There's no denying the transformative nature of white furniture. It instantly brightens a space while adding crispness and balance to neutral and colorful palettes alike. While a new piece of white furniture is a welcoming addition any time of year, there's something especially alluring about decorating with white for Summer. Whether you're a traditionalist, modernist, or anything in between, you're sure to fall hard for at least one of these finds!
If you're looking to experiment with Spring trends but don't want to invest much, consider accessorizing with decor pieces that cap off at $50. You'd be surprised how a colorful indoor/outdoor chair, strategically placed lamp, or a whimsical piece of art can change the feel of a room. With a mix of fleeting sale items and inexpensive Spring staples, this guide of our favorite on trend decor pieces under $50 is definitely worth a look!
You can't go wrong with a matching chair and ottoman. You can even have two disparate pieces upholstered in the same fabric to make them match. If you have a lot going on in a room, that continuity and cohesiveness of the fabric or material can really help create a more relaxed and polished look.
But don't get me wrong, I also love the look of a mismatched chair and ottoman — perhaps a leather chair with a woven ottoman. Having a mismatched chair and ottoman gives a room more of a collected, eclectic look.
Do you have a matching chair and ottoman?
One of my favorite products I discovered at Messe Frankfurt's Ambiente consumer goods trade show in February was the Flux Chair, a weather-proof polypropylene origami chair, which can be used indoors or out. Designed by Dutch industrial designers Douwe Jacobs and Tom Schouten, it folds out from flat to a chair in only 10 seconds. Better yet, it's light as a feather at only 10.6 lbs., but can carry up to 352 lbs. It folds into a rectangular envelope-like shape with a built-in handle, which can be easily transported to the park, the rooftop patio —wherever! When it's not in use, you can hang it on a hook on the wall, slip it upright in a closet, or slide it under a sofa. When stacked, 21 chairs take up only one foot of space.
The chair is available exclusively at Y Living ($199) in eight different color options, including pure white, pebble and anthracite gray, jet black, bright orange, classic red, lemon lime, and ice blue. You can also order a Flux Chair Wall Strap ($75) to make hanging easy and Flux Chair Cushion ($65) for extra comfort.
I'm coveting a few of these for my two-bedroom San Francisco apartment, where space is at a minimum. I currently have four chairs to pull up for a dinner party, but I'd love to be able to fold out a couple when I'm hosting a six-person fête. Better yet, I'd love to bring them to the rooftop when the weather is nice; but, at only 10.6 lbs., I wouldn't leave them there, they might blow away!
Would you like to own a Flux Chair?
Last week I bought this antique leather wing chair at an antique shop in San Francisco. I'm kind of obsessed with it! It has so many amazing features like nailhead trim, turned-wood arms, a ladder back, and of course, tufted leather. Its leather cushion is also worn in and a little cracked, which is the well-loved look that I'd been seeking.
When I bought it, the leather was a little worse for the wear, the nailhead was dusty, and the wooden legs were scratched up. After spending an hour or so sprucing it up, it's looking mighty fine, I must say. If you have a new old leather and wood chair on your hands that could use a pick-me-up, I have some restoration tips for you.
Here's what I did to get my sexy seat into shape:
- First, I removed the seat and vacuumed every nook and cranny to get rid of dust and other particles.
- Then, I slightly dampened a clean rag and ran it across the surface of the nail head and wooden trim to reach dust the vacuum couldn't. Then I ran a clean, microfiber cloth across the leather to pick up dust on the cushion and tufts.
- To restore the wood and conceal scuff marks, I purchased Old English Scratch Cover for Light Wood. To use it, begin by applying the solution on a clean, white rag to the scratches and dents only. When it dries (in only a few minutes), apply the solution to the whole surface of the wood, continuing to add more of the scratch cover to your rag every few swipes. Make sure not to let it touch your rugs, upholstery, or other textiles.
- To repair the leather, I picked up Lexol Leather Conditioner, which is revered among furniture refinishers and autobody professionals. It extends the life of the leather by restoring oils and keeping it soft and supple. First, test it in an inconspicuous spot. Then, apply the solution to the entire surface of the leather with a clean cotton rag. Let it be absorbed for about 20 minutes. Then, buff off the solution with another clean rag, and voilà: conditioned as a whistle!
April 22 marks Earth Day, and in anticipation of that most eco of days, I wanted to inspire you with some eco decorating ideas. Going green in your home doesn't just mean using biodegradable cleaners and CFL bulbs; it also means choosing your furniture and accents with some eco factors in mind. One of the most green ways you can go when it comes to furniture is to buy a vintage piece and have it reupholstered — or try your hand at reupholstering things yourself. Check out 11 projects that may just inspire you to try this green decorating technique at your home.
This past weekend, I visited a friend of a friend's house and was pleasantly surprised to sit in a Craftsman-style rocking chair. "Where have all the rocking chairs gone?" I thought. I rarely see the sleep-inducing seats in homes these days, and when I do, their Queen Anne or Adirondack shapes are usually too granny for my tastes. I knew there had to be some cool modern alternatives out there, so I decided to do a little scouting. Check out these seven rock-star rocking chairs I discovered!
A celebrity interior designer recently shared her love of stripes on her newly-launched personal blog:
I am really into stripes right now. Specifically graphic black-and-white ones in every which way – horizontally, vertically, diagonally, chevron, and perforated. I’m either wearing them or designing with them.
The chair featured is, I assume, one of her stripe-inspired designs. Can you guess what designer it is?
Swiss furniture manufacturer Vitra has produced some of the world's most iconic — and beautiful — designs, like Charles and Ray Eames's La Chaise, Sori Yanagi's Butterfly Stool, and George Nelson's Ball Clock. But someone over at the offices of the design giant has been smoking something. In particular, Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, who "designed" one of its new products, Chairless.
Described as "a seating device for the modern nomad," the un-genius product is a simple strap that allows a person to sit hands-free with neither a seat nor a backrest. The design was inspired by a similar support system used by the Ayoreo Indians in northern Paraguay, which is tightened around the legs and back. And because no product would be contemporary without personalization options, Chairless is available in four colors and three sizes.
It is my greatest hope that this product is just a conceptual joke. While it's recommended to use Chairless at "lunch in the park, while waiting in a crowded airport, a picnic on a lawn, sitting down at a concert, reading on the beach or on countless other occasions," I certainly couldn't keep a straight face doing so. And if I were to see a friend "lounging" in it at a music festival, some LOL-ing would most definitely ensue. What has the world come to? Are we so high-maintenance that we can't sit on the grass without the help of a $30 product anymore? Whatever happened to spontaneity? How can we have a relaxed lunch in the park on a sunny day when we're concerned about how to even sit down? Tell me if I'm missing something.
My friend Rebecca of Loving Living Small recently reupholstered a set of mushroom chenille slipper chairs that she'd purchased new at a great price. "What I was finding was either way out of my price range or way our of my style range," she writes. So she decided to buy the "so affordable, so comfy and, in my opinion, so ugly," chairs and have them reupholstered. She negotiated a great price with a local upholsterer and had them updated in a bold, graphic black and white fabric.