I Am Floored By Natural Rugs

For some 15 years (yep, I have been around for a while) I have been a big fan of sisal and other natural fiber rugs. When I lived in my apartment in San Francisco (my first home purchase in the US — I was so proud of myself!) I had stylish light gray wall-to-wall-natural-fiber-carpeting in 3 bedrooms.

(My own humble kitchen nook).

(My good friend Brook is a big fan of natural fiber rugs. This jute rug is in her pretty sun room).

I like natural fiber rugs because they are quiet (I prefer loud things behind frames!), they handle heavy traffic well and they look good in almost all rooms. It is such a classic look. To me, natural fiber rugs (or high quality wool rugs) are the only soulmates to hardwood floors (synthetic rugs, ehhhh… not so much).

Also, I don’t like rugs where scary things can be hidden! I am hands down a low pile (ha!)/loom rug kind of gal. The only drawback to natural fiber rugs is that most of them can not be washed. Oh, well. I have learned to go with fibers and colors that are more forgiving. And I am very aware where I place the rugs.

I am happy to see that so many mainstream furnishing stores now are offering natural fiber rugs with more of a European designer look (subtle patterns). And all at very affordable prices.

Handsome diamond pattern jute rug – via. I like this one a lot.

These new fiber rugs created in India on special European jacquard looms for Crate and Barrel are beautiful. What a wonderful and unique pattern.

The natural rugs from Restoration Hardware are great, but I am hoping they soon come out with some more unique models. They are so good at that stuff.

West Elm sells this Jute Chenille Herringbone rug. Nice because it is slightly different.

Overstock has these vibrant jute rugs listed for a steal.I don’t see the natural fiber rugs dying any time soon. Interior designers continue to constantly evolve the earth-friendly look, for which I am very grateful.

Curious to hear, what kind of rugs do you like? Any specific brand?

Happy Weekend, friends! 

(I will be back on Tuesday after Martin Luther King’s Day).

Images: No. 1 via DecorPad,  no. 2 via Splendid Willow, no. 3 via Houzz, no. 4 via Velvet & Linen, no. 5 unknown (sorry), no. 6 via Houzz

Written by Splendid Willow in: Home Goods & Accessories |


West Elm Is On A Roll

Finally Seattle got its own West Elm — the first in WA state. I am very excited!
Right now I am in the process of helping a dear friend decorate her lovely Seattle home (4-5 rooms) where we are mixing high-end with low-end and some design classics with more trendy objects and furnishings. West Elm is coming in very handy.
The store is the best it has ever been, in my opinion. West Elm’s buyers and stylists are doing a fabulous job of picking up trends and colors early and I have found several lovely things for my friend’s home (and my own!). You get a lot of great design for your money.
I have a serious crush on this fresh Medallion pattern. So pretty!
A perfect ceramic stool for the bathroom.
A really pretty felt pillow. It speaks to me. I am buying a couple for sure!
A handsome rug.
Basic nice, white pottery.
A simple bookshelf.
I am so getting a few wooden trees for my own holiday decorations. They are going to be placed on my 18th c. gray painted, Swedish buffet. Feels Scandinavian to me.
I also salute West Elm for its effort to collaborate with Aid To Artisans (West Elm is the nonprofit’s largest retail partner). Here they worked with artists in Haiti to create papier-mâché animals. Hand made entirely from recycled materials. That is responsible design.

 Not bad, right? Not bad at all!

Happy new week!

P.S Is there a secret war going on between the Blogspot and WordPress platforms? I have been having a terrible time lately commenting on some (not all) Blogspot blogs. The comments don’t even go through. It drives me insane! Other WordPress users out there with the same issues?

Images: All images via West Elm.

Written by Splendid Willow in: Home Goods & Accessories,Lovely Furniture | Tags:


From Santa Cruz To Seattle & Glassybaby

We escaped for a few days. The whole family hopped on a plane to Santa Cruz, (where I first met my husband and where we also have a family vacation home – right across the street from that lighthouse) California, to attend a lovely family wedding. I enjoyed every second together with close family and friends. I am very blessed to be part of such a warm, fun, and loving family! My husband has 8 siblings (!) and they are the best of the best (a very talented and well educated bunch, all nine of them, yet very humble). My children have 30+ cousins (!) on my husband’s side and zero on my side! Could be quite a culture shock but the family eases new members in with lots of love and compassion. And they love diversity! Needless to say the computer was not used at all for most of the week. I was busy catching up with family members and close friends!

At the wedding, one of my husband’s many nieces (hi beautiful Laura!) thanked me for a gift I had sent for her wedding. It was a set of three glass candle holders from the Seattle based glass company, Glassybaby.


