Archive for August, 2010

Pillow Talk.

I scour the world for assorted style accent pillows. I have my top ten list for go-to-pillow-people, but Etsy has really crept up there as the place to search high and low when it comes to something a little different, a little more colorful, a little more crafted, and a little less expensive. The crafty seamstresses selling their fluffy goods on Etsy use top of the lines fabrics and ornamentation to create cushions for even the most discriminating decorator. I’d like to share with my DCDesignCoop fans my latest top three cushion crafters from Etsy (more to come).

HellKatDesign is located in Wilshire England, but the international shipping is way worth it when you see what this designer does with muted colors, raw linen, and a little Union Jack!

Cotton linen twill in pale slate blue and dark grey stripes with a Union Jack and Crown inlay., $44

Cotton linen twill in pale slate blue and dark grey stripes with a Union Jack and Crown inlay., $44

Inspired by the countryside and folklore, these leaping hares are playing on a hessian rustic ochre background with an applique on back., $56

Inspired by the countryside and folklore, these leaping hares are playing on a hessian rustic ochre background with an applique on back., $56

Embrace your nautical side with this cream cotton twill linen bolster emblazoned with a duck blue egg wreath and red crown., $44

Embrace your nautical side with this cream cotton twill linen bolster emblazoned with a duck blue egg wreath and red crown., $44

Off to shop Woody Liana and the assortment of private-labeled, hi-end textiles, natural fibers, and one-of-a-kind pieces.

Tom Filicia's "City Square" printed medium wight linen has griege interlocking squares and a cream heavy linen back., $80

Tom Filicia's "City Square" printed medium wight linen has griege interlocking squares and a cream heavy linen back., $80

This pillow is adorable in the "Hot House Flowers" linen printed fabric from Celerie Kemble's Collection for F.Schumacher., $90

This pillow is adorable in the "Hot House Flowers" linen printed fabric from Celerie Kemble's Collection for F.Schumacher., $90

The linen and cotton blend fabric features a geometric design of interwining circles edged with chain stitch embroidery., $120

The linen and cotton blend fabric features a geometric design of intertwining circles edged with chain stitch embroidery., $120

I purchased an ikat design silk pillow cover from BeStillShop last year. It arrived beautifully sewn and came with a sturdy zipper and cute thank you card. I love this shop.

The khaki pebble beach fabric is a rayon, silk and poly blend with a stippled effect., $50

The khaki pebble beach fabric is a rayon, silk and poly blend with a stippled effect., $50

This large blue ikat silk pillow cover is the star of the show at 22" square., $60

This large blue ikat silk pillow cover is the star of the show at 22" square., $60

Cobolt blue linen is overprinted with an opaque silver, hexagonal grid pattern for a modern look., $

Cobolt blue linen is overprinted with an opaque silver, hexagonal grid pattern for a modern look., $40

Sometimes we need a little freshy in our lives, so head to the shop by Freshline. The 8″ x 8″ monogrammed pillow is whimsically illustrated to bring a smile to someone’s face. I personally love the ‘M’. Best initial in the alphabet!

This custom monogrammed tiny pillow is adorned with multi-color coral and seahorses and a white chenille backside.

This custom monogrammed tiny pillow is adorned with multi-color coral and seahorses and a white chenille backside., $25

Some Rules are Meant to be Broken.

Thank you House Beautiful for your Designer Tip of 10 Decorating Rules to Break. I’ve certainly have had my own share of rule breaking when it comes to interior and exterior design. And I’m glad to see I’m not the only one on the wild side! Ready to break some more?

Old Rule #1: Use Only One Type of wood in a room. I’m not a matchy matchy kind of gal. Mixing woods can make a room so much more interesting and dynamic!

Eclectic and deeply lacquered library designed by Miles Redd.

Eclectic and deeply lacquered library designed by Miles Redd.

Old Rule #2: The Most Important Piece of Furniture is the Sofa. So wrong! I’m going to go out on a limb and say that for me, it’s the way the room comes together and serves it’s purpose, beautifully. Some living rooms can go without a sofa – my sister-in-law prescribes to that rule with the use of four comfy lounge chair encircling a center table. The room called for this type of treatment. Head to the family room for some lounging time.

Designer Dan Marty feel the same way - love this cozy room with no sofa!

