Month: November 2016

Decorgasm: A Celebrity Hairstylist’s Fabrizio Rollo Designed Apartment

Fabrizio Rollo’s latest project is colorful, vibrant, and brave.  These traits are not out of character for the maximalist designer who also answers to the name “Lord Rollo”.  Still, his treatment of a celebrity hairstylist’s Sao Paulo apartment gave me an unexpected, delightful little jolt when I stumbled across it in a magazine recently.  In the days and weeks that followed, I found myself returning again and again to the dogeared page filled with blues oranges, art, and patterns.  Each time, I found something new to love.

Decorgasm: Fabrizio Rollo Decorates the Sao Paulo Apartment of a Celebrity Hairstylist

One of the first things that struck me about this room was its use of complimentary colors: blue and orange.  It’s a bold and often overlooked pairing–probably because it’s difficult to achieve a chic effect with these two colors…unless you’re Fabrizio Rollo!

The walls are a pale aqua and more intense shades of blue are peppered through out the space with royal blue dominating the carpet and striped turquoise covering a pair of stools.  The sofa is a clever shade of murky blue-green that melts into the mirrored wall without competing with its counterparts for attention.

Although used in smaller doses, orange plays an equally significant role in this interior.  The antique Louis XV-style chairs are the most prominent furnishings in the living room, boasting generous proportions and an air of grandeur.  Rollo saw fit to upholster them in luminous tangerine damask, creating an instant foil to the sea of blues.  This contrast was further enforced by the electric pop art on the right wall that introduces a florescent shade of orange.  Although it’s not the most prominent art in the room, that Warhol print packs a punch.

In addition to the art, this room contains a few other elements I tend to love.  Ikat prints are among them–both in the pillows and the curtains.  They mingle with beloved animal prints.  Murano glass is another weakness of mine that Lord Rollo has chosen to employ.  Finally: that coffee table…I’m a sucker for anything modern and sculptural in white.

Decorgasm: Marco Proenca's Sao Paulo Apartment, Decorated by Fabrizio Rollo // Motley Decor

This is the homeowner, Marcos Proença.  He tapped fellow Brazilian, Fabrizio Rollo for this project, requesting a design that was “flashy and beautiful, happy and glamorous”–a space that was “different in a good way”.  He wanted a home that was a mix of traditional and modern and that conveyed a sense of wealth without feeling stuffy.  I have to say: I admire his mantra.  Mission accomplished.

Decorgasm: Tour Fabrizio Rollo's Latest Project

This is another shot of Proença’s apartment with even more to love–more antique chairs, more Murano glass, more animal print.  Yum.

Tour the rest of this thrilling apartment at Elle Decor or visit Rollo’s website for more maximalist inspiration!

Spiked & Spiced Apple Cider

What’s better than spiced apple cider on a chilly Autumn day?  Spiked apple cider on Thanksgiving!  Luckily, you don’t have to choose between the two.  This recipe combines the the tangy sweetness of apple cider with Fall-forward spices like cinnamon and cardamom with the family-holiday-coping properties of ale and vodka.  Just in time for those heated political debates that everyone is dreading this year after the  most contentious election in memory!  You’re welcome.

WARNING: this Spiked & Spiced Apple Cider cocktail/punch does NOT taste like alcohol.  However, it is deceivingly potent.  So, pace yourself and your guests–especially the teetotalers among them.  (Every family has one.)

Motley Decor's Spiked & Spiced Apple Cider Recipe

Here’s what you’ll need for the spiked cider:

32 oz mulled cider (see mulling recipe below)

2 12 oz cans amber ale

1 cup Absolute Pear (or other pear-flavored) vodka

the juice from 1 lemon

sprinkle of cinnamon

Just in Time for Thanksgiving: Spiked & Spiced Apple Cider Recipe

Mixing the punch…

Because this recipe contains beer, you’ll want to mix the cider in a large decanter with a stopper (rather than a punch bowl, for instance) to preserve the carbonation.  Aside from that one note, this recipe is extremely straight-forward.  You just  mix all of the ingredients and add cinnamon to taste.

