Darkling

I can’t quite figure out why dark interiors are associated with masculinity. So many designers, when creating bachelor pads, “man caves”, or studies cloak the room in dark colours and supple leathers because of this automatic association of darkness with men. I can understand why you’d paint a baby boy’s room blue, of course, so sure navy comes under the ‘male’ category, but why do men also have the monopoly on charcoals, dark greys, and forest greens? I love to see a family room, a bedroom, or even a kitchen outfitted floor to ceiling in the darkest shades.

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Sukio

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These two rooms are very monochrome, with even the furniture in dark shades. It’s certainly a bold statement, but definitely one that’s hard to carry off and maybe not so good for every day use. Have a little apartment in Manhattan where you meet your lover on your lunch hour à la Don Draper? Go crazy and do the whole thing, furniture and all, in navy or black. But for your regular house, I’d suggest incorporating white fabrics and upholstery with neutral woodwork to keep it from looking too Beetlejuice.

abigail ahern

Abigail Ahern

wherethesidewalkbegins

Where The Sidewalk Begins

Actually that chair is very Beetlejuice via Robin Thicke

casasugar

Casa Sugar

I like this look a lot, but you could go even bolder. Throw a dark rug down on the floor.

decor pad

Decor Pad

Black on black KellyWearstler trellis wallpaper? Pure. Genius.

pinterest2

Via Pinterest

marcus design

Marcus Design

nothing but bonfires

Nothing But Bonfires

My sister’s office (now a nursery!!)

There’s also something incredibly relaxing about a black bedroom, like a nice dark cave. It certainly makes sense to make the room you sleep in as dark as possible.

freshome

Freshome

pinterest

Via Pinterest

Dat black on black!

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Interior Collective

I’m also, for some reason, bananas over black bathrooms. Maybe because it’s so unexpected. These two pictures show how this darkest of dark colours can be used in an itty bitty powder room or even your main family bathroom.

fuck your noguchi coffee table

Fuck Your Noguchi Coffee Table

house beautiful

House Beautiful

It’s really easy to add white fabrics and drapery or natural woods to soften this look, but if you want to be daring (and avoid the head to toe Goth room look), throw some gold or brass accessories in there!

interior canvas

Interior Canvas

So there you have it, dark “masculine” rooms are not just for the Nate Berkuses of this world, we can all use a little moody black in our glorious, sunshine filled lives!

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Four Walls and the Truth

Most houses you see featured in interior design magazines have big, capacious living rooms, multiple, L-shaped couches, and never ending walls – most likely because celebs like Reese Witherspoon live in these houses and they need a lot of space for all their celeb friends to come over and shine their Oscars or whatever celebrities do on a free Thursday afternoon.

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Reese Witherspoon’s house in Elle Decor, I bet Sandra Bullock comes over with her Oscar all the time and they talk about their cheating husbands and how much better off they are without them!

But once in a while I like to see a nice little living room around the size us mortals can afford. These guys can really pack a punch in their four small walls, L-shaped couch be damned! Sometimes a gal only wants one sofa in her living room and I’m lovin’ on these rooms that are working the solo sofa look.

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Decorology

One sofa and ample seating, kudos to this designer

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LA Design Concepts

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Decor Pad

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The Glitter Guide

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Architecture Art Designs

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The Aestate Tumblr

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The Glitter Guide

See? There’s nothing wrong with a little living room, in fact the smaller the space, the easier it is to make a big impression! All these rooms have neutral couches, punchy rugs, and creative art. Not to mention additional seating – hey, you never know when Sandra Bullock might stop by with her Oscar!

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A Place to Lay Your Table

Ever since seeing the dining room of Aimee Song from Song of Style on The Coveteur I’ve been going crazy pinning pictures of metal, Bauhaus-esque dining chairs, not to mention trawling Craigslist like crazy for a set of my own.

The CoveteurI’d always followed Song of Style for Aimee’s fashion sense, but girlfriend can decorate too!

