Friday, February 21, 2014

The Many Lives Of A Simple Striped Rug

There are few purchases that cost under $3 that have worked as hard or proven as versatile as my IKEA signe mats.

 I have a a weakness for casual stripes (as opposed to bold and polished, the way most people think of stripes), and I think that, like black, every room benefits from a little stripe. 

I remember when I bought a few of these little rugs about a month after moving into our house. It was one of those classic American hoarder Ikea shopping trips where you run in to get "water glasses and maybe a few things to help organize kid toys," but get caught up in how simple (and inexpensive) that  scandinavian style is, and come out wielding a massively unruly shopping cart with wobbly wheels--why are those carts so flipping shaky?-- while forcing your toddler to walk so that the water glasses (and wineglassespictureframesorchidcowhidedesklamp) have a secure spot. 

I remember my husband coming home and asking why his "minimalist" wife had bought 10 front door mats...I claimed I had a plan, and as it turns out many years later I did :)

 They make great, hardy seat covers on dining chairs...this was a temporary fix while I searched for fabric to recover our craigslist bentwood chairs, but I began to love the casual, almost southwest vibe of the mats. So they stayed, now tucked in between the cushion and the chair frame, and they can be easily thrown in the wash when needed (which is often around here)....
And I use one to layer this old, uglybutawesome chair that we inherited and have grown to love, making the brown tweed not so just brown tweedish....
And I have a few that I layer in our bedroom every once in a while. Personally, I prefer mats (if anything) to rugs in our bedroom because I love the simplicity of bare wood floors.

For a year or so, IKEA stopped selling these SIGNE mats, but they started carrying them again a few months watch out hem Moss...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Still Life 99- throw linen

Linen, my friends, has been a longtime love, but like my husband and God, it only continues to make me marvel.  I should probably have renamed this blog linen eclectic long ago, and just turned out post after post about the various ways in which linen rocks. Maybe then, I wouldn't have had these long blogging absences ;) 

I was able to sneak away on a 24 hour silent retreat this past weekend to a beautiful spot. Sometimes coming home from something like that can be hard because it's like sensory overload....especially when coming off and into approximately the 3 zillionth snow day this winter...but the snow days, with all the kids home, have given me more appreciation for this hardworking little home, and even more appreciation for the materials that can hold up to a lot of abuse and still look awesome. Ones that are just content in a state of imperfection. 

There's something quiet about linen. It looks contemplative, and maybe even at its best when strewn and crumpled by little happy hands.
 My husband bought me the fog linen work towel below a few years ago, but far more frequently than  actually acting as a towel, it moonlights as a throw (the back of this sofa is my 2 year old's favorite perch (looking out into my sister's house next door to say hi to his "tousins" :) so linen now masks a few footprints and the like...
  and this hardworking hand towel version has held up to a lot only getting softer....

I have several favorite sources including a few local shops, but I can't say enough good things about etsy sellers House of Baltic Linen and Linen Crafts. Everything from both (including the purple towel/throw above from LinenCrafts) has been such beautiful quality. 

**still life 99 is my visual catalog of the idea that we don't need a lot of things at home, but what we do need should be beautiful. They should be worthy of being noticed. I'm guessing that I have at least 99 around my own home to share.**

Friday, February 14, 2014

happy heart

With a foot plus of snow, this Valentines day has been a bit unusual, less planned and more homespun, but sweeter in many ways. It has been one of those weeks where lots and lots went wrong, and so being buried inside with my family has been the perfect gift. Simplicity is always my favorite....

Happy Day to you and yours!
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