Accidental Fabric Pairing

Last week I had a bunch of fabric samples out on the sofa in my den because it's a good place to look at them in natural light. During the process, I couldn't help but notice that Quadrille's Henriot Floral (in Blues on Ecru) fabric looked pretty amazing on my sofa with my embroidered Greek key pillow. It was inadvertently placed near Schumacher's Chiang Mai in China Blue and it looked pretty amazing with that too. So I decided to play dress up with my pillows and show you the pairing...

The Henriot Floral also looked cute near my cloisonne lamp...

Quadrille is annoyingly stingy with their sample cuts. As you can see from the above, the sample is less than 14" square which makes it impossible to see the whole repeat, especially with a design like Henriot Floral. In the HF sample I have, you can't even see the main floral design. So to give you a better idea of what you actually get when you order yardage, here are more images of the fabric in use...
All images from Quadrille.com, the blue chair is from Southern Accents, the dining area is from Coastal Living, and the pink bedroom was designed by Judy Cormier 
The Henriot Floral is pretty, isn't it? It's amazing how different my sample looks from the full repeat. I still like the cropped section that my sample shows though because it's not as in-your-face as the main floral is. 

What's you favorite colorway? I like the blues, the turquoise, and the pink.

Also, my Greek key pillow shown in the first set of photos is no longer available, but if you're looking to buy something similar, check out my friend Abbe's site Shop Ten 25. She has lots of great options like these...


Low Cost, Low Risk Colorful Accents

I'm a big fan of neutral upholstery mixed with jolts of color. Especially when you're buying upholstered furniture that needs to stick around for a while, this is the best strategy. By keeping investment pieces classic and neutral, you can be daring with less expensive and easily changeable items like pillows and lamps. Bold, colorful accessories, accent furniture, and artwork can really bring a room to life so don't fret if your staple pieces seem a bit ho-hum.

I have a war chest full of resources for these sorts of accents and one that I routinely check is Urban Outfitters. They have inexpensive "apartment" goods and some are rather stylish while others are not what I'd put in my house. Anyhow, there are diamonds in the rough and on my last visit I spotted this fun yellow floor lamp. With a great vintage aesthetic and wild color, I knew that it would come in handy for a future project. I can totally see this by a glider in a nursery or I also like it in a fresh, modern (kinda girly) living area like this...
Vintage Floor Lamp - Urban Outfitters
Journey - Acrylic on canvas by Jen Ramos - Cocoa and Hearts
Hutton Chaise - Room & Board
Nixon Throw - Jonathan Adler

Here's the same room with a different pillow and throw...which option do you like better?

Quatrefoil Pillow - COCOCOZY
Persian Charm Green Throw - Sabira Home

I also ran across these two inexpensive side tables on the UO site. I think they're pretty cute...I really love the green one!
Coil Side Table - Urban Outfitters
Silver Leaf Side Table - Urban Outfitters

Do you ever shop Urban Outfitters for decor? As you might know, they are owned by the same company as Anthropologie so UO is kind of like Anthro's funky, thriftier sister ;)


Marbled Paper and Fabrics

I've been really drawn to marbleized items over the past few months. Cool marbled things like Shandell's chandelier shades keep catching my eye and I feel like the trend is on the rise. I've always loved marbled paper goods and I'm glad to see that the style is increasingly being used on textiles in a sophisticated manner.

While I'll take the mass produced marbled designs, I particularly like things that are marbled by hand since the marbling process creates endless opportunities in terms of color palette and pattern. Through the medium, artisans can create one-of-a-kind textiles and papers...and people like you and I can buy them and have something special and unique in our home.

Thanks to the open range that is the Internet, there are lots of sources for marbleized wares. I went straight to Etsy and Ebay for the handmade and vintage items. Luxe decor purveyors like Sferra and Dransfield & Ross make some gorgeous, off-the-shelf marbled items.

