July 2012

I’ve had X base furniture on my mind lately, so much so that we built our own X base table for a study in our home with kiln dried wood we found at a local lumber supply company.  X base furniture has been around for decades, and you can find it in many styles from traditional to country, mid century to contemporary. 

Choosing a piece for your home in the X base style is a smart design choice and a pleasing alternative that brings contrast to the pedestal or straight leg style found in most furniture with legs.  


x base coffee table bhg


The dining room is an fantastic place for an X base table, especially when the design choice includes breaking up a set and choosing seating of a different style.


x base table bhg


The end of the bed is the perfect place a set of upholstered X benches which provide the function of a place to toss blankets or decorative pillows not used during hours of slumber.   


x bench blue bedroom bhg


  The X base desk is a sleek style choice for a sophisticated home office.


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Looking to incorporate a piece of furniture with the X base into your home?  Here are a few of my very favorite X base pieces and accents from posh to practical!  

   x base furniture collage bhg

From top left: Overland Cross Table, Serena & Lily, $395; Hammary Transitions Sofa Table, Amazon, $538; World’s Away Upholstered Stool, Zinc Door, $673; Bourdonnais Bookcase, Ballard Designs, $1,199;  Oak Tray Coffee Table, Wisteria, $599; Bosquet Side Chair, Williams Sonoma Home; $894 for 6; Walnut Bench, Poet Furniture; Rectangular Table, Dining Room Outlet, $1,318; Small X Bench, Ballard Designs, dozens of fabrics, prices vary; Wood Crate, Pottery Barn, $75; Aster X Armchair, Switch Modern, $3,500; Channing Desk, Jonathan Adler, $1,750; Hudson Side Table, Williams Sonoma Home, $895. 



I’ve been exploring the many ways to display art in the home in recent days as I undertake a major art display on my own walls.  There are three basic ways to display artwork in your home and they are symmetrically, asymmetrically, and eclectically.  Today, we’ll start a three part series exploring these different ideas for hanging artwork on the walls, the first (and easiest!) is through visual symmetry. 

Symmetrical art is both centered and balanced, whereas asymmetrical art is not centered but balance is achieved in other ways.  It’s a slightly trickier concept, but an in-depth look next week will teach some tricks for pulling it off.  Finally, we’ll take a look at some more eclectic ideas to inspire you in the third installment of the series, and also a peek at the popular gallery or “salon” wall. 

Let’s first dive into examples of art displayed in symmetrical ways, which many believe is most soothing to the eye.  Most symmetrical displays begin with frames of a consistent size.  Hanging the same frame in a singular row is a simple way to achieve the look, you choose if it’s a series of three or four. 

symmetrical trio above bed bhg


even line of art above bed bhg


A second option for hanging your symmetrical artwork is in grid formation.  Grid patterns look best when they’re suspended tightly together, allowing no more than two inches between the frames or prints.

square grid symmetrical art bhg

group of four prints bhg


Adding a third column to make an even number of six makes for even greater impact.  Styles can range from casual to sophisticated!  Colorful botanical art is whimsical above a mantel, while classic black and white is elegant and timeless in a master bedroom.


botanical prints bhg


black and white grid photographs behind bed


Expanding the grid by adding a third row to create an odd number of nine creates a real moment in a space, especially when the display is of similar subject matter, like this beautiful assortment of colorful butterflies, or the amassing of elegant botanicals behind glass. 


symmetrical grid butterfly art bhg


symmetrical botanical art bhg


Symmetrical displays do not require the same size frame!  You can still achieve symmetry with varied sized frames, as seen in this collection of photographs below.  Notice how the vertically hung images in the corners and center vary slightly in size from the horizontally suspended frames in the middle of the rows and columns.  

symmetrical grid framed art bhg


The same idea rings true in this display of artwork in a bedroom, with a large scale architectural print taking the spotlight in the center, but balanced by the flanking pair of sea inspired prints on both sides. 

varied frames symmetrical art bhg


This cheerful arrangement of children’s art uses the same size frame to bring cohesion to the display that showcases masterpieces of youth. 

