Designerelish Crock Pot

Welcome to the Designerelish Crock Pot! 
Here you will find all the ingredients you need to create a delicious room. Check under the lid each week to see what's cooking! Click on the thumbnail images below to find out how you can buy any of the design elements for your own home. This is the interior design version of the thirty-minute meal. Ready-made, original room design for people who don't have the time or the eye, but still want to feast at the table.

June 12, 2013

                                           Flavor of the Week: Playful SymmetryDesignerelish Crock Pot: Playful SymmetryFor centuries the use of symmetry has been a staple of home interiors. The calming order of symmetrical design is very pleasing to the eye and simplifies the difficult process of finding balance in a room. In addition, just as mirrors make a room seem larger, using mirrored design elements can fool the eye and trick the brain into believing a room is more expansive than its actual square footage. Symmetrical arrangements feel more organized and less cluttered, so they are perfect for those of us who are a bit more obsessive-compulsive and crave peace and order in our daily lives.

The majority of complaints about using a mirrored or symmetrical design plan are that it is too formal, old fashioned, stuffy, and predictable. I strongly disagree and believe that with the right mix of ingredients a symmetrical plan can be casually elegant, fresh, comfortable, and exciting!  Just to prove my theory, this week I decided to create a traditional symmetrical room for the Designerelish Crock Pot. In true Designerelish fashion, I have taken the conventional recipe and added some interesting flavors when developing this original virtual room interior.

Using twin sofas to flank a fireplace is definitely not a new concept. However, the bright yellow, textural fabric of the sofa's upholstery, as well as the gentle curve of the seat lends a fresh, casual, and comfortable feel to the formal arrangement. Formality is also toned down by the brightly colored rug and ottoman. The southwestern prints are an unexpected, eye-catching and eclectic touch. With its round shape, the ottoman works well with the curve of the sofas and the vibrantly painted base and legs again dispel conventionalism. The bright contemporary color palette of the furniture, throw pillows, and accessories help to breathe new life into the tried and true. The brights play nicely against the sophisticated pale teal wall paint. (Sherwin Williams Quietude #6212)

The mirror influence is also seen in identical, Asian inspired end tables. The painted red finish is much less stuffy than a traditional high-gloss wood stain and the simple lines are by far less formal than the ornately carved pieces of grandma's day. On the opposite end of the sofas, two identical and substantial floor lamps stand like the guards of Buckingham Palace; tall, elegant, and authoritative.

To keep things interesting and to add a bit of unpredictability, the accessories are not mirrored like the furnishings. The matching end tables hold different and unrelated items. One holds a stack of books while the other has two large sea shells. On the mantel, a sleek and retro ceramic black cat is balanced but not mirrored by two candle sticks. Finally, the three simply framed geometric prints that decorate the fireplace wall are balanced like a scale. The center print is hung higher than the two pieces of art that hang on either side. The color-block artwork nicely ties the entire bright palette together.

When designing your own room don't shy away from using a symmetrical design out of fear of creating a space that is dated and stiff. The principle of mirrored symmetry is classic and works well in almost any area. Order doesn't have to be synonymous with boring. It can be an effective basis for interior design as long as the space is kept playful with an exciting color palette. The formality of the furniture placement can be tempered with welcoming, comfortable, and functional fabrics and furnishings. Keep in mind that the majority of the furniture can be mirrored but the accessories should be varied and balanced to add visual interest.

May 4, 2013

Flavor of the Week: Soft Coral and Olive Green

Designerelish Crock Pot

This week the Designerelish Crock Pot is serving up an originally designed cohesive eclectic living room in shades of soft coral and olive green. The straight back sofa in deep coral from Pier 1 Imports is the perfect starting ingredient to use when whipping up a recipe for a comfortable but elegant room. The sofa in a strong solid color, set against soft neutral walls in Palish Peach by Sherwin Williams (SW 7114), is a good choice in this room because it's simplicity creates a non-competing baseline on which to layer lots of patterns and textures.

The pair of large-scale floral wingback chairs in shades of pink and coral adds charm to the space with their interesting lines and nail head detail. The solid color olive green barrel style chair helps to subdue the mix of fabric patterns in the room while adding a luxurious texture with its velvet upholstery. The ceiling painted in Lemon Grass by Sherwin Williams (SW 7732) compliments the olive shades of the chair and draws the eye upward.

The sophisticated look of this room comes from mixing rustic finishes with traditional and sleek, modern elements. The modern cylindrical coffee table is constructed from rustic reclaimed wood, which is echoed in the wall art above the sofa. The classic framed oil painting compliments yet contrasts the primitive art. Refined furniture pieces are anchored by the rustic vintage Moroccan rug while contemporary as well as traditional shapes and finishes are seen in the end tables.

