Monthly Archives: November 2011

Roundup: 10 Awesome Eco-Friendly Lamps

We all know about using eco-friendly light bulbs…. Now the lamps we’re putting them into are eco-friendly as well! Here are a few of my favorites:

 Repurposed Spiral Spring Pendant
I’m in love with this pendant lamp made from a repurposed spring. Only $150 from Shades of Light.

An eco-friendly lamp that also brings a bright pop of color? Yes! The Delores pendant from Shine Labs, $216 on 2Modern.

Recycled content, flat-packed, and easy on the wallet. The Bendant lamp by MIO is only $175 at 2Modern.

The Wiley pendant light from Rejuvenation uses FSC-certified wood, only $156.

Stray Dog Designs has a line of lamps made from recycled glass.

The modern, angular Etch pendant by Tom Dixon comes flat-packed for less waste. $330 from Lumens.

Recycled glass lamp, $195 from Amazon.

Reclaimed industrial pulley lamp from Shades of Light

The Catherine Table Lamp from Pottery Barn is made of FSC certified wood.

The Tom Raffield Butterfly pendant light is made of FSC certified wood.


Showcase: wood trim designs

I absolutely love wood trim to break up a large expanse of wall, so I’ve decided to show just a few of the variety of wood trim treatments.

White trim gives life to Donatella Versace’s black walls.

Source: via Hollie on Pinterest

Trim doesn’t have to be traditional. I love the clean modern lines of this panelling.

Master Bedroom  bedroom
bedroom design by birmingham interior designer Tracery Interiors
Darker trim brings a bedroom with high ceilings back to human scale.

Vintage Residence - Living Room C
spaces design by chicago interior designer Jessica Lagrange
If you’d rather not wallpaper an entire wall, trim creates the a boundary around a perfectly sized area.

Another example of how wood trim moderates the amount of wallpaper pattern in a room.

click to view full size
White on white is a great backdrop for any color, via decorpad.

Wood Wall TreatmentsLarge scale trim for a large scale wall, from Southern Living.

Roomology loves: kitchens where the upper and lower cabinets are two different colors

Yes, it’s true. I can no longer truly fall in love with a kitchen whose cabinets are only one color. I just can’t, after seeing so many beautiful kitchens where the upper cabinets are a different color than the lower. Check out some examples below:

My favorite combination: white upper cabinets and beige lower cabinets from Cottage Living.

A slightly more subtle shift from cream upper cabinets to light beige lower cabinets via

Another great combination: white upper cabinets and wood lower cabinets in Kitchens & Baths.

A white oven hood over dark wood cabinetry, from Southern Living.

White upper cabinets above lower cabinets in a fun blue shade in a country kitchen.

Above modern gray lower cabinets, white laminate upper cabinets make a white ceiling seem higher. From
Herron Horton Architects.

White upper cabinets and dark lower cabinets are joined by a geometric backsplash. From Real Living.

I love how this modern kitchen breaks with tradition in putting the darker colored cabinets on top, and the green trim around a few of the cabinets adds additional fun. From
Canadian House & Home.

Using darker cabinets on top can also work in a traditional design.

Roundup: Painted Wood Floors

I’m rather obsessed with painted hardwood floors (and by rather, I mean completely).  So I thought I’d do a roundup of painted wood floors in my four favorite patterns: checkerboard, stripes, chevron, and geometric.


Grey and white checkerboard painted floor makes this kitchen cozy but unique. From Elle Décor.

This entry is so much more interesting with a wood and white checkerboard floor. From New England Home.


 White stripes liven up a wood kitchen floor. From Cottage Living.

Bold green and white stripes mask an old parquet floor. From Domino.


Chevron provides visual interest, even in the bath. From Mary McDonald.

Miles Redd’s chevron foyer from House Beautiful.


Designer Jeffrey Bilhuber’s subtle gray pattern is a great juxtaposition to the modern, glossy ceiling. From Elle Décor.

Mary McDonald is the queen of painted floors.

This home is rather traditional, but the bold geometric pattern could be used in more modern homes as well. From Old House Online.

Is there a place for graffiti art in residential design?

I recently visited the awesomely designed lobby of the Ace Hotel (a masterpiece of a style I like to call upscale-gritty), which is dominated by an enormous black and white graffiti art wall. Turns out the wall is covered with graffiti art stickers that artist Michael Anderson had found around New York City. Photo via NYMag.

There is no question that graffiti art is becoming – has become – part of the mainstream art world. Last summer I attended the Art in the Streets exhibit at LA’s MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art), the highly publicized exhibit of its new curator, Jeffrey Deitch. (See a few photos I took while I was there below.) I left the exhibit with two epiphanies: 1) graffiti art is here to stay, and 2) I kind of love it.

As with all trends that worm their way from the art world through fashion and into interior design, I predict that graffiti art will soon make its way into home interiors in some shape or form. Karl Sponholtz made an ill-fated attempt to incorporate street art into his design in the final round of HGTV Design Star which cost him the title.  Sponholtz attempted to create his own piece of street art by spraypainting an armoire, as seen here:

To me, using graffiti art as inspiration doesn’t mean that interior designers should be spraypainting walls or furniture.  I believe Karl missed a real opportunity to try to incorporate street art into home design in a new and creative way. Perhaps it could inform to shape of a chair or a light fixture. Perhaps we take away from it the thick outlines that graffiti artists often draw around their lettering. Several European companies have already begun this process (see their awesome designs below.)

Alphabet letter tables from French company Sisko.

Graffiti art mirror by Luis Alicandu.

British company Burke and Hazelden’s Georgian Wing Chair by KID4EVA.

Graffiti art-inspired bench by Frans Willigers.

However graffiti art comes home in America, I, for one, will give it a warm welcome.  How about you?

Coolest Bathroom in Town

How brilliant is this?? This New Orleans designer, Benjamin Bullins took the Vintage French theme to a whole new level. Who would have thought that old bike in your garage can turn into one of the coolest bathrooms in town. I love everything about this room, from the black and white floor tiles, subway tiles used on the wall and even the stained glass window (when you look a little closer). The small details and even how he used the basket as a towel holder makes this one of my new favorite bathrooms. Check out his other work here.

Now the search for an old bike is on!

What are your thoughts?? What other objects do you think you can repurpose for a bathroom vanity?

8 Awesome Eco-friendly Finds

I am so excited to see the eco-friendly furniture/home goods businesses coming into their own. Here are some of my favorite eco-friendly goods on the market right now.

  1. The 111 Navy Chair from DWR is simple, clean, and made of recycled Coke bottles and comes in a range of bright colors, all for $245.
  2. This hand-blown glass pendant is just one of the many beautiful, sustainable designs from Cisco Brothers.
  3. I’m in love with the sleek, modern design of the Gus Stanley Console Table, built of certified sustainable wood. It’s mounted to the wall so it actually looks a bit like it’s floating, and it has a perfect little recess so that you’ll always know where those keys are.
  4. The Butaca Chair from Viva Terra, an eco-friendly version of the classic Barcelona chair, is built from FSC-certified wood and upholstered with reclaimed coffee sacks.
  5. Holy cow, is this stool awesome. It’s the Arktura Ricami, made of recycled metal and has no VOCs or toxins, available for $399. This line comes in a number of different sizes and patterns.

  6. These beautiful table lamps from Terra Furnishings are made from rapidly renewable bamboo and are well-priced ($105-125).
  7. The Way Basics bookshelves are basically like an eco-friendly version of IKEA (except they’re made of recycled paper!), and they come in all sorts of colors and sizes. This configuration is only $92 from allmodern.
  8. The Luna sofa has a sustainable wood frame, low VOC finishes, and awesome midcentury styling. $1499 from True Modern.

Brilliant Ideas: How to keep an eye on your kids from your kitchen

I opened Traditional Home this month expecting to see nothing but some beautiful holiday decorations… instead I found one of the most brilliant and simple ways to solve a problem faced by many parents: how to supervise your kids while you’re cooking without having them underfoot in the kitchen. Even in some open concept homes, the parent may have trouble keeping an eye on the kids if the primary work space is turned away from where the kids are playing. So here’s this young mother’s solution:

Traditional Home TV in Kitchen IslandThe kids have their own private TV, right at their eye level. It’s built in under the primary work area of the kitchen. Now, the kids are 4 feet away, but are clearly outside the kitchen, and mom is actually able to interact with the kids while they’re watching TV. I would have loved to take this idea even further, perhaps by putting some child-size chairs in front of the TV or having a space for games and toys alongside the TV, so that the kids know that this really is a playspace meant for them. Still, it’s brilliant, and I think this solution could be accomplished for less than $500.

Is interior design art?

