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The Home of Nonchalent Mom

Did you catch the stunning modernist home of online shop owner Nonchalent Mom featured on the Domino site today? What a stunning place Carina Schott has! At first glance, I thought she lived in Australia or southern California due to the lighting and architecture, but she’s a fellow New Englander, Rhode Island to be exact.

What a gorgeous property, here are four of my favorite spots in her stylish abode. First up, the pool. Who doesn’t dream of having a pool like this? My family had an inground pool once, but only for a short period of time. That was the best time of my childhood I think! There is nothing like swimming in your own backyard, complete with a seating area, lanterns, and an assortment of pretty pastel floats like these of course.

Who doesn’t love a hallway that is part functional (storage, seating) and part gallery? This looks so fresh and inviting, and the striped rug complement some of the frames on the wall, along with the bright yellow chairs, a nice way to welcome guests and make them feel instantly at ease because your art shares with them parts of your personality. I believe that people respond well to works of art in the entryway, it adds warmth and character.

Don’t you enjoy seeing all of the color here? What an sweet work space, I like the shots of fuchsia, blue, and yellow and the height of the work table. I can’t tell if those flowers are wall decals, a mobile, or what exactly but for those who don’t know where to place decals, this is a nice look without going overboard. One thing someone told me recently is that they see decals for sale everywhere but rarely see them in homes and I have to agree, at least here in the northeast U.S. I’d like to see people use them more often though, I think they can be applied without looking cheesy if combined with shelving or art, for instance.

Ah, suzanis. Still quite in vogue here in the states. It’s rare to find a suzani in this colorway though, most are very bright and multi-colored. This two tone look is so nice. I have to check on her source to see where she found it, it certainly is a rare find. (Running to check.)

Okay I’m back, it’s by Erica Tanov, I’ve added a photo of her San Francisco store directly above because I love the arrangement and the things shown, the painting, the display cases, it’s all so lovely. This is exactly the kind of store that I enjoy browsing. But I don’t see bedding here. Ah, wait! I found it in her web shop right here along with lots of other delightful finds, like these Turkish towels.

What an inspiring collection of things in the home of the Nonchalant Mom! And I have to highlight the fact that she lives in Rhode Island. My mother and her family are from southern RI, I’ve spent many a summer on my grandparents farm there and it is such a beautiful state. You rarely hear about it though, especially in the pages of design magazines. I often feel like hip American cities get a good chunk of the attention, yet stylish people live all over America and I love that some magazines give attention to this other group of cool peeps, too. Just because someone doesn’t maintain a posh townhouse in the city doesn’t mean that their home in the suburbs or country isn’t just as interesting or magazine worthy.

More on this topic, and perhaps you have some opinions to share because I’d love to hear what you have to say… I was speaking with a group of ladies recently and they confessed feeling shut out because they don’t live in some hip American city, yet they are very cool and have style oozing out of their pores despite the fact that they live in a rural area or god forbid, the ‘burbs (insert Psycho sound effects here).

I happen to believe that we are all interesting no matter where we live and that a suburban woman is no less stylish than a city girl, It all comes down to personal style and where you live cannot give you what you inherently have within. What do you think, do you often feel alone with your cool self where you live, like no on around gets you or that you aren’t living in the ‘right’ place though you genuinely love your home? Am I making sense because reading that last sentence sort of confused the heck out of me too. But I think you get my point. How do you handle others when they try to lump you in with how they perceive suburban or country women to be, live like, etc.?

(photography by melanie acevedo for domino magazine)

Posted in inspiration, small business on May 29, 2008


Let’s be Frank, or shall I say let’s meet Frank, an online shop specializing in work created by independent British designers, a delightful mix ranging from ceramics to pillows and art. It’s quite obvious that a great talent runs this very special shop because everything is exquisite, from the site design to the bounty of creative work. Frank is impressive.

Sukie, Vicky Hageman, Poppy Treffry tea cosies, Hannah Turner Ceramics, notebooks by Angie Lewin, more paper goods by Kim Jenkins, Twee As Can Be Sewing Buddy sewing kits, Laura McCafferty prints, and Julie Arkell’s paper mache dolls are just a few of my favorites.

It’s so refreshing to catch a glimpse of what the British indie design scene is up to lately. I’m dying to visit a craft fair in England someday, I’ve only visited flea markets so I hope to check out something like Origin or Top Drawer in the near future. Have you attended either of these two craft fairs and if so, would you suggest one over the other or something totally different? I may try to visit London in the Fall…

(images from frank)

Abigail Brown

Warning: You will not be able to resist the following cuteness, I swear! So please… Don’t even try. Just give in and look at Abigail Brown’s darling artwork (and website) for your daily dose of cute.

I mentioned Abbie recently when I wrote about her masks over at Real Simple but I completely forgot to mention her on decor8. Until now, thanks to the talented interior stylist Selina Lake who sent over a link to Abigail’s work asking that I consider it for decor8. I’m so grateful to readers like Selina who send over submissions. I wish I could reply to all submissions personally but being a one-girl operation, I can’t seem to find time to connect with everyone until I beef up operations and hire a part-time assistant to help me out. Until then, please know that I do read all of my email and if I decide to write about what you’ve sent over, I will certainly let you know.

Now back to Abbie and her creatures. The matchbox birds are a personal favorite of mine. I’m also smitten by these delightful little three-dimensional kittens, raccoons, and birds because I’m so fond of all the texture and pattern living together like this. These are perfect for little children or for those of us who refuse to grow up (me!). Abbie also accepts commissions for any other creature of your liking. I think a white owl would be lovely, with big blue eyes and layer upon layer of fluffy feathers incorporating real feathers, fabric (Liberty prints are nice) and felt against a creamy white linen background with a stitched moon floating above and some jagged mountains along the horizon… See what your work does Abbie, it inspires me and so many others.

(images from abigail brown)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on May 29, 2008

Reader Q: Pimp My Windows!

Cyndi is a decor8 reader who desperately wants to add window treatments to her master bedroom. She has lived in her current home for three years with bare windows. “I’m at a complete loss and each time I start looking into beginning this project I get overwhelmed and stop”, she said. I think this is a common problem, I call it decorator’s block. For whatever reason, our brain freezes when it comes to certain spots in the home. Do you have this problem? If you do, please consider sending in your problem spot and I’ll gladly give you some advice and post it on decor8 for readers to comment on. Don’t be shy, we all have our issues! :)

Let’s help Cyndi, okay? It’s always easier to fix the problems of others instead of our own, so we’re going to help this lady spruce up these windows!

Notes: She is pretty wide open to ideas but mentioned that privacy is an issue now that her neighbors installed a pool and seem to add more and more toys all the time. A wood fence provides some privacy, but she can see over the fence from her bedroom windows. She wants to have privacy while allowing in some light.

Ideas: I suggest a single solid sheer flanked by floor length panels and I’d add a shade or wood blinds (since you have deep set windows) under the sheer to close in the evening. For more design help, you may enjoy reading this post because most of the advice that I offered Jonis applies to your windows.

Would you like to help Cyndi? If so, please leave her your advice below.

(image from cyndi for decor8)

Posted in Objects, reader questions on May 29, 2008


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