I've always loved school. Back-to-school was my favorite time of year when I was a kid and I always approached the first day of school with excitement. As I prepare (physically, with school supplies, and emotionally, with tissues handy) to send my first-born to kindergarten in less than three weeks (omg), I've obviously got school on the brain.
For all the families getting ready to go back to school or go for the first time, or maybe if you're homeschooling and need gear: Overstock has partnered with the fabulous PBS KIDS (which is on quite a bit at my house) to create the Overstock Kid Zone.
There are several categories within the shop that include products for school (supplies, desks, and watches to keep older kids on schedule), artistic expression (easels, paint supplies, and craft kits), learning through play (tablets, science activities, play kitchens, dress up clothes), and kids' rooms (beds, storage, and decor).
The Kid Zone page also links directly to PBS KIDS videos and activities families can do together. Best of all, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of products purchased from the Kid Zone goes to support PBS KIDS and its mission of educating children. I know as long as my daughter has access to Peg+Cat and Plum Landing for a long time to come, she'll be happy. And since some students, like my godchildren, have already started back to school: I wish learners of all ages a happy and enriching year!
images via overstock
When most people move and don't need (or want) certain things anymore, they sell their furniture on Craigslist or occasionally leave it on the curb where it is then spirited away before you even get back up to your living room.
But if you have (or want) higher-end furniture, you need a better option. For you, check out Viyet, a site dealing in high-end furniture and home accessories consignment.
If you're looking to sell, there are a few requirements: the items must be a designer brand, meet the minimum retail price (there are different cutoffs for different categories), and they must be in excellent or good condition, or able to be restored to excellent or good condition with a little care. Once you've submitted your piece for consignment, an expert curator will come to measure, photograph and document the details of the items you're selling. Viyet will help you market and sell your pieces and profits are split 50/50 between Viyet and the consignor.
Buyers can find quality pre-owned items for 50% to 80% off the original price. The pieces are by well-known interior designers such as Alexa Hampton and Steven Gambrel or are from retailers like Century Furniture, Mecox, and Tai Ping. Modern and traditional pieces for nearly every room are available.
A site like this provides an opportunity to buy a well-made designer piece when you might not be able to otherwise, and even if you do have the cash, it's a great deal. The other thing I really like about Viyet's concept is that it keeps pieces in circulation and combats the disposable culture it's so easy to fall into.
No, the pieces aren't in perfect condition (though some are pretty close), but with a little TLC or perhaps some strategic furniture and accessory placement, they'll be well worth what you pay.
A few of the items currently for sale that caught my eye, including the Sé Damien Langlois Meurinne table above:
images via viyet
Between this and the last post, you might think you're seeing a pattern. And though the last couple weeks have definitely made me want to indulge in a little wine more than usual, I'm really not much of a drinker. However, I do love having parties and hanging out in the beautiful outdoors, which is where this little baby comes in. I'm totally into this Party Bucket with Table from Pottery Barn.
It's fun, it's functional (times two), and it's pretty attractive. The bucket is made of galvanized steel and fits into a hand-woven all-weather wicker handled piece. I think you can imagine as easily as I have how great this would be at a party or casual cookout, and ease is what good summer entertaining should be all about.
image via pottery barn
It's a good thing 'Thou shall not covet thy offspring's dresser' isn't a commandment, because I am guilty. I spent a long time trying to find a cool dresser for Sunshine that would grow with her and not look like her sister's, which now feels a little too plain and white. (Maybe it's time for some kind of major Krylon project?)
Enter the Mid-Century 6 Drawer dresser in black from West Elm. Not only did I love the hardware, I loved that it was black and not the ubiquitous chocolate brown finish. It looks great in her room and coordinates nicely with the special knobs from Anthropologie that I put on the crib's drawers back when our first was born.
Every time I go in Sunshine's room, I'm a little jealous of her dresser. The house we're currently in has a major lack of closet space and I'm currently making do with a sad little dresser borrowed from my sister. And when I say sad, I mean it was extremely cheap and duct tape is currently holding the drawer bottoms to the rest of the drawer frame. And barely holding on at that. But soon our housing situation is going to change and our closet situation with it. But I've still been thinking about the dresser. I went to West Elm's site tonight to look at the price and was crestfallen to see that this piece is no longer available.
So, if I end up needing a dresser, do I pilfer this one from my daughter or try to find something else? What would you do?
image via west elm
How was your weekend? We had a great time in the sunshine and the water (so happy my parents have a pool)! Now that it's basically summer, I'm thinking how much I can actually do on the iPad so I can work outside more often instead of always being cooped up inside at my desk.
If you're going to work outside, you need a comfy place to sit. Now that I've seen these special edition hammocks in Elle Decor, I'm kind of obsessing over a loftier way of lounging.
These hammocks are designed and woven by a young collective of craftspeople based in Masaya, Nicaragua. Each piece they produce (made-to-order) is handmade using cotton and bamboo or sustainable woods. The collective also makes a variety of hammocks, swings, and even a macrame crib!
They further minimize their environmental impact by only purchasing hardwood not in danger of extinction and use recycled paper and small amounts of tape in their packaging. 10% of the price of each item is used for community projects.
Don't these make you just want to set up a hammock outside, grab some lemonade, and sway to the breeze? I mean, look at these amazing settings. I just want to dive into these pictures, especially the last one (see more here):
Have I mentioned how much I love cuff bracelets? Probably. I think it stems from a superhero power band place (in high school and college I used to cut the tops off tube socks and wear them like power bands on my wrists). I pretty much like them all, whether they're big and chunky or elegant and minimal, like this 'Eileen Gray' cuff.