If you prefer dryer drinks, add more beer to mellow out the sweetness of the cider.  If you feel like the vodka taste is too strong, an extra squeeze of lemon with balance it out.

Then, just set out the mixture  with some glasses for all to enjoy.

What to Drink This Thanksgiving | Spiked & Spiced Apple Cider Punch Recipe on Motley Decor

Mulling apple cider…

Ingredients: bottled apple cider, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, cardamom pods

Note: fresh ginger, anise, and cloves are also great for mulling (although I felt that they weren’t needed for this particular drink).  If you want to use them, just be careful with the cloves.  They can quickly become overpowering.   So, taste your cider often.

In a large pot on a stovetop–or even in a slow cooker–combine all of the ingredients and let them cook at a temperature just shy of boiling for about 20 minutes.  If you catch the cider boiling, just turn off the heat and let the liquid cool.

Once at room temperature, strain and funnel the cider back into the bottle and store it in the fridge overnight.  The next day, just give it a shake before concocting the punch recipe above.

All jokes aside, Thanksgiving is not just a glutinous holiday.  It’s an important one as it forces us to take inventory of all we are thankful for.  And, despite tensions in the country at the moment, we can’t loose sight of how lucky we truly are.  Whatever blessings you cherish most in this life, acknowledge them this Thanksgiving, express your thanks, help someone out if you can, and never loose hope.

Spiked & Spiced Apple Cider for Thanksgiving //

Pop Quiz: Is Your Home Too Trendy?

To find out, answer the questions below, keeping a pen and paper handy.  Each response has points assigned to it.  You’ll need to add up the points from all of your responses to tally your score at the end and see if your home is–indeed–too trendy.  Don’t worry: it’s only 8 questions + a lightning round…

1.  What best describes your bar cart situation?

a.  It’s always photo-ready, loaded with gorgeous glassware, patterned straws, and every bartending tool imaginable.  Nothing is ever amiss, because I usually only drink wine at home. (3 pts)

b.  I don’t have a bar cart per se, but there’s definitely a designated cocktail station that also functions as a decorative statement. (2 pts)

c.  From a home decor standpoint, I’m observing the 18th amendment and have no need for the devil’s trolley. (1 pt)


2.  When it comes to tropical-themed wallpaper…

a.  I think it looks great in other people’s homes. (1 pt)

b.  I’ve a got an accent wall that fits that description. (2 pts)

c.  People often mistake my place for The Beverly Hills Hotel. (3 pts)


3.  What percentage of your furnishings and decor did you purchase new and in the last year?

a.  75%+ (3 pts)

b.  around 50% (2 pts)

c.  25% or less (1 pt)


4.  Your art wall is…

a.  A mix of art from different disciplines, family photos, and mementos. (2 pts)

b.  Restricted to black and white photography only. (2 pts)

c.  Mostly pop art and funny or inspirational sayings. (3 pts)

d.  Nice try.  I don’t have an art wall. (1 pt)


5.  Your primary accent color is…

a.  Pink. (3 pts)

b.  Any other color. (1 pt)

c.  Different in each room. (1 pt)

d.  Forget accents!  Color reigns supreme in my home. (1 pt)

e.  Sorry, I live in a strictly monochrome zone. (3pts)


Pop Quiz: Is Your Home Too Trendy?

6.  The metal finish that plays the most significant role in your decor is…

a.  Chrome. (1 pt)

b.  Brass and gold. (2 pts)

c.  Rose gold and copper. (3 pts)

d.  Stainless steel, blackened iron, or oil rubbed bronze–nothing too shiny. (1 pt)

e.  They all battle each other for dominance.  It’s tough to say who’s winning. (2 pts)


7.  Lights hung from exposed cords or wires are…

a.  Totally a thing now.  Ain’t nobody got time for an electrician! (3 pts)

b.  Something I try to hide or I begrudgingly tolerate. (2 pts)

c.  Nowhere to be found in my home. (1 pt)


8.  Most of your furniture can be described as…

a.  Minimalist or streamlined. (1 pt)

b.  Midcentury modern–whether vintage or reproductions. (3 pts)

c.  Scandinavian in spirit. (3 pts)

d.  Antiques. (1 pt)

e.  Bohemian. (3 pts)

f.  Too diverse for any one style to claim the majority. (2 pts)

g.  Hollywood Regency. (2 pts)

h.  Other. (1 pt)


