10 December 2011

Cote de Texas Top Ten Design Elements #9

 

With this, Chapter #9 in the series Top Ten Design Elements, we are almost near the end.  These are the top ten elements that I love to see in a room to make it aesthetically pleasing to ME.  The list is so subjective, even to my own taste.  There are rooms I adore that might have only 2 or 3 elements – some have all of them.    Some of these elements seem so basic – light fixtures?  Don’t all rooms have light fixtures?  Well, no, they don’t.  I lived without hanging light fixtures in most of my rooms for years and years!  It took me over 15 years to collect all my lanterns and chandeliers – replacing those awful ceiling fans as I went along.  

Don’t all rooms have linen?  No, they don’t.  I can’t tell you the number of clients who tell me right off – no linen!  I hate linen.  It wrinkles.  It’s messy looking.  Yes and yes – which is why I love it so much.  Linen is cozy looking, relaxed, homey, and welcoming – all things that a house should be, in my opinion anyway. 

Wall Décor?  Come on, that’s a joke!  What room doesn’t have wall décor?   OK. I’ll give you that one.  But as I explained in my chapter on Wall Décor – I mean mirrors, plates, tapestries, sets of framed prints – not necessarily framed oil paintings.  There’s a difference, subtle, but a difference all the same.  And so it goes.  The list is personal.  It’s a group of elements that I have found I’m attracted to in picture after picture.   So, if you like my design aesthetic, you might be interested in my list.  If you hate my style – you still might be interested in the things to avoid so you don’t end up with rooms that look mine!   Here’s a quick recap of the 8 design elements to date:

 

 

 

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Linen

Like I said earlier, linen is my favorite fabric – for all the reasons that some people just hate it.   Here, in this family room in Houston that I designed earlier this year – all the furniture is covered in white linen, while the curtains are a linen/cotton blend.  But linen doesn’t necessarily mean slipcovers.   My own living room was once all Bennison linens– but they weren’t slipcovers.

 

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Slipcovers

Just as linen doesn’t mean slipcovers, slipcovers doesn’t mean white linen.  Here – a cotton white and aqua stripe covers the winter upholstery in Suzanne Rheinstein’s living room.   Once her slips are put on, the look of the room changes dramatically.  Most people, though, use their slipcovers all year round.

 

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Seagrass

I love seagrass – especially when it is custom cut to fix the room exactly – just as it is here.  Jane Wood designed this room – the seagrass looks like it is about 3 inches from the wall.  I like to do around 5” – though some clients want more of their wood to show, especially if it is pretty wood.  Seagrass is a much more user friendly product than sisal which stains terribly.

 

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Curtains

Many people don’t like curtains – they think they are dust collectors or they block the view out the window.  Curtains don’t have to block views – they can actually cover the walls – not the glass.  I’m one that loves curtains in most situations and doesn’t think a room is finished without them.  They really make a huge difference – something that clients don’t anticipate until they are installed.  Imagine this room by Windsor Smith without these gorgeous midnight blue taffeta curtains. 

 

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Light Fixtures

Rooms with hanging light fixtures and sconces are like rooms with jewelry.  They just add a wonderful aesthetic to a room.   This kitchen (from the 20 day renovation house) wouldn’t be quite as beautiful without these two wonderful lanterns, copies of French antiques.

 

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Wall Décor

You don’t have to hang only paintings on the walls.  I love to use plates and mirrors in lieu of canvases. 

 

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Antiques

Antiques – furniture and accessories - warm up a room and keep it from looking sterile.  They give a room a feeling of “patina” – where surfaces are worn instead of shiny and pristine.  Here, Dan Carithers’ living room shows his beautiful collection of antique French furniture AND creamware.  He has the most gorgeous collection of creamware I’ve ever seen.  Just the two matching pieces, placed symmetrically on the mantel, are gorgeous enough!

 

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Symmetry

Top Ten Design Elements #8 was Symmetry.  I like things balanced in design.  I like pairs and right angles.  It might be a symptom of OCD, but if rooms and furniture arrangements aren’t symmetric it makes me feel unbalanced.   Here in this beautiful dining room by Ginger Barber there is perfect symmetry – the windows flank the console with its two symmetrical candlesticks.  The table sits in front with six chairs around.  Two extra chairs are balanced in front of the window.

 

Which brings us up to date:  CdT Top Ten Design Elements #9 – Trendy

What????  Trendy?  Seriously?  Yes!   What I mean is that I like when interiors are updated with a few trendy items, otherwise the room can be stale or look like a time machine.  If there are few trendy elements around, it looks like the owner is invested in his space – he still shops for his house, looks at magazines, and tries to keep his house looking fresh and with-it.   Trendy might be something like a zebra rug or a garden urn.  It might be a set of faux white covered books or white coral.  Trendy can be garden seats in neon bright colors or black and white subway signs.

