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If I’m going to continue the theme of red-accented spaces, this unique house is the perfect place to stop next. It’s the home of portrait photographer, Emily McCall.

Why do I love this house? Because it intrigues me and is truly one-of-a-kind. For a start, you’d think a palette of black, white and red would be brash and in-your-face, but instead it’s quiet, almost monastic, but with a twist.

Great mix of textiles from Suzani to sackcloth to leather.

Any place that can combine a white bust with a Panton chair and look great is ok by me!

The bedrooms are like negatives of each other (how appropriate for a photographer!) Here’s the light and airy white bedroom, with a few graphic punches in the form of the pillow, lamp and quirky clock.

And here’s the black bedroom – a perfect foil for a vintage bus route sign….

…and a red velvet wingback chair! Genius. Makes me want to break out the black paint.

Thanks, Emily, for allowing me to post photos of your lovely home. Hope everyone else enjoys them as much as I did!

Check out Emily’s blog here.

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Maybe it’s a sign that I need some warmer weather and brighter days, but I’m on a roll with red rooms. How stunning is this dining room, spotted on Norwegian interiors site, Bo Bedre?

They say red is ideal for dining rooms because it stimulates both conversation and appetite. But this one turns tradition on its head with an all-white room, except for those gorgeous curvy chairs. So simple, sweet and stylish…

There’s so much to like about this red-accented space that it almost makes me want to redecorate our entire house from scratch (family – don’t be alarmed, I said ‘almost’).

There’s nothing quite like joyful, juicy red, used in just the right quantity. Here, because the space is so light and easy, the effect is uplifting. I’m a huge fan of the kilim rug combined with a very simple, blocky white table.

The central shelving unit looks like a clever disguise for a load-bearing column. Doused in red, it brings the entire space together.

The Asian elements, such as these meditation chairs, the Buddah, rush mats and Japanese-inspired screens below, bring order to a small space and prevent it from looking cluttered.

Is there any smarter combination than red, white and charcoal? That dark wall works well to ease the transition between living area and kitchen.

A perfect study in red.

From MiCasa via DigsDigs

For fun, and on the suggestion of a friend, I entered my four-year-old’s room into Ohdeedoh’s ‘Small Kids, Big Color’ contest. What a kick to see it actually featured on the home page of that blog!  Apparently they only select a few and there are some amazing entries there, so I’m thrilled to be in such good company. If you liked the room when I first posted it here, feel free to vote for it here 😉 And check out some of the other entries – truly inspiring.

My son is beyond excited to have his room appear on the site – even if he doesn’t quite get how it ended up there!

A few weeks ago my sister asked me to help revamp her Manhattan apartment. Only trouble was, I wasn’t planning to head out East and so any help I could offer had to be remote. Luckily, my sister has excellent taste and so all she needed was some help in bringing her ideas together into a cohesive scheme. Sometimes, all it takes is a fresh pair of eyes…

She didn’t want to replace any major pieces and was limited on the decorating front by the fact her place is a rental. But she did want it to be more pulled-together and ‘grown-up’. It also had to function for a 20-month-old.

My sister loves eclectic spaces with anything from French to Moroccan to Asian influences. She also describes herself as a ‘color tart’ (!), loving pretty much any color under the sun. How to combine all this into an open plan apartment?

As a first step, she sent me a couple of images of rooms she liked, answered some of my questions and then I created an inspiration board (above). The goal here was to consolidate all the hundreds of ideas racing round her head. We found that warm colors, luxurious textures and pattern were recurring themes.

Then we built the color palette, based on the inspiration board. I felt that a relatively complex palette was needed in order to accommodate her love of color. It also needed to complement some of the existing hues in her space – chiefly the moss green. Pinky-red, gray and taupe were perfect solution. I also wanted to introduce gold for that luxe element. Finally, I felt that some rich, ethnic-inspired embroidered textiles would be the way to introduce pattern without looking too cluttered.

Finally, we put together selection of furniture and accessories to complement what she already had. Product details are below.

A big focus was the TV area, which needed organizing and defining. I found this room (via MadebyGirl), which inspired an asymmetrical arrangement of shelves and a media console around the TV:

She’s still working on implementing the ideas so we’ll have to wait and see how it turns out. But it was fun to pull together and a great example of bi-coastal sibling collaboration!

Here are the product details:
1 – Lamp
2 – Media cabinet
3 – Pillow
4 – Side table
5 – Lamp
6 – Tray
7 – Bus stop sign
8 – Pillow
9 – Lamp
10 – Vases
11 – Pillow
12 – Tray table
13 – Media cabinet
14 – Lamp
15 – Pillow
16 – Pillow
17 – Otomi textile throw
18 – Ikat chair
19 – Lamp
20 – Pouf

I bought some coral-colored parrot tulips the other day. As I watched them change from bright orange on the first day to faded apricot at the end of their life, I was reminded of how amazing coral can look in an interior scheme. It’s been a sadly neglected hue in the past few years, but recently I’ve spotted a few rooms that combine coral with totally-now gray – to fantastic effect.

This was Coco and Kelley’s room of the week recently.

