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Fall Flower Pumpkins

fall flower pumpkins by Alix Astir, of Trellis Fine Florals - atticmag

A trio of brightly colored flower pumpkins make a vibrant centerpiece for fall holidays.

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

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Contemporary Ranch Kitchens

contemporary ranch kitchen - yellow and gray barn ceiling ranch house kitchen - onsitemanagement via atticmag

Those of us who live east of the Mississippi don’t see many contemporary ranch kitchens these days.

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

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Architectural Museum Garden

architectural museum garden - walkway approach to Robert Irwin designed garden at DIA Foundation, Beacon, NY - atticmag

Views of an architectural museum garden designed by a 20th century contemporary artist.

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

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Attic Guest Rooms

attic guest room - blue and white floral pattern on upholstered walls in an English manor house - traditional home via atticmag

Pattern can be key to creating a charming attic guest rooms in old or new houses.

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

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Shocking Pink Rooms

shocking pink rooms - shocking pink antique Chinese handpainted wallpaper - antique-wallpaper.com via atticmag

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

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Dressing Up Kids Room Decor

kids room decor - stenciled under bed storage bins - hgtv via atticmag

Here are eight kids room decor ideas –three with accessible DIY projects and handy tutorials.

Our granddaughter, Zoe turned six this week and it’s been a delight to hear details of her school party (brownies with oreos baked in), the hilarious menu for her sleep over (Indian food and pizza), and the various gifts she received (a waterproof shower radio and talking alarm clock in addition to a matching sweater for her favorite baby, Giraffy.) So its no surprise my attention turned to rooms for children and fun things to put in them. “Fun things” are, of course, a matter of taste and judgment.… Continue Reading

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