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Art & Accessories

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Modern Renaissance

Beyond pairing two disparate styles to sound cool...I am really inspired by spaces that draw from the rich hues of Renaissance and Neoclassical paintings. I gasped when I saw the Dark Side advertorial in Elle Decoration UK shot in the Salvatori Showroom in Milan. The dark gray walls allow colorfully rich furniture and accessories to pop much like the dark backgrounds and colorful figures in the paintings of Jacques-Louis David and El Greco. My next place will take cues from this rich environment. I particularly love the office with the Vincenzo di Costis and modern trestle table by Cassina.

Images: Elle Decoration UK

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Customized Organization: Levenger Circa

One of my New Years resolutions: Get better organized.  Relying on my iphone, sketchbook, and work calendars had become cumbersome to say the least.  I realized that despite all of the wonderful tablets, phones, and other gadgets that I couldn't rely on technology.  I am a paper and pen kind of guy especially with my need to sketch and create lists pretty much constantly. So, I had to go old school and find a planner that combined calendar, project to do list, and sketchbook with some flexibility to organize by project.

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The Circa system by Levenger was the answer - essentially a flexible notebook system that allows you to create the planner or notebook that works for you.  The ring binding with custom holes allows you to move around pages.  I was sold but alas - while the weekly planner and project to-do list inserts were available, blank pages for sketching were not.  Almost a deal breaker until I did some research online and found that Levenger finessed the technology originally designed by Rollabind who sells blank pages.  Everything came together and I am pleased with my choice!

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I even found a way to customize the cover.  My model making skills came in handy as I cut some illustration board and glued down some fabric samples...the front and back cover are different but I dig the results.

Bring it on 2011 - I am ready!

My advice: everyone works and thinks differently.  Be creative and you can find a system that works for you!

Image Credits: Levenger

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West Elm Spring 2011

Just another reason to be exciting about 2011 and what it shall bring - I am really digging the new collection for Spring 2011 from West Elm.     The following items are already on my wish list.  Topping the list is the great Windsor Chaise pictured above.

Parsons Mirrored Console Table

JOHN PAUL PHILLIPE ART RUGS...just amazing - love the line version as well as the neutral color version.

John Paul Phillipe Sketch Rug

John Paul Phillipe Art Rug

Ellipse Metal Canopy Bed

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Industrial Pendants

Upholstered Dhurrie Slab

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Industrial Metal Cabinets  and Foxed Nightstand

Images from West Elm

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H&M Home 2011 Spring Collection

I was finally able to read my December issue of Elle Decoration UK. I was stunned to find that 1. H&M has a home collection and 2. the products are available in the online shop.  Not to mention that 3. the advertorial presents inspiring spaces for him and her.   I thought to myself, yes, 2011 is looking pretty good.

H&M brings their low price tag and attention to trends to their Spring collection for the home. While they are sticking to accessories for now, I foresee them venturing into furniture. Check out some of my favorites from the collection.

And a shot of the storefront of the London flagship store - ugh - yet another reason to be bummed that I don't live there.

Photo Credits: 1. One Photographic, 2. Ria Trudgeon {Beautifully photographed by Damian Russel, click his name to check out his amazing work}, 3. Tea For Joy, and 4. Style Pantry

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Decorating for the Holidays

I love the holiday season, especially because of the cheerful decorations. This weekend, I went crazy decorating. As a single guy, I wondered how I could balance incorporating Christmas (my holiday of choice) cheer and not going overboard. I figured that I would share how you can do just that.

1. Keep it simple - my place is small so I settled on 3 holiday statements - a tree, a wreath, and garland. Also keep the decor simple as well.

2.  Create a budget - prevents overspending

3.  Go real - while a personal preference, there is nothing like the smell and look of a real Christmas tree, wreath and garland

4. Get inspired - what do recall from your childhood? I started with how much I loved our large Christmas trees growing up. Rather real or fake, the tree was always at tall and full.  Image above from Apartment Therapy....great color palette and love the oversize ornaments

Here are some great options that inspired me this season.

THE PALETTE

Fruitfully Luxe I love this palette of rich cherry red, violet, plum, blackberry blue, and teal. Image from Apartment Therapy

Monochromatic and masculine. I love the ads for Macy's this season featuring stylish duds in an equally stylish christmas back drop.  Note the great tone on tone gifts in chocolate and silver....Love that combination this season as well. Image from Glamour Boy

THE TREE

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My tree of choice this year  and perhaps for years to come is the Concolor Fir AKA White fir.  The trees tend to be quite full and quite wide in diameter but the overall look is phenomenal.   Here are some ideas for trimming the tree.

Images by Cupola House Tree and  Iowa State University

Fruitful Plumage

Monochromatic

Silver  with  subtle pops  of color

Love the gold and silver in the Macy's tree and the pool of ornaments is fun touch - imagine integrating your gifts too.

Tree images Credits: Apartment Therapy 1,3 Your Nest Design 2, Macys 4

WREATH

My favorite wreaths and garlands incorporate magnolia leaves.  Perhaps it is because I am from the South.

Traditional Charm

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Pottery Barn Magnolia Wreath and Williams Sonoma Bay Leaf Wreath  - add a colorful bow to these beauties for some pop

Monochromatic

Crate and Barrel Centerpiece Wreath Champagne

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Neiman Marcus Shell Wreath and CB2 Bubble Ball Wreath or Garland - a little DIY project

Out of the Box

NM Lodge Wreath (R)- masculine and certainly a conversation piece, although I would loose the dangling spruce cones

GARLAND

My favorite wreaths and garlands incorporate magnolia leaves.  Perhaps it is because I am from the South.

Traditional Charm

Copper Ribbon Garland by William Sonoma - WS has great combos for wreaths and garlands

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Pottery Barn Magnolia Garland and William Sonoma Triple Berry Garland

Monochromatic

Vintage Beaded Glass Garlands - combining these will provide the look of the garland in the Macys ad I love.

Crate and Barrel Jingle Bell Garland

So have fun decorating this season but remember to keep it simple and classic so your decor will stand the test of time.

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