Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mixing It Up

I grew up in a traditional home.  We had furniture “sets”.  The colors used were always an exact match and fabrics and patterns were repeated around the room.

Life  and design were predictable.


And boring…..

Not so much any more. 

Elle_Decor-SF_Showcase_Palmer Weisss Palmer Weiss

Now we mix it up….mix up periods of style….mix up colors….mix up the woods and metals.  Freedom!  Oh, Yeah!

New England Home Magazine, designers Bierly Drake Associates New England Home Magazine

The predictable, traditional room was easier to pull off because there were so many rules to adhere to, and now the rules seem to have been thrown out of the window.   Or have they?

Katie ridder Katie Ridder

The principles of design still apply even when we push the envelope.  For a room to work, attention must still be paid to balance, harmony, scale.  We still need a focal point with attention to color and texture along the way. 

It’s really not “willy-nilly”!

Summer Thornton IDSummer Thornton

In many ways, it takes a lot more skill to mix it up.  It really isn’t “anything goes”.   

Canadian House and Home Canadian House and Home

In design, it’s always about pushing our comfort zone a little bit.  That’s how we keep it interesting and fresh.  Even the most traditional of us can find a new way to use color or pattern….maybe not in a large dose, but at least a little bit. 

Lawrence Boeder via Traditional HomeLawrence Boeder via Traditional Home

So what keeps us stuck in tradition?   Is it really that we love it so, or do we feel safe there?   Are we afraid we’ll try something and not like it?…..or that it will cost too much?

Change up your art.  Instead of the traditional landscape or floral, go a little modern.

SuzanneTuckerpg31Suzanne Tucker

Try a little bolder paint color……after all….it’s only paint!

Miles Young in Interiors Magazine  Miles Young

Paint your old chairs or a table you’ve had for years.

Isabel López-Quesada Nuevo estilo Isabel Lopez

Or make a change in a light fixture.

Ellen Hamilton Ellen Hamilton

Go bold with an accessory or two.

Yvonne O'Brien Interior design Yvonne O’Brian

It’s almost Spring…..don’t you want to mix it up a bit?

Sally J. Designs can help you to LOVE your home!

Contact us for personal or on-line design services and turnkey project completion.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday Morning Design Inspiration

I'm working on a new project ...the redo of a small, cozy den....and I've been looking for inspiration.  
I seem to be finding that in almost everything Stephen Gambrel does !

Dark glossy walls... elements to keep it light, like art, the ceiling,  the rug, and reflective surfaces....stripes to make it interesting....square shapes to make it unified.   

He also breaks the rules to keep us engaged.....glossy black leather chairs should disappear on the black glossy wall, but the silver nailheads and the pillow pops let us know they are there.  Convention would have us make the lampshades and the matting on the art be the same color, but this is so much more dramatic, isn't it?  Oh, and that chandelier!!

I'm just a big fan of Stephen's work, and I could go on and on about this room, but I'm wondering what you think?  

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sally and the Snowy Days, Wild Hair, Craft-Hoarding projects

 Dallasites were confined to their homes for several days in a row because of the weather a couple of weeks ago.  When you live alone like I do, you better enjoy your own company because Henry, Big Dog is not a particularly good conversationalist. 

Because I am a self-confessed “craft hoarder”, I had plenty of project materials on hand.  My goal is to have everything I need to start a project at 10pm if I so choose. 

I thought I’d share a couple of things that I completed during the snow days in Dallas.

First of all, I had this small polypropolene rug that graced the floor under my kitchen sink.  It gets dirty there, and the poor little thing bore the brunt of water spills and who knows what else. 

Sally'ssally's small kitchen projects 006

Sally'ssally's small kitchen projects 007See  the yucky stains…..eewww.

But the size was perfect and I liked the design, (besides…can you say “Bored”) so instead of throwing it away, I pulled out my box of acrylic paint and painted it.

Sally'ssally's small kitchen projects 008

This is what is termed a “wild-hair” project, because if I had thought about how long this was going to take, I might have reconsidered, but I was stuck in the house for 4 days and time wasn’t a huge issue for me.  Besides, it was  mindless, paint-by-numbers kind of work, and it was strangely relaxing.

Here’s the finished paint-job.  I know it’s not going to last forever, but for now, I’m enjoying this shot of color in my black and white kitchen.

painted rug

The other project that I completed was the cushions for my kitchen counter stools.  I’ve been sewing since I was 12 yrs old….even sewed bedding and a line of nursery accessories back in the day and operated a successful craft business for a time.  But to be honest, I haven’t sewed much other than my pumpkins in quite a while.  (You can see them here.)

But I had thrown out the red and yellow toile cushions that I had and I needed to do something.  Luckily, in my fabric stash, I found several pieces of black and white prints, so I was able to choose 3 that I liked for the seat cushions.  I even found enough of one to make all the backs alike. 

Sally'ssally's small kitchen projects 003

The punch would be cording and ties from a turquoise chenille I had laying around from a previous project.  I was all set.

Sally'ssally's small kitchen projects 001

Craft-hoarder-Me even had batting for the inserts!   I had to be patient with myself since I hadn’t sewed in a while, and there were a few seams I had to rip out and do over but I think they turned out pretty well for a snowy day project. 

