Interior Design: Tiny Decorating Tip by Ginevra Held

Feel like sugar on the floor, bud dum dum da dum dum dummmm….. sugar on the floor….. (just sing it in your head…)

What do Etta James and interior design have to do with one another you might ask?  Nothing and EVERYTHING.

Basically Etta said she felt like sugar on the floor, and well, as a designer, I like putting things on the floor.  So there you go!

Alright alright, that's totally pushing it.  And please know that I deeply respect and adore Ms. Etta James, so all you bluesy types out there just calm down.  

The fact is when I was at college taking a ton of English classes at UC Berkeley (this was before I decided to major in Architecture) we were told to start our essays with a hook or a quote.  So there you go, thank you Etta for my hook.

Now to what we came for.  The tiny decorating tip: like sugar on the floor, put things on the floor. What things? Paintings! Prints! Posters! Empty Frames! Lean those suckers, layer them, stand back and enjoy.  I employed this little trick for this vignette I did and I rather like the outcome.

Now Etta feeling like sugar on the floor was not a good thing, at first things can be sweet like sugar, then you are tossed aside, wasted on the floor, sugar on the floor.  But when you put your paintings on the floor, it is a good thing and don’t worry they will not be wasted.  (again sorry to the blues fans, and please excuse me Etta, but you know…)

Also, just because things are on the floor does not mean they shouldn't be on the wall too!


Do you lean anything against the wall and on the floor in your house?  Are you ready to try it? Turn on some Etta James and get going!




How to style side tables and coffee tables by Ginevra Held

I wanted to do a demi post here in side table styling.  For all of the photos for my website, I did my own styling.  I looked at a lot of magazines and books and saved images I liked for inspiration.  What I realized most was that in both photography and real life one should never over look one's surfaces!  A bare surface, though clean certainly, suggests austerity and a lack of personalization.

You can think of your side tables, coffee tables, sofa tables, mantles and other surfaces as stories.  They tell the story of what you like, what things are important to you.  Books, objets, collections, all indicate the personality that lives among them.

Also of utmost importance: flowers! Now I did not learn about the importance of flowers in the home until I did my photo shoot.  I thought of them as a lovely and costly indulgence.  Something I could not indulge for myself.  After the photoshoot however, I've learned that even one petite bouquet of yellow flowers in my living contribute infinitely to the living rooms joyful decor.  Although I wish I could have yellow roses in the living room every day and red roses in the dinning room and pink peonies in the bedrooms, I cannot quite afford that indulgence.  However, a bi-weekly bouquet of tulips in the living room is now a part of my shopping list.  I read that Parisians consider it as important as anything else on the grocery list, that a bouquet of fresh flowers and a bottle of wine are always purchased on the way home from work.

My favorite thing to decorate with on side tables is books.  Especially arts books.  We have a lot of them on hand and calling out some on side tables is a nice way to create a narrative.  Also, remember they can be in a rotation.  Having a Morandi moment? Then make him your highlighted book of the week. Or Diebenkorn month perhaps?  When you use books on side tables, it makes you re-examine your collection.  Reminding yourself of all the lovely books you've collected over the years.  Always stack a couple of books, two or three, this creates visual volume and always looks good.

The formula: books stacked, flowers in vases, whether as buds or bouquets, an objets or two, and maybe a candle.  This combination makes for  lovely surfaces throughout the home.  

Happy side table styling!