 It has taken me a few years to even be slightly interested in these hand blown glass holders. I felt I saw them everywhere in Seattle, and I do not like to have what the rest of the world has! But I have to say, I am now a convert. The company comes out with new colors all the time (slight variations). They are all hand blown, unique and there is a good cause  behind the business. The glass vessels can be used for candles or flowers.

I have given several as gifts (the company ships all over and packs them very nicely) and this week I am getting my own (first) set with fall colors in mind. Perfect for all the upcoming fall holidays.

These would be lovely. But they look even better when they are lit (you use tea candles). That is when all the colors and different dimensions come to play.



What makes these well made and almost indestructable glass cups extra special, is that the founder of the company Ms. Rhodes, a mother of three and three-time cancer survivor, found her artistic calling in making glass holders for friends and family and spreading the light. That was shortly after she gave her former husband a glass-blowing lesson as a gift and then, inspired, took one herself. She is now engaging local glass blowers and has quite a production going.

A portion of Glassybaby’s proceeds go to different kinds of cancer research and charities.

Happy new week! I have some serious blog hopping ahead of me this week!


Images: No. 1 via Ultra Down loads,  no. 3 via Remodelista, all others via Glassybaby.

Written by Splendid Willow in: Home Goods & Accessories | Tags:


One Lovely Ikea Pillow

I am really loving this “Vilmie Figur” pillow cover (you buy the insert separately) from Ikea. I purchased a couple for my own home and have pushed it through the doors of several other homes (my close friend Kendra mixed it with some white pillows in her bay window and it looks fantastic). I LOVE the African style pattern, the thick fabric (it has a zipper) and the fact that the pillow cover comes with contrasting color sides for variation. Now and then Ikea just comes up with these design pearls that are must haves and this, in my opinion, is one of them. I would have no problem placing this pillow on a high-end chair or sofa. It is that good. And I would have happily paid a lot more than the mere $10/pillow case that it costs! A steal, people!

I like them so much I am actually getting a few more! Never know when they will come in handy. Just a little touch of eclectic pattern and something lovely for the eye to be drawn to.

Hope you are creating good summer memories!

Images: 1, 3 and 5 via Ikea. No. 2 via Kristan Cunningham, no. 4 via Guts to Communicate.

Written by Splendid Willow in: Home Goods & Accessories |


Perfect Gifts For Her & Him

Phew, what a wirlwind week! I have so much going on right now (will tell you more next week!)  and I just need to get the holiday gifts off my chest. So, here is my last list. And once again, no dreams or pretending– everything on my list (s) are things I truly like and can see myself going for.

2011 Color-A-Month Daily Planner Box Set.

A chatty Ohh La La Recycled Felt Applique Pillow.

Back Lace Boot. (Gorgeous!).

Petal skirt.

Felt Peace Sign Wreath (14″ diameter).

Is it crazy to give holiday decor as gifts? I don’t know, but I wouldn’t mind being on the receiving end of this Burlap Sack Advent Calendar.

Recycled Glass Balloon Vases.

Amethyst tealight holder. (Very nice for a little bit of glamour!).

Love this vase from Tiffany. (Simple, beautiful and, to me, almost Swedish looking).

I always have a tough time finding perfect gifts for the Mr. I really had to dig deep on this one.  But here are a few ideas.

On at least 3 occassions I have been talking about framing old vinyl covers (for sentimental reasons as well as for great art). It turns out that Pottery Barn is now selling wood gallery frames made specifically to protect and display vintage records and album covers. (You need to take out the mat if you want to display the cover).

Leather IPad Cover.

Monogrammed leather journal (for the bedside table).

Monogrammed leather Catch-all (my hubby desperately needs one!).

Penguin water carbonator. (It should really be on MY list!) Perfect for those who want to eliminate the need to purchase soda/sparkling water.

Patagonia wind-proof gloves.

Ugg Men’s Shearling Slippers.

Professional immersion blender.

Stainless milk frother. (You will get a home made latte in seconds).

Belstaff Roadmaster Jacket. (Nice design and waterproof. Made in Italy).

And for him or her go shopping for some antique prints (E-bay is one good source). Beautiful and something that will never lose its value.

There you have it. My gift idea contribution. I hope you did not fall asleep!

Wishing you all a lovely weekend!

And make sure to visit next week when I have a fun thing to announce! (It will hopefully explain why I have been such a lousy blog friend lately).


Last image via Skona Hem.

Written by Splendid Willow in: Home Goods & Accessories | Tags:

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