It’s not like I set out to be a collector of sculptures and household whatnots in the shape of hands… it’s just that they always seem to beckon! I have a few spread around the house, and here was a bunch I had accumulated for “future projects” (that I of course could not part with) and finally made a little vignette out of in my bedroom.
The big one is my favorite – a vintage mold from a rubber glove factory that I found in Healdsburg on a weekend trip to Sonoma a couple of years ago. (Nothing like prowling an antiques store after a couple of glasses of wine!)
This week we installed two sets of brass curtain tie-backs in a kids’ room for some fun clients, and they add such magic to the room! This is all I can reveal of that project for now…
….but I am happy to share resources for some of the best handy home accessories I have come across lately for giving a room some life.
Anthropologie Handheld Tieback // $48
Shades of Light Need a Hand Wall Sconce // $89
Kelly Wearstler Saints Hand in Burnished Bronze // $225
hodihomedecor Hand Hooks (Set of 2) // $56
Areaway Reality Hand Hooks (Set of 3) // from $225
I’m at Target frequently out of household necessity, so naturally, I scout the furniture and accessories each time. Over the past 5 years or so, it has gotten better and better. This season, they are particularly nailing it with the floor lamp offerings. I’m seeing the kinds of modern classic styles I have been pinning for years, at a crazy low price point.
1.// Threshold Seeded Glass Industrial Floor Lamp $89.99
2.// Threshold Crosby Schoolhouse Floor Lamp – Black $49.99
3.// Threshold Adjustable Drop Pendant Floor Lamp – Ebony $89.99
4.// Threshold Tripod Floor Lamp – Antique Brass $79.99
5.// Threshold Oak Wood Tripod Floor Lamp $79.99
6.// Threshold Globe Arc Floor Lamp – Antique Brass $129.99
So many rooms out there are hurting for light, or at least a tall piece with a bit of presence. These are my picks for solid styles at a super-reasonable price.
Mathematics has never been my forte, but I have a weakness for geometry in design! Apparently the Moravian star started out as a geometry project at a boys’ school in Germany. It came to be produced as a decoration symbolizing Advent, Christmas and the Epiphany. I think one or a grouping can add a festive touch to a hallway or dining area at any time of year. I just put one in a nursery!
HIGH // Moravian Star Pendant // Restoration Hardware // $1100
MID // Superior Moravian Star Light // Shades of Light // $300
LOW // Glass Moravian Star // ATG Stores // $135
All these pendants are around 18″, and are available in various finishes. Let the magic begin!
Unless you have a huge budget to remodel, when you move into a new house, you have to pick your battles. The Master Bathroom of my house is probably going to be the location of a staircase if we add a new master suite one day, so we didn’t want to spend much on this room when we moved in. On the other hand, this is the bathroom in our home that guests use. It had to be inviting! Here is what we did with a small budget.
We were fortunate that the lay-out was fine, and we weren’t contending with any hideous tile. There was also hardwood flooring (not my first choice for a bathroom, but it flowed with the rest of the house), Carrera marble counter-tops, unusual mid-century faucets, and cabinetry that was well-made. All of it was in good shape. Despite all the pluses, the overall “Before” wasn’t good! Challenges included blah paint, an off-center window, a huge unframed mirror glued to the wall, and a harsh light-strip.
Did I mention the suite of gray fixtures? The toilet, sinks and tub were all colored. Very 80’s!
My prescription was new paint and lighting, and an unusual mirror. The paint is two shades of gray – Flagstone on walls and Zinc on trim from Martha Stewart’s discontinued Home Depot line. Note that I did not paint the window in the trim color because I didn’t want to highlight it!
We bought a new white toilet immediately, and I didn’t care about the gray tub because I knew it was going to be covered by a jazzy shower curtain. Making peace with the gray sinks was my big compromise here. It would just wreck the marble if we took it up to install new sinks. And since I’m a bit of a Caesarstone snob, new countertops were definitely going to break the bank!
I hesitated to post this bathroom because it already looks different (I have a new shower curtain and better accessories now!), and I’m planning on replacing the lighting with something prettier. The West Elm sconces work well enough for me design-wise, but they were largely selected for value! It’s been three years now, and I’m ready to upgrade. (These white sconces may get a second life as reading lights over my daughters’ beds!)
