Mistletoe green. Hues of deep, rich green that fill interior spaces are sure to delight with nature’s reference. Oh, and in the Winter these hues speak even stronger in velvets and painted walls. For the love of “Mistletoe green”. As a cultural reference being associated with Christmas as a decoration under which a kiss is kindly requested, the hues of mistletoe green gift our interiors with a color that is predominately missing when Winter settles in: Nature’s green. Yet to mimic the pines and the holly that still bear their branches through the winds of Winter’s chill, filling our interior spaces with green brings to life within the grandness of the natural forest green world that awaits its return. Hues of rich delight in emerald deep tones are timeless and classic within the interior. A compilation of striking greens, indeed…
Consider the beauty and simplicity with bold impact of deep green hues. Whether you deem the hues to be emerald green, forest green or the holiday nod to mistletoe green, the varied hues deserve appreciation when boldly gracing the interior. Onward in the richness and luxurious tonesthat nature provides. Hues that embellish our inner spaces with nature’s delight…
“Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which it’s loveliness arrives”
The city apartment. For those of us that have or currently dwell in apartments above a city…this collection of images is for you and for those whose aim is to take to the heights with a less-is-more approach to possessions. For me, perhaps reminiscing about one’s early days in the city is a worthwhile recollection. Memories of growth and independence, for certain. Without a doubt, one’s first city apartment surely holds memories of being “young, optimistic and resilient”. Perhaps when one looks back it is with an awareness that happiness was and is certainly not equated with the size of one’s space. Rather, personal style knows no limit by square footage. Personal style can truly begin from the humble first apartments that sit high above and amidst the city surrounds. At least, this was true for me. City havens that find our personality, that inspire our creativity and our inventive spirit to call the four walls we dwell within our personal perfection. The city apartment. High in style within a city and world that surrounds that is constantly moving.
Perhaps there is no other interior space that requires a “Less is more” approach (courtesy of architect Mies van der Rohe) to what surrounds than in the four walls of a city apartment. Of note, Mies van der Rohe adopted the motto “Less is more” to describe his “aesthetic of arranging necessary components of a building to create an impression of extreme simplicity. Every element and detail is to serve multiple visual and functional purposes”. Oh, so true when we look to our interiors. Large or small. Especially within the square footage of a city space. Perhaps it can also be said that filling such a space aligns itself as “the art of things chosen well rather than often”. Surrounding oneself with the things that have meaning and purpose and that are part of who we are today. Quality vs. quantity, indeed. Alas, less is more.
“Good style is good editing” – Thomas Jayne
Whether a small studio or a spacious, multi-room apartment with heightened ceilings, personal style pairs with purpose and function, scale and proportion. Each room presenting a clearly defined purpose with careful attention to space planning and arrangement of the furnishings that gain our permission to fill the space. For some, it is minimalism. For others it is filling a space with curated belongings collected through the years. Of course, editing is key in order to allow a space to feel more spacious while giving significance to the items that remain. Significance, the key word. It is said that the best rooms have a refinement of taste and that simplicity is the essence of style. Designer and novelist Edith Wharton (1862-1937) once said that “The supreme excellence is simplicity”. Oh, indeed. That said, the key to any interior is making the space you have work for you. Tailored to suit your lifestyle. Designing each room for maximum use while incorporating elements that reflect your personal interests and style within the space you reside within. Style & taste cannot be defined by the size of a room. Square footage does not matter. We only have the space we have…cheers to living with what is truly important, in stylish and refined form…
Collected images to inspire. May you find inspiration and appreciation for the city apartment. City love and city style, onward…
“A gem of a house may not be its size at all, but its lines are honest and its painting and window curtains in good taste”- Emily Post
Consider with appreciation the city apartment and the stylish spaces that do not require much square footage but simply personal style. Again, Style & taste cannot be defined by the size of a room. So to those that adore the city and the life within it, bravo to creating refined style in smaller spaces. Style cannot be limited by size. Onward in that…with style.
“My space is small. My life is big”.
