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Little Yellow Couch

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5 Things Every Office Needs For Creative Work

5 Things Every Office Needs For Creative Work

We'll see about that.  In our minds, the definition of creative work is fairly broad.  Of course it includes anyone working in the arts.  But it could also include entrepreneurs, shop owners, public servants and even scientists.  Anyone who is thinking creatively to solve problems or create human experiences is a "creative" in our book.  If you wouldn't normally call yourself a creative, is there work you do that requires time to think, design or dream?  Well then....

HOW TO MIX MODERN & RETRO IN THE KITCHEN

Playing with color, pattern and texture is one of our favorite things to do.  So we were delighted to be asked by Big Chill to put together a mood board using one of their lovely retro stoves.  Big Chill is known for their high quality kitchen appliances.  Along with their beloved Retro options, they also offer Professional and Classic lines.  We truly love all of them!  But for this task, we chose the mint green Retro stove.  

  1. Shelby Mod Pendant via Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.
  2. Poisson Teapot via Anthropologie
  3. Teal Deer Fabric via Mountain Fabrics & Triangle Tokens Metallic Fabric via Modern Cloth
  4. Fitz & Floyd Gold Luster Hi-Ball via Wayfair
  5. Streamline Handle via Anthropologie
  6. Big Chill Gas Stoves
  7. Eldora Floating Shelf via Anthropologie
  8. Mooreland Dish Towel via Anthropologie
  9. Regione Cheese Board via Anthropologie
  10. KitchenAid Mixer in Pistachio via Williams Sonoma
  11. Blackboard Hook in Mint via Anthropologie
  12. Latte Bowls in Tourmaline via Anthropologie
  13. Loft Super White Polished Glass Tiles via tilebar & Handscraped Distressed Alvarado Hickery Hardwood Flooring via Home Depot
  14. Mason Barstool via Joss & Main

 

Our first instinct was to go big into the 1950s retro look.  After all, we love infusing vintage items into a kitchen and there are a lot of options out there for retro looking wallpaper, tea towels, coffee shop signs and paint combinations.  But after a rough draft of the mood board, we decided to scrap it in favor of something that felt less like a museum display and more...well, more like us.  

The Perfect Mix of Styles

The new mood board represents a kitchen we would truly like to have for ourselves.  It combines several aspects of design into one space   The modern elements, (such as the floating shelves and drawer pulls), are mixed with classical, timeless objects (the white subway tile and domed pendant light).  The wood stools, floor and cutting board warm things up but the splashes of teal and mint, with the stove as the centerpiece, make the whole kitchen feel fresh, rather than pure "farmhouse."  And finally, the pitcher and glassware feel very contemporary and "of the moment."  The whole combination of styles feels just right to us.  

We'd love to know what you think!  How would you use Big Chill appliances?   

Downstairs Transformation with Colorhouse Paint

Colorhouse Paint: No VOCs, Eco-friendly, artist developed color palatte

Colorhouse Paint: No VOCs, Eco-friendly, artist developed color palatte

For years, Karen has been imagining a new wall color for the focal point of her living room, her prized painting of Frida Kahlo.  She had in mind something from the turquoise family but hadn't found the right one.  Once we discovered Colorhouse paint and partnered with them on the Style Matters podcast, she started thinking her long-time vision might become a reality.

The best part of a new project: flipping through the options in the paint deck!  

The best part of a new project: flipping through the options in the paint deck!  

Colorhouse sent us their fan decks and she immediately knew that their DREAM .06 was meant for her home.  She particularly loves the deep, moody aspect of the color that feels layered and rich.  When proposing this project to Colorhouse, we also thought it would be good to update her dining room since it opens into the living room and you want to have the colors from one room flow into the other in a way that feels intentional.  A lovely mid-range gray felt crisp and modern, and a perfect balance to the bold turquoise.   

Looking into Karen's living room from the dining room.  She had a mustard-yellow focal wall in the living room and a sage green in the dining room.  

