I’ve had the nicest exchange with photographer Brittany Ambridge this week, who was so pleased that I wanted to feature her on decor8. It’s always a delight when you write to someone looking to run a story about their work and they reply with such heartfelt words of thanks and are genuinely cooperative and nice. In fact, she updated her online portfolio just so I could share her latest so you are able to see some fresh views of gorgeous spaces she has shot from California to France. I also learned something quite interesting when speaking to Brittany…
First, she is the sole photographer for domino magazine since their relaunch and she shoots about 95% of it. Wow, right? She also retouches the photos herself, which is unusual in her industry. If that weren’t enough, she also works closely with Robert Leleux, the magazine’s newly appointed Editorial Director, on every shoot. When it comes to her work she revealed, “I take it from the initial idea, which is brainstormed with the edit team, to shooting, editing, retouching, all the way through to the color proofs for print. That’s never been done before in publishing to have a single person do all of that.” I believe that this is precisely why her work is so beautiful – because she sees it through from beginning to end and she doesn’t have a lot of hands involved in the process – so her work is seen by us in its purest most honest form – from her eye to the pages of the magazine. How nice.
Instead of just showing you some pretty pictures, I wanted to provide some decorating takeaway for you to enjoy. Also, all of the links to these homes are featured at the end of this post so please click around and enjoy yourself. And remember, all photos can be enlarged if you simply click on them and pinned however please ensure Brittany is credited along with domino when you pin (thank you!).
1. Happy, Bright Corners. A really great eating nook that feels very west coast with the blue tones, tile floor and greenery.
2. Splashes of bold color and pattern. Plus, more of that great tile. Love the marble backsplash and the windows painted in bold blue. Open shelving is a wonderful way to open up a kitchen.
3. Coastal photography and and a painting. Brings the beach to the abode. Also, it’s always a nice touch to lean a few photos against the wall using a painting as a mini shelf.
4. Bold art and patterns against white. Always a good idea. Love the botanical prints (good use of symmetry to balance the room), and all of the Swedish throw pillows by Svenskt Tenn and the HAY trays on the coffee table. I loved my visit to their Stockholm shop – such a utopia of color.
5. Bookcase as a focal point. Emily Henderson’s built in bookcase came out so nice, the lines are fun and unexpected and everything colorful stands out so nicely against white, right?
6. A relaxing, chic sleep space. I love the colors, so unexpected — and the patterns technically shouldn’t work together but they really, really do. Such a great lesson in mixing things up and decorating from the heart vs. always the head.
7. A big, rustic kitchen. The tiled walls, the mega stove, open shelving, crisp white… The ceiling! The rug! It makes even the non-cook want to rattle some pots and pans and shouldn’t your kitchen inspire you to culinary greatness?
8. Greens. Just add greens to you space already. They are healthy, can be displayed in the most stylish vessels these days, and make a home feel very natural and cozy. Some plants and trees are very sculptural and serious (great for very modern minimalistic homes) whereas others can be very wild or wispy for the more eclectic or romantic at heart. The plants and flowers that you love the most are often a window into our decorating soul. At least according to me.
9. Dark floors. I know everyone and their dog is into white floors or light wood floors but dark flooring can be just as gorgeous. It anchors a space (I love saying that, sounds so professional!) and feels warm and personal too. Dark floors can be very inviting, too.
10. A well-styled mantle. This is such a great example of playing with color, pattern and decorative objects along with gorgeous artwork. You know how much I love flowers, so these sweet peas and dahlias really do it for me. And with flowers the great thing is that this week it’s dahlias and next week, it’s cherry blossoms – you can instantly change a mood with the purchase of a single bundle and a swap out of a vessel.
11. A very sweet child’s room. Gosh what a darling space and a beautiful view to boot. Every kid should be so lucky.
12. Bold prints. This is such a nice use of a bold print paired with a simple bench and lots of books and magazines stacked neatly below. That print really makes the corner come to life. Art is such a great way to instantly lift a space.
