Archive for February, 2012

Breakfast, Bold Hues and Books with Martyn Lawrence-Bullard.

Not often do I spend early Tuesday mornings having coffee with celebrity interior designers. In fact, not ever? The ABA Agency and Washington Design Center graciously invited DC Design Coop to join them over breakfast at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel alongside adorable Martyn Lawrence Bullard {of “Million Dollar Decorators”}, Schumacher & Co textile executives and a handful of local magazine editors and fellow Washington DC bloggers. And let me tell you, it was “deelliicciioouuss”.

Megan Blake and Martyn Lawrence Bullard interior decorator

{Blurry} Shot of Martyn and I after breakfast! 

A fan of the hit Bravo show, I knew meeting the fabulous 44-year old interior decorator was going to be a fantastic treat. After all, he is well-traveled, uber-talented {Cher, Elton John and Kid Rock are on his client roster}, and successful with his own line of furnishings, textiles and even candles to name a few. Top that off with a handsome face to boot! At 123 year family-owned old textile house Schumacher & Co., Martyn teamed up with Creative Director, Susan North {who he sweetly coined the “Empress of fabric”} to produce a gorgeous collection of chevrons, ikats, strie silks, stripes and paisleys.

Adras Ikat Print in Carava

One of my favorites: Adras Ikat print in Caravan.

Sinhala Linen Print in Bittersweet

Inspired by The Tree of Life: Sinhala Linen Print in Bittersweet

Darya Ikat in Caravan

One of Martyn’s favorite patterns: Darya Ikat Print in Caravan

Maharajah Silk Velvet in Verde

Luxury at your fingertips: Maharajah Silk Velvet in Verde.

During a post-breakfast panel chat moderated by DC Modern Luxury Editor in Chief Karen Sommer Shalett, Martyn and Liz wowed a room with their insight into textiles and their around-the-world journeys to locate artisan weavers and luxurious materials for the collection. It was important to reflect a unique perspective and specific style for the embroideries and weaves that were inspired by historical patterns and Martyn’s personal souvenirs from exotic countries.

Schumacher, MLB, and DC Magazine

{another somewhat blurry shot} The Fab Four panel at WDC.

Through his charming nature and witty commentary, Martyn told us of the interesting people he met along the way and how he became one of the worlds best interior designers {did you know he’s one of Elle Decors top 25?}. I learned that mixing and not exactly matching colors in a room makes for a more beautiful palette. And that there is soul in good fabric – so may artisans put their time and heart onto making these wonderful textiles. Martyn also enthusiactically shared with us details of his new book, Live, Love & Decorate and signed copies for guests at  WDC’s Schumacher showroom {check out my signed copy below! Eek! Kisses to you too!}.

Live Love & Decorate by Martyn Lawrence Bullard

And that, ladies and gentleman, was how I spent my Tuesday morning and afternoon. Wonder what Wednesday has in store for me?

Stay tuned for more successful endeavors from the talented MLB brand. And look out in January 2013 for his fellow “Million Dollar Decorato” star, vivacious Mary McDonald to launch her fabric collaboration with Schumacher!

Unique Marbled Wood Flooring.

I am in LOVE with these beautiful floors!

marbled hard wood flooring color

Creative award-winning wood design shop Snedker Studio is the brainchild behind them. They repurpose hard wood flooring with the old {but almost-a-secret} marbling technique, giving this wood an organic, eye-catching, colorful and vibrant pattern. I could see this flooring in an office, home, or retail space.

marbled hard wood flooring color

The mastered art technique originated back in the 15th century, where marbling was initially born to sheets of  paper – known as ebru, or the art of the clouds. Pastel, abstract and sometime muted, marbled paper was reserved for religious writings and royalty. The 17th Century Louis XIII created a similar paper called  a cuve, so-named for the basin in which the paper was dipped to obtain its heavenly hues.

marbled palette of colored wood

Today, original paper marbling continues at the Giului Giannini artisan workshop in Florence Italy where the craft has been produced since 1856.

the same technique applied to a piece of paper to make wall art

 Wood flooring marbling continues to stir up excitement and interest at the Snedker Studios {they came home this year with a Design Award from Wallpaper Magazine. Woot woot!}.

Ways to Frame Your Favorite Photos.

Who doesn’t have a file, folder, or stack of favorite photos or art just waiting to be framed and put up for all to see? My clients come to me to sort through the myriad of images and art to create focal points in their most used rooms, hallways, and stairwells. It’s a task that requires good measurements and a good eye. Here are three options and techniques to get those images out of the dark corners of the house and front and center. Beautifully.

A Dramatic Grid.

This technique is great for special moments such as weddings, vacations, or family events where a grand treatment is required. It’s also great for art that carries a unique theme. Consider a grid of three rows high by to five rows across with only two inches of wall space in between the sides of each frame. you can use a 3 x 3 grid for smaller areas like breakfast nooks and foyers. The impact of this tight grid is best with the same size frames and mats. West Elms Gallery Frames would work great here.

photo frame grid on wall

Image courtesy of Houzz.

A No Fuss Frame Shelf.

If you like to change out your photos for the season or your mood, displaying various frames, photos and objects d’art on a wall shelf would be ideal for you. Hang metal or wooden wall shelves in various heights and lengths on a selected wall with the center shelf at about eye height. Them loosely arrange individual frames in mix and match frames of color and finishes upright or leaned against the back wall. Overlap a few for depth. Voila. West Elms Paxton shelf makes a great landing. Crate and Barrels Versa Frames or Pottery Barns Gallery Frames would be a workhorse for this look.

frames and objects on a wall shelf

Image courtesy of Houzz.

Up and Down The Stairs.

This technique works well with a timeline of photography and supporting art. Childhood pictures, weddings, and family generations heighten the effect. A consistent theme makes it a conversation starter. Use different style frames and various sizes and keep one thing consistent to unify the grouting. Michael’s Gallery Frames create impact. This is a wonderful opportunity to use vintage frames and mirrors as well to make it more eclectic and reflect light into dark stairwells.

Image courtesy of Houzz.

Prefab Picture Wall.

If time is of the essence and you want something already preplanned and organized for you, then an prefab picture wall might be for you. A do-it-yourself set of frames is ready to hang with your favorite memories inserted. It requires no measuring, no fuss, and no mistakes using a template to determine the prefect placement on your walls. With  so many finishes and frame width, there’s an option for almost every DIYer. Shop for a look at The Conran Shops Picture Wall.

pre far picture wall frames grid organized

Courtesy of The Picture Wall Company.

One Can Never Have Enough Storage.

Last week I had a little dust getting thrown about my home. My good carpenter/painter Wilfredo and his handy crew installed a small closet “above” my staircase. Literally hanging above the stair case. I really needed a separate spot for any overflow of files and work that I bring home. It’s perfect. An outlet rests inside, wooden floors are carried from the adjacent room and trim is glossy white. I put together some simple shelving from The Container Store, and now it’s filled. Filled. Filled. Next project…

The stairs take a sharp left on that landing. Closet floor and wall up over bottom flight.

The stairs take a sharp left on that landing. There was an opening where the door is now and that square on the right side wall. Closet floor and wall up over bottom flight. More room!

Closet bones complete! Everything in and ready for stuffing.

Closet bones complete! Magnetic door works like a charm. Everything in and ready for stuffing.

Shopped my heart out and getting things put in their rightful spots.

Shopped my heart out and getting things put in their rightful spots.

 


Just a Thought.

"A person should design the way he makes a living, around how he wishes to make a life" — Charlie Byrd

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