When I was about to walk out the door for church I hurried back to my room to get some shoes. Of course I was about to grab the typical neutral colors that I'm always drawn to: black, nude, white or brown. But, I saw my green shoes and knew wearing complimentary colors would be the winner.
To see a post we did talking about complimentary colors with room examples of each, click here
It may be a bit weird that my inspiration for this post came from picking out shoes, but it had me thinking about red and green all day today.
Like I said in our last post about complimentary colors
, red and green can be an intimidating combination of colors to put together, mainly because it automatically makes people think of Christmas. But since these colors have been on my mind all day, I wanted to show more examples of rooms that are totally working it with this color scheme.
The first few have a common theme for why they don't scream "Christmas!" when you see them. They have taken different tints and shades of red and green from the typical kelly green and apple red used for Christmas. For example, in the first image, the bunk beds have been tinted a lighter shade of green.
In the next two examples they've also tinted the green, but have also added additional pops of accent color (predominately blue) to combine with the red and green.
Another way to takle the red and green color combo is to stick with mainly one color, like the example below, and add pops of the complimentary color pair. The small pops of red still make a big impact in the room.
This last example to me is the kicker. Yes I've mentioned changing the shade or tint of red/green into not the typical Christmas colors you see. I also mentioned just above about sticking mainly with one of the colors and using the other as a strong accent. But this image below kind of threw me. It seems the use of red and green are pretty even in this room. And not only that, they are totally the shades of red a green that remind me of Christmas... although when I looked at this picture 'Christmas' wasn't the first thing I thought of. Well done, room! I would love to hear your opinions about this, but I'm going to attribute the lack of 'Christmas' in this room to the beautiful brown wall (which I guess makes this room an example like pictures #2 and 3 with the pops of blue). The brown has such a calming neutralizing effect. It still lets the red energize the space and the green pop, but it calms the mood of the room down. What do you think?
All I have to say is this color combination is totally growing on me. Something new I realized today was out of the 3 complimentary color schemes, this one seems to be the most gender neutral. Blue+orange seems more masculine, while Purple+yellow seems more feminine. I am usually drawn to more gender neutral things (actually, I'd usually tip on the more masculine side) so maybe that's why I'm loving this color combination that seemed so off limits before.
Vicki sent in an image of her barstools asking for a 2nd Opinion. These stools are used everyday by her two young daughters, and she says that it shows. They seem to be currently covered in a rather nubby and decidedly light fabric, nubby doesn't equal easy to clean!
So my opinion is to embrace the functionality of these chairs, they have to be work horses. I think Vicki has a few options. My favorite option for her would be to cover the chairs in oilcloth or a laminated cotton. Since she would only be covering the seat bottoms I'm certain she could get 2 chair covers out of a yard, possibly three. That is a steal of a deal. Clean, highly functional, and customized chairs for under $30, fantastic! I asked Vicki what her favorite colors were, and she commented that she really likes earthy tones and that she has been picking out oranges a lot lately. My opinion is that the fabric should be bright with some contrast to the dark wood. It's a very straight lined chair, we need to mix it up with some pattern . Here are my picks, click on the image to be taken to the retailer:
And at $6.99 a yard it's a total steal!
Kind of Kelly Wearstler inspired right?
This is actually laminated cotton, a little easier to manipulate, a bit more expensive too.
This colorway is called spice, perfect for dining chairs!
I have to admit when I saw Vicki's chairs my mind went back to a blog post I read years ago. Here's the image that was permanently fixed in my brain:
Darling right? The tutorial for the slip covers can be found here
at Dana Made It. Now that I've swayed the vote :) let's see what you readers think!
Hey Dear Readers,
We are in the running for a Home Design Mom Blogger award through Circle of Moms! This is totally our niche right? If you like our content please support us by clicking over here
to vote for 2nd and Strand We really appreciate it!
