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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Celerie Kemble

Sorry there is no Monday's Method today. No one wrote in for advice. This gives me an opportunity to cover a designer I have long admired ~ Celerie Kemble. I am so excited that she, along with Jamie Drake and House Beautiful Editor in Chief, Stephen Drucker, will be speaking at the Washington Design Center March 10, 2010. You bet I signed up lickity split!

What I love about Celerie is her diversity ~ in her designs and her product lines.

She has developed a faux leather line with Valtekz...

A fabric line with Schumacher...

Furniture with Laneventure...

And a commercial fabric line, Fresh, with Valley Forge Textiles that is both made from recycled material and is recyclable...


Celerie does not subscribe to the philosophy that one style fits all. Her designs range from contemporary, to traditional, to country chic and more ~ dependant on the client she has before her. Let's take a look at some of her work. Note that Celerie is happy with neutrals but not afraid of color, and has a fantastic touch for mixing the details and architectural elements.....

Even her tablescapes are diverse ~ from outdoor elegance to holiday chic...

Always lovely, always surprising, always very well designed.

I am so looking forward to meeting her!

Don't worry, Monday's Method isn't going any where! If you are jonesing for one or just want to read up on past advice I have given just click here.

If you have a question you would like for me to address, leave me a comment. If you would like advice about something specific to your space, send me a couple of pictures at paula@paulagracedesigns.com.

Don't forget to stop back tomorrow for Timeless Tuesday. I look forward to links of your classics!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Awesome Woman Continued ~ Angela Brooks

Angie Brooks is a revolutionary architect working with people from all walks of life.

Hmmm, maybe I'll share my Fun Friday with Awesome Women Day ~ reading about wonderful ladies is always fun for me. What do you think?

Finally ~

If you read my blog, you know that I didn't have a Followers section. I finally added it as my blogger friends have told me the benefits (and frankly keep bugging me :). I understand that is makes it easier for those that like to read my blog to get to it easily. I'm all for making it simple for folks! I have called that section "Friends." Happy to have you!!

Awesome Woman ~ Mary J. Blige

I love her music and I respect her as a person. Way to be Mary!

This is just incredible. I heard this for the first time the other day. One of those times you stay in the car until the song is over.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Thursday's Room

I seem to be looking at a lot of dining rooms lately. I think it is because I am itching to have a dinner party. This one by Charles Allem, principal designer for CAD International, published in Architectural Digest caught my eye. It doesn't have the round table that I am drawn to but this octagon table is quite chic. I like the way the angles are used to place a dinner guest at the table.

The first thing I notice is the scale and proportion of the room, table, and that magnificent light fixture. The direct linear relationship appeals to me and the horizontal balance is comforting. I have always been attracted to long and lean objects. Perhaps it mirrors my own image being 5'8" and lean. The shape of the table and shape and form of the chandelier pair well. Unusual enough for maximum interest.

This particular chandelier not only illuminates but add textures, depth, and dimension to the fifth wall in the room and highlights the simple architectural detail. I see it as the focal point with the table as a close second. The remaining furnishings are in supporting roles ~ simple and elegant.

I also enjoy the neutral palette. If you read my blog, you know I love neutrals. They allow you to pop with color or a detail such as this chandelier. If the palette had more color or the drapes and chairs pattern, it would detract from the focal point(s).

The room as a whole is elegant yet comfortable, chic yet cozy. I think that can be a hard combination to achieve. Apparently not for Mr. Allem. Bravo!

Wednesday ~ Hump Day!

I don't formally post on Wednesday but now you have a chance to peruse Monday's Method and Timeless Tuesday (it's not to late to link)!

Here are some other posts you may enjoy...

Mitch Dobrowner
Dream with a View
Bold Wallcovering
Spectacular Master Baths
Fun Friday ~ Masculine Style ;-)

See you tomorrow for Thursday's Room!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Timeless Tuesday ~ Four

Welcome to Timeless Tuesday number four. Today, the classic I am writing about is 'The Pop.' You've heard interiors designers speak about a pop of color. When it is done well, it is absolutely wonderful. Let me show you what I mean...

The first picture I have used before. It is the work Bockman Forbes + Glasgow, Architecture + Design. The beautiful off white with a magnificent pop of red. The chandelier is stunning.

