Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My 29th Birthday

Today is my 29th birthday, which also happens to be Tuesday, which falls on our scheduled Inspiring Spaces Tuesday, so I was conflicted on what to post about. So, I decided, in honor of the birthday and all, that I'd share 29 of my favorite images. Rooms that have shaped a change at CDLV, and have helped me to learn that taste evolves, and as it does, it's ok to push forward (and sometimes through) the obstacles, and insist on change.
So obviously my style, right? Well - you wouldn't have known it from our house before. I know that my style sways, but I'm always drawn to graceful lines, rustic finishes, and earthy colors. From the distressed leather, and the metal coffee table, to the soft line of the linen sofa and carving detail on the ottoman, this living room provided a great deal of the layout inspiration for the new CDLV living room.
This room by Phoebe Howard has been a favorite of mine for about a year, but until recently, getting Scott to part with any of his treasures acquired before our union was like getting on the phone with the President. (Obviously not impossible, but a lot of hard work!) The mix of fresh white linens, soft gray and blue tweeds and glass, wood, and pottery tables just has my heart working overtime. Add in the rough hewn beams and the beautiful paneled walls and I just melt.

This room by Lynn Morgan Design sums up perfectly my recent move. A mix of cottage ease and french elegance all merged into one perfectly comfortable space just asking you to pick up a book (or a glass of wine) and enjoy the evening.

This stunning room by James Michael Howard, partner and husband of the fabulous Phoebe Howard (first room) pairs all of my favorite colors: gray, chocolate, cream, and green. It's so earthy, and fresh, friendly, and sophisticated. The symmetry of the vignettes, the plushness of the upholstery, the quality of the pieces, and the individuality of the accessories really speak volumes. Don't you just love that horizontal plank wall?

But don't worry folks. I haven't lost my love of the eclectic. In fact, that has been even more important in the creation of my new spaces around CDLV. These amazing blue silk drapes paired with the seagrass, white, and antique brass made me fall in love with designer Martensen Jones. I love the mix of contemporary and modern with the antique and traditional soft luxury items. Even the worn out chair in the corner caught my attention ... something I typically turn up a nose to. (I know, I know!)

Though her room has changed significantly since Joni Webb of Cote de Texas blogged about it over a year ago, the family room of designer Sally Wheat has been in my inspiration file since Joni first posted it. The mix of rough and refined, unique and familiar are all so perfectly blended that it's truly a lesson in living with the things we love. I mean, who else could make a glass head from Pier 1 look like a million dollars?

This room by Caldwell Flake is another room that has all the things I'm loving right now wrapped into one sophisticated package. The rustic and antique mixed with the modern and contemporary. I am drooling over the art in this room, and I love how the designer allowed it to take center stage in this room, but was thoughtful to the overall look. Stunning.

Though definitely more feminine than my house would even allow, this room by Lisa Epley has my thumbs up for lots of different reasons, but mostly for the calmness that surrounds the space because of her very cool color choices. By cool, I mean temperature wise, of course, I mean - I do have a thesaurus! But seriously, formal but still inviting - it's a space perfectly appointed and piled high with inspiration!

When I saw this room, which belongs to Laurann Claridge, in Lonny Mag I instantly felt compelled to share it with all of you! I am in love with the all white slipcovered furniture and the layering throughout the space. Mirrors atop mirrors, nesting tables, the zebra (of course) all reaffirming to the idea I had for CDLV.

Every so often a catalog image sticks in my brain, and I have to scan it and keep it for inspiration. That's exactly what happened when I saw this room in the Williams Sonoma Home catalog. With the crisp whites and soft blues and mix of blue and white Asian pieces I instantly fell in love. Even though it's catalog, the pieces (coffee table especially) have some patina to them, and that's totally where we're headed here.

Styled by Michael Partenio with predominately OLY Studio pieces, this room is beautiful. I've been a fan of those chairs since I first saw them a year ago, and I would have Scott wrapped in zinc if I could afford it. Another great mix of the old and new here, I think you can see that I've kept that sensibility, while moving to a much lighter palette.

And who hasn't gone gaga over the french industrial revolution? Or I should say resurrection! This space catalog shot for Hickory Chair was actually my screen saver until last week.
This cottage by designer Ginger Barber has my name written all over it ... well, if I had a million dollars, property at the lake. Again, as with all of the pictures in this series, the unusual mixed with the everyday. That beautiful Moorish style lantern, the mix of plaids and stripes, and a hint of soft blue - perfection!

