Friday, June 26, 2009

Guest Post: 7 Design Essentials

Hi Everyone, this is Crystal and I blog over at Plush Palate. I'm so excited to be part of House of Slappy as a guest blogger today and to meet all of you! Andrea asked me to do an interior design post, so I thought I'd start with the basics. So, here's a look at the 7 essentials of my design philosophy...

1. Splashes of Color: Color can be intimidating but the good news is you can easily experiment with accent pieces (like throw pillows and ottomans). Then, when your mood changes , you can switch them out with new ones (I'm always redoing the color palette of my apartment!). This is the easiest way to create an instant visual stimulations!

2. Look At Me Pieces: Every room should have at least one unexpected, attention grabbing piece. This is what sets an average room apart from a fabulous room! Don't you just love walking into a space that leaves you floored with surprise? The oversized wall medallion in this Jay Jeffers designed living room does just that.

3. Fresh Flowers: It's been said a thousand times before, but fresh flowers really do make all the difference in a room (please no artificial ones!). They bring the outside in, are already perfectly designed by natural, and quickly bring life to any space. 

4. Mixing Styles & Eras: Nothing says modern day designer like the ability (and confidence) to mix design styles and eras. This keeps a space interesting and unpredictable. The key is to make sure there's a common element that ties it all together and keeps the look congruent (like a color palette or clean lines). I love how the designer here mixes mid-century modern chairs with a contemporary table on the left, and modern Barcelona chairs with a traditional wood table on the right. 

5. Drapery: Oftentimes people overlook drapery to save money or because they simply don't think they're important to the design process. But drapery truly is the finishing touch to any room. It's like the jewelry you wear to complete the outfit, the frosting on the cake, and the bow on top of the present. It helps visually tidy up a space and makes it complete.

6. Embracing White: Oh how I love white! I'm just so drawn to the pure, clean, and fresh feeling the color evokes. That's probably why all my dishes, towels, sheets, and even my couches are white. I believe every home should have at least one white space to retreat to and escape from all stimulation and stress of the day.

7. Layers of Texture: As we all know, design is in the details. And perhaps the detail that is most important of all in creating a warm and inviting space is texture. I love the way designer Darryl Carter has a floor rug on top of the carpet showing that you can never have too many layers. And on the right, the designer mixes elements like a plush carpet, cotton throw blanket and wood to create different tactile experiences. Simply Delicious :)

Happy Friday everyone! Love, Crystal

*Sources from top to bottom, left to right: Michael Robinson Photography, James Merrell, Jay Jeffers Design Group, flowers via Carolyn Barber Photography, James Tse Photography, left drapery via coco+kelley, right drapery and whites via Reed Davis Photography, bottom left via Elle Decor, bottom right via James Tse Photography

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Not Fair!

Good news: I'm SO excited! After months and months searching for a swag chandelier to hang above the pub table in the kitchen, I finally found one I love!

Bad news: It's freakin' $2,900. Whhhhyyyy do you people do this to me?!?

Well, any of these will do, too. Only $485?!?!

Note to self: Confront parents a.s.a.p. as to why I don't have a trust fund.

Via Pieces, Inc.

More good news: Special guest Blogger tomorrow. Woo Hoo!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Home Sweet Home!

Helloooo! I'm back in Austin - well, we actually arrived yesterday afternoon (we were supposed to have gotten home Saturday afternoon) and I was so dead to the world I barely had the energy to watch my TRH of New Jersey from last week. After 3 days of flight delays, bad weather and cancellations, it only took 3 days longer than expected to get home. Good times! Thank bejeezus for First Class seats and free flowing wine!

Here's some eye candy while I continue to wash the funky airport smells out of my hair and recuperate from our journey...

Molori Safari Lodge, South Africa

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Maine Bound!

Well kids, the Mr. and I are off to Maine ear-ly this morning. And by early I mean by the time you are reading this we have somehow managed to get our butts out of bed by 3am. That's right. I don't even remember the last time I had to go to sleep before 9pm. And most importantly, I went to bed so early I had miss tonight's season finale of TRHW of New Jersey!! Ugh, I don't know if I can make it until Saturday to watch it...

Anyway, its not really a "vacation" in the traditional sense, since we are going there for his Grandmother's memorial service (she passed away last year and this was the best opportunity for a bunch of his family members to all get together). I have, however; always wanted to go to Maine and I'm sure it will be a very beautiful, somber and peaceful trip.

I've managed to find a few incredible photos of our hotel room and I do have to say, I don't know if seafood and exploring Maine will be enough to get me to want to leave the hotel...

Now this is what I'm talking about. Except, in reality there would be Cabernet in those wine glasses.
After we feast on fresh seafood and bottles of wine, we can chill in our cozy little bedroom.

And in the morning, walk down for a river-side brunch with Bloody Marys and/or Mimosas with freshly squeezed OJ.

