Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Looks We Love: Whitewashed Rooms

via lonnymag

These days, we're seeing a lot of whitewashed rooms. It's easy to see why - there's a comfort in pale neutrals, a cleanness that provides a calmness and tranquility. And going white is a risk-free decision, as your white accessories will go with just about anything if you decide to paint the walls or slipcover the sofa.

via apartment therapy

Of course, with any strong theme for a room (or house), there's the chance of doing it wrong. A room full of white can be warm and inviting - or it can be sterile and dull. We've compiled a few Wildflower suggestions on keeping your neutrals noticeable. 

 1. Embrace subtlety. 

via kinfolk
via lonnymag
If we had to pick a signature look at Wildflower, it's a subtle blending of tones. Contrasting a creamy white with natural beige tiles, or a soft gray with a clean white, creates a dynamic look without a lot of jarring contrast. We use this same sort of principle when building a bed by blending champagne, pebble, and a soft blushing pink. 

Standard Vivian Case in Pebble - $92 / Alyssa Euro Sham in Sand - $150 / Madera Case in Petal - $60 / Madera Sheet in Petal - (Flat) $266 (Fitted) $278 / Eloquence Bed Frame - $4125
2. Go bold.
While we love the soft look of understated contrast, there's something really special about highlighting the perfect piece in a white room. Whites and neutrals offer a great canvas to display items that might get lost in a more embellished space.  

Here, a large collection of framed work is balanced by the consistency of images and the muted colors of accessories. High ceilings help in keeping a feel of calm in what could be a busy space.

via lonnymag

In this room, an oversized painting stands out amidst the minimalist walls, while eclectic accessories highlight the owner's individual taste. The bold leopard-print rug is balanced out by clean white furniture and more graphic fabric prints. Finding balance in white spaces is key, especially when purchasing a more striking piece.

via lonnymag
Our Sieger Tulips ($2395), subtly accented with gold leaf, would look gorgeous on white walls.

Lighting is another great way to add a dynamic look to a white room. Go big with a neutral toned chandelier, or hang a set of industrially inspired pendants to add interesting contrast to a soft look.

Sea Chandelier - $2700 / Dye Basket Pendant - $189

3. Keep it natural.
Adding organic materials, like unpainted wood or found items, is a great way to create warmth in a minimalist white space. A butcher block counter top or raw wood headboard can keep a space looking homey, and the natural tones of wood stand out beautifully against solid neutrals.

via lonnymag

via remodelista

via remodelista

This reclaimed wooden bed frame ($2000) has a deep tone and natural texture that contrasts beautifully with white.

4. Get textural.
One of the most important ways to keep a white room from feeling lifeless is adding texture in as many forms as possible. Layer rugs, seek out sculptural pieces, fall in love with fur and found objects.

via lonnymag

Driftwood Lamp with Linen Shade - $473 / Fur-Covered Mad Men Inspired Office Chair - $695
clockwise from top left: Blowfish Vase - $95 / Coral Sculpture - $188 / Ceramic Deer Skull - $438 / Fleur Lamp - $618

In bedding, balance out subtle tones with different feels of linen, soft cotton, wool and ruffles. 

Alyssa Euro Sham in Sand - $150 / Madera Case in Petal - $60 / Raw Silk & Organic Cotton Pillow - $225 / Linen Blanket in Flax - $478 / Bella Sheet in Petal - (Flat) $266 (Fitted) $278

Allow vintage pieces to steal the show. Don't be afraid of mixing and matching - neutrals almost always compliment each other. These vintage burlap cases add character and contrast to a light room.

Vintage Jute Trunk - $345

5. Trust yourself.
Of course, our advice in putting any space together is this: trust your gut. If you fall in love with something that doesn't look like it's from the magazines, don't worry. Creating your space is all about bringing together pieces that reflect your unique taste and style. Love the process. And of course, call us with your questions.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Creating a home: Then & Now

We think a lot about personal, interior spaces here at Wildflower. We daily strive to create homes from houses, to create refuge in the midst of mere walls and roofs. We can't help but be fascinated by the interiors that humans have crafted over the years, ruminating on how much a home can speak of a person's life and how much those places can evolve over the years.

all vintage photos via shorpy / all current photos via the selby
 But what is it about our spaces that we so deeply feel the need to modify? The family above hangs their Dobro on the wall; the couple below strings paper flowers over the window. Why do we need to define ourselves through our space, to create a separate world that few will experience with us? 

