Cold Days, Hot Baths

Live

It’s late winter here in New Zealand and I’m sitting on my sofa with the dogs, bundled up in multiple tops, fluffy socks, and a scarf, and dreaming about baths. Hot, steamy, gorgeous baths. Few things in life quite spoil us like a long hot soak in a good tub – perhaps with a handful of candles lit, some mineral salts, a bit of music if you like, maybe a good magazine.

Outdoor baths have long been  trend and if you have the space and inclination, it can be very worthwhile to set one up. A glass roof to keep out the rain and allow you to star-gaze is perfection:

Perhaps safari-style is more your cup of tea. This setup needs no more than an outdoor clawfoot tub, some bamboo siding, a generous amount of wood, and a cd of cricket and lion noises:

This Moroccan-inspired stunner makes great use of pretty, painted tiles and texture in the form of greenery, rough-hewn wood, concrete, and a hanging design feature in the ceiling:

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Indoor rooms with spectacular baths can be soothing to the soul, too. If you’re anything like me, you are inclined to look inwardly when in a tub but I’d definitely be gazing out the window of this lovely room:

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If you’re lucky enough to live in a more tropical clime, you can set your bathroom up to be indoor-outdoor, like this one, looking down onto cat-eyed-green waters and with palms swaying around you. Or perhaps gazing into the blue expanse is more your style? If so, don’t forget to drop a posey of petals into the water before you step in, for an all-out inexpensive spa experience.

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(all images sourced from Pinterest)

#design #bathtubs #lifestyle

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10 End of Summer Must-Have Cocktails

Live

Even  though summer is drawing to an end, there is still nothing like a cocktail to hand at a brunch, beach, picnic, or BBQ. Many made with crushed and whole fruit and with herbs like mint and basil, you can almost convince yourself they’re good for you. So stir up an elegant vintage cut-glass decanter of one of these delicious cocktails today!

Fancy Fig Cocktail from Lindsey Brunk

Blackberry Margarita from izzieofficial/saloonbox

Boozy Basil Lemonade from whatshouldimakefor.com

Blueberry Mojito from Jenny Chang

Red Currant Caipirinha from Olivia’s Cuisine

Meyer Lemon Lavender Mojito from Lindsey Brunk

Blood Orange Mojito from Chef Savvy

Skinny Blood Orange Pomegranate Margarita from Lindsey Brunk

Blackberry Thyme Sparkling Cocktail from Lark and Linen

Blackberry and Meyer Lemon G+T from Spoon Fork Bacon

And as a final note, for simpler mixed drinks a fun end of summer trick is to freeze edible flowers in ice cubes and use them in your drinks. Enjoy!

The It Rug: Tribal

Pretty

Hello everyone sorry I’ve been away so long! Have been travelling and renovating houses. So excited to be back though and bring you more gorgeous images and ideas!

Today I wanted to talk about that interior style element that pulls an entire room together, the rug. Rugs have historically been heirlooms handed down through generations, from emigrating pioneers to the nomads of the world. Rugs usually incorporate tribal and cultural elements and can sit as an example of historical significance to societies that no longer exist or are much changed from their yesteryear.

A favourite style of rug for me is from the Middle East, especially those from the area formerly known as Turkestan. Traditionally made from silk, wool, and even felt, these rugs incorporate styles and motifs both ancient and new.

Long a staple of many stylish homes, these rugs have undergone a renaissance and are now being treated by a process called overdying. Here, vintage rugs are washed and the top layer of design scrubbed away, and then the carpet treated to often vibrant dyes in pinks, purples, blues, reds, and gold. The finished look is as unique (no two rugs would ever be the same due to the process) as it is trendy. These rugs are popping up in the blogosphere and design magazines everywhere, adding bright splashes of colour that can harmonise a room with ease.

Another style of rug that is trending is the Moroccan rug. Usually off white with a minimal flecked and tribal pattern in blacks or greys, these rugs are perfect where homeowners may already have a great deal of colour present in either furnishings or accessories.