13. Patterned backgrounds behind shelving. I don’t know if this is a wall or wallpaper, a wallpapered bookcase, or what really. But I love it. Why not add pattern to the back of a bookcase. You can do it with wallpaper, matte gift wrap, fabric, or if you just want to work with solids – paint it. But my goodness, experiment a little am I right? Fun stuff.
14. Concrete floors. Aside from all of that natural light and the gorgeous window and views, I love this polished concreate floor which is perfect for homes set in warm, tropical climates. NOT Boston.
15. All white styling. White books, white ceramics, a hint of nude. YES YES YES. I really love this. Most of those ceramics are from Astier de Villatte in Paris, a shop I actually worked in for the day a few years ago when I styled it for my book. What a dream come true for me to work with such beautiful things. I wanted to bring everything home with me but I escaped only with a journal, a few candles and a large ceramic fork for my wall. I ultimately want to own this many pieces from them though and style them beautifully like this in my home. Maybe when Aidan gets a little older!
16. Bold patterned wallpaper. Bedrooms can often be super boring and generic, can’t they? I mean, what options do we really have with furniture placement? A bedroom is unlike any other space. The bed is almost always in the middle of the largest wall, flanked by two end tables, two lights and maybe some art work above. The bed is always large and in charge so the focus is always on the bed. One of the best ways to change that up is to remove the headboard and go big and bold with wallpaper like this photo above. Then the bed is sort of an after thought and not the first thing you see upon entertaining, and sometimes that really nice if we’re not fussy about keep the bedding perfectly made and ironed or we don’t have the best looking headboard in the world.
17. Mood boards. I know, we all hate the name but they are so practical for designers and so fun for creatives to share what’s on their mind in a very visual way. And a mood board makes such a statement, when composed, it becomes it’s own work of art and focal point. I love them in any room of the home though they tend to work best in the office where most creative ideas blossom.
18. Newspaper-as-art. I never in my life thought of or saw this before and I’ve dealt with a ton of interiors during the past decade. This Kate Moss piece, framed, is lovely. I wish I knew more about it but it’s very cool framed like that above the fireplace, don’t you think?
19. Masks and mood boarding for kids. Okay, those masks on the animals sitting across the bed made me laugh out loud. I love the sense of humor here. But what caught my eye at first, aside from that gorgeous map, are the photos tapes to the wall. Such a great way to encourage your child to decorate and also share what they are inspired by at the moment in addition to pop stars and baby animal posters.
20. String art. Be creative and unusual and do something whimsical like this string art by Berlin-based artist Nike Schroeder. This work was commissioned by stylist Emily Henderson and came out so pretty – I love the softness and splash of color. I’m sure it cost her a fortune, but it’s worth it when something like this literally makes the room.
21. Splash of color and throws. This always works for me. If you put your finger over the painting and imagine the chairs sheepskin throw-free, well it’s not the same room. The power or texture and color!
22. Bold closet doors. This is the best. I can’t embellish here. If you are bold enough just make this happen on your closet doors somehow, someway.
23. An organized work studio with style. We all need a place where we can create from an honest place while also finding our stuff! I really love how this artists’ studio is decorated. Makes me want to run in there and paint something which is exactly what a creative space should do – motivate you to get your hands busy!
Homes shown above are from the following lovely homeowners. Please click on each link to view their entire property. Chay Wike’s Hollywood Hills home, Austyn Zung’s SoHo apartment, Heather Taylor’s West Hollywood home, Ariel Ashe’s Greenwich Village townhouse, Sally King Benedict’s Atlanta home, Anne Ziegler’s Laurel Canyon home, Emily Henderson’s Los Angeles home, Andrea Krueger’s Paris apartment.
Thank you so much Brittany for allowing us a peek into your stunning world, your beautiful work and the homes of so many stylish people you’ve had the pleasure to work with. And a special thanks to domino magazine for sharing photography from previous issues with us, too.
(Images: Brittany Ambridge)