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coffee + cre8tive {sept 7 ’06}

In my opinion, wallpaper is only as amazing as the person installing it. If good taste isn’t exercised, it can induce vomiting and scare the children. If you want to wallpaper but don’t know where to begin, refer to a trusty friend with great design sense, or hire someone with exceptional style for a quick and painless consultation.
Many decorators and designers are happy to spend a day helping you locate the best supplier, pattern, and installation crew for the job. Most importantly, they can also help you with placement and color. The thought of sugar coating an entire wall with something beautiful, like these beech leaves from House Couturier, totally thrills me. Most other Americans aren’t sold on the trend yet, many complain that we spent the entire 1990’s to get rid of it, and to see it return somewhat defeats the purpose. Given the popular selections of times past, I can see why they’re moaning. Some of it was insane.

The most common complaint from readers and clients pertains to the actual removal of it more than the installation process or costs involved. Others struggle to see past images of oversized cabbage roses or folksy prints with roosters or jumping dolphins on bathroom borders. Flashbacks of tacky 1970’s paper in their childhood home is incentive enough to step away from the wallpaper trend.

We had wallpaper in our home but my mother was smart enough to hire an interior designer when she got stuck on paper selection. The designer, an Italian with exquisite taste, transformed several rooms in our home into a papered paradise. The rooms could have graced the pages of any design magazine back in the day, at least a 1970’s magazine with all it’s gold, orange, green, yellow, blue and white splendor. My great-grandparents on the other hand, that’s another story. They had wallpaper that would induce nightmares. Flowers so bold and out of scale that you envisioned they’d jump out and eat you in the night. Their gigantic floral wallpaper combined with floral linoleum floors (that ultra thick kind), huge oriental carpets and mahogany antiques embellished with lion’s heads and paw feet supporting hand-carved credenzas, was way over the top for a Rhode Island farmhouse. Gladly, I didn’t inherit any of their design genes and I have not once ever slept over at their home. I preferred my grandmothers flower-free abode across the street. She had subtle wallpaper, the kind that won’t eat you in your sleep.

Next enter the renters, those who would consider wallpaper but are prohibited by the landlord to install it. That is where I see myself.

Renters and haters and traumatized children aside, there exist others that can and do wallpaper their homes, taking delight in using decorative papers to breathe fresh life into their space.

Where do you stand? To paper or not to paper, that is the question.

note: fabulous wallpaper link via print + pattern

(images from house couturier)

Posted in Rooms on September 07, 2006

Garnet Hill Fall 2006

Just in! Whether you’re looking for that perfect Hungarian baby bathtub (!) or a perky Autumn-themed doormat, Garnet Hill has lots of newbies that you’re certain to enjoy this season. I’d like to curl up with a good book and wrap myself in this fisherman cable throw, doesn’t it look so inviting? This would be a great present – this throw combined with a book and a box of your favorite tea – perfect for the man in your life. Not shown, but something worth a peek, the monkeypod twist stool is another favorite, very sculptural, organic, functional… Carved from a single piece of kiln-dried monkeypod wood!

Garnet Hill now carries Eileen Fisher bedding, which looks so sophisticated and comfortable, doesn’t it? Eileen is known for being luxurious yet unpretentious, straightforward yet informal, spare without being austere. It’s no surprise that her bedding reflects her fashion sense.

(images from garnet hill)

Posted in uncategorized on September 06, 2006

Brocade Home – Sneak Peek!

The premiere issue of Brocade Home arrived today, and if it had a flavor, it would be raspberry dark chocolate cake. It’s melt-in-your mouth velvety sweetness, with lots of sensual curves from chair legs to seductive sconces and carved headboards. The catalog is 63 pages of delicious furniture, lighting, rugs, accessories, and anything else you need for plumping your nest. Fusing the past with the present, Brocade Home delivers wonderfully feminine design using reproductions of the past. It’s luxury without the hefty price tag, in fact a hand-carved armchair with a coffee finish and jacquard upholstery is $349, swirly scroll ledge shelfing is $39-69, ornate crystal chandeliers are $199-599, and their plusher-than-thou chenille rugs (yes, chenille!) range from $169-699. You can’t help but think that maybe you can actually afford the lifestyle you crave. You can live like a queen in your own kingdom, whether it’s a studio apartment in the Boston or a home in the ‘burbs.

Overall, the catalog layout and typefaces are impressive, you can quickly locate prices, descriptions are thorough, and most items are shown in actual rooms so you can get a sense of scale (vs. basic product shots), and the photography is stunning. It’s Anthropologie, Elle Decor UK, and posh London flat rolled into one. The overall feel is dark, rich, warm, decadent, sexy.

If you want a slice of this posh feminine living, visit Brocade Home online and sign up for their catalog – it’s dessert of the non-caloric kind. :)

View their complete catalog online or request a catalog.

(photos from decor8)

Posted in uncategorized on September 06, 2006

Fred Flare: Write Stuff CONTEST

Just in from Mia over at Fred Flare, it’s contest time again. Hurry! Contest ends on September 29th!

(image from fred flare)

Posted in uncategorized on September 06, 2006


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