There’s a reason people who spend time outdoors—either by the ocean water or under the canopy of trees—tend to feel a sense of peace, and it may stem from the colors in front of them.
Certain colors have a positive impact on mood and behavior, according to the theory of color psychology first discovered by Isaac Newton. Shades found on the blue side of the color wheel spectrum, such as green, purple and blue, are said to bring overwhelming feelings of calm and relaxation to a room.
And, while uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic continues to cause anxiety and fear in our lives, we all could use a boost of good energy right now. Here, we share several items consistent with the blue side of the spectrum that will bring good vibes into your home.
The famed symbol of the evil eye is said to protect you from any malice or envy, and also bring good luck to those who behold it. Plus, its blue shade is pleasing to the eye as well. // Evil Eye Doormat, $43; West Elm
Bring purple shades and an amber woods scent into your home with this diffuser set from Anthropologie, said to evoke feelings of peace through scents of white cedar, amber and sandalwood. // Floral Bouquet Diffuser Set, $38; Anthropologie
This keychain-sized dream catcher is a great addition to your set of house or car keys, as it will bring you luck no matter where your travels take you. // Tassel Dream Catcher, $9.25-$14.74; Walmart
The Sill, a company selling indoor plants that are delivered right to your door, has garnered a ton of attention from the media in recent years, as decorating your home with plants remains a popular trend. The company’s Archive Snake Laurentii is one of its most popular products, as the succulent plant actually purifies indoor air by removing toxins from the space. // Archive Snake Laurentii, $39; The Sill
For those new and experienced yogis out there, this meditative iron planter holder would be a great addition to your at-home studio. Plus, it’s as sturdy as it is aesthetically pleasing, ensuring your plants have a safe home to grow. // Lotus Plant Holder, $49; Urban Outfitters
This essential oil diffuser evokes a scent inspired by medieval alchemy and the sea, blending amber musk and woody musk together. Once set up, the fresh aroma will float through a space like the ocean breeze, lasting up to 10 weeks. // Scents Elements Diffuser, $140; Tom Dixon
This newly built powder room finally came together when its McLean homeowner requested a wow factor, coupled with elegance and durability, from her interior designer, Andrea Maaseide of Studio 320.
The stone countertop, sink hardware and pair of gilt sconces had already been selected by the homeowner, whose house was built by Artisan Builders. Maaseide suggested finishing the inset-paneled vanity base in a matte black for drama and adding Lucite and brass pulls to it for sophistication. But it was the mural wall covering that made the biggest impact.
“While our client was in our office, she fell in love with the ‘Blossom Mural’ from Phillip Jeffries,” says Maaseide. “The mural incorporates all of her favorite colors, her love for flowers and a dramatic black background.”
A striking, ceiling-mounted light fixture—composed of cascading glass tubes—layered up the lighting. Meanwhile, a mirror suspended in a black metal frame, with polished brass details, pulled more deco glamor into the powder room.
“We selected simple accessories that didn’t compete with the striking wall covering,” adds Maaseide. “In the end, we really created a jewel box of a room.”
I see a powder room as a tiny jewel box—a place to take risks with patterns and finishes,” says interior designer Lori Anderson Wier of Anderson Wier Studio.
Wier redid this Arlington powder room for a family of six, using her eye for the unexpected.
An early dilemma was what to use for a vanity. Wier selected a small French neoclassical style vanity, which reads as furniture.
It features drawered storage, as well as raised legs, permitting a footstool to be tucked beneath for the younger kids. The counter and backsplash are custom-cut marble, the latter featuring notched corners, while the wall-mounted, oil-rubbed bronze faucet has crisp, white porcelain handles.
Wier’s creative selections include a tall and narrow mirror and an overscale towel hook, as opposed to a customary bar or ring.
The wallpaper is an updated graphic take on classic paisley, while a ceiling-mounted, opal-glass ‘acorn’ light fixture keeps wall space clear.
“I suggest looking for pieces that aren’t necessarily intended for use in a bathroom,” says Wier of giving powder rooms a unique spin. “For example, a small chest of drawers can be repurposed as a vanity cabinet.”
After reworking the main floors of an Old Town Alexandria townhouse, interior designer Karen Germond of KMD Interiors turned to the lower level.
A recreational space, the client wanted a non-stereotypical “man cave,” something modern with an industrial edge. To that end, Germond went for deep-blue walls in its powder room, whose showstopper is a geometric, quilted marble-and-wood tile backsplash.
“I knew exactly where to install that tile as soon as I saw it! It was fun, and the 3D
effect added a great sense of movement to the small space and had a definite, unexpected wow factor,” she adds.
Germond ran the tile the full length of the wall behind the sink, whose pedestal base kept the space feeling open.
A matte-black, metal-framed mirror, with studded corners and a pair of clear-glass sconces contribute to the powder room’s industrial feel.
