Never Letting Go of Art Nouveau

There’s a saying that “everything old is new again”, and it’s true. Look at blue jeans styles, tie widths and even bicycle styles. Design is forever growing but also continuously recycling itself.

One style that looks to be experiencing a resurgence is Art Nouveau. Literally meaning “new art”, the style was popular from 1890 to 1914 and was fueled by experimentation with new materials, like bendable metal and glass.

Shown above, Hotel Tassel, designed in 1894 by Victor Horta, is considered one of the finest examples of Art Nouveau style architecture. The movement sought to incorporate its design in entire spaces, from the architecture to the wall finishes to furniture and even door handles.

Drawing inspiration from nature, the Art Nouveau style is characterized by fresh curvilinear, free-flowing forms and contours. Although the popularity of Art Nouveau waned by the start of WWI, its sinuous, natural designs are still sought out today. Venerable patterns are still reproduced while others are re-interpreted and updated to appeal to today’s design market.

Here’s five ways Art Nouveau style can find its way into your space, from vintage finds to contemporary re-takes. Click HERE for the full story…

6 Ways to Amp Up Valentine’s Day Romance in Your Home

Valentine’s Day origins are a bit mysterious, and there are several different theories stemming back to ancient Roman times. The holiday is also associated with a mid-winter pagan ritual. During the Middle Ages, February 14th was known as the start of the mating season for birds and since, the date has been linked with the notion of romance.

It wasn’t until the 1400s that the first known written valentine appeared, but the pastime boomed in the 17th century when exchanging written tokens of affection became common between friends and lovers.

Today, flowers, candy, cards and candlelit dinners have become a routine way to declare love on Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately, flowers fade, and candy doesn’t last. What if you could express romance in your home décor?

I came up with six tips to make your space place pull on your heartstrings. Click HERE for the full story…

6 Ways to Introduce Chinese Design Style in the New Year

Chinese New Year_photo by aotaro on Flickr

Photo courtesy of aotaro on Flickr

February 8th is the first day of the Chinese New Year 2016.  Festivities traditionally include the Lantern Festival, symbolizing the forthcoming return of spring. Red is associated with luck in Chinese culture, so red lanterns are the appropriate hue to usher in the Chinese New Year.

Fu_photo by IQRemix on Flickr

Photo courtesy of IQRemix on Flickr

Fu in Chinese means happiness, luck, and prosperity. During the new year celebration, the Chinese character is written on red-colored diamond-shaped paper and often turned upside down, signifying that happiness is forthcoming. Fu is usually posted on front doors, windows or living room walls.

While these are just a couple of ways to celebrate the Chinese New Year, you might want to bring some Chinese design style into your home — not only for luck, but also for its elegance and whimsical charm.

Click HERE to see the six ways to do it:

Seeking Balance in Scandinavian Design

Lagom is a Swedish term that means perfectly balanced – not too little, not too much.

Much of the success of Scandinavian design, new or old, is owed to its clean lines, simplicity of design and how harmoniously it blends with other periods and styles.

This is in part why the resurgence of mid-century modern style and designs by many of the greats like Hans Wegner, Eero Saarinen and Arne Jacobsen have journeyed back into many of our homes.

Looking to channel Scandinavian style? Click HERE for the full story.

Chocolate’s Hot!

What’s more cozy than a steaming mug of hot chocolate by the fireplace after a wintery afternoon of ice skating or skiing? Not only after alpine sports, hot chocolate, or any chocolate, for that matter, is welcome by most folks 24/7.

Looking to indulge in some chocolate? Consider adding some chocolate-hued décor instead of hightailing it towards the truffles. Click HERE to learn how to make it work!

Out of the Blue…and Pink: Pantone’s 2016 Colors of the Year

Pantone mixed

Pantone released its Color of the Year last week and made history by selecting not one, but two colors to represent the zeitgeist of 2016.

Intended to be coupled together, Rose Quartz, a warm rosy pink, and Serenity, a cool light blue, conjure images of nursery colors for many people. While Pantone’s intention was not to reference baby colors, their logic for the choice this year stems from a deeper place in our human psyche. Read the full story HERE!