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Inspirational Palette: Dessert Shots!

27 Jun

I haven’t pulled together an inspirational palette in a while now, so I felt it was time to make one.  Perhaps I hadn’t been feeling very inspired, but then I saw this image of chocolate dessert shots on a wedding website:

Yum! (image via

I love it because it’s both masculine and feminine, as well as comfortable and formal. It’s a blend of neutrals with a background pop of bright green, and it’s cozy and clean at the same time. Naturally, I’d love to make this dessert a room. Here’s my take — hope you enjoy it!

Top row: White pillow with checked piping, source unknown; Pair of Green Glass Lamps from Pieces, $2,700 (image via Pieces); Creamsicles Print from Crate and Barrel, $399 (image via Crate and Barrel) Second row: Refrax Pendant by Schonbeck ($20-$500); Brown and White Cowhide by Tracy Porter, $780 (image via DecorPad); Modern West German Pottery from Stripe Vintage Modern, price on request (image via 1stDibs) Third Row: Stanley Young American Ma Mariele Mirror, $480 (image via Layla Grayce); Moroccan Pouf in Tan, $350 (image via Layla Grayce); White Lacquer Tray from West Elm (image via West Elm) Bottom Row: Saarinen Table, from $1,400 (image via Design Within Reach); Striped Bolster Pillow from Ballard Designs, $48 (image via Ballard Designs); Etta Chair from Oly Studio, price on request (image via Oly Studio)

For those of you who interpret furniture lines and textile prints as literally as I do, you’ll love how the woodwork on the Etta Chair echoes the darker chocolate in the glasses, and you’ll appreciate how the Refrax by Schonbeck pendant tops off the room in the same way that the blackberry tops off the confection. I really like the feel of this space, and I’d eat a dessert shot it in any day!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.


Inspirational Palette: Neopolitan!

22 Mar

Remember this?

Gorgeous wide stripes, and delicious, too! (image source unknown)

Growing up, I used to love going to my grandparents house to eat ice cream (and just hang out, of course).  My grandfather was a huge fan of sweets, and he loved pink, white, and brown striped Neapolitan ice cream.  They ALWAYS had some. I also remember these fondly, not necessarily for the taste but because they were so pretty:

Coconut, chocolate and strawberry candies. (image via Brach's Candy Co.)

Those wide stripes of strawberry, vanilla and chocolate: it’s like childhood wrapped up in a neat little rectangle! It would be fairly easy to translate this color combination into a room, or at least bring the hues into a space as a subtle reference.  The challenge is in accomplishing this without being too feminine, juvenile, or silly looking. I think the choices below do the trick in terms of bringing some Neapolitan flavor into a home.  I especially love the NeoAbe print from Etsy seller JustinRichele, and I like how the seemingly solid colored rug catches you off guard when you look closely (it’s a mix of all three shades that comprise this lovely combo).  …and the dress…oh, the dress!

Enjoy taking a look, and go get yourself a big bowl of ice cream when you’re done!

What a fun Inspirational Palette this was to do! Top Row: NeoAbe Print, $15 by Etsy Seller JustinRichele, (image via Etsy); Pink Chair by Pieces (image via Pieces); Chevron Pillow, $50 by Twinkle Living (image via Twinkle Living). Middle Row: Kate Spade Market Street China (image via Kate Spade); Pink Wonder Rug, $310 + by Avalisa (image via 2Modern); Sweet as Spumoni Dress, $75 at Modcloth (image via Modcloth). Bottom Row: Farris Brown Glass Vase, $139 by Arteriors Home (image via Arteriors Home); Pink, White and Brown Moroccan Poufs, $395-$450 at Serena and Lily (image via Serena and Lily); Coral Kids Rug in Pink and Brown, $139 (image via Shoppers Best)

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Inspirational Palette: Getting Ready For Spring!

