Friday Happy Hour: Before & After in Houston

I’m devouring old decor magazines again.  And before I had a chance to recycle the first one out, I was sucked into this great before and after story by decorator J. Randall Powers.  Captured by Architectural Digest in 2012, Powers transformed this Houston home into one beautiful showcase.  Here’s a look at the “after”…and you owe it to yourself to check out the before

All photos from Architectural Digest.

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Friday Happy Hour: Suzanne Kasler

I often get asked what my design style is.  It’s a confusing question for most designers.  We, like most other design firms, try to build from the client’s tastes, styles and preferences. We usually don’t force our style on a situation, but occasionally a little our own “flair” does peek out. However, designers homes often do show their true style.  Take this fabulous home of designer, Suzanne Kasler featured in Architectural Digest.  Many of these same themes would be considered “my style”.  What’s yours?

{1-4) AD

Paint Ponder: Violet Pearl

The requests for purple, lilac, lavender, mauve or whatever you prefer to call it – is on the rise. Benjamin Moore’s Violet Pearl 1451 is a perfect hue to consider.  It’s soft and subtle and will work great with neutrals but can take on a totally new direction with blue or yellow.

{1} AD {2} House Beautiful {3} Pinterest {4} Phoebe Howard

Friday Happy Hour: Timothy Corrigan

You know you’ve made it big as a decorator when you have made graced the pages Architectural Digest, published a book and have a line of fabric at a top showroom like Schumacher.  Timothy Corrigan is there.  Despite having no formal design training, Corrigan has an amazing eye for symmetry and details.  Recently he completed his own palatial estate in France’s Loire Valley called Château du Grand-Lucé.  Built in 1781,  Corrigan stumbled upon the listing in 2003 and graciously restored the home to its original grandeur.  Today he spends 2 months a year, hosting stunning parities and enjoying the 80 acres of gardens and scenery.  As AD quoted him saying, ““Oh my God, I can’t believe someone could actually own all this.”

Here are some great before and after photos of the estate from Architectural Digest:

{1} Grand Salon After {2} Grand Salon Before {3} Salon de Chinois After {4} Salon de Chinois Before

On the Job with C: Yellow Rooms

I cringed when my friend told me she wanted a yellow room.  Not a gold or soft yellow, but a happy screaming sunshine yellow.  I conjured up all the memories of my color theory class in warned about using yellow….nurseries that were painted yellow caused babies to cry more often. I thought, how about a pillow?  Or some type of accent?  But all four walls?

I took on the challenge.  And yes, it’s painted – more to come.  And yellow, although tricky, can work.  Here are some great designers from Architectural Digest who nailed it:

Paint Ponder: Silver Fox

“Onto the walls went paint in my favorite shade of gray, Silver Fox by Benjamin Moore, framed by moldings brushed with the same company’s Linen White. I rarely depart from this palette, which makes a wonderful backdrop for the Old Master drawings I’ve been collecting for more than 20 years—works by Boucher, Greuze, Siberechts, Bibiena, and others. It also complements my tribal sculptures, both African and Oceanic, which I admire as much for their bold looks as for the knowledge that similar pieces had a major influence on the development of modern art.” writes tastemaker Nina Griscom’s in Architectural Digest.  It’s easy to see why this paint color works just about anywhere.  Love.

{photos from Architectural Digest}

Friday Happy Hour: Nate Berkus Reno

Everyone has seen the reno on HGTV that totally missed the mark.  Then, there is the reno you can’t believe the genius.  Nate Berkus renovated his Manhattan apartment back in 2012.  It’s one of those projects that grabs your eyes and later left fine imprint marks on the beautiful pages of my Architectural Digest mag. Yet every now and then I keep coming back to it.   One of my favorite parts of this reno is the master bedroom windows.  I continue to use it as inspiration for my clients who don’t understand the tricks for making a small window bigger.   Check out the middle before pic.  Amazing.

{1} Nate Berkus {2} Bedroom After {2} Before Shot of Bedroom {4} Bedroom After

Paint Ponder: Radiant Orchid

And Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2014 is….Radiant Orchid 19-3224.  Says Leatrice Eiserman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute in a news release last Thursday, “Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health.  It is a captivating purpose, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm”.    So get ready to see an array of new furniture and accessories featuring this beautiful hue.  I love it best in a bathroom mixed with Cararra or Calcutta Tile.  It gives just the right amount of pop, while still seeming sophisticated.

What do you think?  Or are you still favoring last year’s color, Pantone’s Emerald 17-5641?

{1} Architectural Digest Plum highights Drake Design Associates  {2} A bedroom by Tracy Hardenburg Designs {3} Radiant Orchid {4} From Indulgy, I love it paired with marble.

Friday Happy Hour: Boxwoods

Summer is here and clients are starting to pay attention to their flowers and plants.  Last year, we had a huge mosquito problem here in Dallas causing many of my clients to reconsider the “real thing”.  Recently, we evaluated artificial boxwood for planters near a front entry and gracing the pool.  LDF Silk in Dallas has some great options.

Here’s some boxwood inspiration:

{1} Backyard from Architectural Digest  {2} On a front porch from Stage Tecture {3} Flanking an entrance from Lonny  {4} LA Viceroy Hotel Pool by fab decorator Kelly Wearstler

Friday Happy Hour: Mark Rothko

There were several painters I adored while studying Modern Art, but one man was particularly enticing.  Mark Rothko was an abstract expressionist painter known for his large scale color field paintings.  While they seem simple at first glance, they quickly pull you in.  He was great in using warm and cool color to create depth and once said “large pictures are like dramas in which one participates in a direct way”.

Most people would love an original Rothko painting, but very few have access.  In fact, one recently sold for a record $87 million.  Here are some great items to bring a little Rothko color field into your world.

{1} 1959 oil on paper hangs in Ritz Carlton {2} Notecards {3) A No. 5 copy from Room & Board {4} Biography from Amazon