Blue, Turquoise and White Ombre Effect Wall

Colors, House Tours

I was leafing through a home dec magazine looking for something else, when this wall with an ombre mural in blue, turquoise and white caught my eye. It’s from the home of designer Petri Hiltula in Finland.

Avotakka 04 2015 Ombre Bedroom Wall1

Sameli Rantanen / Avotakka magazine, April 2015.

Featured in the Avotakka magazine (April 2015), the wall was designed by Susanna Sivonen. The name of the design is Origami kasvoi taivaalle (‘an origami grew into the sky’). The mural replaces the headboard in the bedroom.

Avotakka 04 2015 Ombre Bedroom Wall2

Sameli Rantanen / Avotakka magazine, April 2015.

Gorgeous. At places the effect almost looks cloud-like due to the shapes in the paint treatment. The wall looks especially good in contrast to the plain white bedding, the original, exposed square log wall and wide plank floors. I think the extra-wide floor moulding is unusual these days, too, which contributes to the charm. Kudos!

I love the sense of blue sky the mural creates; it’s especially nice at the end of winter. I’m hoping spring will come early this year!

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Arranging Books by Color in a Meditation Room

Books & Mags, Colors, Design & Designers

Arranging books by color is an old trick by now, but one that continues to look great. Here is just one of the latest examples I’ve found:

DSponge Anne Sage Covenant House LA Bookcase

Anne Sage / Covenant House; via Design*Sponge.

This bookcase is a part of a previously unused space at Covenant House in Los Angeles, a non-profit youth homeless shelter, that designer Anne Sage helped transform into a quiet, calm room. And she definitely delivered – just look at a wider view of the same corner:

DSponge Anne Sage Covenant House LA Sectional

Anne Sage / Covenant House; via Design*Sponge.

I especially love the blue on the sectional and round ottomans – so restful. And the rainbow stripe on the bookcase keeps the otherwise mostly white corner from disappearing entirely.

Found via Design*Sponge; visit the article for more, including before and after photos.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Discoveries: Kitchen with Moroccan-Inspired Elements

Design & Designers, Room of Awesome

It’s two weeks till Thanksgiving here in the U.S., and I’m thinking kitchen thoughts. Not food, but the kitchen as a space, for I still have a few adjustments to make in our kitchen.

While browsing for ideas, I came across a kitchen with Moroccan-inspired elements:

DesignSponge Meg Van Lith Kitchen

Meg Van Lith, via Design*Sponge.

It’s from the home of Meg and Doug Van Lith and family in Phoenix, AZ.

I love wood and plants, and although the wood tones here are darker than what I prefer, the result creates such an inviting kitchen. Although ceiling-height tile backsplashes can feel cold and clinical, that’s not the case this time; the warm tones in the rest of the space counteract the backsplash. Also, the tile pattern carefully coordinates with the lighting over the island, and the open shelving and plants soften the strict black and white color scheme. Clearly Meg knows what she’s doing. It would be a pleasure to live in that house!

Also, I LOVE that they’re using their dining table for other everyday activities too, such as puzzle building. For me, a home isn’t a home if it’s too precious.

Visit the Design*Sponge article for more photos of the gorgeous Van Lith home.

Alas, as beautiful as this kitchen is, it doesn’t solve my current problem. Oh well, what a delightful excuse to browse more! 🙂

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Subtle Steampunk Sanctuary

House Tours, Inspiration

These two photos of a loft apartment stopped me on my tracks:

SGM Photography Industrial Loft1

Scott Gabriel Morris.

SGM Photography Industrial Loft2

Scott Gabriel Morris.

The industrial elements – metal, rivets, exposed pipes and brick – plus the patina of the wood and corrugated metal, combined with chunky leather sofas and a few large plants, deliver a certain old-world sentimentality. The result contains a subtle hint of steampunk while retaining modern comforts. Beautifully done! From the residential interiors photo collection by Scott Gabriel Morris at SGM Photography; found via Desire to Inspire.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Close Quarters: Minuscule in Manhattan

House Tours

Jourdan Lawlor and Tobin Ludwig created a home in a teeny, tiny Manhattan apartment. It’s only an incredible 242 square feet or approx. 22.50 square meters. You can tell that the apartment is a small one from the photos. Every basic home function has a place, however, and that makes all the difference.

The living room sofa hides a Murphy bed:

Lawlor Ludwig Manhattan Home 4-23

Max Touhey via Curbed NY / Yahoo Homes.

Lawlor Ludwig Manhattan Home 5-23

Max Touhey via Curbed NY / Yahoo Homes.

The sofa / Murphy bed sits right next to the apartment door:

Lawlor Ludwig Manhattan Home 6-23

Max Touhey via Curbed NY / Yahoo Homes.

Past the sofa / bed, there is a fold-away dining area:

Lawlor Ludwig Manhattan Home 13-23

Max Touhey via Curbed NY / Yahoo Homes.

With the sofa / bed and the apartment door to the left, a look towards the surprisingly large (for the space) kitchen. Note the shelf with a sliver of a counter space along the wall in the right corner:

Lawlor Ludwig Manhattan Home 15-23

Max Touhey via Curbed NY / Yahoo Homes.

All images by Max Touhey via Curbed NY / Yahoo Homes. Found via Yahoo Homes.

How about that! The arrangement is one of the best I’ve seen. I also love the fireplace-as-storage-nook. Kudos for making such a small space work so well.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Geeky Room Re-Do: Maester Pycelle’s Entryway

Geek out!, Moodboards, Movies & TV, Stunt Double

While I may have some qualms about the adaptation of The Song of Ice and Fire cycle for the screen, there’s no doubt that the production values are amazing. I am in awe of the costuming, lighting and set decorating departments especially. They do such gorgeous work!

Since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, here’s a room re-do from season 1 of Game of Thrones: the entryway into Maester Pycelle’s room in King’s Landing.

GoT Maester Pycelle Entry Seas1 Ep10

Game of Thrones, Season 1, episode 10. HBO.

This corner of the room is seen in episode 10, and it’s where Maester Pycelle dons his official-old-dude posture. In the screencap above, the door is at the left, behind Pycelle’s back. There’s a wooden char in the lower right-hand corner and a mirror on the wall. The shelves are filled with small chests or boxes, jars, some candles, herbs in vases and other doodads.

Finding a chair similar enough was a challenge, just like the furniture in my Eddard Stark office re-do. You might find a replica by searching for x-frame (or x-form) chair, Dante chair, Savonarola chair or scissors chair. It’s much easier to find modern bookcases resembling Pycelle’s shelves, though, and I found an exact match for the mirror. Chests, wooden boxes, old bottles and vases are probably easiest to find in thrift and antique stores, but I’ve listed some online options below.

GoT Pycelle Entryway Re-do Collage

  1. The Edge Mirror, Kirkland’s, $140. Exact match!
  2. An ‘X’ Frame Moorish style chair from Spain, 19th Century, Bonhams
  3. Verona six-shelf bookcase, Cost Plus World Market, $175
  4. Antique Style Wooden Small Trunk, Wayfair, $34
  5. Pirate Treasure Chest, Wayfair, $50
  6. Vintage Polish Hand Carved Box, Ebay, $18
  7. Vintage handcarved wooden box, DragonflysVault on Etsy, $9
  8. Wood Fired Bottle, MBrownCeramics on Etsy, $25
  9. Wall paint: Behr Premium Plus Ultra Cathedral. There are also several other muted teals you could pick from.
  10. Antique Bottle With Handle, WeeLilGlassie on Etsy, $13 for two
  11. Venetian Rib Candle, Target Australia, $5
  12. Vintage Pilgrim Crackle Glass Vase, JaysRoom on Etsy, $18
  13. Light Green Vintage Glass Bottle, willandbequeath on Etsy, approx. $17

(Herb image: Stylish Spoon.)

Anything you’d add or remove?

Close Quarters: Medieval House in Modern Belgium

Colors, House Tours

Rooigem is a Belgian interior decoration and antiques company headed by Jean-Philippe Demeyer. Rooigem House was built in the Early Middle Ages as a moated courtyard house just outside Bruges. After being restored, it’s now both a home and place of business for Mr. Demeyer.

There is an abundance of incredible spaces. While the past is unquestionably there, it’s not overwhelming. Neither is the present, which asserts itself in the strong colors and bold motifs.

Tudor front door:

Rooigem tudorpoort

Tudor door. Jean-Philippe Demeyer.

Entrance porch:

Rooigem entrance porch

Jean-Philippe Demeyer.

The north room:

Rooigem Chinese room

Jean-Philippe Demeyer.

The orangerie:

Rooigem orangerie

Jean-Philippe Demeyer.

The hall:

Rooigem The_hall

Jean-Philippe Demeyer.

What makes these rooms stand out is the care with which Mr. Demeyer fills – or, strictly speaking, doesn’t fill – the areas: there is a pleasing amount of unclaimed space, rather like an art gallery. Additional oomph comes from the consistent use of massive historical and modern furnishings, fearless combination of old and new and, of course, the colors.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Geeky Room Re-do: Eddard Stark’s Office in King’s Landing

Geek out!, Moodboards, Movies & TV, Stunt Double

I’m excited that season 3 of the Game of Thrones is available on disc now! To celebrate, here’s a room re-do from season 1: the room in King’s Landing that Eddard Stark used as his office when he was King’s Hand.

Like all the GoT sets, the space is gorgeous. Unfortunately, the room doesn’t get much screen time, but some clear details emerge. The walls are mostly bare stucco (or the like) in a muted yellowish tone. There are no rugs, drapes or curtains. The doorway to the balcony is bare like the windows, and large planters with greenery are seen through the opening. Apart from the windows, light comes from candles on a multitude of metal candlesticks.

The furniture is ornate and made of golden brown or dark wood. A desk with inlay decoration around the edges and on its legs sits in front of the windows. Compared to the elaborate chair inlays, however, the desk is staid. There are papers, supplies and knick knacks on the desk. There are also two other chairs that don’t feature prominently: a visitor’s chair in front of the desk with what looks like turned, Renaissance-style wooden legs and a wooden arm chair to the side of the room.

