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Orange + Aqua = Love

So in my last post I mentioned in passing that I was really loving orange lately. And I am. In fact, I've been itching to design the nursery in orange and...well, and something. I didn't want to do brown because it's too harvesty. I don't want to do just white because it's too monochromatic and modern for my taste. And then I saw the divine Ms. Tobi Fairley's feature in Traditional Home earlier this week as I paged through the magazine en route home from LA. And I fell in love. Aqua and orange -- that's it! It's fresh, young and fun but still sophisticated and interesting. And even more important: it's gender neutral. I've decided to eschew traditional gender decorating (for now) and go with a more neutral theme for a nursery.

But back to these rooms....Tobi Fairley designed the master bedroom and adjacent sunroom for a Showhouse in Arkansas using predominately green materials (and plenty of antiques and refurbished furniture). And this may be about the freshest, happiest approach to reduce, reuse and recycle that I've ever seen.

I'm particularly fond of how Tobi doesn't try and match tones too closely. The aqua Rubie Green fabric on the vintage sofa isn't precisely the same tone used on the legs of the orange chair or on the finish on the cabinet. And I like that. The overall effect is more layered and less stuffy -- but still conveys the pulled together look that a tighter color palette can give you. Also love how there are only two throw pillows on the sofa and none on the armchair. Much as I love a throw pillow (and you know I do), I get tired of seeing designers completely cover furniture in them. It's impractical and they'll only end up on the floor.

Mmm...pretty lamp, pretty flowers, pretty curtains. All around great styling generally and I appreciate that this nightstand isn't completely cluttered with stuff. All too often these vignettes just read as overstyled to me. Here, Tobi sticks to a classic group of 3 (I consider the orange book more of a stand than an object itself) with staggered heights. It's a simple formula, but it always works.

In the sunroom, Tobi painted mismatched vintage frames the same coral shade and displayed simple shells within, treating them as shadow boxes rather than traditional frames. This a trick that's been used to great effect by a number of designers -- and even on HGTV, but I still like the look. It's a great and inexpensive way to fill a big wall. And of course I love the hit of KWID Imperial Trellis in that great spice colorway.

So yes there are a lot of throw pillows on this daybed, but I make an exception for daybeds as they're deep enough both to accommodate a plethora of pillows and a person (or two), especially if they're backless as here. The embroidered teal pillows are particularly gorgeous -- would love to know the source if anyone knows it. But is it just me or does that art look an awful lot like a chalkboard?

Those lamps are actually old flea market finds that Tobi painted orange -- brilliant trickery for decorating on a budget. I also have to add that the Izze orange sodas displayed on the makeshift bar are personal favorites of mine. I've been drinking it regularly since I found out I was pregnant in an effort to stave off the boredom that comes with abstaining from alcohol and diet soda.

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