Designer Dan Marty feel the same way - love this cozy room with no sofa!

Old Rule #3: Play it Safe in Small Spaces. Sometimes big is better. Believe it or not. I think an oversize pattern in a cozy dining room or powder room can really make the space sing. On occasion a small and uninteresting room can be made more exciting with the addition of a large-scale treatment.

Designer Victoria Neale agrees that a bold print can make a smaller, less-used room and exciting space to spend time.

Designer Victoria Neale agrees that a bold print can make a smaller, less-used room and exciting space to spend time.

Old Rule #4: Every Room Needs a Rug. Not every bare floor or newly finished wide wood plank floor needs to wear a hat. Uncover these rooms if you like and leave the rug to the bedroom where bare feet really appreciate the softer feeling. Removing a rug from a kitchen or dining room and can open up the space and keep it cleaner in the long run.

"Bare wood and stone floors can be just as beautiful," says designer Eric Cohler.

"Bare wood and stone floors can be just as beautiful," says designer Eric Cohler.

Old Rule #5: Furniture Styles Should Match. Who told you that? Not Mr. Wolfe! Like Vicente, I lean towards layering of textures, colors, styles rather than stick with a single one digit. Add some decorative lighting and accessories to dress up the various styles and voila… instant interest!

With layering, decor choices will have a much longer life," says designer Vicente Wolf.

"With layering, decor choices will have a much longer life," says designer Vicente Wolf.

Old Rule #6: Always Put a Coffee Table in Front of the Sofa. I think we can all agree that sometimes, a single table just does not cut it. We might be crowded in this house and need a bit more maneuverability. Pull up an ottman topped with a lacquer tray, spread out a few nesting tables with various heights, or even scatter some small stools.

Vicente Wolf knows where a coffee table goes in this home.

Vicente Wolf knows where a coffee table goes in this home.

Old Rule #7: Vintage Pieces are Best Left “As Is”. Whoever invented paint is a genius. Thank you Thank you Thank you. With anything old and maybe a bit beaten down, a good shellac in any color will work wonders for updating your room and adding life to you loveliest pieces.

This bed went from blah and brown to bravo and black.

This bed went from blah and brown to bravo and black.

Old Rule #8: For a Small Bedroom, Use Small Furniture. This is no doll house. Small scale anything can make a smaller room seem like a Barbie retreat. Adding height and width to a cozy quarter will feed your room like a plant – grow grow grow! Now it’s not so small is it?

I've always loved this image of designer Melissa Warner's own West Hollywood bedroom

I've always loved this image of designer Melissa Warner's own West Hollywood bedroom

Old Rule #9: Dining Chairs Should be a Part of a Matching Set. Whether it be a round or rectangle, a dining table could more than one style of chair. Make sure they have the same proportions and maybe the same style, wood, leather or metal to keep things cohesive. But just as you imagine tall backed chairs flanking the ends of medieval dining tables, here to can we mix-it-up a bit with introducing a bench, accent chair or upholstered arm-chair to the dining equation.

This Saarinen base rectangle table has room to grow with the varied seating by designer Vicente Wolf.

This Saarinen base rectangle table has room to grow with the varied seating by designer Vicente Wolf.

Old Rule #10: Children’s Art is for the Fridge. You might have a resident artist in the house. So flaunt his/her skills! The mere abstract nature of a child’s painting or drawing can be that one accent you’ve needed in the dining room or even above the master bed. The colors and brushstrokes of a child can make the most boring of rooms the new favorite spot in the house.

"Display drawings ina colorful frame or white frame with mat. They are full of spirit and meaningful", says Eric Cohler.

"Display drawings in a colorful frame or white frame with mat. They are full of spirit and meaningful", says Eric Cohler.

Add Value To Your Home in Eight Days.

Labor Day is only eight days away, and for many homeowners, this symbolizes a new season of less free time and an increased busy schedule. Tackle some projects before the change of pace arrives. Kiplinger.com wants us to know about eight home improvements that add value – all can be  finished by Labor Day, each costs less than $1,000, and most require less than a day’s work.

  1. Replace Sinks & Faucets
  2. Add a New Backsplash
  3. Update Vanity Cabinets and Toilets
  4. Paint Paint Paint
  5. Install Crown Moulding
  6. Improve Storage and Organization
  7. Replace the Front Door
  8. Landscaping

Go here to read about these projects further. Grab your tool belt and get going! And have fun!

