Embellished Walls

embellished walls - decorative contemporary wallpaper panel frieze - House & Garden via Atticmag

If all over decoration on embellished walls feels like too much, consider the idea of a frieze.

The frieze is a really old idea — as old as the Parthenon, the original source. Today it can be used on embellished walls as a band of pattern that creates a deep border for the top of a wall just below the ceiling. If a room has crown molding, the frieze sits just below that. It’s a stunning effect in the right room and one that can visually raise the height of the ceiling.

While the idea of a frieze could be considered historical or architectural – which, technically, it is – it can be combined with paint.… Continue Reading

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Three Belgian Kitchens

belgian kitchens - white kitchen with antique Swedish dining table, upholstered armchair, fireplace and Aga cooker- Joris van Apers via Atticmag

Belgian kitchens have been highly influential because they present a beautiful lifestyle aesthetic.

I’m very late to the Belgian kitchens party. Over the past six or seven years they have been shown, explained, copied and widely admired. Classic Belgian kitchens — like these by designer Joris Van Apers — led the way towards the so-called “social kitchen,” which includes a dining room table and even upholstered furniture. Additionally, Belgian kitchens tend to have high ceilings, stucco walls, built in storage cupboards, stone or vintage flooring, and sometimes even a fireplace. For Americans, they represent “old world” looks and grace.

Joris Van Apers’ kitchens are especially refined and individual, a little rustic and exceptionally beautiful.… Continue Reading

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Single Pattern Rooms

single pattern rooms - London bedroom done in mattress ticking fabric - Mlinaric, Henry and Zervudachi via Atticmag

A French invention of the 18th century, single pattern rooms use one fabric to cover the walls, furniture and draperies.

Back in the early days of domestic interior design the fashion was for everything to match.  Single pattern rooms had a very intense look. Today, rooms decorated in this style are viewed as hyper traditional — even archival. Fabric-covered walls can be wildly expensive when the required yardage is added up and the look isn’t a DIY favorite. That’s no surprise since upholstering walls perfectly — so the pattern isn’t thrown off — takes special skills.

The iconic fabrics for this single pattern rooms are mattress ticking stripes and checks.… Continue Reading

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One Stunning Garden Bench

garden bench - Lutyens Thakeham teak bench - Kinglsey Bates via Atticmag

Large or small, modern or antique, a stunning garden bench enhances even the most beautiful outdoor space.

How wonderful it is to sit on a garden bench and enjoy being surrounded by the natural vegetation and blooms. Even the fabulous Scampston Hall Walled Garden in northern England was designed with special garden seating. A landscape architect knows which furniture is needed for a garden but, for the rest of us,  finding the right garden bench is akin to shopping for a living room sofa. Size, color, style and the overall look of a bench needs to align with the garden’s mood.… Continue Reading

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Statement Making Powder Room Sinks

powder room sinks - bowl shaped stone vessel sink on a rustic wood slab - Cico Books via Atticmag

Powder room sinks with unique personalities help set the styles for guest baths — from modern to traditional.

Here’s the thing about powder room sinks: the focus is often on the style of the vanity instead of the basin. But for me, the sink’s the thing. That’s why I especially favor statement-making sinks in powder rooms. A fabulous lavabo can be mounted on top of a conventional vanity, or on the wall, on a piece of furniture, or even on top of a plank and still make the point. The more original and memorable the sink, the more successful the look.… Continue Reading

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Honeycomb Tile Kitchen

Ann Sacks Nottingham honeycomb tile backsplash in a neutral kitchen by Beth Webb - via Atticmag

As a backsplash to set the tone for a neutral kitchen there’s nothing like dimensional honeycomb tile.

When an internet mogul built a vacation home in Costa Rica, Atlanta designer Beth Webb was hired to create the décor. Channeling the dark, rustic Latin look of homes in Central America, and mixing it up with the needs of second home for upscale clients, the result was classic, elegant and yet slightly exotic blend of whites, creams and taupes. In the kitchen [top] that meant a neutral scheme, one of subtle richness based on Ann Sacks’ dimensional Nottingham honeycomb tile in Veil. A honeycomb pattern is small scale, easy on the eyes and yet visually distinctive.… Continue Reading

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Independence Day Holiday

Fireclay tile in red, white and blue American independence colors - Fireclay via Atticmag

Taking the weekend off to celebrate the 4th of July.

With best wishes to all for freedom and independence around the world. And with thanks to California-made Fireclay Tile for providing a great Independence Day collage that celebrates the red, white and blue of the American flag.… Continue Reading

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