Fashion + Accessories

Looking to Fashion…

July 5, 2007

With so many fashion designers and stores mixing into the world of interiors, my only wish is that J.Crew will expand someday with an entire collection of soft furnishings because I envision most of their patterns in the home. The red and white organic starfish print would be gorgeous on a wingback chair or as drapes puddling on hardwood floors. And the postcard linen print is another favorite when I imagine it as a duvet with yellow piping, with the reverse side in a yellow and white geometric pattern. I see fluffy down-filled unbleached linen pillows, monogrammed in black with swirly initials because I’d need to add some whimsy while maintaining the preppy j.crew vibe. Maybe the pillow piping would be the postcard print. Hmmm… J.Crew if you’re listening, please design a collection for the home. And hire me, along with all the savvy decor8 readers, to work for you. Not everyone wants to wear a starfish mini skirt, but most of us would love the chance at using the pattern somewhere in the home.

Looking to Fashion...

(images from j.crew)

Designers + Stylists

John Stefanidis Design & Textiles

July 5, 2007

I’ve been a bit on a textile kick lately, so when Caroline from John Stefanidis Design contacted me out of the blue with information on Stefanidis fabrics (based in London), one look told me that you’d enjoy his collection, too. Of course, you simply must take a moment to view his intoxicating portfolio. Browsing beautifully decorated rooms is always a treat. The Stefanidis rooms will have you longing for your next vacation. You may even start turning thoughts over in your head about owning a second home in some exotic locale.

John Stefanidis Design & Textiles
Here’s a glimpse of rooms designed in some amazing locations, from the West Indies to Turkey. I’ll take one in Istanbul (one of my dream destinations) and another someplace very tropical and secluded, please. Perhaps a beachfront abode in Cape Town, South Africa. I’ve had my eye on visiting there for a few years now… Or perhaps a spot in Marrakesh so I can run wild with the amazing Maryam, shopping the souks and carrying her luggage as she hops from one country to the next for her job. I would carry her bags and cook her meals and I’d even consider trimming the toenails on her peacocks if I could somehow be lucky enough to experience the world Maryam style. If you don’t already read her blog, drop everything, she’s an American living in Marrakesh and her stories are fascinating. I digress…

Back to John Stefanidis. I love looking at how he arranges things. Some of his clients seem to fancy colorful glassware and he’s certainly not afraid to show off their collections by utilizing every square inch of a space to incorporate their possessions, is he?

John Stefanidis Design & Textiles The chair in this bathroom is perfect as an unexpected touch. And with wall colors so rich and gorgeous, who needs art? Well, in the red room above, I guess they needed it, but in the images below, sometimes a simple mirror is all you need when your entire wall is a glowing canvas of color. The hot pink piping on the canopy bed paired with the yellow floral wallpaper has to be one of my favorite color combinations. If it could have a taste, it would surely be raspberry lemonade.

John Stefanidis Design & Textiles If you could pick a place to set up a house, or at least a second home, where would it be and why?

(images from john stefanidis design)


There’s No Place Like Home…

July 4, 2007

Inspired by the beautiful garden and patio photos shared by Apartment Therapy readers during their June Outdoor Home month, I thought I’d take you on a tour of my backyard so you can see how I live. Click here to take the little tour.

There's No Place Like Home... I lived in Boston for many years and although my parents are still down there and I visit home constantly, my husband and I now live up in New Hampshire about 45 minutes out of the city. The home that you see in this flickr set is an 1875 carriage house bordering a 100+ acre apple orchard and a working farm. Our town is known for horses and apples, and from Spring until late Fall, the smell of sweet corn and apples fill the air. It’s heavenly. I should add that in addition to seeing people out walking their dogs, it’s just as common to see them walking an Appendix Quarter Horse. It’s really beautiful and very green here. I hope you enjoy our little country abode.

See you on Thursday since it’s a holiday here in the states today and most of us are enjoying the day off. :)

(images from holly becker for decor8)

Etsy Faves, Objects

Kirin and Co. Textiles

July 3, 2007

Lara Cameron, the designer behind Kirin and Co., is one talented Aussie. I love looking at all the patterns she tucks away in her flickr folder, all of which are available in your choice of color if you choose to place a custom textile order with her. Or, you can visit her fabulous etsy store and purchase screenprinted fabric from her current collection.

Kirin and Co. Textiles
I really like her prints, they look so fresh and fun, and would work well in so many different interiors. I need to paint and reupholster a vintage stool, maybe the riverstones in raspberry with a crisp white coat of paint on the base? Hmm…

(images from kirin and co)


Modern Euro Country

July 3, 2007

I’m so happy today. Not because tomorrow is a holiday and I’m going to my favorite place on earth, the beach. I’m happy because a new editor friend of mine up at Canadian Home & Country sent me a care package of magazines, and as I skimmed through the April ’07 issue, I fell upon something magical.

