Category: Decorating (Page 1 of 2)

Gifting the Perfect Book: For the Decorating Devotee

Thank the decorating book gods! The new Domino book is out!!!

jacketIf you are a long-time subscriber to Domino magazine or even if you’ve never heard of it but you love decorating, this book is for you people. Domino magazine comes out quarterly and when I see it on the news stand, I basically squeal. Then I will go home to start looking through it, loving every second but also hating it. Sometimes I have to close the magazine because every house featured is so perfect I can barely cope with it. But, make no mistake, I finish the magazine and then refuse to throw it away.

Well, the book, Domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home, is even better. And did I dominomention this is their SECOND book! Their first book, Domino: The Book of Decoratingcame out in 2008 and looking through it is really amazing because I would still have everything in that book in my own little corner of the world. The work featured in Domino is just clean and timeless. I realize that 2008 doesn’t seem that long ago, but PEOPLE—that was eight years ago! Decorating styles can change A LOT in just a few years. But that is the trick with decorating: don’t do trendy, do clean and timeless.

domino-roomAs for the new book: first of all, just the physical book itself is so pretty that I want to scream. But it also has incredible content inside, broken down into navigable chapters such as “seating,” “walls,” “art,” “flooring,” etc. Every chapter is broken down further into sections like “Walls We Love,” “Handbook,” “Style Statement,” and “Style School.” There are so many helpful things in this book that I have a hard time knowing where to start, but I will say that the Style Statements at the end of every chapter almost send me into orbit because the designs are so incredible but all so different. There really is something for everyone. Then there are also the Style Standoffs at the end of each chapter, focusing on things such as Large Patterns vs. Small Patterns.

This is the perfect Christmas gift for the person in your life that loves decorating. There is even a beautiful box set of the two books, The Domino Collection. So if you come in the store and you are interested in this book, let me show you just how great it is!

Come Check Out My Spring Display (Pt 1)

Despite all the rain of the past few days, spring means a number of very sunny and happy things to me. So in honor of this most wonderful time in Mississippi, during the two-week period when we don’t all feel like we will surely die from wretched, wet cold or suffocate from the stifling heat, we can all walk outside our homes and just say “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

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I have built a display. This display is what spring means to me and essentially all of the things it makes me want to do. I feel certain I’m not the only one who gets the planting bug in the spring. I have a particular fondness for succulents and terrariums. Why you might ask? Well that is because they are low maintenance, they are clean and fresh looking, and depending on your arrangement, they can look rather elaborate. I like to appear like I know what I’m doing, people. And I truly, to goodness do not. I was not blessed with the green thumb of father and mother. It is not necessarily a black thumb; I fondly call it my gray thumb. So in this situation everyone wins…including the plants. If anyone feels so inclined, I’ve placed a book on this display for each of these loves. One is called Terrarium Craft, the other Hardy Succulents. Another favorite is Tiny Terrarium. If you are interested ask me and I’ll show it to you! Essentially you create scenes inside your terrarium with people and any manner of thing. I know Joan Hawkins Interiors had the makings for these things.

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Anyhow moving on…spring also makes me want to spruce my house up. Justina Blakeney’s new book The New Bohemians makes me want to completely rethink my entire decorating scheme – just completely start all over again. I love the clean lines of a mid-century furniture, but lord knows I can cram a lot of stuff in a space and hang a lot of art on the walls. So does this make me a modern bohemian, as a section in her book suggests? I have many questions left on this matter, but honestly this book is a feast for your eyes. Blakeney has gotten quite a lot of acclaim for design aesthetic over the past few years, and this book only further proves why. Now if I really want to build on what I’ve got (which my mother would say is my best option), I should really invest in the new Apartment Therapy Complete + Happy Home. This book pulls from a little bit of everywhere just like their incredible blog of the same name (Apartment Therapy…in case you missed that part). I mean this book talks about it all, down to the frames you use for your art, without being overwhelming and nitpicking. Oh I almost forgot to mention that The New Bohemians has great DIY projects in it which segues into my next desire of spring…CRAFTING.

