Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Coming to terms with a brown couch

Our couch is brown. I'm not crazy about it, but it's too new to replace. I've been looking for examples of rooms that I like that happen to have a lot of brown in them, and here's what I've come up with so far.

I actually have a fabric that is very similar to the blue flowers on the chairs above. I like the color palate above, but the browns in my family room are a little deeper toned.

I'm pretty sure the next couch is gray, but I think an espresso-colored sofa in that place would have the same effect.

In the picture above, I like the light blue and the hints of pink and lavender in the artwork and flowers. There's a brown couch in the next picture, but look at all that white! It's way too stark with the brown.

I wish the pillow on the chair in front of the fireplace was covered with a brightly colored fabric. Something like the back of the chair in the room below:

I love the pink. Not the black zebra pattern.

This one's good, too:

Varying shades of brown, with soft white accents. And more purple flowers! I guess I like purple and brown together.

Purple and blue, here's my message to you: thanks for helping me come to terms with a brown couch. I think we can make it work.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sundays of Yore: 1929 Vitrolite Kitchen

Do you ever find yourself lost in someone else's Flickr photostream? Well, that's what happened to me when I discovered American Vintage Home. It's an amazing collection of photos and drawings from the home magazines of decades past. I am not exaggerating when I say I spent hours looking at these pictures.

I think it's so cool to see what people's homes looked like 100 years ago. What has changed? What has stayed the same? I'm not able to condense my excitement for these pictures into just one post, so I've decided to make it a weekly installment. Welcome to Filed For Later's Sundays of Yore.

This is a Vitrolite ad from 1929. I can't lie - I had no idea what Vitrolite was until I googled it. It's an opaque pigmented glass that was used for internal and external tiling from the 1920s to the 1950s. It hasn't been manufactured in the U.S. since 1947. In the drawing above, I'm guessing the floors are Vitrolite, and maybe the wall tiles, too?

This kitchen is small, yet it looks practical and functional. I love the pattern on the floor. I think it would make a stunning rug!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Trees, please

Trees and city living don't always go hand in hand. Here's one way to get your fix:


Take it or leave it.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Couch fetish

Shapely, graceful legs ... always showing. Gentle curves. Plump and soft. That's how I like my couches.

A little English roll arm is a nice touch


with three seat cushions (the more, the merrier!)
or two seat cushions (nice and intimate)

or even just one (but only if it has a plump, plush filling).


Perhaps you like a little more padding in the backside? It can be super plush and compact

(Ethan Allen)

or a little roomier.

(Restoration Hardware)

Just as long as the legs are curvy or bulbous or some shape other than stick-straight or square. That's how I like my couches.
p.s. They should also be in a pleasing, neutral color that allows for plenty of wool blanket and throw pillow switching.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sitting room, and then some more

On Monday, I posted about how many places to sit there should be in one room (dining room excluded).

The consensus among the commenters was that 12 seats was way too many for a room that's on the small size. There was distracting artwork in the background and just way too much going on in the room. Since then, I've been paying close attention to this "issue."

Imagine my reaction when I came across this image on Houzz:

Talk about lacking a center of focus! It looks like some sort of luxury funhouse. The giant hurricane glass in front of the camera lens isn't helping things -- the reflections just cause more visual clutter. And, I have a feeling there are more seats that didn't make it into the view.

I thought design dizziness was caused by crazy patterns and clashing colors, not by a creamy oasis. I mean, look at those windows! This room has all the elements to be a calm and relaxing retreat.

And now, here's the "sitting room" question: Where would you choose to sit? Ha, I'd sit in the chair that's farthest away. You know, the one that's alone on the wall and facing the back of the chair in front of it. From there, I'd be able to see the bewildered look on people's faces as they enter the room.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holiday place setting

I wish that when you order food at a restaurant, you could order the place setting along with it.

