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Reader Q; Adding Visual Interest to "The Big Hole"

A question came in last night from reader Jody. See if you can give her a hand with her project, it’s a pretty cool one, so I’m sure you will have some ideas…

“I am stumped and thought you might be able to help. We are going to cut a hole in our kitchen wall that will peer into the living room. Instead of having a big empty hole, I would like to put some sort of decorative piece in the hole that will allow me to see through to the other side, but be visually interesting. I found the attached image (above) and would love something like the wooden circles in the window area. West Elm has some new wood headboards that I thought I could use. I’ll just buy a twin size headboard and cut it down to the size I need and have the contractors place it in the window when they cut the hole in the wall. Do you have any idea where I might buy something like this or is this something I would get custom made?”

Jody, your West Elm idea is a great one. I love that you’re thinking of different ways to use a single item, it’s exciting! I don’t know which West Elm headboard you’re thinking of, but I’m willing to guess that it’s the octagon headboard (above) because it best resembles the honeycomb pattern you like so much in the image you sent in. In addition to West Elm, I suggest hitting a local salvage yard, show them the image you love and see if they have anything that may suit your needs. You could also use a wood screen, there are lots of them out there sold at those imported furniture dealers on the web. Cut and paint a wood screen and affix two on the wall to give it a ‘shutter’ effect so you can open and close it, or leave it closed, the holes in the pattern will allow the light in. Of course, you can also have something custom built for the space, but I’m sure you already thought about that. Sounds fun – I have to see some ‘after’ photos!

Anyone else have some creative ideas for Jody?

(2nd image from west elm, 1st image unknown)

Posted in Reader Questions on February 28, 2007

20th Century Designs NY

Thought I’d throw out a quick blurb about Esty seller 20thcenturydesignsny. This lady always has some mid-century finds (originals, not repro) in her store that make her totally worth a bookmark. This week, she has this great Danish find, a Poul Henningsen ceramic hanging lamp, for $325 and this terrific little serving cart for only $225. Nice!

(images from 20thcenturydesignsny)

Posted in Etsy Faves, Objects on February 28, 2007

Budget Lighting: CB2 Whirly Candles

This post inspired me to write about the beauty of the $3.95 whirly hanging candles from CB2.

That write-up showed a table display sponsored by the Viking Range Corporation and designed by Barry Rice and Ted Allen, from the recent DIFFA’s Dining By Design event held in New York. When I posted it, a decor8 reader by the name of Bob, commented about the lighting. He turned us on to the fact that the lighting shown over the table below are the CB2 whirly candles. Elegant and simple, but also a budget find. Triple threat lighting! It looks like around 22 mini globes (so approximately $88) were used in the below display, but you can get away with less, I’m sure. I’m thinking these would look stunning on the patio for Spring parties, or in front of a window displayed at different lengths. What a great idea for budget lighting, I love it.

Posted in Objects on February 28, 2007

Mixing Floral Patterns

I really enjoyed the feature in Real Simple on mixing florals with patterns; I think they nailed it when they said, “Mix them with colorful stripes, polka dots, and gingham checks in complementary tones.” That really sums up the process, the key word being ‘complementary’.

Many fear the process of mixing various patterns and prints in a room. Layering is actually quite painless. Grab a color wheel and a good book on color combinations, and/or take a color theory class at your local art school. Introducing yourself to new ideas via classroom instruction enhances your life in so many ways, especially in the cold months, it helps fight creative stagnation and feelings of depression. You’ll also make new friends and tap into parts of yourself you never knew existed.

Of course, visual learning through the pages of your favorite magazines doesn’t hurt, either. The more you expose yourself to beauty and good design, the more your brain starts to pull all the pieces together and you find your own creative voice, you develop your own ‘eye’ for style. I do believe that people are born with talent, but I also think developing a good eye can be trained if you’re not one who was born with the ability to effortlessly throw things together to result in something pleasing. Try, try, try, again!

(images from real simple)

Posted in Decorating Tips on February 28, 2007


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