where green living, parenthood, and interiors intersect

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Color: Graphite & Walnut

I admit that today's Monday Color combination of Graphite & Walnut sounds more like the available color options for a J. Crew sweater than anything interior-related, but I've learned two things this year in my blogging adventures: posting about combinations of hues I'm using in current projects is a real time-saver for this busy designer/blogger and applying color names borrowed from unrelated objects boosts the search engine hits! Alas, all the sleuthing for this post was done on billable client time. And as the big catalog copywriters already know, Graphite is a much sexier way to refer to Gray, simultaneously casting a much wider google net. I do not consider any of this to be cheating, just efficiency.

Images above:

1. This is the office I designed in a 2008 model apartment that caught my current client's eye for her own study. In our first meeting she literally slid the photo across the table and said "I want this." Her own personalized version is in the works, and I must admit it's very flattering to use my own past work as new project inspiration!!

2. The possibilities for drama when these two dark neutrals collide are endless, as evidenced in this living room (that I believe is from Lonny).

3. A kitchen designed by SB Architects found on homedesigncorp.com that exemplifies today's colors through materials only: natural steel, concrete and wood. (Oh and I love the assigned counter seating!!)

4. Natural wood, subdued gray and industrial vintage touches make this home office found on www.homeportfolio.comhttp://www.homeportfolio.com classically masculine.

5. A warm gray and an abundance of wood and eclectic curiosities smack the boredom out of this neutral boys room (from the Beautiful Living blog).

6. An array of severe graphite and deep brown tones are softened by texture and sculptural furnishings in this study.

7. On the lighter side, I've been obsessed with this audiophile-friendly sitting room designed by Brad Ford for last year's Kip's Bay Showhouse.

8. The ashen grays and warm wood tones on the Scorched Timber Lamp from Anthropologie prove that Mother Nature created this color combo long before man.

9. Brown branches on a field of gray that suggests a hazy winter's sky is a moody, modern touch for any room (Surya Contempo Rug available at boldrugs.com)

10. Original nature photograph from raceytay on Etsy.

11. Ikat fans who are afraid of color can rejoice in the subdued palette of the Azaka fabric in Quartz from Schindler's Fabrics.

12. Crate & Barrel's stunning, mid-century inspired walnut and steel Clybourn Desk.

13. This is the soft yet textural graphite linen wallcovering from Innovations that will adorn the walls of my client's study.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Old School

With only 17 days until our kiddos head back to school here in Long Beach, NY (*gasp!*) I'm busy gathering up the required school supplies to meet the first bell just in time, which means I'm doing far better than I did last year when I was staring at nearly bare shelves in three different big box stores the day before school resumed. And also different from last year's last minute nightmare, I've committed to buying only environmentally friendly school supplies for my son this year, checking off every item on the list with recycled, sustainable or nontoxic products. In my book, what's the sense in educating our children for the future while we trash the planet that beholds that very future?!? Here's a sampling of what made my cut (P.S. I ordered most items from Amazon to reduce packaging or bought them in person, but have listed individual sources here as well just to be fair):

Processed without chlorine, and containing 100% recycled paper, I don't mind how many of these New Leaf Composition Notebooks my son goes through this school year ($4.99 each).

To help me stick to my eco-friendly shopping goals, these Coccoina Glue Sticks are solvent and petroleum free, and smell vaguely of sweet almond ($3.95 from www.theultimategreenstore.com).

Even if homework gets harder this year, these Paper Mate's Earth Write 100% Recycled Pencils with non-smudge erasers are easy on the planet ($7.89/box of 48 at Office Depot).

Treesmart offers several sets of tree-free recycled newspaper pencil sets including this great conventional colored pencil alternative: tube of 12 ($5.95).

Storex Pocket Folders are made from post-consumer recycled poly ($1.99 each at Staples) so they definitely make the grade in durability.

Despite the supply list mandating laminated or otherwise tough-wearing folders like those above, I couldn't resist a few of these New Leaf Reborn Refuse Recycled Two Pocket Folders when filling my Amazon cart ($4.99 each).

Fiskars 5" Kids Recycled Blunt Scissors are safe for kids but get the job done, featuring comfy 100% recycled handles and recycled packaging ($3.99 each).

Get Clean Basic H2 Organic Super Cleaning Wipes tackle all the messes my 2nd grader can make without any of the harmful chemicals ($9.10).

There are no binders on the 2nd grade supply list, but older children will surely need a few of these customizable Project Binders from Naked Binder, made of 100% post-consumer waste recycled book board and 100% cotton cloth binding in a wide array of colors ($7.50 - $10.00).

