Tie Dye Trend

Have you been noticing that tie-dye or dip-dyed textiles are everywhere right now? Although I'm not a huge fan, I think the emergence of these unpredictable, relaxed patterns is a refreshing addition to the bohemian style set. In some cases, it could even be used as an alternative to ikat, which is nice. Here's a sampling of examples I've recently spotted...

1) Shibori Squares Silk Pillow - ABC Home - $245
2) Ombre Dye Rug - West Elm - $110-720
3) Tie Dye Chair - Etsy - $425
4) Kiki 100% linen fabric - Clarence House
5) Kevin O'Brien Merino Shibori Throw - Viva Terra - $495
6) Shibori Pillow - ABC Home - $64

7) Tie Dye Pillow - Etsy - $64
8) Kevin O'Brien Linen Shibori Pillow - Viva Terra - $135

9) Cashmere Tie-Dye Throws - ABC Home - $495
10) Tie Dye Placemats - Jayson Home - $20

What do you think of the trend? I'm intrigued, probably because I like free-form patterns and abstract art. I'm not, however, overflowing with ideas on how and where to use the textiles. They definitely create a specific look and to me, it's important to use them sparingly and to juxtapose a dip- or tie-dyed item against more geometric or polished things. For instance, I love the rather casual tie-dye fabric on the formal, lacquered chair frame shown above. And I think a shibori pillow or throw would be gorgeous accent on white bedding (Shibori is an ancient Japanese dyeing technique that probably deserves more distinction from the term "tie-dye" than I've given it).

I will say that my absolute favorite thing in the round-up is Clarence House's Kiki fabric...even though it's not technically tie-dye, dip-dye, or Shibori. I seriously want to have some curtain panels made for my house in this!! They would be pretty wild, but super fun. I got to see it in person at the showroom a few weeks ago and it's stunning. My iPhone photo does it no justice but I wanted to show the other colorways...

So...tell me, are you planning to buy some tie-dyed pillows or a throw? Can you imagine these textiles anywhere in your home? What about something like this hand-painted Shibori pillow that's got the lively design but a neutral color palette?


New Collection from Studio Bon

A few weeks ago I got to attend an event at FLOR celebrating pattern and the launch of Studio Bon's new collectionBonnee Sharp, founder of the line, spoke about how and why she started the Dallas-based business, explained the artisan hand-printing process, and talked about how she comes up with the upbeat, graphic patterns that Studio Bon is known and loved for. Besides coming away inspired by Ms. Sharp and all she's created, I came away with some samples of the brand-spankin'-new fabrics. The latest patterns and colors are so fresh and happy so they've stayed on my desk since the night of the party...

Here are the ones I pulled in slightly better light...

You can see the whole collection on the Studio Bon site and if you're lucky enough to have a Schumacher showroom nearby, you can see the fabrics in person there. It's always nice to see the fabrics in action and Studio Bon is great about providing images of furniture and pillows made with their creations. For instance, this pic shows some of the other patterns from the new set, including Stella (top pillow) and Quatrefaux (lower ottoman), which are favorites of mine...

And for the neutral-loving crowd, there are colorways for you too! This is Setareh in Dove...

The new collection is a fab addition to the already amazing lineup that Studio Bon has created. Bonnee and her crew are masterful at creating fresh, modern prints that can come off as fun and sophisticated. Studio Bon fabrics are ideal for a wide range of projects and look good on anything from antique upholstered pieces to baby cribs.  And if it's not in your comfort zone to use dramatic, graphic prints on big items like upholstery or draperies, pillows might be the perfect dose of Studio Bon for you. Here's a shot that shows a mix of pillows in Fuzz, one of their most iconic designs, an upholstered piece in Wired, and Grass on the walls/windows...

And if you need further convincing that SB textiles are majorly versatile, behold this lovely application of Bellows on a custom bench in a bedroom designed by Andrea May...

