I mentioned in my review of New Decor the other day that I’d share some resources from the suppliers listed in the back of the book. Here’s my first blogworthy find. It’s a blind company out of Kent, England called Eclectics, who happens to carry the work of Clarissa Hulse, a textile designer that I’ve blogged about a few times already.
I found some of the patterns offered at Eclectics quite fun, I like all the nature themes. They also stand alone quite well, you aren’t obligated to flank them with curtains, especially when they are textured or patterned in a way that accomplishes the job of being both decorative and functional. Blinds are a great solution when wall space is limited for curtains, perhaps you have a window in the corner of your room – blinds are one of the best solutions for that.
A patterned blind works well in a professional workspace, too. My friend in Boston has an office that can only fit her desk, chair, and a small bookcase. The easiest way for her to add pattern and color since she cannot change the white walls (renter) is with a blind and a coordinating rug, along the same idea as the teal/lime room shown above. Blinds are great in kitchens, especially long narrow ones where a window is positioned at the end of the ‘bowling alley’, as I like to call it. It’s a great way to bring in pattern while keeping the look contemporary and clean.
(images from eclectics)
A question arrived from decor8 reader Jonis, she needs window treatments in her new home. Her walls are painted Lancaster Whitewash by Benjamin Moore and the furniture is chocolate brown velvet. This is a snapshot of her formal living room, and because it’s formal she’s perfectly fine with dressing up the windows a bit and investing in fabric and quality rods.
Jonis is considering a double rod with sheers in the back (for light) and panels in the front, but isn’t sure as to what color or neutral would work well with the walls and furniture. She wonders about a raw silk in cream with brown threads that she came across, but is concerned that it may be too dull. (My thought immediately: When in doubt, do without!). Can anyone help Jonis? Here are some things to consider before posting your ideas:
-Jonis mentioned that Roman shades are not an option because there isn’t enough depth to the windows to mount them on the inside of the molding. I have a thought on this below…
- She’s happy to find fabric and have them made, but would love suggestions on style if you can think of something. Or a textile that you suggest.
-Repainting the walls is not an option.
- Not into pattern or a lot of color. She wants to keep things somewhat neutral and not too trendy. She’d like to introduce color mostly through art and pillows.
Jonis promises to send in After photos, so see what you can come up with, decor8 readers! I’ll chime in my $.02 below. I see a few options here. These are my thoughts:
First Jonis, if you aren’t into pattern or bold color, think about introducing texture to the room because that will warm things up and make the space look finished (now it’s a bit lonely in there!). Consider adding some pattern in small doses, perhaps neutral-toned panels with a patterned trim (something geometric like a greek key motif). Trim introduces a little action to the room without overpowering it. You can then add a bamboo blind peeking through for privacy at night so you don’t have to worry about opening and closing the curtains constantly. The wood would look nicely with your furniture and bring in texture. You can find great blinds at Target for a low price and you’re in luck because they can be installed outside of the window frame (drapes hide that anyway) so you don’t need them to be sized to fit.
You can also opt for drapes with patterned or solid trims (where you will introduce a color) along the bottom instead of the sides. To give you a quick visual, refer to the image below of Ann Brashares and Jacob Collins?s NYC bedroom for example. And notice how the rods are installed as close to the ceiling as possible, perfectly okay to do and adds height to the room. You have gorgeous crown molding so I’d install them just below that (if your drapes do not have a ruffle) and on the window frame if there is a ruffle.
Notice that the rod selected above is the same color as the molding, another great idea to pick up as it blends in with everyone else perfectly. If it were black or wood the result wouldn’t be as calming and subtle. If you want to add some pattern to the room, look for cream rods with a pretty finial, an acorn, artichoke, or pineapple (for instance) also in cream. That way, there’s a little texture being introduced. And trim on the bottom is subtle despite being red, which is repeated on the bed. I’d shy away from roller shades, cornices, lambrequins, valances, swags, and scarves. Pinch pleats would look nice. If you stick with a solid neutral and no trim, opt for making the curtain itself more decorative, try smocked or smocked with a ruffle (keep in mind that the ruffle will sit above the rod so the rod will need to come down a little. I suggest two equal panels with trim either on the sides or the bottom though with
(image from Jonis and NYTimes)
You can now order and preview the 2008 IKEA catalog online (US version). For ’08, it’s all about color! color! and more color! Don’t you just love the shot of green amidst all this white? I imagine a geometric white and green pattern somewhere, either as a tile back splash over the counter or as wallpaper on an accent wall. Or maybe some art? Either way, I love this look.
I think they’ve expanded their selection of sofas and textiles, which I’m excited about because I love every sofa I find at Bo Concept, but a more budget option for sleek Euro-styled sofas was needed and it seems like IKEA is bringin’ it for ’08. I’m seeing lots of chic sofas and sectionals. Here are a few items that caught my attention — some are on the website, others aren’t listed yet so in those cases, I’m simply sharing some product shots.
Kulla light in red $50, Sebastian bar stool in white $50, Besta Burs TV unit $400, Effektiv storage for the office $470, Lillberg rocking chair $159 (so cute on a patio and I saw the fabric in person, it’s very nice), Jakob swivel chair with pad (very Design Within Reach, only this time, really within reach for $139).
More bold textiles by the yard, a pet bed that’s just too cute (and stylish!), the Alex drawers (I have 3 of these units now and love them, tons of storage space), and a very green sectional sofa that looks apartment size for a change, most sectionals are super-sized.
All of these pots, vases, and textiles work for me. Especially the leaf pattern. That is seriously gorgeous, has quite a Marimekko vibe in my opinion.
A yellow accent wall in a kitchen is clean and bright (I love yellow these days), and the striped runner is a must-have, I love it and wonder if it’s available in larger sizes (like 5×7)? The green drop leaf table is affordable, functional, but most of all – cute, cute, cute! And did you see the yellow dresser? That is a seriously fun piece, and such a refreshing change from standard wood and white.
This is the first year that I’m excited over IKEA and their upcoming catalog. They have a strong collection for ’08 and I look forward to viewing everything in person so I can give it the Holly inspection because not everything is as great in person as it appears online. Although my IKEA PS Locker in White and my Alex drawers have made me a very happy girl. :)
(images from ikea)
I just realized that I haven’t mentioned Repro Depot in a really long time so I thought I’d show you a few of the fabrics on their website that would be fun for a crafty project (or two!) on those rainy summer days – which we’ve been having too many of lately!
The colorful Dainty Garden print and the linen/cotton blend animal pattern called Follow the Leader, both imported from Japan. Or if you’re looking for something a bit more grown up with a folksy or country feel, try Heather’s meadow, Aunt Grace, or the blooming abstract honeysuckle. Can one ever tire of red and yellow? No!
(images from repro depot)