And then get massages in the fresh air and warmth of the beautiful sunlight...

JUST KIDDING! I wish! This is where we're really staying. The finest Best Western Bucksport, Maine has to offer... No, seriously - this is THE best hotel there.

Woo Hoo!! Gotta love that shiny comforter. Better believe I'm bringing a pair of surgical gloves to peel that germicidal comforter off the bed! Wow, I sure do hope that T.V. is in color and converted to digital by now.

Did you say 'Outdated Hideous Brass Bed Frame?" My favorite...don't get too envious of me!

At least we'll have a waterfront view, right?

See all of you wonderful readers next week. Hope you all enjoy the rest of the week and have a great (and under 100 degree weather) weekend. And I'm SO excited for next Friday when a special Guest Blogger will be stopping by House of Slappy!

P.S. My imaginary hotel is really the Mystique hotel in Santorini, Greece :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sexy Wood

Yesterday's post on the fantastically talented design collective, Pirwi, got me wondering about what else is out there in the wild world of organic furniture. Whew! Turns out there is a hot little company named Hudson Furniture, Inc. and man is their stuff super sexxxxxxx-y! Case in point: the table below. Wood + Gold = Hot. And that chandelier? Holy Shit!

According to Barlas Baylar, Hudson's founder and designer, "None of the woods we use are harvested from old growth forests. Our wood slabs are domestically sourced from either salvaged trees or wind/storm damaged trees. The trees have an average life span of 250-300 years. When these trees die, they gradually do so from the crest to the roots. The farmers or the tree owners thus have to remove these trees as they might cause damage to houses, other trees or outlying areas. We integrate various wood species into our designs to produce unique works of art."

All of the furniture is available in custom dimensions, custom finishes and a variety of wood species such as Claro Walnut, Black Walnut, Myrtle, Jasmine, Acacia, Satinwood and Ebonized Pine.

What's that you say? You wish you could see a close-up of that amazing chandelier with nickel trim? Ask and ye shall receive.

Solid Walnut Coffee Table with Plexiglass Base

Organic Teak Root with Plexiglass Top

The Rock - Bronze End Table

And to conclude our lovely organic tour, I like to call this the "This Is Where The Magic Happens" section. Check out these sleek custom designed beds...

Walnut Bed

Monday, June 15, 2009

Crazy for Pirwi!

Late last week I had the pleasure of attending Kirk's preview of its newest addition to the super-stylish family, Pirwi, a Mexico City-based furniture company that operates under sustainable practices. According to their website, "the company was founded by two industrial designers, Emiliano Godoy and Alejandro Castro; and launched an initial product line in March 2007. Today, the collection includes over 60 objects by 12 designers, and features award-winning pieces as well as designs now considered classics of Mexican design".

What made my night though, was meeting and speaking to designer Godoy, who has been working in sustainable design for several years. Godoy is in charge of the creative direction of the company. Lemme tell you, he is as charming as he is talented and ladies and gentlemen, I have a new Latin crush!

Pirwi’s catalog showcases stylish and contemporary pieces that are not only green, but that also offer an interesting aesthetic proposal. Besides the creation of environmentally compatible products, Pirwi utilizes socially fare labor practices setting itself at the forefront of the sustainable furniture industry. Wait, it gets better. In addition to all of that, a lot of their pieces are pretty affordable. Pirwi is sold exclusively in the U.S. at Kirk, so make sure to check it out. A few photos of some of my favorite pieces, although the real pieces are much more beautiful in person!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Neon Fever

Hmmm...not sure what it is lately, but I'm feeling especially saucy today. I say we get kicky with it and ditch the boring house stuff for a day. Can we please get some neon up in here?

It would be plain wrong to not start this post with the little man with the big voice whose ahhh-mazing album sleeve (that's right, I said album) sparked off my love affair with neon and inspired me to paint my 'teen bedroom purple. Thanks, mom and dad!

Whew! It's gettin' hot in here already. Please, please, please tell me you at one time owned Prince's album, 1999.

I want this in my house. Reeaalll bad. Image via 2008 'Top Design' winner hottie, Nathan Thomas', interior design company portfolio.

Moving right along, we have a few fine pieces of my favorite British feminist artist/bad girl Tracey Emin.

You Forgot to Kiss My Soul,Tracey Emin, 2001

Kiss me, kiss me, cover my body in love,Tracey Emin, 1996

Everything for Love, Tracey Emin, 2005

Yours truly at a Dan Flavin installation at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas and my friends hamming it up below.

Fabulous neon art via The Anemix

Lite Bright Neon Studio

Lite Brite Neon Studio

Hotel Saint Cecilia, Austin, Texas. And here.

Radisson Hotel Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa

Seattle Public Library

I don't remember where this image is from, but I do know it's the naughtiest escalator I've ever seen. Saucy!