Another room shared by Joni of Cote de Texas, this time for a tour of homes in her West University neighborhood. These teaser photos were enough to knock me off of my feet, and I'm anxiously awaiting more of this grand home.

On the other end of the spectrum, this living room by Kathryn Scott in her own home had me at hello. Check out the old concrete columns turned on side as coffee tables, mixed with upholstered antiques, more contemporary armless pieces, and the bentwood rocker. Throw in an antique rug and modern lighting and it's like someone took my exact thoughts and created a space in the perfect room built just for me and Scott.

This living room has that great light blue I'm so excited about right now. Christopher Maya designed this living room and chose the blue to make a soft but strong statement to the height of those soaring ceilings. and I think he did just that. Gorgeous! And who wouldn't want a living room with 30' ceilings, really?!

Here the opposite, a relatively low ceiling but a space that is still remarkable. I love large central rooms like this, so long as the fireplace is to one side or the other and not in the middle of room.  Those present many challenges that I just can't ever seem to conquer. Again, soft blues (are you getting the hint) and creams and whites make up the color palette here. A calm and soothing space oh so inspiring.
 I know some of you are completely against dear heads, skulls, antlers, zebra rugs, cowhides, sheepskin ... and there are sometimes when I agree that they don't add much to a room. So try to think of the space above without the deer head and just say ahh! I dream of being able to build a home one day - and high up on the list is a space like this one; enclosed only by the panes of french glass doors and almost all white. It's like walking into heaven's waiting room ... don't you think?
Of course, this image is on just about everyones list of inspiring spaces. Designed for La Quinta, the home of Diandre Douglas (ex-wife of actor Michael Douglas) this little vignette is perfectly imperfect. From the antique tapestry to the mess of books beneath the Asian inspired coffee table - this room is capital C - Cozy!

And the last living room, created by Inspiring Spaces alumni Suzanne Rheinstein. Though incredibly feminine, I love the beautiful slipcovers on all of the furniture. So exquisitely crafted, it's this sort of attention to detail that I'm falling ever so in love with.

Onto dining rooms. I've always loved this room from the Greystone Estate showhouse as done by Barbara Wisely and Richard Hallberg. Our dining room has always been a bit of a problem, and I always felt like a round table would solve so many of those challenges. And boy did it ever! (Spoiler alert!!) I haven't found the perfect chairs, but the round table in our dining room is exactly what the design Dr. ordered, and this beautiful room with it's in window settee, skirted table, and upholstered dining chairs has been at the top of the inspiration pile since I saw it!

In this dining nook by Phoebe Howard, the balance of the room is in the play of neutrals against the rather deep colors of the painting. I love how this room is so quiet. And there's that blue again! I swear, I can't get over it!

John Saladino does a skirted table like no one else! This is simple perfection in my book, and with the hints of blue and the rustic surroundings, this is a dinner table I'd be happy to be invited to. It's not bound to happen anytime soon, but still - I could cope!
Another Saladino dining room. Did I tell you this guy knows how to drape a table, or what? I think the large graphic mural to the back of the room is what gives the extreme layering to this table a firm understanding. This room is about luxury, 100%, and I think any formal dining room should be.
Remember this from Inspiring Spaces about a month ago? This collection of upholstered chairs around the dark table and backdrop of bookcases filled with gorgeous leather bound art copies and fabulous trinkets and paintings is the perfect way to dual purpose a space. Check out Steve's renovation of his dining room into a multi-purpose space. So gorgeous.
Another room I originally saved for inspiration because of the antler chandelier is actually great dining room inspiration now. I love the perfectly layered buffet, the art, and the German wood wingbacks with the clean cream and blue stripes. A simple breakfast nook in what I'm sure is a stunningly appointed home.

Store owner Dan Marty had a large spread in House Beautiful a few months back, and this dining room of his Los Angeles apartment was an instant clip. Though there are so many things I "can't" have in my space because of the architecture, the feeling is certainly achievable. Impeccable at merchandising a space, Dan deserved every page of that spread.

I still love chocolate. (Both the food group and the color - and yes, chocolate is a necessary food group) So there's no chance that it'll leave CDLV, but the pairing here is more of the value in this inspiration picture. I've had my eye on a settee I could have upholstered in Covington's Bosporus Flax Toile for months all because of this picture.

