It’s Not Your Grandma’s Wallpaper

Wallpaper has been revisited lately and it’s not you grandma’s wallpaper.  Of course there is the standard, Waverly print that is reminiscent of  your aunt Jayne’s living room with its bright floral patterns or its boring tone on tone swirly lines.  Today, technology and creativity have really offered up a variety of new ideas and designs.

Payton Cosell-Turner has made a name for herself with her painstakingly precise sticker designs.  She literally takes stickers and arranges them in a pattern with a repeat on a client’s wall.  Very labor intensive……

Or the bold designs of Given Campbell….. Her designs remind me of the set for the 60’s variety show Laugh In.  Colorful, vibrant and a the an echo of  60’s mod.  Who wouldn’t want these in small doses?  The best thing about this line is that it’s printed right here in the States.

Encaustic Tile – Artwork For The Floor

Originally a fixture on the castle floors of 13th Century Europe, the popular ceramic inlaid tile more commonly known as encaustic tile has seen a few resurgences over the centuries. It was first massed produced during the Gothic Revival period when it caught the attention of craftsman, and rightly so as it is beautiful artwork.  Soon the manufacturing center expanded as tile makers sprung up across Western Europe and  across the pond to the United States.

The American Encaustic Tile Company was a primary source up until the 1930’s, when its popularity began to dwindle.  Today it is seeing yet a third comeback, with many manufacturers  in the U.S.  honing the craft. Unlike other tiles, encaustic tile doesn’t derive its color from the glaze, rather it’s created by inlaying two or more colors of clay onto a carved ceramic tile. It is quite a process to create such exquisite tile.

Today’s patterns come in everything from bold graphics to vintage prints.  Even antique tiles are being found and then re-purposed for use in both historical homes and new construction.  Whether it’s a new design or an old world classic this tile would be fabulous as a back-splash in your kitchen, or a simple “rug” in your entry way.  Let your imagination go wild…..encaustic tile artwork for your floor.

The 411 on Full Spectrum Paint

I left San Francisco armed with my marching orders -pick paint colors.  Thankfully I know my aunt’s color pallet well.  It’s true what they say about people’s homes being decorated in the same colors they tend to wear.

She posed an interesting question and asked me about full spectrum paint, of which, I’ll admit, is a new concept to me.  So being the ever curious learner I sought out the 411 on it.

Full spectrum paint is formulated with the 7 pigments of the natural light spectrum and doesn’t use black or gray tints. It gives the paint a more vibrant feel, doesn’t look muddy after it dries and blends well with other colors.  It doesn’t change it’s appearance in low light situations either.  It will pick up colors that surround it and will blend in and not clash like regular formulated paint might.  Unfortunately for us designers, it makes it much easier for the novice to pick out a paint color with little input from an expert and still get it right.

Donald Kaufman was the first to develop the concept of full spectrum color.  Then along came Ellen Kennon created a line of similarly formulated full spectrum paint.  For awhile it seemed out of reach for the average home owner, well, Benjamin Moore has their own line, Color Stories. It’s 240 colors broken down by volumes giving designers and homeowners an awful lot to pick from.

Note how the walls just pop against the white and blend with the rest of the room, that is the biggest advantage to full spectrum paint.

Friday Finds- all things pumpkin

This week’s post, all things pumpkin, was inspired by the return of  the famous pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks. Is there anything better than pumpkin in the fall?

1) Pumpkin Roll- easy to make despite looking complicated.  I found the recipe on the Land O Lakes site.

2) Dress up your front door with this gorgeous wreath….


3) Or bring a little  Autumnal color to you bed room….

Your home shouldn’t have all the fun…..

4)  While you go about your day why not rock this lovely vintage dress worthy of Samantha Stevens…..

5) NYX Lipstick  offers up a variety of pumpkin shades  too…..

So go ahead and add some pumpkin to your world……

potluck suppers

Pot Luck Dinners

When money is tight how do you entertain?  Do you just forego the chance to host a party or is there an alternative?  I like the idea of a Pot Luck. It’s fun, inexpensive for the host, and brings people together.

The term dates back to the 16th century and referred to a dish served to an unexpected guest. They were given what ever was already in the pot.  Not a bad way to look at feeding someone you were not anticipating.  At the time, they were lucky to be getting anything.

potluck dinners

Pot lucks or covered dish meals are popular among churches and other civic organizations.  It allows people to come together and share a communal meal with out any one person shouldering the expense.  With the economy the way it is hosting a pot luck dinner will let you enjoy a meal among friends while still having an inexpensive and fun evening.

We have been thinking about a way to open our home to friends and host a party. Money is tight and we like to do it right.  We have shied away from any entertaining due to the cost.  Then the thought of sharing the planning came to mind. All of our friends are foodies.  What better way to enjoy everyone’s passions then to host a pot luck?


How best to plan a Pot luck?  Have a theme and ask everyone to bring a dish representative of that theme.

Ask one group of friends to bring appetizers or sides and another to bring desserts. As the host you can provide the main dish, turkey, ham,  ribs on the grill.  For drinks, you can supply them or ask everyone to bring something they would like to drink.  I generally make up a huge batch of Sangria to share. Since most of our friends are self proclaimed foodies, it’s fun to share our mad cooking skills with each other.

While it does have that 1950’s vibe to it, it does bring friends together for an evening.  Hey why not have a 1950’s inspired party?  Yep, that’s what I am off to plan.  Lots of casseroles, and easy to make meals.  Maybe I’ll even have people dress in the style of Mad Men… hmmm.