Friday, February 19, 2010

Favorite Things - Fibra Tiles

Fibra tiles are ceramic tiles with a texture like linen fibers. They come in a beautiful range of colors including Plum, Sage, Smoke, and Wenge. Beautiful!


Beautiful Habitat: Interior Design & Decoration

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bamboo 102

I recently blogged about the wonderful properties of Bamboo as a wood product in Bamboo 101.Those properties remain true, but did you know that Bamboo is also used as a textile product?

 Bamboo fabrics or textiles are basically Rayon. Viscose rayon has traditionally been manufactured using toxic chemicals to break down wood products into a soluble compound that is turning into fibers. Bamboo rayon, on the other hand, converts bamboo fibers using a combination of steaming and sodium hydroxide (sounds more toxic than it is).This eco-friendly conversion combined with the positive benefits of bamboo as renewable plant (see Bamboo 101) makes bamboo a wonderful alternative to other fabrics. Bamboo rayon is certified by the Global Organic Textile Standards(GOTS). For a more technical reading on the subject, check out wikipedia's article.

Bamboo rayon is used in numerous products including clothing, sheets, towels, carpeting, window coverings, placements, wall coverings and other decorative accessories. It is soft, durable, long-lasting, and has antibacterial and animicrobial properties.

In other fabrics, unprocessed bamboo fiber may be woven in with other fibers, but will result in a stiffer textile such as sisal.

Beautiful Habitat: Luxury Interior Design

Monday, February 15, 2010

Ask the Designer - Matching Wood Tones

What do you do when you are merging existing furniture with new and the wood is different colors?  (i.e. mahogany desk, darker coffee table, light wood floors).  Is it ok to mix different kinds of wood or should you match? ~Kara
The importance of matching wood tones depends on your decorating style. If you prefer a more modern, contemporary or streamlined look, then matching your wood tones will be important. The similar wood reduces the visual clutter and contributes to the streamlined look of the whole room. If you prefer a more eclectic or bohemian look, then it is perfectly fine to mix wood tones and finishes (i.e. stained woods and painted woods together). So the first order of business is to establish your decorating style.
Regardless of your decorating preference, you do not need to match your furniture wood finishes to the flooring. The floor is an element of its own in a room and can stand alone in that regard. Imagine that the flooring is carpet. You wouldn’t paint your walls and match your upholstery color exactly to the carpet as that would create a very monotone and uninspired space. The same thought can be applied to woods. In fact, a contrast between the flooring and the furniture makes a room more interesting as a whole.
Overall when merging old and new furniture, it works best when there is a common element that coordinates the pieces to one another. This can be in the wood tones or upholstery. Where a common element does not exist, you can use coordinating accessories to pull the items together. For example, if you have a brown leather sofa and a red fabric upholstered chair, use a red and brown fabric on the throw pillows and window treatments to tie everything together.
The photos are examples from a client project. I would call their style Elegant Eclectic with a touch of Fun and Funky. The custom kitchen features beautiful wood cabinetry that nearly matches the flooring, while the island contrasts in cream.  We chose to make a bigger contrast and statement by mixing in bar stools in a crimson stain. 

In the dining room, again the built-in hutch matches the flooring. To break up all the brown tones, we chose black painted finishes for furniture and the framed artwork. Throughout the entire space we continue the vivid reds, olive greens and golds to tie everything together, including the mixed woods.

I hope that helps to answer your your Interior Design dilemmas. Please keep the questions coming - what design problems are you facing in your home? 
Beautiful Habitat: Luxury Interior Design

Friday, February 12, 2010

Inspiring Images - French Stained Glass

Beautiful images to inspire you - stained glass windows from Sainte-Chapelle cathedral in Paris. I love Gothic cathedrals above all others. I am drawn to so many aspects - the volume of the naves, the beautiful patterns and repetition of the rib vaults, the simplicity of the stone set against the beautiful stained glass. I hope the stained glass here inspires you in some way for your own home.The colors are stunning. Enjoy!


Beautiful Habitat: Luxury Interior Design

Monday, February 8, 2010

Fleur De Lis Home Decor

In honor of the Saints' win in the Super Bowl, I'm dedicating today's post to the Fleur de Lis. The Fleur de Lis is a stylized iris or lily flower (fleur = flower, lis = lily). According to Wikipedia, "It may be at one and the same time political, dynastic, artistic, emblematic, and symbolic." It has been used in numerous coat of arms and flags throughout Europe, but is primarily associated with France. The Fleur de Lis came to be used in many French settled areas of the New World. In 2008, the Fleur de Lis became an official symbol of Louisiana.
If you want to add some of this historical symbol to your home, Ballard Designs offers the best selection in all things Fleur de Lis.

Table clock
Fabric by the yard (other colors available)


Lamp Finial

Address sign

Beautiful Habitat: Luxury Interior Design

Friday, February 5, 2010

Favorite Things - Bisazza Mosaic Tile

After Wednesday's post on Bold Bedrooms, I couldn't get the mosaic tiled bedroom out of my mind. So naturally, I went to the source for more inspiration - Bisazza Mosaic. These tiles are beautiful and amazingly versatile. I found several examples excluding kitchens and bathrooms. If you can do this in those other spaces, imagine what can be achieved in the kitchen or bathroom. Enjoy!




Beautiful Habitat: Luxury Interior Design

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

More Bold Bedroom Inspiration

I should have kept digging in my files on Monday. Here are two more bold bedrooms to inspire you. Enjoy!
Yes, that is a beautiful and intricate tile mosaic... in the bedroom! I love the creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. Why should wall tile be confined to the kitchen and bath when it can be this beautiful in the bedroom?

Another tropical blue haven. I really love the curves of the wall and headboard and the bold color palette is the icing on the cake.

Have you gone bold in your bedroom? Do share!

Beautiful Habitat: Luxury Interior Design

Monday, February 1, 2010

Bold Bedroom Inspiration

I admit I am more of a Zen bedroom kind of girl, at least for the bedroom where I actually sleep. I think it has to do with all the color used throughout the rest of my home and that I need a peaceful haven to escape for sleep. It's definitely that general attraction to color that made these bedrooms catch my eye. Today I'm feeling the need for a dose of color for Monday inspiration. If you're like me and want a restful retreat, use this inspiration in a guest room or use the color combination in another room of your home.

This color combination is fantastic. I love the way the turquoise and red play off of each other. Sticking to a strict three color scheme like this takes a lot of discipline, but the end result is well worth it. Don't you agree?

This bold orange headboard really makes a statement in an otherwise simple room. A great pop of color and I love that it's orange.

Beautiful Habitat: Luxury Interior Design


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