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Get the Look: 20 Modern Doormats

In true New England fashion, the Boston is not quite sure whether it’s winter yet or now. There were a few really cold days, including a recent Sunday when my 12-year-old went to a Patriots game in the rain and snow. I don’t mind the chilliness (I’m a tights and boots girl for sure) as long as there’s sun. That day did incite me to unearth the ice scraper and transfer it to the car. Not looking forward to using it.

Since we live in an apartment, most of the slush (and there’s plenty of it), gets left in the lobby. But still, we have a good doormat outside our door, and a more decorative one inside. Come snowy times, additional rugs get spread across the foyer, so as not to completely destroy my Jill Rosenwald gray area rug.

I know this is all kind of mundane, but I live in Boston, in the city. That means messy weather and no mud room. Even if you have a house with a white picket fence in a tropical clime, you still need a doormat, right? I’ve rounded up some door mats today, mainly coir and natural coconut fiber doormats; mostly modern doormats, many colorful doormats, plus neutrals, some in adorable silhouettes.

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S H O P P I N G 

1 Roam Sweet Roam Mountain Range Doormat, $34.99 at ModCloth.

2 Chilewich Stripe Shag Floor Mat in Mineral $50 at Burke Décor.

3 Multicolor Leaves Coconut Fiber Doormat, $19.99 at Amazon.

4 Cape Cod Polypropylene Doormat, $69.99 at Hayneedle.

5 Hedgehog Doormat, $39.95 at Crate & Barrel

6 Multicolor Flip-Flop Doormat, $16. 99 at World Market

7 It’s Cold Doormat, $24.45 at Wayfair.

8 Haute Habitat Coir Bear Doormat, $34.99 at ModCloth.

9 Computer Keyboard Coir Doormat, $26.97 at Amazon

10 Harvest Striped Doormat, $24.95 at Pier1 Imports

11 Green Chevron Coconut Fiber Doormat, $39.99 at Hayneedle.

12 Nautical Anchor Floor Mat, $28.95 at West Elm.

13 Chilewich Bold Stripe Shag Outdoor Floor Mat, $50 at Horne.

14 Camouflage Deer Doormat, $17.99 at Wayfair.

15 Oval Knot Woven Coco Doormat, $16.99 at Amazon

16 Dahlias Handwoven Coconut Fiber Doormat, $32.30 at Wayfair.

17 MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check Door Mat, $160 at Horchow.

18 Natural Chevron Coir Doormat, $29 at Pottery Barn.

19 Nautical Rope Doormat, $49 at L.L. Bean.

20 Herb Garden Doormat, $68 at Terrain. 

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   s h o p    o u t d o o r   d e c o r  at  t e r r a i n >

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Designer Spotlight: Shelley Simpson of Mud Australia

Earlier this summer, Shelley Simpson, designer and founder of tabletop line Mud Australia, visited Boston for the first time. Natalie van Dijk Carpenter, owner of South End boutique Lekker Home, hosted her for an evening. I was out of town, but was able to catch up with her a few days later by phone.

Mud Australia Founder Shelley Simpson At Lekker Home

Shelley Simpson and Natalie van Dijk Carpenter at Lekker Home in Boston.

Mud Australia porcelain is handmade in the company’s Sydney factory by in-house ceramicists, from Limoges porcelain, sourced directly from France. Unlike much tableware, to which the color is applied after the fact, Mud Australia tints the porcelain beforehand, which provides a distinctive depth of color. (It also means if a piece chips, the exposed portion isn’t white.)  The interior of each piece has a vitrified stone-like surface that becomes smooth with handling, but the interior is hand-brushed with a clear glaze. The look and feel is organic and the colors neutral, punctuated with a few brights.

When did you first start making pottery? 

When I was 28, I moved from Melbourne to Sydney, where I rented a house with a woman named Joy, who had a kick wheel in her back shed. She was always harassing me to have a go with it. One weekend when she was away, I got some clay and played around. She was very cross with me because she said my things were prettier than hers!

So you didn’t start out as a ceramicist? 

I’m creative, but I’m not trained in art. I draw now, but nothing like my 13-year-old son, who has a natural gift for it. But I have an eye for color and form.  My schooling has been  throwing things away.

How did you decide to pursue it as a business? 

