Color Inspiration, Inspiration

Apartment Therapy and Lydia’s Lavender Ceilings

May 17, 2007

I’m closely following Apartment Therapy’s Smallest Coolest contest (who isn’t?) and when I spotted Lydia’s space in San Francisco today, I had to show you because this super cool lady lives in a two room studio that has such a great layout (it feels huge) and my favorite part, a lavender ceiling! I don’t know Lydia, but with a space like that, I imagine she is a pretty neat lady with a big personality and loads of style. Love it!

Apartment Therapy and Lydia's Lavender Ceilings
This inspired me because I’ve been in a purple haze the past few days looking at this hue in so many stylized settings from magazines that I needed a reality check: to see it in a REAL home. So here’s a glimpse of Lydia’s lavender ceilings. While you’re at it, view a slideshow of her space or watch a video of it (for more ceiling footage) over on the amazing Apartment Therapy.

(images from apartment therapy and lydia)

Inspiration, Rooms, Shopping + Products

Urban Outfitters Offices in Philadelphia

May 17, 2007

You never know who is reading your blog… The other day, I wrote about A Stitch in Time, an informative image packed article in the May issue of Metropolis magazine featuring the Urban Outfitters corporate campus. To my delight, the architect and design team on that project, Meyer Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd, contacted me offering images to show decor8 readers. Located in Philadelphia’s navy yard in 5 historic industrial buildings, this office space is exquisite. With that being said, enjoy the tour below. For more images, click here to view a mini slide show I’ve created.

Urban Outfitters Offices in Philadelphia Haven’t we all had dreams of working amidst larger than life balls of yarn, sitting in beautiful chairs, and passing by a wall loaded with buttons?

Urban Outfitters Offices in PhiladelphiaUrban Outfitters Offices in Philadelphia
This is a super creative environment where I think anyone could blossom, look at this place! You’ll have to excuse me, it’s just that I get excited about office space, as it was a huge part of my former life managing facilities and working on space redesigns and I often think about it in my sleep, still. But wow, look at this space, not only are the buildings spectacular, but I love the overall flow and how spacious it feels, it’s like a city within a city. I also like how they’ve carved out all of these creative spaces where groups can congregate to chat and that the work areas are clustered together with low wall cubicles or no wall at all. It gives one a sense of belonging to a group, a team, vs. being stuffed into high wall cubicles and isolated from those you’re working with.

Urban Outfitters Offices in PhiladelphiaUrban Outfitters Offices in PhiladelphiaUrban Outfitters Offices in PhiladelphiaUrban Outfitters Offices in Philadelphia
For me, the greatest lure is that an old, abandoned property was transformed and reused for a new purpose instead of either sitting there and slowly falling apart or worse, bulldozed. Urban Outfitters brought new life into an otherwise dead navy yard. It’s so important to reinvent a space intended for a different purpose in a new, creative way. Firehouses and old schools are now condos in many neighborhoods as are houses of worship. It’s such a smart way to go. And, as these pictures show, no one had to sacrifice because it’s much more impressive because of its bones and history.

Thank you Ligeia for the images! For more views of this space, click here to view a mini slide show.

(images from MS&R. photography by lara swimmer.)

Arts + Crafts, Rooms, Shopping + Products, Travel

The Ribbon Jar

May 17, 2007

Have you heard of The Ribbon Jar? I discovered it while browsing the wonderful world of the amazing Matthew Mead. The Ribbon Jar is an excellent source for super cool ribbon.

The Ribbon Jar
I love the nordic style of these waves, and the preppy pink and green ribbon. Some of these would be terrific on clothes, but also to trim a lamp shade, sheets, pillowcases, and even the hem of curtains. Do you sew or are you the glue gun queen of the world? I am mixed, depending on time, but I do have a rule that I follow. I go the glue gun route if I never plan on washing the item. But since I sew, I usually sew things on. If you don’t sew and you cringe at the sight of a glue gun, try the amazing velcro tape that my crafty mother introduced me to eons ago. It is actually great stuff. Anyway, check out The Ribbon Jar and see if you spot anything for your next project.

The Ribbon Jar
Psst: If you’re not familiar with Matthew Mead, I wrote about him in March here on decor8. Here’s a glimpse of his work above. He’s amazing, I bow to this man. You have to visit his website and watch his style cast videos from his studio in New Hampshire. He is so creative, I refer to him as the male Martha.

