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Inspiration, Small Business, Travel, Trends

Jewett Street – House Swappin’

August 14, 2007

Looking for a more intimate experience when you travel? I discovered Jewett Street in a comment left over at Apartment Therapy yesterday and thought I’d share. The idea of swapping homes isn’t exactly a new one, but it’s definitely more common, even considered trendy, making your stay in a boutique hotel almost pale in comparison. More and more are jumping on house swapping for several reasons, the first being that in most cases, it’s more affordable and comfortable than a hotel. With hotels soaring into the hundreds per night, staying in one is no longer the best way to spend your vacation dollars. Especially when you can stay in a place that looks like this. Charming, don’t you think? It’s a flat available for swapping in Edinburgh, Scotland over at Jewett Street.

Jewett Street - House Swappin'
Next, house swapping is the best way to sink your teeth into your new culture and experience day-to-day life. You really get to take it all in this way (especially helpful if you’re planning to relocate there someday. House swapping gives you a chance to experience living there without the commitment.) Of course, many more benefits exist, but you usually don’t know what they are until you’ve experienced it. And if you cannot house swap, consider looking into rental apartments when you travel. I have connections in my favorite cities so that when I need to travel there, I know who to call for an apartment.

I think that people are much more open to the idea of letting strangers into their home because of the internet. Let’s face it, we share so much of ourselves online, you can google anyone! We have less walls around us, people aren’t as fearful as they once were. Remember back years ago, if a friend told you she was dating a man she’d met online what did you think? Didn’t images of murder and/or abduction play through your head? No one thinks twice about meeting those they’ve met online today, so the same goes for swapping homes. There isn’t as much fear in the idea. Maybe we are more trusting? I don’t know. Of course, there is still a need to exercise caution, but house swapping sounds like a great travel option to me and totally worth looking into. If you want to learn more about how home swapping works, visit the Jewett Street website and register if you’re interested.

Have you swapped homes before? What was your experience? If not, would you consider it? I’d love to know what your thoughts are on this.

(image from jewett street)






Trends

Ethnic Prints on HGTV

August 7, 2007

If you’re looking for some ethnic prints and patterns to incorporate into your home, you may be interested in this article Trend Spotter: Ethnic Prints and Patterns and a roundup What We Love: Ethnic Prints and Patterns both by yours truly for HGTV.

Ethnic Prints on HGTV

I pulled it together back in June, but since it just went live on their site yesterday, I thought you may like to read it even though I since may have covered some of these sources here on decor8. I really like how it came out though. A special thanks to Julieann Covino of Jace Interiors in Cambridge for the quote.

(lighting shown from anthropologie)






Trends

Globes as Decor

July 27, 2007

I’ve been scouting for globes for a few months now because I’ve always loved having a quick view of the world to keep things in perspective plus I love to travel and they remind me of how excited I felt as a child when I first saw one in school, fascinated to find out that America was not the world, just a very small part of it (I think some adults still need this reminder). So I’ve been looking for the perfect blue sphere to add my credenza at home, but not a brand new one… Something vintage and a bit worn. And it must be blue. Like the one in this photo.

Globes as Decor
So I went where everyone heads when they need a blast from the past, eBay. And get this, I won a tin globe last night, it’s from the 30’s in excellent condition, measuring only 10 x 7 so it’s perfect for the spot I’m looking to place it. I was up against 25 others biddings on it so I was scared to lose because eBay collectors can be a bit psycho. Then along comes a non-collector like me and I won. That’s the beauty of the auction. I can’t wait until it arrives, do you like it?

Globes as Decor
I like that the stand appears to be a gorgeous saffron yellow. I’m really excited to see it in person. Here are some globes on eBay if you’d fancy owning one yourself.

Globes as Decor
Look at all the globes in this collection, aren’t they gorgeous? I found this photo on Happy Mundane where stylish Jon mentioned that globes may very well be the next trend. That image above is a picture from BH&G magazines taken in the beach home of a Boston couple (Aug 07). Maybe he’s right, because I’ve been looking for globes since Spring and now I’m starting to see them popping up more and more, but not large old school globes, I’m finding smaller ones and even those without stands to pile in a bowl.

Globes as Decor
Here’s a few I found just in case you’ve been looking to add a nice globe to your decor. But I’m not so sure about these, I’m way more interested in the vintage ones with the blue spheres. Here’s some Parisian globes from Anthropologie (in black or cream), and a set of three globe spheres and a tabletop globe from Ballard Designs. If you find any blue reproductions, let me know. Otherwise, I think we all need to hit eBay for the vintage gems. They’re so pretty!

