The holiday decorating season officially kicks off at the end of the month and this year a delightful photo of fall flower pumpkins crossed my desk. The work of floral designer Alix Astir, of Trellis Fine Florals, in New York City, the photo [top] showed a trio of faux pumpkins made entirely of different colored mums. Chrysanthemums are on every doorstep this year and their bright hues accent the autumn leaves that have been falling for the past few weeks. I saw this as my chance to bring them indoors — especially since the designer was generous enough to send me a step-by-step tutorial for making them.… Continue Reading
I adore the tongue-cheek style of the log cabin kitchen in the Designer Log Cabin. And I’m a huge fan of Weathered Wood Kitchen Islands. So was quite taken by the full-on wood looks of these contemporary ranch kitchens in upscale Wyoming and Montana ranch houses. Well equipped, but casual, they fit the definition of rustic in very special ways. Best of all, there isn’t a white cabinet in the bunch!
I have a special affection for light wood and yellow kitchens.… Continue Reading
My passion for gardens was ignited last week with a visit to the DIA Art Foundation. A boutique modern art museum in New York’s Hudson Valley, DIA Beacon opened in 2003 in a 300,000 square foot former Nabisco box printing factory overlooking the Hudson River. An architectural museum garden is relatively rare — especially one designed by an artist whose work is featured in that museum. But the commission went to Robert Irwin, a Los Angeles artist who I happened to know during my time as an art student at UCLA, my alma mater.… Continue Reading
Full-story attics, in old houses, often housed storage rooms or servants’ quarters where slanting ceilings and small windows weren’t considerations. Those bedrooms were principally occupied at night. Over the last fifty years, many top-floor spaces have been modernized and converted into usable room of various types. Chief among these, I’m finding, are attic guest rooms where architectural quirks are often diminished or neutralized by introducing pattern on the walls. Most often, pattern is provided by wallpaper but fabric also can be backed in various ways and applied to walls and ceilings with the same effect.… Continue Reading
Hot or shocking pink is one of those colors that’s been more associated with fashion than home decor.
A high voltage, sometimes neon hue in the blue-red family, hot pink became shocking after fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli called her signature perfume “Shocking” in 1936 and marketed it as a signature color.
Of course, hot pink has been in the Indian palette for eons and it appears on building exteriors there, as well as other tropical countries. Shocking pink rooms are a different matter. Even for pink lovers it isn’t an especially easy wall color. Children love it so there’s an inclination to promote pink rooms for young girls or reserve it for a “mom cave.” Yet the stunning shocking pink walls in a New York bedroom [above] date back to the early 19th century when China’s Canton school produced hand painted wallpapers.… Continue Reading
Five pre-holiday kitchen cleaning must-dos. Five things that can wait. Plus some of my favorite kitchen cleaning products.
Families can get a little snoopy when they visit relatives especially during the holidays. Someone will open a kitchen drawer or a pantry cabinet and get a little judgmental about what they see. It rarely becomes a big deal but, as we all know, unless someone says “this is the cleanest kitchen I’ve ever seen,” a little offhand remark can sting. All this is on my mind since we’re having two family visits this week. And with Thanksgiving and Christmas in view, early Fall may be the best time to get the holiday kitchen cleaning list done so the house is ready for company quickly.… Continue Reading