Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Bold Way to Unify a Room

Finding the right paint color for a room can be tricky... how do you match the existing wood and other elements? What if the contrast is too stark or the colors don't have the right undertones?  Painting the walls, trim, and even ceiling in a room a single color is a fun and unique way to ensure that your color scheme is unified-- plus it adds style to your room without being too trendy.  Some examples...

This updated Highland Park manor was featured in the Dallas Morning News.  Designer James McEnroe was able to maintain the classic feel of the home's interior while adding an art deco twist with the monochromatic color scheme in the entryway.  I love how every surface in the room is painted a steely gray-blue except the floors and the banister.  And notice that the walls and trim in the living room just behind the entryway are painted two different colors-- you don't have to carry this trend throughout your entire house.  Use another element to unify the two rooms with one another, such as the gray-blue curtains that McEnroe has used on the windows in the living room to coordinate with the paint color in the entryway.

{Note:  This house will be explored further in another post-- it's just too amazing to ignore!  I fully intend on driving by to see it this weekend while I'm in Dallas to cheer on my Sooners...}

Here is another example of how painting every surface in a room a single color (except the floors, which I wouldn't recommend) can create a very dramatic effect.  This is a Restoration Hardware store in Columbus, Ohio.  The darker gray color pallet is accented by the light-colored sofa and coffee table, and the combination of these colors in the room creates a neutral color scheme. I think you could also add a variety of accent colors to this room to achieve a different result... adding pops of color such as bright orange, light powdery blue, or even a classic red with white would completely change the look of this room.

Oh, Elle Decor.... you never fail to inspire me.  If you like my blog, and you have never read Elle Decor (or House Beautiful for that matter) you need to go straight to the nearest Barnes & Noble and buy both immediately.  This room is from the pages of Elle Decor, and it is another great example of how a dark neutral paint color used on the walls and trim can create a stunning canvas for a beautiful room.  The ceiling in this example has been left unpainted, and I think it really opens up the space.  I also love the chocolate brown couch and love seat, but I think you could experiment with so many different furniture options in this room, which is what makes it so great!

Here's another example of a dark neutral paint color that is accented with bright creamy furniture.

Painting a room a single-color doesn't mean that you have to always use neutrals... here is an example of one way you can use monochromatic color to add an unexpected dash of style.  This picture is of the living room in Martha Stewart's guest house-- she used the same shade of blush pink throughout the entire house on the walls, trim, and ceiling, and it really gives it a rosy effect.  I can only imagine how the color magnifies as the day goes on and the light streaming into the room changes.

{For more pictures of Martha's dreamy guesthouse, follow this link.}

Here is another example of a room that has colorful trim and walls-- while I'm not a huge fan of the color-blocking that is going on in the main living area, I do love the mossy green alcove on the far wall.  If the entire living area was painted the light sky-blue color, the green alcove would really pop.

This trend really inspires me to try something different and think outside the box when decorating my own home in the future.  I hope you all find inspiration in the little things today, and don't forget to make life beautiful.

God Bless,


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Le Dèbut

Hey y'all! Welcome to my first ever blog post... I am thoroughly excited to share with all of you my passion for all things decorating.  Let's get started, shall we?

Since the blog is called Damask & Design, I thought it would be fitting for my first post to be about damasks and some of the ways they can be integrated into a design concept.  Damasks are some of the most beautiful fabrics-- and some of you may not know that the word damask simply means "a rich patterned fabric of cotton, linen, silk, or wool".  Like myself in days-gone-by, you may have thought that a damask has to look like this:

Actually, you're in luck! Damasks come in all colors, patterns, and textures.  For example...

This teal and gold version is vintage colonial to me, but in an updated way.

This black-and-white version is a little French-country-with-a-twist... how cute would it be as an accent wall in a kitchen or bathroom!

This rustic green and gold pattern has an ancient Italian feel... It would be great in a library or study with lots of dark wood and books.

Isn't this pattern every little girl's dream?  I know that when I was little, I wanted everything in my room to be pink... This satisfies the requests of every little girl without turning her room into a cotton candy nightmare! 

Not only can damasks come in a variety of patterns and textures, but they can also be integrated into a room through many different elements.

For just a taste of this amazing accent, incorporate a few throw pillows in a rich damask, and mix in some others in more subtle patterns and solids to add interest and contrast to your design scheme.

For more of an impact, damask curtains in a fun color can become the focal point of a room.  The use of solid furniture and minimal pattern elsewhere in this room really draws the viewer's attention to the windows.

{Note:  I love the orange and turquoise color scheme with the white deco accents-- so Miami Beach!}

Damask fabric on a headboard can really make a statement in a bedroom.  I love how they mixed in the blue and yellow damask pillows to add more color while maintaining a monochromatic pattern concept.

These damask chairs really up the style in this dine-in kitchen area from farmhouse geek to très chic!  The room would be a little bland in their absence- they completely change the feel of the room without straying from the neutral color scheme.

This chair is one of my favorites-- I love the silver wood accents with the red and white damask, and the shape is amazing.  I think it would look amazing in a colorful room with golden yellows and turquoises, or as the sole accent color in a neutral color scheme of grays, blacks and whites.

Some damasks can introduce new concepts into a room's design.  In the case of this chair, the fun deer print with foliage and bird accenting adds an element of nature to a room in a whimsical way.

Last but not least, damask wallpaper... a bold statement, but one that can certainly create a unique effect in a room.  One thing that I love about damask is that it is a classic style, used for centuries, but there are lots of modern versions that make it a current must-have.

Some of my favorite rooms with damask wallpaper... (cue the montage)...

A baby nursery that can be easily converted into a room for a little lady (and how amazing is that pattern?).

A subtle pattern in a masculine black and cream color scheme that looks great with the tailored deco armchair.

Just because a room has a damask wallpaper doesn't mean it has to be deco or modern... when paired with a simple four poster canopy bed and solid pastel bed linens, this subtle grey and cream damask gives this bedroom a cottagey influence. 

By using a metallic and teal damask wallpaper with gilt and mirrored tables and an upholstered balloon-back chair, this room has an air of elegance to it.

Last but not least, the traditional black and white damask.  I love how damask can make any room look more polished and elegant-- even a room with cotton covered couches and a traditional wood mantel.  

So, as you can see, damask is truly a fabulously feasible option for any room.  I hope this has inspired you to update your house with an element of damask (be it pillows or wallpaper) to truly make it your home.

God Bless,