Friday, December 3, 2010

Decorating For Christmas? Here's How!

I just finished unpacking 8 boxes of Christmas Décor! When I was a child and young teen, it was my favorite decorating project, and it still is. And Right now most of us are in the full throws of getting our homes DECORATED. I have to admit even novice Decorators do well at this time of year. Here are some professional tips anyone can use to make your home easier and quicker to decorate.


• First remove all your table top decorations leave the lamps of course. Clear as much of the space as you can to make room for all the Christmas décor. You’d be surprised to know how many people just add the Christmas decorations to what is already there. This makes for a cluttered look and nothing is really seen or appreciated. So, put all the decorations that have been out all year into a large box, now put that filled box out of the way in a spare room. Now that all that stuff is out of sight the room may appear a little barren. But not to worry, here’s your chance to get everything dusted and maybe a little re-arranging of furniture is in order as well, after all the tree in coming!

• Second get all those Christmas decorations out and place them nicely on the cleared surfaces. One of my favorite elements in Christmas decorating is the Nativity Manger. Because it is dear to me I give it top billing so I place it all by itself in a prominent place of honor. I place the rest of the decorations in different places in the room every year too that way it looks fresh and new each year.

• Third, the Tree. At our house it’s a constant battle, fresh or fake! Either way it’s got to have a little space around it and that’s the reason behind moving some of the furniture out of the room not just out of the way. Remove the arm chair or that large end table; it’s just for the season that the tree is in the room. Give the tree some space, it will appear much grander and will become the focal point in the room.

• Next some grace notes on sprucing up the living room. If budget permits, replace throw pillows with Christmas Throw Pillows. Replace small lamp shades with holiday motif ones. Put a holiday area rug in the center or at the entrance of the room. Clean all ceiling light fixtures (glass) install dimmers switches where you can to keep the Christmas glow in a room.

In store displays and in some homes, Christmas decorating has become a huge, grand, overdone extravaganza. If this is not for your style, don’t feel intimidated, many of us don’t buy into that! Simple heart felt family decorations are what I like to decorate with most. In fact I have 3 really ridiculously cheesy plastic dime store Santa’s from my childhood in the 1960’s. They are so wonderfully cheesy that I love to watch my guests looking at them and wondering “what is she thinking?” They really are not a good companion to the crystal and silver, but they mean a lot to me so they stay for that reason. So at Christmas bring out the old decorations and mix them with the new it’s a great time of year for “Cheesy” and “Decadent”.

By Toni Berry at Marie Antoinette Interiors

925-862-9064 or Toni@MarieAntoinetteInteriors.com

http://www.marieantoinetteinteriors.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New Stylish Solutions For The Family's New Room!

The Family's New Room for Laurie and Don!

The family room, it’s the place where we almost always find the true meaning of home. The space that is even titled after the very people we love most, our family.

As for my clients Laurie and Don, their beautiful families are raised and now have flown the nest. Leaving them with a family room that has always had its architectural problems. They have arranged furniture in countless ways, never really feeling right. The fireplace never functioned properly with smoke drafting into the room not up the chimney. We have two windows and a sliding glass door, the views are spectacular, but the glare bothersome and difficult for viewing television comfortably. The room is also completely open into the eating area and kitchen, great for entertaining and raising a family but not so much for intimate adult gatherings or movie night.

The Design Board, a way to show you how it will  look!
 Set to correct and improve on some of the room’s problems, they came to me for some real solutions, sage advice, and a list of questions to answer.
Make a problem wall a feature wall with a deep paint color and a new use!
Fireplace re-do and color selection was first. Don and Laurie knew what they wanted in a fireplace as far as functionality so a very modern gas insert with a lovely frame was chosen. Then, the surrounding area was given a face lift with marble and granite. A new mantel and the wall above the mantel was the new location for the TV. A warm neutral color for all the walls except one, it was the problem wall. Not big enough for anything and always a problem as to what to put against it as it was open to a staircase that went down to the garage at one end. Instead of trying to make it disappear, I thought to make it an accent feature visually by painting it in a warm Java color.



