Monday, February 28, 2011

Fair Trade Interiors

"...An organized  Social Movement and Market-based approach, that aims to help producers in developing countries, make better trading conditions and promote sustainability"
 ~ Wikipedia

Its not always easy to be socially conscious, while thinking about Interiors. Especially since Interior Design, and Architecture, are based on personal "visual" preference typically.  Until just a few years ago, there really wasn't a lot to choose from in the "Fair Trade" category, so I want to show you some of the beautiful options, that will brighten your home, and your spirit ;)

First, take a look at these beautiful "Prayer Baskets" (baskets made from African Prayer mats)  from Senegal, Africa! They are so beautiful, and knowing that women in Africa, are benefiting form the purchase of these baskets, makes doing laundry so much better ;)

You can buy these baskets from Unica Home, and they start at just $25 each!! Great colors!

Although the next selection is called "African Trash Art" its anything but trash!! I love these Kenyon, tin can animal sculptures, made from recycled soda cans! The largest stands 6" and would be perfect for any book shelf !! starting at only $18 from Swahili Imports.

There are also, very elegant, and not so colorful options for Fair Trade items, the next three are very understated, but anything but simple. The bowls, are made from woven telephone wires!! amazing , right??

In the above vases from Ghana, Three concentric circles, represent the Adinkrahene, the chief of all West African Adinkra symbol system, would be beautiful with simple grasses displayed in them. $44.

Last, but certainly not least, there are a million, beautiful, Fair Trade fabrics now available. Beautiful bedding, pillows and upholstery have been made form these recently, here are just a few that took my breath away! (image)

I know we aren't all out to save the world, but if you can do a tiny part to help, and still enjoy every piece of beautiful artistry, isn't it so worth it?? My answer: YES!!! enjoy ;)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday "Snippet" (Color ME...Colorful? Cont.)

 I am  really going insane for Spring to be here, so I am CRAVING color!!  Here are just a few inspiring photos of colorful interiors and design ( even if by nature) that are so beautiful to me, that I wanted to share!! Enjoy!

Can you IMAGINE walking into this home library every day to sip your coffee, and read a book!! Actually, with a toddler, I cant even imagine a second to sip coffee...BUT, I would still love walking into this colorful sanctuary!!

WOW!!!  what an inspirational room for A little one!! let the creativity flow ;)
what do you think? could you handle the bright green walls?

Ahhh breathe in...nature in all its glory! A field of Lavender in Tuscany...

I literally can imagine what it must smell like to be on the edge of this field, with the sun on my face, pure beauty.
Enjoy your Sunday everyone, and thanks for checking out my Sunday "Snippet"

Friday, February 25, 2011

COLOR ME....(Fill in the blank)

"Colors are the smiles of nature."
Leigh Hunt

"My skin is kind of sort of brownish pinkish yellowish white.  My eyes are greyish blueish green, but I'm told they look orange in the night.  My hair is reddish blondish brown, but it's silver when its wet, and all the colors I am inside have not been invented yet".  ~Shel Silverstein

I thought I would start out today with some GREAT quotes about color!! It is amazing, what  a touch of it, can do for your soul! Think of the feeling you get when you look into the clearest blue ocean or lake, or when you see the first leaves change for fall, or the beautiful first tulips you see of spring??  We all have certain colors that move us...what color makes you feel happy?

I tend to shy away from bold color in interiors for myself, and I'm not sure why. I am always drawn to colorful interiors for others, Look at this amazing Lilly Pulitzer bedding below!! Would you love to crawl into this bed!!

When it comes to color, I usually add just small pieces to my usually neutral palette, so below, see some of the great, colorful accessories available!

Look at these colorful, fun ,outside "Tiki" stools!! Sure to brighten up any patio party, and so great to be able to pull these little seats to wherever you need to go! $69 from Design Public

And look at this colorful yellow rug from West Elm! So perfect for a breakfast nook or a sun room!

so the top pics have been a little larger, but here are a few small things that can add a big "punch" to any spot in your home!

Love, Love LOVE this Bicycle print from LittlePaperplanes its only $14, just add a colorful frame, and you have a tiny colorful little Gem!! The next is also from Littlepaperplanes, and also, bicycle has nothing to do with Interiors, but I love this bag, and AGAIN, ITS ONLY $14!!! adorable, right??

Look at this super cool Abacus!! so creative to think an abacus can become an amazing piece of art when scaled larger!! Its from CB2 and little pricey, at $149...but I love the idea!!

Do you LOVE???

Look at these cute little bowls!! A perfect little touch to any table! If I told you they were from West Elm, Crate and Barrel or Pier one Imports..would you believe me?? I know!!! But they aren't! they are from WALMART!!!!!  only $19.97 for a set of 6..the name of my game is AFFORDABLE design, people!!

