A blog from Visual Jill, East Bay Interior Design

A blog from Visual Jill, East Bay Interior Design

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Power of the Pouf

We love poufs. You can sit on them, but they're more comfy than stools. You can put your feet up on them, but they're cuter than a typical ottoman. And you can balance a drink on them, yet they're much softer than a side table.

Our preferred pouf right now is the round leather Moroccan version.

We used a silver and an orange in this client's home. The orange is repeated in the pillows, while the silver picks up the chrome in the lamp and kitchen appliances. These were purchased from Jonathan Adler, who offers a great assortment of bright colors.

Flash sale sites such as Joss & Main occasionally feature them too, so keep your eyes open! Here's a great shot of these Moroccan beauties in action.

(via Pinterest, via Tracey Grant)

In another client's home, we chose a different type of pouf -- also Moroccan, but a completely different style.

Notice how the rustic dark leather contrasts with the clean lines of the sofa and the lighter tans throughout the room.

There are so many great pouf possibilities out there! We love how this intricately embroidered piece mixes a bit of elegance into the rustic beachy feel of this space.

(via Pinterest, via K. Frances)

Need an extra seat? Craving another pop of color? Just pull up a pouf!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Modern Goes Global

The global decorating trend is still going strong. It's easier than ever to find unique objects that can take your home from "modern" to "modern eclectic."

For example, we just discovered a local treasure called Ring of Fire, which imports goods from Bali and Southeast Asia. Look at these colors and textures -- so inspiring!

Used strategically, these treasures can really add an extra pop to an otherwise modern space. We picked up a few of these gorgeous umbrellas to brighten up our backyard . . .

. . . and we found these beautiful white boxes that add an exotic touch to our modern orange bench.

And check out this painting, created by a Balinese street artist -- you'd think we bought it in a gallery rather than an import store!

Here in Berkeley, there are many import stores that offer eclectic decor options. For Moroccan treasures, check out Sahara, and African Fashion, Gifts and Crafts Center is full of goods from all over Africa.

Many major retailers have also jumped on the global bandwagon. West Elm's newest collection includes pieces created by Potter's Workshop, a South African artist collective.

Also at West Elm are the Kuba Benches, covered in a traditional handwoven Congolese textile called Kuba cloth. Each is one-of-a-kind.

And CB2 offers "One of a Finds"-- described as "original works created in collaboration with passionate artisans we discover on our travels around the world."

You can make a big impact in your home by adding unexpected items, especially when they're from another part of the world. Use an Indian sari as a tablecloth, or put your mail in a handwoven basket from Guatemala. Keep your eyes open for unique finds -- and bring a global touch to your modern space.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Branching out in your decor

I was browsing through the May issue of Martha Stewart magazine when this "Good Thing" caught my eye.
I love the simplicity of this sculptural branch hanging from the white shelf. This small touch of rusticity enhances any kind of decor -- modern, cottage, country, traditional. I've rounded up some other great examples of branches-with-function here.

(from Pinterest, via Shannon Doyle, originally from Chic & Cheap Nursery)

(from Pinterest, via Tammy Maloney, originally from Design*Sponge)

(from Pinterest, via Erin Lepperd)

(available from urbanplusforest for $120 )

What can you do with a lovely branch? Tell us your ideas, below.

Friday, June 1, 2012

California Modern

We just bought a new book called Living in a Modern Way: California Design 1930-1965 — the accompaniment to the exhibition at the LA County Museum of Art (which closes June 3). For those of us who can't make it to southern California within the next 2 days, this is the next best thing.

The book presents a comprehensive study of mid-century modern California design -- furniture, architecture, textiles, graphic design, and more. The book states that "the California modern look was one of studied informality, sophisticated simplicity, and carefully considered casualness."
Quincy Jones house, 1955, photo by Julius Shulman

There are many pictures showing the indoor-outdoor living idea that was popular in the 1950s. We love this house -- the red beams, red Eames chairs, and the sliding glass doors. The book also explores product design and graphic design of those times.
Greta Magnusson Grossman for Glenn of California screen, 1952

This screen looks fresh even 60 years after its creation. We'd love to have this in our homes!
These book jackets designed in 1944-1945 by Alvin Lustig showcase his belief that "well-designed objects would function as art in everyday life." We couldn't agree more, and if we could get our hands on these they would be framed and hung on our walls!

Check out Living in a Modern Way for a great dose of mid-century design, in all its fabulous facets.

All photos from Living in a Modern Way: California Design 1930-1965, edited by Wendy Kaplan, published by The MIT press