My Favorites from the 2014 Dwell on Design Event

Last weekend, Dwell was in town at the LA Convention Center, showing off the latest in home decor trends. I’ve been meaning to see this show for several years, and somehow there’s always something unexpected that gets in the way. Well this year, I was lucky enough to finally make it there with a coworker… a little work research, so to speak. Here are a few of my favorite things from the show.

This was one of the first booths we saw there, VIT. I just love the colorful modern glazed finish on such organic shapes.
DSCN5058Vertex Design Studios had some fantastic concrete-made decor.DSCN5069 These pendant lights were my favorite!DSCN5070 Cerno is a local company that designs and manufactures lights. I just loved their use of wood, and take a look at this incredible large-scale cantilevered lamp in the foreground. I love its angles, and it was big enough to just walk right under!DSCN5099 Being an interior designer on a student budget can be frustrating sometimes, so I’m always super excited to find low-budget good-design ideas. There were two booths there that got me excited for low-budget design solutions. The first was Stikwood.DSCN5107 Stikwood is a wood plank product with a sticky back, so you can literally peel and stick the stuff to whatever your heart desires! I think it wood be fantastic for a wall-covering or ceiling treatment. You could also use it as a make-shift headboard, or even stick it to the face of some simple Ikea furniture pieces.DSCN5108 DSCN5111

And speaking of Ikea, this company has a brilliant Ikea-hack business model. Semihandmade makes doors for Ikea cabinets. From the looks of it they are only a little it more expensive than Ikea doors, but significantly more aesthetically pleasing. Here’s your chance to have unique kitchen cabinet facing on an Ikea budget.DSCN5208 DSCN5209 DSCN5210 I’ve been falling increasingly in love with Loll outdoor furniture, so I was happy to take a look at their line in person. They make durable outdoor furniture out of recycled plastic.DSCN5113 DSCN5114 DSCN5115 This display totally tickled my fancy. Wouldn’t you just love to go camping with this!?DSCN5119 DSCN5120 DSCN5121 Clei had several great small-space solutions: everything from your standard murphy bed to desks that fold down into beds. This queen size bed was fun to see transformed into more storage space.DSCN5129 DSCN5130 DSCN5131 DSCN5132 I thought this chair by Sitskie looked like such a cool design, but I didn’t fully understand until I sat down on it. Each little piece of wood you see here moves, allowing the chair to form to your body. I have never sat in a wooden chair so comfortable as this one!DSCN5135These side tables from Karabachian Design are modern and simple, but the dip-died legs make the piece. I always love a surprise pop of color.DSCN5191There were a variety of modular and pre-fab homes on display there, which I was most excited to explore. I’ve been hearing a lot about some of the really cool architecture and design that’s happening in pre-fab homes so I loved seeing them in person. This is a scale model of a modular home called the Pinwheel series. This was an incredibly elaborate, perfectly hand-crafted model.
DSCN5143 DSCN5144 I mean, look at the miniature lamp!! DSCN5145 This prefab home by Altius was my favorite exterior of the homes on display. DSCN5148

Wheel Haus had a creative set up. This is more like a mobile home in that it is literally on wheels and just needs to be plugged into the utilities and you’re all ready to go! But look and the awesome, huge overhang over the porch. DSCN5167 And I just loved the wood plank ceilings. This feels nothing like your stereotypical mobile home.DSCN5165 DSCN5162 This 3-bedroom/1-bathroom house by Living Homes was by far my favorite prefab home on display. Its layout was well thought out, the finishes inside were top notch, and even the decor of the model made it easy to get a feeling of what it would be like to live there.DSCN5168

The people wandering through even looked at home inside. DSCN5169 DSCN5179DSCN5171 DSCN5172 DSCN5174 DSCN5180I’m so glad I was finally able to make it to Dwell on Design this year. It really got my creative wheels turning!

Which one is your favorite?

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Wonderful Wood Antiques at The Snivling Sibbling

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The Snivling Sibbling storefront

Last weekend while wondering around Eagle Rock, I discovered a wonderful antique store called The Snivling Sibbling.  The hubby and I were out and about, and decided to head down to Eagle Rock to find a little lunch joint. When we were done we did a little exploring by foot. Of course I have driven by The Snivling Sibbling many times and have been curious, so I was excited to walk in and see what this shop was all about. Low and behold, it was filled with treasures!