I pretty m9781617691751uch always love to make something, but I think the whole new life thing that comes along with spring really does something to me. A book I’ve been drooling over for quite some time now is The Modern Natural Dyer. Not only is it a gorgeous book, but it also tells you how to dye fibers with flowers, vegetables, and spices. Basically head on over to the grocery store and make a mess because I love to make a mess. It’s the cleaning up that presents a problem for me. This book has twenty projects for your home and your wardrobe, including knitting and sewing. Pretty amazing if you think about it. “Oh, why yes, I did make this! I dyed it as well. Eat your freaking heart out!!!” Next up on the docket we have Materially Crafted: A DIY Primer for the Design-Obsessed (that’s me). So this book’s projects are broken down into sections of spray paint, plaster, concrete, paper, thread, wax, wood, and the list goes on. I could definitely get into a modern looking concrete cake stand or some precious wax bud vases. There is more to come about this display, but I feel like I am close to losing all of you so I will leave you here

Become the Stylist Your Home Needs

Jacket (6)There are lots of words I could use to describe how I feel about Styled by Emily Henderson, but the one I am going to go with is obsessed. If you’re like me, you can sometimes feel like you have all the pieces to the puzzle of your home, but somehow they just don’t seem to fit together. I know what I like, and that’s what I go for when shopping for my home; but what to do with those items once they’re in my house?

That is what this amazing book is for! Not everyone needs to call in a decorator to work out what to do with one side of their living room, or perhaps they don’t have the funds. Quite honestly, I just want help knowing how to arrange things on tables and shelves, because the amount of tchotchkes, collections, and books I own entered the realm of ridiculous years ago. Great news to all, because once again, that is exactly what this book is for.

Emily Henderson teaches us to become a stylist to our own home. This way our houses can look like all those pictures we see in our favorite magazines. In the beginning of the book there is a quiz she has formulated to help you figure out what your style profile is. Is it Scandanavian, Minimalist, Zen, Industrial, or Bohemian? Perhaps it is a mix of several of those; and she will show you how to appropriately marry them!

I hate gushing, but all the little sections on arranging your knickknacks and books on every imaginable surface in your house makes me vibrate with excitement. Henderson shows interesting ways to hang your art so that it will draw in and engage the viewer, and there is also a section on learning how to shop for your home!

And if I am being totally transparent here, there are some things I saw in the book that I am dying to have in my own house; I do believe that flea markets are about to be my new thing. Styled is so much more than a pretty decorating book with just pictures. It is a guide with actual useful information. Every woman in Lemuria is in love with this book and I can assure you, it’s for good reason.

Making my house a home

Here’s the thing-  I don’t buy decorating books.

…Is something I would have said six months ago. A statement rendered totally untrue now that I’ve picked up The New Bohemians: Cool and Collected Homes by Justina Blakeney.

downloadBlakeney’s new collection of photographs (beautiful, beautiful photographs by Dabito) of homes across the U.S. embody the style that she has dubbed “New Bohemian”. Separated into six little subcategories (Modern, folksy, romantic, earthy, nomadic, and maximal), the book is essentially a go-ahead to break all the decorating rules that your mom taught you. Want to layer up some area rugs? Do it, and do it proudly my friend. Want to hang a random scarf on your wall instead of a framed photograph? More power to you, kid.

Below are a few snapshots of my own home. What I loved so much about Blakeney’s book was the attention to detail, something that I’ve always loved about settling into a house. Hopefully some of the DIYs below can help you add something extra to your nest.

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I am lucky enough to have very talented friends, and I make it a point to go to as many of their art showings as possible. My walls are constantly evolving, and by choosing to not stick to any particular decorating theme, I’ve had the freedom to mix and match pieces all over the house to make interesting gallery spaces.

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When the main focus of a room is on a shelf full of books, there is no need to decorate based on any specific color scheme- books are the color equalizer. More is better! (cats are optional in any decor, but highly recommended)

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You can never have too many pretty rocks in your house. I make it a point to attend the Mississippi Gem and Mineral Society’s annual show in the trade mart by the fairgrounds to stock up on geodes, jewelry, and hand-crafted goodies. It’s an incredibly inexpensive way to add a little something extra to the style of your home. This old video camera was purchased in a thrift store for $10.

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My mother painted this crazy bird when she was a little girl. I love how the primary colors go with this prayer candle and handkerchief. This particular setup causes me a lot of grief, however, as I have to dust it regularly. I try not to keep too many trinkets in my home, because I HATE dusting.

