Tag Archives: Design

Hue Injections – The Cure for Chromophobia

*Cue late night infomercial music*

Do you suffer from Chromophobia?

Does color scare you so badly you run from the room with your hands over your ears screaming at the top of your lungs like a Pomeranian seeing the mailman for the first (or thirtieth) time anytime someone (like your designer) pulls out a fan deck?

Does the term Pantone illicit night terrors that ensure your husband has bruises behind his knees from all of the kicking?

Does the sales lady at Bloomingdales know you as the “Lady in White” because you haven’t bought colored linens since the Nixon administration?

Fear not my pigmentally challenged readers because I’m here to help you.

Or make it worse.  I can’t help all of you.

Jeez.

So just what is a girl to do when she desperately needs a shot of color but can’t get past the single most annoying shade in the entire world (antique white and it’s variants…..)?

Funny you should ask…..

Start Small

I know that everyone says Go Big or Go Home. And normally I’m all for the “just jump in the pool feet first and experience the shock once instead of over and over and over and….” But I totally understand.  Sometimes it’s scary.  It’s like standing at the top of the bunny slope with a snowboard strapped to your feet and hoping to the Holy Baby Jesus that you don’t hit another person or, worse, the one lone tree on the entire slope that some nitwit left when they designed the course.  It’s like cooking for your Mother-in-law for the very first time.

Normally the advice is to buy a pillow or an accessory or … that embodies the color that you think you may or may not want to commit to.  Sure this is fun and all but it’s sort of like taking a car on a test drive – no real reason to commit unless you’re somehow overly lazy and forget to return it.  Paint is another trick we designers use to get a little commitment out of our clients since once it’s on the wall who really wants to go back and paint over neon green?  Not me. Because I wear more of said paint than I put on the wall. I can’t help it.

So I like to take it just one step further.  I will sew and/or laquer the damn color right into your furniture.  Aha!
True commitment! What are you going to do?  Have your eight foot sofa reupholstered when I leave?  Gonna lug the rather expensive lounge chair out to the garage because you’re afraid you may be swallowed in to the space that always manages to collect enough change to bail out Greece?  Or to at least buy you a McD’s cheeseburger.

As my other half would say, Simmah Down Now.

I’m not going to push you off the deep end and force you to cover every square inch of something in one deep vibrant color.  I’m not that mean. Well… most days anyway.  BUT… we’re going to find one detail and we’re going to go all gangbusters.

A keyhole opening in the side of a wingchair upholstered in a swatch of deep teal.

The underside of a table leg deliciously picked out in red like the underside of a Louboutin heel.

The stitching of a white cotton sofa hemmed in tangerine.

See where I’m going with this?  It’s less “get married on the first date” and more “I’ll meet your parents but I’m still keeping my apartment”.  Semi-commitment without the 1-carat emerald cut diamond.

And it might actually make you step just a little further outside of your comfort zone.

Or you’ll hate me.

And then you’ll leave me anonymous comments at which point I’ll comment back and we’ll have to make up over Twitter.

And it’s hard to make up in 140 characters.

*Shameless Self Promotion Below*

Looking for a Hue Injection of your own?  Give me a shout and let me help take the phobia out of incorporating color.  Or maybe I’ll be adding the “Homo” in “Chromo”.  Either way….

All images via DCoopMedia except [4]

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Ikea – All Grown Up

Once the poster child for disposable furniture, the quintessential college dorm set, the mainstay of every newlywed/newlygraduated/virgin apartment owner everywhere, has grown up.

Gone are the days when Ikea was known simply as a flatpack nightmare. Sure, they still have undecipherable instructions and quite typically Boot Camp instructors have included assembling bookcases and dressers as part of their routines, but Ikea is slowly, surely seeping into high end decorative interiors.  And I don’t just mean my own.

