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Tracy Porter {home}

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned the work of the talented Tracy Porter on decor8 before. Time to talk Tracy! Let me tell you how I first found out about her because I didn’t discover Ms. Porter on my own. It was through my friend Sondi that Tracy’s work came into my life back in ’01 when I moved from my Boston apartment into a huge barn in the country. I was completely overwhelmed by having to decorate a massive 2-story space with a mostly open concept on an extreme budget (under $300!).

Bohemian inspired Tracy Porter Rosewater bedding.

While I loved the old wide pine floors and the ceilings that went on forever, I was newly married and only had 3 rooms of furniture to fill a home with 7+ rooms, 2 bathrooms, a huge entryway, and a loft space. I had to tap into my creativity like never before. I relied on sewing and making things by hand a lot more back then. One can get lazy when there’s no longer a strict budget to follow… That’s when I started a little eBay store selling French-inspired vintage finds from flea markets — the money I made was what I used to buy things for my barn.

A few of my Tracy books. :)
A picture of a glass cloche with a deer inside that inspired me back
then from one of Tracy’s books.

I remember Sondi visited from Maine right when I moved into the barn and felt drained and taxed from having such a large home. Perfect timing. She had with her piles of books to inspire along with her little truck so we could go to junk and antique stores to find goodies. It was our decorating girls weekend, a weekend I highly suggest for times when you’re stuck in a creative rut. One of the books Sondi had was Tracy Porter’s Dreams From Home. The Porter design vision as it was then felt a little busy for my taste, but elements of it appealed to me so I picked up a few of her books and allowed the diverse mostly country styles to influence a few of my decorating decisions in the barn – I painted the dining room pale mustard, made cafe curtains using French toile for the windows out of pillowcases, installed a petite chandelier in my walk-in closet, and started using cloches as table centerpieces. I was a city girl gone country, an apartment dweller suddenly in a ginormous old barn. I needed Sondi, Tracy, and anyone else to encourage me that I could do it.

Since those days, I no longer have my eBay store and my husband and I live in a different space (a carriage house now, we joke that eventually we’ll have a home that wasn’t first constructed for animals!), and of course my style has evolved along as I’ve (gulp) aged. But I’ve held onto books like Tracy’s because they helped to inspire my overall design sense along with my travels, family, and other influences of course and so I find it hard to get rid of them. I can tell from Tracy’s website that her style has evolved as well and parts of it I really like, like the blue Napoleon cabinet and the writer’s desk and chair. In addition to furniture, lighting, and objects for the home, there is a complete collection of clothing, shoes, bags, and jewelry. Tracy is a busy lady! See for yourself…

Gorgeous Skylark bedding. Aw, just look at the transom window over that doorway. I vow to have them in my home someday, I’m so sad that so many have been removed from old buildings here in America. They aren’t only charming, but they fill the room with light saving on energy making them very responsible and pretty.

Tracy is one designer that was a huge source of inspiration for me at one time and only recently have I tapped into some of her work again – like the gorgeous bedding and furniture that she carries. It’s exciting to be at a point where I can look back to trace the steps of my own design journey. I’m sure you can trace your steps as well and if you haven’t, give it a try today. Sit down with a pen and paper and list all the people, places, and things that have had an influence on your personal design sense. You may unearth some interesting and fascinating finds!

Who has inspired you? Please feel free to share them with us. :)

Psst: Tracy is a blogger and you can ‘meet’ her right here via a video she recently posted. Fun!

(images from tracy porter)

Posted in inspiration, textiles on February 20, 2008

Ellie Curtis {prints and pillows}

Nicole from Etsy Love just wrote to me about Ellie Curtis, a London designer with a brand new etsy shop where she sells some pretty amazing pillows and prints based on her whimsical illustrations (love her unexpected color combinations like violet with orange). Ellie takes her drawings and creates screen prints onto paper and fabric with crisp modern results. Her inspiration? “I often like wandering around places like the British Museum, the V&A, or the Pitt Rivers in Oxford to soak in the many different objects and their owner?s associated thoughts, worries, beliefs,” she says.

In the past, Ellie created brooches that I found pretty enough to post so I have to share them to you today. I’m not sure if she plans to make them again or carry these in her etsy store, but I wish she would at least consider it. I’d love to pin them to throw pillows, especially the butterfly.

Great unique work, it’s really refreshing. Thank you Nicole for the tip!

(images from ellie curtis)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, etsy, textiles, walls on February 15, 2008


Yay! DwellStudio has a new bedding collection out for Spring and in addition to that, a modern nursery collection created exclusively for Target. I visited my local store yesterday and only found placemats, runners, and napkins (very nice patterns and quality) which surprised me because I was told their nursery line would hit stores before everything else, and I didn’t realize that everything else included table linens — good news for us! If the goods for baby are as nice as the patterns for the dining room table, I think it’s safe to say that lots of happy parents will be running around out there because from what I’m seeing on the Target website, the collection looks strong — stylish, fun patterns, even coordinating pillows and wall decals and furniture. The prices are ridiculously affordable ($9 for a pillow), something every expecting parent wants to hear – affordable and chic. Has a good ring to it! Okay so first for mommy and daddy. Here’s a glimpse of the Spring collection (not Target) — the grown up bedding, for the couple. :) It can be found over at Design Public.

And here’s a glimpse of the DwellStudio for Target collection exclusively for your soon to be baby girl or boy. You know, the bouncing drooling cuties. :) These items are available at Target online and soon to be in stores nationwide. I heard they’re already being spotted in-store throughout California and in parts of the east coast.

Can’t wait to see what else they pull out of those creative DwellStudio hats for Target. Let’s hear it for good design for all!

(images from design public and target)

Posted in kids, textiles on February 14, 2008

Bodie and Fou {and a little Provence love too}

I haven’t blogged Bodie and Fou in quite some time and with so many new products on their website, I figured I’d circle back to see what’s new with them. As always, they source only the best and everything works so well together that you can imagine most of their pieces living in the same home without tension. Love that! Decorating made easy.

Birgit ?stergaard lighting and a Bodie and Fou bubble vase.

I particularly like their selection of items from C?t? Bastide, it’s a company that I long to visit someday as they have a showroom in Lourmarin, Provence that is only open during a select period of time each year and with a sweet little sign placed on a path leading to their shop (that appears to be handwritten using chalk on a board), how can any girl resist? Such cuteness. But there’s more. Want to tour the store online? Of course you do!

C?t? Bastide has lovely product shots, and such pretty labels too.

The beautiful blog A Heart in Provence gives us a tour here. Wonderful linen products, soaps and bath gels, and loads of charm set in a beautiful village – sounds like a fantastic vacation. Roaming Provence and popping into bakeries (smell the fresh lavender bread?), quaint stores with gorgeous interiors, and hitting a few farmers’ markets along the way (oh the cheese!). Warm sunshine, your favorite sandals, hair tied up in a stylish chignon…

Kathleen Hills cluster light, linen bag and bed canopy from C?t? Bastide.

Okay, back to reality. Me here in New Hampshire tapping away on my keys, listening to Beirut, looking out over a frozen orchard with tons of snow from the latest storm last night. But a girl can dream, can’t she?

If you’re interested in hitting a great sale today, visit Bodie and Fou’s winter offers where most items are at least 50%.

(images from bodie and fou)

Posted in bathroom, bedroom, blogs, textiles, travel on February 13, 2008


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