Saturday, October 31, 2009

Invest in Your Nest with Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams

This week marks the release of Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams' new book Comfortable Home How to Invest in your Nest and Live Well for Less. A timely book that is sure to add value to your home and decor with photos and step by step instructions to help you enhance your home.

Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams believe that, in any economy, your home is an incredibly smart investment. Its value goes well beyond what current real estate prices may say. A beautiful, serene, and organized house truly has the power to change your life. And investments can be made on any budget. The table of contents give you a good peek into what looks like an interesting mix of styles applicable to many different decors. Throughout the book, fabulous original photography provides stimulating tours of real homes, including Mitchell and Bob’s New York City apartment, a country cottage, a revitalized ranch, and a Federal-style home in the city.
Using Mitchell and Bob’s great ideas for working with color, you'll learn the art of furnishing small spaces, creating room to-room flow, and more. The book gives step by step instructions - wonderfully staged so anyone achieve their classic looks.
Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams were kind enough to provide a copy of their new book to Willow Decor for a giveaway. If you are interested in winning this fabulous new design book just leave a comment. As always, followers and subscribers of Willow Decor are automatically entered. Special thanks to Mindy Drucker co writer of the book!
You can purchase the Comfortable Home How to Invest in your Nest and Live Well for Less here and learn more about Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams here. Winner will be announced Friday, November 6th.
Happy Halloween!!!
xx- Gina
(BTW, Willow Decor is just a fan of Mitchell Gold, their products and design philosophy.
No services or compensation have been received in exchange for this post.)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Valorie's Room in the Semi Finals!

Remember my trip to New Orleans and my great blogging friend, Valorie from Visual Vamp ? She shares my love of antique oyster plates!
Well the very talented Valorie has made it into the semi final round of the Apartment Therapy Room for Color Contest.
Valorie's office is fabulous. We only have 24 hours to vote for her. Please give her room a look - I am sure you will agree it should get the top honors. To vote click here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Inspired by Christopher Peacock!

Since my first post on Elements of Christopher Peacock Kitchen and the follow up posts, Lighting in a Peacock Kitchen and Hardware in a Peacock Kitchen; I get weekly emails from homeowners and decorators alike, asking more specific questions on how to achieve the look. My hat's off to Peacock and his wonderful classic design which resonates so strongly with people worldwide. Unfortunately, his kitchens are out the price range of many homeowners, so trying to create this look on a budget is more often the topic of the emails.
Last summer I received several emails from Interior Designer, Celeste Randolph of Los Altos, California. She was adding 1500 square feet to her 1950's ranch house and wanted the Peacock look with "chunky counters and flooded with natural light" We exchanged emails about sources, paint colors, hardware, marble, etc. She loved the Peacock look, but wanted to recreate it and stay with in her budget. Celeste recently sent on her finished renovation photos. As you can see, she is very talented and her kitchen renovation was a huge success.
Her attention to detail was outstanding. She left no stone unturned. Notice the moulding details, apron front sink, wood free standing island and gorgeous marble counters and backsplash. Celeste found some wonderful hardware. Also notice her interesting lighting over the windows flanking the stove. Neither are exact copies of Peacock, but they give her kitchen a more personal, chic style. Her kitchen, just like many of Peacock's, is classic and timeless, but also more personal, fresh and updated.
Of course Celeste's talent is not limited to kitchens. She also wanted a gorgeous Master bath too! Here Celeste's use of marble and light is breathtaking! I adore the herringbone marble floors, tub and wall tiles. And, isn't the chandelier fun?
Her choices of mirrors over the sinks and sconces are wonderful. And the window and the natural light really take my breath away. I also like how Celeste added the rather contemporary leaning mirror in the bath. It adds an interesting designer touch.
She also updated her living room with a warm, neutral palette.
Celeste did a fabulous job of recreating the classic Christopher Peacock style in both her kitchen and her master bath. To reach Celeste contact her at Ambiance Interiors in Palo Alto. Thanks Celeste, for sharing your fabulous renovation with us - we will be anxious to see more of your work in the future!
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(all photos property of Celeste Randolph)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Sophisticated Helen Green

Pick up a copy of England's House and Garden or Home and Gardens' Magazines and you are sure to find the work of Interior Designer, Helen Green. She has wonderful streamlined, sophisticated style. Green describes her style as cool contemporary, modern, precise, harmonious and elegant. Above is London Triplex she recently designed for client.
Her palette is often soft neutrals, which we all know I love here at Willow Decor. Green mentioned in a recent interview that in central London, with the homes interesting architecture, she felt color doesn’t really work. "In a sophisticated house where you’ve got a sophisticated palette of greys, for example, splashes of colour like a red cushion doesn’t work for me." Having moved into a historic home with many interesting architectural details I have also found myself moving toward a more neutral palette. Like Green, I felt this was a better way for the room to reveal its exceptional bones. This is such a wonderful dining room. I adore the gray blue color scheme. Green keeps the architectural details the focus of this room but enhances them by accenting them with mirrors. Notice the mirrors incorporated into the wall panels above. And, if you look again at the living room photo above you will notice mirrors built in, flanking the windows. I love this master bedroom. The room's architecture is front and center and beautifully enhanced by a soothing palette of beige. The furniture is a mix of what we call classic contemporary. (The silver hot chocolate pot and the roses add the subtle bling!)
Above is the Guest room -streamlined, sophisticated and very inviting.

