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Power Poufs!

No matter what you call them, pouffes, floor pillows, cushions, poufs — whatever — these beauties are the it accessory for the home right now, and I’m willing to bet into the new year and beyond. Loved for their versatility (foot stool, place to sit, or table), within reach pricing (at least most of the time), and overall cuteness factor, it’s hard to go wrong with something so right. Take this felt pouf from one of my favorite designers, Chris Labrooy. How can you not desire one of these in your home?

With so many hunting for durable pieces that perform double duty without taking up much-needed floor space, the pouf is perfect because you can easily tuck one away beneath a table. I think they look so stylish and often bring in the pattern, color, or texture that a room needs – the icing on the cake. In all its available shapes and sizes, why not check out a few of my favorites to see if anything clicks with you, perhaps you’d like one for yourself? I’ve included a few inspirational images from Living Etc. so you can see them in actual spaces.

First off, the Morrocan pouf – it’s the first thing I think of the moment I hear the p word. I love them in soft leather with the handstitched patterns, they’re very bohemian I think, they have that come relax in my casbah appeal. White leather is my favorite, but a close runner up is pale pink and then the turquoise ones – or something in a pale mustard. Aren’t these beauties from Graham and Greene the best? I like them around a coffee table for dining with friends. Also great for the patio in the warmer months, with candlelight of course.

This one from Shabby Chic is gorgeous, I saw it up close and personal in their new Boston/Natick store and it’s worth every penny. Even if you do need several hundred pennies to buy one. :)

Of course, you can get them in felt too, which really appeals to those living in colder climates I think. Leather is nice, but if you live in a region that is cold for most of the year, then you may be more inclined to find something in wool or cotton. I like this felted pouf from Danish Bohema (a site I found thanks to Leah) because it has an embroidered pattern much like the Moroccan ones above. This one is made by En Gry & Sif of Copenhagen, distributed by Danish Bohema in the U.S. for $113 – which I think is a terrific price.

Shirdak out of the Netherlands also has some in felt showing off some bold ethnic patterns. I see floor cushions and poufs everywhere in decor over here, in all the magazines I flip through they’re in so many rooms – and also in the homes of my friends.

The Alseda is another that I really like, it’s a very affordable option for under $30 at IKEA and it’s very natural – made from banana fiber so it’s eco-friendly, too. Top it off with a silver tea tray set, Danielle from the Style Files uses hers for this purpose and I think it looks great near her fireplace.

Big on color and pattern? Although these are ottomans, they’re a great alternative if you seek something soft with a decorative pattern. I like these three from Anthropologie, some are under $300 on sale, so click here for the full scoop on that. Or this floor cushion made to resemble an ethnic style pouf from Urban Outfitters for only $40.

And of course, some more pouf inspiration in case you wonder about how to place them in your home. They aren’t just for the living room, you can use them just about anywhere you’d like.

Image from Het Kabinet.

And you can even sew a few up yourself. Amy Butler recently released a new pattern called Gumdrop Pillows, aren’t these the best?

And blogger Yvestown from the Netherlands got her hands on a pattern and using fabric from Cath Kidston, she crafted one for her home. (By the way, if you like CK stuff, you can now order a catalog right here at no cost.) Yvestown said that many more gumdrops will follow, as she seemed to really enjoy making this one. Isn’t it gorgeous? Here’s her photo below. I purchased fabric from Amy Butler to make one for my own living room when I’m back in the states (a winter project).

Looking for additional seating options that are pouf-like? Try Fat Boy, Livingstones by Smarin (shown below), and Blog Beanbags.

Hope this pouffe post gave you some decorating inspiration for today. I know it did for me, now I have to reupholster my ottoman and make a few gumdrop pillows. :)

{Sorry blogging has been light the past day or so, I’m still getting settled here in Germany, our schedule has been nonstop since we landed. I’ll see you tommorow!}

Posted in trends on October 03, 2007

Moroccan Style on HGTV

Interested in Moroccan decor? Here are a few pieces written by yours truly that recently went live over on, this time about, surprise, Moroccan style: Be Seduced by Moroccan Style and What We Love: Affordable Moroccan Decor.

A special thanks to Vanessa De Vargas of Turquoise L.A. for her contribution, and of course Maryam from My Marrakesh and The View from Morocco for the constant flow of inspiration as both bloggers report live from Morocco daily giving us an insider’s view of this enchanting country.

(images from graham and green)

Posted in travel, trends on August 24, 2007

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


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