Thursday, March 31, 2011

A New Site and Some New Items!

Did you link here from today?

Well if you did, you will have seen that we have a new site coming soon! In fact, it should be live by April 8th.

The new site will include an online store, so anyone can visit us and do a little shopping, whether they're in Key West or Alaska. We're so excited about this new venture and we hope that you'll love our Key West inspired products as much as we do.

Here is a preview of what you'll find...

...And here are a few close up shots of some new pillows and mats we've started carrying in the shop (which you will also be able to purchase online):

I probably won't have time to post until the online shop is up and running. In the meantime...have a great weekend. Can't wait for the unveiling next week!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Plümo Home Accents

Yesterday on Wishing True, I featured, Plümo, a lovely site I discovered on An Indian Summer.

As I said before, there isn't much detail about the company on the Plümo site. But it says that they procure all of their products from "artisans, co-operatives from Africa to Asia, designers that have just come out of college and any kind of creative people that just make beautiful things."

The first thing that grabbed my attention while browsing the House & Home items was the abundance of bright colors and bold motifs:

Having a cheerful green teapot on the stove top or placing colorful jars on a bookcase or putting your feet up on a fancy pouf...these are all things that make a house feel like home. Whenever I've moved into a new place, I've arranged some of my favorite objects before even unpacking most of the boxes. Just having one lovely corner to come back to is far more satisfying than a cabinet full of organized pots and pans.

(Okay - so that light isn't colorful...but isn't it fun?!)

See more HERE. And if you haven't already visited, check out my Wishing True post for my favorite Plümo fashions.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Fresh Spring Look from Lee

Have you seen the new Lee ad that ran in the April issue of House Beautiful?

Love that green! It reminds me of the new shoots that are sprouting everywhere, announcing the end of Winter. While it's never Winter in Key West, I live in the DC area, and we're SO ready for some warm sunny days!

From what part of the world are you visiting? Are you waving goodbye to snow and ice?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Color: Red and Blue

Today, I'm thinking about blue and red palettes...

...So much so, that I did a Blogging Your Way "mood board" project with that theme:

I had to throw it together in about five minutes with kids running around so it's not perfect. But I think it captures what I was going for well enough.

The class ended today and I can't tell you how much I recommend taking it when they run it again in the future. It's given me so much inspiration for the new Style Key West website and online store. That's right - we're FINALLY getting that shop up and running. More on that later...

Images via: A Creative Mint (one of the BYW instructors!), Country Living, House and Home and The Paris Apartment.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

How To Paint a Refrigerator

Seriously. You can, and Caroline has directions and pictures to prove it! Check it out...

A client had a little refrigerator with the pretty standard, ugly wood grain paneled front. Not something that you would particularly like to showcase... I didn't take "before" pictures - but I think you can envision what I'm talking about.

Here is the finished product:

Want to know how to do this? Here you go...

1 Quart of Stix primer
1 Quart of Benjamin Moore Ocean Deep
1 Custom spray can of Ocean Deep
Acrylic paint
Acrylic sealer

1. Clean the fridge and apply one coat of Stix.

2. Lightly sand all surfaces to be painted.

3. Begin to spray on color.
[Since this was not over-the-counter spray paint, each coat has to be sprayed very lightly and horizontally on each side. It will run if you try to spray it on a vertical surface. The number of coats required will depend on the paint color you choose and how dark the surface is.]

4. When paint job is completely dry, paint on an acrylic stencil of your choice.

The stencil and colors were chosen based on inspiration from this Mucha print.

I have an old Arts & Crafts Stencil book from 1925 where I found the perfect stencil. I blew it up on our copier and cut it. The actual image on the front of the fridge is four panels, and the vines in the middle are four "branches." The color of the stenciled image is just a mix of red, cream, and gray acrylic paint that I mixed to the desired shade.

A nice little face lift for a "dorm room" refrigerator. Perfect for chilled beverages and snacks in an office or craft room!

**Thanks to Meaghan at Strunk Ace Hardware who told me everything I would need to paint the refrigerator.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday (Pop of) Color

After adding black and white to the mix last week, I've been giving more attention to the "pop of color" effect in some of my favorite images on file.

I generally gravitate toward more color - painted walls and furniture covered in richly hued prints... But lately I've been admiring these spaces with their spare elegance. The lack of competing colors and patterns creates a very serene atmosphere. And the dash of color here and there brings warmth and personality that satisfies my typically color-craving tendencies.

What about you? Would you consider trying a new approach to color in your own home. Maybe just room...we don't need to go crazy here!

Images via:
An Indian Summer, Christina Murphy Interiors, Design Sponge, Martha Stewart, and Tracery Interiors.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Making Arrangements

There is nothing I love more (I know - I say that a lot, but it's always true at the time) than setting up little arrangements.

Everyone calls it "styling" spaces now - but I always thought of it as making "arrangements." Kind of like floral arrangements - but instead of flowers in vases, it would be stuff on tables.

This came to an end when my oldest son started walking and everything on reachable surface areas became fair game for manhandling. But five years and two siblings later, there seems to be a lot less interest in my personal trinkets and knickknacks.

It may be time to start making arrangements again... But now that I blog, I want to take pictures - and my trusty old point and shoot is more of a "say cheese" kind of camera... Time to start saving pennies for my new career in blogging about my home "styling." Any advice on affordable cameras for novices?

