Tuesday, January 30, 2007

So Clever! Designer Keiko Altin Oyabu

This designer is so clever. Look at these jelly tiles I spied at designspotter. They're made of squishy polyurethane gel and may be applied to any smooth, shiny surface. They're self adhesive and also easily removed. Imagine how cool and delightful these must feel under bare feet! The blue jelly drops are drop shaped transparent lights. Also made with polyurathane gel they're soft to the touch and give a super interesting effect. These products are just so cool, I love them! I want some!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Wordly and Wise;Spice it up!

Mix it up with pieces from different cultures and enjoy trusted classics in hot new colors. The formal french shape of the 'Poldo" chest of drawers looks so smart with the orange laquer paint. From The Conran Shop.

Another twist on an old classic, the Shanghai Loft Wedding Cabinet looks fresh and cheerful in turquoise. Also available in coral and canary. From Red Egg.

Check out the French Petite Wings chairs, circa 1930's, reupholstered in a luscious red wool+cashmere. Again, traditon gets a fresh makeover with a red painted Italian Chair with caned seat. I also love the garden stools in lovely persimmon. All of these 3 from Mecox Gardens, NYC.

So many great finds!

Designer Lars Bolander

In Miami's Design District you'll find the amazing Lars Bolander.
From his website:
A pioneer of Swedish design, Lars has been referred to as more than once, yet by virtue of his diverse history and education, pinpointing his exact style remains a challenge.

Bolander's love of and passion for furniture design was solidified during his early education at the Stockholm School of Art. Continuing his education under the acclaimed originator of Scandinavian Design, Carl Malmsten, Lars began to discover, not unlike Malmsten himself, a passion for originality.
Sometime after completing his studies and a few years of free lancing Lars fell under the wing of Gaby Schreiber, known at the time as "The Plastic Queen of England" for her creation of the first plastic cup designed for use on board aircraft. It was with Ms. Schreiber that Lars would have his first experience with, and begin to develop his obsession for interior design.
Shortly after leaving the employ of Ms. Schreiber Lars was referred to Gunter Sachs for whom he worked exclusively for many years designing properties that span the globe.
Lars believes that, "Design is about fantasy and never being afraid to do something" and that "What is important is how you use what you have"."

Lars has 3 stores where you can see some interesting and unusual collections ranging from Swedish antiques to Spanish wrought iron. Locations are in Miami, NYC and Palm Beach.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Alpha Workshops in NYC

This place is amazing and the work they produce is gorgeous! What a fabulous organization, there really should be more like it. They offer a colorful and lovely line of hand painted wall papers, do gilding and restoration work and also paint faux finishes. You can order the wall papers by contacting them here
The Alpha Workshops, Inc.
245 West 29th Street
14th Floor
New York, NY 10001

212-594-7320 phone
212-594-4832 fax

"Alpha Workshops is the only not-for-profit organization in the country that trains and employs people living with HIV/AIDS in the decorative arts. We are an industry pioneer ever since our founding in 1995, both in developing a unique training curriculum and in creating a flexible, supportive workplace responsive to the medical, financial and emotional needs of people living with a chronic illness. Alpha Workshops runs a highly regarded design studio, staffed completely by our trainees and graduates, and is well-known for our handcrafted wallpapers, on-site custom painting, decorative finishes, gilding and handcast lamps."

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I'm ready for Spring

Can you tell? I guess I have a while to wait! These are my new floral designs.

Another Silhouette Design

I made this one today too, also of my son Matthew. I like the bubbles and soft pastel colors.
Email me if you'd like me to make a custom silhouette design for you. They can be printed onto paper or canvas.

New designs

I've been playing around with the forest theme and designed these. One has a silhouette my 4 year old son and I put a moose on the other.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Decorating with Yellow, A nice pick me up!

Yellow is a warm, friendly color that can help create a cheerful, happy environment. You know how you feel when you have to go without the sun for a few days in a row and live with dark, gray skies...not so cheery,huh? Then the big golden sun reappears and your spirits soar once more. That's the power of yellow for you! Yellow is great in kichens and bathrooms but you do have be careful when painting entire walls with yellow as it will appear more intense on larger areas than on the little swatch you saw at the paint store.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Now That's Clever!

Check this out!

Send a postcard and a gift in one go. This Ice Star tealight holder comes packaged as a postcard. The holder is laser-cut in 4mm plywood and comes with a tealight, ready to light up. You canorder them right here.

Decorating with Black and White

Decorating with black and white can really pack a punch. It may be a current trend but it's also a classic combination that you can always count on for a touch of drama.

Plaster Wall Finishes

I 've been experimenting with American Clay's Earth Plasters this weekend. It's a green, non toxic natural clay material that you can use to achieve a venetian plaster finish. The color offerings are fantastic and it's not too messy to work with. So far I really love it! Check it out right here.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Hiring a Color Consultant

You may wonder what a color consultant does and if it's a worthy investment for you. As a color consultant I specify colors for both residential and commercial interiors and exteriors. I also consult on color in marketing collateral and website design.