Looking into Karen's living room from the dining room.  She had a mustard-yellow focal wall in the living room and a sage green in the dining room.  

The new blue is a deep, rich turquoise which Karen has been wanting to do for a long time.  The lovely medium-tone gray in the dining room is sophisticated and feels fresh and modern.  

The new blue is a deep, rich turquoise which Karen has been wanting to do for a long time.  The lovely medium-tone gray in the dining room is sophisticated and feels fresh and modern.  

Karen did a few DIYs to add to the fresh new look.  She painted the pagoda-style birdcage gold and hung some of her favorite small art pieces inside a large antique frame. 

Karen did a few DIYs to add to the fresh new look.  She painted the pagoda-style birdcage gold and hung some of her favorite small art pieces inside a large antique frame. 

Karen moved this large planter from her bedroom into the living room, adding a lot of energy to this area.  The green leaves and white pot look great against the turquoise.  Sometimes simply switching something from one room to another gives a space a whole new feel.

Karen moved this large planter from her bedroom into the living room, adding a lot of energy to this area.  The green leaves and white pot look great against the turquoise.  Sometimes simply switching something from one room to another gives a space a whole new feel.

In the photo below, you'll see where Karen's collection of Greek crosses used to be in the dining room.  Now that they're above the bar in the living room, she's enjoying them as if they were new to her.  

In the photo below, you'll see where Karen's collection of Greek crosses used to be in the dining room.  Now that they're above the bar in the living room, she's enjoying them as if they were new to her.  

Colorhouse graciously agreed with the parameters of the project and we got started.  One thing we were most looking forward to was painting with no VOCs or other toxins...something that Colorhouse is proud to offer in all of their paints.  We both often get headaches when painting with other brands and have to have all the windows open and take lots of breaks. With Colorhouse, we were completely comfortable and headache-free.

You can see that there were two different colors above and below the chair rail.  That's something else Karen had been wanting to change.  

You can see that there were two different colors above and below the chair rail.  That's something else Karen had been wanting to change.  

The table is now at a different orientation and Karen's two antique cuckoo clocks have taken the place of the Greek crosses.  The room feels so much lighter with the new gray wall color!  

The table is now at a different orientation and Karen's two antique cuckoo clocks have taken the place of the Greek crosses.  The room feels so much lighter with the new gray wall color!  

Now that we've had the pleasure of painting with Colorhouse, I don't think we'll ever want anything else!  The quality of the paint was noticeably luxurious in the way it went on.  It had excellent coverage and once dry, looked almost as if the walls were covered in suede or something other very smooth but dynamic fabric.  It's hard to explain....you'll have to get your own to see what we mean!  

Karen's large hutch has moved from this corner to another one, which you'll see in the next photo.  

Karen's large hutch has moved from this corner to another one, which you'll see in the next photo.  

Here you can see what a difference it's made to paint both above and below the chair rail the same color!  

Here you can see what a difference it's made to paint both above and below the chair rail the same color!  

And because we want to encourage you to get started on your own paint project, Colorhouse has generously offered to do a giveaway!  

TRANSFORMATION GIVEAWAY

FROM COLORHOUSE PAINT

DIY Mod Pillows with Fabricworm

We are so happy to have Fabricworm sponsoring the Style Matters podcast!  Our guest this week is Rachel Smith of The Crafted Life.  If you have a chance to listen to our interview, you'll learn that she is an inspirational DIYer!  We thought it would be fun to do a project in her honor.  Fabricworm has supplied us with some of their very best materials from Birch Organic Fabric using designs from the Mod Basics 3 line.  Below you'll find the templates and step-by-step tutorials for each of our three Mod Pillows.  

Mod Angles Pillow

* All fabrics are by Jay-Cyn Design's - Mod Basics 3 - for Birch Organic Fabrics carried by Fabricworm.  