 

 

 

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You don’t have to overdo trendy.  This room has just about every current trend:  subway sign, railway cart coffee table, grain sack fabrics, black and white photographs, and even a peacock.  One or two trendy items are probably enough to make a room seem up to date without looking like a décor store. I will say, I probably have more trends in my family room than this room does.

 

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What you want to avoid is having your house look like a catalogue or shop – this is a room in Ballard Designs – showing typical trendy things – a mini Mora clock, urn lamps, tufted ottoman, subway signs, ikat fabrics, stools, and white vases.  Still even though it is from a catalogue, it doesn’t seem overly trendy – only up to date.

 

 

ENTRY HALL: 

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Starting with the entry hall.  This is a before photo – before it was updated with a few trendy items.

 

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AFTER:  By Munger Interiors – this entry hall now has a trendy gray painted console, with two trendy candlestick lamps.  Added to the wall is a set of framed botanicals – another trendy way to hang art:  hang a set of identically framed prints which together become one big piece of art.

While there was nothing wrong with the entry hall before, now it just looks more up to date, using light, gray woods, trendy lamps and art work. 

 

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Trendy doesn’t mean new.  In fact, this entry by Ginger Barber uses all antiques – yet the types of antiques are trendy.   Altar sticks, confit pots, French painted and gilt mirror, Spanish styled console.  Compare this entry with the “before” above – both use antiques, but the “before” antiques appear Granny compared to this assortment. 

 

 

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This entry designed by Tobi Fairley uses traditional elements in a trendy way – these lantern and sconces are so much more “in” than a brass and glass lantern.  The round center table is painted instead of dark wood, as is the English secretary   And the bold dhurri is more modern looking than a red and blue Oriental rug traditionally seen for centuries!

 

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This entry uses a wallpaper based on an antique Swedish design, but even though it’s a copy from the 18th century, this design has lately become very popular.  A more trendy lantern, along with pops of lime green tables resembling garden stools, mix with the antique, newly painted console table. 

 

LIVING ROOMS:

 

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This living room/dining room is quite beautiful and was recently decorated, yet there really isn’t anything trendy or up to date in this room.   The mantel accessories could be changed for a more up to date look and I would probably use just two plain pillows on the sofa.  The rug is the only updated item here.

 

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In comparison – this living doesn’t have many trendy items in it either.  Yet, the grayish cream color scheme is more updated looking than the previous yellow and red one.  Also, the slipcovers lend a youthful look.

 

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In contrast, this room is loaded with trendy items – the chandelier, the urns,  the shells, altarsticks, modern wing chairs, the consoles, the sunburst mirror – which make the room look youthful and alive.  No doubt the owner likes to tweak her house and shop for it  – it probably has already changed a bit by now.

 

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Jeffrey Bilhuber designed this traditional living room with less obvious trendy items.  Hidden around are garden stools in white – not quite so noticeable.  Two small sunburst mirrors flank an Oriental screen.  Slipcovers on the unusually shaped wing chairs are playful looking.  The chandelier is a modern interpretation and the lamps and coffee table are more contemporary.  Again, the owners are probably younger and are invested in their home.

 

 

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This house in Houston is full of trendy items – but it still looks classic.  Large garden urns on pedestals flank the French door.  All the furniture is slipcovered in white cotton giving the room an up to date look.  Two seagrass rugs anchor the seating areas.  The architecture of the room could have caused it to look very staid, formal, and lifeless.  Instead the room is fabulous!

 

 

 

 

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This room, similar to the one above, has two seagrass rugs that anchor the seating groups.  Trendy gray painted furniture mixes with a chinoiserie-like coffee table.  The religious art and santos on the mantel is a trendy choice, as are the lanterns.  Nailheads have made a huge comeback – and seem fresh and youthful.   Trendy can also be found in architectural choices such as the 0fireplace mantel – the large stone piece is  modeled after an antique, yet this style is probably the most popular choice today – found in many new houses.

 

 

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At first glance, you might not realize the trendy items in this living room – but they’re here!  The collection of bird prints are a trendy choice – oft copied, even Anthropologie sold copies of this famous collection.  And the rug, from Morocco became quite popular are few years ago and is considered trendy.  Mix in the Ikat fabrics and the trumeau mirror and the room – thought not contemporary – is up to date and full of life.

 

 

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Pam Pierce updated her living room using a few trendy items.  The Barcelona chaise, a modern classic, by Mies van der Rohe, is making a huge comeback these days.  Another trendy choice is the brick layer styled coffee table – piled high with cream colored antique books.  Note the mantel, as talked about earlier.   The floors too are a popular choice in upscale houses – wide planks, stripped or limed, and rustic looking.

 

 

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Another room by Munger Interiors has a trendy brick layer coffee table and the sofas have the updated one seat cushion – which I like to do when renewing clients older sofas.  It looks more up to date than a sofa with three bottom cushions.   Trendy gray paint in the bookcases highlight the accessories – a set of white vases in different sizes – another trendy choice.  And the fireplace, again, the stone mantel. 

