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Mati Rose McDonough: Favorite Things

A few of my favorite things: Mati Rose McDonough

I’m honored to be included here! Here are “A few of my favorite things”. Hello I’m Mati Rose McDonough and I’m visiting while Holly is moving as part of her August guest series “A few of my favorite things”. I’m a painter in San Francisco and have a blog, website of my art and etsy shop.

Mati Rose McDonough

This photo is in my bedroom where I have one wall painted turquoise (the others are white and the ceiling is sky blue). One of my favorite things is this ceramic mirror my mom made from pieces of broken china she found in Maine where she lives. I love it because It is a daily reminder of my mom and makes me feel nostalgic for the past when people used fine china. I also clearly like accessories—plastic gumball necklaces mixed with handmade and vintage pieces. The silhouette painting is by my local SF pal Annie Galvin.

Mati Rose McDonough

This photo is an ode to my love of chunky cocktail like rings. They make me feel fancy, even though they were mostly inexpensive baubles.

Mati Rose McDonough

Moving along, I love this 1960’s turquoise chair that serves as the reading nook in my bedroom. It makes me feel like lounging and reminds me to slow down, sip some tea or a lemon drop and look through some magazines for inspiration. The top pillow is by one of my favorite illustrators Nate Williams.

Mati Rose McDonough

Next, these tiny bright espresso cups are hung over my kitchen sink and are mostly from the dollar store, but they make me so happy every time I stand here to do the dishes. The calendar is by Nikki McClure. I admire her graphic simplicity using cut paper and grounding sentiments.

Mati Rose McDonough

Lastly one of my favorite groupings combines my grandmother’s china pitcher filled with colorful chopsticks from Chinatown and tiny plates my friend Stefanie gifted to us for our wedding from local ceramicist Rae Dunn that say: “Have. Pure. Luck.” The Queen Elizabeth painting is by my friend and rising art star Christina Empedocles. The combination of these few beloved things on my shelf makes me feel connected to strong elegant women in the past and present.

In looking through a few of my favorite things I realize that I like playful, affordable, bright and bold mixed with more feminine pieces. My artist husband Lovejoy’s tea room. I appreciate sassy, beautiful, unique and quirky characteristics combined.

Some of my favorite movies and muses are Jean Seberg in Breathless, Margot Tenenbaum in The Royal Tenenbaums and Parker Posy in Party Girl. Not to mention singers Santigold, Lucinda Williams and Cat Power and writers Isabel Allende, David Sedaris and Persepolis author and illustrator Marjane Satrapi. I love painters Squeak Carnwath, Beatriz Milhazes and Margaret Killgallen.

Favorite advice: Be yourself everyone else is taken.

Thanks for spending a little of your time with me today on decor8 — I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing a few of my favorite things!- Mati.

(photos: Mati Rose McDonough)

Posted in Home Tours on August 12, 2009

Lisa Congdon: Favorite Things

A few of my favorite things: Lisa Congdon

Hello! My name is Lisa Congdon. I am an artist who lives and works in San Francisco. I also co-own a design shop in San Francisco called Rare Device. I write a little blog with my puppy Wilfredo called The Adventures of Lisa and Wilfredo. I’m super excited to chat with you today about my apartment while Holly is moving as part of her  guest series, “A few of my favorite things.” Without further ado, here are a few of my favorite things in my apartment!

Lisa Congdon

I collect vintage Japanese and Scandinavian kitchenware. I love how colorful it is. This shelf sits next to a window in my kitchen, and I love the way the light makes everything on the shelf so bright. It cheers me up every time I walk into my kitchen!

Lisa Congdon

Recently my partner and I redecorated the apartment, and we decided to put shelves in the kitchen to store bulk food in jars. It’s a really great system, because now many of the items we use on a regular basis are labeled and we can see how much of everything we have on hand at a glance. The shelves sit under my plate wall, which is another really bold and cheerful spot in my kitchen.

