August 9, 2012

Marvelous Mix-Up: Chairs

Today I have a special treat... a post from guest blogger Mari from Design Shuffle.  It's no secret that I have an obsession with chairs, so of course I jumped at the chance to showcase these beauties on my blog... Enjoy!  - GLC
Hello, everyone! I'm Mari, a writer for Design Shuffle, the online gathering place where interior designers and design enthusiasts share projects and decorating ideas. I'm so happy to be here with a guest post about one of my design obsessions - chairs and how beautifully they mix with each other. The ideas for mixing up different styles, colors and finishes of chairs in one space are limitless so let's get right to the subject at hand and take a look at eight images showing just how marvelous a chair mix-up can look. Please enjoy!

Marvelous Chairs

White is the unifying theme of this chic mix of dining chairs in different styles. The white center of the room is simply stunning against a dark background.

Marvelous Chairs

A collection of upholstered arm chairs is beautiful and totally unexpected around a white dining table in this open living space. Different styles from traditional to contemporary are represented in this diverse group.

Marvelous Chairs

A vintage, perhaps Swedish, home includes this white dining space infused with the happy vibe of a collection of brilliant candy colored metal Tolix chairs. Red comes to join the party in the form of bright red pendant lights.

Marvelous Chairs

In a much more restrained design, two chairs create their own marvelous mix-up in front of the fireplace. There's nothing matchy-matchy about this lovely pair.

Marvelous Chairs

Six chairs in different shapes, colors and fabric patterns are lovely around the table in Tyler Florence's Kitchen of the Year.†This space is filled with kitchen design ideas.

Marvelous Chairs

The meticulously crafted spaces inside Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick's 1865 Bridgehampton house include this dining room with vintage chairs surrounding a contemporary white table. The disparate group of chairs is unified with black paint. The blue glass lighting fixture above the table is a lovely choice.

Marvelous Chairs

This marvelous mix-up actually includes two upholstered benches plus rattan and slipcovered wood chairs at the table and in the adjoining sitting areas.

Marvelous Chairs

This blue dining room is formal, but definitely not shy about revealing a light-hearted side--enter the casual chair whimsical chandelier at center stage. Doesn't this inspire interior design ideas for infusing a touch of whimsy into slightly stuffy spaces? †Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

As you see, marvelous chair mix-ups can turn up in just about any space. I hope you're inspired to start your own collection of these mismatched beauties.

What do you have a marvelous mix-up of at home? Let us know in the comments section! And also, don't forget to check out our Design Gallery on Design Shuffle, your ultimate source for decor mix-up ideas and inspiration!

August 1, 2012

Juggling Act - Thoughts from a Designing Mommy

As I was sitting down to get some work done earlier, this is the comical scene that unfolded...

Not exactly the kind of assistant I was looking for...
All this hard work is making me sleepy.
Which got me to thinking about some of the ways that being a mommy has shaped me as a designer.  I couldn't help but laugh at myself as I thought about the ways my "design views" have changed for clients with young children.  In the spirit of humor and humility, I'm here to share a few things I have come to learn along the way...

Yes, I do own an iron!
Three years ago I would have sworn to you otherwise.... explaining that bleach and the occasional professional cleaning will keep things looking good.  I was WRONG!  Unless this pristine fabric is far from the messy fingers of your children, don't even think about it.  The white slipcovered chairs in my kitchen are now a certain muted shade of mac-n-cheese, spaghetti sauce and chocolate milk.  And while an oxiclean wash is helpful, I failed to consider that I would need to iron them every time - and let's be honest, with 2 itty bittys, I'm just not going to do that!

The morning cereal bowl ring, and toddler "paw prints".
This is a sad one for me, because I truly love a good mirrored piece.  But toddlers hands are perpetually grimy and I promise you cannot keep up with the cleaning unless you have a live-in maid!  It's not that this didn't cross my mind when I bought our awesome new mirrored coffee table... I was just naive and thought that I would be able to set up boundaries and rules to keep it looking good.  I even rationalized that since the mirror had an antiqued finish that messes wouldn't be that noticable.  WRONG AGAIN (have you ever heard a woman say these words so much?)!  I am approximately one "lunch-in-the-living-room-please-mommy" away from stashing this thing in the attic until he is 18!

Sometimes it's just worth the risk
I have a great collection of oversize ginger jars ominously adorning my fireplace, along with a great glass lamp that I love!  All of these are in the direct line of fire of my energetic 3 year old and I have just had to be honest with myself that there is a good chance one (or all of them) will become a casualty.  I've decided I'm willing to risk it anyways, because I love them and think they add a lot to the room.  These things are precious, but not as precious as my kids... so please remind me of this on the day that I'm tearfully picking up pieces of porcelain off of my living room floor!