Surprisingly chairs like this are really not that hard to come by on Craigslist. I was tempted by many that looked like the cesca arm chair, but then I began to read a lot of comments that said ‘oh I remember these from the 80s’ or ‘we had these in our kitchen in the 80s’ and I began to back away in horror. Everyone knows that trends come full circle, but I hadn’t realized that these ingeniously crafted beauties had made a pit stop in the era that good taste forgot!! So kudos to you if you can work the look like these designers did.

Christie Chase

Christie Chase

Green Room Interiors

Green Room Interiors

Live Like You

Live Like You

The Decorista

The Decorista

While I may have put my dream of cantilevered chairs on the back burner until I can be sure that my house won’t look like the set of BeverlyHills 90210, I never gave up looking for the perfect dining chairs to complete my table. Finally on Craigslist I found metal Eames-esque lookers, $50 for four! They look a little like these guys:

Atlanta Homes Mag

AtlantaHomesMag

Both pictures Atlanta Homes Mag

I love the white tulip table with the marble top in the picture above – it will be definitely be my next Craigslist find. Hey a girl can dream!

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Why the long face?

I may be a little late to the party, but I’m currently obsessed with the design world’s penchant for horse art. I remember ages ago seeing Lord Denver’s Horse Triptych (before Pinterest was even a twinkle in anyone’s eye) and falling in love.

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Tonic Home

You can buy something very similar to this bad boy for $549 at One King’s Lane, or go for this x-ray version from Lamps Plus for $298.95 (because I’m guessing large scale x-rays of horses are hard to get your hands on organically), or you could just do what I plan on doing and make one yourself using the Staples Engineer Prints which have been making the DIY rounds in many blogs of late. My old college roommate takes really beautiful pictures of horses, and after showing her one or fifty examples of what I liked, I begged her to go out and take some pictures for me. I’m not sure if I’ll be brave enough to go full triptych, which is alright because solo horse pictures are similarly striking.

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Elle Decor

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Vogue Living

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via Pinterest

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Chicago Home

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Wicked & Weird

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Our Fifth House

Hey, friends with any good drawers??

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TSP Design

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s/a/m

Are you lucky enough to have such a long, low coffee table piled high with intellectual and pretentious hard back books like this? I wish I were you. And if I were you, I’d direct you straight towards this picture, where the designer is killing it with the three black and white horse pictures in uniformed white frames. Everything in that picture is perfect, I mean look at the lamp, I love lamp!

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Atlanta Homes Mag

And finally, really, who can say no to a good picture gallery?? I’m loving that the equestrian theme is echoed in the legs of the stool too.

And while horses as the focus of art have been popular for a while now, you better watch out that some other quiet, gentle, and unassuming animal isn’t slowly infiltrating this trend……

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Design Sponge

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Split Personality

I’m loving this new trend out right now where people take old clunky, dressers and refinish them into sleek looking credenzas for TVs to sit on. I’m interested in doing one of these makeovers myself, but there are just so many options and colors to choose from. At first I was convinced I wanted a dresser in some great Benjamin Moore color with an obscure yet romantic name like ‘Sweet Daphne’ (as opposed to just, ya know, ‘green’), and then the Pinterest world would be abuzz with this new Benjamin Moore color, as the Pinterest world is wont to do, as in the case of The Hunted Interior’s beautiful painted chest of drawers. But I decided not to go with a bright color in the end, and came to another fork in the road instead. One side of my personality loves the glamour that comes from the combination of colors like black, gold, and white, but the other side is all about two big words: mid-century modern. Painting my dresser black and gold with some beautiful gold pulls would add instant hotel glamour (which we can all agree is the most glamoury glamour).

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Inspired Design

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Simple Details

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Kiki’s List

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Apartment Therapy

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Design Manifest

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Because I like to Decorate

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Etsy

And I especially loooove this one because of the way the antlers have been placed around the TV

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The Green Room Interiors

(I’m going on a tangent but here is the TV/antler combination again)

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The Cost of Living

But after aaaall those pictures, the fashionable 60s housewife in me (for, don’t we all have one in us?) keeps tugging me over the mid-century modern side – the same fashionable 60s housewife who makes me watch Mad Men season in and out. But would ya look at these pictures and tell me my inner housewife is wrong (this makes me want to start a show called the Real Housewives of the Sixties).