You’re beginning to see it everywhere.  From the pages of Elle Decor to the multitude of photos on Apartment Therapy.  Designers everywhere are playing on the quirk and taking advantage of Ikea’s budget friendly, modernist designs to round out there own super cool interiors.  I’ll admit, I’ve done it too.  I have a grouping of LACK sidetables in my living room as a substitute for a giant coffee table.  It works and know one is the wiser that I spent 50 bucks without dumpster diving or being exposed to the potential dangers that is known as Craigslist. CL isn’t that bad but for story we’re taking dramatic license….

Don’t believe me?  Still think that Ikea should be left to the college dorm?  Take a peek at these examples and see if they change your mind….. And tell me, Would you use Ikea flatpack to round out your client’s designs?

Images via [1] [Author] [3] [4] [5]

D.Coop was not compensated for this post.  Though I do have a number of blisters and bruises from the Ikea Allen Wrench.

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Las Vegas – City of Lights

Let’s put it this way.

I’m laying in my hotel room in my pajamas after a very stimulating two days at the International Light Fair in Las Vegas.  No drink in hand but I did finish off a very fattening burger with bacon and blue cheese.

You know, because what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.  And that includes carbs. (This is not a scientific fact…)

So anyway… while I’m being lazy I wanted to make sure I didn’t leave you hanging.  A little walk around the strip resulted in a couple of great lighting installations. I mean, I AM here to see lighting.  So what if it happens to be lighting in the shopping arcade at The Aria.

You agree right?

Enjoy!

The Chandelier Bar dripping with miles of crystals.

The very industrial meets Hollywood spot fixtures at All Saints.

An awesome light meets signage display.

A close up of the bottles as light sources.

All images via D.Coop and may not be reproduced without permission.

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Children’s Artwork – Gallery Worthy!

The lines are our friends!

Ok, so let’s be honest with ourselves here, the lines never were my friends.  I hated the lines.  I could barely stand to stay inside the lines let alone use the standard 12 pack of Crayola crayons.

I had the 64 pack.  With the built in sharpener.  Suck it.

Anyway, if there is one thing that makes my job as a designer difficult, it is the selection of artwork. Artwork is subjective.  It’s personal.  It needs to speak to the occupant in some way shape or form.  To elicit a reaction, good or bad.  It’s a pain in the you know what.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love art.  I have a fair share of it hanging in my own house.  So much so that I ran out of walls in the principal rooms and Steve gives me that weird cock eyed stare anytime I even think about going to another fair or gallery or…. Apparently I’m just not allowed to have nice things. Or so I’m told.

The whole point is that the right artwork can not only make or break a space but should also have a connection to the homeowner.

Which is why I love children’s artwork.  Finger painted canvases.  Construction paper collages.  Books of feathers and crayon.  It’s personal.  It’s usually creative.  And by golly, what kid, young or old, doesn’t like to see his or her handiwork proudly displayed.

“I still have a book my nephew made where he was in preschool.  It’s a hot mess of feathers and crayons about the chicken and egg but I love it and will never throw it away.”

Angel Robinson, @writerobinson

But in this world of designer goodness where Architectural Digest rules the roost, just how do you get away with its display?  Personally, I’m all for treating it no different than any other piece of art.  Frame it, hang it amongst the Picassos (or is it Picassi?) and make ’em proud.

I’m not alone….

“I like to integrate my daughter’s artwork with real artwork and little vintage finds.”

Susyel dePedro Cunningham, @Tiltonfenwick

“We use the kiddo art as modern art for our home.”

Seth Fritz, @ToReplyAll

“I was going to collect as many refrigerator doors as possible, fill up an entire museum room with them and attach children’s artwork to the fridges.  With magnets of course!”

Jessica Gordon Ryan, @gimletstyle

“Even though my child artist isn’t young any longer, color blocking a wall is another way to highlight wee artist’s works of art.”

Maureen Break Coates, @MaureenCDecor

“I have a wire stretched out on a wall in the office and I decorated clothes pins with each kids name on them, and they hang their art there.  It’s great because they can reach it and they can see everyone’s art as well.”

Stacy Mendes Hargrove

Inspired yet?  Someone pass the finger paint will ya?

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The Open Road – A Resurgence of the SUV?

