11 January 2009

Design for Someone else!

I'm back! Sorry about my absence...again. The Christmas season has been extraordinarily busy with all the celebrating and shooting two weddings in one week, including Paula's (of ultra fab accessories site Mabel & Violet).

Today's design tip to help your own home: design a room for someone else! I'm watching Colin and Justin's Worst Home in Britain at the moment, and to get a group of people to break their own bad design habits, they've each been assigned a room to decorate based on a fake client's brief. And while the people on the show seem to have failed disastrously, I'd say anyone with the slightest interest in interiors could use this as an fantastic exercise to build on their own design repertoire. Either practice your drawing and collaging skills on a piece of paper, or find a friend (or should I say willing victim) with different tastes from your own, who will allow you to decorate a room in their home. I think I might even try this myself!

28 December 2008

Mid Century Modern Flashcards

Christmas may be over, but that's no reason not to buy just one more gift for the Mid Century Modern fanatic in your life, and I think these flashcards will do just the trick! Aptly named "Know your Corbusier," this ring of laminated cards will teach you your Pantons from your Bertoias from your Jacobsens and much more. I mean, how can you impress your snobby south side, recession resistent friends if you aren't able to recognise and compliment them on owning that Hans Wegner lounge chair they never sit in. For a mere $25.00 on Etsy, it's worth it rather than the sheer embarrassment of confusing a George Nakashima with a George Nelson.

18 December 2008

Free Posters at Readymade

Just because every newspaper, magazine, and news station in the world tells us we're seconds away from losing our jobs and international economy is crumbling, doesn't mean you can't invest in some art. Especially when it's free art ;-)

ReadyMade have asked five artists to reimagine the populist posters from the Great Depression, and you can download them for absolutely nothing. Since James and I have some empty frames and wallspace to fill, we've decided to take advantage of these freebies. Shall I say it once more? Free! Free free free! ....free

15 December 2008

So ugly it's cool...maybe

Perhaps I've gone a bit mad, but I kind of like this thing. If matched with the right wall colour and a few awesome cushions, this set could be ugly/fantastic. But I could be wrong. Before I make a huge mistake by bringing it home, what do you think? Ugly/fantastic or just plain ugly? Keep in mind, it's on Dublin Waste, and therefore, free.

09 December 2008

Design in Shanghai!

Blooming silk-blend mini dress - 63.00 Euros
The Chinese have always had awesome fashion sense, and a perfect example of this is Dawanda shop Matrix Loft, who specialise in avant garde, mostly grey clothing. When it comes to fashion on online homemade shops like Dawanda and Etsy, I'm quite often disappointed with level of quality I see, which usually consists of badly knit or poorly sewn items made from a mish-mash of cheap fabrics and labeled "Boho-chic." But I have to say, Matrix Loft has totally blown me away! It's young and hip, but at the same time elegant and mature. And the best part is the prices which could give BT2, Urban Outfitters, and Topshop a run for their money. Check out some of my favourites below:

Lantern Shirt - 55 Euros

Flower Bud applique skirt - 88 euros

Ashes Coat - 121 Euros

Transparent Wings dress - 65 Euros

Just one more thing to sweeten the deal for you: If the size posted on the item will not fit you, Matrix Loft will create a custom one that will at no extra charge. Talk about couture on the cheap!

Tea Time at Mable & Violet

(Cake stand with glass lid 32.95)

There's a new French inspired home shop in town, and guess what...it's affordable! It's an online boutique called Mable & Violet. I spoke to owner, Paula, a few months ago while she was still setting up shop. She explained that she was fed up with how infinitely expensive homewares could be in Dublin and wanted to sell beautiful accessories that people can actually buy. And I have to say, she's got some gorgeous things on her site. Have a look:

Gold tea set for two 28.95
Hand knit hot water bottle 14.95, which is actually better value than the ones in Boots!

Pretty glass soap dispenser 3.95.

Hellebore Bone china teacup and saucer set 13.50

I honestly can't think of a better place to pick up some Avoca/Pia Bang quality products for Dunnes Stores prices, and I wish Paula the best of luck with this shop.

03 December 2008

Bird Feeder

Like most Dublin renters, James and I are not allowed to keep pets. A couple days ago though, James surprised me with a bird feeder so we could have the pleasure of seeing birds at our window but don't have to clean up after them or listen to them squawk at 5AM. We've no birds yet; just the occasional magpie perching on our gutter, but according to my parents (who have a collection of hummingbirds visiting their front garden), we should start noticing more feathered friends within a few weeks. I think this is a fab alternative to risking one's deposit. here's a few feeders I really like:
This one's great, because you can easily make it yourself with a couple of 2x4's, some chicken wire, and a bit of rope. But if you can't be bothered going to the hardware store to pick up the materials and building it, you can always buy one off Etsy from this guy for $16.00.

I found this gorgeous copper Topflight feeder on Amazon.com for $39.99. A bit more expensive, but incomparably beautiful.

Here we have a very festive, eco friendly gourd feeder for E12.99 from Blue Rock Gourds on Dawanda.

Ok, I know this one has been blogged to death, but I absolutely love it. It's by Eva Solo and they're made of hand blown glass. Very modern, very cool. Available at Amazon.co.uk for 28.50 pounds.