Mad for Plaid

I love that plaid is making a strong showing this season, from pillows to wool stadium blankets to dinner plates plaid is everywhere.  It’s fabulous to see the age old tartans move away from kilts and sashes and into more decorative applications.  After all,  a good tartan plaid is too beautiful to grace the inside of a closet most of the time.

Wouldn’t these plates by Ralph Lauren Home be festive for Christmas morning brunch? They have that dressed up lodge look that any rustic holiday would appreciate.

I love the pop of black these pillows provide.  Wouldn’t it be great if the ribbon were made of velvet?

These throws would be excellent to tote with you to the next chilly football game.  Or use them to add a pop of color to a neutral monochromatic room.

I once had a friend tell me that it’s more luxurious to put in a carpet meant for a hotel room, rather than the run of the mill short pile carpet most homes have.   I have to agree, the plaid here is more luxurious and really packs a punch.  The wow factor is great!

Which use of plaid are you drawn too?

Fall In Love With The Quatrefoil

There is just something to love about this depiction of a  four petaled flower. Could it be that it symbolizes good luck, or is closely tied to the Church, or is that it’s just a really awe inspiring architectural detail? For me, it’s all of the above and my appreciation of  the Gothic Revival and Renaissance periods.  Today this simplistic floral pattern and it’s various adaptations can  be everywhere.





It’s Not Your Grandma’s Wallpaper

Wallpaper has been revisited lately and it’s not you grandma’s wallpaper.  Of course there is the standard, Waverly print that is reminiscent of  your aunt Jayne’s living room with its bright floral patterns or its boring tone on tone swirly lines.  Today, technology and creativity have really offered up a variety of new ideas and designs.

Payton Cosell-Turner has made a name for herself with her painstakingly precise sticker designs.  She literally takes stickers and arranges them in a pattern with a repeat on a client’s wall.  Very labor intensive……

Or the bold designs of Given Campbell….. Her designs remind me of the set for the 60’s variety show Laugh In.  Colorful, vibrant and a the an echo of  60’s mod.  Who wouldn’t want these in small doses?  The best thing about this line is that it’s printed right here in the States.

Encaustic Tile – Artwork For The Floor

Originally a fixture on the castle floors of 13th Century Europe, the popular ceramic inlaid tile more commonly known as encaustic tile has seen a few resurgences over the centuries. It was first massed produced during the Gothic Revival period when it caught the attention of craftsman, and rightly so as it is beautiful artwork.  Soon the manufacturing center expanded as tile makers sprung up across Western Europe and  across the pond to the United States.

The American Encaustic Tile Company was a primary source up until the 1930’s, when its popularity began to dwindle.  Today it is seeing yet a third comeback, with many manufacturers  in the U.S.  honing the craft. Unlike other tiles, encaustic tile doesn’t derive its color from the glaze, rather it’s created by inlaying two or more colors of clay onto a carved ceramic tile. It is quite a process to create such exquisite tile.

Today’s patterns come in everything from bold graphics to vintage prints.  Even antique tiles are being found and then re-purposed for use in both historical homes and new construction.  Whether it’s a new design or an old world classic this tile would be fabulous as a back-splash in your kitchen, or a simple “rug” in your entry way.  Let your imagination go wild…..encaustic tile artwork for your floor.

The 411 on Full Spectrum Paint

I left San Francisco armed with my marching orders -pick paint colors.  Thankfully I know my aunt’s color pallet well.  It’s true what they say about people’s homes being decorated in the same colors they tend to wear.

She posed an interesting question and asked me about full spectrum paint, of which, I’ll admit, is a new concept to me.  So being the ever curious learner I sought out the 411 on it.

Full spectrum paint is formulated with the 7 pigments of the natural light spectrum and doesn’t use black or gray tints. It gives the paint a more vibrant feel, doesn’t look muddy after it dries and blends well with other colors.  It doesn’t change it’s appearance in low light situations either.  It will pick up colors that surround it and will blend in and not clash like regular formulated paint might.  Unfortunately for us designers, it makes it much easier for the novice to pick out a paint color with little input from an expert and still get it right.

Donald Kaufman was the first to develop the concept of full spectrum color.  Then along came Ellen Kennon created a line of similarly formulated full spectrum paint.  For awhile it seemed out of reach for the average home owner, well, Benjamin Moore has their own line, Color Stories. It’s 240 colors broken down by volumes giving designers and homeowners an awful lot to pick from.

Note how the walls just pop against the white and blend with the rest of the room, that is the biggest advantage to full spectrum paint.