Vroom

I’m certain that by now you’re entirely thrilled that I’m not tweeting about kitchen cabinetry and faucetry and hardware and what will soon become my best of/worst of show.  And you’re probably jealous that I just spent 48 hours in the third best city in the county (behind New York and Los Angeles) with some of the most awesome Twitter friends a boy could have (waving hi to my stalkeratzi!).

I’m kinda tired of kitchens too.  As much as I like to cook, I’m a realist and know someone will need to clean up after.  Break time!  Or in today’s case, Brake Time!

It really is interesting to see what pops up in my Twitter feed as it ranges from design and interiors down the line to random political stories and someone begging for a vote on some online contest somewhere.  Some of my favorite posts, however, tend to stem from the automotive industry.  If you really want to see where design is headed, take a peek at what is rolling out of the European automotive design studios.  Considering the amount of dinero it takes to produce a concept and eventual production vehicle, they are about as ahead of the trends as it gets.

Interestingly enough, the one consistent thread connecting a great deal of the auto tweets is the introduction of not one, not two, but THREE exotic SUVs to the marketplace.  I don’t mean concept vehicles that a few guys thought up around a conference table.  I mean, honest to goodness, straight to production Sports Utility Vehicles that will eventually end up in someone’s garage in Palm Beach or Greenwich or Malibu (your garage too so long as you have the checking account or mortgage to withstand the financial blow).

As an aside, it has always been my theory that you can foretell the state of the US economy by watching the Automotive Industry.  For the last several years the AI has pushed the “small car”, almost to the point that I want to put one in neutral and physically push one over a cliff. Diamler made their SMART car all the rage.  Nissan took to the roads in their Leaf.  Chrysler brought Fiat’s quintessential 500 (and it’s variants) back to the US.  And Toyota turned the Prius into the Best Selling “Ugly car” of the century (I’m going to call it Yugo from now on).

It was uncool if you didn’t have a car that could easily fit into the rear compartment of your SUV.

But now.  Ostentation is back in full swing.  Cadillac Escalades with Chrome wheels.  Ford Excursions and seating for 8 (plus two dogs and matching golf clubs). The Hummer H1. Or H2. Or H3. All of them were at one point, the pinnacle of giant suburban vehicles .  Vehicles meant to carry cargo.  Not groceries but true cargo of sorts.  Like the crates you see in an Indiana Jones movie.  But instead, they’re carrying kids to school.  Or soccer practice.  Or Ballet.  Or their acting coach.  And doing it on 8 miles a gallon.

And now, they’re back again.  But this time, they’re sporting serious nameplates.  Lamborghini.  Bentley.  Maserati.  I’ll see your spinning chrome wheels and raise you an integrated champagne bucket.  Is this the beginning of a new chapter in drag racing?  Two moms in Jimmy Choos revving their engines at a stop light and seeing who can hit 30 miles an hour quicker?

Let me say, I’m no purist when it comes to vehicles.  I grew up with muscle cars but my first new car was a 2002 BMW 325 convertible with all the bells and whistles. I worked my way up to the X6 a few years back and now I’m trying to tout my environmental horn by sticking with a shared 328 coupe and my Car2Go membership.  I’m no stranger to vehicle innovation.  And by no means do I keep my opinions to myself.

My theory is this. Once upon a time, this one manufacturer known for it’s quick convertibles and coupes (nary a sedan in sight) desired to revamp it’s image as being the “car for the mid-life crisis”.  Lost?  Here in California, up to about 2006 or 2007, nearly every Porsche spotted on the road was sporting a 40-something male reliving their youth.  Along came the Cayenne (and later the Panamera).  Purists screamed bloody murder.  Ferdinand Porsche died.  But the Cayenne quickly became the best selling vehicle in Porsche’s line up.  Anyway, I would never say that the sales figures for Lambo, the Big B, and my ever favorite “car with the catfish grille” are turning into ghost towns, but I have a feeling they’re trying to work a new angle.  Trying to catch new buyers to offset what might be a slightly negative connotation.

