Monday, August 29, 2011

Decorating A Sunroom With Purple

They say that purple is the color of royalty, and I can see why. It exudes richness, luxury and formality. Purple hasn't really been one of my favorite colors, so I always steered clear of it in interior design (unless it is specifically requested). Often seen in little girls' rooms or on heavy velvet fabrics in a formal home, it just wasn't my "go to" color.

These days purple has become a hot trend in fashion and interior design. The beautiful color purple and its many variations can now be seen in some of the most beautiful fabrics from the heavy weight fabric houses in the industry. Now you can find contemporary geometrics, playful florals, luxurious silks and casual patterns. Duralee is one such company that never ceases to amaze me with their beautiful fabrics.

For today's virtual room, I will be doing a sunroom with purple being the color theme.
Sunrooms are all about lounging and relaxing  in a light, bright, airy atmosphere with tons of sulight streaming in. Again, purple tends to be a formal color, so my challenge will be to keep this room casual but sophisticated, so that it will live up to its role. Sunrooms often have plenty of windows and can sometimes be a solarium with walls and ceiling made from glass. If there are any walls to speak of in your sunroom, it is safe to introduce a darker color without having to worry about the room feeling closed in. For our virtual sunroom, we'll do just that.

Our walls will be done in this dark purple grasscloth from Wallpapers To Go. The color, of course is perfect to tie our color scheme together, while the texture of the grasscloth wallpaper adds interest, and give the feeling of being in an island getaway. Since we have plenty of windows to bring in natural light, this wallpaper will not be too dark.

We'll jump right into our window treatments. Every window needs two layers of window treatments - one layer for privacy and the second for style and aesthetics. Usually in sunrooms, privacy is not a big factor. Most people usually want to keep their windows free of obstructions to maximize natural light and their views to the outdoors. With so many choices available today in window treatments today, we don't have to compromise - we can get he best of both worlds. We will be using Solar Roman Shades from Smith and Noble done in an off-white color. Roman styling means the shades stack in softly tailored folds when opened and almost out of view, and lie flat when lowered. Specially woven fabrics let you see out clearly while reducing glare and filtering out up to 97% of UV rays. Perfect for sunrooms.

Next we'll add a second layer by way of non-functional drapery panels. Non-functional means they are not meant to provide privacy, but are meant to frame the windows, overlapping them just a few inches. This will allow a clear unobstructed view out the windows. We will be doing the drapery panels in this beautiful patterned linen fabric from Kast Fabrics called Morocco Berry. We will line the fabric with blackout or solar lining to help prevent fading from strong UV rays. We will do soft cartridge pleats for the panels.

Next we'll bring in the our seating. This wood framed sofa from Lexington Home brands is both casual and sophisticated. It has a tiny hint of the Moroccan lattice work on the sides, which relates very well to the drapery

We will keep the sofa body fabric the same white fabric as shown, but will add a contrasting piping on the edges with this solid purple fabric. We will add tons of pillows in the various fabrics shown below.

Here are the pillow fabrics:

Next we'll introduce a pair of accent chairs. These beautiful chairs from Hickory Chairs are great looking and comfortable - perfect for a sunroom. We'll reupholster these chairs in this gorgeous medallion fabric from Vervain. 

A small bench is a great piece to bring in to round out the seating area. We'll reupholster this bench in a dark solid purple fabric with the stripe fabric as the bolster pillows.

Next we'll introduce the occasional tables in the room
We'll keep the cocktail table and one small end table between the chairs very simple and then add these moroccan influenced end tables to spice things up.

We'll also add a bookcase to the room. This will add some height and storage in the room. The open shelving helps to keep things nice and airy. We kept the lines simple to avoid visual clutter.

Now for our area rug. This hand woven wool rug from Safavieh is neutral against all the colors of the room, but a strong enough statement to ground the seating area.

 Now for some lighting and accessories. We will need a few accessories to fill the bookcase without creating clutter.


 So there you have it, a sunroom done with purple as the main color. I have gotten over my phobia of designing with purple! :-). Purple is a wonderful color, and when correctly used, can have beautiful results. I will be pitching purple at my next design consultation! I hope after reading this and seeing all the beautiful fun finds, you are inspired to create and decorate the home of your dreams.

Here are my top three fun finds of the week:

This is the Nexus swivel chair from Wisteria. Such a fun whimsical piece for a living room.

Of course we've seen this chair before, such a dramatic piece!

