December 31, 2009

New Year's Ideas with Libby Langdon

Share This:

I want to start the New Year out right by sharing my talented and incredibly busy interior design friend Libby Langdon’s New Year’s trends and design advice!  You might know her from the HGTV hit show Small Space, Big Style or FOX, Design Invasion. She’s the go to designer on the The Rachael Ray show, and often pops in to do makeovers on shows like The View, The Early Show and many more.   And…that’s just on top of designing  homes around the world for some lucky families.

If you haven’t picked up her first book , Libby Langdon’s Small Space Solutions, do it, it’s a really helpful guide filled with inexpensive design ideas to help small space dwellers live large.


Here is the article she sent me.  All the rooms below are her designs. Chic, modern and very livable. Enjoy!

Libby Langdon’s Design Ideas:

Incorporating Hot New Trends to Update Your Home for the New Year

1) Rich colors are the buzz for 2010 and Peacock blue is leading the pack, not navy and not turquoise but that rich, warm shade in between.  This is great as fabric on an occasional chair, wall color, drapery fabric or even used just as a small accent color in accessories.   Also, orange as an accent is still very chic, whatever the shade, orange adds a feeling of warmth and a great pop of color. Mauve, lavender and dark eggplant are also very in and look great paired with navy blue, a silvery gray and white. Having the newest hue somewhere in your home can instantly revive a space that is looking tired and drab.  If you’re afraid to paint an entire room just paint just one accent wall, maybe just a wall your sofa is on or your bed is on. You can also incorporate these great colors in a smaller way , get some throw pillows or add accessories in your favorite shade of a new color and wake up your space!


2) “Hotel Chic” is a trend inspired by the sleek interiors, sophisticated colors and clean accessories of the world’s top hotels.  This look can be recreated in your home by using streamlined pieces in glossy dark veneer, chrome, suede and leather in a palette of coffee, chocolate, cream and black. Slate gray may sound like a cold color but it can make a very, luxurious soft feel to a space and this color is very hot right now.  To keep it feeling warm and cozy finish the look with soft lighting and fabrics that feel good to the touch.


3) We are seeing lots of big, bold graphic patterns in muted shades and soft color combinations; think seashells, pale robins egg blue, caramel, cream, soft sage, mocha and gray.  Mix smaller, subtler stripes or textured woven fabrics in with the large print for a very modern look.  This is a great option for someone who leans towards neutral colors because you can ease into some soft color and hang on to a simple, calm sensibility.

The ethnic Ikat print has been hot for a while but it’s not going anywhere, this is great if you want to recover an older piece of furniture to give it a fresh facelift!   It comes in a million different color ways from soft to bold but used in a small way it can have a big impact!

beforesette get-attachment.aspxsette after

4) Nailheads and other small custom details are everywhere and can really add a little spice to any upholstered item you may have.   They look great on everything from a bed in a master bedroom to smaller items like ottomans.   Great design is in the details and this is a fun way to showcase them!



6) Wallpaper is back in a big way.  Many young designers are taking classic patterns and re-coloring them in a fresh new palette.   The new formulas for easier application and removal are making the prospect of wallpaper less scary to homeowners.  The days of steaming, scraping and peeling are over.  The patterns are still as diverse as they’ve ever been and they come in every color combination and style you could possibly hope for.  If you are not interested in committing to wallpapering all the walls in an entire room you could wallpaper one wall and paint the other three walls a soft pale hue, it will still give you that update to your space without being too overwhelming!


7) A timeless winter project is to unclutter and reorganize.  This one never goes out of style as some good spring cleaning can completely transform the feel of your space without ever picking up a paint brush. Act as if you were moving, what would you get rid of?  Lose the piles of paper, donate old books, have a yard sale to get rid of outdated “chatchkis” and clear out closets and shelving to create space for new storage.  Buy new bins and baskets and label what goes where.  Make a commitment to keep a clear space and you’ll also keep a clear head.  This is also a great idea if you’re planning to redecorate, it lets you look at your space and decide what you’re missing and what direction you might want to move in.

8) Lately there has been a real movement towards what I call “Spa Style.” In this hectic world so many of us strive for balance and calm and this thinking has naturally found its way into our interiors.  Serenity can be simply achieved in your home by using a palette of blues and greens.  The combination is refreshing no matter what the shade and it always matches.  The trendy blends for this spring are soft tan and pale icy blue.  The goal is to create a peaceful room where you can rejuvenate and no better way to invite calm than with a soothing blue on your walls.