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Monday Color: Black & White

This Monday, I'm taking a short break from "color" and bringing you a big dose of Black and White for my weekly pairing. This combination runs rampant in ultra contemporary decors, but has also found its grounding in every style, from transitional to coastal.

Images above:

1. Black and white rooms can easily go stiff and cold, but this living room strikes a perfect balance of contrast and warmth.

2. This black and white bedroom is easy on the eyes, with ebony nightstands, simple bedding, cowhide poofs, and abundant gray mid tones (found on www.decorationchannel.com)

3. This youthful take on black and white was one of the few kids rooms I was able to find in which the parents didn't sneak in at least another accent color, from a round-up on The Boo and the Boy.

4. Found on decor pad, I love the way the white sofa pops on the black wall, as does the stunning Roberto Dutesco photograph.

5. This bathroom found on www.housetohome.co.uk avoids starkness by sticking to the classics (i.e.: the wainscoting, the black and white floor, the black seat on white porcelain toilet).

6. A gorgeous black and white living area found in Celerie Kemble's famed book Black & White (via Casa Sugar).

7. Black and white pattern used sparingly is simultaneously playful and sophisticated, as evidenced in this bedroom found on decor pad.

8. Soft angles keep this contemporary black and white living room from being too cold.

9. Double-Sided Damask Canvas Room Divider from Wayfair.

10. Madeline Weinrib's Black and White Zig Zag Rug.

11.Reversible Montecito Bedding from Z Gallerie.

12. The Pierre Paulin Butterfly Chair puts a funky twist on this simple, timeless form (available through Hive Modern).

13. Graham & Brown's Reflection Wallpaper takes basic stripes to another level.

14. Black and White Ikat Throw Pillow from Etsy Shop pillowhomedecor.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Cost-cutting Country Decor

Since I traveled from my Long Island beachside home to a friend's upstate Farmhouse yesterday, I've decided to continue my budget decor theme, but with a country twist today. The same rules of repurposing and honoring nature apply to any good country-themed home, but if you don't have time to scour yard sales and flea markets, then here's a few ideas:

With great chairs averaging a few hundred bucks a piece, save a little dough by forgoing individual seating on one side of your dining table in favor of a country style bench like this one from Poppy Cottage on Etsy ($450.00).

Follow the DIY journey of this reclaimed wood barndoor-inspired headboard on the Our Vintage Home Love blog, or snatch up an old door from ebay (like the one pictured above) for $150 and simply prop up behind your bed.

These Vintage Metal Parts Bins from NapaStyle come in 4 authentic colors and are $39 each. A similar item would be much cheaper if found at a flea market, but haggle-free, to-your-door vintage decor has its price.

Set of 2 Recycled Magazine Baskets add a colorful, eclectic feel to any country decor ($87.99 at sears.com)

The Shiraleah Woven Wool Throw brings a touch of softness and texture to any country-inspired living room ($138 from Amazon).

A convenient little side table made from recycled oak wine barrels ($151 at Wine Vine Imports, available in several finishes).

Perfectly sized for an entryway, bath or kitchen, this recycled Brown Rag Rug was handmade from recycled cotton (available through Back Porch Country on Etsy for $54).

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Cost-Cutting Coastal Decor

Achieving coastal style in your home without breaking the bank or trashing the planet seem to go hand-in-hand to me. A beachside aesthetic is most authentically achieved by combining found objects, secondhand cast-offs and a few new pieces, which is most certainly a budget-friendly mix. And since nautical decorating styles pay homage to the beautiful beaches and oceans that surround us, it only makes sense to chose home decor items that are green enough to honor the great blue. If you don't have the time to scour garage sales or go beach-combing, you can still achieve the look of a seaside retreat with pieces like these:

Sweat-shop free and made from recycled cotton, this throw would add instant nautical style to any plain sofa In2Green Sea Star Eco Friendly Throw ($115 from Wayfair).

Bring the beachy look of rattan to your dining table with this sustainable Bamboo Double Wine Holder from World Market ($9.99).

This would be a great DIY project with an antique bottle and found wire, or order this set, filled with sand and tiny shells, from BeachBumChix on Etsy for $20.

Storage, ottoman and coffee-table in one, this eco-friendly natural seagrass Holbrook Trunk from Pottery Barn is a multi-functional wonder at $299.

A budget-friendly dose of coastal lure: Driftwood Lamp (on sale for $149.99 at Cabella's).

Cover a lot of ground with this eco-friendly Lhasa 8' x 10' Natural Tan and Beige Wool/Jute Area Rug (on sale for $292.39 at Overstock.com)

For hallways, I love the mix of blues and khakis in this Recycled Denim Jute Runner from West Elm ($99).