11 Creative and Thrifty Ideas for Bedside Tables

Urban Grace

logo

A good friend recently introduced me to Urban Grace, a delightful shop which just moved into a jazzy new space in downtown DeKalb, Illinois.

Owners Sherrie Larkins and Rachel Polly have an eye for fine finds. They pick up furniture and other goodies at estate sales and such and then work their magic to breath new life into their pieces.

The Urban Grace style is akin to shabby chic, but with an urban angle. Hold the sugar too – their pieces aren’t cloyingly sweet with floral and lace. They’ve collaborated with Nathan Rock of Industrial Artifacts who showcases some of his industrial furniture, fitting in among the mid-century leather suitcases,  rolls of Rifle paper, framed antique illustrations and block-print throws.

Urban Grace also sells clay and chalk-based paints by CeCe Caldwells’ Paints, which they also feature on their furniture in an array of cheery colors. The paint is also easy to apply and environmentally friendly, as it’s non-toxic, water-based and made of natural ingredients.

Best of luck to Urban Grace in their new space!

IMG_0020

IMG_0011

IMG_0021

IMG_0025

IMG_0026

IMG_0018

IMG_0013

IMG_0009

IMG_0008

IMG_0005

 

Suzani Style

source unknownA kaleidoscope of color and pattern, the suzani is a decorative tribal textile from the Central Asian country of Uzbekistan. Made as part of a bride’s dowry, suzanis were traditionally used as decorative wall hangings, bed covers, table cloths, and prayer mats.

Suzani is derived from the Persian word suzan, which means “needle”. They are made on a light-colored cotton or silk base which is heavily embroidered with colored silk thread. Popular motifs include moon roundels, flowers, fruit (typically pomegranates), leaves, and birds. Suzanis are usually made in two or more sections and stitched together to create a finished piece.

Suzani fever has woven its way into our homes and hearts. As a traditional wall hanging, a suzani creates a spectacular alternative to a headboard, such as Paige Morse’s bedroom design shown below. Likewise, suzani bed covers and throws offer an artful bedroom focal point.

Some designers repurpose the textile by cutting it and creating new forms. Suzanis are installed on upholstered seating, like the settee above or as bold throw pillows, as seen in Jessica Helgerson‘s living room design.

With size limitations and (understandable) hesitation to alter hand-embroidered textiles, an alternative of fabric printed with suzani inspired patterns allows for greater design flexibility. Wide-width fabric allows for upholstery of larger furniture pieces such as sofas, chairs and headboards to achieve a similar look.

Colorful and ever so global, suzani style celebrates the beauty of life through traditional pattern. Be bold and check out some favorites below:

via Hillary Thomas Designs

via Hillary Thomas Designs

via Anthopologie, Inge Chair with Vintage Suzani

via Anthopologie, Inge Chair with Vintage Suzani

via Deborah French Designs

via Deborah French Designs

via Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

via Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

via Tara Bussema

via Tara Bussema

via Chr Dauer Architects

via Chr Dauer Architects

via Vani Sayeed Studios

via Vani Sayeed Studios

via Paige Morse, photo by Sarah Greenman

via Paige Morse, photo by Sarah Greenman

via Emily Chalmers, photo by Debi Treolar

via Emily Chalmers, photo by Debi Treolar

via Heydt Designs

via Heydt Designs

via Katie Leede & Co.

via Katie Leede & Co.

via Steven Favreau Design

via Steven Favreau Design

via Garrison Hullinger Interior-Design, rug by Kush Handmade Rugs

via Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, rug by Kush Handmade Rugs

via calicocorners.com, Oh Suzani Fabric Collection

via calicocorners.com, Oh Suzani Fabric Collection

 

via Thibaut, Suzani woven fabric

via Thibaut, Suzani woven fabric

via F. Schumacher & Co., Konya Suzani

via F. Schumacher & Co., Konya Suzani

I couldn’t resist to go out in style…..

via O-Suzani Boot Co.

via O-Suzani Boot Co.

Related links:

Calico Corners

Chr Dauer Architects

Deborah French Designs

Emily Chalmers

F. Schumacher & Co.

Garrison Hullinger Interior Designs

Heydt Designs

Hillary Thomas Designs

Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

Katie Leede & Co.