(images from the ribbon jar and matthew mead)

Arts + Crafts, Events + Markets, Shopping + Products, Travel

Locals: SoWa Art Walk + South End Open Market

May 17, 2007

This weekend officially kicks off Spring here in Boston with the SoWa Art Walk on Saturday and Sunday May 19-20, 2007 from 11-6. Yeah!

Locals: SoWa Art Walk + South End Open Market
And while you’re in the South End checking out all that fabulous art in the mill buildings, head over to Chris’ gem, The South End Open Market, to mingle and shop all the artists, craftsmen, farmstands and other cool vendors as they open for the season, kicking things off on Saturday and Sunday from 10-4. Free parking and admission is yours at this open air feast for the eyes (and tummy!).

Locals: SoWa Art Walk + South End Open Market
A few places on my list for the SoWa Art Walk:

Boxx Furniture: Custom designed furniture by Pablo and John, check out their furniture and let them help you create something you’ll love. You can find them all weekend long in their SoWa showroom located at 46 Waltham St., Studio #210.

Garage Sale: Gorgeous high-end furniture, art and jewelry that may not be marked at garage sale prices, but you can expect to score some things that you love for at least half of their original cost. This store is located at 55 Waltham Street.

Polly Becker’s illustration studio. Because a Holly Becker must meet a Polly Becker, right? Located at 258 Shawmut ave #5.

Design Salon Group Show “Five Females”, featuring Jennifer Hill from JHill Design, Ann Karash of mittenmitten, Kelly Smith of etcetera media, Jill Rosenwald of Rosenwald Ceramics, and Erica Von Sc of Vonica Designs. Total girl power at 46 Waltham St, Studio 305-A.

Locals: SoWa Art Walk + South End Open Market
Simplemente Blanco – A must stop on my list. I can’t wait to visit with Fernanda and see what she’s been up to. I love her home accessories and soaps. Beautiful things. Don’t miss this studio. 46 Waltham St., Studio #203

Julie Shaw Lutts – Fantastic artist, can’t wait to visit her studio at 450 Harrison Ave, Studio 412-A.

Jennifer Hughes – Another amazing artist that I want to visit. I love the idea of walking around the South End all day from studio to studio, checking out all this beautiful work on display. We did it last year and had such a great time. 460 Harrison Ave.

Linda Cordner – Her encaustic work is beautiful, you have to check it out in person. 450 Harrison Ave., Studio 316-B.

And Yuko Adachi. I don’t know much about her work, but her website is so intriguing, I have to visit. Plus, anyone born in Tokyo and raised in Japan, Paris, London and the USA has to have a lot of cool energy. 450 Harrison Ave., Studio #228.

Locals: SoWa Art Walk + South End Open Market

(images from jhill design (thanks jen!), south end open market, and sowa art walk)

Color Inspiration, Inspiration

Lavender Love from The Washington Post

May 17, 2007

Leah Hennen, a fellow freelance writer (she has all the big guns like Real Simple, The New York Times,, Health magazine, and now, her own blog, More Ways to Waste Time on her resume), shared The Washington Post series on lavender today. Quite exciting — more design inspiration if you’re looking to add a little lavender love into your life. Seems others are turning their attention towards this color so the timing on this is perfect. The four articles are linked below from The Washington Post. Enjoy!

Lavender Love from The Washington Post“Lavender, Neutralized” discusses how lavender can be a “soft and embracing neutral”. Side point: Is the dog on the sofa not the most overly used, yet utterly charming, accent in home decor photos? It’s almost like dogs are cooler than kids, more hip. If someone flips open their wallet to show their grinning kids, the “friend” usually forces themselves to show interest and politely looks at them. They’re totally hiding the “whatever” look and famous eye roll, pretending that your smiling son is the cutest thing alive. Whip out photos of your new dog, and the whole office forms a line at your desk, requesting you bring in more photos, or better yet, the whole dog. Back to my point. Dogs in photos. Kids in photos completely bombs unless you are selling products for kids. Dogs in photos always work whether you are selling a sleek Italian sofa or an oil tanker. But I digress… Just a ‘trend’ I’m seeing with dogs in photos.

Lavender Love from The Washington Post“How They Make the Most of Lavender” (expert advice on using the color). Good article, check it out.

Lavender Love from The Washington Post“The Experts’ Specific Picks”: This article features fave paint hues from design experts. I’ll add my voice here, as I have my opinions on the subject, too. Ahem. My favorite purples from Mr. Ben Moore are Violet Mist (greyish), Whispering Wind (heavenly, soft purple), and Irises (if you are looking for a deep, dark purple that almost reads as a charcoal grey in certain light).

