Monthly Archives: March 201828

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Barn-inspired Dance Studio Rises in Rural Massachusetts

Each year, Jacob’s Pillow campus in rural Massachusetts, USA, hosts a summer dance festival with more than 200 free performances and other uplifting events. The cultural center challenged Flansburgh Architects to design a 6,000 square foot (557 square meter) dance studio, able to meet the growing needs of the artists all year round.

The new building on the site is inspired by the rural barns in the area, but offers the latest in high tech. Its flexible design incorporates multiple program spaces and functions. It will serve as a warm-up and rehearsal space, instructional space, informal performance area and a residency venue for visiting programs.

Wood and glass are the main components of the design, which the architects employed to create a farm-like aesthetic. At the same time, these elements have the ability to create a more natural and laid-back environment for the artists and their performances.

“Oversized barn windows and doors create a strong linkage to the Berkshires landscape surrounding the building, and a sense of community for dancers and visitors alike,” the studio said. Photos and information provided by Flansburgh Architects.

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Get a Jumpstart on Spring Cleaning with these 5 Top Tips

We’re here to help you get a jumpstart on spring cleaning. Image: Anchor Builders

Believe it or not, winter is almost over. Warmer temperatures and sunny weather are both right around the corner, which means it’s time to start thinking about spring cleaning.

Spring cleaning is the perfect opportunity for you to start afresh. If you’re ready to get an early start on your yearly clean-out, you’re in luck. We’ve gathered our five top tips to help you tackle your spring cleaning head on.

declutter

Declutter before you clean Image: 9 square studio

Declutter first

Before you even think about tackling a deep clean, get rid of some of the clutter that’s piled up over the long winter. Doing so helps you focus on what needs to be done for your spring cleaning.

If you’re unsure of where to start, try the “two-pile” method. Filter the items you intend to toss out into two separate piles: one pile for items still in good enough shape to donate, and another pile for worn-out items to throw away.

Show no mercy! If you’re debating whether or not to get rid of an item, ask yourself if you’ve used it in the last year. If so, it can stay. If not, it may have outlived its usefulness to you. Additionally, do your best to complete your decluttering in one day, including dropping off your donations. That way, you’re not tempted to continually put off the final step.

tools

Create a one-stop-shop with all the tools you need to finish the job. Image: Amy Trowman Design

Get your tools in order

Most of us have a bad habit of leaving our cleaning supplies all over the house. While it may be a good idea to keep a few go-to products in place for day-to-day use, when it comes to spring cleaning, this method may cost you valuable time spent running all over the house looking for your tools.

For projects like this, we suggest making up an on-the-go cleaning kit. Take an inexpensive shower caddy and fill it with products like mult-purpose cleaners, sponges, and rags. This enables you to move easily from room to room, without stopping to worry about which products you have on hand.

goals

Set goals to help you stay on track. Image: Resolution: 4 Architecture

Set clear goals

Tackling a job as big as spring cleaning your entire home can feel overwhelming. The easiest way to keep from getting bogged down is to set clear goals before you start. That way, even if you decide to only do a portion of the job at a time, you’ll have a plan in place to help you stay focused.

Specificity is the key to successful goal setting. Ideally, you’ll want to create a step-by-step plan to follow. Start by deciding which rooms you intend to clean. Then, give yourself an order in which to do so. Some professional cleaners suggest cleaning each room in a circle, while others suggest going top to bottom. Either way, the key is to easily be able to move from task to task without too much hesitation.

Don’t forget to clean rarely thought of places like your washer and dryer. Image: Meriwether Inc

Remember hard-to-reach areas

Spring cleaning is all about giving yourself a fresh start. It’s the perfect opportunity to go above and beyond your usual cleaning regimen, taking care of all the hard-to-reach, rarely thought-of areas that normally don’t receive much attention.

Some of these areas include:

  • Between refrigerator coils
  • Over ceiling fan blades
  • Inside the washing machine
  • Around your HV/AC vents
  • Inside light fixtures
  • On and around the windows
  • Around door frames and crown molding
  • Inside light fixtures and track lighting
  • Behind the toilet
fun

Making cleaning as fun as possible makes it seem like less of a chore. Image: STEFANI STEIN

Make it fun!

