Archive for the ‘Design Advice’ Category

{Autumn} Inspiration

I am completely smitten with this time of year. The temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s, the nights and early morning runs, the hot tea and soups, and the blankets and cozy nights at home. However, that all would not be as wonderful if it weren’t for the infusion of autumn colors and textures throughout my home and wardrobe. This time of the year is when the switch happens in my living room. Out with the crisp navy and butter creme accents of summer and in with the rich and warm tones  that the fall season represents. This time of year fashion and home trends always make the shift as well and so I wanted to give my opinion on where the colors of the season will be taking us for 2011. Nothing out of the ordinary just rich, buttery goodness!

Of course the standard fall colors are always welcome, including rich cranberries and caramely pumpkins but this year there is a slight variation on the standard. Added into the mix is Gray, the “new beige”. Combine it with Pantone’s Cedar, a misty gray-green, a rich chocolate brown, a deep eggplant purple and a deep teal and you have a  contemporary fall space that feels as fresh as it feels welcoming and cozy…imagine the colors saying, “come hither…”. Other strong fall color contenders include Sepia tones, Pantone’s Bamboo (a ruddy yellow), along with metallic accents like nailhead trim and copper accessories.

The trick to combining this unique pallet? Layer various levels of color saturation and be sure to always include of mix of textures. Think woven baskets, wool blankets, leather upholstery, suede pillows, satin pj’s and a chenille throw. You can even bring in some leaves when they are in the middle of their color change and display them strategically throughout the home. Throw it all together and you can’t help but feel cozy!


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Design Trend: Lady Like Lace

Hitting the Fall and Spring runways were an abundance of beautifully tailored lace. From Oscar de la Renta’s white lace frock from his Spring 2011 runway show to Marchesa’s sultry black lace creation the traditional material is being given new life in these inspired designs. It is no surprise then, that in no time flat we will be seeing lace enter the home decor industry. In my opinion it is not a design element you want to cover your house in (unless you want it to look like your grandma’s place) yet it can add a lovely texture and personality to a space when used in small to moderate accents. Classy, timeless, and a chameleon of styles…works for me!

So I was cruising Anthropology.com and found some wonderful examples of stylized lace for the home that isn’t stuffy or grandma-ish but it is refreshingly current and clean lined. Here are a few of my favorites:

Patched Lace Curtain

Inked Lace Custard Jug

Ebony Lace Wallpaper

Doily Rug

Lace-Strewn Knob

So keep your eyes peeled for more lovely lace to be hitting the home accessories department of your favorite stores!

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I found a DIY jackpot at readymade.com and was completely inspired to get my feet wet with wood pallet repurposing. There are so many things you can do with the seemingly disposable shipping staples. Whether it is a dining room table (tutorial here), a group of picnic seats, a table and chair, a lounge chair, or wall shelves, the finished products are fantastic and user-friendly. With the purse strings synched tighter than ever it makes complete sense that over the last year or two there has been a wave of interest in repurposing wood crates into useable, everyday furniture. Add onto that the fact that they are incredibly customizable and you have a pretty great decor find! I am in the process of getting my first wood pallet and am still hammering out sketches and ideas as to what to do with it. I will definitely post the finished furniture baby as soon as she is done but until them I continue the internet search for wood pallet furniture ideas and inspiration.

 Ready Made


 Ana White

pallet furniture diywww.recyclart.org

pallet coffee tableespritcabane.com

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I finally have the HFdesigns Bookstore up and running! (Cue the giddy smiles.) While putting up my floating shelves I realized I have a wonderful architectural library but a rather sad interior design library. One of my goals this year is to rectify that and purchase one book a month so by the end of the year my library is more well-rounded. However, once I started looking I had a thought. Why not create an all-in-one-place resource for myself as well as you all? That is when the idea for the HFdesigns bookstore was started. With selections for the designer and non-designer alike there is something for everyone. In it are categories for all the major topics that continue to inspire and challenge me. From architecture and design to fashion, travel and health, there is a little bit of everythin. As I find more favorites I will add them and as I can afford I will buy from the HFdesigns Bookstore myself.

