Not Your Grandmother’s Chantilly

August 2013


written by Amy Tran

This is not your grandmother’s Chantilly; this season lace is a staple. Bedding, wall covering, and rug patterns to dresses, shoes and nail design, retailers are a huge fan in both home décor and women’s apparel. Lace in black or dark colors creates a demure and sultry vibe; white or beige gives lace a crisp innocence that everyone can appreciate.

 

 

 

Hot Design for Keeping Cool

Written by Guest Blogger Kayla Harvey

Its summer, its hot, and its not showing signs of stopping.  Wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy some cool breezes rather than bake in the sun?  If you are trying to beat the heat here are some helpful tips to keep your outdoor spaces cool as the dog days drag on.
1. Green is Cool
Energy efficiency is always a good idea, but in this case literal greenery will help to keep you cool.  We all know that shade trees reduce heat, but did you know that grass and other plants can help to keep temperatures regulated in your yard as well?
Take a look at the driveway and patio shown in these images.  Concrete and pavement absorb heat and radiate it back long after the sun sets.  The use of grass and concrete pavers together helps to limit the amount of water needed as well as reduce heat retention.  This creates a more comfortable outdoor space, and happens to be a sharp looking design.
2. Catch the Breeze, Block the Rays
If your outdoor space receives frequent afternoon sun a shaded area is a must. A patio with an overhang provides an excellent opportunity to utilize outdoor curtains. Your best bet for keeping cool is to open up cross ventilation so that you can enjoy the breeze.  Be sure to hang the curtains with a bar or wire that allows you to move them as needed.  This way you can make the most of the wind while blocking any direct sunlight.
If outdoor curtains are not for you, try this novel planter wall.  The wall and plants provide shade, and the slats through the middle will allow air to circulate.
3.  Light Up the Night
When the sun goes down so do temperatures, so make the most of your yard with illumination.  There are a variety of ways to create outdoor rooms through the use of solar powered light fixtures, outdoor lighting, and even illuminated furniture.
If you are unsure you want to commit to new furniture or lighting try this simple trick to light up your yard.  Take oversized balloons filled with air, and just before you tie them off add a small neon glow stick to the inside.  These are great tossed into a pool for parties, or if anchored, to line a driveway.

Now that you know these tips, get on out there and enjoy your summer!

