Archive | June 2013

No Wilting Worries! Decorate with Porcelain Flowers

The trouble with flowers is they never last. Hang them upside down, press them between the pages of a book—the result is always a dehydrated husk that only vaguely resembles that once-vibrant blossom. Porcelain flowers, however, are another story entirely. Whittled meticulously from clay, right down to the veins in the leaves, porcelain florals are lifelike up to a point—after all, they never wilt!

Porcelain wall art pieces, especially florals, effuse a dainty, old-fashioned charm that just can’t be replicated with a real bouquet. The Ariella Wall Plaque Set, with its sepia-toned backgrounds and ivory lace and cream cording trim, is a vintage parade of porcelain roses. Aqueous pastels like mauve and apricot tinge the petals and offset the beige grounds, as though the bouquet is materializing from some old-time photograph. The three-dimensional petals project into the room, but gold leaf-finished frames keep the composition tidy and contained.

Though smaller, the Mary Anne Petite Nosegay is no less enchanting. Blue wildflowers sprawl languidly on a bed of sage green leaves and ivory ribbon in this porcelain arrangement. Smaller pink florals offset the dreamy blue and add a touch of serendipity, as though their taking root there was simply a happy accident.

In no danger of decay, porcelain florals can also become permanent additions to more practical home accents. A gold leaf-finished frame gives the Leanna Wall Mirror an antiquated touch, but the little stowaways blooming near the bottom are what really make this piece stand out. Pink, golden apricot, and lavender blossoms here are interspersed with greenery and smaller yellow flowers. Still allowing ample space for your reflection, the arrangement follows the delicate curve of the frame.

The Olivia Porcelain Floral Nightlight will make it appear as though a luminous flower is blooming straight from your wall, with its speckled periwinkle petals and yellow pistils. A bloom toward the top sleeps on, not roused at all by the light emanating from below.

Brighten Your Home with Sun Wall Art

Things are heating up with the approach of the summer solstice. On this day, we turn our (hopefully figurative) sights to the sun, which will weather its longest “shift” at its highest point far above our heads. But people have always had the sun on their brains. As an inextricable part of our existence, the sun has symbolized the harvest and fertility, the battle between good and evil, and reincarnation. The sun is also a recurring character in artwork, whether he’s flashing a toothy grin and black shades from a gas station sign or blazing down onto a pharaoh etched in a pyramid wall.

Even today, a sun bearing a human face is a popular motif. This imagery dates back to ancient civilizations, from the Mayans to the Egyptians, that wished to represent a sun god or embody some human aspect, like bravery or masculinity. The Half Face Sun Wall Art, with its verdi patina coating and crumbling visage, resembles a relic recovered from the site of a once-prosperous utopia. His thick brows and steady gaze profess machismo and self-assurance, the very leer of Apollo or Aten.

Though sun worship is as old as time, you can still express your admiration without appearing as though you had to ransack Machu Picchu to do so. An abstract sculpture won’t depict telltale rays or a beaming face but will rely on our innate fascination with the sun to get the point across. The high-end and contemporary Starburst Metal Wall Sculpture is a brassy core from which long, steel quills radiate, black and white accents creating the illusion of an intense glowing.

With such frequent appearances in creation tales, artwork, and other human activities, the sun can be found in all manner of decor styles. The Celestine Sun Moon Wall Art harbors a distinctly Mediterranean flavor. Here, vivid floral, star, and scroll designs tie the celestial and earthly realms together, just as the sun acts as the buffer between Earth and space.

Meanwhile, the arid Southwest style is never complete without at least some passing mention of the sun. The Santa Fe Sun Wall Art, imbued with the orange and golden yellow tones of a desert, makes use of a more earthy palette to portray this great star.

As the sun prepares to make its loftiest climb into the skies this summer, where will you be? Outside, soaking up the rays? Or indoors, taking sweet, sweet refuge in the air conditioning? Wherever you go, keep an eye out for unique sun pieces. You never know what might brighten up the place.

Refresh Your Bedroom with Quilt Bedding

If quilt bedding seems like an antiquated choice for your bedroom, think again! Bed quilts provide you with an array of options, both in design and styling.

For those who cherish family heirlooms and are drawn to the vintage aesthetic, a patchwork quilt or patterned quilt is essential. These traditional designs capture the spirit of days gone by. The Blooming Prairie Patchwork Quilt Set blossoms to life with a melange of pretty flowers and hues. The patchwork design provides you with a time-honored appearance, while the fresh, pleasing palette keeps your decor from looking staid.

