3/2/2023 0 Comments
Shop the Look - Spring 2023
Spring is in the air…well almost. While we wait for the snow to melt, what better time to update your space to herald a season of renewal and growth. The SBD Spark Blog was created to provide you the tools to add design, style, and functional upgrades to your space on your own. With that in mind we are excited to introduce seasonal Shop the Look posts with specific key features:
- Style Focus each season on one of our favorite styles with historical tidbits and identifying elements
- Room Focus each season with a list of “ingredients” for a successful space
- 2 Complete Looks to use as inspiration for your home
- Shoppable Links to quality furniture and accessories you could buy today to add to your space - these are not items you will find at the store down the street
The Style: French Chinoiserie
We have seen a huge resurgence of appreciation for historical styles from many popular designers on tv and online. We are sure you have noticed designers looking back in time for inspiration but then blending it into today with more modern, clean lines.
We also love historical design at Sonia Barney Design. Today, we are taking inspiration from 17th and 18th Century French style and how it included influences from cultures all around the world. Thanks to expanded trade routes at the time, the bourgeoisie loved combining the indulgent Baroque and Rococo styles with elements inspired by East Asian art and design. These elements were often described as Chinoiserie, or “in the Chinese style”.
You can identify French Chinoiserie through the use of:
- Blue-and-white motifs commonly found on Chinese porcelain
- Extensive gilding
- Chinese patterns and figures in furniture, art, and surface painting
- Extravagant scenery and floral designs in wallpaper and fabrics
For more examples and design inspiration, take a look at these articles by Hadley Keller and Elizabeth Stamp.
As per our designer prerogative, we choose to be inspired by French Chinoiserie but still add our modern flair. Scroll to the bottom to see our modern interpretation which is perfect for a springtime refresh.
The Space: The Entry
The entry to a house is one of the most overlooked spaces, yet is one of the most commonly used. Not only do you pass through it everyday taking off your workday woes, this space is an introduction to your home. What first impressions does your entry give to your guests? Is it cluttered or organized? Does it showcase your values? By following the recipe below, you can personalize your entry and make it not only stand as a hallmark of your family, it can make entering and exiting more pleasurable.
So what elements do we need in an entry? Let’s break it down. Your entry needs the following ingredients:
- Hero Piece
- Concept Inspiration
- Light and Reflection
- Functional Support
Let's Build Your Chinoiserie Inspired Entry
At SBD, we believe every space has a main role, and the furniture piece most closely tied to that role is the “Hero”. In a bedroom, it's the bed. In the dining room, it’s the dining table. In the entry, it's the console table. The console table grounds the function of this space, providing a location to deposit keys, take off your shoes, and breathe a sigh of relief saying “I’m home.” Here are 2 possible console tables. If you tend to have a lot of clutter in your entry, we suggest a console with drawers.
Next, choose a concept inspiration piece that you love. It can be a light fixture, piece of art, or even a wall finish. Just choose something that inspires the vibe and identifies the color scheme. Obviously we wanted to display the Chinoiserie style, so we found a couple pieces that showcase those iconic organic patterns in a fun spring color palette.
Light and Reflection
Entries are notorious for being smaller than we wish. This is where well trained designer pulls out their secret weapons: light and reflection. Don't just rely on one light source in your entry. Adding lamps plus a beautiful pendant will make the room feel brighter and more welcoming. And we all know how mirrors can double a space. But really any reflective surface can help with that illusion. If you don't have a mirror, add shine and sparkle somewhere. Bonus: mirrors are perfect for final touch ups as you leave the house. What a great double duty piece!
Now it's time to determine the secondary functions you want your entry to provide. Do you sit and take off your shoes? Do you need a place to store dog leashes and extra shoes? Knowing how you want to use the space will help you select between extra seating in the form of small ottomans or stools, or if you need extra storage to eliminate clutter.
An entry isn't complete without an entry mat or rug runner. It is necessary to help keep the outdoors from spreading through the rest of the house. Look for durable rugs that are easy to clean or shake out. To coordinate with our style, we suggest sisal, lattice, or floral pattern rugs. And when it comes to sizing - don't be afraid to go large. Postage stamp sized rugs are a thing of the past. Leave around 12"-24" of space between the walls and rug.
Last but not least, let's add the final touches. Whatever you call it—accessorizing, decorating or styling— it's all about adding the right personality to complete the look. Fill your entry vignette with the right items that showcase your family, interests, collections, travels, etc. They can even double duty as extra storage.
This is your home. Make it yours.
