Wednesday, December 9, 2009

bright ideas

are you feeling like you need a break from all things holiday? i sort of am. not a long break - just a few moments. so let's take a few moments together...

in my endless web exploration, i found a slideshow of the georgia idea house on the southern living website. i love looking at idea houses (or slideshows of them) because it's a great perspective from which to see a house - you get to see the whole thing and understand the flow of ideas from one room to another, rather than just seeing isolated photos the way we often do in feature articles.

it can be very inspiring to look at homes this way, because even if it's not your style, there is always something that can be gleaned, something that resonates as it pertains to your own home and your own life, even if that means, for now, it's in your mind as part of your future dream home. it's important to keep our files fresh and idea houses give me lots of mental tear-sheets. here are some highlights of this one.

decorated by mallory mathison, this house is very traditional in the most lovely, pottery barn-esque of ways. while it's not oozing with personality, i find most of it very calming and neutral in a nice way. there's something about it that feels modern and fresh, even though it is definitely timeless, and in some areas, even a tad old-fashioned. i think what makes it feel modern is that you can see how functional it is for today's world and it's sometimes bold in its mixing of materials and finishes.

i love the way the kitchen blends wood finishes - a weathered blue-gray stain on the cabinetry, blonde wood accents and a dark wood floor manage to look at home together, and i think the well-used carerra marble, clean white paint and the punchy red prints make it so. also, love the table lamp on the counter every time i see it done.

there's also an abundance of counter space, including highly functional islands, one mobile and a few stationery. favorite thing ever? outlets on every leg of the main island! how smart?

just outside the kitchen and carefully tied in through the use of reds, i really like the dining room and how airy but comfortable it feels. and i adore the red-lacquered bamboo chairs and how they punch up a very traditional space.

i'm liking the idea of built-ins in a dining room - solves the whole "where do we put all the dishes" problem and doesn't visually or spatially interrupt the room the way even the nicest furniture can. and i love how here, the interiors of the cabinets tie in the red.

i'm kind of obsessed with the idea of a multipurpose room. i think most of us have a "multipurpose room" otherwise known as "kitchen" or "guest room" or "foyer" -- where everything is dumped. wouldn't it be nice to have a dedicated space for all your projects? wrapping, listing, organizing, a nerve center for all the good stuff. and this one has a sink, which makes it really functional - you could do all your planting and cutting and flower arranging here too!

the master bath is another space where mathison used a mix of woods and i think it looks stunning. first, i'm sort of loving the thought of wood floors in a bathroom. second, i love how they look with the moody blue-gray walls and the white trim and cabinetry. check out the vanity area too off to the right - love!

and i love the idea of graphic wallpapers used in certain spaces. they can really change the feeling of a space and give it a wrapped feeling, which i think is perfect for hallways, special corners and bedrooms. it creates a cocoon of beauty and i think it's used beautifully in both these pictures -- very glam in the entryway, and dreamy and gossamer in the guest room.

wouldn't you love to be a guest in this room?

i think it's very interesting to look through your tear-sheets, whether they're in your head, on your hard drive, in folders in your kitchen...and see the patterns in the things you gravitate to. for me, they definitely change over time and this slideshow underscored a few things i'm loving right now, providing some context for my thoughts. it's also cool because you can see motifs and styles used in very different ways. for example...

i responded so strongly to the dark floors in the georgia house, and i knew i'd bookmarked the look before, here from apartment therapy.

also, i've been very into the whole cutout look and the dining room chairs in the georgia house, while they're more bamboo-ish than others, feel similar to me. here are some other things in this genre i've been eyeing.

from west elm (here, here and here):

some of these mis-matched black lacquer dining chairs i blogged about a couple months ago touch on the style too:

and we've discussed my feelings about the ankara chair from crate and barrel:

i also love this chair from black and spiro:

and that brings me to the wallpaper theme that i loved in the georgia idea house and elsewhere.

a closer look, as seen on black and spiro:

and i remember adoring katie ridder's rooms at the hampton designer showhouse when i visited over the summer, and i mainly loved them because of their inspired use of whimsical wallpapers, particularly in small spaces, as shown here:

look at the wallpaper in this guest room at the nines hotel in portland,

and this fabulously wallpapered hallway i saw on the hgtv website:

ah, it's all just so gorgeous, isn't it? sometimes i wish i had ten homes to decorate. well, that was a nice diversion. i hope it was for you too. thanks for coming along!

the nines hotel picture from; all other pictures from linked sites

1 comment:

Erin said...

Ten homes to decorate?! Too funny!

That master bathroom is incredible! I'd sit in there for hours!

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