Friday, April 22, 2011

Spring Is Here!!

"Spring is here....its spring spring spring spring spring....its spring!  Spring is in the air air air...!"  Ok, it's amazing that I can't remember what I had for breakfast today, but I can remember that little ditty that I learned in elementary school (back in the dinosaur ages!)

Spring is here.  I've seen the evidence....crocuses, grape hyacinth, robins....the last patch of snow finally melting in my backyard!  Time to literally throw off the winter coat and lighten up! My first blog subject was about just that!

Living in New England where winter tends to last six months out of the year, I find that the colors of our homes and clothes tend to be on the dark, drab side.  Lots of gray, brown, black and navy.  It's what you find in stores.  Our choices are limited.  Do the buyers for the New England region think we go underground and burrow?  Are we chameleons that have to blend in with our environment to survive?  Where is my COLOR???  You always need a pop of color to contrast with the neutral-ness of winter life.

This year my go-to color is bright Granny Smith apple green.  The color of new buds on a tree...the color of that first crocus leaf peeping out of the ground.  The color that lets us know that winter is finally over and warmer weather is on the horizon.

Google Image

I have touches of it all over my home.  This cabinet in my kitchen greets me every morning when I stagger in for breakfast.  (Well, maybe its more pistacchio ice cream than Granny Smith.)  But its still in the green family!

Rosie's Cabinet

Green Vase - R. Palazola

The vase that holds my flowers is a reminder that color can change your mental outlook.  Happy colors equal happy people!  Well, not necessarily, but it helps!  An otherwise, neutral room would blossom with the addition of some bright green accents.

Google Image

I love the crispness of an all-white room with touches of bright green.  The translucence of the chairs keeps the green from becoming overpowering.

Then, of course, there is always overkill.  The following room is "green gone bad"!

Google Image

Bright green walls, bright green ceiling, no windows for light...if this were my bedroom,  I might start saying "ribit" and eat a fly or two.   This room can be turned around by using a neutral color on the walls and ceiling and using the green on the headboard wall.  The odd shape of the wall and the bright green color would make it a strong focal point.  Right now, everything is so bright you don't know where to look!

  Time to make the lasagna...dinner at my house tomorrow!  .So Happy Easter, Happy Passover, Happy Spring!  Whatever you celebrate, be happy and healthy!

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's A Jungle Out There!!

Cheetahs and Tigers and Giraffes...oh my!  One of the latest trends to return is the animal print.  As an accent or main attraction, the newest in jungle fare will add a pop to any room.  But these animals have new coats...turquoise and gold or  hot pink leopard....Mother Nature is stylin'!!

What I like about the newest wave is their ability to adapt to any decor. In a traditional decor, they can be used on pillows or small foot stools as a surprising accent.  In a contemporary setting, they are sleek and edgy on a main piece of furniture.

Many of the prints come off as textures and shapes instead of "animal".  They blend in with the scenery- a chameleon in fabric!  One of my favorites is Kravet 29488-16 Giraffe, a beautiful  fabric with a giraffe pattern.

Kravet 29488-16 Giraffe

If you want "in your face" animal, try Kravet's 16476-81 Cheetah or Osborne & Little's F5780-01 Serengeti.

Kravet 16476-81 Cheetah

Osborne & Little Serengeti F5780-01

One of my latest design projects include the Giraffe, Cheetah and Serengeti - ALL IN THE SAME ROOM!  The trick is how to use these without looking like you're in the middle of a Tarzan movie!

Here are some "before" photos of the room.

Focus On Design "before" shot - living room

Lots of white fabric on the furniture and way too many legs! 

Focus On Design "before" shot - too many legs!

Legs on the sofas, legs on the tables. Enough legs to start a stampede!

Focus On Design "before" shot - living room

My goal is to soften the room, define the seating areas and give it a little "pop"!  The project is in its middle stages.  Most of the fabrics and furniture have been ordered.  If all goes well, it should be finished by June.  Stay tuned for some sneak previews!

"The quizzical expression of the monkey at the zoo comes from his wondering whether he is his brother's keeper, or his keeper's brother." - Evan Esar