Reflections….a personal visual homage to my first city apartment. A small studio off Lake Shore Drive in a vintage 3-story apartment building. A homage with a few excerpts of my written words while living in that space:
“It’s morning. The traffic of horns awoke me. The overcast Chicago sky provides enough daylight so that even the details of the tall ceiling with its double edged rim of white crown molding speak of the history, charm and simplicity of this studio of mine. The wood floor surrounding me shines with a golden glow. When my eyes focus on the walls before me and around me, I see the basic designs; the simple display of the pieces the comprise my life, as yet. A table holding a few silver photo frames. A lounge chair that makes a statement all its own. A bed that becomes a day bed by day. A pair of silver candlesticks on the mantle and candles below awaiting a match to alight the beauty of the marble hearth before them. Oh, the outlined form and subdued details of the fireplace in relief forms of dancing cupids outlining it in elegance. The wirework basket holding black and white matted photographs of architecture taken from behind my lens. The bathroom with its stemmed porcelain basin of white, tub and mirrored cabinets. Towels of pure white. The marble window ledge covered with silver bowls filled with lipstick and flanked by bottles of fragrance. Each part of this studio so close to my heart. The kitchen and its black and white checked floor with a wrought iron bistro table. The large window with a view of Lake Michigan and the traffic of Lake Shore Drive. The expansive window ledge where the coffee bodum awaits my morning brew. A simple black and white picture of New York City dotting the wall. Simplicity. Filled with all essential pieces to me. Basic and indispensible. Representing and defining who I am; who I have become. The closet, lined with cotton broadcloth and denim shirts and black blazers in a neat row. Stacks of sweaters, denim jeans and v-neck white tees on the shelf. A stack of books atop the built-in 3 chest drawer filled with essentials. The simple silver pull chain cord above for the closet light. The door. The mirror behind apartment 3G. What will I remember about this studio apartment of mine? It will always live on in spirit. None will be like this. A chapter in my life…” -Kristin Abrahamsen, Chicago 1994
Nailhead trim. A timeless added detail and enduring element of furniture design that spans interior design. Dating back to the period of 1560-1643 with the arrival of what it referred to as French Country furniture era during the reign of Louis XIII in 17th Century France, nailhead trim on furnishings endures to appeal. Beyond a visual appreciation of the studded design of the nailhead and its embellishment to classically styled furniture, a nod to the past will certainly only broaden historical appreciation for a classic element that remains a constant in interior design today.
Historically, the use of decorative nailheads served as not just decorative form but in function in furniture making. Beyond a mere decorative trim, nailheads were used to hide areas where the upholstery was tacked into the wood frame of the furniture object. Who knew? Form and function. Nailheads would thus aid in holding the upholstery in place attractively. Decorative concealment in craftsmanship, indeed. Since the 15th and 16th centuries trims such as gimp(braided trim) would be used by the upholsterer in conjunction with decorative nailheads traditionally made of brass or copper. 17th century France used nailhead trim on the ornately carved wooden seating with period upholstery coverings such as brocade, velvet, tapestries and leather. A studded pattern of design that has never faded from the world of interior design…
The French Os de Mouton chair is the most well known design from the 17th century. The French word “Mouton” refers to sheep. Thus the shape of the chair legs suggests that they resemble the legs of a lamb. It is interesting to note that the arrival of this chair marked the beginning of upholstered backs and seats using nail head trim.
Beyond the French link to this hidden design of form and function in craftsmanship, designing with nailhead was favored with old Dutch, Spanish and English furnishings. During the 1800’s famed English furniture designer William Morris and the American designers Stickley Brothers during the 1900’s would also favor this medieval-style nailhead trimming with leather and Baroque tapestry. Designs from the past always inspire design through the decades. As with the nailhead trim, classics always endure. Although the use of nailhead trim is commonly linked use with leather-upholstered sofas, chairs and ottomans, the trim has since studded the world of interior design with modern yet timeless appeal. Both classic and modern takes on this timeless trim are certain to inspire…
Consider the patterned distinction of nailhead trim. Patterns in nailheads have gone far in decorating our interior spaces in the decades that have followed since the 15th century. With timeless appeal the decoration of nailhead trim will certainly remain an embellishment in interior design. Timeless style with modern inspirations within the interior, indeed. Accentuating lines of design with sophistication, the nailhead trim design will endure to add visual interest and distinction to the surfaces of our interiors that it embellishes. Onward in enduring classic design.
