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Entries in home (7)

Monday
Jun112012

10 NEON Accents - from Subtle to STATEMENT

Unless you've lived under a rock, you've seen a whole lot of color--neon in particular--in blogs, magazines and on the street fashions of the most trend-setting women on your daily commute. It ushered in spring fashion in a big way, and now the influence is felt in home decor, cropping up on everything from pottery to furniture. The electric-pink reproduction Thonet chair from ABC Carpet & Home seemed suddenly as ubiquitous as manicures in not-so-classic hues.

If the idea of adding loud colors to your interiors has you running for Restoration Hardware's save haven, fear not! 2012's neons bear little resemblance to the dubious iterations of the 80s. Add voltage to your decor by incorporating small touches, like a a neon stripe on a gray pillow, or by applying neon to transitional pieces (versus investment pieces like a couch or even bedding). Finally, neon need not be as loud as you might think. There are softer, more subdued versions, not to mention pairings with neutrals that balance neon when it's at its most saturated. The following are a few of my picks.

 

Rosanna's La Vie Boho dessert plate set proves that (nearly) neon colors are a soft alternative to saturated brights.

 

I’ve been a fan of k studio’s charming pillows since they first debuted years ago. This Clematis style pairs neon orange-pink with soft gray (love the neutral-and-neon combo).  Get it at Design Public.

 

Etsy vendor Ktaadn applies water-based ink to linen to make these tea towels. The yellow may be neon-bright, but the overall look is still subdued.

The chic Ander collection by Sebastian Herkner provides a pop of color; volume and spacing tones down the impact.

 

I've been smitten with the Dots carpet by Danish design studio Hay since it first appeared in my Google Reader. Again, pairing brights with neutrals creates balance. This area rug could work with modern interiors or more traditional ones (as seen above).

 

Designer Karim Rashid is no stranger to bright colors, so his use of neon-esque shades is less trend, more way of life. This xO stool (available at Y Living) kicks up the neon a notch with its single use of the yellow-green shade but is small enough so as to not overwhelm a room. 


This saturated lime-green vintage Hollywood-Regency-style table lamp from Etsy seller The Savage Savant would light up a room even when turned off.

 

The aptly named Sagaform Happy Days punch bowl from Fjorn Scandinavia would perk up any party--and can left out after the festivities end.

 

When I first spotted--and quickly bought--AMAC's colorful M Series boxes at The Container Store years ago, I had no idea they were a "favorite of designers since the 60s", much less that they were part of MoMa's permanent collection. Mine are translucent, but I'm really loving the neon colors in the more opaque versions (available at Fab.com) above.

 

Lumas is a great source for "entry level" art--quality pieces that while still a significant investment, aren't solely for the rich. When perusing the site recently, I was struck by Eva Castringius's "Untitled #3 (Flamingo)," with its burst of colors and neon shapes.

 

Interior Decorating and Design by Christine Sisson
Part of the Second City Soiree Contributor Series. Christine is the author of Words on Style and is on Twitter @WordsOnStyle. Read her full bio here.

Wednesday
May302012

FRAGRANT Flowers for Summer GARDENS

Summer means enjoying the outdoors on our patios, decks and yards. You've probably thought about how you want your outdoor space to look, but don't forget about delighting your sense of smell. This summer, consider plants that are not only colorful, but also fragrant. Here are some suggestions to scent your summer:

Alyssum

This low growing tiny-leaved plant can be used in beds, containers or window boxes for a long season of spicy fragrance in full sun to part shade. It blooms in shades of white, lavender and purple and may reseed itself. The white blossoms can be especially nice in a moonlit or after work garden.

Gardenia

A sentimental favorite of mine because it was my prom corsage, the white waxy flowers of gardenia will perfume the air in all directions. In our area, they prefer part sun and a rich, organic soil with some moisture retention. Gardenias love humidity and acidic soil can be found frequently in tree form.

Heliotrope

An heirloom favorite of the Victorians, heliotrope has a sweet, strong fragrance and blooms purple or white. Remove spent blooms to keep it flowering all summer in full sun to part shade. It prefers a rich soil, so give it an extra boost of slow-release fertilizer.

Nicotiana

Nicotiana, or flowering tobacco, releases its sweet scent from trumpet-shaped flowers at dusk. Another plant ideal for the evening or after work garden, it blooms in white, green and a range of pinks. Nicotiana likes full sun to part shade and can be fairly drought tolerant. It will sometimes reseed and can be anything from six inches to three feet in size.

Scented geranium

Not all fragrance can be from flowers! For a fragrant foliage plant with tiny flowers, try scented geraniums. With a huge range of foliage colors and fragrance reminiscent of rose, fruit or spice, they also make a good houseplant. Plant them in full sun and brush the leaves to release their scent. Leaves are edible and may be used in jellies, sauces, teas, or dried for a long-lasting potpourri.

 

Gardening by Heather Prince

Part of the Second City Soiree Contributor Series. Heather is on Twitter @FearlessGarden. Read her full bio here.

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