Friday, March 30, 2012

Wood Paneling - Saying Goodbye to a 60s/70s Obsession

 In the 60s and 70s, this country became obsessed with wood paneling. Thought to evoke a warm and cozy feel in family rooms, basements, dens and even bathrooms (eek!), across America, wood paneling was all the rage amongst homeowners.  I'm not talking about the the rich wood paneled walls you might see in some of the old estates in England. I'm talking about the cheesy dark faux wood (although sometimes real wood was used), wall to wall paneling that was often accented with a shag rug, linoleum flooring and Formica countertops.  
I found this vintage ad for wood paneling promsing "the romance of the Old World?" Seriously???

Every house I've lived in has had at least one room, ususally the basement, covered in the dreary looking stuff. While I respect and sometimes even enjoy a midcentury modern element or 2  in a room design, wood paneling brings back a little too much of that era for my liking.  So what happens when ripping paneling off the wall isn't in your budget but you just can't stand looking at it any more?  PAINT IT!!

Here are some really great pictures of what a can of paint (and updated furnishings) can do to give a wood paneled room a COMPLETELY different feel. 

I know there are some basements out there just waiting to be saved. So who's ready to grab a can of paint and whip out a brush?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Elephant In the Room -How To Hide A TV in Plain Sight

Let's face it. Television has become such a necessary part of most of our lives that most people can't imagine not having one in their living room.  Personally, I've always preferred not having a television in my living room because when we entertain it forces people to actually socialize with one another instead of staring mindlessly at the TV plus I don't like the idea of a big black square being the focal point of the room.  But for those that must have a TV in the room, how do you stylishly incorporate the TV into your room's design without the TV becoming the focal point of the room? 

Since I'm working on a client's space now that requires that the TV remain part of the room's design, I've been doing some research and found a few really great ideas and options.

TV as Art - Surround the flat screen TV with framed art for an art gallery effect.

A truly unique look! - Here the designer has installed the TV directly into a non-functioning fireplace, making wonderful use of the space.

Frame It - Use a nice chunky piece of molding to frame out the TV for an elegant look.

Create a diversion! - Here the eye is distracted from the TV by the print of the wall paper.

Camouflage It- A genius idea! Paint the wall the same color as the TV.In this otherwise traditional and very cozy  looking library, the TV is a modern element in disguise. The TV virtually disappears into the wall when it's not turned on.
Make a Statement With It - This curved shelving unit makes a bold style statement.  It encases the TV and provides you with a little storage space too.  Made of recycled resin, this curved shelf unit also has an integrated speaker system. This look is not really my cup of tea, but if you're into a more futuristic/mod look for your home, this may work for you.

Keep it Simple - Of course, there's always the more traditional solution - hide the TV away in an armoire or storage cabinet decorated to compliment your room

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

CIty Mouse/Country Mouse??

This weekend I drove to Virginia to meet with a new client.  Although Baltimore is south of the Mason Dixon line, it's definitely not what most people envsion when they think of southern living. I think Virginia comes a little closer to what most would picture as southern living.  Anytime I travel outside of Baltimore I always play a little game I call "Could I See Myself Living Here?" So while in Virginia this weekend, surrounded by all the trees, grass, sprawling estates and quiet, I asked myself "could I live here?" Can I ever be a Country Mouse? Or am I destined to be the City Mouse? 





Something about the look of City Mouse Living  just excites me more.  So what about you? Do you prefer the City Mouse or Country Mouse vibe?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Coral + Gray = The Perfect Way to Introduce Some Spring Color

So I'm officially giving up on seeing any snow this year.  This week I'm saying goobye to fall, and welcoming Spring (feels more like summer here in Baltimore). Today's high was 80 degrees March??!
Anyway, isn't adding coral just the perfect way to inject some Spring color into a fall/ neutral gray pallete? 

And check out that super crafty DIY bathroom vanity on the left! Painting the vanity really lightens up the room and is a great juxtaposition to the somewhat serious tones of the wallpaper. Using those door knockers as cabinet pulls was a genius idea! Think I might copy that one myself.  ;-)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday Muse

Just a dose of pretty to get you going on this Monday morning!  I don't drink coffee, so looking at pretty pictures is what gets me going in the mornings and inspires me. Isn't she pretty?! Warm brown skin accented by soft mint and corral-pink. This print is the pefect way to bring some Spring into your space.  It's called The Dress, by Nancy Ramirez of Toronto and is available here : The Dress by Ramirez
Here's to doing it big with what ya got but always being inspired to do more! 
Have a great week people!