About a Boy: beyond the basics

For the last few days I’ve been considering how to design a space for someone that is no longer a boy – though he certainly has attributes of one – in the best possible way, and not quite a man either. To say he is an adolescent feels totally wrong, and disrespectful. He’s “becoming”, moving from one thing to the next, discovering what he likes and doesn’t, and who he is going to be. Aren’t we all? I certainly hope I am not done. A lot of work left for me to become who I am going to be.

Option 1: Neutral Palette: Bed: West elm Mod Upholstered Platform Bed in Twill Stone . $824.25. Pier One . 3 Drawer Dresser $219.99. PB. Teen . Bean Bag $183.00

Part of that discovery is, well discovering that you have a style at all. Who knew. While you might not quite know what it is, I bet you know what it isn’t. So the exploration begins. My task is to map out some possibilities – economical ones are a priority. His tastes are likely to change, as they should, and this baby’s work isn’t going to get tossed out with the bath water. I hope it’s going to get handed down to the next boy, but that little one has very particular ideas about style, so I better make it good. He notices every detail. Note to self – be on your best behavior around Lukie.

Option 2: Bed. Wayfair . Aristocles Platform by Mercury Row . $286.99. Wayfair . George Oliver Bugg 2 Drawer $183.99. West Elm . Mid Century Mini Desk $399. Kartel . Louis Ghost Chair – Pair – Wayfair $773.50

I grew up in a household of girls. My Dad was strong but gentle. Ironically I was always the one that he shouted “don’t slam the door of the Jaguar”, be gentle Jack. This being with all boys – and very rough ones at that – is new to me. They’ll tear a cabinet right off the hinges to get to a cheeze-it. A dish has no chance of survival in this home, and the hallways look like the inside of the local recreation center. Slowly we are instituting Wilson and Kelling’s Broken Window Theory to bring civility to the household. They break something, I painstakingly repair it. They litter the yard, I clean it up, they toss Cheerios around the living, and bedrooms like confetti on New Year’s Eve – I get out the cleaning supplies and get to work at restoring order. I hope that pride of place, investment, and caring for one’s things will result. I know the subject of this post has it in him. I’ve seen how he handles his extensive sneaker collection – I know it’s in him.

World Market Headboard . Gray Rattan Dimitra $350.
Wayfair . Williston Forge Cifueyes $204.99
Target

What I am not sure of, is his style. So I am proposing here three options. His room in its current state is much like a dorm room. It’s got a TV, a fridge, a sofa, a bed, a dresser. It is subject to the full living experience – it’s his domain. He should be the king of his space, so I will attempt to account for all of those things while creating a perfectly tight hospital corner of a visual. Don’t worry – he’s plenty strong enough to loosen it up.

NYC Studio Design Challenge Part II

I threw together quickly the options for a 402 sf, NYC studio on Monday, but I would like to add a few more thoughts to it.  I do like a rug to make a space cozy, and I know they can be expensive.  I am not opposed to buying large Sicil carpets and throwing a small Oriental, Oushak, or matte sized natural fiber rug underneath.  It allows your style to shine through and highlights a special jewel of a piece atop a disparate material.  Wool, cotton, silk, or some combo of the same will do nicely.

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Bringing personality to a space.

I also don’t like to worry about stepping on my iPhone is my everything, even though I wish sometimes it was not.  I use it for my alarm clock as many do, and I need it nearby – so a bedside table is the natural thing to get for the solving of this issue.  Having said that – there is no room for side tables in 402 SF.  A shelf overhead will have to suffice.  I would do one of two things.  I would use a wonderful and inexpensive acrylic box that can be mounted to the wall, and decorative and useful items alike can sit on display.

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Acrylic Shelves keep the space clean and simple.

That’s the easy solution.  If you are feeling a little more ambitious, get a handy man to create a surround for the bed.  Tuck the headboard between two planks – at least a foot in width.  Create a shelving system above, affix some pretty fabric to hide the shelves et voila – you have yourself some invaluable storage.

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This is a brilliant design that creates closets on either side of the bed, while hiding shelving above, and building in shelves that serve as a bedside table.  Love. Love .

Metallic strips to hang knives from the wall in the kitchen are tremendously useful.  I am not a fan of displaying pots, pans, plates and the like – particularly in city apartments, when try as you might, dust and dirt seeps in from the streets.  Clutter is the other reason.  I’d rather it be hidden away, but that’s a personal choice.

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Schmidt Brothers . Acacia Magnetic Bar.

A final must have if the apartment were for me – a pretty bookshelf or etagere.

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PB Teen Etagere – why should teens have all the fun? $475.

Happy designing.

Fruit Punch: Flirt with a little fun

The weekends are too short, and summer in New England is the shortest of the short . shorts.  With no spring to speak of, one really feels the need to make the most of the good weather, when said good weather finally arrives.  Sun, sand, ocean, and fantastically fresh food.  To bite into a juicy peach, savor a sweet chunk of pineapple, smack your lips as you sip a tart and tasty lemonade – that’s summer.  It got me thinking about the roll of fruit in interior design, naturally.

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Etsy is an amazing source for original art work.  This gracefully executed watercolor, brings a little of that fun fruit to an Urban or Suburban setting.  Etsy . Tina Vu Studio $45.

I’m not thinking dark paneled walls, velvet curtains, and Peter Paul’s Rubeneque beauties lying naked in heaps of grapes.  I’m thinking a little more playful, a bit of young at heart, more daylight than dark, more laughter than tears.  Fruit motifs span the gamut from sophisticated to childish, and it’s perfectly ok to mix the two, why not, no law.

 

Pineapple lamp

The traditional motif symbolizing “welcome” – posh doesn’t have to cost a pretty penny.  PB Teen $119.

City

For city surroundings I do recommend you lean toward the sophisticated palette.  Potted fruit plants, faux and real, can bring a little of that summer indoors, and remind you that the world is not all hardscape.  (Try Ballard Design for some realistic looking faux plants) Sculptural elements like china or metallic pineapples, sitting serenely on the shelf of an étagère, the spire on top of your skyscraper of interiors books, glinting and beckoning at that 5 o’clock hour from it’s outpost on the bar cart, pineapples are indeed welcoming.  Wall coverings that blur and obscure the fruit feel polished and fresh, and are perhaps just the right splash of irreverence for a powder room or guest bed.

Flavor Paper Sweet Pototo

Flavor Paper . Fruits of Design . Sweet Potato Mica Clay Coated.

Summer Escape

Summer rightfully brings out the kid in us all.  By my account there is far too much seriousness going around these days.  I’m not condoning irresponsibility, just suggesting that buying a Crew Cuts tee shirt from the kids department that has glittery cherry’s on it, is perfectly acceptable, and frankly much more economically responsible than buying it from J. Crew Woman’s.   Just saying…I did it, and you feel free to judge.  I am also suggesting that a sequined watermelon throw pillow, could really make rolling from Sunday into Monday, just a little bit happier, and if you woke up in these delightfully chipper cherry sheets from Serena and Lily, who’s to say you wouldn’t have the best day ever?

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PB Teen . Tutti Fruity Pillow Covers. 16″ Square – $12.99 each.

To making the most of your summer weekends, and not allowing yourself to turn Sunday into an extension of Monday.

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Serena and Lily . Cherry Sheet Set. $128. – $228.