Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wallpaper on Ceilings and in the Modern Home

In February 2012, I wrote a post entitled The Sky's The Limit: Painted Ceilings where I discussed the benefits of painting the ceiling in a room.   I'm amazed at the number of people that are interested in painted ceilings.  It continues to be my most viewed entry even four years later.

I have fully embraced the concept of painted ceilings in my own home to provide additional visual effect in a room.  Depending upon the color used, it can soften the appearance or elongate the room.   For example, here is my sunroom with Benjamin Moore Spectra Blue 2049-50 Walls and Arctic Blue 2050-60 Ceiling.

Today, I wanted to discuss using wallpaper in a room to create visual effect and character.  Wallpaper often gets a bad rap.  Many envision the hard-to-remove paper from their grandmother's era.  (Think large florals and Golden Girls).  For that reason, it lost popularity for awhile but has recently undergone a resurgence.   As you know by now, I'm a bit more daring than many people and I actually love to wallpaper the ceilings of my house.

For example, when I decided to renovate my guest bedroom room, I wanted to use elements that were unexpected.  I decided to add wallpaper to the bedroom ceiling using Meg Braff's Roxy wallpaper.  I had selected an over the top urchin sputnik chandelier for the room (which would have stood on it's own) but I wanted something to push it over the top.  I loved the idea of dark navy walls (Sherwin William's SW6510 Loyal Blue) complimented by a patterned ceiling.

My daughter has now taken over this room for her own and between the Turquoise Urchin Sputnik Chandelier and the Meg Braff Paper, it's a wonder she is able to fall asleep in this room (giggle).  But I purposely went solid on the walls so that the ceiling could have a splash of fun.  No, this isn't for everyone, but this is a perfect example of how a wallpaper ceiling can add texture and fun to a room.

I decided to go a bit more subdued in my son's bedroom  .  I wanted to give the ceiling an appearance of wooden planks.   The Thibaut Rodanthe Wallpaper fit the bill perfectly.  

On the support walls, I used a custom vintage wallpaper with the global design from   Design Your Wall called Sea Explorer.

Sometimes, people get caught up in design rules and are uncomfortable taking a plunge in the decor.  I'll admit, wallpapering the walls AND ceiling in a room can be a bit much.  And, though, it's not visible in these photos, I ended up only covering two of the non-ceiling walls and painting the other two a neutral color just to the eye could catch a break from all of the patterns.

For my upstairs bedrooms, I decided to take more daring liberties in the decorating.  However
in a more formal room, like the dining room, it's important to support the mood and purpose of the room.  For example, wallpaper is still acceptable, but must be utilized in a more classic form.  For example a grass cloth is a tasteful way to cover a wall, add character and still maintain the rooms formality.  This is Phillip Jeffries Grass Cloth.

In a transitional space such as a mudroom, there are no rules that say the room must be boring or  neutral.  Why not be greeted with a splash of fun color upon entering the house?  No surprise, I went with a Kelly Green chinoiserie pattern by Meg Braff in the mudroom entry off our garage.  It's bright and cheery and, what I love most, unexpected!  Again, not for everyone, but I like to reiterate that it's ok to be daring and push the limits a bit.  

Additionally, wallpaper does not have to be permanent.  There are creative ways to create the effect of wallpaper in a room without using paste and permanent paper.  For example, this is a vestibule in our upstairs hallway and it's simply a strip of striped fabric that I nailed to the wall and trimmed with grosgrain ribbon.  

The kids have a shared bathroom and I used removable wallpaper strips to create a bit of dimension to the room.   The walls are painted a neutral beige and I added red stripes that have self-adhesive backing.  They can easily be removed when we want to change out the look of the room.

I'm such a fan of wallpaper, that I used it in the Vivid Hue Home store as well.  I wanted something that felt like retro Palm Beach.  Golden Girls meets Connecticut, in a good way!  Meg Braff designed a vintage trellis paper in kelly green (my favorite) and, voila!   

