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Posts Tagged ‘navy’

There’s not too much going on these days, so I thought I’d share a few updates I made to my living room a few weeks back.

In the June issue of House Beautiful, a gorgeous Victorian row house was featured that I just adored. The interior design, by Ken Fulk, was so fresh, unfussy, casual, and organic, with just a touch of glamour. A lot of the overall pieces in the living room reminded me a little bit of my own living room: a white sofa with navy pillows, mix of dark wood and lighter pieces. Too bad I don’t have a crocodile wall paper fireplace, though, or that fabulous geometric pendant.

Wow, that side-by-side makes my place look like a dump, but let’s chalk it up to bad lighting and bad photography, shall we? One of the little details I loved about the Ken Fulk room, is the hurricane lamps on the coffee table.

I felt like they were just the right amount of bling. Too bad, these babies are made by Ralph Lauren and cost at cool $550 for the three of them. Luckily, as I was browsing in Target a few weeks ago, I came across these bad boys.

Yep, cheap-o replicas. I played around with a couple different combinations of candle sizes (if I remember correctly, I believe there was one more size even larger than the two pictured). I originally wanted to exactly recreate the inspiration pic with the staggered, three-different-sizes look (papa-bear, mama-bear and baby-bear, if you will). But I decided that on my more narrow coffee table, a combination like that might end up looking a little uncoordinated and overgrown. So I finally settled on three of the small hurricane lamps (on the left) which were $9.99 a piece.  While I was at it, I scooped up a rattan tray and some plain white candles, so I would have everything I needed for the complete look. And, here’ s the finished product.

Not bad, for a little over $30, huh? I love how the silver detailing picks up on the handful of other metallic tones I have in the room, like the lamp on our side table.

And, just for a side-by-side reminder.

It’s been an interesting journey—these past two years of having my own place with Ryan—of making decorating mistakes, being afraid of making decorating mistakes, being too ambitious with color and palette, being not ambitious enough. For some reason, I’ve always felt weird about taking someone’s exact design and copying it… maybe because it feels a little like plagiarism? Maybe because it wouldn’t feel like a home if you just took someone else’s furniture and plopped it into your house?

But, I’m beginning to understand that it’s ok to learn from and even copy the best (wow, how underwhelming does that revelation sound). But, yes, this is just clicking for me. In this case, for instance, even though I set out to replicate the original inspiration exactly, by my not having access to the original materials, because the houses are completely different, because all the pieces in my room are different from the original’s, it makes this little arrangement unique to me.

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Have you guys heard the predictions of orange being the hot color for spring? I sure have… and I’m kind of loving it. I suppose orange has an unusual place in my life, being the dominant school color of both my high school and college, and I should be tired of it by now, but I’m not! In fact, when I think about orange, I don’t really think about the ruddy 70’s orange of Monacan high school nor do I think of the carefully selected, perfectly replicated, highly saturated orange of U.Va. athletics. I’m loving the idea of blues and oranges together: navy and clementine, aqua and coral. Here’s how orange has been capturing my attention (and imagination) recently:


Around the kitchen.


In old sheet music.


Around the house.


I don’t know what I’m going to do with all this inspiration— maybe we’ll have to throw some kind of party so I can decorate!— but I figure it’s not a bad idea to compile the images that inspire me and draw upon them when I need them. I know a lot of people have look books or inspiration books, but I stole my idea directly from Ryan’s company, Filament, who prepared inspiration books, in tandem with the video and lighting design,  for Tim McGraw’s 2011 tour. I thought the idea of showing an inspiration book to a very high-end client was so unexpected and kind of genius. It’s risky, because done poorly, it could end up looking like a magazine photo collage on a 13 year old girl’s bedroom wall. But, done well, it can convey the entire feeling of tour, without the dreaded corporate, power point presentation or nervous blabbering that often accompanies such power points.

As for me, though, a more practical application of my orange inspiration might be in my wardrobe! Lord knows it needs some help. I found these cute orange finds this morning at bananarepublic.com.

I have to say, though, silk?!? Seriously, I am so sick of silk. I’m sure Stacy and Clinton would slap me if they could hear me (though, this would require them knowing that I exist), but seriously, who wants to go to the dry cleaner that much? I love silk tops but I end up wearing them about twice a year because I wear them once and then they sit in my drying cleaning pile for months, so I never get any use out of them. So, here’s hoping my orange inspiration will bring some nice, cotton, orange tops my way this spring.

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