Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tuesday Tip

Cheap tricks for adding small amounts of fabric to a room. I have a few options beyond the toss pillow that I've used over the years. Whether you want to add a designer fabric remnant or just the need to be thrifty with your decorating, these ideas can help!

My daughter, who recently celebrated her 18th birthday, has announced she is ready for a bedroom makeover. I must admit, it's long overdue. Her room has been frozen in her 12 year old wishes about 4 years too long. She asked for a makeover 2 years ago and then couldn't commit to a color scheme, as she knows this is to be the final version of her room. We are going to start the process again of searching for the perfect fabric, that we both can live with!

From the time my children could talk and express their interests, they have always had a say in how their rooms were decorated. And because of that, I have always been quite thrifty about what goes into them.

Especially when it comes to fabrics. Typically, I don't recommend using use high-end fabrics for children's rooms. Between the wear and tear and pace at which children's interests change, it usually doesn't make sense to invest in textiles. That doesn't mean the room can't be stylish, but I tend to put the emphasis on function and enjoyment when decorating kid spaces. Once they're older, then by all means invest in key pieces and fabrics that can easily transform into guest rooms or that your children can take with them when they leave the nest!

Cheap trick #1
Add color and pattern to an inexpensive chair with fabric. This one happens to be from Ikea. It's perfect for a youth/teen room.  It's not particularly attractive, so recovering the seat cushion and lumbar pillow in discount fabrics went a long way in infusing it with some personality. The gingham welt on the seat cushion was cut from a Pottery Barn Outlet hamper liner! Some of you may recall that I am not beneath using shower curtains for fabric options either.

Cheap trick #2
Cover the drawer fronts of an old chest with fabric. Technically, this chest was my first antique. As a child, I was with my mother when she bought it. She painted it black and used it in the guest bedroom. It's had many renditions over the years and was used in both my children's nurseries. The fabric on it is from Laura Ashley and has remained this way for the last two room makeovers.  I hate to admit it, but I never got around to putting the same fabrics used on the chair on the drawer fronts.  It too will definitely get a much needed and more sophisticated update!

For those of you that have inquired, I have not abandoned Tuesday Tips, but have simply had a busy few months. I do hope to be more consistent, and recently had a client give me a good tip which I'll feature in an upcoming post. And, dear readers if any of you have a tip to pass along that you would like me to publish, just send me an email!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Beauty Of The Bust

Ever since my first trip to Italy in 1984, I've been fascinated by statuary. It's one thing to see their pictures in books. It's a completely different experience to see them in person. It's both a combination of awe and admiration that someone can create something so beautiful out of stone.
19th century Italian marble bust.
My latest acquisition. 
I especially love to see the many ways that a bust can be incorporated into rooms of all design styles. I can't help wonder the history. Is it of an ancestor? Does it have a symbolic meaning to the owner or the property? Or did the person who owns it simply fall in love with the face?

In my case, I fell in love with the face. I've searched for a bust of my own for years. I've been to auctions, estate sales, antique shops and never found one I loved at a price I could handle. However, two weeks ago, while shopping for client projects in one of my favorite antique shops, I happened upon this bust of a young woman. Although I have always wanted a marble bust, I had always imagined it would be of a man? But she was so beautiful, even with her layers of dirt and significant discolorations. I've been "bathing" her the last few weekends. She will eventually reside on an antique mahogany pedestal in my living room.

Until then, here's a sampling of some of my favorite images showing busts and head sculpture:

And for those of you who can't pick a favorite? How about one for every season!
The bust in the lower right corner is so similar to mine. I combed the article in the
most recent issue of AD trying to get more details, but it only indicated these are antique marble.
Images courtesy of Architectural Digest, Traditional Home, Veranda, and many unknown from my files.