(all images from Pinterest)

The Kitchen Garden

Live

While I’m on the subject of saving the planet one step at a time, and because summer is warming the horizon of at least one half of the globe, I wanted to blog about gardening and in particular, kitchen gardens.

It is well known that gardens of any type have multiple benefits – attracting the bees critical to the lifecycle of the planet, creating oxygen for us to breathe, providing us with goods to uplift the spirit and body, and providing a repository for our food waste, to be incorporated back into the earth’s cycle again.

boxed garden

Boxed Garden

Here at Design Eye Candy we especially love a good kitchen garden. We’re lucky enough to have a good 8m2 of veggie patch space and a big composting bin for veggie and fruit scraps. There are decks for container gardening – herbs, especially. Being the bower bird that I am, I am bringing home found items such as wooden crates once used to package large plant pots, hoping to one day convert them into handmade greenhouses for lettuces, spinach, and more fragile items.

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Upcycled Vintage Garden

Those of you who grow your own veggies know there’s nothing quite like the feeling of rummaging around in your garden on any given summer’s day, pulling sun-warmed tomatoes from the vine (oh, the scent!), picking lemons for your greek salad or gin and tonic, snipping mint and parsley for your tabbouleh or green smoothie. An over abundance of goods connects us to our immediate community, too – handfuls of courgettes passed to neighbours in thanks for lawn mowing, cut lavender and rosemary wraped in brown twine left on a doorstep.

Not everyone has space for a veggie patch – but can do much with some plant pots on a balcony or even a window sill. I grow microgreens in cleaned tuna tins with holes punched in the bottom, and baby spinach in used grape punnet containers, on my kitchen counter under the conservatory-style windows. Watching them sprout up in short days is a miracle and the ease with which they grow, and the money saved, is so worthwhile. I make sure my gardening is all organic, too – not even snail pellets grace my veggie patch – crushed eggshell ridding the area of snails and slugs, instead.

If I had the get-up-and-go to build something, I would take the discarded pallets I see everywhere and use them to build raised beds for my veggies. One day..

Below are some links to great articles on easy gardening:

25 Foods You Can Re-Grow Yourself from Kitchen Scraps

http://creeksidelearning.com/container-garden-vegetables-2/

http://www.hometalk.com/3400506/5-best-container-vegetables-for-beginning-gardeners

(*note all photos from Pinterest)

Decrease your footprint, increase your design and eco cred

Live

I stumbled across a very exciting, upcycled cabin photo on Pinterest the other day which led me into the fascinating world of “tiny houses”. Of course I’d heard of this trend before – friends from the dogpark were building a house for themselves and their mini schnauzer to live in, which would fit in a car-towed trailer. This was such an unusual project that it caught the attention of Grand Designs, who spent the day filming their work.

I haven’t caught up with them lately to find out how two tall people and their dog are managing to live in a 6 m2 house but good for them for trying something unique and ultimately good for the planet. People whom have downsized their lives have been reported as feeling more connected with nature, living less wastefully, and experiencing the immense freedom that comes from giving up a life of “keeping up with the Joneses”.

The following upcycled cabin, made largely from disused wooden framed windows, is a dream house for me. I have been teased mercilessly by friends and family for my love of wooden joinery, buying lonely and unloved large windows off auction sites and bringing them home for who knows what. Oh, to be a builder and craft a beautiful and intriguing cabin of them! I had dreams of converting them into mini glasshouses for my vegetables, but a lack of confidence in my building skills led the items to be sadly neglected in a storage space until I finally called a demolition outfit to come collect them. Off to a new set of people who will love them, I thought.

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The thing about a tiny house is that the designers need to be extra crafty to fit all the necessary accoutrements expected of a normal sized house into its small spaces. Special-built cabinetry, multi-purpose and highly functional furniture, everything doubling as something else, abound.

