Friday, November 01, 2019

New Year 2018, New Omens, Small Miracle

Hello dear readers, 

I am cleaning the blog. Going through all my draft posts. 
Deleting the uninteresting, editing the potentials, and publishing the readable ones. 

This one was written in early January 2018.

Since they're old (in tech years), don't feel at all compelled to read them!



Happy New Year!

I always look for Good Omens at the start of the New Year.

My Lady's Slipper Orchid is in bloom.
Any orchid blooming is a Good Omen.

Another good omen, House and Garden UK just announced the return of chintz.

House and Garden

Basically, House and Garden is saying it is now OK
to use big prints and/or floral fabrics with unapologetic abandon.
They don't necessarily have to be chintz.

As a kid in Minnesota, the word "chintzy" was used to describe shoddy goods or, 
an individual who baked cookies with margarine.

Here is a link with plenty of English chintz and includes a primer on "pelmets".
"Pelmets" is British for a drapery/curtain valance.


Another Good Omen!

Over the holidays, my beautiful granddog, Pumpkin, took advantage of
all the hubbub and had a little accident on one of my Persian carpets.


And then a miracle occurred! 

The Mister said,

"You cannot blame the dog, it is too cold outside."

And this from a man who at one time wanted
to do with dogs.
How far we've come.
Light years.

So I'm taking that little miracle as a fabulous omen!

Happy New Year!

Thanks for reading,
Linda Pakravan

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Gen-Z Yellow

Long time since my last missive.

A topic we love: bold color.
It isn't for everyone. Try not to dismiss it out of hand.
You might like it. In small quantities.
Or maybe someday, in large ones!

Gen-Z Yellow

The 2018 Spring Runways which ran in the Fall of '17.

Vanity Fair
Rihanna in Gen-Z Yellow, September 2017.

The Gen-Z Yellow fashion trend popped up in 2017.
Gen-Zers are kids born between 1996 and 2010.  

Gen-Zers post their selfies (and other things)
on Instagram with #ArtHoe hashtags.
They often wear something yellow.

Simple as that, In-Your-Face Yellow became the signature color of
both Gen-Zers and the Art Hoe Movement.

Mars, one of Art Hoe's co-founders, in a self-portrait.
 The Guardian's 2015 article on Art Hoe covers the who/why/what
 of this movement.
In a nutshell: Art Hoe embraces QPOC teens expressing the angst of identity,
cultural and societal concepts, art, poetry.


Fashion is one thing.
Does Gen-Z Yellow cross over from fashion to interiors?
Yes. And it's been around a lot longer than it walked the 2017 runways.

Scot Meacham Wood's Victoria Botanical in Marigold, aka Gen-Z Yellow
for the 2017 Dallas Show House. 
I love this.

Scot Meacham Wood Scot Meacham Wood never disappoints.
Mr. Wood's ensemble for the 2013 Peninsula Volunteers Showhouse
employed Gen-Z Yellow in a small, high-impact dose.

Lisa Erdmann's Master Bedroom for the
Inaugural Kips Bay Palm Beach Show House, December 2017.
Palm Beach Daily News, photo by Sargent Architectural Photography

Maybe a smaller dose?

J+G Design in Viyet, October 2017

Miles Redd is no stranger to color. The bolder the better. 
But always, always, tasteful.

And he's so cute.

via HouseBeautiful

Miles Redd for Ballard Designs
That shell console is quite the statement!
Mr. Redd launched his collection for Ballard Designs in August 2017.

My "Blue and White" porcelain looks great against bold yellow in my kitchen.

A porcelain Moon Flask lamp in my Family Room.
Vintage brass and glass end table. I'm its third owner.

As a color name for interiors, Gen-Z Yellow lacks everything for me.
It sounds like a name for a drug. Legal or otherwise.
I like these much better.

Bumble Bee
Canary, Corn,
Egg Yolk
Lemon, Lemony
Saffron, Sunflower, Sunshine

Rihanna, runways, and current culture aside, this color has been around a very long time.

It has been gracing interiors since the late 1700s.

The Dining Room at Monticello. via ElleDecor.
I've been to Monticello.

It was called Chrome Yellow in the late 1700s.
Chrome Yellow was expensive, five times the price of white pigment.
So, of course, it was the IT color of its day.

Jefferson kept tabs on what was IT and fashionable in Europe and damn the cost,
he lavished Monticello's dining room in the sunny glow of Chrome Yellow.

Early in the last century, we have Nancy Lancaster.

Nancy Lancaster's iconic yellow room.
That's Nancy in 1935 dressed to the nines for the Silver Jubilee Ball at Buckingham Palace.
In 1944 Nancy bought Sybil Colefax's decorating business.
She didn't change the business name and when she partnered
with John Fowler, it became the infamous Colefax and Fowler.

Long before President Jefferson and Nancy Lancast, the ancient Chinese made
drop-dead gorgeous yellow and green porcelain.

Qing Dynasty, Green with Yellow Glaze

In case you missed it, Pink is the hue adopted by Gen-Z's older siblings,
Millennials, born between 1980 and 1995.
Not just any pink, Millennial Pink.

Wes Anderson's 2014 Hit, The Grand Budapest Hotel.
National Geographic

But that's another story!

I look forward to your comments on this sometimes polarizing color.

Thanks for reading,
Linda Pakravan

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Silk and Cinnabar

Around late Winter I thought I had nothing to say about design. 