While Don and Laurie worked on the fireplace and paint I worked on the Design Board. With a footprint of the floor plan and the room’s color cards, I met Laurie and Don at a local retail furniture store. Together we choose furniture that was small in scale but could still seat 6 people comfortably for viewing the TV. We kept one existing leather arm chair and ottoman because it worked with the new fabrics of the sofa and another small print chair. We selected tables and lamps together by email and telephone conversations in front of the computer screen. We even choose the area rug on-line. I had drawn on my plan a beverage credenza for that problem wall (mentioned above) and Laurie found that piece at a close out sale, it worked perfectly and it was exactly what I was envisioning.

Open to the kitchen, smart valances in the drapery fabric marrys the rooms togethr.
 With all these windows, the treatments had to be perfect. It took a couple of house calls to really define the style of drape, the fabric and of course the function. Laurie knew she had to have something for the glare, and I knew we had to control the light and not make the room too dark, so I suggested fabric roller shades in the exact wall color for a seamless look when down. When the shades are up, the views are wonderful and only stationary panels are necessary to give a finished look and to set the styling. I found the perfect fabric, in a similar color of the accent wall, and designed a wonderful Grommet treatment with it. I choose to hang them from modern wood hardware with a nickel metal trim that was repeated in the grommets, lamps and furniture trim. I used the same fabric to fashion smart, streamlined roman valances over the eating area’s sliding glass door and the window over the kitchen sink.
Problem Corner Soved With Drapery Panels
This project took several months and the Design Board went a long way in communicating the anticipated feel of the room when completed. The fireplace, the new TV placement, the window’s glare and light control, the odd problem wall, all of these issues were addressed first and the solutions were beautiful! Don and Laurie love the new family room in their home now. And they are so happy that they worked with a designer/decorator that worked through each step with them in the process!

Draperies Follow American Tradition!

Ethan Allen 4 Poster Bed with Urn Finial
Joan lived in her home for 15 years with the original verticals and mini blinds in the windows. She came to this home with beautiful Ethan Allen traditional mahogany master bedroom furniture, but just couldn’t figure out what would be best to put on the windows to replace the blinds. So riveted in indecision she did nothing! Joan said she tried time and again to look at different styles and try to envision what might look good but she just couldn’t get anything that would also go well with the existing custom made bedding ensemble she purchased when she bought the bedroom set.


She called on me to help her find the best solution to her window dilemma. As Joan was chatting away I was busy absorbing the excellent craftsman ship of her beautiful furniture, the wonderful slate green walls, and the luscious custom bedding in a blue green and red paisley print. Joan even had a fabulous traditional wing back chair in the room to complement the purely American Traditional Styling of the room! So far so good. It was all beautiful but with two large picture windows of metal mini blinds, it seriously ruined the effect!
The Urn Finial
I approached the design of the windows in keeping with tradition….draperies! I removed the blinds and put in Vignette Fabric Shades. These are perfect for older windows, like Joan’s that are not double paned. They act as sound absorbers and give great insulation for warmth in the winter and coolness in the summer. They also roll up into a neat little cassette, so they virtually disappear when not in use unlike the blinds that have a stack. I choose a shade color that matched the window casings so they look very natural and do not take the eye away from the window drapery itself.
Robert Allen's Fabric for drapery panels with hand made gathered tab tops!

Joan and I both loved the little red detailing in the bedding that appeared on the edges of the shams and the spread. So I selected a fabric for the drapery panels that had that red and some of the other colors as well. This fabric is a very traditional Robert Allen Jacobean Print and worked perfectly with our bedding. The style of the drapery heading was again in keeping with the style of the furnishings; the 4 little urn finial that topped her 4 poster bed was a perfectly matched with Robert Allen’s Bedpost Collection of wooden hardware. I matched the hardware color and finish to the Ethan Allen furniture to complete the look and give a subtle continuity to the room.
Robert Allen's Bedpost Wooden Hardware...Urn finial a perfect match to the Ethan Allen Urn Finial!

