Earlier this Summer I saw some cute baskets with starfish in a Pottery Barn catalog. I knew I had to re-create this look in our living room. We already have two sea grass baskets on the bottom of the bookshelf. They are functional but nothing special. I found the last two starfish that I had stashed away, some string, and scissors. Those are the only items I needed for this project. The first step was to loop the string around the basket handle and fasten it to the starfish. I find it's helpful to check if any of the legs are irregular and lumpy. Using a lumpy leg helps the string to catch. Then I used the remaining string and wrapped it around the starfish leg several times using the double length of string. The last step was to tie the string in the back and trim the ends.
>> The iconic little dot. A favorite of the fashion set since in the mid-1700s (when it was worn by late-Rococo aristocracy), spotted prints were christened "polka dots" in the 1840s as polka music captivated the world. Since then, the popularity of the graphic little dots has only grown; in 1940, the print was so omnipresent that The Los Angeles Times remarked, "You can sign your fashion life away on the polka-dotted line, and you'll never regret it this season." One won't regret it this season either — especially when it comes to pants. In every incarnation from palazzos to clam-diggers, dotted bottoms have been showing up on runways steadily for the last three years. Here, we track the trend from Louis Vuitton's 2009 slouchy silk versions (precursors to today's popular pajama dressing perhaps?) to recent sightings on the Resort 2012 runways.
Let's take a trip to the seashore, even if it's only in our decorating dreams. There are so many pretty treasures to choose from. Now, where to begin our journey?
Let's start with Anthropologie's Ocean Minutiae Chandelier ($300). Featuring cascading layers of brass cockles and clamshells that are strung together in long rows and then studded with oversized pearls, it's a perfect way to cash in on the brass trend while keeping things decidedly pretty. And speaking of cash, this chandelier is quite reasonable, especially for Anthropologie.
One of my favorite decorating whimsies as of late has been the Rope Tied Knot (on sale for $66) that's been cropping up all over as an accent. Use it for a practical purpose as a paperweight or a doorstop — it has some heft, so this rope tied knot is up for the job.
Curious about these other pieces? Just click on each object to shop each one.
Are you experiencing the record-breaking heat wave hitting the US? Looking for some fun that's a little more grown-up than running through the sprinklers? We've got you covered with five ways to cool down while heating things up during the smoldering days of a Summer heat wave.
Prowl at the Park: Don a bikini, grab a blanket and good book, and hit your local park to soak up the sun and scope out the eye candy. Maybe you can even join an impromptu Frisbee game if one flies your way?
Sleep Nude: Take it all off before crawling under the covers. Sleeping sans PJs will help with keeping the heat at bay but your bed buddy close.
Take a Cold Shower: But grab your honey on the way in for an intimate shower sesh that will leave you refreshed in more ways than one.
Pitch a Tent: Camp out in your backyard to enjoy a romantic night under the stars and some sleeping bag snuggling.
Skinny Dip: Keep it between you and your partner-in-crime by taking your suit-less swim in a lake at night or in your own pool. That way no one will witness your underwater antics.
It's summertime, so let's make sure our homes are a beautiful and accurate reflection of the season! Last week on Facebook I asked you for suggestions on how to add Summer style to your home without a lot of work or money. Check out your suggestions in the slideshow, and then get ready to make a few quick and easy changes to add Summer style to your casa.
>> Savage beauties. Lisa Salzer's Spring-Summer 2011 collection for Lulu Frost featured necklaces and earrings dripping with porcupine quills, and ever since we've been spotting the torturous little spines everywhere. This season's batch of quill accessories incoporate luxe elements (think gold-plating, vivid hues, crystal studs) with an earthy tribal vibe that's inticingly exotic and supremely gorgeous. Click through to shop the best quill pieces currently available online — from dreamy jewels to dramatic home decor.
After eating hard, tasteless, discolored tomatoes for the past eight months, I'm loving the fact that my knife is now sliding through juicy, ripe, and delicious tomatoes. Although tomatoes generally taste better toward the end of the Summer, the tomatoes that are now arriving in farmers markets and grocery stores shouldn't be missed.
