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

For my inaugural post, I thought I’d share with you my Design Notebook.

I don’t know about you, but whenever I’m traveling for work (or pleasure) I love catching up on my design gossip.  I wanna know all about the hottest trends (which today is all about being green, no not Kermit green, but green as in energy efficient) and makeover magic and DIY tips.  I love peeking into gorgeous designers’ homes and crushing on their victorian sofa, barnyard kitchen, or bohemian bedrooms (yes, I have a wide range of tastes).  Among my fave go-to-mags are: Country Living, do it YOURSELF, Elle Decor, Better Homes & Gardens, Domino, Blueprint, and Cottage Living.  I’m sad to say that the last three are now resting in peace.  I heart Domino especially.  It was the only design mag I actually subscribed to.

Anyway, I would stop by Hudson News before boarding the plane and lug my design mags to my destination and ultimately back home.  I used to drive Hubby crazy with the pile of design mags I would have laying around the house.  He would say, “time to recycle!  Gotta get rid of these magazines like we do our newspapers.”  And I would fret and frown, dreading the time I’d have to go through them again and try to save the ones that had a design concept I absolutely adored.  I just couldn’t bear putting them in THAT BLUE CAN.  I mean, what if we ever needed to re-do our kitchen or our bedroom or our home office or our yard??  I would need to do research and put together a design concept, etc. etc.  I needed my magazines!

Well, one afternoon, after a long, trying work day I decided to stop by Barnes & Noble on my way home (books make me happy).  I perused through the aisles, sifting through books and eventually ended up in the design section where I saw Domino’s latest (and only) Book of Decorating.  I thought that I deserved it after the day I had at work, and it now sits proudly on my shelf.  Just a few months later, Domino was gone.  That’s when I realized that my fave go-to-guides for “living with style” won’t be around forever, so there had to be a way for me to keep my favorites around — at least design idea faves.  So I created a little Design Notebook.  Whenever I see a concept that I would love SOMEDAY to replicate in my own home, I cut it out and paste it into my Design Notebook.  It’s another activity that I find cathartic.  So, if you see a design idea that you like, don’t let it pass you by.  Take out those scissors or just rip it out and paste it into something pretty.  You never know when that hubby of yours will say “time to recycle” or when your fave magazine will run out of business.  I share with you now my Design Notebook and some of my favorite design concepts.

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My Design Notebook

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Color Schemes in Our Home

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I was once really into Orange — on occasion, I still am.

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Don’t you just want to cuddle up with a blanket (or loved one) have a glass of Merlot and read a book in this room?

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I want a claw-footed tub in my bedroom! I once went to a spa (indulged myself while on a business trip) that looked like a quaint bedroom like this.  It had a bathtub in it, and of course, I took a nice milk bath….so relaxing after a long flight (I’m in the east coast; my destination was all the way across the country).

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I also take note of future flea market events to attend!

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And someday, have a place like this to watch the sunset with my hubby.