Saturday, November 26, 2011

Just say no to fake (or at least do it right)! Version 2: Christmas

We travel over the holidays and we have a cat that likes to eat greenery, so combined this means... fake tree.  Yes, some of you may be gasping right now, but it's true!  And honestly, I don't really mind.  I've learned some tricks to help make a sparse fake tree look lush- here are my secrets.
The fake tree.  Notice the holes.  Not cute!
1.  We hang three strands of lights, winding them in and out of the branches.
2.  I fill the holes with holly.  Here is my stash.  
3.  I then hang silver mirrored ball ornaments as far toward the trunk of the tree as I can.  The mirrored balls help to reflect the lights and create an illusion of depth.  Before I am ready to even decorate I have put 62 ornaments on the tree.
4.  Here is how it looks at this point (with the beautiful glass icicles I just bought- look for a future posting on my fav holiday decor).  Now that I have fixed the "architecture" of the tree I am finally ready to hang the decorative ornaments.
5.  I personally keep the color palette simple white, red and silver.  Finished!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Keeping it simple!

Simple furniture does not necessarily cary a simple price.  Yes, there are manufacturers who create fun, inexpensive, modern furniture (Ikea, West Elm and CB2 immediately come to mind).  However, a truly hand crafted piece of furniture with simple lines will typically carry a decent price tag.  What is the reasoning behind this irony?
I was at a new client's house this morning and she was telling me about a pretty, contemporary console table that she had made by a metalsmith.  Apparently the metal worker declared after finishing the piece that he would never make another piece of furniture for her.  He told her that he had spent much more time working on her piece then he spent on his usual ornate designs because each joint, weld and polish mark had to be perfect since there was no ornamentation to hide little flaws.  This holds true for most types of furniture.  Simple pieces are the perfect foil to display an artisans talents, where the cleaner the work, the cleaner the piece.
Take for example this simple but stunning desk from Thomas Moser that I have coveted for years.  You can't really appreciate the amazing joinery from the photo, but you can see some of the simple structural details that help make it great.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lovin' the sun!

I don't know if winter's fast approach has anything to do with my current obsession with the sun. Call it vitamin D deficiency or what you will, but you can't deny that this motif is mesmerizing!
Photo from
I just got the new Koessel Studios wallpaper book. This is a new pattern called Del Sol that has relief printed rays and a beautiful iridescent glass bead in the middle.
Photo from
This motif has appeared throughout history.  It's definitely a classic, but still seems modern. Check out this 1940's French mirror from Carl Moore Antiques on 1st Dibs.

And here is one of my projects in McLean, VA.  The sun seems right at home in this dining room. With all this talk of the sun I think I am feeling just a little bit warmer!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Did you see us in the Post?!

Thank you to the Washington Post for asking us to be a part of the on-going design series!  We were asked to design a fun, family friendly, pre-teen hangout.  Here is a link to the article: Post House Calls

photo from

You may remember seeing our inspiration board a few blogs back.  We utilized our usual technique of mixing high and low pieces to create a well rounded, balanced space.  Fun, don't you think?!