Sexy, sultry, soft…   . It’s Fabulous with a capital F…… it’s FUR!


Fur has long been a part of our homes.  Weather it’s part of our apparel, or a rug, or a throw blanket, a little bit of fur will go a long way.  Take a look at these great pictures.  Just one simple piece can make all the difference.

Jan Showers

 

West Elm- Mongolian Lamb Pillow Covers

In full vogue, West Elm’s Mongolian Lamb pillow covers definitely make a statement.  They’re fun and casual, yet are glamorous and chic at the same time.

Horchow Adrienne Landau Fur Pillows and Throw

Sally Wheat’s home featured in Cote de Texas’ “Stalking the Wheats- Part III”

Restoration Hardware- Faux Fur Throw

I just love my Restoration Hardware faux fur throw.   Sinking into its luxurious folds is the best way to spend a cold dark evening next to the fireplace with a good book and a glass of wine.

Target- Home Fur Toss Pillow

Check out these awesome fur toss pillows from Target!  Totally trendy, and affordable for any budget!





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Lately, I’ve been decorating a lot of clients’ stairways in funky, eclectic patterns that will make the entryways of their homes pop! If you want to snaz up your stairs and create a bold look, a runner in any pattern can do the job.

I prefer to use a natural material (like sisal) when the client wants something textural, muted, inexpensive and versatile for the future.  Alternatively, if the client wants something with a unique pattern, durability, softness, and doesn’t mind spending more, a long lasting wool is nice.

Looking for a runner yourself? Take a look at these options- hopefully they will help you decide what look is best for your home!

Geometrics-

You can never go wrong with a bold geometric print.  Using a geometric for your stair runner is most desirable in neutrals (black and white, etc) because a bright color paired with a bold pattern, might be a leetle too crazy for something so permanent.

 

Chevron-

This trendy print would look great as a runner but I have yet to find a source for it! Anyone out there know where to find something like this?

Stripes-

Stripes are always classic and never go out of style.  I prefer wide stripes myself, but of course you don’t want to go too wide with your stripes, as your stairs are only so wide.

Animal prints-

Zebra, leopard, cheetah, antelope, you name it.  I LOVE a good animal print as a stair runner..and by good, I mean “not a nylon”.  Recently I went looking for an animal print stair runner and the nylons looked really cheesy to me, but the wool versions were heavenly! Jan Showers always makes the animal printed stair runner look super classy.

Natural

I adore a good natural runner…more specifically, Stark’s diamond sisal.

If you don’t want the pattern (or want something less pricey), a regular sisal will work just fine too (with or without the thick binding on the edges)

Solid with Banding

I love this clean, graphic look.  This is a great look for someone who wants to avoid getting too trendy.  Also, the darker background will wear really well for high traffic areas.

Washable/Uber Durable

Dash and Albert makes super durable rugs that can be made into runners.  They even have a diamond pattern that resembles the diamond sisal.

Just Plain Funky

Peacock! Enough said.





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We are currently working on a guest bedroom where we are specifying black silk drapes- oh the luxuriousness!   I know, not your typical drapery color, but I promise you black drapes can look tres chic and really add some drama to a space!

I’ll let you in on a little secret…the key to doing black drapes the right way is to pair them with white walls.  This ensures that they are the exclamation point in the room (and also that they don’t get too dark and dreary) Another way to achieve black drape success is to pair them with black and white graphic prints, metallics, and if you do color, only do tiny pops of color- or your room may end up looking like a bad black and white college dorm room.

 {In Style Magazine}

 {Rue Magazine}

 

 {Darryl Carter}

 {Made by Girl}

 

{Vogue}

{Elle Decor}

If custom black drapes are too much of a commitment for you and you just want to inexpensively experiment with them, we have the perfect source for you HERE.

So, have we convinced you to run out and purchase your first set of black drapes? I promise you won’t regret it!





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The opening ceremonies for the 2012 Summer Olympics, was indeed quite a show.  We certainly enjoyed watching all the festivities, especially the Queen’s awesome entrance into the stadium! Another great highlight was watching the parade of champions.  This year’s summer games ushered in some fantastic inspiration from fashion.  Fashion can be a marvelous muse for creating an unforgettable interior space.  Here are some of our favorite inspirations from this year’s Summer Games:

Cobalt, Orange & White: Holland

 

 

This year, Holland totally rocked their bold color pallet of cobalt, orange, navy, and white.  Each athlete was exquisitely tailored in these designer outfits.  A wonderful touch and homage to their homeland’s national flower, can be seen here with a tulip pinned to each athlete’s lapel.  These colors are a fresh and trendy way to spice up any interior.  The contrast that these colors make next to each other creates a statement that is sure to impress.

