Elena Colombo, designer of amazing meditative firebowls, knows how to combine tomato and teal to good effect. In fact, I’m terribly jealous of her skills, since I adore that color combo but have thus far failed to put it into place in my own home. Consider these four snaps of Colombo’s cute-as-a-button bungalow inspiration for those of us for whom combining colors doesn’t always come naturally!
(all images via)
I was all set to post about a cute little crafting project that lets you make a ‘please remove your shoes’ sign because, hey, no one wants beach sand or road sand tracked all over their floors. But as I was poking around the Intertubes wondering what else I could include to flesh things out a little, I happened upon a much radder DIY project that is as cool as the other was country-ish.
I won’t say this is an easy DIY Pacman couch project — think woodworking and upholstery shaping, not Mod Podge and a couple of minutes with a cordless drill. But for those with the time, energy, space, and materials money to give it a go, I say try it! Then (whether or not you’re successful) send me a link so I can feature it here, of course.
There’s a long tradition of looking to nature for inspiration in art and design, and no wonder. Once upon a time, there was nothing but pure imagination and what you could see around you in the great outdoors. Nowadays we have a lot more to look at, but nature continues to inspire those who create.
The tree bed from Shawn Lovell Metalworks is a wee bit pricey at $15,000, but how delightful to sleep and dream in the comforting arms of a break in the woods. There’s even a nest for passing birds overhead!
For those who wish to dry their duds the old fashioned way, Insitu has stylized tree clothes lines, suitable for indoor or outdoor use. The colors are great, though the $600 price tag leaves a lot to be desired.
These look like slim vases, but they’re actually quite tall. Jean-Marie Massaud’s Missed Tree Flower Pot has a sturdy steel base so you can be quite sure you won’t be left shouting timber as your beautiful pot crashes the ground.
Among the many books I received as a gift this Christmas, Wary Meyers’ Tossed & Found by Linda and John Meyers was a definite favorite. The husband and wife team visits places where furniture goes to die and brings that furniture back to life in awesome ways. It’s very. very cool.
So imagine my delight when I discovered that the Meyers have on their web site not only pictures of the spaces they have designed and decorated for others, but also photographs of their own home, which they call “a work in progress.”
Color, color, and more color defines this space — but it’s not overwhelming, balanced as it is by the muted couch and unusual but unobtrusive coffee table. This is just one corner of a living room that is elegant and beautiful, but also obviously made for living. It doesn’t look like a cut-out from a magazine; it looks like someone’s home.
Love the table. Love the chairs. Love the sideboard, exclamation point. Love the wallpaper. And love the way this dining room exists seamlessly between the living room and the kitchen.
And don’t even get me started! This guest room reminds me so much of a childhood spent in the house of a determined art book collector that it’s not even funny. I used to go to sleep surrounded by books upon books in a cozy room with mod furniture and eclectic artwork on the walls. Does this room’s familiarity make me love it more than I might? Just a little, but I like it plenty fine anyway.
Those among us who love coffee or tea or hot chocolate and find ourselves buying it in the outside world tend to accumulate a lot of paper cups on our desks and in our cars. I’m not sure whether those things are recyclable, but I dutifully throw the cups and sleeves in with the paper and the lids in with the plastic each week. Still, it would be nice to not have all that paper and plastic being produced in the name of delicious hot beverages. Coffee from home? We can do that, but the free insulated travel mug we got at a grand opening is so dull. It was in looking for an alternative that I found these travel mugs, which I love.
The DCI I Am Not a Paper Cup cup is the standard by which I judge other travel mugs, if only because I saw it first. It doesn’t leak, has an air chamber to keep hot things hot, and it doesn’t get overhot to the touch. No logos, and no Styrofoam.
The I Am Not a Paper Cup comes with amatching silicone lid, but you might lose it, so they sell replacements.
Want something a little more colorful in which to carry your coffee? The NY style coffee cup is one suggestion, though I’m not 100% sure you can find lids to match. Full disclosure: I grew up drinking hot chocolate from these (the paper sort) on cold winter days, so I have a certain fondness for them whether they have lids or not.
Here’s another ceramic cup option, specifically one that comes with a silicone sleeve that looks remarkably like one of the nubby cardboard ones. Benefits? It’s slightly less expensive.
Or you can buy the I Am Not a Paper Cup and get a silicone coffee sleeve separately for four bucks (i.e., the price of a latte). The upside to this is that you can choose a color other than “cardboard.”
Of course, if you’re a butterfingers who routinely drops your coffee, tea, or hot chocolate, perhaps the melamine coffee cup would be the best option for you. It’s the least expensive option, it omes with a silicone lid, and it is ready to accept standard-size paper sleeves or a reusable silicone sleeve.
We’re already in the habit of throwing old quilts over the furniture to protect everything from cat hair, so is it any surprise I’m digging on patchwork furniture? I swear I run the vacuum and the Roomba daily, but our cats are like tarantulas, defensively ejecting their hair everywhere. I’m not sure what it accomplishes, but it sure seems to satisfy them. So, quilts. I’m thinking patchwork couches and chairs would save us a step (though not the need to vacuum hourly).
Want to be all patchy-patchy? Try Squint Limited, makers of all things rocking the patchwork look. This isn’t your grandma’s patchwork, however. It’s bright and bold and fun and not at all dowdy.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with grandma’s couch or something like it. A patchwork daybed, perhaps — easy to do with nothing more than a throw!
Depending on how DIY proficient you are, you could try your hand at a patchwork reupholster project. Find a sturdy free chair, and you’ve got yourself something sweet on the cheap.
Big patchwork squares are balanced with little patchwork squares from Bazaar Style: Decorating With Market and Vintage Finds by Selina Lake (a very fun book, if I may say so).
A traditionally-shaped couch gets a new look with beautiful patchwork fabrics in the home of Mark Homewood, a buyer for interiors and textile company Designers Guild. I love how it’s set in an otherwise modern living area. (via)
The Beard and I are starting to think seriously about home renovations, which is a good thing when you consider that I have an office and he doesn’t, and the entire upstairs of our house is basically unfinished. We think, though we’re not entirely sure, that we’ve figured out a way to turn the upstairs floor (which is currently divided into two fairly large rooms) into two small offices and one big master bedroom. That would leave us with two children’s bedrooms on the first floor and a basement that said children can eventually destroy, thus saving my living room from wear and tear.
This change, if it’s even possible, is quite a ways off, which is fine since we’re still, nearly eight months later, getting used to managing the day-to-day responsibilities of being parents, homeowners, employees, and well-rounded grownup people. Oh, and Horde warriors, but that’s another tale for another day.
Back to those small offices. I’m not sure what The Beard will do with his other than fill it with expensive audio equipment and an ankle deep pile of papers, but I plan to actually work in mine since that’s what I do in my current, rather more expansive home office. Moving upstairs will mean some things have to go — like my freestanding bookshelves, for example. So what to do, what to do…
Isabel Quiroga’s Storyteller Shelves could be a fun DIY project resulting in some truly deep shelves. And cheap, too, if I have the patience to scour the classifieds for legged coffee tables that are just about the same width. Plus a similarly-sized desk. Overall, I love the look (not to mention the color!), and it’s something I’d consider if it happened that the Craiglist freebies board became inundated with shorty tables.