Lisa Congdon

One of the rooms we changed completely was the bedroom. We painted it blue (it was most recently dark brown!) and have created a really defined color scheme of blue, orange, green, white and black. We really love the light blue background with the bursts of color. It’s bright but also very calming. I think the bedroom is our new favorite room!

Lisa Congdon

I love this little vignette in the bedroom. It features work by some of my favorite artists: Caitlin Keegan, Something’s Hiding in Here and Lorena Siminovich.

Lisa Congdon

This is the top of my dresser in the bedroom. It is an assemblage of some of my favorite things by more of my favorite artists: Something’s Hiding in Here (again!), Diana Fayt, Sara Paloma, Marina Luz, Chris Bettig and my sister Stephanie Congdon Barnes. It also includes my favorite photo of my partner and me, taken on my birthday this past January. I think it’s important to have peaceful things by your bedside.

I draw most of my inspiration for decorating from observing and working with color. My artwork is also very colorful, so it’s obviously an element that captivates me. Our apartment has very little natural light, since we are on the first floor of the building and are sandwiched between two other apartment buildings. As a result, I’ve had to create the illusion of a light, airy space with color choices. It’s been a really fantastic challenge.

I really enjoy creating vignettes in my apartment with objects and art. I think I have been doing this since I was a kid (I remember arranging and rearranging my room almost monthly as a little girl). I remember reading somewhere years ago that it is important to cluster like objects together when creating vignettes on shelves or other surfaces so that they look cohesive. For example, you choose one likeness: like in form, like in color(s), like in concept, etc, and then make your arrangement, varying items by height.

Thank you for joining me in my kitchen and bedroom! I hope you have enjoyed your visit. – Lisa

(images: Lisa Congdon)

Posted in Home Tours on August 11, 2009

Stevens Happy Accidents: My Favorite Things

A few of my favorite things: Stevens Happy Accidents.

Hello everyone, I’m Steven from the blog Stevens Happy Accidents (and etsy shop), and I’m so happy to be visiting decor8 whilst Holly is moving, as part of her guest series “a few of my favorite things”. I live in a tiny rented house just outside London, I’m close enough to use and abuse everything the big city has to offer, but far enough away to feel like I’m in the countryside. I live here with one husband, one unloving cat, an overly needy dog, and two greedy fish. And here are a few of my favorite things.

Stevens Happy Accidents

(home..) This is the place where I sit and smile, with colour and texture all around me. It’s from here where I visit every corner of the world and make my heart go boom boom boom, by seeing whats new on my favorite blogs and places I have to click into every day, be it an amazing new wallpaper or the latest celebrity scandal. It’s from here where I pull up a tiny table and get out my sewing machine to create whatever happy accidents happen that day, it’s from here I laugh out loud at the silly dancing my David does, it’s here where most nights we eat dinner and watch Dynasty (I love Jeff Colby) and it’s here where I could and would, given half a chance stay and smile forever.

Stevens Happy Accidents

(vintage pinball..) This corner of my home is where I proudly hang a vintage wooden tabletop game that I rescued from the evil clutches of someone at a car boot sale here in London, and to think I almost walked away from it, because it’s now one of my favorite things. It’s a fair point to say that one persons trash is another persons treasure, and I love that forever now it will be part of my life, it might hang on many different wall’s and be positioned alongside many different things, but it will be seen and loved, never discarded and sold.

Stevens Happy Accidents

(bedroom..) This is my side of the bedroom, the side where i dream a happy adventure, where I bury my head under my brightly coloured pillows and hide, where my dog whines at 3 in the morning to be let out. It’s where I refresh and start every day new, it’s where I talk too much, and apparently snore too loudly, it’s where I look up and plot my world travels. It’s where I sleep with my feet out..and never under the duvet. It’s my bed, and I love it, and you can’t have it. :)

Stevens Happy Accidents

(hi..) This is without doubt, the greatest thing i have ever rescued from a car boot sale, and one of the best things in my home. Please imagine the scene, early morning, coffee in hand, and I suddenly sprint across the field at the sight of these big chunky letters just sitting under a table, I’m screaming on the inside “oh my god oh my god“…… I ask how much for them, expecting to be told a stupid amount, and the man says “£10 mate”, “yes please” I scream back at him. Sprint off again to get some money from David, and finally walk away, now out of breath with my best ever find. One day I will attach it to a wall and fit lights on the inside.. but for now, I love my Hi.

