Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sitting Pretty

Yesterday afternoon I stopped by Clutter , a terrific furniture consignment store in downtown Boulder.  I wasn't looking for anything in particular, and actually had no intention of bringing anything home.  Almost immediately I spotted this upholstered bench and knew that I wanted it.  I liked it in the store, but now that it is home I LOVE it. 

Is it insane to want to design an entire room around one fairly small piece of furniture?  I really hope not, since I spent the better part of today finding inspiration for such a space.

The room in my imagination would look something like this, but most likely minus the red.  It's not that I don't like red, it's more about the current color of the upholstery on the bench.

First I would start with a charming bed like this.

Or perhaps one like this....

Or even a bed similar to this one would look great.

For bed linens I imagine something crisp and comfortable.

I enjoy all of the options above, but I am drawn to theses ticking stripe linens from Matteo Home

Now that we have an idea about the bed, let's take a look at the inspiration room again.

Other items of importance in this room are side tables/dressers, lamps, rugs and a few accessories.

What I like about the side tables in the inspiration room is that they double as dressers, and provide much needed storage.

Either one of these dressers from Wisteria meet the criteria.

Or for a slightly different look, these pieces would be a nice addition.

As for lamps, the possibilities are endless.

For the budget conscious, Ikea has a few options.

At a higher price point, Williams Sonoma Home and Pottery Barn have lovely choices.

And for the finishing touches, something on the walls would be nice.

This set of four animal prints from Wisteria is charming.

Or a large mirror is another option.

In the inspiration room, I like that there are three small rugs around the bed.  In my room I would do the same.

Once again, Ikea has a variety of reasonably priced choices.

And if you aren't on a budget, Williams Sonoma Home would be the place to go.

And to think that one little bench could lead to designing an entire room.  Perhaps someday I will be able to follow my dream and give this bench a proper atmosphere.  Until then I will enjoy it in the living room.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Fantastic Fireplaces

Today I took on the task of cleaning the fireplace.  In the three years that I have lived in this house I have never actually built a fire, and for at least two years I have intended to give it a thorough cleaning.  I finally got around to this tedious task today, and was greeted by years of ash and soot.  After a lot of hard work and one incident involving a clogged vacuum filter I have a clean fireplace.  I only wish mine was as appealing as these pictures that I have collected.  It would be great to have one of these fireplaces to sit by tonight.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hugh Newell Jacobsen

While I appreciate a multitude of architectural styles and designers, Washington DC based architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen is undoubtably my favorite.

What I appreciate the most about his work is how he is able to successfully combine the gabled roof lines of early American architecture with the modern minimalist facades.  The house in the photo above is a perfect example of how these two styles are incorporated.  Jacobsen designed this home to look like a series of one room school houses from the exterior, but is in-fact a single family dwelling.  The red door, gabled roof, and white-painted wood siding are all borrowed from early American design, while the clean lines and stark surroundings are a nod to Modernism.

As an architect, Jacobsen is focused on the entire site, as opposed to only the structure.  He feels that the surroundings largely dictate the design.  In the planing phase, he will ask himself whether there is a view, and where that view can be best appreciated from, and also how the natural landscape may influence the layout.

Another factor that Jacobsen considers is what the local architecture and tradition is.  While his firm is based in Washington DC, they have designed projects across the country.  While each of these buildings will have certain recognizable elements, careful consideration is used in designing for a specific region.

A home built in New York or Maryland will have a look that may be quite different from one built in Massachusetts.

While the homes built in coastal New England may have a distinct beach feeling, a home designed for coastal Florida would have a completely different aesthetic. The two images above are both examples of New England projects, while the photos below are from Florida.

The image above is a great example of a Hugh Newell Jacobsen design.  The gabled roof line and dormer windows are very traditional, but the large windows, steel roof and open floor plan add an unexpected and refreshing element.

There is something so whimsical about the designs of Hugh Newell Jacobsen.  I love how there are familiar, traditional aspects in his projects, but that modern element add a bit of intrigue.  

While Hugh Newell Jacobsen is an architect by training, he also has a vision for the interiors of the homes he designs.  In a future post, I will explore the interiors that he has had an influence on.