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There’s something very satisfying about using natural materials and textures in design.

Take this room, via Kika Reichart, for instance. A simple color scheme and sparse furnishing leap into life with the use of tactile surfaces and fabrics made from linen, wool, plywood, sisal and hessian. I’ve always loved this look and longed to have the discipline to carry off an all-neutral space dressed with with scrubbed wooden tables and white linen upholstery.

No surprise then that the trend toward using burlap in the home has had me intrigued for a while. Of course, designers, and the more adventurous amateurs among you, have used burlap, linen, hessian, rope and similar materials in all sorts of unusual ways for some time. But now it seems that even the major home stores are going wild for the look. And it’s not just plain linen drapes that they’re pushing. I’m talking straight-from-the-flour-mill, shake-out-the-sawdust, sackcloth-turned-decor here. Welcome to the era of Hopsack Chic.

Take these pillows from Restoration Hardware, for example. Now this is a store that is known for polished fixtures and sumptuous leather sofas. But here we have what appear to be converted (wool?) sacks?

Pottery Barn continues its love affair with numbers and text, this time with a distinctly agricultural feel.

And even more so with these pillows, seemingly made from coffee sacks (also Pottery Barn).

Anthropologie keeps it feminine with these pillows which, despite the floral emblem, still look like they were made from something altogether more utilitarian.

So, if you like the look of Hopsack Chic, what else can you do to apply it at home?

Some simple linen tablecloths would be a good start (via Katy Elliott).

Or, if you want to push the boat out – an elegant chair recovered in coffee sacks, anyone? Via Sumner Design.

A stamped burlap headboard might be more your taste. Via Poppytalk.

Personally, I’d opt for a less literal interpretation and fill my place with beautiful linen tufted sofas like this one from Anthropologie.

Then I’d go for some tree stump side tables, like these from West Elm.

And a twine lamp from Anthropologie to complete the look. And there you go – Hopsack Chic!

What do you think? Chic or eek?


We’re off to the Hamptons on Saturday (hurray!) so I’m hooked on coastal decor. In particular, I’ve been hunting out interiors inspired by the ocean-worn colors and textures of driftwood and seaglass. Enjoy – oh, and check out Julia’s Hooked on Houses Friday blog party to see what everyone else is hooked on.

Rachel Whiting

Rachel Whiting

Seaside cottage

Coastal Living

Paul Massey

This is Glamorous

Beach house


1 and 2 – Rachel Whiting, via MidnightFriday (a very fun blog, check it out); 3 – Light Locations; 4 – Coastal Living; 5 – by Paul Massey; 6 – via This is Glamorous; 7 – via Frolic

The fact that yellow is a hot interiors trend this year is somewhat troubling for me. I’ve never been very into yellow. I’ve painted a few rooms in different shades of it, but always end up repainting.

But this house in Canadian House and Home (via one of my daily reads, SPPN) got me thinking about yellow in a different way.

Emily Walker house

Emily Walker house

Emily Walker house

Emily Walker house

Here, the shots of yellow work really well against the purples and grays. I think the trick is to use a really bright yellow, or one with a greenish hue, in small quantities to highlight statement pieces like the table, vase or Chinese garden stool in these pics. Balancing it with a cooler color like the purple works really well too. My mistake in the past has been to chicken out and go for a pale, buttery shade which always ends up looking rather sickly.

Here are some more examples of yellow working really well. You can see the same approach of balancing yellow with moodier colors and interesting shapes. I think I’m tempted to try it myself…


Joanna Henderson

Joanna Henderson

Andres Gramer

Chris Everard


1 – Room designed by Autoban (Seyhan Ozdemir and Sefer Caglar), photo by Richard Powers via The President Wears Prada; 2&3 – Photo by Joanna Henderson (represented by Sarah Kaye); 4 – Photo by Andres Gramer (represented by Sarah Kaye); 5 – Photo by Chris Everard (represented by Sarah Kaye).

There’s something so appealing about a vintage map or globe in an interior. It connotes travel, history, countless stories… A well-worn globe or map also gives even the simplest room a jolt of personality. Take a look at these examples.

Vintage globe

Vintage globe

These home offices I found on Kamela Cody’s (from Modern Girl Style) Flickr photostream.


This is from Marusica‘s photostream. I love the contrast of red and blue. And, look, a rolled up map as well as a globe!


This is by painter and jewelry maker, Amy Gross. You can see her work at her web site or Etsy store.


This lovely white water globe is from the home of Ann DeOtte, who blogs at Still Dottie.


I love the work of photographer Caren Alpert. This shot is beautifully styled.


This inspiration board is from Decorology.


Automatism had this shot in a collection of adorable tablescapes. I recently discovered this blog and its fabulous images.

Home office

This is from Suzanne at S.HOPtalk. The maps look great against the green walls.

Picture 107

More green and red. The nice thing about maps is you can pick any color from the map and accentuate it with furniture and it looks amazing. Like this room from PoeticHome, another rcent blog discovery.

Maps and globes

And if you can’t decide between maps and globes, how about this delightful image, from Elle Decor?

Trudi of The Deco Detective always has such stunning images on her blog and this post on flea market finds is no exception. I’ve been searching for some more examples of modern trompe l’oeil since I did this post and so I was delighted to find this beautiful dresser there today.