The Final Look
Chinoiserie Inspired Entry #1
Shop This Look:
1. Console Table
6. Gold Magnolia
7. Book: Maximalism by Sig Bergamin
8. Book: Redoute. The Book of Flowers
9. Book: Audrey Hepburn by Bob Willoughby
Chinoiserie Inspired Entry #2
Shop This Look:
1. Console Table
6. Picture Frame
7. Magnolia Plate 8"
8. Magnolia Plate 12"
9. Umbrella Vase
Written By: Sonia Barney
Trends on Their Way Out
#1 - White Shiplap
Can I say overdone? (With apologies to my shiplap loving friends.) It was a great idea until it was, well, everywhere. I recognize it was a perfect way to create an inexpensive accent, but I just can't endorse its use any longer! When every builder adds at least one accent wall in each of their new builds, then it’s no longer special.
#2 - Cheap Collage Walls
You wouldn't know it by my over-stuffed office, but I’m a minimalist at heart. I don't feel the need to display everything I own—especially knowing that it’ll have to be cleaned. Collage walls came into vogue when collectors started displaying their beloved treasures in a unique maximalism potpourri. (Which I fully admit is still amazing.) But are you a collector? Do your items tell a story and have special meaning? Then by all means, display them. But if you have to go out and buy items to make your collage wall, then save your money. Don't do it. There are cleaner and more elevated looks for your home. (see below)
#3 - Plant Shelves
One of the banes of this designer’s existence... plant shelves (at least that is what I call them.) They are those open drywall ledges cut into your walls often seen high up towards the ceiling. Like their close cousin, the collage wall, these areas end up being not much more than a dust collector. At one point, did all home builders and local architects decide this feature is the pinnacle of design? They are prolific, and in turn, many homeowners wonder how to style these random spaces at the top of their vaulted ceilings. The answer is simple, do nothing! Again, unless you have an amazing collection of the right sized objects that needs to be displayed, do not go buy a bunch of useless objects to fill the spot. You don’t want to feel guilty about not cleaning up there regularly. In fact, the next time you have a contractor in your home, ask him to frame that area in. Clean, vertical wall at 10 feet off the ground is much better than a useless collection of stuff you can barely see.
Trends on the Scene
#1 - Bold and Dark Paint Colors
As much as we love an all-white home, special rooms swathed in a dark toned paint color will make anyone swoon. From deep plums to forest greens, and even black, these bolder wall-to-wall paint choices are an inexpensive way to express personality and create a vibe. Take a look at how some designers have bravely applied this trend.
#2 - Pattern Mixing
Maximalism is the art of "more is more." You can do that with more accessories or, in the way I prefer, mixing and layering color and pattern throughout the space. Why choose only one tile for your backsplash? Why play it safe with plain white drapes? Why only have pattern on throw pillows? Start playing with contrasting patterns and materials on your wall, furniture, window treatments, and decor and make something uniquely yours. Need inspiration? Check out these amazing spaces below that prove mixing patterns is not just a old grandma look.
#3 - Oversized Art
You know how I said I’m over collage walls? This may leave you asking, “Then what do I put on my walls?” The answer is simple - go big! Invest in oversized art. I don't care if it’s a framed family picture or an amazing wall sculpture of a hamburger. Let your art cover the wall and make a spectacular focal point in the space. Added benefit: oversized artwork can enhance an architecturally deprived space (such as the lack of fireplaces or trim work). Don't take my word for it. See for yourself how these designers have completely upleveled the space with art.
When in doubt, you can always ask an expert.
If you need design services to update your space, don't hesitate to start the process. Set up an introductory phone call today and learn how we can bring new life into your space.
11/26/2022 0 Comments
2022 SBD Favorite Things
Check out our latest "A Few of Our Favorite Things" page. These are tried and tested items we use everyday. They make great gifts and stocking stuffers this time of year. The affiliate links below will allow you to buy them and help support our office caffeinated soda addiction.
11/26/2022 0 Comments
New to SBD - DIY Design Packages
Are you about to start your journey into a new project and just don't know where to start? Never has it been easier to get expert design advice right from the start. Sonia Barney Design is excited to offer design packages curated for our DIY clients.
- Expert design direction at minimal cost
- Get one-on-one design advice in your home or space
- Look at all your concept images and samples and help you pull together the right look
- Measure and plan out the space in real time
- Answer any and all questions to help you to confidently implement an amazing design
Availability is limited so secure your spot today for your Designer-for-the-Day or Walk Thru Design Consultation in 2023. These make great gifts for loved ones as well this coming holiday. Click below for more details. We can't wait help you elevate your space!
Spark your creativity and implement ideas with our SBD Studio Blog - The Spark. This is where we share with you our take on upcoming trends, favorite things, and even give you seasonal shoppable looks.* We can't wait to see how you incorporate these amazing ideas into your home. And please share your pics with us on Instagram @soniabarneydesign.