Mar 30, 2008

Plinth and Chintz!

One of my favorite new websites I discovered is Plinth and Chintz! It's a Dallas based online newsletter created by Interior Designer Laura McDonald whose mission is to "bridge the gap between the student/ educational community and the professionals/ manufacturer community of the Interior Design world".

We love the idea of her website because four years just isn't enough time in school to learn EVERYTHING you need to know about the Interior Design world. Her publication is very informative for those considering studying Interior Design, those already studying design, design professors, recent graduates from design school, and even professional designers! She also keeps readers updated on events around town as well as job openings.
Aside from having one of the most adorable website names around, she has some VERY useful information on there- be sure to check it out!

Mar 29, 2008

Miles has got style!

We wanted to feature this "room" because it is different than all the others that we usually blog about in that it is an exterior room- not an interior one! I love this quaint outdoor "Living Room" designed by Miles Redd- featured in this month's Domino.

This 16x21 terrace is a place where Miles can entertain friends and family. I love the teal color palette he chose for this area- that is definitely what grabbed my attention first. I also adore the small mirrored table- not used to seeing those outside but it looks fantastic! He also placed mirrors in the trellis to make the space appear larger. Overall, its glam factor is a 10 on my scale!

New color watch!

This month's Domino featured an ode to "kelly green". We love this shade! They used it in a kitchen here with black and white graphic accents- really makes the white shelves pop! Domino suggests Sherwin Williams shade #6924 Direct Green

Also be sure to check out one of my favorite blogs, Coco+Kelley- Cassandra writes this fashionable California based blog featuring all of her favorite design and decor finds. Coco+Kelley was named after her love for Coco Chanel, an inspiring design mentor, and her signature color, kelly green...she has some great posts in general and also some featuring this lovely shade- you don't want to miss them!

Design Sponge also did a nice post on this color...would be a great fresh new shade for this upcoming Summer!

Neirmann Weeks

I first fell in love with Neirmann Weeks when I worked for another residential designer. I went into the Allan Knight showroom here in Dallas and was taken aback by all of the gorgeous furnishings, fabric, wallcoverings, and lighting. I was on a mission to find a Niermann Weeks chandelier for one of her clients and was so captivated by all of his glamorous lighting. I saw the above ad in Elle Decor not too long ago and became obsessed with the floor lamp in it- a Niermann Weeks creation. I then come to find out that I am not the only one who has had her eye on this lamp- a lot of other bloggers have also! The Montaigne Floor Lamp was first introduced in 2006 and apparently has made a lasting impression on Interior Designers all over. It was chosen by Interior Design magazine as one of the best new products of the year! We love!

Interior Paint- from A to Z!

A- Accent Wall- I love at least one fun accent wall in a house- warming up a fireplace wall in a living room or another focal point in your home, these are perfect for when you feel like trying out a bold color but don’t want to use it on the entire room

B- Bristles- Paint brushes with natural bristles are meant for oil based paints. Those with synthetic bristles are for water based or latex paints.

C- Color- I know the trend these days is to do everything neutral, but don’t be scared to paint your house a fun bright color…also consider paint colors that enhance your physical features- if you have red hair, you should consider painting in blues, greens, purples, or teals- you definitely need to look fab in your own home!

D- Dry- Let your paint dry- I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started to put my accessories back after painting because I was so excited to see how it would look, only to discover the paint was not fully dry and I ended up ruining a perfectly good vase on my fireplace!

E- Environmentally friendly- Sherwin Williams, for example, offers a paint with no V.O.C.’s (volatile organic compounds) called Harmony Interior Latex paint.

F- Flow- when you are selecting paint colors for your home (especially if you have an open floor plan) be sure to consider each individual room and how the rooms relate to one another. You want everything to kind of flow into each other and coordinate so your house looks unified.

G- Gloss finish- I prefer to use high gloss paints on doors and trim- they are shiny and a lot easier to clean!

H- Hardware- remove all hardware before you paint- that includes cabinet knobs, hinges, door knobs, light switch plates, outlet covers and light fixtures...what you will remove depends on the room of course!

I- Inexpensive- I always tell people that paint is the most inexpensive way to completely transform your home. Every home could do with a new paint job every once in a while

J- Java- a dark brown paint color that is really chic right now!

