ikeahouse1
souk-westelm
ikeaclock
amazon_fabrci
lyonsmyside
lobsterlady
smashstove2a
guttergardens580
improvcurtains
zerowaste1

ikea launches a prefab house – pinch us, we’re dreaming


How is it that no matter how carefully you try, you can never replicate the organized whimsy of Ikea’s show rooms in your home? Well, for those of you who fantasize about moving into one of those big blue and yellow box stores, here’s some news that will make your day: Ikea is launching fully-furnished pre-fab homes, called Aktiv.

Made in partnership Ideabox, each 745 square foot house comes kitted out with a full Ikea kitchen — cabinets, flooring, countertops, etc. In the bedroom, you’ll find built in closets, in the bath, two vanity sinks. About $86,500. You provide the land!

From our partners

new obsession: moroccan souk rugs

I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Moroccan decor. Ever since an ill-fated adventure with a dear friend, in which we traveled to Tangiers specifically to nab her an authentic Moroccan lantern, I’ve been captivated. So I’ve been thrilled to see Morocco becoming more mainstream in recent years. For the most part, Moroccan style is all about bold, bright colors – which are beautiful, but can be hard to incorporate. Lately, I’ve been spotting Souk rugs in all sorts of beautiful homes – all imported, and thus ungodly expensive, of course. The beauty of a Souk rug is that it’s Old World with a thoroughly modern vibe. I love the simple white and grey palette, the classic lattice pattern, and the way it has of tying together absolutely any other color combinations it comes across. Image credit: Red Thread Souk

The problem, of course, was accessibility. I’ve long admired a Moroccan blogger’s online shop of vintage Souk rugs, but never dared to even ask the price – particularly taking into account shipping, which must be astronomical when we’re talking about crossing continents.

So, imagine my thrill when I saw that West Elm shared my love and started carrying souk rugs online! No import fees, no sketchy trips to Africa…just a quick jaunt to one of my favorite shops.

Of course, the flip side of all this genius is the worry that they’ll lose some of their “specialness” now that they’re going mainstream. What do you think? Would you give a souk a chance, or do you think finding them at West Elm means they’re on their way out?

From our partners

pretty genuis: ikea clock + h&m leather belt


We spotted this pretty and chic wall hanging over at Poppytalk and have added it to our DIY project list. It’s a BONDIS wall clock from Ikea, paired with two inexpensive skinny belts from H&M. (Of course, having an antler hanging on the opposite wall certainly helps add to the coolness factor.) If you want more inspired ideas on how to decorate with skinny leather belts (and you’d be surprised how many ways there are to use them), check out this blog, Brigg, from Norway.

From our partners

crafters delight: fabric by the yard on amazon

After painting our master bedroom a warm gray and adding white crown moulding, I started the hunt for window treatments. Roman shades were out because of the window depth, as were any treatments that left the top edge exposed. I went through all the usual online sources and failed to find anything hubs and I could agree on. So on to DIY. I must have looked at hundreds of fabric samples before stumbling onto a link that took me to Amazon. For fabric by the yard. Who knew? The prices are great, the seplace as intuitive as finding anything else on the site and the shipping nominal. Although by the time the Great Compromise of 2012 was over none of these fabrics were left on the table, they’re still share-worthy. 1 Dwell Studio Bella Citrine, 2 href=”http://www.amazon.com/Butler-Midwest-Modern-Martini-Mustard/dp/B0015RDPYA/ref=pd_sim_sbs_ac_8″target=blank”>Amy Butler Midwest Modern, 3 href=”http://www.amazon.com/Wide-Waverly-Small-Blackbird-Fabric/dp/B003DW8T7S/ref=sr_1_10?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1328472299&sr=1-10″target=blank”>Waverly Blackbird, 4 href=”http://www.amazon.com/Wide-Thomas-Dahlia-Aegean-Fabric/dp/B006K5B7S8/ref=sr_1_48?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1328472433&sr=1-48″target=blank”> Thomas Paul Dahlia in Aegean. The prices range from $8.98 a yard for the Amy Butler (2) to $28.98 a yard for the Thomas Paul (4). Here’s hoping you find one on Amazon you love. With over 27,000 to choose from, the odds are with you.

From our partners

etsy find: nature photos and oil landscapes


Just finished hanging crown moulding and adding taller baseboards to the master bedroom. Ouch. Definitely used muscles I haven’t used that way since the last time the husband and I tackled crown moulding together. We also took the leap and changed the walls from almost white to a warm gray — sculptors clay from Behr. (The color looks much more gray on the walls than it does onscreen.) It’s dramatic yet cozy and paired with a crisp white trim, a great change. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do much for most of my antique watercolors that used to hang in the room. Off to Etsy. I found two photos on sale from Etsy user Allison’s work before), but still needed a small piece of art for the opposite wall. Which brings me to the oil landscapes. Although there’s lot of original oils on Etsy for under $100, Carol Schiff’s work caught my eye, especially the marsh paintings. My soft spot for watercolors remains, but I’m looking forward to adding an oil to the mix. The smaller framing cost will be a nice change, too! (Sorry, no before pictures of the bedroom. We tend to leap before I think to snap pictures. As soon as it’s finished, I’ll post some after photos.)

From our partners