Month: February 2016 (page 1 of 2)

If Oscar Gowns Were Rooms

I’ve been looking forward to the Oscars all month and last night did not disappoint.  So many actresses brought their A-game to the red carpet that it was difficult to choose a “best dressed”.  However, following are 5 contenders who’s ensembles recalled some pretty spectacular interiors.  If Oscar gowns were rooms, they might look like this…

If Charlize Theron's Oscar Gown Were a Room

What do Charlize Theron and Max Azria’s foyer have in common?  Sparkling jewels that plunge to depths previously unimagined.  The color red.  Oh yes, and both make an arresting first impression.

If Tina Fey's Oscar Gown Were a Room

Seeing Tina Fey in a bold color was a rare treat.  She radiated in a flattering, royal purple dress and matching diamond-and-amethyst choker.  Feminine curves, limited adornments, and–of course–that stunning shade of violet–unite this opulent vanity and everyone’s favorite funny girl.

If Cate Blanchett's Oscar Gown Were a Room

Cate Blanchett is known for her daring red carpet choices.  She often takes risks in the name of fashion.  Last night the screen siren fluttered across the red carpet in a feather-embellished aqua gown.  Like Cate, this room wears aqua, incorporates feathers, and pushes the boundaries of classic design.

If Saoirse Ronan's Oscar Gown Were A Room

This kitchen and nominee Saoirse Ronan’s dress share a murky, sexy shade of green with a glittering sheen.  In the case of the kitchen, it’s thanks to a lacquer finish.  Ronan’s dress, on the other hand, is made metallic by thousands of sequins.

If Priyanka Chopra's Oscar Gown Were a Room

Priyanka Chopra, star of Quantico, may very well have stolen the show (at least on the red carpet) from her more seasoned peers at the 2016 Oscars last night.  She can only be described as drop dead gorgeous and the gown she chose was equally exquisite.  Like Khloe Kardashian’s dining room, Chopra is luminous in white with light filtering through lacy cutouts.

So who was best dressed?  I’m at a loss.  Tell us what you think in the comments.

How to Furnish a Serene, Beachy, Boho Room

Inspired by Rebecca de Ravenel’s gorgeous home, I couldn’t resist riffing off of her soothing, tropical-feeling, bohemian oasis of a dining room…

How to Furnish a Serene Beachy Boho Room

An overdyed, cobalt blue rug lays the foundation and is a close match to the one de Ravenel selected.  For the tablecloth, I veered off path a little–selecting a more colorful and bold print–but it touches the floor like de Ravenel’s, lending the space a luxurious, laid back feel.  With no collection to display (because those are amassed over time), I used a pair of wicker folding screens to frame the room, shifting the focus to the turquoise lantern, which hangs a little lower.  Working in tandem with the folding screens are twin  canvas banana trees in lieu of palms.  And here I deviate a little again.  Instead of adding another skirted table instance, I used ombre, bamboo floor vases.  Similarly, I found blue and white bistro chairs rather than bringing in more wicker.  On the table are spongeware from Tori Burch and aqua goblets.

And now I’ve worked up an appetite.  Until next time…

Decorgasm: Rebecca de Ravenel’s Apartment

As I excitedly thumbed through the new issue of Domino, I came across Rebecca de Ravenel’s Los Angeles apartment. The serene, tropical vibe of her home caught my eye, but it was the layers of patterns, spectrum of blue shades, and unique finds  that really drew me in.  I was smitten.

Rebecca de Ravenel's Los Angeles apartment

As you can see in the picture above (found via de Ravenel’s Instagram account), her living room is a soothing riot of stripes, shibori, chevrons, and medallion prints.  The walls are coated in a pale shade of aquamarine, marrying with other blues from indigo to slate.  Still, the unique pieces that de Ravenel has collected are what make her home so incredible.  For instance, her fireplace is filled with different types of coral and reinforce the tropical feel of her apartment and make for a stunning, sculptural focal point.  She also mounted a papier-mâché giraffe head on her wall that sometimes sports a straw fedora.

