where green living, parenthood, and interiors intersect

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Feather Lusting

Feathers have long been a mild obsession of mine. It's likely rooted in my desire to soar like a bird in a big blue open sky. But gravity and winglessness keep me grounded, and so it is.

Change of subject (sort of). My first and only tattoo is of my son's name with two little birds flying over an ocean wave, which I got in celebration of significant life changes that unfolded in the past few years. Tattoo # 2 is in incubation stage now but I know two things: it will go near my right shoulder blade to cover a large scar and it will incorporate an image of a feather. The images above are my "inspiration file" for this next piece. None of them are "it" but that's ok, all art is a process.

In my online feather searches, I also came across so many beautiful representations in home decor that I just had to share. Until the day comes for my next tattoo, a vase or a print will have to do.

Birds of a Feather Wall Stickers from www.bouf.com.

Feathery Plumes No. 61, an original water color available at GollyBard's Etsy shop.

Large Feather Tray by Michael Angove available at Gretel Home.

Nourison's Parallels Rug in Lavender from Rugs Direct.

Framed Feather Wall Art by artist Scott Lifshutz for West Elm.

Thomas Paul's plum and cream Feather Tufted Pile Rug from Velocity Art & Design

Feather vase from Brooklyn Rehab's Etsy shop.

Ferm Living's Feather Wallpaper.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Backyard Wedding Bliss

I'm not much for Hollywood movies, but I took myself on a date tonight featuring cheese and wine, followed by a showing of Bridesmaids. It was filled with many good laughs, but I took particular note of the wedding in the end which was the opposite of any nuptial event I would ever want to partake in. Fireworks, laser show, lavender bridesmaids dresses, abundant ruffles and Wilson Phillips...need I say more?

To me, the ideal wedding has been a foggy image, perhaps thwarted by young single motherhood and lots of Mr. Wrongs. But the ever-inspiring City Sage blog post that landed in my in-box yesterday had me daydreaming once again. A rustic backyard affair with multi-colored wildflowers, vintage decorations, guests that don't feel like they need to cover their tattoos, indie folk music floating me down the makeshift aisle, simple and relaxed in every way......now we're talking.

Check out the full City Sage post here, featuring beautiful images by Noa of Feather Love Photography. Or head on over to Feather Love Photography for dozens of shots from the day: detailed glimpses of the decorations, portraits of the uber-hip bridal party, and festive food tables that all had me weeping with joy. And if you still haven't had your fill, the wedding was featured in Green Wedding Shoes.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Color: Eggplant

Since the inception of my career as an interior designer a decade ago, I have always pledged to bring out my clients' personal style, rather than stamp my own aesthetic on home after home. If you've ever seen my portfolio, you'd immediately notice the uniqueness of each project. Part of the challenge in this mission is that I don't always like my clients' choices in color, style, vision.....but in order to make it all work beautifully, in every project, without compromise, I have to not just like them but embrace them wholly. That's part of the reason I started my Monday Color posts, to explore and pay tribute to the bounty of colors that can be applied in home interiors, especially the ones I don't love. The range of purple hues fell into this category, until my first purple-related post when I searched high and low for uses of the color that inspired me and left me reluctantly smitten. (It also may have something to do with the fact that my son's first favorite color was purple, almost as if to shove it in my face with a "like it or else" forcefulness.)

So here I am posting about another purple tone that marries red, brown and purple together in a regal but earthy hue of eggplant. And I may not have reached for this color when designing my own home, but now I must admit that I kinda like it. I'm realizing that with each blog post, I become a better designer, and with each client, I become a better blogger.

1. I love the eggplant walls with gold accents in this living room found on Cococozy.com, but can't take my eyes off those amazing wide plank floors.

2. Another eggplant-filled living room, with unexpected accents of coral, found on The Design File.

3. Vibrant purple walls contrast with white traditional furnishings in this traditional dining room.

4. This purple bedroom features graphic wallpaper and cooling grays, that create a dramatic yet restful retreat.

5. A neutral living room with chocolate brown and eggplant accents, designed by Windsor Smith, found on Travel for Design.

