Monthly Archives

March 2007

Rooms, Round-ups

West Elm: Mirrors!

March 20, 2007

Yeah! New items posted on the West Elm website today (lots of green!), but I’m especially fond of this faux bois mirror ($249) because it’s large and in charge, but not intimidating or over the top. Doesn’t it look stunning in this room?

West Elm: Mirrors!I also have a crush on their new round leather mirror ($149), it looks so much like the one I’ve had a crush on for ages from BDDW, only without the leather hanger (which is easy enough to add to the West Elm version).

Even though I like seeing affordable options for those that cannot afford the high end designs, who doesn’t like a deal, I sometimes wonder what all of this really means in a big picture kind of way. I shop sometimes at West Elm, and often see items that seem to be inspired by a more expensive designer item. Meg over at Designer’s Library notices to, and actually spoke to this point on her blog not to long ago, click here to read her thoughts.

West Elm: Mirrors!West Elm
West Elm: Mirrors!BDDW

West Elm: Mirrors!Perhaps this just means that imitation is flattery? Fu (or Foo) dogs are popping up all over, created by various companies, as are Zebra rugs, Chinese ceramic stools, wire chairs… Could it simply be that a single, great design is launched into the world and becomes such a must-have item that it gets recreated in many versions (even nearly duplicated one to one), making it into what becomes a timeless classic?

What do you think? I wonder what the designers, the BDDW’s in the world, think about this. Are they flattered? Does this actually generate more interest, and business, in the end?

(images from west elm and bddw)

Small Business

Shop Girl: What Can Shop Owners Do To Attract Loyal Customers?

March 20, 2007

For the next few months, decor8 will feature a Shop Girl series, posts that randomly pop up from time to time about shop ownership – brick ‘n mortar and online stores – to gather the perspectives of both owner and customer alike. The goal is to collect ideas that will help small business owners stay afloat which will make our shop experience as customers, a richer, more interesting one that fills more than just our bags, but may even help us meet new people in our community, learn about interesting artists, and walk away feeling refreshed and inspired.
Shop Girl: What Can Shop Owners Do To Attract Loyal Customers?The response from Shop Owners How Do You Stay Alive?, blogged on March 13th, resulted in some informative comments that extend beyond the typical ‘great post!’ that you usually see on blogs. If you haven’t already, please read the comments, enlightening to say the least. Shannon, from the blog Make It, brought up an interesting point that I’d like to get your opinion on.

Shannon said, “I love hearing of small businesses that also hold art/craft exhibits. Doe and Rare Device are two stores that do this very well and not only do they get great publicity from it, they support small artisans and give people another reason to visit their shop, even if they don’t feel like shopping. Small businesses need to think of creative ways to get people into their stores (classes, book signings, cocktail hour). Here in Boston, Magpie just reopened in a larger storefront with a temporary art exhibit as well.”

So readers, shoppers, friends of independent boutiques… What do you think? How can shop owners attract a loyal following? If you owned a shop, what creative ideas would you use to attract customers? What would you like to gain from your shopping experience?

(images from doe, dear, and rose + radish)

Handmade, Objects

Bodo Sperlein

March 20, 2007

When I was in Germany last year, I discovered Bodo Sperlein and blogged about them here. Smitten by their work, I was encouraged by an email I received today from Maguelone, a blogger in France, to check out their latest collections. Thanks, Maguelone! I instantly fell for this porcelain ring, designed by Bodo Sperlein for Lladro. Isn’t it absolute perfection? I love seeing something so fresh like this, I’d never seen anything quite like it before. And the lighting. Porcelain delicately formed into gorgeous blooms and placed on glass…. One word. Wow.

Bodo Sperlein
(images from bodo sperlein)

Arts + Crafts, Objects

Pippa Caley + Not on the High Street

March 19, 2007

Pippa Caley is a lady whom I’d love to meet. Pippa is interesting and stylish, her embroidered and screen-printed cushions and wall papels speak volumes about just how cool she is. Outside of her work, I found her inspiration board imaginative and colorful, a glimpse into her world.