For starters, my wish list includes these winners: 

Apartment Therapy's Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces    Glamour: Making it Modern

Heavenly Vaults: From Romanesque to Gothic in European Architecture     Room for Children: Stylish Spaces for Sleep and Play

Thom Filicia Style: Inspired Ideas for Creating Rooms You'll LoveFrench Essence: Ambience, Beauty, and Style in Provence

The World in Vogue: People, Parties, Places   Chanel: Collections and Creations

So check it out for yourself and let me know what you think! Any suggestions or reviews? Feel free to let me know. Check out the link at the side of the screen and scroll through the topics and selections.

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So here we are! A new year and a whole new slew of products and designs to reference, specify, or purchase for our own abodes. While you must always choose what you like and stay true to your design flair it can never hurt to see what trends are driving the market this year. We are starting off on an exciting foot that is for sure! These elements, when incorporated into your existing spaces, wardrobe, jewelery, or whatever will help bring life to a sometimes dull winter day. (Or is it just me? Anyone else smile when they wake in the morning and see the colors, patterns, textures, and pieces around them?) So don’t go crazy with these trends but try to add a piece here and there. Have some fun and don’t take them too seriously. Trust your instincts and do what feels right to you. These elements will create complexity and a layered richness that is hard to beat so throw some together and sit back and enjoy. At this rate I am excited to see what else the 2011 design year will bring us.

Wicker Core Spheres Coconut Chandelier 

Natural materials and textures:

With the flea market trend continuing on this year it is no surprise that we continue to incorporate more and more natural elements into our designs. From repurposed Craigslist furniture, to wood crates and pallets (pretty hot right now in DIY land), wood stump side tables, woven baskets, and airy muslin tablecloths it seems no application is left out. Think about the natural elements of wood, stone, earth, water (glass), paper/textile, and fire. There are materials in each category that will bring textural interest to your space so get creative.



Everywhere you look there is pattern, from fashion and upholstered furnishings to wall paper and tile designs. Last year the Chevron pattern was big as was Ikat and stripes. (Personally I am still looking for some affordable Ikat pieces so if you have any leads…) Thankfully things will only continue to get more graphic this year. Enter: HONEYCOMB! It has been growing in popularity for a while now and Shelterpop predicts it will be the pattern of the year for 2011. Again this is a throwback to popular design of the past but it is truly timeless and with its varied application possibilities you can truly make it your own.

I guess it makes sense that in a down economy we look to designs that create warmth and comfort and familiarity (via the popularity of grays, traditional textures, etc) but we are also looking for things to down right make us smile. That is where pops of color and pattern fit the bill. Now I am not talking about bold and loud patterns everywhere…unless you want to make people’s eyes cross as they enter your pad. But the play of scale and creativity that patterns introduce are very strong and great for accents. Want to use more than one pattern in a room? Then play with different colors and different levels of color saturation to help tie them together. Let one be dominant, one be minor, and let everything else fall in between. Throw in some pattern, even if you re timid, and you will be surprised how it brings a space to life and gives it a personality all its own!






No this is not the wallpaper your grandmother had in the old dining room. Today’s wallpapers are current, trendy, and über fresh. Thanks to the creativity of companies such as Graham & Brown today’s options are truly endless. There is something for every one of every taste and age. This year expects to see more fully papered rooms and not as many accent walls. Be bold! Also play with products as there are wonderful options including metallic, paintable embossed, hand painted, etc. Don’t want to commit to a whole wall? Try papering the back panels of your cabinets, hutch, or china cabinet. You can even go further and remove the cabinet doors to create open and airy storage with a pop of personality in the back.You could also paper the lower third of a wall below the chair rail to create controlled yet life-infusing pop to a space. For something more discreet you could wallpaper the inside of a closet for a welcome pick me up every time you open the doors. Heck the trend last year was to wallpaper ceilings and with the success of that (when done correctly with the right color, pattern, application) I anticipate seeing that well into this year. People are less afraid of this material application and it’s popularity will only grow as the months go on. It is an affordable upgrade that adds glamour and unique personality to a space all for not much moolah. Check out what your wallpaper options are and meet the new generation of designs available!

