Since the layout of home is very open, there are no actual walls to our kitchen. However, as I’ve mentioned, the walls of our kitchen banquette area are covered with artwork. And there’s plenty of art opposite the kitchen island too, on the walls surrounding the staircase and going down the stairs. Since I spend more time than I’d like at the kitchen sink, I hung one of my favorites, a painting by my friend Lee Essex Doyle, directly across from it, so at least I have a good view.
The Florida condo has a little self-contained kitchen. So far, there is no artwork in the kitchen. On the other hand, the walls are still covered in terrible nautical-themed wallpaper. (I think I finally found someone to take it down and paint this spring.) Note to self: Add art to the kitchen in Delray Beach. Here are 32 gorgeous kitchens, all with fine art and photography, for inspiration.
Teepees, wigwams, play tents (whatever you want to call them) have been trending for a rather long time. However last week, the Wall Street Journal proclaimed them a trend: Teepees: The New Urban Hideaway. I’m not sure why a newspaper would be so slow to catch onto this (it’s not like there’s a three-month lead time). No matter, they’re still going strong. We had a refrigerator box playhouse for a while; admittedly not nearly as chic. But that was a dozen years ago.
The teepee is great because it looks good not only in a kids room, but in adult spaces too. As you can see from these 30 rooms with teepees, they work well in white Scandinavian interiors, minimalist black and white living rooms, nurseries with traditional childrens bedroom furniture, and of course colorful playrooms. You can even erect one outdoors.
I was obsessed with building forts as a kid, always enclosing my bunk beds with blankets, and wishing I had a way to hang a sheet from the ceiling. My kids, too, used to love taking all the blankets they could gather and draping them over chairs and ottomans to create fun enclosures. There’s definitely something satisfying, and practical too, about a kid constructing a hideaway on his own. That said, it’s also nice to have a ready-made private quiet space. Wonder if my boys are too big for one now?
When I first started putting together my most recent post for the Lamps Plus blog, ”7 Hallway Lighting Ideas,” I didn’t realize how helpful it was going to be. I’m a big fan of statement lighting, even before everyone had to have it. (I used a trio of pendants in a guest room on the Cape, two frosted and one clear; the electrician thought my order was wrong.)
A stylist once told me that lighting is like jewelry for the home. So, why has it not occurred to me to add interesting lighting to our dreary downstairs hallway? True, the ceiling may be too low for pendant lights, but anything would be an improvement. Must investigate.
In the meantime here are 28 hallways with lights in multiples. There’s an array of styles, from classic schoolhouse pendants and traditional lanterns to industrial cage lights, and others. I actually love all those red cords of the bare bulbs in the home featured in Dwell. And I love how the succession of glossy black drum shades in the offices of fashion label By Malene Birger looks so sophisticated. Also love the copper pendants in the Jean Louis Denoit-designed hallway. So many great examples here.
I used to have a kilim in my dining room, back in the mid 1990s in a rent stabilized apartment on the Upper East Side of New York. My then boyfriend and I got it on a trip to San Francisco, and had it shipped back. It was perfect with our Mission-style cherry pedestal table by Charles Shakleton, and covered half the living/dining room. When we moved on, his brother used it, and later I took it back and moved it with me to D.C., where it graced the floor of my bedroom for a year. I think it may have gone to a friend after that. Maybe Sabrina? If so, she actually lives in L.A. now; I wonder if it travelled back there? Although my (very cute but vicious) cocker spaniel chewed a hole in one corner, the rug held up well. The geometric pattern was playful and young, but the colors lent a note of seriousness.
I’m not really a Southwestern or Persian rug person these days, but even so, I absolutely admire the way these work in the decor. An all white space is instantly warmed up with the rich red tones. Frank Lloyd Wright used them a lot in his interiors. The almost colorless (probably pricey antique) ones in Ellen DeGeneres’ and Portia de Rossi’s kitchen are an interesting choice too; almost like a more refined sisal. I also love how Anne Maxwell of Tilton Fenwick matched the kitchen cabinetry in her Brooklyn loft to the muted blue/gray stripe on the kilim. The juxtaposition of the wicker baskets and kilim with the clean lines of the cabinets and tiles is perfection. These rugs really do work with every style.
For outdoor inspiration, in case you are contemplating making a purchase after seeing yesterday’s post, Get the Look: 18 Modern Patio Chairs, here are 20 outdoor spaces with a range of patio furniture. Most of the patios and decks have a modern sensibility, but some are charmingly rustic.