Last but not least, make this task as enjoyable for yourself as possible. Yes, spring cleaning is a chore, but there’s no reason why you can’t make it fun. If you’re tackling the task by yourself, consider playing some upbeat music to elevate your mood, or treat yourself to something rewarding when you’ve finished.

If you’re cleaning with your family, try getting them involved. Set the kids up with age-appropriate assignments, and turn it into a game to see who can finish their chore the fastest. With a few more hands in the mix, even a little help can go a long way towards whittling down your to-do list.

spring cleaning

Following these tips makes spring cleaning so much easier. Image: Meridith Baer Home

Spring is almost here, and it’s time to start thinking about spring cleaning. If you’re ready to get a head start on this task, we’re here to help, with our five best tips to help you spring clean like a pro.

What do you think of these spring cleaning tips? Do you have any of your own to add? Share them with us in the comments below.

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How To Infuse Glamour Into Your Interiors (Without It Feeling Too Over-The-Top)

Read on to learn how to make your interiors as glamorous as you are. Image: BTL Property

Some peoples’ personalities are just meant to shine. If you fit that bill, there’s no reason why your interiors shouldn’t do the same. Glamorous designs, featuring plenty of glitz, sparkle and show-stopping shine, are simple to put together if you follow the right steps. Here’s how you can make it happen in a way that feels properly balanced, rather than over-the-top, ensuring all eyes end up exactly where you want them.

color and pattern

Revel in bold colors and patterns. Image: Godrich Interiors

Go bold with colors and prints

Glamorous interiors are all about making a big statement, and there’s no better way to do that than with bold colors and loud patterns. Start by picking a color or pattern that speaks to you, and build the rest of your design around it.

Whichever look inspires you, remember the 60-30-10 rule (when using a three-color palette, decorate 60% of a room with the dominant color, 30% with the secondary color, and 10% with the remaining color). Typically, we’d recommend having a neutral shade as the dominant color, but feel free to switch it up. However, if you do choose a bold hue to cover 60% of the space, add neutral touches throughout the rest of the room, creating places for the eye to rest.

Make sure that any other colors utilized in your design compliment your bold hue. If needed, review the color wheel to determine which shades work best together. Once you’ve chosen a palette of 2-3 shades, repeat each one a few times throughout the design. Repetition helps bold colors feel easier on the eyes.

shapely furniture

Focus on choosing elegant, shapely furniture. Image: House of Style

Play with shape

Shape is also a great way to infuse plenty of personality into a room. Instead of building your design around the same boxy, almost-modular furniture pieces everyone else uses, hunt down pieces with more character. Focus on selecting furniture that’s full of elegant curves and lots of angles to add visual interest.

In addition to furniture, keep an eye open for other opportunities to disperse interesting shapes throughout your design. Light fixtures are a great way to do this, as are accessories and décor items. It’s tempting to want to play around with a variety of different shapes and sizes, but again, we suggest picking 2-3 and repeating them in various applications, giving your space a sense of cohesion.

shine

Bring in items that shine. Image: Dwelling Designs

Introduce plenty of shine

When introducing glamour into a space, shine is an absolutely essential component for catching eyes and demanding attention. Make sure to include plenty of it in your design.

As for how to make it work, there are a few different tactics to choose from. The first is to introduce shine through your lighting elements. Use metals, crystals, or both to create visual impact. If you go this route, we suggest making the lighting fixture your focal point. Consider hanging a bold fixture above a formal dining table, in an entryway, or above the bed.

Metals are incredibly on trend right now, and are another element you can use to easily incorporate more shine into your design. You can choose any metal that fits your aesthetic—or even go for a mixed application—but be sure to opt for a polished finish, which will give you maximum shine. Brushed or oiled finishes are a little duller.

balance

Remember to include a few neutral items to provide balance. Image: moment design + productions, llc

Don’t forget balance

Balance is key for making your glamorous interior design a success. While eye-catching pieces are a must, including too many of them will have an opposite effect, causing the room to appear (and feel)overwhelming. It’s hard to focus when so many elements are vying for attention.

Creating enough balance for the room to feel unified is all about striking a compromise. If you’re opting for a bold pattern, consider choosing one that uses neutral colors. If a piece of furniture features a bold hue, make sure it has straighter lines. If you’ve found the perfect statement piece for a room, highlight it by making the rest of the space a little more subdued in comparison.

