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Archive for the ‘Designer Picks’ Category

Designer Picks: Eco-Friendly Home Accessories

Posted by Beth on September 17, 2009

Back in the dark ages (or, say, 5 years ago), it was nearly impossible to find things that were sustainable, beautiful, and affordable. Thankfully, now that even certain mass retailers have jumped on the eco-friendly bandwagon, there’s no reason to sacrifice style for environmental responsibility. To prove my point, I asked LEED-certified interior designer Sarah Barnard, whose practice focuses on healthy living and green design, to go on a virtual shopping spree for eco-friendly home accessories that cost less than a Franklin. Check out the cute stuff she came back with:

Ferm Living Thistle Kitchen Tea Towel

Ferm Living Thistle Kitchen Tea Towel

“I love the gorgeous peacock blue color and the graphic thistle pattern—it’s so fresh and pretty for a kitchen,” says Sarah of this 100% organic cotton towel from Ferm Living ($19). I adored it, too, so I went poking around to find more products from Trine Andersen, the talented Danish designer behind Ferm Living. On her website, you can see the latest collections of pillows, wallpaper, and wall stickers, including these:

Ferm Living Skeleton Key Wall Stickers

Ferm Living Skeleton Key Wall Stickers

Given my slight obsession with skeleton keys, you can bet I will be buying these the minute they go on sale.

West Elm Organic Cotton Knit Throw

West Elm Organic Cotton Knit Throw

These chunky knit blankets from West Elm ($49 each) in soft, natural shades are also 100% organic cotton. “I totally want to snuggle up in my favorite chair with one of these,” says Sarah.

Viva Terra Pear Terrarium

Viva Terra Pear Terrarium

“These super low-maintenance plants create an instant mini-landscape,” says Sarah. The pear-shaped terrarium ($79), made of recycled glass, comes with sand and four air plants.

Sarah Cihat Rehabilitated Salad Plates

Sarah Cihat Rehabilitated Salad Plates

“I’m crazy in love with this recycled dishware,” says Sarah. “The designer buys up discarded plates from thrift shops, then reglazes them, adding fun and funky designs.” Each salad plate is $44 at roseandradish.com. (For the New Yorkers out there, you can also find Sarah Cihat’s work at Clio, The Future Perfect, and Matter.) I think these plates are too cool to gather dust in a cupboard—instead I’d group a collection of them on a wall.

Graham Bergh Tealight Holders

Graham Bergh Tealight Holders

“I’m drawn to things that have a mechanical vibe, and these sprocket-like tealight holders (2/$25) would make a great visual statement against a backdrop of organic shapes and textures,” suggests Sarah. You can find these candle holders, designed by a cyclist who creates products out of salvaged bike parts, at ecoartware.com.

Urchin EcoArt Organic Pillow

Urchin EcoArt Organic Pillow

This throw pillow from Bean Products has an organic cotton twill cover printed with soy-based ink, but what really excites Sarah about it is the insert. “I go for the kapok filling, a natural fiber harvested from seedpods in the rainforest, because it promotes the preservation of the trees,” she explains. ($64 for cover and kapok insert.)

To see some of Sarah Barnard’s inspiring design projects, head on over to sarahbarnard.com.

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Affordable Designer Picks from Kishani Perera

Posted by Beth on September 10, 2009

I’m a big fan of interior designers that bring the funky. The flea market junkies, the eBay bandits, those who aren’t afraid to throw a great West Elm or CB2 piece into a room’s mix. Basically, the ones who know that you can find good design at any pricepoint. Kishani Perera is one of those designers. She’s the founder of her own firm in LA, where she uses a strong sense of color and pattern to create interiors that look hip without trying too hard. Believe me, that’s no easy feat. (Look for her work in the October issue of Sunset, and the November issue of InStyle.) When I interviewed Kishani for a piece for Marie Claire, I knew she was a girl after my own heart. That’s why I’ve asked her to kick off this new series, which will feature a designer’s top picks from a store that’s both affordable and accessible. Kishani’s got a soft spot for the Sundance Catalog (yep, Robert Redford’s behind this one, too), which features many unique, handcrafted wares for the home. Here, a few of her can’t-misses:

Helping Hands

Helping Hands

Recycled cast iron hands function as both sculpture and jewelry storage. “I’m drawn to anything in the shape of a hand,” says Kishani. “Arrange a few of these in a cluster and load up with your necklaces and bracelets to create a useful display.” $38 each ($34 each for two or more).

Millfield Pillows

Millfield Pillows

These hemp throw pillows, reminiscent of vintage feed sacks, have bold commercial logos emblazoned on the front. $60 each.

Meridian Pendant

Meridian Pendant

“I love the simplicity of this pendant light. It somehow feels both modern and vintage at the same time.” $175 (or $150 for two or more).

Scrivener's Stool

Scrivener's Stool

“This stool is delicate and simple, with a hint of the industrial. It’d look at home in modern or traditional spaces,” says Kishani. The high back looks nice and supportive, too. Makes me want to buy a drafting table to go with it! $295.

Wright's Peak Wire Wall Storage

Wright's Peak Wire Wall Storage

“It’s super rustic, funky, and practical,” says Kishani of this multi-purpose storage unit. This would be perfect in an apt entryway or mudroom to keep coats, hats, and gloves in easy reach. $195.

Hooked Dog Rug

Hooked Dog Rug

“I just think this hand-hooked mat is really cute!” says Kishani. Enough said. $98.

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