decorating

Anna Valdez

by Kate on April 22, 2015

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After ogling those incredible textiles Joanna recently posted, I was hungry for more luscious colors and textures—this time, in two dimensions. I know from my own attempts at capturing textile patterns in paint that it is no easy feat, and artist Anna Valdez  does it like no other I’ve seen.

Her paintings are explosions of pattern; I especially love the way she layers the textures on top of one another in such as way that it skews your sense of depth and perspective. It’s refreshing to see so much fun and warmth brought to the classic still life—I can practically feel kinetic energy radiating from these paintings! If your eyes have danced around these and you find yourself wanting more, check out her entire portfolio of work here.

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anthology-mag-blog-artwork-anna-valdez-6{ All paintings and studio images by Anna Valdez }

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Project Roundup: DIY Cacti

by Kate on April 17, 2015

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My love of trompe l’oeil objects runs deep. I cannot tell you how exciting it was for me as kid to visit the Boston Children’s Museum and peek in the cubby holes at little Colonial dioramas starring tiny costumed mice, and fake food, all fake food, was just the BEST thing I had ever seen. This is something all kids love I imagine, and sticks with us forever. Have you ever met an adult who didn’t delight, even just a tiny bit, in seeing objects recreated out of other materials?

Fake plants also hold a special place in my heart, right up there with fake food. Longtime readers of this blog may remember I wrote about indestructible plants a few years ago, but there have been so many amazing fake cacti projects as of late, I couldn’t resist sharing more. What I love most about these objects is that they are simple and inexpensive, and they reuse materials to create something fun and beautiful. Making these as gifts, or just as little pick-me-ups, would do the mind and body good. I’m going to try one this weekend. I hope you join me!

{ Image above: These adorable card cacti made by Catherine at Little Glowing Lights, using the tutorial in Beci Orpin’s book Home }

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 { Colorful paper cacti you can make in a minute: The Port-a-Plant from Chronicle Books }

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{ Learn how to make a clever abstract version of faux cacti on The Jungalow }

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 { A painted rock garden would be a great version to make with kids, but is also a perfect solo craft. }

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 { You can’t go wrong with a cushy cactus! I love this little pincushion version from Anna Evers }

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{ Need a fun home project for spring? Cover your couch with these cactus pillows from Everything Emily. }

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Adrian Elizalde

by Kate on April 14, 2015

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In preparation for a future issue that focuses on prints and patterns, I’ve been on the hunt for products and interiors that use pattern in innovative ways. I came across this renovation project by Adrian Elizalde, a young architecture student based in Spain, and was instantly intrigued. Elizalde redesigned this pre-war Barcelona apartment to be simple, open, and spacious, but with a delightful twist: Throughout the home, Elizalde chose to reveal and highlight the building’s original joinery, and he used some of the home’s original floor tiles to create the look of colorful area rugs.

The effect is wonderful: Not only do the tiled “rugs” cleverly break up the open floor plan into discrete sections, they also bring echoes of warmth and tradition to the otherwise clean and modern space. I hope this ingenuity will inspire other designers to consider using tile in unexpected ways. I know I’ll be keeping this concept in mind for any flooring projects that come my way in the future.

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{ All images via Adrian Elizalde, found via This Is Paper }

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Oyyo

by Joanna on April 7, 2015

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Dhurries are truly one of the most durable rugs out there, but I’ve often felt like they veer a bit too traditional for my taste. Then along came the dhurries by Oyyo. The brightly hued, graphically designed rugs are handcrafted in Rajasthan, India, of 100 percent organic cotton. And the vibrant colors are achieved with vegetable dyes derived from local plants.

Lina Zedig and Marcus Åhrén are the designers behind Stockholm-based Oyyo. They pull inspiration from “exploring the convergence of cultures, design, and fine craftsmanship.” The result? Rugs that are simple yet bold—and are on the wish list for my new loft.

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{ Images via Oyyo }

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I came across this achingly beautiful entertaining spread while browsing the online wares of Spartan Shop, the impeccably styled and stocked boutique based in Austin, Texas. Entitled Sobremessa, this collaboration between Spartan and NYC-based clothing shop Apiece Apart celebrates that wonderful time after a meal when everyone lingers at the table, perhaps nibbling a few last bites and reveling in the pleasure of good food amidst good company.

Like the colors of a Dutch painting, the velvety greens, peaches and neutrals of these images are so rich and creamy—you can almost taste them. If you are feeing inspired to host a similarly elegant communal gathering, you’re in luck: All of the linens, tableware, and serving pieces are available for purchase through Spartan. Made of durable, timeless materials, these pieces will last you and your family a lifetime of sobremessa moments.

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 { Images above: photographed by Currie Person and styled by Sarah Baker, via Apiece Apart }

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{ Image above: some of the tableware pieces included in the spread, all available at Spartan Shop }

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