Saturday, April 30, 2011

Off their rocker?

Is it just me, or has Restoration Hardware completely gone nuts?

I was just flipping through Architectural Digest (thanks again to my Mother in Law, my magazine habit enabler), when I saw these images from the Spring 2011 collection.

Um.  An airplane desk?  Steel patchwork shelves?  A huge silver orb on the floor?

Classic furniture bred with robots?  Corroded school lockers?  Scandinavian-style pendants rolling around on the floor?  (I do think it's interesting that they are including large-screen TVs in their shoots, like a nod to real life.  But weird, when everything else about the shoot is pure fantasy.)

That coffee table is like a spy-movie briefcase on steroids.  And I'm all for overscale lighting and industrial fixtures, but I would feel a bit on the spot under that ginormous spotlight.  And that leather couch--okay, I kind of like the couch--but it reminds me of a grown up version of those silly baseball-mitt chairs that someone thought up for little boy's rooms.

Restoration has been kind of interesting to follow.  Remember in the beginning when it was kind of like Pottery Barn, only they had all those fun vintage gifts at Christmas?  Lacking identity.  A couple of years ago when they went Belgian with all the linen and pretty bleached out wood, they seemed to get a little personality, and I started  poring over the catalog like I do with other stores: even though it wasn't my thing, I could appreciate what they were doing, and even sort of imagine an alternate reality where I would want half the catalog.  Those pretty linen-covered Louis chairs!  Put TWELVE of them at the most giant trestle table you've ever seen!  Yes, please.

But this?  I think they've taken a turn for the crazy.  Who is going to put this stuff in their home?

Now, I know some if it is just the over-the-top styling, and some of these pieces would work when re-mixed with other stuff.  But put together?  It just feels silly to me.  Am I alone in this?

Let's play high school debate team.  Anyone wanna take the "pro" argument?  Even better, anyone want to design a room they would actually live in, based around one of these pieces?  Hmmm.  Now I kind of want to take my own challenge...

Friday, April 29, 2011

Flashback Friday: I do.

First, let me just say that I have not been caught up in the wedding madness at all.  In fact, a while back at the gym I saw an ad for the special CNN show, and I thought, really?  CNN?  Though of course this makes perfect sense.

However, after dropping the girls at school this morning I heard some of the coverage on NPR, and I got a little teary eyed.  And it had me flashing back to my own wedding.  Since today happens to be Friday, and that is the day for flashing back here on Love Your Space, I'm flashing back to my own wedding, which in NO WAY compares to the royal wedding except for the most important one: it is my own.

Love that Space: The Depot, Minneapolis, September 24, 2005

The Vision: Vintage Glamour

The Elements: A 1920s train depot, twinkly lights, netting, Vera Wang gown, 1940s cake topper, vintage bird ornaments, greem moire tablecloths, gardenias, ostrich feathers and orchids, navy suits, striped and polka dot ties, family, friends, and self-composed vows.

The huh?! factor: I think I had my veil on upside down!  Oh, and the venue had these bizarre statues that couldn't be move.  I mean: Huh??  Luckily they were mostly out of the way.

What remains:  Well, our marriage--thank goodness!  I don't take that for granted.  I love that so many people have those little bird ornaments, and use them on their trees at Christmas.  Oh, and the top tier of the cake may still be in my parent's freezer.

The Analysis: I've written about the objects we used at our wedding here, and I'm happy to leave it at that.

Did this morning's nuptials bring you back to you own?  What was your favorite element of your wedding? I'd love to hear about it!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Blue and White

I know:  Super.  Original.  Post.  Blue and White: no one has EVER thought of this before,

But I can't help it.  I've actually been trying to avoid it for a while.  When I did this shopping round up a while back, I was feeling a wee bit obsessed with all the blue and white products at Target.  And then, look, here's an ad, featuring all the blue and white bedding:

It's everywhere!  Traditional Home even did a whole Trend Roundup on Indigo and Navy:

I'm getting on the bandwagon.

