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A Rug for Philatelists and Anglophiles: The Queen’s Head Stamp Rug

Talk about majesty of design! Rug Maker was officially granted a license by Royal Mail to manufacture the Queen’s Head Stamp Rug, a larger than life version of the Queen Elizabeth II stamp that’s suitable for hanging on a wall or *gasp* laying on the floor.

Hand knotted and woven in Nepal from 100% New Zealand wool, these rugs come in a various sizes and colors. The best part, in my humble opinion? The scalloped edges, so like an old fashioned postage stamp just torn from its sheet.

Inspiration: Roses

Roses have long played a role in home decor and decorating. As standalone embellishments – cut roses or rose bushes – the rose has been the front-runner of all the flowers in the world for a centuries. In paintings, carvings, and textiles, roses began appearing (along with other blooms) with regularity in something like the 17th century. And why not? Images of roses are gorgeous whether they’ve been captures true to life or in stylized fashion, in 2D or 3D. Plus, as decor goes, roses tend to be timeless. Not every rose curtain or wallpaper will stand up to the passage of years, of course, but the iconic rose will certainly do so. Love roses? Me, too, which is why I put together a little inspiration for us to share.


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Merry Christmas From Manolo for the Home!

Here’s wishing you and yours a joyous and chic Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!

4 Ways to Make Small Feel Big

Built-Ins, Built-Ins, Built-Ins
Obviously you can bring a ton of furniture into a small house or apartment, but you can maximize the space you have with built-ins like cabinets and cupboards and window benches and bookcases. These don’t have to be as deep as standalone furniture so you’re not encroaching too much on the airspace of the room, and you end up with a place for everything and everything in its place. Have I mentioned that clutter is a major no-no for those of us who live in small houses and apartments?

Divide With Doors
In my house, the kitchen and the living room are open to each other in two ways: a big interior window sort of thing in the wall and the wide doorless doorway between the two rooms. The idea is that a small kitchen and a small living room will feel larger if they’re attached, but instead it ends up feeling like one cramped room because there’s no usage division. Installing a set of French doors in the doorway between the two rooms helps the mind see two separate spaces that are useful and sizable.

Let In the Light
While not a solution for the renter, the homeowner can install more or larger windows that let in light, air, and a view of the wider world that will make a small space feel more ample. Bumped out windows can do a lot to enlarge an awkward space, as can very tall windows.

Make Rooms Do Double Duty
The reality is that if you don’t have a lot of space, you don’t have the luxury of having a room just for X and another just for Y. That means that whenever possible, a room should have more than one purpose. You can put a pretty writing desk in your living room, for example. Your home office can double as your crafting room. A landing can play host to a chest of linens. Bookcases in the dining room. And so on.

What are your favorite tips for making a small house or apartment feel bigger?

My Very Favorite High Chair

The Stokke Tripp Trapp is, in my opinion, the best high chair out there. If you’re starved for space but still need to feed a baby or toddler, it simply takes the place of a normal dining chair right at the table. Add to that the fact that they’re easy to clean and come in amazing colors like red and purple and black aaand they’re just so much cooler than the plastic monstrosities covered in animal prints that can absolutely overtake a kitchen.

What else can I say? My daughter loves sitting in her red Stokke Tripp Trapp because it means she gets to sit at the table with mama and papa instead of off to the side, and that I think is my favorite thing about it.

The one caution I’d offer up is that some people have posted videos of their toddlers tipping the Tripp Trapp. Personally, we’ve never had that happen and I’ve heard that it’s only really an issue if the seat isn’t placed correctly for the height of the table. And every Tripp Trapp high chair comes with base extenders for anyone with a particularly leggy toddler.

Has anyone out there reading had a different experience – perhaps an instance of a tipping Tripp Trapp in your own household? I’d love to hear about it because it seems exceedingly rare.

Would You Dig Stacked Living?

Because some students in Le Havre, France are living the stacked life in sweet housing designed by Cattani Architects. Named Cité a Docks, it is made up of 100 dorm suites created using old shipping containers. Each studio has a bed and study area, bathroom, kitchen, and free Wifi.

The architect Cattani said of the thoughts that accompanied her work: “How do I prevent students, prospective tenants, they feel put in the box? Compelling needs have arisen. Necessary to conceive of a lightweight, transparent, and certainly not solid. Hence the idea of independent living, to avoid the stacking effect.”

Stacked shipping containers translate into furnished dorm suits that are about 24 square square meters, and every unit has a large glass wall that lets in a lot of natural light (not to mention a water view). The first floor is raised off the ground, allowing for both privacy and bike storage, and to minimize the boxed feeling one might get, the shipping containers are staggered and separated from one another by sound-proofing of rubber and concrete.

I love the idea of shipping containers as student housing – I mean, these units are a lot bigger than the dorm rooms I had back in the day, and add to that the luxury of a kitchen, a private bath, a balcony, and a great view? I’m sold!

Images via Cattini Architects

All I Can Say Is: WANT.


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Fit for Royalty, Available to Those With the Money

In keeping with yesterday’s tufted furniture theme, may I present Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona chair and stool? Originally created to furnish his German Pavilion at the 1929 International Exhibition in Barcelona, these beautiful leather and chrome pieces are as gorgeous now as they were bakc in the day.

Apparently, Mies van der Rohe designed the chair to serve as seating for the king and queen of Spain, while the stool was intended to accommodate their attendants. But non-royals coveted them from the get go. The Barcelona chair and stool are still produced to Mies van der Rohe’s original specs, and can be found at Design Within Reach (though I wouldn’t say they’re within *my* reach at $4,523 for the basic chair, just the chair).

Want to know more? Check out Fifty Chairs that Changed the World by Design Museum, which takes a close look at some of the most influential chair design from the past and the present.