Punchy Color

Friday, September 30, 2011

I'm not feeling great today so this is gonna be a quickie.

Here's a picture from one of my design books, Decorate by Holly Becker.  She has a blog called decor8 that is totally awesome so definitely read it!  I scanned this guy in so its not the best quality, but just LOOK. It's a snapshot from Rita Konig's (style writer and interior designer--can I have your job Rita??) Manhattan apartment.  It's so incredibly styled.  I want to crawl in here and live forever.  Let's start with the artwork.  I love me a gallery wall.  And not only a gallery wall, but I have a thing for mismatched frames and a mixture of different types of art.  Take the pretty botanical print that has a vintage feel, and then you have a more modern simple typography "LOVE" print.  Which, by the way, would be way easy to do yourself.  Stay tuned, I'll post a DIY about that sucker soon enough.  Okay, but then we have an architectural photograph, a silhouette portrait which I have always fancied owning.  Down below there's a beautiful oil painting...and it goes on.  Everything works so well together even though they're different mediums, sizes, frames, etc.  Which makes me happy, because I have a tendency to gravitate towards a more eclectic style.
Okay, and whats the first thing your eye goes to in this image?  Obviously, you just thought (or said aloud if you're nerdy and completely captivated by my prose) the magenta Louis XVI chair!  I mean, how incredible is that piece of furniture?  That deep rich velvet fabric and incredible color.  The combination of the fresh coat of white paint and punchy color give an otherwise antique looking style a modern feel.  I mean talk about a pop of color.  Paired with that ikat patterned throw pillow it looks incredible.  I want it.  No seriously, I do.  I neeeeeed it.  Okay, you can also catch a glimpse of that sofa to the right, which has another great geometric graphic pattern which is another bold statement in this room.  Rita, I envy you.  And now to find that chair...


Whimsical Wallpapering

Thursday, September 29, 2011

So I have a love hate relationship with wallpaper.  For most of my life it has conjured images of terrible tiny floral patterns in a very grandma house, or just plain ugliness in general.  Lately though, my opinion of wallpaper has changed.  There are a lot of really fun and interesting wallpaper patterns out there and I've been coming across a lot of them lately.  I would love to do some wallpaper in my apartment, but seeing as I rent and have a 1 year lease, it's just not really fathomable or economic.  But I do really like wallpaper.  While I wouldn't be able to use it in the traditional sense, here's something I could do, and it's more economical as well.  I have a giant bookshelf in my apartment (technically its 3 pushed together, but who's counting) that takes up the better part of a wall.  I had decided on a darker color shelving unit, and then once I got everything all put together I wished I had gotten white.  Oh well, you live and you learn.  My shelves have a backside to them so they aren't open, and I have them jam packed with objects, books, vases, artwork, etc.  But at the end of the day, its a bookshelf.  What I would LOVE to do is wallpaper the back of the shelf.  Check out all these different images here of wallpapered shelves:

All over wallpaper with a metallic sheen.
via Name 5 Things
 This is just a wallpapered accent wall, with open shelving.  I like this look a lot but can't do it for my rental.
via Pinterest
 This again, is an accent wall, with shelving and credenzas, but it looks like a built in unit sort of.
I love that punched ginger jar on the bottom left too!
via Simplified Bee
 Another alternative would be to paint the shelves rather than wallpaper them.  If you have a lot going on with the contents of your shelving this might be the better option as it is less
busy and wouldn't compete as much with your objects.
via Design Manifest
This one here is fun take on the idea, mixing both paint and wallpaper, and also in various hues.
via Pinterest
 This wallpaper almost looks like there are objects in the shelves already.
via Barrie Briggs Spang
 I love this moroccan inspired wallpaper, it's not too busy and I like the symmetry going on here.
via Pinterest
I am totally in love with the idea of adding a little interest and intrigue to my shelving, so I spent some time perusing the web for awesome and interesting wallpaper.  Here are some of my favorites that are definitely NOT your grandmother's wallpaper:

Daydream Blue


French Dot

Flower Blossom
Prairie Quilt
via Graham & Brown
Summer Palace
Jazz in Central Park
Serious Bokay
Random Geometry
Petal Pusher

I mean, how cool is it that they make all this crazy out there wallpaper?  Some of it is so awesome I would wallpaper not only my walls but my ceiling too.  All of these unique wallpaper totally breaks my preconceived notions about country floral patterns or ugly stripes.  While I can't wallpaper a room in my rental, I really really really want (read: need) to add wallpaper to the back of my bookshelves to add interest and some color.  It would also take away from the dark wood and brighten up the room a lot.  Maybe I'll ask for some wallpaper for Christmas (read: family and friends, please gift me some awesome wallpaper!  And maybe have someone install it too?)

