Everything Ombre

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

These ombre walls and curtains add such a lovely softness to the room. There is something about the gradual tonal changes that just feels soft and relaxing. This girl is so totally ombre by doing the ombre dress AND ombre hairstyle.
Interior pic courtesy of Happiness Is
Outfit pic courtesy of Beauty Moves Me

Ombre is a French term meaning “shaded”. The effect is usually achieved by a multicolored stripe, with colors graduating from light to dark. Its a trend that if you Google right now will come up with a lot of hairstyle images from celebs who over the past few years have been rocking the dark roots that slowly get lighter at the ends. Apparently the celebs have now abandoned the two toned hairstyles, but in fashion and interiors; ombre can be a lot more timeless. In fact ombre is a color style that works not just on interiors and fashion, but also on cakes, lips and nails and has even shown up in a lot of wedding styling. The 'dip dye' style is very similar in terms of the visual effect it creates of which there are quite a few DIY tutorials to try out.

Google ombre and you will get hundreds of these sorts of celeb hairstyle pics. From left to right Rachel Bilson, Drew Barrymore and Khloe Kardashian.Images courtesy of theberry.comandazelenca.com and franaq16.blogspot.co.nz

What I love about ombre is the softness and gentleness. It has a calming feeling to it, from a dark rich color to softer more pastel tones and all the way to white.

These are more subtle gradient ombre examples. They also demonstrate that blue on blue on blue can work, you don't have to be afraid to be too matchy matchy.
Interior pic courtesy of apetycznewnetrze.blogspot.com 
Outfit pic courtesy of weheartit.com

A great example of the sweet softness of ombre. Pale pink and turquoise, too cute.
Interior pic courtesy of blog.jelanieshop.com
Outfit pic courtesy of pose.com

A DIY project you can ombre paint a set of drawers for a fabulous visual effect. Gwen Stefani was stunning in this John Galliano wedding dress way back in 2002 before ombre became a hairstyle sensation.
Interior pic courtesy of creamylife.comombre-desk 
Outfit pic courtesy of wedding-darling.com

Dip dye denim blue, has a chic easiness to it that feels very down to earth.
Interior pic courtesy of etsy.com
Ombre denim shirt courtesy of etsy.com

Orange in your wedding dress is probably even more outrageous than pink, but its cute and it works. This simplistic art piece demonstrates that ombre is beauty and art in itself.
Ombre Sunset Pic courtesy of etsy.com
Orange ombre wedding pic courtesy of beforethebigday.co.uk

There are no limits to this trend, even your lips can have this crazy extra dimension.
Interior pic Courtesy of  Happiness Is
Make-up pic courtesy of  Tumbler.com

Wedding cakes and crazy couture are all ombre friendly
Image courtesy of savvyinteriordesign.com

There is something hippy and cool about both these examples, but I wouldn't try the pink hair unless you were in your early 20s.
Interior pic courtesy of anordinarywoman.net
Pink hair image courtesy of tammyleighsblog.blogspot.com

Sunshine yellow ombre is very easy on the eye and soothing to the soul. Such a cheerful color in such a peaceful tone takes me to my happy place.
Interior pic courtesy of Happiness Is
Outfit pic courtesy of i612.photobucket.com

Check some ombre and dip dyed ideas below for the avid DIYer and a whole lot more ideas here.
Make your own dip dyed napkins via a great tutorial from A Beautiful Mess

Give more interest and beauty to some retro furniture. Image courtesy of budgetdecorating.about.com
Ombre doesn't have to be crazy colorful shades. Grey is a great option for neutral beauty. Image courtesy of countryliving.com 
This is a great tutorial on how to paint an ombre wall, see full instructions here

Finally some ombre fashion examples...

Ombre on the runway. 
Image courtesy of designsbykf.blogspot.com

Ombre on the red carpet. 
Image courtesy of fromthefloor.nordstrom.com
It is true you could ombre just about anything, and with any color so have fun with this trend and get "ombreing".

Nautical - life's a beach

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Nothing says nautical like navy and white stripes.  Sunhats, sailboats, shells and sunshine are also highly complementary.
Interior image courtesy of Tumbler
Outfit image courtesy of A Positively Beautiful Blog

My new home at the beach has inspired this post as I've been quite taken by the nautical theme. I've never owned a house by the beach, so I now feel quite entitled and even obliged to introduce some sense of a nautical feeling into my home decor. Complimentary

The navy blue and white stripes are of course the classic combination, originally called the Breton Stripes which were the design of the French seamen's uniform. Coco Chanel then popularized the signature style and took it mainstream with her stripe shirt and palazzo pants combo, which is where the nautical craze all started and has been going strong for decades. For more on the history of the beloved nautical style check this article Stripes Ahoy!

From the movie "Coco before Chanel" Audrey Tautou does a brilliant job of playing the fashion pioneer.
Image courtesy of falconeri.it

I've always liked the nautical look, I think it is classic and has this New York Hamptons, old rich,  Jackie Onassis sophistication about it, but maybe that's just me or maybe I watch too much Revenge!

For interiors it opens a whole world of boat themed accessories like ropes, buoys, ship steering wheels, anchors, nautical maps, oars, flags, etc. But as per our previous post 5 Fashion and Interior Design Fails you can take a theme too far, so I wouldn't recommend you get all of the accessories listed unless you want to make people feel like they're actually on a boat!