Directions & Tips

  • Print out the PDF patterns below for pieces A, B & C.  Piece together using tape, making sure to secure both the front and back of the pattern.  Cut out your three pattern pieces using a rotary blade and quilting ruler on a self-healing mat. 
  • Use your rotary blade again to cut out your fabric pieces (A in CORAL, B in DUSK & C in MARIGOLD).  
  • Sew together Pieces A & B (right sides together).  Seam allowances are 1/2".  TIP:  Mark the 1/2" seam allowance on A as shown below and offset pieces A & B such that the stitching lines up where the fabrics overlap as shown.
  • Press seams flat and sew piece C right sides together with A & B.  
  • Press seams flat again. 
  • Cut a 17 x 17" piece of coordinating fabric and pin right sides together with your pillow front.  Sew together at a 1/2" seam allowance leaving an opening at the bottom for inserting your pillow form.  
  • Insert your pillow form and hand stitch the opening closed.

Mod Angles Pillow Pattern (PDF)

Mod Stripe Pillow

* All fabrics are by Jay-Cyn Design's - Mod Basics 3 - for Birch Organic Fabrics carried by Fabricworm.  

Directions & Tips

  • Cut three strips of fabric measuring the following:
    • 5" x 17" in SHROOM
    • 6" x 17" in CORAL
    • 8" x 17" in SHROOM
  • Sew the top two pieces together at a 1/2" seam allowance right sides together.  Press seam flat.
  • Sew the final piece in SHROOM right sides together with the CORAL strip.  Press seam flat.
  • Cut a 17 x 17" piece of coordinating fabric and pin right sides together with your pillow front.  Sew together at a 1/2" seam allowance leaving an opening at the bottom for inserting your pillow form.  
  • Insert your pillow form and hand stitch the opening closed.

Mod Plus Pillow

* All fabrics are by Jay-Cyn Design's - Mod Basics 3 - for Birch Organic Fabrics carried by Fabricworm.  

Directions & Tips

  • Cut a 17" x 17" square of Wink in DUSK.  
  • Print out the PDF pattern below of the Plus and cut out the pattern. 
  • Trace the Pattern onto the Iron-on Adhesive.  Cut out a square of the adhesive around the pattern. Iron the adhesive onto the wrong side of the SOLID CORAL.  
  • Cut out the fabric plus.  
  • Remove backing and iron onto the center of your 17" x 17" square of fabric.  
  • Cut a 17 x 17" piece of coordinating fabric and pin right sides together with your pillow front.  Sew together at a 1/2" seam allowance leaving an opening at the bottom for inserting your pillow form.  
  • Insert pillow form and hand stitch the opening closed.

Mod Plus Pillow Pattern (PDF)

We would love to see your pillows!  Tell us which fabrics you would use in the comments below or share it with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!     

oxo Little Yellow Couch

 

 

 

2 Rooms Inspired by Favorite Novels

Style Matters podcast guest, Lisa Borgnes Giramonti, shares her approach to developing personal style. We take her book, "Novel Interiors" as our guide and create 2 rooms based on our favorite books. 

10 WAYS TO PERSONALIZE YOUR EVERYDAY STYLE

We are delighted to have Desha Peacock, author of "Create The Style You Crave On A Budget You Can Afford" on the Style Matters podcast this week.  Desha has a lot of wisdom to impart when it comes to creating a home that looks more beautiful than what you see in the fancy magazines.  She does this by encouraging us to incorporate so much of our own selves into our homes.  She has inspired us to look at our own every day lifestyle and find ways of elevating the mundane, highlighting our fondest memories and using creativity in every aspect of our decor.  There's nothing here that you can't do yourself!  Just trust what you're drawn to and go for it.  

 

1.  Treat Yourself To A Fancy Breakfast

We don't know about you but for us, breakfast is often a grab & go kind of meal.  It's also often the same boring thing everyday.  Once in awhile, take the time to start your day with the intention of experiencing small delights.  Set the table, use real china and actually cook something.  Don't do this because you have a holiday brunch to host or your kids are demanding a pancake buffet.  Do it just because.  And especially if you're eating alone!  