 

 

 

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Velvet and Linen’s Steve and Brooke Giannetti’s beach house – is full of trendy choices that make this room up to date looking.  A Swedish antique is a trendy choice in seating.   I know it’s strange to call an antique trendy – but check the prices of these chairs today – compared to five and ten years ago to judge how trendy the barrel chairs actually are.  Steve and Brooke designed the slipcovered furniture with its trendy Belgian lines.  Baskets – in gray, are another updated choice, as is the lone velvet pillow in the chair.  Gauzy linen curtains take the place of fancy pelmets and cornices.  And, finally there are shells and coral.     Taking it all in – this absolutely perfect room is cozy, warm and welcoming.  It is casual  - yet elegant.  It’s obvious they are young and have wonderful taste – yet without the trendy choices, the room would not be so appealing.

 

 

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This and the next picture came from Mrs. Blandings blog – and I’m not sure what the vintage is – is it new or old?  It is timeless.  Yet – the seagrass and the zebra – two trendy choices make one think the room was recently designed.  But was it?   I honestly can’t tell if this was designed in the 50s or 2010s. 

 

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Again, what era is this?  The furniture is definitely vintage – you can tell by the arms, but are the slipcovers new?  Again- the trendy zebra could be from today or from the 40s?  The only clue may be the lampshade on the blue and white lamp.  Mrs. Blandings????

 

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This living room has the trendy gray painted antique furniture and grayish white walls, along with large shells and contemporary wing chairs.  Instead of the zebra rug – she chose a few zebra print pillows.

 

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Faux skins are the rage right now, but I don’t personally care for fake zebra like this myself.  Notice how the pillows and arm covers date the room, despite the rug.   Plain velvet or linen pillows without the trim would be a better look and the upholstery would be so much more updated if the chairs had waterfall skirts.  The wall color seems a little dated – as does the coffee table.  Imagine if the table was round and higher, perhaps in a gray painted finish with gray walls and white or cream slips – the room would be so much more youthful looking.  The room has a lot going for it though – it looks like they used Bennison for the curtains – which is the prettiest linen fabric you can buy.

(If you are the owners, don’t kill me!  I’m just trying to point out ways to update the look!!)

 

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Patterned faux skin rugs are trendy – especially Stark’s antelope print seen here.    Using this particular print updates a room immediately and looks so “hip.”

 

 

 

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Mary Jane Gallagher used two zebra skins in her house, here and in the family room.  Her living room has several trendy antiques – including the concrete statue and antique trim and tapestry pillows, usually paired with brown velvet as seen here.  Her furniture is covered in white fabric – another up to date look, as are the plain linen curtains. 

 

 

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Taking a look at a few more zebras, it amazes me how zebra is so “in” right now.  It looks especially great layered over seagrass.  Mary McDonald.

 

 

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I love the undecorated look of this apartment in NYC.  The painted white wood floor with the zebra over it is so chic.  Another trendy item is the ottoman in lieu of a coffee table.   

 

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This oft seen image of another chic NYC apartment has the zebra layered over wall to wall seagrass – such a great look.  The set of gilt framed nudes becomes one piece of art work.  I prefer this type of art as opposed to a gallery wall of mismatched art and different frames – this is more symmetrical, which is a personal preference of course! 

 

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Another layered zebra over seagrass and another tufted ottoman instead of a coffee table.  One more trend here – the library lights over the shelves.  I see this look more and more and its so great looking.

 

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Moroccan inspired lanterns are hot today and very popular.   More trends here is the tufted sofa – nailheads and tufting have made a big comeback in upholstery.  And, the paneling is lightly stained in a grayish-taupe shade.  Dark paneling seems so dated today.  Mary McDonald.

 

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Apple matting, popular in England for decades, is being seen more and more in the states.  Another Moroccan inspired look is the small table seen here.  Tailored slipcovers are more trendy than loose ones – and in the chair, a textile pillow can be seen peeking out – another in look.

 

 

 

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When Kathryn Ireland updated her living room – she added new fabrics.  But the suzani prints on the two chairs really made the most difference in the update.

 

 

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This classic English apartment gains a youthful look with the seagrass and striped dhurri rug.  A Suzani throw over the chair looks more trendy than a simple wool one.   Imagine this room with a typical red and blue Oriental rug – it would look so granny, instead it looks “today.”

 

 

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Finally, I love the New Orleans living room The Visual Vamp redecorated.  Originally it was all green and French, now it is aqua and persimmon taken from the Oushak rug and she used many trendy items here.  The owner loves mid century and Vamp loves bold.   Read about the remodeling HERE.

 

THE DINING ROOM:

 

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This dining room is all cream and white with Swedish antiques.  Such a popular look.  While bright colors and mix matched interiors are also in – in the South this particular look is is preferred by many.

