Monday, May 31, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
VIVRE. If I were going to break into a warehouse (notice to the FBI and your humorless redactions: this is hypothetical) it would be the Vivre storehouses, which I imagine are rather something like the underground chamber in the movie National Treasure. After slipping past the wobbly bridge and flaming torches (which have been somehow magically burning for 100 years, just like in the movies), we'd find vast piles of Christofle sterling, Lalique vases, Hermes pillows, and Mesi Jilly jewelry. Or, you can just pony up with your American Express at Vivre.com and get the same goodies right now, sans sand and booby traps.
FAVORITES include this Marie Christophe chair, originally designed for Roger Vivier's show windows to display a new bag for Carla Bruni (how's that for pedigree?), loads of coral jewelry, and gold zebra bowls by Waylande Gregory Studios. And if you can't quite spring for Vivre prices? Go ahead and dream - the unexpected is inspiring.
ANTHROPOLOGIE. Anthropologie is the "all things to all people" of interior design, embracing everything from mid-century modern to eighteenth century French in one gasp. Quirky and unique, their stores are staged in venues that show off the wares in unexpected ways: beds with canopies of newspaper, knobs resting on piles of pebbles, necklaces held to cardboard displays with stick pins. They've endeared themselves to countless customers who rely on their unreliable style, and guaranteed that, whatever your taste, you'll find something to love.
FAVORITES are the hardware and kitchen items, which bring the element of the unexpected into mundane daily chores. Open your bathroom cabinets by pulling on a bronze hermit crab knob, or measure sugar for the morning cup of joe with seashells.
IOMOI. If a pattern maker and a monogram machine got married, they'd have Iomoi. Everything in the store is just waiting for a personal touch - monogrammed bags, match boxes, trays, stationary, and plates - and the patterns are as unique as your initials. Camels, monkeys, elephants, pagodas, tassels, and airplanes rendered in brilliant colors and smart styles cover every surface. The trouble with this store is decision-making; I'm almost paralyzed by the wonderful choices.
FAVORITES include home entertaining items like lucite-rimmed trays, matchboxes, and ice buckets. Your guests will never have seen anything like them!
WEST ELM. I've always loved West Elm, although to my surprise, when I looked about for my WE acquisitions, it was hard to tell. This store slipped onto the "unique" list because my favorite West Elm features are the soothing, neutral palette and trim graphic patterns - just what you need to showcase special finds. Their furniture is well-made, and lighter of heart (and weight) than most stores in the same price range; they avoid the mis-measurement issues of home stores such as Pottery Barn. With it's whale-size sofas and court-side coffee tables, PB seems to be laboring under the impression that it is decorating an actual barn.
FAVORITES on my list include the overlapping squares pattern (available in chairs, headboards, and daybeds), and the lacquer parsons pieces, which look smashing with a variety of decor styles.
TARGET. Target's offerings are as many-layered as the rings in its ubiquitous bullseye: where else are classic British prints (Liberty of London), lime-green mixers (KitchenAid), and bamboo handled brushes (Sonia Kashuk) going to co-exist under one roof? And all for a low, low price? Target's designer collaborations are proof that the only thing standing between a little money and a lot of taste is a touch of creativity.
FAVORITES: my Target acquisitions are generally of the unplanned, guilt-free variety. While you may not be passing your purchases on to the next generation (although, I would argue a few designer collaborations are so worthy), this is the place to shop for seasonal decor, such as beach and holidays, or accent pieces like trays, vases, and tableware. My motto for visiting Target is the same for visiting the pool: always do a lap. You never know what you'll find on the next aisle!
(KitchenAid mixer, Thomas O'Brien tray, Miss Trish of Capri sandals, Dwell Studio bedding, Liberty of London plate, Sonia Kashuk brush.)
I hope you found some new treasure here to inspire you - or were reminded of some special possession that brightens up your home. A big thank you to Averill for letting me participate in this very special series! It's a delight and an honor to be on Odi et Amo.
xoxo, Sanity FairNext Week's Guest Blogger: Laura from JourneyChic.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Janell from Isabella & Max
Another cost-effective solution is to purchase a bunch of inexpensive road maps and collage them onto the wall as Steven Gambrel did in this pretty bedroom. I'd probably put a coat or two of polyurethane on the walls just to make this treatment a bit more family-friendly (think of it like decoupage for your walls). Lulu dk's catwalk fabric in ocean on the chair and roman shades is a great touch and really brings home the nautical theme without feeling too literal.
I'm always drawn to wall-t0-wall art installations, especially when they're done symmetrically in matching frames (yes, I'm pretty type-A). Note too how Donovan went all the way to the floor instead of stopping just above the back of the couch. This creates a more casual, layered effect in the room. The neutral tones in the maps keep the wall from reading as too busy and really set off the pops of red and blue in the fabrics. The 12 smaller maps in lieu of one large one is probably also more cost-effective as maps, like any art, tend to increase in price as you increase the size.
I'm not generally a fan of the stripped-down, limed wood look that's been so popular recently, but in a casual beach bungalow, the look feels more authentic and more appropriate than it does in, say, a brand new loft. This vignette is also a great picture to study if you're trying to decorate a foyer. Note how the map is almost the same size as the cabinet. It's important not to go larger than the table that's anchoring a piece or too much smaller (I hate undersized art). The casual display of flowers, votives, pictures and spare, modern lamp has a great, unstudied look without feeling too cluttered.
I think about 75% of these images I've pulled are from beach houses and coastal cottages -- but don't think you have to limit maps to second homes or to the beach. I think maps work equally well in a city setting, as Thomas O'Brien shows in his own Manhattan living room, where he displays a large celestial map over his desk. Of course the striking black and white of a celestial map lends itself to more sophisticated settings and is the perfect way to bring some of O'Brien's vintage modern style to your home.
Here's another great example of maps working beautifully in a more modern, loft interior. Old city maps (I believe this one is of Paris) are a great, urbane take on this trend. I also love those cozy-looking brown leather chairs and vintage floor lamp; this looks like the perfect place to curl up with a good book and a glass of wine.
Yet another great kid's room decked out in maps. The soft colors here are very soothing, but the black accents bring some sophistication and crispness to the room that's very appealing to me. I also love the vintage letters adorning the drawers under the bed.
While I'm out of town, I thought I'd keep this travel theme going a bit by asking several of my favorite bloggers to guest blog about their favorite vacation homes (real or imagined) around the country. And, of course, when I get back I plan on sharing plenty of pictures and hopefully a few good stories of our time in the United Kingdom. Until then, I promise I'm leaving you in the very best of hands. I can't wait to catch up with everyone when I get back!
Monday, May 24, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010