5.30.2012

Union Jack in Home Décor

This coming weekend is the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, marking 60 years of the Queen of England's reign. It's a four day holiday for the Brits with huge celebrations including a seven mile long flotilla of boats on the river Thames, the lighting of more than 2,000 beacons around the country, and a concert by several artists including Sirs Elton John and Paul McCartney. The United Kingdom flag (a.k.a. "Union Jack") will have a huge presence at this celebration:
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So what better time to check out some amazing spaces that incorporate Union Jack into their design?  Like this family room with a bold Union Jack chaise
James Merrell
or this room with an even bolder Union Jack Chesterfield Sofa:
Barker and Stonehouse
Union Jack has also shown up in drapes such as in this adorable boys room
House to Home

and this more grown-up setting (don't you love the use of oars as curtain rods?!):
Apartment Therapy
And then there are those rooms where you see it everywhere - furniture, drapes, pillows - I'm talking some serious Union Jack!:
Moghul Interiors
While the room above is certainly designed and styled well, it's a bit overboard for me. If I were going to bring some Union Jack décor into my home, it would be with just a single accessory, such as this awesome Jonathan Adler rug
Jonathan Adler
or a pair of Union Jack pillows:
Elle Decor
There are lots of DIYers who have used Union Jack for some pretty amazing projects - two of my favorites are this Union Jack Dresser that was painted by Miss Mustard Seed
and this amazing Union Jack Pegboard Headboard made by Carmel from Our Fifth House for her son's room:


If you want to add a little Union Jack to your home without the DIY effort, I've got some great finds for you including Grandin Road's Union Jack Outdoor Rug,


Restoration Hardware's Framed Flag of the United Kingdom


World Market's Union Jack Flag Lumbar Throw Pillow (only $19.99!),  


World Market's Union Jack Wood Art Wall Hanging


Media Graffiti Studio's Jack Russell Pet Portrait,


 and Home Decorators Collection's decorative Union Junction Boxes - Set of 3:
I'm always finding Union Jack furniture and accessories at Home Goods and TJ Maxx such as this chair that was at our TJ Maxx a few weeks ago


and this small chest that was at HomeGoods today:


Some of my favorite Union Jack pieces are those that have the traditional flag design but untraditional colors such as this grey, black, and white Union Jack Frame from Home Decorators Collection,
this neutral colored Union Jack Rug from Z Gallerie,
and this colorful pink and green Union Jack Pillow by Karen Hilton Designs on Etsy: 
Cheerio friends!
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5.28.2012

Decorating on the Half Shell: Clamshells in Home Décor

Our combination dining/living room is my favorite room in the house but it still needs a lot of finishing touches. This weekend I created a to-do list for making the room complete - one item on that list is getting a table runner and centerpiece for my dining room table.  At 108", my table's a long one so I can't get away with a simple bowl or other small centerpiece - I need something with some heft to it! One of the options that I'm considering is a large clamshell filled with succulents or other plantings.  Something similar to this:
or this:
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Even though the clamshells I'm looking at aren't real (most are made of resin), I love how the shape, size, and texture of these beauties adds a dramatic yet natural feel to a room. I've seen designers use them in almost every room of the house and not only those with a coastal themed design. Large clamshells are a great decorative accent on bookcases and consoles whether they are filled with greenery,
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coral or other ocean treasures,
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or left unfilled:
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Clamshells can also be used in bathrooms (they are great for holding towels!),
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to add some interest to a fireplace,
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or in place of your typical sink:
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Some of the giant resin clamshells are made to be used both indoors and out - they can hold towels by the pool
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or iced drinks for an outdoor party:
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The clamshells shown in most of the design magazines are either the real deal or from Mecox Gardens. They are beautiful but pricey - their Regular Resin Clam Lomok Shell sells for a whopping $1250:
while their Giant Concrete Clam Shell sells for a more reasonable (but still way above my budget) price of $695:
Fortunately, there are a lot of less expensive options out there, including Ballard Designs' Giant Clam Shell  (21.5" x 16.5") for $129.00,
Wisteria's Decorative Oyster Bowl (27" x 16.25") for $139,
Restoration Hardware's 18th C. French Rocaille Clamshells, which come in four different sizes and range in price from $105 - $269 (although they are currently on sale for less),
Pottery Barn's Richard Taylor Scallop Shell Bowl (31" x 22") for $149,
and Z Gallerie's Extra-Large Atlantis Clam Shell (28" x 18") for $129.95:
My favorites are the ones from Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn because they incorporate some brown tones, giving them a more aged, weathered finish. Do you have a clamshell as a decorative accent anywhere in your home? If so, post a picture on Driven by Décor's Facebook page to show us how you've used it in your home!
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5.26.2012

Dollar Bin Napkin Rings!

