Saturday, January 28, 2012

Good Idea: Champagne Cork Memento Ornaments

Usually when champagne is involved, something is being celebrated.  After the New Year, Martha Stewart's The Crafts Department showed us a neat way to make use of those wire cages that go around the cork (found via Apartment Therapy).  I thought I'd share something I've been doing for a few years that makes use of the corks.  By turning them into little ornaments using string and hanging screws and marking the occasion that warranted the opening of the bottle, you can reminisce about your past accomplishments and celebrations each year as you take them out for the holidays.  It's along the same lines as Martha's craft, but involves much less effort.  Easy enough to do with a post NYE hangover.

Rocking Chair Reupholstering

A few shots of the rocking chair my mother and I reupholstered over Christmas.  The lovely fabric is Chevron in yellow orange by C'est La Viv, purchased on Spoonflower

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Instant Attraction: Jessica Helgerson

I love, love, love this attic bedroom by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design.  It's the perfect secret hideaway: rather spare and basic, but with plenty of little comforts like the giant beanbag chair, bookshelves, and shaggy handmade rug.  The bed being low to the floor makes it feel like a permanent sleepover, and the chandelier keeps the interior from feeling too camp-like.

Photo from  Project: Glamorous Four Square.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Sourcing: Charley's Navajo Rugs

While researching for a project I found this great website, Charley's Navajo Rugs, which has a good selection of "authentic, one-of-a-kind Native American Indian Navajo rug weavings."  These rugs, saddle blankets and other assorted weavings would make gorgeous wall hangings.  I'm saving my pennies for one!

Above: Navajo Double Saddle Blanket, circa 1940
Below, right: Germantown Table Runner Navajo Weaving, circa 1900

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Deborah Needleman: The Perfectly Imperfect Home

Amen, Billy Baldwin.  An image from Deborah Needleman's book, The Perfectly Imperfect Home: How to Decorate and Live Well. Image from  

Today I found out about about a talk that will be given by Deborah Needleman (former editor-in-chief of Domino magazine) on February 2nd at ABC Carpet and Home.  Naturally I decided to attend, and then I started reading up on her and saw that she put out a book last October called The Perfectly Imperfect Home: How to Decorate and Live Well.  The title really struck a chord with me - I always judge interiors by my initial gut reaction, and the thing that affects that reaction most is whether the room or home is inviting or not.  Do I want to go plop down on that deep, cushy sofa that actually looks like people have sat on it before, or is the room barren and stark white with little soft material to provide comfort?  Does the room tell me anything about the people who live there, or were things just chosen and put into place because they "look good"?

As I was looking around, I found an article that Needleman wrote in WSJ in conjunction with the release of her book (it's actually excerpted from the book) in which she lists "10 Odd, Yet Essential, Elements of Style."  I agree with her on all ten of these essentials - as I was reading along I found myself mentally checking off all of the ones that are in place in our apartment.

See her list and snapshots of my home's embodiment of these elements after the jump.  How does your place stack up?  Do you agree with Deborah's elements?

Read on after the jump...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sourcing: candy-like doorknobs

These gem-like doorknobs look like candy to me.  Available from  From left to right: kunzite, citrine, smoky quartz.

Sourcing: Fired Earth tiles

These beautiful accent tiles from Fired Earth harken back to my love of scientific illustration.
Clockwise from top left:  Natural History Leaf Design 6, Soho Garden Butterfly, Natural History Leaf Design 17, Natural History Dragonfly21

All images from

Sourcing: Poula console by William Yeoward

The Poula console table by William Yeoward is to die for!!!  I absolutely love the graphic hexagonal base.

Photography by Katya de Grunwald.  Styling by Amanda Koster.  Image scanned from Living Etc January 2012.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Color files: gray and gold

When I turned the page and saw that gold sofa popping against that frosty silver/gray interior, it sang to me!  While I feel that the interior overall is a bit cold and uninviting, the color combination really pulls me in.  The gold accents on the bar and chandelier and the gorgeous painting on the mantel are like pops of color in a black and white world.  It reminds me of vintage hand tinted photography, like this:

Sourcing: lighting roundup

Three light reflecting sconces.  Left to right:
   Shell candle wall sconce by Rockett St. George.  Photo from
   Ous hanging candleholder by Ayush Kaliwal for CB2.  Photo from
   Faceted mirror sconce by West Elm.  Photo from

Heracleum chandelier by Moooi.  Typically I'm not a fan of LEDs, but this fixture softens the edge a bit.  I like how they've included the modern fixture in this romantic bedroom scene.  Photos at left from  Photo at right by Katya de Grunwald.  Styling by Amanda Koster.  Image scanned from Living Etc. January 2012.

Spar floor light.  Jamie Mclellan for Resident.  I love that the cord in this cantilevered lamp plays more than just the role of providing electrical current.  It also supports the lamp as well as provides a decorative element.  Photo from

Sourcing: Conran for Ercol sideboard

I love the unfinished, handcrafted, hardware free look of the Barton sideboard by Terence Conran for Ercol.  Photo from

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sourcing: West Elm roundup

I really love the West Elm's aesthetic of clean, fresh, classic lines combined with lots of natural materials.  Here's a roundup of a few of my favorite things from their latest catalog.

Rustic chairs and glass jar pendant lights.  So much beauty in the simplicity of that chair.

Wood tiled 3-drawer dresser.  The wood tiles on the front remind me of bone.  I love the pairing of the intricate wood tiling detail with a simple shape, hardware, and frame.

Floating wood floor mirror.  I love the reveal between the edge of the mirror and the wood frame.  Such a refreshing change from a regular old framed mirror.

Y-base coffee table.  Again, simple, clean lines and beautiful materials.  Marble is one of those materials that has the potential to look very tacky and overly extravagant.  Cut with a simple flat edge and paired with this simple raw steel base, it looks understated and classic, and could fit into a wide variety of decorating schemes.

Large curved basket.  Ohmygod I luuurve a chunky, well-made basket.  I love the curve to this one.  It would be great holding firewood, blankets, kids' toys, loads of flowers...just about anything.

Instant Attraction: warm, glowy and nubby

This scene is from the most recent CB2 catalog.  It's definitely a lot warmer than most of the other pages of this modern furniture catalog.  Okay, so you wouldn't exactly implement this in a home - the low hanging lights aren't very practical and those seats, to me, just don't look to inviting.  But the mix of colors and textures is divine - definitely something that would work well in a real interior.  Contrasted against the dark background the soft, nubby textures of the rug and the pouf and the warm tones of the buttery looking leather, wood tabletops, and Edison bulbs are extra inviting.

Photograph scanned from CB2 catalog.

Good idea: Vase display

Flipping through the most recent CB2 and West Elm catalogs, I saw SO MANY beautiful vases.  In a perfect world I'd be able to collect them all and display them in all their glory like this lucky woman, Nikki Tibbles.  Her home was featured in the January 2011 issue of Living Etc.  The feature included the below shot of the living room, where she displays her collection of vases and glassware.  I love the idea of the object that is typically used to display something (flowers) becoming the object on display.  It's a trend I've also seen happening with frames.  Some of my favorite vases after the jump.

Photo scanned from Living Etc. January 2012.  Photography by James Merrell.

Photos of my favorite vases after the jump...