Designers + Stylists

Tara Larkin, Interior Stylist

June 6, 2007

I’d like to highlight the work of Tara Larkin, a London-based Interior Stylist. With over ten years of experience styling for magazines such as House Beautiful (UK) and Real Homes (UK), along with companies and private clients, her portfolio contains a few images that I’m fond of, especially since I’m big on pinks and greens lately, so I’m soaking up everything that inspires me and putting them here on decor8. I hope you don’t mind.

Building a room is all about layering in one element at a time, careful arrangement, and as you live in the space and time goes on, editing it from time to time to ensure that things remain somewhat neat. Of course, I couldn’t live in any of these rooms, I need some of my magazines scattered about, lots of art on the walls, and piles of pillows everywhere (just ask my husband, I never tire of pillows). Although this simple, scaled down look is comforting to look at and gives me ideas — I can see where I’d love to add or remove this or that to infuse my own style.

In the following rooms, how would you edit them to show your style? I’d love to know!

Tara Larkin, Interior Stylist I’d replace the wood coffee table with a round glass top or a white or marble top saarinen low table. I’d also pull the side table closer in so that it’s closer the sofa.

Tara Larkin, Interior Stylist In this room, I’d add a drum pendant over the table, perhaps a geometric or leaf motif. Of course, fresh flowers in the table center, and a huge graphical plush rug to ground the space, I’m thinking 8 x 10 would work. I’d hate to cover those beautiful floors, though. I’d like to see a little more color on the bookcase, too. I love the arrangement of everything on it left alone, it’s perfect.

Tara Larkin, Interior StylistI’d change the bedding and turn this room into an Indian escape. I love the wall as is, perfect. The tea set would be replaced by a napping kitty. The lamp would have a more substantial base, and in a color like yellow or turquoise to play off those I’d introduce through my new bedding. Lots of pillows, too! I may make a slipcover with a padded insert to conceal the headboard, unless this is a room for a little girl, then I may leave it be. I’d shop for everything at Layla, John Robshaw, Kerry Cassill, and Nomad. Remember Pink Shrink that SFGirlByBay Victoria blogged about? Something like that.

Tara Larkin, Interior Stylist I’d love the see the wall behind the entertainment center in either tulip yellow or green (kelly or lime) OR with a big, bold wallpaper pattern in yellow and white or green and white — geometric or a floral print. And a cozy rug of course, I love rugs against hardwood. I also think that the end table either needs to be higher, or needs a stack of books with brightly colored spines, topped with a succulent in a pretty pot.

Tara Larkin, Interior Stylist I don’t know about this room. She did a great job pulling together these two strong hues, but I’m a bit scared of them used together in a single room, both almost fighting for the spotlight. I know, I know, it’s the American in me. If given the choice over a beige/cream space or a purple/red space, most of us would take the former, admit it. I’d settle somewhere in the middle with pink. :)

So, what do you think? How would you add your personal style to these rooms? Of course, Tara’s work is invigorating and inspiring as is, but it’s fun to play. The more you take rooms apart with you look at them, the more you are training your eye and peering a little deeper into all the beautiful images you love – there’s great benefit in careful inspection! I hope you’ll check out Tara’s website and view all the images she has in her portfolio. Enjoy!

(images from tara larkin)






Rooms

Stonewall Kitchen

June 6, 2007

Whenever I’m in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, I always stop by Stonewall Kitchen to stock up on sauces and dips, and my favorite, the Barefoot Contessa butterscotch caramel – it’s simply to die(t) for. Great when heated and drizzled over vanilla ice cream on homemade apple pie. Aside from delicious specialty foods, Stonewall Kitchen also carries everything for the home and garden, too. Check out their website, there’s so much to browse through. Best part, you can order the yummy butterscotch caramel online, which I’m thinking can be quite dangerous. I don’t know why, but I never thought to order it online until today. Duh.

Stonewall Kitchen I have these jars (top right) and use mine to store ribbon, buttons, and mini toys that I collect from candy machines and all the chocolate eggs, Kinder Ueberaschung, that I buy (just for the toy inside) when in Germany.