Eventually, you’ll find a sense of balance that works well with your style. Until then, we recommend relying on your instincts. As you put the room together, step back every so often and take it all in. Pay close attention to how the room makes you feel. If you feel overwhelmed—or even underwhelmed—don’t be afraid to tweak your design until it feels just right.

glamour

Use these tips to create interiors as glamorous as you are. Image: Paloma Contreras Design

Glamorous décor items aren’t hard to find, but bringing them together in a way that makes sense requires a little more effort. On the one hand, you’ll want to include enough glitz to allow your personality to shine through. But, on the other, it’s important to keep you design from becoming too over-the top.

Have you been searching for ways to add more glamour into your interiors? Which design elements are glamorous must-haves for you? Tell us in the comments.

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English Edwardian Timber Cottage Gets a Modern Makeover

Sheri Haby Architects recently completed renovations at Gable House, a charming Edwardian timber cottage in Sandringham, Norfolk, England. A previously built addition to Gable House incorporated the main bedroom, kitchen and dining area, however, this extension was poorly organized.

“Our client didn’t need a bigger house, just one that worked better,” the architects said. “Our design direction was to provide a spacious, light-filled, open plan area at the back of the home that better connected to the back yard, and corrected the lack of privacy between the main bedroom and the living area.”

The home’s original Edwardian architecture at the front of the home, which incorporates three bedrooms, a dining area, and a hallway, was retained. The bathroom and laundry were refurbished to include a separate powder room.

In order to maximize garden space, the architects chose to build the extension at the rear of the house. The indoor-outdoor interplay is one of the powerful benefits of the redesign.

“The kitchen and living area were flipped to connect the kitchen with a new outside deck, while the lofty gable roof form was extended over the deck as a timber pergola,” the designer said. “When the glazed, sliding stacking doors are open, the whole addition becomes an outdoor space.”

Information provided by Sheri Haby Architects. Photography courtesy of Lisbeth Grosmann.

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The 10 Coolest Tiny Studios We’ve Ever Seen

Small apartment living is getting better and better, and we’ve got a roundup of 10 tiny studios to back up our claim. They’re all under 350 square feet, but, with high ceilings that make it possible to build upwards instead of outwards, these little living spaces have enough features and functionality to let you live small and stylishly. They’re modern, minimalist, and maybe even cooler than big, fancy houses.

You be the judge.

1. Abbeville studios

This 20-unit tiny studio project in the UK features spaces centered around a smart, sleek bookcase as a room divider. It separates the bedroom from the sofa and kitchen area, while the center panel rotates to display the flat screen TV on either side.

2. Achille studio project

tiny apartments

Images: Batiik Studio

Batiik Studio, a French design firm, converted a 320 square foot space into a chic, tiny studio for about $40,000. Plenty of storage is hidden under the stairs and in the closet unit, built into the black box next to the bathroom.

3. Chelsea tiny studio

tiny apartments

Image: Yellow Trace

Architect Rick Joy created a sexy New York studio where the bed can be enclosed with linen curtains. Although the space is small, the finishes are of the highest quality, giving the tiny studio a luxury feel.

4. Taipei tiny studio

This 345 square foot studio was created by Cloud Pen Studio. The sleeping area is divided from the rest of the space by a closet/bookcase unit. Integrated lighting, high sheen floors and stainless steel appliances create a light and reflective space.

5. 312 square feet in Poland

Image: 3Xa

Architect Ewa Cherny built an awesome tiny studio apartment in Wroclaw, Poland. The coolest feature is the bookcase, which doubles as the staircase to the sleeping loft. The light, airy space highlights a sharp combination of natural wood tones, whites and black.

6. Zoku Hotel Amsterdam

Concrete Architectural Associates designed this space for the Zoku Amsterdam long-stay residence. The 269 square-foot loft shown above has a flexible floor plan and a sleeping space covered in slats, for privacy.

7. A tiny love nest for 2

Image: Ruetemple

Designed for a couple and located in Moscow, Russia, architects Ruetemple managed to fit plenty of storage nooks into the small space.

8. Suspended in mid-air

This London studio features one of the coolest bed ideas ever: a floating bedroom suspended just under the studio’s skylight. Even cooler, the skylight opens onto the roof for al fresco sleeping.