Tomatoes are not only tasty, they are also good for us. In this month's issue of Natural Health, it's noted how tomatoes are better for us when they are cooked because they offer more antioxidants than raw ones. When tomatoes are heated, they release the antioxidant lycopene, which makes it easier for the body to absorb. Lycopene is good for us because it has cancer-fighting properties and helps fight free radicals that can damage cells.
While on their whirlwind tour of Canada, Prince William and Kate Middleton spent time in a tipi at Blachford Lake, Canada. Tipis are conical tents that were originally made of animal skins and used by Native Americans on the Great Plains. Today, they're most often made from canvas and can be found for sale at specialty shops as well as modern retailers like Design Within Reach.
Want to explore one for yourself? Here are a few options.
- Stay at a campground or "glamping" site that provides tipis and yurts, like Sussex Tipi Holidays in the UK.
- Look for a tipi on eBay. This one is less than $250 and would be a great spot for guests to hang out in at backyard Summer parties.
- Buy a durable and high-quality tipi from Colorado Yurt Company. Their goods are proven to be tough and reliable and are perfect for the serious investor.
- Go majorly modern with the Gandia Blasco Tipi (pictured to the right). With an anodized aluminum frame and white nautical yacht fabric shade, this tipi features a streamlined, pared-down shape that's gorgeous (and expensive, at just under $12,000).
- Get a cute indoor tipi for your kiddo. I love the modern look of the tipis offered by Etsy seller NickMaxMama. This Abstract Heart Tipi ($145) is particularly divine.
- Add floral swagger to your festival camp site or backyard with the Cath Kidston Cowboy Teepee Tent ($120). It's designed to sleep three people and features a fun red flag.
The blues of the ocean and Summer swimming lakes are inspiring me to add a little azure to my tabletop this season. I've rounded up plenty of pretty options, from affordable glasses and carafes for everyday use to splurges for special occasions.
Perhaps for the most special occasion of all is the glass pictured in the upper left-hand corner. BHLDN's Lapis Toasting Flutes ($198 for a set of two) would add a dramatic touch to a Summer wedding. At 10 inches, these tall, hand-cut flutes are perfect for a wedding toast, and toasting for special dinners or moments over a lifetime. For a more affordable option, invest in Diane von Furstenburg "High Rise" White Wine Glasses Set in Erawan Blue ($60 for a set of four, bottom left). Inspired by the urban skyline, they'd look equally pretty on a country farm.
For iced tea or lemonade, go with a more substantial glass, like the Murano Speckled Tumbler ($28) from Anthropologie, paired with the Ypsilon Glass Carafe Sky Blue by Bormioli Rocco ($12, bottom right). If you're part of a household that includes clumsy spouses or on-the-go kiddos, consider the La Cadeaux Polycarbonate Water Glass ($5, upper left), which is immune to most drops.
Yesterday Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge showed off her gardening skills when she planted a shrub — in heels no less! Catherine was in Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territories of Canada, with Prince William on the sixth day of their first joint overseas tour. If you have some shrubbery in need of transplanting, check out these tips to make the most of your new greenery. And whether you decide to plant in heels or in gardening clogs, know that by following these simple tips you will keep your shrubs happy and healthy.
- Before you plant, consider the best site for your shrub. Does your site have enough sun for the plant's needs? Does it have enough room to grow? Don't plant too near to fences or houses that may obstruct your plant's growth.
- The optimal time to plant shrubs is late Summer or early Fall, which gives the shrubs time to establish a healthy root system before the onset of Winter. If you plant this month, pick a week with cooler temperatures, and plant on a cloudy day or at dusk.
- The hole for your new shrub should be at least six inches wider than the container on all sides and around the same depth.
- To remove your plant from its plastic container, just tilt the pot on its side and tap the container. Then gently slide out the rootball.
- As you place the root ball of the plant in the hole you've dug, leave the top of the root ball about an inch above the soil. Add soil to fill in the hole around the shrub, and lightly push the soil down around the plant.
- Make a wall of soil around the plant to create a water basin. This way water will get to the plant's root system more easily.
- Keep your plant well watered for the first year of its life.