Needlepoint leopard ottoman in Rebecca de Ravenel's home

On page 139 of the Domino 2016 Spring issue, is a closeup of her vintage needlepoint leopard ottoman by Gio Ponti.  Serving a s coffee table, chic trays and ceramics are layered on top.

de Ravenel's breakfast nook via Domino

However, my favorite photograph was of her breakfast nook, shown above.  I absolutely adore how she displayed her collection of glass evil eyes on a rattan folding screen.  (In fact, I have big plans for borrowing with idea–perhaps with a collection of sacred hearts…)  In addition, I’m a huge fan of the canvas palms  that she has scattered around her apartment–two of which flank the evil eye display.  (I’m seriously considering picking up one or two of these as well…)  In fact, everything in this space falls into the category of ‘my favorite things’: skirted tables, comfy-looking wicker chairs, colored glassware, an overdyed rug, and hanging lantern.  It’s perfection.  (See my next post for shopping finds inspired by this room.)

I highly encourage you to subscribe to Domino and get your hands on  this issue–not only to see the rest of Rebecca de Ravenel’s apartment, but all of the lovely homes they so lovingly featured.

As a side note, I thought it was interesting to see how so many of the pieces from de Ravenel’s New York apartment were transported, rethought, and replanted in her new, West Coast dwelling.  Sometimes, when we move, the temptation to liquidate the old and buy new is strong.  It’s less to pack and then unpack.  Right?  However, I have to applaud de Ravenel for sticking to her aesthetic–city and architecture be damned!  Her home imparts the sense that her furnishings are not just possessions, but intimate artifacts from her life.  To me, that’s the ultimate goal and what makes a home truly extraordinary.


12 Rooms that Will Make You Crave Pop Art

Pop art has the ability to energize a space with stellar results. Whether the art choice is unexpected in a traditional-leaning room or right at home in a bold, modern interior; this medium seldom disappoints and often delights. If you don’t believe me, I submit exhibits A through L. Below are 12 exquisite rooms featuring pop art. (And–believe me–I had a hell of a time narrowing it down to just 12!)

12 Rooms that Will Make You Crave Pop Art | Motley Decor

This Bel Air library designed by Nathan Turner and featured in House Beautiful not only sports an oversize work by the master, Andy Warhol, but also takes its color cue from the art; creating an oasis of lush lavender.

12 Rooms that Will Make You Crave Pop Art via Motley Decor

Apartment Therapy featured this home where a two tone-painted door and pop art print inject color into an eclectic all-white space.

12 Rooms that Will Make You Crave Pop Art via Motley Decor

Designer Sue Timney crowned this show-stopping mantel with a colorful pop art print that holds its own amidst the graphic stripes and oodles of accessories.  Featured on Heart Home.

12 Rooms that Will Make You Crave Pop Art via Motley Decor

Celebrated, can-do-no-wrong maximalist, Sig Bergamin hung pop art over the bed in the master suite of his stunning Paris apartment (covered by Elle Decor).

12 Rooms that Will Make You Crave Pop Art via Motley Decor

In a New Orleans dining room (photographed by House Beautiful), a silkscreen of a native gospel singer by a local artist, provides a fresh (and geographically appropriate) counterpoint to the traditional toile upholstered chairs and crystal chandelier.

12 Rooms that Will Make You Crave Pop Art via Motley Decor

One of my all-time favorite house tours is Elle Decor’s coverage of Jackie Astier’s eclectic home.  In her library, pop art leans against the wall and pairs perfectly with the Pierre Frey-clad chairs.

12 Rooms that Will Make You Crave Pop Art via Motley Decor

In the ridiculously luxurious *perfume room* of a 2,500-square foot-“closet” featured by C Magazine, a colorful, pop art interpretation of Marie Antoinette hangs on a mirrored wall, overlooking an acanthus leaf rug and Ann Getty shell chair.  Wow!

12 Rooms that Will Make You Crave Pop Art via Motley Decor

Sasha Bikoff expertly mixes opulence and whimsy in this pastel-and-gold leaf, Upper East Side home with unexpected but oh-so-welcome art.

