Monday, January 31, 2011

Favorite Things - Porcelain Wood

Like most people, I love the look of wood floors. But the reality is that I live with 2 large and active dogs, whose nails are brutal. I also do not particularly love "patina". While somethings look better with time and age, I just don't like scratched wood - on flooring, furniture, or cabinetry. It's the perfectionist in me...

So Porcelain "wood" is a wonderful solution if you're like me and love the warmth and beauty of wood flooring, but crave more durability. It is  a porcelain tile made to look like wood and manufactured into planks to mimic wood. It's the look of wood with the scratch, stain and moisture resistance of tile!
These products are popping up with different manufacturers, but Porcelanosa is one of my favorites. A selection of their WoodTec Products are highlighted below. Enjoy!

 Would you have known those are tile if I hadn't told you?  A beautiful replication, don't you think? Would you use these in your home?

Beautiful Habitat: Interior Design & Decoration

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

An Ode to Banquettes

ban-quette, noun
\baŋ-ˈket, ban-, 1b is also ˈbaŋ-kət\
a. a long upholstered bench
b. a sofa having one roll-over arm
c. a built-in usually upholstered bench along a wall 

I love banquettes. They provide a function seating area, with more interest than your typical sofa or chairs. While often built-in, they can also be an armless sofa at the dining table or simple window seat. Enjoy this collection of a few of my favorite banquettes.

 A New Orleans home, by designer Melissa Rufty, cleverly uses the space under the staircase with a custom built-in banquette. So much more inviting than a sofa! House Beautiful Magazine.

 This breakfast nook by Mary McDonald,features a bench/window seat style banquette. As she says, "It brings a nice feeling to any place where you're going to want to sit and get cozy"  Veranda Magazine.

Not a built-in, but definitely qualifies as a banquette and an interesting seating arrangement. Celerie Kimble, House Beautiful Magazine

Banquette at Old Charm Bed & Breakfast in PA. Read about it at Michael, the Innkeepers blog, Inspired by Charm.

 Above and below: this tiny apartment has brilliantly adapted the banquette to maximize use and space. It serves as a sofa (above) and a dining area (below). Read more about this little purple gem at House Beautiful.

Above and below - the Colorado Home of the Year 2010, by Andrea Schumacher at O Interior Design, features 2 banquettes in the dining room (above) and nook (below).  Colorado Homes and Lifestyles Magazine

 Above and below: the Banquette that inspired this whole blog post. Designer Tobi Fairly added this very dramatic tufted banquette as comfortable alternative seating in this dining room. I'd say that is as interesting as any art piece, and more functional. House Beautiful Magazine.

Do you notice anything else wonderful about these banquettes? How about those mixed up pillows

Beautiful Habitat: Interior Design & Decoration

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mix up Those Pillows - Texture & Pattern

My last post was all about mixing up the color, texture and pattern in your throw pillows for a bigger impact. Mix up Those Pillows.One way to create an impact, in what some may call a more "sophisticated" or formal way is to stay within a similar color scheme, but really play up texture and pattern.

This beautiful blue room by Tobi Fairley creates interest with faux fur pillows. House Beautiful 

Two above photos are by Hallberg & Wisley from Veranda.Both are great examples of pattern and texture adding interest in a neutral palette.

Great textural pillows from David Lawrence in House Beautiful.

 An energetic monochromatic scheme, using a variety of pattern by Frances Schultz, House Beautiful

For more tips on using pattern in fabrics and upholstery, see the post Making a Statement with Upholstery

Beautiful Habitat: Interior Design & Decoration

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mix up Those Pillows

Multiple throw pillows in contrasting colors, patterns and texture add more interest than just one matched set of pillows. Mix it up!

Very often people order a beautiful sofa and it arrives like this. It's a lovely shape and nice color on the upholstery, maybe even an interesting texture or pattern, but boring with the matching pillows. Even option 2, with contrasting pillows, lacks a wow factor.

So mix it up with pillows in different colors, textures and patterns. Here are rooms of beautifully mixed up pillows to inspire you!
 Room by Melissa Warner in House Beautiful

Above and below (2) rooms by Andrea Schumacher, O Interior Design and featured in Colorado Homes & Lifestyle.

One of my favorite designers, Mary McDonald mixes up pillows in room with a strict color palette, from Veranda.
And some mixed up pillows from Beautiful Habitat.

Find more tips on fabric and upholstery.

Beautiful Habitat: Interior Design & Decoration


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