Want to give your backyard birdies some upscale digs? Try these sweet birdhouses from Anthropologie. Modeled after iconic homes in Philadelphia, each birdhouse designed by Austin + Mergold is meant to inspire ruminations on the ways in which we share our space with urban birds and how their habitats are strikingly similar to our own. As you might imagine, they’re not exactly inexpensive as birdhouses go and they may not bring you as much enjoyment as this modern birdhouse, but they certainly do look sharp!
If there’s one person out there designing furniture using all of my favorite things, it’s British textile designer Zoe Murphy. Her repurposed mid-century modern furniture pieces and printed vintage textiles are just a treat for the eye! She applies prints she draws of her home town and gorgeous patterns, along with happy colors, in unexpected ways. At least I find her furniture designs unexpected!
When I’m reading, where I actually am has never been the important thing. I love reading on packed trains, in turbulent planes, and yes, I’m even one of those nasty people who will happily read in the bathroom.* If I’m truly immersed in a book, the rest of the world just disappears. But I understand that for many people, the enjoyment of reading is heightened by by doing the deed in relative comfort, and perhaps even in beauty. Do I need a built-in book nook to be a happy reader? No. Nor does anyone else. But I am nonetheless in true lust with this particular built-in book nook, surrounded as it is with built-in shelves and filled with its many throw pillows. And the drawers and the wallpaper! I think I could even happily sleep in it, as long as I didn’t have to share.
Do you have a special reading spot that enhances your reading experience?
*In my defense, with a toddler demanding my attention it’s one of the few places I can read for a few minutes without any interruption!
Sometimes I think I really want my entire living space to look something like this:
Then I wake up the very next day and find myself longing for something like this:
It’s just one of those things – unless you have two homes or a really big house that allows for for multiple decorative zones, you have to make some exclusionary decisions when you’re planning our your decor scheme. Maybe one day you lust after a modern look and the next you’re suddenly feeling the country thing… or even that you can’t reconcile your love of studio apartments with your desire not to be living above and below other people. I think living style can be even harder to narrow down. House in the suburbs? A few acres in the country? Bustling city flat? How can you ever really choose?
Where do you find you’re of two minds when it comes to decor?
How much space is necessary to raise a child? I would never claim to be an expert, even with a child of my own. Some days, I feel like we could happily roam the country in an RV. Other days, my little Cape Cod house feels almost too small to contain the twister that is a tantruming toddler. If you’ve ever wondered how someone could possible cope with raising a child in a small home, it may surprise you to learn that I’ve known a few people who’ve shared studio apartments with partners and toddlers. And successfully, too. Could I do it? Sure, Do I want to? Nope! With a baby, maybe, but not with a toddler. Sometimes – very occasionally, promise – it’s that cheap hollow door between her and me that keeps La Paloma on this earth.
IF I was going to move into a studio loft apartment with my family, I think I would at least need something, anything to differentiate my space from kid space. Maybe that space would be a corner for a grownup bedroom or a built in reading nook or even a biggish closet with the doors taken off that’s just big enough to hold a desk. But whatever it was, there would be curtain room dividers. Nice heavy, drapey ones that you couldn’t see through. DIY drop cloth curtains, perhaps. If you think hospital curtains when you think curtain room dividers, don’t! Curtain room dividers for the studio apartment family, even the single gal or guy, can look pretty darn good!
What else is great about curtain room dividers in small spaces? In addition to looking good, they provide you with another degree of flexibility when it comes to how you utilize the available space. And they’re a lot less expensive than bookshelves and standing room dividers. Installation can be super easy, too, and there’s the fact that there are a bunch of different ways to hang a curtain in a rented space that won’t make it so you lose your deposit.
While a curtain room divider may not be as good as a wall when it comes to putting yourself in time out so you don’t FedEx your kids to Dubai, they’re still better than nothing!
Looking for seating that’s trend-friendly and different and modern and also inspired by food? Then how could you not dig sushi furniture from Sushi Style by Mimi Tin? These definitely don’t fall into the category of ‘cheap and funky gear that’s all but disposable.’ Tin uses silk thread to weave the designs on her entire line of sushi furniture, from the multi-purpose ottomans that can be used as a chair or, when you remove the “seaweed wrap,” as cushions to child-sized sushi beanbags and other fun things.
As you probably guessed, this particular sushi furniture isn’t cheap, but I was actually surprised to see that it doesn’t cost more. An ottoman and cushion set – sushi wrapped in seaweed, I mean – will run you $625. And if that feels a bit steep in the context of your current circumstances, you can always sate your appetite for sushi furniture with one of Mimi Tin’s adorable sushi poufs!
Candy dots… candy buttons… whatever you call the classic candy, it’s pretty cute. If you didn’t happen to see it, I featured a candy dots wedding cake over at Manolo for the Brides last week, and it got me to thinking how much I’d love candy buttons fabric. And then THAT thought made me wonder if anyone out there has been inspired by candy dots. Turns out there aren’t many – makes me think candy buttons furniture would fall into the DIY realm – but I did find a few interesting things to get the DIY part of your mind racing!
The bummer is that the indoor and outdoor benches were the only candy dots inspired furniture I could find. BUT I did find some fun accessories for one’s person that are perfect for anyone who still finds herself jonesing for these sugary nibbles.
I guess I’ve been a little obsessed with walls and wall art the latter half of this week. So I promise this will be my last post about walls and things that go on walls for at least a fortnight or so. What got me thinking about decorative plates was these decorative plates that used to adorn my grandparents’ walls – they were illustrated with extremely striking images from old Russian folk tales and they were my introduction to stories like The Snowmaiden and Ivanushka the Simpleton. These particularly decorative plates were really very beautiful – I think they were issued by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and were based on paintings by noted artist Boris Zworykin. But even so, when I think decorative plates, my brain always jumps to the dorky commemorative plates that were advertised on TV when I was a kid.
In other words, I have mixed emotions about decorative plates. But after looking around a bit, I’ve found that a plate display can be pretty cool, especially when you’re using cool plates and not weird commemorative plates featuring politicians, baseball legends and dead Hollywood icons. Here are a few examples:
So what do you think? Can decorative plates move past their terrible 1980’s incarnations, back to the days when people who just hang pretty plates up in lieu of art or photographs? Or have they been ruined by their association with people who can’t stop buying Franklin Mint products?