White is the best starting point for all things nautical then add a splash of navy stripe, a lifesaver, maybe a captains hat and a nautical map and you're away sailing....
Interior pic courtesy of Tumbler
Outfit pic courtesy of Pinterest

Another twist on Nautical - taking the basic stripe to a chevron. Go wild and put that stripe on an angle!
Interior image courtesy of House of Mood
Outfit image courtesy of Chictopia

Nautical is not just about navy, but red can give you just as much of that sailor sensation. Check the beautiful and rustic link chain table legs the rope ornament and the basket lampshade. Its these touches that give that nautical feel to this very contemporary and stylish interior.
Interior image courtesy of Mylalifestyle
Outfit image courtesy of Shabbyapple

I find the blue glass buoy so special. I've tired to find  some vintage glass buoys to decorate my home, but it is nigh on impossible here in New Zealand. But I've managed to find some replica glass buoys from Freedom Furniture which are a good substitute and have placated my yearning for these beautiful items. The red pumps are a perfect complement to this nautical outfit, with the classic Chanel stripe top and skinny black jeans.
Interior image courtesy of livetheemma
Outfit image courtesy of Iwantbigcloset

I LOVE this nautical wallpaper. This would be quite a commitment stylistically and I don't know if I could do it, but RESPECT to those that can pull it off. I also love this hipster retro styling for the nautical look. A sentiment to how timeless this style is, you can make it work for you whatever your age.
Interior image courtesy of Bambinogoodies
Outfit image courtesy of Pinterest

So more of a beachy look pulling back a bit on the stripe. Check the oar coat rack, what a great weekend project!  A simple white dress styled for the beach can be very fun, relaxed and pretty.
Interior image courtesy of Design is Mine
Outfit image courtesy of Fashionsalade
The round ship window is also a stunning nautical touch to your interior. We've painted our floorboards white and I can't wait to see how I can start decorating on this blank canvas.
Interior image courtesy of Saltwaterliving
Outfit image courtesy of Pinterest
Now just plain beachy I can't go past a good bikini. These ceramics from ENDEsign on Etsy are so modern and unique. Moontide is a wonderful New Zealand swimwear brand that produce high quality togs (as we call them in NZ).  We here in the southern hemisphere are heading into winter and these images are a bit of a sad farewell, but none-the less enjoyable.
Interior image courtesy of Etsy
Outfit image courtesy of Moontide

Nautical map wallpaper can make a great backdrop for your nautical scene. Don't forget to accessorize  but as Coco would say "Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory".
Interior image courtesy of Pinterest
Outfit image courtesy of Be Cinderella

Now ropes are one of my favourite nautical accessories, rustic and beautiful. These light clusters would add wonderful character to a living area or kitchen. This necklace is pretty intense, but there are quite a few ways to wear it, check it out at Bec Brittain
Interior image courtesy of Etsy
Outfit image courtesy of Bec Brittain

Ropes and knots can make an interesting and unique wall display. This necklace from Etsy is a bit more delicate than the previous example, the colour and unique texture make this quite a statement piece.
Interior image courtesy of Tumbler
Outfit image courtesy of Etsy

Now for some nautical DIY projects, from nail art to a rope ottoman get creative! I have a Pinterest board called "DIY Dreams" because I'm quite conscious of the fact that the I'll never get around to it, but it still doesn't stop me from adding pins to my board and dreaming...

The Rope Ottoman is perfect for the beach house, looks easy, but its probably quite complicated... - diy-craft.com

DIY nautical nail art, you'll need a steady hand for those stripes! Image courtesy of pshitt

One last thought...

Image courtesy of Society 6

How to mix prints

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Left to right imagery: stylingon.com & designspiration.net

Mixing prints takes a bit of courage and an eye for colour combinations.  On the home front a combination of prints can be very chic and the overall feel can bring a plain or lifeless room to life.  On the fashion front it can give someone a real sense of personality...

Something for everyone - Image by theberry.com

My personal approach to print is one that is relatively reserved but what I love about mixing prints is that it doesn't always have to say 'hey look how many colours I can wear' - but rather, 'look what I can do with multiple prints and colour', take for instance these runway looks that are mixing prints yet in a monochromatic way.

Image from style.mtv.com

The overall look above is a look that is refined yet captivating as not only are the models mixing prints but they are mixing textures in a tonal colour palette of greys black and brown. Not once do I think this is too much print, which just goes to show that mixing prints can be refined and subtle.

Even if you are someone who likes to keep your colour scheme simple inside the home, introducing several different prints into an otherwise neutral space like for instance in window dressings or cushions (as above) shows a bit of flare yet is easily replaced should your relationship with the print sadly 'come to an end'.

Left to right: youareherefw.com and cosy.pt

Sometimes too much of something can be a wonderful thing like for instance this leopard on leopard look or this over the top zebra wallpaper.  Sometimes if you have the right oomph of colour to offset the print the scheme can just work - it shouldn't but it does, like these further examples

Micro-floral meets green zebra: greathomeinterior.com

The yellow floral is offset by a striking zebra print: asiankoreanfashion.com

Mixing prints can tread a fine line between creating a beautiful mess and an amazing fashion moment.  These celebs seem to get the balance right

Whitney Port, tartan and stripes myfashavenue.com

Scarlett mixes her black and white prints: olivekelly.blogspot.com

Miranda in double floral - lamodellamafia.com

Leopard and floral - who knew?: Olivia enpaper.blogspot.com

Mixing print the right way is all about maintaining balance and having the confidence to do it in the first place.  Occasionally it can be a happy coincidence that you were wearing 3 kinds of stripes and it looked fab but for the most part this is a blend that takes some coordination - there needs to be a common thread.  Either you try bold print with bold solid colours to offset, or you blend prints with tonal accessories which compliment rather than contrast.  The best thing about mixing prints is it really does get your imaginative juices flowing and when you strike it lucky - it can be a winning combination.

Have a go, I dare you!

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