Tasty Decor: Cleveland Park Studio Updo

A couple of weeks back, I mentioned that a good friend of mine was moving into her first ever solo studio apartment in lovely Cleveland Park in the NW quad of DC.  She asked for ideas from yours truly for a”very urban, very playful” look.  Now, I haven’t actually seen the space (yet).  But she did give me some places to start.  She’s got a 500 square foot space to work with and wanted to paint one wall hot pink.  I don’t know why, but I immediately thought of Dorothy Draper — the boldest, most amazing interior designer in history (okay — my history, but who could argue with that??)!  Unable to contain my excitement for this fantastic project, I went straight to work and gathered some design inspirations, which I talked about here and here.

Earlier today, my friend showed me a Picasso that she absolutely adored and couldn’t wait to put up in the entryway of her studio.  Now, I had something to start with.  I used the Picasso as the foci of my decor research, and while channeling the Dorothy Draper Effect came up with these (below) set of items for her to consider:  (Now, keep in mind, I haven’t seen the space!)


To put it all together:

1. The Dream, by Pablo Picasso — the room’s primary inspiration. I would suggest pairing it with a black contemporary frame.

2. Since she wants to paint one small wall a hot pink shade (and I would suggest on the redder side of hot pink…perhaps a bolder fuschia to balance the Picasso), I would suggest complementing that wall by putting this gorgeous grey/white wallpaper on an adjacent wall or the wall that defines the living space. The grey/white combination will balance the black/white mix of the furniture and rug. And this exudes a little Dorothy Draper for its natural elements print and the visual texture it gives to the room.

3 and 4. To define the living space, I found a this love seat and chair that give out an urban, contemporary feel. I would paint the love seat legs a chrome silver color to match the chair legs.  Actually, I think you can get a silver/chrome colored leg for the love seat selected!  Thanks IKEA!

5. To further define the living space, add bolder visual element to the room, and for just a little funkiness, I suggest placing a textured rug like this one with a black and white striped pattern. The pattern isn’t perfectly linear, which gives it a little edge…and would blend well with the “Little Leaves” wallpaper.

6. To maintain continuity in the rug and have an open feel to the living space, I suggest an acrylic coffee table like the one above.

7. A plant like CHRYSALIDOCARPUS LUTESCENS from Ikea will give an urban, contemporary room a natural, warm feel without distracting away from the primary design theme. (And it’s a Dorothy Draper design element!)

8. Pillows for a pop of color break up the purely black/white color scheme, bring greater relevance to the Picasso into the rest of the space, and adds a bit of playfulness to the space. (She did say, “very playful” was one of the design-desire descriptors.) I selected a turquoise floor pillow (for added seating), hot pink throw pillow (need 2), and printed grey damask accent (need 2) to tie it all in. I’m thinking she could print a silhouette of two of her fave bands on the hot pink throw pillow. That would be really cool!

9.When in a small space, you’ve got limited counter space and storage, so you really gotta maximize the furniture you select.  This glass and metal side table would be perfect for the living space (by the side of the love seat) or in the bedroom area of the studio.  The shelving is great for storing (and showcasing) your latest reads or whatever else you wanna put in there.  You also could ditch the acrylic coffee table and get two of these side tables, put them together side-by-side to make a more modular coffee table.  It wouldn’t mess up the continuity of the rug too much, since it’s a glass top…and you could move it around for a living room dance party or seance, or whatever suits your fancy!

10. My friend did tell me that she had a large kitchen countertop that she planned on using as a prep area, dining area, and office desk. Since she’ll be spending time eating and working on this countertop, I made it my mission to find her a couple of counter chairs that would fit well with her space, but also be comfortable. I think I may have achieved success!?! This counter chair/bar stool has a spacious seat (that will be more than enough for her cheeks) and a supportive back. Gotta love it when furniture fits both form and function criteria!

11. Finally, for a little bit of dramatic effect, that striking detail Dorothy-Draper-element, I found this very chic, yet glam black-jeweled chandelier. Depending on how her bed is positioned in the room, I would suggest hanging this over the bed for added lighting, and of course, visual effect. Oh, it would be cool if the hot pink wall was where her headboard would be propped against. The chandelier would definitely give that space a playful feel. Alternatively, she could hang it over the center of her kitchen counter to add some interest and horizontally define the space. An alternative to the chandelier, for the kitchen, would be to get two of this very stylish, mini pendant light or something similar.

