12 posts tagged A la Maison
For 6 years, I moved the same wooden dining table from apartment to apartment, a painful brown eyesore in the middle of every room. This time around, I decided to be one of those silly grown-ups who keeps their table ‘staged’ all the time. And surprise surprise, I love it! If done correctly, a staged dining table can inject pattern and color into the space without feeling cluttered.
In an open concept living and dining area, it is important to define spacial boundaries. In my dining room I achieve the separation with a subtle creme Zebra print area rug from Candice Olson as well as two dramatic master chairs flanking the ends of the table (pictured down below). The third tool I use to designate the dining room is a dramatic stenciled accent wall behind an even more dramatic mirror. When all is said-and-done, the space is sparkly, eye-catching and my favorite place to sit with a coffee and my laptop.
The Axis Floor mirror on the focal wall behind the table is a special piece from Z Gallerie. I had my eye on this mirror for 4 years, waiting for a home that could do it justice! It adds brilliance, elegance, modernity and most importantly, illumination into the space by reflecting the chandelier light around the room.
The Samode Dining Table from Jayson Home is very unique; you don’t see a fully-enveloped metallic table every day! I will warn you, since it is polished nickel, it naturally oxidizes and requires polishing with Noxon every couple months to keep it bright and shiny.
The Giselle chandelier by Eurofase appealed to me for two reasons. For one, it shimmers with lots of crystals in a modern way; the crystals seem to spread upwards instead of drooping down. Secondly, it doesn’t use the traditional chandelier bulbs that look like fake candles; instead it uses super bright tiny halogen bulbs. I chose the 12-light option, and it sparkles like crazy! Mounting a mirror behind it multiplies the effect as well. My only note about this chandelier is that the chrome mount at the top holds a transformer. If you link the chandelier to a dimmer, that transformer will buzz, and it drove me nuts. My electrician ended up removing the transformer and fishing it through the ceiling to a closet so I don’t have to hear the buzzing. Quite an ordeal, but worth it in the end.
Now, a bunch of you have commented on this Prada Marfa canvas I have on one of the dining walls, saying it is in the TV show Gossip Girl. Several years ago I heard about the installation in Marfa, Texas by artists Elmgreen and Dragset (you can learn more about it here). When I was flipping through an Art.com catalog, I recognized the highway sign and thought it would make for an interesting piece against my grey wall. I am very happy with the result; it stands out in the space. Available here: Art.com Prada Marfa Canvas.
Another significant choice I made for the dining room was the seating. I did not want to obstruct the sight lines into the living space to the windows, so instead of seating 8 chairs at the table, I opted for 2 elongated tufted velvet dining benches and 2 dramatic arm chairs for the ends of the table. This way, I can still seat 8 guests without cluttering the room or blocking the view. While the benches are made of champagne-tone fabric and the arm chairs a deep purple, keeping all the seating velvet and tufted ties the concept together. I designed the master arm chairs myself with Haute House Home, and the Pewter Lola dining benches are available here at Z Gallerie.
When planning the tabletop design, I discarded the convention that gold doesn’t mix with silver, which doesn’t mix with platinum. I am really loving the effect!
I began with Kim Seybert table accessories and quickly became obsessed! She makes the most intricate hand-jeweled table runners, place mats, napkins and more. The line is carried at Neiman Marcus, but I found my place mats on her website. My first splurge were champagne-colored Jewel Adorned Placemats. After using the place mats for a couple of weeks, I fell in love with another Kim Seybert piece, the bold Jewel Adorned Runner in Gumetal/Silver, which ‘popped’ off the platinum table top much more so than the place mats did. Below you can see two photos using the place mats as well as the table runner. Which do you prefer?
Also on my table at all times is the Marchesa flatware set. Something about gold utensils feels SO luxe at dinnertime and elevates the entire experience. You need these!!
Next I indulged in Hermes porcelain china. I chose two patterns to make a unique, visually interesting set. For the Presentation Plate and Dessert Plate, I selected the Metallic Gold Balcon du Guadalquivir. And for the Dinner plate, I chose the Metallic Platinum Fil D’Argent. I planned my set directly with Hermes, but Micheal C. Fina is a great resource to view colors and combinations for Hermes china. After several months using this set, I have no regrets. They are durable and the gold pattern adds texture and interest to the table— it has become a beautiful space, not just a functional one.
Finally, to finish the table, I added two other Kim Seybert accessories, the Bias Silk Organza Napkin in Champagne, as well as the Mogul Gem Napkin Ring in Purple. The little hint of purple radiance against the champagne napkin is luxurious and a subtle nod to the purple velvet armchairs I designed. Unfortunately the gold elephant figurine on my table is from One Kings Lane, a site that centers around one-time-only-sales. The tag on it says ‘Three Hands’, and you can view it here.
