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Jewett Street – House Swappin’

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.


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)

Posted in inspiration, small business, travel, trends on August 14, 2007

Ethnic Prints on HGTV

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.

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)

Posted in trends on August 07, 2007

Globes as Decor

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.


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?


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.


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.


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.)

Posted in trends on July 27, 2007

Contest Update & Trendy Cane

I can’t believe how many entries came in for the mood board contest. It will be exciting to see who you select as winners tomorrow. A big thanks to Amy for teaming up with me on this fun contest because without her generous spirit, all of these beautiful patterns wouldn’t be going home with four lucky winners tomorrow. So thanks, Amy!

I’m still sorting through entries, trying to determine which ones to feature here on the blog for voting, which will kick off tomorrow afternoon. Your entries blew my mind, I’m sitting here thinking about all the work that went into creating each board by hand and how guilty I feel that I cannot post them all. So I’ll just leave it at this: Whether you are part of the finals or not, please know that I appreciate all of your hard work. I mean it. And I hope that the exercise helped you to better understand and appreciate the process of pulling together a room in this manner, as it is one thing to say how you’d like your room to look, but quite another to translate those words into images, floor plans, and swatches of your choices for flooring, fabric, wallpaper, textiles, and so on, all in one place. In doing so, I hope you also had fun and challenged yourself, which may result in a new look for a room in your home. And if that happens, please send me a photo of your new room, because I’d love to see it! :)

If you need a break from the mood board contest, here’s a few pieces that I pulled together for HGTV on the whole cane trend we’re seeing in home interiors this summer. A few of you wrote in asking me for help when it comes to cane, so these articles should help get you started. The first, Trend Spotter: Cane, gives you some decorating tips, and the second, What We Love: Cane, spotlights some of my favorite products that are either made out of this sturdy material or that incorporate it somehow, either stylized versions or through cane patterns.

I’ll be back soon with more mood board entries… Stay tuned. :)

Posted in contests, trends on June 14, 2007

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