So there you go..a few cheapies, a few not so cheapies..My point, a little color goes a long way!! I will end with a few more great quotes about color!! Enjoy your Friday!!

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”  Rabindranath Tagore ~indian poet

"The Best Color In the Whole World, Is the one that looks good on you"~ CoCo Chanel

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rustic Modern Interiors

I know, most of you don't think Rustic, and Modern fit together, right?? Well, I am going to show you a few things that will make you think otherwise!! Modern due to layout and design, Rustic because of finishes and textures used!! A perfect mix for a Michigan girl who lives just 30 mins ( on a good, no traffic day)  from New York City!

I love the exposed brick, and the over sized, rustic wood table,combined with the modern floating shelves in the top pic!! Check out the all the photos of this amazing loft, here.

How about this beautiful modern Rustic BARN!!! I'm in love!! Designed by Seattle Based Architectural firm,  Shed Architects! You MUST go their website to check out some of their amazing Designs, including a tree house!! So fab!

If you want to bring small pieces of Rustic Modern, into your existing decor, take a look at the below image,  thanks to Apartment Therapy, showing options from Target!! ranging in price from $14.99 to $79.99  just enough to add a little with out going overboard!

I would love to see pictures if any of you have found a way to combine two different styles to make it work!! I have found that most people I have worked with , don't fall into one specific category of design ( ex. Traditional, Rustic, Modern) so its all about combining the things you like, to make it work for your style!!

Happy Wednesday!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Flower Power!!

With Spring just around the corner for us here in "The States" I think this is a perfect time to show you how just a few small flowers or plants, can brighten ,and enhance, the feeling of a room !!  Fresh flowers bring such a life, or energy to a home, and you can get them for as cheap as $4.99 ( for a small bunch of tulips at Trader Joe's) Less expensive than a Grande Mocha Latte at your favorite overpriced coffee shop!

The creators of Young House Love, show amazing ways to add a little life to a room or space, by using things you already have, for vases. Here are a few of my fav's but check out their site, to see all of their flower thoughts.

How about this great idea!! Using Izze Bottles as vases!! Love the bright, fun colors! Think of other things you use, or drink regularly,  that can be used as a vase. Beer Bottles, Wine bottles for long Stems , Pure maple sugar glass jars, Jam Jars for short full blooms!! So many options!

Simple is key, to me!! I love just a few simple flowers in vases, like ones below. A few in your bathroom, a few above your kitchen sink. or a few on a bookshelf in your living room, that is all it takes to add a little life to your home!

Also,  get the most from your larger flower bouquets that you may bring home, by breaking them up as flowers die off! The ones below, were a "Just Because" gift from my husband..lovely, right? I made these babies last a full month, by taking out the flowers as they died, and moving the ones that lived, to smaller vases (by the way..all made out of things other than..vases)..see below!

The Original

A single Gerber in a milk glass,on my dresser, to add a little color to the dark wood!

Just the "Greens" after I took out the dead lily's. (Vase is a glass milk bottle that I get Liam's milk in)

I used the remaining daisies and greens, and put them in a stemless,red wine glass for the back of the Toilet !
And there you have it! A month's worth of enjoyment out of a $9.99 bouquet of flowers from Penn Station!!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday "Snippet" (Modern Baby)

WOW!!! I was originally going to do my Sunday snippet on an amazing, hanging bed, featured in my House Beautiful, a few months ago. But as I was looking for a better photo of it, I came across these awesome, modern, think outside the typical baby/kids furniture, pieces!! How great are these?????

Kindekeklein hanging Baby Cradel above!!

Modern baby crib made by designer, Ubahub

Cute little felt Cradle!! I LOVE this one!!

Lastly for your bigger kids!! Love these hanging kids beds!!!

Happy Sunday!!! Hopefully there is Sunshine whereever you are!!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Give me some "SPACE"

On a typical day, I have at least 3 or 4 current design magazines, laying around my living room. As I spend time flipping through them, I tear out any pages showing spaces, that evoke thought. I may LOVE them, I may HATE them, or I might just stop and look because something catches my eye. 
Look at the next few spaces that I am going to share with you, how do they make YOU feel?!!

I was drawn to this little garden, sitting area, as soon as I saw the picture. I could imagine my husband and I and all of our close friends and family, sipping red wine, and enjoying a summer night! However, as I looked closer, the very thing that caught my eye ( GREAT IDEA! putting large sitting pillows outside) made me think...would any of my friends or family, or myself, actually be comfortable sitting on a large pillow outside, while everyone else was sitting on chairs?? what do you think??
The answer I came up with..after enough red wine...I can be comfortable anywhere ;)

The above picture caught my eye, mostly because, in design, I am very symmetrical. I love things balanced and even. In this space, the offset mirror is what totally drew me in!

