Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Working Proof


(Photo from Lonny, vol. 3.)
I'm a firm believer in affordable art-- I don't think something needs to be exclusive or expensive to be beautiful or to be called artwork. 

I think everyone reading this blog knows about 20x200.  Every Tuesday (that means today!) and Wednesday at 2pm, limited-edition art and photographs are put up for sale at only $20.  I love 20x200 because it showcases so many different styles of art.

Cotton Field, Mississippi, by Shuli Hallak, available at 20x200.
Contact High, by Jeff Bridges.  Available at 20x200. This looks like swirly lollipops to me!  It's in the kitchen photo I posted at the top of this post.

Another new-to-me source for affordable artwork is The Working Proof.  It's not as large as 20x200, but it has some very nice pieces.  Plus, the proceeds from the sale of artwork go to charity, so it's all for a good cause.  I really like this mixed media piece by Susan Schwake. 

On the Rocks, by Susan Schwake.

The blackbirds look so nice again the peachy-pink rocks.
What are your favorite sources for affordable artwork?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tea, please.

Are you a tea person?  I know I am!  I've really gotten into loose-leaf tea in the past couple of years.  It really does taste infinitely better that teabags, and there are so many fun varieties to try.  I've only scratched the surface!  I'm in the market for a new teapot, so I thought I'd do a little teapot roundup today.  There are so many really beautiful pots, and a teapot is an easy and affordable way to bring a little beauty to the everyday.

How fun is the pointy gold top of this Magic Flute Sarasto Teapot?  At $460, I'll be admiring this one from afar, though! 


I love this "New/Old" tea set by Christine Misniak.  It's handmade out of brass and copper, and is an incredibly reasonable £50.  This one will be going on my Christmas list! 

Glass teapots like this Simone Teapot ($48) are fun because you get to watch the tealeaves slowly unfurl and the colors change.

The classic shape, updated in a perky yellow color.  Citizen Teapot, $27.

Classic Japanese teapots, like this Iwachu Nailhead Teapot ($220) are made out of cast iron and are incredibly solid.  There's no danger of breaking this pot, so it will last a lifetime!

The new Alice in Wonderland movie is coming out next month, and I can't wait to see it.  How fun would it be to throw a post-viewing Mad Hatter teaparty?

Happy tea drinking!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Vintage Accessories


(It's all about the details here.)

Vintage.  Antique.  Thrifted.  There's something so charming about the idea of combing through boxes (or racks) at a thrift or vintage store, and coming across that perfect accessory, lamp, painting, or dress.  Some people really excel at it, but it takes time and dedication.  And I seem to lack that.  Plus, thrift stores really do smell strange.

That's why I'm so excited about some fabulous, well-edited online vintage shops that I've come across recently.  I could never do a room in full-on vintage, but little accents here and there--a lamp, a vintage letter opener, a silverplate dish--really add a touch of unique charm and whimsey.

Three vintage stores that I'm really loving right now are High Street Market, The Sunday Times Market, and the newly-opened Katie Armour Home.  I really like brass and marble animal-shaped accessories-- they're charming without being too cutesy.  Here are some of my faves from these etsy sellers:

(Bonus: these are all under $50.)


This adorable little brass piglet paperweight ($26) would make even the most daunting pile of papers more manageable!

These brass planters ($26) are very unique, and would look great on a windowsill, with some greenery trailing out.  Our you could use them as bookends.

How adorable is this owl milk glass dish ($38)?  It would look great on a little girl's dresser, or even on an entryway console table. 

If you're going for a more masculine touch, I think this brass penguin ($45) would fit the bill.  At nearly a foot tall, it would look great on a bar table (they're all the rage now!) or on a side table in a gentleman's study.

Happy shopping!  And tell me: what are your favorite sources for vintage home accessories?

(Top image: source unknown.)

Friday, February 12, 2010

178 Square Foot Studio


How inspiring is this 178 sq. foot studio featured in the New York Times yesterday?   This is the Brooklyn studio of Zach Motl, a young up-and-coming interior designer.  He's clearly a maximalist, and it totally works in this space--the carefully curated objects make the studio look complex and layered, not claustrophobic.  I live in a tiny NYC studio too, and I really liked seeing what he did to dress up the (unrenovated) kitchen and bathroom.  He painted the bathroom an inky midnight blue, and put green paneling on the kitchen backsplash.  These are great ideas for renters, because they're cheap, easy to install, and--this is important--easy to remove when you move out.

I really like the wooden tennis rackets on the walls. In the article, Zach says he sees them on the street all the time. I guess I should look more carefully, because I've never seen any!


The kitchen definitely makes the most of very limited space--notice the wine rack on the wall to the right of the sink.  Genius!

I really want to paint my bathroom now!  And little details like the potted orchid really jazz up an otherwise very utilitarian space.

All photos: Robert Wright for The New York Times

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lonny, vol. 3

I'm sure this is going to be all over every design blog, but make sure to check out the third issue of Lonny, Michelle Adams' fabulous online decor mag. 

As someone with an old, unrenovated bathroom featuring a Pepto Bismol pink floor, I'm loving this shot of Lizzie Bailey's bathroom.  The wallpaper looks fantastic against the pink tile.

And isn't this teal headboard with nail head trim fantastic?  Maybe that will be my next diy project.  It actually reminds me a lot of this headboard from High Street Market, so I know it can be done!

Read the entire issue here-- there's nothing like curling up with a great magazine on a cold, snowy day!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pretty Paper

Don't you love paper and stationary? I know I do! There are so many gorgeous designs out there, and stationary is (relatively) affordable, and an easy way to brighten up the ordinary. If only I could stop hoarding it...

Anyway, for my very first post on this blog I thought I'd highlight some new designs that I'm absolutely loving.

I recently discovered MaeMae by Megan Gonzalez, and I'm in love with her bright, whimsical designs. And they're affordable, too!

Dempsey and Carroll, a venerable stationary company, recently released envelopes lined with reproductions of popular Schumacher textiles. I'm loving the Chiang Mai dragon print (and I'm sure Little Green Notebook is too!)

If I had to pick a favorite, I think I'd go with Erin Jang. She's a graphic designer who designs for Esquire, and creates the most amazing, thought-out custom invitations. Isn't this wedding menu delightful?

I'm loving all the details in this custom wedding suite.

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