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February, 2011 | Manolo for the Home
Archive - February, 2011

Laziness or the Unfinished Look?

What’s the first thing that jumps out at you about Claire Bingham’s living room (seen on Design*Sponge)? My guess is that it’s the unfinished walls that have been partially stripped of wallpaper and partially painted.

It’s a raw look, for sure, but unfinished walls could be something of an antidote to all the perfectly-styled homes you see in magazines and books. Would it surprise you to learn that Bingham is an interior designer and also writes about gorgeous interiors? My guess is that it takes a good eye to make a half-finished paint job work as an intentional statement.

I’m all for letting the decor in a home evolve over time – I feel you end up with a more natural, real, inviting look that way – but this goes a little beyond that, don’t you think?

Industrial Grade Good Looks

Industrial chic can mean so many things, from the upscale repurposed factory loft with a trend-conscious price tag to a simple bed with plenty of storage. Exposed brick? Recycled pipe furniture? Lots of metal? Or maybe the original lino floors and metal cabinets. Whatever it means, it’s good to remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And this girl’s eye has spied some fun industrial chic things for the home on her recent travels… things like:

A low, locker-like metal sideboard – in a gorgeous red, zow – seen in Marie Claire Maison and elsewhere.

Factory-friendly pendant lamps in cool colors from West Elm.

And the Travail Quatre Office Organizer by Aidan Gray – it’s made of weathered, recycled sheet metal for a broken in, well-used look.

Speaking of this girl, she likes the industrial look best when it’s softened with stuff that doesn’t fit that aesthetic. In other words, I don’t want to live in a factory; I just want a few pieces of the factory (useful ones, especially) giving my space a bit of spark. What’s your favorite distopian indulgence? A brushed metal step-stool flecked with paint? A worn metal cabinet in your craft room?

Christa Loves: Pretty Doorknobs

If you’re looking to spruce up your home’s exterior on the cheap, why not upgrade your front door’s knob to something a little cuter? There are sweet vintage doorknobs and painted ceramic doorknobs and other fun options to choose from. Here are two of my favorites – the beautiful blue doors are pretty sweet, too!



Images: 1, 2

It’s Vladimir, the Shipping Pallet Mirror

Named furniture always seems a little silly to me, but nonetheless, Vladimir here appeals to me. Designed and crafted by Karl Zahn, Vlad was made by taking pieces from two partially destroyed shipping pallets. “The scars on the lumber tell a story of its travels. While the form is reminiscent of old Victorian french mirrors, its origin is far from gold leaf, says Zahn.

Millions of pallets are used everyday to move goods across the world and frequently, these pallets come from exotic locations and are made from native exotic woods. What if something beautiful could be made from the cast-off pallets that are thrown away? I can’t imagine this particular reclaimed object will be everyone’s cup of tea – though it is beautiful in it’s way, no? – it does make you think.

All that sustainability, as usual, doesn’t come cheap. With glass, Vlad here costs about $975.

Empty Frames: Absolutely or Ew, Never?

I think I’m done with the whole ‘empty frames as art‘ thing – and the ‘hang a little bit of craft paper in a frame and call it art’ thing. The ease of it still appeals to me. No need for matting or sizing anything or figuring out just how to hang a frame that’s meant to be displayed on a table. Just rip the whole thing apart, spray paint it white, and nail it to the wall in a some inoffensive arrangement.



What do you think – still cute? Or kind of boring?

Don’t get me wrong… I love me some DIY wall art, especially if it’s accessible to everyone. This is just one trend that I think has had its 15 minutes, and now it’s time for us all to move on to the next easy project. When I find out what that is, you’ll be reading about it.

What I Love About This

It’s not the great parson’s desk, though I do like it. Nope! It’s the bare oversized light bulb and the use of the stencil as wall decor. How cool is that?

Never Again Get Into an Accident When You’re Backing the Car Out of the Living Room

I’m all for creating safe spaces, but come on…

Inspiration: Shelves Wherever They’ll Go

When you have more books – or stuff – than shelves, but no square footage left for a couple of bookcases, it’s time to get creative. Where can shelves go? Over the couch, perhaps… or along the ceiling and over the door. Books and other stuff can even find a home in your rafters, if that’s the only fillable space you have available. There’s no reason that walls and corners can’t do double duty, especially when floor space is at a premium. Here are a couple of ways that other people have solved the space versus storage problem:

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