The second picture is the work of Steven Gambrel and published in Elle Decor. Here there are two pops ~ the obvious kelly green and the more subtle red set against a sea of lovely grays.

A pop of color will always be timeless. The color may change but the element will never go out of style.

Now it's your turn ~ show me and my readers your timeless talent.

1) Add your permalink below ~ not your blog's address in general but the specific post you want people to visit. To obtain the actual post link, click on the title of your post once you have published it and copy and paste the URL into Mister Linky.

2) Leave your name and say a couple of words to describe your post (e.g. "Coco Chanel suits" or "Classic interior design for children" or "Delicious meals in a snap."

3) Copy and paste the Timeless Tuesday logo button (on my right sidebar) to your Timeless Tuesday posts. This is a sure way for your readers to know you have joined in the party.

4) Link back to the host blog, that's me ~ Paula Grace Designs Blogspot Timeless Tuesday ~ so all the bloggers that joined the party will receive many interested visitors.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Monday's Method

Welcome to Monday's Method. I received an email from Sari with a dilemma ~


I found your website through your guest blog entry on
Brooklyn Limestome about advice arranging furniture. My fiancé and I are interesting in purchasing a house but how to arrange furniture in the living room, a very important room, is quite puzzling to us.
This is the living room-

You can see if you make a right (I think you mean left) at the front door, it leads to the living room with the fireplace. Behind the single black chair is a doorway leading to the basement. To the right of the TV is another doorway that leads to the kitchen area. We don't want to block anything off. How can we possibly arrange the furniture to access the television in the best way? We feel like any way would be awkward/leave empty space or have a far view from the television. We like L shaped sectionals where the most people can view the TV at an optimal angle. The dimensions are 23’ x 11’. We want the fireplace to be a focal point, perhaps hang a flat screen over it, but we don’t want to block things off.

Can I please ask you for your expert advice???? What do you think??

Sure, you can ask for my advice!

First let me say that this is wonderful space. So open and clean. It appears very spacious but I see your dilemma. When I look at this, I immediately see that the windows are not symmetrical, which may have posed some problems for the current home owner's furniture plan. I am thinking that the portion of the ceiling that is lower is functional in some way or why would it be there. I am assuming it needs to stay. The second thing I notice is that the fireplace seems disproportionate to the room as a whole and the style is fairly traditional with contemporary architecture. I know, I know... you asked about furniture arranging but it is all related for me.

When I have a long narrow room like this, I think of zones but a bit of construction would need to be done to make that work given the fireplace and television is your aim as the focal point. Let me just say upfront, I think a bit of construction is needed for either of my suggestions but please don't hyperventilate. A home is worth a bit of elbow grease especially a beautiful home such as this.

Here is one option (a caveat ~ I was not sure where the door was next to the existing television so I drew it two ways ~ it was too late to email as I worked on this late at night)...

In this option, I have removed the fireplace from the long wall altogether and repositioned it along the wall opposing the large window. The striped area indicates a build out to accommodate a fireplace consistent with the architecture and your flat screen television. In this option, you have your L shaped sectional and another seating area with swivel chairs for extra guests. The chairs may be moved closer to the TV for the big game or movie night but should return to their original placement afterwards. If this is how the door is positioned (above), I would extend the build out the width between the door and the wall for a clean line.

If the door to the kitchen is positioned like this, I would do a build out as such an add sconces. This option accommodates a 42" television. Note, the windows remain the same. You could make them symmetrical if you are going through the construction to move the fireplace. It seems the right window must stay put given the jut from the ceiling so the left could be moved further left, equal distance from the outer wall as the right one. This would give you a lovely wall expanse for art. I have moved the window in the next option....

If you would prefer this orientation, that's fine too. This has less seating available but it also is an interesting look. This is a long sofa finishing with a chaise. I did move the window to be symmetrical providing us with a great wall expanse for a linear fireplace. The custom cocktail table would be 18" high; the fireplace would be placed at 19" ~ just above the table; next, the television would be placed just above the fireplace. This will keep the TV at eye level when seated. Here is why you may choose this option ~ it accommodates a 52" television. Aaahhhh!! "I see" says your fiance, "more screen for me." Hmmmm??!! Gives you something to think about. This option would also require a build out but I'm not sure how much. I drew the largest build out it could need and the design still works well.

