decor8 reader Raissa sent in a tip about an artist she loves, she thinks you’ll enjoy knowing about her as well. The artist is Canadian Annie Wilkinson. To directly quote from Annie’s bio, “Annie Wilkinson is the youngest of 8 children, the mother of two, up too many times in the middle of the night, in a couple of bands, an illustrator and designer, and like every good Canadian girl, loves to play ice hockey.” Sounds like the ultimate modern mom!
At first glance, I must say I agree with Raissa, Annie is quite a talent. Her work is magical, the colors are captivating, some of the head shapes and neck lengths are quirky but interesting, and I enjoy her range of characters and love the clothes you “dresses” them in (the blue haired girl almost seems to be wearing a Uli dress). You can purchase some of her art over at her etsy store, in case you’d like to get your hands on it for your own home. I know I do! psst: Annie’s got a blog, too. Check it out!
Thanks for the tip, Raissa!
The NY Times recently featured a good article over in their Home section recently, written by Marianne Rohrlich, An Offbeat Symphony in Counterpoint. In it, she discusses the popular yin-yang, masculine-feminine moment occuring on the runways as well as in the home.
?The hard and the ruffly,? said Stephen Sills, the New York decorator, referring to current trends in decorating. ?There?s no middle ground now.?
Michael Kors, fashion designer, whose first home collection was introduced this month, concurred. ?There?s a dichotomy of the classic and the outrageous,? he said, in which ?patterns might seem feminine, but the coloration is masculine. The balance of the two extremes makes everything chic-er.?
Decorating, like fashion, is all about counterpoints. And just as heavy metal and lace are contrasts of the moment in women?s fashion, chiseled bronze and soft colors are the extremes in home furnishings this fall. Crystal chandeliers and beaded floral fabrics are being set off with rusted iron lamps and iron tables. This is not the grab-bag eclecticism of recent years, but a balancing act between two extremes.
(image from NY Times)
Did you notice that Orla Kiely refreshed her site with clothing, handbags, and mugs for Fall/Winter ’06? The update also includes a bit of a site redesign as well, so navigation is a bit easier than before. (The shipping charges to the states though, unfortunately, is still wayyy harsh.) I’m liking the mugs a lot, they come in perky prints and in sets of either 4 or 6. There’s also an option to purchase a 6 pack of mugs with varied designs (vs. just one design). The mugs certainly are charming, but I crave more… I want to see the homewares section expand to include table runners, placemats, aprons, and everything that Orla can possibly print her fabulous designs on. I think placemats using the same laminated cotton canvas as her handbags would be perfect – easy clean up!
I thought I’d include a few fashion favorite shots from her collection, simply because I love how she seamlessly blends in unexpected shots of color to her ensembles; the goldenrod tights in the upper left photo are gorgeous. I also like the less-than-perfect setting, it appears to be a weathered farmhouse that is a bit dated, it really works.
When you look at fashion shots, you may want to study them, all the elements in the photo from the surroundings (buildings, pets, natural elements, other people in the background) to the accessories (jewelry, shoes, handbags, etc.). Notice the colors, fabrics, details (gold buttons for instance), and how things are layered. You can draw much inspiration for good room design from fashion. Pay attention to the foundation color they are using, and how they are building from it. It’s fascinating if you can take a moment to pause and really peer deeply into something that intriques you, versus merely saying “Oh I love it” and running off to the next great thing. Try to investigate why you like it. What the designer is trying to tell you. How they are using the setting to tell a story, perhaps. The hues – how are they working together? What color scheme is being used (pull out your color wheel if you need to)? Asking such questions helps you to better train your eye so that, when you are decorating your own home, you can draw from what you’ve learned thumbing through the pages of magazines (or websites). I like to remove pages from magazines and catalogs and then, paste them into a sketch book. On the left side, I paste the page I am working from. On the right side, all of my notes regarding it. I cannot begin to tell you how these exercises build, not only your appreciation for design, but your own eye for color, texture, layering, etc. Try it. You’ll see.
(images from orla kiely)
Have you heard of Danny Seo? I first saw him in the May issue of Country Home, they featured a huge spread about his amazing eco-friendly lifestyle that he calls “Simply Green”. Why so amazing? See for yourself…
“Born on Earth Day in 1977, Danny has championed on behalf of the natural biodiversity of our planet from a very young age. On his 12th birthday, he founded the organization Earth 2000 with just a few friends and $23. By his 18th birthday, he transformed the grassroots organization into the country’s largest teenage activist charity spearheading worldwide campaigns on behalf of the environment. As an Editor at Large at COUNTRY HOME magazine, through his bestselling books, his how-to lifestyle lectures, weekly Sirius Satellite Radio program and his upcoming companion TV show, 29-year-old Danny Seo encourages America to live a greener lifestyle.”
How’s that for impressive?
In his new book Simply Green Parties, there’s a super easy project on how to transform old or leftover tiles into faux bois coasters. You need: tiles, a wood graining tool (from the paint section of the hardware store), and porcelain glaze paint (craft store has this). As Danny puts it, “Clean the tile, dry it well, slap on some glaze, run the graining tool across, let it dry and bake it in the oven. Voila!”
Sheesh. Is this a cool guy or what? He didn’t just jump on the eco-conscious bandwagon 2 or 3 years ago, he has been doing this since childhood – imagine that! A true expert, Danny is someone who has truly earned the spotlight.
Check out his eclectic country nest in these photos – lovely!
(photos from danny seo)