Did you hear that on Sunday a one-ton, 21-foot-long giant crocodile was captured alive in the Philippines. This saltwater behemoth may be the largest crocodile ever caught in history! Well, as crocodile prints and skins have been a go-to in the design world for centuries, I wondered if this design spotlight would prove too daunting a task for a vegetarian like me. (Last week, for the start of deer hunting season, I wrote a post on faux taxidermy in decor.) Nope. While wildlife officials debate the croc’s size status and locals continue their search for a beast that’s even larger, I’m all about enjoying the pleasure of the hunt for stunning faux crocodile upholstery finds from one of our fave antique home decor sites, 1stdibs.
All from 1stdibs: 1. Faux Crocodile Bombe Chest 2. Lucite Bench in Silver Faux Crocodile 3. Faux Crocodile Cantilevered Armchairs by Audoux et Minet 4. Maison Jansen Ebonized Faux Crocodile Settee 5. Brass Bench With Faux Green Crocodile 6. Faux Crocodile and Brass Modernist Coffee Table
If you could have one of this faux beauties shipped to you, which one would you fit into your home decor and why?
Here’s my pick: I absolutely love the brass bench with green crocodile upholstery. It doesn’t match anything in my apartment, but I think that’s the beauty of it. It’s supposed to be a standout piece.
Tell us your fave antique pick in the comments below.
Compromise in my household is typically only reached after a somewhat friendly “best two out of three” game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. For a while, Rock was my go-to weapon of choice. Now, I turn to Scissors if I’m determined to win Chinese takeout over my boyfriend’s pick of pizza. Or to watch reruns of Friends instead of the Rocky movies. So in honor of the many nights I successfully avoided kung fu movies and Xbox Live, I thank you, Scissors. Here’s a salute to you — in the form of intriguing sharp-formed furnishings with plenty of scissoring action. (And here’s to many more wins!)
All from 1st Dibs: 1. Adjustable Scissor Lift Table 2. Scissor Frame Sling Chairs 3. Phillipe Starck “Titos Apostos” Table for Driade 4. Lightolier Scissor Wall Lamp 5. Italian Hall Console 6. Giant Scissors on Custom Stand 7. Charlotte Perriand Le Corbusier Scissor Chair
What do you turn to for a guaranteed win: Rock, Paper or my good ‘ole friend Scissors? Or are disputes settled with a coin toss in your home?
Tell us in the comments below.
After seeing my own penny-pinching parents trade in their hefty-sized home for a blink-and-you’ll-miss-the-living-room-sized apartment, it’s a given that many of us will be gearing up to live in tighter, more economical spaces at some point. Whether you’re moving into your first apartment, buying your first condo or retiring to a townhouse, you need my help. (If not, then congratulations to you and please send me a check for a third bedroom addition.)
Even after nearly 10 years working on home makeover shows, both behind-the-scenes and in front of the camera, I still break into a sweat every time I see a moving van or delivery truck pull up to a condo or apartment building and out comes a sofa. Why? No matter how much measuring is done beforehand, it’s almost guaranteed that a sofa will not make it into its intended room because of (a) tricky corners to turn, (b) way-too-tight hallways to pass through, or (c) rooms with sharp angles. Keeping in mind that most newer homes have 36 inch wide doorways is definitely a good rule of thumb to go by; however, it’s not the end all/be all for choosing a sofa sure to fit. ENTER the apartment sofa.
When I’m designing or decorating apartments or condos, I usually limit my sofa selection solely to those labeled “apartment size”. This often suggests a width between 68 and 72 inches versus the standard which is 84. Nine times out of ten, these will work. Their scale is more fit for smaller spaces, plus they are easier to lug up and down stairs. If you’ve never before heard of this magical sitting-pretty creation, allow me to introduce you to six superb apartment-sized sofas you can find online or through popular retail stores. And if there’s one thing Mr. Brian taught you about design, it’s to always measure doorway and hallway widths before shopping for sofas, right? Very good then.
Available in two uber neutral tones, granite and ivory, the Landon from Macy’s has a streamlined, transitional look that can easily be jazzed up with punchy orange, green or blue accents. Its loose back cushions are excellent for turning the comfy sofa into an overnight spot for guests to snuggle up. But if you’re like me and prefer guests not to stay the night, especially if they snore, just keep the cushions on and tell them there is a Motel 6 up the road.