“I like to think outside the box—and avoid falling into the trap of doing what comes easy or quickly. Powder rooms get a lot of use, so I get creative and make the most of them,” says Germond.
Arlington-based architectural and interior designer Katie Otis created an ambient, intimate space for her clients by using the minimalist magic of tile and stone.
Of the grooved tilework walls, which add depth and movement to the space, Otis says, “The textured tile, with its inky metallic glaze, embraces the moodier, edgier atmosphere in this powder room.”
A 3/4-inch-high smooth marble backsplash wall contrasts with the 3D-patterned tiles, while featuring a cantilevered narrow ledge in the same stone, creating a linear space for basic sundries.
“I wanted the powder room to feel clean and uncluttered,” says Otis, adding, “The simple, floating sink allows the flooring to extend to the wall behind it, giving a feeling of spaciousness.”
The vessel sink also has integral ‘handles’ serving as towel holders, leaving the adjacent drywall free of fixtures.
In keeping with this minimalist approach, Otis opted for a pinhole-recessed fixture for lighting, and a small wall-mounted pivoting mirror, with aged brass hardware that complemented other finishes.
An area rug (not pictured), with an abstract design, adds a touch of warmth, another texture and completes the design.
This Alexandria powder room went from so-so to shipshape for a family of five under the guidance of interior designer Casey Sanford.
“My clients wanted to incorporate elements from their new kitchen, with its dark-blue tones and clean, transitional lines, while going for a casual, fun feel,” she says.
The nautically inspired redo began with bleached-wood ceramic floor tiles laid in a herringbone pattern, followed by a contrasting marine-blue wallpaper, with skinny white vertical stripes, which look hand-drawn.
Sanford easily mixes materials and finishes, while keeping durability in mind. This contributes to the powder room’s relaxed, informal vibe. For example, aged-bronze sink hardware shares space with polished-nickel and Lucite sconces.
A custom, cerused oak vanity is the standout feature, with open shelves and
a concrete countertop. It holds bathroom accessories, hand towels and a woven basket, with extra rolls of toilet paper.
Framed botanical fern prints complete the space, which sits in the center of the home, with access to both casual and formal areas.
“It represents my client’s aesthetic, with added flare, while also being easy to maintain and welcoming for guests,” adds Sanford.
This post originally appeared in our April 2020 issue. For more on interior design, subscribe to our weekly Home newsletter.
If you’re feeling inspired to redecorate during the stay-at-home order, these 2020 color recommendations from nationally known paint companies are worth a look. Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com
Located in the heart of Fairfax, Mara Hair and Mode Studio doubles as a salon and boutique clothing store wrapped into one. And like many local businesses throughout Northern Virginia, the spot is forced to close its doors starting Monday, March 23 as a result of COVID-19.
But no need to panic: You can still get your beauty fix during the global pandemic, as the studio has plans to debut several offerings for those seeking hair care, as well as shoppers too.
Owner Jana Klavina and the rest of her team plan to sell VIP color kits via a drive-thru system, offer virtual consultations, provide curbside pickup and delivery of Bumble and bumble products and display the boutique’s spring collection of clothing and accessories online, all available with free shipping.
The color kits—designed for root touch-ups, all-over color and glossing services—are customized specifically for you, as each stylist of Mara Hair and Mode Studio keeps track of color formulas for each client. An employee of the studio will package your kit in recyclable containers and place instructions inside on how to mix and apply. Should you want a virtual consultation with your stylist to learn more about the at-home application process, that is an option as well.
For more information on how the salon is adjusting to the current climate, visit its social media platforms. // Minimum price of at-home color kid is $40
In the attic turned studio of her Arlington home, Ann Marie Coolick spends her days creating abstract paintings, all varying in color from pale pink to sunshine yellow. But she doesn’t use a paintbrush, and she hasn’t for the past 20 years. Instead, she paints impressionist images with knives, a technique she has mastered since graduating from Virginia Tech art school in 2002.
While the Manassas native knew she was going to be an artist since her days at Osbourn Park High School, her parents—who are both scientists—required a backup plan be put in place. So, with a little pressure, Coolick decided to stay an extra year at Virginia Tech and get a business degree.
“When you graduate with a degree in fine arts, it’s very difficult to immediately become a professional artist, it’s almost impossible,” Coolick explains.
To “pay the bills,” Coolick worked in government until 2015, painting and showing her work on the side. For the past five years though, she’s been able to turn her passion into a full-time profession, creating about 20 one-of-a-kind pieces each month that have generated a following of nearly 80,000 followers on Instagram.
When she’s not behind the easel (she’s had the same once since her days in college), Coolick is running around with her three elementary school-age boys, shopping for locally made accessories and scanning Instagram for new creatives to follow. Here, she shares what an artist wears to work, why social media matters and how 2020 is going to be big.
