GO BOLD & GO STRIPES!

Ok, I’m starting to see a bit of a pattern here – first, I paint a fun little stripe on this dresser:

Antique Dresser Green

Then I go and buy this oh-so adorable diaper bag, and then up go the stripes in the nursery:

Nursery in Progress

And today, I actually find myself wearing not one but two layers of stripes! Do you see where this is going? I think it’s leading to a bit of an infatuation…

Yes, I can’t deny that my eye has been drawn to the bold pattern of stripes: rugs, curtains, couches, clothing, shoes – you name it, and I probably want it in stripes. Perhaps it’s the heat of summer, or the dramatic bundle of joy that’s about to enter my life, or maybe it’s simply a way to escape the many realities pounding at the back door, but most recently, I’ve been gaga for even bolder and sometimes whimsical stripes of black and white.

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(By the way, this amazing room reminds me of this gorgeous bag currently on my wish list!)

Not just any black and white, of course, but black and white with that bright, happy pop of color. There’s something so surreal and positive about this combination – it’s empowering! But as empowering as it is, it does not have to overpower a room.

The rug in the room you see above, for example, is most definitely bold, but instead of the eye being drawn directly to the rug, it is ever-so-slightly diffused by the pop of turquoise and the whitespace above it – the eye is first drawn to the rug, then up to the turquoise table, and then further up to the patterned throw pillows (which pop against neutral background of the couch), and then finally to the whitespace and elegant artwork. Now imagine this whitespace filled with a colorful collection of art – whoa! A little too much going on there, eh? Without a focal point, the eye doesn’t know where to land, and what is individually bold and beautiful simply becomes a jumbled mess of color.

Allow the stripes to become center-stage by creating a bold white-space around it.

If you’d prefer to add stripes a little less in-your-face, consider the smaller pin stripe. And rather than using whitespace as a separate focal point, create a neutral background.

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For example, the gallery of artwork you see above is simple and elegant. It has in it a touch of color but nothing that overwhelms the senses – the blue floral painting with gilded frame being the most eye-catching (which the blue throw pillow on the couch draws the eye away from). And despite the stripes, the natural color of the rug maintains a calming presence. The bold stripes of the couch now becomes diffused by the natural, earthy tones surrounding it. The eye is initially drawn to the couch and as it sweeps across the rest of the room without another focal point to land on, it then takes in the whole picture – the layers blend together to create a glamorous yet relaxing atmosphere.

Give the stripes a more easy-going presence with a neutral, earthy backdrop combined with smaller, thinner stripes.

Of course, if your home is anything like mine – down-to-earth and rustic with a cottage-y feel, you may feel like there just isn’t any room for the boldness of black and white! But don’t give up hope my friends, there is always room…

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You can add a lightweight and naturally textured throw rug at your back door. What an amazing juxtaposition with the otherwise distressed and rustic detail! And that pop of red – oh my.

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You can add it to wicker to maintain that cottage look with a slightly glamorous twist.

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Or you can add it into your tablescapes – indoor or out.

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You can create a little glamour just for the bedroom…

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Or you can simply wear it!

So tell me, how do you plan to infuse stripes into your life?

THE BIG BLACK BOX–REVISED…

If you refer all the way back to this post, you’ll recall just how much I hate my entertainment unit. My husband bought it when we were in our previous and much more modern apartment in DC, but now that we are in our 1918 farmhouse style home, it simply clashes…with everything.

Living Room TV

The Big Black Box

While I couldn’t throw the piece out the door as was my initial instinct, I finally decided to take matters into my own hands with paintbrush and a few cans of paint.

I still have a few finishing touches, but here is a sneak peak:

Entertainment Unit Peek

Pictures and tutorial coming Thursday (oh, the suspense…)!

It still boggles my mind that it is next to impossible to actually find pictures of a television styled in a home. Although, I suppose it does make perfect sense – who really wants to see a towering and overbearing TV in the glossy pages of a magazine? But the reality of it is, we all have one. And if you happen to have a husband that enjoys football, you probably have a very large one! Truly, it’s impossible to hide so one must make do…

I think Miss Mustard Seed was the first to post a full frontal photo of an enormous TV setup that I actually liked:

She’s simply amazing, isn’t she?

I’ve come across a few interesting options since, so for those of you like me that have to live with the dreaded Big Black Box, this is for you!

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Offset your TV on a large console with oversized art.

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Frame your TV within a mantle piece. Or, if the TV is too large for a mantle (like mine) find or build a large, gilded frame to contain it.

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Just put it all out there on an oversized easel!

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Built-ins are your friend.

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Or just stick it in a corner.

What do you think? How do you integrate and style your own “Big Black Box?” Pictures and ideas would be appreciated!

MONDAY MUSING (AKA THE PROUST QUESTIONNAIRE): YOUR DESIGN STYLE

*As mentioned last week, I’ve decided to base my musings off of a certain Proust Questionnaire, Vanity Fair style.

What is your go-to design style?

Lately, I’ve been really trying to narrow down my design style. I think I now have so many contradicting thoughts and ideas in my head, my style is becoming a bit chaotic. When my husband and I moved into this house a year ago, I had a clear vision – I wanted the modern country farmhouse, the Pottery Barn look-alike…

Newberry Rectangular Coffee Table

(Yes, I actually have this coffee table!)

Of course, once I realized the hole Pottery Barn created in the wallet, my style shifted to a sort of rustic shabby chic – I was drawn to the chippy paint, the distressed woods, and the flea market (cheap!) finds.

Looking Up

(*Sigh*)

I even went so far as to fall head over heels for the full on shabby and dreamy whites…

…but quickly realized that with a dog, a cat, a husband, and the klutz that I am, myself, I would never be able to maintain the clean, crisp, whiteness of it all.

Obviously, I’m still drawn to all of these things, but recently, I also find myself taken in by the colorful, the bold, and the glamorous.

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Incorporating bits and pieces of all of these things, I’d like to define my style as “Modage Cottage” (for all you folks that may have been wondering about the title of my blog!) – a mix of modern vintage (“Modage”) with the light, breezy comfort of cottage living.

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Now if only I could get my own house to look like this!

So how about you? What is your design style – eclectic? Mid-century? Dark and dramatic? Pink and girly? Email me a picture of your favorite room that defines your style, give me a brief description why, and I will share my favorites next Monday (be sure to include a link to the source).