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an overall view of the shop inside

When we first arrived, we were greeted by small sampling of what the store has to offer, lining the sidewalk out front. Something about the entrance also reminded me of the charming old antique stores you might find on a road trip through the small towns of West Virginia.

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The Snivling Sibbling entrance

The shop is not big in size, but it is packed with wonderful antique and vintage furniture, all very reasonably priced and in fantastic condition.

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some treasures at the front of the store

You can find everything from chairs, to tables, dressers, mirrors, and bookshelves. There is even this beautiful art deco bed headboard and foot board (which I definitely would have snatched up if we had had a full sized bed in the house anywhere).

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art deco headboard and foot board

Delightful accessories have homes all around the shop, peppered over the furniture until someone joyfully takes them home.

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accessories are scattered throughout the store

And when you go, don’t forget to look up! Hanging from the ceiling are accessories, furniture, and art, all worthy of snatching up.

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more treasures hanging from the ceiling

In fact we took this chair home, which we found hanging up above. It is the perfect antique addition to balance out some of the more modern aspects of our living room, and looks great in front of our Bachelder fireplace. This chair is probably more similar to the age of our home than most of the furniture we’ve decorated with, and I feel like it brings a bit of nostalgia into our sitting area.

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one of the treasures we were happy to take home with us

The shop was also filled with beautiful mirrors. Some were hanging on the wall, others on the floor propped up against something else. I fully plan to go back for one as we continue decorating our home.

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one of several beautiful mirrors for sale

Jeff, the store’s owner and operator who we met while we were there, had just gotten a few new antiques in and I found his team out back polishing and preparing them for sale.

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a recent arrival, being prepared for sale

I fell in love with this chair, being polished up out back.

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gorgeous chair, probably Victorian, just arrived and being polished up

Before we left, we decided to also pick up this end table. By its original design, it was probably meant for a sitting room. (The little door on the front has a small cigar rack built into the inside.) But I decided to use it in the bedroom. It has a beautiful femininity to it in the wood carving design and the top border, but the rich warm wood makes it elegant and mature.

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another treasure we delightful snagged, now our bedside table

And again, much like the chair, this end table is about the same vintage as the house, so it keeps with the charm of all the lovely vintage details we love so much about our house.

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a beautiful addition to our work-in-progress bedroom decor

What’s your favorite antique store find? Do you have a favorite antique store in the LA area that I should go check out?

Orchid Dreams

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five buds bloomed my orchid this year

I have lived in Los Angeles for 8 years 7 months, and counting. I’m going to guess that I have been trying to make an orchid part of my decor for approximately 8 years 1 month. I have killed exactly 7 of them to date, but this time I did it! I have successfully nurtured this orchid plant for close to one year now, and not only is it alive, it is blooming!

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my happy, healthy orchid

You’ll have to forgive my excitement. After several people telling me it’s easy to care for orchids, and then me subsequently killing them, this is something I never thought I could accomplish. And much to my chagrin, itactually was pretty easy!… With a couple of new conditions in play:

1) I have this awesome gardening window in my new house. It does not get direct sunlight, but that’s great because orchids don’t like direct sunlight. The window is shaded by a huge ficus tree, so it gets plenty of light but no harsh direct sun rays.

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some of the new roots that developed in the past couple months

2) The gardening window is over the kitchen sink. What does this have to do with anything, you may ask? Well, every time I do the dishes, I am reminded to check it to see if it need watering. And I just water it in the sink when it does. Piece of cake!

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the base of the stalk that grew this year

3) This particular orchid is a Phalaenopsis, which likes to get completely dry between watering. So it was always easy for me to tell when it was time to water it again. Water it when the bark in the pot feels dry.

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Phalaenopsis with red lips

So to encourage those of you who might have felt like me, and think that you can’t take care of an orchid, I’m here to tell you that you can! Here are a couple links that will make it easy:

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five blossoms

Have you tried to maintain an orchid? Did you find it easy or difficult?

Why I Love… Bold Area Rugs

“Well, sir, it’s this rug I had. It really tied the room together.” – Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski

Between looking for rugs for my own house and helping a friend refresh the look of her living room, I feel like I’ve been spending a lot of time scouring the web for great rugs. There are so many awesome rugs out there to chose from! Some are solid, simple colors, others bold patterns. Some boast newly conceived graphic designs, others are inspired by antique, Oriental, or Turkish rugs. All in all, what I have been learning is that you can really make a statement with the rug you choose for a room, and it can be a lot of fun to allow that rug to inform the decisions you make when accessorizing the rest of the room!