Much love from Megan and Andrea
As I mentioned in my last post about Barcelona
, I spent most of my trip in Paris. Throughout my life I've been fortunate to visit France 6 times. Most of those times have been spent in Paris, but one time I spent the majority of my trip in Clermont-Ferrand (located in the middle of France) visiting one of my best friends growing up, and another time visiting Nice and Monaco (southern France). So needless to say, France has a very special place in my heart. But since my sister and brother-in-law are moving this summer, I know it will be a very, very long time till I make it there again. Which I'm okay with. There's a whole big world to discover, right?!
So for my posts today I wanted to talk about some of my favorite places to visit while in France (in no particular order).
Second to the Eiffel Tower (which we'll get to next), Paris is known for The Notre Dame cathedral. It was originally constructed in 1163 to 1240, but after it was desecrated in the 1790's during the French Revolution, it was then restored to its original state by local architect Eugene Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc (the bell is named Emmanuel after him!). I can't really express how much I love this building. There was a time in my life that I wanted to be an architect, and that desire started after seeing a picture of this amazing Gothic cathedral while I was in middle school. There was something about all those amazing flying buttresses that really made my heart soar :). And yes, speaking of flying buttresses (the arched support beams on the outside of the building), as much as I love the front of the Notre Dame, the back is definitely my favorite view. So if you ever make the trek over to Paris, make sure you don't just go to the front and straight inside... take a walk all the way around the building. Its totally worth it. Also, its worth a trip to the top to see the bell as well (but of course, that costs money)!
The Eiffel Tower takes the cake for being one of the most recognizable structures in not only Paris, but in the world. Its named after its design creator, Gustav Eiffel, who submitted the idea for the Eiffel tower to be built for the 1889 World's Fair. This amazing wrought-iron structure stands the equivalent to an 81 story tall building, and is the tallest structure in Paris (and at one time, the world). Its definitely safe to say this is the most visited site in Paris, and with good reason. You can see it poking out through the buildings from all over the city (and the sight of it never loses its magical impact), but you obviously need to go see it up close to get a feel for the magnitude of it. You can go up to three different levels in the tower (you can either walk or take an elevator to the first two levels, and you have to take an elevator to the top) to get a view of the city. Even if you choose not to do that, make sure you still take a walk underneath it. Yes underneath is swarmed with people either buying tickets or waiting in line to go to the top, but dodge them and take a minute to just look up through the middle of the building. Its very cool. Also, you should see the Eiffel tower not only during the day, but at night as well. When it startes getting dark they turn on the lights, and starting at 7pm (I believe) on the hour every hour the whole Eiffel Tower sparkels for ten minutes. Which is a magical sight.
The Louvre is one of the biggest museums in the world. If you walked through this whole museum spending 30 seconds to look at each piece with no break you'd spend 3 months there! Yeah, there is a lot to see. The Louvre originally started as a fortress (which you can still walk through a section of that in the basement of the museum), then was expanded into a palace. Louis the 16th and Marie Antoinette decided to move 12 miles away to Versailles (takes about 45 minute by train from paris, or a 15 minute car ride... definitely worth the trip), which was sort of beginning of the end. The French Revolution happened and the palace was quickly turned into a museum and opened to the public in 1793. In 1983 the French President proposed a renovation happen to the building, which would relocate certain areas and create a new grand entrance into the museum. I.M. Pei, an American Chinese architect won out, creating a glass pyramid as the entrance in 1989. The glass pyramid has sparked some controversy around the world... some people love it, while others don't like it because it seems too out of place. Me personally? I love it. The pyramid shape goes back to ancient Egyptian times, but the glass makes it completely modern and amazing. I just love the juxtaposition of the pyramid against the original Baroque palace. This is definitely a must see. When you go inside, do some research before hand to see what pieces you want to see so you know where to go inside (cause I think its safe to say you don't have 3 months to be able to see everything :). It most famously houses the Mona Lisa and the Vinus de Milo statue, among many other amazing gems.