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Here’s another fun DIY project for any loose jewelry or ties that may be getting tangled up: Wrap a sturdy stick from your backyard in embroidery thread and tap in some penny nails to make a piece of art that also de-clutters your bedroom!

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Want to save one million dollars on framing? Pick up a pack of teeny tiny binder clips from Target for about $2 and hang them with penny nails. Finally I have a way to display my ever-growing print collection! P.S., having some shelves adds a little depth to this wall. Also, I will always need more storage space for rocks.

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Pssst. You don’t have to pay nine hundred billion dollars for Kantha quilts. I got two of these from Southeastern Salvage for $15 each. Also, if you have a friend who paints, sculpts, does woodcuts, or anything artistically awesome, BUY THEIR STUFF. It’s an incredible way to support your local arts scene, and it makes your house feel so badass.

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This garland was made by looping embroidery thread around three of my fingers, then wrapping a piece of thread around the top of the loop to tie it off. Cut the bottom half of the loop to make your tassel look like a little octopus, and voila! You have the beginnings of a DIY garland that costs less than $7 to make.

Rooted in Design by Tara Heibei and Tassey de Give

I know our blogs are normally written on fiction related books, but I figured (with it being summer and all)….I’d write this blog about gardening!

 

I’ve grown up with my Dad always planting a garden, every single year. I’ve grown up hoeing, planting, and then picking, shelling, or snapping. Every year. With that being said…you learn a thing or two about how to plant/where to plant certain plants, seeds or bulbs. However, because my husband and I are only renting our current home, I’ve mainly stuck with indoor plants and container gardening (tomatoes WILL grow in a bucket).

 

With the indoor plants, because they are a form of decoration for me, I became more interested in their looks. I would definitely pop into Lowes, buy a few plants I thought were “pretty” or “neat” and then plant them. I soon realized, I didn’t even know what half of the plants I had were named or even how much sun or watering they needed.

 
42619-2TSo! Of course I turned to our bookstore and rummaged through the gardening section. I came across Rooted in Design and realized it was the best of both worlds (a book on taking care of indoor plants AND using them for decor in your home). Just looking at the photos in this book made me want to buy all of the plants at Lowes. The authors discuss the importance of balance when using plants as decor in your home, making sure to not overcrowd an area, but to use plants to play with the proportions of a space. There is a section in the back that goes over fertilization, pruning, potting and re-potting as well as a plant directory, with photographs and the scientific names, of every plant shown through-out the book. Which this, of course, helped me to figure out what some of plants I already had were named and what amount of watering they needed.

 

There are so many projects in this book (building terrariums, growing vines along your wall, moss walls, etc.) that it inspired me to basically re-pot all of the plants in my home. I went out and made sure I purchased the correct potting soil; I even bought rocks to make sure water would drain better in some of my pots (…I paid for rocks, y’all). Here are a few of the plants I re-potted.

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And they’re still going strong!

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I’ve never owned a gardening book before, but I’m really happy I picked this one up. If you’re into (or just getting into) indoor or container gardening, I would suggest taking a look at this book. It definitely inspires one to be creative in their home and in their gardening.

Rearranging

I looked at my bookcases. I looked, and I knew it was time.

This is all wrong, I said. Who arranged this? Do they know  what the alphabet is? It was time to take matters out of my hands and put them back into my newer, smarter hands.

I rearranged the entire bookcase. My husband came home. Again? Why are you doing this againNow he knows better than to ask.

I think this new system will last for at least another month before I ultimately decide that it’s wrong- IT’S ALL WRONG WHAT IDIOT THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA?! 

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Young House Love

young house loveSherry and John Petersik are self-proclaimed “DIY dorks” who love to work on home improvement projects and share their experiences along the way. Their blog, younghouselove.com, has been such a hit that they have recently published a book with the same title. Joining the likes of design*sponge  (I’m sensing a trend here,) this fun collection of deceptively easy home improvement projects and decorating tips is the perfect incentive to actually pick out a project and get to work on it (instead of just daydreaming about what projects you would love to work on.)  Young House Love is geared towards first-time homeowners with a need for budget-friendly projects with style, but most of the projects work for anyone looking to redecorate or change up their home’s look. With just a few basic tools, any homeowner/DIY enthusiast can transform a bland wall or recover a headboard in little time and with little expense. I’ve just gotten my copy and am excited to get to work (if I can get beyond my daydreaming stage…)

Here’s before and after shot of their living room to help get a feel for Sherry and John’s decorating style (also, who out there doesn’t love a good before and after shot?)