Here's another fun piece from Wisteria. This great side table.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A "Soccer Locker" Boy's Bedroom

I'm sure most of my friends love HGTV's Design Star as much as I do. Well, it's more of a love/hate relationship with me. I love that it is an opportunity for the design contestants to show off their creativity and talents while being pushed to the limit. I also love that the whole world gets to watch their ideas come to life in a beautiful way. I hate some things about the show as well.....Well "hate" is a strong word, so I will say I dislike some aspects of the show: The ridiculous timelines in which to do a project and sometimes, the crazy challenges that they have to execute. And of course, my biggest pet peeve is the judges (especially Genevieve) referring to an element or vignette within the room as a "moment". With that said, I literally can't wait for Mondays to get my fix of Design Star.

One of the finalists that I am really rooting for is Kellie (minus the waterworks every week). I can tell that she is truly talented - although she has had a few mis-steps. Case in point: The last challenge was designing a soccer locker bedroom for a young boy, who was about 4 or 5 years old. He asked for a bunk bed and lockers in his room. Being the mother of a 9 year old boy, (and I believe Kellie has a young son as well), I know that that request should be taken literally. Instead, she decided to reinterpret what the young man was aking for, and came up with her own concept of a soccer locker.....Big Mistake!

This was the finished room. Not horrible, but could have been so much better.

I decided to make today's virtual bedroom a Soccer Locker using my son as the inspiration. He likes soccer (maybe not as much as his XBox 360). Most of the soccer elements we'll introduce are not the big ticket items like the furniture. When he grows out of the soccer phase (which he will sooner than you can say GOAL!!!), this room can easily transition to a different theme or no theme.

We'll start with the bunk bed. Yes, when a kid says bunk bed, they mean it. As one of the judges told Kellie "It's not up to you to decide what the client wants. It's up to you to make what they want work".
A bunk bed can work in a small room, it just requires a bit more thought with the color palette and the scale of the other pieces in the room. It is actually great in a small room to go vertical, and leave floor space for play time. this bed will work great along the longest wall and still have space for a homework area at the foot of the bed.

I decided to make the bunkbed a feature of the room and do it in a rich red. The simple lines of the bed keep it from taking up space visually. This bed is from Young America Furniture.

Next we'll introduce the bedding. We'll use this red and blue duvet and shams with the white patterned sheet set shown below. The yellow fabric will be made into a couple of pillows to add some contrast.

 For the windows we will do grommeted panels in a  solid dark blue coordinating fabric, and use the yellow fabric above to run a 2" strip along the leading edge of each panel

Next we'll focus on the walls in the room. Always keep in mind that kids rooms should inspire fun and creativity. We will paint a section of one wall in a magnetic chalk board paint and frame it with white moldings. It is a great place to write, draw and create. Because the paint is also magnetic, it will be a great area to display artwork. here's an example of a chalk board painted wall

The rest of the room will be painted white and possibly add some Fat Head posters of sports figures to the walls.

Next we'll add a homework area to the room. This is very necessary to encourage kids to get their homework done. We'll add a desk and chair. I chose a desk from Young America and chair from West Elm in pure white.

We can also add a cork bulletin board above the desk to display art. This is a great way to encourage kids to create works of art.

We'll also bring in a dresser for storage of clothes.

We'll also add some storage lockers to the room. This could be used near the lounging area and is a great place to store sports gear. We'll add just a couple lockers instead of the whole unit, to prevent the room from becoming too crowded. Here's also a great place for the television if there will be one in the room. the lockers will be painted a navy blue.

On to the most important area of the room, the video game and TV watching area. Even if there won't be a TV in a kids bedroom, having an area to lounge and relax is still a great use of space. We'll add a couple of rugs to ground the lounge area. This stripe rug from Pottery Barn Kids makes a bold statement. We'll layer a small soccer ball rug on top to add some visual appeal

We'll add these loungers from Pottery Barn Kids and maybe a yellow bean bag chair

There really isn't a need for more accessories in the room. We'll frame and diaplay some of the child's art or work on a fun project like using faux grass mounted on a board as art. Maybe in a checkerboard or solid pattern. This is a project that can be done with the child and will definitely be a conversation piece, plus it is appropriate for a soccer themed room.

As a designer, I try to discourage my clients from making a room too "themey", but in a child's room it is perfectly ok to decorate using a theme. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that kids minds change quite frequently, so keep it simple. Keep the more expensive, permanent pieces in the room simple and go crazy with accessories.

So there you have it, the room that Kellie should have done.

Hope you are inspired to create and decorate the home of your dreams.

My Top Three (maybe more) Fun Finds Of The Week Are:

These beautiful lamps are from Best and Lloyd, a company founded in Birmingham, England in 1840. They have produced fixtures for the royal family. They closed their doors in the U.S. during the depression, and after a 80 year hiatus they are back and still known for their quality craftsmanship. Here are a few table lamps and pendant.