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Barbara Coupe Pillows

I spotted these gorgeous pillows today from Barbara Coupe, a textile designer in London who specializes in hand-embroidered goods that are made in England, and had to share them. The typography-as-decor continues to be a strong trend here on this side of the pond — in fact, it has enjoyed quite a long run both in parts of Europe and in the US. Certain trends definitely have staying power and end up running a lot longer than others, which is of course largely due to supply and demand so if consumers are drawn to a certain trend and don’t tire of it easily, it can endure for some time — and rarely, though it has happened, even becomes a classic style, a must-have in every home.

Barbara Coupe

Other trends disappear forever once they’ve had their run, but then others circle back — like the revival of wallpaper. After it’s popularity waned in the 1990s, it made a huge come back about five years ago and today it’s a staple in some of the most drool-inducing rooms in the world. With growing options from hand-blocked to hand-painted, eco, and beyond wallpaper seems to have staying power so if it is does start to lose its mass appeal in a few years, no doubt it will circle back again for the next generation of young designers to embrace as a hot new trend all over again.

Barbara Coupe

Barbara Coupe

I find trend watching quite fascinating, especially now that I live abroad, because lots of what we see over here makes it to the states a year later but also vice versa as the US starts many trends on its own — like the whole blogging trend and handmade market trend — I credit them mostly as being largely promoted in the states before the rest of the world caught on so it’s not always Europe dictating movements in fashion, art and design like so many assume, America plays a huge role in up-and-coming trend movements as well.

Barbara Coupe

But back to lovely Barbara Coupe, who made these stunning cushions that definitely have anglo-appeal. Many people, even those who have no English ancestry, love the Union Jack as a motif and of course this has been a trend in decor as well hasn’t it? I’ve seen Union Jacks popping up in design for some time now. I don’t think we have a US-equivalent using the flag, if we put a US flag on anything it is usually attributed to either the Fourth of July, being a fan of the New England Patriots or associated with the Ralph Lauren/Polo brand. To me anyway. It would be cool if a designer could modernize the US flag somehow, if that is even respectful to say, and make it more interesting to show in the home because currently it just doesn’t seem to find it’s way to sofas in our favorite magazines as cushions or wall hangings like the Union Jack, does it?

Lovely work, Barbara!

I’d like to thank new blogger, Emily Peck, for writing about Barbara Coupe and pointing me to her blog today – it was nice to hear from you! Thank you for the tip!

(images: barbara coupe)

Posted in trends on November 15, 2010

Over-dyed Vintage Carpet Trend

I was so surprised during my visit to Istanbul to fall head first into a shop that featured one of the biggest up-and-coming trends in floor rugs – the over-dyed vintage carpet! While shopping for a rug at Dhoku (and bought a huge collage/patchwork vintage rug that has been over-dyed in beige with spots of bright pink), I got to speak to a man who was very knowledgeable about rugs and he started to tell me about some of his clients and the stores that he was selling to and my ears perked up because I immediately felt a trend coming on!

Over-dyed Carpet Trend

When I got home, I googled and found that ABC Carpet & Home has identified this as a trend already and launched their “Color Reform” collection. Check out these rugs, stunning! Brilliant! I want a pink one now…

Over-dyed Carpet Trend
Over-dyed Carpet Trend

About the collection, each vintage rug was put through a process to neutralize the original colors while still retaining the essence of its design and then each rug was over-dyed to create a solid color with dimension.

“The Color Reform Collection by ABC Carpet began as a vision to salvage imperfect, vintage carpets and resulted in a revolutionary movement of color. Inconsistencies are the nature of this product and make each piece unique. A carpet once traditional is now a contemporary work of art.”

What do you think of these carpets? I LOVE them.

(images: abc carpet & home)

Posted in flooring, trends on November 10, 2010

Villa Collection & Northern European Design Trends (Fall 2010)

Hello everyone! I’m packing today (not heat, boxes!) but I was able to escape the sea of brown boxes for a moment to write to you. This is truly my happy space — whenever I need a place to escape, writing here gives me such a boost! How are you today? Yesterday was a very special one for us because we received the shiny new keys to our place and then went out for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants to celebrate. The mood was so perfect too — the air was fresh and crisp, it was slightly foggy, light showers… the smell of wood burning in stoves… so cozy. And dinner by candlelight made it even more memorable and special. More than ever before, I can’t wait to move in a few days!

