Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Antlers and Donkeys

In a strange twist of irony, posting about feeling uninspired and talking with people about feeling uninspired has..well...inspired me a bit. Who knew?

For the last few weeks I haven't been able to get these donkeys from Graham & Brown out of my mind (now THERE'S a sentence I never imagined myself writing); I've asked myself a few times if their primary appeal is their insanely affordable price, but I don't think so--of course, that doesn't hurt their case. My attraction to them is primarily twofold: 1. They are pink donkeys. 2. They have no tails. 1 + 2 = weird but strangely wonderful.

I'm thinking of covering one wall with them in my youngest daughter's room, perhaps in place of the polka dots that I loved four years ago when I selected them for my older daughter, who has since moved up and out to the "big girl room."

I figure it's as good a time as any to teach her what it's like to sleep at night surrounded by asses -- it'll be good practice for living in a sorority house one day.

Now to the antlers.

We've all seen them. And seen them. And seen them. And today we saw them again in an e-mail about the stylish eco-friendly Q Collection Junior and thought them worth mentioning; even though they're ubiquitous, we still kinda love them.

And yes, we're still selling them at the store. You're not going to find that peaceful expression on a real stag head, so don't even try.

Isn't it time you got your own set? C'mon, everybody else is doing it.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Little Cat Feet

Chalk it up to tax season, the end of winter, hormones (the men love to pull out that last one, don't they?) -- whatever the reason, I am trapped in THE FOG.

Apologies for the lack of exciting blog posts, absence of new product mentions and customer mailings, and excess of tardy e-mail responses. I'm working on finding my way out of the darkness (Doesn't that sound like a celebrity self-help book, "Out of the Darkness"?) and returning to our regularly scheduled program.

We have lots of exciting things in the works -- some fabulous new items, improvements to our design center, and forthcoming in-store events -- and very soon I'm going to have the energy to tell you about all of them.

But first I just need to take a quick nap...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

How Much for the Room?

Interior from The Rug Company; rug design by Suzanne Sharp

Maybe it's just me, but sometimes I find myself perusing catalogs and falling in love with all the things that *aren't* for sale. There are a few retailers out there with a supreme knack for putting together magical interiors and spectacular finds to offset their products, and some of their catalog pages inevitably find their way into my design inspiration folder.

My all-time favorite catalog interiors? The Rug Company. Not coincidentally, their rugs are also among my all-time favorite. (And can I state for the record that one of their designers, Suzanne Sharp, is a rug goddess; hers are always the ones I drool most over, without even knowing the designer.)

Naturally, the company is British, which gives them a leg up in the style department. (We Yanks will catch up with you one day, you just watch...)

If you've never seen their catalog, it's actually a thick hardbound book, always with an amazing graphic cover in vibrant colors....honestly, you'd be proud to display it on your coffee table.

Take a look at some of my favorite Rug Company interiors:

Another retailer who excels at interesting interiors? FLOR, the maker of the ubiquitous carpet tiles in vast arrays of colors and patterns. I have several at home in my kids' rooms--with little humans and canines, these are invaluable for their ability to be pulled up, rinsed off, and even replaced, if the stain is too egregious.

I invariably spot furniture or accent pieces in FLOR's catalogs that I covet and have more than once tried to no avail to track down. They also do a great job (especially for a mass retailer) at combining unexpected colors to create really interesting vignettes. Take a look at some of their recent shots to see what I mean:

How much do I want this desk? A LOT.

Who are your favorite catalog "designers"?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

From the Mouths of Babes

Decorating advice from an 8-month old:

Be bold.

Don't be afraid to mix patterns and colors.

Shop vintage, then make it your own.

Buy what you love, then enjoy it! (Life's too short for too-precious things.)

Be confident, and you'll pull it off.

A little drool never hurt anybody.

At least, that's what I think she said.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

How to Survive a Seattle Spring

If you're here, you know exactly what I mean.

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