June 2012

I was clipping out of magazines some favorite looks from the ‘Renovation Style’ and ‘Kitchen and Bath’ Special Publications the other day, consolidating them into a master inspiration file and I noticed that the bathrooms that stood out to me even years after publication had incorporated finishes and elements that withstood the test of time.  From my observations I’ve compiled six tips for ensuring timeless bathroom design in your next bathroom remodel.

Layers of White. There’s no question that a healthy dose of white makes a space feel cleaner, and where else could that design truth make more sense than in a bathroom.  Painted beadboard and ceramic white finishes will always project a timeless quality as seen in the spaces below.

classic white beadboard and subway tile bathroom bhg

classic white subway tile and vanity bhg

Dark Wood Tones.   The use of stained wood has been around as long as we can remember, and a deep walnut or espresso finish, when paired with crisp white, will communicate warmth as well as provide rich contrast.

espresso vanity brown curtain blue walls bhg

espresso open vanity bhg

Historic Finishes.  Marble has been used for centuries in kitchens and bathroom design and as a recognized natural stone it is always a beautiful choice for floors, walls, and countertops.  Limestone also falls into this category as do modern versions of clean solid surfaces that mimic the look.  Notice how the addition of a freestanding bathtub also adds a gracious quality to this soothing retreat.

white tile and cabinets bhg


White towels on a ladder used as a unique display complement the warm travertine tile installed in a simple grid pattern in both large and small scale in this bathroom with European appeal.

travertine tile bathroom bhg

A white pedestal sink is a classic choice as are sleek chrome or nickel finishes.  Temper the coolness in the metal with warm woods found in the mirror and infuse rich contrast with ebonized floors.

  pedestal sink chrome finishes bhg

White subway tile is a no fail choice for tiling walls in showers, or when used as a wainscot treatment around the surround of the bathroom.

white subway tile in shower bhg


Vintage Appeal.   Using pieces from the past not only adds personality but also ensures the design choices will still have appeal in the future, just like the antiques used to form the vanities seen below.  Modern vessel sinks installed above bring the old world pieces into the modern century.

antique console as bathroom vanity bhg


salvaged vanity bathroom console bhg


Water Colors.   In home remodeling, many people seek to transform their bathroom into a soothing oasis to give them a spa-like retreat.  Choosing colors associated with the colors of water in beautiful blues or greens will capture that feeling.

   blue glass bathroom wall tile bhg


blue mosaic glass bathroom tile

Built-In Storage.   In many older homes, you’ll find great architectural details and elements like recessed alcoves in a bathroom.  Mimic the look in your bathroom by stealing space from the wall or an adjacent closet to include the same convenient storage solution.

recessed shelf in bathroom bhg

 built in storage in bathroom bhg

Bold But Temporary.    It’s perfectly fine to use your favorite colors in your bathroom design, whether that’s a lime green or vivid orange, but to preserve the timelessness of a bathroom, it’s best to use those bold colors in a temporary way such as the paint color on the walls or the accessories chosen for the space.

It’s easy to repaint and switch out the accessories in future years but it’s a much more serious home improvement project to remove tile and replace sinks or flooring. Keeping this in mind, make your bold color choices ones that can later be changed to a different palette.

white tile green wall bathroom bhg

The same is true for fabrics.  The choice to use a graphic print on the window panels makes this bathroom feel very fresh and modern, but it also allows the homeowner to easily change that decorative element if they should choose to do so in the future.

white subway tile bathroom bhg


A timeless bathroom is one that includes materials that will withstand the test of time over the decades.  Choose tile, flooring, cabinetry, and fixtures that possess real authenticity, clean lines or traditional shapes and classic finishes, and you’ll enjoy a space that will add beauty and value to your home for years to come.



It’s hard to ignore the popularity of Ikat textiles in home decor and interior design this year, and this global pattern is appearing everywhere in large and small scale, from rugs to furniture to accessories.

The word Ikat (pronounced “ee-cot”) means “to tie” or “to bind” and comes from the unique method of weaving that creates the iconic pattern.  It requires first tying off the threads in bundles before dyeing them, and then later weaving the cloth together on the loom using a weft, warp, or double Ikat method.  In modern times, the motif is created through either woven or printing methods, and is readily available in any color palette of choice.


ikat chair bhg


The characteristic markings of Ikat introduce a global vibe into the home.  The trademark motifs were brought over from the east centuries ago and they’ve been embraced by westerners ever since.