The rolled-arm, slipcovered Baldwin sofa from Ballard Designs is ideal for the most traditional apartment or condo dweller. Control freaks like me will especially enjoy that it can be made with custom fabrics; this simply involves mailing them the bolt. If you happen to be known for spilling cocktails as much as feelings, keep in mind that its slipcover will be your new best friend.
Crate and Barrel’s Vaughn Apartment Sofa is my personal favorite. Its sleek, modern lines fit perfectly into minimally-decorated spaces. Available in neutral brown and grey tones, the Vaughn is an excellent choice for masculine spaces. So ladies, if your boyfriend opts for the Vaughn, you have creative license to pull out your girl card and pair it with hot pink Jackie O. pop art.
The Elton settee from West Elm is the perfect choice for girly spaces due to its tufted upholstery and dainty frame. Its diminutive stature at only 60 inches wide makes it certain to fit into just about any living room. Those interested in making it a little less of a girl thing will love the slate blue tone of the Marled Microfiber option.
Fiat recently announced the arrival of its newest limited edition 500-series car inspired by Italian fashion house Gucci. Set to hit the streets for the first time during New York Fashion Week, the Fiat 500 by Gucci features retro red and green Gucci stripes on the side and an interlocking ‘G’ symbol on the wheels. While curiously (and enviously) scouring Gucci’s website for more information on their new automobile venture, I became entranced by their Women’s Fall/Winter 2011-2012 fashion collection. Had I stepped into the ’70s? (I’ve always wanted to experience the Disco era!) We’re talking flare, fringe, suede, miniskirts and short fur jackets. So I started thinking … what home decor and furnishings would best represent 70s-style Gucci? It didn’t take my imagination very long to create my idea of the perfect Gucci-inspired styleboard with the help of 1st Dibs.
All from 1st Dibs: 1. 1970′s Italian Porcelain Horse Sculpture 2. Walnut and Leather Sling Sofa 3. Lightolier Nickel-Plated Sputnik Chandelier 4. Modernist Rocker/Club Chair and Ottoman 5. 1970′s Gucci Leather Mirror 6. Low-Table With Brass Antelope Heads in the Manner of Chervet 7. Pierre Cardin Table Lamp
What do you think? Did I hit it right on the nail with the ornate and slightly over-the-top pieces with gold or brass accents? And leather. You can’t forget the leather. What would you add or subtract from my Gucci-inspired styleboard?
Tell me in the comments below.
Most interior designers have that one project that started it all. Some have glamorous stories such as: decorating a rich neighbor’s pool house, remodeling a jet-setter’s pied-a-terre in Paris, and/or scouring the globe for a rich collector’s much-desired rare finds. Mine involved stealing cat-pee-covered country-style side tables from curbs in Tallahassee. Of course, by the time I sanded them with the roughest grit possible, hand-painted them canary yellow, then gave them a glossy finish with spray lacquer, they looked amazing. Am I bitter? No. In fact, I look forward to the hype of back to school this-and-that to see what I can find that’s affordable for champagne-taste-on-a-beer-budget students. As the back-to-school season is in full effect, I scoured the interwebbies to find some excellent pieces to make humdrum study spaces a bit more fun. From a designer pen to a do-it-yourself organizer, here are five great pieces for your own study space which won’t break the bank but possibly look like they did. And you won’t even have to deal with cat pee, such a deal!
What’s exciting about opening a 3″ ring binder packed with reports and homework assignments? Absolutely nothing. Enter Russell + Hazel. Their translucent Yummy Folder Set sports graphic delectables sure to distract students from the grueling academic tasks at hand, at least for a moment, before hitting the books.
Leave it to Jonathan Adler to make something as uninteresting as a basic pen insanely fun. His Chevron ink pens are as chic as any of his furniture pieces, art or lighting. Considering you can’t scribble notes or write a thank you letter with a chair or a chandelier, these writing utensils are the perfect justification for those who cannot afford big ticket Jonathan Adler items to splurge on his desktop products.
