Artist Camilla Engman just made a few of her tea towels, designed alongside Third Drawer Down in Australia, available in her web shop. I particularly like the yellow and white towel and enjoy seeing it simply tacked to a wall above a chair – nothing fancy but quite lovely and relaxing to look upon – don’t you think?
One does not need to fuss around perfecting their interior environment, often a simple statement makes the biggest impact and can also cost the least amount of money. I often wish those who stress about decorating their homes thought about design in the way that I do, that you do not have to buy extremely expensive things or go into debt to impress others — but to simply challenge yourself to not spend a lot of money and still create an environment that speaks to you.
Some try to make their home fit the expectations of others or to fit a popular lifestyle trend simply “fit in” that their own heart and soul has been removed and replaced with brand name chairs and fancy wallpaper. Some crave that others will like their style and see them as cool or stylish — they want them to be impressed, but they’ve forgotten a key element — a truly stylish space is one that reflects the authenticity of those living in it and the life and joy and experiences they have had in the past.
When I see such beauty in simple touches that look and feel very cozy and personal I cannot help but think some worry way too much and if they’d only relax and decorate from the heart then their spaces would magically fall together. Perhaps that is the missing link in design, what sets apart one space from the next, not expensive things or copying the ideas of others or even replicating some common style or catalog theme but to simply do what you want to do – decorate from the heart – how would you decorate your bedroom or living room if you knew that no one would ever see it – only you and your family? And then perhaps with that thought in mind, you can feel free to paint birds on your ceiling and paint your moldings black against white walls and paint the legs of your dining room table chairs bright yellow. Maybe one just needs to free themselves from the expectations of others and pretend for a moment that only your decorating sense matters and go with it.
What do you think?
(image: camilla engman)
In case you missed it, I wrote about Erin Flett recently over at Real Simple and since, she’s sent over some new colorful photos of her work that really caught my eye on this gray and snowy Wednesday.
Erin is a graphic + textile designer in Maine who just launched a line of hand silk screened pillows that she hopes will speak, “to the stylist soul”. I don’t know about you, but that squirrel is totally speaking to me. He is saying something like, “buy me, dude”. He’d be perfect for my friend’s new baby boy!
More about Erin and her work can be found here.
(images: erin flett)
I heard from Kaitlin Andorfer who runs b.poetic and couldn’t resist writing about her handmade collection of girly things as they’re quite pretty! Kaitlin creates banners, headbands and belts, shoe clips, and unique pillowcases that are silk-screened (black on white) and can work in a variety of different decor styles – modern, romantic, eclectic… She shows them in a romantic bedroom but I can totally see them in a more streamlined modern room as well.
I love pieces like these pillowcases that are versatile like this, I’m still thinking of House Doctor and how they said their new collection is about, “mixing the elements rather than matching the elements”. They really hit the nail on the head with that statement, I think that’s what I’ve been trying to say for years but never quite sure how! I decorate in a very eclectic feminine style where styles of the pieces I have in my home do not match but are mixed — my last home had a Swedish credenza, a modern sofa, a round IKEA dining room table, Eames chairs, a Danish stool, a modern lacquered desk with clean lines, etc. I think personally the “key” to doing this whole mixing thing successfully is to not mix your woods (oak table, walnut chairs, mahogany credenza) — try to stick to one wood type or various woods with the same finish (medium, light, dark) and then if you want to add something more ornate, like carved chairs or a fancy carved dresser from India, you can as an accent piece in that particular room. But you wouldn’t necessary put several accent pieces in the same room unless you like a more flea market/no rules look. I personally believe that when it comes to accent pieces, it’s best when that piece is a different color or finish than the others in the room.
A space can be very vanilla if everything is the same (all white or all pickled wood or all oak), which is why catalogs tend to look very boring as they show rooms with furniture that is all the same. For some healthy tension, throwing in a very different piece in a color or finish that stands out from the others is a good way to break things up. For instance, say you have furniture with clean modern lines. Bring in an ornately carved dresser from India and paint it glossy black or turquoise or even bright yellow so that it really stands out. I think that is how, “Mixing the elements” can work successfully.
But back to b.poetic… I’ll take some pillowcases and a hair band, please! :)
I fell in love this morning with award-winning textile designer Selina Rose after seeing her products over at Bodie & Fou (10% off everything on their site until Dec. 20th: enter code XMAS09 at checkout). Selina is a London-based designer who uses cutting-edge technology to create intricate and beautiful felted runners and throws, but also brilliant wallpaper, panels, pillows and rugs. Here’s but a glimpse… so tactile and cozy!
All products are made from 100% wool felt that is renewable and biodegradable and environmentally friendly dyes are used to create her distinctive color palette. All designs and manufacturing are done in the UK and custom work is available. Lovely work!
(images: selina rose)