7.30.2012

Calendars as a Source of Inexpensive Art

During the school year, I spend several hours a week working on house projects but during the summer, the speed with which I get house projects done shifts to a slow crawl. There's good reason - my girls are growing up fast and I don't want their summer memories to be of mom wielding a paint brush. I want their memories to be of fun times at the pool, backyard BBQs with friends and family, trips to Orange Leaf for frozen yogurt with tons of goodies loaded on top, fun family vacations, etc. So I spend my days off of work in the summer doing all of those fun things (as well as barking at my girls to clean their rooms and stop fighting with each other - just keeping it real here...). So that is the long winded explanation as to why I'm STILL working on revamping the small breakfast area in our kitchen.  My next step in the project is to find some art for the wall space above my kitchen bench seat. I've envisioned a grouping of six same-sized prints, all identically framed and matted.  It is a look that I love:
{Emily A. Clark}


{Dimples & Tangles}

{Diane Bergeron Interiors}
{dear lillie}
{WSJ}

{Layla Grace}

{Porter Design Company}
It can be a challenge to find six prints that coordinate well with one another and aren't too expensive.  My original plan was to use six burlap art prints but I ended up falling in love with a burlap print that is personalized with my family's name and it looks perfect hung in our foyer (I'll have to share a pic on a future post!). Since the wall on which my framed burlap print is hung adjoins my bench seat wall, I feel like I need to do something different above the bench now. I've been thinking about finding a calendar that has a neat illustration each month and using those illustrations as my art - it's both easy (because the prints all coordinate with one another) and cheap! I haven't had time this summer to do much searching for a calendar, but while looking around online at Anthropologie a few days ago, I found some great 2013 calendars with illustrations that would be perfect for framing as art! There are several to choose from, three of which are by Cavallini & Co. including a Vintage Maps calendar,


an Entomology calendar:

and a Vintage Travel calendar:

There's also  A Year in The Treetops calendar by Rebecca Rebouche that is filled with whimsical images that are perfect for framing:

The calendars range in price from about $20-$22 so if I selected six of the twelve images to use as framed art, it comes out to less than $4 per print.  I would place them in inexpensive RIBBA frames from IKEA
and end up with a grouping of framed and matted prints for less than $20 each - you can't beat that!  Have you ever used a calendar as a source for art prints? Which Anthropologie calendar is your favorite??
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7.27.2012

Gatehouse Lane/Ivy Halls Giveaway Winner!

The winner of the $50 credit to Etsy store Gatehouse Lane or Ivy Halls is.....
Yolanda Popplewell!

Yolanda's favorite item is this beautiful Candy Pink Pillow Sham from Gatehouse Lane:
Congratulations to Yolanda and hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Winner was selected at random by the Rafflecopter widget, 
which is powered by random.org
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7.25.2012

Decorating with Suzanis: New Suzani-Inspired Furnishings!

Suzanis are used as decorative elements by some of the most renowned interior designers.  True suzanis are intricately hand-embroidered textiles originating from Central Asia - the sewer's embroidery skills and personality come shining through in each unique suzani.  Suzanis are sewn using bright, vibrant colors in floral, vine, and medallion patterns that make a bold, dramatic impact when used to decorate a room.  As you may have noticed by the flood of new catalogs in the mail the past few weeks, most home stores recently came out with their new fall lines of furniture and accessories.  One of the trends that I spotted was lots and lots of suzani patterns! I thought it might be fun to take a look at some images of professionally designed rooms where suzanis were used (you know I love to ogle over pretty pics!) and then show you finds from some of the new fall lines that would help you get a similar look in your home.  One way that many designers use suzanis is by draping them over sofas and chairs:
{Jonathan Adler}
{Elle Decor}
Get a similar look with Pottery Barn's new Preston Armchair that is upholstered in an suzani inspired print:
or you may like Arhaus's Bixby Chair:


Another new upholstered piece that would bring a punch of graphic color into your home is Pottery Barn's Suzani Upholstered Stool:
I also love Pottery Barn's Embroidered Suzani Floor Seating Covers that are made by stitching together vintage suzanis:


Another way that you'll find designers using suzanis is as colorful bed throws:
Domino
{Elle Decor}
or hung at the head of the bed in lieu of a headboard (what a fabulous focal point for a bedroom!): 
{Martyn Lawrence-Bullard Design}
{Martyn Lawrence-Bullard Design}
If you'd like to replicate this look in your home, Pottery Barn's new fall line includes Authentic Suzani Pieces:
Wisteria is also selling Vintage Suzanis but with a steep price tag - you'll pay $1200 for this beauty: 


When a bold splash of color is needed in a room, you'll find many designers choosing to use colorful suzani pillows:
{Elle Decor}
{Martyn Lawrence-Bullard Designs}
Unless you're a lucky gal who has the money to buy a $1200 suzani and have pillows made from it, these ready-made pillows are a great option: Arhaus' Suzani Garden Linen Pillow,
Pottery Barn's Suzani Embroidered Pillow Cover,


or Pier 1 Imports' Suzani Embroidery Pillow:
It's also quite popular to use suzanis as rugs in the interior design world:
{Garrison Hullinger Interior Design}
Rugs USA's new Fergana Soroya Multi Rug, which comes in three color options, is an affordable alternative for your home:


One of my favorite uses of vintage suzanis by interior designers is as large framed panels - they make beautiful art!: 
{Elle Decor}
{Canadian House & Home}
I also love the look of vintage suzanis draped over tables as tablecloths - absolutely gorgeous (but totally impractical!):
{Elle Decor}
{Vogue}
If you like the look of framed suzanis or suzanis used as table coverings, buy fabric with a suzani inspired print and frame a few large pieces of it or sew the edges in a simple rectangle for a tablecloth! There are lots of options for suzani prints out there such as these suzani fabrics from Calico Corners:



Other suzani inspired items that would bring some vibrant color into your home include these fun Suzani Shades from Pottery Barn Teen,
this Pottery Barn Teen Suzani Duvet Cover & Sham,
this Suzani Doormat from Wisteria,
or this Oversized Suzani Dot Doormat from World Market:


Are you inspired to bring some suzani style into your home?! 
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7.23.2012

Swing-arm Library Wall Lights

I absolutely love the look of library lights - adding a few of these swing-arm sconces to a room can be the "wow" factor that makes a room amazing!  They can be found at several lighting companies such as Circa Lighting, Visual Comfort, and Rejuvenation in a variety of finishes and styles. When we created a home office a few years ago (by switching around a few rooms downstairs and using the space that used to be the dining room), I knew that I eventually wanted wall-to-wall bookcases with library lights hung over them.  Check out my inspiration images of bookcases with library lights and tell me that it isn't just the coolest look:
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Don't you love it?! Library lights can also look amazing in other rooms of your house - I've seen them used in kitchens,
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bedrooms,
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bathrooms,
Domino Magazine
and even laundry rooms:
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Remodeling our home office has been creeping up the home project list so that now it's one we're starting to get serious about tackling. We haven't touched this room since it was our dining room - it still has the same "dining room red" wall color (which I am so, so sick of..), the same chandelier (which we hit our heads on constantly as we stand up from the desk), and even the same furniture (we're using our old dining room table as a desk).  This weekend, I came across a clearance find that has me so excited to finally get started on our office - a set of three accordion wall sconces that I can use as library lights! 
I love the finish on them and the cool accordion design. What do you think??
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