Client Project: New York, New York: Mantles that Work

Remember my client, New York, New York???

Did you think I gave up on the project?
I have to confess it might have been easier to level
the entire house instead of piecing together 
the intensive remodel that we have almost pulled off!

Another sneak peek up top at a cool feature-

T vs. NY, NY: The Transitional mantle

Here's the before:

The "After" mantle is drool worthy...

Now that the mantle is in... what do to next?

Here are some pointers to take yours from
"Bare to There":

Mantles -- The "eye catcher" of your home and place 
you can be most creative! Do you ever get stuck and 
not know what to do on this "stunning" location?

Here are a few tips to help out!

1. Add a different shaped mirror centered above the mantle to 
add a different element to a symmetrical room. Add your own “finds” in 
vases on the mantle – kids pick you a pretty flower? Add that to a vase!

2. Frame out an area above your mantle and paint the area inside 
a complementary color to the room! Make this area special by adding
same size frames spaced throughout. I love how this picture shows a 
tall vase with small branches reaching to create height.
 It makes the pictures seem to be in the background, but they add so much!

3. This mantle comes to us from Sweet Something Designs
 She flanks both sides with tall vases that hold a mix of branches and 
 green/white accents. I LOVE the symmetry of this pieces.

I just liked this image ;)

4. Paint! Paint your mantle and the space above the mantle to 
create a focal point of the room. Base the color of the paint on
something from the room, like this space, the grey/blue hue comes 
from the stone surround of the fireplace.

5. Want to be BRAVE?? Well this is an inexpensive alternative to an 
actual piece above the mantle…find a decal that you love and fits your space
They offer these at Target, and lots of online stores!

6. Layering – In this room, the fireplace really contrasts with the rest of the 
 room as it is color-filled and unique. These black and white photos framed 
in a simple white frame and layered on top of each other is a great contrast.

7. This sculptural symmetry is great! As BHG puts it in these next two photos: 
Start with a large object in the center (here, driftwood), then place pairs of 
objects on either side. They don’t have to be identical, just related. 
For example, two different terra-cotta pots still look like they belong together. 
Symmetry doesn’t have to mean stiff —
the organic shapes of branches and seedpods keep this arrangement casual.

8. An asymmetrical arrangement harmonizes objects of different shapes and sizes
 Balance a tall, large object with several smaller ones, but not too small — 
 mantles swallow up dinky accessories. 
A similar color palette gives unrelated objects a theme. 
Shop your house or discount stores for items in the same color family. 
You can’t miss with pitchers, plates, books, and pottery.

9. A homemade mantle. Go outside and grab a few leaves and 
branches to sit in a vase, a few pine cones and an old barn door to 
make a backdrop for this fall mantlescape.

10. Stair step thicker objects and place a surprising thin, tall piece at the end. 
This harmonizes the setting as a whole, but leaves
 the asymmetrical look in place.

11. Minimalistic – There is always something elegant and striking
 about a simplistic design. Don’t be afraid to “not clutter”. 
 This is a good lesson to learn!

12. A great modern fireplace approach! Granted…most of our homes don’t 
look like this, but who’s to say they can’t?! Again, we have layering of
 different sizes and shapes of pictures frames, bringing the largest to the 
front and smaller to the back. But the fireplace design as a whole….
a concealed firebox that doesn’t continue to the floor, 
without a hearth and a simple wood block as a mantle. Great.

13. Different panes – think of the decor on different “panes” as if you 
were walking straight, you would come first to the first pane, then run into the 
2nd and so forth. A great idea for a deep mantle
On the back pane we have a simple repetition of framed images 
which is simplistic enough to set as the “back level”. On the front pane 
use different mediums and materials in the items you choose.

14. Here is a second image to echo what the last image shown. 
Several levels throughout. To add something different, use oversized vases 
to less than overpower the large framed art or mirror behind.


So much more to show you of the showpiece of New York, New York.
Carpet installed tomorrow... whoop, whoop!
We are almost there!
Until Next Time,

How to Refresh Your Space with a Coat of Paint!

We're thinking outside the box here at CI!

I've been busy with several of my custom build jobs and wanted
to share the design direction of one client's home-
we'll call her...

Fond'a Rhonda!
(since I do happen to be very fond of her:)

Here's one of our inspiration photos:

(not sure of source... Traditional Home??)
and another...

Notice that it all starts with a paint color-


Want to give your
space a refresher?

Color is a great little trick that is inexpensive and 
(hopefully) fun to implement. PAINT

Repainting a room can bring a completely different feel to your space
create a more clean appearance and lift the spirits of it's inhabitants!

But what color should you paint your "need a refresher" space?! 
Here are a few ideas, tips and tricks.

Gray is becoming the ultimate neutral because it looks good 
with almost any color.

When you hear 'gray' you think dreary, but this is a wonderful gray 
that has a lot of light in it, especially when paired with white trim.
Plus, it's a color that works well with 
so many other colors.