The details of the back of Eddard’s chair, the edge of the desk and the floor candelabra can be briefly seen in episode 6…

Game of Thrones, Season 1, episode 6. HBO.

Game of Thrones, Season 1, episode 6. HBO.

…while a wider view of the room, including the desk and a small glimpse of the chair legs, is visible in episode 7:

GoT Kings Hand Office Seas1 Ep7

Game of Thrones, Season 1, episode 7. HBO.

The main problem with a re-do of Eddard’s office is furniture styles. Comparable pieces found today are almost exclusively antiques, which are not only hard to come by but expensive. My re-do is therefore approximate and includes some DIY elements.

GoT ES Kings Hand Room Re-do Collage

  1. An Indian-style mother-of-pearl inlay wood chair, via Bonhams, $300-$500. An almost exact match to Eddard’s chair!
  2. Table accents: small wood chest, BrightwoodLane on Etsy, $18; antique toy – primitive horse with rider, YourHeart on Etsy, $38; vintage 4-arm Baldwin Brass candelabra, LampAndLightingDecor on Etsy, $95. You could add pretty much as many candlesticks as you’d like.
  3. Wall paint: Behr Premium Plus Ultra Beacon Yellow. There are also several other muted pale yellows that would work quite well.
  4. Table with DIY-stenciled Indian-style inlay decorations around the edge and down the legs: Bishop double extension dining table, World Market, $700; Indian inlay furniture stencil kit by Kim Myles, Cutting Edge Stencils, $35. Large bone inlay desks are hard to find, and if you do find one, they tend to be expensive antiques. Painting small decorations on a modern dining table is a cheap alternative.
  5. A 13-light tree floor candelabra, Koch Originals, $300
  6. Planter with lavender: Marchioro 15.75-inch terracotta planter pot, Home Depot, $25; 10 Lavender Lady seedlings, Garden Harvest Supply, $5 each. Those with a green thumb could easily plant their own lavender.
  7. Large pot with black & white DIY chevron pattern: white 17-inch fiberglass planter, Fiberglass depot via Amazon, $75; black Rustoleum plastic spray paint, Home Depot, $25; thin chevron stencil, TheStencilCloset on Etsy, $23
  8. A smattering of candles everywhere!


How did I do? 🙂

Serving Suggestion: Green, Lime Green and Yellow

Colors, Moodboards

Mood boards are wonderful tools for collecting inspiration or seeing what an item might look like in a room. For this green, lime green and yellow decorative pillow cover

Throw pillow cover

Pillow Cover in Green, Lime Green and Yellow. Playfullygrownuphome on Etsy.

…I imagined a bedroom with a vibrant accent wall and luscious, chocolate-colored bamboo floor with a sheepskin rug:

Serving Suggestion

Serving Suggestion for a Decorative Pillow Cover.

The accent wall is painted with concentric rectangles, separated with white lines, and a white-framed rectangular mirror rests in the center above the bed. White modern furniture is softened by the bedding, pillows and curtains in yellow and green tones. It’s a grownup version of this boy’s room, if you like:

Contemporary boy's room

Brandon Barre Photography.

Brandon Barre Photography; via

Below is a full source list for my mood board:

For those preferring a little less color, I created a calmer room with just the green on the accent wall:

Serving Suggestion

Serving Suggestion for a Decorative Pillow Cover.

And the source list:

Floor: Morning Star Click Tongling Bamboo at Lumber Liquidators

I’d be happier with the simpler room. Which one would you prefer?

Happy Halloween!

Colors, Inspiration, Thumbs Up

For Halloween, here are a few arresting, interesting, stunning dark spaces. Halloween decor easily gets tacky, but these tricks / spaces have wider appeal. Enjoy!

Nina had an understated but elegant idea for a table:


Nina at Stylizimo.

Found via Husligheter. (Oh good grief, my brain just went there – “Nana nana nana nana bat fork!” 😀 )

A detail on a desk clad for the fall by Therese:

Desk detail

Therese at Eye on Details.

Black & white & wood in a kitchen:

Sawyer Berson Kitchen WestVillageApt

Architects at Sawyer | Berson.

From an apartment designed by architects at Sawyer | Berson. If I were a fan of dark wood, this would be the tone. 🙂

Open kitchen shelving:

Residence Henrik and Lotta Imberg Furillen

Photo Pia Ulin, styling Cilla Ramnek; Residence 6/2013.

From the home of architects Henrik and Lotta Imberg. Again, via Husligheter.

Who says a dining room hutch can’t hold shoes?

DSponge Jessie Artigue Gerard Brown

Photo by Sara Kerens Photography; design*sponge.

From the home of Jessie Artigue and Gerard Brown. Because when your clothing is awesome, why hide it? Featured at design*sponge (with so many more intriguing photos than this!).

Happy Halloween!

P.S. Three additional links: Nicole Balch (from Making it Lovely) created a fantastic feature on dark walls for Babble. There’s also a great collection of photos of a converted public library and a set of interiors with black & gold at Desire to Inspire. Check them out!

P.P.S. Two additional spaces at my Playfully Grownup Tumblr. This is my official self-promotional moment for the day. 🙂