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I’m so inspired by these lovely West African fabrics from Vlisco in the Netherlands, a collection of strong, vibrant colors and patterns that radiate energy and style. Brandi, a decor8 reader who lives in Sudan, was kind enough to send their link my way and I fell in love the moment I saw their fabrics as fashion on these gorgeous women, their new collection Rythme de Jeunesse is shown below.

You can purchase all of their textiles by the yard so you can easily use them for any project including home decorating. Some of these patterns would look striking on a modern white, grey or navy sofa with very clean lines, or mixed with other ethnic prints, such as those from Morocco or India. Truly inspiring! Thank you so much Brandi.

(images from vlisco)

Posted in textiles on June 05, 2008

decor8 Mood Board Contest

It’s time for our annual mood board contest on decor8! I’ve teamed up with Amy Butler Design for another round of fun and prizes, this year we?ll award a super prize package to the winner plus a special handmade bag from Amy for 5 runner ups. The contest is open to both domestic and international readers and digital mood board submissions will be accepted this year. So… Are you game?

Grand Prize Pack (above): One winner will receive a prize pack valued at approximately $300 that will include a signed copy of Amy’s book Midwest Modern, 1 Birdie Sling in her Midwest Modern Fabric, 1 Sew It Kit, 2 Card Kits, and 10 of her most recent patterns.

Runner ups: 5 runner ups will receive one of these 5 bags created by Amy’s studio.

Contest Details: Your mission will be to design a room around one (or more) of your picks from Amy’s new Midwest Modern fabric collection. Please show the fabric swatch on the mood board. You can enlarge and print swatches out here.

Suggested materials: A foam core board, poster board, cork board, wood, or other surface that is at least 11″ x 14″ or larger. You can also create the mood board digitally using Photoshop or another graphics program. Fabric, paint, magazine clippings, trim, wallpaper samples, photographs, whatever! Just get creative and have fun! Important: Please make sure to list the furniture and accessories that you found with links so that readers can create the room themselves in real time if they’d like.

How winners will be chosen: I’ll select 30 finalists and will group them into 2 categories, pros (those working or trained in a creative field) and others to keep judging fair. I’ll reveal the top 30 finalists on June 24 + 25 (15 per day) and you will have a chance to vote for your favorite at that time. The winner, along with 5 runner ups, will be announced on decor8 June 30. At that time, I will also give you a link to a special folder so you can view all entries in case you are curious. :)

UPDATE: All have been grouped together, pros alongside of non-pros. Many reasons exist for this, for instance lots of the non-pros ended up having a design background though they are currently not in a design-related field. Some were not disclosing this fact and I was told through a few readers that ‘so and so’ has a degree in design. With these little issues popping up, we decided to group everyone together because in the end – all had amazing entries to be proud of!

Submission details: When you finish your board please send me a link to the image location. You can upload it to Flickr, Shutterfly, Photobucket, etc. I will then move the image to my Flickr account and create a folder to collect all submissions. Please, no email attachments. If you send an email attachment, I will not open it and your entry will not be considered. Along with the link, please include the following information, in this exact order:

Your name:
Your occupation:
Are you entering as pro or other (based on your career or past training)?
Your blog/website:
Mood Board title:
Name of Midwest Modern fabric that inspired your room:
Where did you find the furniture and accessories in your room?* (links to sources go here, use for long links please):
Image link (images must be clear and at least 800 x 800 pixels):

Email to decor8blog {at} yahoo {dot} com

Submission deadline: Monday, June 23rd, Midnight EST.

Thank you again to our generous sponsor, Amy Butler Design!

If I need to clarify anything feel free to ask any questions that you may have below. Thank you all, have fun!

For creative inspiration from past contests, please click here. To view past winners, please visit this link.

{*Updated 6/6: You do not HAVE to include links to where you found your furniture and accessories, but I’m sure many would appreciate it and that may mean more votes for your :) board.}

(images from amy butler design)

Posted in contests on June 05, 2008

Get Real: TV Reality Design Shows – Your Thoughts?

Let’s dish about television reality design shows today. With HGTV’s Design Star season three premiering on June 8th complete with cutie pie host Clive Pearse and Bravo’s Top Design set for sometime in the Fall with India Hicks as host of season two, I think this is a good Get Real topic for today. Many will no doubt tune in to watch designers battle it out, vying for money, prizes, and even their own show. I just watched the sneak peek of Design Star on their website and the enthusiastic contestant Michael Stribling used the word ferosh. Ut oh! We may be in for quite a ride gang.

Would you want to be a contestant on a reality design show? What are some of the pros and cons in your eyes? Do you think these shows are entertaining or just plain dumb? I’ll get the ball rolling with my comments on this below.

If you missed Get Real last week, we discussed Design Motifs here.

Posted in inspiration, small business on June 05, 2008

Fabric Resources {not trade only}

I pulled together a little something for fabric lovers over at Real Simple yesterday that I forgot to mention. It’s not an article as much as a total link fest connecting you to some of the fabric stores that I’ve talked about in the past on decor8. You can look at Fabric Resources {not trade only} to view all of the links, it’s a mini catalog just for you!

I am so excited to see all of the handmade fabrics that are now available through small design studios, it’s something I had hoped to see for many years now. As more studios pop up to create fresh, new designs I can’t help but feel excited about what’s next. I know I talked about this over a year ago, but I’m dying for someone to launch a fabric line that blends traditional West African inspired patterns with bright, modern hues or soft sorbets combined with lots of crisp white. I really love West African wax print fabrics, but find that most of the colors are fairly deep or a bit bright and do not always work in my home. Maybe I’m just not that bold. I hope it’s okay to say this, I don’t want to sound like the traditional colorways aren’t good enough or whatever because they are. I’m just not someone who uses a lot of emerald green, navy, purple, and red. I was in this African shop last year in Hannover and found so many amazing patterns for under $20 per yard but the colors would not work in my apartment, lots of brown combined with bright yellow and purple. But I loved the patterns (view tons of West African prints here over on Flickr)!

I know the above photo is a Shabby Chic room and that you most likely have that “huh?” look on your face right about now. Like, how in the world can Holly tie in Shabby Chic into this conversation? Watch me guys. So when I thought of a room I’d love to see these prints in, I remembered this SC photo. I imagine those wax prints only in softer shades of blue, green, pink, and yellow. I then picture them used sparingly in a living room like the one above as pillows, a throw, or a giant patchwork pouf on the floor. Only my pouf would be round and I’d hand stitch a few tiny beads throughout but not that many. And don’t worry, I won’t pull out my bedazzler on you (please click here and watch Tana in case you have no clue what a bedazzler is). So there you have it. Shabby Chic meets West Africa and has a baby, resulting in my wacky vision.

Does anyone know of such lines already out there that I’ve somehow missed? West African patterns in softer hues?

(image from african fabric linked above and shabby chic.)

Posted in textiles on June 05, 2008


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