Friday, January 28, 2011

What was Old is New Again: Loom



Today I wanted to share with the you the amazing rug collection from loom in Australia. What is most interesting about these rugs is that they have been given a new life. Loom takes beautiful old Kilims that have been worn hard and acquired that beautiful 'old rug patina' and reworks them into truly special and one-of-a-kind new rugs. They employ three different techniques to make the old new again: Hepsi or traditional patchwork rugs, rewoven 'old yarn' rugs and overdyed old rugs.



The rugs shown above and below are from the Hepsi collection. Hepsi, translated as 'all everything' employs the traditional method of patchworking. I love the result ~ soft and beautiful like an old rug yet contemporary and fresh, perfect for a modern bohemian interior.


The rugs pictured above and below are from the "Old Yarn Collection' and have been hand woven from recycled yarn unraveled from vintage Kilims. Their website says that the yarn may be comprised of wool, goat hair, hemp, cotton or angora and has a softness of color and variation of tone that can only be achieved with age. The process is intricate and painstaking...I can only imagine!



These last two rugs are from loom's overdyed vintage Kilim collection. These rugs receive a 'brave' wash of color that only leaves a hint of its former life.


I am sure these rugs are even prettier in person!

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hand Screen Printed Fabric


'Cornflower Blue Prairie Flowers'

I just discovered a great source for hand screen printed fabric on etsy and thought I would share. The fabrics, tea towels, cards and gift tags are handmade in South Georgia and designed by Sara Lee Parker. Most of the fabrics are sold in "fat quarter's" which translates into a piece 18" x 20-22" perfect for pillows but what interested me the most is that she can make larger pieces by custom order!



'Morning Glory' in Periwinkle




'Flying Geese' in Pink and Rust


...and look at these!

'Grey Dogs' Tea Towel


I couldn't resist showing these adorable handmade gift tags...they are already sold!

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

True Colors


Decisions, decisions! Choosing paint colors from Farrow and Ball....

How do you choose your paint colors?

Before I select a paint color for my room, I order the sample pot and paint large foam core samples. Here are a selection of the paint samples from Farrow and Ball I used to pick the finished paint color for my kitchen {above}  and entrance hall {below}. I painted the sample boards and lived with them day and night to see how the color changed as the light changed. I honestly don't think you can go wrong with any color from Farrow and Ball. They seem to have a complexity and softness I find alluring.


{my entrance hall painted Farrow and Ball 'Stony Ground'}


{sample pots...the greatest innovation!}


{Katy Elliott}

Last March Katy Elliott sampled some Farrow and Ball paints on a wall during her construction process {From left to right: Cooking Apple Green, Teresa’s Green, Verte De Terre, Light Blue, Green Ground, Saxon Green} This is a great way to decision paint colors. The only problem is that I love all the choices! Each color brings a slightly different aesthetic.

When we renovated our house ten years ago, we opened it up so that every room flows into another. One of the reasons I like Farrow and Ball paint so much is that the colors are harmonious and flow easily from one room to another.

On February 1st, {Farrow and Ball} will release nine new colors!
Here's a sneak peek with a little insight into the inspiration behind the hue:



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Friday, January 21, 2011

Soup au Pistou


{from House Beautiful review of my new cookbook "The French Country Table"}

When my sister and I traveled to France some eight years ago for a trip for my 40th birthday, we arrived at our hotel in the french countryside very late in the evening and had not eaten. We asked the hotel if they had anything they could bring us for dinner. They apologized and said the kitchen was long closed and then shortly there after showed up with a lovely tray with Soup au Pistou, crusty french bread, french butter, pate and cheese. Let me tell you, this was way better than any restaurant meal I have had in many years. Obviously, I still remember this meal and crave it's rustic simplicity. So, when I read House Beautiful's review of "The French Country Table" by Laura Washburn, I went online and ordered it.

I just received it in the mail ~ {Oh, Merry Christmas, sista! I got you one too}



This weekend and plan to make:

Soup au Pistou

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 small fennel bulb, quartered, cored, and chopped
2 zucchini, chopped
8 oz. new potatoes, chopped
2 tomatoes, skinned, seeded, and chopped
2 quarts vegetable or chicken stock
1 sprig of thyme
2 cups canned cannellini beans, drained
2 cups canned kidney beans, drained
6 oz. green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 oz. spaghetti, broken into pieces
1 2/3 cups finely grated cheese (aged Gouda or Parmesan)
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pistou Ingredients
6 garlic cloves
Leaves from a small bunch of basil
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or casserole dish. Add the onion, fennel, and zucchini and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until browned. Add the potatoes, tomatoes, stock, and thyme. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes.

2. Add the cannellini and kidney beans and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes more. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add the green beans and the spaghetti and cook for about 10 minutes more, until the pasta is tender. Cover and let stand. Ideally, the soup should rest for at least a few hours before serving, or make one day in advance and refrigerate. (Do not make the pistou until you are ready to serve; it is best fresh, and the basil and garlic should not be cooked.)