3) Florentine Napkins - Dransfield & Ross via Bellissimo
4) Satin Fabric - Etsy
5) Onyx Faux Leather Pillow - Dransfield & Ross
6) Onyx Faux Leather Pillow - Dransfield & Ross
7) Marbleized Florentine Pillow - Dransfield & Ross

1) Marbled Paper - Paper Source
Florentine Address Book - Etsy
Vintage 1930s French Book - Etsy
Green Marbled Journal/Album - Etsy
Vintage Hardcover Book - Etsy
Turkish Marbling Address Book - Etsy
Marbled Scrap Pack - Etsy
Halo of Dust Book - Etsy

I'm really into the gold marbled pillow à la Kelly Wearstler shown above and could see that used in a bedroom or a living area. I'm also ready to start collecting vintage books with marbled covers since they would display so beautifully. Until my collection evolves, I might just use the marbled paper from Paper Source to make book covers for a set of hardbacks (I have a bunch of really random textbooks from the 70s that won't EVER get pulled from the shelves). If I decide to get fancy then I'll have a calligrapher write the book titles (which should be super interesting in my case) on the front and the spine area of the marbled covers...like these from Etsy seller Neapolitan:

What do you think of marbled things?


A Bedroom Built Around a Benedict

I've recently been fixated on the paintings of accomplished contemporary artist, Sally King Benedict. Her work is perfect for a few of my clients and my friend Bradley (of the fab fashion blog Luella & June) is also hankering for one of Sally's pieces, so I've been keeping my eye on her online inventory over the past few weeks. By merely viewing her art online, it's easy to tell that Sally is an outstanding colorist. While digitally soaking in the beauty of her creations is a fabulous experience, I'm sure that it's a million times better in person! Hopefully I'll be able to get up close and personal with a piece in the near future and can report back :)

It would be nearly impossible for me to pick a "favorite," however, one piece that I just can't get out of my head is called Cool Water. I love the movement and the fresh color palette...

Cool Water - 2011 - 36" x 48" (framed) - oil, acrylic, and guache on canvas by Sally King Benedict
As an homage to the piece (and a way of visually representing my daydream of owning the piece), I've created a bedroom mood board around the painting...
Pottery Barn Antonia Canopy Bed
West Elm Mirror-Framed Mirror
Quadrille Terrace Watermelon on Tint

What do you think of the painting? What about the board?

I also wanted to share a few snapshots from one of Sally's recent shows...it's nice to be able to see the pieces on actual walls. There's also a glimpse of a few of her works on paper, which are also gorgeous.

There's Cool Water on the right!


Fabric Sourcing: Don't Forget About Spoonflower

I'm constantly scouting fabrics and sometimes I forget about off-the-beaten path resources like Spoonflower. I wrote about the wonderful, design-your-own-fabric site a while back and since then I haven't been back for many visits. Well, a lot has changed since then in terms of the sophistication of some of the designs that the Spoonflower community has created. It's similar to Etsy in that it's a very mixed bag, however, there are some amazing colors and patterns and all are available for purchase.

The best part about Spoonflower is that you get to choose a fabric type for any design and the options include quilting weight, organic cotton sateen, organic cotton knit, upholstery-weight twill, linen-cotton canvas, silk crepe de chine, and cotton voile - all are priced between $18-38 per yard so it's pretty affordable. Plus, you can get any amount of yardage including 8" square sample cuts and fat quarters, which is really nice.

I cruised the site and started flagging my my favorite designs, some of which are included below...

Turquoise Dots + Points French Navy
Lantern Poppyseed + Connect The Blocks Fuschia

Zig to Your Zag + White Anemones
Nature's Damask Blue Gray + Doodles

Summer Mums + Square Moldings French Navy
Green Lattice + Bambootoo Cherry Blossom

Sidestep + Poppy
Lampions + Orange Chevron
What do you think of the designs? Many on the site are particularly perfect for nurseries and kids' rooms so be sure to take a look if you're a decorating momma.

Have you ever bought fabric from Spoonflower? If so, how is the quality?


The Art of Serena Mitnik Miller

It's Monday and I'm swamped so I just wanted to quickly share the beautiful artwork of San Francisco-based artist and proprietor of the General StoreSerena Mitnik Miller...

It's nice to take in a dab of art on a hectic Monday, isn't it?


Tech + Art + Decor Updates: Making my Office a Prettier Place to Work

Thanks to my husband's prodding, I finally ditched my old school mouse and keyboard and upgraded to a sleek wireless duo. As an Apple junkie, I got the Bluetooth-enabled Magic Mouse and the Apple Wireless Keyboard. I am thrilled with the performance of both (although I miss having the calculator part of the keyboard) and I'm deliriously happy about the cord-free zone that is my desk. I HATE cords so I'm not sure why it took me so long to make this improvement. I also got rid of our huge tower so I'm solely on a laptop + LED display setup now. Integrating technology with decor can be frustrating, so less is definitely more when it comes to the tech gear! And thank goodness Apple makes such pretty technology :)

Unfortunately I didn't take a shot of the "before" look but hopefully you can appreciate the aesthetic improvement nonetheless...

