What I’m Reading! (May Edition)

What are you reading right now? I’m a multi-tasking reader, so I’ve got a few:

Clockwise: The Mastery of Love by Miguel Riuz | Martha Stewart Living - February 2011 Issue | Shark Tales by Barbara Corcoran | Better Homes and Gardens June Issue

Some thoughts:

1. The Mastery of Love (Miguel Ruiz): This is my nightstand bible. I’ve actually read it about 12 times, but pick it up almost every night to refresh my perspective. Miguel Ruiz shares the teachings of the ancient Toltec on life, self-love, and loving others. Pair it with his book, The Four Agreements, and you’ll look at the world and the people around you with more awareness, acceptance, forgiveness, and love.

2. An old issue of Martha Stewart Living from my grandmothers grab-bag of passed along goodies – I’m simply catching myself up on the chocolate-based recipes for my Valentine (in May). I am considering replacing my subscription of #4 with a subscription of MSL. Shh!

3. Shark Tales by Barbara Corcoran tells the story of Barbara’s growth as a child in a large, humble family as it shaped her career. Barbara, raised by a strong mother and loving father, is known for turning $1,000 from a former boyfriend into a $1 billion real estate empire. You might have seen her on ABC’s Shark Tank –  but really, while her poise and wit add intrigue and intelligence to the show, the true inspiration is in the pages of Shark Tales.

4. Better Homes & Gardens is my monthly housewife newspaper. I can find decor inspiration (and also what not to do), delicious recipes, garden and potting tips, and even clothing and make-up advice. For this read, I have no review or advice, except maybe to grab a bowl of popcorn.

Happy reading.


A Rustic Edge

I’m thrilled to share that we’re pursuing these edgy nesting tables for a family room make-over! They are perfect with the sculptural, reclaimed-wood coffee table and the soft Persian area rug.  I couldn’t resist posting this! We’re considering keeping all three together VS. nesting two and using the 3rd beside an armchair in the same room. We’ll keep you posted on progress as this space is coming together beautifully!

Rustic Nesting Tables, $329 | http://www.homedecorators.com


Cool ‘Homegoods’ Finds: May 25

In my effort to find off-the-shelf, over-sized ivory and natural pillows for a Family Room in Bucks County, I scooted into Homegoods (which had a fabulous makeover, I might add!) and found some great accents worth sharing. Still no over-sized ivories, but we’ve got a plan at Design Home Interiors around the corner. DHI has a wonderful showroom, and while they’re my competition (wink, love you guys), I absolutely adore working with them and they are very supportive and helpful. Did I mention friendly? I’m not helping my case here, but they deserve a recommendation for their approach and enthusiasm. In the meantime, keep an eye out for more ‘Cool Homegoods Finds’. I’m going to leave creativity out of this title from now on and simply separate them by date.

These pillows are very affordable priced between $25-30 each and the insert is included and made of very plushy down-fill. Please note that the ivory pillow is not shiny, but rather has a light ivory crewelwork. Who doesn’t love attaining style without breaking the bank?

Instant ‘Pop’ of Color: Flowers

My grandmother gives me her issues of Martha Stewart Living Magazine every few months. This is one of the most beautiful, happy covers I’ve seen in a long time. These poppies have presence and are unpretentious, whimsical, and almost appear to dance in place. They would add an incredible splash of color to a neutral space like my favorite picks of the previous blog post.

Poppies | Photo by: Carolyn Laich

Ironically, while brightly colored poppies bring life and allure to a space, in Greek and Roman mythology, poppies are a symbol of “deep sleep” and “death.” They were traditionally an offering to the dead, the bright reds representing resurrection.  In the United States and various other countries, they are a symbol of remembrance to veterans of those that were lost at war. I have memories of my parents fixing wire poppies to the insides of their cars each Memorial Day, replacing a dull, sun-faded poppy from the year before.

Update: June 8, 2011 | I received a packet of Poppy Seeds in the mail from my grandmother yesterday! I cannot wait to plant them!