Herein lies the problem.  Competition breeds innovation.  Normally.  In this case, competition has bred three designs that should spend more time on the drawing board.  Lamborghini’s design is a near knock off of BMW’s X6 (which has been criticized from day one and yet lauded by everyone, including myself).  Bentley appears to have tasked the Japanese artist Takashi Murakami to design its front end and kinda sorta forgot about the rear end (though let me tell you, I’m in love with the Chanel-esque quilted leather seats). And Maserati, well it still appears that the catfish is their major design influence. All three are ok but they’ve neglected to remember that you can’t just put a coupe body on a Tourag frame and call it an SUV.

Rant much?

So my point?  Stick with what you’re good at.  Bentley, Maserati and Lambo are never going to be hurting for customers so long as they continue to produce uber-exclusive vehicles that not only appear in every rap video known to man but are also the wet-dreams of every 15 year old boy.  As I like to say, be a master of some and not a jack of all.

Blah.

Lamborghini Urus – Available Model Year 2015, Base Price: $200,000

(Photo courtesy Untitled Magazine)

Bentley EXP 9 F Concept – Available Model Year 2014, Base Price $200,000

(Photo courtesy Bentley Motors )

Maserati Kubang – Available Model Year 2013, Base Price rumored to be low $100K

(Photo courtesy Inside Line)

D.Coop was not compensated for this post.  However, if you have any of the above SUVs, please feel free to take me for a ride so you can prove me wrong.

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Nancy Corzine – You Gotta Have A Lot of Passion

Let’s face it. 

If you’re reading my blog post from one of the other 49 states that isn’t California (or even from a country which doesn’t have a California of its own), you should be jealous.  Jealous because we have Hollywood.  And we have Baywatch (or Pamela Anderson – you choose). And we have great wines that make even the French weep just a little.

But for us designer types, we also have Nancy Corzine.   If you don’t know her, you should.  If you do know her, you’re enthralled with her furniture designs.  Elegant, streamlined pieces of design goodness wrapped up in a bow and served on a silver platter like a great martini at a dark bar. For years I’ve oogled some of her Art Deco pieces. Flaming veneers and chrome hardware and a polish so shiny, Enzo Ferrari tried (and failed) to emulate it.

I’ve probably exaggerated on the Ferrari point but who knows.  Maybe he did.  Even Edison didn’t tell us just how many filaments it took to get to the center of the light bulb.  (Please tell me you picked up on the Tootsie Pop reference).

Anyway… let’s cut to this past week.  In amidst all of the hustle and crazy that is my pre-KBIS week of preparation I took a little time out to spend the evening with two things I love – Typhanie Peterson and Gin.  Oh yeah…. and a cocktail party with the eponymous Nancy Corzine.   Certainly we were all there to learn about her upcoming Spring Collection (more on that in a bit) but in one of those serious “let’s talk about where babies come from” types of chats, NC had a few moments of heart to heart with the designers present.

For someone who’s risen to design stardom (seriously, most designers have either heard of or sold her pieces) she takes a very down to Earth approach with her clientele.  So much so that she actually said ass. She didn’t call anyone an ass but was merely referencing the testing that each of her chairs goes through in it’s development stage (in case you’re curious – each chair prototype goes through five asses before receiving a sign off).  I personally find her realization that core of her company is not her designs or her sense of taste but her people (ie: the employees that have been with her for eras) to be endearing, a sign of a true leader and not just a face.

So her collection?  After being told that her showrooms were simply too formal (agreed) NC did just one thing – she added a new line of finishes.  It may sound so simple but the truth is that the addition of the Scrubbed Oak finishes took her collection to the opposite end of the high end, formal spectrum.  Beach houses? Check.  70 Foot Sail boats? Check. Ice Fishing Shack? Well if it were for a Vanderbilt, check.

It’s a new, casual focus for the company and one that I can get behind. So long as I’m on a limed oak soap box.

Nancy?  Do you hear me?

Nancy Corzine’s furnishings are available through the Trade.  For more information, visit her website.

D.Coop was not compensated for this post.  Though is NC’s PR People see it fit to send a limed oak soap box I’d not complain.

Images are copyright D.Coop and may not be used without permission.

