I am designing a reading nook and daybed in the bay window of a bedroom belonging to the daughter of one of my clients. Whether you find a cozy nook built in a huge bay window, in between an awkward space in a room, or the room was designed specifically to have one, they immediately become their own space entirely.
Here are some great examples of how easy it is to utilize a nook area for a place to gather and eat, be productive and work, or seclude yourself and enjoy a good book, or even blog ;)
Whether you are a clueless valentine or you just need a little help when it comes to ordering the perfect floral arrangement...
Do yourself a favor and take notes....
2. Be pro-active...Do some research. Find a florist you love. When you are at an event and like the flower arrangements, ask who designed them. Pinterest is a great site that among other things, has a category for weddings and events, where you can scroll through images of floral arrangments and search by color or type.
3. Be confident....the next time you order flowers, mention to the florist the type of flower you (or your valentine) likes. Peonies are one of my favorite, but not always in season. Ask the florist what their freshest flowers are and what flowers they recommend to accent your favorite flower.
4. Don't cut corners....ask the florist what their "filler" flowers are...Tell them you absolutely do not want a single sprig of Baby's Breath or a single Carnation bud. Those two flowers alone have the same affect as seeing a "Prado" label on knock-off Prada bag, and will immediately cheapen the arrangement.
5. Quality over Quantity....A smaller arrangement filled with the freshest and finest is without a doubt more meaningful than one of the large arrangements filled with two dozen red roses and baby's breath. (sorry 1-800-Flowers)
Here are some lovely flower arrangements that are sure to add a pop of color to any room, or put you in your lover's good graces on Valentine's Day, anniversaries, and birthdays.
Celosia flower (looks like a brain)
Anemone (its dark center adds drama to the arrangment)
Pink peonies, garden roses, and hydrangea (clean, fresh, and flawless)
A variety of Peonies (simple, yet bold in color and statement)
My valentine is true a romantic...Because we couldn't spend Valentine's Day together this year, he concocted a scheme with my entire office in order to surprise me for a pre-valentine's dinner last week. I have been the mastermind of many great surprises in my life, and this was the first time anyone has ever actually surprised me without having any suspicion at all. Although I was still in a bit of shock when we sat down to eat at the fabulous new restaurant Catch designed by iCrave in the Meatpacking District, I quickly settled down as I took in the wonderful decor and yummy fresh seafood. (***If you do click the link to Catch's website, the photo does not do the design of the space justice AT ALL!)
Just in case you still haven't bought your valentine a gift to remind them of their significance in your life, here are a few suggestions...
In the 1920s Philip Johnson, Mies van der Rohe, and Le Corbusier were designing and building flat roofed houses out of modern materials like concrete and steel. Their International Style approach to architecture and modern interiors was a direct rebellion of the architecture principals and decorative elements of past Beaux Arts design styles. Their approach has since inspired today's modern buildings, homes and minimalist interiors flooding the real estate market and popular magazines.
Le Corbusier, International Style:
I always admire those who think outside the box and value innovation and change while pushing the mainstream to step outside their comfort zone. I think it is important for not only a designer, but for anyone to resist polarized ideals, opinions, and aesthetics. Having an open mind and being able to question your own choices is the only way to really grow as an individual . The best designs incorporate the refined elements of the past with the novelty of the new and avant garde blending and refining the best qualities of each.
A short boat ride from the European home of the International Style, another modern movement known as Scandinavian "Functionalism" was being established in the countries of Sweden, Norway, and the islands of Denmark. The talented cabinetmakers and designers were inventing and crafting very modern furniture in terms of its form and structure, while respecting the beauty of handmade craftsmanship, natural materials, and bold colors and patterns.
Hans Wegner, Scandinavian:
Below are some of my favorite vibrant floral patterns by the most well known Scandinavian textile designer, Josef Frank as well as more contemporary patterns that have a similar resemblance.
Josef Frank, Scandinavian:
(left) Josef Frank, "Rox & Fix"; (right) Kelly Wearstler
(left) Josef Frank, "Vegetable Tree"; (right) Katie Ridder
(left) Josef Frank, "La Plata"; (right) Roberta Roller Rabbit
For me, a well designed "modern" home today is one that incorporates the clean lines and modern materials of International Style architecture and furniture with the natural handcrafted furniture and bold patterns of the Scandinavian modern movement.