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Help My IKEA Dresser!

Alyson is a twentysomething decor8 reader seeking advice for her IKEA ANEBODA dresser. She says, “Okay, so I have this dresser from IKEA that I am sending the picture of. At first I loved it but now I am hating the clear poly thing! You can see how incredibly disorganized all my clothes are! Do you have any suggestions of how to either cover it or something? Any sort of advice would be appreciated!”

My first thought is to use paper or fabric applied directly to the interior of the polypropylene drawer fronts. This post over on the IKEA hacker blog may help you do something like this in a single afternoon. Casa Sugar also shows another good example of using paper and how to do it.

Anyone have DIY ideas for Alyson?

(image from IKEA)

Posted in diy, furniture, reader questions on January 26, 2009

Anthropologie Videos – Creepy or Cute?

I was just checking out the Anthropologie stuff for Autumn ’08 and came across these videos… I have to say, while they creep me out I do like them. I understand the need that a business has to continuously churn out new and innovative things to maintain a fresh look, but I wonder what your thoughts are in their new approach to product marketing on their site. Take a look here and tell me what you think. I like Spectra (it’s like Etsy!) and Look Closer is nice, but the Master Pieces videos… Hmmm… It is creative though!

I appreciate how Anthropologie works hard to stay fresh for us as we are always demanding something new and this gives companies a lot of work. One thing I would love though, that Anthropologie is not doing, is I’d like to see them roll out videos where customers can actually LEARN something… Like feature a series of DIY videos that show you how to make certain displays that you see in their stores for your home. They have so many cool installations that they churn out, window decals made from fabric, glass bottle light fixtures, etc. that I would find something like that not only inspiring but educational which may make me return to their site as often as they posted new videos. In turn, I may shop their site more.

Another idea I’d love to see: Interview the various designers behind their products and take you into their ateliers and show them at work. This would make the customer feel much more attracted to the products I think. I am under the impression that a lot of us see Anthro as a big box retailer more and more as they are becoming somewhat of a Starbucks (on every corner) in the states and this could be a potential negative for them. I adore Anthropologie, but not many are aware of where the boots and bags and clothing really come from, who designs them, etc. I’d love to learn more about where these products are coming from and the passion behind them…

I would also enjoy a series of videos that show you how to do something creative with products they carry in your own home. That would be helpful, like how some cool shopper in say Chicago used a pair of pillow shams on clearance and turned them into art or made some fun handbag or sewing machine cover out of it. Or how a girl in Kansas has a rad collection of teapots and used only the lids to create some funky art installation on the wall in her home. You know fun stuff like that… Show how customers are using Anthropologie products OR how customers could use them in fun and interesting ways. Teach us creative recycling. That way if you do get an item home and in 6 months you’re sick of it you may look at it in different way and use it as something else instead of boxing it up in the attic or eventually throwing it out. Creativity is inside of us all, some in larger doses or closer to the surface so to speak, but it can be taught, trained, sharpened. Have a series of videos that does that for Anthro customers so that shoppers develop their eye, taste, and start to think like a stylist. Isn’t that what we’d all love? To jump into the mind of a stylist for the day? Which leads me to think: Would you not LOVE to see them host lectures or DIY projects or indie art shows in their actual retail stores? A bit of an Anthro-university.

Of course, and I’ve been saying this for a few years, but I want them to roll out a book SO BADLY that it hurts. I’m dying to see them showcase the ‘best of the best’ displays in their stores with a How To guide teaching how we can do something similar in our home. How inspiring and useful would THAT be?

We are in real need of books that show creative artistic projects like that, and we’re also in need of books that show us how to style a room or create arrangements on tables, style bookcases, etc. I’ve had it with seeing books that show the same thing over and over again, we all know how to stack books, arrange them by color on a bookcase, top a stack of books with a pillar candle or OH MY GOD a shell. But what about giving us tasteful, yet useful and artistic ways to display the things we love in our home that isn’t Pottery Barn perfect but also isn’t tacky? Anthropologie Styling Tricks. Wouldn’t that be a dream book?

Care to comment with your thoughts on the Master Pieces video, what books you’d like to see that are missing, videos you’d be interested in watching or anything related? I enjoy hearing your thoughts, as the post I wrote about Wallpaper Borders yesterday inspired so many fantastic responses that I want to know more and more what you are all thinking out there… I want you to feel free to share your thoughts anytime you’d like because you may think that I am here each day to inspire you but oh no, it’s the other way around – YOU inspire ME tremendously. So thank you for always sharing and linking and being a special part of this blog.

Posted in Books + Magazines, Decorating Tips, reader questions on October 10, 2008

Wallpaper Borders – Your Thoughts?

I was out last night with a group of 11 creative women here in Hannover, all independent artists and designers who sell on DaWanda, and we met at this charming 100+ year old tea room called Teest?bchen in the old part of the city to discuss art, design, travel, you know… Girl talk! We had a really nice evening. One designer there asked me what my thoughts are on wallpaper border as she was thinking about making and selling some borders with her gorgeous illustrations on them.

Teest?bchen in Hannover.

My first reaction was No! but then as I was talking to her I realized that we cannot always do what is popular, we must sometimes do what we simply like and see what happens with it after we send it out into the world. Thing is, I do not like wallpaper border so my opinion of it was a bit negative and though I felt bad being so honest to this lovely lady, she did ask me for my opinion and I told her plainly that I did not like them at all.

Wallpaper border is in NO way a new concept, it has been done before and most of us dislike it because we still have visions from the 80s and early 90s when EVERYONE HAD IT in EVERY SINGLE ROOM sporting motifs that ranged from trains to roosters to mauve flowers. I think we associate it with tacky interior styles of the past (at least in America) and the rather tasteless ones found today in stores like Home Depot. Then again, years ago before Domino and Kelly Wearstler many of us HATED WALLPAPER WITH A PASSION. When I started blogging nearly 3 years ago, I remember writing about wallpaper and readers hating its comeback and commenting rather nasty things about it and now it’s trend and most people LOVE it.

The point is, do you think wallpaper borders could in fact make a comeback as wallpaper has? Do you hate it? What do you hate about it? How do you see borders being designed so as to have a positive response? I’d love to hear what readers from all parts of the world have to say on this topic so please voice your opinion!

And if you have no clue what wallpaper borders are, click here to see some

(image from Flickr via Ellenspenellen)

Posted in reader questions, walls on October 09, 2008

Reader Q: Help My Ugly Front Porch!

Jen is a reader looking for some help today with her front porch. She cannot make any structural changes but needs help with color and perhaps some furniture ideas and placement.

Jen’s stoop – Any suggestions?

Jen says, “It’s a fairly useless porch and it’s waaaaaay too white. We are going to replace the screen door and I’m thinking of painting the front door a bolder color (it’s now black). The walls of the porch have been primed and I’m just trying to decide what color it should be painted. I’d like to warm up the house a bit. And I’d like the porch to reflect the style within our house, not necessarily the 60′s split level style. Our *style* could be described as eclectic–contemporary cottage, perhaps. Cozy with lots of books and comfy furniture but not cluttered. Oh–and the picture does not properly show the planting that is to the right of the front step. I’ve got a huge bunch of black-eyed Susans there right now, but would happily change it if someone has ideas. The whole area is just plain awkward.”

Hmmm… Perhaps a lovely before and after from blogger Tissue Papers may inspire Jen a little?


Or maybe Martha Stewart can help (link)? Do you have some tips to help Jen add a little curb appeal to her porch? Thanks for writing in, Jen!

(images: top from reader jen, bottom two from the tissue papers blog)

Posted in outdoors, reader questions on August 04, 2008

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