Blues, Teals, Greens + Buttercream in the Kitchen

September 29, 2012



I’m currently working on a palette for an historic home in DC where we are using “color” on painted cabinetry.  Of course, many cabinet lines offer the option of custom color.  Crown Point Cabinetry even offers milk paint finishes and colors in the historic Farrow & Ball range. These images caught my eye. The cabinetry is classic but casual and the colors are soft and pleasing to the eye.



via Plain English Design




via Better Homes and Gardens



I’m also loving the used of “mixed” cabinetry here- saturated color on base cabinets with white and glass above.



via Better Homes and Gardens



Here, simple open shelving is combined with base cabinets painted in “butter”.



Studio Sarah Willmer via Houzz



And here, a lively combination of  Benjamin Moore ‘Stratton Blue’ on upper cabinets is paired with  ‘Pale Avocado’ below. The dark countertops, floors and ceiling make this combination sing.





via Plain English Designs



The last image of  cabinetry is from Plain English ( “bespoke” and from the UK, of course).  And the kumquats are the perfect dollop of complementary color.






Marika Meyer at the DC Design House 2012

April 11, 2012



Yesterday,  the DC Design House 2012 opened its doors to “press” for a preview. It was a glorious spring day with azaleas at their peak in the green environs of Spring Valley, Washington, D.C. Farrow and Ball is a sponsor this year, so I was looking forward to seeing how designers worked their magic with these complex subdued paints and papers.


One of my favorite rooms was “The Morning Room” by designer Marika Meyer.



photo Angie Seckinger Photography


In the designer’s words,  “Enlivened  by pops of indigo and citrine, grounded by quieter “Old World” creams and grays, the light -filled Morning Room simultaneously calms and uplifts…”




… “Our subdued palette starts with Farrow and Ball’s Dragged Papers gracing the walls and continues in the subtle gray pattern of the linen drapery {Quadrille} framing the floor to ceiling windows.”




” A stunning Oushak rug {Stark Carpet New Oriental Juliette Collection} that has similar ethereal tones but also punches of bright blue and citrine makes the space at once timeless and fresh.”




photo Angie Seckinger Photography


A large Robert Rea abstract balances the view of the outside terrace.




More color play of indigo and citrine against a backdrop of quiet gray.



photo Angie Seckinger Photography


A striking lattice -patterned Stroheim fabric lines the back of custom built-ins.




photo Angie Seckinger Photography


The effect is ethereal and hushed with glorious light bringing the subtle soft tones of Farrow and Ball neutrals to life.



More posts to come on other favorite rooms at The DC Design House 2012. It  runs from April 14- May 13.  Don’t miss it!


Photographs 1,3,5 and 6 via Angie Seckinger Photography







Old World Beauty (Brimfield Part 2)

September 16, 2011



Thank goodness I wasn’t stepping in mud under this tent.

Hands-down…one of the most gorgeous collections of antique linens at Brimfield and, just maybe, under the sun.




Pandora de Balthazar


First, there is the name.  I might just buy anything with those gorgeous letters attached to it. Would these linens be that appealing under a label with a name such as, say…Bertha Smith? (sorry Bertha).  The answer is … yeahhh!



I was immediately struck by the magical, ethereal and zen-like atmosphere of Pandora’s showroom… like walking through a cloud.  I loved the subtle color and texture–the layering of  natural whites. Pandora also understands scale.  Her oversized European pillows looked absolutely regal stacked against her upholstered linen headboards– most of them 72″ high.





In this sea of neutral linen, color is found mostly in trims… often used sparingly.  I  fell in love with this pillow and am designing a bedroom (mine) around it.  Thinking Farrow & Ball Lamp Room Gray on walls, punctuated by orange…just a touch on that pillow and in the pattern of an old Afghan rug (probably both from the 1800’s) . Color is often most powerful used in this context.




Farrow & Ball Lamp Room Gray


Antique Afghan Orange



Exquisite embroidery and appliques…




Pandora understands  color.  Reds and oranges just sing against a hundred variations of delicate and slubby-textured natural linen.



Pandora also has a story. She is the greatest ambassador for her product (and a great night’s sleep)…educating her clients about her patented Sleep System– a combination of  four pillows, strategically placed, to calm body and mind (I told my Pilates instructor all about her).




Custom, detailed, natural, textured and …200 yrs. old.  A sight to see, feel, touch and behold …..Bertha. Not quite.


Pandora. De Balthazar.


Take me to the Kasbah.….




For a closer look at Pandora at Brimfield, peruse the exquisite photography of Bruce Barone.




DC Design House 2011

April 6, 2011

The 4th annual DC Design House , benefiting the Children’s National Medical Center opens this Saturday, April 9.  The  stately Tudor manse, located at 3134 Ellicot St, NW was built in 1925. I had the opportunity to tour the house last week and chat with the designers about their inspiration and color choices.   Much to my delight,  Farrow & Ball is an official paint and wallpaper sponsor this year.  All twenty designers worked with the elegant and historically- referenced Farrow & Ball palette and as a result, the rooms flowed beautifully.  Complex and nuanced off-whites, soft grays, smoky greens and chalky plums predominate and the result is ~ sublime.