Stevens Happy Accidents

(bathroom) My bathroom was already painted these colours when we moved in, and the landlady refuses to let us paint over them, but I have come to like it. Whoever knew aqua blue and lavender would work well together? But mixed in with my own little additions its a room I do love. It is big, it floods with light, and its got in it one of the greatest inventions ever…the bath, where like the pig I am, I wallow, and soak away any cares I might have had. Where I read the trashiest of books, and make the best magazines all soggy and wet. The getting clean part is just an added bonus of this room, my aqua blue and lavender bathroom.

(inspiration) I remember many years ago, on a school trip to the Louvre in Paris, I got told off by a security guard for trying to reach over and touch a painting, I just wanted to feel the texture, feel what the artist felt, and its this tactile nature I have that inspires me to this day. I have come to realise that fabric is my material of choice, I like many different crafts, but give me some fabric and a sewing machine and ill make you something unique. I don’t plan my work too much, and call most things I make a happy accident.. and I’m usually happy with my accidents, be it a pillow, a bag or a plush toy and if it sells in my shop its just a bonus, never the aim.

(advice) I used to live with my grandmother, and she would always tell me off for cooking too fast, being impatient, heating things too quickly, and would always say “never let baked beans boil” and I always remember this advice.. and it reflects onto my life daily… because instead of thinking things through, I usually just dive in and try, instead of making plans and following them through, I quickly rush at the last minute, missing a few things on the list along the way. And I suppose it’s because I always want my “beans cooked” quickly, when maybe I should just let them simmer.

(images: stevens happy accidents)

Posted in Home Tours on August 10, 2009

It’s All In The (Petits) Details

I have such a lovely French space to share with you today, it’s a 2 bedroom home belonging to a talented blogger and crafting goddess who lives near Paris that I found on Flickr. These lovely images belong to one of my contacts, Shannon Dreval aka Petite Details, and I asked her if I could share some of her nooks with you today. This charming space, filled with gorgeous vintage finds, belongs to Shannon (who is American), her French husband and 3-year-old son. They have such a cozy space — it feels like there is so much love and many fine memories being built in this space which attracted me to it in the first place.

Petits Details

Shannon told me about some of her inspirations, “Vintage objects of all kinds inspire me, especially those that show signs of use or age, including old textiles, dishes, kitchen utensils, and sewing notions. Magazines, books, and blogs are also sources of unending inspiration.” She also admits that making a house feel like a home is easy — just surround yourself with loved ones, objects that you love and, “the smell of delicious home cooking wafting from room to room.” Doesn’t that paint such a delicious mental image? :) I hope she’s serving fresh baked chocolate croissants.

Petits Details

Her many lovely things are sourced at flea markets, thrift shops, antiques stores, and garage sales. When I asked Shannon if she had a favorite room in her home she replied, “Oh yes… my favorite room is the kitchen. I’m not a very good cook (fortunately my husband likes to cook) and it’s a really small space, but it’s filled with some favorite vintage objects collected over the years. I find them nice to look at, they stir up good memories, and they’re practical, too.”

Petits Details

Petits Details

My final question for Shannon when we chatted through email was this… What do you like to do at home? I always love to ask this question because I find that everyone has little things they cherish that is unique to them and their family. “I love to spend time with my husband and son, sew with vintage and contemporary fabrics, figure out ways to restore and reuse vintage things, and I enjoy reading books that allow me to travel the world without ever leaving home,” she said. I love her answer. To travel the world without leaving home… that’s a very nice thought don’t you think?

(images: shannon/petits details)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, Home Tours on July 21, 2009


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