Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Inspirations and Diversions: The Rustic Modernist and Big Blue

Jeanette Whitson in House Beautiful
We've been getting quite a few followers to our Twitter feed (@idbohemia) and this lovely lady stuck out: Heidi Caillier at The Rustic Modernist. Perhaps it's the sincerity in her blog (a kindred spirit!), perhaps it's our shared tastes (we love the same things, though she's decidedly more minimal). It can't hurt, too, that she hails from San Francisco, current residence of my dearly beloved sister.

What clinched it, though, was her blog post on blue walls: "Currently Coveting: Big Blue". As you already know, we loves us some blue here at IDB.

Thom Filicia in Elle his work. Bold yet warm and livable.

She closes her post with blue paints she's choosing between for her closet, and we were inspired to share a few of our favourite hues with you.
Benjamin Moore - Big Country Blue 2066-30

The entry door to the Eames House...via Wikipedia
Benjamin Moore - Big Country Blue 2066-30: a vibrant primary blue that reminds me of grade school tempera and Charles and Ray Eames' Case Study House #8 .

Benjamin Moore - Gentleman's Gray 2062-30

Panelled stairwell painted in Gentleman's Gray, via Treoma Design

Benjamin Moore - Gentleman's Grey 2062-30: a darkly glimmering blue. Imagine this in a study inspired by painter Sir Frederic Leighton's incredible house (now a museum).

Benjamin Moore - Caribbean Blue Water 2055-30
...same colour, swatched for the Kips Bay Showhouse in Manhattan...via House Beautiful

What a smashing colour for a front door. It's like walking into a wave.

In related news...our queries into paints turned up an article to note, via Apartment Therapy, a favourite shelter blog: Consumer Reports Picks for Best Interior Paints 2013.

Do you like blue? What's your favourite shade?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Bigger Picture:
Your Life In Jelly Beans

A video by conceptual artist Ze Frank on your life in jelly beans, via our friend Scott McPherson at Relax and Succeed. Scott writes:
"Look at your life. Divide it up like an accountant might. Into sections. Work, chores, other responsibilities. Maybe child-rearing, or volunteering. Eating, drinking, sleeping, bodily functions, showers. Driving in cars, waiting in lines. How much time is in there for you? For just you. Reading, daydreaming, masturbating, playing an instrument, time with your dog. How much of your life are you actually investing in your own joy of living?

Ze Frank, the conceptual artist, provides you with a clever means of understanding your time on this planet. Check out this short video, and stay cognizant of the brevity of your life. You will value it more if you remember it’s temporary. So wake up. Life is short. Live bravely."
 Life Is Short. Live Bravely.

We know what we'll be doing with that time: making beautiful art and environments for you and people like you.

Christina at IDB

Friday, July 5, 2013

Design Lesson: The softer side of Bohemia

Today, we bring you beautiful interiors photography by David A. Land, via a favourite design blog Desire to Inspire.

We love mixing styles and cultures in unexpected ways at IDB, but while our style leans towards the big and bold, we love a lighter touch too. These shots are great examples of how to achieve a more subtle Bohemianism.

Consider this image: piles of books, including a monograph on American Impressionist painter John Singer Sargent (a personal favourite of mine), juxtaposed with neatly trimmed miniature topiary (very French), and a beaded chandelier overhead (from somewhere in the Middle East...perhaps Syria?). Furniture, decor and accessories from all over the world, yet a relatively soft colour palette helps keep it all togethermostly neutrals (when it comes to plants, green is a neutral) with just that central wash of subdued blues in the book covers. Photographer friends may disagree with me, but I feel this image is beautifully lit, too, with a hint of outdoor detail in the window (rather than blown out highlights), and a bit of light reflecting off the gold-stamped book spines. That bit of sparkle helps make the scene fresh and appealing without being too glitzy, especially given that glamorous chandelier. 

Regency dressers, Staffordshire dogs and Sammy Davis, Jr. can all live together visually because they share a common palette of gold and black. Traditional objects (the dogs) mingling in a modern setting (the dresser) make for a very contemporary combination.

Ikea embroidered pillows, a rustic end table and Grateful Dead album covers jam well because they share colours (red and blue, with bits of yellow), textures (worn wood), or a sinuous, undulating quality of line. They also have a common hippy vibe.

In the above image, all the accent colours are citrus hues.

The key to a successful mix, whether daring or delicate, is to find the common threads (and the contrasts) between different objects and ideas. You could reduce things to their essential characteristics, for example, looking at objects strictly in terms of colour, texture and shape. Or you could try looking for a shared idea or history. (For example, Spanish and Moroccan styles tend to complement each other well because of their Moorish ancestry.)

What do you have in your home or office that you haven't tried putting together yet? Go forth and experiment! (And please share your results in the comments...  :)
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