8 Mar

If you’ve been following my blog for some time, you know that I don’t claim to have a green thumb.  Last year, however, I started a container garden that was pretty successful; now I’m unexpectedly enthusiastic about planting my veggies, fruit, and herbs for 2011!

A typical weekly summer harvest from last year: all from my balcony!

I already know that I’m going to be including lots of tomatoes: we got so many perfect tiny red cherry tomatoes from our single plant last year that I am certain we’ll triple the plants this time.  The green peppers did well (and lasted until October!), and of course, herbs were a phenomenal success and make cooking much more fun (and less expensive!).   Snap peas were a huge bust, despite my husband spending hours to build an intricate rope lattice for them to climb: I think we grew less than 15 of them. For the next few weeks my gardening activities will consist of figuring out what to grow.  I’m really looking forward to making the selections!

Until then, here’s a virtual room inspired by last year’s harvest. Though the colors evoke “Christmas” I think it comes off as very fresh.  I particularly love the grass-upholstered chairs from Chaircouture, and I am really attracted to the materials that conjure up images of garden tools like the mercury glass planters and wooden pendant lamp.  Enjoy, and me know if you have any ideas for planting!

Images clockwise from print at top left: Antique Seed Ford print from, $1111 (sold out) (image via; Antique Green Bottle (source unknown); Red Mirror by Howard Elliot, $430 (image via CSN); Pair of vintage french chairs from Chaircouture, price on request (image via Chaircouture); Custom Curved Table from Pieces, $1885 (image via Pieces); Ale Rug by Second Studio, $600-$1100 (image via 2Modern); Farmer's Almanac Console, $1495 (image via Hudson Goods); Jarrod Pendant by Arteriors Home, $1595 (image via Clayton Gray Home); Bitossi planters with mercury glass glaze from Satyricon, price on request (image via 1st Dibs)

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Inspirational Palette: Fall Is Getting Closer…

10 Sep

Baked Acorn Squash with Walnut Oil and Maple Syrup (image via New York Times)

It’s finally starting to feel like Fall, which I think is fabulous. The absence of 90 degree days, the crispness in the air, and the little signs that the holidays are going to start creeping up on us are all so exciting to me.  Also a huge bonus once mid-September rolls around is the bounty of apples, squashes, soups, stews, and (this next one is for some, but not typically me) pumpkin.

Aesthetically, I can’t help but gravitate towards warm, rich colors and earthy textures this time of year, so here are some picks that evoke those rusts, reclaimed woods, and deep oranges that are the essence of Fall. I especially love the pendant that looks like an apple basket, and the rusty gears mirror that exudes warmth with a little bit of edge.


Clockwise from upper right: Crate Pendant, Clayton Gray Home; Aequorea Collection Bedding by Inhabitat, 2Modern; Stack Stool, Hivemindesign; Rusted Gear Mirror, Decorators Chest; Yellow and Orange Table Lamps, Woodland Imports; Graham & Brown Eco Aspen Wallpaper, 2Modern

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

A Rainbow of Basil: This Week’s Inspirational Palette

21 Jun

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m growing things.  Specifically a tomato plant, a pepper plant, and a pot of about six different kinds of basil.  My husband chose the basil seeds — the only thing we are starting from scratch — and they have since sprouted at least 20 three-inch long stalks. He thinks I need to weed some out so that they have more room to grow but I refuse to since so far it’s the most plentiful thing in my “garden.”

My basil isn't this awesome yet, but give it a few more weeks and I'm sure it will be.

Anyway, as I also mentioned before, I know nothing about plants or gardening.  I didn’t know that when you water things after 10am you’re supposed to avoid getting water droplets on the plant itself because this acts as a prism of liquid fire or something.  Oops.  That said, I have one handsome medium sized pepper and five (FIVE!) green cherry tomatoes that range from about a centimeter to a few inches in diameter.  And I have the aforementioned forest of basil.

