Marcel’s “Wander-land”

Marcel Wanders is a man of many talents.  His eclectic brand covers everything from cosmetic lines to furniture and accessories to full-blown interiors.  He has a knack for pairing interesting patterns with the right colors and finishes to make them look expensive and fun all at once.

Casa Son Vida is my favorite Wanders’ interior.  It’s modern yet quirky and unexpected.
Marcel first got noticed for his Knotted Chair for Droog in 1996.  Wanders also co-founded one of my favorite design labels Moooi in 2001.  If you have a second, you should definitely take a look at their website.  They have some of the most interesting products I’ve seen.  I love their animal lamps, I mean how cool would it be to have a life-sized horse statue in your room?  It would be childhood dream realized.
The chair that started it all, Knotted Chair for Droog.

Wanders recently created a line for Marks & Spencer in which he designed everything from throw pillows to lipstick tubes.  I have always been jealous of the Brits and their awesome-yet-inexpensive stores, especially M&S, where you can get designer glassware for around $20!

The array of products is truly amazing!  There’s something in this collection for every style and taste under the sun.

Marcel Wanders has always been a source of inspiration for me over the past three and a half years, but now more than ever I am in awe of his eye for patterns and what seems like a never-ending amount of creativity.  Take some time to look through his designs and I’m sure you’ll be inspired too!

See you soon 🙂 Rachel


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Design Stalking | VandM

So, I know this store is not new but kinda newish to most design & decor enthusiasts. Me included! I’ve been stalking VandM for a few months now. It’s probably because of the well-edited selection, or the fresh & easy to navigate site or the world of information on anything vintage in one place. First, love the tagline…Curate Your Life. That is so wonderful and quite frankly how we should decorate our spaces. Curating is all about choosing “us” in every item we pick.There are vintage and modern finds, yes, from around the world. Some are a little pricey but keep on looking and there may be something that fits your budget. Yesterday, I was dreaming of a black + gold sitting room…Old Hollywood Style. These picks are a start for that space.

Clockwise from top left: 1. What’s a sitting room without a bar cart? 2. A pair of gorgeous lamps 3. A Dorothy Draper classic 4. Sculptural  bookends 5. Modern and classic meets in this pair of tufted chairs.

Of course, all from VandM! Back to stalking the site, and learning something new from their DesignINTellMagazine.


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Book Review | Shabby Chic Inspirations by Rachel Ashwell

Pastel-colored linens hanging airily on a clothesline with wildflowers singing blissfully around them, the simplicity yet genuine beauty of a single rose perched over a vintage teacup, glimpses of a ruffled sofa framed by a rich teal wall covering…ok, I think I’m literally sounding like Froilan Maria in the Sound of Music, but these truly are the memories I have of Rachel Ashwell’s Bed and Breakfast in Roundtop, Texas, aptly named, The Prairie.

Well, this is not a Bed and Breakfast review, so let’s get straight to the point.

Rachel Ashwell as you know is the founder and creative behind Shabby Chic. The term is also a form of interior design where the palette is soft and romantic and the furnishings and accessories have signs or the look of wear and tear. Her new book much like echoes her long-time infatuation with this design genre. But more than that, you can sense a throve of her evolution…that she seem to be more fearless, much more open yet always true to who she is and what her original vision was.

The book was written after the collapse of her Shabby Chic stores coinciding, you guess it , with the down spiraling of the economy. It is admirable that from that experience, rather than dwelling on feelings of being defeated, she took it as a time of introspection and soul searching. From that, I believe she found herself a stronger person with a new confidence towards her art and her craft.

The book is a tribute to her favorite places and spaces, including her Malibu Home and her apartment in London. She also featured homes that share her values, not just because of the aesthetics, but the homes are owned by people who are “living their work honestly & without compromises.”

These 3 are a must-see {and read} for me:

Sophie’s Space

The contrast of a faded raspberry sofa against tiffany blue walls seem too cutesy, but with bits and bobs of her travels from Lots Road in London to the bazaars in Morocco, this space is meaningful and exciting.

The McBreen’s Space

It’s minimal meets country-barn with wide open spaces for both creativity and interactivity. It opens you to the idea that artful and coffee-table magazine ready spaces can commingle with the sweetness of real life.

Huw’s House

The Shabby Man. It thrills me that “such” exists. Yes, a designer & stylist’s real guy can have a Shabby Chic space. The sitting room has faded elegant mirrors with a rose print, a chandelier and get this, a lucky sweater, the one he wore when he met his fiance hangs on a chair in the corner as a loving memory. Awww, yes, do I hear any sentimental sighs?

Rachel’s Bedroom in Notting Hill

Ok, I must have given out too much information. I’m sure you’ll have your own favorites from the book. Apart from the eye candy images we all expect from design books, this book is both inspiring and heartfelt. According to Rachel, admirable spaces are the ones that are meaningful,  the ones that are “inviting, artistic, soulful, inspired & inspiring and in their own way, perfectly imperfect.” And yes, I couldn’t agree more.


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It’s an Urban Cottage Because…

modern & classic furnishings are melded seamlessly


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Project Update | Vintage Touches

So, it’s that time again. I haven’t been very good in chronicling the other projects…sorry about that but I’m better with this one. I’m just starting to get comfortable to ask clients if I can take pictures. They may think I’m a bit loco thinking and over thinking space vignettes. I must have the props styling bug lately.Anyway, just a recap…we started with a clean slate and here was was the progress so far. And here is more:

So the idea with the frames is to put black and white images of their super adorable kiddos with a tinge of yellow on objects {a balloon comes to mind}.

