Thursday
May162013

Color Me Happy! Pantone Color Flashcards

 

Remember Simon and his purple crayon? Well, what if his crayon wasn't just purple, but Lollipop Purple (Pantone 255)?

Today's kids are a very discerning bunch. Now you can further cultivate your budding aesthete with Pantone Color Cards!

I picked these up for my, um, kids because 1) I couldn't believe they existed and 2) I wanted needed to check them out. They're actually pretty cool. The 18-card set focuses on 2 tones of the 9 basic colors. The cards are made of heavy weight cardboard. One side features a solid color, like Duckling Yellow (Pantone 1215), in a glossy finish. When you flip the card over, additional colors in the same color family (yellow) are introduced in the context of an illustrated pattern - many of which are quite beautiful - and the child is asked to pick out Duckling Yellow.

It's really quite fun! And not as easy as you might think. (At least it wasn't for me and my 3 1/2 year old girls!) This would be a fun add-on to a baby gift or even a birthday present for a toddler. We had a great time choosing the right color, talking about the illustrations, and learning a *tiny* bit about color theory. Like I said, kids today are a sophisticated bunch!

Wednesday
May082013

Sophisticated Fun Nursery

 

I wanted to share this inspiration board which I recently completed for a client who is due with her first baby in July. We are working quickly to get this nursery ready in time! The client has been a dream to work with so far - she has fabulous taste and she makes decisions quickly. She also had this amazing piece of art, shown in the board above, which was painted for her as a wedding gift. It's a very personal piece, so we decided to make it the jumping off point for a very personal room. The client is not finding out the gender of the baby beforehand, so we're sticking with a white/black/gray color scheme with pops of yellow for now. When the baby arrives, we'll pull in some rich blues or deep purples, depending on the sex. This is going to be one showstopping room for one fabulous baby!

Friday
May032013

Design on a Dime

Every year I look forward to Housing Works Design on a Dime event, where about 50 super talented designers create fabulous room vignettes, the furnishings of which are donated to Housing Works and then sold for 40-70% off retail. As usual, this year's event was a huge success, raising over a million dollars to support New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS.

While the Design part of the event is always the showstopper, the Dime part is what gets me every time. Since the "walls" of the rooms are essentially plywood and scrapped after the event is over, you tend to see a lot of unbelievably creative wall treatments. One that caught my eye this year was by David Scott for his uber sophisticated, masculine vignette. 

 

Now, take a look at the gold feature wall. Can you tell what it is? Look closer...

Yep, it's good old corrugated cardboard - spray painted gold! How fabulous is that? When I design a playroom, I like to limit the color palette to neutrals (I count white, black, silver, and gold as neutrals) and let the colors of the toys do most of the heavy lifting. I can totally see aping this idea and doing it in any of the above colors. It would add great textural interest, not to mention a terrific backdrop for displaying kids' artwork. Treat it as a pin board and you're all set. 

If you see this in one of my projects coming up, you can definitely call me on it. Until then, I hope your week is play chic!

Wednesday
Apr242013

Lamp Redo

Today's post is about the lime green palm tree lamp in my girls' room. Yep. Lime. Green. Palm. Tree. Lamp. A few readers have commented on it, so I figure I'd share a little more about it's story. Honestly, it has to be one of my favorite pieces in there! It makes me smile everytime I walk into the room. I think that's partly because I made it (ok, I didn't exactly make it, but I spruced it up a lot). 

 

So, the story. About four months ago, I was out with my daughters in town and we passed by a rather upscale home design store. Of course, I stopped to check out the window display. While I was ogling a rather bewildering little chest of drawers (I wish I had a picture!), Lila burst out, "Mommy. That lamp! I LOVE that lamp! Can I have it for my room?"

Now, I have to be honest, Lila does have quite an aesthetic sense about her - and she's not hesitant to tell you what she likes and doesn't like. Sometimes she's dead on and sometimes... let's just say that pink tulle and sparkles can cloud one's judgment. Anyway, this time, she nailed it. What she was soooo excited about was a lime green, vintage metal lamp whose base looked like the lovechild of a pineapple and an artichoke. It was awesome! (In an ugly/weird/vintage kind of way.) I had two kids in tow (one with a penchant for wandering), so I didn't get to take a picture or ask the price. It was safe to say that it was out of Lila's budget.

But, it was a really great pick for the girls' toddler room, so I thought that I'd try my hand at finding a replica. I searched online, but nothing I found had that same ugly-cool vibe. Then, I was in Home Goods the following week, shopping for client, and there it was! Ok, it wasn't the lime green pineapple-artichoke, but it had potential. I didn't mind it in it's current state - it could be an interesting addition to a lot of spaces - but it was literally calling to me, "Lisa, paint me green! I want to be green!" How could I resist? The poor lamp didn't have a twin, so I gladly took the singleton home with me. 

 

Once I got this baby home, I was ready to perform a little nip and tuck. I used painters' tape to block off everything except the palm tree portion of the lamp. I put ziploc bags over most of the cord and the light sockets on top. 

 

 

Then I moved everything outside. (See here about why I will never spray paint indoors again.) After giving the lamp a good wipe down, I prepped it Krylon Indoor Outdoor primer in white. I did two coats because the piece has so many crevices and I wanted to make sure that everything was covered. I gave it a light sanding with a sanding block and then applied two coats of Krylon Indoor Outdoor paint with a gloss finish in Ivy Green, sanding in between coats to get a nice, even finish with no drip marks.

I immediately fell in love with it! I could not wait for it to dry so that I could show the girls. (Note to the wise, do not show kids anything painted that is not dry yet; the urge to touch wet paint is more than any kid - and most adults, um, me - can bear.) When I showed them the next day, they loved it as much as I did. Mission accomplished! (I might still go back and give it a once over with Krylon Triple Thick Acrylic Glaze in clear, just to give it more of a shine, but I haven't done it yet. I can never leave well enough alone.)

Here are some pics of the lamp in the girls' room. One shows a close up profile view, just so you can see the detail and relief on the lamp. Another shows how I styled the piece on the girls' chest of drawers. (For more on that piece see here.) The last one shows how the green picks up the chartreuse in the ceiling wallpaper and some of the photos on the gallery wall. There's definitely a lot going on in this room, but everything was thought out and chosen for a reason. This lamp is one piece that will definitely follow the girls for a while. 

 

Friday
Apr192013

Spring Cleaning!

 

The forsynthias are in bloom, the daffodils are in full bloom, and we're just seeing the first signs of new leaves on the trees. If you're like me, the spring cleaning itch is upon you!

For me, the first step in spring cleaning is to get the toys, books, games, shoes, balls, toothbrushes (just seeing if you're reading) off the floor. While trolling around for a client today, I came across this fabulous Ladder Storage Basket from Urban Outfitters. I love the look of it. It's small and unassuming, but undoubtedly cool. It would blend easily with traditional, rustic, industrial, or modern decors. I would love to group three or four of these together in a playroom or bedroom for toy storage. Even one or two of these in an entryway would be useful catchall for the whole family.

The great thing is that it's under four feet tall, so most kids could reach the highest basket, and the baskets are removable. Put some chalkboard tags on each basket and you're good to go! At least for today.

Happy weekend everyone!

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