Quick, what’s the first association you have with black leather sofas? Bachelor pads? ’80s decor? The truth is, a leather sofa can be quite palatable, decor-worse. I wouldn’t have thought so, but it’s true. The trick seems to be using it in all white rooms, either sticking to a neutral palette and modern bent, with a bit of rich wood and brass, and maybe a kilim, or going Scandinavian, with pops of clear, bright color. Here are 26 rooms with black leather sofasthat won’t make you cringe. And, if you prefer a softer neutral, have a look at January’s “Montage: Cognac Colored Leather Sofas“ and “Get the Look: 28 Leather Sofas in Cognac, Tobacco, & Caramel” for shopping suggestions.
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?
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.
Since we looked at homes with surfboards propped up outside yesterday, I thought we’d go inside today. The owners of these twenty homes store their surfboards inside, where it functions as a design element. In the kids rooms, I suspect, the surfboards are solely decorative. Hey, my bike’s in my living room (and both my kids’ bikes), so why not a surfboard?
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.
It’s cherry blossom time. I know this not from seeing cherry blossoms outside my window (unfortunately), but from seeing so many on Pinterest. I don’t think Boston is big in cherry blossoms. In my neighborhood it’s magnolia trees that bloom like crazy, though not quite yet. If you’re wild about cherry blossoms, when you’re done scrolling through these, click over to my “Cherry Blossoms in the Home” post on Wayfair’s blog today too.
I feel like I’m at the point in my life where I’m not collecting ideas for my “dream” house. Will I live here the rest of my life? No, but we’re set for now. And, I’m lucky enough to have a great apartment in Boston and a place or two to escape to in winter and summer. But having had the opportunity to build a house from the ground up a number of years ago, I definitely wonder what I would do differently if I were to undertake such a project today. I remember, at one of our first meetings, the architects suggesting a cathedral ceiling and open second floor mezzanine. I shot them down immediately. I’m still glad we didn’t do that (images of the boys hanging over the railings, yelling, shooting foam darts from their Nerf guns, and flying remote controlled helicopters from above still haunt me), but I can appreciate the appealing in certain situations. I love a mezzanine library, for instance. Or an open master bedroom, complete with enormous soaking tub, on a mezzanine in a romantic aerie for two. And certainly, the visual appeal of soaring ceilings and oversize plate glass windows is alluring, but I still maintain it’s just too noisy and impractical for a family, at least one like mine. Here are 34 residences with mezzanines, with many different vibes.
Last week when I was in Delray Beach, I had the tiles in the pink master bathroom reglazed. Definite improvement! The nautical navy wallpaper is still firmly intact, and the vanity still stands in all it’s pinky flesh tone glory. I suppose we’ll paint the vanity white; I already bought new brushed stainless knobs at IKEA. That still leaves the countertop, sink, and faucets. We’ll need to explore some cost-effective countertop ideas; perhaps a remnant of some sort. I pulled together 30 examples of bathrooms with contemporary vanity & countertop combos for inspiration. Any ideas for me?
By now you know we have a lot of artwork. We’ve been diligent about hanging, but there are plenty of pieces propped against the wall, and worse, hiding in cabinets and behind furniture, but in some cases we’ve gotten creative. While we haven’t hung art on the fronts of our built in bookshelves, I did recently grab a hammer and nail to hang a lovely nude drawing by Chaim Gross on the frame of the bay window in the living room. I love the way it adds a touch of color and movement to an otherwise bland surface. (The blinds have got to go.)
My Back Bay living room
In related news, my second blog post for Wayfair went live today: “8 Ways to Display Art.” Today’s post is taken from tip #6: Be Brave with Bookshelves. Here are 34 rooms that do just that. Would you try it? Here’s a secret. . . we mounted our flat screen television to the bookshelves in the family room. Didn’t think the shelves would still be functional, but they’re actually fine for DVDs.