Saturday, July 30, 2011

Small Measures: Wallpapered furniture

Sea Jade sideboard

Like a reverse stencil, where the frame remains instead of the paint residue.  Exacto and sticky paper, so many possibilities.  Might even try this one.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Kantha Chair

I am loooooving the Kantha trend.  I called it here.  Still seems like the natural next step with other ethnic textiles (ikat, souzani) ever more popular and in danger of playing themselves out.  (have done them both, still love them both, but still.)

After all the little kantha pillows and throws (Pottery Barn, Jayson Home and Garden, West Elm), I love seeing Kantha upholstery on this limited edition chair from West Elm.

Everett Kantha Chair

I especially love that they chose a sort of mid-century inspired chairs with angular lines and narrow legs to set off the blue stitched quilts.

Everett Kantha Chair

If I had space, I would totally put this in the guest room- the little bit of masculinity and less-than-serious upholstery would be just what the slightly-formal room needs.

Okay, the kilim sofa, also limited edition, is pretty hot, too.

Kilim Sofa

I've also just been noticing that Pulkhari is fast on Kantha's heels, what with pillows all over One Kings Lane and Serena and Lilly's Bazaar, for all of $500 a pop.

Vintage Phulkari Pillow

What do you think about upholstering pieces with exotic textiles?  Any calls on what's next?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Michael's Lamp Studio

Those of you local to the Twin Cities probably know all about the intersection of Xerxes and 50th street in Minneapolis, home to Hunt and Gather vintage, Bella Galleria consignment, Gallery 360 for art, and a number of other quirky little shops.  When I go poking around that corner for finds, I like to pop in to Michaels' Lamp Studio.

This locally owned shop is chock full of chandeliers, table lamps, and shades in every shape and color you can imagine.  Need some inspiration?  Here are my favorites from a recent peek.

Fabulous vintage chandeliers:

Love these italian tulips in a dining room with a rosewood and marble table and some 60s Italian leather chairs, white on a brass frame.

And this glass number in a foyer with metallic grasscloth walls and an orange leather console table.  Meow.

And how about that little lantern in a powder room with Chinoiserie paper--maybe this one from Thibault?  And gold fixtures (But of course.)  Not everyone's bag, but I love.

Speaking of Chinoiserie, check out the shelves and shelves full of ceramic lamps with Asian motifs

Want something a little more industrial?  How about a pair of brass candlesticks with brass shades?

Or a patined copper pendant?  Or--trend alert--a beautiful, naked bulb, like this one.

If you're thinking about Christmas (and I know plenty of bloggers are working on holiday features for magazines), how about some red plaid shades on your dining room chandy?

Now, the prices here are good, but nothing is exactly a steal.  If DIY is more your speed, take inspiration from this little crystal lamp and recover a shade by pleating a vintage silk scarf.  I love that you can see the writing from the scarf's edge on this one.

Want to get started? Try out my pleated lampshade tutorial, here.

And here's a challenge for you designer-types:  Lighting is so often overlooked as we put rooms together.  We need to invest in places to sit, and eat, and sleep, and the existing fixtures will do, functionally speaking.  But great lighting also has the potential to transform a space.  Go check out Olioboard, a software for building design boards, and create a room around a chandelier.

Have fun, and report back!  I'd love to feature your designs.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

When Function Sends the Dominoes Falling

A couple of weeks ago, the thermostat here in Minneapolis hit 104 degrees, the hottest it had been here in something like 40 years.  Even with central air, my girls' room was an absolute sauna.  I quickly realized the problem: each of their beds sat on half of a floor vent (and the curtain panels hung down on top of the other half.)  It had never been a problem before because we hadn't lived through so much heat in our 10 months in this house.  I happened to be home alone, and in the sweltering heat I moved all the furniture right round, taking me from here,

To here.

(Keep in mind that the room will be painted this color.  Just try to ignore the fact that there is at least one too many dominant colors in this room.)