Stonewall Kitchen Numbers are always in style, but I’m seeing lots of them popping up again on bowls, cups, wine glasses, pillows, and especially in mixed media art.

I love all of the Stonewall Kitchen garden supplies too. I recently planted a mini flower bed near my front door using flowers and plants from the nearby garden shop and seed packets that my husband so sweetly gave me with hopes that it would encourage me to garden again. His hopes turned into a reality because I planted everything last month and now that the seeds have sprouted, I’m constantly peeking in on them to see what happened from the last time I checked (ten minutes before that). In addition to a flower bed, I planted some pots in various sizes and colors, and a kitchen window box, too. It’s so rewarding to have a few little plants or flowers to call your own. If you haven’t planted lately, please do.

Stonewall Kitchen
If you live in the city, there are plenty of options to grow things indoors, and if you have a patio or balcony, you can plant there too. No excuses, okay? :) And with all these pretty things from Stonewall Kitchen, you can even cultivate little egglings beneath a glass dome on your coffee table. Easy! This Pedestal Green House is on sale for under $20 – pretty, affordable, and simple. If you have a black thumb, plant succulents indoors. They are nearly impossible to kill, and you can plant them in almost anything, even inside of a shell.

(images from stonewall kitchen)






Objects

The Shade Store

June 6, 2007

I’m not sure if you caught this recently over on Apartment Therapy, but when I read about The Shade Store on AT, I immediately ordered a catalog and I’ve been drooling, and trying to decide what I want, ever since. Love. It. I usually head straight over to American Blinds and Wallpaper or Smith & Noble when I need customized blinds and shades, but I’m open to trying new things, especially when they look this hot. Too bad they don’t sell the entire room because I think this sofa is darling.

The Shade Store Click on images for a larger view.

With gorgeous window shades, blinds, drapery, accessories, and designer hardware, they also have these really sleek, modern panel systems that caught my eye because they glide smoothly on a track system and are perfect for large windows and doors. I’m not a fan of the standard glass sliding doors with vinyl frames, but since they’re still everywhere in homes across America, I meet a lot of homeowners looking for modern solutions for dressing them up without sacrificing daylight or style. I think these panel systems are perfect because you can select from an extensive array of fabrics or woven wood materials, and since they lay flush against the wall when closed, they almost resemble wallpaper, don’t you think?

The Shade StoreThe Shade StoreThe Shade StoreThe Shade StoreAren’t their product shots the best? Nothing sells a product better than images like these… The power of a terrific wall color combined with the right window treatment. Ah.

(images from the shade store)






Etsy Faves

Two Trees *New* June Gifts

June 5, 2007

The very sweet Shanna is so good about keeping me in the loop when she updates her etsy store, Two Trees. I love how she designs and creates her collection according to a different theme each month, so unique! Last month, the collection was all about shopping at the market.

Two Trees *New* June Gifts
During the month of June, her theme is Pretty Things, in celebration of carefree summer days. “Days when you can hear the soundtrack to your life just about everywhere; I’ve let a song inspire this month’s line.” Shanna says. “My favorite, the one that always seems to make it on a playlist is When Mac was Swimming by The Innocence Mission.” Isn’t it great that a song can inspire one to create such beautiful things? Below, you’ll see friendship bracelets and a very creative way to send a greeting to someone… Visit Two Trees for details.

Two Trees *New* June GiftsTwo Trees *New* June Gifts

(images from shanna murray)






Inspiration, Shopping + Products, Travel

Inspiration & Beauty from Nirali Magazine

June 5, 2007

If you know Priya Patel from the the blog, Pomegranita, then you know that this lady has an amazing eye for color and design. In addition to Pomegranita, she’s also the Creative Director of Nirali Magazine, your complete online source for all things South Asian, including politics, and trends in fashion, the arts, and entertainment in the South Asian community. It’s a wonderful read for people of all backgrounds, but is especially valuable to brides of South Asian heritage that are busy preparing for their wedding right here in North America.

