Archives for May 2012

Let there be light!

So many fun lighting options have been coming across my desk recently that I decided to put them all in one place – what better place than a blog post? Except for Pinterest, of course, where they also live.

First, my favorite, the Knopp Lamp designed by Ania Pauser for the Swedish furniture manufacturer Klong:

The twelve “petals” are laser cut with patterns and then attached to a foundation structure with brass fittings. I love it. Simple and clean and classy.

This next one is called the Upcycled Doily Lamp, made by Shannon South. What an imaginative use of old doilies, which likely are not part of most folks’ go-to decor items today, but might be hard to get rid of if they are family items from the past.  The only thing I would quibble with in the implementation here is the use of the black socket for the bulb inside the lamp. A white one would be much less visible.  But, I might have to start collecting doilies! She plans to post instructions for making it once she’s satisfied that she’s got the process down.  

Another DIY project is this one made from a Japanese paper lantern covered with crunched up coffee filters.  Instructions for making it are here.

 

You might be catching on that I really like globe pendants! Here’s a variation on the theme, from West Elm.

 

Moving on into the realm of table lamps, how about these? The three of them together remind me of some sort of funny Dr. Seuss creatures. They’re called Paper Coil table lamps from Shades of Light. Probably best for your teenager’s room.

I’m always drawn to lamps made from vessels like urns, bottles, ginger jars, etc. This one is called the Demijohn Table Lamp from Shades of Light. I learned that demijohn bottles are used for home brewing wine or beer.

 

Whatever your style, may your home and your life be filled with light!

 

Choosing Color for Your Walls

It can seem overwhelming to decide what color should be on your walls. Lots of people paint their walls white or off-white because they’re afraid of making a mistake with color. Which is understandable, because even though one is always hearing that paint is a cheap way to make a difference in your decor, I always think – huh?? Paint has gotten expensive lately, and painting a room requires either a big effort and a lot of upheaval if you do it yourself, or spending real money to hire someone else to do it. So how do you gain the confidence to be bolder with color?

Here are some tips, gleaned from Maria Killam of Color Me Happy.

Most neutral colors (beiges, grays, grayed-down greens and blues) have an undertone. This comes from the paint formula itself. It depends upon the proportions of red, yellow, blue in the formula. More of one or the other will give the color an overall cast, or undertone. Same with grays – the undertones can be blue, green, or violet. A green might be more brown, or more gray, yellowish or bluish. The way to see the undertones is to compare a few colors that upon first appearance look very similar. Look at a bunch of beiges together, and you’ll start to see the undertones. Do this with whatever color you’re considering.

Pink – Beige Walls and Ceiling (Pinterest)

Yellow-Beige Stone Wall (Pinterest)

If you already feel that something in your room is “off” color-wise, it could be that two of your large elements are at odds regarding their undertones. For example, your sofa might be a yellow-beige and your carpet a pink-beige; they will not complement each other but will actually each make the other less attractive. Simple switching one out so that the undertones are the same will work wonders for enhancing the overall look.

Green-Beige on Walls with Green Sofa

Knowing that, then start thinking about what will work in your room. The color on the walls will be a big factor in tying the room together. Use the big pieces in the room as a guide. For example,  choose the carpet color and repeat it on the walls. This will unify the room. If the rug or the sofa is a deep shade, i.e. red, blue, dark green, etc., choose a neutral with an undertone of the same. That would be a pink-beige, a blue-gray, or a green-beige ior green-gray in the three examples above. Where you get into trouble with color is choosing a neutral with an undertone that is different from the colors you’ve got going on already. A beige paint with a pink undertone will not look right with yellow-beige furniture.

Whatever color you choose, have a small pot ($7 at Benjamin Moore stores) made and paint it onto a poster board. Hold the poster board against a white background – i.e. a larger unpainted poster board – so that the existing wall color does not distort the one you’re auditioning.  With the white background behind it, hold the new color up against your furniture, drapes, carpet, etc. to make sure it makes a pleasing combination with all of them.

The orange sofa brings out the orange tint in the stone wall, above. (House Beautiful)

If you plan to replace something sooner or later,  like a carpet you hate or an old sofa, then choose your color based on the elements in the room that you know will be staying, even if the combination with the undesirable element is not great. You will know that the overall cohesiveness of the space will improve a lot when you do get around to making the change you are planning on. Just remember to take a sample of your paint to the furniture store or carpet store. Don’t depend on your memory to tell you that the colors will go well together. You really have to see them together to ensure that the undertones don’t clash.

Call me for help if it’s still too daunting to commit to all that paint!