There is a time and a place for classics…
For example, soaking in a hot bubble bath, salts effervescing, a glass of Cabernet nearby, candles flickering. In this ambiance, turning the pages of a classic romance novel makes total sense.
But there’s also a time for innovation. A need for something fresh and exciting. The desire to reinstate the element of surprise that made you fall head-over-heels in love with it in the first place. (As you may know by now, the best things are born out of the need for change!)
Yes, my friend, I am talking about reinvention.
What’s a cocktail got to do with all this…?
If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, you know it’s no secret — I love me a craft cocktail. (In fact, we invent a signature cocktail for all of our full service clients!) I was in the mindset of openness and reinvention when I stumbled across this recipe for a Lavender Old Fashioned.
My immediate reaction,“What a brilliant twist on an old classic!”
This updated version features bourbon in place of whiskey, along with lavender-infused simple syrup, and a lemon berry tincture. In one subtle move, this recipe twists creates a feminine playfulness, an innate flirtatiousness, and a hint of mystery, making you wonder to yourself, “Oooh, what will THAT taste like?”
I have tasted it, and let me tell you — it is to die for!
This cocktail got my creative juices flowing and I found myself asking, “How can this simple interaction with a new drink inspire my work as a designer?”
And then it all clicked… a craft cocktail is just like a well-designed interior.
How is a craft cocktail similar to a well-designed interior?
Oh, much more than you might think!
Every ingredient plays a role in the final creation
The quality of each ingredient is noticeable and can elevate the entire design
Layering matters, each element interacts with each other in myriad ways
The beauty of the final creation is unique to the beholder
To celebrate this idea and spread my love for craft cocktails, I am dedicating one blog post every month to featuring a recipe that inspires and excites me! Each will have #bestsippedwith pairings… including interiors that epitomize the spirit of the cocktail and several bar cart essentials to go with the drink.
I can’t wait to share these cocktails with you, and help you transform your own home into a stunning expression of you, your history, and the story you want to tell in the future. Yes, cocktails can help! 😉
#BestSippedWith: Unexpectedly Daring Interiors
To me, the Lavender Old Fashioned harnesses the element of surprise. Like Sherlock Holmes on the scent of a case, one sip revealed an element of the unexpected, a hint of familiarity, and the irresistible allure of a mystery.
Where is this cocktail best sipped? Let’s grab Dr. Watson and solve the mystery…
It all started with a memory. A few years back, I was reading an article about Poppy Delevingne (you know who I’m talking about, right? British actress, stunning model, and overall “life of the party” in her everyday existence…we all want to be her friend, don’t we?).
It was your standard, run-of-the-mill article about the renovation of her home and the beautiful interiors it contains. But as I was scrolling through, one particular image caught my attention in all the best ways. It was Poppy’s sitting room. Take it all in…
Upon first glance, I found the room was incredibly intense. But as my eyes wandered past the Flash-like mirrors and colors, I felt an immediate softening. A coziness. A warmth. Talk about unexpected!
I felt the room before I mentally processed it. Within the masculine colors of the glossy walls sat a stunning, feminine garnet-colored velvet sofa. Along the window hung brilliant-and-bold teal velour curtains, and on the end tables stood golden palm tree lamps.
The many layers of the design are in balance, giving the space flavors of confidence, comfort, and charisma. I read that the couple asked their designer, Joanna Plant, for a space that felt “mysterious and naughty.” I definitely think they accomplished just that! Suspense and seduction. Masculine and feminine. Perfect harmony.
Just like the Lavender Old Fashioned. Can you imagine reclining on that velvet beauty, hand holding your rocks glass, feeling totally at peace with the world? Me, too. 😉
To manifest a fantasy, you have to think outside the box.
#BestSippedWith: Bold Colors & Patterns
Another perfect pairing for the Lavender Old Fashioned are rooms that feel both dark and mysterious, yet soft and playful. Interiors that showcase unexpected elements in ways that simply work, even if you can’t explain why. Like this stunner, stage right.
From saturated, moody color to subtle texture and bold shapes, this is a space I would love to sink into, drink in hand!