Inspiration & Beauty from Nirali Magazine
Priya mentioned that the current issue will be published in two installments. The first went live yesterday (June 4th) and the next will go live on June 18th. The magazine is covering 7 real weddings — Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Christian and mixed religion marriages, and will feature the vendors involved, such as photographers, videographers, tent rental vendors, and South Asian fashion. Very helpful for brides-to-be!

Inspiration & Beauty from Nirali Magazine
Although I usually shy away from posting about weddings and fashion, with ethnic textiles being such a huge trend right now, along with all the bright jewel tones we’re seeing in design, I thought this website may inspire you on many levels – and most importantly, increase awareness when it comes to all the wonderful cultures living right here in America.

Inspiration & Beauty from Nirali MagazineInspiration & Beauty from Nirali MagazineThanks Priya for writing to me and sharing Nirali Magazine with decor8 readers!

(images from nirali magazine)






Shop Tours, Shopping + Products, Travel

Greenward – New Eco-Friendly Store! [Boston]

June 4, 2007

I had such a great weekend, I can’t remember when I had so much fun crammed into only a few days. I kicked things off with a ‘girls night out’ on Friday with my amazing mother, hung out with my bff who was up visiting me from Miami, then spent time in Cambridge shopping at Paper Source, browsing Nomad (great ethnic textiles here) and Abodeon (awesome vintage mid century finds), then hit Greenward, a brand spankin’ new must-see store for products with a conscience.

Greenward - New Eco-Friendly Store! [Boston]
When you’re in need of beautiful planet-friendly homewares, books, magazines, jewelry, baby gear, bike accessories, and stationery, shop Greenward because this place has a great selection and is in a great little hood. I mean, with Starbucks and other random cafes sprinkled around, tons of great ethnic eateries, Paper Source, Nomad, Abodeon, and other boutiques all within a few blocks, you can easily take the T over to Porter Square and do a little Mass Ave. shopping for a few hours. Greenward is located at 1776 Mass Ave., so it’s only a 5 minute walk.

Greenward - New Eco-Friendly Store! [Boston]
I was impressed to find Greenward for several reasons, the first of course being the cause, shopping eco when I can is important to me. But also the selection is great. It’s not crunchy and boring, which is sometimes what you think of when you picture eco-friendly finds. With Jill Bliss, Little Otsu, Good on Paper, Josh Jakus, Pear Tree Studio, K Studio, and Pangea Organics on the list (to name a few), this shop carries the best of modern green goods that are currently on the market. They even have those great bike baskets in green and white that have been all over the blogosphere lately (Joy wrote about her basket here).

Greenward - New Eco-Friendly Store! [Boston]
In addition to the great products, the location can’t be beat. Don’t let the below street level location fool you, it’s not dark, depressing, or hard to find. Quite the opposite. Owners Scott Walker and Simone Alpen (soon to be husband + wife, if her name sounds familiar, she’s the brains behind The Bazaar Bizarre) did a fantastic job with their bright signage and in the overall design of the space. With tons of natural light flooding in and cheery colors dotted all around the store, you can only guess that a lot of planning went into this store. The moment you find out that the displays are all hand built using eco-responsible woods, the flooring is cork, overhead lighting is energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs, and the walls were painted using low-VOC paint, your suspicions are confirmed.

Greenward - New Eco-Friendly Store! [Boston]
The energy in this store is just great, almost like you’ve left Boston for a few moments and entered sunny California. When you walk in, you’re not only greeted with great products, but also with a friendly smile, the smell of a delicious soy-based candle burning, and great tunes (music is a huge plus for me) piped through “green” speakers constructed of oak reclaimed from whiskey barrels. Take a complete tour of their space here (lots of product shots). Or if you’re local, go check out the store and see this great green store for yourself.

Greenward - New Eco-Friendly Store! [Boston]
A huge thanks to Scott for sending these over to me. Hi Simone!!

(images from greenward)






Scroll Up

SUBSCRIBE - IT'S FREE!

Hello! Do you want to gain IMMEDIATE access to my exclusive content, DECORATING TIPS, TREND reports, HOME TOURS + more? Sure you do! SIGN UP today!


Email address
Secure and Spam free...