earlier today, i came across a post that lauren at pure style home wrote last january about defining personal style. i'd highly recommend reading it if you haven't already - it really got me thinking. since i started blogging about home decor at the end of the summer, i have learned so much - new designers, new terminology, new techniques, new ideas - and there is so much still to learn. i have spent a large part of these past few months drooling over crisp, light & airy neutral spaces - natural fiber rugs, linen upholstery, dingy white french and swedish antiques, light blue for miles - spaces full of these things always catch my eye. but i've come to realize that what i like to look at in a magazine and what works best for my home and lifestyle are not necessarily exactly the same. do i really want to spend so much energy fretting over whether my dog is at home sitting in my pretty chair while she chews her bone, or whether my dear, sweet, beloved husband is going to track mud all over my neutral rug? previous to reading that post, i was joking with a friend that what i really want to be in life is a kate spade - lilly pullitzer - martha stewart hybrid, and i had a revelation - what i truly enjoy in the design world are bold patterns, bright colors and unique pieces. why should i dress my house any differently than how i dress my body? my daily outfits always include a big, bold necklace or chandelier earrings and pops of bright color in scarf of shoe form. i feel pretty confident in my ability to put together a cute outfit - part preppy and traditional, part trendy and fun, part artsy and bohemian. must this style philosophy stop with my personal accessories? i think not. and here is why:
hilary thomas. new design crush.
hilary was the "get inspired" designer profile on my one kings lane home page today, and she immediately caught my eye because she was wearing an outfit that could have come out of my closet:
and her interiors are no less festive. (speaking of things i like, the word "festive" is one. i use it frequently to mean "pretty, fun, awesome, etc") she uses more asian inspiration than is my personal style, but overall i find her extremely inspiring. let's journey through some of her portofolio, shall we?
i love the window treatments, the mixture of fabrics on the couch, the side table and the sparkle of the mirrored tray:
in another view of that same room, i can see that we have similar taste in rugs. this rug nicely echoes the window treatments in a smaller scale. and i adore the bright pink and green upholstery (captain fantastic is starting to sweat right now - don't worry dear, i don't plan to cover our living room chairs in magenta):
i'm not crazy about the specific colors or patterns here, but i like the way the pieces work together: contrast piping on the couch, festive (there it is again) light fixture, gorgeous paned windows and door in a bold color:
and in another view of the room, you can see the oversized ottoman with fabulous nailhead detail used as a coffee table. i am obsessed with nailhead patterns like this:
shut up, i have been planning to make shams like these for my bed for months. and that suzani-esque window fabric is so fun:
this is the first room of hers that i saw, and it practically jumped out of the computer and smacked me upside the head. it's the pink drapes. and the turquoisey couch. and the oblong sunburst mirror. and the gorgeous cream chairs. and those yellow flowers. say it with me now, FESTIVE:
again with the pink and turquoise, and i am obsessed with a) louis xvi chairs b) dining chairs with a different accent fabric on their back. the crown molding with the crenulated detail (do you call it that when it's not a medieval castle fort? whatev) is my fave, and the chandy is just so enormous and fun:
this little stool KILLS me. love it. and the octagonal artwork? and the light fixture? so. many. awesome. details.
more details - greek key mirror frame! textured vase in yummy color! gilded, glass-topped console table! natural light! can you handle it?!?!
i love the geometric detail of these chairs. and those walls remind me of a fabulous project that my friend mrs. jones is doing:
ok, too much chinoiserie here for me really, but i still love these pieces. and the natural wood tone with the gilded mirror and turquoise lamps and orange stools is so unexpected and fun:
i want to upholster something in the fabric of this couch. holy goodness, i heart trellis/harlequin/checked/gingham/plaid/etc. the side table is similar to the piece that inspired my console table makeover. and the gilded rams' heads coffee table, geezeohpete. i love stuff like that:
i think this is the other side of that room. i love that chandy, those ferns, the ottoman-as-coffee-table, the pillow patterns, and even that crazy metal palm tree arrangement:
another of her more neutral spaces, in color scheme but not in boldness of accessories and patterns. fun lighting, great upholstery, and the big, bare windows make this room almost feel like it's outside:
i want to make out with this vignette (or vin-yay, or vinagrette, if you're c-fan and can never remember how to pronounce things). it's the boxwood balls. and the wall color. and the starburst mirror. and the detailed chair. yum.
again, i love the bright pops of color in this one, and the fringe on the lampshade, and that plaid table skirt, and the 2010 pantone color of the year:
same room, wider view. unique artwork. great coffee table shape. love the armchair and the garden stool. and the dog. can't you just imagine this room before hilary got a hold of it? i bet it had dark stone and dark paneling on the walls and ceiling, but a coat of paint and some great furnishings totally brought an outdated space into this century. love it:
another view of that room. i love the textiles on the couch and all the turquoise accents. you can see my boyfriend vignette in the background, looking super handsome. hey there, hot stuff (wink, wink):
i just love hilary's use of bright colors and unique pieces. all of these rooms look totally liveable to me too, like you can appreciate their aesthetic beauty and their everyday function at the same time. in her one kings lane list of tips, hilary said she really likes to mix the high and the low, and she loves to work around pieces that her client already has and loves. sounds like my kind of girl.
and don't even get me started on her line of children's bedding.
hilary thomas totally inspires me on the road to defining my personal style. howsabout you?