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via Pinterest

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Smitten Studio

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Our Fifth House

(In the words of Rachel Zoe, I die)

Okay okay, so it’s not so sixties in a Drexel kind of way, but I love the clean lines and simple wooden stain. This Ikea rast hack would be a good jumping off point, especially if you put two rasts together and put your TV on that. But as for me, I’m going to try to make mid-century miracles with my old, clunky dresser.

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PETA, look away now

Since I was in elementary school I have been obsessed with fur. When all the other fourth graders were wearing their Northface jackets, I was strutting my school’s  hallways in a miniature fake fur coat. Through the years, my obsession for fur has not waned, and while I continue to amass fur coats (my latest was a shaggy black and grey ombre one from H&M), this obsession has now translated into interiors as well –  specifically cozy, luxurious fur throws on beds. Five years ago I bought a girlish pink version from Home Goods and during college I stole one of my mum’s for the end of my bed. While looking at one of my favourite blogs, The Aestate, yesterday, I came across designer Ryan Korban who, wouldn’t ya know it, shares my exact passion for fur throws on beds.

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ImageHe even incorporates it into his pillows which is just like duh, why didn’t I think of that???

Image(All images via The Aestate)

My ideal fur throw (parents, boyfriend, are you writing this down?) would be this World Market chocolate fur throw http://www.worldmarket.com/product/chocolate-faux-fur-throw.do?&from=fn ($59.99) or this pricier Z Gallerie version http://www.zgallerie.com/p-5050-zambia-throw-chocolate.aspx ($129.99). In my opinion, bedrooms should always be luxurious and welcoming, and a fur throw ticks both these boxes.

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Seeing Double

Probably the easiest way to impress your guests with your design prowess, besides buying literally anything from Nate Berkus’ Target line, and also besides ploughing them with enough two buck Chuck that they’re just a little bit in love with everything, is to place two matching chairs in your living room, either opposite or perpendicular to your couch. That’s it. Obviously the more interesting or unusual the chair, the more your interior design skills will be complimented and brought up in subsequent conversations (not to mention the money you’ll save on two buck Chuck), but there is something so disarming and beautiful about the symmetry of a matching pair of chairs. Employing this design plan is also practical as it solves the problem of seating when said guests come over – if your chairs aren’t too heavy or big, nor your space too small, another couch or love seat woud certainly not go amiss.

ImageI love the masculinity of these leather chairs, and their low, square, Marcel Breuer-esque shape

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Of course I loooooove the leopard print

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(All images via Pinterest)

And in the right sort of space, a pair of wingback chairs could look pretty cool. As an avid watcher of Nashville, Rayna James’ green gingham pair had me oohing and aahing every week (who cares that Deacon is actually Maddie’s real father, show the gingham wingback chairs again damnit!!).

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I see my two favourite characters in Nashville in this picture and I’m not talking about Rayna and Teddy

(image via Cathy Lancaster Studio)

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Image(Images via Pinterest)

And finally we have the gloriousness that is….the x-bench

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(Images via Pinterest)

Nice for those who can afford it, but as a 23 year old perpetually on the job hunt, I’m going to have to stick with your run-of-the-mill, everyday, average person’s stool. Even if I obsessively surf Craigslist, watch eBay, and drive to every single tag sale in a 10 mile radius, finding cheap chairs and stools as cool as the ones above might prove to be a little difficult.

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I’m sure by now everyone has seen this very cool DIY version of the Mongolian lamb stool at Preciously Me: http://www.preciouslyme.com/diy/diy-mongolian-lamb-stool-2911 So if you want to try out this very cool trend, you could always hit up your local Ikea. As for me, I’ll keep stalking the For Sale section of Craigslist, because this easy, but impressive trend is not one I’m going to miss.

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