The vintage trunks are the couple’s collection. I got them 6 locker bins as storage for the media console. The collection of wood crates with accessories are the couple’s idea. Ingenious right? Vintage touches are everywhere!

Forgive me if I can’t get over the gorgeous shape we chose for the headboard and the adorable yellow pattern!

And some close-up of vignettes in the bedroom. The accordion lamps were made by the husband MacGyver style by getting accordion mirrors and a lamp bulb. Amazing!

 Decorating with books is always a no-fail strategy.
And, um, yes I adore succulents. Remember this? The couple made this one as well! Love!
So, I’ll keep you posted!


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It’s An Urban Cottage Because…

It pairs rustic-style architecture and soft colors with modern furniture and accessories.


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It’s Finally Fall!

Finally this outrageous Austin heat has broken and become bearable and even, dare I say it, nice!  The cooler weather always ups my energy levels and makes me want to complete all those projects that I put aside because it was way too hot to do anything.  Cooler weather also means getting to be outside more and getting to enjoy one of the best fall activities, al fresco dining!  Here are just a few ideas I had been mulling over in anticipation of cooler months to come:

Parties and Events

What would be more wonderful for your Thanksgiving dinner than having an outdoor dinner party?  Here, various shades of blue accents along with hanging lanterns give this dinner a more special and festive atmosphere than the standard patio brunch.

Hay bales as table seating for a fall party or Thanksgiving? Of course! Why didn’t I think of that before?  Again, lanterns seem to be a common outdoor decorating theme, along with pops of color brought in by the yellow sunflowers.  Simple and effective.

Al Fresco Out and About

When thinking of al fresco dining, Europe immediately comes to mind.  They have some of the most beautiful settings for this type of dining, as seen here in this shot of a restaurant in Venice.  I think we have (or are getting) some outdoor chairs very similar to this at the shop…I’ll have to put those on my Christmas wish list!

Al Fresco at Home

While this sort of setting may not be standard for too many Austinites, it makes me think of my parents’ house out in rural small-town Texas.  Just the idea of making a dining space out in the woods sounds awesome…now I just have to figure out how to make my brothers climb those trees to hang the fabric accents!

A bistro table and chairs is probably a little more doable for most of us living in Austin.  This type of outdoor dining is great for morning coffee or a small snack while chit chatting with a friend…exactly the type of activities I like to enjoy in fall!

Just a few of the many ways you can enjoy al fresco dining this fall.  Now let’s hope this cooler weather sticks around!

See you soon 🙂 Rachel


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Metallic Inspired Holiday Decor

Holiday decor has always been somewhat of a challenge for me.  I have a hard time committing to holiday color themes because generally they tend to clash with the decor I already have in place.  I think this is why I always turn to metallic holiday decor.  There’s something about the sparkle and light in silver and gold decorations that makes the holiday season feel warm and cozy.  Over at the shop, we just added a ton of fantastic new lust-worthy metallic accents that will be perfect for holiday decor all the way through New Year’s!

First and foremost, I am absolutely in love with these antler candleholders!  They are so stylish that you can keep them out all year round, but there’s something cute and clever about using them as Christmas decorations…reindeer inspired style anyone?

These metallic embroidered pillows are perfect for adding a touch of holiday sparkle to your living room or bedroom!  They come in an assortment of patterns, including Greek Key, Nautical Knot, and Damask.  Pick the pattern that best fits your daily style so you can keep these beautiful things on display long after the holidays have passed.

Although a new clock may not exactly scream “holiday decor,” the metallic trim and classic style of this clock will add another layer of shine to your shimmering holiday style.

 

And last but not least, these beautiful branch votive holders will bring light and warmth to your holiday, with a little nature-inspired style.

And here’s a great example of how a neutral metallic style can still feel festive and cozy!

Halloween barely ended and I’m already excited for Christmas!  One can never be too prepared I guess 😉

See you soon!  Rachel


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It’s An Urban Cottage Because…

It combines eclectic furniture, modern architecture and color palettes, and romantic personal touches to create a unique interior decor.

See you soon 🙂 Rachel

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Color Forecast Spring 2012

Although we’ve only just reached the end of October, Pantone has already forecasted color trends far into future seasons.  Not wanting to get too ahead of ourselves, we peeked ahead just at the Spring 2012 forecast and wow, it is gorgeous!

We are adding quite a few products to the site that feature some of these lovely colors, but for now let’s look at a few examples of these colors in action!

Cockatoo:

This beautiful mid-tone bluish green (sort of a smokier version of Robin’s Egg Blue) is a great color for walls to really make your furniture and accessories pop.

Tangerine Tango:

The perfect transition from fall to spring, this bright and fun tangerine color will create a vibrant and fresh interior vibe year round.

Margarita:

We know everyone in Texas loves a good lime margarita! And who could resist it when used as a crisp clean finish on kitchen cabinets and dining chairs?

Sodalite Blue:

White accents really stand out against this deep blue background.  And it works well with classic styles to make them fit in with more modern decor.

Solar Power and Driftwood:

The neutrals Driftwood and Starfish would look good with most of the colors in this palette, but Driftwood works particularly well when paired with Solar Power.  This combination mirrors one of our favorites, yellow and gray.

Any of the colors in this palette will look great come spring time, so choose your favorite and get inspired!

See you soon 🙂 Rachel


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