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Manolo for the Home: House, Home and Lifestyle Advice - Part 8

Big Into Basics: Toy Boats

There’s nothing like having a baby, toddler, or child to make one long for extremely simple and basic. It seems like no matter how dedicated is to the notion of buying plain wooden toys hand carved by old men in the Netherlands out of sustainable, non-toxic wood using patterns hundreds of years old blah blah blah, for the infant or the child, cheap plastic crap with thousands of breakable parts keeps being vomited into one’s house.

Maybe that’s why I’m absolutely in love with these simple cork toy boats designed by the Swiss-French-Belgian designer trio BIG-GAME?

Toy boats for mama?

Two pieces, not much to lose

Supposedly the Portuguese company Materia released these in April, but I have not seen them for sale as of yet. Boooo. Do you have a favorite simple toy that you loved as a child and maybe even still love to this day?

Inspiration: Pianos!

A piano is a useful item all on its own, but the size of the instrument almost necessitates it becoming another piece of furniture. At least, I’ve never seen a piano in someone’s home that wasn’t sporting something on top – from stacks of books to framed pictures to lamps and vases and so on. And it’s difficult to decorate around a piano, especially when it’s a large piano in a small space. Often, a piano becomes the centerpiece of a room, but if you do the right things, it can become the STAR of a room. Here are some piano decorating ideas that are making me want to go out and buy one right this second:

Make your piano a focal point of the room by keeping it bare and decorating around it

A boring piano becomes exciting with a simple coat of paint

Continue Reading…

A Classic Clock Made Modern

There are numerous wooden clocks out there – this one and this one come to mind as particularly interesting examples, not so much this one – but none tickles my fancy so much as this one that caught my eye as I was browsing Etsy the other day.

Could you, WOOD you, love it?

Created by Cameron MacLean, craftsman and owner of Offcutstudio, this maple wood clock has taken the traditional classic alarm clock and pared it down to its basic elements. The blank face and unexpected material turn this basic clock into something much more interesting and engaging. I don’t know about you, but I’d be tempted to pick this wooden clock up just to see if it was heavy or light, smooth or rough.

What say you: Too simple? Or just right? Would it fit into your decor and personal style?

Decorative and Functional: Mariage Frères 1930 Art Deco Tea Pots

Tea, hot and beautiful.

Lovely, no? The emblematic art deco tea pots used at Mariage Frères tea salons since the early days are a beautiful example of how form and function can collide perfectly in an utterly simple household object. Each tea pot is wrapped in a removable shell of highly polished steel, which works to retail heat keeping your tea at the perfect drinkable temperature for an hour. Visit MariageFrese.com to purchase one of their gorgeous tea pots or some of the best – and possibly also most expensive – tea you’ll ever drink. Feel free to double your order and send your excess to moi!

P.S. – Did you know that Manolo for the Home is on Facebook? We’d love your likes and your uploads – it’s a great place to share your decor ideas, pics, and inspiration with the rest of us!

Loving: CLINQS (plus Bonus Feature)

I’m not a big fan of wine glass charms, what with their being so clinkety-clinkety when I’m just trying to drinkety-drinkety. But I’m also no great fan of inadvertently sharing stems with either people I do not know or people I’d rather not kiss. Enter Clinqs, reusable drink stickers made of vinyl that are tough enough to get washed or even microwaved without losing their stick. And despite the name, there’s not a clink to be heard.

Clinqs for cold

Clinqs for hot

Also, WANT:

Pencil hedgie!

Keep Calm and Carry On

A spot to think and dream and read

My head is so full of detritus at the moment that I can’t think of much of anything other than chucking those pillows onto the floor, curling up in that chair, and reading until I had no more light to read by. Unfortunately, I have a career and a kid and a house of my own that currently has nothing resembling a good spot for reading for hours upon hours. Maybe someday…

Do you have a special spot in your place that’s just perfect for reading?

How Small/Simple Can You Go?

Every now and then I run across something like this, the story of a man living simply in a clever dwelling of only 258 square feet. How’s it possible? A transformer-like space with many of the necessities of daily living hidden away in the walls, only coming out as needed. Like the kitchen. And the bed. It’s small, but would you call it simple? That small space has been optimized for a serviceable amount of *stuff*. Oh, and style, too.

Simple living or simply living?

But what about super SIMPLE living? A bedroom, sans accessories, with a wee kitchen. The basics, without a lot of style. A home base without most of the comforts of home… I could swing living in Christian Schallert’s pad, provided I was single. But could I embrace the extremes of simple living, a la this book? I don’t really know – part of what keeps me sane is surrounding myself with beauty and fun. Not expensive beauty and fun, or new fun and old beauty (which tends to be the more expensive sort). But beauty and fun, nonetheless. How about you? Could you go small AND simple?

Inspiration: Birds!

Birds as decor… what do you think? I’m not suggesting that anyone go out and go crazy with avian accessories. Collections, especially those centered around animals, can sometimes diminish the value of the items within it. Instead of being the person with the wonderful collection of curious, you become the Bird Lady. That woman with all those birds. That’s not where I, personally, want to be, and my guess is you don’t want to be the Bird Lady, either. So buy a bird or two in cushion form or a wee adorable figurine, but don’t go overboard with the bird decor (as opposed to decor for birds) lest you find yourself pigeonholed for life.

A beautiful handmade rocking bird from BODIE and FOU

A birdcage cushion from Rose and Grey

A unique decorative birdcage photographed by Tamar

Snow Bird shelves by Marisko Studios

Barn swallow cutouts by Hammerpress

A lovely bird duvet cover

Bird plates from Areaware

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