Monday, 21 July 2014

10 Bedspreads for Modern, Minimal rooms (that are available in Australia!)

Maybe it's because the weather is cooling, maybe it's because life is getting so hectic that I'm needing the apartment to be a real sanctuary, or maybe it's just because I'm fickle and need things to be constantly changing to be satisfied. Whatever the reason, no corner of my apartment is safe from my desire to revamp. I've already posted about my itch to overhaul my office, and I'm mentioned in passing the dire state of the balcony. Now that the bedroom is calling to me so strongly after an epic days juggling, I'm noticing that it's not as cute as it could be.

I've always had bedrooms that erred on the side of dark and moody, eclectic, cluttered and inspiring...but that was when I lived in share housing or my parents place, and my room had to be able to function as everything. I studied in it, relaxed in it, had sleep over parties in it, trashed it every Wednesday night in a 'lets meet up and get ready at mine before we go out' gathering and I wanted it to feel like a cocoon of me stuff.

When we first moved into our current place, we ditched a lot of our starter furniture, and kept things pretty sparse. I kind of loved how empty our bedroom looked with fresh white walls and nothing but the bed and bedsides. I swapped the old bedsides for the replica Noguchi Origami tables in the photo above after a few months, and this BJORNLOKA bedding has been an awesome place holder - matching with the floor to ceiling grey curtains and keeping the stark, minimal look. My only issue with it is that it's not a really white white like it looks in the picture. It's actually a sort of bone white or off-white, so when you pair it with nice white sheets and pillows like I've tried to do since, it ends up looking yellowish and dirty by contrast. Wouldn't be a problem if you used Ikea sheets to match and break it up a bit from any white walls, but in our place, it bugs me.

SO. Here are my pics for replacements that would work to complement or contrast an otherwise white, minimalist room. Prices are straight off each product's website at the time of posting, but may vary between locations of over time so double check if you find a favourite!

1. William Quilt Cover in Black, From Freedom Furniture $77.00
Fresh white keeps things calming and relaxing, while the fine black grid lines add some texture. Would look great paired with a chunky grey knit blanket and a few extra plain white pillows so it doesn't look too much like a maths grid book.

2. Aura Bedspread in Orange from Domayne Furniture $199.00

This reversible bedspread is orange on white on one side for a small pop of colour, or white on orange on the other for big impact. I like the idea of small doses of bright colours to bring some warmth to simple rooms. If you like the bold side of this bedspread more, you might like to check out the rest of Domayne furniture's range. Lots of heavily saturated primary colours and large scale patterns.

3.FARGLAV Quilt cover set from Ikea, $69-$119 depending on size (prices based on Ikea Tempe)

People tend to have a bit of a love hate relationship with Ikea bed linen (I've already mentioned my aversion to the 'white' in some of their designs, but they are a really good, really well priced option. Ikea bedspreads start at like $14.95 for single bed quilt sets, so if you're looking for an update on a budget, or something for a kids room that can get trashed and replaced as often as it needs to be, they really are the way to go. If you actually go into a store, you will feel a difference in the fabrics at each price point, and basically, you get a good deal but you also get what you pay for. At the lower end of the price scale, the fabrics are thinner, rougher to the touch and probably a little more prone to tears after a while. Up above the $49.95 price range you actually will find nice cotton, soft weave and probably longer wearing fabric. Plus unusual textile patterns and colours that carry through all their products so you can match furniture and decor easily.

4. Aura Crosses Quilt Set from Adairs $199.00

This set comes in "Jade" (top image) and "Aquamarine" (bottom image), and I'm actually pretty torn between both. I really like both colour ways, and the styling with white walls behind both images is stunning. Now, $199 is probably more than I'd pay for one of these, not because they aren't beautiful, but because I have commitment issues that manifest in my home instead of my relationship. These bedspreads are really bold in a white room, and they do somewhat dictate what else you add to the room - too much 'stuff' and they make it look seriously crowded, not enough texture and they dominate without looking grounded. If this is your top pick, take some cues from the styling - add lots of neutral texture to ground it, and be wary of too much contrasting colour if you want to retain it's freshness.

5. Marie Claire Rochelle Bedspread via Linen House. $189.95
At a glance this looks like soft greys, but on closer inspection, it's actually very very soft pastels. It's neutral enough that it isn't going to dictate the rest of your decor, interesting enough on the eye to be a feature in a very white room without taking over, and best of all it's got these pretty, subtle colours that you can draw from in the rest of your decor. Take a cue from the styling here and draw out the soft yellow with a brighter stool and sorbet tone cushion, or draw out the blues and greys with steely accents and richer blues, or bring out the lavender tones with pops of royal purple or deep pink. I like how many possibilities this one has (see aforementioned commitment phobia), and that it could be swapped out with plain white or grey bedding and the decor you use will still work.