Soft Blues. A color that pretty much everyone loves and lives with daily. 
It is easy on the eye and easy to live with.

Be Bold. Rich Colors create amazing contrast. It may seem like a 
huge undertaking to select such a dark color, but if you pair it 
with whites, lights and neutrals, it could be a "stunning" effect. 
(This paint color shown below is "Stunning" by Benjamin Moore ;) )


For added interest and immediate art, use your paint 
on your walls as your art
Create thick, horizontal stripes in small areas of your home to WOW 
you every time you walk by. 
No need for that stairwell to be boring!!


Look outdoors... What do you see?? Bring a color that is 
inherently outside your home, to the inside of your home
If you live in a place like THIS, then you have no problem doing that! 
The beautiful teal of the ocean makes for a huge impact in the 
turquoise walls of this home. 

House of Turquoise had a great find. See more of this home HERE.

Create dimension. If you live have a very small area, 
or a wide open area, there are some situations that allow a pop of color 
in contrast with the rest of the walls in the house or room.

 Choose wisely. This pairing below of navy and taupe is an excellent 
choice as the navy blends well with the furnishings and creates a 
dramatic wall to lead you outdoors.

And don't just leave the painting to the walls
Check out Centsational Girl's refinishing post here to grab a 
few ideas to give your FURNITURE 
a refresher!

Just look at your cabinets and envision "gray" for a moment...
think you can take the plunge?

Until Next Time,

Wicked: Sushi Style!

Surrounded by Sushi!

Yes, that is a sushi inspired set of ottomans complete with strips of cucumber
in the middle and a removable seaweed wrap.

  So cute and versatile... and creative to boot.

I ran into this young designer at Vegas Market and it is
quite a concept she has "rolled" out... ha:).

In turn, I was craving sushi which lead me first to 
Tao in Vegas
and then to 
Uchiko in Austin-

Girls weekend to celebrate Avery's birthday and visit with Ashley
(yes, I had the hammer out within 15 minutes of arriving
so I could fix the crooked full length mirror in her bedroom- sigh).

We ate Pork Belly... yummy interesting
and grilled our flank steak on a hot rock... 
lots of giggles at our table!

Then we were off to Wicked!

If you do not know my obsession with Wicked,
click here
and here:)

I've seen it 5 times in the last two years...
(4 times in one year.. yikes)
London, San Fran, Dallas, New York and Austin.

(I'd like to get one more in this year:)

Back to Sushistyle which is the name of Mimi's company...

If you are "craving" something different in your space,
maybe this is the whimsy you've been looking for!

Until next time,

Design Obsession - The Chevron Pattern

Another find in Vegas!!! 

The main buyer for Greenhouse Fabrics-
isn't she adorable?
(she reminds me of Ashley... hard to get out 
of the motherly mode!)

I've been ordering from Greenhouse for years and was pleasantly
surprised to meet Leah as an attendee at our 
Interior Design Society National Conference.

She had some awesome new fabric introductions and we shared
our like passion for the Chevron...

Greenhouse Fabrics Chartreuse

Greenhouse Fabrics Cedarberry

If you have been living under a "design" rock... here you go:

Chevron: I like to define the chevron pattern as...
"a splash of happiness". Because it is! Just lines and colors...
and make such a smile!

 Some of you may have seen this pattern when Missoni came out with their 
collection at Target back in the fall. Here are some of their 
recent patterns. How great! 

Just a splash of this fun "zig zag" pattern will recreate a whole room for you!

Hello Pretty Things posted this to their blog and I fell in love with the idea!

A quick and easy addition to make your floor "pop"! This rug is sold at West Elm.

Another design from West Elm is this stylized chevron in a duvet. Chevron 
doesn't just have to be crisp... it can have some movement to it too!

Feeling brave?? (And very patient) Try out the chevron pattern on your WALLS!

Add interest to your wall through painting in a pattern! 
(this would rather time consuming, maybe enlist some helpers)

Pillows are also an easy addition! There are thousands of places that sell 
chevron pillows now, but check out Lacey Placey on Etsy.
I have purchased some of her pillows, and they are 
absolutely gorgeous! (and inexpensive!)

She will custom make any size for you as well!

For all you new moms out there, she makes chevron burp clothes too!

Lots of bright and fun colors!

Another idea: You can zig zag above a mantel through art work.
 I could even paint this ;)

If your other furniture pieces are simple and patternless, a chair like 
this can brighten that room right up! Urban Outfitters has a fun chair:

They also have a duvet in a zig zag pattern!

Adding a zig zag rug to a room really changes the whole feel for the space. 
It gives it a bit of a refreshed step and a definite contemporary ambiance.

This burnt orange zig zag rug gives this dining room a great floor
 for a wonderful design.

Even the small accessories make a huge difference! 
Anthropologie sells this wonderful basket!

Last but not least...don't forget to stay organized in style;)
Plum Paper Designs sells these wonderful little trinkets!

Be Bold!


Until next time,

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