Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Fifth Wall

Often times when decorating a room we neglect the ceiling, AKA the "fifth wall". Don't settle for boring white when you can really step things up with a fun wallpaper pattern, paint detail, or solid accent color. I'd love to do a dramatic lacquered ceiling sometime - maybe in a dining room. Here are some great examples on how bringing attention to the ceiling can create a stunning focal point. Have you done anything fun to your ceiling(s)?



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Inspiration Snapshot: Classy + Feminine Workspace

How beautiful is this office space? The blue chinoiserie wall mural seriously "makes" whole design! Other highlights: the quartz table lamp, elegant ivory desk, gold sequin pillow on the slipcovered wingback chair, the dramatic silk drapes and the sisal rug for a layer of texture. I think I'd be super productive if my home office looked like this! Are you loving this space as much as I am?!


Monday, January 28, 2013

Quote of the Week

"Whether it's your main gathering spot or the place where you entertain, your living room can be customized to fit all its functions in truly comfortable fashion. We think it should also be designed to convey who you are and how you like to live, because after the entryway, it's often the first impression people get of your home."

- Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams, The Comfortable Home

[IMAGE SOURCES: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5]


Friday, January 25, 2013

'Five Things' Friday

Today I'm launching a new series called "Five Things Friday". I decided it would be fun and maybe even therapeutic to close out each week by writing about 5 things that are on my mind, happening in my life or whatever! Random design inspiration, goals, personal trials, favorite thing of the moment...anything goes. And I may even invite some of you to share your "Five Things" right here on Belle Maison, which would be a lot of fun to read! Anyway, enjoy and please feel free to share a thing or two (or 5) that's on your mind today. Have an amazing weekend! xoxo - Julie

1. My husband and I are dropping the baby off at Grammie's house for the weekend so we can get away! We're heading up to the mountains to attend a Couples Retreat though our church, which will be focusing on the topic of "communication" in your marriage and how to become better at it (which we can definitely use, especially lately!). I'm really looking forward to spending some quality alone time with my hubby - a rarity since we had our son nearly 9 months ago. I'll keep you posted on how it goes :) [IMAGE SOURCE]

2. I pinned this house a few weeks back and am obsessed with it! I want to live here and sit on the front porch in the evenings with a glass of wine and chat with the neighbors while our kids play on the front lawn. A girl can dream, right?!

3. This kitchen is a dream! The fresh white cabinets and countertops with pops of yellow make me so happy. Wouldn't you love to spend tons of time in this space with your family and friends? It also makes me want a lemon drop martini...

4. Alt Summit 2012 NYC - I really want to go to this! They have one going on right now in Salt Lake City and it sounds like a blast. What is it, you ask? Instead of summing it up myself, I took this directly from their website: "The founders of Alt Summit come from a blogging family. Understanding that bloggers needed the connections a live event would offer, an idea was hatched. A live event to discuss what is new, what is working, what is not and what is next...Alt has grown to be the premier business conference for pioneering bloggers and rookie bloggers alike. Alt is open to all. Attendees tend to have a shared interest in innovation within the space. There is a generosity at Alt. There is room for everyone." They have an incredible line-up of guest speakers, cocktail parties, dinners, panels, etc. and it would be a great way to connect with fellow bloggers face to face! Have any of you ever been? Do any of you fellow bloggers plan on attending the next one in June? I have no idea what it costs but I'm sure the whole trip would cost me a pretty penny...I better start saving up!

5. This sums up how excited I was to hear the good news about my husband's new job! He's been out of work for 2 years, freelancing here and there, but nothing steady. He starts on Monday and I'm thrilled beyond words for him and for us. I'm also excited to have my home office all to myself! We live in a one bedroom apartment and my office is in the dining area (we have an open floor plan). We've literally been in the same space for 2 years together...every. single. day. You know what I'm sayin? It's been tough! I'm also looking forward to stressing a little less over money and how we're going to cover our bills every month. God is good and has totally hooked us up. I'm looking forward to being excited about our future again ;) [IMAGE SOURCE]


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Marketplace Finds: Slipper Chairs Under $400

I've been working on several projects that have fairly tight budgets and short time lines, so I've been on the hunt for some affordable yet stylish pieces that we can get quickly. I love doing custom upholstered pieces, but with lead times ranging from 4 - 8 weeks, it's just not an option. One piece I've been in search of are slipper chairs in fun graphic prints. I can't believe how many fabulous options there are out there under $400! Slipper chairs are the perfect accent piece when you need more seating but may be limited on space, or when you just need a little something extra to complete a room. Below is a round-up of my favorite finds under $400. Which chair strikes your fancy?!

Shop these chairs...
7. Draper Slipper Chair - $160 Home Decorators
8. Green Tufted Devon Slipper Chair - $279 World Market

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Inspiration Snapshot: Eclectic Chic Dining

Today is a great day! My husband was offered an incredible job after nearly two years of unemployment, and he happily accepted. God is so great and faithful to his promises - I feel truly blessed and can't wait to see what other incredible opportunities he has in store for us this year!

This fabulous little dining room caught my eye, particularity the striped chairs and awesome chandelier. I love the eclectic mix of pieces in this space - the zinc table top paired with a wood base, chairs upholstered in  fabulous black and white striped fabric and trimmed with nail heads, the vibrant turquoise ottoman for additional seating, and the fun piece of art. It's a great reminder that not everything always has to "match," especially in a dining room. Sometimes the more you mix it up, the better and more original the outcome! What do you like about this space?


