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April 2010

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Interior Styling Group

April 29, 2010

We all love pretty + REAL homes because they inspire and motivate us to get off our humps and do something creative at home! I hope I’m not promoting the decor8 Interior Styling Group on Flickr tooooo much but I’m just so proud of what we’ve all done with it – the images are so inspiring and at least 30 new ones are added daily and now we’re up to 1,852 members worldwide with over 2,600 images submitted to the pool so far! Yeah, wow is right!

Interior Styling Group

All images are taken from Flickr members of their own spaces and contributed voluntarily, and we have monthly styling challenges posted in the Discussion section on the first of each month and some members can participate if they’d like while others can simply enjoy watching from the sidelines. There is a lovely range of homes to see that represent so many different decorating styles though I have to admit the focus is really on fresh, modern living, vintage modern, bohemian, eclectic, retro… I’m not opening the group to styles that fall outside of those areas because I want the group to have some visual harmony. Not all photos submitted are approved (I have to play the bad guy moderator) based on a number of reasons (too dark, not taken by the person submitting it, text/borders on images, product shots meant for promotional purposes, two many of the same photo, etc. but I do my best to allow as many as possible without the group becoming out of control as so many Flickr groups often do. And that always bothers me because I join a group with promise and hope and then in a few months it’s a mix of so many different things that the overall excitement is gone for me and I usually leave the group. I think this is because many groups are either not moderated or they are moderated by people who are scared to deny certain photos to the group – they don’t want to offend or hurt anyone’s feelings and trust me, I’m a sensitive soul myself so I understand how this can be challenging. BUT if you run a flickr group you are doing a huge disservice to your members if you start approving every single submission. It’s almost like blogging, you cannot possibly show everything that you see or that is sent to your inbox. I suggest Flickr group owners taking their groups as seriously as their blogs — it’s heard I know, but your members will really, really appreciate it and your little group will blossom into a beautiful, inspiring space online.

Here’s a glimpse above from one of the members, Jillian Frances, who took the time to create the above collage of 9 images from the following flickr members who contributed to the group: 1. me, decor8, 2. dottie angel, 3. fifi mandirac, 4. i L’aria, 5. die frau im haus, 6. the new domestic, 7. fensismensi, 8. i L’aria and 9. designace30. Don’t you love the bold, energetic palette!

To see all of the images, or to join the decor8 Interior Styling Group, please click here.






Handmade

Kathleen Hills: Ceramics

April 29, 2010

The work of ceramicist Kathleen Hills is truly impressive. Her innovative ideas, patterns, and overall product line is captivating. She combines both modern design with vintage in her collections of tableware, lighting and kitchenware. Some of my favorites include these gorgeous decanters below with porcelain tops and the porcelain vases with glass tops. Fun!

Kathleen Hills: Ceramics

After graduating from Central St Martins and the Royal College of Art, she established her company in 2002. About her work Kathleen explains, “I have a passion for conceptual thinking and narrative. I’m interested in how relationships are formed with objects within our domestic spaces, my work explores products that may have inherited family tradition and domestic ritual.” This is quite evident as you can see below.

Kathleen Hills: Ceramics

Kathleen Hills: Ceramics

Kathleen Hills: Ceramics

Kathleen Hills: Ceramics

Kathleen Hills: Ceramics

Kathleen Hills: Ceramics

Kathleen Hills: Ceramics

Kathleen Hills: Ceramics

Kathleen Hills: Ceramics

Kathleen Hills: Ceramics

Kathleen Hills: Ceramics

Kathleen Hills: Ceramics

So many beautiful works! Contemporary, organic and somewhat clinical forms are beautifully balanced with added bonuses of traditional patterns applied onto them to bring in a fresh, modern touch. “‘My work often explores emotional attachments that exist with certain products or materials, products that explore inherited family tradition and culture or domestic ritual”, Kathleen adds.

If you like what you see, her work is sold mostly in Europe and the US, so please check her stocklists here.

(images: kathleen hills)






Handmade

Rou Designs: Simple Bud Vase Ideas

April 29, 2010

To continue a bit more on our floral theme, there are so many simple yet stunning ways to present flowers in your home. One need not go crazy spending hundreds of dollars or even $20+ on bouquets. You can pick a few stems from your yard or balcony, grab some from a nearby field, or even ask a neighbor who may have many wild flowers in their yard if you could pick a handful for your home (our neighbors use to let us have our pick – literally!). Perhaps you could even find some fallen branches to arrange in a tall vase or pluck a few magnolia blooms (which are everywhere over here now, in full bloom) and pop them into a vase, tea tin, tea pot, anything really.

Rou Designs: Simple Bud Vase Ideas

A simple peony bloom can be all you need for a bud vase, or one of those gorgeous cabbage roses which is a favorite flower of mine. There are many, many options so don’t limit yourself to pre-made arrangements or clustering flowers together perfectly… again, simple touches can make an impact! Think of pearls with a black dress, or diamond studs with a button down blouse and some jeans. Simple elegance is what made Coco Chanel so famous as not every arrangement, whether fashion, interiors or floral designs need be over-the-top!

Rou Designs: Simple Bud Vase Ideas

Rou Designs: Simple Bud Vase Ideas

I found this beautiful porcelain shop recently called Rou Designs in New York who makes very simple bud vases in a feminine bubble shape that would be perfect for putting together something small and pretty by your bedside or on your perfume tray, or perhaps in the bathroom next to all of your pretty soaps and hand towels that you may have neatly folded on a shelf. You could even arrange several of the Rou Designs vases on a fireplace mantle or on a shelf in your entryway. If you’re having a dinner party (or getting married) you could consider adding several down the center of your table. I can see doing this and then popping in a big peony bloom in each in various shades of pink from pale to dark. Or mixing things up with a different color in each vase – imagine that!

