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Tag "textiles"

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Oh, hello there. Aren’t you beautiful?

My love of Pia Wallén’s Cross/Crux blankets runs deep, and it has not lessened at all over the years. Every time a new color is introduced, I want it. I’d love to have a multicolored stack of them in my house! As it is, though, I only own it in black (including a duplicate backup, thanks to that possibly-accidental sale at UO last year), because how often can a person shell out that kind of cash for a blanket they don’t need?

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This popped up on Pia Wallén’s Instagram today, though, and…oh my. CAMEL? Give it to me. There’s something about camel, you know? It’s richer than beige, happier than brown, and it really takes the edge off of those sharp black and brights I’m so fond of. A camel blanket paired with charcoal sofa and bright cushions? Oh yeah!

p.s. It would be fun to do an update on this Crux-spotting post I wrote in 2009. Do you have a Crux or Cross blanket in your home? Share a link in the comments or email a photo to me—I’ll do a roundup!

I don’t know if it’s because of the time I recently spent in Marfa with Daniel, or it has to do with all of the still-living (!) plants in my apartment, but lately I can’t get enough of cactuses. Cacti. Whatever. Or maybe it’s succulents in general, since I can never seem to remember what makes a succulent a cactus.

Anyway, I put together a little collection of some of my favorite cactus-themed stuff. I want all of it! Greedy, so greedy…

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1. Amelie Mancini / Cactus tote
2. Budi Satria Kwan / Cactus print
3. Sea & Asters / Geometric Cactus Planter
4. Simka Sol / Cactaceae leggings
5. Confetti Riot / Cactus print tea towel and pillows—white and peach
6. Visual Cities by Mariadiamantes / Cactus print

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1. Banquet Atelier & Workshop / Ten Cacti and Paddle Cactus screenprints
2. Sian Keegan / Cacti phone case
3. The Kingpins / Michael Cera Cactus button
4. The Black Vinyl / Early-1800s illustrated cactus chart
5. Nuukk / Cactus stamps
6. Make-Ready / Cactus print

Speaking of cactuses (I’m having a hard time with the word “cacti” for some reason), when was the last time you listened to 3rd Bass? I had The Cactus Album on heavy rotation during 1989 and 1990, and then 3rd Bass just kinda…evaporated. It’s a FANTASTIC album, though, and it still sounds great (maybe even better) 26 years later.

As an interesting (debatable) aside, did you know that 3rd Bass and The Smiths have something in common? Other than being white guys with tall hair, I mean. They both used the same sample! If you skip ahead to the 22:18 mark above, the beginning of “Triple Stage Darkness,” you’ll hear it: You are sleeping, you do not want to believe. You are sleeping… Now, if you’re a Smiths fan who appreciates Morrissey’s excellent use of samples, you’ll know that this is the very same sample used at the end of “Rubber Ring” (3:33 mark). Crazy, right? And considering how obscure the source of this sample is—a flexi-disc included with a 1971 book about communicating electronically with the dead, written by a Latvian psychologist named Konstantin Raudive—I think it’s mayyyyybe safe to assume that someone in 3rd Bass was a Smiths fan, and that mayyyyybe they actually took the sample from a Smiths record and not from the original source…but what do I know! Those crackles sure sound like they line up, though. Cool.

(How’s that for a tangent?!)

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Without fail, every time Erin from Cotton & Flax releases a new design, I want it. I already own several Cotton & Flax tea towels (Brushstroke, Black Plus and this limited edition beauty), and now I’m going to have to add at one more to my collection! Or maybe two more. Gimme all the tea towels.

Like all of Erin’s other textiles, Grid and Zig Zag (also available as a pillowoh my) are cut, printed and sewn in her LA studio. They’re made of a flax linen that is just the right softness, perfectly absorbent and durable. My Cotton & Flax tea towels have gone through the wash dozens of times (I air-dry mine, even though she says they can be tumbled dry), and they still have their shape and have held up beautifully. They look great in the background of baking photos, too!

p.s. Erin has been kind enough to offer free US shipping on all Cotton & Flax products to D16 readers through March 29th. Use the code DOORSIXTEEN at checkout. (Thanks, Erin!!)

p.p.s. There’s a great interview with Erin about being a business owner over at Design*Sponge today. Woo hoo!

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Well, you’ve heard about the mattress (queen size MYRBACKA from IKEA, and it is awesome—feel free to ask any mattress-specific questions you might have), you’ve seen the cute, cheap sheets, and now…the bed frame!

Yes, it’s the MANDAL bed, also from IKEA. You know I was saying the last week about how sometimes IKEA just nails it? This bed is a perfect example.

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Nearly all of the components of the MANDAL bed are solid birch that’s been finished with a clear lacquer. I was a little concerned about how such a light wood would look in combination with the very warm, oak floors in the apartment, but it turns out to be a perfectly happy mix. The birch will darken a bit in time, anyway, so I’d imagine that in a year or two they’ll be almost the same tone. That inset white “floating” platform helps prevent the whole thing from looking like a continuous block of wood, too.

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The best thing about this bed is the storage. There are four nice, big drawers underneath, perfect for storing extra linens, pajamas, or, as seen here, a bazillion tote bags. I’ve even thought about turning one of them into a little trundle bed for the dogs…

I never could get into under-bed storage boxes, but this? Amazing. The amount of stuff you can fit into these drawers essentially clears out an entire closet.

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Here’s a closer look at the construction. On the left, you can see the mitered corners (one of the many nice details IKEA has been incorporating in their solid wood pieces lately) where the sides and top of the frame meet. The picture on the right is a little weirdly angled because I was hefting the mattress up with my left hand while shooting with my right, but I wanted to show how the wood slats (which support the mattress in lieu of a box spring) sit flush with the top of the frame. The whole thing is just so well put-together.

Speaking of being put-together, I’d estimate it took about three hours for me and Evan to assemble the bed. No biggie. Of course, I don’t really understand when people say they hate putting together IKEA furniture. Personally, I find it very relaxing and satisfying. It’s like adult Tinker Toys.

Oh, ALSO. For the first time ever, we sprung for IKEA’s delivery service. The price varies depending on location/distance, but in Brooklyn, it’s $59 no matter how much stuff you’re having delivered. Yeah. At that price you still have to load up your cart in the warehouse yourself and go through the whole checkout process, but if you pay $99, they’ll do everything for you, including pulling the items…but only if they have more than 10 of each thing in stock. And that’s the kicker, of course, because if you’ve ever been to the Brooklyn IKEA, you know that stock counts tend to hover around 0–3 at all times. So we went with the $59 option. SO WORTH IT, OMG. Our apartment is on the 3rd & 4th floors of our building (and of course there’s no legal street parking out in front), and this stuff is heavy. Having a couple of dudes drive it over and carry it upstairs made life so much easier.

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I haven’t done much serious decorating in the apartment yet since I’ve been so focused on just getting large pieces of furniture into place and organizing all of our stuff, but I did order two of the “Bigmouth Strikes Again”-themed prints (Sweetness and Joan of Arc) from my K IS FOR BLACK shop and put them into frames. I’m not sure this will be their final destination, but I do like them leaning against the wall side-by-side.

For reference, these are the X-LARGE size (28″ x 38″) prints in the largest size RIBBA frames (27 ½” x 39 ¼”) from IKEA. This is the birch frame, which they’ve inexplicably discontinued. Weird. At least you can still get them in black and white, though, and the aluminum STRÖMBY frames are an even more affordable alternative that looks great. But I digress.

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Yeah, still using my faux-Aaltos (aka hacked FROSTA stools) as bedside tables. Love ’em.

If you’re wondering what happened to our former bed, the discontinued (all together now: of course) green wool-upholstered GRIMEN, it went to live with my friend Tiesha, who is awesome. I really loved that bed, and we’d definitely have kept it if it were queen-sized. Two people and two dogs in a full size bed is…tight. Anyway, I’m happy it went to a good home.

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Interior by Antonio Martins / Via Remodelista

HELLO! It’s 2015. How about some nice kitchens with vintage rugs in them to start off the new year? I’ve been on a quest to find the perfect rug for the kitchen at the house for quite a while now, and I keep coming back to these photos—this is exactly what I want. I love the way that worn-in, vintage rugs take the edge off of black and white.

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From Hither & Thither

Yeah, technically this rug is in a sitting area next to the kitchen, but the effect is the same. So soft and warm. (That row of Tom Dixon-esque pendants the homeowners bought in Bali ain’t too shabby, either. And yeah, I still need a light fixture for the kitchen.)

