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Matthew Mead {Fall}

New Hampshire-based talent Matthew Mead contacted me to let me know his Fall website is up (his website updates per season) and when I clicked over, I once again fell in love with his color palette and gorgeously styled photos.


I really like his tips on painting gourds with black acrylic paint (so easy and perfectly decorative for the credenza or mantle) and of course, his pie recipes in the typical style New England style. Thank you Matthew for the update – you amaze and inspire me!

(images from matthew mead)

Posted in Inspiration on October 23, 2007

Domino Decorating Contest Finalists

The five finalists have been selected, now it’s your turn to pick a winner. Click here to cast your vote – who should win the $10,000 grand prize?

I’ve already selected my favorite shown here above, Steven from Des Moines, because it’s so completely different from my own decorating style (his is very bold) and I just adore how he uses so much color. I also think his relies less on the architectural features of the room and more on the overall design.


(image from domino magazine)

Posted in Contests on October 23, 2007

Reader Q: Chandelier Help

Here’s a reader question from Rebekkah that I wanted to post right away since I’m sure one of you will immediately know the source. Here’s what she writes, “I’m searching for a chandelier I have been dreaming about since I saw it in France. I have attached a photo that I took while drooling over it and my dinner. I asked the hostess where she purchased it and she said it came from Printemps in Paris but they do not have an online store. Any ideas, suggestions, or sources for this chandelier? I am going mad trying to find it.” – Rebekah.


Can anyone help Rebekah? I will continue my investigation, hopefully we can all pull together and help her locate this unique find. I guess she could always contact Printemps directly, but I’m almost willing to bet that like all large department stores, it will take ages to hear back. I found this one on Dutch website Premium Gids, but I’m not convinced that it’s what you’re looking for entirely. If you feel like a little DIY project, you can make your own via the Carlo Rossi website, I’d dead serious, click here. It’s so funny!

Posted in Objects, Reader Questions on October 23, 2007

Back in Black

“Back in Black”
By Rachel Perls of Hue Consulting, decor8 guest writer

Fall is finally here; our palette has turned to deep, rich, autumnal colors. With the colder weather approaching, we move indoors, looking forward to making our spaces warm and cozy for the months ahead. Light, airy whites and pastels are tucked away in storage, and denser, muted tones become more prevalent, ushering in a feeling of weight, comfort and stability.

Via Domino magazine.

Black is a strong, dependable color that becomes quite prevalent in home decorating during this season. It has a sense of permanence, and solidity that is reassuring. How decadent and glamorous is this room shown above? Black represents sophistication and substance. The ultimate chic color for cocktail parties and black-tie affairs, it can morph into a completely different interpretation with a simple change of context.

People react quite strongly to this hue, which is actually the absence of all pigment. It signifies mourning in many cultures, as well as danger, or the supernatural. It is ominous, the fear of the unknown. Black represents power, which can be reassuring, or scary, depending upon whom wields it.

One combo that packs a punch is black and yellow. In nature, black and yellow color patterns communicate to predators that an animal is dangerous, like stinging wasps or poisonous snakes. We?re biologically conditioned to pay special attention to this color duo.

Via CB2

Another popular match is black and red. It has a strong Asian flair, and looks amazing in lacquered finishes.

A fresh, modern variation of the red and black theme substitutes fuchsia for the red, lightening the mood considerably.

Via Domino magazine

Or experiment with orange and black, another stunning combination.

Via Domino magazine

Have you considered pairing black with kelly green?

When paired with other bright colors, black works as a unifying element. How fun is this treatment? I feel like I just stepped into a pop art painting.

Bathrooms are a great place to experiment with dramatic tones.

Trend-wise, I?ve read that dark cabinets for kitchens are very hip these days, Susan from the blog The Kitchen Designer, is a terrific source for trend watching in this area of the home. But be forewarned about those oh-so-popular black granite countertops. Ergonomically, they are horrible for your vision because there isn?t enough contrast between the work surface and your kitchen items; this causes eyestrain.

Via HGTV

Just by tweaking the texture, surface, and tone of black, you can create vastly different moods. This shiny kitchen by Miles Redd is really over the top, but I thought it was so fun, I couldn?t resist.

Here, a room by Nicole Sassaman has a soft matte black wall of chalkboard paint.


If you don?t know where to start, accent pieces and dark flooring are great places to begin introducing ebony into your spaces. (Remember the Nate Berkus NYC Aparment reveal on Oprah?) Black can look great with almost any color, especially if it is used with contrasting lighter colors. You absolutely need the contrast, so don?t go too overboard with this inky tone.

Any questions regarding black that you have? Please leave your question or comment below and I’ll gladly do what I can to answer!

(images linked accordingly above. some links via desire to inspire.)

Posted in Color Inspiration on October 22, 2007

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