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.
We spend summers at my husband’s family’s home in Cape Cod, and recently got a little condo in South Florida for sunshine doses during Boston winters. That pretty much (most definitely) means the travel budget is depleted. We don’t, have never, taken a grand family vacation. By contrast, our kids’ friends have travelled to some amazing destinations during school breaks (Israel, Tanzania, Norway, El Salvador, Paris, etc.). My kids have pointed out that they’ve never been out of the country, and have asked for “a trip to Canada, at least” just to say they have.
Spending thousands of dollars for the privilege (?) of spending 24/7 with family is not at the top of my list. On the other hand, I too wouldn’t mind a trip overseas, and who knows, maybe we’d even all get along and have fun. We thought, if we were to do this, we’d start off easy, with London. (After all, until just a few years ago, a family trip to Target was a challenge.)
Part of what makes travel hard, for me, is that I like a nice hotel. But that’s a huge budget-eater, especially for four. I was thinking about looking into rentals at short stay apartments in London. Does anyone have suggestions? What does this have to do with bedside sconces? Not much. While I was perusing one of those sites, I came across a photo with interesting placement of reading sconces.
When we built the house on the Cape, I installed slightly odd sconces in a guest room—ones that stick straight out above the bed. Not the best idea, as they get very hot and guests hit their heads when they sit up. That said, I applaud the efforts for trying sconces that go beyond the boring. Here are 20 bedside sconce ideas.
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.
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.
Today, the topic of my blog post on Style Illuminated is turning on the romance in the bedroom with a crystal chandelier. Traditional rooms aren’t the only ones in which a dose of crystal can do some good. Sleeker spaces, especially those bathed in white look fabulous with sparkling crystal dangling from above. Case in point, these 25 rooms.