Tag Archives: home decor

Swarovski and Mass Beverly Name Brilliance of Design Winners

Ever the mentors and proponents of design with a capital D, Swarovskiand LA’s Mass Beverly showroom initiated the Brilliance of Design competition. The charge was to push the potential of crystals in three categories: lighting, home décor, and architectural surfaces. Talk about global entries. The 56 submissions came from the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, France, Sweden, Greece, Israel, Brazil, Colombia, and Poland, as well as from New York and Los Angeles, closer to home.

Josha Roymans’ Aurora Borealis pendant is a wave of translucent glass and crystals capped by a strip of LEDs. Rendering courtesy of Josha Roymans.

Josha Roymans, with a multi-disciplinary studio in Amsterdam, won the lighting award with his proposal for Aurora Borealis, inspired by the so-named northern lights. The design is a wave-like pendant of translucent glass and crystals capped by a strip of LEDs that allow for color changes.

From left: Josha Roymans, Tilman Bartl, and Bahata Saha.
Rings of crystal in differing sizes and gradations of color stack in Tilman Bartl’s flexible and contemporary vase. Rendering courtesy of Tilman Bartl.


In home décor, German product designer Tilman Bartl won for his vase of stacking crystal components. Cited for its flexibility and strongly contemporary approach, the product has another plus. According to Mass Beverly founders Mary Ta and Lars Hypko, it is predicted to be eminently sellable.

Bahata Saha’s architectural surface has Swarovski crystals arrayed in organic patterns between layers of translucent white marble. Rendering courtesy of Bahata Saha.


A Parsons School of Design student, Bahata Saha, took the award for her architectural surface—panels based on two layers of white translucent marble sandwiching crystals arrayed in organic compositions simulating abstract veining.

Each winning designer will receive a $5,000 grant for future crystal projects. Collaborating with Nadja Swarovski, who oversees the company’s corporate branding and communications, the judges were Yves Behar, founder of San Francisco-based Fuseproject; Mary Ta and Lars Hypko; and Interior Design’s deputy editor Edie Cohen.

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Ultra Violet Lights the Way in Home Decor

Pantone’s Color of 2018, Ultra Violet, can bring a touch of luxury to home decorating, especially when used sparingly in rich upholstery fabrics as seen in this bedroom designed by Jessica McClendon, founder of the Los Angeles-based design firm Glamour Nest. (Scott Rickels/Jessica McClendon/Glamour Nest via AP)

When the Pantone Color Institute recently announced its color of the year for 2018, the vibrant Ultra Violet, it might have seemed a natural fit for fashion and cosmetics.

“Ultra Violet is a color that’s almost like a neutral in fashion now,” says New York-based interior designer Brett Beldock. “Every newscaster you see is wearing a purple tie.”

But this rich violet is more challenging to use well in home decorating. It can easily overpower a room, and needs to be paired carefully with other shades.

We’ve ask Beldock and two other interior designers –Abbe Fenimore, founder of the Dallas-based design firm Studio Ten 25, and Jessica McClendon, founder of the Los Angeles-based design firm Glamour Nest — for advice on bringing his trendy, bold color into home decor in ways that won’t quickly go out of style.


McClendon says violet can bring a touch of luxury to bedrooms, especially when used sparingly in rich upholstery fabrics. “Go with a deeper or dustier shade for a more mature look or brighter for a playful, younger vibe,” she says. “If you want a softer, more feminine feel, opt for a less saturated or paler tone.”

One key is choosing the right fabric: “If you are thinking about using purple on an upholstered item, opt for fabrics rich in texture or feel,” McClendon says. “Think silk, velvet, chenille, textured woven or even an interesting print. I’m not a fan of just plain solid purple twill cotton because it ends up feeling flat and looking not high-quality.”

Along with fabrics, Fenimore likes using violet for accessories in the bedroom “for a rich and sophisticated feel. Amethyst accents like lamps, picture frames or small accessories stacked on books work well,” she says.