Because all of the seating pieces have legs, it was important to mix in a few tables that had solid legless shapes to keep room from feeling like it is floating. Consistent use of black accents also grounds the room and palette.

Using the antique grandfather clock helps to attach a soul to the room. Just as it's considered good luck for a bride, "something old" can be very beneficial to any interior design.  If you are not fortunate enough to have inherited a wonderful piece like this, purchasing a quality antique grandfather clock can be a pricey investment. An antique or vintage cabinet would serve just as well to give the room a sense of history and permanence and may be easier on the budget.

Remember the key to making this recipe work is all in the mixing!

April16, 2013
Flavor of the week: Sunny Accents
Designerelish Crock Pot
Nothing brightens the spirit like the sunny color of yellow! In this week's Designerelish Crock Pot original design room, a traditional blue and white color scheme is enlightened by pops of bright yellow and grounded by accents of black.

The cohesive eclectic design combines a variety of patterns and textures. The combination of  bright colors, contemporary lines, traditional and modern fabric prints, as well as trendy accessories let you know that it's not your mother's blue and white living room anymore.

Set against a backdrop of soft blue walls painted in Respite by Sherwin Williams (SW6514), the clean-lined white sofa stands out as the perfect bright starting point for the lively color palette. It's comfortably simplistic style is energized by the eclectic mix of throw pillows ranging in motif from traditional to pop art. The modern blue and white, low-armed club chair in an exciting zigzag print is the ultimate contrast to it's more traditional sister chair covered in a yellow floral damask. The end tables also repeat the idea of contrast. One being a colorful step-stool while the other a more traditional round with a filigree base. An unconventional coffee table is created by setting twin yellow ceramic garden stools in front of the couch. All are grounded with the two tone rug in a large-scale floral print.

The lopsided sofa configuration with right armed chaise is balanced out by the asymmetrical artwork hung on the wall above. A streamline étagère holds an interesting collection of objects in colors pulled from the room's palette and a vintage style clock on the opposite wall acts as practical art.

Finally, the black accents in the lamp, picture frame and accessories gives depth and perspective to the sunny color scheme.

Cost of this sunny eclectic room: Approximately $6500

Week of April 8, 2013
Flavor of the Week: Mid Century Bohemian

Designerelish Crock Pot
This week's original Designerelish Crock Pot design room is a modern day office decked out in Mid Century Bohemian style. Hinting at the soul of a 1960's "flower child", the room's colorful palette is fun and free spirited in a vivid but sophisticated way. The soft but strong wall color Sockeye (SW6619) by Sherwin Williams is pulled directly out of the eccentric patterned area rug. The high impact color is calmed a bit by painting the ceiling in the palest shade of teal; Retiring blue (SW6763) also by Sherwin Williams.

The spirited palette is the perfect back drop for a mix of contemporary and mid century vintage furnishings and accessories.  The 1950's Italian geometric desk paired with a current day rolling chair in white leather, creates a stylish yet comfortable space to work. The teal swivel chair and mint green lounge chair are a mismatched marriage that offers additional seating for informal meetings. They are tied together by the unique Thomas Moser round vault table topped with a bright yellow ceramic lamp. The massive open shelving units are kept light and airy by the sparse placement of cherished books, vintage pottery, and brass animal figures. Eclectic artwork completes the design.

In line with true Bohemian rebelliousness, the rules have been broken by hanging two very different crystal chandeliers at staggered heights in the center of the room. This avant-garde design element is the crown jewel and creates a dramatic focal point.

Tip: If you find a terrific area rug that you love, build a room around it! The colorful pattern will do two thirds of the design work for you. It will dictate the design style direction and color palette and then all you have to do is have fun shopping for comfortable furnishings and accessories

Week of April 1, 2013
Flavor of the Week:  Autumn Cottage
Designerelish Crock Pot

This week’s original Designerelish Crock Pot design room is inspired by the colors of Autumn. The warm palette, which captures the essence of changing leaves, is comprised of shades of green, rusty red, pumpkin orange, and chocolate browns.

The coloring of the whimsical, hand-painted, “Garden Cottage” headboard reflects the seasonal color scheme with its scrolling vines and leaves. Carved bird details, symbolic of nature, cleverly bring the out doors into this bedroom. The distressed paint finish in the headboard and armoire lends character that comes from exposure to the elements. The natural weathered style looks perfect against the Lighter Mint paint by Sherwin Williams (SW 6742)

When choosing smaller bedside tables, it is a good idea to use wall sconces for lighting. Table lamps take up precious surface space but the wall-mounted lighting frees the table-top and provides needed room for nighttime necessities.

Adding two comfortable chairs and a table, creates a relaxing sitting area and transforms the space from a bedroom to a retreat. To keep the Cottage look updated, two pumpkin pouf ottomans are placed at the end of the bed.  It’s a twist on the traditional bench and provides additional comfortable seating.

Patterned area rugs are always a great idea in any room. Not only do they add life and interest to the space, but they are extremely durable and the colorful patterns helps to camouflage soil and stains.

Finally, earthy accessories support the room’s ambiance; leaf motif wall art , green ceramic bird candleholder, leafy green chenille throw, and colorful pottery pieces.

Tip: Using large scale pottery or accessories on top of a taller piece of furniture, like an armoire, takes the eye upwards and makes your ceiling feel higher.

Week of March 25, 2013
Flavor of the Week: Contemporary Asian Drama

Designerelish Crock Pot
Sometimes rooms are inspired by a single, great piece of furniture. This week’s Crock Pot recipe was designed around this show-stopping Chinoiserie linen press in a striking red lacquer finish.

If you are fortunate enough to find an investment piece with this much talent, you have to allow the “Diva” to take center stage. The intricate Asian armoire, with its hot color, is showcased against a cool neutral wall painted in First Star (#7646) by Sherwin Williams. Shades of grey used in the room’s palate allow the vibrant red to maintain its larger than life status. The accents of black in the “Old Hollywood” club chair and accessories ground the crimson starlet and keep her ego in check.

The clean contemporary lined sofa, geometric print area rug, and modern print throw pillows, keep our aging Asian actress looking like a young and fresh ingénue. Tossing in a crisp club chair dressed in masculine, large-scale, hound’s-tooth suiting material provides the perfect leading man.

Although the leading lady comes at a large expense, the sofa, which understudies as a sleeper is very reasonably priced. To achieve a high-end look it isn’t necessary for every item in the room to have a high-end price tag. The key is to always choose the biggest bang for the buck.  And by biggest bang, I mean only buy an expensive piece if it useful, versatile, impactful, and has a timeless style. The Chinoiserie linen press fits all of these criteria. Its Asian artwork and detailed style has been a staple in interior décor for centuries and its uses are endless. This piece provides great storage in any room. It could be purposed in the dinning room to hold china, in the living room to cleverly hide the television, or in a bedroom as the perfect place for clothing. Its impact in the room is self-evident.

One last tip: Remember that economical furniture can get a high-end makeover by adding a few-high end accessories. If the budget only permits a bargain sofa, purchase one with simple clean lines. Remove all the matching throw pillows that come with the sofa. Purchase one or two quality throw pillows and mix them with one or two interesting pillows purchased from a discount store like TJ Maxx or Home Goods. The result will make the inexpensive sofa look like it walked off the pages of a design magazine. Better yet, buy remnants of quality home interior fabric and recover the matching pillows for even more cost savings.

Cost for this Contemporary Asian Drama room: 
Approximately $6,500 + Cost of armoire $9000

March 18, 2013
Flavor of the Week: Trellis PrintDesignerelish Crock Pot
This light and stylish room capitalizes on the trendiest of fabric choices; the geometric trellis print. Whether used in a large-scale, neutral paper on an accent wall or in mismatched teal and aqua throw pillows, the open-link trellis print is always pleasing to the eye. The trellis pattern is again repeated in the rug, but in deeper shades of teal blue to anchor the room.

When visiting friends in Manhattan, I was intrigued by a distinctive NYC design style that I like to call "Cohesive Eclectic". New Yorkers love that "collected" look that combines a variety of furniture styles and periods. They pull it all together with a sophisticated interconnected color palate. I channeled my inner New Yorker when creating this week's Crock Pot recipe, collaging a contemporary streamline sofa with a reproduction antique inspired French chair, both in cool neutral shades. The coffee table has an early 20th century vintage look while the end tables and teal glass pendant are representative  of the "mod" 1970's. The contrasting yellow pouf not only ties in the hints of yellow in the drapery fabric and throw pillow, but adds contemporary shape and texture to the room.

Shades of blues, aquas, and teals paired with muddy grey neutrals are the basis of the fresh palate. To keep these colors on their toes I have peppered the formula with cream, golden yellow, dark walnut, and antiqued metallic gold. The hues work perfectly against Retiring Blue wall paint by Sherwin Williams. (SW 6763)

Inspired by the idea of the garden trellis, I chose a large-scale graphic floral drapery and Bird print pillow. After all, what lives on trellises but flowers and birds? The metal work in the two staggered height end tables is also reminiscent of the trellis motif. The repeated design shapes really help unify the eclectic furniture.

Dare to do something unconventional! For example in the design room, I have used twin lamps on the staggered height end tables. This creates an interesting silhouette and gives an edge to the comfortable space. 

When using this much print it is best to keep accessories simple and large. Notice the giant conch shell sitting on the coffee table. Its just enough to add another layer of interest, but not so much that it overwhelms. 

Cost for this "Cohesive Eclectic" trellis print inspired room: Approximately $4000

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