Designed in 1806 by Jean Chalgrin, the Arc de Triomphe is still one of the most visited sites in Paris. It stands at the end of the famous Champs-Elysees (which is a great walk) and is surrounded by what has to be one of the busiest (and craziest) roundabouts. I believe 12 roads all funnel into the roundabout and I've heard, though I'm not positive I fully believe it, that an accident happens about every 30 minutes... so if you have a car and are unfamiliar with driving in Paris, you might want to avoid this roundabout! There are underground tunnels that take you to the Arc so you can walk underneath it and go up to the top. I'm not sure about all the significance of the statues and engravings, but know this was constructed to honor the soldiers that fought in the French Revolutionary war and the Napoleonic wars and set the trend for constructing monuments with patriotic themes. There have been many historic events that have included the Arc de Triomphe, including the Nazi's parading through it after the surrender of France in WW2. This is definitely an amazing site to see, and I think my favorite is seeing it lit up at night, its very beautiful.
Located in Mont Martre, the "poor artist" area of Paris and home to the Moulin Rouge, the Sacre-Coeur sits at the top of a hill overlooking the city. I've learned that I love getting arial views of the cities I visit. Like I've mentioned above, you can go to the top of Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe to get that view. Or, you can weave your way up the cobble stone streets and stairs to the Sacre-Coeur and get that amazing view (obviously from a father away perspective) for free. It was designed by Paul Abadie and construction started in 1875 and was completed in 1914. We didn't go inside (again, it costs money so we had to pick and choose) but still make sure you go walk around the building up close, it really is amazingly beautiful.
So there you have it. My top 5 things to see in Paris. Although they are all very touristy, they are all must-sees for France. But, I wanted to add a few more places, which I've listed below.
Other great sites to see -
- Musee D'Orsay
: once a railroad station turned into an amazing Museum. This houses works from famous artists such as Van Gough, Renior, Monet, and Manet to name a few. The inside of the building really is amazing. Make sure to check out the cafe (we had some delicious waffles with ice cream while we rested our feet and had the view outside from the amazing giant clock.
- Napoleon's Tomb
: this building is hard to miss as the gold dome shines visible through the city. Known as Les Invalides
, which now houses a museum showcasing the history of war in France, but originated as a hospital and place for retirement for war veterans. You can check out the Rodin museum
(less than a 5 minute walk away) and should definitely walk down the street to see the Petit Palais
(free entrance) and the Grand Palais
before hitting the Champs-Elysees.
- Luxembourg Gardens
: this beautifully landscaped park is the second biggest in Paris. While roaming the gardens, make sure to spot out the famous Medici Fountain
, as well as all the other beautiful sculptures. And hey, if you love Les Miserables, you'll be interested to know that in the book, Marius and Cosette first meet... starting their love story in these gardens.
- If you visit the Luxembourg gardens, you should take a walk up to the Pantheon
. Its neoclassical design was inspired by the Parthenon in Rome. The details on the interior of the building are amazing, and it houses the graves of some well known French like Voltaire, Victor Hugo, and Rousseau. Walk around the left hand side of the building to see a really beautiful church across the street.
If you are planning a trip to Paris, I'd recommend getting this
map (it also has a subway map included). My sister who lives there uses it and love it. Its great because its lamenated so you can mark on it with a waterproof white board marker to map out your stops for the day.
Do you have any favorite Paris spots that I've missed? I'd love to hear what you think.
I hope everybody had a good weekend. Ours was pretty great. We spent all of Earth Day cleaning up a neighborhood lot, and fixing up our own yard. I love the changes we made. One of the weekends highlights was reading the latest addition of TRADHome
, one of my favorite online magazines. I really like the segment they did based on floral art and fabric combinations, this really perked my interest as I had just come from my own flowering yard. I love all four of these examples, they are all so different and really speak to different sensibilities. Which one is your favorite?
