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Manolo for the Home: House, Home and Lifestyle Advice - Part 16

Inspiration: Flokati

Did you know: A flokati rug is a high pile handmade shag wool rug? Because I didn’t. At least not by sight. I always assumed that those ultra soft shaggy rugs were sewn together from the hides of some shagariffic animal and thus considered them off limits. Turns out, though, that flokati rugs are vegetarian-friendly, being woven together from wool gathered the usual way. After weaving, the rug is dipped in a cold river to get that gorgeous shag.

Naturally, now that I know I can have one I want one. There are different price points, and how much you pay for a flokati rug will determine how thick and plush and springy yours is. A $170 flokati will not be as shaggy or soft, while a more expensive model will have a much longer nap and will feel softer. But honestly, they all look pretty good from standing height. Here are just some of the ways you can use a flokati rug in the home:

via Domino

via Domino

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Reflections In the Kitchen

The first time I saw a mirror above a sink in a kitchen my first thought was, ugh, that must get SO dirty. You can well imagine the first thought I had when I saw a mirror hanging on the wall right above the stove. But hey, I’m a grownup person and I know how to use a paper towel. (And I hope we’re all cleaning anyway.) Mirrors get dirty no matter where you hang them – especially when you have little hands in your household. So mirrors in the kitchen? I’m down with that. For example, a mirror can be a great window stand-in in a windowless kitchen, or open up a small kitchen. See how good a mirror in the kitchen can look?

William Abranowicz for House Beautiful


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Chalkboard Paint: Know When to Say When

Because this is what happens when a person doesn’t know when to say when to chalkboard paint. Yes, chalkboard paint is the bee’s knees, but let’s all show a little restraint, shall we?

The Wrong Way to Decorate With Throw Pillows

Throw pillows are great, aren’t they? When your couch is just not supportive enough, throw pillows pick up the slack. They make a neat little seat when there is seating overflow, and really wee ones can use throw pillows for all sorts of things. And they’re pretty, too!

But really, enough is enough. If you really need twelve giant throw pillows to make your couch comfy, it’s time to get a new couch. Or if you find yourself sitting on the very edge of the couch, it’s probably time to reevaluate how you’re using throw pillows. This image above is not it, but there’s definitely a right way to use ‘em, so I recommend grabbing some cute throw pillows like these:

white throw pillowruffled pillowowl pillow
flower throw pillowraw silk throw pillowcute throw pillow

Are these sweet? Go on, click the pics!

How Many Colors Can You Handle?

Do you find using color intimidating? Then you’re not alone. It’s no surprise that things like painted doors and bright painted cabinets aren’t exactly common and why books like this are necessary. I like to consider myself as a reforming colorphobic – once upon a time, I avoided it out of fear of messing up. Now I’m more confident with color!

Lately, I’ve realized that color users – by which I mean people who decorate colorfully, as opposed to the colorphobic – usually fall into one of three categories:

Some people find it easiest to stick to a limited color palette when decorating – often because it gives them the freedom to play with brighter, more striking colors without fear of clashing or overwhelming the space. Sound like you? If you choose, say, three colors to work with and you know they coordinate well, then you don’t have to think as much about how and where you’re using them. Break out: Add a few alternate color accent pieces to your otherwise perfectly coordinated room.

Others are most comfortable using multiple colors when the colors are serving as an accent in an otherwise neutral space. There’s a certain amount of freedom here, too, mainly because you’re not making a huge color investment. Don’t like that accent piece or chair? Move it, toss it, whatever! Break out: Try painting one wall of your living room a bright, vivid color. In other words, make a commitment, but make it a small one.

And then you have those rare folks who don’t feel at all intimidated by a color palette that includes lots and lots of very different hues. I am envious of these people – I just don’t have the guts to, say, bringing in a bright orange couch. If this sounds like you, you don’t need to break out. You’ve fully embraced the possibility of color, and that is pretty awesome!

Images: Beaux Arts Mansion

NtB Has a Real Bedroom Again!

How many times have I mentioned that we were having a little remodeling done? A bunch, I know. Which means it’s only fair that I share at least one picture of my new bedroom, which was finally finished at the end of last month, yay!

Want some details? We went with mismatched bedside tables and no-VOC paint from Freshaire in a pretty gray color. Our color scheme includes gray, a very dark gray for detailing, white, and red, with some black furniture and some wood. We decorated using furniture we already had, which has saved a lot so far, though I did make some quickie DIY “art” using scrapbooking paper and picture frames I had lying around. (But it wasn’t this or this, for the curious.) I’m loving it so far – and I’m feeling especially proud of the work we put into it!

What have you done in your home lately that you’re especially proud of?

Make It: A Framed Heart Mosaic

All you need to replicate this cool heart mosaic photographed by Goode Green Photography is your choice of original 3″ X 3 1/8″ Polaroids (or something similar in a non-Polaroid format) and a picture frame or canvas. If you opt for the former, you can paste down your photos on the matting, and if you opt for the latter, just paste your pics directly onto the canvas. Which you can’t paint first or not, as you like it. Easy! And doubly good since it’s yet another way to deal with all those pesky snapshots taking up space.

Dull Desks Need Help From Hedgies

Boring work spaces make working boring, and when working is boring it just plain sucks. Maybe a mushy squishy silicone rubber pencil holder would make your desk a little less dull? He won’t give you any attitude – poke him, drop him, or stab him with a pencil, because this hedgehog is harmless.

Hedgie here was designed by Ionut Predescu, but sadly only as a concept product. BUT you can have something similar in the Sebastiano Pencil Holder designed by comic-strip illustrator Massimo Giacon. Sure, it’s somewhat more sinister, but it’s just as cute.