Rou Designs: Simple Bud Vase Ideas

Rou Designs: Simple Bud Vase Ideas

Do you use small arrangements as a budget-friendly decorating accent in your home or office? I have some mini glass bud vases but get annoyed by how the water becomes dirty and you can see an ugly water line from the outside. For this reason, I’ve grown more and more fond of solid vases or colored glass lately vs. transparent glass.

Do you have mini bud vases in your home and if so, how and where do you arrange them? Here is how I usually arrange mine… I have mini porcelain vases and cups, glass mason jars, mini jam jars, and little glass bud vases — some are shown here, here, here, here and here.

(images: rou design)






Color Inspiration

Coral, Green and Blue

April 28, 2010

Hello Friends! It is Leslie with this month’s Color Me Pretty. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting a Ranunculus farm just south of where I live and I got really inspired with all the gorgeous colors.

Coral, Green and Blue

Coral, Green and Blue

I was really impressed with the coral toned variety and decided to use some of the photographs I took there as my inspiration for this column. I think the spring greens, light melons, darker corals and the light blue sky are so fresh and beautiful. I wanted to use this combination to provide you with some little ways to incorporate different palettes into your home life.

Coral, Green and Blue

Coral, Green and Blue

Coral, Green and Blue

Over my desk I have two medium sized cork boards that I got from the Container Store and I love changing what is on them all the time. Sometimes I have a color idea on them and other times it is more about an idea -like desserts! I like to use my eyelet puncher to hang envelopes on my board to hold little scraps or as a holder of visual ideas that I may want to work on later. I also like to use larger clips to hang art work so that I am not putting holes in some of my favorite cards, like the bird and bloom one by Hadley Hutton.

Coral, Green and Blue

Coral, Green and Blue

I keep some of my paper collection in inexpensive cylinder trash cans. It is nice to be able to see what you have in order to use and be inspired by your supplies. Of course some of my papers are kept laying flat in a proper box but I must say I end up using what is out and visible first! I also have a hard time parting with some of my scraps as I like to make cards for my family and friends. A simple way to organize your scraps is by cleaning up the shape of the piece (with a pair of small, sharp scissors like this) and then popping it into a glassine envelope. I taped the envelopes into a new journal so that I can reference the colorful bits for future paper craft projects.

Coral, Green and Blue

Coral, Green and Blue

Sometimes it is fun to experiment with a different color scheme by incorporating some new colors into a little entertaining idea. A couple fun colored bowls for dips or how about straws and goody bags? Yes, even adults love goody bags after a nice lunch or dinner!

Coral, Green and Blue

Coral, Green and Blue

I wanted to take a friend some flowers recently and decided to use an old mason jar.  To dress it up I tied some paper ribbon around the jar and fastened a clothes peg to it to hold the card. This could look good on a table as well and is a fun way to add a table number or even some fancy scrap papers!

I hope you found some ideas to incorporate more colors into you day and I look forward to seeing you here next month.

Take good care,
Leslie






Color Inspiration

Pretty Flowers

April 28, 2010

I picked up some flowers just the other day – bi-colored carnations (never underestimate the power of carnations!), creamy white freesia, and gorgeous pink ranunculus. Instead of putting them all in one vase, I decided to split them into four arrangements so that I could spread them around different rooms to brighten up more than one area of the home and to stretch my money – so for a mere $11 I have more than enough flower power to go around. I put some in a white IKEA vase, a few stems in a vintage blue glass vase, more in a vintage creamer from my husband’s grandmother, and finally a few in a tea tin that I couldn’t part with after I drank all of the tea because I loved the color so much. These flowers are now in my bedroom and living room and the house smells beautiful!

Pretty Flowers

In the living room…

Pretty Flowers

Near my bed…

Pretty Flowers

In the living room, different view.

Pretty Flowers

In my reading nook…

Pretty Flowers

My workspace, a tiny corner of my living room. The glass vase is vintage for only $1 at the flea market last Saturday — I love it!

Leslie Shewring will be here with us in a moment with Color Me Pretty for more floral inspiration which is a nice boost on a Wednesday, don’t you think? I love Spring!

Maybe our flower posts today will inspire you to pick up some inexpensive blooms and go home and have a little fun arranging them and placing them bedside, near your perfume tray, on the coffee table on some books… What do you think?

(images: holly becker for decor8)






Shop Tours

Moomah: Creative Arts Cafe

April 27, 2010

Ah, Moomah. The dream shop/cafe in my mind that actually exists and where else but in New York. Have you visited? Please say yes and please tell me more! From what I read on their site, Moomah is a creative arts cafe where parents and children can eat, create (with do-it-yourself tables) and shop. They even have classes for kids and for adults too. I had heard about this creative and cozy space awhile back as it traveled around blogland but was reminded of it again as I was reading Anita Kaushal’s blog because she likes Moomah, too. Here are some views of their retail space. When I’m in New York this summer I’m definitely hitting this place even if for a few moments just to see my dream in the flesh.

Moomah: Creative Arts Cafe

Moomah: Creative Arts Cafe

Moomah: Creative Arts Cafe

Moomah: Creative Arts Cafe

Moomah: Creative Arts Cafe

Moomah: Creative Arts Cafe

Moomah: Creative Arts Cafe

What an amazing retail space, it’s creative and packed with visual eye candy in addition to the good things there to eat and drink. Talk about sensory overload… Heaven.

(images: moomah and kim cornelison)






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