decorating with scarves and pashminas

headwrapOne of the perks, or hazards, of my job, is I am gifted with an excess of souvenirs. I work with – and do lots of paperwork for – people who travel overseas. Many of them bring me back pretty scarves and pashminas, which is so thoughtful! I also am frequently gifted with scarves for holidays and I pick up pretty ones at thrift stores. And as a result I have a LOT of scarves. Somehow I’ve amassed a pretty ridiculous (-ly awesome) collection.

I wear scarves pretty often, and I use them as head wraps. But I have so many pretty scarves and so few places to go these days that I hate seeing them tucked away. The fabrics and colors are so pretty! So I’ve rounded up a few ideas (some that require cutting and sewing for the thrifted ones, but most that leave them in tact) for using and displaying a scarf collection more frequently.

how to tie a scarfMy friend Cassie actually got me a cute book, How to Tie a Scarf, for Christmas. It’s full of fun ideas. There are also tons of tutorials on Pinterest, including how to tie and knot scarves stealthily to turn them into kimonos and vests. Really awesome! There are plenty of head wrap ideas or tutorials on braiding scarves into your hair, too, though I don’t have enough hair or swagger to pull off many of them. I just go for the super simple wrap-styles.

But the ideas I’ve been collecting are more for decor purposes. I love the casual vibe that different patterns and fabrics give off when layered around the house. I suppose you could use any textile for most of these, which makes them even more awesome. I like scouting textiles. They are so versatile. So.. here we go:

I LOVE these huge pillows made from big scarves {plus the link has tons of other ideas I love for scarf-upcycling}.

big pillows - dishfunctional designsSmaller pillows wouldn’t require sewing; you can wrap the scarf and twist/knot the back. The link for this one didn’t work (found on Pinterest), but it directed me to All You.

all youI like the idea of using scarves to cover poufs and ottomans, like these ones: (left from from Urban Outfitters, now sold out; right from Plumo). The Urban Outfitters version is something I’ve wanted to make for a while now. A less pretty “collection” I’ve got going on is 5 gallon buckets (I know, random), and I think with a little creativity I could make a similar ottoman with some patchwork scarves/other fabric.

UO Pouf   Plumo pouf

I use one pashmina as a runner on our dresser top to keep the surface from getting scratched. They are nice for table runners over a table cloth to keep them from sliding.

table runnerThere are lots of images out there for patchwork curtains made from scarves and handkerchiefs, but just hanging one in a window is really pretty and will allow it to be worn later.

windowI loved framed scarves like these, because you can see the entire design. It would be simple enough to switch out, too. (I wish I owned both of the ones below):

framed scarvesYou can hang a scarf on a wall without framing or doing anything special, like below. No cutting into the fabric for the special scarves I’ve got. I love this for the huge silk pashminas I’ve got from the Middle East.

wall hangingStoring scarves in plain view lets them be part of the decor and still keeps them usable. I’ve done this before in the bedroom, but it’s a great idea for an entryway.

hanging scarvesAny other ideas I’ve missed?

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tv style inspiration – pretty little liars

Do you ever watch television shows or movies exclusively because the style or sets are inspirational? I have to admit I was sucked into Gossip Girl for a while just for Blair’s headband collection alone. I recently started watching Pretty Little Liars on Netflix because a blog I was reading mentioned the fashion a couple times, and I decided to check out the pilot. And then I got completely sucked in.. to not just the fashion, but the interior decor of the homes on the show – and, ok, the actual plot line is pretty damn good, too. Does anyone watch this? It’s completely addictive.

I have a mini-obsession with one of the characters, Aria, played by Lucy Hale. She’s the artsy, literary, and very grown up one of the group. (Don’t you miss teen fiction? Everyone had a stereotype. That gave me several identity crises as a young girl.) Aria’s got an edgy but boho vibe in her style, in both her bedroom, and her wardrobe. I covet it all. I feel like it’s what my style could be if I refined it and focused it a bit.. which I am trying to do. Jewel tones, texture, artsy details. A propensity for boots and funky tights and big earrings. Her style has totally got me amped for fall layers.

