Inspired Design

Iris Interiors – Designed by Us, Inspired by You


Preserving History: Merging the Old with the New

Beloved pieces, whether an old family treasure, a favorite chair, or a beautiful vintage find, allow a space to tell the owner’s story. Design isn’t about tossing out existing belongings and replacing them with something shiny and new. Instead, allow your favorite pieces to play a central role in a room. Or, considering upcycling or repurposing items to give them a new function. Mixing the old with the new is a great way to go green and reduce the cost of redecorating. Here are some stunning examples of preserving a bit of history:

Photo via Houzz user SFGirlbybay.

An old farm table and copper fireplace are paired with modern chairs, a chalkboard, and clean, fresh white for an eclectic look. An Ikea shelving unit was outfitted with castors and turned on its side to create a low bookcase.

Photo via CWB Architects.

This sophisticated space incorporates the owner’s existing vintage table. New pieces, such as the sideboard, rug, and light fixture were added for an entirely new aesthetic.

The horse painting, already owned by the clients, served as the inspiration piece. New elements play off the drama of the artwork.
The client had been collecting the vintage artwork that graces the walls for years and the coffee table was already in the home as well. A coat of paint, funky pillows, accessories, a rug from the 1960’s, and a new couch with plush fabric tie the space together.

Photo via Elad Gonen & Zeev Beech. Project for Turkiz by architect Nina Doctor.

An old dresser was given a makeover. The designer added glass cabinets and an orange sink to create a one-of-a-kind vanity. The unique floor tiles with matching backsplash, blush walls, subway tiles, and an antique mirror create an elegant, vintage feel.
If you can’t live without your chairs, have them reupholstered. These chairs were the clients and instead of opting for new ones, they were updated with textured fabric. The painted bookshelves, eclectic knickknacks, and neutral walls are perfect for a traditional space.

Photo via CWB Architects.

Mixing old and new can really make a space pop. The framed sea ferns were from the client’s own collection. The vintage chairs were covered in bright, bold fabric A few updates took the room from traditional to contemporary.

Via Andrea Schumacher. Photography by Emily Minton Redfield.

The cat seems right at home in this mix of global and vintage. The homeowner’s existing four poster bed was adorned with fabric and used as the centerpiece. Well chosen antiques, contemporary bedding, and an oriental rug make for a soothing bedtime retreat.
This stunning vignette is a collection of modern and vintage pieces arranged just right. The collection includes items of varying heights, boasts a cohesive color scheme, and leaves enough space to avoid a cluttered look. (BTW I love the lamp!)
The old wooden table serves as a fun, rustic twist, especially when paired with contrasting white chairs. The modern appliances, covered barstools, large island, and pendant lights shine in the sunny kitchen.
When designing a room for a child, tween, or teen, it’s important to mix in playful elements that suit their style with timeless pieces they can grow into. Add interest with accessories, fabric, and paint. This way, making alterations to adapt to their ever changing preferences will be affordable and simple. The vintage chair is upholstered in a tween-friendly fabric and the bright, cheerful color scheme ensures that the room is age-appropriate. Pieces, such as the desk, will last for years.
The open floor plan of this home creates a light, airy feeling. Contemporary touches, such as bold accents, and butterscotch and green walls, are tempered by the client’s existing dining room furniture and rich brown in the entryway and dining room. Substantial columns serve to create distinct spaces. While the home is new, the dark wood family table adds warmth and exhibits the homeowner’s personality.
While remodeling a home from the 1930’s, the designer wanted to retain a sense of the era, yet ensure that it was perfect for a young couple. Working with the existing, vintage dining table, Ball added texture to the wall with Moroccan-style wallpaper that complements the colorful chairs and mismatched host and hostess chairs. The vintage chandelier and gold wall decor infuse the room with a little glam. The result is a traditional, yet edgy, dining room.
The client’s antique French cupboard takes center stage. The table was crafted from reclaimed wood and new dining chairs were added to create this old world sensibility. The eclectic dining room was completed with luxe window treatments, a rustic chandelier, and heirloom china. The painted ceiling further creates drama without taking away from the history-soaked ambiance.
Do you have items that absolutely must stay? How do you work them into the room when you change decor?


Tea time!

Photo compliments of Country Living.

Playing hostess or host is always the perfect excuse to exercise your creativity and show off your flair for setting a stunning table. For a change of pace in entertaining, try throwing a summer tea party outdoors. There’s something so aesthetically pleasing about tea cups and dainty fare. Even without the festivities, the vintage, colorful look of tea ware is the perfect way to dress up a bland table year-round. Here are some eye-catching ideas for getting those pinkies in the air:

Picture compliments of Tumblr user Strawberry Shortcake Xo.

Feminine pastels are utterly tea-worthy. Mix patterns that fit into the color scheme and set up a display on a vintage tray for eclectic table decor. Mismatched pots, cups, and saucers add more interest. Going matchy-matchy doesn’t evoke the Alice-in-Wonderland feel.

