Friday, March 30, 2012

Hello Color

On Monday, I posted about Gap's Be Bright campaign and all of the colorful advertising initiatives appearing in print, on television, and on the web this spring. Continuing with that theme, I want to share a collection of fresh, bold print ads that caught my eye and made me smile.

This Diane von Furstenberg Home for Bloomingdales ad is fun and splashy, and does a great job of showing the variety of prints and patterns you can find in the DVF line. I really love the logo, too.

Taking a completely different tone, Hermes beautifully connects a dreamy and peaceful concept with bright, bold colors and an amazing pattern. 

Speaking of which, the colorful pattern is simply the star in this ad for Suzanne Kasler for Lee Jofa.

I think the ad below for Benjamin Moore is really smart. What a fantastic way of making a paint brand fun! And that orange hue, oh my goodness, it is dazzling. (The color is actually called 14 carrots--Jillian and I are loving that!)

Next week I'll be featuring some other brands whose campaigns are so bright and special that they deserve their own posts. See you back here on Monday with more design-goodness!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tiffany's Bedroom

Earlier this week, I showed the updates we made to Tiffany's living room and kitchen. The next room to tackle was the bedroom. It is a large room with a bed and nightstands on one side and a dresser, tv and chair on the other. Here is the before photo:

Tiffany wanted to find a new dresser, replace the chair and do something with the empty wall space. The Paris image is from Ikea and is new to her room. We were interested in adding a few things to the wall, a smaller but still comfy chair and a lamp.

The whole room came together thanks to the trifecta of Target, Home Goods and Cost Plus World Market. Of course, I love Target and Home Goods but this was the first time I went to World Market and oh my was it fantastic. It's like a Home Goods/Pier 1 combo that is chock-full of great things from  furniture and lamps to food and accessories. The nearest location to Philadelphia is about 3 hours away and I'm definitely thinking of making a trip there. It was that good.

While at Target, we found this floor pouf and thought it would make a great ottoman. We didn't buy it, though, since we wanted to find a chair first and what are the chances that we could find the perfect chair for it?

But the next stop was World Market and there it was.

It's a dining chair but it is comfortable, sleek, not too large, and the perfect color to go with Tiffany's bedding. And best of all, it would work with that floor pouf!

When we went back to Target to get our ottoman, we also picked up a tripod lamp. Since the new chair was much narrower than the old chair, we had room to fill and thought that a floor lamp would create a reading nook and make the space feel cozier.

A mirror from Home Goods, pillow from World Market, and basket and decorative frames from Target helped complete the look. We didn't find a dresser but Tiffany is still on the lookout for one. Even with the old dresser still in place, we both feel really good about the changes that were made. Here's how it all came together:

Our goal was to not just create an area that looked good but one that she would want to sit in and enjoy. The shallow basket is big enough to hold both fresh flowers and a beverage. The plate next to the basket showcases some of Tiffany's sparkly necklaces. I like the idea of using jewelry in home decor. Why store away pretty things?

So all in all, a success! It's amazing what some creative rearranging and a few purchases can do to a space. 

It was so much fun working on this with Tiffany. I love shopping for home decor and styling spaces but this was even more fun than usual since I was doing it with a fabulous friend. Now back in my own home, I keep looking around and thinking about the artwork I want to hang and changes I want to make here. Lots of ideas but I need the motivation to start.  Maybe I'll have to convince Tiffany to come out here and tackle this project with me!


floor pouf, tripod lamp, basket and decorative frames from Target

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tiffany's Living Room - part 2

Part 2 of my recap of Tiffany's living room redo. Yesterday was all about furniture placement, art and lighting. Today I'll write about the other side of the living room -- the entertainment unit and surrounding area.

When I arrived, the tv was on the entertainment unit and though there were deep shelves tucked into the sides of the unit, they were empty. Two small and thin bookcases flanked the tv. Tiffany had done an amazing job of de-cluttering recently so there wasn't a whole lot in the bookcases. A bunch of dvds, candles and some books were what we had to work with.

I wish I had more before photos of this space. It's just that when I started moving things around I had no idea that the end result would look so drastically different! 

The biggest issue with this area was that there was too much space between the entertainment unit and the bookcases and the short height and narrow depth of the bookcases made them look ditsy when placed near the solid entertainment unit. The wall that the furniture was up against was long, too, and it needed some visual weight so step 1 was moving the two bookcases together and pushing them closer to the tv giving the illusion of an elongated entertainment unit.

