When I was younger, I was a voracious reader and tore through several books a week. Oh, to have the time for that again. It helps when you are also an insomniac starting from a young age (although, now that my 4 year old is following this pattern, I'm not sure how great it is). I also loved to make up stories about people and what they did and where they went. For better or worse, I have a vivid imagination.
So when I see the Brownstone Bookcase from The Land of Nod, all I can think is: amazing dollhouse. Yes, it looks great with some books and toys, but how fun would it be to style at least some of this piece as a dollhouse? Decorate some of the shelves, grab some dolls and stuffed friends, and you (or, you know, your child…) could entertain yourself for hours creating lives for the dolls and imagining their interactions. I would have a ton of fun making up stories with my daughters about the apartment dwellers within. At least one shelf would be an Auntie Mame-style penthouse with revolving decor.
On the practical side, having the option to close the doors and hide away the toys and books when they're less than neat is a nice plus. The modern design certainly goes with what we have in my house, and I like that it has the natural wood tone as well, so it wouldn't feel overly matchy-matchy with my daughter's white bed and dresser. It is pricier than a simple bookcase, but if your kids are interacting with it on a level beyond organization, it could be worth the additional cost. I love that it could serve more than one function, and of course, I'm partial to anything city-related, so I think it looks super cute.
Brownstone Bookcase, $599, landofnod.com
images via the land of nod
There seems to be an inherited Bleier family trait for finding something we love and then obsessing over it ad nauseam, whether it’s a TV show, a song, or some other thing we have to continually consume—at least until the next shiny object catches our attention.
I think the Short Stack cookbooks might be the foodie version of this feeling. Each edition is passionately dedicated to a specific food; they celebrate the simplicity and complexity of one specific ingredient and every recipe within incorporates that item.
The diminutive size and retro graphic covers give the hand-bound (with baker's twine!) volumes a special feel, and I love the idea of having an arsenal of recipes, from drinks to desserts, featuring a favorite ingredient. The recipes come from established chefs and food experts and the collection is published by Nick Fauchald who raised money for this project through Kickstarter.
Some of the delicious-sounding recipes included are: Egg Drop Soup with Edamame, Red Chile, and Scallions, Portuguese Egg Tarts with Burnt Marshmallow Frosting, Curried Tomato-Lamb Stew, Tomato Tart Tatin with Caramel, Roasted Strawberry Frozen Yogurt, and Strawberry Sangria.
The cookbooks are sold individually or in sets. Eggs, Tomatoes, and Strawberries are already available, and Buttermilk, Grits, and Sweet Potatoes will be out any day but can be ordered in advance.
Short Stack cookbooks, $12 each, $35 for three, or $70 for six, shortstackeditions.com
As a result of my work, I find myself noticing interiors in atypical places such as my daughters' books. Every time I read Goodnight Moon, I wonder if the color scheme of that bedroom would translate well in reality. I think this bathroom, from the original Amelia Bedelia book, still looks fresh, though I would skip the green tile and sink in favor of white versions.
The mixed patterns of stripe and floral are a classic combination and the room could go traditional or modern depending on the patterns, fixtures, and accessories chosen. I couldn't help but take a look for ways to bring this room to life (after the jump). I can't decide if I would keep the sink and shower fixtures gold/brass; what do you think?
Hope you all had a splendid weekend!
For the last week or so, I've been seeing this image pop up on Twitter and elsewhere, because this is New York-based interior designer Tom Scheerer, the subject of the recently-released book Tom Scheerer Decorates, by Mimi Read. I haven't yet had the pleasure of looking through the design book (it's on its way now), but this image struck me for a couple of reasons.
Film-star-spectacles aside, I love how bright and cheerful this stairway and hall are in his family's East Hampton, New York, beach house. If the stairs and handrail weren't lacquered in that coral color, I don't think I would have been as drawn to it as I am. I do like the geranium wallpaper on its own, but if the handrail had remained in a natural wood, I'm not sure I would have spent as much time absorbing the image.
With my reasonably mediocre Photoshop skills, I filled in the coral treads and handrail with black, so I could see what it might look like. It still looked lovely, but the space took on a more serious feel. I also tried a "wood tone;" in my hands it looked a little ridiculous, but it did reinforce how much I think the coral adds to the design, particularly in a beach house where its usually desired to keep things light and airy.
Painting these areas in a poppy color that coordinates with the wallpaper elevates the room that much more. I also like that the coral doesn't seem to be an exact match to any color in the paper, but that it references the floral pattern and adds another dimension of interest.
I think most stairways could benefit from this kind of treatment (especially including the wallpaper). There are definitely times when natural tones, black, or white, are the right way to go, but where architecturally-interesting railings and banisters are lacking—probably most average houses—a smart paint job is a great way to update and enliven the space.
When I decided to write my first book review for checkout, I thought it would be a more abbreviated review—the kind I'm used to giving when I have to sum up an inspiring design book in roughly a column-inch.
But this book is inspiring for different reasons. Uncommon Thread: A Woman, A Brand, A Legacy: the Story of Peacock Alley Fine Linens is the autobiography of Mary Ella Gabler, founder and chairman of Peacock Alley, an affordable luxury bedding and bath linens company. The framework of the story, in many ways, is not unfamiliar:
A young woman moves with her husband for his career, starts a family, contends with advancement and career change in male-dominated fields (looking to create something for herself but still have the freedom to care for her children), follows her dreams to see success come and go and come again, and builds something that endures.
The more remarkable part is that the story begins in the late 60s/early 70s when it was much harder for women to be equals and decision makers in the work environment.
Mary Ella operates on a "little black dress" theory in fashion and in her business: Invest in well-made neutral basics and work in texture, color, and pattern thoughtfully. Trusting her instinct to keep it classic has served her well, even when peers and competitors were following fleeting trends.
Timeless lessons for business and life emerge organically; they are not written in any organized list. You see them as her story unfolds chronologically, serving as excellent guideposts for those forging their own paths, especially those thinking of starting their own business. I've included some after the jump.
#checkout this blog with shop-themed puns
© 2014 | mrkt