Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My inspirational and dreamy pink office space.  Inspired by
fabric from Ikea and a pink kitchen I saw on the internet.  I
needed a place that was bright and cheerful for those
grey Portland days.
My organizational system for housing magazines,
fabric, design books, and art supplies with my inspiration
 board above.  I even leave a blank space for whatever
 might inspire me next.  This is to the right
 of my desk so I can enjoy the view.
I've got my little collection of1950's wire shelves
filled with mermaids, bubbles and seashells.  Isn't the clock great?
I was so excited when I found that.  And a music set-up because
you can't be creative without some tunes in the background. 

Detail of my desk.  Complete with my pink and black tea set
for one and vintage clothe napkins, because if at all
possible, use clothe napkins.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


    I've been fascinated with these flowers, called Protea or sugarbushes, ever since I saw them on a Travel Channel show about Hawaii.  They are an ancient flower, over 300 million years old, originally from South Africa and grown in places such as Hawaii.  They were last popular in the 1600's with Botanists, but fell out of favor and we haven't seen much of them since. 
    Well, I fell in love with them the minute I saw them.  So much so, that I went to Michael's and purchased the fake version so I could have them in my house year round.  Big deal for me, because I greatly dislike fake flowers (note: always go real, whenever possible).  Little did I know that here in Portland, OR I would find my favorite flower at the local grocery store.  I purchased this amazing bouquet of colorful science fiction and took many photos.  Can you see why?  I want Georgia O'Keeffe to paint them for me.  I want to inspect them close up and marvel at the complexity that is these flowers.  Their astonishing repetition.  Boldness of size and eye catching color.  They lack the delicacy that most flower's possess. They are a hardy lot.  Thanks sugarbushes for brightening my day and inspiring me to be someone different. 


      I'm always dreaming. I like to imagine how things might be made better or different.  I can't help it. It's what makes me uniquely me. I always imagine improvements to interior spaces, exterior spaces, products, even cars.  I wonder what would make it more functional?  How can something be more aesthetically pleasing?  And I do a lot of listening. I listen to what people say. I hear little comments, that they don't even pick up on themselves.  All these things go through my little head and out comes solutions.  Solutions, not laws or decrees for how you "should" live, just solutions.
      Often, in school, I was criticized for not drawing a house the way a house should be drawn, for never coloring inside the lines or for day dreaming in class. Later in high school and college I was criticized for asking questions and for challenging the status quo.  And you know what? Even as an adult I'm criticized for the same things, the specific thing isn't whether I drew a house "the right way", but for changing where a sofa goes in a room. Or suggesting that a closet be moved somewhere unexpected in a room.  Or for asking someone to consider living differently. 
      But I ask you, what would our lives be like if people didn't dream?  Would you have electricity? Would you have indoor plumbing? Would you have the Internet? Would you have your iPhone? No, you wouldn't have these things.  You have them because someone decided to think outside the box. I'm not comparing myself to the genisus' that created amazing things like electricity, I'm just asking you to change where your sofa goes. It's just a sofa.  It's just paint. It's just a nail in the wall.  So you're accustomed to living in it a certain way, OK.  Just give new ideas a chance.  Try something different. You'd be really surprised by the blessings you might encounter. Changing your living space and the way you live everyday can profoundly effect your life.  You just don't know it yet!  I say it's time to give new ideas a chance.  Go bold!  Make a statement! Listen to someone's idea and be open to the surprise!

Monday, June 14, 2010

1960's Living (In case you weren't there)

Welcome to 1962! This weeks selection is from Better Homes and Gardens July 1962.  Don't you just love seeing how people used to live? It makes me lust after vintage style and it makes me realize that while interior design is a rather modern practice, not a whole lot has changed. 

The two pictures above are of a "modern cabin". The architecture is so wonderful, instead of showing you what it looks like finished I wanted you to enjoy the artist's vision- the architectural plans. To see the structure as a whole, spacial layout, stunning roof design and use of symmetry. Often, when you're given the floor plan you can see the reason behind the layout and my favorite part, see what you would do differently.   The other picture gives you a sense of what the space feels like, people, flooring, finishes, furniture and lighting. This is my expertise, the part architects don't like us ruining. Can we blame them?