The space below, is NOT MY style. BUT, I keep going back to this picture, analyzing it, wondering how on earth could a family with a baby, live in this tiny space. I appreciate how the space is used, and I happen to love most loft design, but wow!! not enough room for me!! I also wonder, how clean does a small space like this stay, once that baby is a toddler??

Thoughts?? could you live in this tiny home? do you think its a great way to utilize the space, or too cramped?

The next is, obviously, not a whole room, but the use of one piece that just POP's in a space, is an idea that I love!! in this picture, the vibrant colored mirror,  makes such a statement against the patterned wall covering, with out overwhelming the design!!
I am so drawn to it, and will for sure copy this idea in the future!

One of the greatest aspects about Design ( no matter what type it is) is that it is all personal preference, one space that gives me the heebs, may make you, your most comfortable self. So surround yourself in what makes you the happiest!!

Enjoy Your lovely Friday everyone!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sit on it!! (for under $200)

One of the most daunting tasks for me, is shopping for furniture, partly because I'm cheap thrifty.
So I thought, why not do a post on a few of the great deals I have found , for under $200!!!  Now, these pieces are not going to be the "pass on to the next generation" pieces, BUT, they won't cost a fortune, and ,will add a little "life" to any space in your home!

The first is an awesome textured chair, that can be used as a dining chair, or even in a living room as a side chair. The texture adds an element of warmth , making it a perfect piece for a corner in your home, that you can just pull into any sitting area. It is called a Hyacinth chair, and its only $99 at!!!

If the above chair is too neutral for you, try the one below!! The Vinnie Cradle Chair in Blue, is a great little rocker, in an amazing Robins Egg, Blue!! I have always been drawn to the retro design of this chair, and swear that one day I will buy it!! Its really inexpensive ( $130) Perfect for a modern nursery, or sitting room!

The next, are chairs from West Elm. I love the profile of this chair! It can be used for dining, or as a side chair in a living room! It comes in many colors and starts at $199. It also comes in leather, which is really cute, but it isn't under $200, so I cant talk about that choice ;) thoughts??

The last selection is my favorite! I love the lines, I love the "no Arms" and I love the color!! Not to mention, its only $139.99, so I love the cost!! This chair is from World Market, and also comes in a variety of colors. Perfect addition to a neutral living space of any kind!!!

So as always, I am curious what your thoughts are?? do you know of any amazing deals that you "sitting" on haha...Pass them on!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Affordable art..that I LOVE

Happy Valentines Day everyone!!! In the spirit of the "Day Of Love", I thought I would show you some of the inexpensive pieces of artwork that I enjoy!! Great pieces that don't cost an arm and a leg, and they are still amazing quality!!

The super cute painting below,  comes just in time for Valentines Day!!! Its a custom, 4 pc painting from
Tiny By Design. Its only $25 !!!!!!  Like I said, its custom, so you can pick your own colors, and personalize it how you would like!(cost, of course, subject to change based on customization).

The next piece is a print, from a great website called Littlepaperplanes, that has a lot of inexpensive artwork, in any style you can think of. Don't ask me why I love this print so much! It makes me laugh, I love the colors used, and the composition.  I envision it above, are you ready, a toilet. You may be laughing, but I am so serious!! I think it would be a great conversation piece! Thoughts?? ( also reminds me of my childhood a little!)

The next "Piece" is straight from my heart! Why?? Because its painted by an amazing little artist, who happens to be my,  almost 19 month old son, Liam.

I can't take credit for this idea, actually came from my husband, Grant! It was he, who suggested taking an old cheap Target print out of its frame, and re framing Liam's finger paint art!! Viola!! For no cost at all...a fun, framed, colorful "piece" to hang above Liam's art table!

I am a big fan of photography. Typically, I prefer Black and White to color, however, this next photo, caught my attention, I can actually imagine what it feels like to stand in front of these amazing little doors in Italy, and, they just happen to have hearts on them, perfect for today :) Check out all the info here

SO there you are lovebirds, a couple of cool inexpensive pieces to add to ytour collections!! Have a great Monday!!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday "Snippet"

Amazing Stairs!!! Enough said!!

What do you think of the above picture? Too Much work? or an amazing design?

The above stairs are made from reclaimed Wood Floors! Love them! click here for the info.

Ahhhhhh....Breath in the amazing Sea Air.......Can you just imagine the sun on your face and the wind in your hair....I CAN!!!