Mixing patterns with these exciting  colors works well, and adds even more look to this stimulating mix of hues.

These deep navy walls with accents of orange is striking and at the same time, elegant and fun.

This luxurious cashmere blanket by Hermes is a definite must have statement maker.  The unmistakable, classic Hermes orange and white will not go unnoticed!  Also, these orange and cobalt painted vases would be fabulous on any mantle.

Aqua, Sunshine Yellow, & White: Sweden

Sweden’s athletes were definitely noticed at this year’s opening ceremonies.  Their bright yellow and aqua stripes with white pants were definitely “spot on” for summer fashion.  Even their sneakers made a statement, blue with yellow laces. Great attention to detail.

This delicious dining room makes great use of yet another bold color pallet.  Beautiful,bright bamboo chairs in a cheery lemon yellow are definitely a focal point.  The black accents of the doors and the chevron pattern rug help add a touch of chic to this fun dining space.

Add some colorful light and sparkle to your space with this amazing yellow chandelier from Cyan.  This piece brings fun antique whimsy with its classic shape that is sure to liven up any space.

Check out this brightly colored room! The yellow sofas and bright blue pillows are festively summer, and help give this room its own signature look.

Kelly Green & White: Nigeria

Take a look at these fabulous white and green outfits worn by Nigerian Olympic competitors.  Kelly green makes a luscious color statement against bright white.

This gorgeous green upholstered head board transforms this bedroom into a tropical retreat.  The simple bedding with a classic green stripe is simple and refined, making a calm compliment to the statement making headboard.  The bedside lamps with a clear glass base add interest to the room, without taking away from the clean, crisp feel of the space.

Another clean color pallet of green and white makes this living room feel swank.  The modern floor lamp and glass top cocktail table make this space feel expensive, without going over-the-top.

The metallic accent pillows and chrome side table really adds some glamour and flash to this tropical living room.  The palm tree is also a great touch of natural color.  We also like the white cow-hide rug turned on an angle under the cocktail table.  Definitively chic and modern!

Red, White & Blue: U.S.A

Who better than to dress our American Athletes than Ralph Lauren? This classic American preppy look was a fantastic representation of fashion directly from the USA.  Navy blazers, white trousers and knee length skirts with berets and ties definitely has an Ivy League spin.  Feel like standing up straight and saluting the flag?  With and outfit like this, I sure do!

Using red judiciously is key in this bedroom.  Red is a powerful color, and helps define the headboard, bedding and bench.  The gold pendant fixture definitely adds a designer touch to the room.

Adding adventurous patterns makes these living rooms come alive.

This patriotic painted chest with gold accents demands attention.  Finding unique furniture such as this, really adds a great deal of character to any room, and is sure to serve as a conversation piece!





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We had the great opportunity to recently interview HGTV’s Design Star winner, Danielle Colding! I’d been following Design Star season seven ever since it began and was on pins and needles at the end to see who was going to take home the title.  Ultimately, Danielle’s name was called and ever since, her whole life has changed! Read to find out how this former professional modern dancer ended up with her own show and a Design Star title to boot!

Q: How did you get started in Interior Design? Did a specific situation spark your interest?

A: There wasn’t a specific situation that sparked me going down the interior design career path. But, when I look back home design is always something that’s been a part of my life. I grew up doing home repairs and changing rooms around with my mother on a regular basis….  And we loved to shop! When I decided to move on from my career in dance, I kept coming back to design as something I would love to do every single day. When I was contemplating a new career, I focused on choosing something I was passionate about, something that constantly changed (I hate to be bored), and something that forced me to grow and learn new things regularly. The chance to travel and shop all the time didn’t hurt either!

 

A Place to Lounge

 

Q:How long have you been a designer and what is your personal design style?

 A:I have been a working designer for eight years… gulp! My personal style is pretty eclectic with a definite bent towards the classic and elegant. In general, I love modern and traditional furnishings with clean lines and elegant detailing, accented by global and contemporary accessories and art. For me, it’s all about layering and mixing it up. I have always resisted defining my style in one catch phrase because I have been exposed to so many different styles that I love and always want my designs to evolve and respond to the project at hand with new eyes.

 Q: How did you go about getting on the show?