Ultra Violet “can be bold and take over a room quickly if it’s not balanced correctly,”says Fenimore. So use it as a supporting player only.

Choose color combinations that make Ultra Violet feel like a part of the room, instead of taking over, she says. Good partners might be celadon green, lavender and soft pink. That palette, with a touch of Ultra Violet, would be beautiful in a modern wallpaper used in a small space like a powder room.

Beldock loves violet with white, heather gray, khaki, olive or camel. And a mix of violet, chocolate brown and white, she says, would have a smartly retro 1970s feel that could look very fresh today.

One warning about color pairings: “I would avoid mixing the color with red,” says Fenimore. “Together, the two shades will quickly take over a room and create an environment with too much anxiety.”


If you’re considering painting your walls violet, Beldock suggests testing a large swatch first. McClendon agrees: “Make sure you look at large samples of the paint before committing. Purple is a hard color, and it straddles a fine line between super-luxurious and cheap. You have to be really thoughtful when choosing a purple paint color.”

Look at the samples in different lights and in different parts of the room.

Two ways to moderate violet’s impact on walls: Use it only on a single accent wall, Beldock suggests, or bring it in as part of a wallpaper pattern.

In her own wall covering designs, she has used violet as a solid backdrop covered with images rendered in crisp white, or as a playful accent over a simple white background.


Ultra Violet a statement color, McClendon says. So even though it’s popular right now, “don’t commit to painting a room or a large piece of furniture unless it works for your true style.”

But if you love it, go all in.

“I’ve seen rooms that were all purple and amazing,” she says. “Again, it goes back to what your true style is and how you want your space to feel.”

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The Home Decorating and Interior Design Trends to Look for in 2017

When it comes to home décor, 2016 was the year of everything from woven wall hangings to Scandinavian-inspired interiors. And as the year winds down, soon enough your thoughts will most likely wander to a home refresh. So it’s worth exploring the top decorating trends that will likely be on repeat in homes across the country—and possibly in your own abode.

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These 1960s Kitchen Design Trends Are Actually Coming Back

Home decor trends are cyclical,but a mid-century modern revival always seems to be on the horizon. You’ve probably seen the trend in at least a few stylish living rooms. There, it takes the form of low-slung couches, statement-making chairs, and sidebars stocked with all the makings of classic cocktails. However, 1960s trends and mid-century modern designs sound like they’d look more than a little outdated in the kitchen, where most people want the latest appliances and technology. Yet surprisingly enough, midcentury decor trends seem to be having a moment in the kitchen, too.


Check out the 1960s kitchen decor trends that are actually back.

1. Formica countertops

Put on an HGTV show — any HGTV show — and you’ll quickly deduce that most people think of marble and granite as the gold standard of kitchen countertops. But as Apartment Therapy reports, an unlikely 1960s kitchen trend has started to come back: laminate countertops. “While some of us may cringe when we think of this countertop choice for the kitchen, it’s changed a lot over the years,” the publication promises.

In the past, laminate countertops came in bright colors and very specific patterns. That often limited their versatility. Formica itself still makes a line of retro countertops perfect for a mid-century renovation. But if you want something that looks, well, a little more modern, you have plenty of options. Apartment Therapy reports that you can now find laminate “that replicates the look of granite, marble, and butcher block so closely that it’s often impossible to tell the difference until you’re close up.” Sounds like a pretty impressive comeback to us!

2. Colorful cabinets

Many people want solid wood cabinets, either stained or painted white. But HGTV reports that one very 1960s cabinet trend is increasingly turning up in modern kitchens: colorful cabinets. “Popular painted cabinet colors in the midcentury would have been pale blue, green and yellow,” the network notes. But homeowners today can, of course, choose any color that appeals to them. (So long as it coordinates with their design for the kitchen!)

However, HGTV does have a few words of advice for people considering this risky design move. “These cabinets are best accented by a muted backsplash and wood floors in order to keep the design unique rather than overdone,” the network explains.

