Writing about style, design and all things that catch my eye!

Perfectly imperfect and casually luxe; these are a few of my favorite things.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Bespoke Wallpaper

Earlier today it dawned on my to look in my own backyard while I was searching sites all across the web for inspiring wallpaper prints. In the blink of an eye, I found Hermitage  an online bespoke* wallpaper company with offerings from all over the world. Founded in 2007 by Seattle's own Jennifer June, Hermitage offers a virtual place to shop for wallpaper created by emerging print artists and graphic designers (Jennifer is a printmaker, too).  I am smitten with the choices she has curated. These small batch wallpapers are works of art waiting to be hand printed when you place your order.


 adjective [ attrib. ] 

 (of goods, esp. clothing) made to order 

After getting lost in a daydream of magical visuals, I inquired further via email and Jennifer mentioned that she especially loves that Hermitage is an online only shop because "Not only does it allow me to reach a wider audience, but it also gives access to bespoke wallpaper previously limited to those in the trade. I love color and pattern and I am very deliberate about the collections that I include in the shop, hoping to impart the fun and joy that comes with wallpaper." Yes!

I'm sold, how about you? There is a pattern here for just about everyone. Shall we plan to do a roomful, one wall, or just a large panel today (while we're having fun)?

Feather by Fern Living- designed and manufactured in Denmark 

Leaf Lace by Lene Toni Kjeld- Denmark via antiquated rotary press

Succulent by Makelike- Portland, Oregon studio

Foxy by Studio Nommo- Turkish company 

Animal Farm by Ferm Living Kids- Denmark

Porcelain by Studio Ditte- Inspired by antiques

Studio Violet, Studio Nommo- Turkish with designers from the world

Elizabeth by Madison & Grow-  California

Friday, January 21, 2011

Feel happy in your home.

My friend Bellen Drake is a photographer who lives with her family in a fabulous artist loft in Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood. Awhile back, I saw a few pictures that she took of her daughter doing a new couch dance. 

    You know that feeling you get when you bring a new item into your home and it seems to settle in as if it had always been there? That's what happened here. This classically shaped, blue velvet sofa had no pretension over being a bit fancy in an urban space. What I love most about the images below is that they capture an essence of wonder. Via sweeping moves or quiet repose, a perfect combination of euphoria and tranquility is expressed. I especially like that small purple ball in the corner. It's family life after all, and these little touches of normalcy are what make our homes inviting.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Iris Apfel

Rare Bird of Fashion: The Irreverent Iris Apfel

 "I just mix and put things together the way the spirit moves me"

I could quote Iris from this video all day long. Watch it and learn how even in her '90's, she's anything but "run of the mill". A natural at mixing interior design with fashion, she's one to emulate if only in the sense of trying not to give a care about what others think-- but rather, to go out and chose things you love; things that make you happy. I'd say she's absolutely right about letting accessories do the work if you first learn to pick clothes that are classically designed, with an excellent fit. Mix them all up and you've got dozens of new outfits. By filling your closet (and home) in this manner, you make your mark. With her natural flair, Iris Apfel has created a charming life. How can you not smile at her giant glasses and weighty necklaces?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Finding Independent Designers in Seattle and beyond!

Being interested in supporting independent, sustainable design, I feel very lucky to live in a city like Seattle that's nestled between two mountain ranges-- with the deep waters of Puget Sound at her doorstep. It seems only natural that there's a wealth of independent thinkers here who love to create. With access to a like community, they bring their ideas to action; and create they do. In my own neighborhood of Ballard, there are so many offerings to chose from; especially if you are looking for unique fashion or decor locations. I often shop at Velouria to find clothing and jewelry by Northwest designers who create their pieces from start to finish. This is so refreshing and inspiring! Just look at that pretty picture below:

Velouria Ballard-- Previous Season top by UNA, necklace by Amy Tavern, & the umbrella by Pare Umbrella  

Additionally, while their Ballard Avenue street location is gone, I can now shop Olivine online and find my favorite comfortable, fashionable & sometime edgy pieces from Prairie Underground. Women can truly wear their items multiple times a week, yet have a different look each time. Better yet, they are washable. That's just what's needed around my household. Probably yours, too!
The Orbit by Prairie Underground, from Olivine Seattle. 

But how do people outside of Seattle find these shops and designers; and how do we find them in other cities or towns?

I'm happy to say that there's a new site called Aprizi that is doing just that. They are dedicated to bringing together independent and emerging designers with people interested in supporting this movement.  To make better sense of it, they are referencing themselves as a "Pandora for shopping." I have just had the pleasure of being their guest curator on their blog. Check out the choices I made, including Seattle's own Amy Bengtson whose earrings I picked. If you're in Seattle, find her pieces at Velouria. If not, they are readily available on the web. Isn't it a great community?

There's a glimpse below at the collection that I pulled for January 11, 2011 on Aprizi's The Tail. These tastemaker choices that they are featuring help us to make connections with independent designers that we might not otherwise know about. Take a peek around their web page and you'll find that it's a lot of fun seeing for yourself what styles are developing out there.  What will you lean towards?

Triangle Print Dress, by Lina Rennell (Beklina), $260
Draped Pocket Coat, by Loeffler Randall, $385
Camel Argyle Scarf, by Yarnz, $112
Kaleidoscope Necklace, by Biko Designs, $149
Aubergine Stingray Cuff, by Leigh Elena, $95
Handmade wooden “Lucy” earrings, by Amy Bengtson, $89
Classic Oxfords, by Chelsea Crew, $60
Marie Zipper Bag, by Zibba, $511
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