K- Kitchen- this area as well as your bathroom are exposed to water, steam, and heavy use, so I would suggest a semi gloss paint in these areas

L- Light- Before you paint, be sure to examine your color swatches on the wall in the daytime and at night…trust me, paint changes when exposed to different lighting conditions!

M- Mood- Decide on the mood of your house/room early on- this will help you decide on a color palette. Do you want the room to be cheerful, calm, exciting or intimate?

N- Neutrals- You’d be surprised but sometimes neutral paint is the hardest color to decide on! Trim is usually white or off white and believe me, this can take the longest time to pick out- there are so many whites out there, it will drive you crazy. Be patient and test out these colors before you paint- trim accents can really make a room so make sure you choose wisely!

O- Order- make sure you always paint rooms in this order: ceiling, walls, trim, cabinet, doors

P- Primer- Most paint jobs look better if you use a primer or base coat first- especially for darker colors. You can have the primer tinted to the color of your surface paint so you can avoid having to do a second coat!

Q- Quart- Use this size to sample paint on your walls before committing to a gallon

R- Razor blades- scrape leftover dripped paint off glass or tile with a razor blade

S- Sherwin Williams- has recently come out with a lot more colors and is now more like Benjamin Moore- I love their new historical palettes and around the world paint colors

T- Trim and taping off- If you are painting yourself, trim should be painted with a steady hand…also remember to tape off the walls in your room using painters blue tape- it’s really time saving in the end!

U- Ultra modern- in these minimal spaces, a snow white color can look very nice. Otherwise, I like to stick with more color or a tinted off white in transitional/traditional spaces because bright white can end up looking very sterile

V- V.O.C.’s- you want paint with low or no V.O.C.’s!

W- Wrap- Wrap your brushes in plastic wrap and seal in a plastic bag when you are taking a break so they won’t dry out. Brush expenses can really add up if you aren’t careful...

X- “Xtra” leftover paint- be sure to save and store in small jars for future touchups!

Y- Yellow- this is another color that is making a big comeback for Spring!

Z- Zebra- I love this trendy fabric right now- it provides a neutral base of black and white print on a rug, pillow, or upholstery, so that you can paint your walls ANY color and it will look great with it!

Baby glam?

One of our readers requested that we post a follow up to our celeb baby nursery post with one featuring Jennifer Lopez' newborn twins nursery. I finally had a chance to read the article in People magazine and I have to agree with Sacheverelle, her nursery is outrageous. Chandeliers, silver rattles displayed on silver platters, ornate cribs with canopies, mirrored furniture, a fireplace, soft muted colors, floor length silk drapes, and bows tied around everything, this nursery is indeed way over the top! J Lo has managed to outdo all of our previous celeb nurseries by far. Although sources say that staff from Parents magazine are very upset at the nursery's safety issues...go figure! I mean was she serious when she decorated this room? What's your vote?

This nursery is indeed gorgeous but will Max and Emme really ever remember their first room or care if their cribs were enveloped in the finest linens? I mean honestly!

I guess for newborns that were given custom made fur wraps by Dolce and Gabbana, nothing is too much or too glam for these kiddos! Can't wait to see her next baby's room!

Mar 23, 2008

You've got male!

I’ve recently realized we’ve been a little sexist here at Material Girls and often tend to write about the more feminine design finds and trends that are out there. But what about all those males who need decorating advice? (and believe me, I’ve come across MANY!) I’ve heard it before… “I really don’t have a preference on how my house is designed”. Oh but just wait- a few weeks into the project and they have all sorts of opinions! Which I think is absolutely great- most men have a certain style that they lean towards but they just can’t find a way to pull everything together. Well, we are finally here to help inspire you!

So us at Material Girls, mind you, decided to forgo the cutesy floral, Valentine, celebrity, nursery, Audrey Hepburn, Hollywood Glam posts that we’ve been writing about for the past few months and get down to business to satisfy some of our male readers out there (trust me it was very hard to let go of our inclination to talk about mirrored furniture and pink d├ęcor!) But whoever you are, I apologize and feel your pain. I know it has probably been difficult to read about what we think is “so cute”, “so fabulous” and “so chic”!

Hence the idea of this post was born and is dedicated to all you males out there who are having a hard time finding your “look”. We know you’ve been yearning for more masculine ideas for your home. Enjoy!

