Straight Forward And To The Point.

I believe a home should reflect the personal style of the occupant. Convey a sense of – Whimsy. Mood. Goings on. I recently purchased some functional accessories, handmade by a talented New York designer, Alexandra Ferguson. Alexandra speaks volumes, very softly. She makes pillows. Let me get straight to the point. Alexandra does. She says it like it is, so we don’t have to. Bold, strong and beautiful, I never would have believed a bundle of feathers could pack such a punch. Now remember, my audience is a pack of pre-teen boys. I thought it the perfect subtle reminder to place these nesting objects on the new family room sofa. Now, wouldn’t it be nice if I never had to verbally express these words again? Wishful thinking perhaps. But, I’m hopeful that Alexandra’s subliminal messaging while the boys are lounging, will do the trick.


Ok. So perhaps your target audience falls in a different cross section of the population. A message to a boyfriend, a gift to a friend, or well-wishes to a co-worker. No worries my friend. Alexandra has you covered. Categories include: House Rules, Man Cave, Good Advice, Lets Make Out, Monogram, In The Press, Office, and Cartoons. How about one of these? She also takes custom orders. Come on, speak up!

Alexandra has received some great press, in Real Simple Magazine, Shape and House Beautiful. Her pillows are eco-conscious, handmade in the USA one at a time with 100% recycled felt made from recycled water bottles.
Oh, excuse me, did you say something?
Images found on artists website on Etsy.

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Getting Something Off My Chest

We had a gorgeous, antique chest in our living room that both my husband and I loved.  It was gorgeous and old and had tons of character and was multi-functional; acting as both much needed storage and extra seating space.

So what happened to it?  Well, it got moved upstairs to our bedroom when we put up our Christmas tree this year.  And it just so happens that my dorm-room-grandma-chic-minimalist husband who would live with just a rocking chair and a bed pushed up against the wall if he had his druthers, LOVES the chest up in our bedroom at the foot of our bed.  Not one to argue the one time a year my husband actually makes a design decision that I also love, I have acquiesced and the chest is now permanently staying in the bedroom.

Of course, that means that we have a gaping need for a new chest in our living room.  As previously mentioned, it not only acts as extra seating but is instrumental in corralling the mess of toys our son has collected over the short 18 months of his life.

We did some online searching last night to look for a bench and didn't really see anything that struck our fancy…then we remembered to check out the "kid" sites for all of our old favorites: Pottery Barn Kids, RH Baby and Child, Land of Nod, etc…and while we saw a couple of options that would work great, I think we both were still holding out for the possibility of finding something with a little bit more character.


 (above – from RH Baby and Child and Pottery Barn Kids, respectively)

Ever the armchair shoppers, we checked out eBay and Craigslist to no avail…until this morning when I remembered my good friend Etsy.  WHY do I always go there last?  Just one quick search brought up so many beautiful, original options.  Like this one from Etsy seller Todd Manring.  The trunk is made from reclaimed barnwood and he will customize it with any stenciling you want.

 Also from Todd are these beautiful 22x22x22 cubes.  These would be much more versatile in the space and could potentially fit around our bay window like faux banquet seating.


Of course, there is no shortage of cedar chests on Etsy, but this one from TNGWoodcrafters is particularly pretty.


I also really liked this coffee table option from Modern Rust.  I particularly appreciate that you can use the flip up storage for items that you don't use that often, and then potentially store baskets underneath for easier access storage.


Modern Rust also makes this versatile storage bench that we could use at the foot of our bed and potentially move the original chest back downstairs.


I was so pleased (as always) to find so many great options on Etsy.  It's a little bit like having a flea market with the best hours and easiest parking ever!

What was your latest Etsy purchase?  And while I'm asking questions…am I the only one with a husband that actually cares about how the house is furnished?

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Inspired Spaces: Etsy Headquarters

Sure, corporate design is much different from interior and home design, but these snapshots of Etsy's Headquarters (via Apartment Therapy) are channeling a serious love for patterns, colors and total texture.

I actually had the chance to visit Etsy Headquarters in Dumbo, NY this summer and was endlessly amazed at how kooky it all was, yet somehow — everything fit!


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Perfect Pair: If There Be Thorns & Esther Coombs

Do you ever stumble across a couple of complementary decor items and feel your mind start to race with the possibilities? Even if it's unrealistic to overhaul your decor or ultimately not really your style, it can be so much fun even to dream! This happened to me the other day when, moments after looking at the FLOR catalog's If There Be Thorns tiles, I found myself in Esther Coombs's Etsy shop.

Coombs upcycles old, discarded ceramics and gives them new life with hand-drawn illustrations of English flowers, London landmarks, and other images. I love the way her graphical drawings interact with the existing patterns and infuse vibrancy into otherwise dull or dated dishes. Her English rose designs in particular are at once traditional and modern … and so in sync with FLOR's If There Be Thorns tiles!

Totally complementary without being matchy-matchy, the FLOR tiles and Coombs's reimagined ceramics both transform a potentially stuffy motif (the rose) and form (carpet, china). They combine a fun, pop-art sensibility with a touch of elegance and vintage charm. Now to find myself an urban cottage to decorate…

Pictured: If There Be Thorns in blue, plum, and rose; Pool roses tea cup and saucer; 3 tier rose cake stand; Lloyds building yellow rose plate pair

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