(it’s time to) Kiss Summer Goodbye

Lots of people would argue – myself included – that autumn in Cedar Rapids can be absolute heaven on earth. This year we have had phenomenal leaf colors, moderate temperatures and glorious sun filled, whirly-twirly windy days. We all love that!

BUT – I decided to do just one more “summertime” post. These are some images that remind me of summer colors and summer energy, so I’ll just share them with you before I get ready to order up my October pumpkin flavored latte.

Enjoy the sights!


How can you tell  this is not a  photo of me?

Right – I don’t own tennis shoes, but I do have about 40 paint decks!

Below are “summer ” colored night-light tables.  Aren’t they (ahem) just a blast!?

Cupcakes are craved all year long, right? But these colors and the confetti just  sing out “summer!”

 

 

I can hear the heat of summer two-stepping!

 

 

Betcha don’t know what these are?!

Well, if you ever feel like you’d like to light it up in the bathtub, these citrus discs can be purchased from HimeyaShop to accomplish just that!  They’re from Japan and, floating in the tub they REALLY do shoot light throughout the bathroom.

 

I hate to say it, but it’s that time.

Time for me to let go of  all summertime thoughts and images. . .

Time to kiss summer goodbye.

 

Goodbye Summer. I’ll miss you.

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer / Phelan’s Interiors

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French script on fabric chairs!

Today let’s talk about  French things like:  flowing SCRIPT – perhaps Bastille Day Celebrations – bread, wine, chaise lounges and oo-la-la beauty!

 poster from Designnurd

Norwalk Furniture has done it again!

They have designed a fabulous French script fabric.

What is even more remarkable is that you can use this fabric on any piece of furniture in their line! If you prefer a French chaise, or perhaps just a comfortable, American chair, it is so easy to do.

This is the piece we selected for our show room floor!

 So, even though we don’t really celebrate Bastille Day in America, which was yesterday, by the way, we  do love a bit of the French touch in our interior design – and, well okay – in our wine cellar, as well!

All I can say is “Vive laFrance”!

Oh, and I really should say, “Thank you” to Norwalk for producing this beautiful fabric .

Adieu!

 

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer/Phelan’s Interiors

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Fresh Spring FLOWERS in fabric!

Spring is here! Spring is here!

 

 

 

 

 

Well, if you live in Iowa and think 40 degrees, without a trace of sunshine is spring, you’d be right on the money.  Hey, at least it’s April!

 

 

 

 

 

Everybody is SO ready for some spectacular spring weather with flowers blooming all around, so today here is a pick-me-up until our flowers really do unfold.

 

The fabrics are from Villa Romo and the wallpapers are from Harlequin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mmmmm – You can almost  smell the lilacs.

 

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer/Phelans Interiors

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Candice Olson here in Cedar Rapids!

Everybody loves Candice Olson, right? 

 But where can you find her products?

Right here in Cedar Rapids!

Phelan’s Interiors has been a long time partner with the Norwalk Furniture Company, and Norwalk has been a long time partner with Candice Olson!

 

Stacie Reid, Interior Designer at Phelan’s,  had the chance to meet Candice at High Point Furniture Market last April!  Lucky lady!

 

 

When you see Candice planning a room design on her T.V. show (Divine Design) and she is looking at fabrics and selecting sofa styles, she is working with Norwalk Furniture.  Norwalk manufactures Candice’s sofas and chairs right here in the United States!

 

Did you know she also offers a fabulous line of lamps and chandeliers?

And, guess where you can find those pretties?

 

 

Right again.

Right here at Phelan’s in  Cedar Rapids!

Because delivery time is approximately 8 weeks, if you want your custom made Candice Olson sofa or chair in your home for the holidays, come in soon!

Phelan’s Interior’s  is having several Candice Olson promotions between now and Christmas, so stop in and check out all of her “divine” goodies!

 

 

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer / