Monday, February 27, 2012

Favorite modern design websites to shop

My favorite modern design websites to shop
As you know, I love modern design and I wanted to share with you all some of my favorite places to shop online for modern design items for my home, cards and even dog accessories.  

Modern design can get confused with Contemporary design but they are different. 

Modern Design using very clean simple lines, geometric patterns, using the idea of less is more, and use of nature materials like teak and leather. It was created in the 1950's in German when the Bauhaus school of design started.  (I will post more about design style history in the future).  Modern design spaces are typically neutral with splashes of color.  It has more of a retro look and feel to it.

Contemporary design using lots of curves, it is very playful using lots of reflective materials, unusual colors, and asymmetrical patterns.  It was created in the 1960's & 70's as part of the post modernism movement and it strong today.

Modern design websites to shop
Below are a few of my favorite site I shop on line when looking for great modern design for my home.

How can you not love Crate and Barrel.  I have loved them for years.  Their sell updated version of modern European design.  I did not notice this until I was in Finland last year and saw how European looking the products Crate and Barrel sells.  I love them!
cb2 is a more playful version of Crate and Barrel.  I love their products and they have great prices on accessories and other furniture.  CB2 is a little bit more contemporary but still has a modern feel to it.
Oh how I love west elm.  They have GREAT prices and wonderful modern design pieces for your home.  I owe lots of their shelves, end tables and accessories.  I also love the partnership they have created with Benjamin Moore on selling their paints and noting in their magazine what BM paint they used.  All of their products are designed to work with their paints.  They make it so easy!!!  If you have not checked them out it is a must!
(This photo shows west elm shelve and accessories)
The wonderful blue and yellow box in the sky!  I love IKEA and have been shopping their for over 12 years.  They have crazy good prices and the Swedish sure are amazing designers.  They now sell many different styles of design for great prices around the world.  I thought I would grow out of IKEA but that will never be the case. (this photo shows IKEA lights, shelves, metal wall shelves with west elm & Crate & barrel accessories)
Rock Scissor Paper is a wonderful card site owned by 2 sisters in San Francisco.  I love their moderns cards and paper products.  They have classic modern designs and new fun playful ones.
Trendy Pet is a site that sells wonderful modern dog bowls.  I am VERY particular on what I put in my house and I wanted a nice simple modern raised dog bowl for my whippets.  I found this great site and own 3 of these bowls.  My pups love them & so do I.
Loll designs makes outdoor furniture made out of recycled materials.  I want a few chairs some day in my back yard.  You can order different styles of furniture in many different colors and it good for the environment. (their products are pictured at the top of the post).
2 Modern is a nice site that sells classic modern furniture and other accessories.  It is not cheap but they have great stuff and so many options to pick from.  My of my favorite chairs is on sale here and I told my husband he never needs to by me diamonds for my anniversary, just classic chairs.
One Kings Lane is a new site I found that has lots of interesting accessories in many different styles.  The prices range but if you are looking for some special no one else has, this is the place for you.

I hope you enjoy shopping these sites for your home.  I love checking back at these sites often to see what is new and what is on sale!  Enjoy 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Interior Design websites for inspiration

Interior Design website for inspiration

Some of you know I am an Interior Designer and have been practicing commercial design for almost 13 years.  I love my job and I never can stop changing things in my house and love starting new projects at work.

I will make sure to write about all styles in my blog but I do love mid century modern design so I will post about that style the most since it is what I am drawn toward.

I thought it was time to write about some of the great website I reference, get inspired by and shop at for my home.

Ideas and Inspiration
Below are a few great websites that post pictures of professional designed houses in all types of styles:
   This site posts images of interiors by style (Asian, Contemporary, Eclectic, Mediterranean, Modern, Traditional, & Tropical) and by space type (bathroom, bedroom, closet etc....)

The other great thing about the site is you can create idea books saving your favorite images so you can look back at what you like when it is time to build, redesign or remodel your home. And of course they have section on the website where they post products you can add to your idea book or links to buy them online.
   This site is one of my favorite sites and magazine.  I have subscribed to Dwell for over 10 years.  It is about home design in the modern world.  They focus on modern design and products for a modern home.  The site has ideas, products and great articles about modern design around the world.  You can also get a magazine or iPad subscription to get even more info.  You can also following dwell on facebook too.
      I love Benjamin Moore paints and use them at work all of the time!  There site is wonderful.  They share painting ideas so you can be less scared of color, information on color trends which I am a HUGE fan of!  They also have upload a picture of your room and you can add a new paint color in the photo so you can get an idea of how a new color will look before you paint.  This site is SO great and I can talk about it for hours (but I won't) and will post more about it in the future.  They shear great articles on color combinations, room design, how to create color pallets and more.  You have to check out this site and if you use Facebook, like Benjamin Moore and you get updates on Facebook about the great articles and more.
   I just found this site which allows you to look at mood boards other people made to inspire you and also for you to create your own mood boards for your home projects.  You can sort the mood boards but so many ways (color, space type, kids rooms, materials, style and many more) you need to check it out!

