I’m constantly on the prowl for beautiful fabric and apparently so is graphic designer Nicole Balch from Making it Lovely, who turned me on lately to the work of Vanessa Arbuthnott. Vanessa’s prints are quite country so I guess for all you non-country fans I should write this with a warning: Arbuthnott may not appeal to everyone. Even I had to draw the line at the rooster and check prints because it’s not really my style. But I’m a firm believer in keeping an open mind so I don’t pass by anything without digging first, often the most amazing finds are from the least expected places – like finding something that is so you in a store that caters to a style you don’t find appealing. Vanessa Arbuthnott’s linens, cottons, and oilcloths (along with her collection of rugs and wallpaper) call to mind a charmed life in the English countryside peppered with cozy cottages, winding roads through green pastures, garden parties with afternoon tea.
Of course it’s only reasonable to assume that not everyone prefers country prints in their home but again, keep your mind open because some of these would fit nicely in a mid century or a bohemian modern home too – like the little leaf in gray, duck egg denim, or any of the pie in the sky colorways (my favorite pattern). They’d look great transformed into roman shades, chair cushions, bench slipcovers, quilts, duvets, or trim on the bottom of solid drapes.
Want to try before you buy? If you’d like a few free samples, click here where you can order up to five at no charge. Yay for free!
And thanks Nicole for the fab tip…
(images from vanessa arbuthnott)
Speaking of Danielle, I was just over on her blog and saw something that I couldn’t resist sharing with you – plus I want to make sure I have it forever logged on decor8 as a resource so I can go back to it. I’m loving Ouno Design right about now! With quilts created using only vintage scarves and pillows from retro textiles, they’ve totally nailed that whole Bohemian look. I can see Christian Siriano from Project Runway using words like ferosh, fierce, and fabulous to describe these things. Or perhaps these are more in tune with Sweet P’s aesthetic? Or if Sweet P and Christian had a baby? I digress…
Ouno (pronounced “OO-no”) creates one-of-a-kind and limited edition decor accessories for the home like pillows, bedding, blankets, cushions, etc. using high quality vintage materials that have an obvious mid century Scandinavian and Japanese modern vibe. With lots of warm colors, texture and natural fibers the look is very inviting and appealing, don’t you think? And of course, you wouldn’t need to go overboard, a simple quilt without decorative pillows works for the bed and on a chair or sofa you’d only need a throw or a pillow to add some color to your space.
It’s refreshing to find products that are so stylish and colorful while also being one-of-a-kind creations. My eyes sometimes burn from same-product-in-every-store overload, you must experience this from time to time. I really get tired of it, there are so many creative minds in this world that I reason good design and fresh ideas will never die unless copycats replace innovators and in that case, more is threatened than design and that’s a whole ‘nother blog post! But my feeling is that companies like Ouno deserve some attention because creating one-of-a-kind isn’t easy in a mass-produced world.
(images from ouno design)
Lists. lists. lists. We all keep them, but how many are neatly checked off and deposited into the trash way in advance of deadline? And how many others continue to pile up unchecked? I’m a lover of lists so I maintain quite a few, but none excites me more than my shop list. It’s actually a massive binder filled with resources and images of all the products I would carry if I had my own retail storefront, a more compact version of this blog I guess you could say. And while I have no immediate plans of setting up shop (I often wonder if the reality of it all is far less exciting than my dreams) one of the top 10 products that I would carry on my list is Mozi out of Australia. I adore these ladies.
From i-pod covers to laptop sleeves, stationery, kitchen items, and home decorating accessories, Mozi’s delicious selection of vibrant prints and patterns will leave you spinning. Owned by sisters Camilla and Olivia Tipler, their first collection was launched in August ’05 and they’ve been running non-stop ever since. Although they’re a huge hit down under and over in the UK, you won’t find Mozi in that many U.S. locations yet. This means that if you just so happen to already have a shop, perhaps Mozi would be a good fit for you.
Psst: Interesting in learning more about shop ownership? Click here to jump in on our Shop Talk series.
(images from mozi)
I don’t talk a lot about the environment because I’m a big believer in practicing what you preach and since I’m not living the most eco-responsible lifestyle, I lay a bit low on the topic. I did start to recycle this year by donating a lot of clothing and misc. home decor items to charity, and I started to buy only organic meats and produce so even though my grocery bill is like $5,000 a week and I risk losing my home, car, and life savings all in the name of $30 per pound oranges, at least I’m helping out. That’s a good start, right? In addition to those things, another one of my goals for the year is to source for more eco-friendly products that I can share with you from time to time so that at least we can have options. Green ones. And having options is always good.
Rhode Island-based twins Deborah and Dawn launched Oliveira Textiles, an eco-responsible textile company, after a bout of illness in the family got them thinking more about how toxins in the environment affect our health. (Some of the most successful companies rise from tough times.) Dawn spent 22 years in New York designing fashion and home textiles with an impressive client list that includes Ralph Lauren, Stark Fabric, and Emanuel Ungaro but now that she’s back in Rhode Island with her sister Deborah by her side, the focus is on their recently launched brand and their premiere Ocean Collection, a tribute to their coastal upbringing.
With fabrics made of sustainable hemp and organic cotton and printed using only water-based pigment dyes, they found a mill willing to work with them, resulting in both eco-friendly and beautiful textiles. Anemone in red coral would make beautiful drapes and I picture Wavelength in ultramarine as cushion covers on a three-season porch. Sure, it may take a lot to develop products that fit such strict requirements, but if part of your new year’s resolution is to shop for more green home items, then your support of companies like Oliveria can make their hard work worth it and your resolution a lot easier to stick to.
Looking for more sustainable textiles? Visit Boston locals over at Mod Green Pod or click on the word ‘eco-friendly’ below to view green products that we’ve covered on decor8 previously. For additional products and tips on going green, please visit some of my favorite eco-bloggers: EcoFabulous, Ideal Bite, Treehugger, and Pure Style Living.
(images from oliveira)