BRIANA: I know I was pining for warmer climes through our long, bleak winter and it seems designers were, too. Pineapples have been popping up in the fashion world and now they’re appearing on pillows, in paintings and on blogs. So, what do you think of the pineapple as a popular motif? Are these fruits tropi-cool or do you only care about them when they’re in colada form?
Pillow: Bonnie and Neil via Anthropologie
MARIANNE: My girl Meg JUST did this amazing cut paper pineapple, and I’m loving it. And did you guys see The Alison Show’s Mother’s Day brunch? MORE PINEAPPLES.
You might not have giant wooden spools hanging around the house, but I found so many ingenious ways to upcycle them into furniture that I had to share. If you’re inspired by these projects, ask your local home improvement store if they’d be willing to give you a used spool for free. Still coming up empty-handed? Big spools are often used to hold heavy-duty wiring, so check out your local electric and cable companies. (I think nearly-free furniture is worth a little legwork, don’t you?)
Design: Randy Weinstein
Believe it or not, this wooden spool was salvaged from a junkyard. If you’re going for an industrial modern vibe, copy designer Randy Weinstein and top a spool with stainless steel for a DIY table. Eames chairs complete the look.
MORE SPOOL FURNITURE IDEAS
Antler decor makes any place feel a little more like home to me. (What can I say? I’m originally from Pennsylvania and my dad’s side of the family counts a long line of hunters and outdoorsmen.) If you live near a wooded area where deer, moose or elk roam, you can find shed antlers in the winter through the early spring. Urban dwellers, you may be able to pick them up at flea markets or online. But whether you spot a single “shed” or a few matched pairs, there are so many interesting ways to accent your home with antlers, as you can see below. (Not feeling real antlers? Go faux, like Erin Loechner did in her laundry room.)
We’ve basically exhausted the crafting possibilities around wine (see: corks, bottles, glasses, crates AND barrels), but this ingenious antler wine rack from Meg Caswell is a cool way to store and display your wine before you’re ready to sip it/craft with it.
UNUSUAL BUT ATTRACTIVE IDEAS FOR ANTLERS
BRIANA: What about monograms/initials for this week? I was cleaning out some of my email folders and remembered this newsletter from C. Wonder. It was actually an April Fool’s joke that redirected here (ha!), but they totally do have tons of monogrammed decor stuff…
C. Wonder April Fool’s newsletter
LIZ: Bring it on! I think people monogram things far too often. No one needs their initials embroidered on socks, toilet paper holders or underwear. And yet…
BRIANA: Haha, oh, it is so on! Opening this thread wide right now. Folks, are monograms and initials a capital (letter) idea or just excessive branding?
JESSICA: When I was still in school, my friend’s mom sent him monogrammed sheets, and to this day, we are still making fun of him for it. They’re cute and make sense for weddings, though.
Photo: Ruth Meharg/HGTVGardens
DO YOU LIKE THE MONOGRAM TREND? VOTE NOW!
Previously on Designer MacGyver…we’ve covered wrapping paper and newspaper, but surprisingly, wallpaper hasn’t made the list. I say “surprisingly” because I am a wallpaper fanatic and my bio won’t let you forget it. I don’t actually own the apartment I live in now, so I’ve had to resort to more temporary solutions there. Rest assured that once I own, I’ll be armed (with as many rolls as I can afford) and dangerous (with these genius uses for wallpaper other than on walls, obvs).
Sherry and John Petersik, excerpted from Young House Love (Artisan Books), copyright 2012
This idea from Sherry and John Petersik of Young House Love is perfect for putting wallpaper samples to work. A thrift-store dresser makes a statement when it’s covered in a big, bold pattern. Get the DIY details here.
MORE WAYS TO DRESS UP YOUR HOME WITH WALLPAPER
I don’t know about you, but the first thing I tackle when I start spring cleaning is my closet. There’s something so satisfying about pulling my lightweight dresses out of storage (yay!) and clearing away pieces I just don’t find myself wearing anymore. I have a bag of old garments to donate, but this time around there were also a few neglected hats and hat boxes in the mix. If you’re in the same boat, check out these chic ideas for reviving old chapeaus and their containers.
