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8 Ways To Decorate With Marsala: Pantone Color of the Year 2015

I’m not so sure about these colors of the year lately, are you? Last year, Pantone told us that radiant orchid (post here) was all the rage. Now color experts Pantone are now celebrating marsala for 2015 which is somewhere between a dressed up version of terra cotta and a less intense merlot. For fashion, I can see it – a nice marsala lip or nail works for Autumn just perfectly. But for the home, well that’s a harder sell for  me. In fact, this is a hard post to write because marsala doesn’t appeal to me but since I like to challenge myself, I wanted to source several great spaces that incorporate marsala that even I would like. Ultimately, you can judge whether or not you’d use it in your space but my 8 tips are a great starting point if you’re a little marsala shy. And who knows, by the end of this post, this color may even win me over.

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image: Lonny

1. In a small, bold space. If you live in a charming apartment in Chicago or Manhattan or even a bungalow in LA, and you love a good global, well-traveled vibe, then marsala can be worked in to your interior if you accent with brass and mix in lots of blue and orange. The space below looks like a textile designer, buyer for a great interiors store, mag editor, stylist, author or designer occupies this space. Someone with class and style.

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image: Elle Decor featuring space of Interior Designer John Saldino

2. Global + Bold. Marsala needs to be either all or nothing in a room, in my opinion. A simple accent or over-the-top flashy. This space is positively soaked in tones of red, including marsala. The creamy whites and natural woods ground it as do the white cherry blossoms which make the space feel less formal. I keep seeing textiles, ceramics and art from countries like China, Turkey, Morocco and India because this color is definitely more common in those countries – I’ve been to both Morocco and Turkey and found loads of marsala in the bazaars there in everything from pottery to throw rugs.

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image: Staffan Tollgard Design Group

3. Classy with a bit of Hollywood glam. Marsala works in a space where the foundation is neutral and the lines very classic like this elegant flat which feels very Hollywood despite that it’s in Notting Hill decorated by Swedish designer Staffan Tollgard. It looks oh so glamourous. What works here is that marsala is only used as an accent color on the dining chairs. No where else. The flowers in tones of red and purple help the space overall to feel more balanced so there is less of a contrast between the deep dark chairs and the creamy white floors, walls, ceiling, built-in bank, etc.

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image: Pernille Kaalund for Bolig magasinet

4. A bold single piece. This eclectic modern space with a bright white base and tons of natural light is a nice place to use marsala as an accent color.  Blue, yellow, orange and red work great with this color. If you want to use marsala in this way, stick to a single piece and mix in other colors.

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image: Pernille Kaalund for Bolig magasinet

5. Rugs. Marsala works in perfectly in rugs, have you noticed? And you can find this color in so many rugs that are sourced in Turkmenistan, Turkey, northern Afghanistan, Morocco, Uzbekistan and India. And because they’re on the floor, and usually combined with other colors and patterns, marsala becomes a nice stable tone to ground the room overall.

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image: Pernille Kaalund for Bolig magasinet

6. Small Accents in the Kitchen. A tea box, a frying pan, wood stain, or in a rug. Mixed with indigo, a hint of mustard, brushed metal and reclaimed wood it really works without feeling dated or bad 1980’s (vs. good 80s).

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image: Houzz

7. With bright primary orange, light gray and red. In a contemporary setting, marsala works great with bright red and orange nearby because both bring heat and energy and marsala neutralizes them a bit. With gray, wow what a winning combo! Makes marsala feel more modern and clear somehow.

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image: Brittany Ambridge for Domino

8. Artwork. You may not have noticed the painted above the sofa at first glance because the rug clearly dominates, also in marsala, but the painting really brings the eye up off of the floor and harmonizes the space from a color perspective. This room is really lovely and that rug lifts the room making it feel very peppy and even a little sexy!

So, you tell me – Marsala – Pantone Color of the Year – Hell no or hello? I like it but only if it’s combined in a pattern (like a rug) or in artwork, a pillow, etc. But I don’t like it as a solid color accent (like a chair) or as a wall color. What about you?

(images linked to their sources above)

Posted in Color Inspiration on February 17, 2015

Sara Svenningrud Photography + Stylist Marie Olsson Nylander

Good morning friends. Hope you are doing well and for those of you getting hit by snowstorms, keep warm and read blogs! So let’s get started with some inspiration for you today. I really like the interiors shot by Swedish photographer Sara Svenningrud. After living in LA and London, she’s now back in Sweden working with clients for magazine and catalog work along with ad campaigns. She’s also produced fashion shows! Her photos are always quite obvious to me when I see them in Scandinavian and even German interiors mags – I think it’s because she’s photographed a lot of homes like Marie Olsson Nylander (whom has also worked with her as an interiors stylist) and I’m quite a fan of Maire’s work combined with Sara’s magical eye.