What do you think of these patterns?  Is it a shocker to see all these modern and contemporary designs, or did you already know about all the options out there?

Etsy: Spotlight on Art

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Over time I've slowly been finding and adding a ton of awesome art to my wish list from Etsy.  There are so many amazing artists out there and Etsy provides a great method of distribution for many people who otherwise wouldn't be able to sell their products easily.  Majority of the things I buy on Etsy are pillows and artwork, and today, against my better judgment, I'm going to highlight a few of my favorites.  I have that irrational fear that if I share with you my favorites I won't be able to buy them, but alas, I am putting it aside today.  They're too pretty and awesome to keep to just myself!  But, I will be pretty sad if I go to buy one of my favorites and they are all sold out.  If you like some of the prints below, definitely check out each individual shop as they will have similar stuff and you may just discover your new favorite artist!

Beetle, Flowers

Flowers in Greece


Blooming Beauty

Blue Octopus

Yarn Story






New York, New York

I Love You Mo

Crochet Tree

Little Vintage Hearts
Which are your favorites?

The Anthropolgie of Design, + a Look for Less: Make it or Fake it #3

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

This weekend I went to peruse one of my favorite overpriced stores, Anthropologie.  The visuals in the store are absolutely incredible and just make me want to go "GIMME" every time I turn a corner.  I love almost everything in this store but can't afford pretty much anything in there.  And that makes me sad, because most of the time whenever I go in there I pick things up and carry them around, whine to my boyfriend about how much I want them, get this sad confused look on my face as if I cannot fathom why exactly things should be priced as such and why I lack the appropriate funding to buy whatever my heart desires, then I put said items down and walk out much more morose than when I entered said pretty store.  So I decided to try and take a new approach when I go there, and instead of getting super down about everything I want but can't afford, I look around the store for inspiration and focus more on the visuals rather than the extreme need I feel to purchase things.  Also part of this post is my look for less.  But anyways, here's what I saw this weekend at my would be home--I mean store.

This awesome bed display.  As I am a great fan of untraditional headboards, this vignette really spoke to me.  Look at the giant library style hutch? cabinet? I'm not even sure what to call it really, but it's totally awesome.  I love the roll up cabinet doors that let you customize the look by having them at different heights to display different objects.  This massive unit provides a ton of storage as well, and lets you double up on nightstands providing a lot more surface space for lamps and books, etc.  The cool thing they did here also was to hang art on the exterior of the hutch, so you're not really losing the wall space for picture hanging behind it.  I've done this before on my own bookcases; it's a little something unexpected that makes a statement.  If you notice down in the front there are some cool patterned letters, and being a huge fan of typography, I clearly ransacked the place looking for a fun patterned 'M' to no avail.  Why are there so many 'M' people out there?  One day I am going to have one whole huge display of a million different crazy 'M's and then my life will be complete and I can start contemplating collecting other letters.

 Onwards and upwards.  Here was another cool idea, which is to use a ladder as a towel rack or otherwise.  I've been wanting a ladder to put somewhere in my tiny apartment, and you can really use them for anything.  Here its more of a bathroom item for bathmats, towels, etc., but you could also use them to display a few pretty scarves or blankets in a bedroom.  Or, if you happened across a ladder that had wider steps you could use it as a shelf for display.  Either way, I'm a huge fan, and am keeping my eyes peeled for an awesome rustic reclaimed wooden ladder to put god knows where. 

