What to Know About Switching to LED Lightbulbs

Swapping out incandescent for LED lightbulbs has several benefits. These include saving money on your electric bill, superior light quality, less impact on the environment and replacing bulbs once every decade or two instead of every few months.

But shopping for LEDs can be a dizzying experience. Aside from the bevy of bulb shapes to choose from, there are terms you’ve probably heard before, such as lumens and Kelvin, but don’t exactly understand. On top of that, there’s a seemingly endless array of light types and colors, such as daylight, warm white and so on. When you just need a couple of lightbulbs to replace, it all can be overwhelming.

If you’re thinking of making the switch, here’s what you should know about LEDs and selecting the best replacements. Click HERE for the full story.

Fabric Focus: Bridge Traditional and Retro Styles with Chintz

chintz pillow

via Landing Design

Chintz is a major player in creating traditional and retro vibes. It has an air of romance and translates well on curvilinear pieces. Like a lush garden, chintz comes in a vast array of designs and colors.  Find out what chintz is, its pros and cons and how you can make it work in your home.  Click HERE for the full story.

Fabric Focus: 6 Ways to Bring Ticking Stripe Fabric Home

Ticking stripe

via Kirby Perkins Home Builders

With its clean look and hint of nostalgia, ticking stripe fabric is a down-to-earth, decorative workhorse. Quintessentially simple, traditional ticking features a muted stripe in a color such as red, blue, brown or black on a light, neutral background. A twill of tightly woven cotton or linen, it was originally used as a cover for mattresses and pillows to prevent the spiky quills of down feathers from poking through.

From window treatments to pillows to shower curtains to upholstery, here are six ways to use ticking stripe fabric. Click HERE for the full story…



Fabric Focus: Grain Sacks

grain sacks look great just hangin' out on a ladder

via French Larkspur

With its homespun allure and slub-like texture, grain sacks are a favorite among designers and homeowners looking to add a bit of farmhouse decor.

You’ve probably seen it on throw pillows or even upholstery, with perhaps a colorful stripe woven through its length or a vintage advertisement printed on it.

But don’t think your home needs to fully embrace a rural lifestyle to take on some grain sack accessories. The material works just as well in contemporary spaces to add that touch of country appeal. Here’s how decorating with grain sacks can lift your home decor. Click HERE for the full story…

Fabric Focus: Decorating with Touchy-Feely Velvet

Velvet headboard and chairs makes for a luxurious bedroom design

via Summer Thornton Design

Ahhh, velvet! It makes everything seem just a little more sumptuous. With its regal good looks and unsurpassed softness, it’s hard not to love it. And there’s a bunch of different velvet types from which to choose, including solids, devoré, crushed, mohair and silk.

If you’re considering this posh fabric for your home, here’s what you need to know. Click HERE for the full story.

Crush of the Week: Albert by Sister Parish Design

Albert in Blue

This week’s crush is on Albert. My husband has nothing to worry about — Albert is a blocky, modern fabric and wallpaper pattern made by Sister Parish Design. It features teardrop-like shapes in square blocks which alternate in orientation.

The famous 20th-century decorating doyenne’s design archives have been re-imagined by Sister Parish’s granddaughter, Susan Crater, and great-granddaughter, Eliza.

Sister Parish (1910-1994) had an intrepid love for color and pattern and was the first to mix humble materials, like ticking fabric and handmade quilts, into mainstream decor.

She was also a pioneer in advocating American-made products. When she decorated the Kennedy White House living quarters she worked effortlessly to bring in as many local products and artisans. Her family continues the American-made tradition.

Albert, along with many other gush-worthy patterns, is hand colored and screen-printed on to a 50/50 blend of linen and cotton in the USA at Griswold Textile Print in Rhode Island.

Chest in Albert Red

Albert fabric is available by-the-yard (with a 2-yard minimum) in blue, red, chocolate, paprika, parma, citrus, sea foam and indigo. It’s 54 inches wide, has a 13-inch repeat and is suitable for upholstery. The 26-inch wide wallpaper comes in blue, paprika, red  and gold.


