Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter!

Aren't these adorable? I love the owls and chickens the best. My FB friend Romeo Cuomo from Italy posted these and I just had to share. He sells these little creatures. Check out his page, Italian Art. Love their eggy shapes! I think these are definitely the kind of eggs I would like to hunt today.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ceiling Fans - How to Choose?

Minka Aire's Artemis fan - beautiful, sleek, and minimal for a modern space

Designers hate them, homeowners love them. What does a designer do when a client insists on ceiling fans in all the major rooms of the house? This is a common dilemma in hotter climates, especially when many homes have 2 story living/family room spaces and lots of windows. The heat just sits there and ceiling fans are just the thing to conserve energy and move the air around.

When I remodeled my bathroom, I decided I wanted a small fan in the space. I was my own worst client! It is so hot in Houston and my husband is always turning the thermostat up to save energy costs. I hate to sit and do my make-up when it's hot and I'm perspiring, so I decided to go for the fan. I absolutely love it! I use it all the time. My bathroom has a 9' ceiling height and I didn't want it to hang down into the space so I chose a ceiling hugger, Minka-Aire, Concept II fan in dark bronze.

My bathroom with it's fan.

This was hard, I'm not a big "fan" of ceiling fans....(sorry). I love beautiful light fixtures instead. When selecting a fan, I always tend to go plain and simple. I like fans to look like fans, preferably without a light kit attached.

In this house with a lake view, I decided to use a Fanimation fan with a wide, woven bamboo blade to accentuate the resort feeling of living on a lake.

You can see the fan in the mirror.

I like the industrial look of this fan from Kichler, Hatteras Bay, in dark bronze.

The Industry fan, from Modern Fans. I like its clean, tidy look.

Lights on ceiling fans like this spider set above provide easy access for bulb changing, but are really unattractive. I prefer to install can lights several feet away from the tips of the blades. Strobing occurs when you get a light source too close to the blade.

This ceiling fan is just too heavy and tricked up.

Is this a barrel????

When deciding on a ceiling fan for your space, I think it's best to err on the side of simplicity.

Keep cool!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Thanks for the Feature!

My Showhouse room was featured on the blog, Love Where You Live, written by Susan Fox. It was so nice to meet Susan and to have my space featured. She has a lovely blog, please check it out!

I'm planning a giveaway coming up in a week or so. It will be something from my showhouse room. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pillows - Which Design is Right for You?

Pillows are a wonderful accessory for fine tuning a style in a room and adding comfort and luxury. Neutral upholstery and bedding can be punched up with color and pattern with pillows. They only take a yard or so of fabric and can easily be changed out when styles change or you tire of the look.

The pillows above in my Showhouse bedroom on the ivory bedding make a graphic, colorful statement in the space. I chose a simple knife edge design to keep the focus on the patterns and variation of size and color, rather than the detail of the pillow construction.

Large scale graphic patterns provide a big visual impact and are very popular now. These large designs look great with minimal fuss or trimming. Pillows below are from Ryan Studio.

Solid colors look great with special details. Trim, edging, special added details like buttons all work well with solid color pillows.

I love applied tape trim on pillows.

The tape trim here gives a dimensional quality and pattern to this pillow.

Sometimes a pillow just needs a contrasting edge to make it stand out on the background. I love this flat pipe. The smaller and neater the better.

Tape trim and a flat pipe....nice statement pillow.

I love mini-flanges too. Trim and neat, this mini-flange uses some pleats at the corners to dress it up a bit.

More applied tape trim with a small piping to bring some contrast and interest. Carol at Sofas and Sage has a great tutorial on how to mitre tape trim on pillows.

Monograms are a classic touch, especially in a bedroom.

I'm definitely going bigger with pillows now, 22" square minimum, 24" and 26" sometimes. I always do down unless someone is allergic. They just sit so well on upholstery. I love custom sized pillows too. This large rectangular pillow above was 24" x 46". By contrast, the small velvet pillow is 9" x 14".

If you have pillows like these below, tapestries with tassles, it's time to update. Don't worry, things all come back around so don't toss them out. Just delete a few and throw in some simple textural linen pillows for a cleaner, 2011 look. (BTW, these two are not from Ryan Studio.)
These above are a little heavy and ornate for how we are decorating today.

I love these custom patterned linen pillows that Donna Jarnigan used in our Showouse on the sofa in the game room. The long linear shape accentuates the high back of the sofa and provides just the right amount of contrast.

These raw silk pillows on the guest room bed, done by Pamela Hoffer, benefit from some detail with the edging and buttons. Love these.

Lastly, I sometimes like statement pillows. That one unique pillow that really stands out, a little piece of art. Sukan Handmade Design pillows on Etsy has some beautiful handmade pillows that would be perfect on a bed or upholstered chair.

What is it about owls right now? They are such a popular motif. Love them!

Love this hand stitched design.

These would be so cute in a child's room!

If you're thinking of updating your decor just a little bit, pillows are the perfect place to start!

Need some advice on pillows for your home? Contact Aston Design Studio for a consult today!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Bold Moments at the Showhouse

The ASID Showhouse opened this past Friday in Sienna Plantation in the Houston area. The house looks great and I'd like to share a few of the bolder moments in the house. My wallpaper in the bathroom I did for a teenaged girl, above, has a bold pattern that is both graphic and pretty.

This ceiling in the home theater, designed by Diana Walker, has incredible color and a subtle but interesting constellation pattern that minimizes the awkward angles in the ceiling. The pattern was created and painted by the talented artists of Imago Dei.

The photographs installed in the downstairs hallway, designed by Jason Broughton, make a strong visual statement. Photographs by Paul Swen.

Lynne T. Jones designed the upstairs music room located just outside the home theater. She went to Stacy Hosrich to create a custom piece of art...a bold, graphic moon that seems to glow.

Be still my heart! I think it skipped a beat when I saw this fixture in the study, designed by Amilee Wendt. The modern fixture she chose dominates and illuminates the high ceilings in this space. A bold statement indeed. (Love the table desk too!)

Come on out to Sienna Plantation to see it all for yourself! We'll be here through April 17th, open Tuesday through Sunday.
Visit InfoServe for Blogger backgrounds or to create a website.