Most of these houses are off the grid – for example the 240 square foot weekend escape of Foy and Louisa Brown in Maine, which floats out on the bay. Water is brought from onshore for consumption, and the roof collects water into barrels for watering their container garden of flowers herbs and veggies. Originally intended to serve as a weekend escape for the couple, and rented to help with the bills at other times, they have found they cannot give it up and find themselves there most weekends.

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Follow the links below to explore more beautiful and crafty tiny houses at your leisure!

http://www.countryliving.com/home-design/g1887/tiny-house/?slide=1

http://www.livingbiginatinyhouse.com/

http://www.hgtv.com/remodel/interior-remodel/10-extreme-tiny-homes-pictures

Upcycling Goodness

Live

New Zealand has had a unique yearly programme whereby home owners can leave their “inorganic” trash at the curb to be picked up by the local councils. Unfortunately this programme is coming to an end, but while it existed, a wonderful system of recycling occurred whenever it was on. As you drove through areas that had the collection going, you would see many vans and trucks stopping to pick through the offerings, gleaning anything of use or that could be on-sold, and saving the ‘junk’ from landfill.

You would be surprised what people throw away: perfectly useable and unbroken dining room chair sets, desks, garden equipment, all manner of household items. I have even seen (and scooped) mid-century furniture merely needing a sand and varnish or reupholstering, as well as terracotta pots, beautiful wicker laundry baskets, classic paintable wooden chairs, wood and mirrored bathroom wall cabinets, and more. Space and a disinclination to be labelled a ‘hoarder’ by my long-suffering neighbours are all that stood between me and an upcycling empire.

upcycled drawers

upcycled crates

I once dreamed of forming a company that had permission of the local councils to round up items that could be refurbished or changed into new forms of useful items or art, selling those pieces that were valuable and donating the rest to refuge and refugee centers. I was heartily distressed at the sheer volume of materials that would never break down going into our (or off-shore countries’) soils and reckoned that it was merely a problem of re-distribution. The same went for food scraps from produce centers – garbage bins full of lettuce leaf, carrot tops, etc that could feed pigs, chickens, and the like if they could only be transported to a new home instead of being binned on the spot.

It is said the planet cannot sustain our rate of growth and consumption much longer. I and many others believe that if we could curb wastage, we could slow the inevitable destruction. Upcycling is one way this can be achieved and I am glad to see the trend burgeoning across the globe.

With the advent of handmade online markets such as Etsy, designers and craftspeople can now save items from landfill and upmarket them for resale, often earning a living doing so. Although it may seem a small drop in the ocean of waste the planet is producing, any start is a good start and as more craftspeople get better made and designed upcycled products to the world, and the trend to buy and use such items grows, we will make headway, surely.

wall hangings from old books and magazines

Elephants from scrap paper (from love peace pionies blog)

vintage linens repurposed

Vintage linens repurposed as window dressing (from rosehip_blog)

I do love the thought that you can make a living doing something that is so good for the planet.  The woman behind dishfunctionaldesigns.blogspot.com has been making unique and beautiful jewellery from antique china, old silverware, and whatever else comes to her stunningly imaginative mind:

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upcycled silverware

Now if only I could get off my creative yet lazy derriere and get working on the gifted teak deck bench and chairs (a neighbours’ personal inorganics session), the mid-century living room chair, the plywood offcuts into beautiful workstations, etc, I would be adding to this wonderful trend, too!

(*feature image from hearthandmade.co.uk )

Colour Therapy

Love

I’m not sure if it’s summer’s approach here in New Zealand, but my love of all things colour is on the upswing and I can’t stop looking at images on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter that are bold with punchy blues, pinks, reds, yellows, and more. Does this happen to you guys, too? This drive led me to wonder what it is about colour that influences our emotions so.