Trompe l'oeil dresser

And, wait, is that trompe l’oeil on the clock too?! Either way, the whole scheme is really playful and pretty.

Pop over to The Deco Detective for some more inspirational rooms in pink and green (originally via Skona Hem).

There are a hundred ways to use wallpaper. But there are also many ways to create a wallpaper effect or to introduce pattern to your walls. I’ve spotted a few interesting examples recently.

I absolutely love the maps used as wallpaper in this bedroom, spotted on Apartment Therapy (where else?!). It’s not a new idea, of course, but this one is executed particularly well. Usually maps make a room look really masculine – and this room does have some fairly masculine striped fabric. But it’s also really pretty with the robin’s egg blue chairs and the lamps.

Map wallpaper

Vinyl wall art is also really gaining in popularity. I used to associate it with kids’ bedrooms, but then I found Janey Mac‘s shop on Etsy and my mind was changed. This mother/daughter team’s designs are so pretty that they would work in many rooms and still look sophisticated. Plus, they’re super easy to install.

wall art

wall art

I’ve mentioned Elli Popp on this blog before. The wallpaper designs are stunning. But they also make some wallpaper murals. They still need to be hung like wallpaper, but, instead of a repeat pattern, they feature much bolder designs. They make a real statement in a room. Just look at this pretty Japanese-inspired mural. They also have some cool borders. Could borders come back?

Elli Popp

A more committed approach is a wall mural. Check out this beauty by muralist Neece Clark (again on Apartment Therapy, via Decorno). Those poppy seeds are in metallic paint. Very nice…

wall mural

Finally, check out this stairwell. The 3D flowers are made of wallpaper. The effect is almost like a modern trompe l’oeil. Rather OTT with the mirror and stool – which I don’t like at all – but I can see how a smaller version could look sweet in a simple, airy bedroom.

flower trompe l'oeil

Birds have been an interior design trend for some time, but still have appeal. Now I’m spotting butterflies on everything from wallpaper to bedlinen. When incorporating them into an interior, you want to capture the charm of these winged creatures without being too cute. No ducks flying up the wall, that is… Here are a few examples where bird and butterfly motifs work beautifully.


This paperweight from Graham & Green is adorable. And, it’s functional too…


These butterfly mirrors are from Graham & Green too. They’d be cute in a bedroom or bathroom, especially against an intense color.


I can’t say enough positive things about this bed linen from House of Fraser in the UK. You wouldn’t need any other decoration really in a bedroom with this bed. The ultimate in romantic style.


It’s pretty obvious that I’m a fan of Jonathan Adler. His bird ‘bowls’ now come in this stunning jade green. I could happily buy a flock of them…


I first saw the Elli Pop range of wallpapers on Decorology so flew over to the Elli Pop site where there are stunning repeat prints, murals and borders in a variety of bird, flower and butterfly designs. I love this mural with the heron below and the little bird above in the tree.


Here’s how to do the bird motif without being over the top. Allie Bruch’s house (via Apartment Therapy) has this cute understated owl.


If you want to take the bird motif in a whole different direction, this is a good way to go. The ‘hungry’ message adds a humorous note to a kitchen.

Michael Aram

Michael Aram, home of stunning accessories in silver, nickel and bronze, has these pretty butterfly drawer/door handles.

Pottery Barn

Finally, for fans of the understated look, this butterfly vase from Pottery Barn is a find.

Is it me or am I seeing displays of wall-mounted plates everywhere? I actually really like the effect, although it does remind me of an English country kitchen. It seems the trick is to use a mix of different styles and colors and avoid too formulaic a lay-out. The examples below almost look like clouds – the effect is quirky vintage rather than traditional.


This is artist Lisa Congdon’s kitchen, from the cover of new book, San Francisco Kitchens – spotted on SFgirlbybay.


As evidence that the trend is transatlantic, this photo is of Jamie Theakston’s (British TV presenter) home, featured in Livingetc.


I’m sorry to say I don’t recall where I spotted this picture (if it’s yours, let me know and I’ll update the post). But it is a fabulous example of the trend. I like the bird on the table and the hanging birdcage – very sweet with the plates. But the chandelier ensures the whole look isn’t too saccharine sweet.

I’ve spotted a few examples of trompe l’oeil recently, with a rather unexpectedly modern feel. I would never normally consider using trompe l’oeil, but these pictures made me think again.

trompe l'oeil wardrobe

This is Mary, Mary, quite contrary, watering her garden – it’s quirky and humorous but the black and white gives it a graphic appeal and prevents the room from looking too sugary sweet.

Here’s a similar effect in author India Knight’s home, from Livingetc.

India Knight

The mural is by Charlotte Mann. It actually goes all the way up the stairs and features favorite items belonging to the family. This is a really great, albeit unusual, alternative to wallpaper – much more personal without being gaudy.

For more by Charlotte Mann, check out her site. I particularly like this piece – perfect for turning a tiny, windowless room into something inspirational.

Charlotte Mann mural

I’m not quite sure if I’d have the courage to do this to a wall in my house yet. And I’m imagining it might be rather expensive. I haven’t found anywhere that sells wallpaper like this and a custom piece is not in the budget right now! But definitely one for the inspiration files…

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