Fresh Favorites: Anthropologie

“Simplicity will stand out, while complexity will get lost in the crowd.”                                                                                     – Kevin Barnett

Today, I’m sharing a few of my favorite things from the modern, culturally-inspired Home collection at Anthropologie. I’ve put together a compilation of unique finds, which compose a restful, balanced, and intriguing atmosphere.  It’s key to keep the base palette of a space neutral, then introduce elements of style, color, and pattern back into the space using accents, furniture, and artwork. This enhances a space without overpowering the individuals occupying it.

1. Deep Sea Curtains, $208; 2. Reassembled Mirror, $498; 3. Vanilla Fig Candle, $16; 4. Votive Holder, $10; 5. Garvey Chair, $998; 6. Ubiquity Lamp, $298; 7. Swimming Hole Ring Dish, $12; 8. Musings Side Plate, $28; 9. Country Jute Striped Area Rug from http://www.burkedecor.com, $105-590 | http://www.anthropologie.com | Finish Compilation © 2011 White Tulip Interiors


Something old, something new..

I’m enthusiastically announcing the addition of two new categories to the blog: ‘Very Vintage‘ and ‘The Antique Cowgirl‘.  I will happily explain a) why they are separate but equally fabulous categories and b) the naming in just a moment, but for now, be excited with me!  This is very intriguing (to me and also to you!) for two reasons:

Reason #1: Thrift shops, vintage boutiques, and antique stores/auctions are the best places to find truly one-of-a-kind items for reasonable prices.  They have personality and allure, adding impact to any space. These finds also have no limits. Keep them as they are after a gentle dusting or re-vamp them with a fresh coat of paint (furniture!), a little paper mache (frames!), or a fun new upholstery fabric (seating!). We turned a $5 chair into a beautiful new piece with a re-upholstered seat and a fun paint color, total $18.50 (including the chair, spray paint, foam, and fabric). You can, too, and so much more.

Reason #2: I love history. I love furniture. I love furniture with history. There is nothing more wonderful than hearing a story behind a piece of furniture you’ve just complimented. “Thank you, I found them in the rubble of a gutted building in Savannah while we were road-tripping in the summer of ’78. It was pouring rain, but I insisted we load them into the back seat. They barely fit, but we were determined, and we brought them home and well, how perfect are they for this room?” Furthermore, I love adding to the history by giving a piece new life, if needed of course… a new chapter.

These are similar in that they both hail from the past, but there are too many differences to count, so they don’t have to share a room. The most straightforward reason: “vintage”, as I’m approaching it, signifies thrifty, retro, and re-workable. “Antique”, again – as I make the rules here, will cover equally old and historical pieces, but they’ll typically carry a higher price tag and are considered “investments”. Persian rugs, original paintings, ornate frames, furniture, and basically anything we’d only find by *ahem* antique-ing falls here.

Why Very Vintage and The Antique Cowgirl?

Very Vintage’s name is inspired by my adoration of alliteration, simply put. Stop, yes, that’s the true reason. I know. I’m really deep here.  I’d love to add a “Valuable” and a “Vivacious” in there, but it would be too long, and really who am I kidding? I’m the vivacious one here, not the name.

The Antique Cowgirl is my alter-ego. I’m putting my Annie Oakley twist on an urban profession.  Many of the best antique stores in Pennsylvania are nestled in old and refurbished barns, in the rural suburbs. Additionally, conveniently, the really fun collections include rare farm tools, reclaimed wood, re-purposed lanterns and jars, horse shoes, and hardware. I wouldn’t think of antique-ing without my signature cowgirl boots on and a love for rustic accents, thus, when in the country, do as the cowgirls. Antique in boots.

Happy Saturday.


Glass & Leather, Together Forever

The design world is currently buzzing about none other than the just-wrapped-up International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF). Subsequently, I’ve been excitedly following various blogs for a glimpse into the products featured at ICFF this past weekend in New York City.  A wonderful friend of mine and owner of Philadelphia-based design and energy audit company, KOAngotti, has a video interview covering their favorite innovative products.  After perusing the new and modern concepts, finishes, and furniture, I allowed myself to share one favorite (Why just one? Simple. I loved too many to hold your attention). A piece that left me wanting to see more – a piece which I want in my house. In every room. In ever corner.

Feast your eyes. (No need to grab popcorn, I’ll keep it short and sweet).