Frances Shultz, House Beautiful

 Meg Braff, House Beautiful

Valerie Smith, House Beautiful

Windsor Smith, House Beautiful

Now, blogging 101 says that you should not post the same old images without sharing something new.  So how about this:  Blue and White looks fresh when it goes a little Indian.  Swedish?  So expected.  Nantucket?  Been there, done that.  Chinoiserie?  So classic.  But that hit of block print together with natural materials like this raffia headboard feels fresh.

Alexandra Angle, House Beautiful

 I was drawn to this fabric at S. R. Harris recently (that fabric warehouse I am always, always writing about).

Pretty, no?  Makes me think of a slightly busier version of this Les Indiennes print:

Except this one is on sale for about $300 a yard, whereas the one I found is $12.99.  Just kidding: it's $12.99 LESS 50%.  Either way: a better deal.

Oh, and also this one from the Chinoiserie camp:

On a related note, I think Peter Dunham may have recently outpaced Muriel Brandolini in the category Designer I Would Hire to Do My Own Pad (if I had buckets of money.  Which I don't.  At all.  In fact, my husband just questioned my purchase of a little spring jacket at OLD NAVY.  ON CLEARANCE.  Just for the record.)  His designs have the global thing going on a la Brandolini, but a bit more traditional and polished.  I love Muriel for her over-the-top moments, but somehow right now I'm digging something a little quieter.  Maybe it's just overload from my living room, which seems to be shouting at me right about now.  When I resolve it, I'll share.  Don't see how this is "a related note"?  Peter Dunham = Indian Blockprint fabrics.  Duh.

Anyhoo.  Too many words not really at all about Blue and White.

And so, with that, Good Night, and Good Luck.

Oh, wait: blogger 102 says to engage the reader.  So, reader: who would you choose to design your space, if money were no object?  Just curious.  And/or: blue and white, thumbs up or down?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


This Design Sponge fish roundup flashes me back to the fish stencil from my Switzerland days.

Maybe I was waaaay ahead of the curve on this?

Art You Can Afford: Artspace

There's a new source for artist's editions in town:

Like some of the other outlets for less-expensive art, they offer limited edition prints in different sizes at tiered prices.  But they also bring in guest curators, partner with non profit arts institutions, and a portion of all proceeds go back to their partners, with the goal of sustaining a global cultural community and art that speaks to the important issues of our time.  To which I say: rad.

If you like your shopping with a bit of learning, you can read Q+As with the guest curators, or read up on all things art on their--you guessed it--blog.

As for the buying, you can search by price, medium, or collections (by theme or curator).
Keeping to the "under $250" category, here are my current picks:

Nick Cave, Soundsuit # 3, 12 x 17, $200
 (but don't you kind of want this in the 42 x 60 size?  Yours for only $3,000.  Oops, the title of this post no longer applies!)

Kara Maria, Counterpassant, 12 x 17, $100

Don Cooper, Beginning/Ending, 12 x 17 $100

Clare Rojas, Untitled 2, 17 x 24, $175

Rebekka Guioleifsdotter, From The Earth, 12 x 17, $100

Rebecca Graham, Jumbo, 12 x 17, $100

Kind of makes me want to start over with the art around here.  To read more about the artists or see more of their work, go on over to

What do you think: do you have a favorite?  Where would you put it, and with what?  Did you see something awesome on the site that I missed?  Tell me about it!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Clio's Art Wall

This weekend, my 4 year old played "art gallery" with her 7 year old cousin at my mom's house.

I drew a couple of "faux bois" wood frames,

and Clio used those mixed in with some "stretch canvases."  After busily drawing for a while, she announced she needed the tape, then proceeded to hang the installation herself, except for the top edge of the higher pieces, which required the long arm of a grownup.  Namely, me.

I had nothing to do with the layout, I was really just a tape applicator.  All in all, I'm quite impressed by my budding little artist and curator--I'd say she's a natural!

Oh, and in case you're confused about what you're looking at, this is my mom's 4-season porch, and that brown vinyl cover is over a hot tub (which hasn't functioned in years).  The glass windows look into the kitchen.  And that framed poster of some koi probably went in as a placeholder 20 years ago, and there it is today.  Isn't it amazing how that happens to us all?