Quite a few major retail chains have made a killing selling their versions of the basic parsons desk. Well, since the look is super basic and they all pretty much look the same, what’s the sense in shelling out $300 to $500 bucks when Overstock has something just as great for only $135.99? Well, of course, if you’re the type that enjoys throwing money away for absolutely no reason, I’m sure that’s fine. But since 99% of students are two bags of Ramen noodles away from starvation, I’m sure saving an extra $164.01 is rather helpful.
Men, you can keep your Transformers. Robots are cool, but I get a much bigger thrill seeing The Double bar cart (from the brand-new online entertaining store Society Social) morph into a unique accent table.
As the name suggests, the faux bamboo cart was ingeniously designed with both uses in mind. Great height and a glitzy finish for the table days, wine/stemware racks and wheels for easy entertaining. I love furniture that can mix business and pleasure (and can help me mix a mean Manhattan). Cheers lookin’ at you, kid.
I found many things to love in the new online magazine, Paper Runway, but here’s my impression of me looking at the cardboard furniture on Karton’s website: “What? Shut up! SHUT. UP. No way! That’s amazing.” I went on like that for probably twenty minutes straight. And that’s before I even saw the “Watch It Fold” videos that demo the simple setup for each item. (No hardware required!)
Karton’s an Australian company, but luckily they sell their products online, so “there’s no middle-man,” as they say. These 100% recyclable wonders — everything from stools to storage units — seem sturdy, and would be adorable with a coat of paint. While I’m not ready to trade in my traditional bed for the Paperpedic model shown here, I think The Chairman’s Table would be perfect for a kid’s coloring station, and I could actually see myself getting on (card)board with some of the shelving.
Do you constantly forget to take your vitamins? Double up on your pills because you accidentally skipped a dose? Have we got the style Rx for you!
The Seven Night Stand, a collaborative effort between industrial designer Emily Rothschild and Tom Weis, is proof that form AND function can come in one pretty package. The tiny compartments carved in the top can hold a week’s worth of medicine, or any other trinkets you want to tuck away. (I can picture myself using it for money, jewelry, and that darn contact lens case I keep losing.) Even if it can’t fix what ails you, it can certainly help cure your clutter.
There’s a line in my all-time favorite black comedy, Ghost World, where an 18-year-old Scarlett Johansson says to her best friend, Thora Birch, “This reminds me of your little old lady phase.” She was referring to an eccentric non-conformist’s brief stint wearing clothes meant for women four times her age. The character didn’t care that others considered her style of dress lame, silly or little-old-lady; she thought it was cool and rocked it out.
What the hell does this have to do with a decorating blog? Well, I often feel that items deemed little-old-man or little-old-lady-ish are often the most awesome pieces simply awaiting creativity for a fresh new look. In fact, it’s what I search for first as I sift through the inventory at flea markets and thrift stores. Luckily, it’s usually the last thing others pay attention to. Speaking of paying attention, take a look at these pieces once deemed old but show no signs of their secret past thanks to some clever reinvention. You know what else is in the past and I hope it stays that way forever? The mauve and brass combo circa 1986. Good riddance!
Turn Old Spinsters Into Bold Stylistas
Episode three was a total blast (watch it here). Excitement just oozed out of Micah and Evelyn. I promise never to say ‘oozed out of them’ again. Gross. But it did. They were desperate for help and all they wanted was fun, color and some function. They already had a TV room (that you didn’t see.) They also wanted a place to play with their friends—they love themselves some board games. They also needed a dining room. The loft was pretty daunting actually; it was massive and dark and totally vacuous. Frankly, it was very cold, and these people are not.
I know. Empty. Dead. Boring.
But It Gets Better
The quintessential expression of your personal style in your most personal space is your bed. If you long for a dramatic statement, then consider the simplicity of a platform bed with an attention-grabbing headboard. Starting at less than $1000 and reaching over $2400, high style doesn’t have to mean high price.