The entry table. A statement of its own, it is part of the first impression of the personal style of the home. A focal point, indeed. Providing options for display and self expression, the entry table grounds the space. The view from the entry matters not. Whether a sweeping staircase is on view or the table merely resides inside a small hallway, personal style and distinction paired with function is added to the space. The entry itself may be a small space, yet it is an important space. Leading guests inside one’s home to experience the interior and the architecture found within, the entry and its table is key in providing a first impression that is vital from a guest’s perspective. After all, a functional entryway that is stylized to match the personality of the home’s decorator engages those that enter and may even cause a wish to linger…
A foyer (fwa.je in French) is described as a large, specially designed hall or corridor surrounding a main hall. Yet a hall that is furnished large enough to accommodate those that gather and enter within. In a home, the foyer is usually a small entry area of room, near the front door, and often near a main stairway. Of note, the “foyer” was initially intended as an “airlock” space separating the heated, rooms kept warm with fireplaces, from the cold weather elements exposed from the front door. Serving as “A bridge between public and private spaces”, indeed.
The elegant, formal and notable entry foyer may have gone in and out of fashion with the world of changing design, yet its initial purpose and function with its formality will never fade from timeless design. The elegance of ushering in quests into the foyer will never loose its appeal. The entry is never a wasted space, but holding a grandness and elegance that will always live on in the world of construction and design. Yet if the world you reside within is missing this grand formal entryway, a wall is simply all you need. Create the state. In style. The options are many, the style is yours. Own it boldly and present to the world the unique version of you. At the current moment. For as time evolves, we do, too. Onward in creating a personal statement….
Rethink how your entry is on display to those that enter its domain. How you layer and stylize your entry table is personal. Again, form and function. Yet decorating the foyer with an accessorized entry table of personal style will certainly add appeal. Whether a true foyer or a simple hallway with a doorway, it is more than a space that you simply pass through on your way to somewhere else in a home. It is the first impression. The first and last. Make it welcoming. Make it your statement. Personal style, indeed.
Gingham. The pattern that never seems to fade. Granted, its appearance and reappearance into fashion proves that it is an enduring classic of crisp and fresh appeal. Fashion evolves and styles change, but the timeless checked pattern of distinction will always thread through fashion’s world. A classic pattern that returns with a fresh, modern spin, once again. Referring to “Striped cotton”, this timeless and classic pattern typically consists of “medium yarns in varying qualities and woven of plan cotton fibers”. Originally, gingham was a bright colored stripe. Who knew? Gingham evolved into the check pattern that has brought it to its iconic and classic status.
Ranging from medium to light weight and from very small to very large checked patterns, The iconic coloring and pattern is a balanced pattern, with no right or wrong side, since the fibers are colored before they are woven together. Gingham is most common in blue and white yet gingham would eventually gain its acclaim as a red and white pattern of delight. Of course, there are other colors that have arrived to the forefront that echo the classic checked style. And of this pattern of checked style? A look to the past…
Perhaps the iconic blue gingham dress worn by Judy Garland as Dorothy from the Wizzard Of Oz remains as the most poignant American link to this checkered blue pattern. Yet this patterned fabric that has endured through time to transcend style that would include the mod 1960’s appeal and beyond, deserves a look back. To appreciate this classic pattern that appears in fashion archives since its inception in the world of textiles, a brief background of the pattern of checks….
During the 16th century gingham fabric was manufactured within the Dutch-colonized Malaysia and Indonesia, which excelled in their use of rich, color fast textile dyes that would produce textiles like gingham that wove bright colors through the fabrics. This checked pattern, known as “Malay ginggang”held the meaning of “With space between, hence striped”. It is believed that the term Gingham was introduced to the English language by both Dutch and French traders in 1615. Yet having claim to the word “Gingham”, evidence links that the Italians and Indonesians may have also had a part in the name that stems from the same root, meaning “Striped”.
