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Walls | Manolo for the Home - Part 3
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NtB Loves: Barneby Gates All Star Wallpaper

I am in love with this All Star wallpaper from Barneby Gates, and not just this wallpaper. Have you had a peak at Barneby Gates? They – where ‘they’ is Vanessa Barneby, Vogue Living Editor, and Alice Gates, fashion textile designer – create amazing wallpapers with a quintessentially English feel.

But if it was just Englishy wallpaper, I’d probably say ho hum. What makes Barneby Gates wallpaper so sweet are the little details like metallic finishes, humorous and unexpected patterns, and fantastic color pairings. As you might expect, this wallpaper doesn’t come cheap, but if you’re too in love not to have some, you can always request a sample!

‘Don’t You Read?’ or the Fears of the Book Hoarder

In addition to being an obsessive reader, I’m also an obsessive book hoarder. As in, I have hundreds of books I will probably never read again, but I can’t bring myself to give them away or sell them or recycle them. Maybe it’s because my maternal grandmother has an art book collection that takes up most of her downstairs wall space in the form of tomes squeezed into full-to-bursting bookshelves. Maybe it’s because I’m a writer, and I wouldn’t want to do with someone else’s book what I hope no one is doing with my book. So as you can probably imagine, our bookshelves look a little something like this (except less color coordinated):

While I implied above that book hoarding might be a family trait, it would only be on my mother’s side. My dad lets books slip into and out of his life – reading them and then passing them along – unless they are some of the few he’s happy to read again and again. The bookshelf area of his home is, as a consequence, tiny, but size doesn’t mater. And yet, I think that’s why I’m so hesitant to part with my books – even the ones that haven’t brought me much pleasure other than hastening the passage of time. I think I am afraid of someone coming into my home, seeing no bookshelves, and assuming that I don’t read much.

But even this strikes me as odd. Because the truth is that some people don’t read much for pleasure anyway, and there’s nothing wrong with that. They just enjoy other things. So why does the idea of someone pegging me for a non-reader make me feel so queasy, and furthermore prevent me from de-cluttering our right now extremely cluttered finished basement (which it should be noted is home to walls of bookshelves)? At this point in my life, I’m visiting the library for books more often than buying them, so it’s not like I’m adding to my collection. I’d wager that most of the books on those shelves have been with me since just after college. Some of them are even textbooks!

Do you, lovely readers, hold on to relatively unimportant books with a similar zeal? What’s keeping you from parting with them?

More Fun Than the Counter Tops You Probably Have

First came chalkboard paint, then came whiteboard (dry erase) paint. And I think both are super cool! We already put up an amazing magnetic chalkboard in my daughter’s room – and I’m almost all set to do the surface of our kitchen table in chalkboard. Next stop, whiteboard in the office!

But it never even occurred to me to use dry erase paint on surfaces! You can get a whiteboard table from Powells, for example. Or you do what someone did in the space pictured above and cover your boring kitchen counter tops with whiteboard paint. While I don’t know how the finish would, ahem, stick around, I can say for sure that it would be fun while it lasted!

There are Don’ts and There are DON’TS

There are lots of things you can do with vinyl wall decals, but this shouldn’t be one of them.

However, I do have to say I love the marketing language used by the source of these thong lady wall decals, Offensive Decals.

Yes…Offensive Decals. No trees. No birds. No polka dots. No swirls. Our goal is to create different decals. Not necessarily offensive to everyone, but far enough out there that somebody will be distraught over it.

Because, yeah, there are only so many cutesy monograms and kitties one girl can take!

Never Again Lose Your Keys Thanks to Megakey!

There are lots of wacky keyholders out there, and here is another. I can’t decide whether I like the giant novelty key keyholder or not, but it’s not exactly unattractive.

Now let’s all think of other giant versions of things that can be used to store the normal sized versions of those things. A giant egg in which to put eggs? Huge fruit bowl shaped like fruit? Any ideas?

Too Many Pictures?

I am not ashamed to say that I have a lot of stuff on my walls, but even I felt a little crazy looking at this picture. Maybe it wouldn’t drive me batty, but it would definitely be the most distracting part of my whole house. Why, I wonder, would someone want people to pause there? It seems like it would be uncomfortable – here, stop and look around in this narrow, confined space. But maybe I’m alone in feeling this way. To find out, I created a little poll. Please cast your vote, and then explain yourself in the comments if you feel pressed to say more!

(Image via Elle Decor * Design by Steven Gambrel * Photo by Eric Piasecki)

Project: Easy DIY Wall Art

I wanted to share this cute, simple project from Donation 2 Decor. Cheap or – even better – found picture frames get a makeover and some new contents using spray paint, masonite, some printed words, and sealer.

The instructions are here, along with several other neat projects for the home. If you give a go, be sure to send me an email with your results!

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Animal Magnetism

Would of, could of, should of… Had I only known about these amazing animal trays from Ibride while they were still available at Velocity!

The word ‘ibride’ is a play on words in French meaning ‘hybrid’, and many of the pieces combine several forms and several functions.

The animal trays are themselves hybrids – should they be used at teatime or hung as art on a wall? Ibride’s animal trays are indeed water-resistant and dent-resistant, but imagine the looks you might get if you served coffee on one.

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