We have another 2nd Opinion reveal! We seriously get so happy here at 2nd and Strand when we see people taking inspiration from ideas we've shared. Emily wanted some help with a bathroom of a new apartment she recently moved into with new towels and art. We know Emily loves color, and when you have a small space to work in its great to try to bring in great texture and fun patterns to get a great impact. To see the original post, click here
Below are the two different options we gave and had everyone take a vote on (for resources click here
). I don't know why, I love taking fun polls... like which towel/art combo do you prefer type of polls.
So here is the finished results! Emily found these amazing Vintage orange towels... don't they remind you of the Anthropology one shown above? I also love the big black and white photography on the wall. It helps balance out all the rest of the color in the room but is still a focal point at the same time.
Emily received the World Market Peacock towels as a gift from friends. And I'm sure you see that awesome big piece of art above the pretty towels? Emily did that herself! I seriously am so in awe of people that can create great things out of canvas and paint... and emily definitely did that and gave the room its main focal point.
Great job, Emily!
So here is our question to you: do you need a 2nd Opinion? In case you aren't sure what exactly I'm talking about, let me give you a little explanation. Every Friday we do a segment called '2nd Opinion'. This is based on readers sending in submissions about questions they have about a certain aspect of their home. Once we receive your submission we'll email you to get more information about what you need a 2nd opinion on, and put together something great for you that we will show on our website. Most other websites charge money for doing things like this, but since we are just so excited to be involved in doing something we are passionate about, we do it for free!
Our 2nd Opinions have covered a lot of territory. Like the one above, we helped Emily out with specific aspects of her room: towels and art. Here are some other examples-
1. We helped Colleen with picking a paint color
for her kitchen.
2. We helped Danielle with her living room
3. We helped Natalie with her bathroom
4. We helped David with some fireplace
5. We helped Sarah add some finishing touches
to her room with a great inspiration picture.
And the list could go on and on (like drapery options, lamp options, toy storage solutions, wall hanging options, bedding, and help with tough living areas to work with, office space, bedrooms... like I said, we've covered a lot of territory!). To see all our past 2nd opinions, click the link on the right sidebar under categories! When we do full rooms we invite everyone to give their feedback in the comments. When we do smaller scale things (like drapery options, wall hanging options, fabric options, etc...) we give multiple choices and make a poll so you can cast your vote! Its fun all around.
So do you have a problem in your home that you'd like help with? Here is what you do if you'd like to submit something for a 2nd Opinion...it's super simple -
1. Do you see the side bar on the left? The second one down says 'Get a 2nd Opinion'. Click that.
2. Follow the directions by filling in your name, email address, and briefly write what you'd like help with (we can get more details once we contact you!).
3. Wait for us to email you back... and thats it! Super easy.
Thanks to all our awesome readers who have sent in submissions (and if you have any after shots send them in!), and to all you who give your own opinion!
My neck of the woods had a holiday on Monday; Massachusetts and Maine are the only states that officially recognize Patriot's Day. My kids and husband even got up exceptionally early to go to a reenactment of the "shot heard round the world". Most everyone I know did something great that day. I went to the beach and drooled over all the beautiful beach homes! Boston itself celebrates Patriot's Day with the Marathon, and 2nd and Strand will celebrate with a little architecture recap!
Massachusetts colonial architecture in the early 18th Century was a statement about where the colonist had come from, they wanted to represent the King and his Georgian architecture. A beautiful example is the Isaac Royall House in Medford, MA:
This style of architecture is extremely symmetrical; from the dual chimneys, triangular pediments above the windows, pilasters flanking a paneled door, and small paned windows.
There are a few variations on this theme, but not as many as you'd think! My favorite place to take a walking tour of fantastic colonial homes would definitely be Marblehead, MA. They've got some gems up there!
After the Revolutionary War there was a slight evolution towards a Federal Style of architecture. This style took a lot of the symmetry of the Georgian and added some refinement. There were a lot more Grecian knods with the dentil trim and decorative columns. The front door was often topped with a Palladian window and fan lights.
