Friday, April 30, 2010

Home Tour: Michael Penney of House & Home

Happy Friday! Today I'm featuring the fabulous home of Michael Penney, assistant style editor of Canadian House & Home. I included little tips straight from the article, which share how Michael mixes old with new and how he "creates prosecco-and-crostini rooms from a beer-and-nachos budget!" See how he adds character by mixing vintage finds with pieces from Pottery Barn, Ikea, West Elm and HomeSense. Enjoy and click here to read the entire article. Any special plans for the weekend? I'm hoping to just relax but that usually never happens...see you back here next week! XO - Julie

Rustic baskets above the shelves and a mod '60s light fixture emphasize the height of this kitchen. He found the light fixture at a vintage store for $100!

A secondhand cabinet from Craigslist stands in as a stylish and budget-savvy island. He decided to leave it alone and not "gunk it up with paint." Pegboard offers valuable storage space.

Vintage chairs—recovered in a menswear-inspired Robert Allen fabric—add a bespoke touch to this space.

Color-blocked books add punch to white shelves and collectibles. This is on my list of things to try in my own home one day!

Painting the back of this built-in hutch makes china, antique goblets and collectibles stand out.

A vintage painting, trophy, mirror and woven basket add texture and eclectic charm to this living room mantelscape. When digging through a second-hand store he suggests going over an area more than once, in case you miss something the first time.

Simple white bedding allows the printed drapes—a steal at $12 a yard—to steal the spotlight. He painted the ceiling an intense robins-egg blue which make the white walls pop.

A clawfoot tub and wainscoted tile add charm, while the all-white palette keeps the look fresh.

A wide and preppy striped wallpaper wakes up this room. "Our 'headboard' is panels from a vintage door, mounted to the wall and framed with MDF," says Michael. "The glam pulls for the bedside tables came from eBay — just $20 for four!" Crisp white bedding and lampshades tie the look together.

A chinoiserie thrift-store chaise, drum stool and patterned cushions evoke a air of genteel splendour. He added a new shade to the $6 second-hand lamp.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fashion Inspired Design Concept: Summer Chic

You never know what will inspire a new color scheme or design concept. It can be anything from a piece of art, gorgeous jewelry, a fabric swatch, or even a lovely dress. I came across the Crochet Watercolor Floral Dress by Bluemarine (below) and it instantly inspired me to create a new design concept. The soft colorful pattern looks like a watercolor painting and the details of the turquoise beaded belt and crocheted neckline add a touch of texture and style. The final look: Summer Chic - feminine, relaxed with a touch of sophistication. What inspires you?! Please share!

2. Canning Lattice Pillow by Dransfield & Ross
3. Calandria Armchair, Longshore via Anthropologie 
4. Seaspray Vases via Anthropologie
5. Watercolor Bouquet I via

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lamp Love

Lamps, lamps and more lamps! Big ones, crazy ones, bold ones, simple ones...they come in so many different shapes, sizes and colors, the options are endless! I think often people tend to focus more on the overhead lighting in a space such as decorative chandeliers and pendant lights, but table lamps and floor lamps can also punch up a space and create interest. The right lamp can be the only accessory you need on an end table. Take a close look at each of these photos for a little inspiration on how a lamp can really add drama to your decor. What do you think about lamps? Are they important to you when it comes to designing your own home?

P.S. Don't forget to enter my exciting giveaway hosted by Jen @ Made by Girl!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Giveaway! Win from Modern Chic Home

Happy Monday! Jennifer, owner of Made by Girl  company and blog, was so kind to agree to host a giveaway for my online design boutique, Modern Chic Home. She rarely does giveaways so I really want to thank her for taking the time to do this with me. The giveaway: Two lucky winners will receive any accent pillow of their choice from my shop! Visit Jennifer's blog for rules and details on how to enter. Good luck and thank you for your support! XO - Julie

Friday, April 23, 2010

Notable Discoveries...

My new House Beautiful issue has arrived (May 2010) and it's packed full of inspiration! I seriously get excited and almost giddy when I get any new magazine in the gives me a little design high! Anyway, a few things caught my eye in "The Best" section that I thought you'd enjoy (if you haven't already discovered them):

Chai Nesting Tables via Serena & Lily;$369 set

Chair Pillows via Soap Studiooos Etsy Shop @ $45 each

(Not featured in HB, but they caught my eye!) Shopping Cart, Milk and Headphones Pillows via Soap Studiooos Etsy Shop; $45 each.

Archie Grand Notebooks via Jasper + Black
Keep track of  your random likes / dislikes on just about every subject for only $10!

Home Tour: West Hollywood Modern Mix

In addition to the great finds from the new House Beautiful issue (mentioned in my previous post), I just had to share this L.A. Apartment home tour, also featured in the new issue. Designed by Melissa Warner, this apartment serves as her L.A. pied-a-terre away from her home base in San Francisco. Her design style is so chic and refreshing. In describing her living room, Melissa says, "there's a soft animal print, a floral, a geometric print, and an applique. All that variety makes it lively." Her boyfriend calls her home Disneyland - he says it's the happiest place on earth! I couldn't agree more.

A few valuable design tips I picked up from her interview: 
1) Paint last; choose fabrics, furniture, and rugs first, otherwise you limit yourself.
2) Dressmaker details do a lot in terms of making a room look finished and pulled together.
3) Pillows have to bring something new to a room scheme; can introduce and entirely new color, texture, graphic pattern, etc.
4) A quick fix for ugly closet doors is to flip them around and cover them with bold wallpaper; when she moves out of her apartment she can strip away the paper, turn the doors back around, and it'll be like it never happened (genius!).
5) Small-scale furniture only makes a small bedroom look smaller. Try a high bed and a tall headboard. Your room will grow.
 Enjoy and have a great weekend! Anyone doing anything exciting?  I'm taking care of my (2) nieces and (2) nephews...wish me luck!
XO - Julie 


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Guest Blogger + Giveaway!

Hello there! A few different things are going on today...

1) belle maison is having an identity crisis (LOL) and I've been experimenting with different logos and design elements, hence the new header! What I'd really like to do is a complete blog-overhaul and create a (3) column blog, but I'm a little scared to try it! Anyone have suggestions / directions on how to upload the 3-column template for blogger?

2) You can find me over at the fabulous blog, From the Right Bank. Ally invited me and several other bloggers to do a guest post over the month of April, so be sure to check out all of the guest posts for tons of inspiration!

3) I've teamed up with Fabulous Fun Finds for a review & giveaway from Modern Chic Home! Click on image to learn more about how you can enter to WIN! Thanks for your support and good luck!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ruffled Bliss

Oh, how I love me some ruffles! They add a classy and feminine touch to just about anything, be it a shower curtain, throw pillow, long as the ruffles are subtle and not overdone (otherwise you cross into the scary country ruffle style where it's total overkill). I've been seeing a lot of gorgeous ruffled pieces out in the marketplace and rounded up some of my favorites. How do you feel about this look? Are you a fan or do you prefer being ruffle-free?