31 December 2007

Favourite Colours of 2007

Let's go over some of my favourite colours of the past year, shall we?

1.) Grey! I love grey it looks fantastic with so many other colours. James and I recently painted our office a dark grey with white trim. To make things a bit more exciting, we added a few orange accessories (lampshade, pen jar, and some orange books). It looks absolutely lovely! I wanted to make a room especially for my husband, because every room we decorated before this was somewhat femme. The grey/white/orange combo is both masculine and sophisticated. Throw in a bit plant life and it's just a downright awesome room to be in.
Just a couple of examples I found on Flickr (here and here) of how to rock grey with warm colours.



2.) Pink! Pink is my ultimate fantasy colour. I'm not much of a girlie girl; I preferred playing with K'nex over Barbie as a child. But in the past while, I've come to realise just how versatile the colour pink really is. It can be girlie, or mature; metropolitan or country. If James weren't so against the colour, I'd definitely throw some hot pink cushions on the couch!
Top: Elegance without going over the top. Photo found on flickr. Below: Even though it doesn't seem like it should be part of the colour scheme, it's the pink table that really pulls this room together. Photo: Jason Schmidt.

3.) Orange! It's my favourite accent colour of the year. It's warm. It pops. It totally rocks my world. Enough said, but please use discretion when convorting with avocado. Nobody wants a puke-coloured room!

4.) Black! I don't care what you think. Black is sexy! However, it's a very dangerous colour when in the wrong hands. It works best when different textures or patterns are involved. I personally chose to take my love of black out on my hallway by putting up some black, floral print wallpaper. Though my wallpaper applying skills are not the best, it still makes a fantastic statement when you look down my hallway. Laurence Llewelyn Bowen used black wallpaper in his bedroom recently too, so that just reaffirmed my belief that black is beautiful!
I'm actually designing my bathroom after Regina Spektor's video for "Fidelity." It'll be so sexy if I ever finish it.

I hope that gives you all a little inspiration for painting your apartments. You can always tell your landlord you'll paint it back to Magnolia before you leave. Hmmm...that gives me a good idea for an article. Wink Wink!

28 December 2007

Etsy!

Etsy.com is a fantastic little website. It's a place for artists, designers, clothes makers, etc. to sell their home-made goods. I've been buying stuff off it for the past year or so now. It's a great resource for affordable art. Unlike Ebay, you're not competing with another anonymous bidder, and most sellers will ship worldwide fairly cheaply. Now and then, I'll post some good Etsy finds. It may be too late for Christmas, but it's never too late for good art!


Ashley G. is popular artist, both on the site, and in many other design blogs.


I own a couple of prints from this gal, Stawberry Luna. Beware when buying from her, however, as she likes to send little gifts of finger puppets, stickers, and candy in with your order.
The Black Apple is another of my favourite sellers.

I hate landlords...

Who doesn't? But I especially dislike the ones here in Dublin. They try to scrounge up the most amount of money for the least amount of work. There are English TV shows out there that will show you how to do it. Absolutely disgraceful! We specifically moved into our current apartment in Ranelagh, because we knew the landlord, and we knew that he'd let us do whatever we wanted with the place. This is a very rare occurrence in Dublin, so we're quite lucky. It wasn't always like that though. Before finding our place, we spent a good six months searching Daft.ie for apartments that might suit us. Unfortunately we kept finding places that were already furnished and looked like this:

("Oh my, Grandma! What horrible curtains!" "The better to repulse you with, my dear.")


I especially love how the space was cut right in half by these monstrous couches...and mmmm, verticle blinds. My favourite!

And for 1500/month, you can get 2/3rds of mirror and different coloured grout!

Landlords don't take any pride in their work! Don't they know that if they put in even the slightest bit of effort, that when it comes time to sell the place, they could make a lot more money? Bah Humbug to them!

I blog, therefore I am.

For my first entry, perhaps I should give a bit of explanation. I am American. My husband, James, is Irish. We have different tastes in things. He likes action movies with aliens and war heroes and big explosions. I like movies that have great set design, elaborate costumes, and an awesome soundtrack...and yes the occassional explosion. James likes the technical aspects of photography. I dream of the day I can pull out the kind of emotions in people that Annie Liebovitz can. James likes practicality, and doesn't think about the way something will look. I, on the other hand, am trying to teach him that good design is practical...and looks good...and we shouldn't sacrifice either of those elements when putting together our apartment.

Upon saying that, I must admit, Ireland is a VERY expensive place to live. Bespoke furniture and fittings are almost impossible to come by unless you are filthy rich and live in Dalkey or Wicklow. Those of us who are renting in and around Dublin find it very hard to decorate when the landlord won't allow us to paint the walls anything other than a sickly magnolia or change the furniture. Even if we could redecorate, most of us could only afford the unstable, ugly fittings that Argos can provide. That's why I'm here. I want to show the people of Dublin and the rest of Ireland that by shopping around a bit, you can free yourselves from the shackles of bad design and high prices. Come, join me!