Archive | August, 2010

ceramic lamps

20 Aug

…And we’re back.

The Daleys are now officially a two-laptop household, and although I vow to never be sitting next to my husband on the sofa or bed, sharing  warmed thighs and screen-glare-reflections on our glasses, I know that day is soon to come.

We’ve got a lot of catching up to do, but with a very busy week-and-a-half ahead of us chez Daley (including interviews, birthdays and baby namings), I hope you’ll forgive my post flakiness in advance.  So without further ado, how about some butterflies for inspiration?

butterfly lamps, shop good grace, etsy

I have a weird fascination with figural ceramic lamps from the 1950s and 1960s.   Plus, I have a niece whose parents are always on the lookout for unique butterfly decor (see previous post here).    These lamps are the perfect combination of those interests, although I’m sure they’d also fall into the category of “things from my mom’s childhood that she would eagerly re-throw in the garbage, if presented with the opportunity.”  I don’t care.  They’re adorable for a little girl’s room.  And for less than $100 for the pair, they can really add some sparkle and shine to a dull dresser.  Alas, they’ve already sold out from Shop Good Grace’s Etsy shop, but there are always wonderful things to be found here, including another set of lamps made of white milk glass.

puppy lamp, point b, etsy

But if you want a ceramic lamp, check out this puppy!  Yes, Urban Outfitters makes its own knock-off version (I’ve seen it in stores, but not online); this is the real deal.  How freaking cute.  Available via Point B for $55 on Etsy, this is going to be snatched up really fast. 

cat lamps, planetrecyclemodern, ebay

These black lamps (with hot pink shades) are called “cat lamps” – do you see the resemblance?  (I think cat people must be heavy searchers on Ebay, hence the title).  At over $200 for the pair, offered by Planet Recycle Modern on Ebay, they’re ridiculously expensive but a good example of mid-century kitsch lighting.

Have a great weekend and we’ll see you soon.

bright side tables, colorful bedrooms

15 Aug

Krista Ewart design, House Beautiful

Like many people, I use magazines two ways;  flipping through them here and there, and diving into them, after waiting patiently for the long train journey or stretched-out second nap.  A feature in the recent (July/August) issue of House Beautiful caught my eye both times.   The issue, subtitled “Is Small the New  Big?” showcases a 1200 square foot California bungalow designed by Krista Ewart.  Overall, it’s a bit too Lilly Pulitzer/Palm Springs for me (granted, it’s a beach house), but taken piece by piece, there’s some AMAZING design in this house. (You can see all the photos here).

room by Krista Ewart, House Beautiful magazine

The room at top has a gorgeous ‘whale print’ wallpaper from Walnut Wallpaper, which I’d love to use in a child’s room somewhere.  The second image, directly above, is the inspiration for this post.  When I read that the side table (called the ‘Bubble Up’) is available for sale at PB Teen for $199, I put down the magazine and hopped online.

Bubble Up bedside table, PB Teen

Unfortunately, the turquoise is no longer available, but as shown in situ, the hot pink side table adds a needed pop of color to a room furnished in turquoise and white.   As Erin (from House of Turquoise) knows, pink and red are fantastic complements to the sea blue color.

courtesy Procrastination Mama

One of her featured rooms, decorated beautifully by Tracey of the Procrastination Mama blog, is also one of the nicest shared rooms I’ve ever seen.  With two kids (a toddler girl and an infant boy), she uses turquoise paint as the backdrop for one wall, then accessorizes with bright yellows, pinks and greens.  Each kid’s space gets a few personal touches to add character and interest.  And check out the little hot pink chair next to the girl’s bed!

Adding a high-gloss or brightly-colored side table to your child’s room is a great way to ‘decorate’ without redecorating… think of side tables as the throw pillows of the bedroom.  So, in addition to the PB table above, here are some great options – the glossier and brighter the better.

Offi Tiki stool, Target

1. Tiki stool by Offi at Target $69.99. Offi is more well-known for animal lamps like the yellow dachshund featured in Fionn’s room, but also offers great kid-sized plastic chairs and tables too.

Slick Cube table, St Louis Style

2. Slick Cube table available at St. Louis LoftStyle for $125.  It comes in black and white as well, but the colors are my favorite.

Jolly table by Kartell, Unica Home

3. Jolly side table by Kartell at Unica Home for $166 each.  As mentioned in my previous post on acrylic furniture, we have a pair of these in our bedroom in the clear (untinted) color, but as you can see above, they come in tons of shades and are just really adorable.

