Earlier this year I met Boston-based prop stylist Kara Butterfield for hot chocolate at Burdick’s off Newbury Street. (Best hot chocolate ever. Like sludge.) It had been a while since Kara and I connected at any events. I always enjoy Kara’s company, but this meeting was extra excellent because we took a little excursion right across Clarendon street to H&M.
I hadn’t realized that as part of the H&M store remodel last summer that they added home goods. I’ve been admiring H&M Home items online for a while now, so I was really excited. Sure enough, I went crazy, snapping up several hundred dollars worth of pink and grey and copper accessories for the model apartment I’m decorating at Troy Boston this spring.
Kara, who has impeccable taste, admired lacey round jute floor mats, musing that one could easily sew them together to create a larger area rug. Indeed. I wasn’t far along in the design process so left them behind, and of course now they are gone.
On the Cape we have two celadon green jute bouclé rugs from West Elm, which are great for the subtle wash of color, added texture, and durability. Normally I’m not one to lust after natural fiber rugs, although I know many designers consider sisal rugs a must-have for beach house decor.
Since our jaunt to H&M, I’ve been noticing round jute rugs in interiors all over the place online, and have come to appreciate them more, especially the flower-like ones. After tracking down the first few, I’ve noticed that many lacey, round hemp rugs by Armadillo & Co., which makes the most divine flower-inspired styles. You’ll see many examples of them below.
Browse these 18 rooms with lacey round jute rugs, and tomorrow check back for a round jute rug buying guide.
At the end of January I posted color inspiration—a blush & charcoal color palette—for a model apartment that I’ll be decorating. The apartment is in a new building that’s still under construction called Troy Boston in Boston’s SoWa neighborhood, right by the the other new building with Boston apartments, Ink Block, and the giant new Whole Foods. (My husband got lost in there recently; says it’s fantastic.)
Troy Boston is one of a number of new buildings with Boston apartments (there are also a couple in the Fenway) slated to have a LEED Gold rating; that mean’s it will be officially “green.” I’ve been to the construction site twice now (complete with hard hat). These Boston apartments are small but beautiful, with a loft-like feel. There are floor-to-ceiling windows, pale oak flooring, and cerused oak and lacquer cabinetry.
The model apartment I’m decorating is a 469-square-foot studio on the 14th floor. It’s got lots of sun, a sleek grey bathroom, and grey kitchen, which runs along one side of the room. I’ve been putting together collage-y room layout mockups (as a non-designer I have no idea how to use interior design software), and measured last week. Fingers crossed I did so accurately.
No surprise, my favorite aspect of decorating is curating the artwork for the walls. I have a definite idea of what I want, and am excited to include works by artist friends Lee Essex Doyle, Tess Atkinson, and Grace Hopkins. Linda Cordner is another local Boston artist whose work I hope to hang, as she generously offered up a large encaustic in my blush and grey color palette.
Above the sofa in the main living space I will hang a collection of photography and paintings. I want to include a statement artwork of a partially obscured woman; a moody portrait/fashion-y lifestyle photograph, preferably with a hint of copper or mustard, which will be the accent for the pink and grey scheme color scheme. I fell hard for the first photo below by Nhu Xuan Hua and contacted her agency, but the cost would eat up half my total budget.
I’ve concluded that will likely be the case for many of the images I’ve discovered, as most seem to have been shot professionally for au courant magazines. Given my limited budget, I need to find artists who would like to loan their artwork in exchange for exposure and publicity (of which there should be plenty). Given the other work I will be using hails from New England, I have decided that all the artwork I use will be created by local women artists.
I think I’ve identified the replacement for that initial inspiration piece. In the meantime, here are the photographs I’ve found that I’d most like to use in the model apartment. Some are internationally known talents, others are New England artists in varying stages of their careers. I love every single one of them, and am hoping to secure at least one or two for the Troy Boston project, which I also hope will be a well-curated showcase featuring New England artists who all happen to be women.
Wall Piece with 200 Letters • Mikko Kuorinki
The artist posted short phrases over a period of 10 months
on a wall at Kiasma, Finland’s contemporary art museum.
Hmm. I’ve actually been there. Wonder if I saw it. . .
There was quite a bit of textual art on display.
“My fake plants died because I did not pretend to water them.”