Kush Handmade Rugs

Paige Morse

O-Suzani Boot Co.

Steven Favreau Design

Tara Bussema

Thibaut

Vani Sayeed Studios

*Marla Mallett sells antique and contemporary suzanis

The Perfect Parsons Table

via Design Manifest

via Design Manifest

Once coined the “Gap pocket tee” of American interior design, few pieces have retained their stylish stronghold as much as the Parsons table. Its straightforward, boxy design features substantial, square legs with a top of the same thickness. Brutally simple, the Parsons table melds effortlessly into most any aesthetic.

Despite its reference to the iconic American clothing staple, the Parsons table is actually a French creation. Designer Jean-Michel Frank was lecturing in the 1930’s at the Paris branch of Parsons School of Design when he tasked his students to “design a table so basic that it would retain its integrity whether sheathed in gold leaf, mica, parchment, split straw or painted burlap, or even left robustly unvarnished”.

One student, who was never identified, designed the simple table, which was originally called the T-square table. A handyman janitor at Parsons in New York brought the French student’s design to fruition by building the piece. The table was exhibited at a student show and quickly became popular with designers and architects, who had the table custom-made for clients.  It wasn’t until the early 1960’s when two furniture companies, Mount Airy and Directional, first manufactured the Parsons table.

Many knock-offs have ensued since, transferring the design to function as desks, dining tables, side tables and console tables.  Depending on how they’re finished, matte or glossy, neutral or bright, a Parsons table will either make a punch or serenely blend with other pieces, including antiques. It’s also a great choice for tight spaces.

Check out a few favorites:

via Feldman Architecture

via Feldman Architecture

via Vanillawood

via Vanillawood

via indulgy.com

via indulgy.com

via Dayka Robinson Design

via Dayka Robinson Design

via Kate Collins Interiors

via Kate Collins Interiors

via Katie Ridder Rooms

via Katie Ridder Rooms

via Balance  Associates Architects

via Balance Associates Architects

via Tina Fussell

via Tina Fussell

via Holly Marder

via Holly Marder

This Parsons style dining table harmonizes perfectly with modern and antique furniture.

via Fougeron Architecture

 

Thank you to Mitchell Owens of the New York Times for historical information on the design of the Parsons table from his June 8, 2006 article, “Dying for a Parson’s Table”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unstoppable: The Return of Cork

Cork Mosaic Circles Sideboard by Iannone Design

Cork Mosaic Circles Sideboard by Iannone Design

Mention ‘cork’ and most people think of wine stoppers and lifeless pin boards. Cork has far reaching uses past the ordinary and is infamous for its Superman attributes. Aside from being 100% sustainable, it’s also waterproof, buoyant, fire-resistant, insulating, and resistant to mold and bacterial growth.  It also has a warm, pleasant scent.

Cork’s popularity has certainly risen in years past, but it’s not a new building material. Cork flooring was introduced in the late 1800’s and used in a variety of commercial and residential spaces, but its use quickly waned with the invention of vinyl flooring after WWII. The 1960’s and 70’s experienced brief flirtations with cork wall covering.

Lucky for the design industry, recent shift by wine makers from cork to synthetic wine stoppers, as well as a global push for sustainable building materials has caused a resurgence in cork’s popularity as a material of choice for interior applications.

Check out some favorites:

Oro Cork Fabric in color Azul by Habitus

Oro Cork Fabric in color Azul by Habitus

Float Lamp by Benjamin Hubert

Float Lamp by Benjamin Hubert

Corsica Chaise by Daniel Machalik

Corsica Chaise by Daniel Machalik

Corkcomfort Linn Moon by Wicanders

Corkcomfort Linn Moon by Wicanders

Cork Floor in Hangman Valley Residence by Uptic Studios

Cork Floor in Hangman Valley Residence by Uptic Studios

Asian Home Gym by JK and Sons

Asian Home Gym by JK and Sons

Cork Mosaic from Habitus. Design by Molley Frey Design.

Cork Mosaic from Habitus. Design by Molley Frey Design.