The Hunt Goes Outdoors with Holly.

I’m really like Holly Hunt’s outdoor furniture collections. My vendor list for outdoor accessories and furnishings seems to grow and grow each season with the addition of new and high quality outdoor and casual indoor furniture lines. Holly Hunt’s teak and powder-coated metal pieces have a tailored and fresh contemporary palette and are hand-crafted to last a lifetime. Open the windows and doors wide and see for yourself… for years to come.

Banyan Sofa

Banyan Sofa

Boardwalk Stone Side Table

Boardwalk Stone Side Table

St. Croix Chaise

St. Croix Chaise

Andros Barstool

Andros Barstool

St. Barts Alta Dining Table

St. Barts Alta Dining Table

St Croix Armless Lounge Chair

St Croix Armless Lounge Chair

St. Croix Round Dining Table

St. Croix Round Dining Table

St. Croix Dining Arm Chair

St. Croix Dining Arm Chair

No More Chomping, Gulping, Bloating.

At least I hope. I just received Alpha’s new food bowl from Doctors Fosters and Smith. It’s a pewter and ivory stoneware bowl molded into a shape that is supposed to curb the fast intake of kibble during feeding time. I typically feed her a good heaping 1 Cup scoop of Royal Canin for German Shepherd twice daily. This is a pic with the whole serving. I’ll let you know how it goes at dinner time. I’ll do anything to keep her from any avoidable emergency situations – like canine Bloat.

dog food bowl stoneware

A Few FanTastic Ways to Cool Down.

A small electric oscillating fan has been pumping my bedroom at night with a cool breeze ever since the Washington, DC temperatures soared past 90 degrees. It’s a simple fan really – cost no more then $10 – but it sure produces some loud ‘white noise’ and could use a makeover. I want to upgrade. Now. And any of these suitors would do.

A little Wall-E looking but I like the small size and combo of heat and cool breeze. | Momastore.org

A little Wall-E looking but I like the small size and combo of heat and cool breeze., $99 | Momastore.org

This cast aluminum desktop fan has a virtually silent motor and rubber blades allowing it a guard-less design., $139 | Black + Blum

This cast aluminum desktop fan has a virtually silent motor and rubber blades allowing it a guard-less design., $139 | Black + Blum

This man is a genius. Air is drawn in through the bottom and streamed out through the ring for bufferless sound and precise air flow., 10-inch- $239 | Bed Bath & Beyond

This man is a genius. Air is drawn in through the bottom and streamed out through the ring for bufferless sound and precise air flow., 10-inch- $239 | Bed Bath & Beyond

It's a common table top fan, but the Vornado continues to win over consumers with it's vortex air movement and silent operation., $45 | Capitol Supply

It's a common table top fan, but the Vornado continues to win over consumers with it's vortex air movement and silent operation., $45 | Capitol Supply

Grand Finale Sale at Grandinroad!

Wire confections for outdoor furnishings have always been on my Top Ten list. I think it’s the nostalgic material, sculptural beauty and colorful powder-coated finish that makes them most attractive. The Cecelia Collection, a contemporary nod to the 1950’s style wire furniture, is on sale at GrandinRoad and would be oh-so-cute on an urban balcony or nestled among planted palm near the pool (think Miami beach here girls and guys). There are three colors to choose from! The $199 table includes the sculpted base and tempered glass top. And for only $119, you’ve got yourself a seat to sit in (add the outdoor seat cushions for just $19 more).

Cecelia Chair, $119 plus $19 for cushion | Grandinroad.com

Outdoor Cecelia Chair, $119 plus $19 for cushion | Grandinroad.com

Outdoor Cecelia Table, $199 | Grandinroad.com

Outdoor Cecelia Table, $199 | Grandinroad.com

People, you know this deal is not going to last. I know the stock sure won’t. Get on the wire. Fast!


Just a Thought.

"A person should design the way he makes a living, around how he wishes to make a life" — Charlie Byrd

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,957 other followers

Need professional decorating help? Click on the MBD icon below.

Megan Blake Design
Facebook
Twitter

My Tweets.

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Top Clicks

  • None