Hello everyone! I’m Tina Ramchandani, an interior designer from New York. I recently met Holly at the Blogging Your Way Road Trip, here in New York. It was a great weekend filled with inspiring stories and creative energy. Meeting Holly and her guest teacher Leslie Shewring, of A Creative Mint, was a highlight, as I’ve been reading their blogs for quite some time now. Little did I know I would wake up one rainy New York morning to an email from Holly, asking me to cover the launch of HomeMint for decor8 since she was unable to attend.
HomeMint is a home product line designed and curated by musician and actor Justin Timberlake, and his interior designer and friend, Estee Stanley. Before I jump into the details, I have to tell you that this was an amazing opportunity and I am so grateful that Holly thought of me.
Wednesday morning was pouring here in New York, and I was not looking forward to the disgusting commute to work. But when I stepped out of the shower, Holly wrote on my Facebook – “I just sent you an email – please respond as soon as you can!” In my inbox I saw the subject, “Are you free to meet Justin Timberlake for me?” Are you kidding me?! Hell yes! I was going to meet Justin Timberlake! You can try and act super cool, and pretend you won’t be excited by such a thing, but once the moment hits, you are so excited! So thank you Holly for making my day, and week, very memorable!
This was a total VIP event. Justin and Estee had decorated a suite at the Mercer Hotel in HomeMint products. The line is comprised of many accessory items from a variety of sources, all hand picked by the duo. When asked if they every “argue” about what should be included int he line, they said no, they don’t argue. Instead they question each other, and that their design process is always a continuous conversation. The suite was covered with HomeMint rugs, pillows, baskets, throws and blankets as well as tabletop items and ceramic canisters. It wasn’t hard to see their vision as soon as I stepped into the space. Estee and Justin both noted that the collection reflects their personal styles and that their styles are very similar to each other, so it worked out easily.
This is an edited collection, and Justin was quick to point out that as in any other form of art, interior design is never really complete. Up until the very last minute, both Justin and Estee tweak the line, changing and deleting items. One of the most memorable points Justin made was that the design of a room should be constantly changing. Furniture should move, pillows should be switched out, rugs should be replaced. If not, the room does not feel lived in. The pair doesn’t believe in feng shui, instead they feel there is no right or wrong when it comes to design. Justin never tries to “balance” a room as it limits his vision. “Unbalanced looks cool.” Yea it does!
I asked both Justin and Estee to pick out their favorite pieces of the collection. Obviously that’s hard to do as so much time and effort was poured into perfecting the collection, but I pressed them. I really wanted to know! Estee pointed out her favorite pillow, which is her favorite because of the nubby textured fabric which has random streaks of color running through it. Justin was all over the place, and really had a hard time narrowing it down! He mentioned the artwork at first. Two pieces in the art collection are images of New York he shot himself. He spoke about the art for a bit, which are all from artists you won’t normally find work from. The pair wanted affordable artwork available to the general public, which wasn’t “just another map.” Yes folks, I think the map trend is really dying out now! He moved on to the baskets and blankets but finally settled on the rugs. The rugs, are Justin Timberlake’s favorite! FYI, Estee let us know that this, talking in circles, was the difference between men and women. Hilarious! She also said, that these differences are what made the collection really work – having a man and woman work together on a home line. They both agreed that more masculine items are the dinnerware and wooden cutting boards.
The line will change throughout the year, mostly seasonally with a few new items added each month. The goal of the line overall was not to have everything match. Justin and Estee both wanted to push forward timeless, trendless pieces that will “go” with anything that you have, and will not be considered ‘last season’ a month from now. They’ve done a great job.
When we spoke about how to mix up a room, Justin said he tries not to think of one furniture piece as an absolute. He will take that coffee table and move it to the other room to see if it feels right. Estee described alternate uses for many pieces in the line. A blanket can be used as a table cloth, and napkins can be used as hand towels in a bathroom. Always keep your eyes open and see what you can do differently.
I asked Estee where she looked to for inspiration for this line. It’s her first product line, and it’s a huge task to get started. She used manufacturers she uses when decorating a home, mostly manufacturers that the general public doesn’t know about. She wanted affordable yet unique items in her first collection. Canvas was one of them, which I am very familiar with. Andrew Corrie, the owner of Canvas, was in attendance and it was a pleasure to speak with him a little bit about the line. He worked closely with Estee to develop the table top and dinnerware portion of the line. The baskets are made by Medina and the bedding, towels and linens are made by Matteo. While both Estee and Justin worked closely with these vendors, the items they supply are available exclusively at HomeMint.