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Home of Edin & Lena from Dusty Deco / Photos by Martin Löf for Elle Decoration.

Mmmmhmmm. The glossy white floor, the Smeg fridge, the whitewashed GROLAND island…pretty perfect. That rug makes the room, though.

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Photos by Karin Foberg for Hus & Hem

I don’t know if it’s because of the black floor, but I feel like this rug right here would be perfect in my kitchen. The problem is that finding a rug like the ones in this post seems like an exercise in futility, unless you have bucks to spend on a kitchen rug…which is not in the budget right now. Doesn’t it seem like you should be able to walk into any junk shop and find an old, beautiful rug that nobody wants just lying around? I keep thinking that’s going to happen, but it’s not happening.

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In my last post, I mentioned having bought a queen-size mattress for the new apartment. Knowing that we were going to be making that upgrade, I bought new sheets a couple of months in advance. A number of people have emailed me about Target’s plus-sign bath rugs and towels, which led me to these great plus-sign sheets! (They’re a little tricky to find on the site since they’re not consistently depicted in the main product photo—just click the “plus print” icon under the color selector and you’ll see ’em. And if you don’t want a whole sheet set, they sell a set of two pillowcases separately. That product photo looks gray, but they’re definitely bright white.)

They’ve only been washed twice, but I’m really happy with the quality of them so far. Normally I would shy away from a cotton-poly blend, but I honestly wouldn’t have known they aren’t 100% cotton if I hadn’t seen the label. They’re very soft, almost like flannel. And the scale of the pattern is perfect. (I like them even more than this much more pricey variation from Normann Copenhagen, in fact.)

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By the way, since a few people have asked, the black blanket with the white stitching is from IKEA’s 2009 PS line, designed by textile artist Kazuyo Nomura. Sadly (and predictably), the STICKA blanket is not still in production. Maybe I should start a blog entirely devoted to nice stuff that IKEA discontinued…

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This has to be a FAST post because I’m running out the door, but I just wanted to give you a heads-up that the FULL SIZE (63×95″), large Pia Wallen Cross blanket (with which you know I’m obsessed) is currently reduced to $99 at Urban Outfitters. That’s a MASSIVE reduction!!

FYI: This is the felted cotton version of the Cross blanket (the same one I have on my bed), not the wool Crux blanket that costs a million dollars and is never in stock. I love my Cross blanket, though—rest assured it’s excellent quality.

I didn’t even realize they stocked the large blanket until D16 reader Esra (THANK YOU, ESRA!!) emailed me this afternoon. I knew they’d been stocking the smaller crib-sized Cross blanket (31×49″) for a while, but it seems you can only get to the large-size blanket by Googling or with a direct link. CRAZY.

ALSO: Apparently Urban Outfitters is offering free shipping today, AND the code “FALL2014″ will generate a 10% discount. Bananas. I wasn’t able to get the discount code to work with PayPal, FYI, so I had to do a regular transaction and enter the code at the very end.

OK, go get yourself a blanket!! (Hopefully this isn’t some big mistake on Urban Outfitters’ part, haha.)

UPDATE: The blanket is sold out already. Sorry, guys. :(

NOTE: The in-stock Cross blanket that’s still listed on the Urban Outfitters site for $99 is NOT the full-size! That’s the crib/throw version, and it’s only (31×49″). CHECK THE LISTING DESCRIPTION CAREFULLY BEFORE ORDERING. The full-size (63×95″) blanket has been out of stock since September 15th.

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Back when I started my little K IS FOR BLACK shop on Society6, I didn’t know if I’d stick with it. I was feeling very unsure about designing stuff without a client (other than myself!) in mind, and it was really a personal challenge more than anything.

Happily, I did stick with it, and I’ve added lots of new designs to the shop since that initial launch. It’s been SO fun.

That said, I think it’s a little boring to have the same things in the shop forever, and it’s time for me to do a big overhaul. On the first day of fall, September 23rd, I’ll be discontinuing ALL of the current designs so I can start introducing new work. Between now and then, all of the prints in the shop are discounted 20% (the discount is reflected in the listed prices). Society6 doesn’t allow members to set pricing for anything other than prints, otherwise I’d make the discount shop-wide.