6. Anthropology 'Creature Hideaway' Quilt Cover $169-$225 plus shipping

Anthropology bedding is something special. It's a bit more expensive than the other options here, and you do need to factor in the cost of shipping (anthropologie ship from the US to Australia, cost varying) but in my opinion, it's worthwhile for something a bit more special. The tricks, I think, to pulling off florals and mixed colours without it looking too busy or dated are to have the same neutral base colour as the major neutral in your room, and to keep the pattern a bit offbeat. For example, because my walls, ceilings and bedside tables are quite stark whites, this quilt cover with plenty of stark white as the background colour will keep that airy looks. Similarly, if you have a soft grey as your neutral or wall colour, a doona with large swathes of a similar shade will keep any pattern it has from looking too busy. I also avoid traditional, repeating patterns, and I don't much like symmetry in florals or nature inspired prints. I think symmetry is fine in geometric prints, or stripe or spotted prints, but you will never find a flowering shrub where the flowers and leaves repeat to an exact grid, so I think it looks cheesy when they do in bedding fabric. This quilt cover by anthropology is a large scale design, with lots of white space, a mixture of subtle colours and richer ones and it's asymmetrical...all the things I love!

7. Brighton Belle by Morgan & Finch $89.95-$159.95
This looks a bit more traditional than I would normally like, but that is mostly because it's styled like that with all those perfectly squared pillows. Does a bed made this precisely really look that inviting to anyone? Anyway, subjective taste in styling aside, this white bedding features a very finely printed city-scape across the front. This feels to me like a more subtle (maybe more grown-up?) version of the NYC skyline or subway map printed bedding I thought was The Coolest Ever when I was a teenager, and while I feel like that look isn't for me any more, maybe this toned down version could find a place in my new bedroom? To work in my space (and maybe yours) I'd be ditching the red sheets, pillows and cushions, getting rid of the European pillow in the back and pairing the cover with plain white or charcoal grey sheets and pillows, and I'd want it to share a room with plants or fresh flowers, just so I didn't feel like I was walking in off a grey city street and into another one.

Hiccups Folklandia Bedlinen $109.95 at Myer.

And now for something a little more playful. This gorgeous muted woodland bedding is just right for adding a bit of warmth and playfulness to a Scandinavian influenced room. Perfect for inspiring lovely dreams in a kids room, and comforting and sweet for the young at heart. Available in single or double sizes.

Lucia Quilt Cover by Bambury $55.97-$90.97 at
This quilt cover reminds me a bit of the handmade quilts my grandmother made us all when we were little. Mine had these same colours and lots of intricate little triangles of different fabrics. This quilt cover is the perfect throwback to gorgeous handmade quilts when the quilt look just isn't quite right for the space.

And now for something special. This Etsy store sells doona covers, cushions and shower curtains with incredible photos like this printed on them. If you're looking for something totally unique, she also does custom orders. Did you ever pick dandelions like these out of grassy fields and make wishes on them? This cover looks like a recipe for lovely nostalgic dreams. This is on the top of my wishlist, along with a couple of gorgeous botanical cushions for my lounge.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Happy Makers

I'm someone who, after a string of very sad experiences a few years ago, developed some pretty poor coping strategies. I tend to get knocked down way more easily than I used to and it tales me longer to drag myself out of a low mood. I've developed this ineffective strategy of completely retreating from life when it gets a bit rough. I cocoon myself at home, with lots comforting (read: heavy and greasy) food, wear baggy, ugly clothes, avoid socializing and switch my brain off by watching mindless, trashy TV. Which would be fine if this was a very occasional pity party in an otherwise healthy lifestyle, but in my case it's an every-weekend and some weekdays coping thing. And it's doing me no favours. I've come to realize recently that there will always be stressors in my life - either big or small - and that I need to develop better ways to pick myself, dust myself off and keep it moving.

So I've made a few changes lately and I'm looking for little slices of happiness to replace the safety blankets I'm letting go of. So maybe this will be a bit of a weekly thing? Though next time lets skip the back (sob)story and get straight to the good stuff.

And so, this week's happy makers:

These goats riding ponies
Sunday brunch at Hoochie Mamma Cafe with a very gorgeous friend. Photo from Kid Size Living  because the food was so yummy I didn't think to capture it for hipster Instagram posterity. 

 This pretty warehouse graffiti on a rainy day

 These foals playing in a damn

 This obscene re-arrangement of files in Ikea. 

 This little unicorn, made by a 3D printer while my mum's preschoolers watched on in amazement. Technology is kind of cool sometimes.

 Philomena, who belongs to my recently resigned boss, and who came to work with him sometimes. Look at that wee face!

 This baby sister who is allllll the way on the other side of the world having the adventure of a lifetime.

 This wee bird, that taught me I can make something lovely all by myself if I put my mind to it.

These pretty notebooks and pens from Target and my lovely new office (which I will post on at some point). The little gold globe is from the Oxfam shop, pens, jar and to-do list from Kikki.K. Nail polish by Sally Hansen and bangles from Lovisa Jewellery.

 Manicures from the last few weeks (plus one throwback from last year). Orange, pink with glitter and very dark blue are all by OPI, mauve is by Sally Hansen (see link above) and the candy-wraps are by Elegant Tough
This apartment full of flowers. Despite working all week at a florist, I still spent by Saturday morning at the flower markets, buying up cheap bunches of roses and then spent the afternoon filling vases with them. on the left, a vintage crystal jug gifted by my grandmother, on the right, blue bud vases from Ikea, and the straightener next to them is a limited edition GHD straightener.

This blast from the past. Napoleon and Lafayette from The Aristocats - which is an awesomely underrated movie. I don't know why there is a bloodhound and a basset hound living in the French countryside with deep Southern American accents, but they're adorable. 

So have you smiled at all? It certainly cheered me up
If you need a little more prettiness to get you through the week ahead, there's more on my Pinterest.