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Keep Calm Gallery

Have you heard of the Keep Calm gallery? They just starting producing this terrific print in the sweetest cross stitch typeface, and the message is by far the most inspirational I’ve come across in a print since this one from Matirose.

‘He Who Cares Wins’ is currently available in a limited edition run of 50 in your choice of red or blue ink printed on recycled cotton rag paper from India.

This is a powerful message! At the end of the day it boils down to making a difference, having a positive influence on others, and considering the big picture when it comes to what we’re doing – how is your life impacting others. When you do work you care about it shows. Your positive energy spreads to others because ultimately you get back what you put out into the world. When you care, you win.

(images from the keep calm gallery)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, walls on January 29, 2008

Le Souk

One of my dear friends in the Netherlands authors a fabulous blog called the Style Files, and though I’ve talked about her and her blog a million times on this site I just realized that I’ve never formally announced the opening of her online shop Le Souk. You may remember Danielle, we went to Stockholm together in October. I can’t believe how I let Le Souk slip from my radar, but not today!

Familjen wallpaper by Swedish designer Lisa Bengtsson.

Danielle’s life dream was to set up her own business so while she still has a day job, she’s hoping that Le Souk and her blog will someday give her the opportunity to work from home full-time. She’d also like to widen out and work more with clients as an Interior Stylist, and I know for a fact that she’d excel at this because her taste level is so exquisite — her rooms would be magazine worthy and gorgeous. I can’t wait to see Danielle continue to march towards her dreams, it’s so empowering to see women going for careers that they’ve often only dreamed about before. And though it’s only baby steps that get us there, Danielle has made so much progress in one short year being online as a blogger and a few months as a shop owner that I know she’s got a lot of great things in store!

Le Souk ships worldwide and offers a range of home accessories for modern living, most with an ethnic flavor to them, and she offers personal accessories too. Mixing traditional ethnic pieces with modern and handmade items, each Le Souk item is carefully sourced by Danielle so you can be sure everything is made well and looks wonderful. From rustic, wooden stools to authentic vintage silver tea trays from Morocco and even beautiful crocheted pets for the kids, Danielle’s growing shop is a real treat. Enjoy!

Would you like to read more about Ethnic design? Click here.

(images from le souk)

Posted in ceramics, furniture, walls on January 25, 2008

Let’s Talk About Wallpaper

Wallpaper. One word certain to raise eyebrows amongst your peer group whenever you mention it as a decorative option. Your level of taste will certainly be questioned, especially if you mention alternative ways of using it, like perhaps on the ceiling. Why does wallpaper freak so many people out? The English seem to have a jolly good time with it. And though I’ve never purchased a single copy of the UK version of Country Living magazine, I browsed their website yesterday and noticed wallpaper in nearly every image, further confirmation that they’re still quite keen on it. Over on this side of the pond however, we’re still having our issues. But why?

Whether on walls or ceilings, in bookcases or closets, the idea of wallpaper enchants, the reality overwhelms. Placement and pattern selection are often a nightmare because unlike paint, you’re somewhat married to it once it’s on the wall. Cost is also a concern. Most can’t imagine this level of commitment, others are so bonkers over it that they really don’t care. I’m stuck somewhere in between, I guess I’m part of that “wallpaper a single wall as an accent” cult. Though this trend has set the design world ablaze, I’m beginning to explore alternative creative uses for wallpaper. I’m not seeing a lot of papered ceilings (it’s certainly not a trend) but the idea is appealing especially if the walls are painted a solid color and there’s a spectacular light fixture taking center stage. Another idea is to paint the walls pure white adding a graphical wallpaper to that “fifth wall” (here I go sounding all HGTV).

Or what about dormers? I really like the look of papering them. I suggest painting all the walls in a room a solid color and then applying wallpaper only to dormer walls. Most aren’t big on them because they cut into precious floor space, you bump your head, installing art is a pain, but since knocking them down is seldom an option then highlighting dormers can be a creative solution.

When it comes to papered walls and fancy ceilings, whether it’s a ceiling medallion (view resources here), hand painted murals, tin, or just about anything else, I have my southern upbringing to blame and all of the South Carolina plantations we toured in school. Enamored with all of the fabulous details as a child, I’m not surprised that these things still entice me. But times have changed and people are no longer investing as much time and money into their homes on things that they can’t use as a future selling point. The economy and sheer desire to explore has created a transient nation. When you’re always on the go you tend to think in terms of granite counters and wood flooring as a better long term investment over wallpaper since it’s definitely not an easy sell. As for renters, short-term ideas for decorating will forever be the rage. Few want to invest money and energy on wallpaper when they plan to ultimately move out anyway – you can’t take wallpaper with you. Considering all of this, wallpaper tempts but ultimately loses out to paint. I wonder, will things ever change?

Cole + Son Malabar wallpaper available at Walnut Wallpaper.

What do you think of wallpaper? Have you tried it in your home? If so, where? Thoughts?

(top two images from country living, bottom image from walnut wallpaper)

Posted in walls on January 15, 2008

Lindsay Art {prints}

An encouraging email arrived from established artist Lindsay Brackeen who originally sold her mixed media paintings online but recently decided to move her business over to Etsy to offer affordable prints of her darling originals (just $20!).

Lindsay runs a home business in addition to her duties as a mom of two. She fits in time creating art during their naps so that she’s still able to do what she loves in addition to her favorite role as mommy. It always warms my heart to hear from independent mothers who are online and use all the great resources that exist out there to build a small business so that they’re able to spend more time with their children. The best part is that they’re not feeling trapped at home detached from the outside “adult” world, they’re connecting online and building a small business. No mom should have to sacrifice her dreams to raise a child, it’s just a matter of figuring out how to do both really well because we all know a happy, emotionally fulfilled mom is a better parent all around.

I think you’ll enjoy some of these prints from her shop. Thank you Lindsay for sharing your work with us and for telling me about your blog, which I’m clicking over to visit el pronto!

(images from lindsay art)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, etsy, walls on January 14, 2008


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