(Sunset Magazine)

I would order one veggie omelette, served on this plate. Bloody Mary on the side, please. And that's perfection in the form of a New Year's Day brunch.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Inspired by Soap: The bathroom! (Part 1)

The very first entry I ever posted on Filed for Later (waaaaaay back in November '09) was based around this picture:

I just love it. The muted color pallate is so soothing and calm and pretty. I had a great time combing my galleries of saved images for rooms that incorporate these colors. This was my favorite of the bunch:

My friend Sarah told me she was equally smitten with the colors. She asked for some images that she could use as inspiration for her master bathroom. She wrote:

"I'm redecorating (wish I could be remodeling) our master bathroom over the next couple of weeks. While a very light blue and white will be the main colors, I hope to be able to also use the palette in your soap post from a while back... Pretty sure that we're going to use brushed nickel for the new light fixtures and hardware. I am going for a coastal look without getting too into the theme since we're not exactly in a beach house."

Sarah's cabinets are a light/medium oak (she plans to replace the vanity eventually, and will likely choose either white or a very dark wood). The current counter is a "fabulous" white laminate.

She's already chosen the color - Benjamin Moore's glass slipper.

Isn't it pretty? It seems this color is most blogged about for its use in a bedroom that appeared in House Beautiful.

Here it is again, in Wes and Kayla's Brookline apartment on Apartment Therapy. (Side note: Yay, Boston!)

The interesting thing about Glass Slipper is, while there's actually very little (if any at all) blue in the soap photo ...

(see?) ... the color still works for the overall look. It is the right intensity, and maintains that washed pastel feel that makes up the "soap palette."

I'm not sure if Sarah is into painting the cupboards, particularly since she plans to replace them soon. But if she is, I think a soft ivory would be beautiful. Something along the lines of the bed in this picture. (Pasted again - no scrolling up needed.)

Another option is to go dark on the cupboards. This bedroom has dark, dark blue/gray walls that look very pretty against the blue bed.

I love the peach stool at the foot of the bed!

Finally, a third option is to pick a medium shade of grayish blue (a few shades darker than Glass Slipper, and with more gray in it). The effect would be along the lines of this

or this

One thing that is particularly eye-catching with the soap photo is that there are so many colors used together. I say this calls for a stack of colorfully folded towels!

If there's room in the bathroom, wouldn't the towels look so pretty folded on this?

I have many more pictures to share with Sarah, but I'm going to save them for Part 2. Stay tuned for accessories and the question of brushed vs. polished nickel ...

Sitting room, and then some

Imagine that you've just entered this room, and the host is inviting you to sit down:

Which seat would you choose? I think I'd go for one of the blue patterned armchairs. So many choices! If there were three people on each couch, the room could comfortably seat 12.

This makes me curious. How many people could sit in your family room? I just counted -- I have 7 spots -- one couch, a leather chair, two armchairs, and a desk chair.
I think this room, while lovely, looks too full, and if I were more scientific, I'd calculate a chair per square footage ratio - kind of like per capita, but we'll call it per infra.
So what do you think? Do more seats make a room more welcoming, or does it come to a point where enough is enough?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Kindred Spirits Countdown to Christmas

Nicole of Colette's Cottage recently guest posted on Live Creating Yourself's Countdown to Christmas feature ... and she named "Tasteful Decor: Peppermint Candy" as her favorite holiday post!

Thank you, Nicole! I've been blogging for a little over a month now, and I'm still at the point where every single comment is cause for excitement. So a mention on another blog? Thrilling!

I love reading Colette's Cottage because she posts great pictures, and is very funny, to boot. She was in good company in the Kindred Spirits Countdown posts -- other guest bloggers include Sherry and John of Young House Love, Ashley of Smitten Design, and Ashley of Decorology. Ooooh, these are some of my most favorite blogs! I can't wait to see who else will be making an appearance!!

And, now that I've admitted to the thrill I get from comments, I'll also admit that I get a thrill from followers, links, page visits ... you name it. So if you're here, reading this, leave a comment! Show me your blog (or, if you don't have one of your own, ones you like to read).

Remember how the new kid at school would sit alone in the lunch room for the first couple of days? That was me.

But now I feel like the table is filling up. We're even trading desserts (that's a metaphor for linking to other blogs. I'm trying, here). So, keep coming by. Bring friends. Introduce yourself and stay for a while. Maybe soon, we'll be dancing on the tables!

(Side note: Seriously, what is going on in this picture?!?! Superstock has some weird photos.)

p.s. Nicole, though I like number 5 on your list (for obvious reasons), number 6 is the cutest of all!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas in Vermont

Christmas in Vermont? Hanukkah in Colorado or Massachusetts is more how I roll. But a good winter scene is truly non-dominational, wouldn't you agree?

