February 9, 2011

The natural element

When examining rooms that I really love (both in photos & in life) I’ve noticed there there almost always needs to be some natural elements in a room for me to really love it.  By natural elements, I mean wood (either stained or raw), textured materials such as natural woven shades, baskets or natural fiber rugs rugs, leathers, plants, etc.  and I’ve noticed that that same feeling can come across in certain textiles,  metals and paintings so often they serve that purpose.

A room that’s full of bright, bold happy saturated color needs grounding elements in order for me to love it.   I’ve noticed that I tend to like rooms missing the brown element at first glance, but that as I study them, I often grow bored.  They feel a little one-dimensional and unsophisticated and a little bit like children’s rooms:


{My little guy Christian’s bedroom…  the woven shades add a little of that brown I’m talking about, but this also gives you the idea of what I mean about how a kids’ scheme often feels}
Below, I love this room by Betsy Burnham.  The metal drum table, the inside of the fireplace, the lamp, and the bird figurines on the mantle, are these natural (brown as is often the case) touches I’m talking about.  They ground the room just enough and make it perfectly livable & comfortable.
(image via Apartment Therapy…  ps- I’m doing a 4-chair arrangement with a client in her living room right now & I’m so excited about it.  loooove the cozy layout.}

In the room below by Gerrie Bremermann, it’s the sisal rug & tapestry pillow on the left that provide this natural element.  They bring this elegant formal room down just a notch so that it’s perfectly comfortable & a tad more approachable:

{image via Cote de Texas}
It’s partly my love for the outdoors and partly a need for texture and layers that has me craving natural elements somewhere in amost every room.  There’s a lot of it in this room below (Lonny) with the exposed hardwood floors and A-mazing tapestry:



I’m not saying that there aren’t beautiful rooms without the natural element…  because there definitely are…  but for me personally to really fall in love with a room, I need it.

{The armoire, floors: Southern Accents}


{The rug, painting, table and kitty stand: Domino}
{the shades, S.Gambrel}


{I can’t remember where I found this…  the bed, tableand mirrors in reflection}
(Windsor Smith’s living room in House Beautiful…  It’s the rug, chest and other wooden elements throughout the room.  loooooove}
Adding the natural element is simple.  It can wake up a dead space like nothing else.  Add some natural woven shades to your windows or bring in a big gorgeous fern (which is always semi-temporary in my case because of my black thumb).  Add a natural fiber rug under your current rug for another layer of natural texture…  Switch out some artwork, swap pillows, add textured blankets in, baskets, etc.
Anyway, the kids are up and I hear giggles from the nursery so I have to run.  Have a great day!!!

xoxo, Lauren

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