Category: Decorating (page 1 of 6)

Elements of Granny Chic: In Honor of Mother’s Day

Both of my grandmothers are fearless decorators whose influences percolate into my home on a recurring basis.  Although, at the time, I may not realize that I chose that color or love that pattern because it recalls something from one of their homes, I eventually put the pieces together.

For example, my Nana’s living room is a sea of densely layered grays.  I look around my own living room and see dove-colored walls, a charcoal sofa, chairs upholstered in monochrome patterns, and a faux concrete fireplace.  Clearly, I borrowed that palette.

I can also trace my love of swag curtains to her living room, where the entire back wall is swaddled in elaborately draped valances and panels, concealing sliding glass doors.

Element 1 of Granny Chic Design: Elaborate Drapery

Elements of Granny Chic | Elaborate Drapery | Motley Decor


Hutton Wilkinson

And Nana is no stranger to the gallery wall.  Like most grandmothers, family photos germinate on every surface–vertical and horizontal–of her home.   Mingling among them and proudly displayed are my mother’s paintings–everything from portraits to landscapes.

This likely has something to do with my love of art and the eclectic works that pepper my own walls.

Element 2: Family Photos

However, it’s the home that my Grandma Olga lived in before my grandfather passed that I recall (through the lens of a nine-year-old) with utter fascination if not razor-sharp accuracy.  After my grandfather died, Grandma Olga moved to a smaller house and sold much of her furniture, erasing the evidence of the wonderland in which I spent countless holidays.

A two-hour drive from where I grew up, going to that house usually meant that presents or egg hunts or just plain good food was on the horizon.  It also meant that I’d see my cousins, who–along with my sister–were my favorite playmates.  So, it’s not surprising that I remember it so fondly and probably with exaggerated grandeur.

The house sat at the far end of a quiet cul de sac in the New Mexico desert.  Still, the architecture was completely out of place and not at all telling of its location.  We’d enter the house through an enclosed courtyard, beneath a canopy of scrolled wrought iron where succulents overflowed from their beds and Brandy and Peaches (two miniature poodles) rushed out to greet us.

Did I mention that I’m a rather indulgent chihuahua mama?  

Element 3: Lap Dogs

The front door would swing open and the house would smell of roasting meats and simmering sauces.  Instantly, I’d feel hungry.  Hugs and kisses were exchanged as our eyes adjusted to the light (or lack there of) inside.

Grandma Olga had one of those formal living rooms that never really got used.  However, I was somewhat preoccupied her settee.  It had deep tufts of chartreuse velvet that I thought looked like moss.  Of course, growing up in New Mexico, moss was something I’d only seen on TV and in books and I wondered if it had the same irresistible texture of velvet.

Last year, I designed a headboard that I had custom-made by a local upholsterer in a fabric as close as I could find to that of Grandma Olga’s settee.  Unlike my gray living room, this was a deliberate and conscious allusion.  

The settee was flanked by small trees or shrub-like plants.  I can’t recall if they were artificial or real.  Regardless, fake roses adorned their branches, affixed with twisty ties.  This was the aftermath of my grandfather forbidding Grandma Olga to get a Christmas tree; and so, she compromised by hanging ornaments (and fake roses) on the flora she already had.  Afterwards, she thought the roses looked too pretty to remove.  So, they remained as permanent fixtures, imitating the blooms in the oil still life on the wall.

Element 4: Still Life Paintings

The theme of rather opulent seating carried into the dining and–to be honest–is the only thing I can remember about it.  Gold-painted, old world chairs with more tufted velvet upholstery are among the few pieces of furniture Grandma Olga still has.

Coincidentally, antique chairs are a particular weakness of mine.

Element 5: Opulent Seating

Elements of Granny Chic | Opulent Seating | Motley Decor

Muriel Brandolini

Elements of Granny Chic | Opulent Seating

Dale Jarrett art

One of the other surviving pieces of furniture from the home is a three-foot-tall figural lamp of a Grecian woman carrying a cornucopia.  That piece found its way into my home a few years ago.  Score!

Element 6: Over-the-Top Lamps

The hallway that housed the bedrooms had no light fixtures and would have been impossibly dark had Grandma Olga not mounted a mirror at the far end to reflect some light down the shadowy corridor.  Beneath it was a low-slung shelf with a single silver vase holding–you guessed it–a fake rose.