In either option, you can see the door swing in the drawing and FYI, there is a three feet traffic path when the basement door is closed. An ample walkway.

No, I didn't do this drawing out of thin air, I specify furnishings of course.

The sofa/sectional in either option is the Garland by Zagaorli. I love, LOVE this sectional. It is beautiful, transitional style and very comfortable.

In option one, there is a corner sofa and a love seat. In option two, there is a sofa, armless love seat, and a chaise.

Option one also boasts the Joseanne Swivel chair from Hickory Chair; and case goods from Worlds Away.

The second option has the Lorenzo Cabinet from Hickory Chair opposing the large window and the round straight lined side table above.
But what about the focal point Paula Grace??!! What about the fireplace?? Yeah, that is the best part!

For option one ~ The Crystallo (with or without decorative surround)...

For option two ~ Linear...

These fireplaces are from Napoleon. They do not require outside venting. All they need is gas and electricity. The beauty is that they may be placed at any height such that if you place a television above it, the television can be a eye level when seated. No neck ache, no tilt down mechanism required. I also think they are more in line with the architecture of the house you are considering. The furnishings in the fireplace pictures is quite contemporary. The sectional I choose is less so, a bit softer but still clean lined.

So there you have it Sari! I hope this helps you with your decision process. Let me know how it goes.

If you have a question about this or another topic, leave me a comment. If you would like advice about something specific to your space, send me a couple of pictures at paula@paulagracedesigns.com.

I'm linking with these lovely ladies ~ all fabulous parties worth a long leisurely visit.

Monday ~
Between Naps on the Porch Metamorphosis Monday
Little Red House Mosaic Monday
Cottage Instincts Make it for Monday

Tuesday ~
A Soft Place to Land DIY Tuesday

Thursday ~
The Shabby Chic Cottage Transformation Thursday

Saturday ~
Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Nite Special

See you tomorrow for Timeless Tuesday!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fun Friday

Today for Fun Friday, I am dreaming of warm weather, piles of sand ~ not snow, of warm breezes ~ not the kind that make me say a rude words under my breath. I decided to drop in on the Rowson's. I hope they don't mind. I found them though the wonderful travel agent ~ Traditional Home.

The accommodations are excellent. Beautiful area for my family and I to relax...

All of us can sit comfortably here and sway in the breeze...

Millie, my terrier mix, loves the water too. She'll run and romp and play all day...

Yes, this room will be just fine for a good night sleep...

I did bring some friends along ~ do you have a place for them??

Of course you do ~ you think of everything.

Thank you Debbie and Walt for letting us lollygag with you!

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Thursday's Room

Today I am not speaking about one room. I was captivated by one of the rooms in this magnificent apartment but after reading the story, the whole place captivated me.

This beautiful creation was done by the ever talented Hariri & Hariri Architecture and published in Architectural Digest. These knowledgeable ladies were able to do the near impossible ~ turn an upscale Manhattan high rise apartment into an eco-friendly home. Please read the story in AD; what they did is practically unheard of ~ but they did it any way. Moxie. I like that. What stands out for me is space, scale and proportion. They opened up the space in several ways to reveal Manhattan and then populated the expanse with large scale, well proportioned furnishings.

Clearly this 'tree-hugger's' home is not short of glamour. Imagine having a dinner party on a clear night then being serenaded with that view. Breathtaking.

It is not short of refinement. Clean lines, elegant materials, pop of color.

It is not short of beauty. This tranquil spa bath is a far cry from 'crunchy.'

It is not short of functionality. How thoughtful ~ if they tire or run into writer's block, they can simply lay down and look at NYC for relaxation and inspiration.

It is not short of awe. Last Friday, I did a post on fantastic views to awaken to. I showed views of nature and ocean. This view is equally spectacular.

Doubters of elegant eco-friendly living ~ take note!

If Hariri & Hariri can turn this high-rise apartment into an sophisticated eco-friendly dwelling then there are such things as miracles. I believe, I believe....

I feel a tweet coming on....
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