Archive | November, 2012

Russian Chintz

Early 20th century floral Russian textiles - WOI via Atticmag

A casualty of the Bolshevik Revolution and the Cold War, these vibrantly colored Russian textiles remain little known even today.

I first encountered Russian textiles — floral, paisley and striped fabrics from the early 20th century — on the pages of a magazine. I was immediately drawn to the full blown rose motifs I also adore on Bessarabian (Russo-Romanian) rugs. Essentially, these fabulous fabrics are a Russian version of chintz (though not glazed). During the early 1900s, they were inexpensive and made in these especially vibrant colorways for export to Central Asia. Today they are collector’s items and the images are a sampling from the book Russian Textiles: Printed Cloth from the Bazaars of Central Asia, by Susan Meller (Abrams, $35).… Continue Reading


It Is Beginning To Look Like Christmas

Christmas accessories - rustic Christmas mantel with natural cotton boll wreath - Atticmag

My newest Christmas accessories were found online.

The scents of a fresh-cut tree and cinnamon-laced pinecones are my holiday triggers, in a good and bad way. Allergies cause many of us to use faux greenery. Luckily, artificial trees and garlands have come a long way as Christmas accessories and alternative materials are always options.  A few weeks ago, I featured a cotton boll garland in my Natural Home Decor post.  My intent was to use the garlands on my vintage Christmas mantel. Instead, I ended up making a wreath for the den.  I still haven’t decided whether or not to use it year round but it’s always an option. … Continue Reading


Quaint Alcove Desk

enclosed back porch with an alcove desk area with fabric skirt from BH&G via atticmag

An enclosed back porch offers the perfect spot for an alcove desk, out of the way but still close by.

This underused end of a narrow back porch, is just off the kitchen as so many are. It was cleverly and inexpensively turned into an office by adding an alcove desk simply by fitting in a desk top and shelving.  Note that the clapboard walls were simply left in place as the wood is handy for mounting. Placing shelves higher than the norm creates more space overhead and helps avoid heads getting bumped.  Clip boards, covered boxes and a framed magnet board help keep things organized.  … Continue Reading


Stone Wall Kitchens

stonewall kitchens - modern kitchen with stone walls

Old-house stone walls add patina and character to modern kitchens.

When we lived in Italy I fell in love with the old stone walls in the ancient houses and marveled at how modern fixtures and features mixed in. Stone always adds a certain degree of rusticity yet at the same time it dominates. So in a way stonewall kitchens are work for contemporary spaces because the organic color tends to soften flat modern lines.

What I mean by stone dominating is clear in the minimalistic kitchen [top] that barely intrudes on the room. With the small window smack in the center of the main wall and a sizeable radiator near the door, options are fairly limited.… Continue Reading


Built-in Bunk Beds

custom built-in bunk beds by Resort Custom Homes via Atticmag

Custom built in bunk beds are a way to maximize bedroom space in comfort.

Built in bunk beds aren’t just for vacation homes anymore.  They are perfect for children’s rooms large or blended families, and don’t forget visiting grandchildren.  These sleeping spots provide a feeling of comfort and add a bit of adventure.  Painting the whole sleeping alcove a darker color then the rest of the room  (SW Warm Stone) sets it apart and creates a cocoon effect. Yet the bottom of the upper bunk is matched to the wall and ceiling color to keep the lower bed user from feeling too closed in. … Continue Reading


Boho Spirit Rooms

boho style rooms - dining room with Zoffany Verdure wallpaper by Melissa White, with Philippe Starck Masters chairs - heals via Atticmag

Identifying boho style rooms is often subject to interpretation. Here’s mine.

When artists and designers create boho style rooms with looks that are fanciful and offbeat, it’s always interesting to explore their visions. Boho (short for Bohemian) is a catchall term that moved over from fashion to interiors. The boho walls I wrote about back in August had a more informal look that this trio, fished from Pinterest where such eccentric rooms have an avid fan base. Of course, it’s the flamboyant images that count — chief among them (and most attainable) the Zoffany Verdure wallpaper [top] by Melissa White — a fantasy forest scene inspired by a late 17th century wallcloth. … Continue Reading