Lightning Round!  Give yourself one point for each of the following that you have in your home:

  • A sheepskin throw over a chair (1 pt)
  • Succulents and/or cacti (1 pt)
  • A figurine of a hand making a piece sign (1 pt)
  • Reclaimed wood (1 pt)
  • A painted portrait of someone–you have no idea who (1 pt)
  • A macrame or 70s-inspired wall hanging (1 pt)
  • Random mineral specimens (1 pt)
  • Books strictly for display purposes (1 pt)


OK, time to add up your points!  If you scored…

8-13 pts

No one could accuse you of being too trendy in your home decor.  Sure, you’ll adopt a trend here or there, but ultimately, you march to the beat of your own drum.

14-26 pts

Clearly you stay on top of trends and, as such, you’re predisposed to run with more of them.  Still, your style is all your own.  You’ve mastered that balance.

27-32 pts

You’re a bonafide trend scout!  In fact, you’re probably that friend whom everyone goes to with questions like “what do you think of this coffee table?”.  It’s because you have swagger and that comes through in your digs.  But is your home too trendy?  The truth is: there’s no such thing.  Your home should be a place that makes you happy.

Share your score in the comments below!

4 Palette Ideas for Benjamin Moore’s 2017 Color of the Year, Shadow

Benjamin Moore’s choice of Shadow (a smoked amethyst purple) was a surprising selection for 2017’s color of the year and a drastic departure from last year’s “Simply White”.  Still, I for one, am excited to see a moody jewel tone take center stage in the coming year and hope its a harbinger of more colorful, dramatic interiors to come.  Naturally, I’ve been bouncing around palette ideas in my head.  After much thought, 4 color combos bubble to the top.  Here they are…

Shades of Gray & Shadow

Both complex hues with plenty of depth, gray and purple are a match made in heaven, creating a sexy, mysterious atmosphere.  In this pairing, I’d give precedence to gray, layering shade upon shade with limited pops of deep, dark Shadow and lighter notes of dusty lavender.

The other key to pulling of this color duo is to pile on the lustrous textures.  Think: velvet, antiqued mirrors, mother of pearl, and chrome…

Violet & Citrus

Benjamin Moore’s 2017 color of the year, Shadow isn’t just purple.  It’s a sultry, saturated, slightly-more-blue-than-red tone.  Thus, it’s complimentary color is a somewhere-between-yellow-and-green hue.  These two botanical-themed shades of violet and citrus are meant to be.

Of course, complimentary colors can be overwhelming or even jarring.  So, be sure to balance the intensity and even the amount of the two hues to match the mood you’re looking to create in particular room.  Hedge the duo with plenty of neutrals for a more relaxing atmosphere.  Or throw restraint to the wind and saturate a room with the two colors for a more energizing effect.

Amethyst & Sapphire

4 Palette Ideas for Using Benjamin Moore's Shadow | Sapphire & Amethyst

via OKL

4 Palette Ideas for Using Benjamin Moore's Shadow | Sapphire & Amethyst

David Collins

A cool blue also plays nicely with the 2017 color of the year and–contrary to the last pairing–makes for a soothing, tension-free setting.

Of  course, a little tension is necessary.  Thus, make sure to mix in some warm neutrals like rattan, burl wood, cognac leather, or even tortoise shell.

Every Shade of Purple

4 Palette Ideas for Benjamin Moore's 2016 Color of the Year: Shadow | Layers of Purple

Hunt Slonem

Layering Shades of Purple | Shadow, Benjamin Moore's 2017 Color of the Year | 4 Palette Ideas |

via AD

Then again, purple is a shade that begs to be layered and Shadow is no exception.  Nearly every tint–from lilac to orchid–can be used in concert, as evidenced by the overwhelmingly violet interiors above.

If you take this route, commit.  Contrast light shades of purple with dark.  Mix ultra saturated tones like aubergine with more delicate hues like wisteria.  Oscillate between indigo and merlot.  Diversity is key.

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