Having the perfect palette of colors can enhance your space, improve it's value and help your marketing efforts by enforcing your message with the right colors.
You may have had the experience of having seen a color at the paint store that you were absolutely in love with but once you had it on your walls you were less than satisfied. The color didn't look the same. It's not that you had bad taste but unless you've studied color and color relationships it's not easy to predict the result once your chosen color is placed in a new environment. Several factors come into play such as lighting, the source and direction of the light, your floor surface, your furniture and all your decorative accessories in the room all have a role in the final look. Color is a wonderful tool we can use to create that perfect living space that reflects who we are and enhance our daily life.

A color consultant can help you avoid costly painting mistakes and help increase the value of your home. The right colors can revive you and nurture you. In the work place, having the right color scheme can increase employee productivity and lessen eye strain and fatigue. In marketing, colors can catch and hold the eye of your intended audience and increase your bottom line.

Hiring a color consultant may seem like an expensive endeavor, but compared to the possible financial loss and loss of time and effort involved if your result is less than pleasing, it is a small investment that is well worthwhile.

I offer color consultations thorugh out the San Francisco Bay area. For out of town clients, you can send photos in the mail of your project and I will consult with you over the phone and via email. Give it a try. You'll be glad you did.

Cool Stuff for Babies

Dwell's baby collection is just awesome. It's fresh, modern and just plain cool. I love the patterns and colors used in their ensembles. When I decorated for my son I couldn't afford goodies like these and had to settle for consignment store goods but if it's in your budget then check out Dwell, your baby will be so in style!

For those of you who are on a tighter budget, there are inexpensive ways to spruce up bargain hunter finds. I bought a pastel blue nursery ensemble in ginham from a second hand store. To give it a a modern look I ironed on some appliques that I cut out from some fabric remnants I had around the house. I cut out silhouette style shapes of elephants, dinos and hippos in a red fabric. I sewed a running stitch around the edges in a navy blue and it looked great. I wish I had some pictures handy, I'm going to dig a bit and hope to post some soon. It was an easy project that anyone could do!! You just need to either draw some shapes or get some clipart. Adjust the size, print and trace onto the back side of wonder under or some other sort of iron on adhesive. Iron your fabric onto the other side, then trim. Then you're ready to iron it onto your project. Many fabric stores have a bargain box and just a few colorful scraps will do. It's fun to do and nice when the compliments come in to be able to say you did it!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Starting Life in Style

There is a growing number of parents and soon to be parents looking for modern digs for the nursery. Pale, pastel pinks and blues, though traditional, have been joined by large numbers of new, trendier colors that set the stage for streamlined modern design and serious style. Yolo color house paints offers a line called little yolo designed with little people in mind. The 0 VOC paint offers up a small but great palette of fun colors.

Babies respond to bold primary colors first and it takes a bit more time for them to begin recognizing subtler shifts in color. Some popular colors that stimulate baby are oranges, limey greens, yellows and blues. It is a myth that babies cry more in a yellow room, so don't pass on yellow for that reason alone.

You will be spending a lot of time in the nursery yourself so you need to use colors that agree with you and make YOU feel good too. If you're not comfortable in a setting with strong colors then remember that just a splash of bolder colors or even just using them as accents can go a long way toward stimulating your baby's visual development. The sight they'll love seeing the most, of course, is your face.

Earth Friendly House Paints

With the green movement and so many companies getting involved in producing eco friendly products, I'm happy to introduce you to some eco friendly, low and no VOC house paints.

There are a few paint companies who have tackled the VOC issue with creating low odor, 0 or low VOC paints. Yolo Color House is a brand I have tried and have been extremely happy with. The consistency of the paint is smoothe and creamy and goes on like a dream. Also, it doesn't smell like paint!! Even pregnant women can use it as it is in the 0 VOC category and Green Seal Certified.

Sherwin Williams offer 2 lines of earth friendly paints with the Harmony Interior line and the Duration Interior Latex collection. The Duration line is low VOC while the Harmony line is 0 voc.

If you want to lower your exposure to indoor pollutants and green up your living space and the world you should really consider one of the above brands. Although they cost a bit more than traditional paints the lower VOC and low to no odor is well worth it.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Color and marketing

See anything in common in the above photos? The predominant color scheme in the websites of all 3 of these luxury car makers is black and silver. Mercedes, Jaguar and BMW all market to an upscale, high income market. Black connotates sophistication, elegance, and mystery. Black also has the power of seduction while silver is prestigous and symbolizes riches just as gold does. Silver is sleek and graceful.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Color Trends 2007 Colors that comfort and excite

These colors are so yummy and cozy. Biscuit and wheat neutrals, cocoa brown, pumpkin orange and cinnamon apple pie, are just a few of the comfort colors that will wrap your room with warmth and promote a stress-free space. The comfort color palette is an especially good choice for kitchens and family rooms.

Photos Courtesy of The Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

2007 Simply Elegant Color palette

From pantone

"In recent years shantung silk in saffron, silver-gray and eggplant has been used for everything from bridesmaid dresses to throw pillows. This slightly shimmery palette is a continuation of the trend."

Color Trends for Home accessories

"2007 Pantone Lumens color palette
Space-age whites and silvers are the colors of choice for consumer electronics. Cobalts, violets and greens lend themselves to translucent glass and plastic accents."