Now let's have a look at her own personal residence in London. It is always interesting to me how a designer's home often parallels a clients. I prefer to work with clients that have similar taste and want to achieve a similar design aesthetic. The process becomes more exciting for me, because finding the perfect fabric, paint, or marble for client I get as excited as if I found it for myself.

Here is Green's living room. Again the palette is soothing, drapes match the walls for softness, and the focus remains on the beautiful furniture and the rooms mouldings and window. Green herself defines her house as the reflection of "a modern-classic style achieved by means of a selection of contemporary furniture and a collection of antiques, drawings and paintings".

The master bedroom is elegant is soothing. The blue color, chosen for the silk-upholstered walls and sofa, contrasts with the darker shades of the rest of the furniture.
One of the designer’s favorite rooms is her kitchen, a spacious area that looks out onto the beautiful gardens. Though I personally prefer a white kitchen, I do like Green's cabinets. I think the wood tone is very rich and the crystal chandelier gives the space and unexpected glamour. Notice how similar her dining chairs are to the ones above in her clients dining room.

Here is a photo of her lovely garden and entertaining area. No wonder she loves the kitchen looking out onto it. This is a place that reflects her maxim in interior decoration: "always follow your own instinct" Sophisticated and elegant.

Green has launched two wonderful furniture lines and has a line of carpets and fabrics. For more of Helen Green's work and her furniture check out her website here.

(all photos Helen Green London)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Giveaway Winner!

Elle Decor
Above is the wonderful living room of Ali Wentworth & George Stephanopoulos created by interior designer, Elizabeth Martin. Can you identify all the elements the bring "bling" into the room?

Thanks so all my subscribers and those who left comments for the giveaway.
I used the True Random Number Generator and it generated the number
The winner of the Vintage Mercury Glass Bottle is palmettomommy.

Please email me your contact information and I will send you off the lovely bottle.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

How to Add "Bling" and a Giveaway!

I love to walk into a room and be hit by that one accessory or element that makes me stop, admire and take notice! I call it "bling" - that flashy or interesting item, that leaves you wanting more, all the while knowing more would be too much! Like fashion, too much "bling" can look garish, but done right it can leave a lasting impression. Let's have a look at some rooms with just right amount of "bling!"
habitually chic
Here is the Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse in NYC. The aluminum wainscotting certainly adds the "bling". But notice that all the other accessories and elements in this foyer are more graphic or structural in shape and form. This gives your eye a rest and the ability to take in the wainscotting with out too much distraction.
A close up - I love the texture of this application and it's sparkle against wonderful heft of the hand forged railing.

Southern Accents
Here is a wonderful vignette by the talented Daryll Carter with a more subtle addition of "bling". This room has many gorgeous accessories and to Carter's credit it looks fresh and inviting, without looking over staged. But to me, the main elements that make this room work, are the aged wood mirror and sconces. Both add texture and sparkle (and "bling") to the space, and the mirror brings your eye up and adds the illusion of height to the ceiling.
kerry joyce
Of course for most people a simple way to add the "bling" is with a mirror. Here the combination of mirror and mercury glass on the mantel really seems to bring this neutral interior alive.
Mirrors are generally the first thing we think about when adding the "bling". But here the fabulous aged mirror wall from Elle Decor adds an architectural element, as well as tremendous interest and a great backdrop for artwork. I also love the little garden stool to the left - I guess we can call that the "mini bling" in this room.
So Haute
Here is an sophisticated vignette and although the console table is a showshopper, the mirror and candlesticks really draw your eye over to it. I love the way the "bling" can direct how you would like people to recognize elements as well as the pattern in which you want their eye to travel around the room.Washington Post
Here Loi Thai, from our favorite store Tone on Tone, uses mercury glass to add the "bling" in this wonderfully serene guest room. Your eye travels around the room but ultimately lands on this gray cabinet filled with antique mercury glass treasures.
Like all accessories, "bling"elements do not necessarily need to be expensive. Here are some terrific little mercury glass birds from West Elm. These crackled mercury glass pumpkins from Pottery Barn can give you a bit of "bling" all through the fall.
laurie annas
Here are my personal favorite - mercury glass mushrooms. Toss these babies on your coffee table or mantle and your right on track.HGTV
Finally a room where the mercury elements are front and center creating a sculptural art vignette of "bling". Try to visualize a painting here, you just would not get the same striking effect.
I recently acquired some fabulous vintage mercury glass apothecary bottles. I adored them and picked up a few extras for my family and friends, and of course for you, my readers. Just leave a comment on your thoughts on "bling" and you will be entered to win one. Of course all my subscribers are automatically entered to win, so leave a comment for a second chance! Check back on Friday for our winner! Good Luck!

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