Category Archives: Interior Design

Titanic – Did It’s Interior Trends Also Sink With The Past?

The Titanic, the world’s largest and most luxurious ocean liner, was traveling from England to New York when it struck an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. on April 14, 1912. It sank less than three hours later, with the loss of all but 700 of the 2,208 passengers and crew.  This past weekend marked the 100th anniversary of it sinking. It’s a very sad yet historic day.

I often wondered what the interiors really looked liked in person. The rich patterns, the texture of the fabrics, the glow of the massive chandeliers. What was the difference between 1st class and 4th class rooms? Are the styles still a part of interiors today?

Take a look at the some interior photos starting in order with 3rd class, instead of the usual 1st class.

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3rd class dining room

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1st class dining room

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1st Class dining room made up for dinner

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Tub chairs,  (also called barrel backs) in the 3rd class dining section are still being used today with many modifications. It’s a very functional chair often seen in public areas.

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Here is a leather and fabric upholstery design sold today that reminds me of the Jacobean style chairs in the 1st class dining room.  This style will always be relevant in traditional interiors.

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3rd class lounge

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1st class writing room and lounge

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1st class writing room made up for passengers Luncheon

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3rd class accommodations

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1st Class Suites

It’s so amazing how old black and white photos versus sharp color photos have such a shroud of mystery and nostalgia associated with it.

Only Two Bathtubs
Although most passengers had to share bathrooms (only the two promenade suites in first class had private bathrooms), third class had it rough with only two bathtubs for more than 700 passengers.

image2 passengers working out in the gymnasium. We’ve come a long way baby!

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Titanic art: vintage posters, letters sent while on board, the last photographed image and random photos taken on board

Art.com sells over 300 prints related to the Titanic.  It makes me wonder what images will be sold of 9/11 a hundred years from now, 50 years, even 10 years…  Is this morally right? After all, these are lost lives we are talking about.  I don’t know. I’m guilty of finding this tragedy fascinating, mysterious and or course sad, but I’ve always been intrigued about it’s interiors and how passengers lived on board.  That’s why the color visuals of James Cameron’s, Titanic still captures me to this day…and yes, the Romeo and Juliet spin he attached to it made it all the more appealing.

More…

2nd class suite images

3d Color Simulations of various rooms

10 Facts About the Titanic You Didn’t Know

Get Rid of Your Boring Living Room Once And For All

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Design Within Reach has paired with one of my favorite home decorating on-line inspirational magazines, Houzz.com to bring you an opportunity of a lifetime.  If you love modern, transitional design styles, sign up to WIN a modern living room makeover – it’s EASY! Get the details here.

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$40,000.00 in Services and Products? How can you resist?!

3 On-The-Spot Designer Tricks You Can Do Immediately to Literally Change Your Formal Living Room and How You Feel About It!!!

1.     Move furniture pieces away from the wall. Come on Nibbles, it’s a living room, not a middle school dance-off. Place pieces so that the conversation will flow naturally, by grouping seating around a coffee table in a circular pattern.  Imagine guest sitting down – will they have to turn awkwardly to talk to one another or will there be fluid movement for all?

2.     Use an area rug to anchor the seating, make the conversation the focal point, soften the echo that hardwoods tend to make, add warmth, color, texture and pattern to the room.  Mimic the rug shape to the room shape. Square room = square or round rug. Rectangular room = rectangular rug (tip: the longest side of the rug MUST face the longest wall – otherwise, you risk throwing the proportions of the room design off)

3.     Place multiple levels of light throughout the  room. Don’t be afraid to have a pair of wall sconces, 2 table lamps, a floor lamp and an overhead fixture in your formal living room.  This prevents shadows, offers task as well as mood  lighting and provides the opportunity to add a variety of finishes and bling in to the space.

When you’re all done – invite some friends over, mix some martinis, sit back and laugh the night away while they marvel at the changes you’ve made.

ABOUT Design Within Reach…if you fancy modern design and are happy to make the investment for furniture you can absolutely pass down through the generations, you have to put DWR in your catalog of home furnishing stores.  There amazing designs, superior service and standout quality ranks high on my list of industry leaders.  Here are a few of my favorite pieces.

imageLine Credenza

Isn’t it beautiful!!!  The warm, rich horizontal lines add so much detail and character to what could have been an ordinary boxed storage console.

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LC4 Chaise Lounge

Just look at it – a piece of work. Stunning. Artful yet practical and comfortable.  It was designed by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand and produced by Cassina.  It is the classic modern design.

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Rubic Service Coffee Table

I call it a martini table – yes, I can appreciate a good martini. So when you and your friends are chatting it up in your new living room, listening to music, while enjoying your favorite martini, there’s no need to strain your arm or back reaching for the side table or coffee table to place your drink. B-e-c-a-u-s-e this baby slides underneath your sofa so the top will rest above your seat cushions, in easy reach.

Good luck with the CONTEST Nibbles – REGISTER TODAY!

Unhappy Hipsters – A Clever Use of Satire to Lighten the Utter Seriousness of Picture Perfect Interiors

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It’s so additive…

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“Unhappy Hipsters” is another sartorial site, produced anonymously, that’s sole purpose is to poke fun at neo-modern interior design. And it does it very well.

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It reminds me of one of my favorite shows that has long since left TV, Mystery Science Theater 3000. One of Time magazine’s 100 Best TV shows of all time.  In a word- hilarious!  …as I reminisce….

image The series features a man and his robot sidekicks who are trapped on a space station by an evil scientist and forced to watch a selection of bad movies, often (but not limited to) science fiction B-movies. To keep sane, the man and his robots provide a running commentary on each film, making fun of its flaws and wisecracking (or “riffing”) their way through each reel in the style of a movie-theater peanut gallery. Each film is presented with a superimposition of the man and robots’ silhouettes along the bottom of the screen.