Monday, January 21, 2013

Quote of the Week

"Simplicity is a bit of a misnomer, really. In trying to achieve it in design (and in life), it's actually quite complex. It takes a lot of effort to look effortless, but it is definitely worth the struggle, because when seeing it, tasting it, or feeling its effects, its simply wonderful."

- Barbara Barry, Around Beauty

 [IMAGE CREDITS: 1|2|3|4|5]

Hope you had a great weekend. Wishing you a happy and productive week!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Client Project: Color Scheme Inspiration

I was just hired by a fabulous couple in their thirties to help design their brand new house, which I'm super excited about! They want a look that's fresh, modern and comfortable with a touch of glam, but weren't quite sure what color direction to go so I created two very different color schemes to choose from. The first being one of my favorite color palettes of all time - indigo mixed with shades of blue and apple green, gray and crisp white. The second scheme is a palette that is on trend right now, with shades of aubergine, fuchsia, gray and crisp white. My clients chose board #2, which I haven't done before so it'll be a fun challenge. This year I'm really going to try and share more of the projects I'm working on, including the ones around my house. I'll be sure to keep you updated on the progress of this project as we go along! If you had to choose between these design concepts, which would you go with? I'm torn...(Be sure to click on each board to see an enlarged view).

[Click on image to enlarge!]
 Top left image credit: Tara Bussema; Bottom right image credit: Anne Hepfer Designs]

[Click on image to enlarge!]
Top left image credit: Niki Papadopoulos; Bottom right image credit: Jane Lockhart Interior Design
Many of the products can be found on my Pinterest project board here


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Personal Project: Entry Photo Wall

Last weekend was one of those weekends where I was super productive and tackled a bunch of little projects on my never-ending to-do list around the apartment. I re-organized the kitchen cabinets, donated bags of things we never use but were taking up precious space and finally finished our entry photo wall! I painted this wall about a year ago and hung a few frames but it never looked right to me. For months I've been staring at this wall, chomping at the bit to really do it right. Here are a few notes on how I created this photo wall. I plan on switching out the photos every 6 months to keep things fresh and interesting. Let me know what you think! Do you have any plans for updating your entryway this year?

I painted the main entry wall this amazing shade of gray from Benjamin Moore (which I can't find the name of at the moment but will update this post as soon as I do!) I didn't really have a layout in mind on how to hang each piece, but I started with this larger piece first and worked around it. I had all of the frames laid out on the floor and hung them sort of like pieces of a puzzle as I went along - holding up different sizes to see what worked before mounting them with a nail and picture frame wire (although there are quite a few extra holes in this wall with my "eyeball" method!).

I wanted to mix it up and have more than just frames, so I incorporated a few pieces of art (from Homegoods) and small round gold mirrors, which breaks up all of the photos.  Most of the frames are from Ikea and are in all different finishes, which gives the wall an eclectic feel. Tip: don't fill the frames until after you've hung the entire wall so you have more flexibility on the direction to hang the frame (horizontal or vertical). It's extra work but worth it!

A shot of our front door - as you can see, our entryway is very small and the kitchen is just to the right. Even though it's just an apartment, I really wanted to make our entry dramatic and fun. I hung the frames high on the wall to give the illusion of higher ceilings.

Details of frames in all different finishes, which works well.

I know it's very "Friends" from the 90's, but the glass broke in this gold frame so I decided to make use of it by mounting it to the door (I used these awesome Hanging Strips from the Command).

Now that the wall is complete, I'm realizing that we need a runner in a fun pattern, maybe with some color, to complete the look. I'll add that to the list!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Quote of the Week

"When I'm designing a home, I give as much attention to the placement of a decorative chair as I do the hanging of an expansive painting, in every instance engaging the interplay of texture and scale...A well considered vignette can make a piece of art all the more beautiful by adding a complimentary energy and form." 

- Kelly Wearstler, Rhapsody 

 [IMAGE SOURCES: 1|2|3|4|5]


Friday, January 11, 2013

Entryway Inspiration

The entrance to your home sets the tone for what people can expect for the rest of your house, right? It's the first and last impression of your home, so it should be impressive and memorable. Even if you have a tiny entryway, there are so many things you can do to spice it up. I have a single wall in my apartment entryway  that was super boring until I painted it an accent color and created an awesome photo / art collage wall (which I'll be sharing with you next week)! Now when people walk in the door, they stop to admire all of the memorable photos that fill the frames. Don't settle for a plain old boring entrance - try an accent paint, a stunning piece of art, wallpaper, an over-sized mirror, a graphic runner, painted floors, painted ceilings...the sky's the limit! Here are some great examples of dynamic entrances to give you a little inspiration. What's going on in your entryway right now? Happy weekend! xoxo - Julie



Thursday, January 10, 2013

Inspiration Snapshot: Mirror Mirror...

The new issue of Lonny is out and this gorgeous snapshot caught my eye! I love the idea of leaning an over-sized mirror against the wall and then putting a small accent piece, like a console table or chest, in front of it. There are so many layers to this small space, which make it interesting and beautiful. Check out the rest of this amazing apartment here!


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Guest Blogging Today!

Happy Wednesday! I hope your week is going great so far. Meet me over at Typhanie Peterson's blog today for a post on my prediction of 5 Trends that will be Hot in 2013! What do you foresee on the design horizon this year?