banquettes are back…

Did they ever really leave? My love affair with banquette seating started in the kitchen of my childhood home. It was a big brown semi-circular pleather bench nestled in our carpeted kitchen (you heard me…carpeted…the 70’s were design-challenged years) and I loved it! As an adult, the passion for benches continues. I’ll break into a speed walk in restaurants, just to make sure I reach the banquette first.

photo courtesy Jane Ellison

I think the most beautiful banquette I’ve seen is in the home of my friend, Sharon Laxon of Layers & Layers. It’s quite tall and wraps around two walls to envelope the dining table–the upholstery is absolutely stunning. If my photography classes work out, maybe Sharon will allow me to take some shots to share with you (I might have to resort to bribery).

photo courtesy Blount Architectural & Interior Design

photo courtesy Blount Architectural and Interior Design

photo by Amoroso Design

photo courtesy Glenn Gissler Design

photo courtesy Palmer Weiss Interior Design

All this talk about banquettes reminded me of a hilarious family trip when I was 11 years old. My family, including my two older sisters who were 15 and 17 at the time, stopped in to a Dairy Queen restaurant on the way home. We were all mad at my father for some reason, so he sat alone on one side of the booth while “the women” all sat on the other side glaring at him. All of a sudden, our side  of the booth completely collapsed crashing to the floor. My mom and sisters and I lay flayling on the floor in the middle of the busy restaurant, while my dad laughed his head off. Drat!

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green-eyed beauty…

Who says it’s hard being green? Not me! Next to pink, I think my favorite color is green–particularly Kelly Green and Chartreuse. It’s just lucky for me that green is hot right now (not that’s I’d really care if it wasn’t). Here are some examples of wonderful uses of my second favorite color. Brandon Barre is a talented photograper, and I love, love, love his work. He gets to work with some of my design crushes (including my BFF Candace Olsen. Candace, call me. Let’s do lunch). This is one of his exquisite shots. I love the acid greens with black–drama, baby, drama!

photo by Brandon Barre

Oh, okay…I’ll show you another one of his amazing photos! Isn’t this divine? The dark flooring is the perfect contrast against the seafoam walls.

photo courtesy Brandon Barre Photography

This is such a gorgeous wallpaper. When it comes to decorating, one of the most important principles is to choose your upholstery fabrics first and choose your wall color last. I always believe in exceptions, and, in this case, I would choose the wallpaper and then work in the rest of the decor around it. Don’t ya just love that sweet bamboo-esque chair? Bamboo is hot, hot, hot right now. (I have the feeling that somebody’s going to email and say “That isn’t bamboo, you twit!”)

photo courtesy York Wallcoverings

Tobi Fairley is very talented designer. She puts a fresh twist on traditional design, and I’m always giddy when I see her rooms in magazines and websites. Green and silver is a fantastic combination, but leave it to Ms. Fairley to come up with the brilliant idea of using both metals as accents with kelly green!

photo courtesy Tobi Fairley

And what would a blog be without a little jhooshing from Designers Guild? Nottin’ I tells ya! Ahhhhh…green and pink…sigh! Wouldn’t a beautiful little silver aluminum table or a mirrored table look goooooorgeous between these little glamour girls?

photo courtesy Designers Guild

Okay…so we’ve now established that I love green, but let me qualify my appreciation a little. I can hate green too (hey, Gemini, can’t help it). I just want to be clear that I can HATE every single color on the spectrum if it’s used poorly. This is an example of the type of design that draws strong negative reactions from me (I apologize to everyone who loves it). If this is your cup of tea, that’s great go for it, but I just won’t be able to visit 🙂

photo courtesy House Beautiful via Lipstick on Your Teeth

Now that we got that out of the way, back to something divine. This lovely room from Country Living magazine.

photo courtesy Country Living Magazine

Now get out there and get some green!!!

shine never gets old…

Dear Silver,

Don’t go changing, to try and please me. You never let me down before. Don’t imagine you’re too familiar, and I don’t see you any more!

Forever yours,

Jennifer

Some things just never go out of style, and silver is on top of the list! I always follow trends with interest, but I don’t always go along when things are declared “over”. Although the design pundits declare it “in” and “out” regularly, it really never goes out of style. I figure, if you love it, then it’s in style…at least at your home it is!

(Nobody panic! Silver has not been deemed “out”. I’m just sayin’, if that were to happen, I’d have to deem “them” stupid.)

photo courtesy Coburn Architecture

photo courtesy Laura Hardin via Houzz

photo by Designs by Shoshana via Houzz

photo courtesy Country Living

photo by Amoroso Design via Houzz

photo by Celia James via Houzz

photo courtesy Apartment Therapy

Call me crazy, but I doubt everyone is going to freak out and change all their fixtures to bronze, just because someone decides chrome is so “last season”. In my opinion (and really that’s all that matters, right?), I think silver is a versatile neutral that packs a style punch!

very vignette…

I love a good story and I guess that’s why I love decor vignettes. They’re a glimpse into the homeowner’s  joy–what makes their toes curl and their hearts swell (okay…perhaps a bit dramatic, but you get my drift). What books do they love? Where did they pick up that seashell? Where did they find that exquisite vase? Where was that photo taken?

photo courtesy This is Glamorous

It gives me a lot of pleasure to arrange and rearrange little vignettes all over my house. I’m constantly sprucing up my arrangements with fresh flowers, forgotten treasures I find in my storage closet, old paintings, favourite decorating books, beach rocks, my latest purchase from a favourite store, photos… They’re all precious and I love to see them every day.

photo courtesy House Beautiful via One Simple Addition

My styles constantly change (hey, I’m a Gemini…I’m allowed to flip flop) and vignettes are an inexpensive way for me to express myself, without having to make the major renovations!