Sally'ssally's small kitchen projects 004

It’s sad that I have to get snowed in to get anything done around here, but I’ll just be grateful for the few days I had and plan for the next one.  We’re up into the 70’s and 80’s now, so there won’t be any more snow days this year, but the machine is still out…..who know’s when I might get another “wild-hair”!

Sally J. Designs can help you to LOVE you home!

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Good Saturday, Peeps

What are  you doing today?
I'm helping a friend today give a clothing party at my studio, so I'm leaving here shortly to go spruce up the place. 

There's a part of me who would love to stay home and begin my day on a nice, slow glide.  
I'm envisioning myself having coffee, reading a few blogs and sitting here.

Victoria Neale

There's just not much that I don't love about his cozy, little space.

Yall have a great Saturday.  I'd love to know what you're up to!
Wouldn't it be fun to share some time here?

Sally J. Designs helps you to LOVE  your home!
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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Preview to Spring

I’m like most design bloggers I know….we spend inordinate amounts of time reading other people’s blogs.  It’s where we get inspiration and ideas for our blogs!  (You know there is nothing new under the sun, after all )  Hopefully we can put our own spin on and inspire someone else to do the same.

I found these lovely little plates on  They are created by an Aukland designer, Rachel Carley

rachel carley ceramics 

The beautiful pastel colors caught my eye.  I feel spring coming on!

Wouldn’t these make a lovely palette for space in your home? 

Soft, aqua greens…..

Bianca Lorenne collection 3 Bianca Lorenne Collection

Creamy whites……like vanilla ice cream….


Blushing pinks……

Designer Phoebe Howard

Phoebe Howard 

Buttery yellows

butter kitchen

this year’s popular “Honeysuckle”….(or maybe this is Flamingo!!)

Otthon Magazine

and baby, baby blue…..

Judy Bentley  Atlanta HomeJudy Bently  

Or mix it up!

Thibaut Gate House Collection 3


One more…..


Can’t you just feel it?…….It will be here soon!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Chicken or the Egg ? Analogy

I think the weather all over the country has been quite curious these last few weeks, and once again, we were homebound due to ice and snow this week.  (Soooo weird for Texas!)

I had a generous amount of time to read the blogs while I was holed up, and the more I looked, the more a question kept coming up for me.....

.....Are bloggers trend setters, or trend followers?

Since there are so many of us who are reporting on on our own design esthetics by way of "The Blog", how much is original inspiration?  Do we fall in love with a trend because we see it in our mailboxes so often, or are we inspired to create new and different because we're tired of seeing  the same thing all the time.

Case in point:
I began blogging almost a year ago.  I did read a few of the popular blogs prior to starting my own, but for the most part, I was primarily interested in exploring what I loved about design.  I think my earlier posts reflected that.  But as I continued to expand number of blogs I read, I began to see that there were a few "camps" to which the blogs fell into.
1.  Blogs who were written by designers and decorators like myself
2.  Blogs written by design enthusiasts ( who maybe should be designers!)
3.  Crafters and Etsy shop owners  (I long to join that group as well)
4.  Blogs that loved to combine design and fashion

I loved them all and the list of blogs I follow grew and grew.   The more I read, the more I began to see that so many of them wrote about similar themes.

All white kitchens

Bohemian, Frenchy-lofty NYC apartment looks

Perch in NOLA


Aqua bedrooms

Jmac and Kennedy ID

Gallery walls

Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware 

....just to name a few.

Which came first, the trend or the blog?  
They say you should never ask a question that you don't have the answer for, and while I have an OPINION...I have no real facts to support it.  But one thing I know for certain, the design pendulum doesn't swing small.....whenever something becomes oversaturated,  we do a 180 and go in the opposite direction.   

What do you think?
And what's next?
(Stenciled walls?   Saturated color?  Wallpaper?   Shabby Chic and cottage?  Maybe even florals!!)

You tell me....I'm dying to know?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Go Green (and Gold)!

No one would ever accuse me of being a football fan, but I know all the Packer fans are very excited about their win in Superbowl XLV!   In the spirit of the win, "designer style", I'm posting beautiful pictures celebrating the Big Green and gold.

Are you getting on the Green and/or gold bandwagon?

Joclyn Taylor


Style at  Home Wallpaper

 Kelley Designs

Tria Giovan in Costal Living

Tobi Fairley

So, what do you think of adding some "cheesehead" to your color scheme this year?

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Market Watch 2

The Tripod lamp has been a style maker for a couple of years, but they were EVERYWHERE at the Dallas Home Furnishings Market.

jan market 046
Clearly, it’s still an important lighting trend that floats between vintage and traditional styling to modern and contemporary.  There’s a tri pod lamp out there for everyone!
The Roving HomeThe Roving Home
Circa Lighting Pimlico Tripod Lamp  
Circa Lighting
The vintage styling of the photographer’s tripod  and adjustable light is a perfect fit for preppy, Ralph Lauren, and they had a large representation at market this January.
jan market 047
Are you a fan?   Where will  you put one in your home?

workstead is a brooklyn-based collaborative between stefanie brechbuehler and robert andrew highsmith

Aero Aero
For you DIY’ers out there, make your own tripod lamp with these instructions found here.   Afterall, it is built from a tripod!

Sally J. Designs can help you to LOVE your home!
Contact Sally J.Designs for in-home and on-line consultations and turn-key projects.