Tuesday, October 28, 2008

One More Week

I'm interrupting our usual wallpaper-related programming for a special service announcement...

Christiana and I were both raised to believe that voting is not a privilege but an obligation - and for this election in particular, we've decided to do a little more to help ensure that everyone's vote will count. We are volunteering with Election Protection - a non-partisan organization that recruits attorney volunteers staffs polling places and operates a hotline to help give people information how to vote as well as monitor against polling irregularities. They are in their final phases of fundraising and need donors to help ensure that they can provide this valuable service to as many voters as possible. If anyone is interested in donating, you can do so on their website. It's a great cause and it makes us feel as though our 3 years of law school were not a total wash.

In the meantime, mine is a family divided. While I won't say how my husband and I lean, MJ is a fervent Obama supporter while Jackson wants John McCain to win because "he looks like your father" (for the record, Grandpa Jerry does not look like John McCain other than the fact that they are both older white gentlemen). We'll be taking them both to the polls with us on Tuesday so they can see democracy in action and will hopefully become life long voters as well.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Seeing Red!

My parents were in town visiting last weekend and guess what we did... wallpapered! At first I was thinking we could visit the new California Academy of Sciences, hike around the Marin Headlands, or head up to Sonoma for the day. But then, I thought to myself, why would they want to do any of those things, when they could wallpaper instead?

Since first seeing the red fairy flower pattern, I've been obsessed with it. As much as I love the Kingflower and have a great sentimental attachment to it as it was my first experience with wallpaper (and will forever be grateful to Kurt and Todd for helping me hang it!), I wanted to tone down the baroque aesthic I had going on in my living room.

I also wanted to connect the living room more with the dining room (which I recently turned in to an office after having accepted wholeheartedly that I'll be working at home for the forseeable future - hooray!). I thought bringing out the red chair in the corner with a red accent wall was just the trick.

So, unfortunately, I sold the project to my dad as a one hour(ish) job. Which wasn't a lie, just optimism of an extreme nature. Initially, we were just going to wallpaper over the kingflower, but after we applied paste to it, it started air bubbling. I think this might have been due to the old paper not having completely adhered to the wall in the initial wallpaper job. Lesson learned is that wallpapering over wallpaper doesn't always work.

Luckily, I also learned how easy it is to strip down wallpaper. We just used this little wallpaper roller thing that puts a ton of perforations in the paper. Then we sprayed a wallpaper removing solution on the paper, let it soak in for 15 mins and scraped it off. I have to say that it was extraordinarily satisfying to remove. Fun might be pushing it... but satisfying? Yes. My dad agreed. The paint on the wall underneath wasn't damaged at all either, which I was glad to see (and will be happy to report to my lovely landlord...).

After removing the old paper, we took a break and hung the new wallpaper later that day. We all thought it turned out great!

And, I think it ties the two rooms together well. Not too little, not too much, just the right amount of red...

I used the scraps to add a little flourish to this cardboard birdhouse. It was super easy - I just cut out a rectangle of wallpaper, used adhesive spray to put it on the cardboard, and then used an exacto knife to cut around the cardboard pattern.

Why shouldn't birds get to enjoy some gorgeous, modern red wallpaper too, I figure...

Thank you, Dad, for all your help! And thank you, Mom, for helping me sort out my kitchen cabinets in the hopes that I will cook one day. Yikes, now that I'm thinking about it, I hope you two managed to have a little fun. After you've rested up at home, please come back. I promise I'll try to think of some activities that don't involve helping me get my apartment under control. Love you!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Time Out in the Kitchen

Lisa, an editor at Time Out New York just transformed her kitchen cabinets. We love how she used the berry black wall sticker and simple new handles to create more modern and interesting cabinets. Read the full story here. And, thank you, Lisa!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Life for an Old Secretary

Katie just sent us these pictures of a desk she made over using ferm living's black rose pattern. It look fabulous! We're so impressed! The dark wood with the black and white pattern inside is a very striking combination.

Katie mentioned that her boyfriend helped her ton and even sanded the edges red to match his own desk. Very cool! We're liking the sound of this guy... especially if he also plays guitar :) We hope you both enjoy your new desk. And, thank you so much for sharing your project with us, Katie!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Daily Candy Kids

We were so excited to see the ferm LIVING kids collection featured in Daily Candy Kids, San Francisco, today! Thank you, Lisa!

Art as Wallpaper

My dear friend Laurie was in town this weekend and after surviving my son's birthday party, we went to the Walker Art Center to get some culture (and to check out their awesome gift shop). While wandering, we came across this wall of custom Takashi Murakami wallpaper.

Very cool, though in a trippy, may freak you out to actually have on the walls of your house kind of way. It's perfect for the museum, though. I hope that they'll also bring back the Murakami sculptures they used to have in the lobby.

We also went to the sculpture garden mostly to check out the Jenny Holzer benches. This is my favorite. When Laurie and I were in London a few years ago, we saw her Truisms at the Tate Modern and I've been mildly obsessed with her work ever since. Thanks for coming to visit, Lo!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Field Trip

Lately, it's seemed like Christiana was getting all the fun field trips - San Francisco just ends up having more to see and do. But when I had the opportunity to visit Studio on Fire this week, Minneapolis definitely stepped up to the plate. Studio on Fire is one of the best letterpress shops in town, if not the country. At my job with a branding agency, every now and then I would be lucky enough to work with a client that understood the wonderfulness of letterpress, and we'd always go straight to Studio on Fire. The reason for my visit on Monday was to check out stock for our new Hygge & West business stationery! We'll post photos as soon as we have it...