I loved this room the first time I saw it in Elle Decor- rustic elements mixed in with a few sleek metallic pieces really makes this room interesting! I love how they mounted the flat screen tv on a single pole and am also drawn to the few added pops of color throughout the otherwise neutral setting.

Now this is one of my absolute favorites- a room designed by David Oldroyd featured in Met Home. This room to me looks incredibly cozy and VERY rich looking. The deep chocolate hues paired with bold blues, greens, and gold accents is so striking!

Another gorgeous room in Met Home designed by Vincente Wolf. This home in Long Island was created for a "finance man in search of serenity" as described by the magazine. The Arne Jacobsen Swan chairs really do give this room its wow factor! This relaxing retreat of a study sticks to subdued neutrals making this room more of a getaway as opposed to a distraction. All men need one of these!

One word- fabulous. This apartment belongs to the architect Carlos Aparicio and was featured in Elle Decor. Do you remember this one? Pretty hard to forget! Never feel like you have to give in to the "rules"- why not put a daybed in your Living Room? No one is stopping you! What an inventive seating arrangement! A palette like this is good if you would rather have your home feeling light and airy as opposed to dark and intimate.

I just can't help myself from tearing out photos of every room I see with Panton chairs. It is one of my favorite chairs of all time- a design classic that never goes out of style. This kitchen could satisfy both a male and female- it's a good compromise for a young couple who want a fresh, non gender look. Did you notice all of those great wooden "cubby holes" in the built in? Imagine how much wine you could store in there!

This calming Living Room from Met Home is very of the moment! All of those silver and gray tones mixed in with icy blue pillows looks like pure serenity. I especially love the sketchy look of the artwork (a Kirill Chelushkin drawing). This room is very understated- nothing too flashy but the velvet and silk fabric throughout gives this room appeal and a feeling of luxury.

This room to me is a little bit more fun and amusing than the others. A great decorating idea I got from this room is to put billiard balls in a small decorative bowl on your coffee table and voila- instant color! Owner of this home is Jeffrey Povero. He also designed this sofa you see here and the rug (inspired by David Hicks). Remember: never shy away from creativity- Jeffrey even used drapes made from gray flannel suit fabric! You can't get more masculine and original than that! Also adding antiques to your room will really give it character and a bit of history (his coffee table was given to him by his grandmother) sweet!

If you haven't seen the new Domino yet, you need to pick it up! It features Drew Barrymore's company, Flower Films and their new office! Here is her manager/publicist Chris Miller in his private office. I adore the chrome accented rosewood desk he has! Chris defines his room as "warm, cozy, sleek and understated." That's always a good start when designing a room- first pick a few words that describe how you want your new space to feel and then your ideas will start flowing!

A very minimal look, this kitchen exudes simplicity and modernism to the core! You don't need much in a room like this- black, white, and some bursts of color will do the trick!

Ohhh Nate...Nate Berkus has been my male designer icon for as long as I can remember. I first laid eyes on Nate when he autographed a turquoise vase for me at Linens and Things when he first spawned his collection there. A couple years later, the vase broke and I managed to piece it back together. A few years after that, the famous vase fell in my bathroom again for the last time and is now sadly laid to rest- I was devastated! I of course still try to keep up with Nate's latest projects and manage to watch every Oprah episode he is on. His designs are really genius and if you males out there are looking for design inspiration, Nate is your guy! The interior in his own home tends to be more masculine, stylish, and cozy! Here is an image below from a recent episode of Oprah where he showed off his own home:

More Mirror Love

{Ethan Allen Mirror - "similar to shown" tremeau mirror in the office of Drew Barrymore featured in this month's Domino}

The mirror posts are really self-serving because I am on a mission to find the perfect mirror for above my current sofa.  I want a versatile mirror that would look great framed by my sconces I picked up at the Guild Shop.  
This chic mirror hails from Thomasville?!  Who knew?!  I usually loathe the big-chain-uber-goopy -"old worlde" furniture stores with the commission sales people breathing down your neck, but I do peruse the websites because I am a big believer that you can find at least one stylish thing in ANY store.  
I could hardly wait for my Domino to arrive so I could see a full shot of Drew Barrymore's tremeau mirror that hangs above her sofa in her office.  It did not disappoint.  The "similar to shown" mirror (seen at the top of the post) they source is from Ethan Allen .   I like to think that my antique sofa is similar in shape to Drew's and will one day (after I decide on a fabric) be as chic.   

