves. Nope. My husband put them up, and did a damn fine job. It’s pretty easy to get a great look out of a roller shade on your own, assuming you can measure (and re-measure) accurately and are semi-handy with a drill. Neither are strong points of mine, but luckily my husband is good at this sort of thing.

For the nurseries back in our bungalow in D.C., and then for the boy’s bedrooms in Boston I ordered white duck Roman shades from Smith & Noble. They worked out well; I particularly like the wooden piece on the pull cord (what’s that called anyway?).

Then I discovered The Shade Store. I ordered a zillion roller shade samples in every kind of white, from blackout to solar to papery linens, and made my picks. I used bright white blackout roller shades in the bedrooms (we face East… the sunrises over the Atlantic Ocean and is blinding). If you look at the first photo below, carefully, you can make out the shade rolled up neatly at the top of the window. Basically invisible, right? (I realize the shade on the door is hardly ideal, but I couldn’t come up with another solution.)


Master bedroom in our house on the Cape


White roller shades over wood framed doors  •  Champion Blinds


Laura Garner  •  GKW Working Design


Vermont Integrated Architecture


White roller shades in Portland, Maine bedroom
Whitten Architects  •  Photo by Rob Karosis


Solar shades on sun porch windows by The Shade Store


Black solar shades in contemporary Charleston, SC living room
All About Windows Inc.


Bismut + Bismut Architects  •  Photo by Francis Amiand


Black roller shade in the kitchen of Rita Hazan’s home
Photo by Brittany Ambridge for Domino


Gradient blind DIY project  •  Bambula


Mountain shade DIY project  •  Bambula


Cortinas roller shades by Hunter Douglas/Luxaflex


White roller shades and a sheepskin rug  •  Design Sponge


Solar shades in contemporary dining room in Chelsea,NYC
Brett Beyer Photography  •  Drew McGukin Interiors


Ikea Urban blind with added red trim  •  Bambula


Nursery with white shades in Amsterdam  •  Apartment Therapy


White roller shade in pastel living room in Rotterdam  •  VT Wonen


 Rattan chairs, oak flooring and white roller shades
Photo by Mia Linnman • Solid Frog


Tree roller blind in blue by Bodie and Fou


Victorian home in London  •  Air Space Locations


Eichler home  •  Apartment Therapy


 Black roller shades at American Blinds




Roller shades built into wood framed windows in Brooklyn brownstone
Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture


Large white roller shade in Grand Rapids, Michigan kitchen
Green Apple Design  •  Solomon Building Group


Roller shades in contemporary kitchen with Wishbone chairs in Toronto.
Croma Design   •  Michael Graydon Photography


Stenciled roller shade  •  Photo by Tjitske Lions  •  VT Wonen


Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Interior Design Trends

ARTmonday: 16 Obscured Cityscapes

As much as we love spending time in our little Florida enclave, surrounded by palm trees and ocean air, there is always something exhilarating about zipping back into the city on the Uber ride back from the airport. Sure, it’s not Manhattan (for one, it only takes ten minutes to travel from Logan to downtown Boston), but there are still bridges, and lights, a river, and a tall building or two in the Boston cityscape. It’s nice to escape to other environs, but urban landscapes are really where I prefer to be long term.

Taking inspiration from the cityscape with which we were met as we arrived home the other evening, I’ve pulled together cityscape artwork, but not straightforward postcard images (ick). No sunsets behind skyscrapers here. This cityscape art portrays views that are deconstructed or somehow obscured. It might be a scene enhanced by a reflection, shot from above, viewed from beneath a bridge or through a window, or made blurry by the rain or the photographic lens. Here are 16 pieces of cityscape art that celebrates the city, no matter which way it’s looked at.

cityscape-Berlin #3

Berlin #3 by Matthew Ling
$425 at Saatchi Art


NYC MK 08 by Marco Lugli
$400 at Saatchi Art


Adjacent Building, 2012 by Ronald Erskine
Starting at $200 at UGallery


Cityscape I by Misha Dontsav
$200 at Saatchi Art


Barcelona Skyline by Neema Sadeghi
$22.88 at Society6


Bridge, 2012 by Mikhail Palinchak
Starting at $275 at Amazon/UGallery


Columbus Circle by Joseph O. Holmes
Starting at $60 at 20×200


Down the Street (2013) by Ulrich van Brodt
$400 by Saatchi Art


Green Branches by Tod Seelie
Starting at $60 at 20×200


Amsterdam View Opus 45 by Geert Lemers
$1,800 at Saatchi Art


14:14 London by Marek Emczek Olszewski
$1,200 at Saatchi Art


Waiting for Nothing by Pedro Correa
$3,800 at Saatchi Art


Cityscape with Trees II by Steven Irwin
$300 at Saatchi Art


Tower Poppies 07 by Pete Edmunds
$21 at Society6


On the Charles | Cambridge by Grey Circle
Starting at $20 at UGallery


Nowhere To Run ’11 by Gonçalo Castelo Branco
$290 at Saatchi Art

•             •             •
Live in denim.  Shop Madwell >

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Sunday Bouquet: Neon Pink Tinged Roses On Flokati

Pink Roses From The Bouqs On Flokati Rug

Neon pink tinged rose bouquet by The Bouqs
Flokati rug from Wayfair

The Bouqs, a new online flower delivery service, delivered this bouquet of bright, crisp roses (gratis) via FedEx, right to my doorstep.

Based in Venice, California, The Bouqs  offers a 40 pretty floral bouquets with cute names like Happy Harvest, Tiki Torches, and Thick As Thieves. And they’re all $40 or $50. Try finding another online flower delivery service (especially ones that don’t specialize in tacky red carnations) for that price.

The Bouqs works exclusively with farms that are independently certified by agencies such as Veriflora and The Rainforest Alliance as being sustainable and eco-friendly. And its Happiness Guarantee means if the flowers arrive late or last less than three days, they’ll send out another bouquet.

The quality of these flowers from The Bouqs was definitely superior to other online flower delivery services I’ve tried. They weren’t all wilted when I removed them from the cardboard box, and they’re still looking lovely four days later. The downside is that you have to plan ahead, as the lead time can be a week or more, depending on the collection. Also, since they’re shipped rather than hand delivered from a local florist, there’s no vase.

My roses, which came with purple statice that I separated out and arranged with local floral and fauna found down by the pool (shh!), are from the Desperado bouquet.

•             •            •
Shop Bouqs for affordable flowers delivered to the doorstep >

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Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Sunday Bouquet

Saturday Say It: Seriously Amazing

Life Is Amazing Quote

Because when you stop and look around, this life is pretty amazing. 

Enjoy 2015 to the fullest.


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Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Saturday Say It