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A Rainbow In Leather

“Who doesn’t love a comfy, distressed, brown leather sofa?” is a question I saw once in a magazine, and the answer is me. I love comfy leather and I love distressed leather, but brown? *yawn* If your home is decked out in an amazing brown palette, that’s one thing. But why not get a little more colorful? Before I begin, I have to say that this post is for Kai Jones, who said: I would love to see a variety of options in leather furniture. Due to allergies I am supposed to only have plain wood or metal, or leather-upholstered furniture. Your wish is my command! (Variety? Yeah, I can do that.)

The benefits of leather furniture go beyond not absorbing dander and mites and such – leather furniture can be wiped clean with a damp sponge instead of needed a full shampoo, Aniline leather in particular can be deliciously soft, leather warms to your body temp on chilly days, and leather furniture is really, really durable. It’s not entirely maintenance free, of course, but what in this life is? I certainly wouldn’t kick a sweet red leather sofa out of bed.

Leather furniture can be traditional and classic and awesome, which I think is the main source of leather’s long lasting charm. How nice would it be, do you think, to curl up with a good book in this orange leather chair? Just keep in mind that all leathers are not created equal – after Aniline, there’s the sturdier but less soft semi-Aniline and then the extremely durable coated leather, which could be softer. (via)

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NtB Loves: Jamie Drake, the King of Color

If your tastes run toward the colorful, you probably adore Jamie Drake’s high-end interior designs as much as I do. His firm, Drake Design Associates (previously), has gained a worldwide rep for color schemes that are at the same time eclectic and sophisticated. Some may wonder how you can stay classy when you’re working with more than three main hues in a room, but Drake does it and he does it well.

These are the offices of Drake Design Associates, to give you one example of how Drake plays with color. With clients as diverse as Madonna and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, he must of course design spaces that aren’t as richly colorful, but even his neutral interiors feel bright and brilliant.

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Who Else Wants Blue Velvet?

No, no, not that blue velvet (though some people certainly want it, maybe you). I’m talking about blue velvet chairs, yum. Velvet phones, flocked chairs, I love it all.

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Mixed Patterns? Go For It!

I count one, two, three… four patterns in this pretty pink and gray bathroom. There’s the flamingo (or as my daughter calls them, flamenco) wallpaper, two hand towels with paisleys, a third hand towel featuring a different pattern, and the the pattern on the tablecloth, which could be anything for all I can see. Mixing patterns – or mixing too many patterns – is sometimes considered a decorating no-no, but if your patterns come from the same palette and aren’t crazy complicated, you should be golden!

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Pink Plastic Fantastic!

Plastic cheap? Perish the thought! Sometimes plastic can be downright pricey.


Kartell Frilly Chair by Patricia Urquiola


Pink lucite tables


Tube Top Colors Table Lamp by Pablo


Pink lucite tray via Living Etc.


Pink table by Yuka Izutsu for MoCo Loco

Love Cute? I Know Where to Find It.

The cute all apparently got sucked into Martha’s Vineyard, where there are more than 300 dainty rainbow-hued Victorian-style cottages with elaborate balconies, turrets, cornices, and gables with all manner of adorable details.

This is the Oak Bluffs neighborhood – formerly campgrounds for Methodist church group retreats, the houses themselves were built in the mid-1800s by members of the church community and to this day surround a open-sided wrought iron tabernacle that seats thousands.

Color abounds here, as do themed embellishments like balcony cut-outs shaped like everything from gingerbread men to grapes to Martha’s Vineyard itself. And the houses, of course, wear their colors and cut-outs with pride, sporting names like Sea Shrimp Cottage and Big Enuf.

The one downside to all the tooth-melting sweetness you’ll find in Martha’s Vineyard is that the gingerbread cottages are often (though not always) extremely close together. I’m talking about distances like six inches between exterior walls – you might as well be living in a townhouse.

Photos via: 1, 2, 3

Am I the Only One?

Am I the only one who can’t quite decide if she’d like her house to look like this?