The memo below is Popover in Moon, which is a crazy-good metallic silver colorway. I pulled it for a project and while it didn't make it into the final plan, I'm trying to figure out a way to use it somewhere else...which might end up being the new master bathroom at Chez Knight :)

Are you as excited about the new collection from Studio Bon as I am? Perhaps I should remind myself that fabric isn't such a thrilling topic for most people! If you're with me, then which prints and colorways are your favorites? Would you use any of the prints in your house? Lots of my clients think most are a little too funky.


Accessories That Work

While I love home accessories, I get a irritated with decor for decor's sake. I'm not a huge nicknack girl and I hate faux fruit/floral and that sort of thing. I prefer that dual-purpose accessories - to me, almost everything should be useful and decorative (and yes, real flowers count as useful)!

If you simply make sure that everything in plain view serves a purpose and aesthetically contributes to the space, then you're on the right track. For instance, if you use matches to light candles all of the time, why not get a snazzy looking pack of matches that not only does its job, but also looks good while it's sitting out?

It's all about upgrading to well-designed items that will get some use and emit style. Thoughtful details - even seemingly insignificant ones like a candy dish - can complete the look of a room, so don't overlook them. To illustrate my point, here are some accessories picks that look cool and serve a purpose:

1) Caldrea Refillable Hand Soap - Grounded - $18
2) Graphic Image Python Photo Album - Barney's - $195
3) Dolomite Alarm Clock - Barn Light Electric - $50
4) Turning Triangles Terrarium - Urban Outfitters - $39
5) Mercer Golden White Tray - Vivre  $290
6) Fallen Birch Branch Votive Set - Terrain - $48
7) Blue Potted Accent Lamp - World Market - $25

Soap: Next to every sink, there should be soap so don't miss out on the opportunity to make a necessity a stylish accessory.

Photo Albums: In the age of digital photos, flipping through a real photo album has become a rare event. In the spirit of nostalgia, print some of your favorite pics to fill a gorgeous album like this python knock-out and keep it on your coffee table.

Clocks: Even though I religiously wear a watch at all times, it's still nice to have clocks around, especially in bedrooms.

Planters: Plants and flowers are the ultimate accessory, but only when they are properly displayed so be sure to complement natural accents with a chic planter, vase, or better yet, a mod terrarium! Orchids and succulents are my faves because they last a long time and require very little maintenance.

Trays: Stacking and grouping objects in a tray is a quick way to make an area look a bit more polished and orderly. Plus the tray makes it easier to move said objects.

Candles: Candles put off good light and good smells and unfortunately, they become necessary during power outages, so sprinkle them around.

Lamps: If you only have one "accessory" in your house, make it a lamp and make a statement with it. It's hard to go wrong with shapely color-saturated lamps.

Boxes: Pretty boxes conceal not-so-pretty things like remotes, phone chargers, business cards, and the like.

Well...what are your thoughts on the matter? Do you like your home accessories to serve a purpose too? Or are you ok with purely decorative accents? I'm not entirely dogmatic about the form-function balance but I don't like too many objets. It's definitely a slippery slope with nicknacks...I'd say one or two per room is a good limit!


Artist Crush: Jeremy Miranda

For some time now, I've been stalking the work of Jeremy Miranda. I follow his blog and regularly visit his Etsy shop - always fighting off the urge to buy and hoard everything he produces. I haven't pulled the trigger yet, but I'm hoping that at least one will be mine at some point in the near future! The problem is that I want one of his larger pieces and they have larger price tags, so I'll just have to be patient.

Simply put, Jeremy Miranda is incredibly gifted. He has a knack for putting his technical dexterity and his seemingly limitless imagination together to create artwork that is engaging, thought-provoking, and beautiful. I am completely captivated by his style and the subject matter he depicts...it's so fresh and unique.  And JM is masterful with color. The palette in each piece articulates a very specific mood and feeling.

I'd describe Miranda's work as mesmerizing in that he creates these dreamy, enchanting scenes. His paintings often show a world that combines realistic and surrealistic elements...and those are some of my favorite pieces because he takes the familiar and alters it so that you see it from an entirely different perspective.

