Photo Credit: Shades of Tangerine

Who said upholstery materials and prints are for décor alone? Here, ten easy tips to incorporate upholstery and other nontraditional materials into your wardrobe:

1. Your ratty old jeans are so comfy, and yet the holes are so UN-chic. Let some patches do the work to spruce them up!
2. Nothing takes a beating like your handbag… so why not allow it to be walked on? It can be when it’s a carpet bag.
3. If you could walk a mile in these shoes, you’d see that they need some loving. With just a can of Simply Spray Fabric Paint, they’re suddenly made for walking.
4. Fanny packs went out with David Hasselhoff in the 80s, and now we love Lady Gaga and hip bags. Between you and me, the name might be different, but they’re still fanny packs – extra cute when they’re made out of upholstery fabrics!
5. A bike can be so utilitarian unless you jazz up the seat with fabric like this. Seriously loving the floral terrycloth!
6. I am obsessed with vintage bow ties. This bow-tie hairpiece ups the ante and this ring raises the ante even more.
7. Buckle up for safety… or just to protect your MacBook®. Now you can go from 0 to 60 with this seat-belt briefcase when pitching your ideas at the office.
8. No, this fab vintage swing coat is not Chanel, but rather chenille… and Coco would be envious.
9. Brocade isn’t just for plastic-encased living room couches anymore.  It’s perfect for a chic dinner-party dress.
10. Take samples from an old leather furniture company, give them a ladylike S&M vibe, and – voilà – this fringe necklace!

Have any tips or tricks on upholstering your wardrobe? Share them in the comments below or tweet us @ruelala

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October 31, 2012

Welcome back, home design fanatics. This week, we’re exploring one tiny apartment, one massive apartment, and one apartment that is distinctly… pink.

Tiny Eclectic Amazing Spaces:

This episode brings us to a 500-square-foot apartment with ingenious storage options. Serving as both a home and office for Michael Pozner, every inch of the space has been thought out (with the help of architect Darrick Borowski). The bedroom area is lofted (an instant space saver), but it gets better – the stairs themselves are drawers. We’re talking a veritable staircase-dresser.

There are tons of ingenious little touches, like storage compartments carved into the wall, and a block of wood that houses the doors into the bathroom, kitchen, and closet. Though he had the advantage of professional assistance, Michael was able to use every inch of his apartment, demonstrating that functionality does not have to be limited by mere square footage.

Continue reading “SPACEStv: Three (More) Inspiration-Worthy Segments” »

October 30, 2012

One of the most frequent comments I receive about urban gardening is what a release it provides for city dwellers. Urbanites are confronted by the concrete jungle on a daily basis, and a little bit of green can go a long way toward refreshing a worn-out attitude.

This is also true of the green we bring indoors – a fresh bouquet of seasonal flowers can turn any dark corner or austere front desk into a welcoming, refreshing experience for anyone who walks by.

Here, read up on my tips to create an awe-inspiring indoor arrangement:

Know context matters.
Consider the room or space where the arrangement will be.

Pick the vessel.
The arrangement should be in proportion to the container.  Use the rule of thirds. For traditional displays, the container should be one third of the total size and the arrangement should be about two-thirds of the total size.

Choose a feature flower.
These are usually the stars of the floral world (roses, peonies, sunflowers, etc.). They like to stand on their own and hold court.

Have a few backup dancers.
These are usually flowers that like to appear in groups or sprays. Use a design motif like texture or color to either contrast with the feature flower or complement it (think goldenrods with sunflowers or thistles with roses).

Don’t forget the greens.
This is how to keep your arrangement personal and fresh. Try something unusual like stapling a long leaf in half or wrapping one of the fleshy leaves around the inside of the container, under water.

Let your imagination take over.
Pair your choices. Think random rather than symmetry. Remember that simplicity usually wins over complexity. Create relationships between elements. And keep your mind focused on the point of the arrangement in the first place: to create something that makes you smile and relax a little as you walk by.

Our NDI Florals Boutique opens Thursday, October 25, at 11AM ET.

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October 24, 2012