California designer Shiree Hanson Segerstrom's weekly tips for decorating, gardening, and stylish living

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

WALLPAPER FANTASIES...plus, a Delicious Meditarranean Salad to Try.






















I recently did a design scheme for an historic hotel which required research on wallpaper.  Though many of the designs I looked at were not applicable to that particular project, I enjoyed the journey.























The detail of these butterfly decals by Alix Soubrian of Princes and Crows located in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles are amazingly intricate. 

























































Each wallpaper from Princes and Crows is a work of art in itself.






















Other wallpapers are from Graham and Brown.











































Burl wallpaper above and malachite wallpaper below for designing my next library or powder room, perhaps.









































































The wallpaper above reminds me of my guest room floor which is painted cork.  This style of paper below is called tole.


























































The wallpaper above is well designed.  It's classic style would work equally well in bohemian, classic, or contemporary schemes.





























































A tamer selection above.





























































Shiree's Salad Combination of the Day

One of my favorite ways of getting my protein, good fats, and 5 plus cups of produce a day is with salad.  I always use good olive oil, a variety of meats like salmon, chicken, and turkey, nuts, citrus juices, berries, white wine or balsamic vinegars, and high quality cheeses, usually Parmesan or cheese made from goat's milk.Yesterday I made a delicious spinach salad with some grilled chicken I had leftover from dinner the night before.  Here are the ingredients so you can try it tonight. 

Grilled chicken breast
spinach
red onion
lemon juice
balsamic vinegar
pan toasted walnuts
and raspberries






















Monday, June 27, 2011

Easy Decorating Tips for Households with Children


Contrary to popular belief, making a home comfortable and practical for a family does not require bare bones decorating and iron clad textiles.  A few simple guidelines apply for families with children of all ages.





The most important thing to remember is this: start your children off by surrounding them with decorative things.  Nothing too precious mind you but get them accustomed to books, plants, and other accessories being around the house and they will 9 times out of 10 ignore them for their own, infinitely more interesting toys.




 
Here are my rules for designing and decorating homes with small children:

Use large scale furniture and accessories and less of them.

Use fabrics with prints and patterns which conceal spotting.

Use textured fabrics which resist staining and wear longer than slick cottons.

Avoid exposed electrical cords by using conduits or by running them around the walls.

Have items out on the tables early on so kids are used to seeing them.  They aren't nearly as interesting as their own toys and are for the most part left alone if children are used to seeing them daily.
 
Avoiding poisonous plants goes without saying. 

Candles within reach are an obvious no no too.

Fine glass objects must obviously be kept up high.

Exercise care when choosing lamps.  For "floating" lamps (lamps not placed against the wall) choose metal or woven materials.

Coffee tables with sharp corners are the cause of so many emergency room visits, they should be completely omitted from homes with children or grandchildren.  Glass coffee tables should be avoided as well.

Think in terms of horizontal lines and keep vertical ones to a minimum.  Tall, narrow items tip easily.  Horizontal lines are restful and comfy.

Slipcovers in printed, lightly textured fabrics (not solid cottons which stain easily) are fantastic for families because they can be removed and dry cleaned.  Don't wash slipcovers unless you are certain the fabric was pre-washed several times.

Unless your family is allergy prone, down blend cushions and pillows are oh, so comfy.  It is an added softness that's a real treat for children.

My last tip is more personal opinion than rule.  Don't raise children in minimalistic spaces.  Let them enjoy the homeyness of a family environment with books, pets, soft throws, baskets, and mementos of a life well spent.



Friday, June 24, 2011

A Traditional Style Design Presentation Today at SSID

I am doing a traditional style presentation today for a wonderful retired couple whom I began working with recently.  They are such a joy to be around.  We took our color inspiration from their artwork and other existing furnishings.  We are updating the living room, dining room, and kitchen by adding box pleated valances with contrasting welts, custom throw pillows in a variety of prints, recovering one antique armchair, purchasing a new chair for the husband, and recovering just the seat of a leather club.

The above floral will be the valances and sofa throw pillows.  The stripe below will be contrasting welts on the valances and two more sofa pillows.

The russet texture below will be on the chair for "her" and will also be on the new leather chair seat.

The diamond texture below is for "his" chair.

The next fabric is an extra pillow.


I was at the house recently and rearranged all the art work.  We had pieces of furniture removed that didn't work, had the entire space painted a pale yellow, and rehung the art in interesting ways.  So far so good.

Today is the presentation for the chairs, window coverings, and pillows.  Wish me luck.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Vault at Pfaff's























A wonderful watering hole called The Vault at Pfaff's in NOHO has undergone a beautiful transformation at the hands of product, furniture, and interior designer Mark Zeff.  The Vault is rich in history and was a hang out to poets, actors, politicians, and writers such as Walt Whitman in the mid 1800's before the civil war.  Whitman wrote a poem about it.























Mark gutted the place to expose the original ceiling, metal columns, and a recently rediscovered field stone wall.  He added leather wall panels, brass tacks, tufted banquettes, and a 150 year old oak bar.  The amazing artist Katherine Blackburne did the slightly irreverent nude canvas'.  The art adds a certain little edge, an off key note, that all great spaces need. 















It is clear that Mark took his inspiration from the bars and bordellos of the turn of the century.  His use of color and texture is spot on.  There is nothing quite like the ambiance one gets from smokey colors and decrepit finishes.  Mohair, leather, tacks, tufting, dark woods, natural brick and stone are elements that tell a story of history past and history in the making.



















This long, narrow room is a tough space to pull off yet Mark did it brilliantly. 








































A beautiful shot by talented interiors photographer Eric Laignel.


















The Vault at Pfaff's is located at 643 Broadway, New York. Their wine list is extensive and they are open W/Th/Su 6-12 and Fr/Sa 6-2.  212-253-5421 Vault at Pfaff's


Monday, June 20, 2011

SUMMER SOLSTICE garden tour...plus grilled salmon salad























After the longest winter in decades, it was so good to put my outdoor spaces back together. I worked in the studio on various design projects all day then took a break when the afternoon light was the prettiest to do a little outdoor Yoga.  Enjoy a tour of the summer season in my garden.

















































































I had the most fabulous salad for lunch today.  Salads are the way I keep my energy levels high, get my daily 5 cups of vegetables and fruit, and keep my waistline semi-trim.  Here are the ingredients.  Use amounts according to personal preference:

grilled wild salmon served chilled
spinach
homemade huumus
ripe tomato
lemon juice
white wine vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
red onion
freshly ground sea salt and pepper
freshly chopped thyme (or dried)

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