Where do you stand in the use of wallpaper?  Are you reluctant to plaster it to your walls for fear of the amount of effort it will take to remove?  Or do you embrace the use of wallpaper in moderation?  Have you used wallpaper on the ceiling in your room?


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Valentine's Day Gift Guide- For Men

Yesterday I shared our Vivid Hue Valentine's Day Gift Guide for Women and Kids.  
Today, I wanted to review a few products that we have in stock that would be perfect for the special man in your life. 

1. Best Day Tie Clip $16.  

Though your man may not need to wear a tie every day of his life, when he does, he can stylishly keep it in place with this brass tie clip.

2.  Do Something Pocket Knife $20

My husband has this knife and I swear I ask to borrow it about 3 times a week.  It's made of stainless steel and has four extremely useful tools--a corkscrew, large blade, bottle and can opener, and screwdriver.

3. Premium Wine Gift Accessory $54

This is a single wine bottle gift box made in cherry finish with a pour spout, bottle stopper, corkscrew and drip ring.  You supply the perfect bottle of wine.  Any wine connoisseur will appreciate the presentation and the tools.  The box is securely padded to guarantee protection for that special bottle of wine.

4.  Gentleman Soap Set $18

These handcrafted authentic soaps are in the style of fine 18th century toiletries.  They are environmentally sensitive, made with vegetable oils and free of animal testing.  Wrapper is printed with soy based inks on post consumer recycled paper.  Made with Organic Oatmeal.

5. Gin and Titonic $12

This is sure to be a conversation piece at a party.  Made of synthetic rubber, this ice cube tray makes four Titanic ocean liners and four icebergs.  Great for mixed drinks.  

6. 4 Piece Gift Set $37

Do you see a theme here?  Not to suggest that every man loves wine, but when they do, they appreciate fine wine accessories.  This box offers a black wood finish corkscrew, bottle stopper, drip ring and pour spout.  

7. Prost Stein $45

"Cheers" in German.  This beer stein is 1 Liter, hand-painted stoneware and manufactured in the style of the authentic German beer steins.  

8. 4 in 1 Bar Tool $28

This tool handles anything you'll need to do at the bar.  Break ice, Pop a cork, open a beer, measure a shot.  This design was based off of a functional vintage tool.  

And, of course, there are always S'Well Water Bottles that will keep liquid cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours!  

Please come by and see what we have in person! There are many more items not featured here.  


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Valentine's Day Gift Guide- Vivid Hue Style

I have to admit, I'm not a huge Valentine's Day person.  Flower arrangements are typically doubled in price simply because of the occasion.  Restaurants are packed with lovey-dovey couples.   Singles hit the bars to trash talk love (or celebrate their independence).

With that said, Valentine's Day is just three weeks away!  While flowers are the obvious gift for a loved one or best friend for this occasion, why not consider something that has a bit more longevity?
I love the idea of giving a little something that will last well beyond February 14th.

A cheeky wine glass gift for the next girl-friend get together.  
A pastel pink gurgle pot or decorative coffee mug for the favorite teacher.  
A fun watermelon cooler bag for the soccer mom to keep juice boxes chilled for the game.  
A heart shaped duffle bag for a teenager's weekend sleep overs.  
A S'Well water bottle for him.  Or her.  Friend. Or boyfriend.  
Or, a set of chic elephant bookends or koi lotus pillows for you!  
Because even YOU deserve to treat yourself every so often.  

We have a range of gifts that are perfect for the day...and who says gifts have to be exchanged only between couples?  I love giving gifts when they're not expected.

Today, I'm showcasing a few of my favorite Vivid Hue Home items that are perfect for Valentine's Day or "just because" gifts.  