 Here's another interesting thing they were doing: mounting everything on walls.  Here they've got chairs on the wall mounted on hooks.  To the left they've also mounted some vintage metal letter trays (which I've been looking for for ages, but can't seem to find any).  These guys would traditionally be used as a catch all for documents and letters, and would most likely be sitting on your desk.  Here they have mounted them sideways to use as little display shelves.  I'm totally into them, and could definitely do this in my house.  Where, I am not entirely sure, but the idea is now planted in my brain, and by god I WILL FIND SOME!  Anyway, back to the chair--I've seen this done before in magazines, and while I wouldn't necessarily do it myself (at least not right now), I do like the added little shelf, and it would be a total conversation starter.  I mean, how often do you see chairs mounted on a wall in someone's home?

Which brings me to the next little display they had going on.  These are all vintage/antique mirrors which have been glued together or otherwise attached to create this collage of a mirror.  They're put together however they will fit, if you notice the bottom middle one is actually upside down.  I thought this was a fun way to create a mirror display and is different from just hanging them in a gallery.  A creative solution, and definitely a DIY type of project you could easily do at home yourself.

Okay.  That brings me to the Look for Less.  For such a long time Anthropologie has had these beautiful etched glass jars with brass lids in all sorts of shapes and sizes.  I've been lusting after these for months now and always want to buy them but just can't bring myself to spend the dough (the smallest one, which couldn't even hold q-tips up right starts at $18).  I also can't seem to find the link for all of these jars online now (only the round one), but they do have them in store and they are really beautiful.

The small round jar from Anthropologie is $28.
The Baker's Jar
Target has a version of the jar for just $14.99.
Etched Brass and Glass Canister
 Pretty good deal if you ask me!  Do you guys ever look to visual retail displays for inspiration or ideas?
Be sure to check out other make it or fake it posts here for more affordable home decor options.

Let's Get Cozy

Monday, September 26, 2011

EEK I'm sorry guys, I've been a total slacker lately.  Things have been a little busy around here in my life, and I've been a terrible blogger the past few (5) days.  But the good news is that I am back with a vengeance, and today I'm talkin' 'bout duvet covers.  And evidently in abbreviations.

So in the bedroom, your biggest statement is really your bed.  It's the focal point of the room, and it packs the most punch.  When decorating my room, I decided to try and stick with neutrals with my furniture so that a fun colorful duvet wouldn't compete with anything else in the room.  Changing your duvet cover is also the easiest way to change up the feel in your bedroom; it's like a short cut to redecorating.  I personally lived in dorm rooms for 8 years (boarding school + college), so I quickly learned how to make my dorm room home and how to decorate without putting (many) holes in the walls or doing too much damage.  Over the years I collected a ton of duvet covers and would switch them out whenever I felt like a change.  Unfortunately, queen duvet covers are a bit more pricey than twins, so I don't hoard them like I used to.  But there are affordable options out there, and I thought I'd share with you my roundup; all under $100 for a queen size.  Keep reading below for my creative alternatives to duvets also!

Reversible Bed Set

Organic Blocked Paisley Duvet

Cloverfield Organic Duvet

Medallion Organic Duvet

Falling Floral Duvet

Zig Zag Duvet

Stripe Duvet
Butternut Moroccan Duvet

Organic Chevron Duvet
Caravan Percale Duvet
Tvablad Cirkel

Henny Cirkel

Greek Key Duvet

So you see I am a fan of patterned duvet covers because I think they're fun and interesting and make a statement in your room.  It all depends on your own preference though, I get tired of things easily and like to switch things up often.  But, duvets aren't the only way to change things up.  You can use tapestries or large table cloths (for queen you want the dimensions to be around 88"x92"), or any other fabric that would fit the bill, or if you're crafty you could even sew a duvet or coverlet.  But here's my interesting and unexpected alternative in my apartment.

 Check out this image to the right.  It's a scarf I bought from Zara this weekend, really pretty and bohoish, thin, made up of 3 different patterns sewed together.  Its also HUGE, but when I wear it around my neck it just looks like a decent sized scarf.  BUT, I got a little crafty when I realized just how big it was, and laid it out on my bed.  And voila!  It can totally double as a coverlet by throwing it over the bed.  It may not be perfect (nor is my kinda messy room and unmade bed) or add a lot of warmth when the air gets crisp, but you can use it just as decor and it adds an interesting colorful visual focal point to my bedroom!

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