The splashes of orangey-coral look great against the neutrals and grays. This would work well in both summer and winter.

This coral bench is a good way to punch up the delicate grays of the sofa, wallpaper and flooring. Via Peacock Feathers.

This coral borders on orange but the tones are still soft rather than citrus-y. Via Style at Home.

Remember this outfit-to-room story from Domino? I was reminded it of it looking through an old issue recently. This coral has pinkish tones and, with wool, fur, felt and tweed, makes a cozy space for winter.

Looking through my files I also found this coral and gray montage from Coco and Kelley last year. If you needed proof that these colors are fabulous together, here it is…

(Tulip photo by my husband).

We’ve finally finished our son’s new bedroom and I can show you some pictures. It didn’t actually take that long to do – most of the room was finished in the first weekend because we’d planned it all out. But we had a few issues with the light fitting so I haven’t been able to take any photos. At last it’s sorted out so here’s the finished (well, almost) result.

If you’ll recall, this room is for an energetic three-year-old who absolutely loves red. I didn’t think an entirely red room would be wise given the energy levels we’re talking about here! So I went for this deep turquoise blue on one wall and white on the rest. The blue is Benjamin Moore’s Electric Blue. It’s really warm and looks lovely at night by lamplight too. Then we added red accents like the chair and IKEA cabinet (just seen on the left) to satisfy the client, so to speak (!)

I must confess to there being a high number of IKEA items in this room. The chair and bookshelves are both IKEA, but who can resist their pricing? I got my son to help sort the books into colors, which he enjoyed – and the effect is rather pleasing. I’ve been dying to try out a ‘rainbow of books’ but have had to hold off in other rooms because my other half isn’t keen (makes it hard to find the one you want apparently – I can’t sympathize because I remember the color of books before I remember their title). The pillow on the chair is from PierOne Imports.

The notice board is made from a $4 IKEA frame and some Japanese wrapping paper. It has little goldfish against a blue background.

The bed and bedding we already had (the truck bedding was from Target last year). But we added the two decals – chosen by our construction-crazy son – from Decomodwalls on Etsy.

The cabinet is one I’m sure everyone will recognize as the PS Cabinet from IKEA.

It’s probably not that suitable for a child as it only closes and opens if you can master the key mechanism. But, we billed it as a cabinet where he can keep secret things and that incentivized him to get the hang of it pretty quickly!

I love this little corner of the room. The lion and blue rabbit were both baby gifts and the dog was the first item we bought after finding out I was pregnant the first time. The painting of our son is by my mother-in-law and was a gift this Christmas. We just had it framed and it totally makes the room. We’re very lucky to have an artist in the family. I just love this painting because it captures our son’s expression so well.

I’ve been dying to get these kid-sized Ant chairs from Room and Board for ages. They come in orange, lime and white too but the aqua works perfectly here. The table is IKEA (again).

The cute Humpty Dumpty clock was a gift from my parents.

On the other wall there’s a dresser and closet. I’m thinking of adding wallpaper to the closet door – or at least a paper or fabric-covered panel with hooks – just to add interest to this corner. I also need to frame the poster of The Little Prince properly. But, you have to leave some things unfinished otherwise, where’s the fun?

The light fixture (the one we had issues with) is from Urban Outfitters. It’s called the Dreamcatcher light. I love the look of it, but unfortunately it only comes with a cord kit that allows you to plug it into a wall. Very odd seeing as it’s billed as a ceiling pendant. We looked for a replacement ceiling cord kit for ages but it seems they don’t exist. So we had to buy another (cheap) ceiling fixture and use part of that.

The curtains were here already – we had them made at The Shade Store when this room was a guest room. I’ve ordered woven wood blinds too, which will help block out more light and prevent early morning wake-ups in the summer. The rug is the one we had in the nursery and it has stood the test of time pretty well, so we probably won’t change it for a while. But when we do, I’d like a Zapotec rug like this one.

So that’s it. Our son loves his new room and now has plenty of space for his toys, books and clothes. He can spread out on the floor and play and then everything gets easily tidied away at the end of the day. And I get pleasure out of seeing that splash of bright blue every time I come up the stairs.

Next stop, the nursery and then the guest room – and only eight weeks to go before baby number two arrives! Will we make it?

I’ve been drawn to a lot of spaces with stunning ethnic rugs recently. I’ve never been into the ‘global’ style but I’m beginning to think I could change my mind. There are so many options, from Mexican to Turkish to Asian rugs, and they give a room such a sense of character and history. Of course the major obstacle to buying one has been price. But now that more stores are carrying affordable versions, it’s starting to become an option.

First up, this stunning pink, blue and gray rug spotted on Slipcover Your Life.

My sister sent me this picture. I don’t know the source but I love the colors and the impact of this pink and orange rug.

Patterned rugs don’t have to be bright colors either. I love the soft blue-grays in this image. Photo by Patric Johansson.

Every stone floor should have a rug like this. Via House of Turquoise.

This one looks bang up to date with crisp black and white. Via Desire to Inspire.

Neutral room + amazing rug = effortless style. Via Design Evolution.