Images via: Absolutely Beautiful Things, House and Home, Habitually Chic, Lonny, Kishani Perera (see I told you there was some gorgeous stuff there too!) and Southern Living

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Beautiful Bugs

Do you scream when you see a beetle skitter across the floor? Or do you calmly get a tissue and promptly dispose of the intruder?

Do you ever look at the bug? Appreciate its natural design? Color? shape? Texture?

I'd say that most of us would answer "no" to those last three.

I myself tend to get a tissue and use it to set the little creature "free" outside (weather and temperature notwithstanding - I'm not THAT much of a bug lover).

But how can you look at something like this and not see beauty?

Everyone has seem some version of what Christopher Marley does in his Pheromone designs. I remember visiting a Palm Springs home with my grandmother, and marveling at the framed displays of blue butterflies in the living room.

But those were butterflies. Butterflies are the pretty princesses of the bug world (at least as far as humans are concerned).

Marley, himself admits to a prior abhorrence of insects - something that only changed when he looked at them "from the perspective of a designer." They represented perfect examples of all that he admired in forms with "purpose and sleek utilization."

And by looking deeper, he found more to admire. This new perspective put beetles and their peers in a new light for the artist. And he wanted to recreate this feeling for observers of his work.

To accomplish this effect, he moved his subjects out of their natural and expected environment and into a blank page context. One where they could be viewed objectively as creatures of interest, wonder, and yes - beauty.

A glance at these works evokes the perception of colors and patterns which are as organized and purposeful as the life of each insect on display.

Does this change your own perspective of bugs? Just a little? Maybe it's just some food for thought... Regardless of personal experience there is no question of the impact that Marley's pieces have upon the viewer.

See more of his work, which includes far more than just bugs HERE.

P.S. We vote for pretty! But I'm still tissue-removing bugs from my house as usual.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday Color: The "Un-Color" Scheme

I've never found myself drawn to the use of black and white in decor.

In theory it sounds cold, lifeless and possibly even a little depressing. But lately, I've been finding images that have the opposite effect for me...

Black and white textiles make a bold statement in any room. They're almost like a pop of un-color. And black and white spaces with a single accent color are unquestionably sophisticated.

I don't think I'd ever be happy living in a purely black and white environment, but using elements of this un-color pairing could definitely create some interesting depth and drama.

Images via: Country Living, Diane Bergeron,
High Gloss, House of Turquoise and Lonny

Friday, March 11, 2011

Blue as a Neutral

As you may have noticed - neutral colors aren't typically our thing.

But as we all know, it's a very popular trend right now and many of our customers are taking that direction in their own homes.

So we came up with a compromise: pale blue as a neutral.

And we actually rather like it. It isn't a complete departure from our own style and the use of blue offers a great compromise for couples with different preferences.

So often, couples come into the shop with contradictory requests. One wants comfortable and warm and the other wants clean and unfussy.

Blue is cool and works well with both beige and gray tones. But it is a color and with the right accents, can bring some character and depth to an otherwise monochromatic look.

Even a single client wielding a Fall/Winter copy of the Restoration Hardware catalog would probably appreciate the sweet little scene above.

What do you think? Do you think pale blues, yellows and pinks can be used as alternative neutrals?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

When Bad Things Happen to Good Rooms: The Tree

Whenever I see a picture of a room I like, I immediately look up the designer and check out their portfolio. And just like anyone else, I love some of it, appreciate some of it and don't care for the some of it. But I rarely find myself so confused that I have to check the url address several times to make sure that I didn't accidentally click over to a Wiccan decor site....


Now - why would anyone go and do that to a perfectly lovely living space?

The furniture looks so welcoming. I want to curl up on that sofa with a book and a steaming mug of tea. Or sit around with some friends and a good bottle of wine. The colors are a tad more neutral than I prefer, but that actually adds to the feeling of serenity this quiet corner of a room has to offer.

The tree though... It's is a game changer. I looks like it might uproot and walk across the room. Or maybe a little gnome will scramble out of a hidden door to shake his fist and demand that you turn down the music.

I wonder if it holds some personal significance for the owner. Some sentimental value?

Do they add a new "charm" to the tree with every big trip or event?

Does the tree have a name?

And if they celebrate Christmas, do they even bother dragging in an evergreen? Seems like they could just drape some garlands and call it a day.

My questions about that tree are endless. But I will in fact end with this disclaimer:

I wholeheartedly believe in staying true to your own decor aesthetic and not giving a flying WTF about what anyone else has to say about it. Including me. If you want to fly your freak flag high, then I salute I sputter incredulously over the bat sh*t crazy tree growing out of your living room floor. And yes - you are more than welcome to come over to my place and laugh at the little old lady nicknack collections I love so much. To each his own, my each his own.

Image via Kishani Perera where wonderfully creative talent reigns and inexplicable weirdness only makes this single appearance.

Darling Monkey Chair

We spotted this adorable little chair in Shelter Interior Design's portfolio recently and had to share:

Forget the nursery - we'd put that in the living room. Kids need a place to sit too! Oh - okay, it could be nursery furniture until the kids grew up. Then we could move it to the living room and call it a "family heirloom."

It's not like the chair is actually child size anyway... But THAT would be even better!
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