Coffee Table Essentials

A coffee table is the focal point of many conversation areas and can be the piece that shakes a space up. I tell my clients to get gutsy with a coffee table

because it can make a serious statement. Step out of your comfort zone here! This Karl Springer style table would create chic juxtaposition with anything.

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Karl Springer style table via Chairish.

 

 

 

The table decision is easy so let’s talk about styling it.  Coffee table books are my staple for height and creating

a collection that can be stacked, which is great

for minimal surface. I like books stacked high and low depending on the look I am going for.

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A stack of great books adds interest and entertainment.

 

An element of surprise and interest is needed on the table. A sculpture, wood carving, candlesticks… something that is a personal expression of who you are.

This is a spot where you will sit down and talk to people so let your light shine through!

Always be thinking about materials while you make these decisions. If the table is glass and brass bring in plaster, wood, shagreen, or lacquer.

Mixing materials, periods and styles with precision is the name of the game.

 

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Sculpture is great for a tabletop because it is seen in the round.

 

 

Your color pop can change with the seasons.Flowers and a great vase are high impact.

Stay with one type and color for a clean look.

A grouping of collected vases is an option too.

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Grouped vases with hydrangea.

 

A beautiful antique box is my go-to for the patina. Mother of pearl is glamorous and classic.

Its neutral tones and reflection always works. A box is great for matches to light candles in the room.

 

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Antique mother of pearl box.

 

I play with my coffee table tops when I need a change. I will take things off of bookcases and see what feels good together. Have fun and think about height, material and color. Create your own tabletop still life!

Enjoy!

 

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Coffee Table in my family room. via Gray Walker Interiors

 

 

Mixing you,

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Southern Soul

A Southerner has never met a season that didn’t need to be celebrated – and spring is one of our favorite times to get dressed up and raise a glass.

Mint Julep

Mint juleps

Just think of the Kentucky Derby, with the finery, hats, and drinks. You would almost forget there’s a horse race. And most of us have our own Mint Julep service tucked away.

seersucker

Seersucker suits and straw hats

Men bring out the seersucker when the days turn warm – a lightweight material that is almost synonymous with the South.

Hats

Proper ladies

And ladies still bring out the tea dresses and hats for the proper occasions.

Rocking Chairs

Porch time

But my favorite part of a Southern spring celebration is the simplest – sitting and visiting on a porch, whiling away a long afternoon with friends and family. That’s the best celebration of all.

Mixing you,

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How Does Your Garden Grow?

There is nothing that soothes my soul more than being in my garden. It’s the first week of spring and small shoots are coming up to remind me that it’s almost time to lose myself in blooms, warm soil, and greenery.

Garden Gate

Secret Garden

My mother taught me that a Southern garden should be well tended but sometimes left to its own devices, not too overdone, and not too overgrown.

Savannah

My uncle’s garden in Savannah

My uncle’s garden in Savannah, above, has been a source of inspiration for my own plantings and designs. It was used as a set for the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

Mom Garden

My mother’s garden.

I’ve seen the care my mother put into her own garden, above. I’ve seen each piece planted, and watched it grow into its beauty.

Planting

Ready for spring planting.

When I start on my garden in the spring, it’s more than just plants and flowers that reawaken and bloom. I luxuriate in the light, and I grow.

Mixing you,

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Bohemian Rhapsody

I’m a bit boho at heart – I like the mix of funky fringe and fabulous color. It’s a balancing act of pattern and exotic flavor.

Nick Olsen

Nick Olsen via Domain

Where else would you find a quick lesson in Greek (key), accompanied by a trip to Pakistan via China?

Hamptons Hostess

Hamptons Hostess

Boho is all about being natural and colorful, about enjoying life and entertaining.

Julia Brenner

Julia Brenner

It’s less about following the rules, and more about making your own.

So find your own muse, and make your own music.

Mixing you,

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Light Bright

The most functional items in your house aren’t always the most beautiful – except when it comes to the fixtures that provide us with light.

Oreste Vistosi

Oreste Vistosi

There are jewel-like designs that will reflect the light like diamonds.

Tony Duquette

Tony Duquette

Breathtaking chandeliers that are organic and inspiring.

Lindsey Adelman

Lindsey Adelman

Whimsical bubbles float in serene pale green that glow against gold.

Two World Arts

Two World Arts

Chinoiserie shines in bright red and gold for an exotic flavor.

Colleen & Co

Colleen & Co

The past is redefined and refined in pale pink for a sweet bit of light.

Susan Fanfa Design

Susan Fanfa Design

And the future glows through marble on your tabletop.

So how do you mix design and light in your life?

Mixing you,

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Walking Home

New York Fashion Week is my muse for home decor trends – and this season there were amazing looks that I know will walk off the runway and into the homes I design. Most of all, I loved the mixology in this season’s shows: teal and black, Victorian and Edwardian, stripes and solids.

Rodarte

Rodarte

Rodarte mixed light and dark, black and white, leather and lace, ruffles and fur, angelic and Goth.

MJ2

Marc Jacobs

Mixing it up at Marc Jacobs: rocker chic and Victorian, oversized and fitted, stripes and swirls, feathers and sequins.