12 Rooms that Will Make You Crave Pop Art via Motley Decor

Ironic, neon-colored camouflage prints by Andy Warhol were hung en masse by George Nunno in his Manhattan loft.  (From Elle Decor)

12 Rooms that Will Make You Crave Pop Art via Motley Decor

New York Social Diary showcased the phenomenal home of Lois Robbins, where (yet another) Andy Warhol piece shares a space with a Russian Empire chandelier and French Art Deco table.

12 Rooms that Will Make You Crave Pop Art via Motley Decor

Bryan Batt’s living room (via MyDomaine) is composed entirely of covetable furnishing, including the pop art rendering of Snow White and Prince Charming that hangs over his fireplace.

12 Rooms that Will Make You Crave Pop Art via Motley Decor

Dering Hall describes designer Maxime Jacquet’s aesthetic as “Chanel meets McQueen”, which seems spot-on, given his penchant for pop-inspired luxury.  In this bold bedroom, Warhol’s portraiture of the sainted Ingrid Bergman sits above a bed that looks as though it may been salvaged from the House of Romanov, but is actually from Jacquet’s collection.

So…do you see what I mean about pop art?  It makes for thrilling design.  Check out this DIY tutorial on how to make your own, using a personal photograph.


Warhol-Inspired Pop Art

We all have them: those pictures that always make us smile or remind us of a happy time in our lives.  Mine happens to be a picture of my sister around age 3.  She’s rocking some pretty sweet pigtails and a mouth full of baby teeth.  She’s so genuinely happy and smiling so hard that her nose is slightly scrunched up.  Looking at it never fails to brighten my mood.  So, this seemed like an ideal portrait for an Andy Warhold-Inspired pop art make over.

DIY: Warhol-Inspired Pop Art

My mom scanned the original 8×11 photo and emailed it to me to manipulate digitally.  However, first, I needed inspiration…

While Andy Warhol definitely has a distinct signature, his treatment of objects and portraits varied over his career.  Bright colors might be painted on Marilyn Monroe like makeup, traced over a still life of abandoned cocktails, or take the form of random shapes in the background of The Last Supper.  However, what ultimately inspired me was his treatment of the Mona Lisa and “The King” aka Elvis.

How to Make Your Own Andy Warhol-Inspired Pop Art | DIY | Motley Decor

Like most of his works, both Mona Lisa and Elvis are manifested in high contrast.  However, these works have two other defining characteristics in common: the absence of color and a double rendering.  To introduce my sister to their ranks, I first converted the image to grayscale.  From there, I increased the brightness to 12% and the contrast to 83%.  (I arrived at these two percentages through trial and error and it will likely differ for every photo, but this might be a good place to start.)  Next, I made a copy of her and placed it adjacent to the original.  Lastly, I saved the image, uploaded it to Walgreens, and ordered a print to be delivered by mail.  Easy peasy.

How to Make Your Own Andy Warhol-Inspired Pop Art | DIY | Motley Decor

A few days later, a tube arrived with my Warholed-sister inside.  I hung her prominently over my bar cabinet.  Only afterwards did it occur to my that it might not be appropriate to have a 3-year-old presiding over happy hour.  But that’s art.  Right?  It’s emotion-driven, often unexpected, and–at times–controversial.

For more pop art inspiration, check out these 12 rooms.



Breaking the Rules: 10 Times Outdoor Chairs Looked Fantastic Indoors

I’m a law abiding citizen.  I never went through a rebellious teenager stage.  Perhaps that’s why I get such a thrill when I see conventional decorating wisdom cast aside.  Following are 10 rooms that disregard “the rules” and feature outdoor chairs inside.  They range in style, but in all of them, the unexpected inclusion of outdoor furniture provides a jolt, added interest, and elevates the overall room.

10 Times Outdoor Chairs Looked Great Indoors | Breaking the Rules | Motley Decor

This Spanish home is monochromatic and wrought with quiet eclecticism–from the opulent lighting choices to the surprising glove molds displayed prominently on the mantel.  Weathered garden chairs blend into the scene beautifully, accompanied by potted palm trees.

