Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Monogrammed Bed: Make it Your Own

 

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“They really make things your own, elevating even the simplest item into something unique and distinct in our highly technical and impersonal world” – Cynthia Brumback, author of The Art of the Monogram.

 

When you enter your bedroom you should feel an extreme sense of comfort and warmth. It is one of the most important places in your home that exudes exactly who you are and what you like. In many bedrooms the actual bed is a very central point of focus, and a great technique for adorning your bed is to use a monogram style bedding. In fact, what could possibly make a room more “you” than to have your initials on display? (If you are unfamiliar with monogram etiquette, take a quick lesson here). Most monogram styles are heavily neutral allowing you endless possibilities to tie in amazing colors, textures and patterns throughout the rest of your sacred space.

 

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In her book, Cynthia Brumback relates the concept of the monogram with tradition. The presence of the monogram has been shown throughout time in fashion, on jewelry, and in the home.
 
The photo above shows a master bedroom designed by local interior designer, Kelly Proxmire which features a script monogram on a white bed spread. The turquoise color of the actual monogram is featured in the details throughout the remainder of the bedroom. The multitude of textures along with the monogram bring this gorgeous room to life.

 

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Like any perfect outfit, a bedroom needs accessorizing, and the best way to doll up your room to make it “you” is to use decorative items; such as throw pillows and blankets, an interesting head board or bed frame, color coordinating lamps on your night stand etc. Just as a necklace might be the perfect addition to your favorite spring dress, the details are what tie all of these rooms together.

 

The three photos above all show different styles of monogramming. In a shared master bedroom the monogram might be of a couples names, their shared last initial being in the center and the groom’s first initial on the left, and the bride’s first initial on the right. There are many options to chose from when it comes to font, whether your style be more classic, or whimsical, etc.

 

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Just as everyone wants their bedrooms to be warm, inviting, and comfortable that too is a major priority when we host guests. A guest room should feel accommodating, clean, and neutral. The guest bedroom should flow accordingly with the décor in one’s home. Using monogrammed bedding for our guests is a way of inviting them into the traditions of our families, similar to bringing out our finest dishes for a dinner party.

 

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These pops of pink and orange are amazing for a feminine interior showing a different twist on the monogrammed bed. The first photo uses a monogram solely on the pillow cases, the quiet in an otherwise busy room, and the second with a much smaller scale, not only on the pillow cases but on a folded over sheet as well.  Both of these styles are a very subtle way to add monogramming into your space without being too serious.

 

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In a more masculine setting, subdued color is the way to go. Needless to say, neutrals are perfect for when you want a bit of calm in your space. They transition very well if you want to change the color of the walls or floors, or any of your room’s smaller decorative items. Rooms like the two shown above use a very toned down color palette allowing the monogram on each bed to really stand out. It allows it to be a central focus.

 

In master bedrooms and guest rooms alike, the most common and practical ways to incorporate your monogram is to keep to a neutral bedspread. Allow the color of the monogram to be your pop, and to accent the walls and other decorative items in your space. When you are looking to design your perfect bed be sure to stop into The Kellogg Collection, and choose from one of the amazing brands they carry such as Peacock AlleySferraLegacyJane Wilner, Matouk and in addition to their many private label collections.

An Ode to Blue & White

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Timeless, classic and always pretty, blue and white might be our favorite seminal color combination. A staple in traditional decor, it seems as if almost anything pairs nicely with blue and white. And it’s one of the most livable color schemes, evoking a peaceful, elegant aesthetic that is hard to tire of.

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The versatility of blue and white is one of it’s strongest attributes. The two hues go well in any room. For example, its lovely in a bedroom evoking harmonious vibes, as seen in the slightly feminine bedroom top right. Conversely, the use of blue and white stripes works perfectly in the breezway pictured top left. The horizontal striped fabric used on the outdoor curtains is light, airy and almost whimsical.

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A master and long time fan of blue and white color schemes, American designer Charlotte Moss uses the combo all the time.

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Charlotte scrapbooks often and gathers her inspiration, making elaborate collages, all of which are on display in her recently published book Charlotte Moss: A Visual Life. Her ability to pair traditional blue and white toile patterns or chintz prints with more modern pieces creates the updated, English look she is known for. In the above bedroom, she not only does the bold thing of putting the bed smack dab in the middle, but also uses three different blue and white patterns including wallpaper and two different fabric prints. To finish it off, a blue velvet ottoman placed next to the bed, which has nice pops of pink.

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Of course, one of the most common instances of this color combination can be seen in porcelain and china wares. Collecting ginger jars has risen in popularity, we see them all over the decorating magazines. If you’re interested, you can read a full history of where these jars originate here, the short version being that the real antiques date back to the Tang dynasty and were made to hold ginger, the most valued spice. Hand painted in blue and white patterns, they come in all shapes and sizes, adding a touch of historical charm to any space they occupy.

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There’s nothing like pairing blue and white with creamy yellows. It’s just a pretty, happy color scheme. At home this works well, seen in the yellow, blue and white dining room above.
 
Like this pleasing look? Here’s how you can add some blue and white via The Kellogg Collection:

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Decorating Essentials: How to Hang Art

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Most decorators agree that a room does not come alive until art is hung. The character, style, and soul of a space absolutely depends on what goes on the wall. (Not to mention what is left off!) That said, art is always a tricky thing to hang. Where to place it can be figured out much more readily when you remember one important thing: Art is meant to be seen.
 
Above, the grouping of drawings is organically hung above a cream antique sofa. Via Tom Scheerer.

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When it comes to bold art, especially in terms of abstract paintings, hanging them in a prominent place with nothing else on the wall conflicting the eye is usually the most successful choice. Bunny Williams does this brilliantly in this golden yellow living room pictured above. Art that hangs over a piece of furniture should be close enough so that it feels apart of a single configuration.

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This look of including abstract paintings within the context of a more traditionally appointed room was mastered by the great American master of decoration, Billy Baldwin. For more on this approach, read this interesting history lesson via Jeffery McCullough’s blog.

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To a certain extent, there is an intuitive aspect to picture hanging. Don’t let it hang way, way up by the ceiling, and don’t let it hug the floor. And in terms of whether or not to go with an asymmetrical, salon style grouping (as shown above with Miles Redd’s bohemian, quite eclectic grouping of work) or a more traditional, symmetrical grid depends upon the nature of the room, not to mention the style you are trying to cultivate.

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Is there anything better than groupings of botanicals hung in a grid-like style?

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There’s an inherent visually pleasing quality that comes with symmetry. Above is a version of that with tulip prints sold at Kellogg, arranged in a grid. The result: a pleasant, almost serene aesthetic that is very livable.

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Sometimes grouping art based on a similar quality or color palette works, making sure to hang them in a visually pleasing way that is specifically not a grid. The common mistake in this type of grouping happens when you hang art so that the tops align. Instead, arrange artwork so it shares a center line.
 
(image credits: Shown first is native Washingtonian Lucy Jenkin’s dining room with gold leaf framed botanicals surrounding an oil portrait of a family member)

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Then, there is of course the art we display in a workspace, that is all about simply what inspires us. It’s hard not to be struck by this unique grouping that decorator Tom Scheerer has put together in his Manhattan office. Much of it are paintings he himself has made.
 
Bottom line: hang art in a way that will best allow you to enjoy it. And if your walls are bare, come to The Kellogg Collection to see what they offer.

Warmer Days Ahead

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Nothing says that Spring is coming quite like the first sight of a brightly colored bird against a cold grey landscape.  The contrast of this Goldfinch’s bright yellows against the greys of winter is such a welcome sight!

“Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.” -Victor Hugo

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A creative way to bring some warmth back into your home after a long cold winter is with the color yellow.  Yellow in many ways signifies sun, warmth, energy and happiness.  Cut forsythia in a rustic hanging basket makes a welcoming entrance for your guests.

 

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What better way to liven up an all white kitchen but with fresh forsythia, bowls of lemons and yellow tulips.

“How wonderful yellow is. It stands for the sun.” – Vincent Van Gogh

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The color yellow can be subtle and pretty like these painted beadboard walls and geometric dining room rug as shown in Traditional Home.  This cottage look is sure to make you wish for summer days at the shore.

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Accents of bright yellow bring energy into a room’s color scheme with accessories, lamps and throws.  Cheerful bouquets of fresh flowers add an invigorating touch.  That pop of color turns a traditional blue and white scheme into something young and chic.

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Legendary designer, Mario Buatta brought into his traditional design a splash of bold yellow with this whimsical canopy bed draped with a blue and white Ikat fabric. The yellow canopy lining gives this bedroom a wonderful glow.

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Local designer Mary Douglas Drysdale is famous for her crisp and classically designed rooms.  The yellow and white decor instantly translates to pure sunshine. Nobody does yellow as good as she does!

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Stop by The Kellogg Collection for a dose of sunshine to get you through these last few weeks of winter!  Our Astor chair shown above in a cheery geometric fabric will liven up any space!

Photos without credits are courtesy of House Beautiful.