Off-the-Wallpaper: Cool Wallpaper for the Home (not the desktop)

August 8, 2010

I recently discovered Given Campbell, an artist whose wallpaper designs are truly wall candy.Her use of color and pattern is stunning—bold, bright creations that add bubble and fizz to boring decor.  What a way to pep up a paltry powder room or match wits with your kids’ imaginations in the bonus room. &

The category of innovative wallpaper is a fun one to peruse.  I love to look at this functional art and ponder “would I dare?”.  Designers like Given Campbell have few peers, really.  In the realm of the interior design world, there are scarce few who focus on making the walls of our homes their canvases.  I suppose the scarcity makes those who are out there all the more distinct and memorable.

Here are some more finds I came across in a quest to discover off-the-wall wallpaper…

Lene Toni Kjeld (available in the U.S. via Hermitage Home)


Various artists through Osborne & Little

Various designers through Anthropologie

What graces the walls of your cherished spaces?  Share your images and ideas with me!  Email me anytime at!

Thanks for reading!

Walmart Hometrends Collection: Would You Purchase?

March 16, 2010

Fine home décor from the Mart of Wal?

The news is out and so are the products.  Walmart has launched “Hometrends,” a new collection of home décor and accents.  Hometrends offers mix and match selections by room, with a leaning toward modern styling and more trendy materials, themes and colors.

Though the line is fashion-focused, the retailer in question is Walmart.  Thus, the price is  really the point.  Starting costs range from $11 for rugs and $39.96 for bedding sets to $35 for dinnerware sets and $3 for placemats. offers an interactive room decorator tool, and while online pricing is set, word is that Walmart stores will honor competitor’s pricing on identical items.  So keep those Sunday circulars if you plan to check out Hometrends.

What do you think?  Share your thoughts on DesignVine!  Take the poll and offer your comments about decking the house with Mart of Wal selections!

Dining Tables: What’s Divine for How You Dine?

March 15, 2010

Isn’t it interesting how diversely the simple dining table can be interpreted.  Which of these tables whets your appetite for home design?

Room & Board “Nelson”

Inmod “Calligaris Astro”

Environment “Rebar”

Resource “Nassa”

Moura Starr “Pantalla”

Pottery Barn “Montego”

John Strauss Furniture “Harlow”

Share your comments!  Do you have a favorite?  Want to share a dining table I’ve missed? Let us know on the ‘Vine.

Furniture Shopping – Where We Go to Purchase

March 15, 2010

According to that handy lil’ poll to the right, many of us are still going to furniture stores to buy—what else, but—furniture!  As of this writing, 59% of respondents buy their home furnishings at designated retail locations.

18% state department stores as their preferred sources, while online and consignment tied at 9%.  Catalogs hold the goose egg, while the nondescript “other” logs in at 5% (and though nobody specified, I’m pretending the 5% represent artisans who craft their own furniture!).

One of my dear friends who took the poll proclaimed she and her husband went “everywhere” when selecting their home furnishings.  And that’s the thing:  they went.  When selecting the items on which we’ll dine, recline or intertwine, we have a desire to touch, feel, scope and experience it.  Nobody wants to invest in a sofa that “looks comfortable;” we want to know it is comfortable.

What’s your furniture acquisition process?  Do you sleuth online, collect catalogs and then head out to the store to get the 3-dimensional perspective.  Do you drive to every furniture-selling store in town, trying not to make eye contact with ravenous sales people as you test-sit every sofa or dining chair in the place?

When I did a total revamp of my home decor, I proved to be a dual track shopper.  I’m keen on online shopping, so I started there…searching, bookmarking sites, printing out beloved findings.  And, oh, the dog-earring of catalogs that occurred!  One would’ve thought I was prepping for a Pottery Barn dissertation, what with the visibly worn volumes I kept nearby at all times.

Yet when it came time to purchase, I scoured every store in a 12 zip code area.  I work from home and friends tease me about how I rarely leave my zip code, but “furniture quest” had me putting miles on the car in search of the perfect pieces for my cherished abode.  I went everywhere.

So what’s your story?  Please—share your stories, thoughts, ideas and finds on the ‘Vine!

New – West Elm Organic Cotton Pintuck Bedding

February 8, 2010

In my current HER Home column entitled “To Have & To Fold,” I take a kind of back-to-basics look at bed linens.

If you’re like me, thread count does count.  I want to be enveloped in near-silk luxury for every hard-earned wink o’ shuteye I get.

So…what about this new duvet ensemble from West Elm? Would this be worthy of my bed time…or yours?  The thread count comes in at 230 for this organic cotton set. The West Elm product description dives into the products’ eco-friendliness and purity.  Here’s the exact phraseology for your reference.

Organic, eco-friendly dyed, 230-thread-count cotton is left in its purest, most natural state. Multiple pintucks add textural dimension to the Zenlike simplicity of the design. Our certified organic cotton is grown and processed without the use of herbicides or pesticides – making it better for you and better for the planet.

I must say, I dig the pintucking and fresh color palette (I’m a sucker for smoky, twilight hues).  And fresh, cool cotton is nice for spring and summer months.  Yet your opinion is the one that counts.

Do you have this bedding? Please share your insights.  Do you like what you see?  Please vote at top.  Tell us all about it on the ‘Vine!

StyleDrain® Designs by California Faucets

January 25, 2010

From the “I didn’t know I couldn’t live without” files…

Check out these new California Faucets StyleDrain Designs.  Frankly, the drain in the shower is not necessarily tops on most of our lists of must-obsess-over items for our dream bathrooms.  A drain is functional and forgettable, right?

That’s what I thought until I saw these artful accoutrements, so attractive they may inspire a reordering of priorities.

What do you think?  Click above to let everyone on the DesignVine know if you think these drains are “divine” or “not so much.”

Image source:

The Start of the Line for DesignVine

January 9, 2010

Welcome to post #1 of DesignVine, a connecting point for people who want practical, inspirational information about products for home and garden, building materials, as well as remodeling and design trends.

I’m Irene Williams.  For 12  years, I’ve been involved in the home products and building materials industries as a PR and marketing professional.  For 2 years, I’ve also been a home and garden columnist and design blogger.  And before I ever earned a penny in these categories, I spent many, many pennies on them—ravenously purchasing shelter publications, trying out products, investing in furnishings, appliances and décor.

With my 360° view, I’ve seen a real need for all us consumers (yes, we’re all consumers!) to not only have access to undiluted, honest information about products and trends but to have a forum that lets us share our own experiences.

DesignVine is that forum.

Here, we’re going to present news and views and then open it up to YOU to tell us the truth.  What products are great?  What trends need to end?  No PR spin.  No advertising angles.  No sponsored praise.

Sure, we’ll show lots of pretty pictures.  We’ll hear from manufacturers and designers.  And we’re gonna dream and scheme.  Yet most importantly, we’re all gonna have a voice on the Vine, to seek-share-give-receive inspirations and information.