Element 7: Florals

On the other hand, the bedroom I slept in was surprisingly bright with white walls and a large window above the bed.  Nearly every time I visited, the room was outfitted with different textiles.  The only constant was the use of jewel tones and exuberant patterns like paisley and Jacobean, which I still love.

Element 8: Exuberant Patterns

Elements of Granny Chic | Exuberant Patterns | Motley Decor

Cathy Kincaid

The backyard had a swimming pool, which–to my recollection–never held water.  Still, it was guarded by two enormous concrete lions that conveyed an air of both majesty and ferocity.

These superfluous creatures may very well explain my sister’s penchant for foo dogs and my own ongoing search for an oversize panther statue.

I’ve noticed other grannies tend to amass porcelain menageries not unlike Grandma Olga’s frozen sentries…

Element 9: Animal Statues

Elements of Granny Chic | Animal Statues | Motley Decor

Eddie Ross

Elements of Granny Chic | Animal Statues | Motley Decor

And that’s about where my memory abruptly ends.

This mother’s day, I’d like to thank my grandmothers for (among other things) creating enchanting backdrops for my childhood.   When I think back on the decades in which they grew up, worked, and raised children; I realize that life could not have been easy for these strong, Latina women and that they (and my grandfathers) worked very hard for every stick of furniture.  I owe them an enormous debt–not only for the creative inspiration they’ve afforded me–but also for the opportunities I’ve enjoyed as as result of their labor and progress.

Readers, thanks for joining me on my walk down Memory Lane.  I realize this was a bit more personal than my usual posts, so I appreciate your attention–especially if you’ve made it this far.  I’d love to hear about how your mothers and grandmothers have inspired you.  Please share your reveries in the comments section below.  Happy Mother’s Day!

Perennially Egg-squisite Decor

A symbol of new life, the egg is an important fixture in both Easter and Passover–a symbol that underscores the commonalities between different faiths.  In a time when more attention could be paid to our shared values (rather than our sensationalized differences), let’s take a moment to appreciate the egg–if only for its aesthetic properties and various applications in home decorating.  It’s a start.  Right?

Perennially Egg-squisite Decor | A collection of eggs is in displayed beneath a cloche in the entry of this Paris apartment

A Carrara marble Eros table by Angelo Mangiarotti marks then center of the entry of this Paris apartment, displaying a few treasures–among them a collection of variously colored eggs beneath a protective cloche.

Perennially Egg-squisite Decor | A steel-and-ostrich-egg mirror graces the living room of Lorenzo Castillo

In the gleefully eclectic and pattern-happy living room of interior designer and antiques dealer, Lorenzo Castillo, a steel-and-ostrich-egg mirror graces the wall.  Image via Elle Decor.

Perennially Egg-squisite Decor | Eggshell veneered wall panels

This painstakingly eggshell veneered dining room is the work of Eric Chapeau, commissioned by Studio Sofield and requiring 10,000 hours of work to achieve its elegant and understated crackle effect.

Perennially Egg-squisite Decor | Malachite carved eggs resting on a dining table in a home designed by Jean-Louis Deniot

In this Los Angeles dining room designed by Jean-Louis Deniot (a hero of mine and a name often alluded to on this site), carved malachite eggs rest ceremoniously on the dining table, echoing the green of nearby flora.

Perennially Egg-squisite Decor | An egg shaped outdoor bath

The egg must have inspired the sleek, modernist shape of this inviting outdoor bath.  Perhaps the shape was even chosen to impart and rejuvenating effect on bathers.

Perennially Egg-squisite Decor | A crystal beaded light fixture in the shape of an egg

This kitchen’s light fixture is strongly reminiscent of a Faberge egg with its tapered oval shape and glittering and gilded adornments.  The opulent gesture is a fitting (if not ironic) tribute in a room where (presumably) the model is regularly cracked and cooked.

Perennially Egg-squisite Decor | 1970s Venini egg sculpture in Allegra Hicks' Naples home

An oversize 1970s Venini egg sculpture acts as an amber beacon is the otherwise cool-hued Naples home of designer Allegra Hicks.  Image via AD.

May you have an egg-cellent rest of your day!

