Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Favorite Things - Lazy Garden #2

If you loved the Lazy Garden by Alex Davis Designs, I hope you'll enjoy this post as well. For those of us who do not have a green thumb, Ballard Designs offers Porcelain Succulents.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Using Mirrors to expand space... in a non-1970's way, Part 2

To follow up on the last post, "Using mirrors to expand space... in a non-1970's way", below are some mirrored products on the market today. As I mentioned last time, mirrors are always a popular product and am important piece of any designer's arsenal. So there are many, many more options available. I hope this will get you thinking creatively about using mirrors in your space, without resorting to the 70's for influence!

Using a collection of leaning mirrors is a great idea. The mirrors below are Villaine Floor Mirrors from Ballard Designs. (note: floor mirrors, both leaning and those on a base, should be secured to the wall for safety, especially when children are in the home!)

Also from Ballard Designs, Mirrored Stars are a break from tradition. You get the light-bouncing benefit of mirrors combined with a great artistic design.

I love the idea of adding a mirrored frame around artwork. It's the best of both worlds. The collection below is the Watercolor Botanical Paintings from Wisteria.
A similar effect can be found in the Heron Mirrored Giclee Prints, also from Ballard Designs.
There is no rule that the mirrors must be mounted on the wall. You can easily incorporate mirrors into other decorative items to get the light-bouncing and brightening benefits. Several retailers and showrooms offer mirrored furniture of various styles. This is one of my favorites from West Elm, the Faceted Mirror Side Table.

Also from West Elm, a great storage solution and mirror in one. The Mirror Cabinet could be great for a bathroom, bedroom, dorm room...

Not quite enough to lighten and brighten the whole room, but these candle holders are another great example of creative mirror use. Star Candle Holders from Ballard Designs.

I don't shun everything with a 1970's vibe, just the walls of gold flecked mirrored tiles. So if your tastes tend toward the retro, this mirror is for you. The Raindrop Mirror from Pottery Barn.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Using Mirrors to Expand Space... in a non-1970's way

We've all heard the design rule that mirrors can help to visually enhance and extend a space. This works in two ways - mirrors give the illusion that the space beyond and behind the mirror continues and that it is not a solid surface; and mirrors bounce light and brighten a space, making it feel larger. In addition, mirrors are usually wonderful decorative pieces in themselves.
But if you are anything like me, the thought of using mirrors to expand a room brings up unpleasant images of this principle as applied in the 1970's. I cringe when I think back to my grandma's hallway. It was lined wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling with gold-flecked mirror tiles. I'm sure we all have such memories. It was certainly fashionable then...
Well put these images out of your mind and replace them with these wonderful ideas. Mirrors are still an important tool in any designer's arsenal and the principle still applies. Here are several inspirational images for using mirrors in an updated manner, for all decorating styles.

One tried and true method is the mirror above the sofa. This is particularly useful in a room like the one below, where there is a lack of overhead lighting. This mirror helps to bounce light from windows and lamps to brighten the space. This is my own design for a client. For more information see my website -

In this bedroom, I took a slightly less conventional approach by leaning an extra large mirror against the wall opposite the large windows (with a stunning view). The light from the windows and mirror combination means the homeowners rarely need to turn on lights during the day.

This mirror certainly commands attention. This is from the October 2007 edition of Traditional Home Magazine.
This Entry ensemble is from Homes & Gardens (UK edition).

The mirror above the mantel is another popular arrangement. Below is a more modern version of this arrangement from Metropolitan Home.

A very creative use of mirrors is also from Metropolitan Home. Here the fireplace is flanked by two custom waterfalls over mirrors. Beautiful and brilliant! My next post will include some great traditional and out of the box mirror products that you can try in your own home - all the benefits of mirrors for the 21st century.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What are your design issues?

Hello design lovers and design novices alike. I love design and have many, many ideas and tips that I would like to share. But all of my ideas are only meaningful if you find some useful and applicable information. So, what would you like to know and read about? What design issues do you face in your home? What have you always wanted to read more about?

I look forward to answering your questions and/or sharing in a discussion with others. Feel free to respond as a comment to this post, or email me directly at

Friday, January 16, 2009

Favorite Things - More Alex Davis

LinkIn addition to the wonderful "Lazy Garden", Alex Davis Designs also offers a number of other products. The theme remains the same - stainless steel mimicking natural materials.

Log Stool

Log Center Table

Bamboo Credenza

Bamboo Vase


Carpoy Lamps

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Favorite Things - Lazy Garden

I have not mastered gardening and most houseplants don't survive six months in my care. That is just one of the reasons that I love the Lazy Garden collection by Alex Davis Designs
Alex Davis is a product designer in New Delhi India. His broad collection includes blossoms, orchids, bamboo, lily ponds, trees and cacti all made of stainless steel. These add more drama and beauty than any house plant that I've ever seen. Below is a sample of his many works. Enjoy!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Favorite Things - Recycling and Wine!

A great source for a Rustic look and recycled and repurposed items is NapaStyle from, you guessed it, Napa, CA. NapaStyle is all about food, wine, entertaining, home and garden. Here is a selection of my favorite items made from used wine barrels. These go far and beyond those sad old wine barrel planters and are full of creativity.

Wine Barrel Dog Bed

Wine Barrel Bistro Table and Barrel Stool with Leather Seat

Barrel Stave Bistro Cooler

Barrel Stave Mirror

Barrel Stave Sideboard

They aren't made of wine barrels, but the recycled Baluster Bed Leg Candle Holders are another great example of the NapaStyle collection.

He may not be recycled, but he is made from sustainably harvested Mango trees, and he's just too cute to leave out... Robusto the Pig


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