July 2013 Posts

Wall Collections I Admire

By: John Hunt
For as long as I can remember, I have loved to hang things on walls. Granted, most of my early decor was more heavily influenced by pictures of pop icons and teddy bears, but thankfully my tastes have matured. I spend A LOT of time looking at people’s choices for wall decor and their arrangement, both of friends and clients. I often wonder if there is a way to bring more depth and personality to these displays, and I think these examples may help!

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I strongly believe that a “collected” feel gives the strongest and most successful impact when it comes to wall arrangements. In this bedroom example, I love the eclectic feel of the items, especially the mirror with a shelf and the silhouette. Their strong, dark profiles are a nice counterpoint to the other, simpler elements.

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In this example of a living room display, I love the cleanliness of the mainly black and white palette. The use of sculptural elements and strong graphics makes it anything but boring.

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Like most of us, I get the feeling that this kitchen is the main hub for this family. I love this multi-colored arrangement of photos, mementos, plates, and artwork. I especially like how elongated the arrangement is, adding length to the room while echoing the rectangular table below.

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I did this arrangement for one of our dearest clients.  All of the elements in this arrangement are new, hand-picked and selected by us. The attention to detail, balance, texture, and color give this display a warm and cozy feel. I especially like how the colors and textures are echoed onto the table below.

Creating a Welcoming Home

Have you ever noticed that some homes are beautifully decorated but feel a bit sterile, like no one lives there? Other homes, however, may be adorned on a modest budget but somehow seem more comfortable and welcoming?

Here are some tips to make your home alive, fresh and vibrant.  (All photos courtesy of the marvelous houzz.com)

Consider the entrance:
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Comfortable seating, a place to put a drink and plants are easy ways to say, “Welcome, I am glad you are here.”

Consider the foyer:
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Upon entering your home, provide a spot to put your keys, purse, shoes, etc. A place to sit and to put those shoes back on is also a nice touch. Liven up the space with dynamic art that says a little about the people who live here.

Consider the flow:
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Is it easy to move around your home? Can you walk through without tripping or turning sideways? Alternatively, is all furniture up against the wall so that it looks like a non-intentional dance floor? Consider your furniture arrangement so that some items float in the room (like these cushions that also tuck under the coffee table) and some items use the wall to anchor them (the sectional).

Consider the color palette:
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Bold bursts of color can really punch up a room. The space becomes emboldened and says “Let’s have some fun!”  You can also use serene colors like blues, greens and grays that say “Relax and stay awhile”.

Consider your art:
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Your art should mean something to you.  When it does, your guests get a glimpse about what makes you and your family tick. This personal selection creates closer relationships between the dwellers and their home.

Consider the eating spaces:
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Try to create comfortable places to gather while you cook, serve and devour.  Make spaces seem larger by keeping surfaces free of non-mealtime clutter. Add color and texture by setting out bowls of fresh seasonal fruits and veggies that you actually use in recipes.

We hope these tips allow you to enjoy your easy breezy summer comfortable home! What are some of your secrets?

Why I Love My Small House

My house is rather small by most standards – we have a compact lot and everything is crowded on it.  My family lives in a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home, all settled on a 50′ x 150′ lot.

The dining room art wall with photographs from Paris and Nepal, handmade hearts, and a Buddha sculpture.

The dining room art wall with photographs from Paris and Nepal, handmade hearts, and a Buddha sculpture.

I can honestly see myself growing old in this old house, located in Candler Park.

My love takes in to account so many appreciations; here are the top 5:

1. The age of my house (circa 1922 or so). Our home has experienced the Great Depression, World War 2, the Mad Men era, the summer of love, the disco era, the 80’s, the 90’s, the millennium. My house has patina, and I personally hope to age half as well as my home.

2. Our wonderful big front porch. Anyone that hangs out with us knows we spend more time on our porch than any other room in the house.  It allows us to be in nature – whether it’s raining (my favorite) or just a nighttime firefly extravaganza.  This is the place that memories are made, where neighbors come over and friends hang out.

3. My house only has the rooms that we need.  Every space is used daily – a rarity in today’s American home.  We use our dining room for eating, homework, games and art projects.  We use the front room with two chairs and an ottoman for reading the newspaper, books, writing blogs and emails. The adjoining room is for watching tv and movies. Of course, the kitchen is used all the time, as kitchens are.

4. Our master bedroom is our sanctuary. We have a seating area and our comfy bed for reading and hanging out kid-free.  I have many plans for this room – my favorite place to escape to.

5. Our neighborhood and street. We are situated on a dead end street in an urban neighborhood – close to an amazing market and great restaurants and within walking distance to school. Living on a small street of only ten homes means we know our neighbors very well and that makes me happy.  We live by incredible people and I feel blessed to be a part of this tiny street.

Maggie, checking out the neighborhood cats in the tv room.

Maggie, checking out the neighborhood cats in the tv room.

Of course as a designer, I have a many plans for our home.  My list is long and never-ending.  We have steadily worked on our home over the past ten years. We built the studio above the garage, we added the clubhouse and created the backyard. We lived in our house for nine years before we were able to make this backyard a reality. Creating this “asian oasis” with my friend and fellow designer, Elisabeth Paulson, has been very satisfying.

Our front room as soon as you walk in the door.

Our front room as soon as you walk in the door.

I am writing this post to simply to say “love the one you’re with”. Make your home your own. Your house can say “Welcome. I am glad you are here. Relax and be comfortable.”  Work on it and make it authentic – a small stamp in the world that says this is my space and I am glad you are in it.

A Sunday afternoon nap amongst family happenings.

A Sunday afternoon nap amongst family happenings.