The heavy presence of shades of violet and purple invites creativity, luxury, and an almost transcendent energy into the space (like the soft notes of lavender in our Old Fashioned). These are grounded by the masculinity of rigid lines, thick edges, and the charcoal tones of the table and chairs. The balance of lush fabrics with cold stone and glass also provides a perfect balance of nature and fabrication, bringing a beautiful unity to an awe-inspiring space. (All the heart eyes!)
#BestSippedWith: Subtle Interiors Steeped in Mystery
While I am generally in the school of thought that gray has become overused and uninspired, the space below is anything but.
Boasting a variety of gray hues, this modernized, gothic-inspired sitting room is balanced perfectly by metallic bookshelves, dark indigo velvet seating, and an exquisite rug. Rich grays and subtle decor are neutral… unemotional… reserved… safe. And yet, the soft textures pull us in, invite us to stay, make us feel cocooned and safe. Maybe even sexy.
Add in the unexpected painting above the fireplace, and the room has our eyes continually searching for more… and delighting when the answer is always yes.
#BestSippedWith: Library Calm & Speakeasy Thrill
This space is a double entendre, at once daring you to pull up a chair in the Slytherin common room or inviting you to lose yourself, like Hermione, in the joy of thick tomes.
The rigid angles of the herringbone flooring are a perfect complement to the round table and curved leather chairs in the bar. The choice of green, a color evoking nature (and money), pairs flawlessly with the wooden floors and perfectly positioned display of old, traditional volumes.
That fortune-teller’s-glass-globe replica of a lamp completes the room with a touch of mystery and a pinch of utter captivation. (Yes to everything in this space!)
Now, it’s your turn…
Alright, so I have shown you some WOW! spaces (you can go ahead and pick your jaw back up off the floor now…) But you’re probably curious if I’ll ever get to the practical implementation for YOUR space, right?
You might not be ready to embrace the boldness of the spaces above, but life isn’t meant to be lived within our comfort zones, is it? I am a firm believer in taking the trip (no matter your hesitations), trying the new hobby (no matter the commitment), and experimenting with the unexpected cocktail (…that one doesn’t surprise you, does it?!)
Design should be no different… if it is intriguing, you should just go for it!
As you can probably tell, some of my favorite applications of this concept — creating balance and harmony in the midst of deep, bold colors and elements of surprise — happen to be lounges, living rooms, bar areas, etc. Essentially places that people congregate to enjoy one another. Rooms that should be cozy, yet stimulating. Exciting, yet calming. Spaces that get people talking!
So in that spirit, I have put together some of my top picks for whatever seating area needs a makeover in your home… each of them as surprising and wonderful as the last…
#BestSippedWith: Bar Cart Essentials
1 / This handmade wallpaper would make a perfect accent wall for a sultry, moody space. The dark, rich blues bring an essence of tranquility coupled with feelings of security and a touch of elegance in the tints of bronze. The perfect backdrop for deep conversations. (Photo Credit: 1stdibs)
2 / This unique sink embodies both mystery and balance with its rigid, clean-lined faucet, paired with the organic-yet-ornate textured bowl. A perfect addition to a wet bar in your gathering space. (Photo Credit: Birch Lane)
3 / This bar cart, in addition to being a showstopper and guaranteed conversation piece, is the perfect complement to your bold color palette. Bringing in natural woods, stone, and metals, this functional accessory helps ground the space while also triggering the imagination. (Photo Credit: 1stdibs)
4 / A feminine touch for future get-togethers, this regal-monkey-patterned serving tray is playful, tasteful, unexpected, and would work as a perfect complement to… (Photo Credit: CB2)
5 / …these masculine Waterford Crystal Old Fashioned glasses with clean lines and hard edges. Paired with the above tray, not only will your room be the talk of the town, but your servingware will elicit all the oohs and aahs and repeat guests as well! (Photo Credit: Waterford)
Okay, one last look at the innocent-looking yet daring twist that started it all…
Just like this cocktail, reinvention, harmony, and a hint of mystery are just a few of the keys to show-stopping interior design.
Whether you are balancing masculine and feminine elements, bold pops of colors with grays, or natural finishes with man-made ones, unity, harmony, and unexpected beauty can be found in any space. Why not take a bold leap and start the process of reinventing yours?
I’ll be right here with you.
Let’s design something unexpected together.
Featured Photo Credit: Gastronom Blog