Our tour started in their office space where I stood stunned before this wall of letterpress goodness featuring everything from wedding invitations to business cards and corporate promotion pieces. I could have stayed there all day. My sister, who usually is not at all into this sort of thing, was equally impressed. That's how good their work is.

Here Corey delves deeper into the samples of wedding systems. If any readers are getting married soon and want incredible invites, you need to get in touch with SOF. They work with couples all over the country and offer top notch design services.
I especially liked this system with a Grain Belt theme - the Grain Belt beer sign is a staple of the Minneapolis skyline. The wedding took place at Noernberg Gardens, a mansion built by one of the founders of Grain Belt in 1890. Thus the invite was a nice nod to both the location of the wedding and, I can only assume, the beer loving ways of the bride and groom.
Next we went down to the press rooms and got to check out all the machinery. The press above allows them to print larger format pieces such as the poster below which will soon be available online in their store.

We were lucky enough to watch some envelopes being produced while we were there. Impressive fact - all of the press operators also have fine art backgrounds, so through every step of the process the piece is treated as a work of art.

And, of course a small homage to Elvis. What would a design studio be without one?

We left with a couple goodies - first this piece done in cooperation with illustrator Federico Jordan...

And a highly coveted copy of their 2008 calendar. They would send these as promotional pieces when I worked at the agency, and fights would literally break out over them. Seriously. I was once locked out of the office because I came back from a press check with at test sheet of the 2007 one and refused to share it. Apparently the 2009 version is just about complete and should be available soon!

Along with the calendar, their online store features a really amazing selection of note cards (that are more worthy of framing than mailing) and stationery. Also, check out their new blog, Beast Pieces for more information about their studio, letterpress, and cool images of fighting Eagles (birds, not the 70s rock band). Thanks for the tour, Selina - we can't wait to get the stationery!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Just came across this gorgeous application of ferm's butterfly wall stickers on Apartment Therapy. Wow, I just love it! Love the bedding, lamp, rug, and closet too. I wonder what lucky person lives here...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sweet Experiments

Elka, at CasaSugar, just posted about her first wallpaper experiment. Genius! She took a salvaged window shutter and wallpapered the border to create this lovely earring holder. I'm so impressed. I've spent literally weeks trying to come up with new things to wallpaper and never thought of anything close to this. Thank you for sharing your idea, Elka!

Monday, October 13, 2008


Anna, at Door Sixteen, just posted about her lovely new kitchen pantry. My favorite item? The shelves she made using leftover bindweed wallpaper from her bathroom remodel.

She put the wallpaper on the sides and the underside for an unexpected touch of pattern and then attached cork boarding to the top for functionality.

I'm a bit envious (no wait, jealous? Which is the one where you don't begrudge the other person? You just wish you had what they have but with no ill will?) of Anna's kitchen pantry situation, in that 1) she actually has a pantry, 2) her pantry it is stocked with food and cleaning supplies both of which I'm running extraordinarily low on, 3) she has figured out to perfectly incorporate wallpaper in her pantry, 4) she keeps everything so organized, and 5) what a gorgeous door knob!

Thanks so much, Anna - we can't wait to see your bathroom!

Friday, October 10, 2008


The days are getting cooler, the leaves are changing and the boys are no longer refusing to put on a sweatshirt when they go out to play with friends... Up here in the northern midwest, it's fall! Inspired by the arrival of my monthly Martha and Country Living, I spruced up our porch in celebration of the season this morning.

An errand took me by
Tangletown Gardens, one of my very favorite places and I scored 4 really unique, gorgeous pumpkins for only $20! I also picked up some branches to add to our planters. I figure that they'll last all winter (will change it up by adding some pine boughs when it gets too cold for the plants to survive) and thus were a good investment. At least that's how I'll sell it to my husband...

Here the dogs check and see what I am doing as well as attempt to keep the front yard free of squirrels by barking loudly. Note the hole that Wade created in our front screen - with 2 boys and 2 dogs, I have learned to embrace imperfection.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Double Takes

Rachel at Eden & Eden has been switching around her shop to display all her lovely new things for fall. She'd had the hydrangea wall sticker up for quite a while and decided to use it as a stencil to create this sketchy (in a good way) design.

I'm really loving it! I'm also loving that all her things are now available online. Not that this will stop me from visiting her shop in person pretty much daily... I should mention also that she's across from Pickles, the nearest stop for fountain soda.

Rachel noted the Aha/Take on Me vibe of her stencil work, and I have to say, it's dead on. It also gave me a great excuse to watch this eighties classic video which I probably have not watched since the 80s. All that sketching, and the mirrors and the hand holding... Awesome.

Another reason I love stopping by Eden & Eden is that I never know who I'll bump into. I was lucky enough to run into my (and Aimee's) friend Lani and her adorable baby boy Owen. He's showing off his new skill here - sitting up!

I'm also giddy excited about all the new Tatty Divine. I'm working on figuring out a reason why I deserve a new necklace. Is it still considered patriotic to shop?

I also just bumped into ferm LIVING at Bloomingdales. I was hoping to bump into something fabulous that fit perfectly, didn't require ironing and was within the $50 dollar limit of my gift card. It didn't come close to happening. But I was consoled to be surrounded by wallpaper!