Coastal Design on a “Time” line.

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Serena and Lily . Priano Wallcovering $88.00

When the temp drastically drops like the Zipper at the Barnstable County Fair, it’s a bit hard to think about coastal living, but seaside schemes I need to make apart of my waking dreams, or I’ll never make my deadline.  It’s a self imposed one, but there are implications for missing it nonetheless.

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Schumacher . Bloom . Emerald and Ore

What are they you ask?  Well – my father will return from Florida sometime between the second week in April and the beginning of May, at which time he will head down to the storage unit, extract his leather recliner, and place it smack dab in the middle of the living room claiming it is a health necessity.

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Schumacher . Balloon 

This will obviously ruin my entire scheme.  The only possible scenario that allows me to be ok with this, is if in some brilliant stroke of luck and timing I am able to make all the decisions, procure the perfect mix of vintage, antique, new, and used (by us – but don’t count on a lot of that being allowed into this space), staging it, and having it photographed, all before his return.

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Cole and Sons . The Ardmore Collection . Singita

If by some design, wish giving fairy godmother I am granted my hearts desire – to be published in Coastal Living, New England Home, House Beautiful or some new edgy design magazine that is too hip for me to even know about it yet – then I will be totally fine if that chair and a bunch of tchotchkes arrive on the scene – like an uninvited house guest at the height of summer.

 

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Quadrille .China Seas . Jungle Green and White

 

Why you ask?  How is it possible that I would actually be – ok?  Well, nothing in this world is permanent.  Photographs offer the best possible, fake representation of what you wish your space could look like – could be – all the time, but in reality it’s a fairy tale.  Take an idea or two from those photos, work around that green recliner, tell yourself it is the color of the ocean – and let it go.

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Quadrille . Interweave . soft pink on almost white

To be memorialized in one of those mags would feel like a ride on the zipper – scary, thrilling, an amazing to be recognized for what is going to be an all out race to – not only complete – but create something amazing.

 

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark: Painting with bold hues

Dark 1 . Domino

Little King . Brooklyn . NY – Photograph by @cainite_via Instagram

I’m a rule follower.  I always have been.  I like the structure of a rule.  I feel that following them has kept me out of a good deal of trouble over the course of my life.  I’ve liked them, I’ve hated them (while still begrudgingly holding true to the line), and apathetic to them too.  So why is it then that this “so called rule” bugs me so much?

Waltham Living

No. 3 Waltham Street . Benjamin Moore’s Deep Royal

Article ,after article, I read about the cardinal sin of painting a small space in a dark hue. “Don’t even think about it” some warn.  “Turn you eye toward the barely there pigments” others instruct.  To that I simply proclaim – “What the “f#!x?

Left:  Keepsmilinghome.blogspot  Right:  No. 2 in Benjamin Moore’s Peacock Feathers and Cole and Sons Wallpaper

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say “This rule should be broken”.  It should be broken frequently, and with a bold disregard to the prevailing authority.  Sometimes rules simply must be cast aside as ridiculous and archaic.  I’m not saying it to be a rebel, I’m simply disagreeing with the premise entirely.  I’ve lived my life in small spaces.  I’ve colored them dark, and light, and cozy.  We humans like a cozy spot to call home, and wrapping yourself in the warmth of a rich, deep, hue really is all the to-do.  Am I expected to live my life in white because I live small?  I think not.

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billielourd.org

As we turn back, and enter the dark days of winter, I encourage you to embrace colors that have a little personality.  Start slow if you must.  The interior of a closet, a powder room, a small mud room or laundry room.  Test it out if you don’t trust me yet – I won’t be offended, but be prepared to begin an affair with your bad side….and I mean that in the best possible way…of course you know that.

Feeling Blue: Chinoiserie Chic

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posted by:  Beth Connolly Labels:  Fireplace, styling

In the best possible way.  In the clean, fresh, bright, and brilliant blue that comes from this gorgeous china.

Blue Chin 2

posted by:  Beth Connolly Labels: fireplace, styling

I met a gal that recently found her way to the states – and more specifically the South End, where she bought her first condo – via Hong Kong.  She carted back a boat load of blue vases, urns, and dishes in the signature hue and asked if it was possible to create a design that incorporate her extensive art collection and her prized china.  I said yes of course.

The addition of orange brings a fresh pop of contrasting color to the scene.

