All posts filed under: Design

My Favorites: Knobs

I am obsessed with pretty and whimsical objects, especially knobs.  They are an inexpensive way to upgrade IKEA-like furniture by jazzing up any furniture or room. For my own apartment, I used modern brass pulls and knobs to customize my kitchen.  Here is my current selection of favorites. 1)  Anthopologie Anthropologie is a great source for colorful and unique knobs and pulls.  You do have to pick and choose because the quality of these items vary.  Their current line is inspired by equestrians which would fit right into any country style interiors. It will even bring a bit of warmth and personality to a modern interior that can come off cold. Crystal Bar Knobs $18/each Tanga Toggle Knob $18/each Santiago Horseshoe Pull $2.95/each Gramercy Knobs $10/each Telescope Knobs $10/each Swirled Geode Knob $24/each 2) Nest Studio These knobs are like jewelry, expensive but worth it.  The style is  modern and veers toward geometric lines. Brass and acrylic handle $80/ piece Octogonal pull $90/peice Hexagonal bar pull $80/each 3) Edgar Berebi This line is more ornate and …

Bathroom Style

When we are designing our home, usually the bathrooms and powder rooms are left until the end.  However, this doesn’t mean we should not design them.  A beautiful and organized bathroom will help us relax. 1) Let’s pick a concept. Do you want it contemporary, eclectic, minimal, rustic, retro or classic? 2) Take your time to pick the fixtures. Options can include chrome, mate, golden or even black.  3) Lighting  Sconces and wall lamps bring a lot of life and “coziness” to the bathroom. 4)  Floors can be made of stones, tiles or even wood. Here are some inspirations. 5)  Add art!  Framed art brings a new life to the space. A bathroom is not an exception. I would recommend exploring more options than the typical “sea-themed” bathroom. 6) Mirrors Love the “mirror over mirror” concept .  The idea of multiple mirrors in an area works great as well. 7)  Consider wallpaper In the case of powder rooms or bathrooms that have good humidity control, you can add wallpaper to make an impact. Start making some plans and think …

Online Report: Decorative Pillows

So, how is your online shopping going? Have you found any good pieces? If not, here are some suggestions that I found after checking some of my favorite design sites. Most of the suggestions in today’s post are very accessible in terms of pricing, from $20 to $80.  There are some higher priced items, but you can decide if it is worth spending a little more on some special pieces.  Additionally, sales are happening right now so you might want to take advantage of them. The sites below are listed in alphabetical order: Anthropology Go here for bohemian styles. You can also find great seasonal basics.   Ballard Designs This is a good basic outdoor catalog. CB2 The site has a great selection with a small and manageable catalog.   Crate & Barrel There are a few outstanding options to choose from. I also found really cool outdoor poufs.   Dot & Bo Variety of colors and good prices.   Design Within Reach The site has higher prices and a smaller selection, but interesting pieces.   H&M …

Where do professional designers draw their inspiration? Insight from Bullard & Xenides Interiors

One of my favorite parts about the La Vie Partagée lifestyle page is the insight to home design it provides to its readers. Recent posts from designers and design enthusiasts offer up the latest trends and design tips to inspire readers to create great spaces of their own.  With such great inspiration so readily at hand for readers, you may have wondered … where do professional designers draw their inspiration as they create new spaces for clients? While it’s true that a creative mind never really rests (I often have dreams/nightmares about client projects), there are times when an extra boost of inspiration from an outside source is just the remedy to reignite the creative process. One such boost can be counted on every spring for people in the design world. High Point Market Week is a mecca for designers, architects and retailers. It is essentially a chance for vendors of furniture, design accessories, artwork, lighting, fabrics, wallpapers and many other crafts to put their best foot forward in hopes of driving popular trends in …

Big Box Scout: Summer Patio Basics

We decided to do some scouting to show you what is actually available in some of the most popular big box stores. In all honesty, I was surprised to find items exhibiting similarly bright colors and designs. So, for furniture, I would say, let price drive your decision aside from the additional expense of some accent tables.  For pillows, here are a few options for you to try along with some other great finds at the following stores: 1) Cost Plus World Market With solid, bigger pieces of furniture, just add some pillows. How about this fun print for this fabric? It goes great with natural wood colors and bright ones too.    There are more fun patterns, full of color. We found full color metal stools and/or side tables. Here is this classic design in red, blue and brown. We even found a picnic table! My favorite find in this store was this wooden cooler; it definitely makes those ugly plastic cases a thing of the past. 2) Marshalls You need luck and the …

Design Knockoffs: Reading Nook/Guest Bed

Many people have a small room that is often inefficiently used, but that room can be so much more.  We can see an example of this in this transformative design of a room in the back of a house that turned into an extraordinary reading nook. In today’s post, I will recreate a reading nook for a weekend house that can also double as a “guest” room. It will come in handy when you have too many people in the house and not enough bedrooms to house them.  The goal of this series is to use big box stores that our readers can easily access via online or brick and mortar stores.  The budget will be approximately $1,000 for the bones of the room.  The inspiration for this room is a clean and bright country home. Let’s start with the daybed.  There are many options out there with various prices.  I wanted a backless daybed which looks more like a seating sofa than a bed and infinitely more chic. This is an option from Wayfair. This …

Outdoors with Style

Warm weather is here, and we can’t wait to spend some time outside, especially for folks like me who had to deal with a snowy winter.  While we are all planning fun BBQs with friends, trying new recipes for cocktails and dishes or warming up to hot tea and a good book, we realize something is missing.  Our patios, decks, terraces or gardens are in desperate need of styling. If you live in a big city like NYC, you probably have a tiny space. No worries! It can still be cozy and cool. Picture yourself out there, what do you need? Rugs? Plants? Flowers? Not that good with plants but want green? How about an herbal garden? Dining area? A hammock? Comfortable seating? Fire pit? I found this amazing tutorial for your patio or garden: http://www.bowerpowerblog.com/2013/04/its-the-pits/ Color! Neutrals are so peaceful but fun strong colors also bring happiness to the heart. Re-energize your outdoors with bright tones. Not into bright colors but love contrast? Consider the right amount of lighting so you can enjoy it at dusk. …

Let’s style that bookcase

When we decide to decorate our bookcases, there are some things to consider. 1) The bookcase size, depth and height of shelves. There are many designs we can bring to our house, from custom made to adjustable shelves. Pick a piece that fulfills your needs. A great option is to use bookcases as space dividers. They let light go through and create an interesting atmosphere. 2) Books. Besides the obvious, we should pick books that are in good shape and those we love. Have you noticed that bookcases are magnets for guests? They reflect who we are and what topics we are knowledgeable about.  Pick them wisely; otherwise you might find yourself being questioned and not have a clue about the books. There are different ways to put them in the shelves:  By topic, by color, by size, vertical, horizontal or mixed. 3) Accessories. I like to see bookcases filled with stories beside the books. That little box you bought on your last trip, that cute picture of your pet, a nice globe you bought …

Picture Perfect

A big empty wall in your space and you have no clue what to do with it. You only have 2 art pieces and they are not enough to fill in the space properly.  Sounds familiar? Well, there is an art behind hanging art. There are sites that sell prints and originals of many styles that are very useful to fill in gaps or to be statement pieces: minted.com, etsy.com, etc. Other ideas for cheaper options are to go to flea markets and find old posters in good shape such as maps, landscape pictures, or anything you find interesting. You can pretty much hang anything. One interesting, fun idea was to get this “grandma” style gold leaf frames with landscape art but have half of them painted in a solid color (including the frame). Check first to be sure it is not a valuable piece! Mirrors are another useful item to add to your collection. They help multiply light and space. They can also become fun pieces. One fun and retro trend is to add hand woven …

Design Knockoff: Weekend House Small Bedroom

One can only dream of a weekend house like the one from the Pearson Design Group shown above. After being inspired by Kimberley Seldon’s weekend retreat that I highlighted in last week’s design post, I tried my hand at putting together a bedroom for an average person’s weekend retreat in this new series.  The goal of this series was to do three bedrooms (1 twin, 2 queens) for under $5,000 with furniture.  For this post, I will tackle a small bedroom that will only fit a twin bed. Most people who have weekend houses are unlikely to spend a lot of money on good furniture as most are rented out or only use them sparingly. However, that does not mean you can not create something cozy and inviting to make it more desirable for people to visit.  My inspiration for the bedrooms was something very soothing with an uncluttered approach to design.  This approach is bare bones where people can customize with their own accessories and layer with personal knick knacks. I’m not a big DIY …