Tuesday, October 30, 2012

modern vs. contemporary

One of the questions I'm asked most is what is the difference between Modern interior design and Contemporary.

Modern design actually refers to a period in time.  The style began in the late 1800s and was further developed by the German Bauhaus School of Design beginning in 1919.  Modern design places an emphasis on simplicity and function.  It plays heavily on vertical and horizontal lines, open floor plans and a minimalist uncluttered aesthetic.  Modern design celebrates natural light, makes heavy use of natural materials and uses color in moderation.

Contemporary design began in the 1970s as a blend of past styles.  It is current design from recent years and design that is produced now.  Contemporary design is broad and includes many variations.  Elements may include curved lines in architecture and furniture and the use of color.  But remember Contemporary design may still incorporate modern pieces of furniture or modern elements.  Contemporary design is ever changing and of the moment.

Any easy way to remember the term is Contemporary = Current.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

lighten up

I love this creative use of unique antique mirrors which really brighten up this room.  Hanging mirrors opposite your windows will reflect your natural light.  While I love a dark and cozy room, sometimes it's nice to let the light in during the short winter days.  

Want to brighten up a dark room?  Start with color.  Painting the walls a bright white is the obvious first thought, but consider using warm pales tones as well.  Whites and light colors bring in light by bouncing it around the room thus creating a feeling of brightness.

Add metal and glass accents to keep the reflected light moving around the room.  This is a great chance to add some brighter color as well.

Lamps, lamps, lamps!  Focus on adding table and floor lamps rather than harsh overhead lighting.  Nice white linen lampshades will help spread soft flattering light throughout the room.  Place a lamp next to a wall mirror to make the effect reach even further.

Consider furniture with exposed legs which visually increase floor space making your room feel larger and airy.

Hang your drapery panels at the edge of your windows and a few inches above.  This allows the maximum amount of light in while visually increasing the size of your windows.

To finish throw in a few velvet or faux fur accessories and your bright room will still feel cozy and warm for the cool winter months ahead.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

what a difference hardware makes

I like our apartment.  We had one weekend to find a place and I feel really lucky we landed where we did. Especially after looking at place after place with terrible carpet and hideous kitchens.  And not only terrible carpet and hideous kitchens but one place in particular stands out because it had terrible carpet which actually ran up the side of the kitchen cabinets!  Wow.

As much as I like our new home there are still things I would have done differently if we owned our place (what a shock, right).  Take for example these very rustic cabinet knobs which feel a little too Arts & Crafts to me.

Ahh the joys of renting.

Luckily knobs are such an easy item to switch out and they can really make a difference on a piece of furniture.  I had these polished brass knobs on my mind and was finally able to track them down online.

Now this slightly dated tv cabinet feels a little more fresh and modern.  And the switch out took less than five minutes (seriously).  Mission complete!

Friday, October 12, 2012

hello zara home

Welcome to the States!  I've been anxiously awaiting your arrival...

Have you checked out Zara Home's new online site yet?  If not I suggest you take a peak around.  They have lots of cute accessories and shipping is free during the month of October!  Here are some of my favorite items:

I love the angles of the Meltiar hourglass!

This herringbone weave and cool metallic shade make for gorgeous baskets.

The perfect gold frame for just about anywhere.

The pretty and subtle Bolonia vase

Stay warm with the Costa throw.  
Too bad it's acrylic instead of wool but I love the pale gray stripe.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

look organized

One of my best tricks for keeping my place looking neat and organized is the use of trays.  I keep one on my coffee table for remotes, odd magazines and pens which would otherwise be scattered around the table top (and floor).  I love that I can toss everything inside and the table looks visually neat.  This living room by Celerie Kemble uses the same idea.

This tray, though pricey I'm sure, adds a nice pop of color to the mix.

Trays can also keep all those little vanity items from looking cluttered and messy.

I find when I actually see my jewelry instead of tucking it away in a jewelry box I'm far more likely to wear it.  I've been working on finding the perfect tray for my closet shelves.

And of course they work wonderfully on counter tops and bar carts for liquor, accessories and glassware.

I have found a few unique trays at One King's Lane sales and Etsy.  Shops such as The Well Appointed House and West Elm generally have a great selection as well.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

new arrivals

Wow is really October already?  In September we moved to our new place, had amazing friends visit from Atlanta and Denver, plus spent 6 days back in NYC.  It was a fantastic month and time flew by.  Now I'm looking forward to October since we have nothing major on the calendar and lots of time to get organized, settled and explore Aspen.

I've been a little obsessed with both ebay and brass these last few weeks which has lead to a few new arrivals.  I love the warmth antique brass adds to a room and fall is the perfect time to add a warm metal to the mix.  First up are these gorgeous candlesticks which shipped from England.  I love seeing them up on the mantel.

I also found these modern shaped brass bookends and I couldn't be happier with their old patina.  They are really heavy and will definitely stand up to the stacks of books and magazines in my office!

A departure from the brass but a cool ebay find nonetheless, these wood table legs are about to be refinished to serve as my office table.  Now if I could just find a beautiful piece of walnut for the table top...

I have to admit I love getting packages!