Curvee table, Serena & Lily

4. GORGEOUS and on sale at Serena & Lily, the Curvee shelf table in melon has been reduced from$369 to $258.30.  This piece is definitely a keeper- I could see it transitioning from a toddler room to a young adult’s room with no problem.

See any more brightly-colored side tables? Snap some photos for me, and I’ll post them here.

acrylic, lucite, perspex and plexiglas

11 Aug

cactus chair, Deger Cengiz, Voos furniture

A recent comment by a reader named Kristin has literally kept me up at night.  She writes, “Any ideas on how to incorporate baby-safe play areas with daily household areas?”

This is a HUGE question, and one I haven’t seen being talked about or dealt with in the traditional home decor magazines (although there’s a gorgeous kids room featured in July/August’s House Beautiful, I’m sure many interior designers would rather forget that human beings actually start at age 0…) Of course, you can always count on a heated debate about baby/child “proofing” on Ohdeedoh.com — on one side, “if your child behaves him/herself, you don’t need any,” on the other, “yes, padded corner cushions are ugly, but they’re necessary, and soon they’ll be unnecessary again.”  My take on the whole challenge is a combination of the two philosophies.  You want your home to be -and stay- as visually pleasing and comfortable as possible, AND it needs to be safe for all the people who live there.

Which sometimes means swapping out the (super-indulgent and big-treat-to-ourselves) Czech-crafted mid-century wood and glass cocktail table which sits center-stage in our living room in favor of something a little more … destruction-proof.

adair table, overstock.com

Enter the fabulous material known as acrylic AKA lucite, perspex (for those in the Colonies) and my personal favorite, ‘plexiglas’ (a term coined in the ’30’s, but to me will always scream ’70s.)  They’re all name-brand alibis for a material properly known as polymethyl methacrylate.  Heavy on the meth there… good to know it’s  referred to as PMMA in the science world.

Starck's lou lou chair

I’ve been thinking about how wonderful acrylic furniture is, especially in small apartments like our own.   Apart from the inevitable scratches (our Kartell bedside tables are special victims), I can’t really see any disadvantages of acrylic furniture in a household with children, except maybe being knocked over and played with (e.g. kid-sized Ghost chairs for $133 at Room & Board).  The coffee tables we’re looking at, including the Adair (above, available at Overstock.com for $223.50) are especially sturdy.  Another favorite of mine is the CB2 Peekaboo table, available at CB2.com for $250, which is made by simply melting two curves into a thick sheet of acrylic.

Dorothy Thorpe at Natural Pond Vintage

As you may have been thinking, acrylic is a bit of a ‘retro’ material… meaning you’ll see some of this stuff on Mad Men, perhaps Life on Mars, and maybe even Hot Tub Time Machine. (Basically, there’s acrylic for every decade).

A perfect 60’s example are these “Lucite Pretzel” candle holders, designed by Dorothy Thorpe and available for $179 at Natural Pond Vintage on Etsy.  As noted in the listing, “her Allegro glassware has been seen on numerous episodes of the AMC show Mad Men.”

cake stand at fabulousmess

This cake stand/display shelf is reminiscent of the above candelabras.  Make a toy collection look especially fancy, or add a fern for that 70s touch.  You can find it at the (super-fun) Fabulousmess shop on Etsy for $50.

unicorn at twin hearts vintage

And lastly, because it made me laugh, and then made me slightly nostalgic for the die-cut nameplate (in mirrored acrylic) I’d glued to my bedroom door as a kid.  Are little girls still into unicorns these days?  I don’t even know.  But if your girl is, you can’t beat this “vintage ’80s mirrored lucite unicorn,” sold by Twin Hearts Vintage, on Etsy, for $14 bucks.

Not exactly ‘childproofing’, but if you’re redecorating, some vintage-y acrylic furnishings could be a great way to go.   Kristin, I’ll be thinking about your question and get back to you with more suggestions in the future.  Readers, any tips for making stylish spaces more kid-friendly? Send them my way.

By the way, the Cactus chair at top is available for around $3000 via Voos Furniture, if you’re up for the challenge.

across-the-pond inspiration

5 Aug

Celeste's room, courtesy Ohdeedoh.com

Checking out the nursery archives on Ohdeedoh the other day, I was struck by the awesome quirkiness of the child’s room shown above.   Celeste and her mum Katy live in a self-described “wonky 16th Century cottage in the English countryside,” and, despite the miles between us, seem to face the same issues as us apartment dwellers in the NYC area (non-level walls, crooked floors, and overall small spaces).

Reading on, I was initially impressed by the combination of materials, styles, and periods (e.g. Ghost chair paired with Eames rocker), but what really got me were those mad curtains.   Can you see them?