Even in a small room, a tiny patterned rug adds character, without being crowded. Via Smart Alec.

Now all I have to do is find one I can afford!

Our son recently turned three and is starting to outgrow his ‘babyish’ nursery. I’ve been thinking about how I’ll update his bedroom. To be honest, it’s a bit of a challenge. I want a look that will last a few years so it needs to be relatively age non-specific. But, then again, he’s only three so I don’t want it to be too grown-up for right now.

To add to the problem, he has an absolute passion for all things red. But everything in his room right now is pale blue. I’ve been wrestling with how to combine these two very different looks without it ending up looking like a Fourth of July parade. Then I spotted this room on Little Green Notebook, via Abbey Goes Design Scouting.

inspirationboards2

I absolutely love this room. It’s a home office, so obviously the requirements are very different to a kid’s room. But the strong colors and happy vibe are exactly what I’d envisaged for our toddler. They seem to sum up his personality instantly. Even better, this space shows that pale ‘baby’ blue and bright cherry red can look fabulous together.

So, I started putting a look together, using some of what we already have, and a few new pieces. This is what I came up with.

red and blue room

Ok, firstly, I realize the red here is a little more orangey. That’s more because that’s the shade of the items I was able to find in our price range. I actually like the orange tone, but a more ‘red red’ work work equally well.

The starting point was the red cabinet. It’s the Halogen Credenza in Lobster from CB2. It’s $499 so not cheap, but it has tons of storage space. And I feel that sliding doors are much better for little fingers than drawers or chests that open at the top. I also like this cabinet from IKEA PS, but am not so sure about the lockable doors and dentable metal build!

Cabinet

The chair is also from CB2 and is $699. That’s actually one of the most reasonably-priced chairs I found that still looked modern and stylish. It’s comfortable too and I know he’ll love it because, well, it’s red.

The rug is from Anthropologie and is $495 for the 5×8 size. I love the colors and the Ikat-style pattern – no kid-generated stains are going to show up on that thing! I also love this one, the ‘Ancient Languages Rug’ also from Anthropologie.

883237_aso_b

The storage unit in the center is my absolute favorite item, but, truth be told, probably won’t make the final cut due to price. It’s made up of Stella Stackable Storage Cubes from Q Collection Junior. At $365 per cube (with cabinet doors) and $315 without, it’s just way too pricey for a kid’s room. But I like the effect and plan to create something similar with an IKEA storage unit and some paint!

The bed is the one we have already. But I just ordered an Oscar twin duvet cover and sheet set from Pottery Barn Kids as most toddler bedding is too flimsy and small for winter. A twin duvet will be a little big but, folded over, it’ll work just fine. I love this set because it’s fun and childish, but not tacky. It’s not one that my son (or I) will tire of too soon. Here’s a closer look.

Bedding

The little blue chair and round table are from Room & Board and are perfectly-sized for small kids. The ‘Jake‘ chair in blue is $50. You can get much cheaper ones but I like the idea of having this iconic chair shape in a child’s size. The table could just as well be a cheap coffee table from IKEA though, which is probably what we’ll end up using.

The window shade is from The Shade Store‘s Dwell Collection. I love this online source of custom blinds. We already have white drapes at the window and just need to update the black-out blinds. This fabric has pale blue giant polka dots so works well for a young child but won’t be too embarrassing when he’s 9!

And the best part of all is the fact that the paint color is the exact one we have in his room right now. Although you’d think ‘Polar Sky’ (from Benjamin Moore) would be a really cold shade, it’s actually a beautiful clear, warm shade with not a jot of gray in it. I did toy with going for a much brighter blue, like the shade in this room (via Flickr).

Blue room

I call this shade ‘Carrie Blue’ because it reminds me of the color of Carrie Bradshaw’s made-over apartment in the Sex and the City movie (there’s something wrong about taking inspiration from SATT for your kid’s bedroom!). If I find a chair and cabinet in cherry red instead of lobster, I may still take this route because it’s such a beautiful color and will last him until his much older.

Anyway, so what do you think? Any great items out there I’ve missed to complete this look? It’s going to take me a few months to get organized so don’t expect pics of the finished space too soon! But I will post them as soon as it’s done, I promise.

The portfolio of Australian interiors photographer, Sharyn Cairns, is a study in contrasts. Charcoal against white. Juicy red against deep blue. Fresh flowers against dilapidated walls. The result is quite stunning.

The first few shots below are a little moodier. I’ve never seen red, white and blue look quite so un-4th of July! That’s because the blue is more gray. I’d like to try this combination somewhere in the house but am not sure I could live with it every day.

Sharyn Cairns

Sharyn Cairns

Sharyn Cairns

Sharyn Cairns

The next few images are much brighter and lighter. I’d definitely find this much easier to live with. Just look at these cathedral ceilings with the chandelier.

Sharyn Cairns

I absolutely love this bedroom. That bedside cabinet is so stunning…

Sharyn Cairns

There’s nothing better than a chunky, grainy wooden dining table with white Eames chairs. The next dining room we have – this is what it should look like.

Sharyn Cairns

Check out Sharyn‘s portfolio for more.

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