Super Tuscan Cork Mosaic Tile by Habitus

Super Tuscan Cork Mosaic Tile by Habitus

Dekwall in Bamboo Terra by Wicanders

Dekwall in Bamboo Terra by Wicanders

Zen Powder Room by HTR Renovations

Zen Powder Room by HTR Renovations

Wine Cork Tile by Yemm & Hart

Wine Cork Tile by Yemm & Hart

 

Related Links:

Iannone Design

Benjamin Hubert

Daniel Machalik

Wicanders

Uptic Studios

Yemm & Hart

John Kraemer & Sons (JK & Sons)

HTR Renovations

 

 

 

 

 

Heavy Metal: Warm is Now ‘Cool’

Pacific Heights project by Randy Thueme Design

Pacific Heights project by Randy Thueme Design

Ushering in a new fall season, warm-toned metals have made their way back into design after a decade long dominance of cool stainless steels, chromes and nickels.  Copper, brass and gold are appearing as feature architectural materials, as well as key finishes in furniture, lighting and decorative accessories.

Offering a more earthy presence compared to its cooler counterparts, warm-toned metals enhance both contemporary and traditional spaces. Cool metals, stainless steel in particular, have typically been associated with a more modern, contemporary aesthetic.

Memorial Park kitchen by Laura U Interior Design

Memorial Park kitchen by Laura U Interior Design

It doesn’t need to be exclusively one way the other; mixing warm and cool metals is a great choice. The contrast between the metals create the added benefit of a focal point, or visual pop. The Tom Dixon copper light shades in the kitchen by Laura U Interior Design (left) wouldn’t have the same punch if not surrounded by the frosty aura of white and stainless steel.

On the other hand, use warm-toned metals sparingly. Gold, for example, can go a long way in a room, and too much is just that – too much.

Here are some favorite pieces and applications:

Oly San Francisco Shelf, Coco Republic

Oly San Francisco Shelf, Coco Republic

Copper bath by Diamond Spas at Kukio Estate, Hawaii by Saint Dizier Design

Copper bath by Diamond Spas at Kukio Estate, Hawaii by Saint Dizier Design

Copper fireplace wall by Four Corners Construction

Copper fireplace wall by Four Corners Construction

Steampunk bathroom design by Andre Rothblatt

Steampunk bathroom design by Andre Rothblatt

Tower House, NYC by PMW Architects

Tower House Kitchen, NYC by PMW Architects

Polyedres by Hubert Le Gall, © photo Bruno SIMON

Polyedres by Hubert le Gall, © photo Bruno SIMON

Copper wall in San Francisco residence Game Room by The Wiseman Group

Copper wall in San Francisco residence media room by The Wiseman Group

Pythagoras Table Lamp by Mary McDonald - available through Robert Abbey

Pythagoras Table Lamp by Mary McDonald, made by Robert Abbey

D'Or Vase by Ayers

D’or Vase by Ayers Collection

Copper 1x1 3D Block by Daltile

Copper 1×1 3D Block by Daltile

Glam Grass Wallcovering Collection by Phillip Jeffries

Glam Grass Wallcovering Collection by Phillip Jeffries

Source links:

Randy Thueme Design via Houzz

Laura U Interior Design

 Coco Republic

Andre Rothblatt Architecture via Houzz

Saint Dizier Design via Houzz

Four Corners Construction via Houzz

PMW Architects via Houzz

The Wiseman Group via Houzz

Hubert le Gall via 1stdibs

Pythagoras Table Lamp by Mary McDonald via Lightopia

Ayers via Houzz

Glam Grass Collection by Phillip Jeffries

Bed Head: Allure of the Canopy Bed

via David Michael Miller Assoc.

via David Michael Miller Assoc.

With all of the princess-themed merchandise, it’s no wonder that the canopy bed is on most little girls’ wish lists – the perfect princess bed. In reality, the “princess” reference is actually quite accurate.

Making their appearance in European medieval times, canopy beds were a creation for purely functional reasons – warmth and privacy for the aristocracy.

In castles and manor houses, the lord and his family slept in the same room as the servants.  Space sharing offered security and heating numerous spaces was impractical. The canopy bed offered visual separation from the servants, who slept on wooden pallets or benches.  Curtains originally hung from the ceiling, but evolved in adding a frame to the bed to support a canopy, or tester, which also helped in keeping the bed area warm.