Pippa’s inspiration board

Pippa Caley + Not on the High StreetYou can learn a lot about a person when you ‘see’ what they’re thinking. People that are highly visual give you an immediate glimpse into their soul. Just a glimpse though, not much more. :) Knowing a creative type is such a pleasure, so satisfying, instant gratification in a sense, don’t you think? You need not spend hours in conversation, you may never even meet them in person. Just looking at their photography, their inspiration board, their work – you can learn so much about what makes them tick. My husband calls this ‘Alternate Words’, it’s a way of hearing a story, learning about someone, through an alternate means. Often through the eyes, but also through smell, touch, or sound (music, not the spoken word). Telling a story without using words (spoken or written), can impact the soul and spark the imagination. Unlike a novel or movie where most of the details are laid before you, photography, art, and other highly visual forms of expression gives the viewer a lot of creative freedom – you can tap into your imagination, pull new ideas, and as a result, walk away inspired. Whatever the case, Pippa and her body of work, certainly accomplishes this.

Pippa Caley + Not on the High StreetPippa Caley + Not on the High StreetAs a graduate of the Royal College of Art, her collection of textiles for the home really speak to me. I love that she’ll take your vintage photographs and create a bespoke product exclusively for you to enjoy. This actually reminds me a lot of Michelle Caplan and her mixed media artwork, someone I’ve been purchasing art from since ’05. I love seeing vintage photography used so creatively, especially since surrounding yourself with photos of those that have been a guiding force in your life is such a positive addition to your home, and certainly is a less traditional approach to showcasing your favorite photos. It’s almost visual storytelling… A glimpse of your past.

Pippa Caley + Not on the High StreetYou can also shop the Pippa Caley collection online at Not on the High Street, an amazing treasure chest of a store with goods from so many talented artists, mostly based in the UK.

Pippa Caley + Not on the High StreetPsst: Ms. Caley even has some really cute tea towels too. :)

(images from pippa caley)

Objects, Shopping + Products, Travel

The Snowroom + The Scandinavian Design Center

March 19, 2007

All this lighting for under $100 USD? Really? Oh yes, and there’s more… Ulrika Liffner and Thorulf L?fstedt are the design talents behind The Snowroom, a Swedish design firm with lighting that I’d describe as simple and modern, yet very playful and stylish – and affordable – you must check them out. Shop for most of the lighting shown below from The Snowroom online over at the Scandinavian Design Center, one of my favorite online stores of all time. Serious, the Scandinavian Design Center is amazing, they stock everything under the sun, from lighting to textiles and furniture, and they ship to nearly ever corner of the planet. :)

I’ll take the Swedish horse or the house, my two favorites…

The Snowroom + The Scandinavian Design CenterThe Snowroom + The Scandinavian Design CenterThe Snowroom + The Scandinavian Design CenterThe Snowroom + The Scandinavian Design CenterThe Snowroom + The Scandinavian Design CenterThe Snowroom + The Scandinavian Design Center
(images from the snowroom)

Color Inspiration, Decorating Tips

Inspired By Green in Salt Lake City

March 19, 2007

Yeah! decor8 reader Ellen is so inspired by the color green that she had to paint her living room in this fantastic shade… Here’s her note and photos.

“I recently bought a home in Salt Lake City and decided to paint my living room green! It’s an old home, built in 1928. The living room has a cove ceiling so in order to give the room more definition, I painted a border around the top in a green color that is 2 shades darker than the walls. I think it looks really nice next to the dark stain window framing. Just thought I’d share!” – Ellen C.

(please click on these images for a larger view)
Inspired By Green in Salt Lake CityAfter

Inspired By Green in Salt Lake CityInspired By Green in Salt Lake City
Ellen: The architecture of your home is stunning. I’m particularly pleased that the border was applied so amazingly straight, this is something I’m forever having problems with – even with a level! Did you use a standard level or a laser? What is the color/brand of green you used? Why did you select that color and shade? I’d love to know more about your decision to use green, it’s fun to hear how others decide on a color, it’s often such a hard choice to make while standing in the aisle of a paint store. Overwhelming to say the least. I think paint selection should be added to the most stressful life events list. 1) Divorce 2) Having children 3) Getting fired 4) Paint selection…

I have a few questions for you Ellen. Why didn’t you paint the walls up to the ceiling? What color do you plan to paint the adjacent room? What other colors do you plan to bring into the space?

(images from ellen c.)

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