10 Gorgeous Celebrity Homes

I’m a sucker for (digital) tours of celebrity homes.  Try as I might to resist cyber snooping–invariably–my curiosity gets the better of me.  And it matters little whom the celebrity is.  Perhaps it’s because I think of celebrities as having glamorous lifestyles and uncapped budgets and, therefore, beautiful homes.  (Often times they do, but this is not always the case.)  Or maybe I’m just nosy.  Either way, you can benefit from my lack of self control.  After touring many a celebrity home (online), I’ve rounded up the most gorgeous, tasteful, and stunning abodes–and believe me–there are some surprises in this top ten…

10 Gorgeous Celebrity Homes

Hilary Swank may need to change her name to Swanky, because that’s the best word to describe her beautiful Paris apartment.  Modern furniture, bold splashes of color, and meticulous editing characterize the space.  Her superb taste–bolstered by the help of Axel Huynh–permeates every room.  Tour the rest of her Left Bank home at AD.

10 Gorgeous Celebrity Homes

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen’s New York home strikes a rare balance between the masculine and the feminine.  A metals-forward approach and moody palette represent the yang while unexpected luxuries and thoughtful embellishments usher in the yin.  Add an impressive art collection into the mix and you have a thing of beauty.  Best of all, their home feels unique, genuine.  See the rest of it here.

10 Gorgeous Celebrity Homes

Multi-talented Ellen Denergeres isn’t just funny, but stylish too.  She’s hosted design shows, launched a furniture line, and released a book detailing her life-long love affair with real estate and decorating.  In it, you can peak inside the rooms of her homes (like the one pictured above) as well as the homes of her designer and antiques dealing friends.  Learn more at 1stdibs.

10 Gorgeous Celebrity Homes

Gwen Stefani recently listed her Beverly Hills estate, sending Kelly Wearstler fans into a tizzy.  Although Wearstler decorated Stefani’s home, it is not featured on Wearstler’s website and–before now–pictures of the project were hard to come by.  However, it was worth the wait.  This sprawling property contains many of the hallmarks of Wearstler’s designs.  Stunning rock specimens and mosaics fill the space.  Black and white patterns energize the rooms.  Modern art abounds and ’70s inspired furniture rules.  Its not difficult to imagine No Doubt’s front woman living here.  Her bold aesthetic is well-reflected in Wearstler’s work.  View the rest of the property here.

10 Gorgeous Celebrity Homes

And while we’re on the subject of celebrity homes designed by Kelly Wearstler, we have to cover Cameron Diaz’s New York apartment.  Sadly, she too has since listed her home.  What are these women thinking?  And while the new owners may not preserve Wearstler’s design, Elle Decor has documented it for our viewing pleasure.

10 Gorgeous Celebrity Homes

Frankly, I never would have pegged Will Ferrell for a celebrity with impeccable taste in art and interior design.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m a fan of him and his films, but–honestly–who’d have guessed?  Of course, his immaculately furnished home may have something to do with the fact that he married an auctioneer and art buff.   Whatever the case, I applaud the hilarious and discerning Old School star.  The AD description of  his New York pied-à-terre reads like a who’s who of modern art and design.  Take for example the Lichtenstein print pictured above and blue felted Eames chairs on the left…

10 Gorgeous Celebrity Homes

These mossy green walls ought to deliver a clue as to which celebrity calls this inviting living room home…gorgeous, flame-haired Jessica Chastain.  And, although the space skews more traditional than one may have expected from an actress her age, it would be difficult to argue that this interior is anything short of breathtaking.  The intricate shape of the coffee table is the perfect accompaniment to the glittering chandelier above.  A jute rug, velvet sofa, and suede-like walls provide textural delights.  Perhaps more importantly, however, are the touches of white that keep the light (and eye) bouncing around the  room.  These chalky touches are not at odds with the moody atmosphere of lichen and redwood, but executed with such finesse as to be complimentary.  This is my favorite room in Chastain’s home, but you can view the rest of this celebrity home tour on AD.

Meg Ryan is yet another celebrity to list her lovely home recently.  If you are a regular reader of this blog and think this room looks oddly familiar, you might recall when I compared it to Ruth Negga’s Golden Globes gown in an earlier post.  In any case, how chic is this dining room?  That antiqued mirror accent wall makes the space.  The black walls set it off as if it were a jewel and the oversize hanging lantern provides just enough pizzazz.  Well done, Meg, well done.  In the market?  Head over to Elle Decor and see if the rest of her SOHO apartment is to your liking…

10 Gorgeous Celebrity Homes

This is where Hayden Pannettiere and Vladamir Klitschko dine.  Their soulful Nashville home demonstrates an affinity for dark cozy rooms, strikingly patterned walls, and downright beautiful furniture.  Domino features a more extensive look at the couple’s high contrast home.