 

2.  Create A Personalized Monogram

If you were one of thousands of college students who pinned posters of Dali, Van Gogh, Picasso or O'Keefe in your dorm room, you will probably feel some nostalgia for those old art books you might have lying around.  Find one of your favorite prints, trace it over a metal letter you've picked up at an art supply store and create a new conversation piece that reminds you of old times.

 

3.  Set Up A Writing Station

There's nothing like sending and receiving an actual hand-written note, out of the blue.  It won't take more than a few minutes and your friend will be so delighted and surprised, it's worth every second.  Stock up on some super funny cards or have your name printed on a set of stationery.  Our obsession with everything vintage-y means we enjoy adding old stamps on the envelopes.  Did you know they still hold their monetary value as long as they haven't been used?  

 

4.  Dust Off Grandma's Dishes

Mixing up the table: modern & vintage, rustic & refined.  

Mixing up the table: modern & vintage, rustic & refined.  

Setting an eclectic table lets your guests know that you intend to have fun.  Mix in some everyday plates, some dishes you've found at a thrift store and yes, your grandmother's wedding china with the pattern you thought was too formal for your taste.  We find that it's a great way to honor her and still set a stylish, modern table.  

 

5.  Tell a Story With A Vignette

There are so many ways to document our lives.  Photos and videos, scrapbooks, quilts made from old T-shirts... But we mostly like to be a little less literal in our presentation.  These are a few vignettes we've created from objects that represent our passions, our memories and our aspirations.  We collect things over time and then find new ways of putting them together, depending on what small story we're going to tell. 

 

6.  Create A Mini Gallery Wall With Travel Artifacts

Karen's collection of Greek crosses

Karen's collection of Greek crosses

Instead of buying sculptural wall pieces at the big box stores, use the things you've collected on your travels.  Baskets, masks, pieces of coral...whatever you've been storing away and not known what to do with.  Karen's display of crosses and icons from her travels to Greece are especially meaningful.

 

7.  Decorate With Maps From Places You've Been

Before & After: waterfront bar

Before & After: waterfront bar

Another way to bring your travels into your decor is to collect maps from your favorite vacation spots.  I found several nautical maps from the Gulf of Maine where I've been visiting every summer since childhood.  They made for a great backdrop to an old bookcase, which I turned into a bar. 

 

8.  Have A Portrait Made of Your Pet

Commission a pet portrait

Commission a pet portrait

We love our animals so why not treat them as royalty and commission and artist to paint their portrait?  Tuck them in amongst your other treasures so that they feel as much a part of your decor as your pet is woven into your lives.  Here is a sweet painting of Karen's beloved dog, Lucas.

 

9.  Repurpose Hand-Me-Down Furniture

We've all been given pieces of history that we don't quite know what to do with.  As long as you're willing to embellish or reassign them, you can incorporate them into your life in a way that makes you happy.  Here's Karen's remake of a cabinet that went from holding vynil records to holding scotch, burbon and bitters.

 

10.  Light A Candle.  In daylight.  Every day. 

Candles made for Little Yellow Couch by Witch City Wicks

Candles made for Little Yellow Couch by Witch City Wicks

This is an easy one.  Stop saving those special fragrances for special occasions!  Karen and I have been working together for over 3 years.  Most times, when we go to each other's homes during the day for a business meeting, one of us has lit a lovely, aromatic candle.  It makes each of us feel just a little bit special that our friend thought an everyday meeting was worthy of breaking out the good stuff.  But it was just the other day when we discovered that we each thought it was the other person who started this tradition.  Karen said she only does it because it reminds her of me.  And I'm almost positive I got into the habit from going to Karen's house.   What can we say?  Great minds, and all.  

xoxo Zandra

P.S.

We'd love to hear your daily practices and style tips, too!  Be sure to get in touch in the comments below or on social media.  And if you haven't already, we highly recommend Desha's book!  After listening to our interview with her, you're going to want to get your hands on it!   

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Little Yellow Couch

We'll send you the kinds of information and inspiration you're craving through relevant and timely newsletters. Don't miss anything new!