Category Archives: Design

Furniture Giveaway

DCers: Check out Urban Turf, a great guide for DC real estate and be sure to like Urban Turf’s Facebook page for a chance to win $500 to your choice at either Room & Board (my choice!), Miss Pixies, Good Wood, or CB2.  I am already thinking of what 500 babies could get me! Good luck…. and may the odds be ever in your favor!

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Score local Craigslist gems!

Craigslist is a great marketplace to score local finds. However, just like any resale marketplace or thrift store, it takes time and patience to find the best stuff. This unfortunately means that busy people do not always get to take advantage of everything it can offer. Since I myself often do not have time to parse through all the crap to find the gems, I frequently refer to a few sources that do the searching for me! Apartment Therapy (one of my main go to sources for virtually everything) posts the Eastern Daily Scavenger which is a roundup of the best items posted on Craigslist. I try to check it out a few times a week for any good inventory. One of the best scores I have ever found is this amazing mid-century Danish chair. I had to have the frame reinforced, but it is still one of my favorite pieces. Another great resource is the DC specific blog called Listed District, created by a local graphic designer who highlights some of the best offerings throughout DC. Hunting sites like these are becoming more common, so no matter where you live, try to find resources that will take some of the leg work out of the search!

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Scents of Morocco

As previously mentioned, I recently returned from a wonderful vacation in Morocco.  While in Marrakech, I stayed at the fabulous La Mamounia, which can only be described as heaven on earth. From the moment I entered the palace, I was consumed by a wonderfully intoxicating scent, which was exotic, seductive, refreshing and yet subtle all at the same time.  Olivia Giacobetti, owner of the INUX boutique in Paris, one of the preeminent perfumeries, designed the signature scent for La Mamounia which showcases both dates and cedar wood, two quintessentially Moroccan elements.  Luckily the hotel sold some of the custom candles  (for a small fortune, of course!) thereby allowing me to bring this scent home.  Whenever I burn the candle, it reminds of the fabulous time I had on that trip!

Datte candle from IUNX

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Spring Branches

Tulip and Magnolia Branches from Terrain

How can anyone just not love this time of year?  OK – maybe if you have allergies – but still!  In DC, it has been absolutely beautiful.  The weather has been so warm and the cherry blossoms are out.  Although the winter was not harsh, you can still feel everything waking up.  I have been trying to bring some of that freshness into my apartment.  One of my favorite spring floral arrangements is so simple.   All you need is some seasonal branches and a clear vase.  This also gives me the opportunity to mention one of my favorite home and garden stores – Terrain.  Although a little pricey, I love this store.  They carry some really gorgeous products and are always creating unique and simple arrangements.  I love using their site for inspiration, which is how I created the seasonal branch arrangement that is now sitting on my dining table (see the photo below)!

Via Kinfolk

My Seasonal Branch Arrangement

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House Beautiful DC Scavenger Hunt

As a long time DCer, one of the biggest downfalls (in my humble opinion) of this city has been its reluctance to develop its own style and personality.  Fortunately, I think there has been a subtle shift in the landscape so to speak.  It seems like people are gradually embracing both design and fashion and are developing the city’s personality.  That being said, I always welcome design events that try to reach out to a broad demographic.  Tomorrow, House Beautiful is organizing one such event. To promote their Color It Green guide, they are organizing a scavenger hunt throughout DC with awesome green chairs from a variety of different designers as prizes!  My favorite so far is the classic Loll Adirondak.  Definitely if you are in the DC area tomorrow, check out the scavenger hunt and hopefully you can score some new chairs!

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Eames Documentary

So, anyone who knows me knows that the one “thing” that I have wanted the most and will someday own is the Eames Lounge Chair by Herman Miller (second is the Saarinen Tulip Table in marble – yes, I am saving my pennies!).  I know that some people think it’s ridiculous to spend that amount of money on a chair, but let me tell you, it is not just a chair.  It is a work of art.  It is perfectly crafted to fit the human form, and it is gorgeous to boot!  Anyway, I recently watched a great documentary about the genius duo of Ray and Charles Eames called Eames: The Architect and the Painter, and I would highly recommend it to anyone that is interested in design, art or history.  These two were pioneers that forever changed the landscape of modern American design.  Check out the trailer here.

 

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Beni Ouarain

Just back from a recent trip to Morocco, I am feeling both inspired and refreshed.  While there, I spent quite a bit of my time exploring the labyrinth of alleys and lanes that make up the famous souks.  Craftsmen and artisans have shop after shop set up and sell practically everything – textiles, pottery, shoes, clothing, and of course, carpets.  Moroccan carpets come in a variety of designs and are embroidered or woven or both.  Historically, the various tribes have  each created their own distinctive style. To the shopper, this basically means piles and piles of choices.

The past year or so I have been seriously lusting over the Beni Ouarain rugs, which are known for their cream/beige color and shaggy pile, however they tend to run on the expensive side in the States.  Recently some of the bigger home furnishing stores such as West Elm and Anthropology have started carrying Beni Ouarain rugs as well, however the ones they carry tend to be the less traditional styles and designs.  Well, with this in mind, I knew that this was certainly something I wanted to look into while in Morocco.  And look into it I did!  I probably went to at least 6 different shops inquiring about these rugs.  I definitely found a few gorgeous pieces that had the traditional Berber designs.  Unfortunately a few that I loved  were still a bit over my budget.  Normally I would probably convince myself to splurge in that situation, however since I have a somewhat uncontrollable 11 month old puppy at home, I did not want to get too carried away with my “dream rug.”  With that in mind, I managed to snag 2 lovely Beni Ouarain’s which fit perfectly in my apartment.  I also brought back a traditional Touareg rug which has the most beautiful colors.




For more information about the Beni Ouarain rugs, visit Berber-Arts or Breuckelen Berber.  Also, be sure to check back on the inevitable updates such as Removing Red Wine or Pet Hair from my Beni Ouarain rug!!

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