ALSO: Between now and September 14th, Society6 is offering FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING on most items (framed prints, stretched canvases and rugs are excluded), and all phone cases (including ones for the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus) are $5 off.

That’s a lot of discounts, so if there is anything at all that you’ve had your eye on in the K IS FOR BLACK shop, now is the time to get it. After September 23rd, none of the current designs will be available. (You must use this link to get the free shipping and phone case discounts.)

OK! Onward.

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I wasn’t looking for a new duvet cover, but when I spotted the new-ish TOFSVIVA at IKEA a few weeks ago, I got heart-eyes and had to have it. The color palette is perfect, and I my affection for droplet patterns and clouds is unending. So nice! I love it against the dark wall in our bedroom.

TOFSVIVA was designed for IKEA by Linda Sjunnesson, who is also responsible for the Josef Frank-ish KNAPPSÄV cushion I’ve had my eye on.

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OK, I don’t iron my bed linens. I don’t really iron anything unless I absolutely have to, honestly. I started cloning out the wrinkles in this photo last night, but I quit after five minutes. Apparently I’m no less enthusiastic about digital ironing than I am in the physical world. So…wrinkles. Whatever.

The TOFSVIVA duvet comes in a set with two pillow shams for the alarmingly low price of $29.99. Like other IKEA bed linens it’s 100% cotton, but I must say it’s definitely on the rough side texture-wise. The thread count (144) is somewhere between burlap sack and dishtowel. That doesn’t bother me at all for the duvet cover, but the pillowcases are pretty scratchy on the face. Evan switched his to a plain white case last night. I think they’ll get softer with more washings, but I may just go ahead and turn the pillowcases into tote bags or throw pillows or something. But still, $29.99 for a really nice-looking duvet cover? I’ll take it.

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I still have not painted that radiator. I don’t like silver radiators, and this one is really peeling and icky—I have to address it. I know I won’t get to it before winter, though (what happened to summer?!), so I guess my new goal is to paint it by spring. And by that I mean spring 2016, which will likely come and go without the radiator being painted…

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That beautiful silkscreened “vu de l’extérieur” print is from Fieldguided. I love Anabela and Geoff’s work, and I think this piece is my favorite. So dreamy.

Happy Sunday…

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Remember when I went to Stockholm like three years ago? OK, it was last month, but geez, could it take me any longer to put a second post together? I know I’ll regret it if I don’t do it, though. Last night I was talking to a friend about how my blog still serves as a rough diary (albeit a very selective one) for me to refer back to, and how legitimately sad I feel that I haven’t written posts about a lot of stuff. My memory isn’t as good as I’d like it to be, and it’s comforting to be read old posts and see how I felt about things in my life when they happened. OK, so now that I’ve explained the arcane concept of a diary…haha.

The schedule on my second day in Stockholm was, to put it mildly, bananas.

10:15am — Get on bus to Skeppsholmen.
10:30am — Presentation about the history and design of both Hotel Skeppsholmen and the Nobis Hotel, both designed by the studio Claesson Koivisto Rune. Tour of Hotel Skeppsholmen.

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During the presentation at Hotel Skeppsholmen (which, by the way, is very beautiful), my eye wandered across the room to this AMAZINGLY FABULOUS textile hanging on the wall. I couldn’t stop looking at it. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a great full-size shot of it without moving the banquet table (don’t think I didn’t consider it), but you get the idea.

I asked the hotel director if he knew anything about it, and he said he was a little unsure but that he thought it was from the 1890s. This seemed a little bit maybe not right to me, but I wrote it my notebook and decided to look it up later.

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As I was looking at my photos, I noticed these details in the corner: The number 1961 (which seemed much more likely to me as the year of origin than 1890) and the initials MR. A little bit og Googling later, and I had answers! The textile, called “Karneval,” was designed by Marianne Richter (MR) for the Märta Måås-Fjetterström AB studio in 1961. If you have a whole bunch of money, keep an eye out for auctions! One recently sold for about $12,000. Gulp. (The photos at the auction link are much better than mine, by the way.)

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Visiting the Moderna Museet wasn’t on the agenda, sadly, but I did gaze longingly at it from the window while I was in Skeppsholmen.

11:30am — Walk to Arkdes for presentations on Swedish design at the Arkitektur– och Designcentrum. (The presentations were excellent and I took loads of notes, but I’m not sure how well they translate into a blog post. They did, however, give me an awful lot to think about when it comes to the future of design, Swedish politics, and sustainability.)