Proenza Schouler

Proenza Schouler

Proenza Schouler made a potent blend: tailored and deconstructed, lacing and straps, patchwork and pattern, asymmetry and straight lines.

Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham

The fabulous Ms. Beckham mingled menswear and feminine looks, plaids with stripes, fringe and folds.

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

And Ralph Lauren reimagined modern and nostalgic, animal and mineral, windowpane and gingham, deepest black and midnight blue.

There’s always magic in the mix.

Mixing you,

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Dressmaker Details

The devil is in the details. I think that is true for most everything done successfully  in life. I seem to have a passion for dressmaker details and after looking at some of my older work it is fun to see how I have used them in my creations.

I designed this little number to create a petticoat on mirrored legs. I think I was going for tea length with fabulous heels…

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Detailed slipcover, Gray Walker Interiors.

This is one of my old living rooms that was featured in a few magazines. I designed these window treatments to mimic my wedding gown. I wore a strapless dress with handmade roses of silk across the top.

My seamstress created the same flowers out of my window fabric to create that vibe.

 

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Strapless Window, Gray Walker Interiors.

 

 Roses were a main design theme for my wedding day.

 

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My wedding day, Gray Walker Interiors.

 

 The leading edges of this window treatment got a dose of sass with the boas I selected for my old home studio.

 

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Feathered, Gray Walker Interiors.

I had this piece of antique lace tacked to a crimson silk for my Venetian boudoir in an old home.

I love a lace dress. Valentino is my choice.

 

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Lace dress, Gray Walker Interiors.

 

I wanted these pillows to feel tailored yet feminine. The contrast silks made into flat ribbons defines the design concept.

 

 

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Ribbons, Gray Walker Interiors.

 

 

Yes, furniture legs can be treated just like your own legs. I had this cushion made with extra long ties to lace around the bamboo legs like ballerina slippers…

 

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Ballet slippers, Gray Walker Interiors.

 

I had a fabulous memo sample in my studio and wanted to use it as a bolster for a showhouse. The piece wasn’t big enough for the length I wanted but it turned out beautifully. I just contrasted a solid velvet

and got busy with the details. Velvet ribbons are fantastic and come in so many colors and widths!

 

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Extending the bolster, Gray Walker Interiors.

 

This is what happens when I need to produce my own fabric… I used four silks to produce these chevron pillows.

I love my details.

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Custom Silk, Gray Walker Interiors.

 

 

 

Mixing you,

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Ain’t No Sunshine

I am feeling the need for an injection of color these days.  The grey days and icy mixes need an aesthetic melting.

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Olivia Palermo in shocking yellow.

A pop of canary yellow would stop the chill.

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A butterfly world in the San Francisco 2009 Designer Showhouse.

 

I always push my clients to give the laundry room meaning and make it fun!

Make the everyday not so everyday…Create a garden indoors .

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Indoor garden set off by antique mirror.

Add a color burst with pillows. The yellow floral spices up my banquette.

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Nice pillows in my kitchen. Gray Walker Interiors.

Bright red boots and handbag wouldn’t hurt . Don’t forget your leopard coat.

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Celine and Hunter in RED.

Mixing you,

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Winter Blues

Winter blue is the sexiest shade of blue with it’s icy silver shimmer.

It is a blue I love to be in and around.

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Grace Kelley in winter blue.

I designed this bedroom in winter blues and popped it with lavender. The painting above the bed weights the soft colors with silver grey hues that create some nice juxtaposition that I love in a room. This room doesn’t give me the “winter blues”… I want to slither right into that bed with a stack of magazines and my laptop.

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Master bedroom by Gray Walker.

The blues I am thinking about like to have a masculine and feminine tug of war with deep charcoals and silver greys when placed together.

The mood evokes a space that is inviting for every season.

 

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Image via Veranda.

J Lo’s kitchen feels extra spicy with winter blue , silver, grey, and a punch of black. The brass hardware isn’t bad either.

 

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J Lo’s Kitchen via Veranda.

 

Well, well a silver leafed ceiling throws a nice reflection off of this chilly blue mix. Again bits of black keep it hopping.

 

 

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Interior by David Kleinberg via Veranda.

 

My husband’s great… great grandfather doesn’t seem so scary on our icy blue walls… He might even look pretty.

 

 

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Dining room by Gray Walker.

 

Give me the winter blues any time of year.

Mixing you,

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Wrap It Up

Every year I seem to choose a theme for gift wrapping because the look I get under the tree makes me happy. Here are some thoughts as I prepare to purchase my wrapping goodies.

GET GRAPHIC

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Black and white geometry.

GO NATURAL

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Kraft paper with string and cuttings from the garden.

PUNCH OF COLOR

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A non traditional color with some shimmer.

FOILED !

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Chic neutrals in metallics . Via Modern Mandy.

ART SMART

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Roll out the paper and grab you paints. These loose strokes will take no time. What I call custom coloring. Via Martha Stewart.

When shopping for wrapping supplies I buy with my theme in mind and stick to it. The look I get under the tree completes a beautiful concept that I get one time a year.

That’s a wrap!

Mixing you,

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