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Go-get your daily playful feed at The Hipster and enjoy.

The Revealing Truth About Happily Ever After

magic wand So often in design magazines, you see the completed project, a beautifully designed, perfectly styled room – created almost magically.  Most shelter publications wouldn’t dare show a pitiful before photo on the same page as their exquisitely remodeled room.

In my opinion, nothing quite tells a story like side-by-side BEFORE & After photos.  Once upon a time there was a sad and dreary room, that longed to be beautiful – a beautiful room that upon entering,  made people smile with a twinkle in their eyes and a sigh in their heart – and so the story goes – each room, searching for it’s happily ever After.

The REVEALING TRUTH is in the before image – it BEGS to be seen, never to be forgotten, so the true beauty of it’s final tale can be appreciated all the more.

Discover six Happily Ever  After bathroom stories, revealed and DESIGNED by PCL Interiors.

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One. My client decided to renovate the basement 2 years after moving in as a much needed multifunctional area for the entire family. (Pictures of the living area remodel will be posted separately).  This shell of a bathroom beckoned to be fanciful yet practical. With dual entries to the bedroom and main area,the design had to couple as a private yet public space.

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BEFORE  –  Basement Bath-Preconstruction-Vanity

After

 

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BEFORE – Pre-construction, shower and water closet combination.

After

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Two & Three.  Here are two bathrooms that went from happily ever after to happily ever After After. There wasn’t much wrong with them before I redesigned it except the client wanted a different look that included converting traditional tub and shower combo to just showers. The move in date was quickly approaching, so this was a major rush job (so no time for a photo op.)

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BEFORE – Once upon a time there was a bathtub, which was later converted to a shower. After 
New flooring, wallpaper and shutters were also added.
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BEFORE After
New wallpaper, flooring, shower and tile design

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Four.  In this next story, notice the difference in the shower curtain length. A quick fun fix, was to purchase another shower curtain with the same measurements, crop the end and attach with Velcro.  The Velcro can be easily removed when its time to drop the white curtain in the wash.

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BEFORE – New construction, modern, cherry cabinets, black granite, great design- longing for the finishing touches.

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After

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Five & Six.  Commercial spaces spin tales of great abuse and use. With strangers, customers, employees and the like taking, taking and never giving.  All they want is to be loved and fluffed and pampered as well.  This Japanese restaurant Men’s and Ladies room finally received the attention they  so yearned for.

MEN’S ROOM

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BEFORE – Totally utilitarian, the client knew it was time to make a statement. The entry door remained.

After

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BEFORE – Notice only the flooring remained. Not photographed, but the grout lines were later stained dark brown to restore the depth of it’s original color

After

LADIES ROOM

Also inspired by Japanese design, materials for both restrooms contained strie’d patterns and linear lines.  The earthy tones create a tranquil respite from the dining room hustle and bustle of this express restaurant.  By the way, the food is soooo flavorful! If you are ever in Lancaster, SC give them a try.

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BEFORE
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Proposed layout
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During
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After

And that’s the story of these bathroom transformations. They all looked and functioned Happily Ever After.

Focus on Feathers For Your Nest

Some may say feathers are so last year…well I say if you love it – make it work for you.  I happen to still like the many uses of feathers, especially as a focal point for your room. Traditional African headdresses are being used more and more to adorn our rooms.

Traditional African Feather “JuJu Headress

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images via 1st Dibs

This headdress measures 32” across, traditionally worn by medicine men.

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via Harry Daniell

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So I know this post is about feathers, but look at the room below and tell me that this headdress would not look nearly as dynamic without the strong black framed art piece above it!!!  I love the two of these paired together.

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Images – thanks to Moffly Media

I’m so feeling the spirit of these Aztec dancers! I have a feeling the appropriate “attire” is just as important as the moves; hence, the spec—ta—-cular HEADRESS!

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Inspired by the beauty of headdresses and motivated by a smaller budget,  here’s a project I had soooooo much fun “crafting” for a client  The idea was born after she shared her inspiration for her desired color palette.  It was an island vacation photo she and her fiance took with a native dance troop, not too different than the capture above.  To have a piece of her vacation memories visible daily, she agreed to mounting a custom feather piece on the wall space above the fireplace mantel. I captured images step by step of the finial product.

2 purchased two feather wreath

I found two feather wreaths in green and plum tones.  The webbed mirror I found will add support as well as a sculptural effect.

1. purchased starburst mirror

The actual size for the frame is 32”x27”.

4  creating support frame 1

5 creating support frame 2

Two fabrics were used. The base fabric added a hint of color and the overlay was a silk burlap design wrapped and secured with a staple gun.

closeup of two fabrics

close up of silk burlap fabric

8 layer fabric

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10 basic look of mirror overe wreath

I placed the first wreath on top of the silk fabric, the mirror was then laid on top. For extra depth, the second wreath was disassembled and the feathers were laced and secured around the center mirror.

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11 thread disassembled feathers through mirror

All done! The finished project mounted squarely within the preexisting picture molding over the fireplace.  It’s quite the conversation piece.

Evonnes after (50)

Evonnes after (30)

Want to experiment with other materials?

Follow  instructions to make another great faux headdress with yarn.  You will still get the beauty and benefits of an authentic piece, at a fraction of the cost.

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Most of all have fun with it like I did and get creative.   I think accessorizing with feathers will be fashionable for a long time. If it goes out, trust me, it will return in even more daring ways.