6. The Cyan Design Purple Chandelier features a generous 36" diameter and regally-hued Murano style glass.

7. Comfort Wash Cotton Duvet Cover from the Company Store comes in a rich merlot hue, with a soft, lived-in feel.

8. Romo's geometric Estella Wallcovering in Elderberry.

9. Hand screen-printed Botanical Print Pillow from Sprouted Designs in a deep eggplant purple cotton with eco-friendly cream ink.

10. The plush faux fur texture of this throw from Z Gallerie makes it as regal as it's deep purple color demands.

11. Here's a literal use of eggplant in home decor: an actual eggplant printed onto an upcycled dictionary page by CollageOrama.

12. The Otto Rug in grape, by Madeline Weinrib.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Etsy Love: Carolina Cottage

In this digital age, mp3's and dictionary.com have all but replaced sheet music and hard cover reference books, so what to do with all that paper when it comes time to purge it? The creator behind Etsy shop Carolina Cottage has no shortage of ideas. Her motto is "if it will hold still long enough, I will cover it with paper," as evidenced by the coasters, candle holders, trays and more that she creatively wraps with vintage music, dictionary pages and anything else she can find. Useful recycling at its best!!

I was initially drawn to Carolina Cottage by the Dictionary Tea Light Sets (Set of 4) shown above en masse and as a lit pair. The shop also offers Sewing Pattern tea light holders, which are equally delightful.

In additional to several Beatles tunes, Carolina Cottage offers this "Makin' Whoopee" Coaster Set, layered with sheet music and varnish, and backed with non-slip cork.

Other coaster sets feature vintage maps like this Map of Italy Glass Coaster Set.

This decoupaged glass tray is the perfect jewelry catch-all for rings and tiny studs that need an easily accessible home.

The sweetest vintage dictionary illustrations find new life as unique paper weights.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Nina's House

This is simply the cutest piece of baby furniture I've seen in a long time. I just had to share.

Nina's House by Dave Keune

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Etsy Love: enhabiten

Happy holiday weekend, fellow Americans! As the rowdy crowds roll into Long Beach to celebrate our Independence, I find myself reflecting on just what "freedom" means to me. On a national and global level, I really have no idea; it's a loaded ambition that has taken many different shapes over the centuries, but it's not clear that historically anyone has ever really been "free." But let's not get into that.

On a personal level, the question is much easier to answer. Working as my own boss, growing businesses that I love....that is freedom. Making an abundance of calculated choices each day guided by my heartfelt principles....that is freedom. Having the luxury to nourish my body and soul and take care of my son the best way I see fit....that is freedom. Choosing what I stand for and what I think, then standing for it and thinking it fearlessly....that is freedom. Being able to bang out a little work from my home office this morning then enjoy the sun ray's at the beach later this afternoon.....that is freedom. : )

I know I'm not alone in these definitions. It is these same pursuits that shape the lives of many of the creative people I've found on the pages of Etsy, and that is exactly why I decided to create my Saturday 'Etsy Love' posts several months ago: in celebration of personal freedom. Etsy is full of artists, craftspeople and collectors who refuse to join the rat race (at least not 100% of the time) and use the internet as a tool to retain their personal freedom, express themselves and thrive. Perhaps there should be a National Etsy Day slotted into the calendar. Ok, that's probably taking it too far!

Still feeling inspired by my Monday Color post on Indigo, I stumbled across enhabiten, an Etsy shop selling indigo dyed bags, handmade hemp and vintage scrap pillows and an assortment of other unique items. Liane Tyrrel is the independent, creative spirit behind ehabiten, stating only "I am left-handed. I love to swim out deep." in her profile's bio. The goods, pure and eco-friendly, speak for themselves.

The generously sized, eco-friendly Half Moon Bag from enhabiten's new line of hand-dyed indigo bags. I love it's 80's vibe, and how it is one-of-a-kind but as familiar as a favorite pair of jeans.

One of the nostalgic-feeling Log Cabin Zip Cases that Tyrrel makes out of salvaged vintage quilts.

Hand-dyed all-natural wool, vintage fabric scraps and an organic hemp backing are combined to create this sweetly unique and totally eco-friendly throw pillow ( Wool and Salvage Stripe Landscape Pillow).

One of several sizes and designs in the Cross Pillow collection, all made from tea-stained hemp and recycled fabric, containing natural kapok filling.