That was a lot of information, but now you know about each and every part of my dining room!
It is my favorite space in the home, and I am quite proud of the finished result. I hope you like it too!
The foyer makes for a tricky part of every home. On one hand, it is the first impression of any guest when they walk in to your home; on the other hand, it should be a practical space for you to place your keys, purse, and coffee. So when designing this space, I aspired for visual impact as well as increased function. Before creating an entry space, everyone placed packages, coats and bags on my dining table (which drove me nuts!) Now that I have defined the foyer, the dining room is left undisturbed. I had three goals for this space:
1. A place to set a purse, coffee, or package.
2. A place to sit and remove your shoes.
3. A location for increased storage.
Another factor that defines the foyer is a dramatic abstract painting I was determined to feature. It draws the eye in, while also limiting the height of a table/console that could sit below it (the painting is over 5 feet tall). I also took into account that along the same wall, about 15 feet to the right is a rectangular console in the living room. So, two rectangular consoles on the same wall would have looked repetitive and oppressive.
As a creative alternative, I chose three Louis Vuitton Alzer trunks. By stacking them at 5cm increments (80cm, 70cm, 60cm) they create an unusual pyramid effect while still providing ample storage within. On the top of the trunks, I keep a couple of framed family photos and a metallic Hermes Balcon Guadalquivir Silver tray (to toss my keys and sunglasses). In the photo above I also displayed a Louis Vuitton Murakami Jewelry box and a Hermes Menthe Bearn wallet.
I will also point out that typically when you think of Louis Vuitton trunks used as furniture, it is a large steamer trunk like you see below.
I spent months searching for a vintage trunk like this one (so expensive and often damaged). Another hurdle was that a steamer trunk couldn’t provide the correct height. 3 Alzer trunks, on the other hand, were the perfect spacial solution. I have never seen this style of trunk used for a foyer or coffee table, but I hope the trend catches on!
Flanking both sides of the trunks are chevron-patterned ottomans for easy seating. They function as a place to sit and take off your shoes, added party seating, as well as great storage :) I found my gray chevron ottomans here at Z Gallerie! Also, the grey chevron stripe directly compliments the wall color behind.
To conclude, I was able to acheive a dramatic focal point with an abstract piece of art, non-traditional use of Louis Vuitton trunks, as well as practical ottomans for seating upon entering my home. The added benefit of storage, while not using a basic console table was a great success.
I hope this Foyer segment has been informative! Next I will outline the Dining Room design.
Hello! I have been very remiss in updating my blog. As some of you may know I have been playing favorites with instagram for its level of convenience straight from my iPhone. You can see lots of my recent photos I post daily here: http://instagram.com/blondieluxe/
After several requests via email, I have decided to outline in extreme detail every aspect of my home. That way, you can find all the pieces you see in my photos and bring them into your own home. I have spent the last 6 months designing my space from scratch, and while doing so, I realized how much I love interior design! It has become a hobby, and something I hope to learn more about.
Before I go room-by-room in future posts, I will begin with the ‘back-drop’ introduction.
If you have ever lived in a city, or really any place where people can peek inside your windows, you can relate to my predicament! You want your privacy, but you also want to see the sky and brighten your rooms. Solution: Smith & Noble Roller Roman Shades. I chose these shades because they look sophisticated and sleek, but for more practical reasons, I chose them because they have the capability to be ‘top-down bottom-up’ shades. What that means is you can draw them up like a traditional shade, but also *pull them down* from the top. That way, you can enjoy sunlight and sky views, while achieving privacy below. I chose the color Summer/ Natural as the material lets lots of light in, but offers total privacy. You would have to be standing right behind the shade in your home for someone outside to see your shadow. Especially if the view outside is less-than-desirable, having a shade that lets you see the sky and block out what is below is wonderful!!
Here are some photos of my shades.
People always say that paint is an inexpensive way to transform a room, but I never have tried it before now! When you bounce from apartment to apartment every year, it doesn’t make sense to invest in the space. But now that I have found a home I love, it was time to make the space my own. The fastest way to do that is paint! I chose Sherwin Williams for no significant reason other than the store location was convenient and it seemed like a reputable line of products. In my home, I chose four paint colors to use throughout the spaces, all in a cool grey/purple theme. I chose the Emerald Satin product, and all surfaces received 2 coats. I will outline those colors below.
6002 Essential Gray. I used this color along the full lengths of my living and dining room walls. It is a light/mid-tone gray with a warm undertone.