During the 17th century this brightly colored textile of striped cotton-weave fabric was widely exported to Europe and colonial USA from India and Indonesia through the East India Trading Company. In the mid-18th Century, England’s textile mills produced the checked gingham cotton fabric using imported cotton and dyes. In fact, Manchester, England was the center of gingham fabric production. It is stated that there were 108 cotton mills in Manchester at the peak of its industrial boom. That is quite a lot of gingham to satisfy the rage of fashion’s call. Fabric of fashionable style, indeed. In America, cotton mills were also established to produce the fabric that was “All the rage” across Europe and in the United States- gingham!
Perhaps Gingham, which has links and symbolism to youth and nostalgia, will continue to evolve in fashion and in style within the 21st Century. What is certain is that although it may appear to go “in and out” of fashion, classics never fade. Always to return, the patterned print of checks will always find its way to fashion’s forefront…
One cannot mention gingham without the mention and visual nod to Brigitte Bardot. In 1959 Bardot married Jacques Charrier in Paris. Donning a wedding dress of pink and whitegingham designed by couturier Jacques Estérel, Bardot made the French Vichy pattern highly fashionable with worldwide appeal. She is even said to have nearly single-handedly brought French glamour to the classic gingham pattern. Of course!
Another nod to the past of checked style…Gingham and Hollywood united and icons and stars such as Ingrid Bergman, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Katherine Hepburn and other icons of style, such as First Lady Jackie Kennedy, would don the checked pattern of stylish fashionable statements.
Of course, the dapper man bedecked in classic gingham… a visual nod of appreciation, indeed…
The world of entertaining and grand events of life are not without the inclusion of this checked pattern of timeless style. Checked style of celebratory appeal endures…
Of course, a visual appreciation of gingham outside the world of fashion and into the world of the interior. Gingham is certainly a statement of bold appeal when found within the interior. Interior, appeal, for certain…
Consider the classic pattern of checks. Whether it is a modern take on the timeless fabric patternthat adorns our fashionable world, embellishes events and celebrations or boldly proclaims itself within our interiors, gingham is worthy of appreciation. Now a modern classic with a historied past, indeed…
“The fabric of existence weaves itself whole” -Charles Ives
“Rose Gold”. A beautiful color hue that varies in tones and is termed to relate to gold rather than as a color itself. In terms of actual gold, pure rose gold does not exist. Of note, gold itself is only one color: yellow. The “colors” found in gold are produced by mixing pure 24K yellow gold with various other metals. Rose gold is actually an alloy of gold and copper. Copper offers a bold pinkish-orange color and the addition of this alloy to gold produces a beautiful pinkish gold color. A lesson in gold, indeed. But oh, the beauty of rose gold found in metallic lighting, appliances, fabrics, paint, and a myriad of interior accessories. Interior delights of visual appeal. And of the rose gold hue enriching life’s poignant celebrations? Oh the sweet elegance that this enchanting hue offers when swathed and layered in celebrations of love and life. A visual appreciation of this appealing and captivating color…
Consider with appreciation the mere beauty of the rose gold hue. For certain, a hue that offers a lovely, sweet appealcan also offer a modern mix of distinction when stylized within the interior. And as a hue that dreamily layers events of wedded bliss? Enchanting and memorable. Enchanting hues of “Rose Gold”, indeed…
“The sunset faded and blended from pink to peach to mango in a smoothie in the sky. For as long as she doesn’t love me, I will love her.”
― Jarod Kintz
Golden Appeal. Perhaps there is something very striking of the color of gold as a New Year begins. Brilliance. Yet another recurring focus upon golden hues within the interior (January 2013, Visions Of Gold). Yet the “gilded” appeal within the interior is striking at any time of the year. Timeless. Gold seems to offer a timeless richness. Perhaps the hue that has historically symbolized wealth and power offers more than a bold impact of rich visual appeal within the interior. An elegant appeal in a hue of gold that endures, indeed.
