the friday files

Do you find yourself drawn to images of homes where real people live compared to the more studied and composed interiors of professional designers? During the past week, I've  had some time to catch up on my magazine reading and I keep thinking about the interview I read in the new issue of House & Home magazine with Christiane Lemieux of DwellStudio. As many of you probably know, Christiane has a new book coming out called Undecorate: The No-Rules Approach to Interior Design. In the interview she states, "the arbiters of style have completely changed. It's not decorators I look to for inspiration anymore; its real people. The great thing about the democracy of design via the Internet is that it's borderless."  In essence, Christiane is promoting the idea of DIY design and is looking to the internet and blogs for her inspiration. She later states, "the Internet offers so much proof that the most vibrant style ideas are coming from the minds of real people."

Wow, what do you think of this?  Are design bloggers the new leaders when it comes to championing a look or setting trends? Are we blazing a trail that promotes a more "real" aesthetic - that is more attainable to the everyday reader? Have the tables turned - are magazines looking to blogs for story ideas and inspiration?

In the January "Trends" issue of Style At Home magazine, they ran a story about blogger style where they highlighted elements like: faux fur, ikat, eclectic lighting, tribal patterns, collected glassware and graphic type as indicative of the look bloggers tend to favor. The article states, "the decor approach is playful, making iconic pieces accessible by mixing them with DIY projects; putting together simple, lovely vignettes; and incorporating collections with a global flair."

I do think we are seeing a looser, more personal aesthetic creeping into magazines and I think that part of that is due to the proliferation of images of everyday people's homes on the internet. Personally , I get no pleasure out of seeing an "decorated" home with perfectly matched upholstery and composed furniture arrangements and colour coordinated artwork. They're lifeless and boring and predictable. I think homes should reflect the individuals that live in them and feel authentic and that means that things won't be perfect!

What do you think? Are design bloggers setting trends with our eclectic, DIY style? Has the Internet democratized design?

Here are a few shots gathered from personal home tours around the blogosphere.

Oh and I'll be back here on Monday with my Hello! Neighbor tour for February! Have a great weekend.

Image Credits:
1 ) Bloesem
2 ) The Selby
3 ) Design*Sponge
4 ) The Selby
5 ) Design* Sponge
6 ) Freunde von Freunden
7 ) Freunde von Freunden
8 ) HGTV Style Sheet
9 ) HGTV Style Sheet
10 ) Design* Sponge

painterly inspiration

Trends....they are a big part of the design world. They come and they go. Sometimes we take part and other times we just let them pass us by. Lately, I've been noticing a lot of painterly inspired things; everything from pillows to wallpaper to knobs. Most of the inspiration seems to be coming from artists who worked between 1950-1970. Artists like Mark Rothko,

Mark Rothko - Untitled (Blue Divided by Blue) 1966

and Jackson Pollock.

Jackson Pollock - Untitled (Green Silver) 1949

Fashion, always a precursor of what's to come in the world of design has shown a strong liking for all things paint splattered and brush stroked for awhile now.

Dries Van Noten's Spring 2011 menswear line showed randomly ink splashed shirts that were actually hand painted by a couture atelier in Lake Como.

Proenza Schouler's Fall 2010 line showed pants that looked like they were torn from a Jackson Pollock painting.

Earlier this year, design blogger and Top Design contestant Eddie Ross won the Bloomingdales Big Window challenge using a spatter printed wallpaper from Hinson and Company that was designed by Harry Hinson in 1974.

Artist Sterling Ruby took the idea one step further with his paint splattered Tokyo boutique for Raf Simons. Via Apartment Therapy.

Kelly Wearstler has also shown her love for bold graphic brush strokes with this hand painted wallpaper she chose for her own Hillcrest home. In an interview with Vogue magazine, she says,"People think my boys did it!"

If painting or wallpapering your walls is too much of a commitment there are always these small Composition Knobs (on the right) from Anthropologie. They remind me of Helen Frankenthaler's work Small Paradise (on the left).I think pillows are a great way to take advantage of this trend. West Elm has these roughly scrawled chevron pillows which would update any sofa.

They also have this abstract splash pillow which is more my style.

If you're looking for a great steal this colour field and painted tweed pillow from DwellStudio are on sale right now for the unbelievable price of $US 30.00 each.

Also available are these beautiful colour field table mats. A set of four is $US 57.60

What do you think? Is this a trend you could get into to? Do you feel this trend has been kicking around for awhile?

Personally, I have a hard time with the paint splattered look. I'm old enough to remember the neon paint splattered fashions of the 1980s. I don't know if it is a look I can get into! The colour block works, on the other hand with their bold brush strokes I find quite enjoyable. I might be able to find some room for those in The Marion House.

cast your vote - janet's window

We just wrapped up another long weekend in Canada which explains my absence yesterday. It kind of snuck up on me as did the month of August! I always find this month goes by way too fast and no matter how many years I have been out of school I always feel I should be preparing for the start of a new year. One of my readers, Janet is also getting things organized. She recently asked me to help her out with some suggestions for her kitchen window treatment. I immediately thought this would be an ideal Cast Your Vote question since you all have such wonderful ideas and suggestions. Janet moved into her house a few months ago and like so many first time homeowners has a long list of repairs and updates to do to the house. She has plans for a complete kitchen overhaul in the near future but for now she is making the most of what she has.

Janet sent along these two photos from the always inspiring Making It Lovely blog as examples of what she is hoping to achieve. She wants to add a touch of fun and colour to her neutral kitchen and thought the window was a great place to start.

This bright yellow window shade really does bring the room to life. You can see how Janet would be inspired to add something similar to her own kitchen.

Here are a couple of images of Janet's kitchen:

You could see how a burst of colour and pattern would really bring this kitchen alive. I think yellow graphic patterned blinds would also work really well in this space.

This print called Emilio Lemon Drop print from Tonic Living is fun and bold.

I also think this Gate pattern in Citrine from DwellStudio is lovely. In fact, it might be my favorite. I think the subtle touch of warm grey in the print would really tie the kitchen all together.

I found these two prints called Chelsea also at Tonic Living. I think either of them would work well in the space. Like above, that touch of warm grey will reference the colour of the kitchen cabinets making the space feel complete.

If Janet wants to keep the whole colour scheme neutral she could go with either of these prints from DwellStudio. The first one is Maze Work in Dove, the second is Soft Scrolls in Charcoal.

But why would you want to stay neutral when you could add a delightful print like this one! I think Janet's kitchen would really benefit from an injection of colour; something like these Poppies from Tonic Living.

Or how about this contemporary floral called Madison Wisconsin from the Spring 2010 line by Marimekko. I think this might be my second favorite.

This more traditional garden print called Sweet William in Teal from Tonic Living could also work.

Finally, you can never go wrong with this famous print called Unikko by Maija Isola for Marimekko. They also have an amazing line of plates, cups and bowls that would compliment the fabric nicely.

So what do you think? Would one of these fabrics work for Janet's neutral kitchen? Is there something out there you think would work better? Cast your vote and let her know what you would pick!