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Velocity Art + Design

A big thanks to Ali from Velocity Art + Design for writing in about their artwork. I really appreciate it when companies reach out to me, so thanks, Ali! Velocity has lots of great artwork listed, but because each piece is truly one-of-a-kind (except for prints), you must act fast because items can be here today and poof! Gone forever.
Nike Art Director by day, amazing Artist by night, the bold, graphic work of Heather Amuny-Dey is fresh, bold, sophisticated, modern. My favorite is Hide And Seek, and I love the many prints she offers, and best part, they’re only around $40 each.

Marisa Haedike’s artwork is so spirited and full of youth, and knowing Marisa like I do, I’m a bit partial because everything about her is so genuine which is shown in her work — right down to the little faces on her polar bears, penguins, and all the other cuddly, playful characters that she paints. I have an original painting from Marisa, and a print of the little girl with the red balloon shown above. They’ll ultimately end up in my future baby’s room, but for now, I’m the baby in the house and these are in my office. You can buy her paintings here and her prints at Etsy.

Ali also told me about Corinne Dean’s lovely bird + treehouse artwork, an new artist to Velocity. Corinne only has a few paintings left, she is building quite a following, but if you’ve missed her paintings, she has prints up in her Etsy store. You know, I really love how artists are reproducing their paintings as limited edition prints. This makes beautiful work accessible to all.

And of course, you can’t visit Velocity without peeking in to see what artist Matte Stephens is up to. He has some of the coolest paintings,lots of funky mid century colors and whimsical characters. So retro, and there’s a definite masculine touch to his work, so it makes a great gift for that art lovin’ man in your life. And yes, Matte has an Etsy store with tons of great prints right here. Psst: Mate has a blog, too.

Who is your Velocity favorite artist? Do you have a favorite artist on Etsy?

Posted in Arts + Crafts, walls on March 27, 2007

Zebra Patterns – Do You Approve?

Nothing inspires us like nature, which is why we so often gravitate towards patterns that resemble those found outdoors. If you’re thinking of adding maximum impact to a space, look no further than the stylish Zebra (please, go faux). And along with the Chinese ceramic stool craze we’re seeing, Zebra rugs are a big hit too, making a continued appearance in some of today’s hottest interiors. Need a bit of inspiration before you decide to add a bit of safari chic to your space?

If this image from Domino doesn’t make you see Zebra prints in a new and exciting way… I’m afraid there’s no hope. :)

Nothing inspires me like a deal and of course, going faux. You can find a Zebra pattern stenciled onto a hairhide rug for $515 from Horchow. Of course, it’s still from an animal and some of us aren’t into animal hides at all (like me). If that’s you, opt for something in wool, like this one from Home Decorators ($129-299). If you need something smaller for an entry or beneath a sofa table, this 5×7 rug from Urban Outfitters is perfect, and a budget find at $69. It’s cotton, so we know animals weren’t hurt for this little guy, and your wallet won’t feel a thing.

When I think of Zebra rugs, Jonathan Adler ($875) always springs to mind. With his dare devil bolder-than-thou designs, I admire how perfectly he works such a bold pattern into his interiors. Having all that color courage, coupled with extreme self-confidence from his ‘been there done that’ experience in the design world, Adler is super contagious. He has a happy virus that more of us need to catch. Explore! Dare! Yes, go there!

Designer Jan Showers gives us more eye candy, helping us see the pattern in a variety of settings… A more ‘medicated’ approach to Adler I must add, but beautiful and certainly more friendly to the neutral fans out there.

And did you catch the lovely Zebrine wallpaper in Domino magazine from Rose Cumming? It’s making another appearance in interiors with it’s bold, whimsical charm. It makes a definite statement in crisp blue and white, doesn’t it? This image is of Ashley Whittaker’s home, courtesy of Domino, 4/07 and The Peak of Chic.

The Peak of Chic loves Zebrine wallpaper and tells us, “Glamorous pedigree aside, this print is certainly a stylish but bold statement. I love animal prints, but one has to use them with restraint. All other design elements of a room- furniture, artwork, and accessories- have to be toned down when paired with such a gutsy pattern.” Photo from Robin Bell’s living room, courtesy of House Beautiful, 1/05 via The Peak of Chic.

Inspiration from Domino and Living Etc. There’s even a Zebra ottoman in the mix, and a chair, below. For me, if I’m going Zebra, there’s nothing I like better than combining the color turquoise with a crisp black and white faux Zebra print rug.

So tell me… What’s your take on it as either a rug, wallpaper, textiles, etc.? Do you approve? Have a little love/hate? Run screaming?

Posted in trends on March 26, 2007

Bouf (London)

Bouf offers a hand-picked selection of impressive products that are quite unusual, something design freaks like us rarely tire of finding. With lots of new-to-market items, it’s fun to peek through their site, and even more fun to shop and display in your home. :)

My favorites include the Traffic mobile sofa table, and the Hackney Lite shelf, both from designer Ryan Frank. The Solid Oak loveseat by Jake Phipps is gorgeous, not sure of the comfort level, but it looks good. Oh wait, I just noticed that it’s meant for outdoors, which explains why it would work better on the patio than for falling into to watch television. Sorry Travelocity and Amelie, but these urban gnomes from Vitamin are pretty cute too, a little cleaner and much more modern. Available in these assorted patterns, but the Undergrowth appeals to me most.

(images from bouf)

Posted in furniture, shopping, travel on March 26, 2007

Chinese Ceramic Garden Stools – Yes or No?

Domino (April) arrived over the weekend and I couldn’t help but feel left out of the hip ‘n trendy Chinese Garden Stool Club. Michael Bargo had one in a lovely green, the amazing Lulu de Kwiatkowski sported one in her home (in what appeared to be orange), Tom Scheerer incorporated a perky lime stool into the drinks table arrangement that he pulled together (in classic Scheerer style), and Jennifer Marsico had two white ones in her living room alone. But no worries my fellow design addicts. For as little as $69 USD, you can join the Garden Stool Club, too.
Here’s a floral ceramic stool used by Burnham Design in one of their rooms, it looks inspired by the Chinese garden seats, just a bit more dainty and detailed. I wasn’t able to find an exact copy of it, but if you spend some time on Google, I’m sure you’ll find something like it. Check with your local antiques dealer, too.

Why so appealing? They can do it all – the true multitaskers. They fuction as a foot rest, small table, plant stand, place for kitty to sit, or just for a little eye candy – a bright burst of color. They are also small enough to not give commitment phobes a showroom freak out, it’s just one itty bitty stool. Slightly larger than throw pillows. About the same price. We love a good ole barely-break-a-sweat purchase.

Also know as ‘tea stools’, ‘chinese stools’, and ‘porcelain garden seats’, the big sellers seem to be those in solid colors, circular, with intricate, but spare, cutouts (vs. the ornate hand-painted or square varieties). Although, I have to say that I love the hand-painted stools in blue and white, like the one shown a few images down from Wisteria for $179.

My #1 stop, Oriental DestinAsian on eBay. Prices range from $69-119 for solid colors in blues, greens, yellows, and of course, white. With a flat rate shipping anywhere in the U.S. for only $35, you can’t go wrong for a repro. Keep in mind that just like anything else, you can pay more and find something really unique and one-of-a-kind straight from artisians in China, or you can opt for reproduction pieces inspired by traditional Chinese garden seats if you’re on a limited budget.

Although the stools I’m seeing in magazines and designer’s portfolios aren’t nearly as ornate, if you love to mix things up, opt for handpainted or these cutout floral patterns from The Company Store ($108), or Mecox Gardens. For a one-of-a-kind seat, Red River Trading Co. in Boston’s South End has imported stools straight from Hunan, China. The two shown above in teal were handmade and fired in a kiln which means that are totally worth $350- each.

Try these gorgeous stools from Wisteria in your space. I can’t help but think they’d add that perfect touch. Or for ones with a bit more detail, go with these from Gumps of San Francisco.

Additional Ceramic Garden Stool resources: Tonic Home, Clipper Trading, even Pottery Barn is in on the trend with a Jade green stool for only $99. You can google for “Ceramic Garden Stools”, “tea stools”, “chinese stools”, and “porcelain garden seats”, and find hundreds of other sources. Use those as search words on eBay, too.

Can you spot them in these rooms? Some are much less obvious than others…

From: Domino, KWID, Kelly Proxmire, Todd Romano, Timothy Whealon, Kemble Interiors, Burham Design, and Kenneth Brown Design.

So what do you think – Are you into these, or do you run screaming in the opposite direction?

Posted in trends on March 26, 2007

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