USING ALL FIVE SENSES AT HOME

July 11, 2017

Decorating

Simple living room white brick fireplace design with Chesapeake Bay Candle on the mantel on Thou Swell @thouswellblog

While the sounds, sights, tastes, and touch of your home may be well considered, it’s easy to forget the joy of fulfilling that fifth sense at home: smell. I’ve partnered with Chesapeake Bay Candle to share their Mind & Body Collection and reflect on the ritual of lighting a candle at home. There’s definitely a strong emotional connection to smell – a whiff of perfume can recall strong memories of a mother or grandmother, or a certain blooming tree takes you back to your childhood in an instant. While the ritual of scenting ourselves is a deeply ingrained tradition, taking the same approach to our homes may not be as consistent. I love the idea of strengthening that emotional attachment to the home with smell, and lighting a candle not only provides that olfactory sensation but a beautiful ambience as well. I tested four scents from the Mind & Body collection, made with essential oils. See which candles I matched to each room in the house below.
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A SOPHISTICATED GREY DORM ROOM DESIGN

Interiors

Small space bedroom dorm design with white trestle desk, blue Louis chair and black and white photography on Thou Swell @thouswellblog

About a month before the end of the school year, Home Depot invited me to completely redecorate my room with their huge selection of home decor. I – like always – said yes immediately and starting dreaming up a new look for my dorm room. After living in it for a year, there were a few tweaks that I decided to make and some major new pieces of furniture that I knew would add a high-design edge to the room. I started by infusing a bit of color: shades of blue, and a bit more contrast: dark greys to ground the room, which also go perfectly with my existing area rug. I chose a more functional indoor/outdoor area rug to layer, and I knew not to worry about the light color since it would be so easy to clean. I brought in more shiny chrome, with the trestle legs on my new desk, and added a large palm to bring some tropical green to, literally, breathe life into the room. I brought in luxe velvet from the curtains to the pillows on the bed, while enhancing the functionality of the room with more storage from the shelved nightstand and ottoman for extra seating and a secret shoe compartment. See the end result below!
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FINALLY, A TV FOR THE LIVING ROOM

July 7, 2017

Decorating

Framed TV screen with gallery wall and curated art selection for The Frame by Samsung on Thou Swell @thouswellblog

My family has had a strained relationship with the few TV’s we’ve owned. We’re firmly in the no-TV-in-the-living-room camp – especially when it serves as the focal point in the room (mounted above the fireplace for instance). We’ve always filled our living spaces with art first and the fact of the matter is that we don’t watch a lot of TV, although this has changed over the past couple of years as we’ve started watching series on Netflix and Amazon together on weekend nights. We’ve used pull-down screens and a projector for years to watch TV and movies, and earlier this year we tried the solution of having a TV on a little bar cart that we hide behind the curtains separating the dining room and kitchen, to be pulled out when we want to watch something. Now there’s a solution that satisfies our need for both beauty and function. I’m excited to share a beautiful piece of technology with you that is not only a TV but a piece of art for your living room – living seamlessly within your decor. Let me introduce you to The Frame by Samsung!

Framed TV screen with gallery wall and curated art selection for The Frame by Samsung on Thou Swell @thouswellblog
Framed TV screen with gallery wall and curated art selection for The Frame by Samsung on Thou Swell @thouswellblog

Framed TV screen with gallery wall and curated art selection for The Frame by Samsung on Thou Swell @thouswellblog

Samsung’s new TV features a slim, boxed grey metal frame that looks like a picture frame. You can buy customized frames that clip-on magnetically in walnut, oak, and white to fit right into whatever framing you use on the other art in your home. The Frame’s incredibly crisp 4K screen is built for viewing TV and movies in super high-resolution and for becoming a beautiful piece of art when the TV is not in use. It also saves power by displaying this ‘Art Mode’ whenever people are in the room and has a sensor to automatically adjust to the light in the room. It also comes with its No-Gap Wall mount, so it can be mounted completely flush to the wall just like a framed picture, to blend right into your home’s decor – whether it’s in the middle of a gallery wall or on its own. I placed The Frame on an old coffee table my grandfather made, and surrounded the piece with art that you may recognize from many of my decorating projects I’ve shared here. From my own artwork to others, the gallery wall reflects the TV’s own capabilities. Not only can you choose from a wide variety of contemporary artists in many mediums or your own photographs and artwork, you can choose different styles and colors for the mat (or choose to leave the piece without one). See my favorite art from Samsung’s curated collection below.

Framed TV screen with gallery wall and curated art selection for The Frame by Samsung on Thou Swell @thouswellblog
Framed TV screen with gallery wall and curated art selection for The Frame by Samsung on Thou Swell @thouswellblog
Framed TV screen with gallery wall and curated art selection for The Frame by Samsung on Thou Swell @thouswellblog
Framed TV screen with gallery wall and curated art selection for The Frame by Samsung on Thou Swell @thouswellblog

I love how each different piece has different colors, textures, and style but fits beautifully with the surrounding artwork in different ways. They each give the room a different feeling as well! It’s amazing to be able to so easily add a piece of statement artwork to the wall and to change it on demand for a different ambiance or event. I could’ve easily added many more examples of the artwork – they really created a beautiful gallery of artwork to choose from.

Framed TV screen with gallery wall and curated art selection for The Frame by Samsung on Thou Swell @thouswellblog

I’m so thrilled to finally have a TV that’s elegant enough to be part of the living room decor. While I had to move some furniture around to create this art-filled vignette, I know whichever pieces surround the The Frame will inform the artwork on the screen – and in-turn the style of the room. This new TV is built with subtlety in its inception – to become part of the home rather than stick out. It’s a direction for home technology that I’m excited to see from Samsung!

How would you display The Frame to fit with your home décor?

This post is sponsored by Samsung but all text, images, and opinions are all my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Thou Swell running!

MY RUG DESIGNS FOR ANNIE SELKE

July 6, 2017

Decorating

Kemet Rug by Kevin O'Gara | Thou Swell for Annie Selke Rug Challenge(interior image via Lerkenfeldt)

I’m excited to reveal my designs for the Annie Selke Rug Design Challenge with Apartment Therapy. As you might remember in my introductory post, I’ve been included in a group of 14 bloggers to submit up to three designs for the inaugural rug design challenge, which will receive votes via ‘likes’ on the Annie Selke Instagram account, from which ten designs will be produced by the company in a capsule collection to be unveiled at High Point Market! I am excited to share my final designs – and I need your votes on the Instagram page for my three rug designs here: Kemet, Sheba, and Zaria. See the full designs below, and thank you in advance for your votes!
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SWELL SHOPPING: COBALT BLUE LIVING ROOM

June 28, 2017

Decorating

Neo-traditional blue living room with cobalt sectional in New York townhouse on Thou Swell @thouswellblog(via Architectural Digest, photography by Eric Piasecki)

This townhouse in Greenwich Village got a dramatic gut renovation – and the result is incredibly grand. As you can see in the before photos, the home went from a pretty plain residence to a luxe brownstone, and this living room may be my favorite space. The living space sports a bright cobalt blue sectional and a fabulous mid-century chandelier – two strong pieces that modernize the traditional architecture of the home. Find out how to bring this energetic mix home with my product guide below.

SHOP THE LOOK


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