Amity Home

It’s been a while since we featured nursery items here, and one look at these gentle charmers from Amenity Home was proof enough that the time had come to do so again.


California mothers Nicole Chiala and Kristina de Corpo started Amenity back in 2004.  Their simple, nature-inspired designs were from the first part of an effort to bring the peaceful tranquility of their youth into the urban, adult homes.  Two years later the pair realized their goal of offering their designs exclusively on organic or sustainable materials, and from there the business has only grown.  Nursery items are only part of a wide-ranging selection from Amenity. Read the rest of this entry »

Trending – Vintage Lace

I traveled to North Carolina last week and, as I always do, I stocked up on fashion magazines for the flights.  It’s my little “hey, I’m going to be stuck in a cramped seat on a crowded flight for way too long” indulgence.

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Valentino Spring 2012

As I flipped through magazine after magazine, a particular trend caught my eye.

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Louis Vuitton Spring 2012

Designers were embracing lace.

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Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2012

A LOT of lace.

Which means that the current trend for vintage lace in interiors is only going to get stronger.  But how do you embrace the look without going full on frilly?  Here are some suggestions….

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Etsy Find(s) of the Week – A Trip to the Ocean

It’s been a very busy week here.  Meetings, showrooms, more meetings, panicked new clients, writing, meetings in showrooms with panicked clients,… you get the idea.  A whirlwind of design work is a wonderful thing, but it can be exhausting!  That is why I don’t feel in the least bit guilty about taking the rest of this afternoon off to go with my son to the beach.  It is summer after all!

Since I can already anticipate the scent of ocean air, and the feel of warm sand between my toes, my brain can think of nothing but the amazing Pacific Ocean whose shore I will be on soon.  So here you are – my ocean themed Etsy finds.  Enjoy, and have a wonderful weekend!

Shadow of the Ocean bowl by Azulado


Recycled chenille pillows by Hepstyles

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An Ode to Woad – Part 2

So, as I mentioned last week in An Ode to Woad – Part 1, I now have a serious addiction problem.  Let me show you how that came to be…

After gathering at the lovely French General for the workshop, we all carpooled over to the park where our dyeing experience would take place.

Once at the park we got a delightful and informative overview of the history of woad dyeing from Denise Lambet, who flew all the way from the South of France just to create a legion of new woad addicts dyers.  After regaling us with stories of previous woad workshop students stripping down to their skivvies in an attempt to have just ONE more garment to dunk in the vats, she proceeded to explain how the process worked, and what we would need to do to have a successful dyeing experience.  Then we got to work. Read the rest of this entry »

An Ode to Woad – Part 1

I’ve recounted my experience dyeing with woad this last weekend to quite a few people in the last several days, and almost every one of them had the same question, “what the heck IS woad?”  So, for those of you who have the same question, here is a little background:

Woad comes from the common Isatis tinctoria plant.  It has been in use as a pigment and dye since Egyptian times, and possibly longer.  Many have thought that the blue pigment the Picts (early Scottish tribes) used to color their skin blue was woad, although there is some debate about that.  Oddly, for a dye that has been around for so long, it is surprisingly difficult to extract.  Because of that, the cultivation and processing were controlled by wealthy “woad masters” throughout much of European history.  Until Napoleonic times, the extraction method took a full year and a half, and involved a long fermentation in urine filled vats.  I can’t even begin to imagine the smell!  And not just any pee would do.  In order to have the proper ph level. it had to be human male pee.  Thus the preponderance of taverns near where the woad was produced.  Cheers!

image via


Even once Napoleon’s chemists had figured out a quicker (and hopefully less odoriferous) method, so as to supply his army with blue cloth, the extraction was still a laborious process.  Above are workers hand rolling “woad balls” in order to put them out to dry.  Unfortunately, the heavy manual labor required to extract the dye made it fall out of favor, and the last woad production ended in England in the early part of the 20th century.  Happily, some dedicated people, like those at Bleu de Pastel de  Lectoure , have been working hard, to not only revive the art, but to improve upon it and make it a commercially viable, natural, alternative to synthetic dyes.

image via

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Friday Wrap-up – 2/18/11

We’re supposed to have a storm arriving tonight, but for now it is all blue skies and fluffy clouds.  Perfect weather to pull together a little Friday Wrap-up for you.  Enjoy!

1.  Cute, simple DIY clip art rail made from an old yardstick and some cheerfully painted wooden clothes pins.  Perfect for a kids room.  (re-nest)

2.  Is it a chair that looks like a sweater, or the other way around?  You decide.  Either way, it’s an amazing piece of knitting! (Craft)

3.  I’m really surprised at how great looking these re-purposed 50 gallon metal barrels are.  I love that someone thought “hey, with some glossy paint, that would make a terrific cabinet”.  And they were right!  (re-nest)

4.  Buy one, give one – that’s the concept behind this bedding company’s new program.  What a great way to reach out and help a homeless child stay warm.  (Green Your Decor)

5.  Thinking of attempting a green remodel?  Here are some really useful tips from “The Not So Big Remodeling” author Sarah Susanka. (Inhabitat)

6.  A designer writes about rustic wooden walls and why they make spaces feel so cozy to her, even though she is a modernist at heart.  I’ll be writing more about the trend in reclaimed wood walls later, but the two images she uses to ilustrate her post are well worth taking a look-see at.  (The Design Confidential)

7.  And lastly, another cat thing (see Metronome Kitty from last Friday).  This time someone simply, and cleverly, took a few old wine crates and make a pretty good looking cat “bunk bed”.  Being that my husband is in the wine business, AND we have two cats, this is so going to be my weekend project!  (Shelteriffic)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Fun Bedding for Kids – Argington

I love these great organic cotton bedding sets for kids and babies by Argington.

And apparently the baby above loves it too!  This pattern is called Fish and Pebbles, and it’s one of the most attractive, least twee prints I’ve ever seen for a nursery.

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Friday Wrap-up – 6/4/10

Lack of sleep, tight deadline, ever expanding to-do list,… yep, typical Friday.  How about you?

Meanwhile, lots o’ pretty interesting stuff spied on the web this week.

image by jewelweeds

I’m entranced by these lovely hand blocked organic cotton linens from Jewelweeds. (mochatini)

Great, ethereal looking Tonic pendant lamp, made of 100% post consumer acrylic. (chictip)

More fun cardboard fort analysis! (BuildBlog)

Grandma’s old National Geographic collection transformed into a shelf. (Craft)

How to design in “Itty Bitty” spaces. (Inspired Design Daily)

Love the colorful glass bottle walls in this post. (re-nest)

Cute task lamp made of recycled egg cartons. (Dezeen)

Wishing everyone a relaxing, restful weekend.  See you Monday!

Plover Organic – For the Birds!


Sometimes finding coordinated organic cotton bedding and pillows can be frustrating.  The patterns are often fairly plain, and the colors lean more towards earth tones.  Not so with Plover Organic’s linens! Read the rest of this entry »

Squirrel! – Amenity Nursery

image by Amenity Home

image by Amenity Home

I’m a sucker for squirrels, so It’s no wonder I’m absolutely in love with this adorable organic bedding collection from Amenity Nursery.


image by Amenity Home

And if squirrels aren’t your thing, how about this great little duck family, which I swear looks like one of the early reader books from when I was a kid. Read the rest of this entry »