On Hiatus

For people who are just finding this blog, for those of you who still follow this blog, and for those in the future who might stumble across it,… we apologize for leaving you hanging, but the blog is on hiatus for the foreseeable future.

There is still so much great sustainable interior design to blog about, but so little time to write at the moment.  For now, you can find me (Rachel) busily working at Hulan Design.

Thanks for visiting!



Feeling Instagramy

A few months ago, I finally joined Instagram (you can follow me at rachelhulan).  At first I felt pretty silly holding up my big ol’ iPad to take images with, but I quickly realized how great it was for capturing design inspirations, like the scene above.

I was waiting to head off to a morning meeting and had some time to kill, so I walked out on the Newport Pier and took this shot.  You could recapture everything in the image as a design: reclaimed wood, smooth blue glass tile, concrete floor, and a saturated red chair.  Sounds fun, no?

I’m working on figuring out a more efficient way to post these images and share my design ideas with you (aka, bombard you with my design geekiness).

Meanwhile, thanks for visiting and have a great weekend!


Trending – Tiny Tile

Tile mosaics, and thus tiny tile, have been around since before the fall of Pompeii…

image via thedogsofpompeii.com

However, the little tiles had to be hand cut, and the mosaics carefully assembled by hand.  All of which made them a luxury item for centuries.

These days, the advent of new, computerized manufacturing techniques have made teensy, tiny tile increasingly easy to produce in a uniform manner.  Some of these tiles are no more than 1/4″ to 1″ square, and come pre-assembled on backing sheets which significantly reduce the labor needed to install them.

This has made it ever more affordable to cover entire floors and walls with beautiful mosaics made of ceramic, porcelain, and even glass tile.   You can see more examples on my “Trending – Tiny Tile” board on Pinterest.

Personally, I love the shimmer of the glass tile mosaics, especially the metallic ones.  There is something so magical about them when the light hits just right.

How about you?  Have you seen a tiny tile installation recently?  What did you think?

Happy Friday everyone!  See you next week!



We’re Baaaaaack…

You may have noticed a rather pronounced silence around this here blog lately. The reasons are many, varied, and mostly boring to go into. Suffice to say, circumstances required a little unplanned for time off, but we are back and ready to roll up our sleeves once again.

So look for new product reviews, artisan profiles, and all the other stuff we have always enjoyed sharing with you, plus some new ideas we’ve been percolating during the down time.

Thanks for sticking around, Dear Readers! We’ll try to make it worth your while.


Trending – All That Glitters…

All that glitters may or may not be gold (in fact, it is usually polished brass), but it certainly is a hot design trend right now.

Mind you, this isn’t your mother’s 1980′s era brass.  You know, the kind that was used for overly ornate faucets and accessories to go with the Laura Ashley wallpaper and the little pink soaps in the guest bath?    <shudder>

Instead, gold is now the accent of choice to warm up that other trending “color” – crisp white.  Although gold can also be used to great effect with navy blue, chartreuse, and blush pinks, it is white that really begs for it.

If you want to try out this design trend, try accessorizing with brass planters or bowls you find at a flea market or thrift shop.  Just be sure that they have simple, modern forms, and can be polished up to a high shine.  Or find some silly ceramic figurines that could be improved with a solid coat of gold paint, then group 3-5 of them together on your mantel for a fun and trendy look.

For more ideas and inspirations, check out my All That Glitters board on Pinterest.

Thanks for visiting!

The sources and credits for the images above can also be found on Pinterest.


Etsy Find of the Week – Recycled Sweater Blankets

Recycled wool sweaters are a definite trend right now (hmmm, next Trending post?), and I’ve seen lots of cute pillows, stuffed critters, and the like made from them, but this is the first time I’ve seen an entire blanket!

Created by Michelle Christman from LovelyJustLovely, this blanket is made up of 8 different thrift store sweaters that were then felted, pieced, and then sewn together with a tight zigzag stitch.