We also brought the same fabric into the adjoining master bathroom as a traditional valance. The large windows in the tub area needed some updating as well, so we put Vignette’s there too!
The Master Bath with Traditional Valance!

Joan was impressed that I took the time and the effort to take into account all of what was already in place…I just picked up where Joan left off, continuing her theme….and finished her master bedroom into a place of complete harmony! Ethan Allen would be proud!

Color Your Home Confidently, The Do's & Don'ts!

Color is such an important part of making a home look and feel great, but it can be a bit scary to make color choices.

But it doesn't have to be. Avoid common mistakes, learn a few tricks, and you'll feel confident about choosing color for your space.

THE DON'TS
  • Don't choose colors in a paint store. Colors change drastically depending on the light, so they can look very different in your own home. When deciding on colors, make sure to look at them in the space they will be used. Get a sample of paint from the store and use it to paint a large poster board. Then hang it on different walls and live with it for a few days. That should really help you in feeling certain about the color choice.

  • Don't forget the ceiling -- it's the fifth wall. A white ceiling may be the best choice, but don't just leave it white by default. A room looks much more finished when the ceiling is deliberately painted to coordinate and harmonize with the decor. For seamless harmony, add a little of the wall color to the ceiling color paint to give it a tint and a hint of the wall color.

  • Don't ignore accessories. While paint is the most common way to add color, don't forget that incorporating pillows, fabrics, area rugs, and other accessories is a great way to add splashes of color and reflect your personality. Remember the "60-30-10 Rule" of decorating -- 60 percent is the wall color, 30 percent is the furnishings color and 10 percent is the accent color.


THE DO'S


  • Do understand the psychology of color. Colors evoke reactions that affect us physically and mentally. When you understand how colors shape your feelings, you can choose ones that help you feel wonderful in your home. When we painted our master bedroom a soft blue after years of beige and green flowered wallpaper, it turned into a calming retreat where we both can relax.

  • Do create flow from room to room. In most homes, you can stand in one room and see into other rooms, so there needs to be a smooth continuity. Not all rooms should be painted the same color, but the colors need to work together. Carry elements of one room into another. The easiest way to do this is to paint the moldings all the same color throughout the home. You also can achieve the same flow by painting the ceilings the same color as well.

  • Do use inspiration. If you have a large piece of furniture or a treasured accessory, let it awaken your color creativity. The background color in a piece of art can become your wall color, a favorite antique can inspire the color for pillows, a lampshade can become the molding color. About 20 years ago I told a friend to paint a wall in her kitchen "delft blue" to match the blue in her china. Years later she moved from that home and it has changed owners twice more. I recently went into that home and there was that same blue wall. As I sat and had a cup of tea with this new homeowner, she asked if I liked the way this blue wall accented her china. Evidently, each homeowner found favor with the delft blue wall and each had china to go with it.



If you are still struggling with choosing a color with confidence contact Toni Berry at Marie Antoinette Interiors for a Color Consultation.  A one hour session will bring you years of satisfaction!
925-862-9064 or Toni@MarieAntoinetteInteriors.com.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tile and Wood Get Married At Home!

Dear Toni,
I read your newspaper articles in the Tri Valley Herald, which I enjoy very much.  Now I need a professional opinion.  The majority of my flooring is tile...you walk into the entryway which is 12' long, by 5' wide, and then the floor lengthens out to the left and right, which is the hallway on one side, and a short hallway to the kitchen/dining room on the other side, which is all tile.  The hall bath and laundry room are also tile.  The  living area, 22'X14'. is straight ahead, and is carpeted.  I wanted to remove the carpeting and extend the tile floor.  Of course, the tile is no longer being made.  My question.....should I extend the flooring with a complimentary tile, a completely different tile, or should I put down wood floors, since any tile I put down will not match either?  I have asked all my friends and get a completely different answer from each one.  I appreciate any help you can give me.  Thank you so much for your time.  
Sue Rainey


Hi Sue,
It is  always nice to hear that someone out there is reading me! Your question is "do I continue the tile from the entry, halls, bath and laundry into the living room area"?


