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Small Stump Print at Rose & Radish

This hand-silkscreened piece was created by Jill Pilotte of Small Stump fame. It was just posted over on the Rose & Radish website for $40, so hurry since there are only 38 available! If you’re a fan of woodgrain and neutrals, this will definitely work for you.


Each print is part of a limited edition of 38 and was hand drawn, hand silk-screened, signed, and numbered by the artist. Purchasing it also supports more than an indie artist and a San Francisco-based store, but a cause, as donations from the sales will be given to 826 Valencia who are dedicated to supporting students aged 6-18 with their writing skills, and helping teachers get their students excited about the literary arts.

I also think this provides a nice color palette for our reader Rachel to work off of, don’t you?

(image from rose & radish)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, walls on August 22, 2007

Reader Q: Help My Living Room!

decor8 reader Rachel (and husband) are looking for help with their living room. They will only live in this space for another 9 months (they rent), so I’m thinking they need to work more on the things that they can take with them and their current floor plan and worry less about the rest. Who is with me on helping Rachel? Okay, here we go! (click on any of these images for a larger view.)

note: behind the wood bookcase (left), is a counter and an open kitchen area.

I can already see that the floor plan needs some work, the TV stand is blocking two beautiful light sources, a door (do not block access routes, ever) and the other is a pretty window. Rachel said that despite the living room chairs looking dated, she’s willing to reupholster them and remove the skirts to reveal their wooden legs. She likes the wall color and prefers not to paint. Colors of choice? She’s considering a neutral color scheme (browns and whites) with accents of green (with yellow undertones) and burnt orange. She wants the room to be “fun, funky, modern… it’s a little too traditional to me as is.”


Here’s a list from Rachel outlining what she is willing to change:

-We will be getting a new sleeper sofa… color is up for debate
-I am not attached to any of the furniture (other than the dining room table) and willing to reupholster/paint and/or get rid of any of it
-I can get rid of lamps and get new ones and/or just change the shades
-I like the chest the tv is on as it has a lot of storage space… I need to paint it but can’t pick a color
-I would like to change the displays above the dining room table from dishes to maybe some prints or graphic art from etsy leaning on the shelves
-I am open to doing window treatments, as long as they are not too complicated


So readers, I’m opening this up to all of you to see what advice you have for Rachel. I have my own thoughts and I will include them when I return from an appointment after lunch. Together, I know we can all help Rachel! It’s such a large open space, and that fireplace is such a focal point – I see tons of potential here.

Posted in reader questions on August 22, 2007

Amy Butler’s Midwest Modern

I promised you a sneak peek inside of Midwest Modern, and since David and Amy just sent along images, I wanted to get them up with a mini book review right away. If you have any questions, please ask me by commenting below. I asked Amy for the names of some of the paint colors in her home, so if you’d like to know, just ask and I’ll list them in the comments section below (thanks, Amy!).


Midwest Modern is packed with pictures, nearly all 225 pages have something to drool over, so I found it extremely inspiring because it is so visual. But it’s not just a pretty picture book, Amy talks to us about everything from decorating to fashion, gardening, and travel. The first section of the book focuses on the importance of creating a home that inspires its occupants to dream, relax, and play – and to respect nature and bring some of the outside in. Most of the interior shots are from Amy and David’s gorgeous home in Ohio, and other lifestyle images show the fabrics and accessories from the Amy Butler collection. I am one part in awe and a million parts motivated to move on some of my own home decorating projects.

I love the idea of digital wallpaper, you have to
read the book to learn more.

Amy is a huge fan of vintage furniture, flea market finds, and lots of blue and green tones in the home. And she loves nature. If you think about it, shopping flea markets is just another way we can show respect to nature, and to our budget. When it comes to trends, Amy observes them, but says, “Trends cannot keep up with my ever-changing moods”. I second and third that! Throughout the book, Amy shows us where she likes to go to relax and regroup, and of course work. Her design lab, a studio shared with her husband David, is both personal and professional so both are able to focus on work in a comfortable environment that supports them fully.


I especially like her kitchen with the open cabinets and the darling buttery yellow 50’s Westinghouse fridge, I had one in pale pink, my first fridge when I moved out on my own (and I miss it!). After the jaw-dropping interiors, the next section discusses personal style and how she feels the body is a canvas on which to display your unique style. Amy believes that wearing something you love can make your spirit rise and your confidence grow, and enjoys seeing others express their artistic voice through their clothing and accessories. This section is rich with images of her bags, skirts, hats and other clothing created from her patterns and fabrics, and even includes some of her fashion sketches (I really liked this part).


After fashion, the book spotlights the natural world, how it’s many patterns, shapes, colors, and sounds have affected her life as an artist in Ohio. She gets into gardening a bit, showing us garden shots from the homes of some of her friends. I like that along with the nature photography, she mixes in a swatch from her fabric collection that was inspired by some of the plants in her own garden.


Midwest Modern wraps up with a bit on travel and how refreshing it can be to simply go with a “gypsy caravan” mindset, which means to drop everything and just go somewhere. Even if it’s down the street. Amy often travels with a very loose agenda and no set schedule, for instance with David and her vintage camper, they hit flea markets nearby and then go camping with friends. She also talks briefly about flea markets and the lake house retreat they visit, too.


What I took most from Midwest Modern is that Amy seeks what we all seek, good work, rest and relaxation with friends and family. Places to find either great buys or simply a peaceful spot to chill out and get away from it all. And inspiration – finding it all around – but not looking too hard, as the process of discovery should be fun and free. Even finding beauty in the mundane. Amy reminds us that when you run your own company, there’s a lot to do, but despite that you still need to make time to enjoy your life. It’s vital to create a space, both for living and working, that reflects yours style, that you love, and that supports you on all levels. That way, when you are “stuck” at home, you don’t feel stuck because you simply love being there and your surroundings inspire you to be better, live better, and give to others so that they may be inspired to do these things for themselves.

I’d like to thank Amy and David (and her nice support team!) for working with me to send over these images, and for the generosity they’ve shown in the recent past when sponsoring a contest on decor. Thank you.

(images copyright David Butler 2007)

Posted in Books + Magazines, inspiration on August 21, 2007

Orla Kiely at Twig

We’re spending Autumn in northern Germany again this year, and since this trip will include a girls weekend in Stockholm (also to attend a design fair there), I need a good travel bag that I can carry on the flight with me.


My new Orla Kiely bag arrived today from Twig, and the timing couldn’t be better – it really lifted my spirits, got my head out of my current computer issues, and made me think about all of our fun travel plans. Don’t you appreciate this simple fact of life, that when something goes wrong, ten things go right?

I think a lady needs a few key pieces that she’s just nuts about, don’t you? And I am smiling ear to ear now that this baby arrived. My grandmother always preaches the importance of owning only the best shoes, coats, and handbags because they can make even a tired looking outfit look stylish, and my grandmother – the hip 87-year-old cat from Chicago that she is, is right. You can’t slack on things like coats and bags.

Leather trim.
Cutie cars lining, too. And it has a metal handle you can pull
out and use to wheel it around the airport.

Twig will soon be stocking tons of Orla stuff in addition to their current selection, so keep your eyes and ears open because the second they do, I’ll let you know. I pray she’ll carry some Orla pillows because I’ll be all over those. And I have to say this about Twig, owner Elizabeth provides the highest level of customer service possible, she is completely helpful. I had so many questions for her, I held her on the phone for nearly an hour over this bag, and she was patient and answered all of my questions. I wanted to throw that in because customer service is so important to me and this lady rocks it.

(images from holly becker for decor8)

Posted in travel on August 21, 2007

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

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