Category Archives: Design

on the web: of a kind

Of A Kind is a fashion website that features limited edition products and stories from the emerging fashion designers behind the products.  The site’s tagline is “Know and Own” – which is exactly what the site sets out to do.  It presents interviews with up and coming talent about the artists’ process and products, and then offers a limited quantity of each product for sale over the site (think Gilt).  I love the idea behind this site, because I love supporting local emerging talent.  For example, when I go shopping in my neighborhood, I always prefer the small independent boutique stores.  This is the same thinking.  Although this talent isn’t exactly local, it’s emerging, which is great!  It’s also a great way to spot new talent and score some pieces before everyone else jumps on the bandwagon.

Check out an interview with the women behind the site about why they started the site and wanted to make online shopping a more personal experience.

Double Arrow Necklace by BRVTVS from Of A Kind

Capri Necklace by Gemma Redux from Of A Kind

Denim and Leather Max Jacket by Veda

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where to find great art

Animal Locomotion from 20x200

In my opinion, one of the most important parts of creating a home is choosing what to display.  An edited eye is key to this process, as the best spaces are those that have been carefully curated and display only pieces that contribute to the overall theme of the space.  This means that not everything you own should be put in a frame and hung on a wall. Be selective about it.  On the flip side though, I definitely think it is important to show your walls some love and decorate them!  Every now and then I will see a space with blank walls that pulls off the clean modern look, but most of the time it just looks empty.  I personally love to pick up a piece of art every time I travel, so my walls are a tribute to the places I have been.  Art is everywhere, and it does not necessarily have to be expensive either.  There are so many great sources out there, so whatever you chose to collect, invest in some key pieces and (don’t leave out this step!) invest in some quality framing!  How you choose to present the piece (i.e. whether it is framed and the type of frame) is just as important as the piece itself.

Do you have empty walls in need of some TLC?  If so, check out these great resources!  20×200 is one of my favorites.  It started in 2007 based on the idea of bringing affordable limited editions to the masses.  I highly recommend visiting this site for all your art needs!  Canvas & Canvas is another great resource that sells original hand painted pieces by its own artists and produces only 99 pieces of each design, and wait for it… presents it on stretched canvas!  Worthwhisland functions more as an affordable online gallery, while Exhibition A is a members only (think Gilt) gallery exhibiting established contemporary artwork.  Also Luster is an online photographic gallery, and Buy Some Damn Art is a limited edition gallery that updates a new show each week.  Don’t forget about Etsy either.  There is SO much amazing stuff on Etsy.  Two of my favorite shops are EyePoetryPhotography which features some of the most beautifully whimsical and romantic photos inspired by travel and nature and also TinyFawn which offers the most adorable animal featured prints (great for kids rooms!).

Linus Bear Print from TinyFawn on Etsy

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The Joy of Dining

Last week, in between meetings and phone calls while at work, I took a moment to check my inbox.  Usually I quickly browse through my emails mentally noting whether something warrants more than a second to read, whether I should trash it, or whether I should star and save for later.  It’s a quick process and unfortunately most emails receive only a perfunctory review.  However, while I was quickly browsing over an email from The Kitchn (which usually provides some stellar recipes), I was swept away with a wonderful post written by Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan, the heart and soul of the blog (amazingly, her husband is Maxwell, the founder of Apartment Therapy).  Not only is it beautifully and poetically written, but it really reminded me of the importance of enjoying the ritual of dining.  When my boyfriend and I sit down for dinner, often times right in front of the television, we rarely take advantage of the opportunity to reflect on the food we are eating or on the day that we have had or just on the opportunity to be together.  These days, dining is rarely seen as a distraction free environment. However, reading Sara Kate’s post reminded me that I should not only take those moments and enjoy them for their simplicity, but also, to respect the physical space of dining.  Our “dining table” is hardly that.  Usually it’s filled with paper work or books.  Currently it is housing my seedlings.  However it is hard to refute the correlation between where you eat and the amount of distractions you face while eating.  I know some nights we are just happy to throw together a quick meal and plop down.  However I hope at those times I can remember to take the opportunity to sit distraction free and enjoy the company of those that I am with.

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Bedside Lamps: A twist on a classic MCM piece

One of the last rooms in my apartment that really needs some TLC is the bedroom.  So far, that has definitely been the most deprived.  The main issue is that the furniture needs to be updated ASAP!  We have started looking at new headboards, dressers, side tables, but haven’t pulled the trigger on anything yet.  Eventually, we will also need to update our bedside lamps.  So far one of the best lamps I have come across is a mid century inspired arch table lamp.  It’s a take on the classic arch floor lamp but reduced to a mini table lamp size.  It is still classic and streamlined and would be a beautiful addition to a bedroom.  It’s available at Dwell Studio and Jayson Home.

