neutral style and decor on Reviving Charm

STAYING NEUTRAL

Hello there! The recent silence has been unintentional but I’m back. The holidays have indeed slipped away and I am ready to rest the eyes and get back to more neutral colors after the overload of red and green during the month of December. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I’m probably not alone in my thinking. 

Since I feel like I’ve had my fair share of color these last couple of months, I would like to share a few images focusing on creamy, ivory tones. It’s a “color” palette that provides a calming effect and one that also sets the stage for a look of understated elegance and subtle glamour. I also threw in a few products that might help you relax and enjoy this winter season. neutral decorating_reviving charmneutral design_Reviving Charmneutral interior design on Reviving Charmneutral design on Reviving Charmivory decor on Reviving Charmneutral decor on Reviving Charm 3classic design_Reviving Charmivory coat via Reviving Charmclassic cars_Reviving Charmclassic architecture_Reviving CharI always wear black but last year I bought a very similar pantsuit to the one shown below as a way to try something new and break out of my mold. I hate to admit that I haven’t worn it yet because I’m afraid of it becoming a dirt magnet the moment I walk out the door. Seeing it look so stylish makes me want to put my fear aside. After all, it’s a new year and new beginnings! I also have a very similar Furla tote bag in ivory leather that would work well with it. Hopefully, I can look as chic as her…ivory suit style_Reviving Charmdesigning with neutrals _Reviving Charmivory bedroom_reviving charminspirational quotes_Reviving Charmpeonies on Reviving Charmneutral style on Reviving Charm_5neutral decor on Reviving Charm_3neutral decor on Reviving CharmI just finished telling someone that finding time for yourself is the ultimate luxury. Why not find a cozy corner to sit and read a book. While you’re at it, treat yourself to a cup of Fortnum & Mason’s chamomile tea. They conveniently come in individual tea bags.fortnum mason tea_Reviving CharmAmen……
inspirational quotes on Reviving Charm

If I can’t fit in time for a massage or facial I like to treat myself to spa days at home whenever possible. I like to treat myself and these quiet moments of relaxation are quite a luxury. I’m huge on baths and this winter I plan to try this bubble bath by Antica Farmacista. It’s described as having a “crisp scent celebrating the sparkling effervescence of Prosecco and Champagne”. Doesn’t that sound amazing? It’s currently sold out on their website but available at Nordstrom.

It has actually been a tad warm these last couple of days but I bet many people back East dealing with the insane winter weather probably can’t wait for spring to arrive. I think the orange blossom candle by Aerin Lauder is a good reminder that better weather will come and springtime is on its way. If citrus scents aren’t your thing, don’t worry…it also comes in a variety of other scents such as gardenia, tuberose, as well as a few others.

aerin candle_Reviving CharmI have a feeling that tomorrow I won’t want to get out of bed to head back to work. I’d much rather lounge around in daybed like this and daydream about my next vacation…ivory daybed_on Reviving Charm

Personally, Italy is always on my mind but I will agree with the fact that Paris is always a good idea. This glass tray is perfect to hold small items and is a great reminder to plan your next trip. They say if it’s written down, it’s more likely for you to make it happen. paris is a good idea_Reviving Charm

Rebuilding.

On the way home from the airport after landing in Los Angeles, our driver said to us at the end of a particular conversation, “Don’t worry, the reality and stress will soon set in”. Although said jokingly, he wasn’t far off base. It’s hard coming home to see news coverage about the devastating wildfires occurring in my state. There are fires burning in both Northern and Southern California with deadly, devastating results. “California is on fire”, is some something I made mention of yesterday to a colleague. While we are not in the path of any of the current fires, I came home to find layers of ash covering our property spread by the heavy Santa Ana winds. I had also being alerted by our city to stay indoors due to poor air quality. Having a home destroyed in a matter of minutes is a frightening thought but is the reality for so many living it in the moment. There are many who will deal with the aftermath of the destruction. Some will be rebuilding lives after the loss of life of friends and family; others will deal with construction efforts of rebuilding physical structures. This all reminded me of a post I did last year about a Santa Barbara home that was rebuilt after a fire. The owner took some extra precautions to design a new home with safety in mind. The results are lovely and in case you missed that post, you can check it out HERE.

When we rebuild a house, we are rebuilding a home. When we recover from disaster, we are rebuilding lives and livelihoods. –Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Economist

If you want to help with disaster relief aid, contact Red Cross.

