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Welcome to the sumptuous, colorful, sophisticated world of photographer William Waldron’s portfolio. Of course, you wouldn’t expect anything less from a megastar of the photography world: Waldron has photographed the homes of many a celebrity and has graced the pages of the likes of Elle Decor numerous times. But, if only because we can all do with a glimpse at how the rich and famous live, I thought it worth another peek at his work!

You’ll recognize many of the shots in this post, I’m sure. But even if they’re new to you, hopefully you’ll enjoy the way he seems to make every space look so glamorous and other-wordly. This dining area’s glossy green walls and dappled light give an underwater feel.

Pink never looked so grown-up.

And the all-white rooms in his portfolio are positively shimmering with metallic and reflective surfaces.

All of which is, of course, helped by sky-high ceilings and over-size windows.

Waldron is definitely a photographer to check out if you feel like a glimpsing dose of the good life!

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I’m always drawn to modern white spaces with the simple, uncluttered look. But, at the same time, I know if I lived in one I’d long for a splash of color and a more casual vibe. This house is, to me, the perfect compromise. The combination of white gloss, horizontal lines and low-slung furniture with characterful accessories in fresh pink and green is just stunning. It would feel like summer year-round in this house, wouldn’t it? (From Micasa Revista via Achados de Decoracao).

The key to this space is the styling. The essentials are all neutral but it’s the pillows, blanket and flowers that inject color. The boxy sofas are tastefully restrained but the tropical print cushion and the chartreuse floor pillows just say ‘relax’.

A glimpse of the kitchen shows it’s just as minimal, with glossy white cabinets and a stainless steel hood. The use of drawers instead of traditional cabinets creates more horizontal lines to echo the living area’s low-key, loungy feel.

I love these blue-gray light shades in the kitchen. I bet those bar stools actually live on the other side of the island though and are just placed there for the photo…

This bedroom actually has many of the things I tend to steer clear of: very low beds, multiple pillows, teeny tiny rugs… But the effect here, in the context of the rest of the space, is great. And that color palette again!


Now this is a bathroom to hang out in! Huge limestone tiles and sleek white drawers create yet more of those horizontal lines. And, yet again, it’s balanced with a little bit of handcrafted character in the form of the crochet basket and perfume bottles.

Although it looks effortless and laid back, this space is actually a triumph in attention to detail. The fact that there’s so much continuity from room to room no doubt adds to the relaxed feel. And the fresh colors and abundant light make this place almost as good as being outdoors on a summer’s day. Almost!

I’ve neglected to post here for a while because I’ve been so busy trying to wrap up work and get everything organized before the baby comes. The due date is Sunday and I finally feel like everything is under control. There’s just time to show you one of the decorating projects we’ve been working on at home – the guest room.

As you know, the arrival of baby number two means we needed to convert our top floor office into a multi-function office and guest room. It’s a bit of a squeeze: there’s no actual closet in this room so we needed some clothes storage space for guests. And, given that our families and friends come all the way from England, we wanted a proper bed for them to rest their jetlagged selves! Plus, as we already had a lot of the furniture, we couldn’t go out and buy new mini-sized pieces to fit.

The solution was to keep the whole room as uncluttered as possible with just a few pieces of essential furniture and a very calming color scheme of white, green and taupe. I also really wanted to blend the decor with the view outside, since there are four windows in this tiny space. The wallpaper, which is Sweet Bay by Sanderson, is supposed to echo the flowering trees and vines in the gardens visible from this room. It’s much more traditional than I intended, but it does have a beautiful painterly effect. It even seems to make the room bigger. We already had the bedside tables, found in an antiques store in San Francisco, Past Perfect. The mirror is from another SF junk store, sadly closed now. The bed and bedside lamps are IKEA. I considered using task lights to balance the floral wallpaper with a more industrial look. But the angular lines clashed with the pattern, so it was back to my trusty IKEA lamps…

Here’s a close up of the wallpaper. As it’s pretty much the only exciting feature we had space for in this room, I thought I’d better make the most of it!

The other end of the room is the business end, so to speak. As this space has to function as an office, we needed lots of storage space. The dresser is actually a very cheap filing cabinet bought online. The top drawer can be reserved for guests. I used lots of boxes and magazine holders on the shelving to keep it from looking too cluttered or busy. The desk fits here too, along the window, but we decided to take it out for now as we have various family members staying for a while and wanted to give them as much room as possible.

I used light filtering roller blinds to keep the sun out on summer days and for privacy. The thicker roman shades from The Shade Store keep the heat in at night.

What would we do without West Elm for finishing touches like lacquer trays?!

Here’s part of the view from the window. When the desk is here, it’ll be a relaxing place for working and thinking. (By the way, can you spot the photographer??)

The ceiling light fixture is from EQlight. They have fantastically intricate shades in different sizes. When the light is switched on you can really see all the detail – the shape almost mirrors the blooms on the wallpaper.

So, there it is, a little oasis of calm for our guests in the hectic mania that is our home (soon to be even more hectic, no doubt!)

As you know, we’re redecorating our guest bedroom at the moment. Well, to be precise, we’re in the midst of a pre-baby decorating frenzy which involves swapping the functions of three different rooms. It’s proving to be a bit of a nightmare as we have to shuffle pieces of furniture, stepladders and tools from one room to another so we can get tasks done as the required items arrive through the mail (as I have zero time for furniture shopping everything has to be ordered online). Anyway, the guestroom is now where the study once was and, in fact, will serve a dual purpose as both office and bedroom.

It’s not ready to show yet, but I thought I’d share some of the bedroom images that have provided inspiration (or caused design confusion, as the case may be – read on and you’ll see why!)

