Friday, February 02, 2007

Dirty, PrettyThings

Swat the crap out of flies with yet another cute fly swatter. If you live in the South, it won't be too long before you'll be needing one of these again. It only takes about one day for those pests to hatch back out. Read more about the Jing Fly Swatter at

Target Site Table Round-up

I spent a little time today searching for end tables. I didn't find what I was looking for (which is inexpensive white lacquer end tables), but they did have some really great things. I adore Target, but find their site a little hard to sift through with so many choices and no truly effective way to sort through them to the things you want. So here is the best of what I found:

Zig Zag Table, $239.99 at

Kona Siennah Side Table, $199.99 at

The Offi Martini Table, $99.99 at

The Light Block Table, $299.99 at

I'm not too fond of how this was photographed, but the piece is so simple and functional, and available in many colors. The Stockholm Cylinder, about $140 for the tray and cylinder at

Ok, this isn't an end table, but it is a great red leather ottoman-sleeper in the style of Storehouse Furniture's (but about $300 less!). It pops-out into a twin-sized bed! It's a little bit pricey, but well rated by buyers. Red Leather Ottoman Sleeper, $599.99 at

31 Crazy Hotel Rooms

A very interesting post about a hotel with 31 oddly-themed rooms. This site has a ridiculous number of ads, so you'll have to scroll down quite a lot to see the photos.

Via Apartment Therapy.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Soy Sauce Solved

Thanks to Kitchen Therapy for demystifying soy sauce. You can keep it at room temperature, despite what the bottle says. I think it tastes much better when it's not cold, but that's probably all in my head.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Return of Mod

It looks as though Mod might make a comeback. Modern design is always in style, but has not recently been taken to an extreme. Lately, it has been mixed in with eclectic interiors as an accent instead of being employed as a style. However, a shift towards Mod has started. Last fall, designers moved away from the layered, Bohemian styles that have dominated the runways for the past few years (see "Playing Fashion's New Angles" from last weekend's WSJ). Companies like Chanel, Gucci, and Diane Von Furstenberg (featured left) moved towards simpler silhouettes, featuring bold geometric prints, metallics, trapeze dresses, and architectural heels. Barney's winter window displays took Andy Warhol's life and works as inspiration, and stores like Neiman Marcus and Anne Taylor are following suit this spring with toned-down versions of the bold new styles.

In my experience, decorating styles often follow the major trends in our wardrobes. Over the last few years, the focus has been on eclectic design and the layering of pattern and texture within our closets as well as our interiors. Our fashion magazines have been filled with layered looks like leggings, plaids with stripes, button and bead embellishments, and encouragement to mix our favorite existing pieces with a few new pieces to create our own signature style. According to blogs like ShakinStyle and the Interior Design Show's Trendwatcher blog the same is true for our interiors this year.

At the same time some of the current trends seem to be setting the stage for a drastic change. We see hints at the return of the totally white kitchen and black and white room designs popping up in decorator magazines. We see more and more success for stores like West Elm and CB2, which feature furniture and accessories with simple lines in solid colors or big, bold patterns. Designers like Jonathan Adler are featuring looks that distinctly hearken back to the '50s and '60s.

For example, take the recent prevalence of CB2's Sleepy Hollow rug. The item was featured on Product Dose and then picked up by several design blogs (including this one), all of which sung its praises. Apartment Therapy Chicago featured it in reference to an apartment featuring an iconic, full-wall black and white mural of a tree. The tree pattern may not be Mod. At the end of the day, it's not a geometric pattern. The rug is part of the naturalist trend, but it ties in with Mod design because it is a bold black and white print.

Is this the beginning of a change? The Wall Street Journal implied that clothing retailers are concerned about jumping into the new aesthetic with full gusto. My guess is that we will all spend a little more time testing the waters before we make any drastic changes to our closets or our living rooms.

Clockwise from the upper left: Happy Home dinnerware by Jonathan Adler, Parsons table from West Elm, Happy Home linens by Jonathan Adler, Pillows from CB2, Rug from West Elm.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Terrariums: How-To

A Terrarium how-to from Mighty Girl via Not Martha.

Design I Wish I Could Afford at Modernity

Modernity, a Swedish shop featuring mid-century design, has some really amazing pieces featured on their site. It's certainly worth a look, if just for the sake of inspiration.

Via Design*Sponge.