Well, there you have it folks!  My take on a very urban, very playful, Dorothy Draper inspired, with a hot pink wall space.  I hope she likes it…. we may do a Tasty Decor redo on this!  But I hope I haven’t missed the mark by too too much.  Readers, what do you think?

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Design Notebook: Urban, Playful, and Dorothy Draper Inspired

Yesterday I mentioned that a dear friend is moving into a studio apartment in Cleveland Park NW DC and is looking for design ideas for outfitting her new soon-to-be home. To continue my search for design inspirations to spark a funky, lovely, urban, yet playful concept for my friend’s new Cleveland Park NW DC apartment, I found these….for your viewing pleasure (and mine)! Of course, I kept in mind notable Draper Effect elements.

From Fashion Nation

Love the chandelier in this photo below. Draper Effect element: striking detail. Check.

From The Blissful Bride

Draper Effect element: Dense textured carpet. Check. I like this one below, textured minimalist. And what a neat idea for a coffee table!

From Decor8

Draper Effect element: Intense color. Check! Even with black and white…and a hot pop of pink.

From the Glam Lamb

I just love this couch and set of chairs…very urban feel.

From Hotel Chatter

More Dorothy Draper elements: bold, exuberant prints on the carpet. Striking details in the chandeliers. Check. Check!

From Decor to Adore

This one… well, it’s just glam, glam, glam with a hint of sophistication.

From Studio House Design

Ornate mirror — without the overdose. A striking detail and Dorothy Draper element. Check. I love the patterns, texture, and fantabulous blend of bold colors in this room. Oh, and of course, how can I forget Dorothy Draper design element: Roaring Fire!

From Fine Living

Umm…. great couch. Need I say more?

Love the Couch

And a little urban serenity… good use of natural elements.

From Poppies at Play

Now, do share! Which of these images connect with your urban, playful, funky, and lovely self?

Period Piece: The [Dorothy] Draper Effect

A good friend of mine is moving into a lovely studio apartment in Cleveland Park NW, home to DC gems like Politics and Prose and the historic Art Deco style Uptown Theater.  So it was quite fortuitous when I showed her this blog, and she said that it was perfect timing that I did that because she was thinking of ways to decorate her new apartment—and the blog could help.  Of course, I was giddy with excitement when she said that because not only is she looking for design ideas from me, but she doesn’t have any furniture and only has her trendy clothes to move!  She has (rather I have) a blank canvas to work with!  Ah, a good way to test my ID skillz.  So, what is my dear friend looking for in terms of decor?  Something “very urban, very playful,” she says.  And she’s thinking of painting a divider wall hot pink (I think I heard her right…hot). I automatically thought of Dorothy Draper, the most influential American interior designer of the 20th century. She is to interior design as Coco Channel is to fashion — a pioneer, an inspiration! She’s all about bold pops of color, and she makes me happy! See examples of her work from The Greenbriar, like this one:

The Greenbrier Lobby Design by Dorothy Draper via Architectural Digest

I love the mix of intense colors, bold patterns, and visual textures in the lobby (above).  She also brings in natural elements in her design, often using live plants or plant prints like in this one  below:

Also at The Greenbriar -- Photo From Architectural Digest

Mirrors — the more ornate the better for Dorothy Draper. Check this one out (below), set against an awesome floral print wallpaper.

Also at The Greenbriar -- Photo From Architectural Digest

I recently learned that there is such a thing as “The Draper Effect.” And no, not the Don Draper kind…. To achieve the Dorothy Draper effect in your interiors, you gotta use:
1) Intense Color
2) Plant Life
3) Dense and textured carpet.
4) Striking details — just a few bold accessories, but don’t clutter!
5) A roaring fire.
6) Exuberant prints

Taking those points in mind…I’ve got much to work with in brainstorming for my friend’s Cleveland Park apartment!  Stay tuned….