Thursday, May 31, 2012

50 Awesome (and Affordable!) Side Tables

It all started with this.  A cute little side table for cheap, that reminded me of this cover of my favorite magazine.  Next thing you know, I'm noticing dozens of side tables that I have clipped to olioboard.  One thing led to another, and suddenly there are 50 awesome side tables under $200 (many under $100) to suit every taste.

Today, 25 by vibe.  Tomorrow, 25 by shape.

(I am struggling with image sizing in blogger, but figured it was better to have them this big ans slightly overlap the side bar than much smaller, which is the other option.  Thanks for understanding).

Sources are by column left to right, then top to bottom.

Global/ Bohemian: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Cottage: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Pop: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Architectural: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Industrial: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Can I get a high five?
Go forth and shop.  Or wait until you see the second round of 25, tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New fabrics that won't break the bank

I'm off this morning to plan the attack on a super low-budget, super fast-turnaround home staging project, which means I'm thinking about fun, bright, inexpensive stuff.

Like some of the new fabrics from Ikea.

This watercolor look is so on trend

Large scale floral, but --quirk alert--it's really cabbages

So Marimekko

Who doesn't love a good stripe?

Cute, modern, organic, large-scale pebble print.

I want to use some of these.  Like, almost as if they were high-end designer fabric.

What do you think: any favorites?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Reader design dilemma: Balancing oversize furniture

How was your weekend?
Why is it harder to come back from a three day break than a full vacation?
I actually did a good job of unplugging this weekend.  Not much computer time, no work stress.   I need to do this more often.

But we are back today with a design dilemma.

Nowadays, we all have a lot of stuff, and if you live in an older house there isn't always a ton of built in storage. A reader writes in that she bought a number of dressers for a master bedroom that turned out to be bigger than expected.  She needs the storage space and returns on furniture are expensive, so she wants to work with them.  Because of the layout of the room, all three dressers are on one side, across from the king sized bed.

What she needs is BALANCE.

Here's how to get it:

Option 1: Use furniture
All that furniture on one side of the room is most easily balanced by more, right-scale furniture.  Swap out one of the three dressers for a pair of bachelor's chests which double as nightstands.

Option 2: Use color
If furniture is not an option, two pairs of panels in a heavy fabric (think lined velvet, not sheer silk) and a darker color will give plenty of weight to this side of the room.  Keep existing night tables.

Option 3: Create architecture
Prefer to keep the colors light?  Add valances or pelmets and trim them out with ribbon or trim for an additional sense of architecture.  Fake a bigger window by extending the valances a foot beyond the window frame on the outside of each window, and create a curtain with double fullness.

Instant balance!

Got a design dilemma of your own?  Shoot me an email at heather [at] heatherpetersondesign [dot] com

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Small Measures

Take a small accent wall, fill with photos. Go to the next level: layer a painting over the top.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Wishful Thinking

I fell asleep reading the new House Beautiful last night, and this was my dream:

I was a contestant on Design Star and we were staying in the tallest building I have ever seen.  There was a pool on the roof deck, and we were up there for the first challenge, which had something to do with rugs.  I got a runner so long it didn't fit across the deck and I had to roll it down a long hallway.  Another contestant couldn't find her rug and it turned out I had covered it completely.

The roof deck also had a view of the mountains where people were skiing.  We all surmised that we were in Vermont.  Taking a bus tour to our second challenge, we passed a sign for Nederland and I realized we were in Colorado.  I hatched a plan to ditch out and go see my friends Justin and Amy in Boulder.

Digging in my wallet for cab fair, I found a bunch of uncashed checks to my business.  There was about $25K in design fees that I had forgotten all about.  I decided that this was such a surprise bonus, it would be okay for me to get grasscloth wallpaper for my fireplace wall and upstairs hallway.

I started to write a blogpost about accidentally sabotaging a fellow contestant on design star and saw that I had 165 followers.  This is funny because that is still a pretty tiny following by many standards, but I was freaking out with excitement.  In the dream, I apparently was steady at 145 followers, so 165 meant 20 were new.  I figured out who they were and sent each one of them an email thanking them for coming along for the ride.

I'm not sure I need to dig out my old dream dictionary to interpret this one!

Have a very happy long weekend!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Art You Can Afford

To tell you the truth, I haven't been feeling particularly inspired lately.
Maybe it's the apathy that comes with image overload.  Maybe it is being spread too thin.  Maybe it's the sudden onset of humidity (or the utter lack of exercise.)

Whatever it is, last weekend's Art a Whirl lifted my spirits and slapped me upside the head with inspiration.  This open studios event in the Arts District of Northeast Minneapolis is inspiring not just because it offers up the work of hundreds of artists, but also because the community support is tremendous.  I don't know about you but seeing the masses flock to an event celebrating artists sets the world right for a while.

I had many favorites (mostly small scale super moody canvases, perhaps unsurprisingly).  But I felt particular uplift when I spotted a table full of icon images from Christy Johnson of redshoes26 design.

A graphic designer by trade, Christy created this icon series to herald special places in her home state (and she tells me she is branching out to other cities, as well--selects from Chicago and Florida are already available.)  I love that these works are tiny and feel very personal--the buildings she selects as icons include both the obvious and the quirky, without getting all insidery on you.  

