Pillows of the Week #3

In honor of my post where I practically obsess over the new spring outdoor furniture collections (read that here!), this weeks theme is bringing together some of the outdoor pillows I found on my online shopping spree. I love that being outdoors in the morning is such a peaceful and fresh experience, so I wanted to capture that in the colors and soft patterns.

Outdoor Pillows – Serenity

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I love the cool blues and how so much white makes this set feel like a breath of fresh air. I included a little bit of texture, but mostly kept to prints, so overall the set feels smooth and complete. A little bit of text captures the feeling of serenity, with just the right size and font to keep it aligned with the other pillows, and since it is embroidered, it adds just a little bit of shine.

  1. Serena & Lily / Montecito Outdoor Pillow Cover / Ivory / 24″ Sq.
  2. World Market / Green Fern Outdoor Throw Pillow
  3. Serena & Lily / Montecito Outdoor Pillow Cover / Ivory / 12″ x 21″
  4. Pottery Barn / Sunbrella Awning Stripe Indoor/Outdoor Pillow / Spa Blue
  5. Ballard Design / Vacay Embroidered Indoor/Outdoor Pillow
  6. ATG Stores / Pillow Perfect / Outdoor Seeing Spots Corded Square Throw Pillow / Set of 2 / Sterling

It is so amazing to spend time outside – and making it a little more comfortable and fabulous is definitely worth the effort! Whether it is as simple as rolling up a rug or bringing a throw to lay on the grass (or cement, depending on where you live), to cuddling up on an outdoor sectional with an incredible view, spending time in the fresh air as soon as you wake up starts your day off right, and jump starts your day with a perfect sense of serenity!

Living Al Fresco Loco

Here is my guide to the new Spring 2017 outdoor furniture lineup!

My absolute favorite part of getting into the new interior design spring season is when the outdoor furniture lines come out. Really – I get super excited. The new dining setups, lounge seating, and beautiful photos remind me that perfect weather is right around the corner! Since most of my life I lived in Seattle, the 3 months of sun that we got for pretty much the entire year invited me to spend all of that time out in the fresh air. I really felt the benefits of soaking up the sun and enjoying the rare Seattle blue skies. I would always keep my window open, crawl out on the roof to read, and spread out my summer homework on the patio table. Now that I live in Colorado, the weather is sunny and beautiful a lot of the time! I love taking advantage of spending as much time as I can outside. And one day, when we have bought our own house, making a comfortable and inviting place to spend time outside is one of my number one goals.

Transforming your outdoor space into something special invites everyone to spend more time out in the open air, and in good weather, being outside is still one of my favorite places to be. Though outdoor furniture is definitely considered a luxury, and usually has a higher price point to prove it, it can definitely transform your space through the mere invitation of sitting by the fire pit, or having dinner at your patio table. It is a constant reminder of the potential of spending time outside: the more you love it, the more likely you are to use it.

Another bonus: since it is so early in the season – everything is on sale right now!

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Source: Refreshed Take on the Gable Shines in Austin’s Building Boom

Al Fresco” is an amazing Italian phrase which means “in the open air.” You may have heard this phrase in relation to dining outside specifically – maybe back in 2007 when “Al Fresco dining” was becoming a huge trend – but I love thinking about this idea of turning your lifestyle to the outdoors when the weather turns brighter. Many modern houses have a covered outdoor patio, or place specifically designed for spending time outside. Making this a special place to gather your family, spend time in community, or just enjoy the nice weather will invite you to join that “Al Fresco” lifestyle. Besides, sun is really good for you.

Here are some of my favorite companies, whose new spring lines have unfolded recently. I’ve put some seating areas together, to capture the feel (and show off my favorite pieces) of each of them. I decided to stick with a mint/aqua color scheme throughout all of these, so you could really see the differences between each company, and their amazing furniture pieces.

First off: Article.