10 Times Outdoor Chairs Looked Great Indoors | Breaking the Rules | Motley Decor

In the dining room of Michelle & Yvez Halard (found via, the overall feel is maximalist and formal with the scroll-backed patio chairs adding a welcome dose of character.

10 Times Outdoor Chairs Looked Great Indoors | Breaking the Rules | Motley Decor

An unmatched pair of chairs by Junya Ishigami add a sculptural element to this marble-clad bathroom.

10 Times Outdoor Chairs Looked Great Indoors | Breaking the Rules | Motley Decor

In the bedroom of this Sydney flat, an ornate patio chair echoes the railing on the balcony and acts as a foil to the Japanese artwork it sits below.

10 Times Outdoor Chairs Looked Great Indoors | Breaking the Rules | Motley Decor

Informal and unpretentious, a trio of distressed red outdoor chairs surround an indoor dining table, creating a relaxed yet stylish scene.

10 Times Outdoor Chairs Looked Great Indoors | Breaking the Rules | Motley Decor

Garden chairs are an unexpected but no less beautiful addition to this French-inspired space with checked floors, toile-palened walls, and an imposing chest of drawers.

10 Times Outdoor Chairs Looked Great Indoors | Breaking the Rules | Motley Decor

In a polished living room with so many right angles, delicately scrolled patio chairs both soften the scene and add interest.

10 Times Outdoor Chairs Looked Great Indoors | Breaking the Rules | Motley Decor

Outdoor peacock chairs are right at home in this rustic and welcoming dining room.

10 Times Outdoor Chairs Looked Great Indoors | Breaking the Rules | Motley Decor

A vintage patio chair works well as a vanity stool in this bathroom.  (I had a similar thought when I refinished a flea market find that now sits in front of my bedroom mirror.)

10 Times Outdoor Chairs Looked Great Indoors | Breaking the Rules | Motley Decor

A little greenery and some gorgeous garden chairs can go a long way in creating the illusion of dining al fresco in your centrally heated and/or cooled dining room, as evidenced by this home.

Do you use your patio chairs indoors?  If so, tell us about it in the comments below.

Red Carpet Inspired Design: 2016 Grammy Awards

Whenever I see a woman with a strong sense of style, I can’t help but wonder what her home might look like.  Is it as fashionable as she is?  Last night, as I watched the 2016 Grammys, I marveled at songstresses like Lady Gaga, Florence Welch, and Adele as they paraded across the red carpet–curious to know how their styles carried over into home decor.  Here’s how I imagined each of their outfits might translate into a diva-worthy vanity area…

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga 2016 Grammys Red Carpet Inspired Design

Lady Gaga–never one for subtlety–glided across the red carpet in a sapphire blue Asian-inspired gown, paired with towering red platforms.  Her hair and makeup were equally strong and the overall effect was stunning.  For her hypothetical vanity, a Chinese Art Deco rug echoes the vibe of her dress.  The desk and mirror take their color cue from the blue rug.  Black Murano glass sconces recall the embroidery and the funky red chair is as unexpected as her shoe choice.

Florence Welch

Florence Welch 2016 Grammys Red Carpet Inspired Design

Florence Welch looked whimsical in minimal makeup, flaming locks, and blush pink chiffon, embellished with sequined appliques.  The shape of her dress was relaxed, boho, and maybe a little 70s.  I imagined her vanity would follow suit.  A pink wicker peacock chair would serve as her throne and blend into rose quartz painted walls.  A silver Moroccan pouf and star-shaped lantern both reinforce the bohemian feel with their similar geometric designs.  In lieu of a traditional vanity, I gave her a trompe l’oeil lucite table that feels delicate and mimics her long skirt.  On top sits an antique vanity mirror and red votive candle holders.


Adele 2016 Grammys Red Carpet Inspired Design

Adele showed up a glittering black number with classic appeal.  Her look remained fresh thanks to soft makeup and unfussy hair.  I imagined her primping in an all-black room with walls covered in Cole & Son’s draped design.  A black lacquer console table serves as her vanity, accompanied by a chair with hand-applied egg shell that gives the illusion of sparkle.  A Venetian mirror in black adds a touch of glamour.  Underfoot is an over-dyed ebony rug and overhead is a simple alabaster globe pendant that glows like her pretty face.