symmetrical kids art bhg


Symmetrical artwork is not limited to prints or photographs or two dimensional art.  Think beyond the frame and consider mixed media such as plates displayed in shadow boxes suspended in two rows in a dining space.

 plates and shadow boxes symmetrical art bhg


Baskets are sculptural and textural when suspended above a bed in a symmetrical trio.


symettrical baskets above bed bhg


Bright botanical wallpaper displayed behind simple painted molding brings fresh color to a clean, modern entry.  


trio of wallpaper panels bhg


With symmetrical displays, choose wall art of a similar style or subject matter and complementary frames and you can’t go wrong.  The formation will add balance and greater formality to your space, and is guaranteed to be visually pleasing!



Inexpensive window panels or shades are available at many home stores but sometimes the plain fabric can leave you wanting more.  An easy way to dress up store bought panels and and make them chic is to attach colorful ribbon or trim to the edges.  


ribboned roman bhg


Choose colors that complement the other accessories in the space, or get creative with a pattern that draws attention to the window, like this elegant criss-cross pattern.


rick rack panels bhg


If you love the idea of adding ribbon trim to your existing window panels or shades, there’s a way to do it yourself, no sewing required!   I made my own fixed flat fold roman shade in a bright floral pattern for our laundry room window, and chose deep blue grosgrain ribbon to add that extra decorative detail. 

cg flat fold shade


Here’s the simplest way to attach ribbon or trim without ever using a sewing machine.  Pick up some fabric glue at your local fabric or sewing store, apply it generously to your ribbon then smooth it out with your finger (not shown) so that it’s evenly distributed across the back of the ribbon.  Use stacks of magazines or books to weigh down the ribbon after you’ve placed it where you want it on your fabric. 


fabric glue


To make turns or angles, crease the ribbon as shown, secure with glue, and press flat. 

fold ribbon

fold ribbon 2


With fabric glue and ribbon, be it velvet or grosgrain, you can create unique window panels personalized for your home and give your simple window treatments a dash of panache. 


grosgrain ribbn trim bhg


Fabric glue dries clear within an hour and holds up in a gentle wash cycle.  It’s the perfect DIY tool for dressing up store bought panels and changing up your space in an afternoon! 



Geometrics have reigned on the interior design scene for several years with the popularity of trellis and chevron surging to the top of the list, but there’s a new kid in town popping up everywhere and that is the polygonal shape. It’s especially prominent in lighting choices this year, and several retailers are offering unique chandeliers, pendants, and lamps in these polygonal shapes.

The word “polygon” comes from the Latin ‘polygoumn’  meaning “many angled” and the definition can include hexagon (6 sided), octagon (8 sided), or dodecagon (12 sided) from a planar perspective.  Turn them all into three dimensional figures like the ones seen below and now we’re looking at works of art that put sharp angles in the interior design spotlight once again.



faceted chandelier bhg



faceted orange lamp bhg

The polygonal trend is not just in light fixtures, this geometric sensation is making it’s way into home accessories too.   Here are some style picks I’ve spied in recent weeks!


faceted collection bhg

From top left:  Hexagon Wallpaper, Cole & Son; Squares Wallpaper, Ferm Living; Dustin Wood Pendant, Circa Lighting, $506; Aspect Pendant, Bobbie Berk Home, $430; Rock Pendant, ABC Home, $752; Capiz Pendant, Furbish, $545; Lauren Honeycomb, Shades of Light, $569; Delta Lamp by Robert Abbey, Candelabra Home, $106;  Faceted Terrarium, Shop Griege, $68; Candleholder, Haus Interior, $110; Faceted Bookends, Hinge Design Studio, $60; Glacier Vase, Wayfair, $140; Lauren Dodecahedron Lamp, Harbinger LA;  Hoshi Table Lamp, Home Decorators, $209; Crinkle Tissue Dispenser, Switch Modern, $32; Senet Stool, The Cross Design, $840; Origami Table, West Elm, $399; Euklides ChairWood Veneer Vase, Supermarket, $30;  8’ x 10’ Odeon Dhurrie Rug, Z Gallerie, $500; 8’ x 10’ Facet Rug, Loft Home, $935.