And if you aren’t into globes, vintage maps make for beautiful art or use several to collage onto a wall to mimic wallpaper. I’d love to see someone wallpaper an entire wall with blue vintage maps.

(top image: art.com, others from ebay, happy mundane, ballard designs, and anthropologie.)






Inspiration, Trends

Color + Pattern: Here to Stay!

May 11, 2007

The more I look around me, the more I see designers looking east for inspiration in fashion and interiors. The colors are getting stronger, the patterns more playful, and there’s this Asian chic that one can’t deny… A joy there that’s speaking very loudly and telling us that it’s okay to paint our walls yellow and experiment with purple. These colors and patterns are fresh, lively, and starting to rise more and I couldn’t be more ready for it. It’s exciting, don’t you think?

Color + Pattern: Here to Stay!
The colorful Bollywood costumes and gorgeous Indian textiles are inspiring the world and perhaps here in America, will become all the rage. Let’s hope so. I’d love to suggest a paint color for once and not have to pep talk the home owner about the joys of crossing over that very wide and long bridge between beige and the rest of the world. Of course, not everything east of here is Indian, there’s also a strong leaning towards the textiles and colors of Africa as well, from Morocco to Ethiopia. I read somewhere recently that many hope the items we purchase someday won’t only say Made in China, but also Made in Africa because its countries have the potential to build their economy and produce gorgeous work. Of course, the Turkish have their color and pattern that inspires, and China is expected to churn out some amazing designers, not everyone in China is sewing Nike shoes and it would be foolish to think that they don’t have their own amazing talent waiting to be discovered and launched into the world of fashion and interiors. From John Robshaw here in the states, to an American like Maryam in Marrakesh who is busy at work on her guest house, we’re all looking east for inspiration and I think we’ll be looking east for awhile – there’s so much to be explored!

Color + Pattern: Here to Stay!Color + Pattern: Here to Stay!Color + Pattern: Here to Stay!
(images from marie clarie maison)






Objects, Rooms, Trends

Jonathan Adler *New* Melamine + Pillows

April 27, 2007

Oh goody! Love these… Jonathan Adler has new pillows out for Spring/Summer and some terrific melamine goodies, inspired by peacock feathers and origami. Did you catch them yet?

Jonathan Adler *New* Melamine + Pillows
The big sur silk screened canvas pillows are my faves, so beachy and mod. And with most of the melamine priced around $10-30, you have to pick up some for your patio parties, it’s so perky — poolside panache (or in my case, tiny patio panache!).

Jonathan Adler *New* Melamine + Pillows

(images from jonathan adler. yes, he’s a decor8 sponsor but i wrote about him for a year before that happened, so i’m not planning on pretending he doesn’t exist anymore. besides, he’s not paying me to talk about him. he has better ways to spend his heaps of cash, and it’s not on me.)






Trends

Giraffes As a Design Motif

April 11, 2007

Zebra patterns were discussed here recently, so I thought we’d explore the Giraffe a bit today. When I thought of them as a motif years ago, I pictured the straight-off-the-Serengeti living rooms of the 80’s, decorated with Africian masks, hide throws galore, and lifesize giraffes carved from wood, in deep reddish tones (like this). Some people still dig safari style and they have every right to enjoy it, but I was never a fan of the look. I’m just not big on themed rooms as a rule, and cringe at the thought of all those themed kitchens of the past complete with wallpaper borders, usually sporting a rooster or a hen. So when I think of bringing animals into a space, whether it’s a cute owl or a graceful giraffe, less is really more. True, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and we all have our collections, but a word of caution here: avoid the dreaded theme park decor because it can go from sleek to cheap the more you pile it on.

Giraffes As a Design MotifOutside of the Serengeti, giraffes are a constant trend for the nursery, mostly in yellow or orange… And I dare to break my own rules here and say that for baby, you can go with a little theme if you wish, but again, proceed with caution. You want to make sure to keep that baby of yours happy, and this may sound snobby, but you also want the room to fit your home. I’ve been in places that had these ultra swank interiors, and immediately upon stepping into the nursery, you question what they were smoking when they designed the nursery.

As motifs go, you have the owls, turtles, trees, you name it — they’re all center stage at the moment. Even the little koi has his day. But what about the giraffe? Should this leggy beast be limited only to the safari look or a nursery? Or can we bring him out into the living room, dining area, even the kitchen? When I think of adding a little giraffe action to my home, I picture lighter, brighter colors, vintage wallpaper silhouettes, a playful pillow, and Jonathan Adler and his amazing lamp. Oh that lamp, what a charmer he is. Let’s now look at it inside the home of a stylish twentysomething designer. Oh, Lena? Where are you?