Basil is awesome: it comes in so many varieties I can’t even keep track.  But seeing as how I don’t give a flying flip about plant names and technicalities, let’s just say that instead of varieties basil comes in lots of COLORS.  There are several types of green basil and a few types of purple basil; the purples range from black to eggplant to a deep brownish red.  In terms of texture, the leaves can be flat and, well, leaf shaped, or they can be curly and almost lettuce-like (this is called “curly basil”…really).

At this moment I’m so proud of my basil and my gardening skills that I thought I’d create an inspirational palette that uses basil as its muse.  Hope you enjoy the lovely greens and purple-y browns as much as I do!

Not to play favorites, but I like the fabric best: it's called Mod-Atticus in Basil!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Two More Inspirational Palettes!!

9 Jun

Yesterday I was thrilled to guest post part of my Inspirational Palette series on Jennifer Sergent’s DC by Design blog.  If you haven’t visited this lovely blog from the former editor of Washington Spaces, I encourage you to stop by!

For now, I’ll share a portion of my guest post with you here:

Because I felt so good about my Beet Salad Room, I’ve been hunting down more images to play this game with.  I would love to share two more wonderful imaginary spaces with you.

The Orange Room is inspired by this gorgeous photo of Squash and Soba Noodles with Tofu from the New York Times food section.

Gorgeous Orange!

I love the texture amidst the almost monotone palette.  It’s so cozy and inviting, but also really vibrant.  Putting this room together was an experiment in tactility; the chunky textiles, the shiny mirrors, and the smooth silks coexist in a way that’s true to the dish…and gives a nod to the sesame seeds.  See for yourself:

Clockwise from upper L: Cube Cocktail Table, Shine Furniture; Bench, John Richard; Galiano Pendant Light, Propellor Design; Orange Chair, a flea market find in Atlanta; Cork Wallcovering in Aluminum, Innovations Wallcovering; Scrap Wood Table, Uhuru; Sheesha Pillow, John Robshaw

As you know, all goods things end with dessert, so I had to do an Ice Cream Room.  The inspirational image behind this collage is one of the most beautiful food photographs I’ve ever seen: tiny individual take out portions of ice cream from Quality Meats in New York City.

Stunning Take Out Ice Cream from Quality Meats

The garnishes here are just as visually important as the ice cream itself, and the variety of colors and shapes is stunning.   The room I envision is anchored in beiges, aquas, and subtle yellows, but would really pop with a bright green plan or two and some chocolate brown accents (velvet maybe?).

Clockwise from upper L: Circular Oak Mirror, Sears (yes, Sears); Effervescent Chandelier, Anthropologie; Beverly Side Chair, Oly Studio; Scales Linen Pillow, Clayton Gray Home; Aqua Petal Pillow, Pier One; White Resin Stool, Oly Studio; Blocks Rug in Citrus, Warp and Weft; Hanna Chair and Ottoman, Oly Studio

I think that the nail heads, petals, patterns and lines here really speak to the sprinkles and special touches on the ice cream.  The metal finish on the Beverly chair seems to me like a playful spoon that brings these elements together.

Often my clients or my students ask me if there is a rule about color palettes, or if there is a limit as to how many colors you can have in a room.  That’s such a hard question to answer seeing as how design is an art and not a science, but I think we can all take a cue from these lovely food photographs when it comes to color: every room is different and can be beautiful in it’s own unique way.  Kind of like a salad.

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Inspirational Palette: Beet Salad

23 May

I saw this picture of a beautiful beet salad on the Spring Dining Guide section of the Washington Post website this morning.


I can’t find a recipe for it, but it appears to be some kind of beet and scallop salad.  It inspired me enough that I decided to make it the inaugural image for my “Inspirational Palette” series.

I see pictures all the time that have nothing to do with interiors or decorating, but they still often strike me as “Wow, that would look great in a room!”  So, I decided to play with how you can bring this salad off of the plate and into your home.

Check it out: the Beet Salad Room!

Notice how the pillow pleats look like beet stripes! And I'm still learning the blog-style of image editing, so don't judge me for any slight pixelation, ok?

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.