After 13 wonderful days aboard our boat, we are home at last. And as wonderful as vacations are, there still is nothing better than being home (except maybe, clean laundry) I was especially happy to see Alison Vanderpool & Ariana Villata of The Elegant Abode featured in House Beautiful's monthly feature, The Next Wave. These two ladies are absolute magicians at creating dreamy neutral rooms that are forever beautiful and always in style. Their signature look incorporates dreamy neutral palettes with a mix of traditional and vintage elements in thoroughly classic spaces.How do they do it? Let's take a look.
For a timeless look, stick with traditional moldings and wainscoting painted in your favorite shade of white - my personal fave is Benjamin Moore's Super White - but that may be too bright for your taste or space. Use a satin or semi-gloss finish so they will wipe clean easily. If you want a glossy finish, be sure the wood is in perfect condition - as any imperfections will show up. (Isn't that Moroccan influenced lantern to die for? I absolutely love that the candle is sitting on a bed of moss! I am definitely borrowing this idea!)
Do mix styles and incorporate vintage elements as it makes your home more interesting! The distressed white-washed console becomes a perfect little bar for parties. The modern piece of scribble art is perfectly at home in a celadon colored mat surrounded by a traditional gilded frame. The orchid sits in a clay pot instead of some swanky porcelain pot, and the accessories range from crystal champagne flutes to a polished chrome wine opener.
The gleam of silver nickel, reflective mirror finishes, combined with crystal candlesticks on a thick glass cocktail table are sure to capture the light and send sparkling beams of dazzling sunlight dancing around this room. Also, notice how perfectly symmetrical and edited the room is. This ensures a serene space to relax. The celadon porcelain lamps repeat the color of the mat over the bar.
Classically shaped chairs covered in linen with nailhead trim scream (oh, so quietly) timeless and traditional as is the jacquard wallpaper above the wainscoting. Traditional sconces and a crystal chandelier say hello, I can survive any decorating fad. Between the beams the ceiling repeats the celadon accent color.
By now you can see that a neutral color scheme is definitely NOT boring! Colors don't have to be saturated and vivid. In fact, most of us, need a calming space to come home to at the end of the day given our busy lives. While it may seem subtle and bashful, this color scheme is simply stunning! I'm really struck at how the sandy colored walls against the white moldings and celadon accents reminds me of our recent morning walks at Crescent Beach on Block Island.
The pops of pink on the upholstered chairs remind me of the beach roses along the dunes. I guess the best color schemes really are to be found in nature.
There's nothing worse than spending a fortune on a kitchen remodeling, than having it become outdated before you've finished paying for it. Ariana and Ali understand that and design spaces that transcend time. The use of traditional cabinetry in a timeless style combined with white carrara marble counters, subway tile backsplash, a crystal chandelier, and glass front cabinets ensures this kitchen will still be getting oohs and aahhs for years to come. Notice the little bits of celadon accents? Perfectly Perfect.
The charm factor is just as important in family-friendly rooms that get used every day. The textures here are wonderful. From the weathered oak finish on the bookshelves, and the distressed coffee table against the smooth linen upholstery on the sectional with that amazing chunky textile on the pillows. The chalky texture of the lamp is wonderful with the metal end table as well. All of this just oozes comfort, comfort, comfort. I would want to curl up on that chaise with a good book and a glass of wine each night.
Ariana and Ali of The Elegant Abode know that consistency between spaces is important. For instance, dark floors unite all these rooms even when the furniture style or accent colors are slightly altered.
Select an accent color, or two, for your home and apply it in each space. Sprinkle it around the room like these designs illustrate. Golden yellow and blue are the two accent notes here. In earlier photos we saw celadon and fuschia accents predominate.
One of the most important items to add is something green and living -- a plant, or vase of flowers, and most importantly, of course, YOU! Great design always reveals something of the people who live in a home. The little basket under the console holds a women's ballerina flats and flip flops. A small table might hold a favorite photograph, or a gallery wall of your family.
And don't forget, form always follows function in great design. The serene colors in this nursery mean baby can grow in this space without any major overhaul to the room. Thankfully, a great nursery doesn't have to scream BABY. An upholstered contemporary rocker will help rock the lil darling to sleep while adding a modern note to the space. The stuffed animals, blocks and books all add sweet little style accents to this sweet calming nursery.
Kudos to The Elegant Abode for being named The Next Wave!
All photos from The Elegant Abode.com
Okay, I'm sure you are all jonesing for an update on Nola. She is growing so fast and her cheerful personality is really starting to emerge. Plus she is so funny! For some reason she thinks sticking out her tongue at you is a way of communicating. (Ummmm, the reality is that since we laugh so much and stick our tongues back out at her, we have probably conditioned her to think this way, but, it's so funny none of us can stop! So, here she is!
Hopefully she stops before preschool!!