The term “Gilded” in terms of interiors is something “covered thinly with gold leaf or gold paint”. An overlay with a thin covering of gold Highlights that stands out in striking appeal. The term “Golden” is termed as “made of relating to gold”. As for the color of Gold or golden, it is a color of “one of a variety of yellow-orange color blends used to give the impression of the color of the element gold”. Elements of gold. Of note, the American Heritage Dictionary defines the color metallic gold as “A light olive-brown to dark yellow, or a moderate, strong to vivid yellow”. Whether vibrant or muted, metallic or swathed in a fabric accent, painted on the walls or statement objects of gilded impact, the color of gold within the interior offers vivid & bright intensity . Whether you refer to these shiny hues of interior brilliance as “Gilded” or “Golden” or simply a hue of “Gold”, the mere broad appeal of the color of gold within our interiors deserves our focus once again…
Consider the brilliance and striking visual of hues of gold and gilded delight within interior spaces. Certain to be appreciated as a timeless and classic hue of visual interest, the gilded appeal that graces interior worlds will continue to present a striking impact. Gilded inspiration of hues of golden delight. Stunning elegance and timeless appeal, indeed….
“Yellow-colored objects appear to be gold” – Aristotle
The beauty of natural wood. The practicality of culinary use of cutting boards & bread boards certainly earns a place in every kitchen. A “well-fitted kitchen essential”, these boards of natural substance are found in every shape and size one could require for their culinary whims. The history of the cutting board as an unfinished slab of wood can be linked to the beginning of pre-historic time. Wood throughout the ages, indeed. The wooden surface would certainly evolve through time and endure as a foundational element within the culinary world.
Of course, the weight and texture of the board, in addition to the variety of woods used in crafting these boards of different functions are options of personal choice. Most wood boards are made of a maple (a hardwood) or pine (a soft wood). However, there are certainly options to be found in beautiful red and white oak hardwoods, Yellow Birch and American Black Walnut. Let’s not forget the newest addition to wooden surfaces- Bamboo (A hard “grass” that is a naturally replenishing resource also offering a hard, durable surface). That said, it is simply the wood boards that beckon placement within my kitchen. Although all forms of cutting boards are diverse in their appearance, each one is created for a functional purpose within the kitchen. Perhaps it can be said that the selection of a wooden board is personal to one’s needs and visual & textural requirements. Either way, consider the impact they have made within the culinary world!
Beyond the function of culinary use, these boards of striking hardwoods offer a beautiful base for entertaining. Form and function, indeed.
Consider the boards of wood that offer natural and durable style while offering attractive display. Whether the boards that reside within your kitchen are prep or carving boards, bread boards or slabs of crafted wood for the purpose of cheese cutting and display, the value of these boards are apparent. The smooth finish that exposes the natural beauty of the wood are striking surfaces to appreciate beyond a kitchen essential to anentertaining board of natural style. Practical & natural beauty, indeed…
There is something about lighting that adds such warmth and visual appeal to interior spaces. Perhaps there is no other time than the onset of Autumn, when the skies darken early and the chill settles in, when lighting takes a crucial role within our homes. The power of lighting. For certain, as a key element within our interiors, lighting can alter our moods. The beauty of natural daylight that moves to the need to add lighting when the sun begins its descent is where ambiance begins…
While a room may be bathed in daylight by day, the lamp itself offers a decoration of the interior space itself. Formpaired with function by dusk or by night. But of the ambient lighting that should light the corners of our spaces with a warm glow? That should spill forward onto our tables and cast a glow above the lamp shade itself? Essential when creating surrounds. A basic in decoration, yes. But a basic in creating the visual warmth of our interior spaces. Glowing shades of visual interest. The effects it creates is a love affair with light itself. Transformation into a captivating surround. The visual changes each room takes on when lighting casts its glow and the character and atmosphere the space offers…worthy of visual appreciation, indeed…
Of course, acknowledging the form of lighting within our spaces is also key. Personal preference in the selection of style, size and function. The world of lighting offers a world of choices that can be tailored to our own interior styles. Options. Beyond purpose and function, the lamp itself is part of the decor. Part of the impact of a space. Part of the visual appeal. But focussing on the ambiance of lighting…which can dramatic appeal and alter the mood of a room while simultaneously adding visual warmth is the focus. Beyond brightening up a dark corner, lighting can dramatically change the look and feel of a room. And what a delight that can be! Of course, I must mention the asset of adjusting the brightness levels of lighting with a dimmer switch or 3-way bulbs. My personal favorite. As each moment deserves the ambiance that is required within the moment. Purpose and function. Of course, as in the art of photography, lighting plays a key role in creating a visual. Diffused and reflective, lamp lighting offers us the ability to alter our surrounds. Diffused lighting is light that is not harsh and direct, but rather softened lighting. Reflected light is the light that is reflected from a particular surface or material. Visual appeal, indeed. Consider the visual appeal of reflective and diffused lighting within the interior as well as the form and function of lighting….