10 Gorgeous Celebrity Homes

Finally (and not surprisingly) we end with Gwyneth Paltrow’s home–specifically the Brentwood house she shared with Chris Martin.  Designed by Windsor Smith, the Goop founder’s nest exudes relaxed elegance with crisp white walls, carefully selected antiques, and the occasional surprise.  The shapely marble urns filled with succulents in this room haunt my design dreams.  Catch the full tour here.

Well, did seeing these 10 gorgeous celebrity homes change your opinion of any of the inhabitants?  If so, tell us in the comments.

3 Ways to Decorate with Red

Red is a color often associated with love, passion, and intensity.  As such, it can be an overwhelming–or even intimidating–shade to decorate with.  But fear not!  Following are 3 tried-and-true strategies for decorating with red…

Make a Singular Statement

Decorating with red doesn’t have to be a full-blown commitment.  Sometimes, a single scarlet piece or coat of red paint will deliver the intended effect.

Decorating with Red | Motley Decor

A shiny, candy apple red staircase is all that is needed to make a statement in this home.

This traditional home benefits from modern touches–like these accents chairs: two cherries on top of the ice cream sundae that is this room.

Even amongst other vibrant hues, a cardinal skirted table imparts a cheery, impactful effect in this colorful Connecticut home.

This hallway is punctuated by red fretwork panels, providing the space’s only pop of color and stealing all of the attention.

Group Red Accents

Red pieces also tend to look good en masse.  A grouping of red furnishings or accessories will satisfy a more intense appetite for vermillion.

How to Decorate with Red | Group Red Accents |

This entry by Christian Lyon features a red vignette, in which, layers of the shade–clustered tightly together–are visually greater than the sum of their parts.

Modern art, python skin, and watercolor blooms are unlikely companions, combined with enviable confidence in this space and united by a common rosy hue.

Ruby reigns supreme in this Dallas jewelry designer’s dining room.  From the curtains, to the seat cushions, to the various vessels; splashes of red keep the eye moving around the room.

Fabrizio Rollo is no stranger to color and here he takes on lipstick red.  While this is not a red room per se, red is certainly the dominant color.  The complex mix of neutrals and foils to the shade  make it all the more enjoyable.

Sheath the Walls and Bring in Neutrals

Unlike other hues, red can act as the main event and the backdrop, as evidenced by the rooms that follow.  What else do they have in common?  Restraint.  Red walls are the only instance of color in these spaces.  The furniture, art, and accessories are largely neutral.  This keeps the color focus on the rainbow’s top shade and simultaneously highlights the textures, patterns, lusters, and sculptural qualities of the rooms’ furnishings.

3 Ways to Decorate with Red | 3 of 3 | Sheath the Walls

This fire engine red foyer by Nick Olsen makes a stunning first impression, especially when paired with chic black and white.

Here, poppy-tinged walls beautifully offset an antique console table stocked with treasures.

And lastly, red lacquer walls are one of the few treatments that can withstand the drama of this room: an intricately carved mantel, cast peacock chairs, leopard upholstery, gold cocktail tables–these furnishings call for an equally intense envelopment.  Rather than competing on pattern, shape or shine; it’s a dose of crimson that answers that call.

Ready to start decorating with red?  Either way, Happy Valentine’s Day!

If SAG Awards Gowns Were Rooms…

The red carpet of last night’s Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards brought to mind many a room.  From the daring risk takers to the tastefully understated, dresses from the event bear strong resemblances to some stunning feats of interior design.  Thus, if gowns from the 2017 SAG Awards were rooms, they’d look like this…

Nicole Kidman donned my favorite gown of the evening, putting the “siren” in “screen siren” with a none too subtle ornithology themed dress.  With a parrot head on each shoulder–complete with real feathers–and cascading green sequins, her dress called to mind Jared Seligman’s kelly green living room that features of collection of taxidermy birds, including a parrot and peacock as shown above.

Busy Philipps was another risk taker who dazzled.  Although camouflage and sequins do not traditionally go hand in hand, perhaps they should.  Her gown channeled the sparkle, violet hues, and camo print that make this Parisian apartment by Sandra Benhamou so enchanting.

A Deco dagger motif and the glamor of gold form an undeniable bond between this powder room and Zuri Hall’s 2017 SAG Awards gown.

Judith Light redefined ageless in a slinky, velvet, royal blue gown.  Similarly, this room–with it’s simple shapes and monochromatic moody blues–is equally timeless.