What’s your opinion of this latest design trend?  Would you include any faceted fixtures or other polygonal shape accessories in your home?




Summer is in full swing and that means gardens are filled with blooms of all colors and varietals.  Decorating your home with touches of floral patterns is one way to bring summer botanicals indoors to last throughout the year.  Modern floral patterns are popping up everywhere again, with fresh interpretations finding their way into textiles, wallpaper, home accessories, rugs, and even light fixtures.  

Timid tea rose patterns are now a thing of the past!  This century’s options allow you to layer your home with contemporary chrysanthemums, bright dahlias, and bold zinnias to add those fresh blooms but with modern flair. 

 floral fabric panels bhg

floral fabric curtain bhg


Retro inspired floral fabrics are surging in popularity, they are guaranteed to infuse your home with an energetic vintage vibe.   

  floral chair bhg


Wallpaper has remained popular for several years now and the bigger bolder patterns are fantastic for walls or other do-it-yourself projects like this papered table top.  Don’t miss these twelve great sources for wallpaper


floral wallpaper table bhg


Looking to layer your home with contemporary florals?  Here are a few of my style picks! 


fresh florals for the home bhg


From top left: Caymen Wallpaper, Thibaut (see retailers); Memento Sunset Wallpaper, Graham & Brown, $85/roll; Capiz Lotus Pendant, MBW Furniture, $418;  Bliss Living Posey Pillow, Amazon, $64; Flower Tea Lights, Z Gallerie, $10;  Silk lison pillow, ABC Home, $125; Oilcloth chair cushions, Urban Outfitters, $24; Watercolor Placemats, World Market, $20; Coco curtain, Anthropologie, $168; Happy Poppies pillow, Layla Grace, $104; Garden Roses Tools, Wild & Wolf; Flower Print Tray, West Elm, $16; Floral Slipcover, Pier 1, $40;  Floral Tray, Burke Decor, $46; Poppy Garden Canvas, Overstock, $52; Lavender Slipper Chair, Target, $199; Mod Floral Quilt, Target, $60; Catalina Rug 7’ x 10’, Overstock, $199; 5 x 7’ Verona Rug, Rugs USA, $417

Where is your favorite place to use floral patterns in your home? 




The other day I bought myself yet another tray for corralling small items around the home, they’re just so stylish and versatile too!  Trays work well in the kitchen for mail or utensils, in the office for bills and desk supplies, in the family room for remotes, books and magazines, and in the entry for keys and cell phones. 


coffee table tray

yellow tray on coffee table bhg

yellow tray bhg


You can personalize them by lining store bought trays with maps from your travels or creating your own fabric lined tray with spray adhesive.   


tray with map bhg

fabric lined tray centsational girl


There are many options available in retail stores and online, here’s a collection of uber-chic trays, any one will bring both function and flair!

tray chic bhg


From top left: Acid Palm Tray, Jonathan Adler, $78; Blue Marimekko, Crate + Barrel, $82; Carnival Tray, World Market, $10;  Square Lacquer Trays, West Elm, $19; Dabney Lee, Traylor Papers, $120; Thomas Paul Whale Trays, Burke Decor, $40; Inlay Bone Tray, Wisteria, $199; Chain Link Tray, Horchow, $195; Gold Athena, Jayson Home, $45; Mod Chevron Melamine, Target, $10; John Derian Clipper Ship Tray, Orange and Pear, $165; Dabney Lee Personalized Tray, Saks Fifth Avenue, $135; Sprout Tray, CB2, $24; Macbeth Tray, Orange and Pear, $78; Root of the Earth, Viva Terra, $59; Hammered Nickel Tray, Pottery Barn, $24;  Scalloped Tray, Clayton Gray Home, $98; Mirage Tray, Z Gallerie, $99;  Leather Handled Nickel Tray, Jayson Home, $495;  Dwell Peacock Tray, Layla Grace, $213.


Do you have a favorite use for a tray in your home? 



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