She free-hands the images with her mouse, and her dad makes the perfect little frames by hand.

You can pick these up from her etsy shop here, and locals, see the full list of local shops that carry Christy's work, or head to honeyshine in Bryn Mawr, a shop that really deserves a post all its own.

I think I need to pick up a Walker Art Center.

Walker Art Center framed illustration - Minneapolis, Minnesota Icon - pale blue metal with seafoam green glass

And I know at least two people who were married at the Landmark Center.  I'm getting this really great idea for an anniversary gift.

Landmark Center framed art - Minnesota print - Minnesota Icon - St. Paul - green, mint, yellow, brick red, black, drawing - architecture

So, tell me, what iconic building would you want immortalized in art?  Perhaps we can talk Christy in to some commissions....

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Upcycled rugs

I love all the ways I'm seeing rugs recycled these days: as upholstery for ottomans and dining chairs; sewn together as poufs and dog beds; hung on the wall, and recycled as pillows.

Inspiring, no?

A client had this anthropologie rug in her former apartment, and it's simply too small for any of the rooms in her new, larger home.

With lovely crewel work-like texture, I'm excited to see it transformed into a pair of accent pillows for the master bedroom.

Have you upcycled any favorite old textiles?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Small Measures

Some plywood or number 2 pine (cut to size at your hardware store) attached with basic brackets. Simple, sweet desk.  Hang it low for kids, move it up the wall as they grow.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lemons to lemonade

Did you know you can't return opened bedding to Ikea?

I didn't.  But it's true.

The return policy says "used" but actually means "opened."

EMMIE RUTA Duvet cover and pillowcase(s) IKEA Yarn-dyed; the yarn is dyed before weaving; gives the bedlinens a soft feel.
I bought these cute, inexpensive duvet sets for the girls' room.  I don't know why: maybe to avoid painting stripes in the bathroom?  (as you can see, it reverses to stripes.)  Maybe because I am having a buffalo check moment?  Maybe because you can't leave Ikea empty handed?  Maybe because they are just so durned cute?  At any rate, I sort of knew the stripes ran the wrong way for the space, but I opened one up any way, because I am visual like that.

We'll skip the unfortunate encounter at Ikea returns (though the girl at the desk was both helpful and sympathetic) and go straight to my plan to salvage.

Because the girls' beds are just on box springs on the floor, standard bedskirts don't work, and the box springs have been mostly exposed for most of the last two years.  Pretty, I know.  I've been meaning to sew simple covers to make the room look more finished and add another layer of color and pattern.  While I was originally thinking something small scale and geometric, maybe a block print, I do miss the plaid that once lived here.

Buffalo check stands up to the bold sort of scandinavian floral on the window, and on the box spring the two patterns will be separated by the white duvet cover.  (Right next to each other they fight like cats and dogs.)

It will be almost like I bought the girls those hastens beds, but in pink.  (They should really make that, don't you think?)

My eyeball measurements tell me there is JUST enough fabric to get two box spring covers out of the one twin duvet, and I can use the striped side to make pillow cases for those moments when I am feeling pink-pattern-crazy.  (Happens all the time.)  And the truth is, I probably would have been hard pressed to get the yardage I need for any less than the cost of this set.

So there you go:  lemons, lemonade.

I have a lot of sewing to do.

Have you had to "make it work" lately?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Otomi bedding, oh my

Have you seen the Otomi bedding at Land of Nod?




As we say here in the midwest, Oh, for cute.

A great way to play along with this trend without breaking the bank.


And some designer-y Otomi use, seen round the world.

Grace Bonney,

Jenna Lyon's son Becket''s big boy room


It's got me thinking: is this one of those times to go authentic and support the culture from whence a ubiquitous pattern comes (i.e. Mexico)?  Or do you go for the big box interpretation at the lower price point?

I've lately been noticing knock offs of famous and designer fabric patterns proliferating on spoonflower (where you can design your own fabric and purchase fabric designed by fellow novices).  When someone comes a little too close to imitating a Schumacher pattern, there is likely copyright infringement at work; what about appropriating another culture's local handicraft?

Dicey, folks.

But still, cute bedding.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The $7.99 bedroom makeover REVEAL

When I promised you a Monday reveal on Friday, I sort of forgot that Mother's Day was sandwiched in between.  And that I was hosting.  I spent Mother's Day morning playing around with bedding and styling, and it could not have been better.  I ask you: is that strange?  

Better yet:  to say I am in love with my new bedroom is an understatement.  I am smitten.

Here's the "before"

It never ceases to amaze me what a big difference small changes can make.

The inspiration was the giant Pottery Barn bolster, found for $7.99.  The challenge was to build a makeover around the bolster without spending any more money.  

The first issue was the bolster itself.  The right size bolster form costs $50.  But I have a cabinet full of unused bedding.  It took a twin quilt, full size cotton blanket, and 4-count 'em FOUR--baby quilts to fill this puppy.  Probably not practical in the long term (the result is one heavy frickin' pillow), but I have some foam and batting lying around and will likely make a custom bolster.