One can always count on Viola Davis for a clean, polished, and stunning look on the red carpet.  Last night’s white gown kept that tradition alive.  Notice how her necklace mimics the Sputnik chandelier and how the peaks of her neckline imitate the arched tops of the dining chairs in this room by Vicente Wolf.

Delicate flesh tone hues and intricate pattern adorn both Emily Blunt and this dining room.

Both feature a black floral pattern and both tease an intimate reveal.  The subject of the portrait in the Hotel Providence bears a shoulder while Emma Stone’s gown suggests  a “wardrobe malfunction”.

Perhaps more revealing, however, was Julie Bowen’s lacework dress with geometric panels that could easily be attributed to trelliage–like that found in this sunroom.

Hats off to all the ladies who graced the red carpet of the 2017 SAG Awards last night, especially these gorgeous 8.  Oscars, you’re on deck!

Home Decor Trends to Watch for in 2017

2016 brought us some exciting trends in interior design–many of which will endure in 2017.  However, I’m certain that this year will usher in even more delicious trends.  After much deliberation, I’m ready to go on record with my 2017 home decor trend predictions.  Here goes nothing..

Inventive Botanicals

Plant life has had a second life in home decorating.  Potted plants–from cacti and succulents to fiddle leaf fig trees–are growing in popularity.  Even Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year was named Greenery in their honor.  So, naturally, home decorators will take this to the next level.  We’re seeing evidence of this new trajectory already…

Decorgasm: Rebecca de Ravenel's Ravishing Apartment

If you caught my post on Rebecca de Ravenel’s apartment, then you might recall the canvas palm trees that populated her abode.

2017 Home Decor Trends Projections from

Living walls are also a *thing*–both indoors and out.  Here, succulents live in a frame and are displayed as art.

Inventive Botanicals | Home Decor Trends Projections from

Another unexpected way to display botanicals?  This home substitutes blooms for lights in an overhead chandelier.

2017 Home Decor Trends Projections from

And Kelly Wearstler has introduced these everlasting Bauble Blossoms, composed of minerals and gems.

Stunning Stones

Gems and minerals are indeed the new normal.  Hardly a home hits the internet that doesn’t contain some quantity of Carrara marble.  And while this stone possesses a certain classic appeal, there is no shortage of breathtaking onyx (and other rocks) waiting in the wings to overshadow their gray and white counterpart.

Stunning Stones | 2017 Home Decor Trends | Motley Decor

From small, sparkling touches like this quartz drawer pull…

…to bolder gestures like this iridescent labradorite sink…

…to rooms utterly clad in various types of multi-colored marble like this stunning space, rock has a powerful impact in the home.  In fact, last April I suggested that installing stone was a splurge worthy of your tax refund.  I stand by that assertion.  Expect to see stunning stones trending in 2017.

Acid Yellow Accents

If Fashion Week, the 2016 Emmys, and the 2017 Golden Globes are any indication: vibrant yellow is fashion’s current favorite color.

Acid Yellow Accents | Home Decor Trends Projections from

This is bound to migrate from the catwalk to the homestead.  And, to date, we haven’t seen much of this–at least not lately.  However, following are some compelling reasons to inject your home with hints of acid yellow…

Acid Yellow Accents | Home Decor Trends Projections from

Versatile Furniture

These days, small homes garner just as much buzz and decor discussion as grand estates.  Still, small spaces are not without their challenges.  When decorating a small space, furniture selection is key.  Not only are you forced to edit–squeezing in only those pieces you absolutely love–but the scale must also be appropriate for the room.  And, of course, anytime a piece of furniture can pull double duty, it’s an added bonus.  This brings me to the next 2017 home decorating trend projection: versatile, space-saving furniture.

2017 Home Decor Trends to Watch For | 1 of 5 | Versatile Furniture

This living room boasts two types of versatile furniture.  First, the trio of trunks function as both tables and hidden storage vehicles.  Second, that gnarled root stool is sometimes a drink rest and sometimes an extra seat.

red lacquer paint

Antique hall trees–besides being sculptural beauties–are also multifunctional.  This red painted specimen is a hat rack, umbrella stand, drawer, table, and mirror all in one.  This single piece performs the duties of 5 furnishings–and looks good doing it!

2017 Home Decor Trends | Versatile Furniture | 1 of 5 on Motley Decor

Another space saver is the wall-mounted, fold out secretary.  It offers compact storage without taking up any real estate on the floor and can expand to provide a surface that can be used as a desk, wet bar…whatever.  This handsome walnut and brass example is from West Elm.