And of the importance of task lighting? The beam of light that is directed on a surface highlighting an area that one works under is an important consideration when considering lighting’s form and function. Localized lighting to suit the task at hand. In stylish format, if you will…
Whether you prefer to light up a room or set a subdued scene with the glow and casts of table and task lighting, the choice is preferential. Subdued or intense. Yet the appreciation of the diffused glow of lighting deserves our consideration. As the Autumn sun fades into Winter, consider the glow within your interior spaces. Ambiance. Warmth of visual appeal, indeed….
“There is one fundamental fact about lighting: Where there is no light, there is no beauty”
“A room is like a stage.
If you see it without lighting
it can be the coldest place in the world”
“Lighting is an essential way to change the mood of a room, especially if you can use dimmers”
“I like light, color, luminosity. I like things full of color and vibrant”
-Oscar De La Renta
The anchor. A universal symbol of steadfastness and security. Strength. A practical instrument, whether temporary or permanent, used to connect a vessel to the bed of a body of water. Achieving holding power through “hooking” into the seabed, with the goal of preventing a boat from drifting due to wind or current, the anchor and its representations of strength and steadfastness deserve a weighty focus…
The word “Anchor” derives from Latin word “ancora”, from the Greek ἄγκυρα (ankura). Of historical interest, the earliest anchors date back to the Bronze Age. Anchors of one or more rocks or hollowed stones that were tied with flax ropes. Ancient nautical function, for certain. The ancient Greeks also created anchors with “baskets of stones, large sacks filled with sand, and wooden logs filled with lead”. Formed of stone and sometimes made of wood, these anchors held the vessel merely by their weight and by their friction along the bottom of the sea bed. Evolution in form and function, iron would eventually be introduced and endure in the construction of anchors. Alas, the iron anchor and its enduring representations of strength. A steadfast emblem, indeed.
Of note, the term “aweigh” describes an anchor when it is hanging on the rope or chain and is not resting on the bottom which is also linked to the term to “weigh anchor”(to lift the anchor from the sea bed, allowing the ship or boat to move). The iconic phrase “anchors aweigh” references when the anchor has been ‘broken’ out of the bottom and is being hauled up to be stowed. The ability to move forward, when ready. Embedded in the sea bed, permanent anchors are used in the creation of a mooring, and are rarely moved. And of the anchors temporarily resting on the seabed? Their holding power is linked to the chain that connects between the ship and anchor. The chain of connection. Strong, indeed. Yet the importance of where to drop the anchor…that is key. Introspectively, life has a way of showing you where to decide to “drop anchor”…often with clarity. But always, the anchor will hold the vessel in strength.
Steadfast in form and function, the visual of the anchor has embedded itself within our personal worlds. A visual appreciation of the anchor within our worlds and as an emblem of celebration….
And of the celebrations of life that are embellished in theme with the anchor? Nautical delight grounded in strength and hope, for certain…
Of course, the stylish appeal of a moment on the water, anchored in fashionable appeal…
Consider the anchor and the representations and links to strength and steadfastness that it offers us. For certain, anchors allow a ship or vessel to be poised above the water, holding the boat safely. Under blue skies or stormy skies, sunrise and sunset. When you consider the inward storms of life we face, and whether our road ahead is uncharted or mapped, the anchor that holds us, when needed, will always provide the strength needed. An anchor that does not weigh us down, but rather, supports the vessel we are floating upon until we are ready to set sails again. Perhaps in our own lives there are those that uphold us, like an anchor. Fortunate are we. The mere quote “You are the anchor when the waves come crashing down” carries us onward. Paired with a nautical love, it is easy for me to find gratitude and appreciation. Either way, the emblem of the anchor will endure in its strength, indeed…
“Life’s roughest storms prove the strength of our anchors”
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure”
“If hope anchors the soul, you have anchored mine. High tide or low tide. Anchored.”