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1:00pm — Quick stop at the offices and library of Svensk Form, the Swedish Society of Crafts and Design.

I could easily have stayed there all day looking at the bound issues of Form Magazine, the world’s oldest design magazine, reaching back to 1905. I was in heaven…but only for 15 minutes. It was at this point that I started feeling very sad about having to adhere to such a strict schedule, but there wasn’t anything I could do about it. Next time. (I said “next time” a lot during this trip.)

1:15pm — Bus to Pizza Hatt, where designers from LAST introduced their new brand and collection of design pieces.

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2:30pm — The event scheduled for this slot was canceled, so the bus dropped us off at Svenskt Tenn for about 20 minutes.

Svenskt Tenn was on my list of places I really wanted to visit, so I’m grateful for even that short bit of time to quickly zip around the whole store and take in as much as possible. I admire Josef Frank and his work so much, and seeing it in this context was overwhelming and emotional (and over all too quickly…next time). As I was leaving, I noticed Barnaba Fornasetti on his way in! I was immediately star struck, and could barely manage to sneak a quick picture, much less introduce myself.

I later spotted Fornasetti and his son at my hotel eating breakfast, waiting for a cab on the street, at baggage check at the airport, again while going through security, and then buying a banana and browsing design magazines at a new stand. I think maybe he thought I was stalking him. And yes, he dresses like that all the time. Style for days. (When you have a minute, go look at this slideshow of Barnaba Fornasetti’s house—it is fabulous.)

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3:00pm — Bus to Snickarbacken 7’s art space, where woven vinyl pioneers Bolon were presenting their new collection. A short film by choreographed by Alexander Ekman (who was in attendance) was presented.

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While loitering around on the sidewalk waiting to get on the bus, I noticed that seemingly all of the businesses in Stockholm had lit up lanterns on the ground outside their doorways at dusk. The effect was so beautiful and welcoming, and all I could think about was how having an open flame on the ground in public in NYC couldn’t possibly be legal, and how sad that is. Then I remembered a story my mother told me about a Christmas tree decorated with candles (!) catching on fire when she was a child, and I started to question whether Swedes are committed to fire safety. Then I realized it had been about 20 hours since I’d eaten anything, and went back to enjoying the lanterns.

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4:30pm — Visit to ICEBAR by ICEHOTEL, where Monica Förster introduced her new designs.

The ICEBAR is exactly what you think it is: a bar made out of ice. The walls are ice, the bar is ice, the chairs are ice, even the glasses are ice. The floor is not ice. Helpers drape you in very heavy, very warm, surprisingly flattering capes before you enter. Drinking out of a glass made of ice is unsurprisingly unpleasant, but the lingonberry and vodka cocktails are delicious.

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5:45pm — Visit the FÄRG & BLANCHE design studio for the release of an art/dance/design film by architect Erika Janunger and choreographer Oskar Frisk.

There were fresh oranges and hot tea at the FÄRG & BLANCHE event, so I was able to fuel up a bit and get my senses back in order! The film was really beautiful, and a nice (if abstract) way to introduce a furniture line. The designers behind the line, Fredrik Färg Emma Marga Blanche, were very charming and graciously showed us around not only their showroom, but also the workshop at the back of their studio where they produce all of their pieces. I’ll be keeping an eye on them in the future…

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7:15pm — Exhibition and dinner at Note Design Studio.

Note’s studio is a knockout. The whole thing is white and glass from floor to ceiling, with black dots marking the tops and bottoms of the stairwells. A bunch of their designs were on display, and I fell in love with the Silo lamps. I fell in love with everything, actually, including the chef who went out of his way to prepare a beautiful vegan meal for me (after I sneaked into the kitchen and did a little bit of begging). Shaved fennel, radishes, and cauliflower with slivers of toasted bread. I don’t know what he used as dressing, but the flavor was both delicate and full at the same time—very subtly vinegar-ish and a bit sweet. I could eat like that all the time.

11:30pm — Arrive back at hotel, crash, burn.

The final installment in my Stockholm adventure, Part Three, is coming soon! For real soon, too, not two weeks soon. That’s the most fun day, the Furniture Fair!

Here’s Part One, if you missed it.