Many retails now offer furnishings upholstered in Ikat such as sofas, slipper chairs, and ottomans.  For custom work, there are dozens of textile designers that offer their own unique patterns and colorways, and it plays well with other fabrics, especially stripes and solids.


ikat red chairs bhg


If you’re feeling bold, introduce Ikat into your home with an upholstered headboard, sofa, or chair, and if not, it’s equally fabulous used in smaller doses, including pillows, trays, and dishes.


ikat pillows

Here are a few of my favorite pieces large and small now available for the home!


centsational style ikat for the home

From top left: Island Ikat Wallpaper, Thibaut; Green Plug In Chandelier, Lamps Plus, $130; Robert Allen Raspberry Ikat, Fabric.com, $23/yd; Annette Tatum Diamond Teal, Fabric.com, $9/yd; Raspberry Ikat Pillow, Sheridan French, $198; Nesting Bowls, C Wonder, $58; Window Panel, Urban Outfitters, $20; Adler Melamine Tray, Macy’s, $48; Eco Blanket, Wayfair, $115; Kenza Dinnerware, Z Gallerie, $48 (four plates); Ikat Boxes, Wayfair, $150; Citrine PIllow, Dwell Studio, $80;  Ikat Chair, World Market, $180; Photo Frames, Layla Grace, $30;  Glass Tray World Market, $5; Set of Four Placemats, Williams-Sonoma, $49; Rebecca Sofette, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, $1,495; Bliss Ottoman, West Elm, $549; ‘6 x 9’ Safaveih, Lamps Plus, $649; 7’ x 9’ Light Blue Rug, Rugs USA, $492

Are you a fan of the Ikat pattern, and have you used it in your home?


The entry is that place where we come into our homes and apartments at day’s end, where we drop the keys, take off the coat, toss the mail, and even kick off the shoes.

Smart entries are equipped with organizational solutions that meet the needs of the residents, but there’s no need to sacrifice style.  The entry is a first impression, so it’s an opportunity to make a statement about your home, and also include sensible solutions that make the daily transition into the world and easier one.


blue mirror antique table bhg


A narrow entry table is a practical choice because it allows for traffic flow and is also a place to set your keys, mail, and phone on a daily basis.  There are many options available, from demilunes to console tables, and so many style choices from antique to rustic to painted finishes.


demilune console entry bhg



What you place on or hang above the table is up to you but consider that your entry is the place to showcase personal art, photographs, display house plants or flowers, or hang organizational tools like pinboards and chalkboards.  A tray to corral mail is always useful and stylish too.


yhl console entry benches bhg


A place to sit and remove shoes is always handy, whether that’s a bench or a simple chair.  Hooks for coats and hats provide a functional place to hang frequently worn outerwear.


bookcase entry bhg


Your entry storage solution is also an opportunity to display meaningful accessories too – notice how this entry maximizes the vertical space with modular stacked cubes that hold books and collectibles.


modular entry bhg

Looking to introduce beautiful form and function into that valuable square footage in your own entry?  Here are a few of my style picks!



entry style and storage collage



From top left:  Reclaimed Wood Key Hook, Urban Outfitters, $24; Lacquer Tray, West Elm, $30; Soda Fountain Hook, Anthropologie, $28; Wall Mount Mail Holder & Key Rack, Buy.com, $16; Present Time Hat Rack, Amazon UK, $11£;  Ocean Mosaic Mirror, Pier 1, $150; Rustic Console, West Elm, $399; Entry Pinboard, Pottery Barn, $159; Leather Storage Cube in Fern, Crate + Barrel, $169; Rugby Stripe Bin, Container Store, $15; Stackable Modular Storage, Linens N Things, $132; Jerald Console, Clayton Gray, $1,260; Campaign Storage Bench, Serena & Lily, $375; Coventry Storage Bench, Ballard Designs, $739; Demilune Entry Table, JustEntryFurntiture, $160; Naples Hall Tree, EFurnitureMart, $342,


What furniture or storage solutions work best in your entry?



When I was a kid, my mom served us dinner on the same octagonal shaped white plates for ten years. They were both a shapely and sensible choice, allowing the homemade meal to shine.  I suppose I can trace my affection for white ceramics to those early days and I’ve been a collector since I had my first apartment. 

What I love about white ceramic objects is go with simply everything. They’re available from decades past in the form of milk glass or ironstone, and in our modern times from retailers who offer sculptural versions for practical and decorative use.  When stacked on shelves backed with color, they’re shapely forms become an artistic display.


white ceramics orange painted back bhg


blue beadboard white ceramics bhg


White ceramics will always stand out against a dramatic backdrop like this bright wallpaper hung in a cheerful breakfast nook. 


white ceramics on shelf bhg


Stored inside a black painted armoire, pitchers, cake plates, and tureens await the next round of entertaining, whether casual or formal.   


black armoire white ceramics bhg



Looking for some shapely or unique beauties to add to your home?  Here are a few favorite picks!


white ceramics for the home

From top left: Filigree Urn, Z Gallerie, $100; Ceramic Berry Basket, Sur La Table, $5; Dog Ceramic Bookends, DCG Stores, $34; New Wave Sugar Bowl, Macys, $23; Haviland Vase, Home Decorators, $79; Silhouette Bud Vases, Wisteria, $39; Tabletop Planter, J. Schatz, $145; Shane Powers Opal Vase, West Elm, $29; Capuchine Gourd, Jonathan Adler, $95; Cake Stand, Williams Sonoma, $34;  White Urn Vase, Pottery Barn, $59; Brookfield Bakeware, Shop Terrain, $95; Bark Textured Pitcher, Bed Bath & Beyond, $20; Sitting Greyhound, Horchow, $475;  Resin Ice Bucket, Calypso St. Barth, $140′; Hive Orb Vase, West Elm, $69


Do you have a collection of white porcelain or ceramic objects in your home too?