On finding a passion: In the last week of high school, my teacher was like, “OK let’s grab the oil paints,” which is something we had never done. I just remember being absolutely amazed by the texture. Since that point I’ve just been painting super thick. It was kind of like love at first sight.
On personal style: I’m kind of a mess honestly. My kids saw this sweater, which is my favorite by the way, and they’re like, “Mommy, you can’t wear that; it looks messy.” Most of my clothes that I wear on a day-to-day basis have paint splatters on them. I like to be comfortable but colorful, classic but with a pop. My Polka Daubs really reflect it, they are messy and fun.
On what she wears to paint: I wear jeans or Adidas pants, they are so comfy. And socks, I don’t wear shoes. Every single pair of socks I own are covered in paint.
On a go-to brand: Oh … Can I say an artist? I’m going to say an artist. I love Brian Giniewsky, he does these drippy pots. I started collecting them a year ago and it’s so fascinating to support another artist, and to add color to my house. I plan on having a shelf of them in the future, not to use but for decoration. I also just started collecting Shiny Apple Studio and it’s super cool pieces of ceramics.
On the power of Instagram: It’s been incredible. I probably sell 95% of my work on Instagram to people all over the world, and I really I don’t think I could do this job without social media. I share my process and people really like to see that, it connects them to what I do. My top-three selling cities are New York, Washington, DC and then London.
For me it’s really fun, there’s no pressure. I love getting the feedback, like in college when we would have critiques once every two weeks. Now I can get feedback every single day, especially from the other artists. Probably half of my followers are other artists and it lets me kind of be like a mentor to other artists. I also like to post work and see if people are interested, and if it doesn’t get attention I work on it further.
On artistic evolution: I definitely put less pressure on myself to look less perfect, both in clothing and with my work. I used to paint more detailed work, landscapes, monuments and I got away from that when I had kids. I only had a set amount of time to focus and it became so much more relaxing to do abstract type of work. Having three boys who are crazy … it’s my own escape. Also, now when people come to me for a commission, they really trust me to make something creative without specific requests. They let me do my thing, which is awesome. When people come with something super specific I feel too restrained.
On the last three items added to her closet: I got this long sweater from Nordstrom that is now one of my favorite things. Then I got this soft hat from Ann Taylor and these earrings are amazing, I bought them for an ’80s night out. Aren’t they so cool? I found them from this artist on Instagram Kirsten Hatfield, she does ‘80s-inspired jewelry.
On goals for 2020: I usually have the same goal every year. So I like to sell about 100 paintings a year, which I’ve done the past two years. I just want to keep being able to paint, and keep attracting people to my work, it’s a huge feeling. Then I also have a big goal of being able to make the same amount I made in government with my artwork, and I’m almost there. I never thought I’d be able to make a living being an artist, it’s all so amazing and I can hardly believe it.
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Just when you think things can’t get sillier in Trump’s America, they do. Who knew that a sweet story about a family’s adoption of a dog would cause such ugliness in social media? If that family is the First Daughter’s family, apparently, it is to be expected.
There is a new pet in the Kushner family household, thanks to eight-year-old Arabella, and the haters have lost their minds. Her birthday dream, according to her mother was for a dog. Meet Winter.
The dog is cute, right? She (I’m assuming it is a female) looks like a small white dog. I prefer larger doggos, but your mileage may vary. Nonetheless, an eight year old bugging her parents for a dog is not unusual. That was the same age of our son when my husband and I adopted a rescue puppy. I suppose I should be happy that our Max wasn’t a white dog, thus avoiding the racist implications from the woke.
Claude Taylor, who worked on the 1992 and 1996 Bill Clinton presidential campaigns and as White House volunteers director tweeted his opinion. His Twitter feed is full of anti-Trump posts and merchandise.
And on it went. Thankfully, I have no idea who these people are but they were included in a piece written up in Newsweek.
American actress Nancy Lee Grahn tweeted, “How darling. I see you skipped a rescue and went straight to an Aryan breeder.”
“Does it sit and sieg heil yet?” Grahn asked, referring to a victory salute at political rallies used by Nazis.
A former member of the alternative rock band Marcy Playground, Jared Kotler, attacked Ivanka Trump’s White House role and contributions to the country.
“Pro tip: when everyone hates you for being a spoon fed nothing grifter who’s full of s***, an advisor to the president who doesn’t advise, when you want to seem human and get a dog, maybe a shelter dog would show humanity,” Kotler, a television producer, tweeted. “But all white and blue eyes is on brand. F*** off.”
It’s pretty amazing stuff. Those still in the midst of Trump Derangement Syndrome attacked the president’s daughter and his granddaughter’s dog to own the president. This nonsense is par for the course these days, though. It does make one wonder what in the world will become of these folks when Trump wins re-election in 2020. Oh boy.