Travel changes you. I firmly believe that. Whether you are visiting a new state, or a new country, when you stretch out and explore someplace new, meeting the people, sampling the fare, drinking in the beauty, it fuels your imagination and helps you see the world in a fresh way. It can also influence how you decorate your home.
In addition to a suitcase full of dirty clothes and a camera packed with new photos, you return from an adventure with a head bursting with new ideas. That's what happened to my friend Lisa, when she and her family vacationed in Florence, Italy. She carried with her the seed for a beautiful room redo that fuses the aesthetics and atmosphere of Italy with her Midwestern traditional style.
Before its Italian renaissance, Lisa and Jon's bedroom was already drop-dead beautiful. We featured it, and other rooms in her home, in my book "Feather Your Nest." Lisa was ready to update the space a bit, and her travels served as her muse.
Florence has been inspiring visitors for centuries, and everywhere you turn, you are greeted by beauty. The seed that grew into this lovely room redo was sewn in the hotel where the family stayed during their time in Florence. Lisa was struck the by clean, classic design she saw there, the story told through elegant furnishings and finishes, using a brush of blue and white. Although she is a talented designer with an innate ability to mix pattern and color, Lisa reached out to Anne at Nell Hill's to help her bring her vision to life.
The spacious master bedroom had plenty of room to add a sitting area where Lisa and Jon could lounge. They added a navy blue velvet sofa piped in creamy white linen, and two swivel rocker chairs upholstered in a fresh but forgiving white canvas fabric. The upholstered ottoman was just the thing for putting your feet up after a long day. Lisa was ready to update the lamps in her room, so she added these modern chinoiserie lamps, with their on-trend Lucite bases and white box shades.
One of the many things I admire about Lisa is her execution. She pays a great deal of attention to details, and it shows. When you take the time to look at the intricate displays around her home, you are always rewarded.
Lisa wanted her bed to be covered in snowy white linens, with just a touch of blue. Notice how the trim around each set of pillows is slightly different. The monogrammed pillows steal the show.
"You can never have too many trays," Lisa says. You'll find creative displays on trays all over Lisa's house. This lovely tableau on the ottoman in the bedroom's sitting area is stunning and simple. And, is frequently slid out of the way by Lisa's daughters, who now invade their parents' retreat on a regular basis to do homework or watch TV, much to Lisa's chagrin. It's the downside of making a space so inviting.
This column was adapted from Mary Carol Garrity's blog at www.nellhills.com. She can be reached at email@example.com .