Monthly Archives

December 2010

Arts + Crafts

Artist Barbara Augustynowicz

December 9, 2010

I came across the work of Polish artist Barbara Augustynowicz today on Flickr and immediately knew I had to share it with you! Her art is created using several mediums — sometimes a piece will begin in a sketchbook and then watercolors, ink, pencil, pens and markers are used. In the end, Photoshop and Illustrator gives her work that polished, finishing touch.

Artist Barbara Augustynowicz
Artist Barbara Augustynowicz

Barbara Augustynowicz is the founder of Bachullus Design where she takes on freelance illustration and graphic design projects. Her art is rooted in her four key loves: fashion, design, photography, and art. Barbara currently studies at Modern Graphics in Krakow. She can be found on Flickr in two places: Here is where her illustration is (I encourage you to check it out) and here is where you’ll find her photography.

(images: barbara augustnowicz)

Trends

The Crate Trend: Hot or Not?

December 9, 2010

I’m sure you see them popping up all around blogland, the crate trend is hot — and I don’t mean milk crates but gorgeous, rustic wood ones. Crates that range in size and color and are making their way to homes everywhere… There are lots of companies who sell them, even more who find vintage ones and resell them, and then there are homeowners who choose to make them.

The Crate Trend: Hot or Not?

Kjerstis Lykke is a blogger who likes to use crates to store things in on the countertop in her kitchen as well as in her living room as a bookcase on castors.

If you want to make crates into something functional and good-looking try popping on some castors and roll them around as storage (great for magazines and kid’s toys), stack some for a bookcase, or mount one or several to a wall as shelving. If you can’t seem to find crates then try hitting a craft store or one of those natural wood shops. Retropolitan found her crates below at the Jo-ann craft store for $9.99 each (currently on sale for $6.99) and she shows exactly how she turned her boring find into a fab one with an A-Z how-to right here. Tip: You can also get sturdier crates from Target for $28 and make them look weathered by adding some stain, paint, sanding them in spots, hitting them with a chain or hammer… I’m not kidding! Crates that look vintage are all the rage.

The Crate Trend: Hot or Not?

The Crate Trend: Hot or Not?

Another homeowner who chose the DIY route is Ana White who happens to have a hammer on her hip for this tutorial. I love her crates that she has handmade shown above. Great work! Learn more here.

The Crate Trend: Hot or Not?

Bailey’s Home & Garden and The Selby

The Crate Trend: Hot or Not?

Three Potato Four shop

The Crate Trend: Hot or Not?

Images above are from an unknown source but if you are clever and know their origin please tell me so I can give them link love. :) Looking for vintage crates? Take your pick here on eBay!

Zakkamate on Etsy has them too.

Ironically, I couldn’t find one single wood crate at Crate & Barrel. Did you follow Will & Grace when it was hot? I loved that show, Grace Adler was my idol at the time! I wanted to BE her, red hair and all. :) Anyway, Will said in one episode, “Do people not know how long it takes to pickle something? I had to buy a barrel, for God’s sake. Those aren’t easy to find. You’d think they’d sell them at Crate & Barrel. But, guess what? They don’t. They don’t sell crates, either. Hey, next time, save me the trip and name your store Ottomans & Wicker Crap!”

What do you think of crates? Do you have them in your home? Do you want them in your home? Love? Hate? Somewhere in between?

(images linked to their sources above)

Decorating Tips

Inspiring Danish Brand: Nordal

December 9, 2010

Have you heard of Nordal? Living here I’m exposed to lots of Danish design, especially in the magazines that I read, but also in some of our online stores and even retail spaces here in my own city. I found reference to them today in Le Souk, an online shop in The Netherlands where you can find their gorgeous butterfly chairs (I’m thinking to buy one). I thought you may like to check them out because this style appeals to me so perhaps part of it will appeal to you.  Nordal is yet another brand from Denmark that is a family-owned business and they design products that are functional but also very natural looking with the occasional playful chair or stool thrown in. This looks like a fun line for decorating!

Inspiring Danish Brand: Nordal

They design most of the products that you see in Denmark but have them manufactured in the far east but only in good conditions so you can feel good about purchasing from Nordal, which to me is very important. We as consumers need to question where our favorite brands are making their wares, after all our money is directly supporting either fair employment or something entirely unethical – it’s something to think about it. Would you like to see more of their products?

Inspiring Danish Brand: Nordal

Above you can see some over-dyed vintage patchwork rugs that I spoke of recently in this post. Do you like this trend? What are your thoughts? I love it, just in a more subdued hue because I’m not into bold brights in my home. Plus, I recently bought a neutral patchwork rug in Istanbul that is huge, it’s in my living room, and it has tones of gray and beige and cream with some bright pinks accents and it’s a-m-a-z-i-n-g to me at least. I can’t wait to show you once I pull my living room together.

