Friday, September 30, 2011

Amazing, Out-of-This-World Lighting

I found some unusual lighting today. Some of it is just beautiful, some of it really challenged me. Each fixture seems to suffer from some sort of Identity Crisis. That is my professional opinion....... I have some to show you.

The secret to this pendant's inability to appropriately connect is here:

This clever lamp below, by Paul Cocksedge, thinks it is a vase that holds real flowers. Actually, I should say that it insists that it is a flower vase. The lamp goes OFF when the flower dies, and will not turn on again until you put in another fresh flower! Very stubborn lamp...and lovely.


This next pair just cracked me up!
I found these lamps today via Bizzotto...statues of men and women with lampshades instead of heads.
My first thought: Creepy!
My second thought: well, if no young children are around, it's a fun, funny conversation piece. Still creepy...
Does anyone have any ideas on this?!
This  Beau et Bien Ombrella  lamp thinks it is an umbrella. It works indoors and out, actually does provide shade, AND it's very pretty!

This is a 1953 sconce by William Hanes that you may have seen. I absolutely LOVE it! :

The next two, huge chandeliers by David Dimpiero,
remind me of  graceful, modern, elongated flowers.



And here is a " Chandelier Shower", by Bisazza Bagno. This is an over-the-top but wonderfully fun working shower head inside a glamorous array of crystals.

via and via

These pendants, painstakingly made of handblown glass with small shards of blue, resemble planets.


This triangular "suspension" is composed of 5  low-voltage halogen bulbs,
 " meant to focus light on a lnear work surface."

And below is a Ceramic Washbasin/Lamp.
I guess it should go in the bathroom with the showerhead/chandelier!
And here are some odd ones, Mannequin Lamps, that are sort of charming. Much better than the statues, huh?
My daughter would LOVE these:

      Such personality!

    This is the" Ra"  desk lamp, designed by Ettore Cimimi of Lumina Italia..
 A single bulb is in the base and the light travels up and out, onto the desk.
                                                               Hmm. Looks like a rattlesnake. S-S-S
And then we have under-cabinet teacups...
not odd enough for THIS post...

and, uh, a cow abduction lamp by designer Lasse Klein. ha ha!


And, thanks to the website of,  I found my all-time favorite. Kozo is the name of the line of these Faucet-and-Pipe lamps. The design is practical, sturdy, it has personality, it is not your average lamp, and, after looking over an Awful lot of Awful, it is very pleasing to this battered Eye:

And the baby brother:

As the days grow shorter, I must go get a supply of full-spectrum bulbs...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Throwin' in some Lagniappe for ya with an image that's not just gorgeous and smartly done, but also photographed so artfully by Tria Giovan.
This room has a wall of books behind a divider wall that "supports"a perfectly placed ( perfectly!) piano.  And how creative is that pleasing mix of furniture styles!


Unexpected Color

This  first photo ( among others that are great) showed up in my inbox today from Interior Design Ideas.  Hence, this post about unexpected color...

Up high on a wall in a series of color blocks, on banisters, under tables, in stairwells, sinks, floors, cabinet and shelving backs, door edges, hinges, and more --
Color can surprise you!
Martha Stewart recently  made it OK to color the edge of a door....
(It's not as if no one has ever painted a door and tried to decide if the edge should match the Inside or the Outside. And thought to themselves, "What about the edge being its Own color?")
Here is a  "Martha" example, but you will also see more examples of really fun ways to add charm and character to a room.
Here are more wonderful examples of color surprise:

Magnus Anesund via

And, painted hinges. Why not? 
Why not electric Blue? Or shiny Black?:

How about  adding a little Something to the stairs? Look at the banister:

And look! All business in the kitchen until... you get inside the sink, where the Fun is hiding!

And the dog has found the colors of a rainbow on part of the upstairs flooring:

Now this, below, is not exactly a hidden or shy use of color. From the chairs to the books to the ceiling, it is all OFF the beaten path. The huge white pear is different...

In addition to seeing a very Pink room, we get a hint of green, hiding Under the table:

I think the hot pink sink wins as Most Unexpected. You?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Piano Etiquette

It IS possible to incorporate a good quality piano into a beautiful design plan without offending even the greatest of musicians ...


  • Below are images of beautiful rooms, with piano placement that is crying out for some simple intervention -- usually involving no more than a fur throw, shawl or light rug to throw over it. 
  • It is so much than a decor accessory! 
  • It is an intricate, magical instrument, almost always made of wood, that deserves the respect equal to that of a valuable antique. 
  • Many pianos are antiques. Or, they will become family heirlooms. 

David Hicks design  via.  Heavy drapes would protect from the sun.
  • Correct placement : interior wall, no sunlight, low humidity, no dust.
  • In most interiors, however, you simply cannot avoid "bad" or less-than-ideal placement.
  • In that case, it is important to know and implement the correct "antidote"... 
  • If the sound is too loud or "sharp" for the relatively (not a concert hall or ballroom) small space, lowering or closing the lid and / or putting a rug underneath helps a lot.
  • It is not really so hard to do it right....
You could put all-white or richly colored/patterned shawls or heavy throws all over that gorgeous white piano. Steinway now has an Imagine series modeled after the white grand that John Lennon presented to Yoko Ono.

This piano below is the happiest of the bunch:


The piano below is placed just fine  thanks to the drapes.

 In addition to getting the piano tuner over twice a year, 
here are the major considerations:
  • Humidity, below 35% or over 65%, and temperature fluctuations can be harmful --  it is made of wood.  So avoid a/c & heating vents, fireplaces,  and areas of unprotected sunlight (Use Drapes!)  
  • Sunlight will damage the finish on a piano. If it must be in the sun, even indirect sun, a beautiful rug, huge shawls, etc to cover it will help.
  • Dust is the enemy of the Grand Piano. So, for those who like to keep the lid up, a piano string felt cover is available from piano dealers. Basically all this is is a sheet of felt, any color, cut to fit inside the piano and over the strings and tuning pins. According to many piano tuners, this may be even more effective than closing the lid!
  • Be aware that if the lid is open, & it is close to and facing the wall, the sound may be distorted. And the piano really doesn't look "right" that way.
  • A rug underneath a piano helps the sound from being too harsh. 
  • If you have an Upright or Vertical Piano, it will of course have to be against a wall, and the lid stays down. However, it is still made of wood, and the guidelines still apply.

Here's a pretty one --needs heavy drapes for certain times of day.

   This  piano needs to be AWAY from the fireplace, 
or a  large, heavy screen needs to be at the ready  :

Very nice.  The drapes are perfect:

(Photo Suzanne Beard/National Geographic) via

Ahh -- here we go. Perfect :

                                                                This one is JUST right:


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Green with Pretty

Makes me want to do some decorating .....serious wallpaper here!


Miles Redd via


                            Uh... have to find the green table runner for the white table....must go now....