So now that I've wrangled my tech sitcho, I can move onto the rest of the room. Besides getting a new rug (the black Greek key indoor/outdoor one that I had in here before started to ripple....grrr), I'm thinking of getting tailored skirts made for the desks so that the trestle bases are no longer exposed. Also, at some point in the future, the bookcase will be replaced with a custom credenza that includes tons of storage and cubbies for my dogs' beds :)

Also, I'd like to fill the walls with artwork. All spaces need lots 'o art but I emphatically believe that a creative work environment has to have plenty of it. You can see here that one whole side of the room has no art...very sad. So I went and bought a couple of canvases and am going to attempt to paint something for the space. I used to be an avid painter many moons ago and I really want to get back into it. Nothing like a HUGE blank canvas to get me back in the saddle - yikes. Jazzy is obviously supportive and excited about the possibilities!

If I create an artistic monstrosity, Plan B is to order this amazing piece from Natural Curiosities called Silver Leaf Wave. It's massive (84" x 36") and is framed in acrylic so I'm sure it's stunning in person. Apparently Jazzy is not quite as pumped about this idea. Here's a mock-up of what it would look like in the room (at least partially)...

Have you made any improvements to your workspace lately? It's amazing much impact even the smallest enhancements can have on your working environment. Whether it's a new wireless mouse, a colorful lamp for your desk, or even a fun coaster, it's nice to reward yourself for working hard every once and a while.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Online Resources for Moroccan Goodies

For the past year or two, all things Moroccan have been über popular - vacays to Marrakech, Moorish tunics and jewelry, and of course, Moroccan poufs and lanterns have been all the rage. Normally I tire of trends easily but I'm glad that Moroccan aesthetic has flourished in America and stuck around for a while. Besides the vivid colors and the distinctive style, most Moroccan creations and designs have a rich history behind them and so many are intricately crafted by hand, both attributes that are rare these days. Along with those qualities, I also appreciate how Moroccan style (especially in decor) is both exotic and comfortable at the same time.

A while back I wrote about Moroccan goods purveyors, E Kenoz and Sheherazade, and today I wanted to pass on a few more resources in case you're in the market for some zesty Moroccan accents. I've recently found great stuff at the following sites: Moroccan PrestigeThe Moroccan Room, Just Morocco, and Marrakesh Trading House. I shopped all four stores and these were my favorite finds...
Moorish Brass Mirror - Moroccan Prestige

Zebra Cabinet
Artizana Pouf
Fleur de Lys Tile
Brass Tray Table

I love the idea of hanging one of these huge painted square ceiling panels (shown first below) on the wall to serve as artwork or even as a headboard...
Leather Pouf ($135)

Also, they aren't shown below but I feel like I should mention that the Moroccan Room carries a pretty good selection of rugs including the popular Beni Ourain style.

Some pretty amazing stuff, right? I'm really dying over the headboards and the mosaic fountains! A more feasible purchase would be a set of the bright and cheery tea glasses...I'd probably use them as vases for small flower arrangements. 

Do you like Moroccan decor? Even if you don't love the style, the colors are mesmerizing, aren't they?


Agate on Acrylic

By now we're probably all aware of the rock trend that's been going on in both fashion and decor. Stones seem to be on everything from jewelry to lamps. I'm liking this trend because rocks are geological formations and thus each one is unique. Further, most of the rocks used for aesthetic adornments are sparkly and vividly colored which are ideal qualities for home decor applications. I'm loving the colorful agates that are everywhere at the moment. I especially love seeing them paired with acrylic because agates are somewhat transparent and acrylic lets the light filter through them. So, I've been wanting to get my hands on something that combines the two materials.

On a recent trip to Blue Print I picked up a rich blue agate coaster that looks much like the ones made by RabLabs (and it may very well be from RabLabs). I bought it with the purpose of using it on an acrylic ice bucket that we received as a wedding gift. The bucket is gorgeous on its own, but I thought it would be fun to jazz it up a bit with an agate (I also considered using Malachite stones but thought an agate would be better since it's more transparent). I haven't broken out the glue yet, so tell me what you think of the idea...