9) Chocolate Brown is still very chic right now, it became a new neutral and some thought it would phase out but it’s not going anywhere.  In general it’s a tricky color to incorporate into your home in a big way but hits of it here and there are the perfect way to achieve an updated look.  It also looks very fresh when combined with limed washed wood, black and white pictures, white accessories and chrome lamps or tables.  If you want to use it on your walls, painting one accent wall that a bed, sofa, or fireplace is on is your best bet.


December 28, 2009

Art deco vacation

Share This:

Vacation time!

I’m staying a few days in South Beach at one of my favorite Art deco hotels — The Raleigh.  I love the black, white and red colors by the pool and ocean.  And the swimming pool is definitely one of the most glamorous in Miami!




The rooms are more subdued, but chic, cool and understated.




Photos courtesy The Raleigh Hotel

December 23, 2009

Icy rooms…

Share This:

The coolest (literally) hotel in the world is in one of my favorite countries…Sweden.  One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2010  is to stay at the stunning Ice Hotel in the northern part of Sweden! The famous hotel in Jukkasjarvi is built in October every year and melts down completely in April.   Each bedroom is designed by a famous ice designer.  Makes for a chilly stay sleeping on an ice bed with reindeer fur, but the interior design is icy hot…


Main hall


The church chapel



The famous ice bar




December 19, 2009

Hello FEARLESS Home! – Holiday Style

Share This:

My talented photographer, artist (and ex-model) friend Nadine Hennelly sent me these fun photos of her Christmas decorated home in Montreal from Decor magazine.  Very much in the spirit of “LiveLikeYou”!



get-attachment.aspxSMALL PIC



blue_bust_closeup chandelier_closeup




December 15, 2009

Life's too short for white walls!

Share This:

Why not start out the New Year by painting a room in your home?  While you can never go wrong with white ( it goes with everything)  it’s simply too boring to live with egg shell colored walls in an entire house.  There is no quicker, cheaper or easier way to give your home a make over than to repaint.  An instant mood enhancer as well.  While I believe you should always live with the colors you like, I think it’s wise to know how different colors affect you before choosing one.  Need some cheering up?  Choose orange.  Need help sleeping? Choose a cool blue or violet for your bedroom.  The way color affects us can also be from cultural influences. But it’s been proven that different colors really do affect the brain and our mood.

Starting in the New Year I’m going to do a color a day and post some great paint color choices for each colorway. But in case you feel inspired to paint right now- this is good to keep in mind.

YELLOW – Creates awareness and clarity, stimulates appetite. Energizes, improves memory, combats the doldrums.   However too much yellow can make a person feel irritable.

GREEN – Creates balance, contemplation, mentally and physically relaxing, balances emotion, creates openness between you and others. Spring green gives you a sense of renewal. Green can make a person in a bad mood worse.

PINK – Soothing and comforting.  Mistakenly seen as a feminine color. My son completely repels at anything pink as it has been overused for little girls rooms.  But great old European interiors used a lot of pink.

Interior design: Mary Mc Donald

Interior design: Mary Mc Donald

INDIGO –  Intuition /Imagination. Increases dream activity. But beware of too much as it can make a person depressed.

Picture 13

ORANGE –  A natural mood lifter, gives joy, happiness, sociability, has a gentle warming effect and increases appetite. However too much orange can make a nervous person agitated.


PURPLE – Encourages creativity and inspiration and promotes artistic endeavors.

Interior design: Emma Jane Pilkington

Interior design: Emma Jane Pilkington

RED – Excitement.  Encourages vitality, energy, courage and self confidence. Stimulates brain activity. Increases heart rate and blood pressure, improves circulation. Not a great color for a bedroom.


BLACK – Promotes self confidence, power and strength. You have to be pretty bold to paint a wall black but with white accents it can be very cool.


BLUE –  Encourages relaxation and health, suppresses appetite. Calms the mind, gets rid of nervous tension. Ideal for sleep for over active kids.  Who wouldn’t want to sleep in this room?


VIOLET – Brings feelings of peacefulness and understanding, promotes sleep, suppresses appetite.

Katie ridder in Elle Decor

Interior designer Katie Ridder in Elle Decor