Esque Studio | photos courtesy Esque sStudio & Design*Sponge

The photo to the right (Grace Bonney, Design Sponge) shows leather-harnessed glass orbs featured at ICFF 2011. These are decorative, but I had to see more, so I worked a little Google magic and snagged the photo to the left from Esque Studio’s 2010 Catalog.  Now things get interesting. The photo to the left is, as I had hoped, a pendant light fixture. The pairing of smooth and translucent glass with organic, flexible leather is remarkable. Immediately, I envision a staggered grouping in the corner of a living room hanging over a southwestern-upholstered armchair or illuminating dinner on a reclaimed wood dining table.  And I’ve been designing rooms in my brain with these hip fixtures all day long…

Splurge Vs. Save: French Aubusson Style Pillows

Please bear with all of the pillow posts (and admit it, you love them, too!).  I’m currently scouring the design market for a collection of throw pillows to complete a cozy family room with a deep sectional.   The classic French Aubusson style is truly beautiful.  It says “home”, “comfort”, “history”, and most commonly “floral”.   This Fresh Cut find below is the splurge. At $360, from Layla Grace, this dusty blue pillow adds grace and softness to any neutral setting.

Blue and Gold Vines Aubusson Pillow, $360 | http://www.laylagrace.com

If you can splurge, go for it!  Find a neutral, creamy sofa, bed, or chair and complete the look.  If you feel faint at the sight of the price, see below for our similar, but more affordable options.   Ebay has a constant collection of Aubusson pillows. Many are in the $400-$500 range, however, they also have  prices closer to $100-125.

Aubusson Pillow in Pink/Gold | http://www.ebay.com

Another option from Soft Surroundings:

Printemps Aubusson Pillow in Multi, $118 | http://www.softsurroundings.com

Return often to find more Fresh Cut Splurge/Saves in the future. We’ll explore paint, wall-covering, furniture, bedding, bath, kitchen, and accessories. Something for everyone! Happy shopping!

Wednesday Whimsy: Spelling Lesson

I like to think I am really alright at the game of Scrabble.  But really, I’ve got a lot to learn.  Everyone does.  Yes, even you, Ken Jennings with your expansive word knowledge, quick-thinking, and Jeopardy-dominating logic. Except for my sneaky mother. She’s a fun-loving, down-to-earth, sometimes flighty, social-butterflyin’, party-hostin’, laughing, witty, artistic gal.  She’s a compassionate, gentle mother.  Did I mention she’s lovable?  But inside, there’s a copy of the Scrabble Dictionary and a triple word score-breathing dragon of demise.  Game: Mom – 764 points, Opponent – 46 points.  Not really, but everyone loses a little confidence in their vocabulary and self-worth when they play with her.  I suddenly forget simple words I know.  “Uh, mom, is “attic” a word? Is it spelled with a -c or a -k?” My vocabulary takes the backseat to my verbal-insecurity and onset inability to add up her triple letter, double word, used-all-her-letters scores.  I’ve snapped pictures of her ridiculous two-letter idioms. I’ve threatened to not play with her (but she’ll whine, literally). I even have a better Scrabble set than she does. Platinum Edition with leather score book and silver golf pencil, thank you very much.

<Deeeeep sigh>…At the end of the day, she’s my mom and I love her, so despite my panic attacks when I hear anything rhyming with “-abble” or seeing the letter “X” on my letter shelf, I’ve found the perfect pillows to lean on while she’s rackin’ in the winning points.  These add of a touch of personality and interest in any room and don’t ya know? Your guests will know exactly what game they’re losing after dinner at your house.  It doesn’t help that she innocently keeps one’s glass of Fish-Eye Merlot very, very full…

Photo © Dirtsa Studios | http://www.dirtsastudios.com

Thanks for hopping over for some Wednesday Whimsy!  Happy designing!

It’s in the details…

Good morning blog-fans!  Recently, we’ve been working with Julie Zarukin Photography to build a portfolio for White Tulip Interiors. Julie has an excellent eye for composition.  She keeps her photos fresh, balanced, and artistic. They create a feel, which is conveniently our primary approach to creating an enjoyable space. See a montage of a recent shoot! Enjoy!

© 2011 Julie Zarukin Photography

Feel free to post questions and as always, enjoy the day!