Blissful Beds

I really, really wanted to title this post “Beds that Rock!” but that pun would just unfairly outshine the content of the post, itself. Also, while I naively thought it was clever, somehow a soothing place of rest doesn’t seem appropriately comparable to the head-banging ballads of AC|DC. Yes, I just emulated their logo with a keyboard lightning bolt.

These are beds which I’ve been eyeing for a while. In fact, picture a little squirrel hiding seeds and berries and nuts for winter. I did that with these beds. I was that well-prepared little critter, but with design.

Barnwood Hanging Bed, $2,898.00 to start | http://www.anthropologie.com

Mercatus Queen Bed, $2900 (on clearance! oh no!) | http://www.theodores.com

French Academie Iron Bed, $695 to start | http://www.restorationhardware.com

Headboard by Sticks, $4370 | http://www.sticks.com

DIY Reclaimed Wood Headboard, via Poetic Home

Each of these beds spoke to me differently. I love that each one has its own personality and attitude. Some beds are sturdy, some cozy, some whimsical, some glamorous, some artistic, and others simple. Aside from a warm spot to rest, a bed is the focal point of a bedroom – a welcoming presence, a haven.  I’ll finish this post by sharing that I definitely had, “Black Coffee in Bed” by Squeeze playing in the background. Cheesy? Yes. Me? Always.

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The Chair Files: Deck Chair

“When fortune calls, offer her a chair.” – Yiddish Proverb
When she stays for a while, buy a few more chairs so you can sit outside! Take these comfortable, handsome and handmade chairs as a suggestion from your friendly, nature-lovin’ Interior Designer.  As always, enjoy!

Chair: Chartreuse Stripe Deck Chair
By: Vancouver-based Gallant & Jones | via Poppytalk Handmade
Use: Relaxing poolside with a glass of Merlot at dusk
Materials+Features: Interchangeable, polyester outdoor fabric, adjustable pillow, North American Black Walnut frame protected with a natural yacht teak oil. *Please see website for weather-proofing tips as some fabrics, while ok to use outdoors, should not be left outdoors. The covers can be purchased separately so if one fades because you were outside enjoying your chair in the sun a lot, replace it with a fresh look!
Cost: $300
Notable: With purchase, a tree is planted by the Love Trees Program.
Fresh Cut Take: Quality, classically beautiful, stow-able, and sustainable (considering the plant a tree per purchase deal!) Kudos!
Rating: 3 out of 3 tulips

Just a few of the pretty patterns offered…

Photo by: Janis Nicolay

These make for a fabulous, glamorous camping trip or cook-out in the park with friends… I love that these are unpretentious, yet have true style. Gallant & Jones is also unpretentious – they offer shipping to the US, a 3-year warranty, and are happy to fix wear+tear for a small fee. Happy chairs for happy people!

Photo by: Janis Nicolay

Photo by: Janis Nicolay

Veggie Variety

I have made an effort in recent spring-summer weeks to buy local fruits and vegetables. I admit, I made this decision initially after viewing a documentary about the big, impersonal processes of supermarket kings. However, as a gal whose more interested in polished silver than politics, I let that aspect remain as a mere influence and I am now hooked simply because everything tastes and looks so vibrant. Produce found at farmer’s stands and markets is typically sold no more than 24 hours after harvest and looks lovely on display in your counter. I always encourage functional ways to decorate using bowls of lemons, bananas, or pots of fresh herbs.

Self-proclaimed "Eat Your Peas" propaganda by artist Joe Wirtheim, $20 for print | http://www.redefinehomestore.com

If you’re like me and you love fresh kale, broccoli, apricots, and peaches, you might like these colorful posters for your fruit stand, I mean kitchen. This is an excellent example of decor which reflects your passions and personality. (Might I add: the only way to decorate!?).

A Happy Summer-y Staple

Sprucing up your kitchen with colorful, dazzling kitchen towels is a great way to bring new life into your space without breaking the bank or your back with a huge renovation… for now. I would include these in my summer delights jar along with fireflies, sparklers, gardening, lemonade, beach towels, sand, grass stains, golf, grilling, hiking, watermelon, sprinklers… You get the idea. Happy summer…

Berry Delight Dish Towels, $20 for a set of 3 | http://www.house8810.com

Yum Bite Eat Good

HGTV recently released fresh news to the design world: Diane Keaton’s new line of dinnerware. That’s right, friends, the spirited, classy actress has abandoned Hollywood for Interior Design. Just kidding. She’s sharing her multi-faceted personality and design talent (who knew?!) with everyone via Bed, Bath, & Beyond. The words she chose for the plates could not be any more “her”. See photo I snagged from HGTV’s blog below, then click on this link to see their article – I’m just the messenger! (And I really, really want this collection or at the very least, for you to want it as well).

Diane Keaton's new line | http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com

The cute word plates can be found here for just $4.99 per plate! Style for pennies! Hope you’re as excited as I am – I love incorporating text into design.

Pottery by the Sea

“Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air…” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I fell asleep last night determined to wake up early and sneak away to the shore for the day. I vowed that I would do this just for me and not blab about it for once – a true escape. I also made myself promise that I must accomplish the tasks I would have otherwise completed during a day of work. This determination lulled me right to sleep and awoke in the morning with a similar, but separate thought: I was desperate to swim. Could it be a craving in my soul? Do I need water today? My logical self (I’ve got to quiet her!) placed my fingers on the keyboard whispering gently but firmly, “Get to work.” [Not so] conveniently, the weather is less than beachy. /Sigh

My sea-driven exploration brought my first breezy find of the day in the beautiful work of Island Girl Pottery. Jacqueline Allard’s nature-inspired creations have a truly artistic and genuine feel of life by the sea. There are many artists with similar interpretations of sea-side life, but there is something about this pottery that takes me away. Jacqueline pairs a whimsical, lifelong imagination with beauty she sees in her own back yard. I can picture the carefree sunny days of Fort Lauderdale that have inspired the artist and the exotic comfort of Hawaii that took my breath away on our Honeymoon. When it comes to home decor and treasures like this froggy dish, it is so important that these objects speak to us personally. If art doesn’t move you, it shouldn’t move into your home.