I had applied to manage a theater, but they looked me over, in part because I was a woman. Joy and I started Mud Australia together in 1994, though she left the business after a few years and I’ve continued on.

And now? 

Mud Australia has 70 shapes and 18 colors. We’ve been focusing on new shapes lately more than colors. The latest is a series of mixing bowls and baking pans. We’re doing pendant lights in three sizes, and have a mortar & pestle in production. That really shows the durability of porcelain, so you can feel confident you’re not buying something fragile.

Are there pieces that are distinctive to certain regions?

The shapes work for anything. You can eat Yorkshire pudding, sushi or Middle Eastern food from the same bowl comfortably. That said, we have a distributor in Korea with three shapes specific to their market, including a kimchi pickle dish.  We also make exclusive pieces, like vases, for restaurants.

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Mud vignette

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 Photos by Ant Geernaert

What designers do you admire? 

 Gwen Hanson Pygget, an Australian potter  who created art pieces rather than functional ones. They’re absolutely beautiful. We’re in New York City now, and just went to the Judd; his color is exquisite.

What influences you when it comes to creating pieces for Mud Australia?

I love to bake, which is how we came to add the new baking pieces. I make Pavlovas and exotic birthday cakes for my kids and other family members. I once made a snake covered in marshmallows. Almost sculptural stuff. I go all out when it comes to baking a cake. For my daughter’s 16th, I made a cake with eight layers in rainbow colors, covered with white icing. The restaurant we brought it to was very impressed. My husband makes the dinners at home. Food is very important to our family.

What’s your home like? 

We live in a top-floor apartment in a four-story building in Sydney that’s an Arts & Crafts style, with an old French lift. There’s loads of trees with a vista to the harbor and a large deck; we do lots of eating al fresco. We’ve never lived in a house or on the ground. We want a garden. We are going to put the house on the market soon and find something new.

And of course you have plenty of Mud Australia dishes?

Yes, everything. And pieces that didn’t work out too.

What do you like most about your line?

Everybody’s  Mud Australia dinner set is unique to them, which I think sets us apart from other companies that present full collections. When you go to the store, you can get creative, which is fun. You can buy one piece at a time. Your collection can be a complete rainbow, or blackm white, and gray, or all pastels. Recently, one guy did slate and pink, which I wouldn’t have thought of, but when I was packing it up I thought, “This is amazing.”

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Get the Look: 30 Colorful Dining Chairs

Oddly, in all these years, I’ve yet to pull together a roundup of modern dining chairs. I’ve done Get the Look posts for modern patio chairs, modern desk chairs, and modern dining tables, and plenty of other furnishings, but alas, no modern dining chairs. Until now. There’s quite a variety here. There all modern silhouettes, but some are wooden, others acrylic or plastic; only a couple have upholstered seats.

All of these modern dining chairs sport fun colors. There’s a dining room photo by Petra Bindel that I’ve been kind of obsessed with, featuring three Muuto Nerd chairs in pastels around a pale wood table in a white room. When I decorated the dining room in my friend Meredith’s NYC condo, we used Eames chairs in three different colors around a Saarinen pedestal table.

There are more brightly colored modern dining chairs around than you may think. Made.com has several chairs in fun colors, including a hot pink that’d make Barbie blush. Home furnishings site Lulu & Georgia is full of color, with a couple of great purple dining chairs, among others. Crate & Barrel and West Elm sometimes have amazing colors too, but you have to get them quick because they tend to only stock them for a season; and of course, Ikea is worth checking too.

Here are my 30 colorful, modern dining chair picks.

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S H O P P I N G 

1. Stacking Chair by Lucian Randolph Ercolani

3. Globus Chair by Jesús Gasca for Stua

4. Yeva Side Chair 

5. Edge Chair by Novague 

6. Cornell Chair

7. Pushpin Chair

8. L’eau Chairs

9. Ruby Chair

10. Dwight Chair 

11. Butterfly Chair by Lucian Randolph Ercolani

12. Ghost Chair by Philippe Starck

13. Isabella Leather Wrapped Side Chair 

14. Nerd Chair by David Geckeler for Muuto

15. About A Chair AAC22 by Hee Welling for Hay

16. Tucker Chair

17. Bleecker Chair by Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler

18. Modern Dining Chair

19. About A Chair AAC12 by Hee Welling for Hay

20. 111 Navy Chair by Emeco

21. Maui Armless Chair by Vico Magistretti

22. Veda Chair

23. Vintner Side Chair

24. Era Chair by Michael Thonet 

25. Alchemia Side Chair 

26. Eiffel Dining Chair

27. Nadia Side Chair

28. Wishbone Chair by Hans J. Wegner for Carl Hansen & Søn

29. Kitsch Dining Chairs 

30. J110 Chair by Poul M. Volther for Hay Denmark

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Shop modern furniture & accessories at A+R >

