Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Perfect Cup: How to Mix Neutral Interiors

Coffee is coffee and a latte is well, something else entirely. It's a cup of coffee with an infusion of art; in the form of milk steamed to a delicate froth, and  a full-bodied shot of espresso. It's a contrast of body and foam, darkness and light. A sophisticated jolt in a $4 cup.

Top right: Inside a Dean & Deluca Store in NYC
Left: "A Fireplace in Virginia" by Arshile Gorky

For most homeowners, the color of latte is the oft preferred and sought after interior paint of choice. If all those HGTV shows has not yet convinced you to ditch the 'boring' neutrals and spike it up with some color, you're alright. Done right, a palette of coffee and cream can be soothing, light and ultra-classy. 

Above: Linen on the couch, leather on a chair and 'fur' on a pillow.Varying textures and  weights of surface materials keep things interesting, not bland and boring. 
Photo credit above: www.roomandboard.com
Below:   Upholstered Slipper Chair, $299, www.westelm.com

A great latte with a shot done right can be achieved by varying tones and textures. Take two or three shades of coffee and mocha to use on walls, furniture and accents. 

Left: Spikes of warm, yellowed neutrals added on singular pieces such as a chair and a cabinet, or quite simply, as shown here, on a throw pillow add a sense of warmth.

Other essentials for the perfect coffeehouse experience:
Playlist: Jazzy, blues-y big-band, Miles Davis kind of music sets the mood for a peaceful cup of java. Two to try: Harry Connick Jr. "Your Songs" and Dianne Reeves "When You Know."

Left: A big grand chair that doesn't say "men's lounge." Just comfy enough to sip coffee and watch snowfall on a winter night.
Arlington Leather Armchair, $1,399, www.potterybarn.com

Inspired by city skylines. Espresso, latte or cappuccino in seconds—with perfect flavor every time.
Right: The Nespresso Citiz  & Milk Espresso Machine

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