Monthly Archives

August 2006

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Decorate on the Cheap with Everyday Items

August 9, 2006

Decorate on the Cheap with Everyday Items
For a moment, let’s pretend that you can’t spend a dime between now and your next payday, two weeks away. You are absolutely dying to add a few new touches to your space, to breathe a fresh breathe of air to your decor, but your hands are tied.

Wait. Are they really?

Why not think about what you already own and get creative. Challenge yourself to look at what you have differently. There are so many things in your space that you can use right now that will look brand new to you if used in a different way. Invite a few girlfriends over for takeout and ask them to walk your apartment with you, extracting things they see that they think would look more interesting if presented in a different way (or room). Most friends are happy to give suggestions, and sometimes their suggestions give you a new take on what you own. Recently I had a friend comment on some roosters I have in carved wood, they are French Farmhouse style (a style I once used a few years back) in red, cream, and black. The second she spotted them in my storage area, she grabbed one and commented enthusiastically, “If you don’t want these roosters, hand them over! I would love to spray paint them solid red or white and use them to support my cookbooks in my kitchen!”. I stood there with my jaw dropping slightly. This is coming from a very successful artist/fashion designer. What a cool idea. One I’d never in a million years would have thought of. Which leads me back to the point, others see things through their own creative lens, so give your girlfriends a go and have them over.

I recently rearranged some shelves in my bedroom, swapping objects from other rooms. The result? I feel more at peace and very content with the new arrangment, and the urge to shop for something new faded very fast by a simple rearrange. If you haven’t a creative bone in your body, grab magazines and copy their styling tricks. That’s actually how I learned how to style bookcases, I had the most difficult time making books on a shelf look interesting in my clients home. I could style anything, but books on a shelf, forget it, I was stumped. Magazines, coupled with my own innate sense of what looks right (or not), helped me learn how to style better in the beginning. Of course, after a few times you’ll be a pro at it and actually enjoy it as much as I do.

If you’re looking for cheap decorating tips for everyday items, visit Real Simple online because they have 11 helpful suggestions that prove handy for us all.

Of course, let me know if you have any tricks up your sleeve, too. We’d love to know how you save money without sacrificing style!

(images from real simple)

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Citizen Citizen Felt Rug

August 9, 2006

Citizen Citizen Felt Rug
These felt rugs, both pure wool with rubber backing, will totally pimp your crib. We’re talkin’ rock star fabulous here. Hey, they may be $1,950 (sheesh), but they are quite original… I like the bold statement that a big black bloom would make in a room, and think it’s fun to see rugs that go a bit wild, venture outside of the ‘norm’ of basic shapes (circle, square, etc.) without getting childish (animal shapes, triangles, stars). I like a rug with a cutout in the center, it doesn’t lay quite so heavy on the floor. Being black, it would almost sink the room otherwise or look like a big ink spot. It’s perky, for black, due to the unusual cut.

But back to price, since they’re wool felt, why are these things so expensive? Okay, they’re chic and in vogue and on-trend and all of that, and I’m sure the machine they are using to produce it, must have been pretty expensive (I’m sure they had custom templates made). Despite all of that, we’re still talking nearly two thousand dollars. This is something my friends and I chat about all the time, pricing, what drives the market and why, how do you set your price? Chanel, Dior, Louis, we can somewhat get it… But if you’re not a mega brand, won’t you exclude a huge chunk of the market if you go to customers with very high prices? Anyone care to discuss this?

But I’m still a big fan of this rug.

(images from citizen citizen)

Events + Markets, Objects, Shopping + Products, Travel

Zia Priven – New Lighting!

August 9, 2006

Marcia from Zia Priven wanted decor8 readers to catch a glimpse of their new lighting collection, scheduled to debut at the New York International Gift Fair.

Zia Priven - New Lighting!
The moment I laid eyes on the Giacamo Driftwood table lamp ($595, shown above) in all its 34″(h) of radiant glory, I loved it. It could be my southern upbringing on the beach, but this lamp speaks to me… Cut driftwood arranged on a curvy sensual base, well it takes driftwood to a whole different level for me. It’s organic, tactile, clean, modern, timeless. I can imagine owning the Giacamo and in 20 years, still keeping it on proud display in my living room. The base is driftwood with polished nickel accents and topped with a white linen shade.

The next new beauty is the Hicks Hex Pendant ($325), an addition to their Wallpaper Collection. The pendant is made from Cole and Son (UK manufacturer of high quality wallpaper since 1875!) Hick’s Hexagon Wallpaper in Black and Gold for a strikingly classy look. Old Hollywood glam, don’t you think?

Zia Priven - New Lighting!
In total, Zia Priven will debut 8 pendant styles, 3 new designs, 5 tried and true, also to include the Empire Pendant ($485), a reintroduction, one of their most popular. Italian glass and a polished nickel brass finial, with fabric shades to die for; natural raw silk, buttercream silk dupioni, orange silk dupioni, and ivory silk pongee.