I just love old phones, and this sweet little orange one is featured on Habitually Chic. There’s even a source for vintage phones listed, if you’re on the lookout for one: oldphone.com.

photo courtesy Habitually Chic

There’s a happy trend well on its course of using typeface decorating. It’s all about words in different typefaces, and I love it (notice the framed “LOVE” above and the gold “D” peaking out from the phone–at least I thinks it’s a “D”). It really tickles my fancy if it’s an vintage factory or store sign–they’re fabulous!

photo courtesy House Beautiful via Belle Maison

I predict a huge comeback for clogs. I saw a pair on a TV show last week, and now I’m seeing this pair. You mark my words–everybody is going to have a pair of colorful wooden clogs on a table somewhere in their house!

photo courtesy i l'aria's photostream via Decor8

This definitely qualifies as a beautiful vignette. One of my best friends did something very similar in her entrance and it’s absolutely stunning. If you get a chance, check out Jon Jensen‘s website of gorgeous photography. Uh huh! I see a typeface “3” and “x” on that shelf! I should really be posting a blog about typeface decor!!! Maybe tomorrow.

photo courtesy Jon Jensen Photography

shades of aqua Easter…

Easter makes me feel like redecorating! Let’s face it…every season makes me feel like redecorating.

This year, I’m really digging the color aqua (I was born in ’64…so it’s authentic when I say “dig it”), so Easter 2010 is “Seaside Chic” at the Findlay estate (bah ha ha ha). This epiphany came to me when I flipped open my crisp, new copy of Canadian House & Home magazine, which I relish with a piping hot cup o’ coffee and my two cuddly dogs.

C & C design editor, Stephanie White, came up with these gorgeous painted jars, and I fell instantly in love. They’re so sweet. She recommends using a florists water tube on the end of flower stems if you want to use them as vases. I’m thinking they’d look pretty sharp with tea lights flickering in them too (not sure if acrylic paint is flammable though).

photo courtesy Canadian House & Home magazine

Here are the paint colours she recommends, from left to right: Seascape Green (156-4) | Delicate Petal (407-2) | Frosty Glade (456-4) | Idyllic Isle (254-4) | Cathedral Glass (455-5) | Seascape Green (156-4) all Pittsburgh Paints.

I wonder if I could build a new dining room, wallpaper it in fabulous paper, and reupholster my dining room chairs by Easter…hmmm. In case I haven’t said it before (about a zillion times), Sarah Richardson is Canadian royalty!!!!! She should have been included in the opening ceremonies for the Olympics!

courtesy of Sarah Richardson's Design Inc.

When I was in Seattle last week, I stopped in at Sur La Table (drooool) by Pike’s Place Market and spotted this lovely piece of epicurean delight–Le Crueset’s Carribean-color French oven. I think it would be perfect for a little Easter weekend lamb stew!!!

This is my celadon-colored Sophie Conran tableware, which I absolutely adore. I’ll probably mix it up a little with some of my aqua & chocolate brown damask placemats–ooh la la. I admit it, I’m a shameless saleswoman! I’m a walking, talking Nicole Jane Home endorsement advertisement! I must be stopped!

photo by Reinier De Smit for Nicole Jane Home

Nicole Jane Home

OPI‘s Breath of Life is such a gorgeous color. Perfect for an Easter pedicure and then open-toed sandals for the rest of the season!

photo courtesy O.P.I

Portland calling…

I have been hearing wonderful things about Portland, Oregon. Art, culture, heritage buildings, cafes, great food, great skiing…sounds like my kinda place. Mark keeps raving about the Timberline Lodge at Mount Hood, so it won’t take much to convince him that we need to take a a road trip with the kids and our skis. I came across a a talented Portland interior designer, Jessica Helgerson, on a wonderful blog called Delight by Design .

I just love this before and after–such a fresh take on a classic bungalow.

Photo courtesy of Jessica Helgerson

At some point in my life, I’m going to have a round table. I just think they encourage lingering over wine and conversation!

photo courtesy of Jessica Helgerson

This photo just makes me want to whip out a yoga mat….er…make that a deck chair.

photo courtesy of Jessica Helgerson

The chaise lounge is just so enticing in this room. The mantel display is wonderful–such an unexpected vignette.

photo courtesy of Jessica Helgerson

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