Alain de Botton, a Swiss writer and philosopher, offers some explanation in his article, The Idea of Home:
"We depend on our surroundings obliquely to embody the moods and ideas we respect and then to remind us of them. We look to our buildings to hold us, like a kind of psychological mould, to a helpful vision of ourselves."

"What we call a home is merely any place that succeeds in making more consistently available to us the important truths which the wider world ignores, or which our distracted and irresolute selves have trouble holding on to."

"...[At home], looking out of the hall window on to the garden and the gathering darkness, we can slowly resume contact with a more authentic self, who was there waiting in the wings for us to end our performance. Our submerged playful sides will derive encouragement from the painted flowers on either side of the door. The value of gentleness will be confirmed by the delicate folds of the curtains. Our interest in a modest, tender-hearted kind of happiness will be fostered by the unpretentious raw wooden floor boards. The materials around us will speak to us of the highest hopes we have for ourselves. In this setting, we can come close to a state of mind marked by integrity and vitality. We can feel inwardly liberated. We can, in a profound sense, return home."

Perhaps we create space, like de Botton says, to reflect some part of ourselves to the wider world. Perhaps we build rooms to remind us of our best qualities. Maybe our homes function as an escape from the rest of our daily lives. Whatever your reason for creating your perfect space, at Wildflower, we completely understand.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Linen: A Love Story

left: via saidos de concha / right: via madison|laird

Here at Wildflower, we seriously love linen. In our perfect world, just about everything in the home would be made from or covered in linen: sheets and cases, duvet covers, towels, napkins, curtains, bed frames, couches - the fabric seamlessly glides its way into any look.

left: bella notte's linen whisper bed / right: cluny linen shams

Of course, there's more to love about linen than its sumptuous simplicity. Traditionally made from the fibers of the flax plant, (or Linum Usitatissimum - where the word "linen" comes from) creating linen involves a labor-intensive process that produces the quality product that we consistently covet.

bella notte's classic linen bed

elin linen cases

In the midst of the heatwave currently plaguing the country, there's nothing we can recommend more than linen bedding. Its naturally cooling and moisture wicking properties have been embraced and celebrated for centuries. Egyptian mummies were wrapped in linen because it was an obvious display of wealth; the archival nature of the fabric explains why it's been used on painters' canvases for ages. It resists dirt and stains, repels lint and moths. Kings of old were robed in purple linen as a symbol of their superior status. 

Of course we're not alone in all of this infatuation. This gorgeous video from Benoit Millot does a wonderful job explaining the process of creating linen - and why it's such a truly "noble fabric".

We pride ourselves on our fantastic selection of linen bedding. Come into the store or browse online; we have a good feeling you'll fall in love just as hard as we have.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

In the store: Hand Printed Summer Sleepwear

clockwise from top left: turquoise square night shirt - $53 / organic cotton blue flower night shirt - $88 / neem pj set (pants not pictured) - $60 / organic cotton night shirt with collar detail - $88 / gray and burgundy block night shirt - $53 / organic cotton blue flower robe - $93

Summer is in full swing, and there's really nothing more we could ask for on warm nights than these hand block printed nighties and PJs. Sheer and cool, with the gorgeous detail of artisan printing. 

Various techniques are used in the hand block printing process. One method, shown below of our Blithe Neem pajamas, involves carving a teak block and printing repeatedly over cotton or silk fabric. Each color is meticulously printed in a multitude of steps - the result is an exquisite, detailed intricacy of pattern.

images of neem PJS being printed courtesy of Blithe © 2011

images of neem PJS being printed courtesy of Blithe © 2011

images of neem PJS being printed courtesy of Blithe ©2011

images of neem PJS being printed courtesy of Blithe © 2011

Textile designer John Robshaw says of another hand block printing process, "It's so simple and natural. You touch a woodblock to wet clay and then to the fabric. After the clay dries, you dip the cloth into the indigo vat and the clay stays on. One dip gives the fabric a sky-blue color, two dips and it deepens to cobalt, three dips and its a saturated midnight blue. Then the fabric is laid out to dry in the sun and later the clay is washed off. The dyer says the indigo vats are like a mistress because they need constant attention. I was completely fascinated by the dyeing and printing processes, as well as how the finished product is used. Textiles become intimate companions in daily life, whether as a pillow, bedcover or sarong." 

The result is a florid, human creation. As opposed to a mechanical mass printing, hand block printing requires artisans to have a deep knowledge and perfection of the craft. We love that this sleepwear supports artisans that have been printing textiles for generations.

For more information on supporting artisans around the world, check out Aid to Artisans