After you find a mood board you like, it lets you where the items are to buy online.  They make it too easy!

I hope you find these home design inspirational websites helpful and fun to look at like I do.  I love seeing what is new and how to put different colors together.  It helps me be a better designer at the office and I am always looking at how to improve my home.

A designer's home is never complete.......

Saturday, February 11, 2012

What shoes to wear with what color pants?

 What color shoes do I wear with what color pants?
I really love having lots of colors of shoes to mix and match in my wardrobe.  I find it a very fun way to jazz up an outfit.  I used to only neutral colored shoes and then I bought my first pair of lime shoes with my first work bonus in 2003 and I never stopped!

I also love Sex and they City and I am a little like Carrie Bradshaw with her love affair with shoes.  Sometimes a girl needs really special shoes to make it through life!  I agree that we have a right to shoes!!!!

 So there are LOTS of options of shoe colors and I am going to blog about my recommendations.

Black pants
It really depends on what color top you have.  If you have a colored top or a neutral top here are some options of shoe colors;

  •  Gray shoe (cool neutral top, any colored top and it is safe)
  • Silver metallic (cool neutral top, any colored top and adds a little fun & shine)
  • Black ( cool neutral top, any colored top and it is safe.  It will elongate your leg especially if you wear pointy toe shoes)
  • Nude (warmer neutral top, any colored top and it adds a little surprise without being too loud.)
  • Gold metallic (warmer neutral top, warmer colored tops and it you want to add some shine)
  • Any colored shoe (you can wear any colored shoe to coordinate with your top or add a pop of color if you are wearing all neutrals.  You can be more matchy matchy with the top and shoe but try to wear a shoe color in the same color family that goes with the top color instead of exactly matching it.  It takes time)
  • Animal print (louder prints like leopard work best when paired with warm neutrals.  Zebra or snake skin work well with color and adds a sexy pop of fun and they never go out of style!

 Gray pants
  • Gray shoe (cool neutral top, any colored top & it is safe)
  • Silver metallic  (cool neutral top, any colored top and adds a little fun & shine)
  • Black (neutral top, any colored top and very classic)
  • Any colored shoe just like black and have fun with it

 Navy pants
  • Silver metallic (cool neutral top and any if you add a fun color top to add shine and fun)
  • Gold metallic (warm neutral top or a fun colored top which adds the shine)
  • Nude (warm neutral top and colored tops)
  • Cream (warm neutral top and colored tops.  Works best in spring/summer for a lighter nude shade option)
  • Brown (warm neutral tops and colored tops)
  • AVOID!!!! I would not wear navy shoes with navy pants.  The shades of navy will be a near miss and it will not look finishes and modern.  

 Tan/neutral pants
  • Gray (cool neutral top and any colored top)
  • Silver metallic (cool neutral top and any colored top, adds the fun pop of shine)
  • Black (cool neutral top and any colored top.  Very classic)
  • Cream (warm neutral top and colored top. Works best in spring/summer)
  • Brown (warm neutral top, colored tops and safe)
  • Any colored shoe just like black pants.  Have fun!

Brown pants

  • Brown shoes (warm neutral tops, colored tops and when you want your foot not to pop)
  • Snake skin (if the color in the shoe have brown in it.  It is a fun way to add more texture in your outfit and take it up a notch)
  • Neutral (warm neutral top, colored tops and when you want your shoe to show but not a color
  • Cream (warm neutral top, colored tops and in warm seasons when you want your shoe to have contrast to the pant color)
  • Any colored shoe just like the pant pants

Red pants or skirts!

  • Brown (warm neutral tops)
  • Black (cool neutral tops)
  • Silver metallic (cool neutral tops and adding the pop of shine)
  • Zebra (when you want to really stand out)
  • Neutral (warm neutral top)
  • Cream (warm weather option with warm neutral tops)
  • If you are brave feel free to add a colored shoe since this spring is the time to do that.  

Orange skirts

  • Black (cool neutral tops be careful if you have on a black top and where black shoes you might look too much like Halloween)
  • Silver (cool neutral tops and adding the pop of shine)
  • Gray (cool neutral top)
  • Brown (warm neutral tops)
  • Neutral (warm neutral tops)
  • Cream (warm neutral tops in warmer weather)
  • Zebra (my favorite shoe to wear with this skirt.  I feel very sexy in this combo and I walk with more confidence in those shoes)
  • You could also wear a red or yellow shoe since they both  are in the warm family if you had on a neutral top.