 

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This dining room has a trendy Italian chandelier – a popular look in chandeliers.  These were rarely seen before five years ago – and now even all the catalogues have copied them.   Other trend items – the horns on the table.

 

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This dining room by Michelle Nussbaumer has the same Italian chandelier, trendy urns and shells – all mixed with more traditional antiques.

 

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This dining room would be quite typical and dull if not for the trendy slipcovers in linen check.

 

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Swedish antiques and checks – with a set of botanicals.

 

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Trendy shades instead of chandeliers became the rage a few years back, while this Peter Dunham fabric on the walls is one of the more popular ones today.  Painted console mixed with wood table helps the room from being too dark.

 

 

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This dining room showcases gray – one of the hottest colors in home décor.  Again, painted floor and furniture replaces dark wood.  More trend items – the garden seat and grisaille mural.

 

 

 

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Ginger Barber used a rustic trumeau and Swedish settee in this dining room.   Urns flank the window while a collection of altarsticks sits on the console.

 

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A Mora clock – another Swedish antique that is so trendy today.   Painted chairs with nailheads.

 

 

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Seagrass in the dining room where popular slipcovered benches take the place of chairs.  More trends – the Italian wood chandelier.

 

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In this guesthouse – lanterns, painted antiques, and an antique Mora clock make the room look fresh, and updated.

 

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Gray or Kooboo wicker has replaced the regular stain seen for years.   Here, the x-table with stone top is a trendy Belgian style made even more popular by Restoration Hardware. 

 

KITCHEN:

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This kitchen by Steve and Brooke Giannetti was updated with gray painted cabinets – and doors replaced with chicken wire.  Altarsticks turned into lamps are a most trendy style.  An antique Swedish barrel chair and a large coral rose are two other popular decorative items.

 

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This kitchen used several trends – a copy of the antique map of Paris is used as the backsplash, while two lanterns hang over the island.   The bar stools are another trendy choice, as is the white marble.

 

BEDROOM:

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Mirrored furniture has seen a comeback in the past few years.  Lucite pieces and glass lamps are two other trends.  And – again, an Italian light fixture. 

 

 

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And, in this girl’s bedroom – trendy textiles – Suzanis – are used as art and rugs.  Moroccan inspired side tables and colored glass lamps, along with white painted furniture are all trendy choices that help make a room look modern without being contemporary. 

 

FINALLY:

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This living room has made every design element – linen, slipcovers, seagrass, curtains, light fixtures, wall décor, antiques, and symmetry.  I’ve wondered if it was going to make all 10 – I think it might!  I just love the look of this room – I love the cluttered and cozy – yet light feel of the room.  And yes, I do see trends here – the zebra rug layered over the seagrass, the light colored bound books on the mantel, the Ikat fabric and painted furniture. 

Stay tuned for the final chapter of the Top Ten Design Elements – coming soon!

 

A quick announcement that next week I’ll be having a great giveaway – so be sure to enter.  I have several wonderful ones planned in the future!!!

 

 

87 comments:

  1. This is another post that I will have to savor and read again. So fun! I so agree that "trendy" keeps things fresh while antiques and art anchor rooms.

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  2. I always leave your blog with a sigh and a smile.

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  3. I would guess that the first Mrs Blandings room is vintage 70s or 80s. There is a red and white Drunkard's Path quilt draped over a chair. American quilts have been "out" for some time, but I love them nonetheless.

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  4. Fantastic Post. Lots of work went into it and we appreciate it.
    I'm delighted to see plates, which I hand painted, for the Guest House in a feature which appeared in House Beautiful.

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  5. Fabulous as usual, Joni. Perfect holiday reading for me curled up on the sofa with a glass of mulled wine.
    I'm so with you on linen.... my bedroom is swaddled in it... and antiques? A must. But I have a pathological aversion to trendy. I've been that way since childhood. If it's "hot", I stay away. Weird I guess.

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  6. Joni, i love your style. You are on the same page as I am. Love, love, love! Who is the designer of the last picture. I am in love with this decor...A lot of loves, huh! I got a little carried away.....

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  7. Great post, Joni! Very thought provoking. I prefer a more classic decorating scheme with maybe one or two trendy items. To me, trendy also means passé in a few years. So, I don't feel like spending too much on them.

    That said, how does one know that something is about to be passé? For instance, how much longer do you think the Zebra rug trend will last?

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  8. I was wondering when we would get another item. I need number 10 so I can start decorating.
    By the way I don't think you ever showed us last years Christmas at the in laws. I am still waiting. I love seeing all those presents wrapped up so beautifully. I also love seeing the joke gifts.
    Oh and since you have so many readers I was wondering if anybody has those blue Lanvin boxes they might want to get rid of I need a couple for storage in my closet and I can't afford to buy anything this Christmas from them. I am hoping for a Christmas miracle. Thanks.