A: I was encouraged by friends to try out for the show. They insisted that I could do well but to tell you the truth I wasn’t so sure. I never thought of myself as a public figure and didn’t know how I’d fair in front of the camera. During the audition process my mother was in the hospital at the end stages of her fight with cancer, so in many ways I simply felt I had nothing to lose. I went to the open call and it escalated from there. It just felt like everything lined up perfectly for me to have this experience on Design Star. And I’ve never looked back.

 

Complete Kitchen Makeover

 

Q: What were the best and most difficult parts about being on the show?

 A: The best part of being on the show was being in a very creative environment. All we did was design 24/7. The other great part of the experience was being with the other designers. I was shocked by what a supportive environment it was and how we all helped each other out. And, we laughed non-stop which really helped keep us sane. The hardest part was the sheer intensity of being in a competition AND making a TV show at the same time. It was non-stop. We did not have any time off and had to just keep producing and being creative. There were times that we just wanted a day to sleep or veg… but in the TV world that just wasn’t possible.

Q: How did you feel when they called your name as the winner of HGTV’s Design Star?

A: I still pinch myself thinking about that moment. It was truly a dream- confetti fell from the sky, a studio of people smiling at me with expectation, and a rush of emotions from shock and awe to gratitude and sadness. It was absolutely incredible. I had thought through both possible outcomes but really was not prepared for the experience of winning. It’s just not something you can fathom until it happens.

Dark and Moody

Q: How has your life changed after winning HGTV’s Design Star?

A:  The funny part was that initially my life didn’t change very much. After Design Star ended, I couldn’t tell anyone anything about my experience or the outcome. It was a strange let down because I had this amazing secret that I had to keep completely to myself. Once I finally started shooting Shop this Room, the real change came about. My life became different because my career became different. I went from being a full time designer to being a TV personality who happens to shoot a design show. And unlike being a working designer, it’s not all about the design. It’s about shooting a show that is interesting and entertaining and brings something new to the table. From that perspective, it’s a whole new world. And…. I can finally talk about my experience! Woo hoo!

Q: You’ve started filming your new show, Shop This Room- what can we expect from the show in the future?

A:  I am so excited about Shop This Room. It is a reflection of my design approach and who I am as a person and a designer. The show focuses on my life as a New York interior designer and my approach to designing highly personalized spaces. It’s about finding inspirational items- that speak to the home owners in some way- and designing spaces around them. The viewer gets an inside view into where I like to shop, my design process of developing a design plan, and the artists and craftsmen I work with on a regular basis. And we have a blast shooting- I have such a great team. Design should be fun and we try to bring that to the show as much as possible.

Dramatic Vignette

Q:  What is your favorite space you’ve designed so far?

A: Whoa that’s a hard one. There is one on my show I absolutely love but cant talk about that just yet…. You’ll have to be patient and watch all five episodes!

I would have to say my favorite space I’ve designed is a home I have been working on for about one and a half years. It’s a gorgeous colonial house in Westchester and it just feels like the design has evolved over a lifetime. The thing that’s great is that every room is different and tells its own story. My client is one who is amazing to work with. She is thrilled by beautiful things and has a passion for art. We push each other to make the house as incredible as it can be. I simply love it!

Q: In your opinion what element should a room have to give it a designer look?

 A: What I love to do in every space is focus on the decorative accessories. I love creating small vignettes by pairing decorative accessories with practical items. Creating moments in a room where interesting things are paired together with a focus on scale and textural interest achieves a designer look. Bookshelves and console tables are places to go wild!

 

Modern and Minimal

Q: Our blog is called Material Girls so of course we have to ask you what is your material of choice?

A: That’s a great question. All the materials I’m drawn to in my work are natural elements. Its so hard to pick a favorite since I’m an equal opportunity material lover. But to answer, finally, I will say Belgian linen- I love it! Printed, plain, glazed… I don’t care. It is elegant and relaxed at the same time- the feeling I love to create in my work.

Q:  What trends do you see coming to the forefront of design in the upcoming seasons?

A: The trend that I see and love is the willingness for people to take risks with the spaces they inhabit. Design has become such a part of our lives I think people realize that an overly designed, matchy matchy space is not desired. Instead being a collector of beautiful things over a lifetime is the goal. I like that this quirky approach to design is catching on and people are inspired to make their homes reflect who they are.

 

Multi-Use Living Room

Good luck Danielle on your future endeavors! Us Material Girls (and boys) will keep a look out for your upcoming HGTV show, Shop This Room!

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