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Crowson Textiles + Wallpaper

Okay, back on topic to dish about interior design. Let’s look at some wallpaper for a moment from Crowson in the UK. The big trend right now is large scale florals and geometric prints. Have you noticed? Bold petals abound, from metallic swirly florals to understated petite blooms in chalky pastel hues. Baroque patterns are all the rage too, some of which are so bold that you only need to apply in small doses to make an impact on your space.
I dream of the days when I occupy a city apartment with high ceilings and pre-war architecture again, with gleaming hardwood floors and a marble fireplace. I will definitely add wallpaper somewhere in my future space. I had an apartment like this years ago when I was single in the city, all 5 rooms of it, and even now I find myself missing it like crazy sometimes, that place rocked. Oh well, there’s always the road ahead…

I like the way Crowson features their wallpaper (above). I’m assuming they’ve applied it to plywood, perhaps? Whatever it is, it seems to be completely mobile. A renters dream. Maybe I need to start thinking outside of traditional application and do something like this in my own space. I bet it would be interesting to use hinges and merge 3 wood doors together for a divider, applying wallpaper for visual impact. Now that would be a fun weekend project.

Do you have any rooms in your home that boast wallpaper that you’re proud of? Care to share? I’d love to post some images of your space, we can post them as “anonymous” if you feel shy. It would be such an inspiration to me to actually see a real life space with wallpaper vs. images from magazines and wallpaper manufacturers, most of which aren’t of genuine spaces anyway. All of my client spaces are wallpaper-free, seems most people I’ve worked with are scared to death of it. Could be that we still associate it with grandparents, recliners, and shag carpeting. Maybe we aren’t far enough away from those times to associate wallpaper with anything positive. I grew up with wallpaper in the home, it was used freely and without restraint. I was never scared of it, I enjoyed the metallic dots we had in our living room, the florals in the bathroom… My great grandmother had florals on her walls, huge with fully saturated hues that would completely blow away the idea of ever creating a focal point, something designers today are so hooked on doing when planning a room. With so much of my childhood spent in wallpapered rooms, I don’t mind bringing it into my own space as an adult, as long as it’s treated as a focal point (behind the sofa) or in a small space (in the entry way or a 1/2 bath). Wallpaper borders on the other hand, well let’s not go there because those scare me.

So… Amyone care to show off your wallpapered space? Any takers?

(images from crowson)

Posted in textiles, walls on June 27, 2006

Nama Rococo

I’ve been straight out all day working on a few projects, so forgive me for going MIA. When I peeked at my inbox a few minutes ago, I was so overjoyed to see an email from the Nama Rococo wallpaper studio because they are one of my top favorite new American paper designers. There are so many patterns out of London and Paris that appeal to me, but with the growing number of American designers stepping up, design in this country is raising eyebrows all over the world. The attention is starting to turn towards our shores because let’s face it, when it comes to design, America is only getting hotter.

Nama Rococo is one of those companies that at first glance, you may say, “They must be from Paris or Berlin” because their designs are bold, some may call them over the top, a little edgy, very Euro apartment/Elle Decor UK posh. Only after browsing their website do you discover that Nama Rococo is actually designed in Massachusetts (yeah!). Again, a common misconception that boutique style wallcovering would only come from abroad. Things are a changin’ – amazing design is suddenly closer to home.

To learn more about Nama Rococo, visit their website. The above shot shows their French Dot paper in Ooh-La Black featuring “watercolor like” one-of-a-kind hand painting overprinted with black repeat. Love that it’s shown on screens vs. on the wall. Perfect solution for apartment dwellers that need mobile focal points. At $180 per sheet (25″ x 38″), you can paper one wall or a few screens and viola! you have art and a decadent focal point.

(image from nama rococo)

Posted in walls on June 22, 2006

Orange Lola


These new lucky fish starfish pillowcases from Orange Lola in Brooklyn had me at hello. Way cute. White cotton with scalloped edges (swoon!), feminine tie details, and a bold burst of red coral with a gold starfish and and a sweet little turquoise crab nested in there. A great deal for only $36. While you’re at it, scoop up this sweet melamine platter for your next outdoor soiree for only $18.

Psst: Did you see their stencil collection? If not, scroll to the bottom of this page). Too cute. Great addition to your handpainted furniture. Love the birdie in gold. Designed by Brooklyn-based graphic designer Ed Roth.


(images from orange lola)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, bedroom, textiles, walls on June 06, 2006

Laura Ashley UK Beauties

I spent a summer, when I was 18, as an au-pair for a family on Marlborough Street in Boston. This was no ordinary family. Their brownstone, a million dollar townhouse with a view of the John Hancock tower, was absolutely splendid. They had a home on the coast of Maine with another in London. The wife, the Charles Edward Wilson Professor at the Harvard Business School and book author and the husband, the then CEO of Laura Ashley.
Their little girl had an amazing bedroom, decked out in more Laura Ashley than one could ever imagine. Her closet, filled with tag-on clothes, most of which were Laura Ashley. Everyday was a treat, I was handed cash to take their daughter “lunching” on Newbury Street. She was only 3 years old, but she had her favorite stops – like Rebecca’s cafe for chicken salad sandwiches with plump grapes and almonds. We’d play in the park all afternoon with the other children who had no clue what being born into a life of such status would someday mean for them. It was a life that I’d never live, but for that summer, I had a chance to experience it and, quite frankly, I loved my very special summer with Jim (Dr. James Maxmim – whom I’d only met once, he was in London almost the entire summer), Shoshana Zuboff and their daughter, Chloe. By now, Chloe must be well into her teens… I often think about them and wonder what became of the little girl with everything, which brought me to the Laura Ashley website today.

Lace-like patterns are a real trend lately, and this delicious two-tier Mallow Lace Pendant with fluttering butterflies looks so delicate and feminine. I love this commanding Sabrina Ceiling Shade, too. Perhaps it clips onto a lightbulb, or? So elegant! I find the Renfrew Striped Shade quite pretty as well. You could purchase a plain drum shade from Target and, using muted pastel fabric paints, create your own (the Pavilion is pretty, too.) I’m really big on floral prints, but they need to be simple and bold, and this Erin Tapered Drum Shade in duck egg is just perfect. If you love this print, but aren’t looking for shades, try a few Erin Eau De Nil pillows. (They have coordinating Erin wallpaper to match.)


Speaking of wallpaper, Laura Ashley is known for their fabulous selection of that, too. The Fenton pattern in blue, the duck egg Kimono (with coordinating pleated panels – drool!) and Oriental Garden in charcoal are three of my favorites.


Looking for romantic accessories? This Etched Mirror Jewelry Box is as enchanting as it is stunning. Looking for something less glam, but big on country charm? You may like the sweet Rosie Dot 1/2 Liter Jug for milk or fresh flowers. Other pretty vessels include the Mallow ceramic or glass vase with butterflies in pink, blue and green.

Of course, don’t forget what Laura Ashley does best: Fabric!

Link here for Laura Ashley in the USA, Japan, Middle East, and Spain. It’s so interesting to see how they present themselves in different parts of the globe. I love thier clothing on the Japan site, I’m sure you’ll agree…

(images from laura ashley)

Posted in ceramics, textiles, walls on May 31, 2006

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