Lavender Love from The Washington Post And finally, a photo gallery over at The Post showcasing lovely lavender interiors. Like some of these photos I’ve included in this very post.

Lavender Love from The Washington Post I absolutely adore this image. Delish! A purple table for the entry. What a statement. Despite how perfectly stylized things are (shell artfully arranged on (or near as in this case) a book, Nate Berkus and Oprah would grin and the audience would clap at this one, especially Miss Beckster), I think the homeowner sincerely hopes you’ll see that they’re really a fun bunch behind all the OCD perfection. They’re secretly praying that when you enter their home, that purple table will show off their amazing taste, perky personality, and their ability to read books.

Lavender Love from The Washington PostAh. One can only look and admire the perfect placement of every single item. Thankfully, the white coverlet gave this room the grown up feel that it would not have had if the designer added a pattern on this bed. As is, the room is absolutely serene and very, what would that girl on Top Design say, Glamtastic? Or was it Glamalicious? Glammaramma ding dong? :)

Okay, so I think we can call it quits on Purple. I need a break. I think I’ll go back to the regularly scheduled program here on decor8. Hope you had fun with this because the goal here was to break the mold and for some (—->me<----), position purple in a more positive light. I'm cured, what about you?Thank you Leah for the GREAT tip!(all images from the washington post)

Color Inspiration, Inspiration

Poppin’ Purple

May 17, 2007

More purple to love today, this time from iVillage and their Inspirations Gallery and Coastal Living magazine. I have to admit, I have never purchased a single issue of CL in my life, and I grew up in sunny Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. But I do browse their website quite often because I love all the features on it, especially the suggested towns to visit (random ones like Edmonds, Washington – a place you don’t hear about much) in their Travel section. And I know I’ve bragged about it before, but their Design Assistant is image packed and a lot of fun to cruise through. Here are a few purple rooms that I liked, although I cheated on a few because they’re more on the periwinkle (blue/violet) side, but I had to include them.

Poppin' Purple This grouping above is from iVillage. All images shown below are from the Coastal Living website.

Poppin' PurplePurple can even be used as a simple accent, such as a vase of flowers or a painting. Sometimes less is more. Except when it comes to handbags, shoes, and design magazines. Then more is more, more, MORE!

Poppin' Purple None of these rooms speak to me, but they are such great examples of purple used in design that I couldn’t pass them up. I do love certain elements though, like that pink rattan chair in the kids room and that gorgeous canopy bed – that looks so Southern to me.

Poppin' Purple Show of hands here… How many of you would have loved this bedroom as a teenager? This room makes me smile because I imagine having children someday and wonder how I will handle their “Please mommy, can I paint my room “Barney the dinosaur Grape”? I may just die on the spot. This room is fine though, but grape would absolutely freak me out.

Poppin' Purple The more I look at the top left image, the more I think I’m insane because that is blue not violet, right? Or maybe it’s periwinkle and if so, we’re cool. If not, my apologies. I think I’ve looked at so much purple in the past 24 hours that everything is starting to look the same. It’s almost like shopping for perfume and those ladies hand you the glass jar filled with coffee beans swearing that if you just stick your nose inside of it, the scent will clear your senses so you can start to smell perfume again. I wonder what I can look at that will have the same result? :)

Poppin' PurpleAren’t dormers so pretty? I like the periwinkle walls with the crisp white trim and ceiling. Looks very coastal and fresh, like a Martha’s Vineyard cottage.

Poppin' Purple Don’t laugh at me. There is ONE purple item in this picture. Can you see it? I just had to pull in this image because I really love suzanis and was trying to find a way to sneak it onto my blog today. I know Domino staffers were into them during Spring ’06, so I’m guessing suzanis are so pass? but I’m into them like crazy. I absolutely love the patterns and their Uzbekistan history, and I love finding items that are so intricately made, unique, and have a story to tell. Suzanis and Moroccan wedding quilts, my long running passions. If you are into suzanis, you’ll love the ones I found at Brimfield last week. I had this designer from Watch Hill, RI fighting me over them. I’ll tell you that story later. But I stood my ground and walked with my suzanis in hand. I would have made you proud. I’ll show them to you in a few days when they’re back from the dry cleaners. So, do you see the purple in this image yet? Hint: tiny bolster pillow on the bed. Yup, there. Ah-ha!

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