Once the bookcases were pushed together, a large piece of art was in order. We found the perfect piece at Target. The size was great and it had all the right colors. I then staggered the shelves of the bookcase and styled them with items that Tiffany had on hand -- mostly cookbooks, DVDs and candles. The gilded frame (soon to be filled with a fun photo) was a new purchase from Home Goods

Leaving some parts of the bookcase empty was intentional. Bookcases chock-full of books look great, but so do sparsely filled bookcases that are artfully arranged. I wanted to fill, though, the shelves on the sides of the entertainment unit. Tiffany had hesitated putting her DVDs there since the shelves were so deep but by placing them along the outermost edge, you don't even notice the un-used depth. They look like a perfect fit.

Nesting tables went on the other side of the tv with a small stack of books and a pretty vase on top. Tiffany had these tables (there are 4 total) all grouped together and placed along a different wall. The carvings on the tables are really pretty and by separating them and positioning them in 2 groupings next to the tv unit, they give the whole area more presence and, just like the bookcases on the other side, they help to make the entertainment unit as a whole look much bigger. 

Looks good, right? The most exciting thing about this room redo was that so few new things were purchased and yet the space was completely transformed. Come back tomorrow for one more room redo post!


bookcases from Ikea
green vase from Room Service
artwork above bookcases from Target

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tiffany's Living Room - part 1

A few weeks ago, I traveled to San Francisco to visit my friend, Tiffany. While the main goal of the trip was to spend some quality time together (and let's be honest, to eat some delicious food), another goal was to finish decorating Tiffany's home. It's a great space and in the past year, she has made lots of changes to her home decor. 

This is how the living room looked when I arrived. 

Just about everything you see above is new to her living room -- couch, chair, coffee table, side table and rug. We both really like the furniture choices she already made but the room wasn't feeling all pulled together and finished yet so that was the project we were going to tackle together.

The first thing I wanted to do was open the room up a bit. The thin console behind the couch was moved to another room and the couch and chair were pushed back so that the rug floated in the space. The side table (a little tough to see but it's in both photos, under the lamp) was repositioned on an angle and the big, bulky table lamp was removed.

Here's where we landed after the first night. Please don't mind the sleeping husband in the photo -- decorating a home can be exhausting.

Everything is spread out now, open and airy. Paired down, too. Mail and magazines went in the basket on the side table with a Penn State Nittany Lion as a paper weight. We needed some height so we were going to look for a floor lamp that would make the open space between the couch and side table look intentional. Our new floor plan left a bunch of "unused" space behind the side table but I think that's okay. Tiffany has a long living room and pushing her side table into the corner to use up that space was just feeling awkward and forced. The interesting thing was that once we removed the big table lamp and repositioned the furniture, we realized that the large white panel door that leads to the water heater could actually work as a place to hang art. What was once an area that she was trying to hide was now going to become a place to add color and warmth to the space.

We found exactly what we were looking for at Target the next day. The photos aren't great, but you get the idea. 

A trip to Home Goods helped with some other details in the room, too, such as a basket for throws and the pillow on the brown chair above. If you look at the before photos at the top of the post, you'll see that although the couch has a brown stripe to match the brown chair, the two pieces were contrasting too much. They needed some pillows to unify them together. To bring out the stripe in the couch, we added some solid brown pillows. The chair got a punch with a graphic pillow. It works because the geometric pattern is a subtle nod to the ticking fabric on the couch and the little bits of green match the green on the rug perfectly.

The kitchen area was spruced up a bit by clearing the countertops of as much as possible and by corralling items in white bowls. 

All that is left to do in the kitchen is to address the empty space to the left of the kitchen sink. It's a narrow space but I think a small piece of art or a framed mirror would work well here. I know that a mirror in a kitchen is an unorthodox choice but here's why I like it -- it would bring light into the space making it seem more airy and the mirror's reflection would act as artwork. I read somewhere that's it's important to consider what a mirror will reflect before you hang it. It's totally true. A pretty mirror is great on its own, but one that reflects the stunning hills and valleys of San Francisco? Perfect.

It was so much fun watching this space pull together. Later this week I'll show you more. Still to come is the other part of Tiffany's living room and her bedroom. Lots more goodness coming soon!


couch from Pottery Barn
chair from Macy's 
rug from Target
floor lamp (similar to shown) and artwork from Target

Monday, March 26, 2012

Be Bright

I can't think of a better way to welcome spring than with bright, cheerful colors. It looks like some of my favorite brands and stores feel the same way! There has been an explosion of color in this season's retail media advertising. 

Gap has one of my favorite campaigns this spring. Collaborating with Ogilvy and AKQA, Gap takes advantage of happy colors and interesting, modern typography in their latest advertising series, Be Bright

How great are these pops of color? I just love the clean, contemporary styling and graceful design.

More than just a beautifully-designed print campaign, Gap partnered with six fashion and lifestyle blogs to create, a website and social media presence that features Gap looks styled by the bloggers.

There are lots of other great colorful ads I will feature at the end of the week. In the meantime, get ready for some serious design-goodness from Jillian. She'll be posting a three-part series this week about a fabulous redecorating project. Stay tuned!


all images via / Gap

Friday, March 23, 2012

Delectable Desserts

It is hard not to be tempted by these delicious-looking desserts from the Delectable series, but don't be fooled.  These "desserts" are actually handmade works of art by Philadelphia-based artist Ed Bing Lee. Each soft sculpture is comprised of thousands and thousands of knots, and the tension in these knots creates the shape of each piece. From a cupcake's sprinkles to ice cream swirls, right down to the cherry on top, the detail in Mr. Lee's work is extraordinary.

cupcake: sprinkles

hot fudge sundae II

ice cream II 

lemon meringue pie

mini cupcake

The Delectable series actually includes lots of yummy comfort food like popcorn, hot dogs, and cheeseburgers...but my favorites are the desserts. Click here to view the entire collection. You can even watch a video of Mr. Lee in action here.


all images via Ed Bing Lee; photography by Ken Yanoviak
additional information obtained from Artes Magazine and Flavorwire

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dots and Stripes

Loving this dot and stripe combo right now. Wouldn't some big scoops of vanilla ice cream look great in these? Ice cream is even more delicious when it is served in a pretty bowl.

Of course, the gray and yellow combo make me especially happy, too.


west elm dots + stripes bowl

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lovely Lighting

Take a look at the most eclectic lighting scheme I have ever seen! The lovely lighting choices at Cafe Kafka, located in Barcelona, give this bohemian space a truly luminous feeling.

I love so many of the other decorating choices here, too. The charcoal-painted mirrored wall behind the bar is fantastic! The furniture, especially the rattan bar stools and the upholstered pieces in jewel-toned velvet, add to the eclectic and comfortable vibe. Even the columns, painted in a lustrous gold finish, are a great touch.

Did you happen to notice the bookcase? (Below is a close-up). It is set into the wall and framed in reclaimed wood. Genius!

Beauty is in the details, and this space does not disappoint.  It also demonstrates that decorative pieces don't always have to match. And of course, you can use lots of different kinds of lighting to make any space feel warm and cozy, especially your home.


all images © Cafe Kafka, owned by Karel Schroeder, sourced from yatzer and we heart
restaurant design by Yolanda Vilalta and Helena Jauma

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Jen Lee

I saw this this art by Jen Lee in the latest CB2 catalog and was struck by it's wonderful message. Don't think twice. Go with your instincts. And while you're at it, buy something pretty and inspirational to hang on your wall!

After searching for more of Jen Lee's art online, I saw her on Joe's Blackbook and then I found her website. Such gorgeous work! Here are some favorites:

And here's one more -- included with Mindy in mind. A huge fan of the Beatles, Mindy has posted about about Beatles inspired artwork here and here before. This Come Together print is another great one!


top two images via CB2
all other images via

Monday, March 19, 2012

Speaking of Seeing Stripes

The striped knobs that Jillian found at Anthropologie a couple of weeks are so much fun...and even cuter in person! I love their retro/modern look and think these striped porcelain pieces from Paul Smith have a similar vibe. Lime green and aqua give this traditional china a playful quality, while gold leaf accents add just a hint of glamour. 


all images via Paul Smithclockwise from left
Thomas Goode Mug
Thomas Goode Coffee Pot
Thomas Goode Dinner Plate
'Mayfair' Teapot
Thomas Good York Bowl

Friday, March 16, 2012

Lavish Event Rentals

Mindy discovered this site a while back and while so many of their furnishings and gallery images are fabulous, it's these green-inspired settings that are really getting us going now.  Just in time for St. Patrick's day, we thought we would share these green beauties:

Want to see more inspiring spaces?  Visit Lavish Event Rentals!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mustaches That Make Me Smile

My husband is a huge fan of mustaches and his affinity for them has kind of rubbed off on me. A while back, I wrote about our plans for a mustache wall of fame on this wallpaper in our bathroom. 

If dedicating only one room of the house to mustaches is not enough, though, here are some witty little ways to bring some more 'stache into your home.

What do you think?  Are these mustaches making you smile, too?


1 - grey hold me tight pillow from The Land of Nod
2 - Cafe Press' mustache clock
3 - Jonathan Adler's mr. and mrs. muse mug
4 - mustache knob from Urban Outfitters
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