This was actually my second choice layout from the get go, but with my younger daughter (barely two at the time) transitioning to a big girl bed, it seemed pretty important to have her up against a wall.  (She did fall out of bed the first night with the new arrangement, but only once.  She's a quick study, that girl.)  There are a number of things I really like about this new arrangement, but the change also makes me aware yet again that everything is so contingent in a room, so codependent, if you will.

Some good stuff: I always struggled with the symmetry of the other space, the pair of beds flanking a dresser with a pair of lamps, the pair of curtain panels, the (mismatched, but still) pairing of art, the way each bed had something at the foot.  This way, the pairs get all split up, with the beds facing the lamps and the curtains adjacent.

Better. This arrangement also created a place for that chinoiserie table--my grandmother's--that little vintage ceramic  lamp--my first ebay purchase--and the painting over the dresser, which I bought on a road trip to Taos before grad school, specifically for the future bedroom of daughters I didn't know I would even have.

Also, the space feels bigger.  It always boggles the mind that putting furniture in the middle of the room creates a greater sense of space, but it almost always works out that way.

Some bad stuff.  We lost the little table and stools in the middle of the room, though to be honest the girls never used it and it just became a place to leave crap.  Also, if this had been my layout from the beginning, I would have used an 8 x 10 rug, to better fill the space between the beds.  I would have found a 9-drawer dresser to better balance the width of the beds.  Those are things I can't change just now, but moving everything around changed the relationship of the fabrics to one another, and all of a sudden, I want to futz...

The plaid suddenly feels too close to the curtains, and like the pieces are too big.  What if I put it on bolsters, instead, and put a textural throw on the white bedding? the swing chair cushion might need a little plaid, too, instead of the curtain fabric.

Now do I need more color?  How about this hilarious and awesome poof that my mom bought for us at Home Goods?

Hmmm...too much fuzzy texture.  And not sure about the raspberry on the green rug.  What about a graphic striped rug?  (The one I originally bought for this room)

But now is the plaid too much?  How about back to the chartreuse moire?

Of course, in the summer the duvets are mostly pulled back.  

Might be too bare with the bold rug.  Back to green.

Hmmmm...I would love some patterned sheets, maybe a narrow green and white stripe?  Or maybe white quilts to go with the pillow shams.  But I did like the brown and white, maybe a chevron pillow?

hard to see in this shot, but I kind of like it.  Please ignore the butterflies on the sheet covering the box springs: very distracting, I know.

After this little journey, here's where things stand.

What do you think: green rug or striped?  Poof or no?  (It's a closer color match to the headboards than in these pictures.)  Which combination of blankets, pillows, etc is your favorite?

Also, welcome to my brain.  I think the reason decorators have such a hard time making decision in their own house is this instinct to consider (and reconsider) every possible relationship between every element in the room.  Speaking of which, once the walls are pink that dresser might go white.  

Who knows, right?

It took me a long time to understand why Domino magazine had that name, but believe me, I get it now.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Art You Can Afford: Exhibition A

My super-cool art world cousin told me about this one.  (Need proof that he's super cool?  Five words: Yoko Ono's right hand man).  And, while I will admit these are less affordable than other edition sites out there, the artists are heavy hitters, the editions are small(ish), and many of them are stretched canvas editions of paintings, as opposed to the ubiquitous prints on paper.

It's a member site, and it's actually pretty fun to get their emails with announcements of new sales and great content like interviews with the artists.

I also love that they show the pieces in styled rooms, for context.
Without further ado, my picks.  In context, and details.

Jessica Craig-Martin, Mondrian Pug, $175/$325, here

Peter Sutherland, Herding the Flock, $300, here

Olaf Breuning, Roof, $175/$300, here

Les Rogers, Large There $175/$300, here

Luis Gispert, Untitled (Fluid Exchange), $250, here

Luis actually participated in an artists' round table I helped organize way back in 2004.  And these next two artists participated in The Dreamland Artist Club, a Creative Time project that brought hand-painted signage back to Coney Island in 2004 and 2005.  Having worked with them, I feel more personally invested in making these recommendations!

Jules de Balincourt, Dismounted, $300/$400, here

Steve Powers, You and Me, $200, here

And finally, even though this one is way out of my price range, I can't seem to get enough of art with words (maybe because I'm a writer?), especially if the sentiment is whimsical, melancholy, uplifting, or, I'll admit, tragic.

Rene Ricard, Boat, $450/$610, here

What do you think?  Do you have a favorite?  Tell me where you would put one of these in your own home.  

I would put Boat in my main floor powder room, pair the Olaf Breuning Roof with this David Byrne poster in my laundry room, and try to find space for Large There in this guest room that I'm working on.  Oh, and I think Herding the Flock belongs at my friend (and Maid of Honor) Marni's house.  Just in case you're reading, Marn.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The jury is out on this one.

Seeds and pods pendant from Arteriors Home:

Yay or nay?


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Small Measures: Colorful Spool Table

Missoni spool tables.  Something ordinary rendered fabulous in trademark stripes.  I wonder: would it be the same if it was not Missoni?

(Editor's note for new followers: Small Measures is a weekend series of project ideas  you could do in a day, expressed in one picture and 25 words or less.)

Friday, July 22, 2011

I Heart NY More Than Ever

I had a great trip to New York, full of great friends, good food, and miles of walking in my favorite neighborhoods.  Lots of people asked me what I was going to do while I was there, and at first I was surprised by the question.  It wasn't a trip that was so much about New York City, as it was a trip about connecting my present life to my past.  (Oh, and I ate at a LOT of hot spot restaurants thanks to my foodie friends and family.  Mario Batali's Del Posto, Jean George's ABC Kitchen, L'Artusi, Paradou, Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream Truck, Torrisi Italian Specialties, and Hecho en Dumbo, all of which I would highly recommend, and almost none of which I actually paid for.  I know: I am a lucky, lucky girl.)  I also got to see some art of the variety that you stumble upon: Sol Lewitt in City Hall Park.  And walk phase 2 of the High Line.  (I got to walk it before anything was built, the day I told my parents I was pregnant with Eleri.)  I stayed with my Maid of Honor and her family, visited with my aunt and uncle and cousins, reconnected with my amazing mom's group, and saw a number of friends, old and new.  I regret that I couldn't see everyone I have known and loved there.

Here's what I really came away with:  I love New York even more from a distance.  I love having lived there for so much of my youth, and getting to just visit now.  I love this wonderful status of New York insider without the hard work of staying there.  (Cheating, I know.)  While I may not know all the latest and greatest, I will also never, never, be a tourist in New York.

Kind of makes me want this print (did you wonder if I was getting to any designy stuff?  I wouldn't let you down.)

[Milton Glaser, available here]

Which is like the ultimate anti-souvenir, because it is for the people of the City.  Yes, it refers to 9/11, and yes, I lived there then.  And that, too, makes me a part of the fabric and history of this place.

I also love these Tom Slaughter prints, New York Valentine 1 and 2, which a friend of mine just bought, one for each of her (New Yorker) children.

Available here.

Or his wallpaper, which is hanging happily in the new bathroom at my old workplace, Creative Time.

All of which makes me wonder: do you have a place in your life that deserves a valentine?  What would it look like? (Or smell like?  Or sound like?)

When my husband and I visited Paris together, well before we were married, we went to the grocery store and brought back souvenirs of fleur de sel, onion confit, fruit preserves, and wine.  That felt like a valentine to me, as the best valentines are love stories  that you can experience for a while, with all of your senses.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Shabby Apple Giveaway Winner!

Spanish Steps

We have a winner!
So, I used one of those random number generators, and the lucky number that came up is 25.  Now, this being my first giveaway and all, I didn't figure out how to get that image on over here, so I suppose you'll just have to take my word for it.

Comment number 25: Karena from Art By Karena.

I love that this giveaway introduced me to new blogs, like Karena's.  And guess what?  She has a giveaway going on right now, so if you're feeling down and out (or just looking for some art for your home), go on over and enter.

And of course, if your heart truly desires a new dress, just use my promo code. loveyourspace10off,  for 10% off any dress or dresses you like.

Thanks for playing!

P.S.  Karena, email me with your address so I can get the dress sent off to you.


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