Light Gray, Dutch Pink, Pointing, Babouche

Light Gray, Dutch Pink, Pointing, Babouche

“Elegance and whimsy, punctuated by the unexpected”….I’m guessing that would be these  patent leather yellow/ linen dining chairs!  This dining room, by designer Camille Saum, was one of my favorites. Walls are covered in F&B Light Gray and the ceiling in Dutch Pink.  The floors are checked in F&B Babouche and Pointing. Oh, and there is the live moss covered mantel. Pops of peach and chartreuse  complete this lively palette.



Cornforth White, Skimming Stone, Charleston Gray

Cornforth White, Skimming Stone, Charleston Gray


The inspiration for the Grand Foyer, designed by  Liz Levin Interiors, came from a large scale moorish motif.  Two Farrow & Ball colours,  Skimming Stone and Cornforth White, were used to create a subtle tone on tone hand-painted graphic wall pattern spanning the first and second floors of the entry.  Charleston Gray was used as a third accent color. A global/ ikat inspired Timothy Paul carpet anchors the space.




Designer, Erin Paige Pitts,  transformed a formerly dark and dreary Pool Room into a light and airy white cloud using Farrow & Ball All-White in a high gloss finish on the paneled walls and ceiling.  Her aim was to create an elegant, porch-like space.  She succeeded!





On to the main living room, by Patrick Sutton Associates.  The walls and sloping ceiling in this grand room were covered in a white-on-white damask Farrow & Ball wallpaper (Versailles  BP 2601). The extensive wood ceiling beams were stripped and treated with a liming wax finish.  Textured neutrals, punctuated by turquoise, saffron and purple create an inviting and relaxed atmosphere.  These chairs, covered in a handmade Indian crewel, stole the show.



Dimity, Oxford Stone

Dimity, Oxford Stone


In this Family Room by Barbara Franceski,  a “purposeful mix of contrasts engages the senses” and  blends classical with contemporary . Barbara chose the soft, warm backdrop neutral of Farrow & Ball Oxford Stone to allow accents to pop.  A lively rug by Kelly Wearstler adds pattern,  and speaking of pop…. don’t you love these “modern ancestor portraits”?  A wink to the past, indeed.



Calke Green, Saxon Green, Red Earth

Calke Green, Saxon Green, Red Earth


Designer Whitney Stewart, widely recognized for her exquisite sense of color, used more saturated Farrow & Ball greens in this elegant Conservatory, evoking both tradition and a bit of whimsy. Modern botanicals, fabrics and a whimsical hanging “bird’s nest” fixture bring the outdoors right in.



Oxford Stone, Calluna, Mizzle, Brassica, Charlotte's Locks

Oxford Stone, Calluna, Mizzle, Brassica, Charlotte's Locks


I must admit, when I got a peek at  the color boards for this room,  with several of the newest additions to the Farrow & Ball palette, including the bravest of all- Charlotte’s Locks, my heart went pitter-patter.  The result, in this “Secret Garden” bedroom designed by Samantha Friedman,  did not disappoint.  A subtle, warm neutral on the walls allows accents of orange and purple to pop.  Can you spy “Charlotte’s Locks”?   It was used on the adorable swing that appears to fall from a tree in front of the window seat. In the adjoining bath area, designed by Jason Hodges,  texture, sparkle  and the same palette  of spring colors add to a sense of playfulness.



Pavilion Gray, Slipper Satin

Pavilion Gray, Slipper Satin


And here is “One for the Guys”, a masculine gentleman’s bedroom by David Mitchell.  Farrow & Ball’s Pavilion Gray on the walls creates a warm and cozy atmosphere.



Dimity, Churlish Green

Dimity, Churlish Green


In  this “Hideaway”, designed by Lauren Leiss,  the  textures of grasscloth wallpaper, natural woven roman shades and  a diamond pattern sisal rug combine to create a relaxing, earthy ambience. Lauren Liess– designed wing chairs are upholstered in a Michael Smith floral and brown-green velvet . Black and white ikat curtains (a new Lauren Leiss fabric) are hung at the ceiling.








Strong White, Charleston Gray

Strong White, Charleston Gray


More green!!  In this master bedroom,  Iantha Carley uses a David Hicks geometric print to bring in a sense of crispness and whimsy. Farrow & Ball Charleston Gray, an elegant mid-tone smoky purple-gray, is used on the walls.  In the adjoining dressing room, Charleston Gray complements an elegant Nina Campbell wallpaper and a touch of vibrant pink on the tufted wing chair adds a splash of spring.



Out the back door, Jeff Potter and Scott Brinitzer of J&G Landscape Design, Inc. have  created a playful interpretation of a classic parterre garden.



So this wraps of my post on color at the DC Design House.  This is just a sampling of the rooms of the twenty participating designers. The Design House opens Saturday, April 9 and runs through May 8, 2011. For more information and tickets, see  the DC Design House website.




Happy Spring !