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  9. Joni... as always, you've outdone yourself. I love being classic, with just one or trendy items to make it contemporary!

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  10. The Munger "Before" entry is gorgeous for me and would never be dated in my humble opinion. Don't care for the after for my ideal home but it would be lovely in a small hotel lobby. All of this Belgian stuff is going to blow by faster than you can recycle the latest RH catalog.

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  11. Such a great post, it's taken me an hour to pour through it. Very inspiring!

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  12. another outstanding post!!!

    if i were an animal ...
    i would be a zebra sleeping on sea grass.

    xxx

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  13. I am working hard to get rid of "stuffy and tired" and work on trendy. Your post couldn't have been more timely. It has inspired me and I am determined to give my rooms a more updated look.

    Wish you were in the NW Joni, I'd have you over in a flash!

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  14. I will have to read this post again to savor the details. Some trendy can really make a room - I recently added some antlers to my decor to show that I'm not completely out of it. Thanks for your thoughtful posts.

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  15. Love these posts Joni, sorta sad they're about to come to an end. But I do agree, that these completely describe your personal aesthetic, one I happen to really enjoy, and on occassion, attempt to emulate.
    I've missed you!
    xo,
    A

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  16. Fake zebra rugs mean that no animal must be killed for fashion's sake.

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  17. A contemporary edge or trendy as you say Joni is a sure way to update a room... I love these posts although they do get me thinking about changing our rooms around... yet again! xv

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  18. Hello, i discovered your blog and i love very much. I am frenchwoman and i create de objects of decorating french style, romantics objects, shabby chic, chandelier, applies, wall lamp, wall brackets, lampshade, wooden lamp bases, frame former in résin, mirror, trumeau ...

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  19. I didn't want this post to end! What gorgeous rooms ... I'm bookmarking it because I know I'll want to look at it again and again!

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  20. Love your inspiring words, photos and blog!!

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  21. Have you ever given any thought to teaching? I learn something new every day. I think I need some sisal, linen, gray and ikat in my life.
    pve

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  22. I love symmetry it seems to make a room. Recently I’ve taken modern dining chairs and had slipcovers made but in a light color rather then white. Trying to update a 200+ house is challenging but with your tips it makes it easier. Zebra throw rug here I come! Wonderful post as always,enjoy your Sunday!

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  23. Now that's an enjoyable Sunday morning read along with a hot cup, or two of coffee. Thanks Joni.

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  24. Love all your elements so far and I think each on is spot on, Joni! I do think a little bit of trend updates a room:) But I also hate to walk into a room that does look like a catalogue page.

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  25. If you hate my style – you still might be interested in the things to avoid so you don’t end up with rooms that look mine!

    That's the best line! My bff is my worst client, when we work together the joke is she pays me (yeah, right) to figure out what she not going to do.

    Love your list of elements and your style - sounds book-worthy. That process of structuring a room is very instructive to the decorator-less American homeowner. A little hardback tutorial would save folks a lot of money and disappointment.

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  26. You always have such wonderful information to share. I will definitely be saving this post. Love your style.

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  27. do you have a good source for zebra rugs?

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  28. I had to skip my son's hockey game so I could keep reading this post Joni! I love the analysis of each room and follow along like an eager student taking in all that you point out. Love how you use the word "granny" when describing traditional new england design styles! I recall you and Linda going around on the datedness of dark woods in furniture on the SRT...she is right, that in New England you will see a lot more of that. People here are reluctant to change, but not me!! Loved this post!

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  29. I think I need to print this info!!Another great and brilliant post - thanks so much for sharing!

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  30. I always enjoy your informative posts on this subject. It's like I'm in design school or something. Ha! I'm a trend follower (as much as I hate to admit it). I get bored with things so fast, so I like to keep things fresh and interesting. Keeping up with the trends allows me to do that. If I don't like something though, I'm not going to use it just because it's "in style". Love all these pretty pics!

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  31. Love your design elements and style Joni! I have such a bi-polar brain for decorating. I think it is because I am a Libra ... I see both sides. You show me such beautiful all cream linen rooms and I want them. Then I look at Kathryn Ireland's colorful rooms and want them!! Today you have helped me find a way to "balance" (A Libra's life long desire!) the two styles in my own home!! Love all you shared today!

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  32. Another great post, Joni. Thanks for sharing-

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  33. This is another post chock-full of information. I will have to save this one, reread it and refer back to it. Thanks for all the experience and knowledge you so generously share with us.
    Best...Victoria

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  34. Thanks for another generous post! I've been going to auctions around Philadelphia to furnish a big old home in the suburbs - another way to see trends. Even here (VERY traditional area) nice "brown" Federal antiques are going for low prices, while mid-century modern soars. Gorgeous 200 year old desks and sweet Hepplewhite chests are a fraction of what they were a few years ago. I'm picking some up because they look natural and inherited around here, but mixing in painted pieces, French, and other things so it doesn't look "granny". Aiming for a tricky balance of timeless, but current. Thanks for your helpful blog!