Giraffes As a Design MotifAh, here she is. Textile designer and illustrator Lena Corwin, successfully incorporates the giraffe lamp from Jonathan Adler into her largely mid-century modern flat in Brooklyn. Very grown up, this doesn’t read ‘safari’ or ‘nursery’ at all. It reads hip and fun.

I love Lena’s space, but that lamp adds an extra spark that completes the room for me. It’s a bit of a quirky, unexpected touch that tells us that Lena has personality, she’s a bit playful, doesn’t take design too seriously, but also has exquisite taste to be able to mingle a giraffe lamp into a room with tree wallpaper, contemporary art, and mid century furnishings. But enough gushing about Lena. We don’t want to make her uncomfortable. :)

Giraffes As a Design MotifOkay, maybe one more gush. Lena designed a travel plate with a giraffe on it that shows how well one can use this animal in an adult space. Unfortunately though, we don’t see enough of the giraffe in adult rooms, and I think it’s a shame because we’re limiting this beautiful animal with the silhouette of a super model. And when we see the giraffe pattern used in decor or fashion, it’s always in either deep brown and white or black and white.

Please designers of the world, let’s allow the giraffe to mature a bit, while keeping him modern and playful. Let’s show his pattern in chartreuse against a pale blue background for textiles, I’m thinking of this pattern from Judy Ross, only with a close-up view of the giraffe hide. Let’s bring that Adler lamp into an adult space a little more, and for fashion, let’s see the giraffe pattern in hot pink against white, turquoise, lime, for handbags, dresses, and the interior lining of luggage. C’mon — let’s turn up the dial and see what fun can result.

Giraffes As a Design MotifGiraffes As a Design MotifGiraffes As a Design Motif
Joy by Mel Lim wrote to me last week about her newly expanded line of paper products that have actually grown into a collection of gift wrap, children’s clothing, t-shirts, and pillows that I’m 100% in love with. Joy turned things up by using her imagination, seeing this leggy beast in a different way. She enjoys incorporating fish, ducks, and our tall friend in her designs, and I enjoy seeing it. Immensely.

Giraffes As a Design MotifOf course, seeing the giraffe on paper is never a bad thing. Especially when done right, like these Sweet cards from Elsewares, the personalized stationery, journal, and enclosure cards from Rock Scissor Paper, and cards from Five Fold Ink and Mini and Emma.

Giraffes As a Design MotifNext, you have these stretch canvas prints by Avalisa, again, more for the kids than the grown ups, but it’s still pretty cute and I love all the colors that it’s available in.

Giraffes As a Design Motif
How cute is this mini print from Repro Depot shown in two colorways, giraffe mania! I can’t see this working as pillows or curtains (eek!), well except again, in a child’s room, but it is a terrific little print.

Giraffes As a Design MotifTory Burch has giraffe bags in her latest collection (not shown), but these box totes from Neimans’ are adorable. I’d put magazines in them and tote them around my house. This $4 giraffe business card holder, handmade by Etsy seller Mirkah is super cute for your handbag, I like the lemon yellow with the tiny white grapics.

Giraffes As a Design MotifCute dress (imagine this print somewhere in the home, wow!), pillow, little juma, and glasses from Anthropologie. I really can’t take my eyes off of that dress. The print is exactly what I’m picturing when I think of a more modern take on the giraffe.

Giraffes As a Design MotifAnd from Etsy: A very funky patchwork toy from While She Naps, a Veronica Press wood book, Maxine Dear tote, and an Okins mid century plush.

Giraffes As a Design Motif
Of course, it’s back to the kiddies again with a slew of softies, but they are a bit hard to resist… Even for a grown up space. Dwell Baby pillows from Giggle are super cute (and huge) and another plush from Zid Zid Kids with a Moroccan edge.

Giraffes As a Design Motif
Wallpaper giraffe silhouettes, available in a gadzillion patterns from Inke, really appeal to me. But I don’t know if I’d use animal silhouettes like this in my childless abode, on a wall. Although strangly enough, I can see it in a kitchen somehow. Don’t ask me, I just can. But of course, I have a very modern, white and light blue interior in mind, a space that reads very contemporary and cool. In the right pattern, this giraffe may rock it behind a bistro table with this capri genie pendant.

Giraffes As a Design Motif
I think these Inke patterns would work in an adult space, they feel a bit more grown and polished to me.

More giraffe love (not shown): Here’s a giraffe lamp from Illums Bolighus, retro badges from Fluffington, and coasters from Kate Black.

Are you a fan of the giraffa camelopardalis? Do you have any in the home? What are your thoughts, hot or not?






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