August 10, 2011 at 10:30 am , by Lauren Piro
There’s nothing that completes a room quite like a fabulous print to hang (what’s more depressing than bare walls?). The art world can be daunting, though, so I’ve become a fast fan of 20×200, an online art store started by Jen Bekman, a New York City gallery owner. She’s on a mission to get everyone finding and talking about art that they love—even those who think their walls are limited to finger-paint masterpieces and dorm-décor leftovers.
20×200 connects vibrant artists with potential art lovers right in their inbox, and then sells the prints at a super affordable price. Every print is a limited edition, often starting with 200 pieces sold for $20 each (get it?).
“I really love the idea of people finishing the picture of their home with art by an artist that they’re going to read about and follow,” she says. “I want people to talk about their art collections in the same way they talk about the books they’re reading or what shoes or gadget they’re going to buy.”
Today, 20×200 launches a cool collaboration with West Elm—a collection of colorful, modern prints from a variety of artists.
“West Elm has the trifecta of simple, chic, and affordable solutions,” says Jen. “And like 20×200, they have a genuine enthusiasm for presenting indie stuff that’s fresh and new.”
Nervous about incorporating art in your home? Jen shared her sage advice on why you shouldn’t be.
Collecting art and using it in your home IS for you.
“Traditionally, art is seen as something that’s only for the elite, and that’s very frustrating. I opened my gallery as an accessible and friendly place that was still serious about art, and 20×200 grew out of that. Our tag line is ‘live with art, it’s good for you,’ and I really mean it. I feel like my life is better because I have art on my walls. I love surrounding myself with things I that I like aesthetically, and it’s really gratifying to support an artist by buying their work.”
August 3, 2011 at 6:27 pm , by Beth Roehrig
When it comes to weddings, I’m always torn: Do I go with something off the registry or cold, hard cash? Well, when a good friend of mine recently tied the knot, I was stuck. Literally everything on their registry had already been snapped up. So…what to do? Sure, most newlyweds probably can use the cash more than that mixing bowl set on their registry. But handing over a card with a check inside just felt so impersonal. So I decided to make them a personal gift to give along with the check. I had seen an idea I liked over on one of my favorite blogs, Young House Love, that I was excited to try. Sherry and her husband John covered an entire hallway in their home with framed, art, pictures, and other various items. They have a ton of great ideas on their walls—you should go read all about it here. Anyway, as you can see above, they framed a calendar page and circled the date of their wedding with a heart. So adorable!
See my version after the jump. Read more
July 27, 2011 at 5:09 pm , by Beth Roehrig
Lately, I’m all about chevron, this fun pattern of inverted Vs in bold, punchy colors. It’s not a new trend, but I love how simple and graphic it is. If you normally shy away from patterns, this is an easy one to try out. I’m thinking about buying this Serena & Lily feather rug, at left, for my bedroom.
Here are a few other ways to bring the zig-zag into your home:
July 13, 2011 at 4:56 pm , by Beth Roehrig
With the passing of The Brady Bunch creator, Sherwood Schwartz, making news this week, people have been waxing nostalgic for the show—and its set design. One of Apartment Therapy’s bloggers posted about how much he loved that kooky midcentury house. I also grew up watching the show in re-runs after school and felt the same way, even though it was totally insane for six kids to share one bathroom. (Let’s not forget that Mr. Brady was an architect.) Despite the cozy living quarters and questionable 60s/early 70s design choices, I wanted to move on in there and keep on dancin’. It got me thinking about the other TV homes that I coveted as a kid.
1. Beverly Hills, 90210. Ok, basically I just wanted to live down the hall from/stalk Brandon Walsh in his Spanish colonial house.
2. Friends. Monica’s apartment was girly, bohemian, and….huge. A total fantasy, but I didn’t know that back then. I had already decided I was moving to NYC one day, and that square footage was gonna be mine.
3. The Cosby Show. The Huxtables’ classic Brooklyn brownstone felt super comfortable and spacious enough for their big family. And they were always having so much fun there. Remember this?
4. Clarissa Explains It All. Didn’t she have her own phone line? So unfair.
What are your current (or nostalgic) favorite TV homes? I love the modern 1960s interiors on AMC’s Mad Men, as well as all of the Bravermans’ homes on NBC’s Parenthood. Sneak a peek at a few photos of them here.
June 23, 2011 at 4:59 pm , by Beth Roehrig
Did you know that many things inside your home can trigger asthma attacks? Common allergens, such as dust mites, mold, pet dander, and pollen, as well as irritants like smoke and VOCs in paint and adhesives all cause problems for asthma sufferers. Luckily there are ways to make your home more asthma-healthy, and there’s a new campaign called Build Smart, Breath Easier that’s working with HGTV host and carpenter Carter Oosterhouse (that’s him at left) and Habitat for Humanity in order to raise awareness.
I sat down with Carter and Dr. Reynold Panettieri a few weeks ago to learn more about the program and what homeowners can do to improve their own indoor air quality. Carter is working with Habitat to design four asthma-healthy homes around the country for families affected by the disease. The first house, being built in Detroit for a family of four, recently kicked off construction. Homes in Philadelphia, Georgia, and Los Angeles will follow. Read more
June 1, 2011 at 3:10 pm , by Beth Roehrig
I’m in the market for some new dishes. Now that I have more cabinet space, I’m finally going to pick up the heirloom china that’s been in storage at my mom’s house for years. It’s pretty formal—white with a blue floral pattern and a platinum band—but it’ll look more modern mixed with all-white dishes. While hunting around for some online, I noticed a number of designs that have an organic, imperfect edge that I really like. It picks up on the Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetic, which is all about accepting and seeing the beauty in imperfection. (Now that’s a philosophy I can get behind.)
Luckily you can pick up this trend at any price point:
Above, CB2′s Calla Dinnerware is made of stoneware, which is usually the least expensive type of china you can buy. It’s sturdy, though, and holds up for daily use. Prices range from $3.95 for a small bowl to $6.95 for a dinner plate.
Ikea, long a purveyor of $.99 plates, has gone fancy, selling a set called Skyn that’s made of bone china (this has a more delicate look and usually gets saved for special occasions). Prices start at $7.99 for 2 small serving bowls and run up to $29.99 for a large serving bowl. Check out a nice photo of the set over at the kitchn.
Organic Shaped Dinnerware from West Elm is made of glazed porcelain. Porcelain is a little bit nicer than stoneware, and usually has a whiter finish. A set of 4 mugs goes for $12; a set of 4 dinner plates for $28.
Pebblestone Dinnerware from Diane Von Furstenberg at Bloomingdale’s is also made from porcelain. These plates are $13 and up apiece.
May 25, 2011 at 5:59 pm , by Beth Roehrig
Today marks Marimekko‘s 60th anniversary, but the Finnish textile company is just as modern as ever. Though they started out with clothing (and still make some really adorable swing dresses and more), I’ve had a crush on their vibrant, pop-art designs ever since I first came across them in Crate & Barrel years ago. The store’s had a long relationship with Marimekko, carrying a variety of their bedding and other home products since the early 1960s. And just this year C&B opened dedicated Marimekko Shops within several of their stores—here in NYC, Chicago, and Los Angeles—to showcase even more of their whimsical housewares.
At left, Unikko, was created back in 1964, and remains one of their best-sellers.
A few of my favorite current pieces after the jump: Read more