One of the hottest trends that’s still going strong is in the incorporation of warm metallic tones in a space in the form of antique gold and brass.  In truth, the use of golden finishes should not be labeled trendy since gold is a timeless finish that has appeared in design for centuries.  We’re now witnessing how it has surged to the forefront of design yet again and many retailers are offering new or reinvented pieces in this popular finish. 

Gold leaf frames and brass accessories have a classic appeal and when arranged together in different sizes and shapes or groupings, add that ‘collected over time’ feel to any space.


gold mirrors bhg


gold frame and accents


Antique gold mirrors or burnished brass sconces bring warmth and elegance when used as accents in any space from the bedroom to the living room.   


gold mirrors coral bedroom bhg


Loving the look?  Here’s a few hand selected items to pull these warm metallic tones into your own home!


gold and brass accents bhg



From top left: Wilderness Wallpaper, Firm Living; Word Play Wallpaper, Burke Decor; Acquamiki Suspension Lamp, Horne, $740; Gold Scroll Ceiling Medallion, Horchow, $275; Bea Accent Stool, Candelabra, $420; Gold Placemat, Z Gallerie, 19; Gold Zig Zag tray, Up in the Air on Etsy, $98; Keyhole Table Lamp, Shades of Light, $399; Gold Sphere Salt + Pepper, Vivre, $395; Hammered Bowls, Clayton Gray Home, $220; Gold Pickup Truck, Horne, $180; Honeycomb Mirror, Wisteria, $115; Wheat Sconces,1st Dibs; Meurice Mirror, Jonathan Adler, $250; Golden Geometric Tray, Horchow, $425; Heart of Gold Finial, ChicShopLA, $55; Arteriors Brass Cart, Lamps Plus, $1,140; Gold Leaf Side Table, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams;  World’s Away Gold Leaf Desk, Zinc Door, $1,098.


What about you, do you have antique brass or gold accents in your home? 



Ah the sand, the sea, the surf, the coast! Alluring anytime of year, but especially in summer when we all dream of beach getaways and days spent with our toes in the sand so naturally, bringing the coast back home with you and incorporating it into your home is a desirable look for many. 

The key to pulling off coastal style is all about color and texture. Most coastal inspired spaces have a breezy casual feel to them, as if you could kick off your flip flops and nap after a day spent on the shore. 


coastal inspired living room


blue and white living room bhg


Creating a beachy or coastal vibe is easy to do if you find your inspiration in the colors of sand and sea.  Watery gray Atlantic blues work just as well as the more intense Mediterranean or Caribbean sea colors.  You can inject red coral tones or even purple or brown sea urchin tones, let the ocean critters be your guide!

Mix in sandy tone linens and cottons with your pillows and a slipcovered piece or two.  Use woven materials from rope to seagrass to bamboo to add layers of texture and to act as storage vessels or other decorative accents.  Incorporate natural or weathered wood in your coastal inspired space in the form of driftwood, natural, or whitewashed wood tones. 


coastal family room bhg

glass balls on built in shelves

Don’t forget a few carefully selected accents that remind you of the sea such as a sea fan, glass floats, or whimsical sea creatures or even your shell collection piled up in a glass hurricane, but be sure to exercise restraint with the accessories or you could end up going “overboard” with the look.  


sea fans blue walls bhg


Here’s a roundup of a few fun home furnishings and accessories (from inexpensive to splurge!) to help you capture the coastal vibe in your own home! 

how to decorate coastal style


From top left: Blue Grasscloth Wallpaper, Designer Wallcoverings; Natural Wood Bead Chandy, Inside Lighting, $1,575; Decorative Oar, Inviting Home, $93; Thomas Paul Pillow, Nina Von, $45; Nautical Sconce, Destination Lighting, $400; Abigail Shell Mirror, Clayton Gray Home, $1,560′; Candle Lantern, Caron’s Beach House, $139; Blue Heron Tapestry, Horchow, $675; Braided Storage, West Elm, $19; Seagrass Pitcher, World Market, $13; Jeweled Lion Fish, Z Gallerie, $45; Jellyfish Pillow Cover, Wabisabi Green, $40; Red Coral Metal Sculpture, Horchow, $695; Glass Fishing Float, Wisteria, $49; Castaway Lanterns, Wisteria, $49;  Arteriors Cassidy Lamp, Amazon, $285; Woven Dining Chair, Pier 1, $100; Sundial Chair in Salt, Serena & Lily, $1,795; Banana Fiber Stool, IKEA, $29′; Edgewood Coffee Table, Crate + Barrel, $699; 6 x 9 Catamaran Stripe Indoor/Outdoor Rug, Dash & Albert, $298; 8 x 10 Sisal Rug, Pottery Barn, $249


Are you a lover of coastal inspired spaces?




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