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  35. Another fabulous post Joni! The time, effort and talent you put into each and every one is greatly appreciated. I agree with the other comments - this is to be saved, savoured, re-read and learned from. Fantastic.....

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  36. Thank you for taking the time to break down each look..I learn more every time I review this. I love your strong sense of style..
    I am wondering if you lived in a cold climate like Colorado or Utah if you would still design the same..pale colors just feel chilly here in Utah...I liked how Barclay Butera devided his book in sections based on climate and location..
    I love your look...could you consider a post on how you would modify your style for colder climates?
    Thank you for making the world more beautiful and sharing your skills, Sharon

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  37. You forgot one main one, A Passion for the Space.Richard from My Old Historic House.

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  38. Wow!! You surprised me with #9 but I agree!! A touch of something trendy does seem necessary to me for a room to be really beautiful--it must be because our eyes get tired of the same look over and over, no matter how beautiful it is. Of course, in "real life" it is hard to change out furniture and furnishings that still have plenty of life in them. Do others fret about that? Maybe it comes from growing up modestly but I feel a frequent tug between wanting to live in a beautiful environment but not wanting to waste money or be spoiled. That is my personal struggle. Now I can afford to be updating my home's look but wring my hands about how much to spend and what to do with the cast offs. And don't even get me started on what my husband thinks about change for change's sake! ;)

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  39. When I read Trendy, I thought oh no! But you were right on... again!

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  40. Wow-Wow-Wow!
    So much eye candy! I will look at this post over again. Don't know where you found so many beautiful images to share.
    Love it!
    Mela

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  41. I've been waiting for this installment. You've got to love a little trendy here and there! I absolutely adore the room pictured in your last image too. You had me laughing in the opening when you said, "If you hate my style..."

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  42. Hi Joni!

    I was pleased to hear you say that "trendy" was one of your top 10 design elements. I believe in buying beautiful, traditional painted French furniture for my main pieces, but updating my look occasionally with carefully selected trendy items. That said, I only buy things that I love and am prepared to live with for a long time. I've loved minerals, shells and coral since I was a child, so embracing that trend was a no-brainer for me. Over the last few years, I've added Chinese garden stools, stump tables, glass cloches (domes) and antlers to my decor. Like the minerals, shells and coral I love, these items will be with me for a long, long time.

    I think the key to including trendy items in your decor is to keep your main pieces of furniture traditional in style and restrict the trendy items to accessories. That way, when the trend changes or you tire of them, you're not out thousands of dollars.

    Regarding the two pictures you attributed to Mrs. Blandings, I have those pictures in my decorating file. I seem to recall (and forgive me if I'm wrong 'cuz the memory is starting to go) that they were featured in House and Garden shortly before its demise. The decorating is both old and new. The beautiful old chintz was installed 40+ years ago and the current homeowner wanted to replace some of the faded pieces, only to discover it was discontinued. The seagrass and zebra rugs were new additions as I recall.

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  43. These are all beautiful rooms. They would make a great book! I too think a little trendy is good for the soul. Nice post!

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  44. Another "knock my socks off" great post!!! Need more time to go back through and read again and again. Can't wait for you to reply to questions posed in the "comments".
    Why hasn't Dan Carithers done a book?
    Trust me when I say he is passing up a FORTUNE in income! No home where people are interested in design would be without his offering. Thank you, Joni!

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  45. Really wonderful to think about the trends and see how they are applied in a classic way.

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  46. wow--what a lot of inspiration and information--as per usual! thanks!

    Like Squeak, I've loved shells since forever & I've had shells + driftwood + beach glass since I had my first house
    so those are not really "trends" for me as I've had those things for decades. To me those are "classics" as are my silver trays. I like
    to mix it up & I now have a stump table & a bricklayer's table in the den, slip covered dining chairs and an animial
    print area rug in the dining room,altarsticks on the mantle- those I think of as "tendy". I have a beautiful Chinese antique console table--as a sofa table,
    blue & white Chinese porcelain, several antique looking mirrors [ more "classics" to my mind] & I have some seagrass runners--which are perhaps
    "trendy" although my mother had sea grass rugs back in the 1950's. My living room is a mixture of modern sectional seating and Louis XV chairs from a consignment shop and a marble top
    coffee table. I also have some
    chinese chippendale chairs from Jonathan Adler in my living room as 'wallflower chairs'. I have a reproduction of an antique drum table from Vietnam and Asian antique lamps.

    I think as Squeak does - the key to including trendy items in your decor is to keep your main pieces of furniture traditional in style and restrict the trendy items to accessories. That way, when the trend changes or you tire of them, you're not out tons of $$.