Today, canopy beds are associated with luxury with a wistful air of romance. The height of the frame adds a vertical element room. Creating this  quasi-enclosed space psychologically provides a sense of comfort and security – a room within a room.

Not all of canopy beds are covered in cloying ruffles or copious swaths of netting. In fact, allure persists whether there’s any fabric accoutrement, or just the bare frame itself.

Check out some favorites, from traditional to contemporary; feminine to masculine, and in between:

via Eco First Art

via Eco First Art

via Sara Russell Interiors

via Sara Russell Interiors

via Joseph Walsh Studio

via Joseph Walsh Studio

via Ilaria Miani

via Ilaria Miani

Venetian style canopy bed via Veranda's House of Windsor

Venetian style canopy bed via Veranda’s House of Windsor

Pagoda Bed via Eclectic Interiors

Pagoda Bed via Eclectic Interiors

via Tracy Murdock Interiors

via Tracy Murdock Interiors

via Fabrizia Frezza Arch & Ints

via Fabrizia Frezza Arch & Ints

via Alessandra Branca

via Alessandra Branca

Outdoor canopy bed by Ego Paris

Outdoor canopy bed by Ego Paris

via the Picket Fence by Jan Barboglio

via the Picket Fence by Jan Barboglio

Patricia Urquiola: Design Tour de Force

Patricia Urquiola

Patricia Urquiola

Patricia Urquiola continues to charge through the world of design, affectionately earning the nickname “Hurricane Urquiola”.

The Spanish-born designer, who now lives in Milan, has been one of the key figures in contemporary furniture design in the past decade. One of the few top female designers, Urquiola has won several awards and is represented by many well-known houses, including Moroso, B&B Italia, Kartell, among others. Paola Antonelli, a Milan native who’s now chief curator at New York’s Museum of Modern Art said in an interview with Fast Company, “For them, Urquiola is a winning horse. She gets business because she makes business.”

It’s not Urquiola’s impressive market success that garnered her the “hurricane” label, but rather her endearing mannerisms – a brew of simultaneously speaking Spanish, English and Italian, expressive gesturing, and the spirited tangents that are part of her work process. She said, “The mood of the piece is what people catch – I just flow with the river and try to do things that are sincere, that anyone can understand”.

Urquiola’s designs marry a protective, almost maternal undertone with a clean, modern aesthetic. Without being fussy or formulaic, her creations weave memories and daily life together with technology.   Many of her designs infer the idea of a cradle, with a high back or a secluded, cocoon shape, such as Clarissa Hood Armchair, Husk Chair and Crinoline.

Others draw on floral imagery from nature and knitted materials, such as Foliage Sofa, Crochet Rug, Biknit Lounge and Antibodi Chaise Lounge. Smock Chair took inspiration from Urquiola’s infant daughter’s dress.  Watching her grandmother make lace from bobbins informed the shape of Nub. Volant Chair takes the crown with its ruffled edge and uber-refined pleats.

Although her designs have been coined as “feminine”, Urquiola highlighted in an interview with Elle Decor, “People often say that sensuality and sensitivity are feminine qualities, but they are not gender specific. They are individual qualities…Where women are different from men is that women are more flexible, adaptable, and able to multitask. We have to be to survive, and those two qualities—flexibility and adaptability—I like a lot in design”.

Whether regarded as feminine or otherwise, Patricia Urquiola’s are profoundly humanistic. She added, “It’s the equation between the habitat—the tools for living—and the person who is using them; how they’re related, which is the thing that interests me”.

Check out a few favorites:

Crinoline Chair for B&B Italia

Crinoline Chair for B&B Italia

Clarissa Hood Armchair for Moroso

Clarissa Hood Armchair for Moroso

Husk Armchair for B&B Italia

Husk Armchair for B&B Italia

Foliage Sofa for Kartell

Foliage Sofa for Kartell

Nub for Andreau World

Nub for Andreau World

Egg Swing, Kettal's Maia Collection

Egg Swing, Kettal’s Maia Collection

Re-Trouve Collection for Emu

Re-Trouve Collection for Emu

Biknit Chaise Lounge and Chair for Moroso

Biknit Chaise Lounge and Chair for Moroso

Biknit Lounge Detail

Biknit Lounge Detail

Antibodi Chaise Lounge for Moroso

Antibodi Chaise Lounge for Moroso

Crochet Rug for Paola Lenti

Crochet Rug for Paola Lenti

Mangas rug for Gianda Blasco

Mangas rug for Gianda Blasco

Volant Chair for Moroso

Volant Chair for Moroso

Detail of Volant Chair

Detail of Volant Chair

 

