So You Want to Plant a Bradford Pear

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Don't do it.  Bradford Pear trees were trucked in to nearly every clear-cut new subdivision about 15 years ago because everyone loved their white early spring blossoms.  Big mistake.  It turns out mature Bradford Pear trees split easily because of the stress and weight of their heavy branches.  

Luckily, The Dollhouse has been spared. 

Seriously, go for the Dogwood.

Need some help pulling your style together?  The Green Room Interiors can make your home a beautiful place to be!  Call Kim Lemmon at 423.653.3186 or email

What I Love about Nick Olsen's Spread in Veranda

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Were you as captivated as I was by Nick Olsen's work in the latest issue of Veranda?  There's something about his aesthetic  that's complex, and yet, so effortless.  Nick has a voice and he's not afraid to see his vision through. 

 The setting  is a Pre-War Beaux Arts building in New York City, which doesn't hurt things, since there were (most likely)  abundant architectural details already in place. Olsen masterfully updated the space with fresh colors, an engaging mix of styles, and a smattering of the unexpected.  

What I love most about the design is that it's rooted in traditional design. There are antiques, silk taffeta curtains, velvet sofas, bullion fringe, canopy beds (although freshened up with white paint), Persian rugs and floral (deGournay) wallpaper.   Olsen layered in some modern elements as well,  but it didn't feel trendy or overplayed, as in chesterfield/barcelona/chevron/ikat/suzani/geometric - rinse and repeat.  (And please don't misunderstand, the aforementioned design elements are lovely and I don't  hesitate to use any of them myself,  I just don't think they're a requirement for every space.)

I also love that it''s "pretty" .There's color!  There's pattern! There's trim! There are flowers! 

Oh, and one last/important  thing .  The apartment doesn't feel overly  "coordinated".  Olsen pulled from a wide range of colors, textures and design styles. The curtains don't match the pillows which pick up a color from the rug, etc.etc.  Of course there was an overall color concept  and mood for the space,  but then some of the pieces were chosen intuitively; just because they felt right  in the space, and not because they matched.  This maneuver is tough to pull off, and the results are never middle of the road.  It's either a home run or a swing and a miss .

And so (for me), this apartment by Nick Olsen is what great design is all about.  It starts with a base of tried and true classic pieces, layers  in some modern elements to represent where we are today, and tops it all off with a bit of the quirky and unexpected.  It's the art of the carefully chosen mix at its best. 

What did you love (or not love) about it?

Need some help pulling your style together?  The Green Room Interiors can make your home a beautiful place to be !  Call Kim Lemmon at 423.653.3186 or email

Charcoal or Coral on the Front Door?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

You kids were so great about offering up your opinions regarding my exterior paint selection a few weeks ago that I want to run something by you again.  Before we dive into the color selection du jour,  there's something you need to know. I didn't go with any one of the color schemes I presented on that post, but I took bits and pieces from a few and came up with something else.  If you recall, I really wanted to paint the brick white but decided against it since the neighbor's house directly to my right is white, and so is the house directly across the street.  That led me to plan "B".  I have been in love with the color of this building since it went up about 5 years ago.  
Nell's Home Furnishings has since relocated from this site to another location on Market Street in Chattanooga,  and the good folks at Nell's were kind enough to share the paint color with me.  BTW, if you're local and haven't been to Nell's, you're in for a treat!  Owner and decorator Jimmy Adams has a real flair for creating stylish and colorful interiors. 

So, on with my paint drama. The brick has been painted Benjamin Moore's Gray Wisp. 

 I love this color!  It's one of those colors you can't name in one word, and those are always the best.  It's gray, its, green, and its blue and it all depends on where you're looking from and what time of day it is.  Fun!  So, I initially painted the shutters like they are at Nell's, but the black was just too stark with my new gray roof.  The shutters got repainted and they're now charcoal (Farrell Calhoun's "Tudor House".)  In love with that!!!

Now, here's a shot of the front door, which also received a coat of Tudor House/charcoal.
Please don't judge too harshly.  Landscaping has yet to begin and we had a little communication breakdown re: the door hardware.  But that's another post.. And the burgundy threshold is a lingering reminder of the "before".  So, have I mentioned that I love the Tudor House/charcoal color with Gray Wisp?  The problem is, the front door is recessed a few feet from the front facade of the house, and it kind of disappears in the shadows.

 Who am I kidding - the problem is I want a coral door.  

See how pretty?  I die for that door!

So I went and got a paint color that looked close, I even went with a little toned down version to ease the husband into this idea.

He's not buying.  And I'm not saying I don't love the charcoal on the door, especially after that hardware malfunction is corrected.  And P.S. my Mom just called and she likes the charcoal, but suggested a gloss - which it is, but for some reason it's reading flat in the picture.  

Luckily, I have some very smart and stylish friends who have great opinions! So I'm turning it over to you - and just know I am happy with either option.  

Charcoal or coral?

Need some help pulling your style together?  The Green Room Interiors can make your home a beautiful place to be!  Call Kim Lemmon at 423.653.3186 or email

Wallpaper Resource

Monday, June 11, 2012

I'm not even sure how I got there, but a few weeks ago I came across Sidney Harbour Paints and got completely lost in their wallpaper selections. Sydney Harbour Paint Company is based in Australia, but I gather from their website that they have a location in California, too. Most of the papers I saw were nature-themed  with a modern attitude.  All were gorgeous and I wanted to use each and every one of them!  

This fresh floral is called "Spring" and it's from Bowie Wong's collection,.

The charming "Round and Round the Garden" is from Anna Spiro's collection.  I'd love to see this in a kitchen.

Of all of the designers collections, my favorite was by Catherine Martin.  Most of her patterns featured birds in a very bold and modern way. The pattern below is called "Pheasant" , and it's shown here in Chocolate.

Also from Catherine Martin's collection is "Lyre Bird".

And Catherine Martin's "Cockatoo"

Here is"Dandelion". The scale of the print and the neutral tones make this botanical print feel current.

"Passion Flower" in pink

Ducks have come a long way since the 80's. This is "Marjorie Duck" by Bholu, 
All images above from Sydney Harbour Paint Company.

Do you have a favorite?

Need some help pulling your style together?  The Green Room Interiors can make your home a beautiful place to be!  Call Kim Lemmon at 423.653.3186 or email

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Entomology is Cool

Monday, June 4, 2012

Are you one of those people who runs screaming whenever you cross paths with a spider or a bee?  The only bug aversion I have is to cockroaches - and I'm not afraid of them, just completely disgusted by them.  With the popularity of the steam punk look over the past few years, insects have gained a resurgence in popularity. And why shouldn't they? They're part of the natural world and can create some unexpected drama in your home.
Would you ever expect framed bugs to be a part of this beautiful space?

Pictures of bugs might be a little easier for you to handle.  These wasps are so bold in their oversize form.

I love these vignettes that feature natural objects, including bugs.

And finally, if you want to take a flying leap onto the entomology train, there's a wallpaper for you.

What do you think?  Like it or repulsed by it?

Need some help pulling your style together?  The Green Room Interiors can make your home a beautiful place to be!  Call Kim Lemmon at 423.653.3186 or email

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