Gatsby collection, courtesy Another Shade of Grey

GP&J Baker deer close-up

Above, two close-ups of the fabric she used for curtains, by a company called GP&J Baker fabrics.  The GP&J Baker line is huge in the UK, but primarily sold through wholesalers (to the trade) in the US.  And what I learned from this blog is that the wonderful “Gatsby” line of fabrics (including “deer” in two colorways) was introduced in 2007 and may no longer be available.

But it got me thinking: what other amazing fabrics, bedding or wallpaper do those pesky Brits have up their sleeve? (Full disclosure: hubby’s British, I’m allowed to say that.)  So here are my three favorite recent finds, all from the UK but available in the United States and possibly worldwide.

Birtwell's "Beasties"

1. Celia Birtwell: Beasties

Also known as Ossie Clark’s better half, Birtwell’s textile designs are synonymous with London of the 60’s and 70’s.  Perhaps you know her patterns from a recent partnership with Express stores (I have one of her blouses) or her designs for Topshop in the UK.  I recently discovered her wallpaper pattern called “Beasties” and think it’d be perfect for a kid’s room.  Described as “a toile type print with animals, birds and plants that is almost Elizabethan in look,” it retails for 55 (pounds) a roll.

Cath Kidston "Cowboy" bedding

2. Cath Kidston: Cowboys

Although primarily known in the US for her oilcloth fabrics and flowered patterns, I found this vintage-looking cowboy print really fantastic.  Part of the Cath Kids line, the duvet is reversible; the other side features red and white polka-dots, which modernizes and cuts the potential kitsch-factor of the wild-west theme.  I believe there’s a CK store in SoHo New York, but I couldn’t find a listing online.  Will do searching if anyone’s interested (fyi: it costs less than 40 pounds in the UK).

Dragons "Soldiers"

3.  Dragons of Walton Street: Soldiers

How crazy is this fabric?  Perfect for any young Anglophile (or Beefeater fan. . . just kidding), this pattern from Dragons of Walton Street would really punch up a room.  I could see it used as curtain fabric, or perhaps just for accent pillows.  Most of the Dragons inventory is pretty traditional (see it here) but you may find something unique to your liking.

Writing on a phone

4 Aug

Apologies for the lack of posts this week; our two-laptop household has become a single-computer home. As such, we’re contemplating our next big purchase. I’ve done the research but am still flustered- anyone out there with opinions on the whole netbook-vs-iPad debate? I’m especially interested in hearing about ease of blogging from an iPad. Thanks and hope to resume shortly- look forward to one post on fiberglass Eames chairs and another on British textiles and wall coverings. Any suggestions or questions for future posts? Send ’em my way. J

jens risom vs ikea poang

1 Aug

Risom rocker in lychee

Move over, Monte.   Although the amazing Luca glider is still my favorite item in Fionn’s room (space-saving, cozy, and orange) I’ve found a new love among the rockers.  As described by the folks at Design Within Reach, “We turned to Jens Risom to lend a hand when we were looking to bring an upholstered rocker into our assortment. The Risom Rocker (2009) has a nine-button tufted back; a nod toward the classic Danish modern aesthetic that can be found in all of Risom’s work.”

So not ‘vintage’ (designed in 2009) but thoroughly mid-century in its aesthetic, the Jens Risom rocker would be a gorgeous addition to any nursery (or living room, or sitting room, or hallway…)

close-up, in tiger lily

It comes in two standard fabrics (“lychee” and “tiger lily”) for $1680 but can also be customized – at a price within the ‘if you have to ask’ range.   But compare this to the thousand-plus bucks you could be spending on a fancy crib or a Nurseryworks rocking chair and the price becomes less crazy.  Plus, wouldn’t it just make you so happy to see it everyday?  (remember, slight feelings of guilt for spending a mortgage payment on a chair are totally natural and sometimes a necessary side effect).

If not, we’ll bring you back to reality.  But we’ll bring you down softly.

Poang in tuna (light blue/gray), brown legs

The IKEA Poang chair has become a basic by now, like a pair of (non-designer) jeans – functional, useful, perfectly pleasant, but unlikely to stir any sort of complex emotions in your household.  Well, good news.  I spied two new fabric coverings upon my last visit to the Swedish mega-emporium that made me smile.  At top, Tuna (I have no idea why it’s called that).   And below, a woodland-themed design called Karlsro Multi.  I could envision an entire nursery designed around this pattern.

Poang in karlsro multi, beech legs

At $129, it’s virtually palpitation-free, but smile-inducing, nonetheless.