I have not given up on having the Mecox Mirror made, but I do love to having options!  

Candice Olson for Norwalk Furniture

On a recent trip to Oklahoma to visit friends and family, a dear friend of mine and I popped into Norwalk Furniture to check out the new furniture line by Candice Olson. We had both obsessively played with fabrics and styles online (the website allows you to select different fabrics and contrasting trim for each piece) but were eager to see the pieces in person. The store did not disappoint, they had many styles in varying fabrics. I was surprised to hear that the lead time on these made-to-order pieces is only a month. I would consider the prices mid-range, but they can vary greatly depending on the grade of fabric (1-19).

Here are a few of my favorite pieces...

Mar 21, 2008

Mirror *Love*

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this mirror from Mecox Gardens, it's simple and glamorous, and would look oh so fab over my sofa. The price tag is rather steep for me so I'm thinking I may ask a local glass shop if they can duplicate it and then have it framed to match!

Mar 18, 2008

Flower Power

Florals are big for Spring and by big we mean BIG! Ok well maybe not this big- a little extreme Ms. Bradshaw! But florals are indeed very hot this Spring with celebs...

...and in the home of course! One day you will see Jessica Alba wearing a flowing frock of black and white floral and the next, you will find almost the same print on a pillow at Pottery Barn!
As we are getting ready for Spring, us here at Material Girls are very excited about all the fresh new pillows coming onto the market! Flowers, flowers, and more flowers! Makes a prettier room even more breathtaking!
I love this ad for Duralee. Very cute! They don't need a lot of floral pillows- just one in the middle seems to be the focal point of this sofa
Photo of a cheerful room designed by Kathryn Ireland in this month's House Beautiful using floral pillows
How can you add a little floral into your Living Room or Bedroom? Here are some of our favorite pillows that have just arrived in stores:

Pillows from Gumps- pure wool woven by Nepalese artists- available in green or orange!
Pretty in Pink! Love these floral beauties from Designer's Guild- U.K.

Z Gallerie finds- I love the colors in this dupioni silk pillow!

Another chic find from Designer's Guild- USA

Jayson Home and Garden produced these lookers- I love how understated and mod these are! Your couch will be the most stylish in town with this year's hottest new color...gray!

William Sonoma Home introduced these into their Spring '08 Collection. Absolutely love the brown and white combo- so fresh and so tropical! Makes me wish I was on Spring Break!

Modern floral from West Elm- young and simple looking, I see these in a mid 20 year old's condo or loft.

Tracy Porter designed these- you know how I love pink and green! The pattern here is very eye catching. All of the intricate detail that went into this larger 22"x22" pillow makes it more understandable why the price on this one is a bit steep! ($284 per pillow)

I always seem to find something great at Target. This brown Victoria Hagan embroidered pillow for only $29.99 is well worth it!

With St. Patty's day having been this week, I am still in the Irish spirit. How could you not love these artichoke green and brown pillows- the leaves almost look like little shamrocks! Adorable!

These girly pillows from Anthropologie would look lovely in a woman's bedroom on a white loveseat or chair!

I actually know a few people who have this pink pillow shown here from Pottery barn (one of which is my sister!) Even just this little punch of color thrown in with a few other zebra pillows makes her solid neutral sofa come to life! Now on sale!

Mar 16, 2008

The 'White' Stuff

With Easter coming up next weekend and with the rule- "you can only wear white between Easter and Labor Day..." Whoever made up that rule must not wear winter white! Anyways, with Spring upon us (finally!) I wanted to share with you the company, Whiteport- an online retailer who sells all guessed it- WHITE! (and cream, silver, gray and glass products as well)

Whiteport was founded by Jennifer McCabe in 2007 featuring a stylish white palette of home decor, gifts, and accessories. Now living in Australia, Jennifer felt that the white complements the extensive Australian landscape quite well. Jennifer quotes- "Our products look equally good in a city loft apartment or a sprawling beach house. White products are simple, timeless, and complement any color scheme."

White Butler's Tray

Wychmere Candle Holders

White Orleans Vase

Brewster Serving Tray
We love their products- they are crisp, chic, and can go in any interior! Throw the rules out the window, and dare to decorate and dress in white all year round!