1. Koi + Lotus Leaf Chintz Pillow $95  |  2. Gold Elephant Bookends $42/pair | 3. "If the shoe fits, buy one in every color" Catchall Tray $20 | 4. Wine is My Valentine Glass  $14  | 5. Watermelon Cooler Bag $32 | 6. I Did My Best Journal $10 | 7. Heart Duffle Weekender Bag $54 | 8. Rosey Gurgle Pot $45 | 9. Gold Dots Makeup Clutch $15 | 10.  Heart Ceramic Mug $15 | 11.  S'Well Water Bottle $25-45

Now that I have littles, I like to give a little something to them on Valentine's Day.  They love getting a thoughtful care package and I try not to make it all about chocolates and sweets.  We have some items at Vivid Hue Home that would be the perfect "something" for your special little one.  

1. Say Something Necklace $10  
Wonderfully inspirational messages already in a built in gift box.  Necklace is a bar with one word.  

Take it all in and remember to BREATHE, Make today Ridiculously AMAZING, Always Classy and a little bit SASSY, Real Friends treat you like family #SISTERS, Best Friend Ever BESTIE, Life was meant for good friends and great adventures LETS GO

2.  I heart you more than unicorns, roller coasters and bubble gum all put together $10

3.  Floral Journal $10, I Did My Best Journal $10  and Fun Pens with sassy messages $14 for 3.  

4.  Hot Pink Heart Shopper $10, Glitter Bobby Pins, Hand Illustrated Pillows by Mari Robeson $50-70, Hand Painted Piggy + Elephant Banks $15

Now, don't think that Valentine's day is all about the kiddos and ladies.  Even the guys need a little loving on this day!  Check back tomorrow for our Vivid Hue Home Valentine's Day Guy Guide!


Vivid Hue Home + Gifts
775 Farmington Ave | Farmington CT  06032
860-677-0301 |
Hours: Mon Closed, Tues + Wed 10-5pm, Thurs 10-6pm, Fri 10-5pm Sat + Sun 10-4pm

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Off to a Bright New Year!

Vivid Hue Home + Gifts
775 Farmington Ave | Farmington CT  06032
860-677-0301 |
Hours: Mon Closed, Tues + Wed 10-5pm, Thurs 10-6pm, Fri 10-5pm Sat + Sun 10-4pm

I got back into the shop this morning after a mini-holiday hiatus.  I must admit, I wasn't entirely excited to get back in there because there was so much work to be done.  The holidays were good to us and the store was completely picked over and bare.  I still had remnants of our holiday merchandise and showers of red and green themed products spattered throughout the shelves.

I am now pleased to say that our holiday items have been moved onto our clearance shelves (60% off, I might add).  And the store has been refreshed with bright colors and new inventory!

My recent ordering trend is towards pineapples!  Not only are they the sign of prosperity, they're so cheery and welcoming.  What a perfect house warming gift!



We also have a hot pink and black theme going!  I tell you, I'm already ready for preppy spring gifts (and it just finally got cold here!)


This watermelon bag is a cooler (perfect for carting around juice boxes or beer or wine).  And the heart pitcher would be perfect with flowers for a Valentine's Day gift!  

If the shoe fits, buy it in every color!   These custom koi pillows are my fave!  

Our S'Well bottle inventory was completely wiped out over the holidays but we have more coming in every single size.  (And just about every single color combination you could imagine!! ) 

This little petit vase is one of my favorites, too.  It would be precious in a little kid's room sitting on a bookshelf.  Each side has a different pattern and an equally sweet French child's character on it.  

We still have our staple custom furniture and home decor brands.  Cotton + Quill pillows, Society Social Sofa, World's Away Lacquer Green Coffee Table, Taylor Burke Kings Grant Chairs, Vintage Palm Beach 1970's Chairs.  And we will be getting even more fun pillows in stock!

Looking forward to starting the year off with lots of color!
Whew, just after I arranged the entire store like this today, several more shipments arrived.  It's fun to unwrap the new deliveries, but boy is it work!

I'll be heading to the NY NOW gift show at the end of the month.  Hard to believe it, but I'll be scouting items for the spring and summer!!!

Hope you are all staying warm!  If you're local, pop into the shop and see what we have in person.


