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Monday, January 31, 2011

Lobster Quadrille Wallpaper

If I had to choose one product in the world of design that exemplifies my design style, I think this would be it. Georgia Horton's hand printed Lobster Quadrille wallpaper has a classic, refined look with a sense of humor. I love products that look great, but also put a big smile on people's faces, and I can equally envision this in a multi-million dollar home just as easily as in a beach bungalow. The way the lobster tentacles join to make a trellis pattern is just genius.

The wallpaper comes in four different colorways, including black on white and white on black which have a very cool x-ray effect to them, but I am partial to the blues for this pattern. There are many other great patterns in Horton's collection that are also worth checking out.

Friday, January 28, 2011

D.I.Y. Lampshades With the Lampshade Lady

I keep thinking that I'm going to make my own lampshade for a dining room project I've had on the brain for some time now, but I hadn't quite figured out how to do it. Well, I have no excuse anymore. Lampshade Lady Judy Lake of Lake's Lamps in Pawlet, VT has come out with a new book called "The Lampshade Lady's Guide to Lighting up Your Life", making it easy to create your own masterpiece. But what's even better is that you can get many of her tutorials for free online. Last week, the Hartford Courant ran a step by step guide to making your own drum shade courtesy of the Lampshade Lady. Lake's own blog also features many tutorials and she offers in shop classes as well. But if you aren't the D.I.Y. type, Lake can also custom make lampshades for you using your own cotton or linen fabric or postcards. She can even make shades out of sentimental items such as a favorite shirt or your grandmother's scarf. If you are in Vermont, you may want to stop by and pick out your own fabric and trims from the many options she has to offer in her store. The possibilities are endless!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ikat Bowls

I know these Ikat Bowls from Anthropologie aren't exactly the newest thing on the shelf, but they are my newest obsession. Of all the ikat things that have hit the shelves in the past few years, they are by far my favorite. I love the gold rim and the colors in general. While I'm partial to the navy one, I would really like them in every color. They are perfect to keep on a side table or as a way to dress up a buffet. And at $8 each, you can't beat the price. Fill one with fine chocolates for the perfect hostess gift.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Maximo Riera's Octopus Chair

There is quite a bit of debate in the design world as to whether Maximo Riera's Octopus Chair is awesome or hideous. One thing is undeniable, it is clearly a piece of art. I do not love the look of the chair from the front, but they would look ridiculously amazing in a library or giant den as you approach the room from a large foyer or hall.

I was just looking at the pictures of Gray Craig, the estate down the road from me that Nicholas Cage is selling for a steal. The price was just lowered to $7.75 million, about half of what he bought it for. I'm thinking that when I win Powerball, I'll scoop that little 12 bedroom, 18,000+ sf abode up and throw a few of these in one of the libraries. I can't wait! Wonder what the lead time on these 8-legged (well I guess 10 technically) beauties is.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Etsy Pick of the Week: Whale Tissue Holder

How cute is this? This distressed wood whale tissue box cover comes complete with whale tale and a blowhole tissue dispenser. It's the little things like this that really give a room personality. Tissue box covers always remind me of my grandmother because she had one in every room in the house, but I have to say that they really do look nicer and when they are as cute as this, how can you resist. If this shade of blue doesn't work with your decor, have no fear. Etsy seller Gnome Sweet Gnome also makes it in green, white, blue, yellow, and red.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Mod Green Pod's Special Edition 2011 Anticipate Fabric

Mod Green Pod, one of my favorite designers of eco-friendly fabric and wallpaper, has come out with a special edition of their Anticipate fabric for 2011. The print typically comes in a lovely gray and black color combination, although it can be customized, but the special edition print is colorful and has me thinking spring. The unlikely color combination of this rococo inspired large scale print includes light pink, fuschia, red, green, gray, and chartreuse. It would make absolutely fabulous floor to ceiling draperies which I can especially picture against a chic fuchsia paint. If you are a little bit of a color-phobe it would also make a great tablecloth or floor pillows. I needed a punch of color on this snow day.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Emergency Cocktail Station

With all the snow we've been getting on top of just getting off of holiday break and the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, my kids sure seem to be home a lot more than usual. They are predicting more snow for RI tonight until about noon tomorrow making the morning commute difficult, and I am fearing school will be canceled again. In order to survive another day trapped in my house with two children, I think I had better get one of these emergency cocktail stations from urbancase. All the glassware and bar tools are included. I just need to fill those little bottles up with my poison (I mean pleasure) of choice.
And then it folds up neatly right against the wall. In fact, I believe the general recommendation is to have emergency items on each floor of the house so I should probably get one for upstairs and the basement as well in case I find myself in a dire situation. I suppose it would also be really great for something like a tiny apartment in the city where space is optimal.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Croissant and Preserves Set

Back in my days at Rue de France there were a few things that I became obsessed with. In addition to luxury bedding and table linens by Yves Delorme, china by Bernardaud and Match Pewter, I couldn't get enough of the quirky table accessories. From knife rests to wine bottle shaped pepper grinders, I think I ended up with one of each for myself or for someone else as a gift. And at the top of that list was all the adorable salt & pepper (I do have a slight obsession with salt itself as well) sets we had. While you can find vintage ones in just about any theme you want, it's hard to find really well done sets that are fun, but not cheesy. When I was perusing the Gump's web site this morning, I came across this Croissant and Preserves Salt & Pepper Set and it brought me back to my catalog days at Rue and brought a smile to my face. And I love smile inducing products so just thought I'd share. This set would be great on the breakfast table every morning. Fill your home with things that make you happy.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