9. Pod chic

It may come in at just 320 square feet, but it’s big on style. The modular furnishings are elegant, and the cleverly-designed central pod serves as a bedroom on one side and kitchen on the other.

10. Industrial, yet polished

Image: Archilovers

Interior designer Tatyana Bobyleva converted a small, raw space into an elegant studio that’s a fusion of Austrian ski lodge style and industrial design. Because the space is small, the designer could splurge on higher-end finishes and furnishings for quality over quantity.

These 10 tiny studios offer plenty of ideas on how to live in a smaller space without sacrificing style or comfort. Which one is your favorite?

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New Lilly Pulitzer and Pottery Barn Collab: Sunshine, Flamingos and Tropical Happiness

Pottery Barn and Lilly Pulitzer have joined forces to bring you, your kids, and even your baby more vibrant prints and pretty colors (can you ever have enough?). This brand new collaboration offers plenty of sunshine, flamingos and Palm Beach-chic in the form of textiles, tabletop, bedding and furniture pieces for the nursery, living area, bedroom and outdoors, available at Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, and PBTeen.

It’s the first time Pottery Barn has released a collection across all three PB brands, and you can find them all here:

The exclusive prints were all hand-painted with the Pottery Barn customer in mind. You’ll find the more neutral prints at Pottery Barn, while the PB Teen Collection goes bolder. Of course, the nursery/baby collection is the most fun and whimsical of all. See what we mean?!

Party Patchwork baby collection.

Here’s more of our faves from the new Pottery Barn/Lilly Pulitzer lines:

Pillows and bedding from the PB Teen collection.

Fan Sea Pants bedding from the Pottery Barn collection.

An assortment of the Pottery Barn Kids bedroom collection and Big Bam palm wallpaper.

Bazaar baby bedding and nursery items, $24 and up.

What do you think of Pottery Barn’s latest collaboration with Lilly Pulitzer? Love it as much as we do? Let us know in the comments!

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Bring The Outdoors In With Our Favorite Ways To Display House Plants

Indoor plants not only make your living space more inviting and luxurious, they also make your home’s air healthier. Check out some of our favorite ways to freshen up your home décor with a touch of green.

House plants add a unique look to your space while improving air quality. Image: GEM+ELLI

NASA’s Clean Air Study found that house plants, “…may provide a natural way of removing toxic agents from the air, helping neutralize the effects of sick building syndrome.” Ten modern, air-filtering, long-living houseplants include:

  • Dracaena
  • Spider plant
  • Fig
  • Devil’s ivy
  • Lady palm
  • Ficus
  • Aloe vera
  • Succulents
  • Peace lily
  • Snake plant

Here are some beautifully modern ideas for displaying house plants of any shape and size.

Hanging house plants from the ceiling

house plant ideas for the home

Filled with devil’s ivy, a unique hanging wall planter creates a canopy over the dining table. Image: Cooley and Rose

A macrame hanging pot holder is a great way to display house plants without sacrificing counter space. Image: Carrera by Design

how to hang house plants

Try hanging house plants at different heights to create visual interest. Image: Nadja Endler

ways to hang house plants - freshome.com

These exotic orchids appear to float when hung from the ceiling and paired with driftwood or ceramic planters. Image: Land Studio

A corner of house plants

A room’s corner is the perfect place for hanging house plants. Image: Christy Allen Designs

decorating with house plants - freshome.com

If hanging house plants isn’t possible in you corner of choice, consider adding a bookshelf or rack for your house plants. Image: 30s Magazine

Wall-mounted house plant display

If hanging a house plant isn’t possible or practical, you can always mount a planter to a wall. Image: Galle Guevara

how to display house plants

A floating ledge holds a collection of house plants. Try varying the heights of the plants, or adding one vine-style hanging plant to the mix. Image: Studio Jamieson

decorating with house plants - freshome.com

A modern wall planter is perfect for filling the space behind a sofa. Image: Entrance Makleri

decorating with house plants

The unique wall hanging system for plants in this home includes openings for planters to sit in. Image: ArchiTK

decorating with indoor plants - freshome.com

Take advantage of a kitchen’s wall caddy system to house a small grouping of indoor plants, rather than cooking utensils. Image: Hobsons Choice