Fireplace? Check. Rustic wood floors? Check. Comfortable couch? Check minus. It photographs nicely, but I can't decide if I'd actually want to sit on it. Maybe for a couple of minutes ... long enough to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate.

I'd probably reserve my more long-term lounging for the bed. It looks slightly more welcoming.

Country Living, via Apartment Therapy

I see a pattern here

I really can't stop looking at pictures of rooms with dominant patterns. Like this couch -

and the curtains in this kitchen. Is this kitchen practical at all?

The answer is probably no. One chair, marble counters, no cupboards, etc. etc. etc. At least there's a dishwasher! And a pitcher that holds some very pretty lavender (Is that what it is? My flora-identifying skills are very limited. If it wasn't on my Laura Ashley wallpaper growing up, I probably don't know what it is. So basically, the only flower I can point out with confidence is a rose.).

The next picture is from a house on Nantucket. The patterned wallpaper is so pretty, especially with the thin wood trim accents. It's like giant delicate picture frames around each wall.

(Tom Scheerer)

The Dec. 2009 issue of Country Living magazine featured a house that had the same wallpaper (Waverly's Gramercy) in every room, but in different colors. For a small house, I think that's a great idea. It gives it a sense of continuity, but each room is still different. Here's the family room, which has the wallpaper in brown.

(Country Living, Dec. 2009)

And, on a smaller scale, one chair upholstered in a patterned fabric pops against a white wall.

And finally, here's a photo that I snagged from Katy Elliot (who credits The City Sage).

There's been an awful lot of pattern activity on Filed For Later, lately. Maybe it's time to cleanse the palate with some solids ... or maybe not ;-)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A cottage kitchen before and after

Nothing is quite as inspiring as a good before and after picture. This one is from Sunset Magazine. It's hard to imagine that the kitchen below

would grow up to become this:

The cottage was built in the 1920's. Its owner, Caroline Willis, made minimal changes, but each one had a huge impact. A fresh coat of paint in soft, neutral tones and baskets on shelves instead of cupboard doors make the biggest difference in the small room.

I couldn't believe it when I read that the new kitchen uses the old countertops. I didn't even recognize them! The tile trim around the island looks 1,000 times more updated in the white kitchen.

The rest of the house is just as cozy. The den is filled with a sea grass rug and the cutest little pair of checkered chairs.

And in the living room, Caroline painted the insides of her bookshelves darker than the walls to help her creamware collection stand out. I'm also admiring the dark wooden fireplace with the tile trim. A very small addition of color, and it's just perfect for the room.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I bought this poster

I've been looking at it online for two years now, but wasn't about to spend $60 on it. But it still makes me smile! And then the price dropped! And then I found out it was an additional 20 percent off, which makes me smile even more.

Now what?

Hand-blocked fabrics

Hand-blocked fabrics stop me in my tracks every time. Not the heavy, densely patterned variety. I'm drawn to patterns that are simple on a grand scale, but if you look closely, you notice tiny detail after tiny detail.

Like this bed, for instance:


I love the grand scale of the print, and what appears to be a chenille fabric on top of the canopy.

And here's a pattern that's similar in scale, but as a duvet cover. Isn't that headboard beautiful?

(House Beautiful, August 2008)

I'm equally as drawn to this next room, which has a similar style print, but in a smaller scale.

(House Beautiful, March 2009)

And, even though this cover is everywhere these days (mostly because it's one of the only decor magazines left), I feel compelled to include this picture because look at the printed fabric hanging over the railing and on the pillow!

I love the purples, blues and browns, which is evident if you see my living room. Someday soon, when my sewing machine stops humming, I will post pictures.

John Robshaw is behind most, if not all (I don't have sources for all the pictures), of the patterns above. I can't afford J.R.! Enter: Saffron Marigold, where patterns like this

and this

and this

give you the Robshaw feel but at a much lower price. A queen bedspread is under $70! My current favorite print is the first one listed above, called Lavender Dreams. Here are a couple of closer looks:

A duvet cover would be lovely, but I'd also like to see it made into long curtains, layered on top of blackout fabric so the pattern pops even when the sun is streaming through the windows.