—Mitch Hedberg, stand-up comedian (who died of a drug overdose)
Trend alert: There are simply too many street style photos of stylish bloggers, models, and editors wearing abbreviated and often voluminous bottoms to ignore it any longer. But the question is, what do we call these short, wide pants—”culottes” or “gauchos”?
The Fairchild Dictionary of Fashion defines the split or bifurcated skirt as any garment which hangs like a skirt, but is actually pants.
Long, split skirts were developed for horseback riding in Victorian times so that women could ride like a man (side-saddle simply wasn’t practical). Later, split skirts were worn so women could garden, ride bikes, and such and still look like they were wearing a skirt.
In the 1970s, the trend came back into fashion, hailed as the more comfortable version of the former capri pant. This era also saw the introduction of the palazzo pant trend, which has a similar billowing silhouette, but which hangs to the floor.
Let’s set this straight—gauchos and culottes are cropped. If you’re referencing a flowing full-length pant, please call it a palazzo pant.
So that’s how the gaucho trend / culotte trend came into vogue, but are they the same thing? Glamour says yes, gauchos and culottes are one and the same, and uses the terms “culottes” and “gauchos” interchangeably. WhoWhatWear calls them “gauchos” as does Lucky. The Telegraph dubs them “culottes,” as does Elle, Marie Claire, Stylecaster, and Refinery29. Perhaps more importantly, moste street style images on Pinterest label these lush, calf-grazing wide pant/skirts as “culottes.”
The term “culottes” was co-opted from the original French definition of the word to describe these split riding skirts. As for tracing the term “gauchos,” Wikipedia’s gaucho entry only references the Argentine cowboy, not the clothing style. Dictionary.com defines gauchos, or gaucho pants, as wide,calf-lengthtrousers based onthe pantswornbySouthAmericangauchos.
Unwilling to dig any deeper (I’m writing a blog post not a fashion thesis), I will concede that the term “culotte” and “gaucho” are synonyms. BUT, I am unwilling to use it as a blanket term for billowing pants that look like skirts. Use the term “gauchos” and “culottes” for split skirts. That is, pants on the wide side (a more tailored short trouser is just that, a cropped pant). Also, they must be cropped—below the knee, hitting the calf, or at least above the ankle.
I wore gauchos in junior high, but I’m not so sure about wearing the culotte trend now. These ladies wear them well. Below are 20 street style photos of style bloggers, editors, and influencers pulling off gauchos/culottes beautifully.
Model Laura Bailey at the Vogue UK Festival in pink culottes,
striped boucle jacket, “Breathe” tee, and blush sunnies. Photo by Dvora.
Style blogger Olivia Gold wears leather culottes by Zara,
Alexander Wang x H&M top and Stuart Weitzman sandals. Photo by Paul Akinrinlola
Editor-in-chief of Costume Norway Hege Aurelie Badendyck
wearing spotted drawstring culottes by Acne. Photo by Adam Katz Sinding
Parisienne Camille Charrière of style blog Camille Over the Rainbow
in London for the SS14 shows wearing voluminous white culottes from Tibi
paired with a Zara top, Jimmy Choo sunglasses, and Joseph cut-out boots. Photo by Diego Zuko
Kate Hudson in Alice + Olivia culottes.
Danielle of style blog We Wore What pairs Zara black leather culottes
with an H&M tank and Guess? lucite and snakeskin slides.
Style blogger Blair Eadie of Atlantic Pacific goes bow crazy in Tibi culottes
with a matching shell over a black Vince turtleneck.
Heels by Gianvito Rossi and sunglasses by Karen Walker.
Camille Charrière of style blog Camille Over the Rainbow
during NYFW SS15 in black culottes with
boxy grey sweater, flats, and a fringed clutch.
Culottes with a shearling-lined moto jacket at NYFW SS15. Photo by Victoria Adamson
Journalist and jewelry expert, Avril Groom, at London Fashion Week
wearing Whistles culottes, J.W. Anderson printed blouse,
Schumacher coat, Dior sneakers and Louis Vuitton tote. Photo by John Nguyen • Telegraph
Jenny Kennedy, Junior Fashion Editor of ES Magazine,
wears blue culottes by Whistles and a black turtleneck by Wolford
accessorized with sparkly cobalt chain strap bag by Jimmy Choo,
and white and silver metallic oxford shoes by Marni. Photo by John Nguyen • Telegraph
Danish street style star Pernille Taisbaek in black culottes,grid print top
and contrasting grid ankle socks, topped with a fur.