Design Star – Get Danielle and Brittany’s winning Looks!

Danielle winning Living Room Challenge – image via HGTV

What a busy few days! I wanted to share this yesterday – it’s become sort of like the dropping of the ball in Times Square – Danielle Colding is 2012’s new Design Star!

This year was unusual because the two finalists were pretty evenly matched – one had difficulty communicating warmth; the other was challenged by time management issues – but I was not surprised by the choice. Danielle is a complete natural with color. Brittany was also very good, and the living rooms they offered up in the final competition offer a great deal to discuss so let’s skip the drama and go straight for the design!

Here are some resources and tricks to get Danielle’s winning look!

Mid-Century chair recovered in Mai Chiang Dragon

First off, let me say that great minds think alike – Chiang Mai’s inspiration like most new old design trends finds its roots in Ancient Northern Thailand.

An ancient Chiang Mai Dragon Painting – stock photo

Chiang Mai is not a dragon, but a place. The capital of Chiang Mai Province, a former capital of the Kingdom of Lanna (1296–1768) was the tributary Kingdom of Chiang Mai from 1774 until 1939. Once a year still, the streets of Chiang Mai in Thailand explode in a keleidoscopic array of color as the Flower Festival begins.  Everywhere a riot of color flowers such as asters, salvias and marigolds explode into bloom to join tropical orchids and bougainvilleas. Perhaps in honor of the vibrant colors of the festival, the fabric comes in 5 gorgeous colorways; a taupe, white and china blues, Alabaster (my personal fav) turquoise (used on Danielle’s chair) and red.

Chiang Mai Dragon Fabric was re-introduced by Schumacher in 2000 or thereabouts. It is amongst my favorite fabrics like the iconic prints of Josef Frank. Few people are aware that Chiang Mai Dragon fabric is actually derived from a lost 1920’s wood block that was forgotten and rediscovered in a London attic!  It’s a fun and unexpected twist on a Mid-Century chair, but beware Danielle – this fabric, which retails around $189 per yard, wears very poorly. I chose this fabric for my office slipper chair as an inspirational piece – six months of routine use caused the fabric to fade by 50%. But don’t despair – there are a few creative ways to skirt this issue and net a more durable design:

1) Upholster the backs of chairs and angle them toward the fireplace or another focal point in your room. Use a more resilient solid fabric or a colored leather and enjoy!

a dragon upholstered chair back – image via enpaperblog

2) I would rather put my feet up on my cat than this fantastic if diva-wearing fabric – but covering a plywood table in Chiang Mai, and then sheathing the fabric with clear acrylic would add both style and function – and be a fabulous DIY project! The best deals on Chiang Mai happen on ebay.

chiang mai dragon ottoman chinese stool – image via designmanifest

3) You can try it on the walls – but Schumacher Chiang Mai wallper is about twice the cost of the fabric! Incorporating wainscoting performs double design duty, creating an opportuity to draw out the color for paint (like Danielle’s courageous blue-green) and cuts cost – the wallpaper waste is substantial with a 28 or more inch pattern repeat! Which brings me to…..

Chiang Mai wallpaper via Lovely Happenings Blog

The most economical and long term use of Chiang Mai is framed fabric on walls – sometimes, less is more!

Chiang Mai Dagon fabric framed – image from Atlanta Homes Magazine

OK – never get me going on Chiang Mai! There’s so much more to this new Design Star’s winning moment to explore….like Danielle’s dining room!

As I know I shared this week, charcoal gray and silver gray are fool proof wall color choices, and here’s more winning proof! The gray range’s absolute neutrality allows the room to be defined by the accents and furnishings.

Danielle’s Design Star Dining Room

Danielle wasted no opportunities in optimizing function and style in this limited economy of space. Smart choices are evident everywhere. With the assistance of her former Design Star competitor, Stanley, custom studio space was installed to meet the homeowner’s needs in proximity to the room’s natural light source. Clean organic bamboo blinds lend fabric-free softening and interest to the windows and stay within the mid-century motif. The table already fit the bill, and refinishing gave it a new lease on life.

Product Details

Eames Reproduction Chair

The powder blue Eames classic molded arm chairs relate beautifully to the chrome and wood mod chandelier. I think that the pendant is from Room Service, but Eames style arm chairs in powder blue are available on Amazon.

The distinctive wire armature chair legs pick up pn the silver in the chandelier.

Bringing the personality of the people who call a room home is crucial to the outcome of any shared space. Danielle took her cues from the owner’s color palette, and went bold with jade green.

HGTV has their branded paint collection at Sherwin Williams, so I am reasonable sure it’s their paint color. Looks to me like Inland – SW 6452.

Every room is a collection of moments – image via HGTV

Every great room is collection of design moments or vignettes, which can exist independently with in the confines of a photograph. Pairing these fabulous stools that marry mid century with with a Japanese – contemporary feel and the artists eclectic painting style make that moment here.

Danielle’s Living Room Design – image via HGTV

The grey sectional from Room Service does design double-duty, creating ample seating in the living room, and a reference to the charcoal grey walls in the dining room, visible via the semi-open floor plan. The bold green could easily go over the top, so Danielle tames her bold color choice by uniting the rooms by painting the plethora of Spanish moldings a crisp white.

Brittany didn’t win the coveted HGTV design show, but her room was also a winner none the same! Tomorrow I’ll fill you in on the specifics of creating a room that speaks to Hollywood Regency style.