Goethe_Schiller_Die_TemperamentenroseThe psychology of colour has long been studied with Goethe and Schiller in the late 18th century creating the “Rose of Temperaments”, a diagram that matches twelve colours to human occupations or their character traits, grouped in the four temperaments:

  • choleric (red/orange/yellow): tyrants, heroes, adventurers;
  • sanguine (yellow/green/cyan) hedonists, lovers, poets;
  • phlegmatic (cyan/blue/violet): public speakers, historians, teachers;
  • melancholic (violet/magenta/red): philosophers, pedants, rulers.

In recent times, colour has been heavily used to market brands and consumer choices. Of course gender, age, and culture are a heavy influence on the colour choices an individual makes. As do the climactic zones cultures live in. It is noticeable that the tropics tend to favour bold and bright primary colours whereas the temperate regions are often teasingly accused of wearing and using too much white, grey, and black.

Colours can brighten a dull and dreary day and bring a smile to our face when we glance at bright towels, cushions, an article of clothing, buildings. The ancient and beautiful doors of Northern Africa, Middle East and India, draw so many people in. These colours evoke the spicy senses of sight, smell, sound of the souks, markets, and ancient cities of these countries:

 

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Green Door 1Jodhpur door

Mellow colours influence me greatly, too. These summery popsicles in washed out greens and peach, cocktails in soft pinky rose, fresh-cut fruits in grapefruit, orange, and lime make me thirst for a gin and tonic on a perfect deck surrounded by home and interior design magazines:

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Then there are the neutrals. These provide a stable yet still energizing shot of colour which may be a backdrop to punchier hues or can stand in their own glory:

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Natural tones 2

 

Can’t wait for summer to be here so I can get out on my deck in my teak daybed with colourful throws and cushions and plenty of coffee or summery drinks and foods!

(*images not mine – source: Pinterest and Wikipedia)

Time for pretty, flirty, summery temporary flash tattoos!

Pretty

It’s been a long, cold winter and here at designeyecandy we’re glad to be finally heading into summer down here in New Zealand.  Have been neglecting my blog but shall be tending to it more regularly going forward!

As the warm sunny days stretch in front of us I’m thinking of these beautiful, sexy metallic flash tattoos I bought a year ago to begin selling as a side business but got too busy to attend to. This year feels like the right year however so they are about to go on sale!

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Flirty, feminine, and very pretty, these easy to apply and very long lasting jewellery-inspired tattoos come off whenever you want them to with baby oil (or any kind of oil), and are water and sun proof.  Perfect for days at music festivals, tropical getaways, beaching it, or just for times you want a little flirty and sweet bling to accompany you on your day to day. They are *HUGE* overseas – search #flashtats or #flashtattoos on Instagram, etc. Seen on The Bachelor and in Vogue, even Beyoncé has been snapped wearing them.

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I am using my Trademe account to sell these beauties until I get my e-commerce site up and running (you will find it here on designeyecandy.com), or you can just comment or email me via this site.  Wholesalers welcome. There are a few other listings so just scroll until you find the “Flirty fun boho temporary metallic tattoos” listings. Or contact me here via email.

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Members/Listings.aspx?member=578195

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4 sheets to choose from. Buy in multiple quantities and save!  Cut out individual tattoos and share with your friends ~ it’s party time!

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** All photographs mine and protected under copyright 2015 designeyecandy

Little Details

Lens

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted thanks to being pretty heavily wrapped up in the world of Instagram and photography.

I don’t know if you use IG but if you, like me, find yourself entranced by unique images of art, architecture, landscapes, and unusual shots of everyday things, then Instagram is definitely for you!

Doorknob, Venetian Jewish Ghetto Water Fountain, Jardins di Boboli, Florence

It didn’t take long for me to realise two things: that I preferred unusual, arty shots of mundane objects (a plane tree up-light at Granville Island, Vancouver, or silvery, flashing pavement grids in Circular Quay, Sydney), but more importantly, that I had finally found a place where I no longer felt like a weirdo for loving the less than usual in the world.  Seed pods, rust, the undersides of bridges, manhole covers, it all spoke to me and for the longest time, thinking the rest of the world only appreciated a nicely captured sunset or orca sculpture, felt like an outsider because of it.