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final-living-room-after-2by Anna

 

Good Bones, Great Pieces

Plenty of houses have good bones. It is a luxury of some sort to have one of these. To make the house even better, the catch is you must have great pieces. The furniture, decor, accessories, and style can turn those bones into a fabulous place.

My sister recently moved into a new house. It’s got really good bones and really great pieces. A renovation is about to take place. Last time I was visiting, she had a stack of decorating books she was going through. I decided to ship her Good Bones, Great Pieces for her birthday in hopes it might have an idea to help her!

Suzanne and Lauren McGrath are a mother daughter team who started a decorating blog, Good Bones, Great Pieces. They found the process of decorating a house to be overwhelming. In fact, they found that Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. felt their exact pain,  “Every woman in her secret heart believes herself to be a potential interior decorator, but usually when she gets started, she loses her nerve…She becomes confused by a great variety of material that confronts her when she shops. She loses confidence, becomes timid, and falls back on the drab and mediocre because she is afraid of doing wrong.”

To help with the confusion, the McGrath women have provided the seven most essential pieces your home needs! Each one received it’s own chapter in the book with plenty more details to help you find the exact piece that your house needs.

The must haves are:

1. The Love Seat (Where to use it: starter apartment, living room, dining or breakfast room, bedroom)

 

 

 

2. The Demilune

 

 

 

 

3. The Bench (Where to use: front porch, entrance foyer, living room, dining room, bedroom)

 

 

4. The Dresser

 

 

5. The Slipper Chair (Where to use it: bedroom, living room, family room, dressing room)

 

 

 

6. The Side Table

 

 

 

7. The Occasional Chair (Where to use it: entrance foyer, living room, dining room, home office, bedroom)

Of these seven pieces, how many do you own? Your house may already have those seven essential items. You are ahead of the game!  Good Bones, Great Pieces can help you find the perfect spot for them in your house!  -Quinn

Books Do Furnish a Room

When I moved in our house after we got married, my husband was anxious to know if every box that was labeled “books” was really such. I tried to move the conversation elsewhere because they really were all books! As I looked around, it was a little overwhelming as to where I was going to put each and every one of them.

My parents helped put my mind at ease. For Christmas they gave me a book titled Books Do Furnish a Room by Leslie Geddes-Brown. The title is my exact thought in any situation. The pictures are dreamy and encourage you to build your own little library in your house. Makes a room look cozy, doesn’t it?

With all those books you received for Christmas, you can add a certain warmth in a room. Come get Books Do Furnish a Room for ideas or for the perfect coffee table book!  -Quinn

 

Design Sponge at Home

Many of us at Lemuria go pretty wild over our DIY and craft books. One of the latest to excite us is Design*Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney, the first book be published from the blog of the same name. Grace started the blog in 2004 and since then it has grown to a daily readership of over 75,000, along with over 121,000 RSS readers, 315,000 Twitter followers, and 30,000 Facebook followers.

On the blog there are tons of step-by-step DIY projects for crafting and improvements around the house and decorating ideas in many formats. The book is largely comprised of the most popular features of the website: the “Sneak Peek,” the “DIY,” and the “Before and After.”

In the “Sneak Peek” part of the book, we get a two or four page tour of the homes of some of the designers that have been featured on the Design*Sponge blog, including its editors. These glimpses, just like those on the blog, are packed with photos accompanied by captions that almost always say “refurbished piece from thrift store.” That’s one of the best things about Design*Sponge — all of the amazing design ideas are completely doable on a budget.

The “Before and After” section rivals the “Sneak Peek” for being the most fun to look at: before and after photographs that people have submitted to Design*Sponge of refurbish or repurpose projects.

This is a project I’ve been inspired to undertake, from the “DIY” section, the rolling storage bench.

 

I found this crate at an antique mall, and couldn’t pass it up because it was marked with the location where whatever “goods” it originally transported were delivered: Crystal Springs, Miss. I decided to pass on the “rolling” part of the project; for now, at least, I think I’ll prefer a stationary bench. The previous owner already made “improvements” on this crate to make it functional — the lid has a hinge. So all I have to do is create a cushion for the top and I’ll have a rustic entryway or foot-of-the-bed storage bench.

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