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.
Since it’s still freezing outside, and sheepskin, fur, and sunlight reflected off crystal chandeliers sounds really appealing, I’m continuing the week with more boho/vintage style rooms as opposed to minimal sleekness. While I sit tucked under my down duvet, ground level in Boston, I could do with some Parisian flair. These 20 bedrooms are dreamy, and tinged with a French flavor, I think.
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.
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.
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.
I am totally not a believer in Valentine’s Day. Too artificial. BUT, I happen to have a bunch of photos of rooms with hearts saved on my hard drive, so I’ll share. Sorry it’s so late (again). Spent the day on an airplane. In rainy Florida now. Happy Valentine’s Day. xoxo
For a while I had been noticing gray sofas galore, but lately its been blue velvet sofas that have been standing out. Elegant but still cozy, they work in a variety of rooms, and seem just the touch of richness needed for this chilly winter week. There are some old favorites in here that I felt like I had to include (Frank Roop, Mary McDonald), but also plenty of new finds. Tomorrow we’ll take a shopping trip on the Interwebs to find blue velvet seating of our own.
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.