As America struggled through it's early years it moved from the Federal Style to more fully embrace democracy and it's Greek history. This was evidenced in the choice of Greek Revival architecture.
This is the Saunders-Ward House in Salem, MA. Isn't it darling? It was originally home to a shoe maker, and then a sea captain, of course! This home represents the Greek Revival elements in it's use of bold and simple moldings, a wide and plain frieze, pediments, and narrow windows around the front door. This particular style of architecture really speaks to me. I love the strong, wide lines; I love the symmetry; and I love that color was widely used - I can't get enough color!
How did you spend Patriot's Day?
My husband and I just got back from our trip to Paris and Barcelona. Despite the weather raining on us most days we were there (major bummer), we still managed to have a great time and am so excited to talk today about Barcelona.
I've always wanted to go to Barcelona. My grandparents lived in Madrid for 2 years about 8 years ago, so my family went to visit them while they lived there... but I was so sad we didn't make it to the south of Spain. Since my husband and I wanted to do a side trip while in Paris (since we know we wont be going back to Europe for a long time) I decided now would be the perfect time to take the quick flight down to Barcelona. And oh man, I really loved it.
I got to experience how diverse this city is, and experience how it has such a great mix of historical buildings with newer, modern buildings thrown right in. It had a very contemporary, upbeat feel to the city and I was sad to leave this city when the time came.
I thought I would take this opportunity to talk about Antoni Gaudi, a native of Spain who's beautiful architectural projects are scattered all over Barcelona.
Born in Reus, Antoni Gaudi spent most of his younger life there going to school and spending time outdoors. He was sick a lot of his childhood, which led him to make the decision to become a vegetarian (which my husband thinks is super cool since he as well is a vegetarian) and also became very religious.
He moved south to Barcelona to study teaching and architecture. As time went on, he started producing some amazing work around the area, and although dabbed in some different architectural styles, he's most passionate and well known for his more organic "modernista" style of design and architecture. He took his inspiration from nature, which you can definitely see with his free-flowing design of his furniture and buildings; I don't think he was one for straight lines. Between lamp posts, iron gates, furniture or buildings... everything he's designed clearly has the Gaudi look to them.
Here are some of Gaudi's masterpieces I was able to visit while in Barcelona-
Barcelona's most visited site, the La Sagrada Familia
is an amazing site to see. Building was started in 1882, and after the original architect stepped down from the project, Gaudi stepped in a year later to transform it into the Gothic/ Art Nouveau form we see today. Work was very slow on this basilica because it was based on private donations, and because of a long break for the Spanish civil war. Gaudi devoted his life to this project, and died when the Sagrada Familia was only about 20% complete, and is still a very active construction site today. Isn't that interesting? It already looks amazing, and if there were no construction equipment (huge cranes were digitally removed from the image below) no one would think it looked incomplete. But it only hit its halfway completion mark two years ago in 2010, and they plan to finish it in 2026 to celebrate the 100 years since Gaudi's death. This is definitely considered Antoni Gaudi's masterpiece.
A view of the ceiling inside the La Sagrada Familia
. Gaudi showed his obvious love for his biggest inspiration: nature, as the columns are meant to look like trees. The interior was completed last year, in 2011 when Pope Benedict XVI consecrated it as a small basilica.
Next up, another one of Antoni Gaudi's very famous buildings: Casa Mila
(also known as La Pedrera). This was just about 2 blocks from my hotel and the first thing we went to go see. It was completed in 1912 to serve as office space and apartment living. Today, you can walk around the roof top, tour the attic area, and see a large apartment that was designed. This building, just like the La Sagrada Familia is a UNESCO World Heritage site. And as you can see from the image below, Gaudi doesn't like straight lines.
