What’s On Our Coffee Table

You’ll be hard pressed to find an interior designer or architect who doesn’t have a favorite book (or a whole bookshelf of favorites). They are the books we go to for inspiration, encouragement; to feel challenged and to find solace. They remind us that details matter, that creativity breeds creativity, that beauty is something worth talking about.

Below are a few favorite reads–the books you’ll find open on our coffee tables with dog-eared pages and fingerprints.

"The Perfectly Imperfect Home" - Deborah Needleman

– A whimsical and quirky take on the basics of interiors, embracing all the imperfections. Simultaneously a reference guide and a pretty picture book, Needleman offers practical design tips and delightful watercolor illustrations.

"The Architecture of Happiness" - Alain de Botton

– The kind of read that changes a person. Alain de Botton achieves poetry, philosophy and a concise history of architecture in one book, accessible to professionals and non-designers alike.

"An Eye for Design" - Allegra Hicks

 – A true coffee table book, captivating cover and all.  Hicks cleverly compiles a range of inspirational imagery—fully designed interiors, interesting patterns and textures and the great outdoors. There’s something perfectly exciting about her format, not knowing what the next page will bring.

"Liaigre" - Christian Liaigre

– Christian Liaigre is a true interior designer—one whose autonomy over each finite detail is evident in his work, from conceptualization to execution. This substantial portfolio covers six of his luxurious designs, including a Spanish residence and a Swiss farmstead.

Classy Comebacks: Wallpaper

I have vivid childhood memories of wallpaper. You know the kind: blue and pink stripes, scattered duck motifs, floating bows and ribbons–1990’s chic.

It was hip in its time, and terribly dated in the years to follow; but that’s what I love about wall coverings! Prints are, by nature, time capsules–evidence of once sought after trends from every generation. I love that wallpaper has slowly been making a comeback, both seriously and ironically–either to embrace current trends or to reinstate an era passed.

Behold, some daring and whimsical prints:

{Soft chrysanthemums // Graham & Brown}

{Retro leaves // Ferm Living}

{Watercolor-esque verticals // Eskayel}

Kitchen design by O Interior Design

See? Wallpaper is charming all over again. Enjoy the comeback; we’re so glad to reintroduce you.




Lights on or off? Part 2

I can’t seem to get this CFL bulb thing to work.  I feel like my house is tinted green.  What gives?

Grab your engineer husband or your hyper analytical spouse, this is an informative read…

Incandescent bulbs will become increasingly difficult to find in the coming years, and there are certain rooms that simply can’t be beat by such an ambient light (dining rooms, bathrooms, and master bedrooms, to name a few).  But, alas, the world is changing and it’s time for a more efficient solution.  In fact, this simple government move will save consumers over $40 billion dollars in the next twenty years.

There are two factors that are important to consider when picking a bulb off the shelf.  Look for a Color Rendering Index (CRI) of 70 plus.  This will keep the room from going green and your skin from looking like you’ve been sick.  The other important factor is Correlated Color Temperature (CCT), which measures how warm the light is.  For most scenarios, you’ll likely be after “warm” lighting (tends more to the yellow end of the spectrum).  If that’s the case, look for a CCT of 2600-3000.  If you’re looking for cooler light, select something higher than 4,000.

So, next time you’re out and about, consider yourself equipped!

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Lights on or off?

It seems our clients are more stumped by the ins and outs of lighting than any other home how-to.  So, let’s tackle your most frequently asked questions:

What alternatives exist to the standard 2 or 3 light vanity fixture?

Don’t get stuck with a standard-issue 2 or 3 light vanity fixture.  I love sconces for their softness and beautiful symmetry that they contribute to a bathroom.  Hang them just a little below eye level, about 60-65 inches from the floor  and about 3 feet apart to prevent shadowing and maximize your make-up lighting.  This isn’t a great solution if you and your spouse are vastly different in height.  In your powder bath, try a cluster of pendants hung asymetrically instead!

Stay tuned for more this week and next!

What lighting questions do you have?


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