Without actually seeing the space it will be hard to really address what would be best for you and your home. But I can take a stab at it here; I am assuming that all the existing Tile you mentioned is of one pattern/color, and unless you absolutely love that tile pattern/color and can find a good match, DON'T put down more of it.

Your living room space is graciously large, 22' x 14', I'd go with real wood because tile and wood always marry well together! Then I'd place a beautiful area rug in the living room under the seating grouping for warmth, sound absorption, and to add a bit of color and texture. In fact, to tie all the spaces together and to add harmony, you can order a "custom sized" area rug for the living room, entry and halls (because these areas are open to one another and can be seen together) all in the same or similar rug pattern. This will unify the spaces together beautifully.  See the picture for an example of tile and wood. They are both natural  green products that lend themselves well to one another.

Hope this helps you in your decision making process. If you need further assistance just give me a call and we can make a time meet so I can actually see the space and give you more options. (you can even invite all those friends to join us) This could save you hundreds of dollars in mistakes by the way.

Thanks again for reading and for asking such a great question.

Toni Berry
at Marie Antoinette Interiors

Sunday, October 17, 2010

When It Comes To Drapery; Don't Throw In the Towel!

While present at an installation of Roman Shade Valances in my client Teresa Smith’s family room, she mentioned that “someday in the future” she’d like to have draperies in her dining room and living room. With shutters on two windows in the dining room, Teresa thought no drapery was necessary. I expressed to Teresa that shuttered windows with drapery can still function and that the draperies would warm the room physically and esthetically. And while there were some draperies in the living room over the French Doors, they seemed out of scale and in the wrong color to enhance and showcase Teresa’s lovely furnishings, in particular a lovely little Harlequin Fainting Couch.


Living Room Before

Living Room After with Drapery
As I absorbed the colors in the art, on the furniture and in the patterned rug, it became clear to me that the color that should be at the windows in the form of draperies was a “Plum Raisin”. I asked Teresa if she had any thing I could take with me in that color so that when she was ready I’d have it in my studio as a reference to pull drapery fabric sample possibilities. She scurried around and said “wait I think I have an old towel in the garage in that color”. She gave me that towel and it sat for months on my work counter waiting for Teresa to call me back.


Suddenly while I was thumbing through fabric books for another client entirely, my eyes fell upon a “Plum Raisin” damask by Robert Allen that would be just perfect for Teresa’s living and dining room drapery. I quickly ordered a fabric sample memo and sent it off to Teresa in the mail with a note…”when you’re ready, this is the fabric!” More months passed and then the phone rang…”I’m ready…let’s do it!”

Dining Room Drapery Over Shutters Adds Softness
When we installed the draperies we were both so pleased. The color and the pattern of the fabric made the rooms come alive! Even the shutters looked better! And to think it really came about because she gave me that towel in just the right color!

As some of you know finding the right fabric takes time and patience. I love it when unexpectedly I find the perfect fabric. And I love it even more when my client trusts me enough to know when a fabric is perfect! So go ahead through me a “towel”, let’s see what I can make of it!

I Love Beautiful Drapery!

Here are some details of custom drapery; 

Large Scale Hardware For Large Room!

Hems That Break Like Men's Tailored Pants!

by Toni Berry of Marie Antoinette Interiors

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Teen’s Room IS Their Home!

Make no mistake; A Teens room IS their home, within your home! And they have some definite opinions as to how to decorate it!


As a teenager my room was decorated in Peace Signs, Peter Max pillows, orange bedspread and drapes and of course my favorite faux leopard skin Beanbag pillow! My mother loved that I took an interest in decorating the bedroom that my sister and I shared. She knew Fashion better than any woman I have ever known and she knew that my generation’s Fashion statement was coming through in my teenage bedroom’s décor. She let me decorate according to the latest Fashion trends and rarely stopped me from expressing myself in that way. And I did the same with my two children. I selected the furniture according to what I could afford, but the décor was all up to them and I believe that is how it should be.
And that is Pottery Barn’s philosophy too! Their marketing department is wise enough to know that teenagers want their own look, not just hand-me-downs from their parents or older siblings. Check out their web site http://www.pbteen.com/ or pick up the PBteen creative catalog filled with fabulous saturated colored walls and fun accessories for ideas. Why look at that, I see a lot Peace Signs and Beanbags as I leaf through the catalog! I guess Fashion repeats itself right?