Or like this?

Black and white… color… black and white… color. I just can’t decide! Right now, my little Cape is colorful. So much so, in fact, that it’s often the thing people notice first and it’s certainly the most commented on characteristic of my home. But not infrequently I find myself thinking how chic it would look if I switched up my interior with a monochromatic palette.

(Images via)

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GIVEAWAY: Win a Dabney Lee At Home desk Calendar!

Gosh, I feel like I haven’t had a giveaway at Manolo for the Home in forever! That’s why I’m especially grateful to the lovely people at Dabney Lee At Home for agreeing to partner with me to host my latest giveaway. For those whose memories are short, I gushed about Dabney Lee At Home a while back in a post that featured a ton of images of their totally sweet home accessories. For real, if you love bright, saturated, and cheerful colors in cute patterns, then you can’t help but love Dabney Lee At Home. There are gorgeous bar trays, napkins, picture frames, ice buckets, salt & pepper shakers, and my fave, the catch all (which is fab for people like me who want someplace to put stuff before it’s put all the way away). Dabney Lee At Home also has beautiful desk calendars, which is what you can win today!

Dabney Lee At Home is offering Manolo for the Home readers a chance to win one of their customizable monogram desk calendars that add 12 months of style to your office! Each month has a fabulous design on the back so you can frame them to add instant sparkle to your office walls, and you can start the calendar at any month you like. Personally, I love them, and wish I could just fix the contest so I win! But I won’t, of course, since I heart you too, too much for that.

To enter to win, visit Dabney Lee At Home and leave a comment on this post telling me which of Dabney Lee’s amazing home accessories you like best. Easy! And for additional entries, do any of the following (and leave a comment for each):

1. You can score one additional entry when you add Manolo for the Home to your blogroll or let me know Manolo for the Home is already on your blogroll so I can link back to you.

2. Or score a whopping three additional entries when you tweet this giveaway or post about it on your own blog!

This giveaway will end at 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday, June 20, and the winner – chosen via your friend and mine, the trusty random number generator – will be announced the following Monday. Good luck!

What Is That, Velvet?

Isn’t word association bizarre? I just found a gorgeous chair in the weirdest way possible, and so I want to take you on a short and strange journey through my thought processes. First, you have me remembering me when I shared a basement apartment with a good friend who was kind of nuts – in a fun way, I should add. For a while, he had a thing for saying “What is that, velvet?” in the reediest faux-Jewishy New York accent. I don’t know that anyone in my social circle knew where it came from. Next you have me deciding, on a random Thursday, to Google it, at which time I found out it’s a quote from Coming to America. At roughly the same time, in my search for the quote’s origins, I also found this:

It’s a reproduction of the classic french chair, flocked in blue, pink, purple, red, orange, or green and then upholstered in matching silk. No, it’s not velvet, but it is velvety and possibly less prone to scratches and dings as a result. English Eccentrics makes them to order, so they’re by no means cheap, but they are a lot of fun to look at and I certainly enjoyed finding my way to them!

Porter House Designs: Playing With Color

Isn’t this interior designed by Porter House Designs bright and fun and cheerful? I realize it’s not for everyone – heck, it’s not even for me since I like to segregate wall colors by room unless they’re shades of the same color – but if you love color, this space might just be the inspiration you need to go a little nuts.

See, it’s easy to deny one’s desire for SERIOUS COLOR when one is a mature, responsible grownup-type person. The kid in your head says “Oh em gee, let’s paint every wall a different color! We own this house – we can finally do this!” while the person in your head who goes to the office each day and wears pants with a nice crisp paint counts with “Oh, I don’t know. That’s a lot of color. Maybe we should choose a nice white and think about this some more before we do anything hasty.” I’m not advocating that you do anything truly hasty, of course (unless you really, really want to!). Choose three colors, four colors, whatever – and do it carefully. Use an online colorwheel. Think about the furniture you already own. Be a grownup, but have fun!

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