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Marie’s signature style includes loads of soft and creamy hues, yummy texture, fresh greenery and a flea market meets global industrial vibe and Sara’s photos are all about achieving perfect composition, drawing you in and allowing for a lot of natural creamy light to illuminate everything very evenly. Here is a glimpse from her portfolio below. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

I have to comment on this image above because where I live, it’s very easy to find old school charts with these beige linen-like backs. You can even source them on eBay. I’ve flipped over one of mine before and used it over my desk as a mood board, but I also love using it as a backdrop for showing some of your favorite artwork with simple black tape too. It’s so imaginative and a nice change from showing art on walls with tape.

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The chandelier is so very delicate and pretty and I love the lightbulb-esque table lamp and the contrast between the gold table and the modern elements around it. Also, every home needs a big round frameless mirror, right?

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Love this loo! What a sweet little bathroom and that graphic, bold floor set amidst all of that blackness, it’s just the best. The wire basket filled with toilet paper is a good one, I’ve been seeing this for years but like it best in a black/white bathroom like this one. It works.

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Gosh that leather sofa on the right is so interesting, almost seems to transform into a bed, am I right? Who makes that thing, is it a classic piece or? I’m stumped for the first time, I usually identify every piece in a room but this sofa – nope!

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Marie-Olsson-Nylander-armchair

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How stunning, right? Hope you are doing well today.

(images: Sara Svenningrud/styling + home: Marie Olsson Nylander)

Posted in inspiration on February 17, 2015

Sandberg Raphael Wallpaper + Hehlen Castle

On Valentine’s Day we went with our little son to Schloß Hehlen (Hehlen Castle), a very sweet castle built in the 1500’s located about an hour away and enjoyed the most beautiful cakes in their cafe, Kaffeewirtschaft, on the castle grounds. Aidan enjoyed his babycino so much and when I took his little hand and walked him around the cafe, he was thrilled. I was too and I particularly loved the wallpaper near the fireplace, so I snapped it and posted on my IG. Within seconds, the wallpaper manufacturer identified it as the Raphael in Green by Sandberg. I didn’t even tag it! That’s the beauty of Instagram – you can post nearly anything and someone will identify the place, the product, even the person within mere minutes.

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(my iphone photo above)

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After visiting the Sandberg website I also found it in a few other colorways but the beige instantly resonated with me as the room it’s shown in looks exactly like my living room – the large window to the right, the linen sheer curtains, even a similar pendant light! You can imagine how this reawakened my need to wallpaper a feature wall in living room! Now I’m trying to decide – will it be a Sandberg, Designers Guild or Farrow & Ball wallpaper? Hmmm.

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Isn’t the lovely? I particularly love it with the marble table and the pretty plants and wooden seating. Fresh and simple with a touch of rustic romance.

(images: sandberg //the snap of me and my little one by his papa)

 

Posted in walls on February 16, 2015

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

You know how I was talking recently about buying a little home, a sweet cottage, somewhere in Germany, Denmark (or possibly the Dutch/German border near the coast) that we could visit some weekends and in the summer? I still haven’t decided where and when yet, but I stumbled upon this sweet and very tidy example of a cottage that could be a nice option only this one is for rent via Red Cottage Inc. and it’s a tad far from home now because it’s in Freehold, New York! But wow, doesn’t it look so European, like it’s been plucked straight from the French or English countryside? And so simply decorated.

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Seeing this place and thinking further about buying a cottage has made me think that when I do find the perfect place, it needs to be decorated very simply and definitely uncluttered. In fact, I’ve been reading a great book about organizing and removing clutter from the home that my former book publicist, Lorraine Woodcheke, sent to me now that she’s working for Ten Speed Press called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Japanese de-cluttering expert and cleaning consultant Marie Kondo and I just love it. I’m working currently to apply it to my great annual spring clean that I’ll soon get started on.

This little book is already an international bestseller with millions of copies sold and is a best-seller in many parts of the world like the UK, US, Japan and Germany. Wow, I can see why the moment I started reading it back in October! It’s so easy to follow, compact and you get through it quickly — plus the most important part is that I found so much of what Marie said both practical and necessary.

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Marie’s tips on sorting papers and storing books are ones I really need to listen to. Marie believes that, “Letting go is even more important than adding,” and “The fact that you possess a surplus of things that you can’t bring yourself to discard doesn’t mean you are taking good care of them. In fact, it is quite the opposite”.

She also believes that the things that we own, when we look at them, evokes emotion within us and that these very real feelings give us the energy for living and that putting your home in order can create a vibrant and happy life. I absolutely agree. Her book is so popular in Japan that it was turned into a television series. I had no idea that Japanese society had a problem with clutter!

Have you read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up? What did you think?

(images: red cottage inc. and seattle refined)

Posted in Books + Magazines on February 16, 2015

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