Here are some design tips on helping (only if they ask) to decorate your teenagers bedroom.

• Start with a theme! Sport, music, favorite place, or passionate topic can be a theme! Use it for a springboard to decorate with your accessories and soft furnishings.

• Select the bedspread! With the theme in mind, choose spreads that will delivery a burst of color and vitality.

• Choose the wall and ceiling paint! Using one, two or three colors from the bedspread paint the walls and the ceiling.

• Pick the wall art! Murals make a huge impact. Large 6’ x 4’ ones give color and can double as a headboard, very cool!

• Add furniture pieces that function as sleeping, storage and work spaces! Bookcases, bed platforms, wall to wall shelving, and component type furniture is the answer to a well organized room.
A teen’s room is an expression of who they are, what they like and where they hang. It’s their home and no mistake about it!

By Toni Berry at Marie Antoinette Interiors
925-862-9064 or Toni@MarieAntoinetteInteriors.com
http://www.marieantoinetteinteriors.blogspot.com/

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Little Privacy Please

"Hi Toni

I'm trying to give my office which is located in our living room some privacy from the rest of the room/house and my thought was to hang draperies from the ceiling . . . I was wondering if there was a certain type of rod I need to get in order to attach it to the ceiling rather than a wall?
What do you think? Love reading your posts! Thanks!  Colleen"
 
Hi Colleen, Yes, I think partitioning off a segment of your living room with drapery panels is a very stylish and versatile idea.




Hanging drapery from the ceiling is easily accomplished with a special bracket called a "ceiling mount bracket". The drapery rod just cradles in the bracket. Rings go on the rod and the drapery panels are pinned or clipped to the eye in the ring and hang beautifully. The up side of this is you simply move the panels out of the way when you don't need the privacy and to expand the room. Also, you can hang a different drape, in a different color, when you tire of the first! The drapery in the photo below is a soft neutral linen, just enough to softly separate the space.




The fabric styling is important because the drapery functions as a wall so the color and texture should add to the room's ambiance as a decorative element. The blue drapery panel above is complete with trim and wood pole and rings to complement the style of the room.


Glad to help,
Toni Berry

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Custom Drapery & Valance Sale With A Free Design Consultation!

Now Custom Is Truly Affordable!
Imagine your windows with beautiful new custom draperies, just in time for the holidays!
Imagine a FREE, in home consultation, with Toni Berry - Professional Interior Designer,
 to help you choose the best look for your windows.

This can all be yours now AND at a 20% savings!

Drapery & Valance Sale is for a limited time only, so please,
CALL NOW to book your FREE appointment.

925.862.9064

(offer expires on September 30th, 2011)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Viva La Fashionista!

You may not consider yourself a Fashionista, but suffice it to say in today’s world Fashion is everywhere. We simply can’t escape it. It’s in the cars we drive, the places we go, even the food we eat. And no where, other than the run ways of Europe, can more Fashion be found than in our homes. Every major Fashion Designer is now designing home fashions right along with their apparel lines. Hence as an interior designer and decorator of homes, I use the same rules and guidelines in decorating that Fashion Designers use in apparel. Dress your homes as you would dress your selves; fashionably!
Here are some very fundamental fashion rules that apply to dressing yourself and to decorating your home;

• Invest in classic pieces. Spend the largest percentage of the decorating budget dollars on pieces that will last a life time; a handsome dining table, a well constructed sofa in a classic color, a stylish area rug.


• Spice up your neutrals with a color accent. Paint one wall or several elevations in your favorite accent color. As time goes on and you tire of it, re-painting it will be less expensive than replacing a sofa if it were in that favorite accent color.