Planter ideas

Indoor planters

A large fig does very well in an ornamental planter, located in a bright corner. Image: Forest Avenue Design

decorating with indoor plants

Check out the unique planters in this home, including a basket for the cactus. Image: Michelle Gage

decorating with indoor plants - freshome.com

For a contemporary kitchen table look, place low-maintenance aloe in brightly colored cubic pots. Image: Manou Design Group

modern planters

This homeowner thought outside the planter, choosing large glass bottles and ceramic vases for their indoor plants instead. Image: Jessica Helgeson Interior Design

A rack of house plants

Group a collection of low-maintenance indoor plants, such as aloe and succulents, on a narrow shelf for impact. Image: Cliq Studios

House plant boxes

planter decor - freshome.com

A long, homemade wooden box makes the perfect planter for indoor-friendly vines. Image: The Hall Studio

indoor house plant decor

Limited for space, the homeowners added some green to their breakfast area with a narrow, built-in planter box filled with snake plants. Image: Marlowe Hues

Window house plant displays

ideas for hanging plants

Hanging towel racks for small house plants is a good way to capitalize on the natural sunshine from a window. Image: Chris Snook

For a beautiful display of indoor plants, hang small pots at varying heights near a window. Or, create a collection of plants by placing them on a floating shelf near the light source. Images: My Adele and M+A Architecture Studio

You don’t have to have a green thumb or an interior design degree to bring a beautiful touch of nature indoors. All …read more      

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Get The Latest Anthropologie Home Pieces at Nordstrom Now

Nordstrom is known for their incredible customer service, easy online shopping experience and very generous return policies. Anthropologie is known for their artisanal fashion and home collections that always include a bit of exotica or vintage flare. Pair the two companies together and you’ve got some happy shopping to do!

Earlier this week (Monday, March 19, to be exact), Nordstrom began offering 200 Anthropologie Home items at select Nordstrom stores and on Nordstrom.com. Items include bedding, textiles, rugs, tabletop decor and other home accessories featuring a global, bohemian-chic traveler vibe. Fringe, embroidery and hand-painted effects are prominent in the collection. The best part: all pieces ring up at a fairly affordable price point: expect to pay under $50 for a table runner, for example.

Ready to add a little boho-chic to your home? Here are some of our Anthropologie Home Collection faves:

Colorado earthenware vases, made in Portugal. All images: Nordstrom

Anthropolgie Home Mimira appetizer plates

Mimira appetizer plates by North Carolina ceramicist Lindsay Emery.

Dog-a-Day stoneware dessert plate by Sally Muir.

Anthropogie Home Collection at Nordstrom hardware

Knobs featuring amethyst, lucite and mother of pearl inlay. From top, clockwise: Mother of Pearl. Streamline, Crowned Quartz, Margot and Tuva.

anthropolgie home collection pillows

Hand crafted pillows for miles.

Hermine Van Dijck for Anthropologie Home jacquard table runner.

Tabletop collection pieces, name and prices to be announced.

The collection has plenty of chic, colorful and textured pieces to add a little life to a dull interior. The contemporary patterns and colors are bound to work with nearly any decor, and, with the line scheduled to expand and vary according to the season, we’re expecting Nordstrom’s backing of this collection to be a success.

Which pieces do you love? Let us know your favorite picks (we know, it’s hard to narrow it down!) in the comments.

Shop the collection in store at Nordstrom, or online at Nordstrom.com.

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20 Painted Ceiling Ideas That Change Everything

The ceiling is usually a neglected space in room design, but it certainly shouldn’t be. Why settle? With the right wallpaper or shade of paint (and a little inspiration), your ceiling makes a stunning statement. Here’s 20 of our favorite standout ceilings.