Product Links:

Moroso

B&B Italia

Paola Lenti

Emu

Kettal

Andreau World

Kartell

 

 

Rex Ray: Art Meets Design

Infused Veneer Panel-Type and Ovals via B+N Industries

Infused Veneer Panel-Type and Ovals via B+N Industries

Rex Ray doesn’t typically come to mind when one thinks of interior design.  Trained in the fine arts, he’s renowned for his collages, paintings and innovative graphic design work.  Ray has created work for Apple, Sony, DreamWorks and designed music tour posters for The Rolling Stones, U2, and REM, among others.

With its retro edge, his playful work easily lends itself to re-interpretation in the interior design industry. Capitalizing on his graphic appeal, Rex Ray has designed a number of home furnishing products brandishing his namesake.

Ranging from architectural wall panels, furniture, pillows,wall decals, light fixtures and wall tile, Rex Ray’s artistic vision can find a home in your home.  Check out some favorites:

Rex Ray Bench via B+N Industries

Rex Ray Bench via B+N Industries

Infused Veneer Panel-Ellipse and Waves Closeup via B+N Industries

Infused Veneer Panel-Ellipse and Waves (detail) via B+N Industries

Iconic Ellipse Panel via B+N Industries

Iconic Ellipse Panel via B+N Industries

Skyline Rhythm wall decal via Blik

Skyline Rhythm wall decal via Blik

Go Beyond the Borough wall decal via Blik

Go Beyond the Borough wall decal via Blik

Paper Cut Lamp via Rex Ray R2Shop

Paper Cut Lamp via Rex Ray R2Shop

Rex Ray Type Black & White tile via modwalls

Rex Ray Type Black & White tile via modwalls

Rex Ray Type black tile detail via modwalls

Rex Ray Type black tile detail via modwalls

Abylida Pillow via Rex Ray R2Shop

Abylida Pillow via Rex Ray R2Shop

Rex Ray_1671 pillow via DQtrs

Rex Ray_1671 pillow via DQtrs

 Sources:

B+N Industries

Blik

modwalls

Rex Ray R2Shop

DQtrs

 

 

Jenny Lind Furniture: Still Turning Heads

bed frame close-upTypically associated with baby cribs and beds, Jenny Lind furniture is often mistaken as a brand name or furniture company.  It’s neither, but merely a style of furniture identified by its distinctively turned or spooled spindles.  So, who was Jenny Lind and how did her namesake become affiliated with a style of furniture?

Born Johanna Maria Lind, she was a famous Swedish opera singer in the mid 1800’s.  Renown for her soprano voice, her moniker was the “Swedish Nightingale”. Lind’s wildly popular tour in the US began in 1850, when she toured with P.T. Barnum, performing over 90 concerts.  Apparently, she slept in a bed with turned spindles…and she was forever associated with the design. Besides furniture, she also managed to have a California gold rush town named after her, as well as a ship, The Nightingale. Popular girl!

Jenny Lind by Eduard Magnus, 1861

Jenny Lind by Eduard Magnus, 1861

The Jenny Lind style continues to be sought-after for its striking, simple silhouette and versatility.  Stained pieces evoke an old-fashioned air that is fitting in traditional settings while painted pieces, especially bright hues, assume a more modern spirit.

A century and a half later, people are still turned onto the Jenny Lind style of furniture. Here are a few favorites:

 

via landofnod.com

via landofnod.com

via landofnod.com

via landofnod.com

via Nicole Lanteri

via Nicole Lanteri

via myrepurposedlife.com

via myrepurposedlife.com

via Anthony Baratta LLC

via Anthony Baratta LLC

via Tommy Chambers Interiors

via Tommy Chambers Interiors

advertisement

Sources:

Land of Nod

Nicole Lanteri

My Repurposed Life

Anthony Baratta LLC

Tommy Chambers Interiors