Zia Priven - New Lighting!If you’d like to see these designs up close and person, visit Zia Priven at the NY International Gift Fair, August 12-17 Pier 94, At Home, Space 45031. There, you can also enjoy a few other new additions to their stunning collection, Isabella Table Lamp, Tapered Audrey Pendant, and the Melrose Table Lamp (shown below). All of these styles are part of the ZP Studio collection, most taking only 3-4 weeks for delivery.

Zia Priven - New Lighting!
Want to learn more about ZP? Click here for an interview I had with Marcia in June.

Thanks, Marcia + Paul!

(images from zia priven)

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Turtle Papers

August 9, 2006

Turtle Papers
Jennifer from Turtle Papers asked me to spread the word about her two new card designs, each comes in a set of 6 for $8.95 with coordinating envelopes. Since we’re a big fan of Turtle, how can we tell a girl no? Her cards are all so sweet… You simply must check them out!

(images from turtle papers)

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Generate

August 9, 2006

Generate
Have you been introduced yet to Generate in Montreal? Very unusual and quirky finds, heavy on the contemporary side, some very pricey, but overall it’s a clean easy to navigate website with solid products that deliver exceptional style and range, plus most of what I spotted was completely functional and totally on-trend. Looking for a white rubber chandelier by Tobias Wong? It’s yours for a mere $4,500.00. Love clever door mats? How about a little bunny or a hippo underfoot for $59?

p.s. I’m on my way out for the day, so I’ll post a few quick finds and then head off.

(images from generate)

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coffee + cre8tive {aug 9 ’06}

August 9, 2006

coffee + cre8tive {aug 9 '06}
I’ve been hooked on web videos lately. It all started while reading dooce last week and clicking around on her links, where I found this gem: Crazy Horses by The Osmonds on YouTube. Heather sums it up nicely, “Mormons singing metal. I’ve always said that if the Lord had a choice HE WOULD ROCK IT THIS HARD.” The video is honestly so funny that you’d think it was a joke, but surprise, it’s not. It was actually cool to dance that way back in the 70s. Imagine that.

After viewing Crazy Horses, of course I had to spend an hour surfing for other funny videos, because let’s face it, watching people act like fools is quite entertaining when so much around us is quite serious most of the day. After the YouTube comedy hour, I felt the need to ground myself again so I started scouring the web for videos that would actually teach me something (other than how to dance like a snake on crack), and decided that it would be fun to see if any design mags had worthwhile videos on their sites… So I clicked over to Living Etc and found only one, a short snippet of a show. (yeah, looks like they have their own show in the UK… drool.) After visiting Living Etc and coming up somewhat empty handed, I shot over to Real Simple, Cottage Living, and a few other magazine sites and well, nada. I’m hoping that this changes, especially since they have the ability to pull together interesting videos showcasing talented professionals at work.

Of course, Martha Stewarthas a ton of videos on her site, although you do have to suffer through 30 seconds of initial advertising. I don’t care though, Martha always has the best tips. No matter how people diss her, she will always be the pioneer of the “you should care about your home as much as your wardrobe” movement. I remember years ago, shelter mags for the under 35 crowd didn’t exist. Young people weren’t ‘designing’ their dorms. Newlyweds weren’t hiring interior stylists. Throw us a mass produced sofa that also reclines, and most home owners were thrilled. We didn’t stress over paint color like it’s going to alter the future of life as we know it. Martha shows us that being a domestic goddess is very hip, knowing 1,000 uses for a q-tip really matters, and that knowing how to cook a mean pot roast or crochet a scarf doesn’t categorize you as some dumpy bored housewife who is selling out. It makes you look like you have your act together. You have a career and a clean toilet, well fed children, and iron a shirt in 3.2 seconds flat. You’re the queen diva. We have Martha to thank for that.

I don’t know though, but it seems like videos have potential of becoming the new ‘it’ thing for online mags and bloggers, and I hope so… I’d love to have an opportunity to plug in to it all this from anywhere in the world, just as we can with blogs (and why blogs are so appealing). I think clips showing viewers how trend setters pull together a story, scout for the seasons latest trends, decorate a room on a budget, tour us of a designers workspace, etc. are really helpful. I don’t always have time to sit down and watch an hour long program about design (especially since it’s really only a 40 minute program with all the commercial breaks), but I do have time for 10 minutes on the web. I’d love to see designer interviews conducted this way as well. A written interview is great, as is a podcast, but a video would be most clever, especially if the interview takes place in the designers living room or work space, so you could get a glimpse of their personal life. I could flip open my laptop anywhere in the world and watch it, gather some friends around my monitor, and viola! something we can all tune into and enjoy together.

If you have a few design related videos that you’d like to suggest, you know, to further suck up quality time, please do bring it! :) Has anyone ever watched treehugger TV? I have to set aside some time to check that out.

[UPDATE: I did a little Martha googling – is it REALLY true that she just celebrated her 65th birthday? I read somewhere that she was born Martha Helen Kostyra on August 3, 1941 in New Jersey. If this is the case, all I can say is, what a lady! 65? I would have guessed her around Oprah’s age…sheesh.]

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