On the Chopping Block

I am in love with these serving trays and cutting boards by Darien based Soundview Millworks. And in addition to be beautifully made, they are also made from FSC certified wood which makes me twice as happy. The cleat board comes in three sizes and is also available as a double cleat board. This is the first of their pieces that I saw and must say it really fulfills that nautical decor urge I tend to have, and looking at them sure does make me dream of cocktail cruises on Narragansett Bay.
The bar blocks might just be my new favorite gift to give whether it be a hostess gift, a shower gift or a birthday gift, but it's especially great for guys! These 7" square blocks are perfect for chopping fruit at the bar, and did I mention all of these pieces can be monogrammed or engraved with any image you want!
Some of the stock images Soundview Millworks offers include a lobster, crab, turtle, compass, sand dollar, starfish, anchors, seahorse, lighthouse and more. Or choose your monogram, logo or any other image you want.
All of the pieces are equally utilitarian and beautiful so they can be used for prep as well as for serving making them twice as fabulous. If you've got a wedding or event coming up in 2011, this is a gift that is sure to be a winner or just treat yourself to a piece you'll likely have forever.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Summer Wedding Inspiration Board

There are few things I love more than planning a wedding. It is so unfortunate that most of us only get to do it once in our lives. Well I know not everyone feels that way, but I sure do and loved planning my own wedding. But perhaps what's even better than planning our own big day is when someone walks into your home and says "We want to get married, and we want you to plan the whole thing."
I was so thrilled when a close friend approached me and asked that question a few months ago. First, thrilled that she was getting married to her wonderful fiance, but the offer was a very close second. While many might flinch or waiver, I just immediately started asking questions so that I could get a vision in my head as to how it would all look. This also happens to be the most awesome bride on the planet. She literally wants me to do everything. "My colors? I don't know. Ask Sarah." It's a designer's dream come true.
Now, I have the advantage of having known her my whole life and know her personality and style well. She is classic, but a whole lot of fun and I want the wedding to appear as though it could have taken place in any decade. Classic, classic, classic.
The few guidelines the bride and groom gave me were that they wanted a traditional New England Clambake for 250+ people at an outdoor venue this coming summer. They want it to be very casual, but also very nice. The bride envisions herself in an eyelet dress. And there must be croquet and bocce!

So the date is set for June 25. While these images aren't quite what we'll be doing (although the groom insists I find the above tie), I'm using them as my inspiration board. The colors are going to be light blues and white with a pop of lime, mostly in the flowers. Hydrangeas and peonies-my two favorites and hers too- will be bountiful, lanterns will fill the tent, and Adirondack chairs will be scattered across the lawn of Sweet Berry Farm, a local favorite spot with gorgeous westward views. And it will be strawberry season so picture that cake with a pile of the sweetest, juiciest strawberries you've ever seen. As more of the details unfold, I'll be sure to share them with you.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011 Pantone Color of the Year: Honeysuckle

I have to admit that when I first heard that Pantone chose Honeysuckle as its Color of the Year, I envisioned something in a yellow tone. In my neck of the woods, the incredibly fragrant bushes and hedgerows of honeysuckle bloom in white with a yellow center. But they were indeed talking about the even more lovely variety of pink honeysuckle, and there are few colors I love more than pink (and I don't mean that in an I feel pretty, I'm a girly-girl kind of way).
This pink is not a soft pastel pink, but a bold, powerful statement pink which is just the way I like my pinks. You'd be hard pressed to find a ballet pink in my house. The bolder the better in my opinion. Pantone says, "Energizing honeysuckle lifts spirits and imparts confidence to meet life's ongoing challenges." This is MY color, and I don't think there could be a better year for it as I feel like all signs are pointing to GO this year and I'm ready to meet every new challenge and opportunity.
Of course, if you live with any males, it's not always easy to find an acceptable spot in your house for pink, but if you can, I say go for it. Great spots are a dressing room, sitting area, powder room, office or even the inside of a closet (if you really have to hide it and HAVE to have it) or the back of cabinets with glass doors.
Of course, you can always be really bold like the folks who have this kitchen. High gloss bright pink cabinets are sure to put a smile on your face every day.
If you can't quite make the commitment to such a bold color as a wall color, there are plenty of other ways to incorporate it without having it be the focal point in a room. One easy way is with fabrics like the above Balinese Batik by China Seas. I want a chair or bench in this.

Another one of my just discovered favorites is Jackie Von Tobel's prints which include the above Circle Trellis in Candy.
Von Tobel's Paisley Pillow would also be a lovely addition and add a punch of honeysuckle.
And of course, I can't leave out my favorite lacquer trays by Jonathan Adler. Put this on an ottoman or bar cart and you're sure to attract the attention you're looking for.

It's going to be a very (good) pink year!

Image Credits:
Pantone, Gypsy Magic, FJ Design, Decorating Room, Quadrille Fabrics, Jackie Von Tobel, Jonathan Adler