Top: Sea Turtle Serving Tray, $60; Bottom: Fish Sushi Tapas Set, $31 | http://www.etsy.com/shop/islandgirlpottery

These pieces are completely functional and hand-washable. I always love a versatile piece of pottery. That is, a dish that can be used to serve tapas or set on a console table in a hallway to look pretty.  I don’t typically suggest Facebook pages in my blog (no particular reason!), but I find that similar objects catch my eye when I visit this Facebook island – if you like White Tulip Interiors, I am confident you’ll also like Miss Island Girl herself.

Sneak Peek: West Elm

As a member of the trade industry, I have the good fortune of learning about new products a touch ahead of everyone else. Because I feel that I am no more important than my wonderful design fans and I adore each of you, I wouldn’t think of keeping these to myself! My sneak peek definitely has me anticipating the Fall lines coming to West Elm. While I wish I could share everything they shared with me, I am going to leave a lot of wonder and provide just a teaser.  Below, I’ve included an image of both a natural, wild new mirror and a pretty, humane alternative to wall-mounted Bambi’s.  Enjoy this post and your Thursday!

West Elm Preview: Animal Instincts and Natural Wonders | Purchase available through Trade Member

Dining in Style and Outside

Click this bold link: Great Outdoor Dining. Then click the hot pink “Start slideshow” button. Wait! Have a Mojito or a sparkling lemonade in hand (depends on your location and time of day)!  Now, start slideshow. Drool.

A lovely little hand-picked teaser below…

Outdoor dining area at the Capri home of architect-designer Matteo Thun and his wife, Susanne. http://www.elledecor.com | Photograph by: Giorgio Possenti

Fresh Take: Family Room

“About fifteen miles above New Orleans the river goes very slowly. It has broadened out there until it is almost a sea and the water is yellow with the mud of half a continent. Where the sun strikes it, it is golden.” – Frank Yerby, Novelist

Title/Source: Family Room, featured in online article at Country Living (www.countryliving.com), Photo by: Keith Scott Morton
First Impression: Vibrant!
Mood+Feel: Peaceful, yet visually intriguing. I love the warm gold walls and ceilings. I believe that is what makes this room so restful. Typically cool hues signify calm and rest; however, the warm, unimposing gold creates a true retreat. I’m feeling the comfortable, easy Southern vibe here. The metallic gold dots on the creamy-honey ceiling fit Frank Yerby’s vision above oh-so-perfectly.
Function: Relaxation, conversation, quiet reading space, snuggle-spot, movie night.
Why I love it: The designer uses texture, pattern, and balanced color to create a cohesive space. The natural light pours in illuminating the beautiful photography. The black+white frames and mats create uniformity and avoid a busy, distracting array of multiple frames/colors in a small space. The cushy ottoman with tray is so inviting. The soft edges in a small space allow for ease of movement without bumped and bruised legs!
What works: I love the solid seat cushions on the sofa. They provide visual rest from an otherwise entirely patterned sofa in a small space and the poppy-colored welting unites the cushions with the upholstered frame. Repeating the gold of the walls on the side chair frame and sofa throw pillow ties the room together. The designer did not try to fit too much furniture in the space and instead opted for light-weight side chairs and a small pedestal side table. The room is adequately furnished without feeling crowded.
Room for Improvement: Everything’s so lovely, I’m forced to nitpick! I love the deep tray on the ottoman, but while it looks really fabulous, it lacks practicality if this room will be used often and possibly by children. The high edges make for bumped and spilled drinks once they’re set down and picked up repeatedly. If the ottoman is for propping tootsies occasionally, any jostling of the tray might also tip some cups or that pretty vase! However, if they spill – they’re contained, no?
Sustainable Style: How can you repeat the look and keep your environmental impact low? The side chairs are vintage styles and could easily be found second-hand. Using natural fibers such as cotton or bamboo on the upholstered pieces is essential. The windows add natural light and ventilation and they’re adorned with natural materials.
Features: The drum pendant light fixture has such a mod presence. It adds style without clashing with the style and feel of the room. This fixture is so versatile. Similar drum pendants are available at Suburban Wholesale Lighting.

Fresh Takes: The Intro

This June, I’m introducing a new string of posts under the umbrella of “Fresh Takes”. In each “Fresh Take”, I’ll feature a room or concept and give it my rundown. Of course complete with feedback, it’ll look a little something like this:

Title/Source:
I’ll name the space and where I found it (i.e. Living Room, http://www.realsimple.com)
First Impression:
The first single descriptive word or noun that comes to mind. 10 letters in 10 seconds.
Mood+Feel:
Is it energizing or restful? I’ll determine that one right here.
Function:
Relax, prepare food, organize mail, watch American Idol… You get the idea.
Why I love it:
A short blurb of why I chose the space to appear before your eyes!
What works:
Elements that are functional and stylish = success.
Room for Improvement:
Needs pizazz (color, texture, anchoring, variety) or to be taken down a notch.
Sustainable Style:
Yes or No? Is it environmentally conscious?
Features:
What stands out and where can one find it?

Keep your eyes peeled for this feature.. I already have a cozy living room chugging its way down the blogging tracks.