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Get the Look: 15 Modern Copper Pendant Lights

It’s already been a month since I curated 24 Rooms with Copper Pendant Lights. It’s about time I’ve followed up so you too can get the look. Here are 15 modern copper pendant lights.

Yes, there are other styles of copper pendants beside Tom Dixon’s copper shade pendant. I love #15, but then again, I’m a fan of pretty much anything designed by Iacoli & McAllister. Remember the turquoise Frame Cluster chandelier I posted two years ago? It’s now available in copper. (I still love the blue though.) #8 is interesting too; yes, I also adore Seattle-based Ladies & Gentlemen Studio.

Here are 15 modern copper pendant lights (some from StyleCarrot partners), all fantastic.

Modern Copper Pendant Lights

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S H O P P I N G

1. Lotus Light by Simon James for Resident Studio, $995 at A+R.

2. Copper Cinque by Iacoli & McAllister, $795 at Burkelman.

3. Light Love Copper Pendant by Tahrir Filisk, $529.60 at YLighting.

4. La Couronne Lamp by Artecnica, $49 at YLighting.

5. Copper Void Pendant Light by Tom Dixon, $615 at Horne.

6. Tall Step Light Pendant by Tom Dixon, $465 at Horne.

7. Pantop Pendant by Verner Panton, $475 at Switch Modern.

8. Aura Pendant Light by Ladies & Gentlemen, $345 at Horne.

9. Copper Etch Shade by Tom Dixon, $525 at Lumens.

10. 7-Piece Frame Copper Cluster Light, $6,995 at Iacoli & McAllister.

11. Plisse Copper Lamp by Piet Hein Eek, $806 at The Future Perfect.

12. Copper Shade Pendant by Tom Dixon, $735 at Lumens.

13. Utzon Pendant Light by Jørn Utzon for & Tradition, $650 at A+R.

14. Harbor Mini Copper Pendant, $49.99 at Target.

15. Copper Spica Light, $795 at Iacoli & McAllister.

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Shop modern lighting at Switch Modern >

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Get the Look: 27 Black Home Furnishings

Since black is *the* color for decor, and I’ve done plenty of posts focusing on black decor, including black kitchen pendant lights and rooms with black walls for LampsPlus and black bedrooms for the Matouk Bedding blog, I thought it was time to do a roundup of black home furnishings and accessories. From black flatware to black seating, there are 27 choices, all with distinctive details or in interesting silhouettes. (Come to think of it, though, I may never have done a roundup of rooms with black walls here. . .  perhaps I owe you one!)

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Black Home Furnishings Decor Accessories

 

S H O P P I N G

1 Kelly Wearstler Tracery Mug, $49

2 Verner Panton Pantop Pendant, $350

3 Artek Baby Rocket Stool, $300

4 Geometric Wall Decal, $59

5 Mesh Bowl, $38

6 Black+Blum Loop Hall Wardrobe Stand, $495

7 Hand Jewelry Stand, $15

8 Jonathan Adler Menagerie Camel, $98

9 Rio Desk Lamp, $32

10 French Bulldog Figurine, $34

11 Mid-Century Desk, $599

12  One45 Wall Clock, $139

13 Animal Shot Glasses, $28

14 Ensign Woven Stacking Chair, $610

15 Kubus Candle Holder, $165

16 Sääpäiväkirja Mug, $20

17 Faceted Vase, $15

18 Cutlery Set, $100

19 Tucker Chair, $158

20 Petersen Leather Sofa, $2,499

21 Loop Candle Holder, $38

22 Pizza Peel, $34.95

23 Noir Ferret Hand-Rubbed Bed, $2,304

24 Revolver Acrylic Side Table, $6,900

25 Piper Brass & Wood Box, $180

26 Faux Sheepskin Rug, $114-$199

27 Diva Watering Can, $50

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