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Tara Hogan: Art, Design + Greetings

Tara Hogan flat out rocks. Not only does she design amazing paper products and prints on etsy, but she has a graphic design studio where she churns out creative designs for clients in the form of business cards, logos, and websites. I’ve been working with her all week on my new business cards. At first, I thought I wanted robin’s egg blue and fuchsia, but you know, it feels a bit dated now, the blue feels draining and cold, and so I pleaded to Tara to not kill me, but I needed to change the entire concept. I’m sure she lives for clients like me.

No go:

So I told her about a bird in a cage…A yellow bird, and the cage and all the text on the front of the card would be white. And the background would be sky blue, that color to me represents absolute freedom. And the little bird is me because I once felt trapped in my 9-to-5 but opened the door and escaped into the world of freelance. I also had a pet bird as a child that I adored so much that I still talk about my childhood pal (just ask my poor husband who gets to hear me repeat such stories, thrilling, right honey?). Luckily, Tara thought to leave the cage without a door, and I like it that way, everything has to be tied to a deeper meaning for me or else it doesn’t work. And maybe the bird motif is a bit pass?, but please, it’s my card and I’ve decided that the bird stays. Chirp!

The geometric trellis pattern on the back is so me. I’m thinking of having her plump it up and add joints to resemble cane, but that may make it too trendy or seasonal and I’m not sure I’d hand this card out in say, the middle of October, if it felt too much like summer. Perhaps this is perfect as is. What do you think?

I’m now trying to decide on whether or not I want the color yellow somewhere else on the front. Maybe a trellis pattern along the white band on the bottom of the cage? Or maybe “8″ in decor8 in yellow? Or my name in yellow? I’m not sure. What do you think? I’d like to see the trellis pattern SOMEWHERE on the front. I consulted design guru Tara about this, so let’s see what she comes up with. Clever Tara. Hire this girl, she really is amazing to work with. And patient. Oh, and I forgot to add that the card is shiny, high-gloss, with rounded edges. It almost looks like a playing card.

Almost a go:


Note: While you’re viewing these cards, you may notice my new url. I’ve been working on this since December since I’ve moved off of blogger to my own server and domain, but since it’s still “in process” please do not update any of your links until I have everything finished. Thanks.

(images from tara hogan)

Posted in designers on June 08, 2007

Tara Larkin, Interior Stylist

I’d like to highlight the work of Tara Larkin, a London-based Interior Stylist. With over ten years of experience styling for magazines such as House Beautiful (UK) and Real Homes (UK), along with companies and private clients, her portfolio contains a few images that I’m fond of, especially since I’m big on pinks and greens lately, so I’m soaking up everything that inspires me and putting them here on decor8. I hope you don’t mind.

Building a room is all about layering in one element at a time, careful arrangement, and as you live in the space and time goes on, editing it from time to time to ensure that things remain somewhat neat. Of course, I couldn’t live in any of these rooms, I need some of my magazines scattered about, lots of art on the walls, and piles of pillows everywhere (just ask my husband, I never tire of pillows). Although this simple, scaled down look is comforting to look at and gives me ideas — I can see where I’d love to add or remove this or that to infuse my own style.

In the following rooms, how would you edit them to show your style? I’d love to know!

I’d replace the wood coffee table with a round glass top or a white or marble top saarinen low table. I’d also pull the side table closer in so that it’s closer the sofa.

In this room, I’d add a drum pendant over the table, perhaps a geometric or leaf motif. Of course, fresh flowers in the table center, and a huge graphical plush rug to ground the space, I’m thinking 8 x 10 would work. I’d hate to cover those beautiful floors, though. I’d like to see a little more color on the bookcase, too. I love the arrangement of everything on it left alone, it’s perfect.

I’d change the bedding and turn this room into an Indian escape. I love the wall as is, perfect. The tea set would be replaced by a napping kitty. The lamp would have a more substantial base, and in a color like yellow or turquoise to play off those I’d introduce through my new bedding. Lots of pillows, too! I may make a slipcover with a padded insert to conceal the headboard, unless this is a room for a little girl, then I may leave it be. I’d shop for everything at Layla, John Robshaw, Kerry Cassill, and Nomad. Remember Pink Shrink that SFGirlByBay Victoria blogged about? Something like that.

I’d love the see the wall behind the entertainment center in either tulip yellow or green (kelly or lime) OR with a big, bold wallpaper pattern in yellow and white or green and white — geometric or a floral print. And a cozy rug of course, I love rugs against hardwood. I also think that the end table either needs to be higher, or needs a stack of books with brightly colored spines, topped with a succulent in a pretty pot.

I don’t know about this room. She did a great job pulling together these two strong hues, but I’m a bit scared of them used together in a single room, both almost fighting for the spotlight. I know, I know, it’s the American in me. If given the choice over a beige/cream space or a purple/red space, most of us would take the former, admit it. I’d settle somewhere in the middle with pink. :)

So, what do you think? How would you add your personal style to these rooms? Of course, Tara’s work is invigorating and inspiring as is, but it’s fun to play. The more you take rooms apart with you look at them, the more you are training your eye and peering a little deeper into all the beautiful images you love – there’s great benefit in careful inspection! I hope you’ll check out Tara’s website and view all the images she has in her portfolio. Enjoy!

(images from tara larkin)

Posted in designers, shopping, travel on June 06, 2007

Oras Modern Mobiles

Vilija from Oras Designs wrote in about the modern, geometric wall mobiles that she recently launched (Fall ’06) out of her design studio in San Rafael, California. Available in a myriad of colors, your choice of either squares or ovals, these mod mobiles are fresh and unique. Learn more about Vilija over on her website, Oras Designs. She’ll even commission a custom piece just for you!


Thanks so much for writing in, Vilija!

(images from oras)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, bedroom, designers on May 14, 2007

Kerry Cassill *New* Online Store

I can’t believe it! Kerry Cassill now has an online store with home goods and fashion so shout it from the rooftops! To me, there’s nothing better than combining a little Bombay/Mumbai influence with a touch of California sunshine for Summer ’07. I love how Kerry layers patterns and colors, I think I’ll pick up a few pillowcases to cut apart and convert into a simple ottoman cover… Oh, how you inspire us to do great things in our homes, Kerry!

(images from kerry cassill)

Posted in bedroom, designers, fashion + accessories, textiles on May 14, 2007

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