{Image source.}

I whipped up this style board to dissect her style, pulling out some of the hackable details.

A pretty, mulberry hued dress, patterned tights, and motorcycle boots are the basis of the look. She wears great jackets (I LOVE jackets). And of course, really great, statement-making jewelry. She mixes feminine/Victorian styles with edgy/spiky styles. Dark nails are a must, too. I love black nails (rocking it right now), but burgundy would be a nice, and probably more office-appropriate choice.

I also wear a lot of black, like Aria. But I love how she mixes neutrals for a look that’s moody without being too rocker, too bad-ass, too gothic. Her style is completely attainable, because it’s not trendy or designer (or.. it doesn’t have to be). Lots of vintage/thrifted pieces can be incorporated and mixed with diy and affordable bold jewelry. Unlike the other styles on the show (which are also pretty awesome) Aria’s perfect for remixing pieces in lots of ways.

I’m also inspired by Aria’s pretty bedroom.

It’s very much similar to her clothing style.. and every time there’s a scene in her bedroom I scope the details. That framed butterfly inspired my butterfly art project. I love the pretty layered details like that about this room. Don’t you think styling a television or movie set would be the BEST JOB EVER?

What’s inspiring you lately?

bedroom inspiration – teal for real

Our last house was mainly greens and earth tones and white. Springy, maybe. I really liked it, and springy green is my favorite color ever. But the new house is NOT white and it’s going to necessitate venturing out to a new style of decor. How depressing is that? I joke. I AM SOOO EXCITED.

In the main living areas, everything’s pretty open and the ceilings are vaulted in places. ie, these are not rooms we are going to want to have to repaint too often. It will be an ordeal. So I’ll be sticking with a tanish hue for those areas and adding color with the accessories. The bedrooms, however, I will get to have some fun with. I wanted something new and bold in the master bedroom, because the room is quite large. Remember, here’s what we are working with:

I thought a nice, deep color would make it feel very cozy, and since everything in it is neutral, some color would really help liven up the place. I think I’m going to go with a funky teal, and have been digging up some inspiration.

I like this because it’s dramatic and trendy, but still easy and casual. Teal really looks awesome with some yellow accessories. Source.

This would take GUTS, but I love it, especially with that chock-full gallery wall and stripey bedding – so fun! Source.

This softer version might be nice. No pink, though. Source.

And of course, my favorite bloggers’ new guest room. I love the way they used bright colors to make everything really pop against the dramatic wall color. It’d be easy to switch it out on a whim. Source.

What do you guys think? Diggin the teal?

planning the new place, vol. 1: kitchen//dining//living

It’s a ways off I’ll be full-on staging the new place with anything other than what we already own, but a girl can dream! My favorite thing about moving shortly is scheming about how I’m going to arrange/decorate the place and to make fun plans for the yard! It {literally} keeps me up at night.

I’ve been thinking about how to make the kitchen/dining/living area feel airy and open and cohesive {it’s all one big area} while still using a lot of what we have. For reference, here’s what the kitchen looks like:

We are going to paint the whole place a soft gray/tan, lighter than what is currently there. I plan to hang bamboo shades on the windows with the exception of over the kitchen sink, where I want to do a fun patterned roman shade. I think I can make one myself. We already ordered new appliances in stainless steel, which I think will make it much lighter/brighter than black while still blending better than white {is it weird I still love white best?}. I also plan to hang a white drum pendant over the kitchen table {replacing that current fixture}.

We currently have black leather couches I want to blend in/lighten up with some lighter accessories. Eventually the couches will be downstairs and we will get something new for the living room.

That in mind, here’s what I’m kinda thinking:

Beachy blues and glassy greens, some natural wood accessories in the living/dining areas to kind of blend in all that wood in the kitchen. Black pieces here and there to blend the couches and kitchen counters but not suck the light out of the place. I’ve already got a lot of items I can use and revamp, and can buy an old chair to recover to kind of steal the look of the ikat slipper chair above. The fixture I want it from CB2 and a steal at $50, so that might be a right-away purchase.

We close Monday morning then it’s ours! (: (: