13 July 2010

Contrast: Maybe a decorator's favorite word?

If I look at most of the homes I have saved in the past couple of years, I can see one common thread in almost all of them--Contrast!!

I find myself saying all the time, "No, I think we need to pair something modern with this one since we have an antique there."  Or..."an ornate-baroqueish mirror will go so well with the rustic, beat-up console."   Even..."we have that wall filled with white, wooden simple frames...how about some drama with the lighting?"

I returned the suede stools and got these (cheaper!) silver ones.  Really durable and will wipe clean.  Also, hey...they contrast with the feminine beachy thing I have going on here.  A little tacky, even...but that is okay.

Chris said, "You are going psychedelic on me.  I think you need to put on some go-go boots and dance on 'em."

I could try it.  I have been told in my former life that I had a slight resemblance to Heather Graham.

via movies.yahoo.com

me, in my former life (pre-kiddo) with my mom.  Don't you have like three pictures where you actually like how you look in them?  Well, this is one of them.  This is before I ever even had to get highlights.

Here is after kids.

don't let this scare you, preggers out there.  I have been told we will sleep again.

Back to post:

I love contrast!  Borderline obsession with it, perhaps.  I love black with white, modern with vintage, high-gloss with chipped paint, tacky with classic.  I think it gives a room more "layers and texture"--more decorator words.  Contrast does give a room more "interest"  (yet another).  It does seem to make the room more fun--more to look at--more collected overtime.  Am I alone in this, or do you find yourself mixing everything?  

Here are some more examples of contrast.  A little eye candy for your Wednesday!

I love the country-ish vertical boards with the "fancy" mother-of-pearl lotus pendant
our master bath

the lucite stool, the antique table, the ornate mirror--triple contrast!
via Traditional Home

the simple white pedastal sink, the black tables--the simpleness of the sink with the funkiness of the mirror and wallpaper.  Love!  (unknown credit)

The cushions and the long stems may look overdone in a colorful room...but these work (for me) because they are in a white, simple room, the table has an unfussy cotton tablecloth and the chairs are clearly vintage Tolix chairs (these look like they were really in a French bistro in 1926!)  sheer perfection in contrasts
(unknown again)

again, the basic tub and pedestal sink pair so well with the high-contrast of the espresso walls and driftwood mirror.  Not too much for me here...just enough
(I think Cottage Living)

from notebookmagazine.com
For me, this pendant would not work with a fancy mirror and elaborate console.  This works with the simple schoolhouse door, white symmetrical gallery of art, and plain stool.

And here, in my client's home (this is still beginning stages of change), I said, "I love the iron and marble table and I love the mercury glass lamps...but I think we either need to move the lamps to the dining room with some wood, or change out these frames to white or natural frames."  Wouldn't it take away the "fanciness"?

Thanks for reading and for joining me in my daily musings and daydreaming.   Please check out CSN store's collection for home decor.  They do have some stuff I really do like, and they even have a bathroom sink! A giveaway from CSN is coming to you readers this week

One more thing...thank you Brooke for posting about my blog.  You were the first design blog I ever read...and I still love it!  Blueprint Bliss
All the best, Julie


  1. You crack me up! First of all, the before and after couldn't be more true!! Love it. Second, I couldn't agree w/you more about contrast. The other day I read a post where the designer was saying her client wanted her room to be more matchy match. And, the designer was trying to convince her to mix it up. I don't understand why people would want everything to match?? I am constantly looking for ways to mix things up!! Great post - keep them up!

  2. i love to mix everything up too!

  3. The mixing is a hard but necessary part. You have to make it look like you weren't trying to hard you know? Great post!

  4. I totally agree, LOVE contrast too. Although I don't always achieve that look. And love the photos of you in mommy mode, mind little ones are a few weeks away from 4 and I am finally getting some life back.

  5. I really like the contrast and mixing. All the pictures of your home showcase that so well. Very interesting to look at!

  6. I love your post! You actually just made me finalize a purchase I had been contemplating. In our house right now we have too much modern and I am liking the mix of classic, modern, and some rustic texture. I think it is all about balance. I love your blog!

  7. Julie, I agree! The beauty is in the mix (and I love your new cubes!)

  8. ok you have my dying with the pics of you- i SO feel the same way- i have like 3 i like and the rest are - well, they stay off my blog ;) ;)

    BUT you still look gorgeous and snap a woman any day in her turban towel and i bet it's not her fav pic! ;)

    and totally agree about contrasts--- they make it so much more interesting