And last but not least, this completely serene dining room only weighted by the natural wood of the dining table. It's ethereal in a way, and a perfect way to end this extremely long post. Thank you (if you made it all the way through it) for stopping by and for your birthday. The blog will be quiet for a few days, but I hope these many inspiration pictures will have you coming back for second, third, maybe even fourth looks!


  1. Dear Artie!
    Wishing you the happiest birthday EVER! You are the biggest inspiration for ALL of us.

  2. Happy Birthday! 29, uh? - I have shoes older than that!! You certainly have developed a wonderful style way beyond your years. Sally

  3. Happy, happy birthday!!! I hope you had a great day! You are so young, but so beautifully talented. Loved all your pictures, such great inspirarion! XO, Pinky

  4. Artie.. Happy Happy Birthday! I hope it was a day filled with many blessings. Loved this post because although the rooms all have the same elements, each one has it's unique style. Lovely, each one of them. thanks for sharing this with us! And when will we see your new room? I'm dying you know!

  5. Happy Birthday! All the photos truly are inspirational- can't wait to see how you translate them for your house!
    : ) Meg

  6. What wonderful inspiration pictures!! Happy Birthday

  7. happy, happy birthday dear Artie!!!
    hope you are having a fabulous day at brimfield!! (I would have sworn you told me your bd was on the 10th??)
    I love all of your photos and simply adore Dan Marty's home- I spy a fabulous black pedestal table;)
    It doesn't look like we are going to make Brimfield, so I hope you are finding every great buy there!!
    have fun and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! hi to Scott!

  8. There are some really nice rooms here. It's a great way to show your style. But, you're ONLY 29, really! I think I hate you...

    Happy Birthday Anyway...


  9. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!! I hope you had a wonderful day. I LOVE all of your inspirations, especially the Phoebe Howard rooms. I'm thinking it's probably because although she uses beautifully pale colors in her rooms...she also makes sure that there is plenty of texture and natural woods. It a balance that I think makes it believable and livable. It's the only way to make it warm...too much white is too cold otherwise.
    Can't wait to see you new room!
    Again...enjoy your day!
    **Tami :-)

  10. Happy 29th birthday! I love all 29 of your images.

  11. HAPPY (belated) BIRTHDAY ARTIE! (Its past midnight here.) Hope you had an enjoyable one.

    Shall log on to view all the inspiring pics you have posted. From a quick scroll they appear to be wonderful. -Brenda-

  12. Happy Birthday! I loved the first image and the Sally Wheat rooms the best but they are all beautiful - right up my alley!


  13. Belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!

    Thank you for all of the beautiful photos. I thought it was only me that dreams of the way my rooms could look, if only...... Maybe in my 'next life' ;<).....

    There aren't many of us that could afford to replace all of our furniture, to make room for the new visions that fill our heads, and hearts. But hey.....the dreams are nice.

    Here's wishing that all of yours come true in time.


  14. ARTIE: Happy belated birthday wish! Love these and am saving them to my inspiration files. Hope you had a lovely day, can't wait to see the CDLV reveal. XXOO SJR

  15. 29 gorgeous rooms and 29 wishes for a happy birthday! Hope you have/had a great day!

  16. You and I are so on the same page, Artie. I love every one of these images. The rustic and the elegant, the curve and the straight, it's all heaven. And a beamed ceiling?? Worth dying for (almost :)

  17. Happy, happy bday!! Love this post and every image is pure eye candy to me as well.
    Hope you enjoyed your special day.

  18. nice blog and beautiful 29 pictures!

  19. I know I'm in the minority in the blogging community, but I find neutral rooms immensely relaxing and beautiful. These are wonderful examples of neutral done right.

  20. Happy (belated now) Birthday! Enjoyed this post immensely. Now...if we could just SEE all the changes you have made at home....I think you have been teasing us with minute details for WEEKS! Give it up, already!! LOL!

  21. we must have the same exact taste. so many of these images are ones i have saved too! I swear!!!!!!!!! so many!

    plus you are homesick - a ton of these are from houston or texas.

    come home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    and happy birthday!

  22. Happy belated! Yes you should come back to Texas. And bring rain if you do!
    So many great images. Thanks for sharing.

  23. Thanks for sharing! I am adding your site!