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Cheap Chic by Emily Chalmers

Ready for a book review? I’ve been dying to share this one because I’m guessing anyone who pairs old with new and who has a thing for feminine bohemian style must have a crush on Emily Chalmers. Right? Emily is a London-based author, stylist and the shop owner of Caravan who has a brand new book set to release on February 28th that you simply must get your hands on. It is called Cheap Chic published by Ryland Peters & Small. Here are a few views of my personal copy from the publisher. Want to take a peek?

Cheap Chic

If you loved Flea Market Style then I highly suggest Cheap Chic. It is soft bound, so it’s easy to toss in your work bag and flip through during your commute or in a cafe during lunch. It is also accessible in that it gives you tons of inexpensive advice on how to create a distinctively stylish home by explaining how to mix things that you already own with flea market treasures and chain store finds.

Cheap Chic

Cheap Chic

Cheap Chic My dream kitchen shown above.

The first part of the book, The Elements, discusses pattern, color, fabrics, window coverings and furniture. There are also sections on storage, display, lighting, flooring, accessories and materials used indoors. Then you begin the next part, The Spaces, which features chapters on cooking, eating, relaxing, sleeping and bathing areas and home work spaces. A lot is covered but thankfully it doesn’t feel overwhelming because there is a equal mix of imagery and words to keep it flowing from page to page without moments of zone out or the feeling of giving up and moving on to the next decorating book.

In fact, this is one of the few recent titles that I want to finish reading because the author seemed to “get” that most people who love decorating books do not want to read detailed explanations and long-winded personal opinions in every single paragraph. It’s uncomplicated, straight forward, no-frills, and not a dose of smugness. Emily shows that money does not buy style and that budget interiors are nothing to be ashamed of – in fact, it is a badge of honor when you use intuitive and style to create a budget-conscious home that is also style-conscious.

Cheap Chic

Cheap Chic

Cheap Chic was photographed by one of my favorite interiors photographers, Debi Treloar, so each of the 200 photos are light-filled and composed expertly. It’s important to note that I’ve not already seen the homes featured in other books or magazines already. My biggest complaint with decorating books is that some tend to recycle what has already been published, almost relying solely on stock photos, so the result is too often a book that you open and instantly feel like you’d seen it already — and it feels about as fresh as last week’s headlines. Cheap Chic, at least in my opinion, seems to have paid attention to ensuring photography and homes were fresh and interesting.

Cheap Chic

So that’s my little review of my new favorite book. But I’m not finished yet as there is a terrific quote I must share. When the author opened with words from Andree Putman I knew I was a fish in her net, “[To have] style is to see beauty in modest things”. Amen.

Disclaimer: I’m an Amazon affiliate and earn 4% on the sale of this book if purchased through this link.

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Books + Magazines on January 26, 2010

Up In The Air Somewhere

I’ve been thinking lately a lot about minimalistic organic white ceramics and how I naturally gravitate towards them when I’m out shopping. And more recently, I’ve been dreaming of white and gold ceramics and jewelry and I’m not sure where this obsession stems from. Then I remembered Up in the Air Somewhere which is Chicago-based designer and artist Susan Dwyer because she uses some white and gold in her work…

Up In The Air Somewhere

Susan makes some of the most stunning papier mache and ceramic vessels and spoons… and because she does not use molds, no two pieces are alike making them each display subtle differences from the last. This isn’t helping to tame my desire for all things white and gold… :) So, so pretty.

Up In The Air Somewhere

On a personal note, I’ve been wanting to paint things white with gold trim and I’ve set my sights on some pear-shaped wood coasters that I have and a brooch that I’ll have to work on later this week to satisfy my curiosity.

What about you, do you have any particular obsessions lately?

(photos: Ben Syverson)

Posted in ceramics on January 26, 2010

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays

It’s time to highlight some of my personal favorites over at Etsy this week! Today I have an eclectic mix for you, a little something for all starting with art that has heart, then moving on to pom pom headbands (you’ll see!), sweet fabrics, crafty finds and wrapping up with some pretty sweet prints by (surprise!) a guy – let’s face it, the ladies tend to dominate over at Etsy so when I find a guy with a great shop I usually do a little woot! woot! dance in my seat. Have fun!

Etsy Take Give Tuesdays

Love is in this air with Sarah + Bendrix from the UK. Don’t these look like something you’d find in some amazing London flat in Livingetc magazine or something? Love these. And best part, they look great on display long after February 14th.

Etsy Take Give Tuesdays

Maranon is amazing! Her knit and hand embroidered accessories are edgy and bold. Imagine wearing this pom pom headband? I can’t, but it’s very cool, especially for fashion shoots, runway, or if you’re hosting a fun cocktail party at home – it would be a riot to see what your friends think when you answer the door with giant pom poms on your head which remind me a bit of a mouse. Really sweet. The necklaces on the other hand, I would totally wear. Some of these would be great with a black turtleneck, some skinny jeans and a pair of caramel leather boots.

Etsy Take Give Tuesdays

On the prowl for fabrics that are sweet and colorful, perhaps for crafts or the bedroom of your little one? Scarlet Fig by fabric designer Laurie Wisbrun sells her own original designs available to ship worldwide — fabrics and pillow covers are available.

Etsy Take Give Tuesdays

Littleclouds is from the UK but recently moved to Hong Kong on a little adventure where she crafts all things cute from paper and fabric. You can’t help but notice her slight nod to her English roots in her products — and I like that. Her tea bag coasters are screen printed onto cork and are a personal favorite of mine.

Etsy Take Give Tuesdays

I haven’t shared work from Carving My Initials in awhile so in case you’d not read about him before, here is your chance to be exposed to some gorgeous lines and shapes – these are prints made from original paintings by artist Jim DeLucia in Rochester, New York.

(images linked to their sources above)

Posted in etsy, Etsy Take 5 Tuesday on January 26, 2010

Shopgirl Visits: ici et la

Australian photographer Jillian Leiboff recently visited ici et la, a store in Surry Hills Sydney that is known as a source for stylists because it stocks lovely French finds both new and old. I’ve spotted their name in some of the Australian magazines that I subscribe to, so when Jillian offered to share her visit with decor8 readers today I grabbed at the chance to take a peek inside of their new Nickson Street location. Maybe as you review the images below you can look for the shop dog… easy to find and so cute!

Store Tour: ici et la

Store Tour: ici et la

Store Tour: ici et la

Store Tour: ici et la

Store Tour: ici et la

Store Tour: ici et la

From lighting to vintage linens, signs and toys you can find so many things to bring back to your nest. At least if you live in Australia. For the rest of us, we can simply look upon this beautiful store and do a little window shopping and dream of Spring when we can find similar things at a flea market near to home.

What caught your eye? I love the striped fabrics and the ribbons the most, but the linens and vintage books stacked neatly tied with a bow really appeal to my romantic side.

Thank you Jillian for sharing your photos with us, I wish I had a Jillian in every city of the world sharing shop tours, this is always such a treat for me! Thanks again!!!

(images: jillian leiboff)

Posted in Shopgirl Visits on January 25, 2010

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