Check out the awesome roof
Just a couple blocks down from Casa Mila, we have Gaudi's remodeled Casa Batllo
also in the Eixample district of Barcelona (a lot of amazing buildings in this area...like the Casa Amatller shown to the left). I don't know as much information about this building because we didn't go inside (although its totally understandable, its unfortunate that everything costs a good amount of money to go into... so we had to pick and choose what we paid for), but the outside is amazing both during the day and in the evening. I first saw this building late at night as we walked from the subway to find our hotel after arriving at the airport. It is quite a site to see and definitely stands out because of the mosaic tiles on the exterior of the building.
Here's a close up so you can see how amazing the outside really is.
Lastly, I thought I'd show Park Guell
which was designed by Gaudi. It was commissioned to be a private park for residents in the community, but when funding fell through, it was donated to the city and is now a public park.
View from the top terrace down to the two buildings flanking the entrance with Barcelona in the background. I definitely like getting an areal view of new cities I visit.
Also a view from the top terrace, showing the wrap-around bench completed with beautiful mosaic tile.
So there you have it. The four Antonio Gaudi sites that I was fortunate enough to visit while in Barcelona for 2 days (if I was there longer I'm sure I would have seen more!). His designs are inspirational and as much as they stand out in today's world, I can only imagine how how he transformed what people thought of design while he was living.
Dani has a bit of a dilemma. She has a room that is well used, well organized, and well stuffed. There is not a lot of negative space, except above the bed. This of course is kind of anti-climatic as you want the bed to be the focal point of the BEDroom. So how do we draw the eye towards the bed and help give it the visual weight that it deserves? We go UP!
To balance all the weight around the room, you really have to crown the head of the bed. I have a few suggestions for you.
I love this option because of the drama! The contrast is fierce, and the details would be really easy to scale to fit the space; totally customizable and mostly just paint.
This option is sweet and serene, always nice descriptions of a restful bedroom. I think this option would work equally well with either paper or fabric.
This headboard seems more masculine, but maybe that means you can get some really great feminine bedding to balance it all out. I love that it would hide wiring for a lamp or two. Lucky for Dani she has a very handy husband who I think could rig something similar.
I love the height on this headboard. It would work well in Dani's space because the headboard ifself is narrow, and their wall is not very wide; I think the proportions could be just right.
Which one of these images is your favorite? Vote below to tell us. Happy weekend everybody :)
*Every Friday we do a post called '2nd Opinion'. These posts are based on reader submissions on home dilemmas they would like a 2nd opinion on. Here at 2nd and Strand we will give our opinions, and invite readers to do the same in the comments or by a poll. To see past 2nd Opinion posts, look on the right hand sidebar at '2nd Opinion' under categories. If you would like to make a submission, follow the link on the left hand side of our homepage! We'd love to hear from you!
Two weekends ago my husband and I found ourselves in the South End of Boston with a few hours to kill. The South End has a lot of great design and furniture shops that I'm still discovering, so I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I proposed window shopping with the promise that we would find some cool kitchen gadgets, Spencer is the cook in our house. First we started with a consignment shop called, Garage Sale
. I liked this particular shop a lot as it is well edited. There were some great pieces, everything from jewelry to HUGE dining room tables. I also liked that they worked as a gallery, they had a lot of original art work on the walls that was not ridiculously priced. I guess they have some artists that are exclusive to Garage Sale, so if you like the pieces but don't have the money currently, you could always go back when you've saved your pennies and find similar art.
We turned the corner and found two other new to me stores. Lekker Home
and Addo Novo
. At Addo Novo I thought I might get to keep my kitchen gadget promise as we stumbled upon this cool rolling pin, but Spencer wants a tapered handle instead.
I however was drooling over this desk. So so so great. I love the small profile, I love the pops of color, I just love it.
They also had some really great speakers for ipods and such. I didn't know how bad ours were until I heard their crystal clear tunes.
It's not inexpensive, but for all of you with $1200 to burn, you should totally get this. My favorite find of the day was at Lekker Home though. Check out this statement piece. It makes me want to sew. I love the color combination, the shape, I love how geometric and unabashedly bold it is. Nice work Lekker.
So we went home empty handed, but totally inspired.