And if you really don’t like painted cabinets? Then don’t paint yours! As Apartment Therapy notes, wood tones began reappearing in kitchens in the 1960s, so plenty of people had wood cabinets that were stained, not painted.

3. Space for entertaining

HGTV stars and design-savvy homeowners alike install giant islands and go for open-concept living spaces in the name of one activity: entertaining. People love to have the space to have their friends and family over. (It doesn’t matter whether they’re cooking up a storm for a dinner party or just ordering pizza as everyone watches a football game.) But as House Beautiful reports, the desire for a kitchen designed for entertaining would have sounded familiar to designers in the 1960s.

“The kitchen was deliberately planned as an entertaining center,” the publication reports. “It makes the most of the modern, and easy-to-clean technology.” Many mid-century kitchens were open to other living spaces, as home design shifted from closed floor plans to open concept spaces following World War II. However, House Beautiful reports that homeowners in the 1960s were still often willing to keep the kitchen behind closed doors. (The very doors that people tear down today when they want to convert a closed layout into an open concept home.)

4. Statement-making pendant lights

Are you renovating or installing a kitchen island? In that case, you might want to consider another 1960s trend that’s making a comeback. Mid-century modern pendant lights make a major statement above an island, peninsula, or breakfast bar.

Popular lighting designs in the 1960s embodied a variety of different styles and aesthetics. You could find organic forms as easily as you could find futuristic shapes. Pendant lighting first appeared in industrial settingsin the 1920s and the 1930s. And, like many other design elements, it made its way to the home only a few decades thereafter. From glass globes to metal pendants, the 1960s gave homeowners plenty of eye-catching designs that wouldn’t look out of place in even the most modern kitchen today.

5. Retro refrigerators

A refrigerator in a home on HGTV's 'Fixer Upper'

For at least a few years now, your stylish neighbors and your favorite HGTV stars alike have been springing for cool retro refrigerators. (The kind you would have seen in anybody’s kitchen in the 1960s or (shhhh!) in the 1950s.) The name at the center of the craze? SMEG, an Italian company that  became an American design darlingwhen it first imported its Fab28 model to the United States in 2007, The Boston Globe reports.

“Just under 5-feet tall, the Fab28 has retro, rounded edges like a piece of Chiclet gum, and is made from high-gloss plastic enamel in colors like creamy mint green and navel orange,” the Globe reports. “It features a simple interior — with a built-in metal wine rack — and a drawer-size freezer compartment. It is, indeed, underwhelmingly impractical.” But, as Apartment Therapy puts it, they add plenty of “personality” to your kitchen, in a way that a sleek, stainless steel fridge just couldn’t.

6. Colorful appliances

red stand mixer mixing white cream, kitchen

As The Boston Globe reported in its piece on SMEG, another retro-chic appliance features prominently in tastemakers’ kitchens. “The KitchenAid stand mixer remains the staunch status symbol of domestic bliss,” the publication explains. But as with that refrigerator, you don’t have to settle for black or white when you chose a retro-styled appliance. The ubiquitous stand mixer comes in an array of bright colors reminiscent of cheery 1960s kitchens.

As The Kitchn explains, “There are so many options to choose from that it can be an overwhelming task. Do you go with something classic or fun? Decisions need to be made.” Of course, fans of colorful appliances don’t have to limit themselves to a statement-making stand mixer. As the Globe explains, “SMEG offers toasters, electric kettles, and even their own version of the stand mixer,” each in bright colorways.

7. Plentiful houseplants

We can’t talk about mid-century modern style without acknowledging the prevalence of houseplants. And we probably don’t have to tell you that no design magazine editor, HGTV star, or home interiors blogger would dream of designing a kitchen today without room for at least a few small plants on the counter. Everybody loves houseplants (even people who find themselves without green thumbs).

Houseplants first became fashionable in the 1960s,and many of the species that were popular back then are still easy to find at home improvement stores today. Look for pothos vines, variants of philodendron, umbrella trees, and even orchids — all of which enjoyed wide popularity in the 1960s — for an easy way to channel the trend.

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