Apr 24

Handmade. Unique. Priceless.

Posted In Clothing, Decorating, Green Design, Old to New, Recycle/Reuse, Shopping, Uncategorized

There is something extra special about stuff that is hand made by artists, especially those that use and reuse old fabrics, textiles and furniture.  If it is stitched, embroidered, patched, quilted, or hand painted, so much the better! The final effect is new, unique and inspiringly fresh, oozing personality and soul.

I recently discovered (and fell in love with) these puffy blue pillows at  JUXTAPOSITION in Newport Coast. I first thought they were made of old blue jeans, but upon touch, could tell the fabric was much much softer and very fine. When I saw the price, I knew they must be something special indeed. (around $480 each)

They are made of “Boro”… vintage hemp and cotton fabric woven by Japanese farmers to make their everyday clothing in the early 1900′s.  Washed, worn and eventually torn, bits and pieces of  this fabric are now very rare… and valuable.  You can see more examples, read about it and even buy from this ebay dealer here…

Anthropologie does a great job of ferreting out the unique, especially considering they are a large corporation. MOST of their furniture is so distinct, especially that with hand stitched, quilted and patched together fabrics. These gorgeous pieces might not be one of a kind, but they are distinct and not something normally seen in other furniture shops.

I first saw this chair made of vintage denim bits and pieces right after seeing the Boro pillows at Juxtaposition, so they immediately caught my eye.  Such a casual, cool, and rough look for this a formal chair.  LOVE.

Beautiful fabric collages were everywhere… Anthropologie IS known for this sort of look.  How about this ottoman?

AND… sofa:

Mathilde Sofa, Dots

Anthropologie is currently showcasing the upholstery work of Serbian artist Draga Obradovic… unique, one-of-a-kind pieces created when she reupholsters vintage frames in coated-cotton canvas fabric that has been layered with rich pigment ,then screenprinted and hand-distressed.  The final product has a durable, leather-like finish. This is my favorite… I’ve always been a big fan of polka dots.

Prestino Sofa

Another example of Obradovic’s one of a kind, repurposed vintage pieces.

Partial Eclipse Armchair

I’m drooling now… time for some more upholstery classes!  What has caught your eye recently… anything unique or handmade?  Please share!!







tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One comment »

Dec 06

Sofa Love

Posted In Budget, Decorating, Green Design, Old to New, Shopping, Styling, Uncategorized

We’ve been searching for that perfect sofa for weeks and weeks, my client and I.  ”Perfect” in this case would be big, very soft and super comfy, but not too too large where you get that Alice in Wonderland feel.  More like The 3 Bears, where the sofa is juuuust right. This has been a tough assignment.  We’ve decided that the majority of sofas within a certain price range ALL seem to look alike:  neutral, plain and with very few distinguishing features other than a few studs here, piping, tufting or pleats there, or perhaps a different turn of the arm.  Of course, I’ve assured her that a neutral sofa will look wonderful once we add accessories like pillows, throws, rugs, art, books and plants.  Something like this:


What a HUGE difference!  These beige sofas go from blah to FAB with just a few colorful additions. (www.housebeautiful.com)

Of course, if money were no object, and we wanted to be wildly daring and fun, we could go with a real statement piece.  YES, yes… I know these are not for the faint of heart, and probably not perfect for many family rooms where “sprawling” is what needs to be done.  But, OH…  imagine one, just one, of these beauties in your living room, or foyer, or master bedroom or, or, or.  These sofas make me happy!


Custom Made Vintage 20's carved wood show Upholstered and Quiltd Designers Guild embroidered silk and cut velvets, in magenta, pumpkin spring printed cottons and plum Custom Made (www.custommade.com)

Pinned Image Houzz ( www.houzz.com)


Pinned Image




Ginny Avison (www.ginnyavison.co.uk)

Patchwork chaise – Luscious

                                                                        Ginny Avison (www.ginnyavison.co.uk)

The Designers Guild (www.designersguild.com)

 Roche Bobois ( www.roche-bobois.com)

 The Glam Lamb (www.theglamlamb.com)

                                              In “Stitched,” a store in the Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas.


Last, but not least, Anthropologie does different very well.



                                                                               Anthropologie (www.anthropologie.com)


Do YOU dare?  Would one of these sofas make you feel HAPPY when you walk in the door at the end of the day?



tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Oct 28

Layered rugs

Posted In Budget, Decorating, flea market, Green Design, Old to New, Styling

LOooove the look of layered rugs!  Such a great way to freshen up a room, personalize and add texture.  The BEST part… when you tire of the combination, switch the positioning of the rugs, or add a newer piece or take a rug away, and the look, shape and color emphasis will be completely different.

Sisal rugs are a perfect way to start the layer, especially for pattern and color-shy types.   Toss an animal skin, an oriental rug, a patterned dhurrie, something thick and shaggy, or bright and geometric over the sisal to provide interesting texture and a new shape.




My personal preference… the more, the merrier!  I’m crazy about the color, pattern, texture and shape that comes from a combination of rugs.  Orientals, flat weave dhurries, animal skins and more more MORE




Some prefer a more serene and subtle combination and color scheme.






Others might like the layered LOOK,  but don’t want to pile rugs on top of one another. These patched-together area rugs are a perfect solution, and such a wonderful way to recycle bits and pieces of vintage wool rugs that are frayed, worn or stained.


AND…what about over-dyed patchwork rugs?!  These rugs are chemically neutralized, which allows them to still retain their individual patterns and designs, then dyed a single color.  Be still my heart!

Plum Overdyed Patchwork Kilim Rug | World Market



You can also find over-dyed rugs which are solid and not patched together. Spectacular!

Picture 11


Picture 10


What are you decorating your floors with these days?

tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One comment »