Saturday, January 2, 2016

A Vivid Hue Holiday Recap

I have been negligent in blogging this holiday so I have decided to give you a "Reader's Digest" update via instagram photos.  This was Vivid Hue Home's first holiday season as a gift boutique and it was such a wonderful and fulfilling season.  We have quite a loyal customer base locally and I'm so grateful to the regulars that stop in to see what we have to offer.  

One dilemma I faced in the fall was deciding when to decorate the cottage for Christmas.  Each year, Christmas trees go into retail stores earlier and earlier and there seems to be a real trend to kick off the season just after October.  I slowly started introducing some holiday-related items inside the store around early November and fought the urge to fully decorate until mid November.  

Our little cottage is perfect for New England greenery and berries, red ribbons and white lights.  

Our ombre turquoise Christmas tree with fuchsia boa feathers.

Antlers and plaid stockings over the fireplace! 

It was thrilling to see customers repost their Christmas goodies on instagram and tag us in them! 

Early in the season, Melissa Cole (who is a reporter for Better Connecticut) approached me about filming a few DIY segments in the shop for the holidays.  Of course, I jumped at the opportunity.  She came to the shop with her cameraman and we filmed two episodes back to back.  The entire filming took less than two hours and the result was two clips to appear on future episodes.  

It's funny how things happen in "threes."   Literally the day after my Better Connecticut filming,   Kerri-Lee Mayland (who is an anchor on NBC's Connecticut) visited the shop as a customer and loved the products so much that she asked me to appear live on air to provide holiday gift suggestions for viewers.   I almost got trumped by a special report from Obama, but luckily was able to squeeze my segment in before the report began.  Watch the segment here.  

Here I am with Kerri-Lee Mayland.  

Some of the gifts we offered as stocking stuffers.  

My "other half" is so into Star Wars that he insisted I purchase Star Wars  products for the store before the movie release.  

In fact, his birthday is a week before Christmas and he received mostly Star Wars-related gifts, including a life size R2D2 trash can and an original 1977 vintage Chewbaca stein.  We even took the kids out of school early on the movie release day.  

We sold traditional Christmas items, like these wood-carved Santas.  

There was a red and green theme of fact, these gurgles were a popular gift item.  

And then the S'well bottles!  We started carrying them in every single size offered and they literally flew off the shelves.  These are so convenient and the large size will hold an entire bottle of wine (which was often a convincing reason for purchase)  

Of course, in Vivid Hue fashion of mixing patterns, why not mix cheetah and plaid? 

Professionally, it was a stellar first Holiday Season for the store.  And personally, it was such a terrific  year with family.  

Boston for Thanksgiving to visit the in-laws.  

Off to see "Rudolph" at the Bushnell in Hartford Connecticut.  

Some preppy red and pink decorations in my home.   We sell these elephant planters @vividhuehome and I have used them every single season to make a statement on the dining room table.  (PS, ignore the dead looking holly on the left).

Our pink and green mudroom decked out for a neighborhood get together.  

Front of house with fresh greenery and lights 

We go over the top with Christmas trees, including one in our master bedroom.  

One of the felt ornaments I made EG when we were engaged and I was still in NYC and he was in Boston.   This little guy is 12 years old. 

We spent Christmas in Northern Virginia at my parent's house.

We visited our old stomping grounds in Georgetown, where we got married.  Here is the entry path leading down to Sequoias.

We took the kids to the Smithsonians...their first real year of understanding what they were seeing (e.g. the original United States Flag, the Bureau of Engraving and printing where money is made)

We enjoyed lunch in DC before settling in at my parent's house with our entire family.  

And to think that the year has come to an end and we are off running with 2016.

Thank you to all of my readers and (now customers) who have supported the launch of the store this year.  For regular updates, please follow vivid hue on Instagram.  I have started posting individual photos of our products in the shop and local customers can keep track of what we have to offer.

May you and your family have a healthy and happy new year.