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Lighting – Inspired by Chic Cafes

So you should know me well enough by now to know that around this time of the week I don’t write my own posts.

Blame it on the Gin.  Blame it on trying to get everything ready for the Kitchen and Bath show next week (did I tell you all that I’m speaking on Wednesday?!  Be there people!).  Actually, blame it on all of my relatives this time for getting me sick and giving me a crappy cold that makes me all itchy and tingly.

Naturally, when stuff like that gets in the way, I turn to my awesome fan base and ask for help.  Ok… more like plead and whine until someone writes me a post.  This week is no different.

This week, the great peeps over at Arcadian Lighting offered to pitch in and give you a little design inspiration!

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Hello! I’m Jessica, a writer for Arcadian Lighting, a wonderful online resource for affordable light fixtures. Every day I get to search for beautiful interior design inspirations and then share them on lovely blogs, like D. Coop. Today, I’m delighted to share a collection of chic kitchens inspired by the sophisticated ambiance of cafes.

Chic Cafe

The high-back love seat in this corner breakfast nook would look right at home at a cozy cafe. The rustic table and chairs with such eclectic pendant lights creates a cool, funky atmosphere.

Chic Cafe

A sunny window seat with built-in benches creates the perfect spot for enjoying a cup of coffee and reading. Plenty of shelves and hidden drawers provide great storage.

Chic Cafe

I love the simplicity of this breakfast table and it’s banquette style seating. Simple folding chairs and an unique pendant light complete the scene.

Chic Cafe

The set of brightly colored French cafe chairs adds a certain stylish je ne sais quoi to this lovely kitchen. Plenty of natural light suits the cream and bright blue color palette.

Chic Cafe

This sophisticated kitchen is modeled after classic French cafe’s and restaurants. The ornate brass kitchen island light and corner table are such lovely accents in an already impressive room.

Chic Cafe

This dining room features a lengthy mirror, candle wall sconces and traditional chandelier lighting to create a breezy French cafe atmosphere. I love the dusty blue accent colors.

Chic Cafe

A charming robin’s egg blue and dark wood furniture are such a beautiful combination. The open shelving along the kitchen island provide the perfect place for displaying crisp white china.

Chic Cafe

There’s nothing quite so quintessentially French than stripes. The checkered floor and gilded cafe chairs† are especially chic.

†What do you think of this cafe inspired kitchens? Let us know in the comments! And be sure to stop by Arcadian Lighting for a brilliant chandelier or pendant light to add a bit of sparkle to your kitchen! Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7†| 8

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Lighting Explosions – But I Mean The Good Kind

Pow!  Blam!  Wowie!

I’m a great fan of Roy Lichtenstein’s work.  Emulating comic book printing pointilism and injecting industrial strength color, his works are massive pieces of commercial wonder.  Certainly one can love Warhol’s soup cans (Steve’s favorite Warhol is a fluorescent pink electric chair…. I should wonder) but when it comes to pop with a connection to childhood, Roy is your man.

Of course, I can’t actually afford any of his pieces on my meager designer salary.

Anyway, for years we designers have been pushing the idea of pops of color.  Hey, I’m a big fan.  It’s a proven method to liven up a home. Using something like lime green or citron yellow or magenta against a white or otherwise neutral background is a great mini explosion.

But if you recall, I’ve an addiction to lighting.  I can’t rid myself of it.  It’s like Coke (Diet or… um…. nevermind). And there is no twelve step program (unless we’re talking dimming) to cure myself.  At least I don’t remember seeing that in the Betty Ford pamphlet.

So my explosion of sorts?  It’s about glass and china and metal and…. Well you get the picture.  And since I love you, here are a few explosions of the lighting kind.  I guarantee most of them cost more than your car but tell me you’re not in love.

Boom Boom Burst – hand blown glass, atomic spears and the metal of the decade, brass, all combine for one spectacular display.  Better than the Fourth of July I’d say.

by Lindsay Adelman Studio via here

Porcha Miseria – who can resist a baby Budda?  I’m curious though, if I send Ingo my broken dishes, can I get a discount?