Villa Collection

My husband and I feel so relieved to have found a place after so many months of intense searching. You know how hard it was for me, especially if you follow me on haus maus. Today I will have an engraved name plate made for our doorbells – yes plural – we have two of them with a fancy intercom and wall phone in the front of the house and in the back – it feels kind of posh to have two but as you get older there is ONE truth you come to realize = time is precious! You have to have at least a few things that you want in life today because mere expectation (all work/no play) can really take its toll on you emotionally.  So yes, we have two doorbells – one for decor8 (ha ha, my blog has a bell!) and one for us – isn’t that cool? This will make it so much easier now for package delivery though because many times people forget to address things with my name on it, only decor8, and because we have several different couriers there is usually confusion. It’s funny how the little things, like a name plate, can mean so much. The comforts of home.

Villa Collection

Speaking of the comforts of home, I must show you some glimpses into the new catalog from Danish brand Villa Collection. These things are available in Germany at shops as well which is good. I own some products from Villa Collection and am very happy with them – I buy them from my friend Daniela at Sommerflugl in Hannover – she is great if you are local, and she can order things for you if they are not currently in stock in her store (like furniture, lighting, etc.).

Villa Collection

Villa Collection has four specific moods this season, all accurately reflect the trends that you see in stores in my part of the world, northern Europe. One of their moods is Hot House, which is Asian minimalism meets industrial elements of the west with dots of fresh, energizing citrus hues. Another mood is called Scandinavia Today and it is a young, fresh trend rooted in nature. It is care-free, modern, minimalistic… Lots of natural wood tones, white and gray with silver accents along with lots of texture so that it feels warm and comfortable. Their next mood is called Pale & Pure which is “soft living with a modern, classy touch”. The foundation colors are dusty, chalky tones… Lavender, coral… along with natural woods and materials like raw silk and wool. It can also be less girly by using tones of green and blue. Their final mood is called Tribal Tasting. This is a colorful, spirited and spicy collection. It’s very bohemian but also quite modern with a focus on fine craftsmanship with indigenous roots. Here are some glimpses below of these moods. The nice thing is that you can mix and match elements from each to create your own custom work – something I encourage to personalize your space.

Villa Collection

Villa Collection

Villa Collection

Villa Collection

Villa Collection

Villa Collection

Villa Collection

I hope that you enjoyed this glimpse into some northern European trends — which one do you connect with the most? Or perhaps you see yourself merging a few and if so, which moods would you mix? Hot House, Scandinavia Today, Pale & Pure or Tribal Tasting? Mine is a mix between Scandinavia Today and Pale & Pure for sure.

(images: villa collection)

Posted in trends on September 28, 2010

DAY Birger et Mikkelsen Home

This is such a gorgeous autumn color palette! DAY Birger et Mikkelsen is a Danish label known for their amazing fashion but did you know that they also have a well-curated collection of goods for the home? Their current campaign is called Quirky Autumn and I just love it with the smokey shades of blue, gray…. vintage charm, extremely tactile, a few classic designs from the 60s, some ethnic “raw” pieces made of wood, silhouette art work, embroidery, lots of handmade charm — we all are so drawn to these things because they feel so real and in some ways connect us back to our childhood…

DAY Birger et Mikkelsen Home

DAY Birger et Mikkelsen Home

DAY Birger et Mikkelsen Home

This is definitely a look/palette that many designers are gravitating towards right now — Sibella Court, TineK Home, House Doctor, DAY Birger et Mikkelsen, West Elm, Anthropologie, etc. The mix of high and low, old and new is currently popular but I believe that it has real staying power — like denim jeans — in the sense that you can see a living room in these colors, in this style, in 5 years and it would still be just as lovely and cozy and not at all appear dated or, “Sooooo 2010″ as I imagine some current trends will look and feel years from now. Like denim, this look is clean, natural, casual and lasting since it is a mix of periods, cultures, and mostly neutral tones which you really can never go wrong with.

What do you think of these colors, textures and combinations?

(images: DAY Birger et Mikkelsen)

Posted in Decorating Tips, trends on September 16, 2010

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