Inspiring Danish Brand: Nordal

And don’t worry, if you cannot find these exact items in your home country use posts such as this one to inspire you to be on the look out for specific pieces in your local area that have a similar look. I usually print out or circle things in magazines and then try to find something similar in my part of the world, especially since so many companies in the U.S. do not ship to Germany, I’ve had to change my entire approach to shopping and that is the best tip that I can give you.

For instance, if  you are shopping around for a similar look, try to scout rustic wood tables with metal bases. Rivets are also part of this look, so if your metal has rivets all the better. Also metal piping as the base is very current. I don’t think it would be a bad idea to invest in a good rustic table with a metal base as it will look great for years to come. You can find pieces that are new by furniture designers, ones that are from companies like Nordal (but made in China, India and Thailand for example), or you can scout for vintage pieces which may or may not be the most affordable option as dealers watch the trends and read blogs too so you can believe that prices go up when something in their stock becomes sought-after. Another idea is to try making it yourself, you can use an old barn door from a salvage yard and then find metal legs and in a single afternoon, you can pop those legs on that door and be good to go!

It’s all about developing your eye and really thinking about what exactly it is that you like about a piece and then if that piece isn’t available to you, try to find something like it elsewhere or even make it yourself if that is reasonable. I’ve seen lots of similar wares in stores all over the states, again, it’s all about shopping with an eagle eye!

I hope that you have enjoyed the introduction to Nordal!

(images: nordal)

Inspiring Danish Brand: Nordal

Books + Magazines

Anthology Magazine

December 8, 2010

Today I received a thoughtful gift from fellow blogger Anh-Minh Le who is now the co-founder and Editor In Chief of Anthology magazine (yay!). What did she send? A copy of the premiere issue of Anthology for Fall. It’s lovely!

Anthology Magazine

The magazine encourages, “Living With Substance & Style“, words I agree with 100% — especially the “substance” part as good style is nice but being a person with substance, now that is what seals the deal for me when it comes to selecting friends and when it comes to what I read — I want to feel as though I’m getting something for my money because let’s face it, there’s a lot of information out there. In order for me to pay for what I could normally get for free online, it has to have substance. Anthology looks as though I’m going to get that and I can’t wait to dig in and read it. I did have a look at the images and they are quite dreamy…

Anthology Magazine

Anthology Magazine

Anthology Magazine

Thank you Anh-Minh for sending me a copy way over here in Germany. You did a great job, both you and your creative director, Meg Matteo Ilasco. I wish you both the best of luck with your publication going forward and I will definitely order your next issue. Bravo, ladies!

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Color Inspiration

Merry + Bright

December 8, 2010

Hello Friends, it is Leslie here with Color Me Pretty for December. I am really inspired by some of the soft colors used for decorating for the holidays. Hues like aqua, soft lavender, butter yellow and silver. It is a pleasure to experiment with a more subtle hued approach. With the help of a few sparkly ornaments and some candles, I can already feel my holiday spirit being lifted.

Merry + Bright

Wrapping gifts has always been a real joy for me. I love seeing parcels nicely wrapped and tied with ribbon. I also cannot seem to throw out pieces of nice paper, as I tend to save them all. Lately, I have been into making paper quilts to use as wrapping paper for special friends who enjoy paper like I do.

Merry + Bright

Merry + Bright

Merry + Bright

Merry + Bright

I use tape to quilt together pretty scraps of paper to make a larger piece of paper to then wrap presents with. The process does not take very long and I like the effect after a simple ribbon is added. It is a nice way to use gorgeous bits that may have otherwise gone in the trash.

Merry + Bright

Merry + Bright

I had to include this photograph of a special bag I purchased in Amsterdam in October as it has been hanging in my studio and I have been staring at it for some time. You can see how the palette has been influencing me! The bag was made by the hands of Leslie Oschmann an American designer living in Amsterdam who I had the pleasure of meeting. She is a lovely, warm and very talented designer who turns old unwanted paintings into new tote bags. Leslie also breathes new life into chairs and jewelry. You can read more about what she is up to on her website. Some of her bags are also available at Anthropologie.

Merry + Bright

Merry + Bright
Merry + Bright

Merry + Bright

It is my wish for you (and me) to fit in some “slow” moments this season as they help make a hectic holiday routine more manageable.  Create space for a lingering cup of tea, a little time to savor yummy books or magazines, an afternoon for organizing or at least a minute to indulge in the scents of fresh flowers. Whatever holidays you celebrate I hope these last few weeks of 2010 are filled with joy. See you next year and thank you! – Leslie!

(images: leslie shewring)

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