Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wallpaper, part 1 of many

Please, do not do this to a room.

Wallpaper is like the Force: it can be used for good or for evil. This room comes straight from the mind of Vader himself. The print on the wallpaper is bad enough, but the wainscoting also needs serious explaining. We could pretend that the wallpaper was put up after the wainscoting, in a fit of extreme emotional duress, but the sort of person who would willingly combine those two colors on a single piece of wood trim should not be trusted with small children.

Also, is it just me, or does the wallpaper print look like it's staring at you?

Wallpaper: Basso and Brooke for Graham Brown

Monday, December 29, 2008

the robins egg blue and brown dilemma

The robin's egg blue with brown is one of the hot combos of fashion, so how does one sensibly incorporate it into home decor? These examples come from Target's Fall 08 line-up, which are sadly no longer on sale, but the lessons from this post remain valid.
This is a very good way to incorporate this color scheme.

the patterns work well... large enough to be interesting, but simple enough to not be gaudy. the other benefit is that the pillows come separately, so you can have one color dominate, and the other accent, or throw in a neutral color to prevent either color from dominating.

This attempt doesn't work.

The problem is that you're locked into the amounts of blue and brown. were it a solid blue, it could provide a nice contrast, but the brown comes in this tacked-on element that doesn't really stay true to the lines of the piece. I also think the drawer pulls are too small compared with the rest of the piece. were they just a little bit larger, the look would come across better. I do like the way they break up the boxiness of the dresser.

One further reason to go the route of the pillows rather than the dresser is that color combos like these are notoriously short-lived: they've got a half-life like a radioactive particle. When trying to incorporate colors that are right of the moment, it's better to go with something that's easy to change. in 2 years' time, that dresser is going to be a two-tone anchor weighing the rest of your room down.
Pillows: Victoria Hagen for Target
Dresser: Dwellstudio for Target

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Rule of Organization

Spring cleaning is coming up sooner than most of us will realize. Or maybe we're all getting ready for New Years Eve parties, and looking around the house, we think 'where am I going to put all this stuff?'

The biggest problem is that most of us don't realize just how important storage is. Organization is storage in its most perfect form. If you don't have a place for literally everything you own, you won't ever be organized. It looks something like this:

Places for things > Things

There are two ways to solve this: either increase the number of places to put things (new shelving unit, bigger armoire, etc) or decrease the number of things you have. The second option is the cheapest one, and will make things easier in the long run.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Poster Children

I must give a shout out to readymade for this.
5 posters, 5 groups. let's look at them one by one

Christopher Silas Neal's design. I like the vintage look and message. not sure if I'd call it strictly in line with the FAP style, but it should work well, especially in the kitchen or gardening shed. (who says sheds can't have posters in them?)

Christoph Niemann's design has brilliant colors and just the perfect amount of pop. still, I look at it and can't help but think 1950's classroom. it's one of those classic things where you love it, but can't begin to think of a place to put it, other than an art classroom, maybe.

Mike Perry, I'm sorry, but this just doesn't do it for me. The colors work well together, but it's just too busy. This poster is the one of the set that is least in keeping with the FAP style; I'd describe the look as more like a 1970's kitsch. And if there's a decade we should avoid bringing back, it's the 1970's.

Open's offer to this prompt is simple, classy and perfectly retro. Love the colors and the message. Still, it is very blue. Post it up and the color makes it the instant focal point of a room.

Last, but certainly not least is this beauty from Nick Dewar. Does it keep to the FAP style? Absolutely. Does it provide color without screaming for attention? Yes! Is it the sort of motto that you should take to heart? Definitely. Whether in terms of life or design, simplicity is never a bad option.