1980s Revivals

This particular 2017 trend projection precipitates from the error I made in last year’s forecast when I thought  that home decorators would work backwards from Midcentury towards antiques and, instead, they looked to the ’70s for design inspiration.  Thus, the next logical progression is the ’80s (and as a child of the 1980s, I have mixed feelings about this).  Still, this prognostication comes with a caveat.  The ’80s are coming–if not in 2017–then soon thereafter…

Watch for pastels and quirky furniture inspired by the Memphis Group’s previously snubbed designs.

So, those are my trend projections for this year.  Do you foresee any other trends that I’ve missed?  Tell us in the comments.

If Dresses from the 2017 Golden Globes Were Rooms…

Dresses from the 2017 Golden Globes red carpet composed a display worthy of the hype this event receives.  And, since fashion and interior design are so inextricably intertwined, it’s only prudent that we explore how the garb of starlets translates to interior decoration.  If you could haul last night’s red carpet into the home, it might look something like this…

If Dresses from the 2017 Golden Globes Red Carpet Were Rooms... on

Unfussy and classically beautiful, Anna Kendrick’s impeccably fitted and draped Vionnet gown of gray chiffon evokes this elegant yet understated living room by Windsor Smith.

If Dresses from the 2017 Golden Globes Red Carpet Were Rooms... on

Mustard can smolder–especially when worn by Emily Ratajkowski.  Besides sharing a hue, her dress and this room have something else in common: both featured a simply shaped metallic accent.  Emily’s glittering collar plunges down the front of her dress, while a mirrored coffee table adds a silvery pop to this Jerry Jacobs designed interior.

If Dresses from the 2017 Golden Globes Red Carpet Were Rooms... on

Lola Kirke, star of Mozart in the Jungle, showcased her natural beauty in minimal makeup, almost no jewelry, and a playful pink a-line gown studded with pansies.  Similarly, this living room by Maddux Creative keeps things simple and stylish with just a dash of pink and a grid of floral photographs.

If Dresses from the 2017 Golden Globes Red Carpet Were Rooms... on

If you didn’t know who Trace Lysette was, you do now.  The stunning screen siren donned a formfitting, green dress to the 2017 Golden Globes.  It was difficult–if not impossible–to take notice of her.  Not unlike Lysette, this dining room features a stunning fireplace whose statuesque form is emphasized by ornate flourishes rendered in a show-stopping emerald shade.

If Dresses from the 2017 Golden Globes Red Carpet Were Rooms... on

Ruth Negga’s red carpet gown was shimmering, temperate, and decidedly modern.   Her sequins instantly reminded me of foxed mirrored walls and the cool, tasteful restraint of this dining room.

If Dresses from the 2017 Golden Globes Red Carpet Were Rooms... on

The 2017 Golden Globes made a case for the return of menswear.  My favorite example of this was Octavia Spencer’s choice.  Instead of black, she went with navy, which photographs beautifully on the red carpet.  Statement earrings and a cropped, ankle-length pant femmed up her ensemble.  Satin accents and velvet heels provided for some textural variety.  Surely Peter Mikic would approve.  His bedroom too is navy, masculine, and has a touch glamour.

All dress photos courtesy of E! Online.  Which look or looks did you like best?

2016 Interior Design Trends Recap

With 2016 officially in the books, it’s time I hold myself accountable for the trend forecasts I made one year ago.  At the beginning of last year, I felt very sure of the home decor trends the coming months would bring.  And, for the most part, I have to say: I was pretty close.  Really, there was only one call I made that–even I will admit–didn’t really take off.  Let’s take a look…

Unorthodox Materials in Unexpected Applications

Nailed it!  I predicted that interior designers–clever, talented creatures that they are–would devise new applications for unorthodox media in decor and they did not disappoint.  Flexing their creative muscles, designers found new ways to introduce unexpected materials into the home with delightful results.  Examples of such ingenuity include…

Garrow Kedigian’s Kips Bay Showhouse extravaganza, where neoclassical flourishes were–surprisingly–rendered in modest chalk…

5 Ideas to Steal from the 2016 Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse

…And the dining room (in the same showhouse) where Alex Papachrisitidis set a dazzling ceramic dining table at the center of his gray and gold wonderland…

Lucky for us: this trend casts a long trajectory and isn’t likely to fizzle out any time soon.  I look forward to seeing what 2017 brings.