The next problem was the duvet cover.  The whole point was to move away from my (beloved) chinoiserie, and I knew I wanted white.  I considered borrowing the hotel style duvet from the guest room, but then what would go in there?  My husband uses a white Ikea bedspread for his body work business, and I had my eye on that, but it was at his studio.

Well, I'm a genius, cause the back side of this comforter is plain old white.  That's right.  I just flipped the thing over.  And I like that the burnt orange piping around the edges keeps it from being too blah.  Something textural, like a modern matellase, would be perfect, but those cost money.

With these issues resolved, it was just a matter of borrowing from the house and styling it up.


And After:

The lamp was on the other side of the room, I just traded to give the bed more presence.  Same with the zebra pillow, which the bed needs to make the brown stripe on the bed skirt make sense.  The throw is the same, just opened up to cover more of the plain bedding.  The jewelry boxes came from my dresser.  That chunky basket came from the auction at the girls' school--we bought the "game night" and all the games came in that puppy.  The extra throw inside it was just hanging out in the linen cabinet.  The bamboo side table came from the guest room (and my old room at my parents' house before that).  The white quilted shams came from my girls' rooms.

All of this leads me to an important point.  I always hate it when watching a makeover show and they "shop the house," and the result is basically one good room at the expense of the rest of the house.  So I made a silent rule that I could not borrow anything just for photography purposes and then send it back when the blog post was done.  Nope.  This makeover is staying put.  I swapped a different side table in to the guest room and different pillow shams into the girls room.  No harm no foul.  (I know: it helps to have a stash of extras.  I've been collecting it all for a long time.)

Here's the area across from the bed.


And after:

The Moroccan table went more orange (with the red still underneath) and the chairs (my grandmother's, back in the day, which, incidentally, lived in a room with kelly green wall to wall) got green pillows to ground the white and my favorite old Indian embroidered floral pillows, because god knows I still need a stylized floral in the room.  Hello, old friend.

Just a little detail.  I love the pinstripe sheets peeking out--a nice masculine counterpoint.  Oh, and those flowers would be cheating, budget wise, except, of course, mom's get flowers for Mother's Day, right?

When my sister in law saw the mini-transformation tonight, she said "I love your room--it looks so FRESH."

Exactly what the doctor ordered.  And not bad for $7.99!

And hey, if you are a mom or have a mom, I hope you got to celebrate yesterday.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Small Measures

Grandfather clock. Change "staid, stately" to "modern, cheeky" with a standard issue wall clock and a sharpie.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Bedroom Makeover for $7.99

My bedroom is mostly, sort of, kind of done.

It's the room that has gotten the least attention but felt the most finished from the get-go, just based on using what I already had.

Right now it looks kind of like this.

I think the last time you saw it, it actually looked like this.

It's fine.  But as I itch for summery decorating, the bold floral on the duvet is feeling a bit heavy.  Let me just say, I LOVE this bedding.  It is Dwell Studio for Target and when it debuted, Brooklyn sold out in a heartbeat.  My mom bought it in Minneapolis where it was aplenty and mailed it to me.  But that was oh, five or six years ago?  This is now the third house that we used it in.

In use in Brooklyn:
(honestly, I can't believe I didn't immediately stage up the room and send my mom a photo.  So I will force you to look at my adorable family instead of a plain and barren room.)

That's my 5 year old when she was 2, pretending to talk on the phone, and my 3 year old as a 2-month old.

And layered in Boulder:

So it's like a bedding love story.  (I wrote a love story to my bed upon leaving it in Brooklyn.)

I didn't even realize I had been thinking about change until I walked in to Pottery Barn for bedding for a client and walked out with this.

Bungalow Paisley Bolster Pillow Cover

A giant floral/paisley bolster, on sale for $7.99.  (They have them online with free shipping, too.)  All my favorite colors.  totally in with the whole-house color palette.  And so, this weekend, my bed will be getting a little makeover.  The trick?  I can't spend any more money.  Not a dime.

Totally doable, don't you think?  The mind reels.

Have a great weekend --celebrate your awesome mom--and come check out the makeover on Monday!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

One Huge Thing

Do you use pinterest?

Do you learn new things about your taste and interest when you look back on what you have pinned?

Apparently I like when there is one overscale item in a room.  It can be anything--art, lighting, floor to ceiling curtains--it's all about the drama.

[Lonny] Source: via Heather on Pinterest

Of course, you have to be careful not to dwarf everything else, but one large item can make up for a deficiency in scale elsewhere in the room. In my dining room, we had proper-size furnishings but a too-small table. (It was custom made by my father in law for our tiny Brooklyn kitchen.)

See how dinky the table looks, even with bigger chairs?  Not working.  We love the table, so in order to make it work I filled the space with the ubiquitous Maskros pendant and went tall and full on the curtains.

This would not have worked, however, without the big, 9x12 rug, which grounds the whole space.  And I should say that, unlike the inspiration images, this is more about balance--big light, big art, big armoire, big curtains.

What do you think: do you like a room with one big thing?

Oh, and if you want, you can follow me on pinterest, here.


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