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Article is a great modern furniture company that specializes in cutting out the middle man to save you money. They also have a flat shipping cost for your whole order no matter where you live in the US and Canada. Their new summer line is definitely focused on materials, bringing you amazing looking washed wood, solid teak, casual steel, and heavy iron. I like how they really focus on making their pieces look like they truly belong outdoors, and they choose to focus on dining furniture, rather than split their efforts between a bunch of different collections and styles.

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The brightness of the chairs, and the driftwood look of the main table and work table definitely feel like summer is coming. I also always love to have a little table by my patio table to hold condiments, or just put things on that you don’t want on your main table, but still need to access. An outdoor work table can act as a console table to help serve food buffet style, or keep drinks on, and a knitted pouf brings texture and a laid back feel to the space.

Continue reading “Living Al Fresco Loco”

My Clients Love: Cocktail Ottomans

Sometimes, one common thread keeps popping up again and again as I work for clients. Recently, many of them have requested a cocktail ottoman instead of a coffee table. Though I haven’t usually recommended a cocktail ottoman in the past, I have found myself drawn more and more to the idea, and started recommending them myself.

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Source: Brittany Siles, Portola Springs
A cocktail ottoman can have the same functionality of a coffee table, but provide a more comfortable place for casual extra seating, or a more natural place to put your feet up on. Some cocktail ottomans come with a large shelf underneath, which can even provide the same storage capacity of a coffee table, and some pull out into smaller pieces for flexibility. Using a tray that you love on the fabric top will further utilize the surface area, and using that as a place to keep your remotes and coasters can even make a cocktail ottoman look more organized than your coffee table would have been.

Sometimes it is hard to find what you are looking for by searching just for “cocktail ottoman.” I have definitely spent hours scouring companies website, thinking: they must have one here. Searching for “large ottoman” or “grand ottoman” can bring up more options. Finding something in the 36″ – 48″ size range will be comparable to a coffee table or cocktail ottoman. Make sure you find one that fits perfectly in your space though – ottomans come in many shapes and sizes! Above all, finding one you love, in a material you love, is what will bring your room all together.

Traditional Cocktail Ottomans are definitely easier to find. They come tufted, with skirting, colorful, with patterns, and in many shapes and sizes. Since the idea of a cocktail ottoman is more traditional in and of itself, this is no surprise.

traditional cocktail ottoman
Source: Architectural Digest, Ali Wentworth and George Stephanopoulos’s New York Apartment
These more traditional cocktail ottomans can be found in a formal living room, or library. They are a place to relax and lay back a little, but to keep up appearances. They come in beautiful fabrics, woods, and metals, and spruce up a room by being the final formal touch.

Here are just a few of my favorites:

Traditional-Cocktail-Ottomans

  1. Wayfair / Connely Upholstered Ottoman / Ivory – Since this is a smaller ottoman, using 2 together in front of a large couch would really make a statement. I love the velvet – the color and softness of it add lightness, making it not too heavy for a space.
  2. Layla Grace / Brownstone Lorraine Brown Cocktail Ottoman – The linen and wood of this ottoman just add a beautiful warmth to a room, and the amazing turned leg details are beautiful final touches.
  3. Crate & Barrel / Dolce Black Walnut Cocktail Ottoman / Belem Pebble – These cabriole legs are perfectly complimented with warm grays and tufting. The feminine curves and lightness of this cocktail ottoman brings detail to any space.
  4. One Kings Lane / Dandee Skirted Cocktail Ottoman / Ivory – One Kings Lane has amazing cocktail ottomans. If you want a fun pattern or bright color, you can certainly find one here, but this understated cocktail ottoman definitely has an amazing airy lightness.

More modern cocktail ottomans can be harder to find. Since the coffee table has become a prevalent staple in modern and contemporary living rooms, cocktail ottomans have slowly been forgotten about. But some modern ottomans have become a definite part of trendy, and more casual living rooms. By adding fabric to the center of a space, instead of wood, metal, or glass, your room is transformed into more a relaxing and personable room.

