Friday, September 26, 2008

Dining Room Wall Decor - Part I

After 10 years of the same old thing on the wall of my dining room, I have decided to change things up a bit. So, as usual, I turn to my inspiration files to see what ideas I could cull out of my favorite images.

Dining rooms are interesting places. Most seem to have one big wall with no windows, which creates a great opportunity for making a statement. Also, they are often one of the first things seen when entering a house (at least, in Atlanta homes this is the case). When looking through my picture files, I realized that the dining room images that appeal to me seem to fall into three categories. So here is #1: a mirror on the wall.

From At Home magazine, photography by Michael Partenio. I love this dining room, with its Osborne and Little wallpaper, a great Louis Philippe mirror, and antique sconces. The chandelier is beautiful too. The sconces effectively widening the scene of the dining room wall without making things too heavy.

A peek into a lovely dining room in a Paris apartment (image via the Paris Apartment). A statement mirror defines the room (love those chevron floors too), and a glimpse of sconces on either side of the mirror can be seen. The chandelier seems very small for the space, but look at the height of those ceilings! I simply must have 10 foot plus ceilings in my next house.

This must be a new image on Jan Shower's site, because I would have remembered it! A huge mirror dominates the wall. I am having a hard time determining whether there is another mirror hung on top, or if it a reflection of the opposite wall. Note that the reflection of the chandelier is somewhat blocked, which makes me think it is a mirror on a mirror. (The chandelier is one of my all time favorites - I think it is the Niermann Weeks Swedish chandelier).

A scene from Mrs. Howard, my favorite store in Atlanta. Phoebe Howard frequently uses mirrors in the dining room.

This is one of my favorite pictures from the Hickory Chair website. The mirror looks great above the console.

This is from an Atlanta real estate listing; the interior design was done by Barbara Westbrook. This is a classic dining room configuration, with the dining room set up along the length of the house versus the width. The designer used sconces to flank the mirror in the dining room, although they do not look electrified. I have been in this house, and the wall on either side of the opening to the front hall has a concealed silver cabinet.

Phoebe Howard seems to like mirrors in the dining room. This room is so light and fresh - I just noticed that the tabletop is mirrored. The mirror is on one of the small walls of the dining room. This is what a beach house should look like, isn't it? I imagine this room looking out onto the water.

This dining room by Mary McDonald is possibly one of the most blogged about dining rooms out there! It is one of my all time favorite dining rooms. Maybe it is the green (I love green), maybe it is the seagrass rug, maybe it is the French mirror. Or, maybe it is the combination of all of the above that makes this scene so appealing. There are quite a few windows in this dining room, which makes me think it must be in the front corner of the house.

Anne Coyle used a mirror and collected objects above a console in her dining room. I initially thought this was in her entryway, but later learned it is in her dining room.

This is Suzanne Kasler's dining room, from the house she sold a few years ago. The mirror style looks like it is horizontally oriented, which I normally do not like, but the antique buffet is the star of the scene and it is quite high. Notice how she placed a square framed item to the right of the mirror.

Another Phoebe Howard scene, with a mirror on the dining room.

Mirrors are so versatile, and I think they look great in a dining room. In fact, I recently purchased a great Louis Philippe mirror for my own dining room (I had plates on the wall before), although ultimately I would like to move the mirror somewhere else in my house and instead hang a fabulous piece of contemporary art. Art in the dining room....that will be the subject of part II! Stay tuned. (Postscript: here is a link to part III too).

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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Herringbone in the Fireplace

Although I like the herringbone pattern in floors, I absolutely love the herringbone pattern in a fireplace. Specifically, in a firebox (a new term for me), the part of the fireplace where the fire is actually lit.

My favorite cover of Veranda features a beautiful herringbone pattern inside the fireplace. Interior design by Renea Abbott of Shabby Slips, Houston.

The cover of this month's House Beautiful also features a beautiful fireplace with a herringbone pattern inside the fireplace.

Francois & Co. makes beautiful handcarved mantels, and many of the pictures on their website feature herringbone fireboxes. I love this scene - the French chairs and trumeau paired with a simple but beautifully carved fireplace. The herringbone pattern inside the fireplace blends perfectly with this scene.

Another scene from the Francois & Co. website, this one a little more modern with the contemporary art and the more streamlined chairs (looks like a Todd Murphy painting above the fireplace). The mantle is sleek, and the herringbone firebox looks great in this setting too.

A large French fireplace with a herringbone firebox, via Cote de Texas. This is a statement fireplace!

This is a spectacular fireplace, made all the more lovely because of the herringbone firebox. Interior design by Pam Pierce, via Cote de Texas.

From Elle Decor. A beautiful herringbone pattern in the fireplace, but I can't help but wish that the soot stains weren't there; it detracts from the lovely color of the bricks. I guess a fireplace needs to be used, though!

This room designed by S.R. Gambrel has a magnifent, large fireplace with a delicate herringbone pattern inside. I wish I had a picture of the fireplace head on; it is the focal point of the room, and I am sure that the herringbone pattern was carefully selected.

This well known picture in the design blog world features a room designed by Barrie Benson (Domino Magazine). Yes, I love the room, but the herringbone pattern in the fireplace also caught my eye!

One of my all time favorite living room pictures. No surprise, if you look very carefully, you can see that the fireplace has a herringbone pattern inside. Architecture and design by William Hefner.

Old World Stoneworks also make beautiful fireplace mantels, and frequently advertise in many of the design magazine. This fireplace was featured on the Southern Accents showhouse cover in 2004. Many of the examples on their website feature a herringbone firebox.

So, I have found another 'must have' for my dream house: a herringbone pattern inside the fireplace. It works beautifully with the layered European look that I love, but as seen in these pictures, is so classic that it also goes with a variety of different styles.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Top Design: Ondine Karady

I am a big fan of Bravo's Top Design. I think this show is much more geared towards the crowd that likes and appreciates the interior design magazines. I was able to watch my TiVo version of the show this morning, and to my delight one of the contestants is the designer behind an advertisement that I have admired for years (I believe the ad is for Armstrong floors). The designer is Ondine Karady, and her background is in set design. She is one of the designers who created the beautiful interiors on the Sex and the City show, and now has her own design firm.

Here is a picture of the ad. It has so many elements that I admire - the billowing silk curtains (in coral, which I adore), the large, arched French doors, the symmetrical mirrors and lamps, the streamlined sofa flanked with unmatched chairs (it softens the symmetry of the lamps and mirrors). I also spy the Barbara Barry for McGuire Script chairs on the side. I love that is is a formal room being used in a very casual way.

I think Ondine will be one of the last designers standing if her portfolio is any indication...we will see!

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