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Trending: Jazz up your Camera

The Tokyo Dreamer camera strap

We recently purchased a new camera which has been awesome!  However, of course, with a camera comes the batteries, bag, lenses, etc.  Those accessories are boring but necessary I guess.  I’m thinking a great way to personalize my camera would be to spice it up with a fashionable camera strap!  Sarah Francis Kuhn has an eponymous collection which includes some really chic and functional stapes or if you prefer a simple classic leather strap check out Wood and Faulk.  The one I have added to my wish list however is the Tokyo Dreamer camera strap from Photojojo.  It comes in three colors and is clean and simple with  just the right amount of pop.

Sarah Francis Kuhn camera strap

Wood and Faulk camera strap

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Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

I know this is after the fact, but I wanted to share some pictures of how my Easter eggs turned out.  My mother came into town, and we tried a new method of egg dying, which I had come across both in Remodelista and in The Kitchn.  I know there are a zillion different ways to decorate Easter eggs, but I really liked the idea of using natural dyes from vegetable scraps.  We decided to use yellow onion skins, red onion skins, beets and carrots.  We first boiled water in separate pots and then added the vegetable scraps and simmered for about 15 minutes.  We eventually threw out some of the water, so that the color was more concentrated.  Then we cooled the dyed water until it was room temperature.    We used rubber bands to create patterns on the eggs.  Finally, we added the eggs and set in the refrigerator overnight. I love how natural and rustic the colors turned out.  Next year, I think I want to try natural dyes from flowers!

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Woodsy Candles

There is almost nothing better than entering a home that immediately appeals to your olfactory senses.  Therefore, one of my favorite ways to accessorize my apartment is with some quality scented candles.  I prefer the woody natural scents, especially sandalwood or cedar wood.  The Diptyque line from Paris is awesome and offers a wide range of well crafted scents, although my favorite is Santal.  Izola also offers a beautiful selection of woodsy scents that are displayed in a colored green glass.  No matter what your preferred scent, appealing to your olfactory senses is a great way to unwind and relax.  What are some of your favorite scents?

Santal Candle from Diptyque

Sandalwood candle from Izola

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Ladders as Decor

Unfortunately, I, like many people, am guilty of letting clothes pile up in my bedroom.  It’s a pet peeve of mine, yet I struggle with it daily, and I am not on the winning side of this battle.  My boyfriend and I have come to terms with the fact that we are just not strong enough to control the situation.  There is only one option left to us… removing the furniture from our bedroom that ends up collecting our clothes by the end of each day!  (Yes – this is slightly pathetic.)  However, I think a great replacement would be incorporating a ladder as part of the decor. This can be helpful, because it cannot hold that many articles of clothing, but it can, in the event it’s absolutely necessary, be a convenient place to lay an item or two… you get the idea!

Dressing Ladder available at Tenebras

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Playful Wall Decals

Tracy Kendall Floral Wall Decal

Wallpaper can be a mixed bag. There are some gorgeous designs out there, but most of them, I find, to be a bit overwhelming. Also, wallpaper can be a big commitment which is not always a possibility for some (such as myself, as a renter). There are, however, some more practical options for those that are interested in adding some imagery or pattern here and there, but don’t want to commit to wall papering a whole wall! Wall decals are a great way to spice up a wall and usually require little to no installation. They come in a variety of sizes, so you can create a mural or just accentuate the floorboards. Best of all, they are usually removable! My absolute favorite are the wall coverings by Tracy Kendall. I *love* the black and white images that she designs, especially the floral and feathers collections which add just a dose of drama and levity to a room. Walltat, Not On The High Street, and Blik are a few sites to check out which each offer a wide selection of decals. I think these are a particularly great solution for decorating nurseries. They are relatively cheap and you can easily replace them as your child gets older. Plus, there are some of the cutest images for children!

Birds on a Wire Decal from Not on the High Street

Space Monsters Wall Decal from Not on the High Street

Skirting Board Heroes Wall Sticker from Not On The High Street

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Stylish Sustainability

In the world of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc etc, one can get overwhelmed with the availability of different resources.  I am constantly discovering new sites, each with some bit of wisdom to share.  That being said, when you find a source that is so spot on with your personal style and interests, it can be an invaluable match!  If I had to choose one,  my match in the digital world would probably be Remodelista.  Remodelista is an amazing site which I visit for virtually every design need (defined very loosely, of course).  To me, it really encapsulates all that is simple and modern and minimalistic.  I have always thought that one’s environment should compliment the style and personality of the people who live in it, and this is reflected in everything that Remodelista does.  I wanted to share this great video that reminds me to find beauty in even the normal and mundane and inspires me to incorporate sustainable practices when doing so.

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