We’re heading out for the summer on Friday, the day after my son graduates from the Montessori school where he spent nine years of his little life. I cannot believe I am going to have a junior high school kid. Yikes. But first, summer . . . I don’t think I ever pulled together an outdoor shower roundup for you, despite my intentions. One of the highlights of our Cape house, as I know I’ve mentioned, is the bathtub. We also have a decent outdoor shower on a deck off said bathroom, overlooking the woods. I’ll add a photo to this post once we get out there. My in-laws outdoor shower is lovelier, with wisteria overhead and an ocean-view. Sigh. For now I’ll scroll through these to get in the mood.
I still have not gotten around to really thinking about what sort of statement light fixture I want for the living room. When we did renovations a couple of years ago, I had the electrician wire it up for something shiny or sparkly in the smack middle of the space (recessed lights and two vintage lamps light it now). The idea was I’d search and save up for a spectacular light fixture. I have long had my eye on vintage Italian crystal floral ball chandeliers like the one in the first photo below. Usually, especially these days, my taste runs towards the more minimal and contemporary, but I can’t get my mind off these feminine lovelies. I’m sure originals are way out of reach price-wise, but I have definitely seen versions of less expensive crystal ball lights. I’ll pull together a roundup of those tomorrow.
When browsing J.Crew the other day, I noticed an abundance of pastel products. There’s always a healthy serving of pretty pastel rooms on Pinterest, and given my obsession with Scandinavian decor, especially white rooms sprinkled with pops of color, they’re always on my radar. I also just put together a post on pretty bedrooms for girls for the Matouk blog that posted yesterday, for which I had to slog through many a pink room to find the gems. Anyway, pastel style does seem to be a thing. Here are 30 pretty pastel interiors. Love ‘em, or not so much? I like to look at them. Not sure I could live in one. Would definitely do a guest room in such a scheme. My favorite here is the very first. The combinatino of violet and mint is inspired.
Having been down to Delray Beach, Florida three times in the last three months, I’ve become pretty spoiled about having a pool right outside my front door. It may be a pool we share with ever-bobbing seniors, but the water is 90-degrees and it’s right outside our door (Oh, did I mention that already?) Over the weekend, I was enjoying the gorgeous weather in Boston thinking, “I wish I could go for a dip.” So not happening.
Summers for us are devoid of swimming pools too. The Outer Cape is known more for its beaches and kettle ponds than manmade watering holes. But if I could have a pool, I imagine a modern pool, a sleek strip alongside the house. Other pools I’ve enjoyed include the chichi pool at the Delano in South Beach, though I haven’t been since they first opened in the mid-’90s (hung poolside with Calvin and Kelly Klein, Barry Diller, David Geffen, and other A-listers that Thanksgiving weekend), and the very simple pool at a villa I stayed at in the outskirts of Florence. Pure and simple, surrounded by grass, where I enjoyed the best Caprese salad too. Enough reminiscing and onto daydreaming with this collection of mostly modern pools.
Not long ago we made some changes to the main level of our condo. We created a proper entry and spacious, well-organized closet for coats and such (my scarves and gloves now have a permanent home), added a banquette (perfect place to hang tons of smaller artworks), relocated my desk to the other side of the floor-through space (much needed), and partitioned the family room with the TV behind beautiful French doors (noisy no more). We love it all. Thank you Amanda and Jeff of Hark + Osborne!
Now it’s time to focus on the bedrooms. We own the parlor and lower level, which means our bedrooms are in the basement. It’s rather dungeon-esque down there. While nothing can bring sunlight in, I’m certain we can still make the master suite more functional and habitable. It’s a large area with a lot of wasted space. The bathroom is unattractive and we don’t have a bathtub. We have a walk-in-closet with an exposed brick wall. It came all tricked-out with adjustable shelving done by one of the professional closet organizers, but I’ve given it over to my husband, save for some off-season storage. My stuff hangs on an unsightly rod in a niche in the bedroom, with the hall closet right outside housing my shoes and handbags.
I thought I’d start my inspiration gathering process by contemplating closets. I’ve designed three walk in closets for myself in the past, all very similar. I’ve always had the carpenter build the shelves, cubbies, and drawers. This time I may use one of those companies that specializes in custom closets. We shall see. Mine will not be as lavish as the closets here, but they are a good source for organizational ideas.