must read: kelly hoppen interiors

kellyhoppen

I have to admit that I own a lot of interior design books. A lot. It’s a little bit frightening, really. So it’s really something when a book crosses my path that exceeds expectations. When I picked up Kelly Hoppen Interiors, I was expecting another coffee table book, packed with gorgeous photos of unattainable spaces, very little text, and plenty of eye candy. I was right about the eye candy, but the rest was epically off the mark.

Kelly Hoppen is a designer known for her love of neutrals and clean lines (her spare style recently landed her on Architectural Digest’s Top 100 Designers list), an aesthetic that could easily become predictable (or even boring) in the wrong hands. But Hoppen manages to keep her interiors looking fresh, unique, and even warm, without a trace of color or clutter (two easy tricks for upping the cozy quotient in a space).

Instead of letting the photos do all the work, Hoppen has made this book a true “how to,” packing it with tips, techniques and tools to help you emulate a bit of her signature style. Broken up by rooms (even halls, staircases and corridors each get their own chapter), each section contains photos of various projects, complete with copious notes about the hows and whys of each room, and checklists packed with tips to help with everything from laying out a space to the best lighting schemes for each room. The result is a book that manages to make you feel that the inspiring looks are actually attainable, which is a true feat in the world of interior design tomes. –Becki S.

blogwatch: where we’ve been clicking this week

camp vago

ModFruGal shows us how to create a groovy outdoor space and fire-ring that may just be temporary, but has got style and functionality in spades. Oh — and IKEA has re-released the fabulous Vago chair!!!

Over at Green is Universal, find instructions on how to make your own Cork-covered monograms that can pull double duty as message boards. Via Re-Nest.

Gizmodo is featuring the world’s most perfect picnic table — with convertible seats for maximum comfort in eating and relaxing.

We’re in LOVE with these bright, shiny and fun duck decoys by Tommy Hilfiger we spotted at CasaSugar.

A Design*Sponge sneak peek into the Seattle home of Textile artist Ashley Helvey. Such clean, open spaces — and can we talk about that bed?

Proof positive that all of the most beautiful hotels are in Spain, at WebUrbanist.

Peas, carrots, and corn — and we’re not talking about food. Examples of orange, green and yellow together that work, at sfgirlbybay.

Cannelle et Vanille has the perfect thing for a springtime sunday breakfast: Mulberry and rhubarb crumb cake.

not all of this ‘extreme decor’ really is

maskintaperoom
paperplanesroom
amysedarishall

If you take a look at the online version of the current cover story in New York Magazine, you’ll have an easy way to see what I think about the six “extreme decor” styles featured: the top three I do in fact find extreme (though I think the “paper planes” decor looks wonderful). The bottom three, I could happily move right in. It’s still an interesting look at some really creative folks. By far the most extreme to me is the couple who created disorienting whole-room designs with masking tape and paint splatter; I feel anxious just seeing the photos. The yarn bombing I don’t think even counts as decor — it’s for an art installation! And Amy Sedaris’ apartment with its fake food and vintage art? That just looks a lot like my own house to me. What do you think? — Mary T.

site we’re psyched about: shelfari

shelfari

As a rule, I say yes to book club. A guaranteed time for wine, food and friends, I look forward to our meetings and the set date helps me to incorporate a few good reads into my otherwise insane schedule. Recently, a friend turned me on to Shelfari, a social cataloging website for bookworms. Part of the Amazon family of web brands, the site allows users to create a profile (using their Amazon credentials) and create and share shelves of books they’ve either read, own or have on their wish list. Users also have the option of reviewing, rating, recommending or tagging books for quick and easy organization and discussion. Though I consider myself a beginner book clubber (and don’t have room for real bookshelves), this seems like it has potential to be a great organizational tool. What do you think, readers? Would you ever use a site like Shelfari to organize your reads? Are you in a book club? What are you reading? — Sarah C.

online magazine alert: introducing trad home

Trad Home

My digital bookshelf is beginning to get out of control, and just as I start to grow content with the solid stable of online magazines competing to draw me out of my Domino mourning, we have yet another to add to the list. Last week, the folks at Traditional Home launched Trad Home, their digital collaboration with the editors of Lonny. Slated to release issues in May and October, the venture promises to feature 100% original content. Traditional Home is also partnering with sale spot One Kings Lane to host tag sales curated by designers from their annual “hot list” to watch. Running from June to early fall, each “Trad Home Tag Sale” will feature a room created by each designer where consumers can glean décor tips and buy anything they see in the set. Bookmarked! – Sarah C.