Shop for Headboards »
I love shopping for furniture. Whether it’s merely window-gazing or an expedition with a purpose, I love taking in all the latest styles, colors and textures. Which is why, when I got the chance to cover a David Bromstad-hosted soiree at Knoxville’s new Bliss Home, I jumped at it. David, HGTV’s first Design Star winner and host of Color Splash, proved to be a wonderfully gracious host. Spending more time with him (more about that in another post) was definitely the highlight of the evening for me. The fact that he came out to support a locally owned business made his presence all that much more impressive to all of us in attendance. Learn More About Bliss Home
I really enjoyed reading the chronicles of the High Point Furniture Market from my fellow editors, Chelsey and Leslie. (I’m jealous you guys met Angelo – he’s so cool.) I love seeing the unusual stuff in Leslie’s vlogs (I sooooo want the crazy-cool diva lounger. If it had built-in speakers and magic fingers it would be perfect!)
Thought I’d share some of my favorite unique/artistic furniture pieces – stuff I really don’t think you’d see at High Point. Check out this line of ultra-fun, Dr. Seuss-like furniture from Straight Line Designs.
Check out more of my favorite pieces»
From the designer/the writer himself.
If you haven’t seen Angelo’s blog, it’s one of the best. Colorful, classic, cool.
The line, which will include around 30 pieces, ranges from $249 to $759. On his blog, he gives the lowdown on the inspiration behind the design, how he made it so affordable and a few sneak peek shots of the line.
For more of our coverage on the High Point Furniture Market, click here.
What’s not to love about Angelo? Besides his refreshing approach to design, he’s just so darn likeable! Well, the same is true (times 10) in person.
Angelo is an angel.
Click here to learn more about Angelo’s furniture line
You didn’t think we’d leave High Point without giving you a peek at Candice Olson’s new pieces, did you? We stopped by Norwalk Furniture’s showroom yesterday and were greeted by her incredible new color scheme of truffles and ice. Candice’s combinations of serene blues, grey-browns and bright whites create a relaxing, yet sophisticated atmosphere.
The Ollie Sectional is the newest piece of her popular Ollie collection. With it’s sleek style and versatility in fabric, arm and leg choices, it’s the perfect addition to any family room.
<!–more See more of Candice’s sophisticated furniture –>
My favorite new pieces is the Calvin chair. One of the things Candice does best is taking a classic style and adding her own unique touch to it. The Calvin chair is a tribute to the timeless wingback, but the deep pitch and exaggerated curves bring an updated, sexy vibe to the design.
We have an exclusive interview with Norwalk experts coming soon. Just wait until you see the Calvin chair in white leather!
For more of our coverage on the High Point Furniture Market, click here.
One of the most exciting new lines we’ve checked out at High Point Furniture Market is the Paula Deen Home Collection. Paula, who as I’m sure you know, is one of our favorite Food Network stars and in addition to her show, cookbooks and other ventures, she is now adding furniture design to her list.
We met The Bag Lady herself and got the chance to hear firsthand about the her leap from food to home furnishings. She shared with us how from the start of her business, she wanted to make quality food and sell it for a fair price and now Universal Furniture has done just that with her furnishings line. You’re going to love it!
One of Paula’s favorite pieces in the new collection is The Bag Lady’s Cabinet, which features two framed glass doors and eight ample drawers that mimic 16 narrow map drawers.
Click here to check out more of Paula’s cozy designs
It’s bound to happen at Market. You will stumble across a great design story – if you have your eyes open. We spotted this crazy, cool chair on the way to the elevators in the Design Wing of the International Home Furnishings Center. And what a cool chair it was is – as is the designer who created it!
Click here to watch our vlog
Can I just say that I’m totally loving Angelo Surmelis even more than usual today? Leslie and I had the honor to catch his chat with some very fortunate High Point attendees about designing for today’s consumer. We were thrilled to get a sneak peek at his new furniture line.
If possible, he is even more lovable in person and it’s totally evident that he has his finger on the pulse of the design world. His new line features colorful, stylish furnishings for your home that most imporantly are affordable!
The line is premiering on Overstock.com this July, and we’ll have more images for you soon. Plus, stay tuned for our vlogs with Angelo. Just wait until you hear about how he wants you to use his pieces in your home!
For more of our coverage on the High Point Furniture Market, click here.
Market is a lot of things. Mostly, for us, it has been exciting, non-stop, late night, unpredictable and exhausting! Good exhausting. We happened upon this product line at the most perfect time. Aaaahhhhhh!
Stress-less furniture? Yes, I can say: it is true.
Tell us what you think.
For more of our coverage on the High Point Furniture Market, click here