Archive for June, 2008

Smells Like Green Spirit

June 30, 2008

Presenting my new favourite ‘Why didn’t they think of this before?’ product.

One of the world’s most distinctive smells is the one that hits you
when you walk into a flower shop. I love that heady blend of moist
greenery and ripe blossoms, with its subtle undertones of refrigerant.
But why should I have to go flower shopping to enjoy it?

Enter ‘Smells Like A Flower Shop’ Body and Room Spray. It’s like
someone’s distilled all those pails of woody-stemmed peonies and
hydrangeas, airy-leaved baby’s breath and maidenhair fern,
silky-petalled roses, mums, and orchids. You won’t smell like a flower
shop all day, because that first convincing whiff fades into a
delicate, barely-there floral blend. And because the ingredients are
all-natural, you can spray them on your skin or in the air.

Bodysprayflowershop

The best part? All the proceeds go to the Toronto Wildlife Center, which rescues and rehabilitates wildlife in distress.  Buy it online or in store at Teatro Verde or Mythical Matters.
If you’re not into the spray, check out the lotion and bath salts…And
prepare yourself for that first ‘OMG Why Didn’t They Think of This
Before’ sniff!

Other garden-inspired musings today:

– Housemartin makes magic with June’s loveliest offering, the peony.

– sfgirlbybay persuades us to ‘bring the outdoors in‘.

– All centerpieces all the time at Toast and Tables!

– Droolworthy outdoor spaces from Garden Rooms.

– Amazing cherry blossoms blooming, right in my very own backyard!

Williams Sonoma Homerun

June 26, 2008

Have you ever walked into a furniture shop and just wanted to move
in permanently? I visited Williams Sonoma Home this weekend, and the
combination of the products themselves plus the ingenious merchandising
has me fantasizing about taking up residence in the store. I’d invite
friends for suppers of fresh summer salads around the teak umbrella
tables, sleep in a different bed every night, and slip out before the
sales associates arrived the next morning; sort of a ‘Today’s Special‘ fantasy minus the creepy puppets and ’80’s perms.

I surreptitiously documented my favourites via camera phone. The low
production value on the photos doesn’t do these pieces justice, but it does capture the undercover charm of in-store living.

The French Chair upholstered in ‘Natural Linen’ would tuck perfectly
in the corner of an airy, light-filled bedroom. Can’t you just imagine
coming home at the end of a long day and tossing your delicate silk
underthings over the arm of this chair? Of course, that would require
you to have some delicate silk underthings…which I don’t

Chair_2

I don’t even know where you would put an urn like the ones below;
somehow a single urn suggests "cremated remains" to me. But massed in a
group like this, the impact is striking.

Urns_2

The clean, transparent base contrasts with the beachy raffia shade and makes this Crystal Block Lamp a versatile addition to any decor, modern and traditional alike.

Lamp

The Nautical Rope Pillow would look equally at home on a lounge chair by the pool or on a neatly made bed with crisp white and blue sheets.

Pillow

Sadly
this candelabra is no longer available online—I think because
it’s on sale in the stores—but can’t you see a pair of them on the walls of a
tongue-in-cheek library? Throw in a big antique desk, leather wing chairs in a
wild color like eggplant, stacks of musty tomes purchased solely for
their hilarious titles, and a few of these skull pillows for good measure…lord of the manor living at its finest!

Candelabra

Alas, not only do I not live at Williams Sonoma Home, but I didn’t
even snag any spoils to dress up my own house. However I did grab
a catalogue, and it’s perfect for scheming on the go!

Call the Fashion Police

June 24, 2008

I’m tired and jet-lagged from last night’s red-eye flight into JFK. Expect more tomorrow, but in the meantime I have to share a shoe I spotted on the sale rack at Neiman’s.

Pink rhinestone studded cowgirl booties. These are a crime against humanity. Just because it’s Louboutin doesn’t mean it’s right, people!

Dsc00067

Of course that didn’t stop me trying them on while humming the chorus of ‘Jolene’…

Wash the bad taste from your mouth with:

-A sweet Johnathan Adler contest announcement at Girl Meets Glamour.

-A palette after my own heart from Classic Bride.

-Block print brilliance complements of artgoodies on Etsy (who doesn’t love quail paraphernalia?)

-Crazy/Beautiful English retailer Mint, with thanks to Oh Joy for bringing it to my attention.

-Etsy seller historicallytoo and vintage dictionary pages, perfect for a word nerd such as myself. Also love the Jane Austen paperweight!

Randomly Delicious

June 23, 2008

My most wonderful finds usually occur when I am least expecting them; I think this is probably the case for most people.

Thursday I stopped into a shop on an errand for work and–lo and
behold!–found the below papers from Cavallini Papers & Co. Because
they’re meant as gift wrap they are quite large (about 2.5 x 3.5 feet), so
they’re perfect for making a bold statement on my kitchen wall.

Plus
I love that they are a little…well…weird. Like odd illustrations in
children’s books from the mid-20th century. The detailing on this cheese paper
is positively grotesque. And isn’t it terrific how the heading at the
top reads just "Cheese"? Such an absurd understatement!    

Cheese

Sweet Treats
especially thrills me, in the same way as does reading old copies of
‘The Joy of Cooking’–with it’s instructions on how to skin squirrels
and prepare armadillos for the table. I can just imagine the frustrated
1949 housewife crafting these elaborate gelatins as her sole outlet of
artistic expression. She invites the neighbourhood ladies for a
kaffeeklatch and they silently seeth with jealousy at the sculptural
perfection of her Apples a la Parisienne.

Treats

The Kate’s Paperie website has a huge selection of Cavallini papers, stationery and accessories, and so does Touch of Europe. Or check out the company’s website
to request a catalogue. An online shopping trip led me to this great
vintage toy pattern, which would look awesome in a baby’s room…

Paper_vintage_toys_2

…and this alphabet set would make perfect decoupage material to spruce up an old dresser or tabletop (project instructions here).

Paper_french_alphabet

The best part? For $4.50 a pop, these papers are an economical DIY alternative to the John Derian decoupage movement that’s everywhere these days. Just grab some scissors and Mod Podge and the world is your oyster!

Evian Design

June 19, 2008

A major bonus of working at a design firm is getting to hang out with some really talented people. I particularly admire the work of my desk mate Sarah Evans, who not only kicks designer butt in the office but also does amazing illustration work in her spare time. There’s a dark humor to her vision that contrasts brilliantly with the absurd whimsy of her subjects.

These bunnies have a quiet menace about them. I think it’s in the eyes.

Bunnies

This one raises more questions than it answers. Where did the chick get those boots? Who’s making boots that small, anyway? And the other chicks are clearly jealous, but is it the boots or those long chicken legs that they envy?

Ernieboots

Sarah also does terrific stuff with type and collage, creating visual complexities that complement the emotional layers of her work. Here the sheep (those red eyes!) are almost terrifying, but the words are laugh-out-loud funny!

Sheep

Frankly I think she should try her hand at designing textiles. Her ice cream pattern would make a hilarious shower curtain or tea towel. And wouldn’t you want to rest your head on a pillowcase covered in maraschino cherries?

Icecream

More than once I’ve co-opted Sarah’s vision for my own nefarious purposes—including the baby shower we recently threw for a beloved colleague. The motif Sarah created became the life of the party, appearing on everything from the gift tag to the favours!

Sl700783

All illustrations are courtesy of Sarah’s website; check it out for more fun and games. And remember kids:

Raddaydreams

No Kedding!

June 19, 2008

My Keds have arrived! Their stripped down, utilitarian generic-ness pleases me so much. I haven’t worn shoes like this since the second grade, and I’d forgotten how happy I feel when I see the pop of that little blue tab against the bright white.

Dsc03517

Of course, I’d also forgotten the horror that comes from noticing that first grey smudge of dirt on a brand new pair of Keds. I suppose we take the good with the bad, even in the case of sneakers!

Flower Power

June 18, 2008

It’s been a long day at work; I’ve spent all week venturing into
complete strangers’ homes to conduct consumer research interviews. It’s
fascinating but exhausting and nerve wracking too.

So for now I’ll leave you with the inspiration boards I’ve assembled
in preparation for my conversation with the florist who will
(hopefully!) be doing my wedding. I’m gravitating towards monochromatic
arrangements that create a sense of bounty and abundance through the
massing and repetition of the same or similar flowers.

I plan on having mostly white at the wedding…

Whiteboard

…though just for fun here’s a color board too. I’m not as pleased
with how this one’s turned out–from a design point of view the image
collage doesn’t seem balanced—but it’s all a learning process. So
I’ll choose to be pleased with myself and leave it at that.

Colorboard

Oh, and photo sources include Martha Stewart Weddings, Tapestry Flowers, Style Me Pretty, and The Knot.

Flower Power

June 18, 2008

It’s been a long day at work; I’ve spent all week venturing into
complete strangers’ homes to conduct consumer research interviews. It’s
fascinating but exhausting and nerve wracking too.