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Source: Architectural Digest, Jewelry Designer Ippolita Rostagno’s 19th-Century Brooklyn Townhouse
These modern cocktail ottomans can add interest to your main living room or bring casual comfort to a seating area in your office. They are an inviting place to sit, and guests can feel comfortable throwing their feet up even without your permission. With side tables to aid in holding drinks and mugs, having a cocktail ottoman will definitely help the whole space feel more casual, even with more formal furniture.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Modern-Cocktail-Ottomans

  1. Article / Ceni / Ottoman / Volcanic Gray – The mid-century modern shape and wood with amazing grain to it adds warmth and texture. Though casual, this is a put together look, which goes perfectly with Article’s other mid-century sofas, bringing the whole room together.
  2. Ethan Allen / Miles Leather Cocktail Ottoman – Whether your adding a little lodge to your living room, or bringing a masculine loft feel, this warm leather ottoman’s simple shape and beautiful top stitching can settle into any room.
  3. Jonathan Adler / Giant Leather Moroccan Pouf / White – Just like it’s smaller counterparts, this moroccan pouf can add a little California cool, or Moroccan casual feel, but is large enough to act as a cocktail ottoman.
  4. Bo Concept / Hampton / Salto Leather, Snow White – Customizable in a ton of different fabrics and leathers, this urban cocktail ottoman has bookcase style storage on the side. The wheels on the bottom add to its casualness and flexiblity, and whatever upholstery you choose, the rounded sides will bring contemporary softness to any space.

I hope your appreciation for cocktail ottomans has grown like mine did! The possibilities are endless for a large ottoman in your space. Since interior design is such a tactile art, adding more texture to a room also adds to the layers of comfort and warmth. Fabric, being a primary texture bringer, is always welcome.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Anthropologie / Velvet Edlyn Grand Ottoman – Of course, so much velvet in a space might seem indulgent, especially in a forest green, or eggplant purple, but in the right space, this piece will be the statement of the year. This cocktail ottoman comes in so many colors, one is probably the right one for your space, and the perfectly detailed gold legs add just a little glam to a space.
  • The Khazana Home Furnishings / Ashford Isle Ottoman – Perfectly angled corners, an open iron base, and a cream tufted top puts this cocktail ottoman right between modern and traditional. It could work in a ton of different spaces, and though it is on a rather large scale, the openness and lightness of the fabric keeps it from dominating and overwhelming a space.
  • CB2 / Kilim Pouf – for an ultra casual look
  • ABC Carpet & Home / Charpoy Coffee Table/Bench – This Indian coffee table equivalent brings airy texture to a room through the amazing weaving technique and light wood legs. Also can be used as a daybed!

Other ideas:
For those who want a cocktail ottoman but don’t have the space, think of using a bench instead, they come in many sizes, and materials. They can also be tufted or smooth, and some benches come with storage or a shelf, to act just like a smaller version of a cocktail ottoman.

For a more flexible set-up, try using multiple smaller ottomans. Square storage ottomans nest nicely together, or 2 round ottomans next to each other add interest – and extra seating.

Pillows of the Week #2

Dreamy or dreary?


Here is our second week of POTW! Since here in Denver it was so gray, and rainy all day, it made me yearn for a little spring color – which is unusual for me since my favorite palettes are definitely neutrals.

I loved mixing textures, and finding pillows in similar color tones, with different shades of brightness. By using a pillow featuring typography right up front, it acts as a clear focal point, and other patterns and textures can be the background players.

Spring Brights

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I used one bright yellow to establish the vividness of the whole palette, but I kept this spring color away from the bright neons of the summer or the jewel tones of the fall and winter. I love the soft color and how it draws all of these different patterns, textures, and feels together.