While I love chinoiserie I do believe there is a line you can cross.  I think of it as the Mason Dixon Line.  A Boston city apartment shouldn’t feel like a Southern mansion dripping in excess – the challenge then is to use it to inform the design palette and theme, while keeping it sophisticated and chic.  Think pastel Paris with pops of blue and gold accents or a more muted backdrop of neutrals with orange accents.

Left:  Mark D. Sikes Loves blue and brings a sophistication with these muted tones.  Right:  French Country Cottage balances warm and cool for a cluster of cherubic perfection.

I adore white and blue but think that it feels more coastal than city. Softening the tones and introducing creams, warm violets, dusty greens, and gray blues will help give it a cozy chicness that will welcome and calm after a long day composing art schemes.

Top Left:  Gold Puddle Trays – One Kings Lane.  Top Right:  Spiked Accent Table – One Kings Lane.  Bottom Center:  Caracole Lena Accent Chair – One Kings Lane.

Galbraith + Paul Wallcoverings and Fabric.  Left:  Bellflower in Dolphin.  Right:  Southern Shades via Etsy.

Blue Chin 2

posted by Beth Connolly Labeled: fireplace, styling

What’s particularly great about this design challenge is that there is NO furniture that one must work into the equation.  Just artwork, and blue chin.  Awesome.

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Go a little bolder with Cole and Sons Hex Wallcovering and a high gloss painted door or vanity.

This post represents my preliminary picks.  I hope I’ve headed the ship from the China Seas to the Atlantic in the right direction.

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Galbraith + Paul . Reverse Monarch in Ruby.

 

 

Cover Story: Wall Covering with a punch line

Paper is a definitive statement of BELIEF.  Like marriage or a tattoo you’re most likely vested in a positive outcome, if not why do it.  It’s hopeful.  It shouldn’t be entered into lightly without considerable forethought.  Most definitely not after cocktails with the gals.  One never wants to wake to a giant bird of paradise wallpaper covering said person’s formerly understated dining area.  A unicorn displaying its singular horn prominently between your shoulder blades….and above all else one, certainly does not want to awake to a beer can tab for a wedding band on one’s left hand.  That’s just wrong.  These types of ill-conceived, semi-permanent decisions are both expensive to undo, and can leave a mark just below the surface.

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Sarah Smyth installing my Farrow and Ball . Lotus Paper

Tattoo if that’s your thing.  Marriage – we all know the stats – still to say not to love just to save myself from the possibility of having to dissolve the glue that so steadfastly bonds me to a man, or the paper on the wall, as the case may be….unthinkable!

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Tools of the trade.

So wallpaper – I do.  I like to use it in small space, in surprising ways.  I like it to be the wow when you turn the corner, the unexpected when you open the closet, the delightful interlude when you escape to the Powder Room.  I want you to glance at the ceiling in contemplation, and be startled, to be inspired.

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Finished!

Wallpaper has an opinion.  It’s the exclamation point at the end of a sentence, it’s the final argument, it’s the punch line to a great joke.

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Clarence House . Tibet Tiger . closet installation.

Fear not you faint of heart design enthusiasts.  There is a way to make a quiet statement instead of one that’s bold.  Think – finding a covering with a base tone that matches your paint color and whose print is just a few shades darker – subtle but surprising nonetheless.

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Cole and Sons . Magnolia Lavendar…cover story for another project.

Unexpected, simple, moving, tells a story (yes, wallpaper can tell a story), or just plain beautiful.  These are the elements of memorability – stickiness – love, and I for one think you deserve to have an opinion, and deserve to be love for your fabulous self.

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2 Harvard Place . Charlestown . Cabinet interior papered in Cole and Sons Hexagon by David Hicks

Having my own series of “rules” I adhere to regarding paper, means that sometimes I find something I am really drawn to, and must carry a little folded sample around with me for years before I find just the right spot for it.  Doesn’t work in 3, maybe I’ll use it in 4.  Heart set on using it on the ceiling in 5 but it’s prickly nature pushes it away, perhaps it’ll work in 10.  Wallpaper can make the ordinary – extraordinary and cover all manner of flaws.

Find a great installer like mine, Sarah Smyth of John Smyth, LLC.  She is a true artist, and craftsperson, who is on the verge of retirement.  I have made her promise not to leave me until my quest is complete.  She’s agreed and I am grateful.