Bold, Modern Light Fixtures

Traditional chandeliers with elegant arms and glittering prisms have graced immaculately decorated homes for ages.  But, in 2016, we saw less and less of them.  Instead, designers and home decorators seemed to favor a more modern approach to lighting.  Still, these newer luminaries wanted for nothing.

Apparatus Studio, in particular, enjoyed popularity in 2016.  Their Synapse light fixture hangs above the dining room table in home of founders Gabriel Hendifar and Jeremy Anderson.

Lindsay Adelman was another popular name in lighting design.  You’ve likely seen some incarnation of this Branching chandelier before.  This stunner is custom.

Trend Recap | Modern Statement Lighting | Motley Decor

Will this trend of unapologetically modern lighting persist in 2017?  I believe so.

Understated Palettes

Using the 2016 colors of the year as navigation guides, I predicted a year of subdued palettes.  I was not mistaken.

To be sure: we saw a strong return to white walls.  Often combined with black–like these chic black lampshades–white and monochromatic spaces far outnumbered the amount of colorful rooms in 2016.

3 Small Changes That Make Any Room Feel More Chic on

And, while Serenity blue didn’t quite take off, Rose Quartz certainly did.  The pale blush shade of pink, occupied prime real estate in both homes and cyberspace and was beautifully highlighted in this project by Scott Maddux

This Is How To Use Color In Your Home | Decorgasm: Scott Maddux's Masterful Command of Color | Motley Decor

Bright, saturated, color-drenched rooms are still probably a few years off.  2017 will likely continue the tradition of quiet palettes, possibly erring on the side of dark and moody hues like Benjamin Moore’s color of the year.

The End of Purely Utilitarian Spaces

Slowly but surely, we are decorating every square inch of our homes.  Hallways, mud rooms, and even laundry rooms are now garnering the attention of home decorators.

One of my favorite examples comes from the Pasadena Decorator Showcase House, where the cloakroom–outfitted with watercolor wallpaper and some more of that modern statement lighting–nearly stole the show…

Kitchens were also tackled with renewed vigor…

Kitchens with Character, vol. 3: Art | Motley Decor

From jazzy backsplashes to prominently displayed art, kitchens were so well-accessorized in 2016 that I couldn’t resist starting a series of posts called Kitchens with Character.  I see no end in sight for this trend either.  So, be on the lookout for vol. 4 coming soon.


And here’s where I dropped the ball, folks.  I thought we’d be so burnt out on midcentury modern (and admittedly, I’m not yet) that we’d start looking to earlier eras for furnishings with history.  But, instead, we headed the opposite direction and right into the ’70s.  Not that I’m complaining (I love this era), but I’m probably the only home decor blogger in the world who doesn’t own a single macrame piece.

I do, however, own these awesome Chet Beardsley chairs from the 1970s…

Updated Chet Beardsley Chair

…so, I think that entitles me to at least partial credit.  Right?

Ok, hopefully, you’ll forgive me that one flop and come back soon to read my 2017 trend predictions.  Have a great day!


The 6 Best Color Combinations Using Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year, Greenery

When Pantone revealed that “Greenery” would be their 2017 color of the year, it felt like a personal victory.  Not because I had predicted Pantone’s choice, but because green is my jam!  (And it’s a shade that so rarely gets its due.)  Not only is green representative of hope, healing, and nature; but it also plays well with so many other colors.  Here are the 6 best color combinations and palette ideas for incorporating “Greenery” into your home in 2017.

Mix with True Neutrals

Greenery couples crisply with true neutrals: black, white, or any shade of gray.  Whether it provides a “pop of color” in a monochromatic room or assumes a more dominate role , Greenery won’t disappoint in the presence of  ash, charcoal, and carbon.

6 Color Combos Using Greenery, Pantone's 2017 Color of the Year

A waxy apple green shade similar to the 2017 color of the year coats this kitchen.  A graphic floor of green and black demands attention while white, stainless steel, and other black touches mingle effortlessly.

6 Color Combos Using Greenery, Pantone's 2017 Color of the Year

Black and white wallpaper makes a statement in this dining room–matched in intensity by drapes and upholstery in vivid yellow-green.

6 Color Combos Using Greenery, Pantone's 2017 Color of the Year

Silver–a metallic variant of gray–also compliments Pantone’s pick, as evidenced by this swanky bar.

Add Moody Hues

Greenery’s zesty properties are well tempered by moody hues.  The mix creates both tension and balance, conjuring interiors with mystique and allure.