Read the rest of this entry »

Trending – Foxes

Owls, deer, butterflies, songbirds of every sort,… even octopus!  All have become trends in graphics and interiors over the last few years, and for good reason.  Between the renewed interest in all things outdoors, and the surge in handcrafted artisan goods, it was inevitable that people would want to populate their homes with their own personal totem (or just animals they think are cool looking).

So, get ready to meet the “new” critter on the block…

Whether the Fantastic Mr. Fox, dapper in his regal orange coat, or the clever and magical Japanese kitsune, the big ears and clever ways of the fox capture our imagination.

So go ahead.  Get a little foxy with your home!

To see more images, inspiration, and sources for some of these great fox finds, check out my Trending – Foxes board on Pinterest.

Thanks for visiting!


Trending – Art Deco

The Roaring Twenties. The Jazz Age. The Silent Era.

Whatever you call it, the time that gave birth to the Art Deco was one of opulence and optimism. Skyscrapers were going up, speakeasies were going underground, and the whole world was giddily coming out of a period of war.

(click on image to see full size)

Today, Art Deco is quietly, but firmly making a reappearance.  The bold geometric patterns that characterize the style were everywhere on the runways this year.  The costumery and interiors of Boardwalk Empire and The Artist have reintroduced a younger generation to the strong black and (almost) white palette.  The graphics for modern day posters are harkening back to the days of Art Deco and its curvealicious  cousin, Streamline Moderne.

Want to introduce a little Art Deco to your project?  Try borrowing from the simple but potent color combination of black, cream, and gold.  Lots of gold.  Then give it a feminine touch by adding coral or shell pink.  Or why not find an old club chair, with upswept arms and deep, cushy seats?  Perhaps some pillows with Art Deco inspired fabric.   Don’t forget the silk, the pearls, and the cocktail shaker.

You can mix Art Deco in with so many other styles.  Modern, Arts & Crafts, Mid-Century, traditional Japanese, Chinese….  the list goes on and on.  The key is to mix it in, not let it dominate, because you would quickly start to feel like you were living in a museum or a movie set.  That is, unless you WANT to live in a movie set.

As an aside, I love researching and writing these Trending posts, so you’re going to be seeing a lot of them from now on.  As an interior designer, I’m drawn to trends like a magpie, and I bet you are too.  Right now, I am playing around with ideas for how to make the trending articles even more relevant and useful, such as shopping lists, additional resources, and how to recreate the trends while sticking to sustainable practices.  If you have ideas on how they could be more interesting or useful to you, please let me know in the comments below.

As always, I have made a Trending – Art Deco board on Pinterest with even more images and inspiration.

Thanks for visiting!


Etsy Find of the Week – St Patrick’s Day Edition

St Patrick’s Day holds a special place in my heart, ’cause, well, it’s my birthday day too.  So in celebration of all things green and Irish, here is a little St Patrick’s Day round-up, Etsy Style.

Looking for a little good luck?  How about this Lucky Horseshoe?

This recycled burlap pillow has (Irish) Whiskey stamped all over it.

Love this sweet little felt bunting made from a recycled wool sweater.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Future’s So Bright…

I don’t know about you, but for me, 2012 has been great so far!  Everything seems to be falling into place, and I haven’t enjoyed work and life this much in years.  The only downside is that I’ve been so busy getting all my ducks in a row (The Mighty Marching Mallards, coming to your town soon – ha!), that I have been sadly neglecting this poor little blog.

Now, I’ve never liked it when bloggers continually post about how sorry they are that they aren’t continually posting.   However, I thought it might be worth it to let you know that this situation should soon change.  While Emerald continues to keep you up to date on cool new products and artisan makers, I’ll be developing some new features, reorganizing the old, and preparing content that really calls to me.  Sort of a spring cleaning and future planning combined into one.

So sit back and stay tuned.  This year has “awesome’ written all over it!

Thanks for visiting!