Four Walls and a Roof

Design Inspiration for a Happy Modern Home

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Un-bachelor pads

Un-bachelor pads

Posted by on Nov 9, 2009 in Decorating, Design, Inspiration, Tips | 6 comments

I recently received an email from a reader who wanted to issue me a challenge: find some images and ideas to inspire the decoration of a house for three 21-year-old guys. Always up for a challenge, I decided to give it a try. As soon as I started hunting, I could see the quandry for men interested in design, especially younger guys and those renting or...

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Decorating with black

Decorating with black

Posted by on Nov 1, 2009 in Color palette, Decorating, Design, Inspiration | 5 comments

I know black walls have been a design trend for at least a year. But it still takes courage and conviction to decorate with black. I still can’t get over the fact I chose two black-framed mirrors for our house – I thought I was being so bold! But I’ve come to realize that there are some lower-commitment ways to decorate with black. If you...

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Fall fireplaces

Fall fireplaces

Posted by on Oct 25, 2009 in Decorating, Design, Inspiration | 8 comments

Winter is definitely approaching us here in San Francisco. The skies are still blue and we’re enjoying some sunny weekends, but the unmistakable signs of Fall are here too. Leaves on the ground, pumpkins in the store, chilly mornings and, of course, more fog. We’re getting prepared this year with a few minor renovations. The first off the block...

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Glamorous chandeliers

Glamorous chandeliers

Posted by on Oct 7, 2009 in Decorating, Design, Inspiration | 8 comments

I’ve always had a ‘thing’ for chandeliers. I mean the great big, jaw-dropping, sparkly, bejewelled variety. The type that, even if you could afford them, you’re unlikely to have the kind of house that would suit them. I spent the first two years of living in this house planning to get one for our dining room, only to settle on the...

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Zebra rug for the living room

Zebra rug for the living room

Posted by on Sep 6, 2009 in Decorating, Design, My house | 5 comments

Encouraged by the success of the zigzag rug in our playroom/little sitting room, I’ve finally chosen a rug for our living room. I went for the Zebra rug from West Elm in espresso and ivory. It’s a little smaller than I would have liked but, as standard sizes go, it’s not too bad. The room really needed some pattern and something dark to...

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Stand-out chairs (to sit in)

Stand-out chairs (to sit in)

Posted by on Aug 29, 2009 in Decorating, Design, Tips | 8 comments

Nothing dresses a room quite like a single, stand-out chair. Apart from anything else, it’s a wonderful, relatively inexpensive, way to indulge a different side of your design personality. You can pick a chair in a really bold color or pattern to punch up an all-white room. Or choose an ornate vintage piece to add character to an all-modern space....

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Picture window

Picture window

Posted by on Aug 15, 2009 in Decorating, Design, Houses, San Francisco Design | 0 comments

It looks like it’s going to be a lovely sunny day in San Francisco (is the August fog over??). So we’re going to try and get out and about to the park, the beach maybe. In making our plans, I was reminded of this lovely photo, spotted on Flickr a while back, of a window in the Marina District. The Marina, with its views of the Bay, beach and...

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Surprising brights

Surprising brights

Posted by on Aug 12, 2009 in Art, Color palette, Decorating, Design, Inspiration, Photographers | 4 comments

When it comes to colors, my design aesthetic is lying somewhere, bruised and battered, in the no man’s land between cool neutrals and wild brights. Trying to accommodate both tastes is rather exhausting. But I’ve found some solace in the portfolio of photographer James Merrell, whose work shows brights being introduced into otherwise neutral...

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