Animal prints come in many different weaves, textile fibers, and styles. Woven from various fibers, you will see them in cotton, faux fur, linen, needlepoint, outdoor fabrics, silk, ultra suede, velvets and more. A little animal print in a room will give the space that extra appeal and excitement. From casual elegance to sophisticated glamour, there is always a place for a sexy little animal print in any room. What do you think?
Natural indigo is obtained from the leaves of the indigo plant which produces a blue dye primarily used for dying textiles such as denim. Cultivation of the indigo plant dates back many, many centuries ago to Asia and Europe and more recently in the United States where it was cultivated in Charleston, South Carolina. Today synthetic indigo is the source widely used for the textile industry.
Indigo is a deep dark midnight violet-blue also referred to as azure, cobalt, marine blue, navy, royal blue and deep shades of sapphire. Indigo blue is a mystic and tranquil color evoking a sense of infinite space. The color indigo blue symbolizes the sixth chakra also known as the third eye or brow chakra. Located on the forehead at the point between the eyebrows this chakra represents intuition.
Intense deep blue hues are seen in cobalt blue glass bottles, Delft tiles, willow pattern porcelain and Wedgwood Jasperware. Textiles are often depicted in varying hues of indigo blue such as toile de jouy, denim, silk, indigo dyed linen, and cotton. Colors that pair well with indigo blue are teal, aqua, green, pink, chartreuse and violet. Look to nature to see inspiration in a flowering delphinium or if you are extremely fortunate in the fancy feathers of an indigo bunting bird.
Toile de Jouy (pronounced twal duh zhwee) is a French term from the word “toile” which means cloth and “Jouy-en Josas” which is the name of a town in North Central France. Originating in the late 1700s in the French village of Jouy-en-Josas, the fabric depicts a pictorial scene in one color such as blue, green, red, or black on a white background. Depictions range from pastoral village scenes, historical narratives of life, landscape scenes and oriental themes known as Chinoiserie incorporating human figures, buildings, birds, plants and decorative plaques from the Renaissance period.
Today the textile known as Toile de Jouy is more commonly called toile. Toile designs are found in apparel, bedding, ceramics, dishes, fabric, tiles, and wallpaper depicting the old and modern times. Oh be joyful for Toile de Jouy!
What supports you every morning when you are drinking your morning coffee?
Answer: Your counter tops
I am going to write about materials used for centuries and some of the new eco-friendly materials on the market today. Counter tops can be made from a very wide range of materials and the cost of a completed counter top varies widely depending on the material chosen. These are some of the choices available today. Granite and marble have been used for many years because of its strength and durability. Its earliest records date back to ancient Egyptian civilizations 7,000 to 8,000 years ago when it was used as one of the building materials for the pyramids. Granite is an igneous rock that is formed by the slow cooling and crystallization of magma beneath the Earth's crust. Granite offers permanence in color and texture, making it a suitable stone for a variety of building projects, especially counter tops.
Marble tends to be softer and more porous than granite. For this reason marble is more commonly used for bathroom vanity counters rather than kitchens. Laminate which became quite popular in the 1950s is a material constructed by uniting two or more layers of material together. Examples of laminate materials include Formica and Wilsonart.
Dupont Corian® is a composite material of acrylic polymers with mineral additives has been around for 40 years and comes in wide array of colors. Corian® is easy to clean and is certified kosher. Because Corian® is non-porous; stains do not penetrate the surface. With proper cleaning, Corian® also resists the growth of mold, mildew and bacteria. Corian® is also heat and scratch resistant. www.corian.com
3Form this company's credo is high design and low impact. They have some of the coolest stuff on the planet. 3form is the leading manufacturer of award-winning, sustainable materials and architectural hardware solutions for the Architecture + Design industry. The samples below are their Varia Ecoresin® system, with 40% recycled content, encapsulates color, organic materials, and textures within translucent resin panels. Use 3form Hardware with our innovative material to create walls, dividers, doors and other architectural solutions. www.3form.com
EnviroGLAS® converts post-consumer and industrial glass bound for the landfill into elegant, sustainable and ecological hard surfaces and landscaping materials mixed with epoxy resin. www.enviroglasproducts.com
ALKEMI is a SCS certified, LEED credits receiving, recycled surface material composed of post-industrial scrap waste (35% by weight-as certified-or 60% by volume). Made from fine flake aluminum milling scrap-which commonly burns up as a heavy smoke pollutant when exposed to conventional aluminum recycling-ALKEMI leaves no hazardous footprint. www.renewedmaterials.com
IceStone durable surfaces are made from 100% recycled glass and high performance concrete. IceStone® products are the ideal choice for sustainable countertops. IceStone can also be used in backsplash, bathroom vanity, table top, bar top, interior wall, and commercial flooring applications. Beautiful shower and bathtub surrounds and kitchen sinks can be made with IceStone as well. IceStone surfaces can be mounted vertically or horizontally. You can find this product at www.icestone.biz
Vetrazzo is recycled glass and it makes up about 70% of the final material by weight. The largest proportion of glass comes from curbside recycling programs. Other glass comes from post industrial usage, windows, dinnerware, stemware, automotive windshields, stained glass, laboratory glass, reclaimed glass from building demolition, and other unusual sources such as decommissioned traffic lights. www.vetrazzo.com
Silestone is a combination of natural quartz and other raw materials that are extraordinarily hard and resilient. These characteristics combine to create an ideal surface for kitchen countertops, bathrooms, flooring and wall siding. www.silestoneusa.com
Soapstone is primarily composed of talc and is light blue or gray but the surface will darken. It is softer than marble or granite but is very durable as it is nonporous and will not stain or burn. Because the stone retains heat better than materials such as steel or enamel, the dishwater stays hot longer, a quality that made soapstone a popular choice for sinks before the days of hot running water. www.vermontsoapstone.com
Who waits for you to come home at the end of the end of the day so you can make dinner together? Answer your counter tops. I thought you might want to get to know them better. I hope I have inspired you to think of alternative ways to cover your counter tops throughout your home and office.
To create a soothing room appearance use neutral colors as the starting point for any color scheme. Create a neutral room by mixing natural colors such as khaki, mocha brown, celadon green, smoky blue, with ivory and beige. To make sure the room isn’t monotonous choose furniture, accessories and carpeting in a range of neutral colors to create contrast. To create texture and contrast, use different textiles in your drapery panels, upholstery and pillows.
The term salon wall dates back to the 18th century in France when artists and thinkers of the time met in large rooms (salons) with soaring ceilings. The walls were covered in art. You can create your own salon wall by using brown craft paper the size of your artwork as a template. Tape the craft paper template with blue painter tape to the wall to get a visual of how the art will appear on the wall before placing any nails. I like to place the artwork on the floor first until I find a display that is visually appealing before placing the craft paper templates on the wall. Your display will be more visually appealing if the frames and matting are cohesive with your design scheme.
How fun to explore the many home decor products with circles. Using the shape of circles throughout your space creates rhythm and harmony in your design. The Walker Zanger tile would be perfect in a kitchen next to drapery panels made with the Vervain chariot wheels fabric. I borrowed Donovan's song Happiness Runs . . .
Happiness runs in a circular motion
Thought is like a little boat upon the sea
Everybody is a part of everything anyway
You can have everything if you let yourself be
Happiness runs, happiness runs