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  47. Joanie, what a wonderful post! I thought I wasn't into trends but you've showed me that I am . . . to a point. Anything even suggesting an animal being killed I don't want in my house. That does not give me peace of mind.

    The photos from Mrs. Blandings are from House Beautiful July 2007. Justine Cushing updated her family's barn and cottage. I was able to find it again because I've always loved it. (The zebra is a hooked rug, but I still wouldn't want it.)

    You are a great teacher! It's been so much fun learning from this series and all your posts!


    Jane

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  48. One more trend: The first photo you posted under "bedrooms" has a subtle damask on the wall, but the scale is huge -- another trend I'm seeing a lot of in fabrics and wallcoverings is familiar traditional patterns like this one, but blown up to a much larger scale. It's interesting how the change in scale can make a traditional pattern seem fresh, even modern.

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  49. Gosh what an amazing amount of inspiration, this post must have taken you forever to prepare...wonderful, wonderful inspiration thank you so much, I will have to come back and sit down with a coffee, or better still a glass of wine and savour every little bit of it....Your post that is :)

    Lee

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  50. And yet another fantastic post!! I loved every minute while reading it....you makes things so clear.
    Fabulous!!!
    Jennifer

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  51. Those 2 pictures from Mrs. Blandings are from Justine Cushing - it was 2 family homes in the Hamptons that were redone.

    House Beautiful 2007 July

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  52. oh, your posts are so wonderful. Packed to the brim with gorgeous inspiration. I agree, a bit of trendy is necessary to make your home feel contemporary.

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  53. This post is why I come back again and again to Cote de Texas - just great, thanks Joni!

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  54. I have heard that Carithers is rather ill and is not able to do a book. not sure though, but that is probably why. which is a huge shame he didnt do one years ago - he really did gorgeous french when no one else hardly was doing it.

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  55. Joni, you are the Queen of Blogland because of posts like this! Fabulous!

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  56. nice and very very grate style

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  57. ...i cannot bear to think of a world without mr carithers...he is an atlanta tresure...a true southern gentelman... in every sense of the word...

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  58. Packed with great info, I'll be back to re~read and study the images again. Thanks Joni!
    xo~
    T

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  59. Still hoping that you will someday put your top ten posts in book form.I have printed many of your postings yet it is not the same, sigh.

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  60. Hi Joni: I love your elements and I do love all of them...I love so many design styles, but seagrass, linen and painted furniture are mainstays for me! Have a great week! ;-0

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  61. Well prepared post, Joni. I admire and appreciate your style, but it's not 'me', and I think it's important for people to find what resonates for them. (I hate zebra rugs and wish they'd go away!) On the subject of trends, I'm ambivalent. I suppose my favorite style is 'timeless.' Trends are fashion, after all, and I've always hated the idea that if you didn't have or wear such-and-so or sport a particular designer's label, then you were somehow less of a person. Does a starburst mirror or zebra rug make you more socially acceptable? And when everybody has them, do you throw them out for the next popular look? It seems such an American fixation. We love the look of old but beautifully made things from Europe, that got that way because they keep things for much longer than we do until they become more tattered and worn than is acceptable here (though now they seem to want everything new and ultra-contemporary as a reaction to all the history). But I do see the value of updating and freshening your look, particularly with fabrics. I'm old enough to have seen a lot of trends, and I'm wary, for instance, of painting over the beautiful stained woodwork in my 1920's home. We've only cleaned it, which lightened it a bit, but I didn't pickle it in the 80's (gag), or paint it for the all white Shabby Chic look (though I liked that style), nor will I give it a gray lime wash, the current trend. The house is a Colonial Revival, and I want to keep the integrity of the 20's interior architecture, and I know the trends will change what the popular look du jour is. Another thought, which is rarely raised here, is how sustainable is all this trend following? Yes, I used to make my income from selling furniture and updating interiors, but with the bad economy the company I worked for went out of business. There are a lot of people out here forced to live on less, who are more concerned with keeping their home rather than updating it. Personally, I think creativity and resourcefulness as well as a greater consciousness of sustainability are becoming more important. But then, maybe that's just a trend. Sorry if this sounds a bit like a contrarian rant.

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  62. I never thought of trendy in this way, Joni, but I completely agree.
    My question to you... is there such a thing as timeless? Do timeless spaces include "trendy" elements?
    I ask myself this question all of the time, especially as we start to design our next home.
    Thank you for sharing pictures of our house with your devoted readers!

    xo xo
    Brooke

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  63. really good home design images into a very good arrangement.

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  64. Hi Joni - Inspiring as always. I'm hoping you'll have time to answer a couple of questions:

    1) Is there an alternative to arm covers? My clients ask for the all the time and of course, I oblige. But I'd love to find another solution.

    2) What is a waterfall skirt?