Anyhow, I could keep going with the art babble, but I won't. You need to get on to the good stuff...behold a few selections from Jeremy Miranda's impressive oeuvre:

Night Harvest - included in upcoming group show "Narrative Fragments"  at Quidley & Company in Boston
Library by the Sea, archival print of original painting, available via Etsy

Searching, acrylic on wood panel, sold via Sebastian Foster
Two Chairs, acrylic on paper

we'll have you down sometime, acrylic on canvas

guest house, acrylic on canvas

micro climate, acrylic on panel, 2009

 This is one example from his series of icebergs. In terms of the simple, straightforward subject matter, they are so different from the other work shown in this lineup. I would LOVE to collect these!
Iceberg at Dusk, acrylic on canvas, available via Sebastian Foster

Ladder, acrylic on wood panel, 2012 - sold via Sebastian Foster

Containers, acrylic on wood panel, available through Sebastian Foster

Shipwreck in the Surf, available through Quidley & Co.

Well, what do you think? Any favorite pieces? If you're completely obsessed like I am, you really must check out more of his work on JeremyMiranda.com, his Etsy site (where you can buy affordable prints), and at representing galleries Sebastian Foster and Quidley & Company. Next time I'm in Austin, I'm hoping to pop into Sebastian Foster to see some of the paintings in person.


Pool and Patio Update

As far as our house goes, this has been an eventful year. It was about twelve months ago that my husband and I found out that the pool was cracked beyond repair. We ended up tearing out the old pool and putting in a new one. Pool construction wrapped up in March and then we started on the bathroom remodel after that...and throughout it all, our backyard has been a total mess. Little by little, my husband and I have been trying to put the pieces back together so that we can once again enjoy our outdoor space.

We are finally close to the finish line and I can now give you a glimpse of some of the changes that have been made. For starters, here are a couple of shots of the new pool and patio...

To give you some perspective of the drastic change, here's a pic of the old pool with its tired aggregate deck and odd shape...

And one of the demo process to show the carnage that occurred last fall/winter...

And back to the present! The new pool has Lueders limestone coping, a concrete pool deck with a light acid wash, onyx quartz plaster, and the waterline tile is Noble Cobblestones 1" in the Ocean color.

When designing the new pool, I kept the shape a simple rectangle and only added a hot tub and one "water feature." The feature is a gas firepit that doubles as a waterfall. I'm excited that the weather is getting cooler so that we can sit by the fire out here...

And here's the inset hot tub...which is WAY bigger and better than our old one...

And along with the new pool, we have some snazzy new outdoor furniture, thanks to my uber generous parents. They gave my hubs and I this as a joint birthday gift and we couldn't be more appreciative. It seriously completes the look! Ignore the umbrella though - I haven't gotten that element taken care of yet :)

I chose to have a custom iron set made by a local shop. It was in the same price range as Brown-Jordan or Restoration Hardware, but the lead time was better and I could get the exact design that I wanted. I ordered a huge daybed, a sofa, chaise lounges, dining chairs, and a table base. The table base was part of the set I designed and then I just had a piece of Carrara cut for the top (and like I said before, the old umbrella needs to be replaced so disregard the ugly pole).

Since the table frame is hard to see in the photos, here is one of the drawings I gave to the fabricator...

I had the cushions made locally by Chair Care Patio (LOVE them) using Sunbrella fabrics. For the color scheme, I picked a minty aqua with ivory contrast cording. And to spice things up, I plan to use the below Trina Turk outdoor fabric for some pillows and maybe some placemats. I adore the print and the punch color is fab with the mint/aqua. I'll keep you posted on those finishing touches!

The pool and the furniture are definitely the highlights of our new and improved outdoor space, but the landscaping plays a big part in the new look too, so I'll chat more about that tomorrow. And yes, I'll be back to daily blogging now that my summer hiatus is officially over. I have lots to talk about after being quiet for all of these months so stay tuned!
 Jazzy says hi :)