I love this idea of hanging a stunning tapestry on the wall. It's so eye catching! This dated version of black, white and blue, a very common color scheme in the past few years was done quite successfully in this very tight kitchen nook space. I adore the little bench for two, with two floating black cafe tables.  I can totally see myself sitting there having my morning coffee. The black plant hangers are fun and if you just changed out the plants it could be totally modern. Add some succulents, a modern lined bench and just a blue accent wall  (no shutters) you're all up to date!

The simplicity of this bright white basement brings a smile to my face. Color was used ever so discretely and appropriately to make it fun and not assaulting (as we've seen in some 70's photos). As your eye is drawn up to the ceiling color so it comes right back down to the colors on the bar stools. Speaking of which, I love. I have some black iron and rattan chairs that mimic these and they happen to be my favorite things. 

And I'm ending with this vintage 60's add-on!! (Sorry for the picture quality it was two big pages.)  This is a living room or sun room addition that you could have purchased and had as a sun room in your backyard. I think my favorite thing about it is the fact that no one is actually using the room because it's so nice outside!  However, the furnishings and Eames looking chair is killer. Now I know what those odd ball large pillows are for. So Johnny and Sally could watch TV, while dad gets the chair and mom gets the modern sofa. I see how it works 1962.  Keeping it sexist.
That's cool, we still love you.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Vintage Living

I thought I'd kick-off the middle of the week with what I hope to be a weekly edition of Vintage Living. I want to give you pictures from vintage or retro pads that inspire me, make me laugh or teach me something about design. So here we go...
The cover of the April, 1970 issue of House Beautiful.  A fun colorful trip through some fab interiors. Notice the way the trianges go from the mini blinds up to the ceiling. And that light fixture is FABULOUS.  The use of color is outstanding. They didn't really have a neutral in the room.  But it works, the contrast of the yellow and orange continues everywhere, in the built-in, the cocktail tables, the sofa, the floor, even the patio furniture. But really 1970? Do you think you might have overdone it? Nah, you were having fun. Life was good, everyone was feeling groovy and it shows. To quote Sally, when asked by her son about her partying when he was a child she simply replied, "It was the 70's!!"  I mean really, what did we expect. Ok, well I wasn't born in 1970, but I did arrive in this decade.  Thank you 70's for my birthday and for my love of color. I see where it comes from.

The color doesn't stop....it keeps going and going....Check out the kitchen on the right it has an enormous round skylight centered in the ceiling, red and foil wallpaper that takes you  visually to the light while reflecting it, hanging pots that grow herbs and pulley up and down and Vinyl floor tiles that repeat the shape of the island.  In the kitchen on the left and the garden room below are more inspiring uses of color.

The more modern space on the left is my favorite, I love the use of rattan or cane as it brings in a natural element to a very artificial environment. And the last two are amazingly eclectic.  Love the yellow chairs above and the yellow walls with pops of white moulding in the living room below.  It makes an otherwise traditional interior rather fun.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Office Design Inspiration

I love this fabric I found it at Ikea! It has this fabulous under the sea scene. Full of color and originality, it's the perfect start for my creative space. I found the softest color and will paint the walls in a matching Benjamin Moore color called Bermuda breeze.

When choosing paint, always pick the bottom color you love the most on the fan deck, then go up from there to the lightest hue. Remember the space...if there isn't much light, don't saturate the walls with color. For my space, there is already white wainscotting half way up the walls, but I get very little or limited natural light. So I want a warm color, but not a dark color. I want the room to feel open and airy.
With a large repeat like this one, it's hard to find a purpose for the fabric.  Pillows just won't do.  So, it will either be large panels or upholstery on my vintage rattan sofa. Mmmm...what to do? At $7.95 a yard and 58" wide, you can't beat the price. I'm thinking...panels. That will be about 3 and half yards of fabric for my windows. I want enough room for bottom and top when sewn to still reach the ground without actually touching the gound.