Micheal Smith at Home in Madrid

When I was in line at Los Angeles International Airport buying a bottle of water I happened to look down at the heap of magazines on the shelf below. What caught my eye was the current issue of Galerie Magazine with its beautiful cover and headline reading “Michael Smith at Home in Madrid”. I’ve been a fan of Michael Smith’s work since meeting him in the early 1990s in L.A. I follow him on Instagram and have previously featured his work, specifically covering his renovation of the White House during the Obama administration (featured here). Michael Smith’s partner, James Costos, served as Obama’s Ambassador to Madrid and Andorra for nearly four years during which time they were able to transform the official Ambassador residence. However, after the change in administration and exiting the diplomatic arena Costos and Smith found themselves wanting to maintain a residence in Spain (in addition to their home in Los Angeles). They moved their belongings to a 5,000 square foot apartment in Madrid which turned out to be a blend of classic, elegant style with bit a of modernity to it. According to Costos “Michael’s work in the apartment is perfection. I think he hit all the right notes. It has modern formality, yet it’s bright and comfortable.”

A SNEAK PEEK: REVIVING CHARM REDECORATES

We had a house guest stay with us recently for several weeks. The furniture in the guest bedroom was rearranged to better suit their needs as a temporary resident. With our house guest now gone, I have begun to rearrange this small bedroom. I had been tinkering with the idea of redecorating this room so this posed the perfect opportunity. Timing is everything, isn’t it?

I will be repurposing a lot of what we already have. I will be maintaining all of the existing furniture (although two pieces will get a makeover with a fresh coat of chalk paint). I purchased new fabric for 4 pillows I will be making for the bed and already have fabric for 3 other accent pillows I still need to make. I am thrilled that existing art that has been stored away will soon be displayed. The room will be simple in design. Not a lot of color, not a lot of fuss. A few details have yet to be worked out but the re-do is officially underway.

guest-room-details

Do you want to learn a little bit about all the pretty little things in this picture?

  • Gold trinket box: Did you know that Goodwill operates a store called Deja Blue Boutique? Yeah, I didn’t either. I went to Las Vegas with a couple of friends a while back. One of my friends took us to Deja Blue, which happens to be where Goodwill sells their higher end items. The box still had its original red velvet lining which I happily swapped out with black linen to suit the space better.
  • Sunburst Brooch & Lady Bust: These are vintage and were purchased from a Hollywood costume designer a few years ago. I think the black linen provides a great backdrop to show them off.
  • Octagonal glass trinket box: This is already existing in the room. It is one of my favorite pieces because it displays various seashells and rocks that Mr. B and I have collected over the years from various beaches we’ve visited while on vacation.
  • Mirrored tray: This is another accessory that is already in the room but it has a tendency of moving around.
  • Books: I rummaged through a box of books we still have packed away and found a few that match the room perfectly.
  • Ivory & chrome tray: This was a Homegoods purchase several years ago and is already being used in the room. I love using trays to corral items together and create a harmonious grouping of things.
  • Wicker basket: The wicker basket was purchased by Mr. B at least 30 years ago at a yard sale. He has a good eye! It currently exists in the room and serves as a table in front of the daybed.

I hope you have enjoyed this sneak peek. I still have a lot to do so I better get to work now…

David Heyman and Rose Uniacke London

DAVID HEYMAN AND ROSE UNIACKE IN LONDON

David Heyman and Rose Uniacke are the ultimate power couple. David is the producer behind the Harry Potter series and Rose Uniacke is the daughter of a well know antique dealer in France who, in her own right, has become a much-in-demand British designer. The couple’s home, which is shared with one of their children, is featured in the March 2017 issue of Vogue. It combines raw and refined qualities and has an elegant simplicity to it. According to Uniacke, the design of their home can be summed up as “monastery meets Venetian palazzo.”

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Here is Rose Uniacke with the family dog, Errol. That dog must live a very charmed life! Don’t worry, Errol isn’t camera shy. You’ll catch a glimpse of his sweet face later in this post.