Era of Art Quiz

Written By Guest Blogger: Kayla Harvey

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Think you know the era of art best described by your style?  If art embodied people as an attitude, what would yours say?  You might be surprised by it!
If the world of art is an ocean for which to swim, then lets jump into the puddle of this quiz, just for fun, and see what we find.
1.  I am a(n) __________ kind of person.
a)  Emotional
b)  Pick-Yourself-Up-By-The-Bootstraps
c)  Humorous
d)  Go-With-The-Flow
2.  I think the best art ___________
a)  Evokes strong feelings from the viewer
b)  Is technically accurate and true to life in appearance
c)  Is instantly recognizable, and culturally relevant
d)  Captures the fleeting beauty around us
3.  I think the best way to succeed is to:
a)  Fully experience every emotion
b)  Work hard
c)  Be aware of what is happening in my own culture
d)  Take each moment as it comes
4.  Images should be _________ to have artistic meaning.
a)  Emotive
b)  Rational
c)  Iconic
d)  Representational
5.  If I were touring an art museum and listening to music I would listen to:
a)  Singer/Song Writer
b)  Classical Orchestral
c)  Rock and Roll
d)  Instrumental Jazz
6. The most important component of a painting is:
a)  Authentic aesthetic experience
b)  Balanced composition
c)  Anything you want
d)  Brevity of creation
7.  If I were to pick a meal to eat just for fun it would be:
a)  Frilly tea sandwiches and fancy cookies
b)  Slow cooked and savory pot roast
c)  Fast food cheeseburger and fries
d)  Quick and colorful salad bar
8.  I enjoy art that is:
a)  Flirtatious and expressive
b)  Serious and contemplative
c)  Light-hearted and satirical
d)  Melodic and flowing
9. Finish this sentence.  The chicken crossed the road:
a)  To have himself a good cry, and fall in love while walking through a beautiful pasture.
b)  To get to the other side.
c)  To become a rocket ship and sail to the moon with Marilyn Monroe.
d)  To enjoy the sunset while it lasts.
10.  The best artists:
a)  Create sensations for their viewers
b)  Are classically trained and adhere to traditions of beauty
c)  Find common objects beautiful
d)  Capture the momentary beauty of everyday life
Alright, now that you have answered all of the questions see which lettered answer comes up most frequently in your selection. Read below to see which artistic era you are paired.
A = Romanticism
If you love emotional expression Romanticism is made just for you.  The movement began near the end of the 18th century as a reaction against the Industrial Revolution with particular aversion toward some of the downsides that came with the Age of Enlightenment.  Although the forms within Romantic paintings are still classical in nature, the color palate is much more vivid and pastel than in previous artistic eras.
Romanticism centers around the idea of validating strong emotion as an authentic source of aesthetic experience.  This system of thought spawned various other forms of artistic expression that blossomed during the period.
If after reviewing the art of Romanticism you would like to see other similar genres be sure to check out Rococo and Chinoiserie.
B = Renaissance
Alright, so this artistic period is a little up tight, but can you blame them?  Genius artists such as Michelangelo, Da Vinci and Raphael were producing precision art the likes of which have never since been paralleled.  The movement began in Italy and signaled the end of the Middle Ages.  Its name literally means “rebirth” as it is characterized by a renewal of the classical Greek and Roman traditions of balanced beauty.
The Renaissance was not a time limited to artistic innovation only.  The original Renaissance man Leonardo Da Vinci asserted, “Man is the measure of all things.”  And while Humanistic philosophy such as this may have begun with artists, it’s affects were wide spread, and may still be felt today in the belief of the advancement of humanity through its own efforts.
For continued exploration of similar artistic movements be sure to check out Mannerism and Neoclassicism.
C = Pop Art
Its fun, its comical, its sarcastic, and sometimes its just downright bizarre. Pop art began, as most art movements do, in reaction to the shortcomings of the previous movement.   In the late 1950s Abstract Expressionism was being shoved out of the way by irreverent Pop Artists fed up with the out of touch nature of their predecessors.  They felt that art should be tangible, iconic, easily understood by common people.  In a sense, art left the gallery and entered the street where everyday objects became exalted as figures of high art.
In addition to the use of found object, the movement is also characterized by the use of new and evolving technologies and materials.  One of the best examples of this is the work of Robert Rauschenberg who crafted found objects (sometimes trash) alongside neon Plexiglas and polymers.
For further research into Pop Art look into its possible origins in the movement known as Dada.
D = Impressionism
Impressionism marks a decided change in fine art.  In the late 1800s the movement began under much opposition.  The artists aim was an attempt to capture the momentary, transient effects of light.  It is bright and vivid and its paintings seem to have a swirling movement all their own.  It is an artistic style obsessed with immediacy, and the subjects contained within it are often ordinary everyday landscapes and people.
Impressionism was largely aided by the advancement in technology of paint tubes.  This allowed artists to paint en plein air, or outdoors in open air, and to capture more of the affects of light in the atmosphere.
Other artistic movements that were affected by Impressionism are Fauvism and Cubism.

A Classic: Black & White

Contributing Author: Amy Tran

Crisp, timeless and always a glimmer of elegance, the classic black & white color combo will never go out of style.

An homage to the great Dorothy Draper, black and white flooring juxtaposed with ornate window casings and doorways create an alluring quality.

A great amount of attention is placed on balance and proportion.  Accessories are dramatic and highly detailed while the color palettes remain simple but exciting.

 

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Agadir Screen Noir Wallcovering, via Schumacher

 

 

 

 

The Art of Ikat

Contributing Author: Amy Tran

Ranging from hippie chic, to tribal safari to elegant embellishment, Ikat is a highly sought after material due to the time, effort and precision that goes into making it.  There are many variations of Ikat, as it has origins in India, Japan and many South East Asian countries.  The meaning of the word “Ikat” is “to bind”.  The tying and dyeing process is similar to “tie dying”, however the fabric is dyed as it’s woven, creating intricate geometric shapes and patterns.  The result is both interesting and exotic.  This trend has hit the market hard in the past few years.  In both woven and graphic depictions, the “Ikat” continues to populate fashion as well as interiors; trending in dresses, pillows, and accessories – even iphone cases!

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“Dayak Ikat Weaving” is a traditional weaving process from the heart of Indonesian Borneo

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Brunschwig & Fils Showroom

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“Bayadere” By Brunschwig & Fils

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An Indigo Chair

 

 

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Ikat Robe

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Ikat iphone case by Society6

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Iman Red & Blue Ikat Decorative Pillow on Etsy

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Ikat iphone case by Tory Burch

Is Faux Fur For You?