Granville Island Uplight Sydney Sidewalks

Then came Instagram, and with it, tens of thousands of people who loved rust.  Loved how nature takes the ordinary (a door, a window, a seed pod, a manhole cover) and transforms it into art.  Loved unique perspectives (a riot of pink cherry tree blossom cut through by heavy black barbed wire or the rubber tread of a wooden boardwalk, scarred by spray paint tagging, now long faded and beautiful).  And at last, I realised I was not alone in the world.  I was home.

Quirky things 1 Rusty Manhole Covers

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Something that has also come out of my obsession with IG has been, surprisingly, learning that although I love taking photos, it is the editing of them that is my bliss.  The worlds that can be uncovered in the simplest of editing tools!  Oh, if you too could find these things, dear reader.  A world where you feel as at home as though you have always belonged there.

Ancient Tomes Detail, horsehair ornament, Vernon, BC

All photos copyright Jennifer Jarvis, 2015.

Warby Parker – The Ultimate Eye Candy!

Love

Warby Parker, America’s premier eye and sunglass design and sale house, has recently launched their Fall 2014 collection of eyewear for women and men. Made from titanium and acetate, and for both men and women, this new collection is fun, fearless, and definitely trend-setting!

I love this company’s design, culture, history, and give-back philosophies. The more I learned about them, the more intrigued and entranced I was. Here was a set of four young men, in university, low on dosh, and losing their glasses when out on adventures. They still needed eyewear for lectures (and let’s face it, unique eyewear has a cool factor hard to ignore, especially with the university ladies), yet were faced with only the high priced options few consumers could easily afford. So, necessity and invention marrying as they usually do, off they went and founded a company that fused design and affordability principles by eschewing traditional channels, designing in-house, and engaging with customers directly.

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Warby Parker’s designers source trends and inspiration from around the globe and the entire design process, from initial sketch and prototype testing to final design, is done in-house. Not one to rest on their laurels, the company constantly strives for innovation like their triple-gradient lenses, which are impact-resistant, UV 400 protected, and include super hydrophobic anti-reflective and anti-scratch coatings. The acetate used in their frames is sourced from a single-family Italian producer and the best Japanese titanium is brought into the mix, too.

If that weren’t enough, the company’s founders recognised a strong need for eyeglasses around the world, the lack of which impacts people’s ability to learn and earn livelihoods. Currently, 703 million people live without access to eyewear but Warby Parker has partnered with non-profit organisations to train men and women in developing countries to give basic eye exams and sell glasses to their communities at affordable prices. Called “buy a pair, give a pair”, this initiative has enabled one million pairs of eye glasses to be distributed to needy communities worldwide.

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So. Feeling good about this company yet? How about their uber cool designer-fitout shops which include photo booths and books to read? What if we told you they offer a free try-at-home service, sending 5 pairs of frames of your choice for you to model and get feedback on? Warby Parker is also carbon-neutral and a B Corporation (a company that has been independently evaluated by B Lab (a pioneering non-profit) and found to meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency).

Parker Warby consistently push design boundaries and their Fall 2014 collection is no exception. Targeted to those who own their style, exercise their wit and add life to the party (check out the video they made to see what I mean XXX), they believe that personality is what makes a good pair of glasses great and strive to allow trend-setting people a chance to allow their personality to shine. They even have a monocle for sale!

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My personal favourites are the Nash and Crane Ti for the men, although Wilkie and Mitchell are hard to beat. For the ladies, there is Oliver, Eli, Walker, and many more.

Do visit their great website and especially check out their fabulous new Fall 2014 eyewear line. Their blog is worth a visit, too.