Coming Home

Spring is coming - even here is the heart of frozen New England we know it because there are Irish daffodils at the market and maybe even a hyacinth  and colorful bunches of tulips. Soon we will see our lawns and wash the windows. The birds will sing and gardening will begin. Now that the days  are longer and our driveways clear we are looking forward to open windows and spring cleaning - a refluffing of the nest. We will remake home as all creatures rehabilitate in spring.                                      

"When you think about it, much of the hustle and bustle of our daily lives comes down to making our homes. Nothing more and nothing less. When we turn our thoughts to how our houses should feel, we're doing something that our mothers and fathers did, and their parents before them. We are acting on the desire to get home. To a haven, a place to protect ourselves and those we love. A place for sadness and celebration,for despair and love. A place that gives us strength to go out and embrace the world. A place that is its own world.

When we make a home,we honor life and we honor its blessings." (Dominique Brown)

So, all of you in design, in life - welcome reawakening of the world, of our abilities to embrace and love all we have, love and are. I am happy that there are buds - it eases my heart.

Front Door Colors

A fresh coat of paint on your front door is a small and happy making spring project. This group of doors is from the latest issue of Southern Living featuring doors of Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston is well known for its Southern charm, private gardens and welcoming entries. Maybe one of these doors will inspire you.

Notice that most of the doors have a planter which compliments the door color and greenery. The lanterns at this door are great.

Blue planters.

I  would add a second lantern.

This green is nice for a warm climate. There is also a very dark green often used on doors and shutters 
called "Charleston Green" which is 50/50 black and green. It first appears to be black but  the
 green is subtle in sunlight.       

A nice clear red is nice also. Legend has it that a red door means your house is paid for.

Just a few more.

Imagine What You Can Do With a Chest

Some things make a room ring with personality... things that are accumulated and things which are painted in your color scheme or wallpapered to match the room decor. When entering these rooms, one knows instantly that the decorator has put in extra effort and that this particular piece is perfect for its environment.

There are many mediums with which one can improve and personalize any chest. The ones I will mention today are grasscloth, wallpaper and paint. This first chest is a new offering by Thibaut and it has been papered in a grasscloth and then lacquered for durability. One should cover all papered chests for protection, but grasscloth in particular can catch dust, splinter and rip at the  corners.

I love this for a masculine room - this color. Very snappy.  Compare this look with the following to test the limits - masculine versus feminine and airy.

Tom Scheerer

Tom Scheerer

 The chest above is papered to match the wallpaper in the room - very fresh and feminine. A British firm, Fleur de Bois has wallpapered the following three chests using older discontinued papers and sometimes giving the paper a light sanding here and there.

There is a vintage feel to these - a good use for the odd rolls of paper one might discover here and there. They all make me think of a young girls bedroom in a shore cottage somewhere warm with the windows open and a light breeze blowing in and, I suppose, that is the point.

All of this brings us to my favorite - paint. A painted chest can be old or new ... just a pleasing form and  function and off you go. Here are some ideas:

A detail of the whimsical bamboo painted on this last chest ... marvelous - no?

Painted Floor Patterns

As exciting as s painted floor based on a simple check is, there are many patterns possible and some are fairly simple to execute by a professional.

One thing that a professional does is the math. This may sound simple and look easy but is is not. I think that this and my anxiety to have things done quickly are the primary reasons i would not attempt these more complicated patterns.  Should you try, be sure to graph it all out first.

This is the floor that got me involved. It was part of a design house sponsored by The Boston Design Center on site several years ago. This floor was the basis of a dining room by Gary McBournie ... I had to kneel down and touch it to be sure what it was:

Yes! This is a painted floor. It is dark brown ( very glossy ) and white and BEAUTIFUL. This was when I first called the artist and she has since done many floors for me. Because this is two colors, it is not a truly complicated floor - but it is fabulous. 

I love this very simple and effective floor.

Three colors ...

Very effective use of one color. Hope this inspires!