Many of the fresh, graphic designs are also available on serving platters, waste bins, tissue box holders and shower curtains, soap dishes, and pillows.

Dining with Albert is possible too, in this set of 8 napkins.

Albert Napkins, Set of 8

Sister Parish Design’s goods are available through their website as well as selected showrooms and retailers. Sister Parish Design has also recently collaborated with One Kings Lane to create a line of furnishings featuring these fun textiles.

Lucky for me, there’s a retailer in Islesboro, Maine called Apples, which I hope to visit this summer!

Must-Know Furniture: The Mora Clock

Mora clocks are distinctively shapely

via Alice Lane Home Collection

It’s not every day you hear a clock described as sexy, but the Mora clock is distinctly shapely. With a curvy, hourglass silhouette, Mora clocks are a Swedish-made treasure and the envy of many. If you’ve been thinking of buying one or just have a crush, click HERE learn more about the history and unique design of the majestic Mora.




Crush of the Week: Cat’s Paw Hooked Rug by Dash and Albert

Cat's Paw Rug on FloorIt always happens that I have a pair of black pants on when my cat comes in from outside and traipses up and down my legs, leaving precious paw marks. Besides my pants, cat’s paw is actually a hooked rug design. This week’s crush of the week, cat’s paw hooked rugs are colorful, happy and fun.

Not quite circular, the cat’s paw design is a series of concentric catawampus shapes loosely resembling feline feet randomly placed on a solid background. Another hooked rug design that’s similar is called pennies or coins, but their shapes tend to be more uniform

Don’t confuse wool hooked with latch hooked rugs. Latch hooking is that rainbow or butterfly pillow you probably made with acrylic yarn in 1978. Latch hooking has a pile. Meanwhile, wool hooking is densely looped on top and uses long pieces of wool fabric that are woven through a stiff backing.

Although it’s an old-timey design, Dash and Albert, as well as some other companies like Garnet Hill, still make cat’s paw hooked rugs in fresh, vibrant colors. You can also find wool artisans who make cat’s paw rugs too.

Here’s my favorite from Dash and Albert, shown in blue and brown.

via Dash and Albert

via Dash and Albert

via Dash and Albert

via Dash and Albert

Crush of the Week: Canvas Hampers by Pehr


I never thought a clothes hamper would make my head turn, but indeed that day has arrived. Made by Pehr Designs, the canvas hamper retails for about $70 and measures 18 inches in diameter by 20 inches high. Available in a boatload of colors and light-hearted patterns, like stripes, pencil lines, and polka dots, it’s my crush of the week.

Persimmon Pencil Lines

Persimmon Pencil Lines Hamper by Pehr

If a hamper isn’t high on your list of desires, Pehr makes them in smaller sizes, too.

Their “bin” size measures 13 inches in diameter by 12 inches high; “pint” size is 9 inches in diameter by 10 inches high.

Because canvas is so sturdy, you can store a lot of different things, like toys, toiletries, towels and scarves, without it flopping over on you.

Pehr Designs was formed in 2010 by childhood friends Jen and Becca in 2010 to create a line of classically simple, yet modern home accessories. They’re based in Canada, but also sell their wares internationally. Click here for Pehr’s list of US distributors.


I hope you enjoyed my crush of the week. Thank you for viewing!

LEED Gold Home in LA with an East Coast Cottage Look

via Tim Barber Ltd.

via Tim Barber Ltd.

Remember Kermit the Frog’s melancholy tune, “It’s Not Easy Being Green”?  For Kermit, being green wasn’t flashy or memorable —and he felt passed over and unappreciated for his “greenness”.

Like Kermit, green design has some hang-ups too. Despite its many attributes, environmentally friendly design is often criticized for its lacking aesthetic. So much energy goes into the sustainable aspects of the project, that the design of the space can sometimes suffer. Not everyone likes the uber contemporary or industrial looks that are so common with green design either. Who wants to build a new home with the soulless energy of a shoebox?

Wanting an environmentally friendly house with all the trappings of a traditional, breezy East Coast summer cottage, this LA homeowner takes a different approach. Click HERE to read the full story about this LEED Gold home with an East Coast cottage look.