Here are some of my favorite rugs I’ve come across recently.

Alyson Fox Chevron Wool Rug – West Elm

I first learned of Alyson Fox while reading Design Sponge a while back, and have been dying for the right place for this rug ever since. I have been experimenting with grays and taupes lately, and what I love about this rug is that it favors gray but still uses a variety of other colors and geometric shapes to break it up a bit. And that pop of red is so striking!

Adelaide Rug – Crate and Barrel

I do love a good floral pattern, but it has to be unique… not like the fabric from your grandmother’s rose covered window curtains! I like this pattern because it’s modern and hints at the flowers and their surrounding leaves, but also takes some liberty in improvising with whimsical curls and the reversing of positive and negative space. And since it is two-toned using only a creamy white and a deep blue, you could pair this with any number of neutral or bright accent colors.

Herringbone Rug – Urban Outfitters

If you’re looking for a bright pop of color in an otherwise fairly monotone room, this could really make a bold statement. I love the contrast of the teal with white, and this herringbone pattern is pretty popular lately (along with chevron, and a few other similar patterns you’ve probably seen around). Compliment this with some teal accessories, and you’ll have yourself a cheerful, bright room for reading, playing, or entertaining.

Luca Rug – Pottery Barn

This one is reminiscent of a traditional oriental rug in it’s colors and shapes, but also in the vine-like configuration surrounding the more central, pointed-tip flowers. (Of course this is a much more modern take on it.) I love the symmetry of the design, but also the variety of the shapes used. And the way the burnt red flowers pop out at you is delightful.

Diamante Flatweave – Restoration Hardware

What’s unusual about this one is the texture, and I love it! While it could be a bit of a tease for your toes, the raised crisscross pattern not only breaks up the otherwise neutral rug with it’s intersecting lines, but the shadows thrown by the raised fibers give it a kind of dimension that most rugs can’t accomplish with a single uniform fiber height.

As for why I chose the rugs I did for our dining room and living room… Well, it was a bit of a progression, since we did one room at a time!

In the dining room, the house came with wonderful rust-colored tin ceiling tiles installed in the dining room, which we loved! However, we also love our  blue clay dishes from Crate and Barrel. So the goal was to find a rug that would bring together the warm orange from the ceiling and the cool blue of the dishes. After choosing gray-toned woods for furniture and then fishing around for quite a while for the right rug, I found this one from Anthropologie.

Festival Rug – Anthropologie

It is the perfect combination of red, orange, blue, and gray for the room. The orange in the rug balances out the orange tones in the ceiling, while the blue and gray tones of the rug gently compliment the blue dishes and grayish wood table. (I also chose gray curtains to maintain the vertical balance in the room, making sure not to overwhelm the room in warm colors.)

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my dining room, with rust-colored tin ceiling

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dining room table combining blues, oranges, and grays

Next was the living room rug. We have a beautiful gray sofa I had been eye-ing for months before we finally got it. Once we finally had it in the house, I set out to find the perfect rug. Since I purposefully chose a sofa that would be neutral enough to go with almost any color, I could be fairly flexible. However, since our dining room is through a wide doorway that is open to the living room, I wanted to be sure that they flowed with each other well. So when I found this rug, again at Anthropologie, I knew it was the one!

Tufted Gingko Rug – Anthropologie

The dark background color for the design is a blue-ish steel gray, maintaining the link with blue and gray tones between the two rooms, and I loved the contrast against the white of the gingko design. Plus, that pop of yellow color was just what we needed to liven up the room (which otherwise consisted of only neutral colors). The other awesome thing about pairing this rug in the living room with our dining room rug is that they both have these wonderful radial shapes in a floral-but-not-too-feminine pattern. (Nothing wrong with feminine patterns, but that guy I married does also have to live here!)

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my living room, gray base with some splashes of yellow to liven it up

Before finding this rug I’m not sure I would have thought to use yellow as an accent color in the living room, but now that it’s here I can see that a warm shade of yellow is the perfect color to brighten up the room. I love walking out into the living room in the morning to such cheery decor. It starts me off with a smile!

Which of these rugs is your favorite? What do you like most about it?