Interior Design

My Favorite Spark

Decorative Tile

Ever since I returned from my trip to Portugal, I have been obsessed with decorative tile.  There are so many amazing options that range in budget – prices run from $3 to $10 per square foot.  They can be used in a big way – like an entire floor or for smaller areas like a back-splash or a portion of a back-splash to make a statement.  They can also be used to highlight a single wall or create a small floor pattern.  If you live in a humid area, then tile is a great mildew resistent option, which is another reason that it is  perfect for high moisture areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.

Below are centuries old tiles that I photographed during my trip to Portugal:

tile_portugal

For inspiration, here are some samples of decorative tile patterns from http://www.ziatile.com:

decorative_tile

From left to right:

Geometric: Cordoba, Jacinto, Sevilla

Traditional: Saigon, Churchill, Toledo

Modern: Orbital, Nova, Volta

 

Interior Design

My Latest Spark

Anthropologie Unearths a New Line of Home Decor

Anthropologie has long been known for its eclectic line of ready-to-wear women’s apparel that combines vintage design with modern elements.  I have been a devoted fan ever since I first stepped into their Rittenhouse Square location in Philadelphia.  The building itself is a marvel with a history of its own. According to the Preservation Alliance, it was built right before the turn of the 20th century by Sarah Drexel Fell. She lived in the mansion, along with her husband Alexander Van Rensselaer, for about three decades. After they passed, the building was used by the Pennsylvania Athletic Club rowing association, and for the last few decades it has housed Urban Outfitters and then Anthropologie. The building was designed by Peabody and Sterns in the Beaux Arts style, and is still awe-inspiring after 120 years.

anthropologie_rittenhouse

The combination of the merchandise and the beautiful architecture of this building made shopping here feel like a trip to wonderland.  Needless to say, I am very excited about their greatly expanded furniture line.  The have always carried home décor and furnishings, but the assortment featured signature pieces versus a full line.  I love the hand craftsmanship, and the global and historical influences.  Here are a few of my favorite pieces along with some background as to their origins:

suzani_bed.png

Suzani Four Poster Bed

I would feel like a princess sleeping in this bed.  Four poster beds date back to the 14th century where they were a symbol of wealth and taste.

jimena_chairs.png

Jimena Terai Folding Chair

I love the exotic and well-traveled feel of this Peacock print.  While Peacocks and their beautiful feathers have been a current design trend, they date back to ancient times. The Peacock motif has played an important role in defining cultures across several countries like India, Far East Asia, Ancient Persia, Greece and Rome.

targua_table.png

Targua Optical Inlay Side Table

Ancient Egyptian craftsmen utilized inlaid bone to decorate furniture.  The technique contains a natural luster that brings about an instant luxury to any room.

buffalo_chair.png

Buffalo Check Elowen Armchair

A true modern update to the check or plaid that originated at the Woolrich Woolen Mills in the late 1800s.  I love the black and white take on what is traditionally black and red.

Share some of your favorite picks from this new Fall collection.  For more information go to www.anthropologie.com.

 

Interior Design

Trends from the Nest

The 5th Wall

This is not a science fiction movie… it is, actually, the ceiling.  How you treat the ceiling can make a big difference on how the room is perceived.  If you have a low ceiling that you want to make appear higher, then paint it a lighter color than the walls.  The lighter the ceiling color, the more “airy” the room will look.  If you have a high ceiling and you want the room to look cozier, then paint it a darker color than the walls or add something structural like beams.  These are the basics as it relates to the treatment of ceilings.  That said, designers are looking beyond pure perspective and treating the ceiling with the same respect as the walls.  This effect is called a “statement ceiling” and includes a number of options such as:

  • Bold Paint (eclectic or modern)
  • Wood (rustic or modern depending on the wood, adds warmth)
  • Shiplap (farmhouse)
  • Coffered (traditional, sophisticated, adds depth to the room)
  • Beams (rustic)
  • Wallpaper (eclectic or modern)
  • Metal (industrial)
  • Black or Navy Blue (adds drama)

Take a look at these examples and tell us your ideas for your statement ceiling.

ceiling

Images courtesy of shelterness.com, trialandstyle.com, homedit.com, New England Home, thespruce.com, atticmag.com, apartmenttherapy.com