Pretty patterns

There’s 3 ways to achieve the patterned effect of the ceiling shown above: stencil the pattern on, hire an artist to create the effect, or use wallpaper. Image: SB Architects

Dining under a floral-patterned ceiling is like enjoying an springtime picnic under a garden canopy. Image: Laura U Design

painted ceiling ideas - freshome.com

This whimsical, marble-patterned ceiling proves that kids’ rooms and color go hand in hand. Image: Copper Gyer Design

A custom, abstract ceiling pattern adds a touch of edge to this boy’s bedroom, while tying the room’s colors together perfectly. Image: Laura U Design

painted ceiling ideas - freshome.com

A monochromatic, mocha tile pattern brings balance to this vibrant entryway. Image: In Sight Designs

ceiling paint ideas - freshome.com

Lattice-patterned paper adds a delicate touch to this nursery’s sky-blue painted ceiling. Image: Fresh Start Contracting

Black and indigo painted ceiling ideas

The black wall paint repeats on the ceiling, creating a warm and intimate dining area. Image: Jonathan Calvert

A deep navy ceiling caps off this room’s nautical theme, warming up what would otherwise be a stark white space. Image: Amy Trowman Design

black painted ceiling ideas - freshome.com

A painted black ceiling mirrors the dark hardwood floors in this modern urban space. Image: Charmean Neithart Interiors

Striped ceilings

striped painted ceiling ideas - freshome.com

Black and white stripes on the bedroom ceiling make this modern living space appear larger. Image: M/I Homes

Erupting from the center of the room, a starburst gives this nursery an expansive sense of space. Image: Red Egg Design Group

Bold-colored painted ceilings

modern painted ceiling ideas - freshome.com

A warm, sunny yellow adds cheer to the open floor plan of this Mid Century Modern bungalow. Image: Mihaly Slocomb

blue painted ceiling ideas - freshome.com

The aqua ceiling coordinates with the curtains to sweep the eye upwards. Image: Lisa Michael Interiors

bedroom painted ceiling ideas - freshome.com

An interesting way to mix things up: paint the walls white and celebrate the ceiling with color. Image: Peel Paulson Design Studio

painted ceiling ideas for kids - freshome.com

A bold fuchsia painted ceiling is a perfectly lovely touch for a little girl’s bedroom. Image: Alicia Weaver Design

Add flair to a ceiling by painting the molding white, and the rest of the area in a contrasting color. Image: Kirsten Floyd Interior Design

painted ceiling ideas - freshome.com

A sky-blue ceiling brightens up any kitchen. Image: Rikki Snyder

Grey painted ceiling ideas

best painted ceiling ideas - freshome.com

A rich, grey ceiling adds sophistication to this dining room, creating the perfect backdrop for a stunning chandelier. Image: Dalliance Design

The ceiling in this bedroom picks up the same grey cargo tone of the lounge chair in the corner. Image: Refined Custom Homes

painted ceiling ideas - freshome.com

This homeowner divides an open living area and kitchen by painting the kitchen’s ceiling a rich grey. Image: Saga Construction

Now that you’ve seen some of these sublime ceilings, think about that big expanse over your head differently! Paint or wallpaper the surface to add something new and different to any room.

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Target’s New Line of Exotic, Boho-Chic Decor Is Exactly What You Need

We can probably all use a little more exotic spice and color in our lives. Some of us are lucky enough to travel to far-flung places to get our fix. But if you can’t, you can now go to Target, no passport required.

The retailer is launching a new “eclectic” line called Opalhouse on April 8, featuring 1,300 pieces of exotic and colorful bedding, décor, tabletop items and furniture from around the world. Most items are priced under $30, which is impressive when you consider that the materials used include silks, velvets and pressed glass.

Target’s slogan for the line is: “Create spaces as bold as your spirit.” The decor was inspired by markets in places like Paris, the South of France, Mallorca and the Far East.

Opalhouse will be the first of the store’s brands to feature artwork from the design team. Designers had the lucky task of traveling to create interpretations of what they saw around the world. The work will be used in wallpaper, textiles and prints.

One of the designers created a watercolor after spotting some flowers for sale near a market in Paris. The same designer later notice a brightly colored bird in Lisbon and added it to the floral print. The watercolor was reproduced for the Opalhouse wallpaper for sale, shown in the alcove below.

A black and white sketch of whimsical pineapples is now also a wallpaper — and a coordinating table lamp.

A warm, exotic bath collection features ikat-inspired prints in oranges and reds. There’s plenty of other bath pieces in the line to mix and match to create the perfect look for your bathroom.

Layers of textures, embroidery and a crisp black floral pattern create a bed that’s closer to sleeping in Marrakech than in Minneapolis.

This is just a sneak peek from Target of what’s to come. All items will be available for sale both in store and online on April 8.

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