Written by guest blogger Kayla

Lets face it, it isn’t for everyone, but for those who do enjoy it faux fur can make quite a statement piece.  Not to mention the warmth and just plain ol’ cozy factor it brings.  If you are on the fence about bringing faux fur into your home here are a few things to consider.

 1. Sustainability – The debate over real vs faux is for another time and place.  For the purposes of this article we are only looking into faux.  With that in mind it is important to note that the manufacturing process to create this fluffy material is not usually the most eco-friendly.  The best bet when considering the environment is to buy recycled or vintage.
2. Durability – Faux fur is a long way away from being a durable material.  For this reason take time to think through its application in your home.  Do you have young children or pets?  It is best to keep this loveably impractical fabric in a place that would be less likely to be chewed, slobbered or spilled upon.  Also, consider smaller applications like pillows or throws, because unless you have the magical ability to levitate across rooms a faux fur area rug would undoubtably be a headache to maintain.
3. Aesthetics – When it gets right down to it, do you like it?  Your personal style should have just as much say in the debate as the durability factor.  So, if you’ve found that faux fur is for you then we hope you find your perfect piece and snuggle right up to it!

Springtime Floral Design

It’s no doubt that adding a dash of floral to any space can make all the impact!  We’ve chosen tulips as our favorite floral this spring.  In countless color varieties, these blooms create a natural elegance and ambiance that so beautifully brightens up the room.

 

via Pinterest

Art-of-floral-design

1 Bright orange varieties in bunches, lined up for an outdoor garden party.  A simple, yet elegant presentation.

2 Aqua blue glass adds a touch of bold color against a white backdrop.  We just love the aqua-red color combo!

3 White pottery is the perfect accessory to any casual-chic floral arrangement.

4 Stems wrapped in greens in an ombre of purple tones create a lovely linear pattern.

5 The Estella Rijnveld species is a type of tulip identified by it’s fringed edges.

6 Long, thin branches accent this rustic composition.

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Earthy Orange Dining Room: Interior Design & Decor by Schlosser Design Group

 

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Orange pops off a dark, contrasting backdrop.

 

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Countless color varieties are available at almost every floral shop during the spring months.

 

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Have a large surface to fill?  Want to create the maximum effect?  Fill a large mouth vase with many hand fulls of blooms to really captivate your audience.

 

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Don’t be afraid to show off your roots!

Images via Pinterest

Lighting As Sculpture

Written by our guest blogger Kayla

Lit Dale Chihuly Sculpture

Alright, so maybe a lit Chihuly is a bit much as a chandelier for your home.  But that’s no reason not to incorporate sculpture with a glow.  Lets explore the world of sculpture as lighting, and see where your space can be illuminated with art.

In the vein of organic modern art, Hive has produced a series of light fixtures aimed at takes on basic shapes found in plants and animals.  As the name indicates, many of Hive’s pieces are reminiscent of the hexagonal shape of a honeycomb.  This fixture reminds us of plant roots, but is actually comprised of tiny human stick figures.

If you had any doubts about the certifiably artistic nature of this chandelier, then finding out that this item was designed specifically for the 2009 Milan Design week might just be enough to knock your socks off.  The beauty of the Hope Chandelier is that it is capable of standing in the place of a traditional chandelier, and can still transcend that role through sheer force of design drama.

If streamlined is more your thing then this Agnes 20-Bulb Chandelier might just do the trick.  With angles galore this brilliant fixture will bring a sense of enlightened geometry.

An iconic homage to the urban landscape these quirky sneakers fit the profile for something different, and can add a touch of whimsy to a casual space.
The effortless flow of metal woven softly as silk combined with an internal glow gives this feminine sconce a glamor all its own.  In a guest bathroom or other small space this could be just the jewelry to finish off the space.

If Art Deco fell in love with Space Age Design and had a baby, this is what their light fixture offspring might look like.  Not a pendant or chandelier, this fixture mounts flush against the ceiling with a spray of bulbed arms to light up the room.  It gives a softer look at what can typically be a more hard edged design concept.

Blue & Gold Design Inspiration

Complementing each other for years, blue & gold are a favorite combo for all of us at SDG.

Compatible in any design style, this pair shines in every light!  Shop these favorites online.

March Inspiration Board_2013

March Shop

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via Lucy & Company

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Blue & Gold Collage / via Automatism: Sibella Court

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via Material Girls Blog

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Cobalt and Jewels / Original painting by Jennifer Latimer / via Etsy