Handmade in the USA, the cuff is adjustable so it can fit on any wrist. The shape is very simple and architectural. If you aren't familiar with designer Eileen Gray, this is the iconic table she is so well-known for. You can see the direct inspiration between her design and the cuff.
Eileen Gray was an Irish designer who lived in Paris and worked as an interior designer, architect, and furniture designer throughout her career. This table was created by Gray and her partner Jean Badovici for a home in Roquebrune, France. They placed it bedside, but the table is often more likely seen now next to chairs and sofas.
The other day it actually smelled like spring in the air and it was the best thing I've smelled in a long time. I can't wait to spend more time outside. Even when you're busy, everything feels a little lighter in spring, don't you think?
Spring and outdoor products are in stores now and this adorable item comes from IKEA. Developed by design studio Rich Brilliant Willing for the PS 2014 collection, the LED stool/lamp is suitable for indoor and outdoor use, and was inspired by the very summery idea of fireflies alight in a jar. The name indicates the obvious double duties of the piece acting as a stool and a light. It is also available with a white top.
The collaboration with RBW started in 2011, when founders Theo Richardson, Charles Brill, and Alexander Williams were invited by IKEA to be part of this year's collection. It's always interesting to me how long in the making collaborations like this are. The goal of the entire PS collection was to create innovative and accessible items.
The stool/lamp is portable and is powered by rechargeable batteries. When fully charged, the batteries will provide full light for approximately five hours and the batteries themselves last for at least two years. The charger and cord are stored conveniently under the lid. The stool/lamp uses LEDs which consume 85% less energy and last 20 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Over the last several years, IKEA has committed to making all of their lighting extremely energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
I can picture a bunch of these scattered around a pool or on the lawn glowing as the sun goes down, while friends hang out and enjoy each other's company.
image via ikea
When you're adding global or ethnic touches to your decor, as many are wont to do, it's always nice if the pieces have an air of authenticity. Antique pieces often have a lot of personality, but new pieces can also bring great style to a space. Noted interior designer Sara Bengur recently debuted her newest products, which are inspired by her Turkish background and upbringing, as well as her extensive travels.
Sara has been in business nearly 20 years; her eponymous firm is located in New York. After hearing her name and seeing some of her work in publications for years, I finally had a chance to meet her at the gift show last month and she couldn't have been lovelier.
A lot of times when you ask designers what prompted them to create their own product line, the answer is that they couldn't find something they were looking for to use in their projects. "I often design custom pieces for my clients that have been inspired by either my Turkish roots or the location of the house I am working on at the time," she says. After increasing demand that she create her own line of products, she finally has.
Sara has spent a great deal of time studying and immersing herself in Ottoman designs. "The patterns have an organic quality and I love the idea of giving a new life to them in a different scale, form, and texture." Most of the products are made in Turkey, though the stoneware comes from nearby Malta. The collection features plenty of color because Sara believes rooms don't have to be neutral to be serene and cozy and she tries to encourage clients to follow suit.
Check out more of the new products:
Sara's favorite products are the peshtamals, more commonly known as hammam towels. "I call it my favorite travel accessory. You can use it as a shawl, scarf, towel, pareo, or blanket on the beach!" The peshtamals are woven by an all-women's cooperative in Southern Turkey.
My personal favorites are the covered bonbon dishes—love the scalloped edges—and the kilim runners shown at the top. A larger area rug incorporating the runners' designs is coming soon. Sara and I both share the opinion that the details and the layering of accessories are crucial to making a home more personal.
"My passion has always been to create the unexpected in interiors, something nobody has seen before. My hope is that through this line, people feel they own something unique and made just for them," Sara says.
images via sara bengur
I've been thinking for a while about trying to switch us to a shoes-off household. We mostly end up barefoot while we're home anyway, but coming and going we have our shoes on and track in the usual dirt and leaves. We usually let friends leave their shoes on, too. In our last house, we had the perfect entry space to accommodate a bench but my inability to decide what bench I wanted was holding up the process. It was mostly about trying to find a fabric that I loved and that I would continue to love for a long time.
We don't really have the space for a bench now, but we really need something near our garage entry for putting boots on and taking them off. It's going to end up just inside the kitchen so it can't be too large. Since the slush and snow don't seem to be going anywhere and we need a place to take off our boots, we're looking more seriously again at benches. Do we want one with storage, and how do we keep the inside from getting junky? Should I pick something neutral that can go with potential future decor in the next house we live in, or just buy something I like now and find a way to make it work later or reupholster it?
I love this reclaimed wood and powder coated steel bench from ABC, but it doesn't quite fit into my budget right now. Here are a couple options I'm looking at. I have to keep practicality in mind since two little kids will be using it, too.
I'm a little late in sharing, but the March issue of Redbook magazine features two stories I worked on. For tips from top interior designers on decorating with a little and a lot of color, see the slideshow from the article, featuring the room above, designed by Melissa Warner Rothblum of Massucco Warner Miller. I'm a little obsessed with that royal blue console in the corner.
The other story is a cute matchup of great, totally affordable armchairs and throws I found. This isn't online but it's the back page of the issue.
Hope you like!
images via redbook, photographs by philip harvey and alison gootee
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