  1. PB Teen / Find Your Bliss Pillow
  2. ATG Stores / Surya Kilim Pillow / Red/Orange
  3. Joss & Main / Wyatt Embroidered Pillow
  4. Aelfie / Yellow Fellow
  5. Curio & Curio / Feather Trellis / Mint
  6. Target / Cream Color Block Square Throw Pillow
  7. World Market / Flower and Leaf Velvet Printed Lumbar

Colorful and bright, to make gray rainy days a little brighter!

Pillows of the Week #1

Hey guys! I am so excited to be starting some weekly posts this week – to keep up all inspired.

Because, as we all know, inspiration leads to motivation!

This segment will be called Pillows of the Week. I will be putting collections of pillows together, using trends or pillows that I have seen over and over that my clients love! Sometimes it is hard to visualize how decorative pillows should be put together, so this should help us all to see how things fit.

This weeks theme is:

Global Texture – Black

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These pillows all have physical woven texture – which add to the depth, and allow them to layer without feeling overwhelming. I love that interior design is such a tactile discipline, so adding heavily woven textiles in a room make it feel deep and genuine. I also love the depth that black adds to a space, contrasting light and bright color in a room, which helps it to feel grounded and also adds a little sophistication. The straw color always reminds me of jute and other natural fibers

Global prints are definitely a trend right now, but I personally like smaller pattern and finer textures. Combined with these tribal woven textures allows anyone to create a collection of pillows that look amazing together.

Even in my first Pillows of the Week post, you will probably be able to tell how much I love Loloi rug pillows 🙂

  1. Loloi / P4027 Ivory/Slate
  2. CB2 / Reflect Pillow
  3. Loloi / Po242 Black/Multi: I love that this pillow is made out of recycled Sari silk – what an amazing texture
  4. Loloi / P0096 Grey/Multi
  5. The Citizenry / Tobala Pillow / Black
  6. The Citizenry / Luna Pillow
  7. Loloi / P4022 Slate/Navy: This one is from Ellen Degeneres’s new collection – that I am loving! (Have you seen her house btw? It’s definitely dreamy)

I am loving these pillows together! I hope you have enjoyed our first week of Pillows of the Week – I can’t wait for more!

P.S. Here are some that didn’t quite make the cut – but are still just as amazing

Home.

One day, I will have my own office to work in, in a little farmhouse out in Parker, maybe with a few wolf dogs running around in the backyard. I will have a fancy new laptop and a big glass desk with a perfect desk chair and a velvet sofa under the window. My home will be amazing – it will be the perfect floor plan, have the perfect finishes. I will have filled every corner with amazing furniture that reflects the amazing interior designer I am, making amazing instagram photos, which I would definitely post every day.

But then I think back to just this morning, when I was reading for hours, just sitting next to Jason on our giant cream colored couch. I was so content, so happy, right where I was.

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There really is always a “next” in life. Sometimes it motivates me to move forward and keep inspired and passionate. Sometimes, it keeps me from enjoying where I am, where I am at, and then it makes me unsatisfied in me. I don’t need my own office to be passionate about what I do. I don’t need a perfect house to prove I am a good designer.

Though sometimes it is difficult to keep positive and motivated, I only have to look around and feel content – to be thankful.

I feel so lucky to have found a job that I can do at home, but also one I absolutely love. I love my clients – I love being inspired by them, by their ideas; I love interior design – when everything just fits its place. I love the beginning of a project, when it is just building speed, and everything is possible; I love the end of a project, when everything becomes reality; I love every bit of the entire process.

My little apartment, my limping old laptop, my lack of storage, none of this matters, because that is not what makes where I am really home. The fact that this is where I do my job just helps to define the space around me. But also, having Jason here with me, being familiar with each piece of furniture we have (or don’t have), and every time I walk these halls, open a door, or glance over a messy room, my little space becomes a little more mine.

Because it is where my life happens.

It is where I discover more about myself.

This is where I make memories, and a place I call mine.

No home is perfect. “Next” is not always a part of my reality. But creating a place for us to live life here is what home is.