Just a quick post to share an inexpensive find for your Memorial Day BBQs this weekend - braided twine napkin rings found in the $1 bins at Michaels! Whether you use cloth napkins or just grab a pack of red, white, and blue paper napkins from your local party store, adding these inexpensive napkin rings is the perfect way to step your table décor up a notch! It's the little details like this that make an event more special.
I picked up a dozen of the braided napkin rings but Michaels also had two other options - a simple, classic version with thin twine (top right pic) and a similar version with a small shell attached (bottom right pic) that would be perfect for a summer event! I love that they are casual enough to use for a backyard gathering but would also look right at home paired with crisp linen napkins for a formal dinner.
Enjoy your weekend of BBQs, pool parties, and (hopefully) a bit of relaxing!
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5.23.2012

Pottery Barn Teen: A Source for Great Rugs at Great Prices

Last year I bought a comforter and drapery rods from Pottery Barn Teen for my oldest daughter's room re-do and ever since I've been inundated with PB Teen catalogs.  I used to throw them into the recycling bin as soon as they arrived but a few months ago I actually sat down and leafed through one and was surprised to find several things that would look great in a family room, master bedroom, or other non-teen room of the house. I blogged about my favorite finds back in February (Pottery Barn Teen for Us Non-Teens) and since that time I've continued to find some great home accessories in their catalogs. I've been on the hunt for an inexpensive, simple black and white rug for my foyer and I was excited to recently find PB Teen's Scroll Border Dhurrie Rug - it is exactly what I was looking for!  The rug pattern is simple enough that it won't compete with the pattern of my drapery panels in the neighboring room and for some reason, I'm just loving the tassels on the corners!

While the original price of the rug is fairly reasonable ($99 for a 3 x 5), it was still a little more than I wanted to spend but a few weeks later it went on sale for $79 AND I got an e-mail from PB Teen with a code for an additional 15% off - SOLD! [A little tip here about getting a discount from PB Teen and some other online sites - if you're interested in an item, go online a few times over the course of a week and look at the item but don't buy it.  If your cookies are enabled on your browser, the online store will have tracked your views of that item and if you haven't bought it, they will often send you an exclusive promo code for a certain percentage off to push you towards making the purchase.  I know that's how I got my 15% off promo code because the code came in an e-mail with a big fat picture of the rug I had been stalking!]  The new rug arrived yesterday and I love it!  Here's what my little foyer looked like before with the old, too small, fraying rug:
 and now with the Pottery Barn Teen Scroll Border Dhurrie Rug:

If you're in search of a rug, check out what Pottery Barn Teen has to offer, especially since many of their rugs are currently on sale or clearance. One rug that PB Teen has had for a while now and has cropped up in several bloggers' homes is the Lattice Rug:
Melissa from House to Home Blog used the warm gray Lattice Rug in her living room makeover,
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Camila from Effortless Style chose the same rug in mauve when updating her living room
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and The Suburban Urbanist incorporated it into this gorgeous nursery design:
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Other Pottery Barn Teen rugs that might work in your home are the Tribal Dhurrie Rug,
Tufted Paisley Rug,
Leaf Medallion Lurex Rug (love this rug! It also comes in pink/coral),




Graphic Feather Rug (for a more contemporary feel),
Bohemian Paisley Crewelwork Rug (which also comes in shades of blue, green, and purple),
Suite Ribbon Rug (a classic rug with a simple double stripe border that comes in three color options),
Travelers' Kilim Rug (a vibrant mix of kaleidoscopic diamonds, bold zigzags, and flowers), 
Capri Mat (which comes in black or a pretty sea blue), 
Diamond Kilim Rug,
or the Zoe Rug that has vibrant zigzags of color:
Do you have a favorite??
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