By Ingo Maurer via here

California Sunburst 27 – hand polished folds of brass result in a amplified burst of mid-century energy.

By Tony Duquette via Remains Lighting

Kopra Burst – powder coated steel orbs radiate from the bubble like center, a slightly more feng shui appropriate explosion.

By David Weeks for Ralph Pucci

D.Coop was not compensated for this post.  Though if any of the artists want to supplement my paltry salary by sending me one of the above chandeliers…. then I say go for it!

Images courtesy the artists.

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Bathrooms. Thank Goodness We Don’t Have Outhouses.

So listen… I think by now you guys know me all too well.

Pajamas.  Check.  Au Lit Fine Linens (if you don’t know who then click here) feather pillow.  Check.  Glass of warm milk on the nightstand.  Check…. that is if you substitute milk for Hendricks.

If you’ve guessed that today is Wednesday on the Bloggie then you’re correct.  And I’m ignoring you and letting one of the great Salt Lake designers take the reign. 

Oh yeah.  Some design coming to you straight from the state that brought you the Sundance Film Festival.  And Chick-Fil-A.  I think.  I’m not fact checking that one.

So without further adieu…. Take it away April!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I am thrilled to be Brandon’s guest blogger on the Bloggie today.  I hope my post will be worthy of all that makes the Bloggie one of my top favorite blogs (edit: I did not pay her to say that.  Boy Scout’s Honor). Brandon is an extremely talented designer but it is his honest realness in the way he expresses himself that completely inspires me…keeps me entertained and has endeared him to me.


I have decided to discuss the somewhat taboo topic of the bathroom… possibly because I haven’t dared to be so bold on my own blog yet

When it comes to designing the bathroom we always put function first. We have too. The bathroom was invented for some very specific functions which have evolved over the years…thank goodness! I am so glad that we don’t have outhouses to tromp out to in the middle of the night, or that I have to fill my tub up in the kitchen from a kettle hanging over a fireplace with a curtain…or not, hanging over the doorway.  How did people do that anyway?

The great thing about this whole functional process is that there are people/plumbers who already have that part under control, so as long as things are per code, nothing leaks, your cold water is on the right and your hot on the left, toilets flush properly, you probably don’t think too much about it.  Truth is I know more about such things then I really want to, so I prefer to focus a bit more on the aesthetics of the bath.


If you spend any time at all in the bathroom you understand the value of having the bath be attractive as possible. If you put makeup on, blow dry and/or hot iron your hair, bathe children, potty train said children or shave…you’re putting in some time. These functions also require your bathroom to be organized. This is a bit too complex to cover since we all have different needs in this area…for organization you probably want to hire a professional…a designer who will help you tackle the specifics.


I learned a few years ago that long hot baths with a bevy of lit candles, bath salts, Tori Amos, Dido and even sometimes Sarah Brightman playing in the background was the best way for me to unwind after a stressful week. That is when I fell in love with the real beauty of the bathroom.  You can hide a multitude of sins in candle light which can make most any bathroom seem magical, but here are some of my favorite ways to make a statement in your bathrooms design, sans the candles.


A nicely framed mirror over the sink can give the bathroom a complete look. The mirror becomes a focal point where otherwise it sort of disappears. Yes, it is more of an investment than having the mirror glued to the wall but it is worth every penny. It doesn’t have to be ornate either. Details, even simple ones can make a big difference.


Think outside the box here. It doesn’t have to be a wood frame. Tile creates a myriad of color and textural possibilities that wood just can’t so mix it up a bit.


You can even use a combination of both, surrounding the framed mirror with tile so it looks as though the mirror is hanging on a tiled wall (not as expensive as tiling the whole wall which I have done) or even creating a higher back-splash and placing the mirror part-way in as is shown here.


That brings me to one of my favorite decorative treatments and that is back-splashes. I typically like to use materials that aren’t as commonly seen and used, such as this black glass mixed with black mother of pearl covered tile in a herringbone pattern as shown here.


It is pricy I will admit but there is nothing quite like a well designed tile shower and tile tub surround with a few decorative liners or dots in metal or glass. I honestly never get tired of laying out and designing new versions of these.