• Too tight looks uncomfortable and too loose looks unkempt. Keep scale and proportion in mind when purchasing the primary or anchor pieces of furniture for the room. For example a Cal King bed in a small bedroom might be too overwhelming, and a small sofa in a large family room with vaulted ceilings will look lost.

• Accentuate the good, play down the bad. Call attention to your room’s best features with lighting, color, and furniture arrangements. Similarly downplay the unattractive elements in the room by “painting them out” or camouflaging them with the same color wall paint. This works well in hiding vents, pipes and odd doors. Arrange your furniture so the best vocal point is obvious, like the picture window or the beautiful fireplace.

• Pull an outfit together with COLOR. Mindfully begin with one main primary color in a room. Then add a secondary color, but use less of it. Then add a third bright color, in smaller amounts on artwork, trims and accessories.

• Fabulous shoes can make an outfit. A good flooring foundation can do the same. Consider a beautiful area rug; pull the colors and patterns found in it for use throughout the room. Attractive carpeting or lovely hardwood floors can have the same effect.

• Changing your accessories can change the look from day to night. Upholster in plain textured fabrics. They’ll allow you to decorate around them as you change your mine, update seasonally, or move to a different home by merely changing out pillows and accessories. So choose a tan or gray upholstered sofa for the long term and outfit it with orange pillows for fall, red for winter and steel blue for spring.


• Fashion adaptability; choose wardrobe pieces that can be worn with a variety of other pieces. Just like that little black jacket that looks as great with its matching skirt as it does with jeans. A great chest of drawers or armoire can take on many roles in many rooms as your needs change or you move from home to home. A large ottoman can stand in for a coffee table or extra seating. These workhorse pieces adapt with you and will give you more than your money’s worth over time.



Dress your homes as you would dress your selves; fashionably! And viva la Fashionista!

If you'd like some help updating the look and style of a room in your home, call me at 925.862.9064 or email me at toni@marieantoinetteinteriors.com and we can chat!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Gossip Your Way To A Free Design/Decorating Consultation

Spread The Word Around and Get A Free One Hour Design/Decorating Consult
The Referral Program!

How it works! Simply refer a friend, family member, or colleague to Marie Antoinette Interiors. When they purchase any of our services YOU get a Free One Hour Design Consult. That's right you pay absolutely nothing for a full hour of Design Time!

What you receive! A One Hour Design Consultation in your home! You may use your FREE Hour Design Consult any time you wish. In one hour you will get trusted advice on new draperies and window treatments, selection of new paint colors for any room, new furniture arrangements (yes we move furniture) and placements, or whatever design or decorating help you may need!

Just refer a friend or colleague and you receive this valuable reward as our Thank You for Spreading The Word!

CALL... Toni Berry at
 Marie Antoinette Interiors
 925 862-9064, or email Toni@MarieAntoinetteInteriors.com

Monday, June 28, 2010

How To Decorate A Man's Cave!


A Man Cave is defined as "a dedicated area of a house, such as a basement, workshop or garage, where a man can be alone or socialize with his friends." Simple enough, but if you can't spare an entire area, then a corner of a room will work just as well. The idea is to give him a unique space that makes him feel like it's his house, too — a fact that can get lost with decorating and styling.

Here are 5 "how to decorate a Man Cave Tips";


1. Celebrate his glory days

Include memorabilia from his past. Whatever sports, hobbies, or adventures he has had in his life should be showcased and positioned in a prime location within the space. For my husband, I framed an old 1972 newspaper article that featured a photo of us on his beloved Harley Davidson. It was quite a surprise for him, as he hadn't seen it in 30 years.



2. Think handsome, masculine
Use masculine patterns such as geometrics, plaids, tartans, checks or stripes. Do not, even for a moment, think of using anything with a floral pattern. Heavy, sturdy and deep colored fabrics work best in a man cave. Leather, suede, tweed, corduroy and denim give the durability and texture that will please the masculine psyche.