    Also - re Brooke's question. Brooke - I'd say that everything you and Steve do is timeless. I think it's because trends reflected in your work are timeless themselves (swedish clocks, timeworn woods etc.). Even zebra skin rugs are timeless - they were also popular 100 years ago. Bye! Debra

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  65. Joni, What an inspiring post! You need to publish a book! I will be reading over this a million times!
    xoxo
    Julie

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  66. This is a fantastic piece, Joni, and I agree with all of your other fans that a book is due out by you - very soon please! So happy to see Swedish pieces featured here and know they will be embraced and treasured as timeless and transcend trendy!

    Wishing you Happy Holiday!

    Edie

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  67. Hi Joni, Thank you for your lovely comment. Your photograph of the Swedish Room with the plate rack and my hand painted plates was so much better that I have pirated your picture for my blog. I hope that is all right.
    In addition to the plates I also hand painted over 100 animal tiles, in the antique style, for the fireplace surround in the same Guest Cottage. This wonderful Swedish Cottage is even more beautiful in person and I am so glad that you included it in your special post. Happy Holidays to you and yours, Gina.

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  68. If you were a zebra sleeping on seagrass, you'd be a dead zebra! I don't get that either.
    What about those of us who have collected paintings over a lifetime, ones that give us great joy? And the beautiful French furniture we've inherited where a pair of beds costs more than most people's whole houseful of furniture. And those wonderful rugs bought in Turkey or those inherited or saved up for - replace them with seagrass? Maybe one trend in a room, but get rid of our history and beautiful things because they are "granny"? You make us sound like old fuddy-duddies when we have been careful and fortunate to own what we do. While I like some of the things you do, Joni, the houses I've been in in France don't really look like those in Houston (unless maybe they're owned by Houstonians) and I just don't get why you would wrap books in white paper! Don't you read your books?
    Sorry, I don't mean to be unpleasant but I'm a bit tired of all those rooms that are grey or white and have burlap and look almost the same - like the avocado kitchens everyone had at one time or so many of those things that are considered "cheesy" now.
    And by the way, I had white rooms in the '70s with faint touches of blue. To each her own, but don't these trends just lead to a lot of junk (not antiques, junk) in someone's closet eventually?

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  69. Hardcover or not, Joni, your blog reads like a book and I enjoy as much (or more!) than the published works I have.

    I've always enjoyed the trend vs. timeless debate, so here's my 2 cents: Personally, I think every room could use 1-2 trendy pieces, even if that room is "timeless" or a showcase of antiques. I see it as equal to wearing a black suit styled up with a trendy accessory. It keeps things fresh and current. Keeping in mind, of course, that the trendy bits "work" in the space and are items the owner loves.

    Lovely, inspirational post!

    www.lifeloveandluxury.com

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  70. Thank you thank you thank you!
    Your ton of work is greatly appreciated by this 'decorator hobbyist' in a small humble village house in the South of France!!

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  71. My home couldn't be more different but I do enjoy your blog. I grew up in Texas, outside of Houston but now have a home in New Hampshire and a summer home in Maine. Design is all a matter of color, proportion, etc. and no matter where you live you can appreciate good design.

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  72. I totally agree with Cluny Grey.

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  73. I do like the fabric with the name, "Document" in the Sepia color. It's more interesting than most document type fabrics that I've seen.

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  74. I love the L&S fabrics and want "checkmate" in Seabreeze for our breakfast room. HOWEVER, I do wish that Lewis & Sharon would list the fabric content on the website as one has no idea if it's rayon, cotton, linen, silk, wool, etc. It's very unhelpful when ordering online. ALSO, the photos do not show enough of a pattern in many instances. I find myself not wanting to spend a ton of money on samples when I don't even have a clue if they match my needs! Please pass on :)

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  75. Another fine lesson from Cote de Texas University!

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  76. Very cool stuff here! Most digital photos of 6 megapixels or more can be made into custom printed wallpaper to give your space the perfect look.

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  77. linen, yes and yes--if I could only have one fabric, that would be it! the rest of the list is great too

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  78. Help! I've been searching for a hanging lantern like the two shown in your first kitchen photo. So beautiful. Where can I get one for my renovation?

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  79. Designer clothing now has become a prominent choice in the wish list of lifestyle dressing. When it comes to Designer Clothing in India, one has the wonderful blend of cultural essence of India with the modernity of global fashion. The best of Indian designers could be one’s best bet to become cynosure of all eyes. Amazing cuts and finishing in these designer clothes have made India such a huge hit in world fashion.

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  80. Love the apartments the interiors are just mesmerizing and relishing...

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  81. Did you ever post a #10? I can't find it? Also, #7 - Antiques is the only post of 1-9 that isn't in the subject and hard to search - I think these would be great as "featured" posts on the left hand side of your blog.

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  82. Thanks for share, Love the apartments the interiors are just mesmerizing and relishing...

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  83. Thanks for share, Love the apartments the interiors are just mesmerizing and relishing...

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