I can’t wait to see what inspiration the Oscars’ red carpet provides…

3 Easy, No Bake Desserts for Valentine’s Day

Desserts are practically mandatory on Valentine’s Day.  Sweets have become synonymous with this pink and red, heart-studded holiday.  This a challenge for folks like me who like to entertain, but are intimidated by baking.  Fear not!  This Valentine’s Day, I’ve conjured up 3 extremely easy desserts that don’t require careful measurements or an oven.

Easy, No Bake Dessert #1: The Chocolate Board

You’ve heard of a cheese board.  Why not apply that same concept to dessert?  Build your own fruity, nutty, and chocolaty crostini with a chocolate board.

Chocolate board & other easy no bake desserts for Valentine's Day on Motley Decor

For this one, I used tea biscuits and brioche toasts as a base.  The three ceramics contain caramel, cookie butter, and Nutella.  Sliced strawberries and pomegranate seeds provide a dose of acid, while almond and pistachio pieces contribute a nice textural contrast.  A sprinkling of sea salt brings all of the flavors to the forefront.

Introducing the Chocolate Board + 2 More Easy, No Bake Desserts for Valentine's Day on Motley Decor

Still, dozens of variations come to mind.  Cookies would make excellent vessels.  Nut butters, honey, and melted chocolate are easily spread over them.  Raspberries always pair well with chocolate–as do hazelnuts.  And how about sprinkling some orange zest over it all?  What about adding jam or yogurt chips?

3 Easy, No Bake Desserts for Valentine's Day | Chocolate Board | Motley Decor

This easy dessert requires zero cooking and allows for variety and customization.

Easy, No Bake Dessert #2: Ice Cream with Fresh Fruit

Here’s another super low maintenance option: delicious ice cream with fresh fruit.  Just scoop, chop, and sprinkle.

3 Easy, No Bake Desserts for Valentine's Day on Motley Decor

In this example, blueberry ice cream combines with strawberries (conveniently sliced to look like hearts) and pomegranate.  But, again, you can substitute nearly any flavor of ice cream (or sorbet or gelato) and swap in nearly any fruit or berry.

Blueberry ice cream with strawberries & pomegranate | 3 Easy, No Bake Desserts for Valentine's Day | Motley Decor

Pump up your presentation by serving the ice cream in vintage teacups with demitasse spoons.  Don’t have napkin rings?  Bracelets will do the trick.

3 Easy No Bake Desserts | Valentine's Day Dessert Ideas | Motley Decor

Easy, No Bake Dessert #3: The Perfect (Poached) Pear

Wine Poached Pears with Marscapone, Caramel, Pistachio & Sea Salt | 3 Easy, No Bake Desserts on Motley Decor

For dessert #3, I poached pears in wine and served them alongside marscapone cheese, drizzled the entire plate with caramel sauce, and then finished with crushed pistachios and sea salt.  The pears are like flavor sponges, absorbing the essence of the wine and manifesting it in a soft, slightly gritty body.  The marscapone cheese delivers richness and creaminess.  Caramel ushers in the sweet (since I used a dryer poaching liquid), intensified by sea salt.  And the pistachios give you something to crunch on.

Wine Poached Pears with Marscapone, Caramel, Sea Salt & Pistachios | 3 Easy Desserts for Valentine's Day | Motley Decor

Unlike the first 2 suggestions, this dessert actually requires cooking…kind of.  Let me put it to you this way: if you can boil water, you can make this dessert.  Here’s the recipe for this particular incarnation with ideas on variations following…


2 pears, skinned, with the bottoms cut off (so they stand upright)

Poaching liquid: 1 bottle red dessert wine, 1 bottle dry sparkling white wine

2 tablespoons marscapone cheese

Caramel sauce to taste

1 handful of pistachios, crushed

Sea salt to taste


In a pot slightly taller than your pears, bring your poaching liquid to a boil.  Add the pears (they should be mostly submerged), cover and reduce heat to a simmer.  How long you poach the pears with depend on how ripe they are.  Since my pears were pretty firm, they simmered for about 45 minutes.  However, you should check them at around 30 minutes to be on the safe side.  When done, they’ll be soft enough to cut with the edge of a fork.