So there ya go! There will be more Trending updates to come but these are a great start to the year. So chew on a few of these ideas and see how you can incorporate them into your own spaces.

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Okay, so maybe I can’t help blushing when something awkward or embarrassing happens or if something makes me giggle inside. That doesn’t mean I like it. Pinky face? No thanks! See, I have never been a huge fan of the color pink. Not even as a little tot as my world was a continual haze of purple. Even now as an adult I find I have a strange aversion to pink. It is nowhere to be found in my house, wardrobe, jewelery, anywhere.  I do not propose it or specify it in my design projects and I do not advise people to use the color in abundance as its timelessness is less than stellar.

So, imagine my surprise when Pantone, color guru of all things design, names Honeysuckle as THE color for 2011 in their annual spring color forecast…WHAT THE PINK?! See, Pantone looks at what high-end fashion designers present at fashion weeks around the world and create their forecast from the strongest colors…and since interior design follows fashion design by a year or so, the Pantone forecast is definitely noteworthy. With all the research I do on fashion and interiors to keep up to date with the market I was not anticipating this. It was clear pink would be more much more prevalent than years past (and that it had definitely amped up in late 2010) but I did not anticipate it to be the main event. I hope I am not losing my touch because the last few years I have been spot on with my hunches of what the colors of the year will be in interior design. Turquoise/teal(2009)? Check. Varying hues of gray with pops of bold color (2010)? Check. Honeysuckle? Was not even on my radar…sigh. This means in a year or so home interiors just may be flooded with pink, pink, pink.

 Here is a quick history: Popular in mid-century America, pink was everywhere, from toilets and sinks to tile work. While that trend did not survive the 70’s it seems to be making a strong comeback. Yes, that means manufacturers are seeing a greater demand for pink toilets once again…oh, boy. What designers are specifying pink toilets?! Whether  it is the Mad Men influence, nostalgia, or the flattering influence the color has on light in a space, it seems we need to brace ourselves…deep breaths…

 I have been leaning much more towards buttercream, cantaloupe, and caramel as this year’s interior colors…aka Pantone Beeswax (which I LOVE). So, even though I did not predict THE color, I am still blocking out pink as much as possible and enjoying the creamy orangey goodness.

So check out these colors, find a few that resonate with who you are and your personal tastes (as color is terribly subjective) and be sure to incorporate them into your wardrobe and home interiors. Many of these are classic colors that will always be in, such as gray and turquoise/teal hues that continue to carry over from previous years. The key is to amp up the saturation of these colors; use them more heavily. Be bold and enjoy…and while I will not enjoy Honeysuckle, I will make a conscious effort to incorporate it, even in the smallest measure. Unlike this bathroom (although it is impressive that you can now buy a pink toilet seat):

It seems we need to prepare for what I will call the “Pepto-Effect”. Some people will love it, but me? Not so much. To each his own I guess. So keep your eyes peeled as these color babies, and subtle variations of each, will be inundating the fashion and interiors market in no time flat!



1. Fashiontrendsetter.com

2 & 3. Shelterpop.com

4. Newyorktimes.com

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Who doesn’t love great wood floors?  While we all love fabulous flooring materials we have reached a point where we must examine where these products come from, what they are made from, and what their production does to the environment.  I have always loved the look of wood floors but this product caught my eye with its unique coloration and graining pattern.  A perfect solution for the consumer who wants a little something different; something unique while maintaining the practicality of traditional wood floors…aka: I want this in my own home! (I would love to see these wood planks installed in a herringbone pattern)  Enter EcoTimber Strand Poplar Flooring.  Named one of the top 10 Green Building Products of 2010 it is quickly making its mark on the flooring industry.  Made up of 100% post industrial waste from the furniture manufacturing industry, the scraps of Poplar are compressed into planks with resin. The scraps create a truly unique composition of colors, veining and grain, all while producing a durable product….um, yes please!  If this is any indication of the sustainable building products to come we are in for a real treat!

Picture: EcoTimber.com

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