3. To make the pistou, put the garlic, basil, and oil in a small food processor and blend until well chopped. You can also make it using a mortar and pestle, starting with the garlic and finishing with the oil, added gradually. It is more authentic, but I've never been very good at this method.

4. To serve, heat the soup and pass round the pistou and cheese, to be stirred in to taste. The soup can also be served at room temperature.



When I was gathering information for my last post "The Stylish and Well-stocked Pantry", I came across this documentary from "The French Pantry," a gourmet store in London. The YouTube documentary follows the owners on a buying trip to France as they visit the small cottage industries that make the products they sell ~ like homemade French lemonade, soups and jams. I thought it was interesting and hope you do too! Enjoy!





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The Stylish and Well-stocked Pantry

{Image via Cape Cod Designs}

I love the mix of the gray shelving, Belgian wicker baskets and white dinnerware in this space. It's not actually a pantry but part of the styling for a restaurant.

It's always a challenge to figure out what to do with all that extra stuff that we really need but might not use everyday. Where do you put those large platters or the extra dinnerware for entertaining? I like it when homeowners show these "essentials" on shelving in plain view. I also like to see antique cupboards in the kitchen used as a pantry. You certainly wouldn't be afraid to let a dinner guest visit the pantry to help set the table. I love to have my guests sit with me and have a glass of wine while I finish dinner. They are always offering to help but I truly don't want them rummaging through the house to find my platters!


This pantry is perfection! I love the lighting.

{Perfectly Put Together}

One way you can make the pantry more interesting is to consider upgrading the door. I like the way the home above has positioned the pantry in a corner and added these doors with opaque glass or below where they have added a family message center with chalkboard paint.

{Country Living}

{via Searching for Style from Country French Antiques}

Here's a great example of using an antique to hold all those over sized platters and creamware used for special occasions.

{Writer's Block UK}

{Briger + Briger}


{Pam Pierce's kitchen and pantry via Cote de Texas}

{open pantry shelving via Cote de Texas}


{Martha Stewart}

I shared this lovely photo with you recently. In case you don't remember ~ it is the lovely table of my favorite interior designer Pam Pierce. I am sharing it with you now because it actually has a lot to do with the essentials I keep in my pantry.
My Top 10 Essentials for a Well Stocked Pantry:

{1} White dinnerware, platters and a cake stand.
{2} freshly laundered linen napkins
{3} wineglasses, bar ware and ice bucket
{4} Silver ~ it's essential in the South
{5} Candles ~ unscented for the table and my favorites for the entrance hall & powder room



{6} Gourmet essentials ~ Olive Oil, Champagne Wine Vinegar, Dijon Mustard, Tomatoes & Good Pasta, Capers, Olives, Sun dried Tomatoes, Roasted Red Peppers, Chutney and Herbs de Provence

{7} Collection of Flower Containers + Oasis
{8} Wine
{9} Cake Stand and Glass Dome
{10} Cookbooks

When I was putting together this post, I stumbled upon a wonderful video from Laura Calder of the Cooking Channel's French Food at Home. The video is entitle "The Essential French Pantry." Here's the link:

Forgive the open link! Blogger is getting the best of me as I can not figure out how to embed a link when I make my posts longer than my viewing screen. Technology is not my strength!
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Closet Envy

Lizzie Carney's closet via Country Living

Warning this post will make you covet!

As I continue to go through my house looking at the small working spaces and try to get organized for the New Year, I start to look for new and fresh ideas to update my closet. I love to drool over the many images of designer, showhouse and celebrity closets but realistically, I just want a pleasant space that is well-organized, fresh and happy. I want to open my double-doors and in an instant be able to throw together an outfit and look stylish for my morning meeting.

We renovated an old house about ten years ago and the master closet was the one area that I REALLY had to make some tough decisions. We were able to carve out a wonderful space for a large master bath but a walk-in closet was just not possible. We were able to make three double-doored closets so my husband and I each have our own spaces and a little extra room for linens and formal wear and coats.

So today i thought I would share a little bit of the fantasy and {slowly} transition into some realistic ideas that we might all be able to achieve within a reasonable budget. I am particularly fond of the new closet design by Jen of Made by Girl. You've got to check it out!

{Southern Accents}


The closet from Sex in the City via movie set photos from Elle Decor




{Jenna Lyons closet from Domino}


Celebrity Nicky Hilton in her closet}


Wallpaper in the closet?

I think it's a great way to add pizazz to an otherwise dark and small space. Because I live in an old house with not enough closets, I would have to put a whole lot more in this closet.

I love this idea!


The recent unveiling of Jen's closet of Made by Girl has motivated me to stylize my own closet. Visit her site to learn more but you should know the closet components are from Ikea and that cute leopard runner is from Ballard Designs! Totally do-able! Now that incredible selection of shoes...

Ever wonder what to do with your {special} shopping bags?


{retail therapy!}

{Moth Design updates her closet with a quick DIY ~ framed shopping bags}


{Olivia Palermo in her closet}
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