Alabaster is a translucent stone. When back-lit, its swirling bands of cream and brown are accentuated. Naturally, it lends itself beautifully to lighting fixtures. Here are three sconces, all round in shape, but each one accented by a different metal. Each sconce could skew traditional or contemporary in design, but the overall effect is definitely glamorous.
HIGH // Iveala Single Sconce in hand-rubbed antique Brass // Aerin // $630
MID // Melange Sconce in Brass // Kelly Wearstler // $525
LOW // Ingram Sconce in Historic Nickel // Hudson Valley Lighting // $180
File this one under Industrial Chic! I am enjoying this lighting trend that incorporates a pulley detail into a pendant light fixture. A lot of times, I like to imagine a grouping of pendant fixtures for visual impact. In this case, one of these babies would make a memorable design statement on its own.
HIGH // Porcelain Pendant Pulley Light // Chairish // $1330
MID // Edison Industrial Pulley Light // Bonanza // $700
LOW // Cylinder Adjustable Brass Pulley Light // Pulley-Lights.com // $325
Another plus for this kind of fixture is its flexibility. It could be ideal for a space where there may be a dining table under it sometimes (in which case you would want the fixture down about 30″ from the table), but other times people would be moving through the same spot (in which case you would want it much higher).
I’ve found myself designing for a series of single male clients lately. This is a favorite bachelor pad mood board from my design studio. It’s sexy! And masculine. And art-driven. And full of moody blues. And if you could reach out and touch the sensuous upholstery fabrics on the board, you could better imagine how comfortable this place would be.
The blue velvet with the pajama-stripe textile is one of my obsessions here – Millbreck in Azure by Designers Guild. It is luxuriously soft. And I snuck in a piece of art (the Lone Ranger with the laser eye), by my favorite musician, Bob Schneider -because that’s sexy to me! If I were a single lady, and I walked into the home of a date to find all this, I would be relieved to know it was done by a designer – and not his ex! Then I could just admire his fantastic taste in art…
Here are some pieces you could buy to get the look.
1. Art // Natasha Law, Blue On 2. Pendant // Honeycomb Pendant 3. Floor Lamp // Praying Mantis Floor Lamp 4. Bulb Lamp // Crystal Desk Lamp 5. Chair // Calvin Chair 6. Rug // Brazilian Cowhide 7. Cocktail Table // Pi Coffee Table
Copper is the new brass, and since I’m always looking for special lighting pieces, I I keep running into fantastic pendant fixtures like these. Whether it’s a hammered texture, an artful mix of materials, or a sleek and simple finish, the bell shape keeps it timeless. Just line a few up over an island or a bar, and you’ve got yourself a design statement.
HIGH // Stanley Pendant // Anthropologie // $750
MID // Copper Lamp // Steve Banken // $325
LOW // Shiny Bell Pendant // Shades of Light // $190
This is one of my favorite mood-boards of all time. It started with the Morar textile from Osborne & Little. I am obsessed, despite the fact that I am terribly allergic to wool and probably wouldn’t use it in my own home. (Vicarious pleasure is one of the best parts of my job!). The mood-board that developed here turned into what I call “Malibu Colony Beach House On A Rainy November Afternoon”. It’s casual, feminine in a vibrant way, nostalgic, organic and quietly full of color and pattern and texture.
Here are some pieces you can buy right now to get the dreamy look.
1. Mirror // Mira Hanging Mirror 2. Art // Sammy Slabbinck, Love is All 3. Lighting // Alice Pendant 4. Pillow // Dancers Coral Pillow 5. Chair // Handwoven Boline Chair 6. Ottoman // Rattan Ottoman
I tend to like things that have a stripped-down form but are done in interesting materials, so I’m enjoying this little bulb lamp trend that’s happening right now. They are just the thing to make a diminutive design statement while illuminating a table. Look at these three – each its own cute style and price-point.
HIGH // Crystal Desk Lamp // Anthropologie // $350
MID // Ion C-Series // Schoolhouse Electric // $120
LOW // Faceted Wood Bulb Lamp // West Elm // $50
OK, an exposed light-bulb seems a bit fragile, so thoughtful placement is important! I would style one by putting it on top of a stack of books, and make it a subtle focal point on a desk, bedside table or mantle.