Modern Euro Country
Three magic words, to be exact. Modern Euro County. If you have the issue, it’s on pages 56-61, and the article is called, “Le Femme Boheme”. I finally found a magazine that addressed my personal design style to absolute perfection, and gave it a name that sits well with me. It’s the style I’ve had for years, long before the blog, way back when I moved into my first apartment at age 19. The magazine calls it Modern Euro Country. It’s a light, free-spirited approach to design that incorporates some florals, organic shapes, ethnic prints, some wood, some bright colors mixed in with pale ones, “patina meets pristine”, as they put it.

Modern Euro Country
Yes, this is exactly my style. Modern Euro Country. It’s not vintage modern as I thought because I still have my issues with that look. I don’t want to confine myself to one set style, but with MEC, it’s like saying your style is eclectic with more of a focus, if that makes sense. Eclectic can mean anything. But this style immediately calls to mind a visual, at least for me. It’s the rustic farmhouse table paired with my blue Eames ‘eiffel’ chairs, flea market finds, soft comfortable sofas with dainty exposed legs, and a mid century teak credenza throw in. Soaring ceilings, transom windows, architectural details, wood floors, a balcony. And art. Pretty paintings and framed prints with personal meaning. But the overall look is casual, charming, comfortable, and very welcoming and warm. Not fussy. And it allows me to own china in many different patterns.

Modern Euro Country Modern Euro Country
Modern Euro Country. I like the sound of that. Any other MEC readers out there?

(Thanks Rebecca for sending me these great magazines!)

Inspiration, Small Business

Confessions of a Design Blogger

July 3, 2007

Dear Friends,

I have a confession to make. I’m not concerned about the evolving state of the internet, the frantic pace of blogging, or coming up with new things to talk about here. Hanging out with you each day is fun. It’s the constant exposure to products that have me worried. I think my days before blogging had their benefits. Let me explain.

You see a tiny fraction on decor8 of what I field in a week via email. So many inquiries, everything from strollers to high tech gadgets, and beyond. And then there are the gems. Those are the things that I post. The sincere emails that actually address me by name (!) and completely blow me away with their talent and overall design aesthetic. But it takes a lot of digging to locate the diamonds. A lot. And frankly, I often miss the old days when I was a bit naive to it all. I could walk into a store and not feel like I’ve see that already a thousand times. I’m not being uppity, I’m being honest. You must understand. You read blogs, so you see tons of great stuff constantly, too.

The overwhelming exposure to products is wonderful on one hand, because when you are a somewhat new writer trying to balance interior design consulting and clients, the more you know the more you are considered a valuable resource and are looked to for guidance, and that is undeniably a great thing. But on the flipside, ignorance is bliss, right? It’s almost like the internet and email in general. You don’t know how you survived without it, but you certainly have no life now that it’s here. And you wouldn’t trade it for the world, but still.

So! Here’s the real issue. I was standing in the middle of BoConcept over in Cambridge the other day looking for a simple bed. Nothing crazy. And I felt a tad bit overwhelmed. I think the sales associate noticed, because he grabbed me a bottled water and asked if I had additional questions. I detected that he put emphasis on additional a little more than all the other words, but who can blame him? I was absolutely determined to know everything about their beds, aside from all the product knowledge I already had from pouring over their catalogs and website before I even hit the showroom floor. I think I covered every single question known to man about a bed.

But the one question he couldn’t answer, that I need to know desperately, “Will this bed truly make me genuinely happy, or once it arrives, will I have regrets because 100 new styles will be available by then?” I didn’t ask him that, but the thought crossed by mind. I mean, God forbid it arrives and there’s a pang of regret because a new style is introduced that I like even better. This is a bed people, a bed. And I’m having hot flashes. But I assume this is the life of most designers, and design bloggers, and anyone else who is constantly surrounded by product, product, product. Blog readers included. I can only imagine how a magazine editor feels after about 10 years of sifting through product submissions. I know that the average consumer feels overwhelmed when making design decisions to, because I hear this constantly from readers and clients.

Truth is, I can make decisions and decorate for you and all of your friends, but lately, I can’t seem to make a single design decision for myself. Okay, I purchased those Alex drawers that I blogged about from IKEA recently, but I’m talking big ticket purchases more than the under $500 stuff. I have no problem spending money in other areas of my life, but when it comes to big ticket items for the home, my brain freezes.

Confessions of a Design Blogger
So I’m throwing these thoughts out into the world today, somewhat Dear Abbey style, to see what you have to say on this topic. Does anyone else suffer from design ADD? What do you do to manage it so that you can make decisions, throw down that wad of cash, and just roll with it?

(image from holly becker for decor8)

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