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It looks like the kitchen has undergone some renovation. The picture above is the family’s kitchen from 2013 via the New York Times. It’s also the version currently on Uniacke’s website known as the Pimlico House. However, the kitchen shown below, with its reclaimed wood, is the one featured in the March 2017 issue of Vogue Magazine. Personally, I like the 2013 version much better with the island in place and the selection of materials used. In fact, I kept having to double check my sources thinking that I had mixed up the pictures and dates. Nope.

rose-uniacke-kitchen-via-reviving-charmrose-uniacke-bathroom-via-reviving-charmpool-of-rose-uniacke-and-david-heyman-via-reviving-charm-blogA basement apartment was converted to accommodate an indoor pool. If you look closely, you can notice the subtle change to this space that includes the addition of travertine to line the base of the walls.  The photo above is from 2013 while the photo below is from the 2017 issue of Vogue. Here is Errol again!
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You can read more about the home in the March 2017 issue of Vogue Magazine and HERE in the 2013 New York Times/T Magazine article.

john de bastiani_Reviving Charm blog

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: JOHN DE BASTIANI

With all the color floating around the internet and social media sites on Valentine’s Day, I think I’ve had my fair share of red and pink for the moment. To combat my overdose of color, I thought today would be great for posting a beautiful space featuring a combination of soothing neutrals. I’ve had these images of the beautifully designed Beverly Hills pied-a-terre by interior designer John De Bastiani saved for a while and couldn’t image a better day to share them with you. I’ve said it before…that the lack of color doesn’t need to equate to boring design. Apparently, it’s a sentiment that I share with John as he has been quoted as saying that “Beige is classic. It’s sophisticated, it’s soothing. It isn’t trendy, and neither am I. People might call it the safe choice, but I say, What’s wrong with being safe?” You can read the rest of the interview here.

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Interior Designer John De Bastiani

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Images via House Beautiful.

COLOR STORY: THE BEAUTY OF BROWN

I am starting this post with a confession: I started a website in 2007 (it’s no longer active, by the way) and one of my favorite posts was what I now like to call “Color Stories”. It’s a feature highlighting a variety of things, such as fashion and design, with a particular color being the unifying element.  It was something not wildly done back then when blogging first started so it was a feature that my readers truly enjoyed. It’s a popular post format these days but frankly, Color Story posts were and are still some of those that I enjoy working on the most. It’s what I like to consider a virtual inspiration board. And I love, love, love a good inspiration board (some call them “mood boards”). I’ve posted a few Color Story features on Reviving Charm but realize that I haven’t done one in a while. Let’s take a look at the color brown…beauty-of-brown-via-reviving-charmbrown-sweater-fashion-via-reviving-charmbrown-eyes-quote-via-revivingcharmvintage-cars-via-reviving-charmbrown-restaurant-bar-interior-via-reviving-charmbrown-flower-close-up-via-revivingcharmbrow-restaurant-interior-via-reviving-charmchocolate-dessert-via-reviving-charmcooking-quotes-via-reviving-charm-blogchair-collection-via-reviving-charmbrown-hat-via-reviving-charmhades-of-brown-via-reviving-charmcolor-story-brown-via-reviving-charmmark-d-sikes-via-reviving-charm-1country-kitchen-via-reviving-charm

By the way, in case you are curious about how I came up with the color brown to focus on today then here is the back story. I recently put on an outfit that was head to toe black. (If you are curious…I wore black riding boots, black skinny jeans, a black sweater with a floppy turtleneck and a black peacoat. An oversized black Ferragamo tote bag adorned my arm). While putting together my outfit, I came across a pair of brown leather shoes I forgot I had. At that moment I realized that my wardrobe really lacks shades of brown. I might need to fix that. But the color stuck in my head and this is how today’s post came to be. Take it for what it’s worth…that’s just how my mind works…

A CALIFORNIA HOME DESIGNED WITH SAFETY IN MIND

After a former home was destroyed by fire, the owner of Hall Pardoe Design teamed up with custom home builders Giffin & Crane to build a modest 1,600 square foot home that was completed in late 2013. The home is a testament to the fact that style doesn’t have to be compromised when designing for fire safety. For example, the home is equipped with sprinklers (which is a actually a requirement in many California jurisdictions), steel windows and doors with double-paned tempered glass are incorporated into the design and there is no exterior wood except for a small hatch covering an electrical panel. The roof is constructed from zinc panels which have been acid washed to make them appear weathered and aged, as if they had always been there. The front facade is rather plain for my taste and I don’t understand the makeshift carport but the interiors have a refined simplicity to them that could make anyone feel comfortable in the hills above Santa Barbara.

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