Do your kids take after you when it comes to their play and activities?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Natural Inspiration: The Pines

I spent Easter morning outside--finally!--in the sun with my girls, using the bunny shaped sidewalk chalk they found in their Easter baskets.  I found myself looking up at my neighbors' tree, and realizing I had been staring at it all winter long, through my dining room window and the square clerestory window next to my TV.  In the fall, a friend came for dinner and marveled at that tree, saying this particular type of white pine is now rare in Minnesota.

I took a picture of it yesterday.

Looking at the shape of the boughs, I realized this tree had gotten into my subconscious, and weaseled its way into my thinking on wallpaper.  At one point I was thinking about Studio Printworks Edo Pines for the dining room wall.

Then I considered the more stylized and contemporary Lush paper from Makelike's Forest collection.

I love this poem, found on the Studioprintworks website:

The pines of edo bend,
Bowing to the sun,
source of life and beauty.

Isamu Yoshida (1634)

Do your surrounding imprint on your design sensibility?  When was the last time you found yourself unwittingly influenced by your natural surroundings?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tying up Loose Ends

A couple of readers have been at my house recently, and when they walked in the front door and saw a giant moroccan motif printed on burlap hanging by the stairs, they said "oh you DID get this."

Makes me realize I occasionally forget to follow up on these things.

Here's said artwork, which I got for $10 through this local auction site, which I wrote about here.

I'm not sure it's staying in the entry, so it's hanging a bit low to utilize an existing nail hole.  Love it with the entry rug, but might be a little dark overall.  I also love the scale of it, especially as seen from the top of the stairs.

We'll see.

I also chose a color for the girls room.  One step more coral than any of the ones I was originally contemplating.  That's right: after staring at paint swatches on the wall for a couple of days, I went to Sherwin Williams and bought a new color, sight unseen.

This scan definitely bumps up the saturation, but pretty, no?  We'll see how it all works out.  It's called "angelic" which is sort of ironic for the room where the most mischief is made.

Taking tomorrow off from this here blog.  Happy Easter!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Flashback Friday: Easter Buckets

Now, I know we're not supposed to compare ourselves to others, but reading so many blogs daily has revealed a few things about myself, or made me notice them in a way I hadn't before.  Looking at other people's designs and inspiration pictures has really sort of cemented for me my own taste.  I've also realized that I am VERY low key about holidays.  I don't really decorate.  At Christmas it's a tree and nothing else (and we didn't even do that for 4 years when the girls were teeny and we weren't home for the holiday anyway.)  I'm not big on ceremony (though I would like to invent some family traditions here and there--I've got my eye on May Day).  And my husband's influence means that gifts should have a practical bent, and sugar should be minimized.

Today we will be dyeing eggs the old fashioned way: with a PAAS kit from Target.  That's it!  That's all we're doing!  The girls will get small easter baskets.  I didn't make them, I bought them.   They will have non-handmade items in them, including the Tangled polly pocket dolls that the girls really, really, really want.  And some bunny-shaped sidewalk chalk so we can get outside (if the weather ever clears up) and get creative.

Here's Easter last year, in our little rental in Boulder.

We made easter buckets so they could use them again.  There's a little bit of candy and yogurt covered pretzels in there, but also card games, socks with favorite characters on them, and seeds to plant.

Here's Eleri checking out the contents.  It's hard to believe she was so little just a year ago,

We also believe in easter egg hunts.  I think my husband let me put a single m+m or gummy bunny in each egg,

We have two kids.  The third bucket was for the girls best friend, Dakota.

Suckers are delicious.

I suppose the other important tradition for us is Easter dresses.  My mom got them each THREE choices this year because she couldn't decide.  They love them all.

Though it is worth mentioning that Eleri is wearing a Christmas dress this morning--which was her cousins about 4 years ago, and then Clio's, and now, well, it's seen better days.

So that's it's low key.  I have to say, I admire the people who make beautiful decorations by hand, and even more the ones who work with their kids and display the decorations no matter how lopsided or unique they may be.

What do you do for Easter?


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