Photo via Etsy.

Etsy is a treasure trove for tea cups, tea pots, and saucers. eBay and local thrift shops are also great resources. Floral is always a winner when it comes to setting the table for tea. Pair pretty dishes and cups with a simple white table cloth or use a complementary pattern. To keep with the theme, accessorize with cloth napkins and the silverware you usually reserve for indoor soirees.

Photo compliments of Hostess (with the mostess).

Fresh flowers are the perfect centerpiece for the occasion. For a rustic look, use jars as vases and fill them with wildflowers. Dahlia domes displayed on colorful cake stands have a more modern feel, while roses (below) appear traditional.

Photo compliments of

Seating depends on the ambiance you want to set. Outdoor cushions are a comfortable alternative to seats and add a bohemian style:

Photo compliments of Haven & Space.

A wrought-iron garden chair like the Versa Chair from Anthropologie, would be perfect. You can even mix and match several colors:

Photo compliments of Anthropologie.

Make the party festive with hanging lanterns or simple fabric banners:

Photo compliments of Country Living.

The food is just as much part of the decor as the tableware. Tea sandwiches are a must-have. Egg salad, ham, goat cheese and pecans, smoked salmon, and cucumbers are tasty fillings:

Photo compliments of Southern Living.

Desserts in a range of pastel colors are stylish and sweet at the same time. Cakes and cupcakes iced in buttercream ruffles and various tarts, scones, and pastries spruce up the menu:

Photo compliments of Sweetapolita. The recipe is also available on the site.

Display your culinary delights on pretty plates and cake stands. This blue number from Cake Stand Heaven is fitting:

Photo courtesy of Cake Stand Heaven.

No need to worry about making multiple trips into the house. Give a thrift store tea cart a fresh coat of paint for an adorable way to transport your supplies:

Photo compliments of Haverford House.

Of course, we can’t forget about the tea. Earl Grey is among the standards, but oolong tea, herbal tea, iced tea, and green tea are good additions as well. Brew several different blends to ensure every guest finds one to suit their taste. What are your ideas for setting the perfect tea party table?


Seeing Red?

The color red is known to evoke an unparalleled range of emotions, from passion to happiness. Depending on the tone, it can be used to make a dramatic statement or simply add a touch of warmth to a room. Decorating with red is a bold move, but when done right, whether on walls or with well-chosen accessories, the color imbues any space with glamour, energy, and excitement. As an added bonus, it allows other colors to really pop and can be paired with a rainbow of hues. Here are some stunning examples of red in all of its glory:

Photo compliments of Decor Demon.

Hollywood regency style captured with a refinished, red lacquer flea market find. Serious drama!

Photo compliments of Elle Decor.

Paired with vintage wallpaper, this crushed velvet sofa creates an inviting ambiance. Though the wallpaper isn’t really my style, I love the dog and shades of red.

Picture compliments of Chandelier Lighting Style.

A modern red chandelier looks stunning when paired with a classic sofa and gold accents.

Photo compliments of ArchZine.

Incorporate glamorous Chinois style into your space with a vibrant pagoda chandelier.

Photo compliments of iSpace Design.

This dark, almost Victorian-era, red pops against the white and gray kitchen. Top it off with a white chandelier and you have a classy, modern space that doesn’t appear cold or sterile.

Photo compliments of eWallpapers.

This high-shine, ultra-modern living room even incorporates red in the speakers. A space this bold is not for the faint of heart.

Photo compliments of Design A Room.

This utterly modern red shelf looks as if it was conjured up by Tim Burton. So unique.

Photo compliments of Snaidero.

The key to pulling off this daring coral high gloss lacquer is keeping all other elements extremely simple.

Photo compliments of Design Wagen.

The Piccola Papilio chair by Naoto Fukasawa is perfect for small spaces and a simple way to introduce a dark, rich red into your color scheme.

Photo compliments of Filmore Clark.

Here’s a commitment-free use of red. For those who aren’t ready for a full-on red design, try accent pieces like a rustic chair or red throw pillows.

Photo compliments of CoCo Cozy.

Another way to sprinkle in some red accents.

Photo compliments of Apartment Therapy.

Beautiful red vintage claw foot tub and red and white wallpaper. The use of white, tones down the intensity of the red.

Photo compliments of Modern Decorations.

The deep red walls, sleek white fixtures, and dazzling chandelier create such a sultry look in this bathroom.

Photo compliments of Houzz user Becky Harris.

Perfect way to add interest to a neutral dining nook. Red stimulates the appetite!

Photo compliments of Gaita Interiors.

This homeowner manages to pull off bright red cabinets, without the ultra-modern look. The greens, yellows, and golds lend the space a cheerful vibe.

Photo compliments of Belle Maison.

We couldn’t say goodbye without including at least one striking red bedroom. The turquoise, white, and red playful accents lighten up the space.

Which one’s your favorite? Are you a fan of red?