Hats off to Nancy Ondra for this genius container garden idea. Old hats feel fresh when you upcycle them into hanging pot covers. Let leaves poke out of a baseball cap’s sizing tab or cut the top of a hat and feed stems through the hole.
MORE FASHIONABLE IDEAS FOR OLD HATS
BRIANA: The nautical look has been sailing along for a while, but it seems like it’s really made a splash lately. Liz and Camille’s photos from High Point are full of aquatic creatures (
sea see below) and Target’s new Coastal Collection sports stripes, boating motifs and plenty of navy blue. What do you think about this wave of nautical home decor? Is coastal style beachy keen or is it a sinking ship?
Design Legacy by Kelly O’Neal display at High Point Market
ALYSSA: This is blindingly awful for so many reasons, the first starting with the patchwork denim couch! A few items could stand alone in a beach house, but everything together is just too much. We ran a story about tropical style in the suburbs from the May issue of HGTV Magazine, so I could sound like a hypocrite for saying I like some of the looks in that home, but I think it’s all about not turning a design style into a design theme. AND YES, I know the difference between tropical and nautical. Also, I love a good navy and white stripe (like in Kayla’s mood board) and a big floral print — that’s the kind of preppy southern vibe I’m into.
BRIAN PATRICK FLYNN: Coastal style has timeless appeal because of its relaxed, casual and vacation-like vibe. It will always be in style and relevant as long as it’s played down, relying more on textures and finishes and shapes rather than literal nods like shells, fish and tons of anchors. One weathered anchor will do the trick, then just fill the space with tons of beach textures and muted coastal tones like blue-grey and seaglass green.
DO YOU LIKE NAUTICAL HOME DECOR? VOTE NOW!
I think the old saying that “when one door closes, another opens” is absolutely true. For example, when you’ve finished using a door as an entry or exit, a whole new world of decorating possibilities opens up before you! Check out our fave upcycled furniture ideas for old doors and get ready to fancy up your home with these former barriers.
If you liked the rustic appeal of the shutter headboards I featured last week, I’m thinking you’ll love this old door headboard from Dreamy Whites. Weathered wood + a chandelier = a bedroom combo with great high/low contrast.
MORE DECORATING WITH OLD DOORS
Shutters keep prying eyes out of your home, but if you want all eyes on your decor, shutters can come in handy there, too. Old shutters are a surprisingly versatile craft material and you can repurpose them without much effort. These crafts are just a few ways you can turn old shutters into something unexpected and chic.
If you like a headboard with height, Layla Palmer’s clever use of old shutter doors here should appeal to you. The coastal cottage vibe is perfect for quaint country havens and sunny beach houses alike. Find all the DIY instructions here.
MORE CHIC OLD SHUTTER CRAFTS
BRIANA: We’ll call this one “Defend the Downward Trend”: The microwave is a kitchen staple, but Jessica alerted me to the news that its sales in the U.S. have been flagging for almost a decade. How do you feel about microwaves? Are you attached to your “science oven” or are you more into toaster ovens? Do you think they’re an ugly waste of kitchen real estate or would you be lost without one?
FARIMA: I am a stove/toaster oven girl. I can’t remember the last time I used a microwave — I’ve even switched to making popcorn on the stove (It’s so much tastier than microwaveable popcorn!) If it wasn’t built in, I would definitely get rid of it!
KERI: I’ll be the first to admit that I mostly just use my microwave for heating up water for tea in the morning. If I didn’t have it, I guess I’d just move right along to the stove. Plus, this year, I finally learned to pop popcorn over the stove. (Farima’s right: SO much tastier and healthier, too!) Wait, why do I have a microwave again? Oh wait, I steam vegetables in there, too. It has a purpose!
KELLY SMITH TRIMBLE: I’m with Farima. Ours came with the house and I rarely use it. I say take it out and bring back the appliance garage.
MORE HEATED DEBATE ABOUT MICROWAVES