6277 Special Gray. This is a dramatic dark gray, better suited for accent walls. I used it for focal walls in my dining room, master bedroom, and the small hallways in my home.
6000 Snowfall. I wanted to create a Moroccan pattern on some of my accent walls that resembled wallpaper, without the hassle of applying it. Snowfall is a soft white/gray that isn’t as harsh as white, but still ‘pops’ as the stencil pattern over a dark gray wall.
6817 Genetian. For one of my bathrooms and for my second bedroom I opted for a fun purple tone (as it is my favorite color). It doesn’t read ‘child’s room’ as it is vibrant and rich.
Cutting Edge Marrakech Trellis Stencil. This is a great alternative to wallpaper! But, it is equally as time consuming, if you are applying multiple coats. So you have been warned :) This company is a good resource for lots of stencil patterns and great quality; I am planning on pursuing a different pattern for my hallways in the future. Also, for anyone living in an apartment with restrictions on wallpaper, this is the best alternative.
The photo below shows 6002, 6277, 6000, and the Cutting Edge Stencil. You can see 6817 in the photo I posted above, behind the daybed.
So, this concludes my Interior Design Adventure Introduction! I hope it has given you some great resources for the back-drop of your home. In my next post, I will outline my design for the Foyer.
hermes has my heart.
atop my china is a TGM H-hour timepiece in white gold and diamonds with a braise alligator strap.
Munchkin right at home.
I will eventually post a better photo of my bedroom that encompasses all the pieces. But for now, I’d like to focus on the issue of a fur throw blanket for the bed. I can say, after last night, it is not purely ornamental! It made for a more blissful, plush sleeping experience. My new Frette linens may have something to do with it too :)
About the throw: It is a Silver Fox fur from SAGA, a highly respected fur source (I know the Saks Fifth Avenue fur salons use SAGA fur as well). Many fur blankets are sold at huge markups at home boutiques in big USA cities; but online, I found a great source with high quality, fast turnaround, low cost furs!
My blanket is from Master Furriers. Customs did hold the blanket for a week to confirm I was a consumer and not a reseller, but otherwise this blanket arrived exactly as pictured, and looks much better than the Silver Fox blankets sold locally for crazy-high prices.
You can find many fur blankets here, including my Silver Fox: Master Furriers
I definitely recommend them!
Beginning to furnish my bedside tables with indulgent reads.
‘Over the Top’ is a compilation of every exceptional present Neiman Marcus has previewed in their Christmas catalog, where they offer the most luxurious and fantastic presents.
It makes quite a unique coffee table book.
In my new place, I am making a real effort to display my pieces rather than hide them in their boxes! So part of this means a great bracelet stand for all the rainbow baubles and wrist-candy.
I cannot express how much more sense it makes to see all your pieces before getting dressed; boxes to hide your bracelets are overrated :)
Boudoir mirrors arrived! Not sure I can get more obsessed with the glamour of the Hollywood Regency period. You can find them here, at Glam Furniture.
A sweet follower reminded me yesterday that I have been using instagram primarily to edit pictures.
I am not the most tech-savvy, but I recently realized you can follow me there as well if you would like :)
My username (no surprise) is blondieluxe.
You can also find me on Followgram.
Here is a recent photo I uploaded on instagram of my new area rug. You can find it here at Horchow.
Leisurely afternoon browsing at Hermes for interiors. Needed the relaxation after this day!
A small furry peek at one of my favorite pieces for my new home! Can’t wait to wrap up with my little one in the fall.
If you haven’t been down to the Fontainebleau on South Beach in Miami, please head there immediately! If not for the fabulous nightclub LIV, (sure to be a memorable night) drop in at least to witness the stunning chandelier installation by artist Ai WeiWei.
Before a $1 billion makeover in 2008, the Fontainebleau was infamously known as the Rat Pack’s hot spot (circa 1950’s and 60’s), although you would never know that now! Super sleek and clean, the entire property exudes sexy luxury. It is still a hot spot; yet instead of catering to the likes of Frank Sinatra, you’ll find Heidi Klum and Jay Z.
This particular installation by Ai WeiWei is very unique in that it is the only *permanent* installation of his work in the United States. 16 feet in diameter, each of the three chandeliers can be yours for a cool $1 million. Would anyone like to guess how many crystals were used in each piece? I can’t even begin to imagine— they are awe inspiring!
source: Dream Design
You may recall Ai WeiWei as one of the artistic masterminds behind the “Birds Nest” main stadium at the Beijing Olympics.
source: Beijing Bird Nest