Here's the agate...isn't it the prettiest shade of blue?

Topping the ice bucket...

The blue lacquer in the shelves above the bar ties in nicely doesn't it?

And I couldn't resist including a shot of the cutest gift bag EVER...it's a little square :)

So, what do you think...should I add the agate? If I don't I can easily use the pretty little rock as a coaster.


A Wall Full of Pink Art

A wall full of pink art sounds pretty extreme, right? Well, surprisingly I'm kind of loving the idea after playing with it on a board. Lately I've had numerous projects that have required artwork selection so I've been on the hunt for well-priced original work. During my searches, I keep gravitating towards pieces that include the color pink. Maybe it is because I'm looking for a few little girls' rooms or maybe it is because pink is EVERYWHERE lately and I can't get it out of my head.

In any case, I'm determined to incorporate some pink artwork into my own home now. I've been pinning tons of options and have been placing some pieces in mood boards for clients, so I had lots of pink pieces handy in Photoshop and decided to create a whole wall with a pink theme. All of the art below is from Etsy and all are originals except for the vintage Audubon print (which I framed with Larson-Juhl's awesome frame design tool). It's a pretty fun mix, right?

The Blue and Green Trees
Flamingo Audubon Print
Farm Fresh Bouquet
The Pink Elephant
Likid Lebete

Also on the board is another recent obsession, the 108" long John Derian Field Bench with Back, which is made by a fav manufacturer of mine, Cisco Brothers. For years I've lusted after the normal Field Bench and now that it is available with a back I'm completely infatuated with owning one. In the board I paired it with two Casbah side tables from Jayson Home & Garden and two mini crystal lamps from Empiric.

What do you think of the crazy pink wall? Do you like any of the specific pieces?


Ideas for the Guest Room

The turquoise lamp from HomeGoods that I mentioned yesterday got me thinking about how badly that guest room needs some color. For some time now, I've been wanting to use Schumacher's Chiang Mai Dragon fabric in there because it provides such a vibrant palette to work with. I am 100% aware that the fabric is overplayed, however, there really aren't other options that achieve the same effect. It's colorful, bold, and modern...plus it isn't just a floral which makes it more interesting (and younger looking too). Trust me, I sooo wish that a new print that checked all of those boxes would come out!

Anyhow, I originally thought of using the Chiang Mai Mocha colorway but after seeing it in the space, I prefer the Alabaster colorway. My plan would be to have an oversized 12 x 60" bolster made that would sit in front on the monogrammed king shams. I took some photos of the fabric sample ghetto-rigged as a pillow (and removed the normal black/white euro shams) so that you all can get the general idea...

I want to get a real bed and make some other changes with the furniture in the room. I've illustrated my rough plan in the board below. The bed I'm after is Z Gallerie's Rafael bed. I have loved this bed for years! I could also just have a headboard made and save some $$, but I really like the idea of having the full setup so the bedskirt can be omitted.

If I don't find a second gold campaign table, then a pair of nightstands will be needed (the bookcase next to the bed will be moved to the other wall once I sell the tall dresser that's in the room). I like the black striped Wycliff chest from Pier 1, especially since it's are well-priced. For lighting, I wouldn't change much but I'd have to buy a mate for the turquoise lamp that I wrote about yesterday or just get a different pair altogether.

As far as linens go, I would order custom euro shams in a bold color, maybe in turquoise and maybe with a fretwork appliqué pattern like the ones available here. I have a grayish brown jute rug in the room and I plan to attempt to paint it. Thinking of a herringbone pattern like the Calypso rug shown in the board...thoughts? The curtains also need to be lined and trimmed...perhaps with a Greek key tape.

There is a wing chair in the room that I'd like to swathe in Thibaut's Malay Ikat (if the blue works)...but I couldn't find a wing chair on the web for the board so you'll have to use your imagination. Finally, a set of Penguin Classics would add a punch of color to the bookcase in the room.

Here's the real room again, without all of the fab stuff....

And here's the bargain lamp that prompted me into action...

And finally, pretty roses just for the sake of being pretty :)

What do you think of the scheme? Be honest, are you totally over Chiang Mai? I still love it and can't find a decent substitute...it really adds a great does of color and vitality to a room. But if you are over it and know of comparable alternatives, please share!