My Green Resolution: Recently, in the spirit of adventure and perhaps just because it was time for a change, I bought a darling place in Austin, Texas and moved away from Los Angeles. Before the move, I did a lot of thinking about what I wanted the design of this house to say about me. On the one hand, I am beginning an exciting new chapter in Texas—I want my decor to reflect and honor this change in my life. On the other hand, the style I've developed for myself over the span of my career is also very important to me.
The merger of my old and new influences is also the birth of a new look: French Cowboy, where the ultimate goal is to create a feeling that is at once both rugged and sophisticated. My big project in the coming new year is to complete this look in my home (read: case study house). Here's a little taste of what I've worked out so far.
The interior is painted in a very crisp clean Benjamin Moore Natura WHITE (not Decorator's White or Snow Canyon, just plain perfect White) which is key to keeping the feeling light and airy when working with so many opinionated pieces.
The French Part:
- Victorian silhouettes paired with modern punchy accents (like an up-cycled sail pillow from Reiter 8)
- Vintage chandeliers dripping with crystals—everywhere, even in the bathrooms
- Glossy white finishes
- Well-curated and diverse art collection
- Touches of unexpected humor and whimsy
- Chaise or fainting sofa
- Mirrored writing desk or end table
A vintage chandelier (previously painted cream) is refinished in bronze and adorned with its original crystals.
The Cowboy Part:
First, a quick story wherein I admit that I was wrong and Val Kilmer was right. A few years ago I was invited to his beautiful ranch in New Mexico (bragging, yes). I looked above the mantle, saw a set of horns and informed him that "hunting trophies aren't very eco." He looked at me cooly and explained that animals can shed their horns and/or die naturally in the wild—and that the horns and skulls are the beautiful relics that they leave behind. Four years later, I have deer horns as objects d' arte, a cow skull on my wall and egg on my face.
Found objects: a cow skull and deer horns are set set inside a reclaimed frame. A table from Q Collection and a cowhide ottoman function as multi-use surfaces in the living room. A pillow by Reiter 8 is on Kelly's antique sofa.
- Oil Rubbed Bronze hardware
- Nailhead trim
- Aged finishes
- Something in a well-worn leather with a good patina
- Cowhide ottoman and/or rug (just not in the same room)
- Wide planked hardwood floors
Layer elements from both genres, with painstaking attention to getting the balance juuuust right. (And watch in 2011 for photos of this project when it is completed.)
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Kelly LaPlante has been practicing sustainable design for twelve years. Her new publication, Standard, is the interior design magazine for the Post Green Movement. (Everything in the mag has been carefully vetted to ensure its eco-fabulousness but eco-speak is strictly forbidden!)