My favorite Saturday morning activity is to curl up in bed with a large cup of coffee and a stack of magazines, catalogs, or a favorite design book and take my time ogling over the design details that spark inspiration. Growing up, I saved every catalog and magazine and obsessed over these details, so this is no new past time for me. But as I get more familiar with interior design, gardening, and the art of styling, I realize I’m less inspired by the sum of the parts of a space and more transfixed by the nuances that stand apart. I’m re-teaching myself to be more in the habit of honing in on those subtle details that, in my opinion, make a room graduate from average to magical.
This weekend, I came across this West Village duplex in the latest issue of Elle Decor and found so many thoughtful details I’m filing away for future projects I’d love to execute in my own dream home — and while each room doesn’t scream “my style,” there were many small moments that drew my attention. I thought it might be fun to share them here…and maybe even a little therapeutic to spill some of my general thoughts of late.
Let’s start with this living room. In general, I feel pretty tired of this Mario Bellini sofa (above) starring in every editorial living room, and candidly, I’ve been making a very deliberate effort lately to try to detach myself from the homogeny of interiors that have dominated social media imagery and invaded my own sense of style. In the last several months, I started looking around my house and feeling annoyed that so much of the home I was creating felt like a regurgitation of so many things I had let settle into my head as “good design” because it was what my eyeballs were seeing inundated with on social media.
In fact, you may (or may not) have noticed that I’ve really pulled away from Instagram and social apps these past few months…I’m spending way less time creating posts and stories, and even more so, nearly zero time scrolling through IG at all. And I have to say, it’s been really freeing for my creative spirit. I’ve seen more and more that I lost a sense of what I am drawn to organically versus what felt on trend in the digital world. And I’m craving getting back in tune with my own distinct point of view…then embracing and leaning into it.
So what does that have to do with the image above? I saw that photo and could immediately identify that the room as a whole didn’t inspire me much…but when I looked a little further and let my eyes linger, there were details that I loved. The curved arms of the pair of upholstered chairs. The unexpected sleek chrome coffee table in an otherwise sea of earthy beige. Recognizing and appreciating those two elements alone were worthwhile in retraining my eye to hone in on what speaks to me.
Since moving into our house, I’ve learned how powerful the right paint color can be in doing the heavy lifting of creating the right tone (pun intended) to each room. I’ve also learned that finding the right paint color is HARD. What looks amazing in one person’s home can look entirely different in your own because so many factors impact the cast of hues. Artificial vs. natural lighting ratios, the tones of your own floors and furnishings, the juxtaposition against the trim color, and more can throw off the over and undertones of what looks like the perfect neutral on a paint chip versus one’s walls. This wall color above? It’s the dragon I’m always chasing: a warm but light neutral with peachy undertones that carefully don’t veer too pink or yellow.
The marble shelves next to the textured subway tile with it’s thin line of grout is beautiful, and that aged wood framed artwork pushes the whole vignette to perfection for me. Chef’s. Kiss.
Elegant custom millwork with simple flush-mount globe lights provide such an understated luxury to this wardrobe. Is the blue carpet for me? No. The green chair or the arched sconces? No again. But it’s about teasing out the details that speak to you and looking past the noise of the whole room.
The soft sheer roman shades over the that black-framed steel window gives such a perfect touch of romance to this stairwell. Don’t you just want to rub your face against that fabric? No? Too weird? I do.
A lot of the artwork in this home really spoke to me, but in particular, the contract of that vibrant, rich kelly green against that peachy-toned beige wall – wow. Love.
I’ll end with the image I led with, which was my favorite from this home tour: the tall, somewhat sparse bamboo shoots (I’m guessing?) in that container create such a lovely backdrop to that outdoor space, I am literally drooling. 1000% cataloged in my brain as a must do one day.
Cheers to the details and seeing past the forest to appreciate the trees.