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?

Color Pairings: White on White (The Gender-Neutral Version)

The other day I posted a Color Coordinates column about chic and romantic white interiors.  The room inspirations were ones to swoon over.  After reading the column, a friend of mine from college commented, “lovely” (which made me happy) and that she would do a whole house of white on white if she were single.  It made me wonder, why not now that she is married?  She indicated that she tried to decorate a room of white, and her husband did not find it to be “in any way gender neutral.”  Sometimes, it is difficult for us women to curb our enthusiasm for feminine decor.  But there must be some way to meld our wants with our men’s needs–interior decor-wise anyway.  Can we find white room inspirations that reflect gender neutrality?  So this morning, I went on a hunt for some that seemed neutral in more ways than one.  See  below and let me know what you think!

From Furniture Fashion

Go minimalist glam. It has touches of both masculine and feminine decor. Defined shapes like the linear lines that frame the room gives it a structured, masculine feel. But the room is balanced by the glammed-up, more feminine chandelier. I may add a textured, organically shaped white rug under the table and chairs just to round out the feminine-side of the decor.

From Coastal Living

Omit ornate shapes. Ornate shapes tend to be associated with more feminine decor. This room has very clean lines that make it neither masculine nor feminine. Add a hint of color with some fresh flowers like a bluish hydrangea to soften the lines…but keep away from pinks, reds, or any kind of blush shade.

From Apartment Therapy

To break the white monotony, while maintaining that predominantly white room look, mix in a little silver, grey, or slate. Translucent also works. I love both of these rooms, but what I mean to show you is the living room image on the right. To me, the left dining room image has too feminine shaped chairs.

From Urban Sardines

Here’s another take on the grey/white pairing. I’d paint the wood headboard white with silver undertones to achieve the white on white feel to the decor. Adding a textured slate or grey coverlet will bring some softness to the room.

From Mail Online

Punch it up with high gloss white. If you’re going to go modern gender-neutral, I’d say gloss it up like this kitchen and add a feminine fixture like the chandelier shown in the image above.

By Stephen Mays via Kelly G Design

And if you just can’t resist leaning more slightly feminine, like this bedroom…then….

By Stephen Cohen via Kelly G Design

Be sure to have a TV that can be hidden!