Remove the pears from the liquid carefully and place on a plate with paper towels to absorb the excess liquid.  At this point, I prefer to let them cool so that their heat doesn’t instantly melt the marscapone.

On a plate, drizzle caramel, then stand the pears side by side in the center.  Add two scoops of marscapone to opposite sides of of the pears and drizzle more caramel.  Add a dusting of sea salt and a handful of crushed pistachios.


Recipe: Wine Poached Pears with Marscapone, Salted Caramel & Pistachios on Motley Decor

Wine-based poaching liquids are a popular choice, but not your only option.  Truth be told, I only used a 50-50 mix of dessert and sparkling wine, because I happened to have it on hand.  In the past, I’ve used Moscato made sweeter with simple syrup and even spiced cider.

This was also the first time I used marscapone, caramel, and nuts.  Previously, I’ve leaned on vanilla ice cream and a little cinnamon.  Next time, I’ll try ricotta, blueberries, and walnuts.

In cooking–as in Jazz–improvisation elevates the art form.  So, make it your own!


Lip Service: Kisses in Decor

In honor of Valentine’s day this Sunday, let’s take a look at lip and kiss motifs in home decor.

Just for Valentine's Day: Kisses in Decor

Minnie gives Mickey a smooch in Chiara Ferragni’s living room.  Lip printed textiles from Kelly Wearstler complete the scene.

Just for Valentine's Day: Lips & Kisses in Decor

Wallpaper adorned with painterly lips makes a bold statement in this bathroom in the 2015 San Francisco Decorator Showcase.

Just for Valentine's Day: Lips & Kisses in Home Decor on Motley Decor

A marble lips sculpture punctuates this chic vignette in Elaina Sullivan’s studio apartment.

Lips & Kiss motifs in home decor via Motley Decor

This rosy pout of a sofa in Diane Von Furstenberg’s penthouse gives a whole new meaning to the term “love seat”.

Read my lips: kisses in home decor on Motley Decor

Apartment Therapy house tour inductee, Pomona Singh styled this corner of her Toronto home with a little cushion covered in kisses.

Lips & kisses in Decor for Valentine's Day | Motley Decor

In this living room photographed by Jonas Ingersedt, a golden pucker takes center stage.

Lips prints and kiss motifs in home decor | Valentine's Day | Motley Decor

Artist Donald Robertson adapted his “Lippy” work to this “Essentials Chair” for a pop up shop event last year.

Into this look?  Shop for some lip and kiss accessories on Motley Decor.


Shopping for Kisses

Feeling romantic this Valentine’s Day?  Show your home some love with these kiss-themed accessories…

Kiss Accessories from Kelly Wearstler | Motley Decor

Kelly Wearstler–God bless her–offers a variety of kiss-inspired accessories.  Above is a sampling, but see them all here.

Lips loveseat & other kiss inspired decor for Valentine's Day | Motley Decor

Snuggle up and pucker up with your other half on this loveseat.

Kisses custom fabric & other Valentine's Day Decor on Motley Decor

From cloth napkins to upholstery, the possibilities are endless with this custom kisses fabric from Spoonflower.  Available in a variety of colorways.

Shopping for kisses in decor on Motley Decor | Valentine's Day

This pop art canvas print (found on MyHabit) is edgy, sexy, and may just complete your gallery wall.

Kisses from the home | Lip-themed decor | Valentine's Day | Motley Decor

Roxanne, you don’t have to turn on the red light.  These neon lips are pink.

Lips & kisses for your home this Valentine's Day on Motley Decor

Or own a Donald Robertson original.

Need more inspiration?  Check out these rooms with kiss-themed decor.  Happy (early) Valentine’s Day!


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