3. Size to fit
Use furniture to match his size. If he is a big guy, don't furnish the room with a lot of small pieces that he may not feel comfortable using. Choose sofa, tables, chairs, bar stools, lamps, trays, pillows and, of course, the television in a size best suited to his scale. I made the mistake once of purchasing my husband a beautiful leather office chair for his desk. The chair's proportions were perfect for the desk but not so much for my husband.

4. Don't get artsy
Hang art that you know he will enjoy, even if it doesn't go with the theme of the space. Don't use art that doesn't have a relationship to his profession, his sports or his passion.

I have a friend who gave her husband a very expensive oil painting for his man cave. Although he liked the painting, he did not want it hanging in his man cave. He wanted the broken neon beer sign that his brother gave him. So I suggested we have the old classic neon beer sign, repaired and cleaned. When she hung that in place of the expensive painting, he was happy and now she has a very expensive painting for her foyer.

5. Feet Up!
Make sure the coffee table in the man cave can stand up to use as a foot rest, snack table and stress reliever. Choose a well-made solid wood or metal coffee table that can take some abuse. A glass, fabric, or plastic coffee table just won't do it. He's got to be able to arm-wrestle on it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

What Is A Scaldino? Little Heater In Italiano!


They’re all the rage! If you've visited a really nice hotel lately you've probably seen a “Scaldino”. In Italian, Scaldino translates to “little heater”. The Scaldino, as we know it today, is the mini comforter at the end of the bed that warms the feet and protects the spread from the suitcase or other objects you might place there.






But the word Scaldino originally meant an apparatus that housed an iron pot of hot coals. As seen here, it was a wooden or metal cage into which you carefully place the pot of red hot coals and put it between the sheets of the bed. My grandmother used them in Northern Italy. She would prepare the Scaldino and place it into the bed a half hour or so before getting into the bed to warm it.




I find it's a quick way to give any bedroom a new look. Using a neutral colored bedspread, coverlet or duvet on the bed, you can add a Scaldino (with matching pillows) in any decorative fabric for a complete new look. I have even used surplus fabric from the draperies in the room or a treasured tablecloth for Scaldinos. They are far less expensive than a folded comforter as they take less fabric and labor. Think of it as a colorful accessory that can be changed seasonally or just to freshen and change the look of the bed.






I like them because of there versatility, price and because I love all things “Italiano”!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Master Your Bedroom



Do you need a place in your home where you can retreat to? That’s what I thought; your answer was probably a resounding “yes”! My client Sarah did too. She and her husband have a beautiful home. Lot’s of warm colors with practical yet elegant furniture, and all the areas in the home are finished; even the nursery for their beautiful Gavin is totally appointed and affectionately decorated. But they left the master bedroom for last, and not a moment too soon did Sarah ask me to design a master bedroom that was modern, simple, and peaceful.




After spending a little time discussing what she wanted, her likes and dislikes, I prepared a “Design Board” for Sarah with color, fabrics and furniture. With this she would get a clear picture of what I thought she might like and what would work in the space. Then, keeping within her strict budget guidelines, we detailed or specified each of the design elements, paint, bedding, window treatments and furniture.



Beautiful cool blue walls, we used Benjamin Moore’s # 2136-60 Harbor Haze in a flat finish to give the room a soft feeling. On the ceilings we used #1038 Everlasting to bring the high ceilings down a bit for a more intimate setting.



Bedding was modern and understated. A fitted bedspread in a handsome brown with blue starburst embroidery made the bed less feminine. Adding a blue silk throw at the foot of the bed, shams in the same fabric ties the colors together. Using a sateen stripe on the larger shams, which go with the drapery panels, also coordinate the ensemble nicely. The last little touch was the modern round pillow with a blue button sets the contemporary style of the room perfectly.




Window treatments for a bay window are always a bit tricky. We decided on flat, sheer, brown and blue silk Roman Shades. The shades are detailed with a solid brown banding, the same solid brown fabric that is on the round pillow. The side panels are sateen brown and blue stripe and hang from simple rods with Cufflink Rosettes from the Robert Allen Hardware Collection.

Soft walls, deep rich colored bedding, and modern simple draperies and shades at the windows made for a retreat that they will enjoy for years to come!