It was easy to see the two were comfortable working together. Justin explained their long relationship as having “good shorthand.” Justin described his personal style as simple, while Estee described hers as living in neutral with pops of color. And that, my friends, is what the essence of this collection is. Neutrals, with pops of color. What a great day! – Tina
Thank you Tina for covering the HomeMint launch for me in NYC! I can’t believe that I missed THE opportunity to meet Mr. Timberlake but I’m thrilled that you were able to go and bask in his loveliness yesterday. :)
So readers, I wonder what your opinion is on celebrities launching home decor lines? I see more and more these days springing up and wonder if you have an opinion on it and also, what do you think of HomeMint?
(images: homemint and hgtv)
Prepare to feast your eyes! Last year I announced the launch of What Liberty Ate, a gorgeous digital magazine based in Romania founded by talented blogger and foodie Gabriela Iancu. Today she has released issue two and I simply had to pop in on a Sunday to bring this inspiring issue to you because I know you’ll enjoy it. Gabriela brings heaps of passion and love for cooking into this magazine that you can’t help but fall in love. Together with her contributors who are based all over the world, this magazine has a genuineness to it that I appreciate so much. Here are a few of my favorites below – from the layouts to the interviews and recipes, it’s altogether yummy!
I love this understated spread, no photos, just a gorgeous smattering of pink watercolor. It’s a really nice visual break.
An interview with food blogger Aran Goyoaga.
“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots”. – Frank Howard Clark. So true!
An interview with food blogger and now book author, Béatrice Peltre.
“In the second issue you can read gorgeous interviews with Aran Goyoaga and Béatrice Peltre and you will find here affordable recipes with focus on seasonal ingredients and inspiring photography with emphasis on home feeling. Equally, you will discover enthusiastic Romanian food blogs, such as Just love Cookin’, Alison’s trials, Gatherings of the World, and their vision about food and photography. We also featured a wonderful haute couture house found in Bucharest by the curious team of Designist. The art and joy of the perfect tea has been presented to us by Miss Babacilu, a costume jewelry designer.” Great job Gabriela, nicely done and so inspiring for all!
(images: what liberty ate)
Hello friends, it is Leslie here for May’s edition of Color Me Pretty. As you can see this series is about the many shades of ocean blue, like fresh aqua, ultramarine, indigo and pale blue. With summer around the corner it is hard not to think about this classic blue and bright white combination.
I have been spending a lot of time in my studio lately working on some projects with watercolors and acrylics. If you don’t already, I highly recommend playing with paints to explore color combinations. It is nice because you can also experiment with a color’s intensity by adding a little water to lighten, or a little more paint to get a darker shade. You can explore a color palette on a small sheet of paper before you use it in a larger scale design project.
A couple weeks ago I spent the day on a little beach near my home with my family and we had fun finding loads of sea glass that was washed up among the rocks. I decided to sort our colorful treasures into piles. It is always an interesting design challenge to think about good ways to display collections. I can imagine this sea glass glued to these pieces of paper and then put into a deeper frame or shadow box. It may also be nice to find some pretty clear bottles to put the glass in to then admire on a little shelf. I think my daughter would like that as she enjoys holding and looking at her “treasures from the sea”. I love the aqua and pale teal shades, and could see them looking pretty in the water of a floral arrangement or in a dish in my bathroom.
With all the watercolors on my desk I couldn’t help but dip the edges of some doilies in the colored water! I have seen some crocheted doilies dip dyed and wanted to experiment with the paper ones for gift-wrapping. This was so quick and you just need a big sheet of paper to dry them on. The drying paper looked beautiful too with the doily patterns left on it in blue paint. The dip dyed little doilies would look sweet wrapped around a jelly jar full of flowers. You could also dye the paper with food coloring for a food safe option. I think I may try dipping them in hot pink next!
I hope you have enjoyed this color story and maybe you have a few ideas to try out. Take care, enjoy May and thank you! – Leslie.
(photography: leslie shewring)