I am LOVING all the tropical designs that seem to be jumping out at me at every turn.
It started with a couple great vintage fashion posts I found on Pinterest:
And people must have agreed, because they immediately re-pinned these like crazy!
It’s the trend of the summer season, and rightfully so. While you could include the bright colors of tropical fruit or flowers, it’s the various shades of green leaves and fronds that range from deep to bright to almost-blue that I am enamored with. Thinking of jungle views and palm-lined beaches is immediately calming, but there’s also an air of excitement and adventure to them. Why wouldn’t you incorporate these looks in your home decor, even subtly? Or your outdoor living space?
Would I like another Mojito? Yes, yes I would…
And this current obsession is also seen in graphic design as well. What a perfect design motif for a tropical destination wedding or a backdrop for a beachside eatery.
Pantone may have picked a soft tropical hue for the 2014 color of the year, but with this winter season being what it has been over most of the country, I’m just not feeling it yet. It seems the color of choice in current design trends continues to be a moody, deep, dark azure. All the peace and tranquility of blue, deepened to a level of utter quiet sophistication. It can be both simple and complex, feminine and masculine. Beautiful with white, it creates a truly elegant setting when paired with gold or brass tones.
Welcome to 2014! Now that your headache has subsided and you’re back to work, let’s talk about one of my latest great loves: the bar cart. The portable party. Have you noticed it’s everywhere lately? And why not? What a great little accent piece! Perhaps it became popular again in recent years due to shows like Mad Men. Could you imagine having a stocked bar in your office?
Anyway, I got my very own bar cart for Christmas – the one from Target! And I looooovvvvee it.
I wish this was my picture, but this is via Target.com
Bar carts are just so very chic. Especially stocked with gorgeous colored bottles and long, sexy-stemmed glassware. I don’t even like gin, but you can bet my cart will have a big bottle of Bombay Sapphire Gin because of that incredible blue bottle. And finally, a proper setting for my St. Germain, currently stashed in the pantry behind some Ruffles.
Oh, but that’s not all. People have dedicated areas to their beloved bar carts, some decking them out like a prized poodle with pom poms and lighting and such. I also love to see how people decorate an otherwise plain canvas of wall space behind them. Amazeballs, People. Really. You inspire me.
Image credit: Courtesy of the New Traditionalist via HGTV.com
Holy DIY project! Check this one out! Image via DailyHaley
Rustic/refined, traditional/modern, metal/wood, delicate/massive – there are options for every home and every decor. And teetotalers! Deck yours out with tea, artisan waters and juices…maybe some potted succulents – voilà!
Not sure how to stock a bar cart? Here are some ideas!
Yep. I love ’em. No, I mean really. Cheery little canvases with simple animal scenes or landscapes made out in brilliant, chunky blocks of color. There’s nothing better. I am currently in search of an old kit after a recent search found a sad, modern offering of Thomas Kinkade-esque compositions that look nothing like their ancestors.
Developed in 1950 by engineer Max S. Klein, these kits contained an outlined composition, with each space numbered. The number corresponded to a paint color to be used for that area. Suddenly, everyone could be Rembrandt. In fact, the paint kit box tops themselves decreed it so!
By 1954, Max Klein’s company, Palmer Paint (under the Craft Master label) had sold over 12 million kits. Of course, the pop culture phenomenon was panned by art critics, who pooh-poohed the trend as an uncreative wave of mindless consumerism. Especially since trade-show demonstrators promised to reveal how easy art could be, for absolutely anyone.
The hobby continued to explode, and seemingly everyone, from every walk of life, had their home walls adorned with their own paint-by-number creations. Businessmen – even U.S. presidents – were getting in on the action, feeling a sense of bewildered pride toward their new creations.
In the end, the kitschy paint-by-number art movement of the 1950’s came to represent a calmer, more prosperous, postwar America, content to explore the leisure life had to offer. Today, contemporary artists, like Jenn Jarnot or Trey Speegle, utilize the innocent simplicity of these works to make modern statements.
Additionally, these “original” creations are now being coveted as wonderful expressions of mid-century Americana. Since the 1990’s, they have been popping up again, either discovered in a relative’s attic or more recently sold on Ebay and Etsy. And they are not just paintings anymore. They are being re-purposed and re-imagined as new creations, used to lovingly remember a simpler time in history. Buntings, fabrics, and phone covers adorned with the vibrant works, often incomplete to partially reveal the numbered composition beneath, are now being seen. A new revival of the amateur genre has come to 21st century pop culture.
So come on! Because this bandwagon promises to be a fun ride…
For many college students, it’s time to head back to campus. They pile crap into dorms or share rooms or rent off-campus. Between classes, they rarely take the time to recognize the need for a little aesthetic order to their mayhem. Males are the worst offenders. Back in college I saw more beer bottles used as home decor accessories than I care to remember. One kid had his grandma’s China and treated it like Chinet, but if you knocked his bong over, you were asked to leave.
Then comes that first real job. Maybe you’re living in a new city. Wearing a tie and occasionally shopping at Banana Republic. Moving up in the world. Congratulations! Unfortunately, you’re still stuck with some of that crappy college furniture and fond memories of the time you reigned supreme at the Beer Pong Championships. Things need to change, starting with your domicile.
Come on guys! Class it up! You appreciate a nice Port wine? Awesome, but try drinking it out of something you didn’t create in your 7th grade ceramics class. I get that you like Pink Floyd, but your blacklight poster – alright Buddy, I won’t mess with the poster, but you get my drift. Want to REALLY impress the ladies? Man UP!
Numero Uno – Get yourself a Chesterfield. The classic leather tufted sofa makes a great centerpiece for your room. Something you can smoke a cigar on and not look like a douche. It may even class up your Playboy collection.
If you must, you can even try a more modern version…
Think industrial. If it looks like it belongs in a factory it might as well belong to you. You’re manly and rugged too, aren’t you, Skip? A big drafting table makes a great desk.
Want a bar set-up? Try it on an antique steamer trunk with a simple accent lamp or an industrial cart.
Large-scale art, a darker color scheme, and pretty soon the females will think they’ve just wandered into Batman’s lair. Good for you.
Let’s be honest. It may be tempting, but we can’t all raid Restoration Hardware for all our furniture and accessories needs, nor should we. So take some time to find some truly vintage, one-of-a-kind items for a fraction of the cost of the modern versions.
And remember. No matter how much Port, Whiskey, or Bud Light you drink, you’re not this guy.
And that’s a good thing.
For more masculine decor inspiration, see my Pinterest board: Manly Spaces.