First, let’s talk about color. If you recall, when I blogged about it here, this room has four windows on three walls so, although it’s lovely and light, can be subject to extremes of temperature, depending on the time of year. I needed to choose a color that wouldn’t exaggerate the heat or cold. So, a while ago we painted it green and I decided to leave it that way since it really is the best shade for such a space.

This is almost the exact same shade (via Decorology) and, like this room, I’m mixing it with a lot of white (except for the roman shades which arrived yesterday and turned out to be more cream than white. Disaster. They’re up and I’m trying not to get upset every time I look at them because they’re really very nice otherwise, honestly. And also because I made my husband paint the ceiling from cream to white so it would work better with the supposedly white blinds…. say no more).

Here’s another green and white bedroom, this time via This is Glamorous. We have bedside tables a bit like this and I really like the contrast of crisp white bedding with more sumptuous wallpaper.

On the other hand, I also like the vibrancy of this room. The greens are much fresher and more modern – perhaps more in keeping with the rest of our house. Photo by Polly Wreford, Sarah Kaye Represents.

I also have a ‘thing’ for white bedrooms so am trying to keep as much of the room color-free as possible. This also helps to unify the two functions of office and bedroom. I still need to find something to anchor the space, like the pearl-inlaid trunk does in this room. Via Decorology.

Ok, now moving on from color, let’s talk about pattern. Although the room is small, I really like the idea of introducing some pattern that echoes the views outside. With so many windows, the room really does feel like it’s up in the treetops, so I want to reflect some of that in the design. I immediately thought of adding some floral or trailing wallpaper to one wall, and then remembered this stunning bedroom by Miles Redd featured in Domino. Via Style Redux.

A chinoiserie-style floral would also work beautifully and I love this turquoise wallpaper because it’s so vibrant and modern, despite its very traditional pattern. Via Automatism.

More traditional chinoiserie, like the example here via Apartment Therapy, would also work well. Unfortunately an original De Gournay is out of budget!

Although I’d like to introduce some pattern, I don’t want the space to be too traditional or girly. I like the way the rooms above and below balance feminine textiles or wallpapers with much more utilitarian and industrial elements such as task lights. Via Fondly Seen.

And this one from stylist Lucyina Moodie‘s portfolio.

Then again, I am attracted to the tailored elegance of a bedroom like this one from Canadian House and Home. A simple, calming color scheme, glammed up with the chandelier and plush bedlinens is so inviting.

So, as you can see, this one little room has a lot to achieve! It’s starting to take shape but has a long way to go before I feel it meets all these criteria. But, we’ll get there eventually!

I’m a bit of a coward when it comes to using dark colors in my home. Let’s face it, splashing navy blue or chocolate brown all over your walls is not for the faint-hearted. There’s always the risk that you’ll deaden the room, making it seem small and gloomy. But, done right, dark walls can look incredible. They can create a cozy cocoon-like space, make a dramatic statement, or convey calm and elegance. Here are a few spaces where it’s been done right.

I’m not exactly sure how to describe the color in this first picture. Sludge, maybe? It’s very effective on the panelled walls, giving what could be a rather traditional room a twist. It works well with the white bedlinen, which keeps the space feeling light and airy. Via Canadian House and Home.

dark wall bedroom

I love the midnight blue walls in this living room. This particular blue still has a lot of life to it and looks great against the pale sofa and chair. This room works because there are little flashes of white dotted around (the wall sconce, the vase, the lamp). Via Homes and Gardens.

Dark blue living room

Dark walls make a fabulous backdrop for a wall of art. The purple here just pulls this eclectic collection together. I love it with the yellow too. I’m not usually a fan of paint effects but, because the color is so unusual, the mottled walls here look pretty amazing. Especially against the slightly battered desk and retro radio. This is one cool room. Via Glimpse of Style

Purple office

Black walls! Who knew they could be so fresh? In Britain, years ago, there was a kids’ book that was very popular called ‘The Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 and a Half’. The eponymous Mole was a rather unfortunate, nerdy teenage boy. At one point, in an effort to cover up the childish wallpaper in his bedroom,  he painted the walls black. Trouble is, he didn’t quite cover the pattern – you could still see the yellow bells on Noddy’s hat (Noddy was a fictional character from a British children’s book). Poor kid. Point is, since then I’ve never been able to think of black walls as sophisticated or desirable! But this picture proves me wrong. It works brilliantly with lots of white furniture, symmetry and a bit of pattern. Via Homes and Gardens.

Black living room

The deep gray of these dining room walls is stunning. It works well because the many reflective surfaces keep the space lively. It also helps that there are plenty of windows so the amount of wall space that’s covered is actually very small. Via Gorgeous Shiny Things

Gray dining room

Speaking of reflective surfaces, I love this glossy peacock blue. It balances the bright orange well – and look how it reflects the lamp. This is one way to ensure your dark walls aren’t at all gloomy. Via House Beautiful.

Blue living room

I’ve been hording this image from Domino for ages. It’s a great example of how dark walls can be the perfect background for unusually-shaped furniture (the bed, the stools, the mirror).

green bedroom

Ok, this one’s a little more controversial. Dark brown in a kid’s room? Well, it’s practical at least. But I have to say I like this. It works because the wall is a quirky shape as a result of the sloping roof. And it’s lightened up considerably by the white letters. It helps that the room is pretty spartan too. Wonder whether it’s like that every day… Via Australian decor mag, InsideOut.

Brown kids room

Right then, does that give you the confidence to try some more moody colors? Or did you crack the secret of dark walls long ago? Share your pics if so.

The design discoveries and dilemmas of a Brit in San Francisco as she turns a house into a home.
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