Soooo…I’ve got this client who wished they had twelve foot ceilings, but alas. Their new Pacific Palisades home has a lower ceiling than they’d prefer. But, their designer is never daunted by a design challenge, so I’ve been brainstorming how to give them the fabulous home they always wanted (as I do) without major remodeling. And I thought some of you awesome blossoms out there might have a similar conundrum.
Eeek! What to do? Lots of things! Here is a list of a few low ceiling remedies that will help maximize your ceiling height…at least for your eyeballs.
1) If it’s really low…like here:
Just go with it. How completely inviting and cozy is this room? Paint all the walls, floor, and ceilings the same color and throw a sexy futon with Moroccan wedding blankets on the floor. I would love to be locked in that room for a week with a stack of poetry books and a guitar. Rock it like you lowered the ceiling on purpose. Shoot…I meant to do that.
2) Hang large scale vertical oriented art. Preferably in pairs or threes. Force the eye to travel up and down. It creates length visually.
You ask, “Like this, Jamie?”
And, I’m like, “Nice try! But not so much”
Check out this art installation I had commissioned for my clients lower level media room with lower ceilings.
She’s hilarious, so we’re generally laughing that much when seen together. But check the space: we’ve got frameless art the same background as the walls. We’ve got really low slung sofas, and extra tall sliding doors. The space feels nothing like cramped. It’s inviting and comfortable for her family of giants. Seriously, they’re all giants.
3) Focus on the floor
Make a big visual impact with the rug, and then the eye won’t notice that the low ceilings force it down. It’ll be delighted to rest there. Go bold! Go colorful! Big Prints are the key!
4) Ironically, the taller the headboard the better.
Again, anything that can make the eye travel in a vertical motion is key. Tall headboards are the easiest way to have the eye travel thusly, making the ceiling seem further from the ground. Look at these gorgeous examples:
Sidenote: This last one is seriously the bedroom of the week. The end tables are gold leaf perfection and available here (link).
See how all of the headboards veritably brush the low ceilings and yet no one is turned off by any of the architecture of these spaces?
5) Use long tall design accents. Tall thin trees, sculptures, and other design accents help to lengthen the walls.
I know right? Completely obsessable sculpture by Tomohiro Inaba. It’s called Legs. I’m smitten.
6) Use uplighting.
By now that you get anything that can force the eye to travel north is the trick. Light certainly does that as well. Triple whammy here is the tall tree in the corner, the very thin and tall lamp, and the light said lamp shoots upward.
Let me know if you’ve got any other tricky situations. I can probably help. Holla at your girl by leaving a comment here. Maybe I’ll do a blog post about it.
Let’s all agree to let our metals disagree! Mixing metals doesn’t have to be an art form only for the professionals. Mixing metal finishes in a bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, or anywhere adds depth and texture.
When clients tell me they need to “only use brushed nickel or stainless steel in our great room b/c our appliances are stainless steel”, I always got some ‘splainin’ to do. For beginners, start out mixing in some chrome legged barstools in your kitchen with those beautiful stainless appliances. And I do mean beginners. At the very least, create some texture in the same color family.
This next photo is not for beginners.
Whoa! This room is advanced and I am panting heavily at a lot of it.
First of all….grey and gold obvi go together like peanuts and butter, but this is on another level. The silver tall lamps pop so well off the gold wallpaper. The gold branch sconces actually melt into the wallpaper, so that they are providing less bling and more super yummy crunchy texture and architectural interest. Then the silver coffeetable with golden glass adornments gets a hearty high five as well. (Side note: my stepsie Claire says low fives are the new high five and she’s 18, so she’s cooler than all of us.) So…a mellow, indie low five then. The art is killing me softly with it’s song too. Zoom in on the layers of goopy metallic gold paint. I can’t get behind the use of all the same upholstery furniture, but the gold and silver toned ikat pillows let me forgive that over-match action.
Well played designer x. If this is your room, claim it. You were hiding in the internet somewhere. Take a bow. I’ve got a low five for you.
Walking into this kitchen, the first thing I’d say is “Your designer was not afraid. Wow.”. They’ve mixed a nickel vent hood and island lights with a dark bronze chandelier, but wait there’s more. That shiny brass hardware took some shiny brass b@lls. Two solidly low, smooth fives for that action. The effect is clean and bright with a somewhat vintage feel (two descriptors not normally seen partying together).
The effect of mixing metals is add a spot of unexpected. It’s like a grandmother’s giggle, a hiccup in the ocean, a diving hawk takes a loop-de-loop on the way to it’s prey.
Remember, kids. No rules. Except that there are no rules.
Love ya mean it,
When it comes to decorating long walls, I see a lot of faux pas out there. I felt today was a good day to put on my good Samaritan cape (read: my bossy pants) and help all of you with some great tricks I’ve picked up to correctly decorate large walls.
Trick number one: Art Walls.
Of course, this is not exactly breaking news. I almost decided I was over them and people should quit it, but there are tons of creative ways to display numerous art pieces. I did this for a gorgeous client in Pacific Palisades last year, and I still like it. She had all these pages from an antique art book, and we framed them all in a dainty gold frame for homogeny. The lithe gold étagère in the center helps break up the wall, and the ottomans below grounded it all, lending gravity.
Gotta have it? Buy the étagère here: http://www.edenla.com/component/virtuemart/?page=shop.product_details&flypage=vmj_softy.tpl&product_id=4198&category_id=39&keyword=etager )
I’m also still down with the now classic mish-mosh of modern art on an art wall, but I like some homogeny…like when all the art is framed in the same frame, for instance. Or when all the art has a recurring theme.
Like this dishy photo montage:
Speaking of dishy, can we all agree to stop doing this? Like forever ever?
Seriously. Let’s do other things, shall we?
I love Phillips Collection for quirky alternative wall decor. Check these out:
And alternative wall decor is only limited by you (and your designer’s) imagination.
Another way to create large scale wall decor is with fabric. I choose one or more corresponding patterns and then frame them with the same frame style. Fabric widths are usually 54” w, so 3 yards of fabric can go a long way to decorating a long wall.
My biggest go-to tip with decorating long walls is the use of tall plants. A well placed potted fig, dracaena marginata, or kentia palm can break up a wall length, effectively shortening the wall so that a console with a piece of art above doesn’t get lost in wall expanse.
(Obvi, doesn’t need to be holiday themed, but how nifty is this pic??)
I’ll leave you with one more tip/anecdote:
Anyone who knew me before I was designing for the Who’s Who is seriously cracking up right now at this picture. Why? B/c when I lived in my string of wonderful and cozy (read: crapshack next to a fire station) apartments in Hollywood and Austin, the first thing I’d do is finagle someone to help me hang a nature inspired wallpaper mural on the largest wall I had. Very much like the one above. It always helped me feel like I had a view of something other than Russian children or used cars. It only works if you have a pretty stark modern interior (for me it was: too broke and fabulous for very much furniture). Ahhh…good times.
I’ll leave you with this photo of pretty much perfect spatial placement of art and furniture. Hit me up with querries and comments.
It’s been months now, and this crush shows no signs of letting up. Fabrics that look like marble point to an era of unabashed glorious elegance. Plus, let’s make soft things that look like hard things bc in this fantastic can-do world of late, we can. And they’ll be fabulous.
So stony. So soft. Gotta get it.
Probably should’ve waited to post this until our barstools in this fabric arrived, but I get so jazzed! Stay tuned for an update with those.
These are actually marble, obvi, but what a gorgeous pic. Taken at the Mosque of Uqba in Kairouan, Tunisia. Thinking what I am? Roadtrip!
This custom hourglass ottoman has details for days. The double piping, single row of individual nailheads, angled block/taper legs, and of course, the marble trumps all of that. Great piece!
I know! Looks cozy, huh? But, this set of divinity from design house Cerruri Baleri only looks cold. It’s actually soft as silk….b/c it is!! Silk chairs that look like marble. What? yes. My heart swells and my eyes tear at the magnitude of fabulous. I’m a little verclempt. I gotta go.
Rowr! Yeah, you, Tiger!! Just Kidding. Seriously…animal prints don’t have to be bodacious. It’s not all Peg Bundy in the tasteful animal print world of décor. They can actually add a sense of intelligence and lots of texture to a space. Here’s top three reasons why we love Tasteful Animal Prints:
Animal prints can balance out blocks of solid color. In other words, your décor needs layers like you have them. You’re not a static being and neither should be your décor.
The use of tasteful animal prints proves that impeccable taste and a sense of fun are excellent bedfellows.
Animal prints can add a sense of global, world travelled, intelligentsia to an otherwise flat interior.
So, it’s not all about your trite “Wild Side” coming out. It’s about beautiful design full of textured layers. You, sexy beast, you. (wink)
The gorgeous souls at www.edenLA.com are available to help you help yourself to wildly beautiful interiors…with our without animal prints. Hit us up.
There are very few rules in interior design, but one guideline we always advise when trying to decide between two seemingly appropriate chandelier sizes: “ALWAYS GO WITH THE GRANDER!” That means, go big, dahlings! We have been wowed by many a space with a chandelier that was larger than one would think the space could accommodate. We’ve also gently nudged our wonderful clients to go big and be bold, many many times. The result is always more wow factor! A too small chandelier is the wet, limp handshake of the interior design world. And no one wants to live with a sodden, supplicant salutation hanging over them. So, go big, dahlings!! edenLA@edenLA.com if you need help!
The vision of a plush sofa veritably melting into the wall makes us melt. Monochromatic steps can take you to a very dramatic end result….if you’ve got the guts. Perhaps you don’t have bravery large enough to create an all red room, we get it. But using some of the monochromatic effects in your decorating can help a small space seem larger too. (and don’t you dare say “matchy matchy”….people say that way too much in general) Seriously, we teared up a little when we first saw this green room photograph (credit: www.inthralld.com). Let us know if you want to create an all navy blue den, or a powder pink power office. We are DOWN.
This gorgeous interior featured in this month’s Elle Décor (bottom photo) reminded me how great Cherry Blossoms can be for adding texture and height to a space. One of my clients in Brentwood has a gorgeous entry table with deco chairs that is missing something……(enter aha! moment here). All designers love those moments. Here’s to some gorgeous aha! moments for you!
We’ve been working a lot lately with upholstered furniture. It’s versatile and durable, can be used to cover doors, drawer fronts, or even entire dining tables. Next time you’re stuck with choosing what wood to use for a piece of custom furniture, think outside the tree. Furniture can be upholstered in any fabric, but we generally turn to a rich vegan leather. More and more fabric houses are coming out with them, but I love Duralee’s selection the most right now. Pearlized Ostrich? Dark Navy Anaconda? Embossed forest green croc? Yes please!