Gold (yellow) shirt

  • Black (cool neutrals)
  • Silver metallic (cool neutrals not as safe)
  • Gray (cool neutrals or cool colored tops)
  • Brown (warm neutrals)
  • Neutral (warm neutrals)
  • Cream (warm neutrals)

Have fun with animal print here too!  A fun snake skin or zebra print adds the sexy factor into the outfit.
You could also try wearing a similar colored shoe to create a more tonal color look.  Great for spring/summer
Green skirts

  • Black (cool neutrals or cooler colored tops)
  • Silver metallic (cool neutrals or cooler colored tops)
  • Gray (cool neutral or cooler colored tops)
  • Brown (warmer neutrals)
  • Neutral (warmer neutrals)
  • Cream (warmer neutrals in spring/summer)

Having fun

  • Play with adding a neutral animal print shoe in to create a little more sexy look.
  • Add a lime green shoe which is in the same color family but different.  Add a layer of twist and surprise

Lime skirts
  • Black (cool neutral)
  • Silver metallic (cool neutral or cobalt blue top)
  • Gray (cool neutral)
  • Snake skin or zebra (add a pop of fun and sexy to the look) 

Color with color!
  • Lime (neutral to which is fun with a similar shade of shoe with the skirt)
  • Green (green top or neutral top to play with color blocking)
  • Blue (blue top or neutral top to play with color blocking)

Have fun and you can wear any neutral or colored shoe you want.  Play around with the different colors you have in your outfit. 

Think about if you want the shoe to go with the outfit or stand out!

My other favorite is to wear the classic leopard print shoe.  Classic and sexy.  Love love this combo!!!

Blue pants or skirts

  • Gray (cool neutral tops or green tops)
  • Silver metallic (cool neutral tops or lime green)
  • Neutral (white or cream tops)
  • Cream (white or cream tops in warm weather)

Fun with color

  • Animal print (have fun with a fun neutral partnered shoe with a neutral or colored tops)
  • Lime or green (neutral tops or similar shade of green on the tops)
  • Yellow (neutral tops or a light yellow top to play with shade of color)

Neutral pattern skirts 
Have fun with color here!!!  I tend to wear a neutral top and add the pop of color in the shoes for fun.  No right or wrong but try not to be too matchy matchy.

Please leave comments if you found this post helpful and any feedback on how to improve for future posts.  I love trying new things with color and texture and it really comes down to being confidence and being willing to try.  Sometimes you knock it out of the park and other times you miss.  Just get back up if you miss the mark and try again.  

Saturday, February 4, 2012

2012 Spring/Summer fashion color trends

 2012 Spring color trends
This week I received my spring rewards card from J Crew and they included a preview of the spring/summer 2012 collection.  This made me think writing about the Spring color trends is perfect for my next post.

Yes, some already now and others will know soon that I do like J Crew for most of my clothes.  I do shop at lots of other places but J Crew is my main store. There catalogs also do a great job noting color trends which is consistent with other stores as well.

Pantone fashion color report - Spring 2012
I also love following color trends for interior design and fashion so I found a great report from Pantone noting the2012  fashion color spring trends.  Below is a link to the full report and I highly recommend reading it.  You can even download the report for lots of detail.

Pantone Fashion color report - spring 2012 link

The Pantone color of 2012 is Tangerine Tango which is a fun orange you might have seen and will see more of this spring.  Below is a summary from the color report noting the colors of 2012.

Fashion Trends 
Below are some other trends I have found in many of my favorite stores for this Spring:

I am very pumped for this spring's fashion.  I love color and I am shocked on how much color is out there.  I am used to adding color in my tops with a neutral bottom but I see the opposite.  Lots of colored pants and skirts so have fun with it and any color can work on you. 

 Remember if the color might not work near your face. (I have red hair so I have to be careful on the color of red I wear so I now bought a pair of bright red pants and it works)  you can wear it on the bottom.  Best way to try a color is with a simple pop of color with neutrals.  After you get that down you can be more bold.  (Future post!)

Fashion trends this spring/summer
  • Modern silhouettes (narrower leg lines)
  • Color, color and more color!
  • Bold color blocking (having more than one color in your outfit)
  • Pops of coral/orange
  • Pastels colors
  • Sculptural accessories
  • Prints with prints
  • Color skinny pants and color skirts
  • Ballet flats
  • Animal prints
  • Dangle earrings

I love colored pants and if you have great skinny legs these pants will look great on you!  J Crew has a ton of colors and patterns.  Also Ann Taylor, Gap, and Banana have colored capri's so you will find them everywhere!

If you don't have great skinny legs and want to wear color on the bottom half try a pencil skirt or a-line skirt.  I don't have skinny legs and have kankles so I stay away from capris and love wearing skirts all spring/summer.  (advice my husband gave me last year and he was right).  I own a few of these skirts and I LOVE them.  

I will post more on this topic since it really is just coming out and there is so much more to talk about.

I am very excited I started this blog.  I downloaded a bunch of ideas and questions I have already received from friends and I did not even know where to begin today.  I tend to think a little randomly so bear with.  As some of you know I am not a great writer.  I misspell words all of the time and my grammar is not perfect.  My husband says it is the my charm.  

I hope you enjoy this update on color trends and post any ideas/questions on the blog for future posts.