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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Decorating My Apartment: A lesson in inspiration and courage

I was recently inspired by Decor8's Fabulous Stationary Contest and SFgirlbybay (whose beautiful and eclectic style is always an inspiration) to again take up the task of decorating my place.

I have always
had a minimalistic style. When I was younger my style was pretty much governed by what I could fit in a minivan in a spur of the moment relocation. Now, that I am thinking about staying in one place for more than a year, I can no longer put off the inevitable -- making my house a home.

The first piece of furniture I bought for my new place took 5 months to find. I was sort of a deer in the headlights in furniture store -- I just couldn't commit. A friend of mine once told me, "buy what you like and you'll find a way to make it work" and so that's what I have done. Over the past 2.5 years, I have steadily acquired some furniture, throw pillows and a few picture frames and to my surprise -- she was right.

A month ago I blogged about how I chose the pieces for my living room. I am using the same method for choosing a rug. Shopping for a rug can be a big pain -- nothing ever looks the same online as it does in person, there is a huge variability in price and returning a rug can be a nightmare. Thankfully, many stores allow you to 'borrow' their rugs so that you can try them out at home.

Last weekend I visited Peace Industries in Hayes valley, and while I liked the concept (felted organic rugs) I wasn't a ran of any of the rugs that came in the size I was looking to buy. I spent the rest of the night scouring the internet for pictures of brown rugs.I am fairly price-constrained and color-constrained (white cats). Here is what I have found so far, if anyone has any advice for a virgin rug-shopper, I would love to hear it!

{a} Circles rug

{b} Bubbles rug from Target

{c} Stones from Room and Board

{d} Leaf Rug from Pottery Barn

{e} Vinca

I also bought a few pieces of artwork from Etsy (I love Etsy!)

{a} Brown Boots
This is my favorite piece by Jen Oaks. She also has lots of other lovely artwork.

{b} So True
What I love about this the most is the typography (and the simplicity)

{c} Little Lost
I don't have a place for this one yet, but it is so cute, I couldn't resist
{d} Softly
I didn't buy this one -- it is a bit too expensive, but I love the colors and texture

{e} Honeycreeper

Friday, July 27, 2007

Designer Knockoffs: To buy or not to buy?

There are raging debates over what place repetition has in the design world. Many designers feel strongly that creating work that is reminiscent of another's and selling it at a lower price point is simply unethical, while other feel that good design should be accessible to everyone, not simply those people who can afford to drop $5k on wall decoration.

As someone who has far more expensive taste than I have little green bills in my pocket, I am not opposed to purchasing work that is reminiscent of more expensive design objects, although I acknowledge that the design is not as good. As a designer, I always feel flattered when someone rips off my work. I know this is strange, but to me it is evidence of the fact that I have created a successful piece.

{A} Left: Horseshoe Chair (Room and Board) $650 / Right: China Chair (Hans Wegner)$6,707

{B} Left: Sunburst Wall Art (West Elm) 49.00 / Right: Constellation Mirror (Thomas Pheasant for Kohler Interiors)$5,894

{C} Left: Spark Peekaboo Table (CB2) $199 / Right: Luisa Side Table (Stine Gam-Pedersen, Enrico Fratesi) $278

{D} Left: Ball Clock (You can make this yourself out of Lollypops. Admittedly this is a little ridiculous, but kind of fun!) / Right: Nelson Ball Clock (George Nelson) $300

Left: Bucket Rocker (White on White) $125/ Right: Eames Rocker (Charles and Ray Eames) $399

{F} Left: Chic Chalet Clock (Invotis) $59 / Right: silhouette cuckoo clock (Anthropologie) $278

Friday, July 13, 2007

A Love of Anthropologie: The perfect blend of simplicity and complexity

I love Anthropologie.
It amazes me how solid the brand is -- the housewares, the clothing, the jewelry, the catalogue and the logotype -- manages to blend the perfect amount of simplicity with an unexpected twist of complexity.

Here are a few things from the recent catalogue that I really love.

{a} Alphabet Glasses
{b} Koi Ahoy Glasses
{c} Fish Pond Glasses
{d} Fresh Berry Drops Earrings
{e} Little Chick Paperweight
{f} Recycled Glass Vases -- I love these shapes
{g} Wingspan Ring
{h} Silhouette Cuckoo Clock

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

New Etsy Treasures!

Etsy is so cool! I can't believe how many amazing finds there are. Here are a few I found this morning:

{a}Stackable silver rings -- beautiful sterling silver stackable rings ($139.00 for a set of 4) from Colleen Baran.

{b}Typewriter Letter Necklace -- I love type. Just ask my boyfriend who indulgently puts up with the fact that our closets are stuffed to the gills with metal and wood type. So, it goes without saying that I can't resist the look of this beautiful necklace (35$). I saw something similar at boutique shops around San Francisco for three times the price.

{c}Gossamer Wings -- Ornate Vintage Finery designed by Jody McGill. I especially love this dragon fly necklace ($49.01), but she has many other beautiful treasures for sale.

{d}Purple Grove Skirt -- I love the look of this wonderful and inventive skirt ($45.00) made of patches of fabric from Mademoiselle Modiste.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Bovine Abduction Lamp -- I need another toy on my desk like a I need a hole in the head

I need one of these lamps -- I mean, I absolutely must have one. I am almost positively sure I will not survive without one. I have a place for it on my desk right next to my growing collection of desk toys which include an iDog, a Wifi Bunny and a fully detailed remote control model of the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Girls' Spa Day on Fillmore Street, San Francisco

There are few things better in life than hanging out with girlfriends -- add in a little wine, a lot of shopping and a facial and it is probably as close to heaven on earth as you can get. Today I spent the day wandering around on Fillmore street with friends and in the process found quite a few things to blog about.

I have a fetish for make-up -- the colors, the glitter, but most of all the packaging. I was particularly struck by the beautiful packaging of the Hourglass line of cosmetics. My favorite is the palette case. At $75 dollars for the case with no make-up, it is hardly a bargain, but it is beautiful to look at.

I just love this patterned stationary from Snow & Graham. Snow & Graham is a Chicago-based letterpress that prints the most beautiful floral cards and candles.

I also love these bug drinking glasses (also from Papersource). I already have a set of drinking glasses that I got from the AIGA silent auction years ago, but I am thinking of adding these to my collection.

We stopped into the Gallery of Jewels on Fillmore which caries beautiful and inventive jewelry. My favorites were the laser-cut earrings and pendants from the Australian-based Polli.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Poltrona Frau Hydra: Italian Designer Furniture in Pink or Yellow

Despite the fact that I can't imagine this chair playing nice with any of the other furniture in my house and that I have an avowed hatred of stick legs (straight metal legs that often accompany modern furniture) I can't help but love the Poltrona Frau Hydra armchair. Whether it is in yellow or cotton candy pink, its graceful arms and back contrast nicely with the modern legs and seat. *swoon*