6 Color Combos Using Greenery, Pantone's 2017 Color of the Year

Grasshopper green curtains are unexpected addition to this elegant space with dark walls, cognac leather, and caramel wood finishes.  Still, the bright color seems an appropriate hue to usher in the natural light.

6 Color Combos Using Greenery, Pantone's 2017 Color of the Year

Navy and mulberry welcome the electricity of 2017’s color of the year.  Case in point: Veronica Swanson Beard’s living room, photographed by Harper’s Bazaar.

6 Color Combos Using Greenery, Pantone's 2017 Color of the Year

A moody landscape and portobello walls offset chartreuse chairs in this dining room.  The color combination works so well that all accessories are kept neutral as to not interfere: a black urn, white ceramics, and glittering crystals overhead.

Pair it with Purple

If you caught my post on Benjamin Moore’s 2017 Color of the Year, then this pairing will come as no surprise.  Violet and citrus–aka Greenery and Shadow–make pretty partners.

The 6 Best Color Combinations Using Greenery, Pantone Color of the Year 2017

This feminine salon is largely neutral–save the pistachio green chairs and amethyst purple cushions.  The subdued palette imparts an air of serenity with just enough color to be interesting.  Check out Violet and Citrus to see more green and purple pairings.

Lemon Lime

In interior design–as in food–lemon and lime are often found together.  They are neighbors on the color wheel and the reigning monarchs of the citrus kingdom.  Although both are strong in their acid content, they can be used in tandem because the combination poses no tension.  The two marry well.

How to Decorate with Pantone's 2017 Color of the Year, Greenery | Lemon Lime | Motley Decor

Jane Scott Hodges’ home is a gorgeous example of the power of lemon and lime.  Decorated by her college friend, Gwen Driscoll, the parlor balances tartness with creamy vanilla tones.  The walls are an almost shocking shade in the vein of Greenery, subdued by butter yellow curtains.  A more intense incarnation of yellow pepper some of the chairs, which is–again–countered by tame wood finishes, whitewashed and weathered Swedish antiques, and layer after layer of  ivory textiles.

Fellow New Orleans native, Julia Reed took a similar approach in her sitting room.  While settling on a softer shade of lime for the walls, she opted for bolder, lemony drapes.

Of course, lemon and lime also make great accent colors with little sacrificed in the way of impact, as seen here.

Mixed Greens

Lavishing varied shades of green on a room is one of my favorite approaches to color.  Again, if you caught my previous post, Decorating with Green as a Neutral, you know what I’m talking about.  So naturally, I had to include this as one of the 6 best palette ideas for using Greenery.  I hope the following images will convince you…

6 Color Combos Using Greenery, Pantone's 2017 Color of the Year

An updated verdure mural with on-trend palms and velvet upholstery in two shades run the gamut of greens at Monsieur Bleu.

6 Color Combos Using Greenery, Pantone's 2017 Color of the Year

Tone on tone stripes, malachite arm chairs, and copious foliage adorn this handsome mantel.

6 Color Combos Using Greenery, Pantone's 2017 Color of the Year

This mineral-studded library boasts hues reminiscent of both emeralds and peridots and–appropriately–belongs to a jewelry designer.

Abandon the Concept of  a Palette All Together

As I said in the beginning of this post, Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2017 plays well with many colors.  In fact, it’s so versatile that no preordained palette is necessary…

How to Decorate with Pantone's 2017 Color of the Year, Greenery | Motley Decor

In this living room, the Greenery is right at home with both pastels and the more intense colors  contained in the gallery wall.

With walls the color of a ripe Anjou pears, any color is welcome in this eclectic living room.  Black furnishings set the boundaries of the space, containing a magenta rug, brown leather Chesterfield sofa, scarlet cushion, blue and white ginger jars, and art in a spectrum of colors.

Green and gold wallpaper serves as a neutral backdrop amidst colorful bedding, mixed metals, and a variety of wood finishes in florist, Maurice Harris‘s verdant bedroom.

I hope you are as enthusiastic as I am for the colorful possibilities that 2017 brings.  It seems more vivid and saturated hues are on the horizon this year.  Greenery and Shadow are eclipsing last year’s softer selections of Rose Quartz & Serenity and Simply White.  Color lovers are rejoicing and I am among them.

I also hope that the 6 palette ideas suggested in this post have inspired you to consider introducing this juicy olivine shade into your home–particularly if you’ve shied away from greens in the past.  But, above all, I wish you all of the things that Greenery represents in 2017: hope, healing, and the awe-inspiring power of Mother Nature.

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!

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