A tile wainscot with a few decorative tile borders is the perfect way to add personality to those tiny half baths that are really nothing more than a closet with a few plumbing fixtures. These are the bathrooms that all you have room to do is put a mirror over the pedestal sink and a painting over the toilet. Can you say sparse? This is usually the bathroom your visiting guests use, so do something to make it memorable and interesting.


Paint of course is a way to make a statement, but you will want to consider the amount of lighting you have before going too bold. I personally prefer the guest baths, half baths and power rooms in the bolder colors as long as they are bigger and lit well enough to handle it. This is not a place to be feeling claustrophobic.

One of my favorite ways to give a smaller bathroom some wow factor is using wallpaper as an accent wall. Busy, bold wallpaper in a small bath can be over powering but wallpaper is an inexpensive way to add some character, if it is used correctly. Opt to use softer tones and go less bold in those smaller areas.


Here is a before and after of my own mothers bathroom she let me help her update a few years back. I am not sure who originally picked the pistachio color with the wallpaper border and I about died when my mother told me she wanted another border…thank goodness I couldn’t find any…here was my compromise.

This bathroom does not have any widows so it was dependent on the light over the vanity. We upgraded it to a three light with 60 watt bulbs and lightened the wall color considerably, and the room that once felt like a leprechaun’s cave now is the best place in the house for putting on makeup and plucking your eyebrows.


Decorative and natural lighting can make a huge impact on the bath as well as stylish plumbing fixtures that fit in with the look of the room. Look at choices that have some personality even something unexpected. Like the Canyon faucet I am storing from HANSA that is going in my next guest bathroom.

This isn’t everything that goes into a great looking bathroom not by a long shot, but it is something to chew on. Thank you Brandon for this great opportunity. You are the best!

So Isn’t April awesome?  And not just because she saved me having to write a post this morning.  And we hit our 1000 word minimum.  Yippee!  If you want to find out more about April and AE Design, you can find her on her blog Inspired to Create ByOr if you live in the Salt Lake Area, you can read her column in the Examiner.

All Images courtesy the Author.  D.Coop was not compensated for this post.  Unless you could love and best wishes. Though she did win my photo so maybe I paid her for the post.  Wait a minute….

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Smoke and Mirrors – Making a Dream a Reality

Before reading this I think you should sit down. 

There.  Take a seat.  Grab your coffee (Need a little Baileys?  Need a little more Baileys?).

Ok.  So let me let you in on a little secret.  You know how Architectural Digest publishes that yearly “Designer’s Homes” issue?  And how all the blogs and rags and mags feature homes that we interior designers claim to live in?  They’re all gorgeous and beautifully styled and spotless and freaking amazing.  Hell, I’m even a little jealous.

Well anyway, it’s a myth.  A sham.  A game of smoke and mirrorsLet’s just say we’re pulling the wool over your eyes better than Copperfield at an Amtrak station.  It’s true.

We don’t all live that way.  I think Meredith Heron started blowing the lid off that secret a few weeks back by showing you photos of her now very famous living room strewn with toys (I love that Luke!) and clothes and what have you.

I always joke that it’s a case of the Cobbler’s Kids.  I wear shoes but I’m still using patio furniture in my living room that came with us when Steve and I took the gamble and signed a lease together some five and a half years ago.

Can you believe five years have passed since we took the keys?  Hey!  That’s longer than the marriages of all the Kardashian sisters combined. I think we have a record.

So anyway, aside from giving you a sneak peek into my humble abode, I am introducing a new little series on the Bloggie.  See, I WANT that designer house look without a) ripping down walls in what is really my long-term rental, and b) without paying $6,000 for a chair.  I’m sure that there are quite a many of you that are in the same position.  Starting next week and continuing every Monday for the next decade I at the Bloggie will take you through my home’s rebranding of sorts.  There will probably be a little DIY, more drama than you wanted to see, a lot of shopping, with a dash of the sordid tales of the Smith-Stephens household.

Stay tuned…. because we’re going in deep.

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