Bed quilts can also punch up a decorating theme with fun motifs and patterns. The crisp look of the Nautical Stripe Quilt Set will delight coastal dwellers and landlubbers alike. This cotton quilt sails right along with an assortment of solid, pinstripe, and plaid bands. Colors of indigo, crimson, and white give the bedding an unmistakable nautical vibe.

Embellished quilts prove that the difference is in the details. Appliqued, patterned fabric pieces meander across the face of the cotton Wisteria Garden Quilt, as well as the coordinating shams in the set. The fabric petals and leaves create an overall wisteria blossom design that will charm the nature lover within.

Though important, design is not the only consideration. Keep the fill type in mind as you make your selection. A polyester-filled quilt is typically lighter and more affordable than its cotton-filled counterpart. Polyester fibers trap air to keep you warm without the weight; however, polyester fibers do not breathe as well as natural ones, and may cause you to overheat. A cotton-filled quilt is more expensive, but provides you with breathability and can be used comfortably throughout the year.

Customize your bed quilt with accessories, from bedskirts to shams and pillows, to create a layered look. You can also play around with matelasse accents – the solid color provides the perfect backdrop, allowing your quilt bedding to shine!

Finally, quilts can also be showcased on a blanket rack, adding to their versatility. A handsome blanket rack will keep your quilt easily accessible and neatly displayed.

Decorating Your Home with Console Tables

At first blush, the term “console table” might seem misleading. Dust bunny breeding ground? Certainly. Bricolage of junk mail and candle stubs? Sounds familiar. But the truly consoling thing about the console table is its sheer versatility. Treated like a decoration instead of a clutter magnet, the console table melds effortlessly with surrounding decor and can be whatever you need it to be.

1. Next to a Wall: Console tables provide the additional height needed to obscure an empty wall with eye-catching embellishments, and what could be more eye-catching than a dazzling array of mirrors? The mirror grouping, interspersed tactfully with wall shelves, candleholders, and photo frames, fashions an eclectic collage spanning the length of the console table below. To avoid overwhelming this space, balance is key.

Below, a covered urn is elevated by a stack of archaic-looking tomes, assuring the candleholder does not dominate the table’s left side. Rectangular and circular frames create a curious juxtaposition, while an overall golden color scheme provides a murmur of unity.

A single mirror can be just as compelling as a montage of smaller ones. Mounted overhead, one voluminous mirror can transform a console table into a vanity. Embellish the surface with vintage perfume bottles or heirloom jewelry. The Maquinna Console Table, buoyed by three curvaceous legs, is a sleek, platinum-finished furnishing encrusted with faux pearls and translucent gold gems.

2. In the Hallway: Another welcome location for console tables is the foyer. The often small space that comprises an entryway is no issue for the compact console table, which also provides a convenient surface to deposit car keys or mail.

Below, a petite table lamp emerges from a deluge of greenery atop the Florio Console Table. The ivory finish ensures perfect coordination with any color scheme, and the resin leaf carvings make for an antiquated sensibility.

3. Beside a Picture Window: Placed beside a lavish window treatment, a console table provides subtle contrast without stealing the spotlight. A carefully chosen flower arrangement placed on its surface will nicely complement the blossoms in floral curtains.

The natural cherry finish of the Sarantino Console Table will offset the decorative accents you choose to display on its top or bottom shelf.

4. In the Bedroom: Arranged beside the bed, a console table becomes a wonderfully unexpected nightstand. Reading glasses, picture frames, jewelry boxes—all items in equal parts functional and beautiful can seek refuge on top. Drawers and bottom shelves, meanwhile, will harbor mementos or even a favorite art piece.

Below, the Elliott Console Table is adorned with a carefully-balanced composition of photos, faux greenery, and books that draws the eye gently from tier to tier.

The bedroom console table also performs well as a simplistic entertainment center. Equipped with a TV, a console table consumes little floor space and is easily maneuvered around. The storage drawers of the Hartwick Console Table will harbor the elusive remote control, while the bottom shelf is ideal for a gaming system or a DVD player.

Initially, a console table might not seem all that promising, given its propensity to clutter quickly. But it’s time to dust off that inspiration and start visualizing these magnificent pieces in new places, with new purposes. A console table just might be the missing piece in your home decor.