Lamped in Animal Forms

Black coffee seems too serious for this read; let’s make it a latte to accompany a copy of Abigail Ahern’s book, “A Girl’s Guide to Decorating.”  Ahern’s shabby chic meets industrial high tech is lacquered, textured, papered, booked, lamped in animal forms, cushioned, collected, colored, diverse, rich, and mighty.

She advises: “Have Something that seamlessly holds it all together.  ie. a paint color, textural feature, or a personal choice of furnishings.”

Stacks of books arranged beautifully make excellent plinths for displaying favorite objects.

"I adore this photograph and the over-the-top tabletop"

Pairs create balance.

Equalizing with Chairs, Lamps, and Stools

What kind of mood do you want to set; cozy, glamorous, formal?  Something that is often overlooked is levels of lighting in a room. Lighting contributes so much to the inner realm. I have always advised hiring a professional lighting designer to make sure you achieve the look you desire.  To start: mix table, pendant, and floor lamps to mingle the light.

Intimate
Distinctive
Exactly the Right Portion of Yellow

Ahern offers ideas for all seasons and settings… when zoning in multi-use rooms make space feel more intimate by concealing areas you don’t want on view.  Use a decorative screen, free-standing bookcase, or a group of large plants to provide a simple partition.

If a physical barrier seems too obtrusive, lay different rugs in separate zones to give each area its own personality.

I chose these tips for the kitchen from her book:

Push button catches on kitchen cabinets eliminates the need for door handles… this is the answer if the room is tiny!

Glass test tubes with cork tops can be filled with spices and set into a metal rack.

Elongate kitchen cupboard doors.  This is a simple and inexpensive trick that looks indulgent and luxurious.  I’d like to see these cupboard doors painted in Warhol colors.

Ahern likes the way dark smoky colors bring sophistication.

The use of lime, primrose, and hot pink

Here are a few more of Ahern’s color palettes:

  • Burnt sienna, damson, raspberry and pink.
  • Nutmeg, stone, pink, pecan, and chocolate.
  • Bronze, azure, deep grey and pearly white.
  • Salmon, buff, ochre and sage.

I like to collect paint chips and turn them into assemblages on the blank face, white pages of journals with jazzy covers.  Scissors, glue stick, imagination and possibly even a thin black felt pen:  now I have all the tools I need to keep me busy for hours.  I like to take these things with me when I go downtown so I can experiment with shape and composition over a coffee and a chocolate almond biscotti.

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets