I normally don’t go for seascapes. Especially a seascape with a sailboat, or worse, a lighthouse. That’s not to say I’m not ever attracted to seascapes. I even own a few, though they’re older purchases. One of our statement seascapes in particular holds major real estate in my living room—an Anne Packard oil painting. Packard is a prominent Provincetown artist, and while the work is hardly avant garde, it’s sedate, skilled, and looks great over the fireplace. Very grown up.
Lately I’ve been drawn to interiors that showcase statement seascapes that are photographs. Huge ocean vistas hung over a sofa, bed, or dining table that serve as the centerpiece of the room. Perhaps because the weather has been especially dismal in Boston this winter. I certainly like to keep my swimming pool photos in plain sight of my desk. But also, I’ve noticed that I’ve been appreciating the ocean more and more as I get older.
Or maybe it’s just that waves and beach art are a tad bit trendy. While a seascape (even a statement seascape at times) seems somewhat mundane in terms of subject matter, huge splashes of brilliant cerulean blue and tone-on-tone turquoise is rather appealing. It certainly meshes with my decor. I wonder if I could photograph the ocean in such a way that it could qualify as art. I think I’ll walk across the street and try it.
Until I post my own, here are 21 interiors with statement seascapes.
In November I blogged about the revival of the house plant in contemporary decor. Today, it’s about another 1970s decorating phenomenon, woven wall hangings. Woven wall hangings, be they monochromatic macrame wall hangings that look like they came from camp or more involved multicolored multi-textured fiber art extravaganzas, or even just a flat weave rug on the wall with some string pulled out (seriously, I’ve seen that), are everywhere.
Yes, you can find funky woven wall hangings at Urban Outfitters and several beautiful hand-woven tapestries at Anthropologie, and of course Etsy has a plethora of woven wall hangings. All this weaving is actually referred to as fiber arts by serious artists, and I believe the art is thriving.
When I was visiting a friend in NYC this fall, I noticed a little place on an Upper East Side side street that offered weaving classes. I have a design-oriented friend who was so inspired by the recent spate of wall hangings in decor that she bought her own loom! I can’t wait to see the results. My mother-in-law has a huge, wonderful loom in her attic (she was a weaver before she became painter); perhaps I can get her to stage a revival and whip me something up.
The fiber wall hangings look really beautiful in isolation. I have been tempted to purchase one. But then I wonder if I could really pull off the look. Will it look too wooly? Too hippie? Too trendy? Here are 18 rooms with woven wall hangings that get it right. If you’re interested, I’ll follow up next week with a buying guide. Here’s that buying guide: Get the Look: 18 Woven Wall Hangings.
Wall hanging in L.A. home of fashion designer/boutique owner Chay Wike
Interior design by Lauren Soloff and Chay Wike
Photo by Brittany Ambridge • Domino
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.)
Decorating with plants is a thing now. I suppose, with the emphasis on nature and bringing the outdoors in, the re-appearance of the houseplant was inevitable. But why did they go away in the first place? It’s not like a plant should be a style statement. But yeah, it was, and is.
Houseplants were very in vogue in the 1970s. Decorating with plants probably started taking hold in the ’60s, with all the hippies, potters, and peace/free love stuff happening. Chunky gold wool and macramé plant hangers and brown glazed ceramic pots were a hallmark of 1970s interior design. Growing up, our house was rife with spider plants. I also remember my mother having plants called Wandering Jews. What’s up with that?
While platforms, cork wedges, flares, and jumpsuits came ’round again much more quickly, decorating with plants, macramé plant holders, and artsy crafty textile wall hangings have just returned to the mainstream as stylish interior accents. Of course, if you’re attuned to these sorts of style matters, you well know that it’s succulents, cacti, and air plants that hold the spotlight.
I’m seeing more and more examples of people decorating with plants all over Pinterest, as well as real estate sites, as more and more sellers become savvy to staging. A well-placed indoor tree never fell out of favor with designers and stylists who needed to add life and height to interior photos. But now we’re seeing maker and style types in general decorating with plants.
I often have a succulent in my living room. I like the idea of growing an aloe plant, lest I need fresh aloe for a burn or somesuch ailment. Trader Joe’s sells succulents for rather little money. Even if I can’t keep them alive for long, succulents have a more extended lifespan than flowers. I’ve also taken to buying stalks of bamboo at Ikea. They really thrive. I tried my hand at airplants too, but it turns out that even though they don’t need dirt, airplants need to be soaked in water overnight every few weeks. All three of my airplants died within six months. I haven’t had a cactus in a while. Maybe I should get a cactus.
These 25 of-the-moment white rooms feature plenty of plants—succulents, cacti, leaves and branches in vases, and common houseplants, in corners, as centerpieces, as part of mantlepiece and credenza vignettes, hanging in kitchens, and tucked into corners in the bedroom.
I still haven’t figured out what to do about the pink Formica countertop on the vanity in Florida. Buying a piece of stone is out—definitely no budget for that. And really, it’s a basic, white tiled bathroom, so it doesn’t call for a slab of luxurious stone anyway. There’s no way I am paying for an updated lamintate countertop. Blech. So I’ve been looking at tiled vanity countertops.
I think tiling the vanity countertop is the way to go. I’ve come across a number of how-to articles for installing tile over laminate; how-to tile is a rather popular DIY project. We also need to swap out the light fixture above the mirror. The vanity lighting fixture that’s there is now more appropriate for a C-lister’s dressing room. Maybe we can tuck some LED strip lights behind molding and add a more contemporary light fixture. This industrial-style bathroom light bar could also be an interesting look.
Perhaps my husband could get to work on some simple changes over winter break when we’re there. After all, he has all sorts of tools—step ladder, pliers, wrenches, and plenty of stuff I can’t even name. It’s nice that he’s handy : )
It’s hard to find examples of cute bathroom vanity countertops with tiles, I’m guessing because it’s a low budget solution and gorgeous, photographed homes showcase more upscale materials. I did find 13 bathrooms with tiled vanity countertops that are quite nice. I should go for it, right?