Designing the Life: A Blog by Uma Stewart and Friends

Snapshots: Power Accessorizing

library tablefedora spring blingcomb on vanityranunculas and rosesThese images are all snippets of what could be seen around my house in recent days. The well considered accessory, be it a book, a fedora, or flowers, can capture attention and give moments of happiness. Fill your life with small things that you find beautiful. They will make you happy!

All photos by Uma Stewart.

Rock This Look: Chic Cabin in the Woods

0e13c2e7808ad3c639c6f606ac853928Growing up, my family was always more mountain vacation than beach house. And now today, despite living in a nearly urban environment close to NYC, my house backs out to the woods and has two rooms with vintage wood paneling. I did a double take when I saw this photo of a Montana living room by Markham Roberts. I found it a great example of how to do a rustic room that could still flow with other rooms in my house that do not have paneling and wooded views. The trick? Elegant furnishings and a neutral-ish palette.

Chic CabinA chandelier hangs high in the rafters of our inspiration space. This orb lantern can hang in rooms with lower ceiling too, because it is open and airy and will not obstruct your forest views.

I love the “Galaxy Footprint” art piece as a whimsical take on an astronomical piece. You can get both left and right foot prints if you choose.

A chesterfield sofa always adds a polished look. Linen upholstery keeps it from getting too formal. A wing back chair with a bit of a modern rustic touch is the perfect accompaniment to the sofa.

A wooden stump accent table is a great accent in almost any room. Here it has been polished, which I like as a contrast to earthy woods. Simple side tables are best with the chesterfield in this setting. Open shelves and distressed finishing keep everything casual.

The graphic black and white pillow works and signals clearly that this is a room of today, even though the overall pieces have a classic, timeless appeal.

I think we may tackle “beach house” the next time we “rock” a look. So lovely to be getting close enough to think summer vacay! Will you be in the woods or at the beach?

The Collection: Waiting for Green

pale green black

I’ve been gazing at the trees outside, wondering when the first leaves will appear. I long for green. To help coax the foliage to appear I thought I’d share some green inspiration. My favorite color combination? Green with black. In this instance I am going to say it is a combination symbolic of green growing out from under the darkness of winter. Above, these super pale wispy greens with black have a dreamy feeling to them. Are these greens for real or are we imagining them?

shadowy green blackHere green feels shadowy and vintage, and crisp white accents draw it all into relief. The green is there, undeniably, but still hiding in the shadows,

green earthHere our green combination feels earthy and bolder. Now the shadows of black are merely a backdrop for leafy optimistic greens. I anxiously await more green-spiration to arrive outside my windows!

Photo links: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Remembering: L’Wrenn Scott


If I could point to only one space that I look to for inspiration, almost weekly these past months as I work on designing my own home, it would be the Parisian apartment of L’Wrenn Scott featured in Vogue in 2012. Last week, like so many others, I was saddened to tears to hear of her tragic passing. The beauty she created in fashion and life shall live on and continue to inspire.

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