If blog is primarily on design, 
then nothing to say = nothing to blog about.

Actually, I have plenty to "say" about design. 
As well as life, gardening, and a thousand other things. 

To "say" is easy. To "write" is not. 

Instagram is infinitely easier than writing.
I can be found at LindaPakravan.
 I took this with my phone on October 1st. We love the Bird Sanctuary walk.
That little white rectangle is a birdhouse.

Then in late May, our daughter graduated from Tufts Veterinary School.
And immediately started a year-long internship with UW Madison. 

The one in Wisconsin.

We helped move daughter, boyfriend, and Pumpkin (my granddog)
halfway across the country.

Here's my three on the patio of their Madison apartment.
That's little Pumpkin in the lower left.

June-July-August I wasn't feeling so hot.

Maybe even grieving (our one and only truly launched and flown the nest, maybe?). 
And fighting off bouts of what I think was stress-induced illness.

The upside of feeling not-so-great are the interesting and sometimes 
useful bits of info I learned while encamped on the couch.

Here's a design example. Something I've wanted forever.


Cinnabar bowl. Sold for $900 on EBTH.
This one was beyond my investment parameters.

Technically, Cinnabar is the color.
Carved, Cinnabar-colored lacquer-ware is what I want.

Over time, the term carved-cinnabar-colored-lacquer-ware was shortened to Cinnabar.
Thank you.

To achieve the color Cinnabar, pigment was once made from 
crystallized red mercuric sulfide.
Highly toxic. They use something else now.
Thank you.


September was a good month. I feel great. 
October is firmly ensconced here.

I'm ready to re-start working on my old guest room.
Excellent fodder for design-related writing.
Plus I want it done for Christmas.

That's how it looked when I first did it in what, 1999? 2000? 

Holy cow! 18 years ago.

Lots of silk dupioni.
For my non-designer readers, silk dupioni is a rough slubbed silk fabric 
woven from the threads of double silkmoth cocoons.

For all its beauty and other fabulous qualities, silk has an Achilles' heel.
 The sun weakens and destroys silk fibers causing them to disintegrate,
more commonly referred to as dry rot.
Fade is a given.

Sun damage is not confined to our face.
Silk will disintegrate when exposed to too much SUN.

I'll keep you posted.

Thanks for reading,
Linda Pakravan

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Happy Mother's Day


I love bumble bees.
I love the sound of "bumble bee" and the sound a bumble bee makes.

always reminds of Mother's Day.

Happy Mother's Day!

Thanks for reading,
Linda Pakravan

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Ballard Designs in Natick!

Note: this post was not solicited by Ballard Designs. All opinions are my own. All photos were taken in the store on February 28th with my phone.

Ballard Designs' new Natick store recently opened. 
Mollie Kitchens and the Natick store staff gave me a warm welcome and a private tour.

The Dianas greet you as you walk in the door. 

This is Ballard's first store in the Boston area. Located in the Natick Mall,
it is spacious, well stocked and beautifully styled. 
And everything you see can go home with you. 

I was particularly impressed with Ballard's acrylic furniture. 

The sophisticated Hallen Bar Cart. Extra points for the wheels.

The Hallen Acrylic Bar Cart

This is the perfect time to clear up acrylic. (Lame, Linda, so lame.)

Acrylic, the furniture variety, is the common name for PMMA.
PMMA is short for Poly(methyl methacrylate), a transparent thermoplastic homopolymer.
It is a totally different kettle of fish than say, the acrylic in my sweater.

Plexiglas® and Lucite® are trademarked brands of acrylic.
 There are dozens more, like Perspex® and Acrylite®.

So "acrylic furniture" that does not mention the brand of PMMA used to make it
should by no means be interpreted as a lesser product.

The Felicity Acrylic Coffee Table and Gilded Pelage Stool. 

Here's a better look at the Gilded Pelage Stool by Suzanne Kasler for Ballard. 
The seat is covered in Faux Mongolian Lamb.

Ballard's beloved classics, like blue and white porcelain and pagoda lanterns are on display.

Along with tribal, classic and industrial inspired pieces.

The room vignettes featuring totally customizable upholstery are an immersion experience
inviting us to look, sit, touch, experience the quality first hand. 
It makes it so much easier to visualize the furniture in our room. 

The Orson sectional, Connor Coffee and Side tables 
and two really nice chairs I didn't get the name of.

Not fond of nailhead trim? Not a problem, it's purely optional.

Coventry Seating in on-trend green.

Amal Slipper Chair and Tate Sofa.

A modern interpretation of a traditional classic, the Thurston Wing Chair. 

Contrast cording can be substituted for the nailheads.

Like a chair or sofa? But not what it's upholstered in? 
Take a large fabric sample from the store's design center and drape it over that chair or sofa.

Hundreds of fabrics to select from.

This is huge; no one should make a custom upholstery decision with only a tiny swatch.
And I don't think we should have to purchase a yard so we can see it on a larger scale.

I've been receiving the Ballard Designs catalog and emails for years. 
I've used their lighting and accessories for client work.
But never the custom upholstery.

This was my first real world experience with Ballard's custom upholstery. Now that I am confident of the quality, and the "sit", I won't hesitate to use it for clients, provided the style fits the project. 

Ballard's Natick store is loaded with goodies. I'll write more in a separate post.


Welcome to Boston, Ballard!

Thanks for reading,
Linda Pakravan