Here is one to think about. I spent part of my summer this year visiting a friend in Milan. While there, she introduced me to a friend who is currently working towards his masters in industrial design.  During one of our many wine filled conversations he explained his view on how interior design was not actually a form of design at all.  He truly believed that design is only in the products and Interior design is the simple act of placing real design items together.  I do not think he realized when he started this conversation who he was really talking to.  Selecting someone who stopped her career, moved to another country and spent the past 5 years spending her nights and weekends at school to get her interior design degree … was probably the wrong person to talk to.  However, I was in Italy, drinking great wine, and sitting on the Italian Riviera while the sun was setting so what better time to talk than this? It has been about 2 months since that conversation and I still think about it constantly.  Every time I open a new magazine, turn on HGTV, or research up and coming designers I still cannot believe how some people do not consider Interior Design as a creative art form. I quickly turned the conversation into the backbones of great interior design and realized I was lecturing him on what it meant to me.  So here is my own definition of Interior Design…

Interior Design (done properly of course) is livable art.  It is an art form that touches everyone on a daily basis.  Granted we use objects from other designers and may be use an architects structure however the combination of pieces, mixed with the colors, patterns, textures and the correct space plan need to be in perfect balance to one another.  A painting can help tell a story of the artist.  A great interior can help tell the story of an individual, couple, family, company, institution… etc.  The list is endless because Interior Design is an art form unlike any other that impacts everyone, whether you notice it or not.  Here are some images of my favorite designer rooms.

What do you think?

Michael Smith

Kelly Wearstler

John Saladino

Lauren Muse

12 Best Tree Stump Tables

Ohh, how I love the look of the tree stump stool/side table!  And yes they are everywhere! Now I know this trend has been around for awhile, but with so many variations of the tree stump side table on the market, I’d do a roundup of my 12 favorites.  In no particular order:

BEST NATURALS: The Natural Tree Stump Side Table from West Elm feels like  it’s become the classic of this category. It’s made of naturally fallen cyprus wood, no two look the same.  Well priced at $199.  If you’re looking for something darker or more reddish, there are similarly priced stumps made of FSC-certified teak from Viva Terra for $179-198.

Best Naturals: West Elm (left) and Viva Terra stump tables.

BEST COLORS: This is where I really see the tree stump look going next… bright colors. Bring on the blues, greens, and pinks! Here’s two products that are ahead of the curve. On the left, the Stump Stool from Stray Dog Designs, shown here in pink for $390. We also love that this is a green product, made of recycled materials and using low-VOC paint. To the right we have the awesomely shaped Disco Stump Stool from DFC, which is made of fiberglass and also comes in lots of great colors like this vivid blue, but hits the wallet harder at $805.

best colored stump stools

Best Colors: Stray Dog Designs (left) and DFC.

BEST METALLICS: Combining two of the latest trends: tree stumps and metallics. May I humbly predict we see more of these in the future as well? For those who are looking for a bit of Hollywood Regency, I have the Golden Cut Stump Table by Anteriors, made of resin and sold by Neiman Marcus (amongst others) for $799. For those looking for a more modern shape (and who are not faint of wallet), we lust after Table 47 sold through DWR, $1020 at the time of this post. Reclaimed wood, check. Low VOC metallic paint, check. Sleek square shape, check.

Best Metallic Stump Tables

Best Metallics: Arteriors (left) and DWR.

BEST BLACK AND WHITE: Quasi-natural, quasi-tuxedo, wholly statement-esque. Made of beech trees with black lacquer. Available from ABC and surprisingly enough for that shop, will not cost an arm and a leg. $395 for the smaller size, $495 for the larger.

black and white stump stool

Best black and white: ABC.

BEST SQUARE: For those of you who want the tree stump look in a modern shape, DWRhas a teak square stool, made of sustainable wood for $398.

best square stump stool

Best Square: DWR.

MOST CREATIVE: I think the etched acrylic styled to look like tree rings counts as straight-up cheeky. The Timber Table from Gus Design is available from several vendors including Unica Home and is a steal at $235. I will, however, wistfully wait for a company that makes an all-acrylic table in the form of an actual stump.

most creative stump stool

Most Creative: The Timber Table from Gus Design.

MOST BUDGET-FRIENDLY: These stumps tables come in three different sizes and two different heights, are environmentally-friendly as they are reclaimed telegraph poles (awesome!), and are a steal at only $139-179, available from Horchow.

Horchow Tree Tables

Most budget-friendly: Horchow tree tables.

 BEST JUXTAPOSITION: At once sleek and gnarled, manufactured and natural, shiny and rustic, geometric and woodsy. This is exactly the kind of design that excites me the most… my eye keeps moving over it because it doesn’t fit into any of the patterns my brain has seen before. At $1500, it will take a bite out of your paycheck, but for those who are willing to pay for design that’s truly at the cusp, it’s available from Randy Brown Architects.

Randy Brown Architects

Best Juxtaposition: Randy Brown Architects

BEST SPECIAL ORDER: Reclaimed, one-of-a-kind stumps are available in all shapes, sizes, and woods from Kate Cunningham Co, sold through Ralph Lauren Home. Prices are available upon request.

ralph lauren home stump tables

Best special orders: Kate Cunningham Co via Ralph Lauren Home.