Here Comes the Sun King

I can't lie -- I don't have any time for the blog today. Between hosting out of town family, designing kitchens, braving the wilds of Ikea, consulting for a client (what? what?), and buying MORE RUGS (to be revealed shortly), I haven't really combed the interwebs for any earth shattering design news. What I can tell you is this: yellow is pretty. It is summery. It's a blowsy good time dressed in an itsy bitsy teeny weeny polka dot bikini. And I like it best when grounded with neutrals and unexpected color combinations. Behold the bold and the beautiful:

yellow and persian rug

yellow chairs

world of interiors yellow

vintage yellow bedroom

nicolas matheus yellow wall

I think I just talked myself into eating a lemon bar for breakfast.

Going to design a kitchen at Ikea. If I'm not back by noon, send in the National Guard.

[The Interiorist, Thomas Loof, World of Interiors, you have been here sometime, Nicolas Matheus]

Architectural Digest Gone Wild!

Will you think less of me if I admit I'm a bit of a shelter mag virgin? Sure, I've been blogging art and interiors for going on three years now, but until recently I depended on the internet for my resources. Thanks to a generous holiday gift, I am now the proud owner of AD and Elle Decor subscriptions. I'm sure trees everywhere are throwing up their branches in disgust, but what can I say? I'm addicted to the glossies already. So I was pretty stoked to get AD. I mean, Margaret Russell at the helm = instant awesomeness, right? Well, my January issue arrived and I was bewildered. The February issue arrived and I was confounded. As it turns out, the current issue is the first with La Russell's indelible mark. So now the March issue has arrived and I've been full on flashed by naked drunken boobies -- metaphorically speaking, of course.

That's not a bad thing. I like boobies.

Heiress and tastemaker Daphne Guinness' New York apartment almost warrants two black bars to cover up the naughty bits. Guinness maintains her space combines, "the shine of Metropolis... with the lush flora of Suddenly, Last Summer... a sort of savage modernism." I have to say that I sort of scratched my head at her apartment until I read that sentence, and then everything just clicked into place for me. I won't post the rest of her home, but you can see it over at 2THEWALLS (a seriously fantastic blog).

Beyond the types of projects featured this month (a glorious home designed by Commune, among them), the biggest change that stands out to me is the photography. I swear, AD homes always looked like nothing so much as mausoleums, darkly photographed using only artificial light. Downright dead and dull.

With Thomas Loof on duty as principal photographer at Guinness' shoot, and the inimitable Francois Halard at the helm of Pierre Passebon's wild and wacky pad (designed in collaboration with Jacques Grange, no less), things are looking a lot brighter. Alive, even.

RIP, old AD. Boobies in your face.

Something Old, Something New (Maybe Something Borrowed, I'll Pass on Blue)

Yeah, I might want to marry these pictures... is that really so wrong? Is it truly unnatural to have a crush on home decor porn? Because there is a straight up delicious zeitgeist sweeping the decornation, and it's taken me a while to pinpoint exactly what it is that I like about it, but I'm on to it now. Contrast. Oh, sure, contrast has always been a decorating principle; the eye loves a good focal point, right? It's just that lately it's been contrast in pattern(s), contrast in color(s), and some of it -- while fun -- is frankly fatiguing and may cause retinal scarring. I'm certainly not going to abandon the best of trends past (why throw the baby out with the zebra bathwater?), but what I'm currently digging is contrast in form and texture, and especially, especially, contrast that comes from abutting something old with something slick and new. Like this:

thomas loof

This is the number one reason that I'm sad to be an American: we don't have buildings this old, and if we do, I will never, ever, be able to afford to live in one (insert your own economy joke here). Nevertheless, I can freely admire these images shot by photographer Thomas Loof because they are sexy as all get out (whatever that means).

thomas loof

I spy a Barbara Kruger photograph and it's funny. That hallway is NOT ugly enough, but somehow such an ugly print just sharpens the pretty. Oh, and my family members may or may not be reading my posts, so I won't mention all of the illicit things I would do to own that house. (Instead, just think about what you would do, and feel free to leave your musings in the comments section below...)

Of course, there's contrast that real people can achieve, that isn't entirely dependent on jaw dropping architecture (although gorgeous bones definitely mean you can cut down on the makeup, as seen above).

apartment therapy

This little gem comes from Apartment Therapy, where the owners chronicle their hellish transition from cesspool to quirky San Francisco repository for a billion vintage collections. I do really love all the modern touches that keep this young couple's roughed up home from looking like crazy old Aunt Frances' cat-filled hovel. What do you think: is one Ghost Chair a gimmick, or does it go a long way towards adding polish and structure to this deliberately aged space? (Guess you know which way I'm leaning, but I love to argue...)

Of course, you can always depend on Tom Scheerer to show you how to mix and match new and old furniture for a splash of eclectic panache:

tom scheerer

Are you sick of tulip tables and Panton chairs yet? I'm not, as long as they look like this.

Although I appreciate the clean white walls of Scheerer's rooms, I also like the ancient looking, rough hewn treatments that have been popping up everywhere, as seen here in Lucas Allen's portfolio:

lucas allen

Did I say I didn't like zebra rugs, or blue for that matter? (But I totally want that Marcel Wanders chair!) As crazy Harvard professor cum shaman Timothy Leary said, "Set and setting." Modern shapes and patterns take on a new life when paired with natural elements (as in, NO imperial trellis wallpaper... although I'll probably eat those words when I see a single trellis papered wall hanging out in the middle of a forest... Actually, I kind of like that idea).

More brick juxtaposed with modern angles courtesy of Shoot Factory:

shoot factory

shoot factory

I love the bluntness of the furnishings against the randomness of the brick. (But I'd have white couches instead of brown, thank you very much).

Perennial faves Wary Meyers are masters of this aesthetic:

wary meyers

Yep. Another tulip table. But it looks so good when it's set against dark and natural surroundings. I love the oldness of the floor and the dinginess of the brick heroically holding its own against what appears to be relatively alien technology. I love the contrast. I know the new rustic aesthetic would throw a farmhouse table into this woodland mix, but I just can't go there. I need some relief from the browness of it all. (But there ain't nothing wrong with a farmhouse table in a super sleek and modern white house...)

This is another house that deftly mixes old and new, muted and punchy, baroque and sleek:

met home


Holy hotness, William Sawaya's home featured in Metropolitan Home is incredible. To say anything else would be superfluous. (Except this: hey Met Home, your pictures are too tiny and would it kill you to make the watermark smaller???)

My last picture for today comes from He Who Must Not Be Named (no, it's not Voldemort. Well, maybe it is).

must not benamed

Reminds me very much of the gorgeous Suzy Hoodless pics I posted a few days ago. I now have the overwhelming urge to run out and buy some fusty old tapestries for my guest bedroom and artfully toss some shockingly red pillows on top. Stay tuned...