Monday, October 24, 2011

Exotic Beds: Global Designs for Fall

The time to snuggle is now. The days are short, evenings are chilly, the heat won't be on for a month. Already I'm slipping into winter tendencies having grilled cheese sandwiches and cocoa for dinner. After which I want to retreat to my cushy, soft bed with a good book and nestle under piles of colorful blankets. And the fact that it's fall and jewel tones are in season does not alter my desire for brightly colored, well-patterned bedding. Thank heaven for brands like Echo who bring it like it's already been brung.

My favorite new collection, Mayan Geo, features my favorite colors, hot pink and orange, on an excellent tribal pattern. This looks like it would mix and match well with any John Robshaw you've got laying around.

all good things: echo brand mayan geo

Monday, October 10, 2011

Rooms on Film: HBO's Hung

Have you ever watched that HBO recession sitcom, Hung? I tend to enjoy the mind games the characters play, the hijinks this fly-by-night prostitution scheme leads to and the Sex and the City-style comic sex scenes. And, in particular, I like the down-to-earth set design. My favorite set is Tanya Skagle's modest 1BR  apartment. The cool thing about her place is that it is colorful, eclectic and realistic. It is a rabble of items that are old, low-cost, affordable and occasionally expensive. You believe this quirky, neurotic, creative person lives here. 

This season Hung has come up with a new set: the Wellness Center for Women. Thanks to HBO's thoughtful guided tour video, I was able to explore the space more closely than the show does. I'm actually quite curious as to how they decided to decorate it. Quite a bit of the furnishings look salvaged. We get to see the characters decorate with artwork that supports their seminar, "Orgasmic Living," both subtly and overtly.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Viva Print Media: This Probably Isn't Very Green

On occasion, I go too far. I'm one of those people with old magazines under the bed, on the bookshelf and just plain stacked along the edges of the living room. And sometimes I have been known to buy an entire magazine for one image. Over the past few years I have learned to cut back on that by looking for the image online first. But- sometimes they just aren't available. Such is the case with the latest issue of Glamour (which I no longer actually read). I was checking to see if they had done an interesting home profile in "How To Do Anything Better" when I saw these two lovely images:
source: glamour magazine   image credit: robert trachtenberg

Monday, October 3, 2011

Gray Days: Summer's End

Today was a tough one: cold and overcast. It was 48 degrees outside this morning and my windows were still open. Actually, one window was open about five inches. That's enough to freeze my whole apartment. Living on street level, I refuse to open/close windows without being 'presentable' to passersby. (This one time, when I had just moved into my first place and didn't have curtains yet, I came out of the bathroom in a shower cap and towel. The bathroom door was next to big double windows that overlooked a highway entrance. I made eye contact with a lady in the passenger seat of a minivan. Then I got curtains.)  

So, it was a long day of trying to get properly warm. At the office and even hours after having closed the window tonight, I still feel vaguely chilled. Just a little bit shy of comfortable. A hot bath would certainly help with that. But my tub is so tiny, and the grout so old that I never, ever take baths at home. Instead, I'll settle for a good cup of tea and dream of a warm, relaxing, summer soak...
Source: Elle Decor     Photo Credit: William Waldron

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Retail Odyssey: Pier 1

Over the past year or so, I have really fallen off visiting stores. It is so much easier to hold onto your cash when you avoid the temptation altogether. For several years my habit was to regularly visit places like Target, TJMaxx, Marshalls, Pier 1, and Anthropologie. Those places actually replaced my habit of visiting clothing and department stores. The habit developed from the feeling that I might miss something. A feeling that the retail industry fostered through  marketing and merchandising tactics, I'm sure. Get it before it's gone!

So, I'm actually proud of myself for having reigned it in. That said, I do occasionally still visit some of these places. The other day I went to Target to get a new curling iron. Yesterday, I went to Pier 1 because it was closed for a remodel all summer and I wanted to see the new look. Those stores have looked the same since I was a teenager. As a college student I used to be fond of their $6 tai chi slippers for wearing around the dorm. They were black on black. When Pier 1 stopped carrying clothes I was never able to find that color again. Not even in China Town NYC! Everyone carries black with white soles. Ugh. So, I swung by and had a look. The difference is not drastic. Departments have been switched around: dishes are now up front, rugs are at the very back. The red ceramic tile floor is now a very light color. They had both their longstanding assortment of candles/fragrances, plus a new higher end line. 

Overall, it was a freshened yet familiar experience. Here are some cool items I saw: