Friday, April 27, 2012

I Want! I Want! I Want!

One of my favorite parts of Jonathan Adler's website is the "I Want!" section. Style icons list their three favorite JA items and it's pretty cool to see how Jonathan can be so perfect for both Iman and Lara Spencer. And because I love JA so much, I decided to do my own.

Keep in mind, I dream big.

1. Lampert sectional in Tanzania Indigo, $5,490
C'mon, a sectional in navy zebra? Of course I need this! I would have no problem redecorating my living room around this couch (think navy zebra on top of turquoise walls would be too much, even for me).

2. Chippendale chair in Ireland Avocado, $645 x 4
This chair is how I found Jonathan Adler. I don't even know where I first saw it, but it was instant love. I need four of them to go around my faux-Saarien table (and around the real one once I can afford it).

3. Large Fontana bowl, $198
Lately I've been keeping my fruit in a bowl on the kitchen counter. I've been using the pretty floral one I found at Salvation Army last year, but it's very round and thus takes up a lot of space. This one is oval so will fit better - and it's gold striped.

But you know what, I also love all of the little JA items. The smaller bits of pottery, the various things dosed in flamestitch patterns and wildly bright colors. So I'm going to do a second set. And since this is my blog, I'm going to do four more items, not three. Basically because I couldn't think of which one to not include.

1. Utopia Elephant mug, $26 x 2
I've never been much of a brown girl. My dinner plates are bright white, my salad plates are various bright colors on white backgrounds. But my mugs are brown-based. I don't really know why, but it makes me very happy to have them be brown. Maybe it's because all the things you drink in them are brown? Coffee, tea, hot chocolate. Even green tea is an earthy shade. So these elephant mugs would fit in quite nicely because you can see the brown clay through the glaze. Plus I get a kick out of the little faces.

And why two? Because while I like things to be mismatched when I'm hosting a big party, for just two, I like being matchy-matchy. And the person I have most often for tea tete-a-tete is my mom and she'd get a kick out of the little faces, too.

2. Blue Boxed matches, $5.95
I'm so getting these on my own. $6 for a little brightness inside my junk drawer? Yes, please! And the match tips are pink! I might have to buy a box for everyone I know. (sorry, just ruined Christmas)

3. Peacock coasters, $68
With my old coffee table, wet drinks never bothered me. I stained the table myself and it looked like it. Plus I didn't apply the stain until after using it for a while unstained - and didn't bother sanding out the pen marks and other dark blobs. It was rustic, it was fine, and glass rings weren't really noticeable.

But on my glass table? I notice - and am bothered by - every single random mark. I need coasters, bad. And ones with shiny gold graphic peacock feathers would be quite perfect.

4. Flame umbrella, $28.95
This is also going into my shopping basket. 30 bucks for such prettiness? Total bargain! Plus it will go with my green scarf. This will definitely have me wishing for rainy days.

So what do you think of my picks? What would be yours?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

rant of the day

I'm going to use this term a lot in this post so I just want to get out of the way that I hate it. And it's related to my rant, but not the actual subject.

pop of color


I used to like it. Pop is such a bright and happy word, but man is it overused. Everything is considered a "pop of color" including the actual subject of my rant.

And because the term is so popular (pun intended), temporary accessories being used to justify color schemes.

House Beautiful did this recently. Talked about how a house had so much pink in it. But in almost every room, the pink "pops" were flowers or other accessories that just screamed "the stylist added me!"

The worst offender, to me, is the dining room.

Yes, the pink livens up the space, but how likely do you think it is that the homeowner buys a bunch of hot pink hydrangeas every week? A better "pop" would have been hot pink dishes or a large hot pink glass bowl in the center of the table. Something that at least pretended to be permanent. You know, like the pillows and throw in the living room.

I do think they're pretty fun, but I also have my doubts as to their existence before this photo shoot.

And while I'm sure the orchids in the kitchen were also brought in for the shoot, at least they're plants and could theoretically be considered an integral component to the room.

Now, the faux accents in this house are not all pink. In another dining area, the accent is green and - again - to me, this is how flowers should be used in a photo shoot.

I'm going to assume that the large green cabinet was already there. And, yes, I know that it could have been brought in as easily as the flowers, but it at least seems more permanent. So then the greens in the floral arrangement just highlight the green cabinet and the green in the little painting on the other side of the doorway.

So yes, flowers are very important for photo shoots and make rooms more enjoyable in real life. But they shouldn't be considered the accent color, they should be used to bring out the actual accent colors.

But wait - this isn't even my real rant. All of this is also just background.

My REAL rant is that since magazines do this, now bloggers and blog-followers do this as well. And it's not just design blogs. I remember one blogger - who I no longer follow so can't remember her name - talking about her "pop of color" for her outfit being her orange watch. That she was pairing with a long-sleeved shirt. Which meant that the only way one could see her "pop" was if she happened to move her arm in the right way.

To me, this isn't a pop of color. That's like saying your pop of color is the pink lining of your shoes. Or, back to the home design world, the back of your throw pillows. Sure, it's a fun little surprise (and I highly encourage fun little surprises), but it shouldn't be considered an actual part of your color scheme. A better half-hidden pop would have been a necklace that you tucked inside the open neckline of your button-down shirt. From the back or even the side, it's not seen. But full-on, it's obvious. Or instead of the backs of your pillows, have one or two actually be a color (or a different color). Throw a few colored vases into your bookcase, keeping the rest of the room neutral. Something purposeful and that you don't need to rebuy every week.

It's also like reading a fashion magazine and trying to emulate the models or celebrities, many of whom were airbrushed. And even if they weren't airbrushed, the hairdresser might have back-combed their hair so it looks fuller than normal from the front.

Magazines are about inspiration and one shouldn't try to completely copy the look. It just isn't realistic and, frankly, looks as much a hot mess in real life as that overly back-combed hair.