So for now I’ll leave you with the inspiration boards I’ve assembled
in preparation for my conversation with the florist who will
(hopefully!) be doing my wedding. I’m gravitating towards monochromatic
arrangements that create a sense of bounty and abundance through the
massing and repetition of the same or similar flowers.

I plan on having mostly white at the wedding…

Whiteboard

…though just for fun here’s a color board too. I’m not as pleased
with how this one’s turned out–from a design point of view the image
collage doesn’t seem balanced—but it’s all a learning process. So
I’ll choose to be pleased with myself and leave it at that.

Colorboard

Oh, and photo sources include Martha Stewart Weddings, Tapestry Flowers, Style Me Pretty, and The Knot.

Chaise Magnifique

June 17, 2008

I’m in love with a chair. There. I said it. Is it so wrong?

Last weekend I went shopping with my mother-in-law at Eskandar.
They have exquisite clothing–not my style but I love it on others–and
they also stock the store with one-of-a-kind pieces that the designer
finds on his travels. I especially love how they incorporate antiques
into the clothing displays; it’s cool to go into a shop and know
that everything, from the scarves and the sweaters to the tables
they’re merchandised on, is for sale.

Picture_1

The chairs currently in the dressing rooms have
captured my heart. Commissioned by Le Corbusier for a ski resort he was
designing in the Swiss Alps, they are the work of Charlotte
Perriand–the furniture designer behind some of the most iconic pieces of the 20th Century. The thought of owning a piece of design history–Le Corbu! Perriand!–overwhelms me.

Chair

But name dropping aside, I love how this chair combines machine age
industrialism (the metal frame, the steel rivets) with a rugged natural
appeal (the worn leather seat, stretched and shaped by decades’ worth
of French skiiers and their toned, tight buttocks). I’m dreaming about what
I’d do if I had a full set…probably position them around one of
those gorgeous reclaimed barn wood tables

8seatfarm_2
…but at $1200 for one chair I think I’ll be dreaming for a long time!

And speaking of dreams, check out:

– The ultimate luxury statement: vintage Vuitton luggage as furniture at Girl Meets Glamour.

Fantasy kitchens courtesy of Absolutely Beautiful Things.

– Droolworthy musings on enchiladas (my all-time fave!) at What’s On My Plate.

– My search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie continues with a promising-looking recipe from Cookie Madness (view the photo at your own risk; it may induce severe cravings!).

– Lush, hazy photos at Brown Turtleneck Sweater
that will put you in the mood for long summer afternoons–the kind that
are perfect for closing your eyes and dreaming of forbidden chair love…

Chaise Magnifique

June 17, 2008

I’m in love with a chair. There. I said it. Is it so wrong?

Last weekend I went shopping with my mother-in-law at Eskandar.
They have exquisite clothing–not my style but I love it on others–and
they also stock the store with one-of-a-kind pieces that the designer
finds on his travels. I especially love how they incorporate antiques
into the clothing displays; it’s cool to go into a shop and know
that everything, from the scarves and the sweaters to the tables
they’re merchandised on, is for sale.

Picture_1

The chairs currently in the dressing rooms have
captured my heart. Commissioned by Le Corbusier for a ski resort he was
designing in the Swiss Alps, they are the work of Charlotte
Perriand–the furniture designer behind some of the most iconic pieces of the 20th Century. The thought of owning a piece of design history–Le Corbu! Perriand!–overwhelms me.

Chair

But name dropping aside, I love how this chair combines machine age
industrialism (the metal frame, the steel rivets) with a rugged natural
appeal (the worn leather seat, stretched and shaped by decades’ worth
of French skiiers and their toned, tight buttocks). I’m dreaming about what
I’d do if I had a full set…probably position them around one of
those gorgeous reclaimed barn wood tables

8seatfarm_2
…but at $1200 for one chair I think I’ll be dreaming for a long time!

And speaking of dreams, check out:

– The ultimate luxury statement: vintage Vuitton luggage as furniture at Girl Meets Glamour.

Fantasy kitchens courtesy of Absolutely Beautiful Things.

– Droolworthy musings on enchiladas (my all-time fave!) at What’s On My Plate.

– My search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie continues with a promising-looking recipe from Cookie Madness (view the photo at your own risk; it may induce severe cravings!).

– Lush, hazy photos at Brown Turtleneck Sweater
that will put you in the mood for long summer afternoons–the kind that
are perfect for closing your eyes and dreaming of forbidden chair love…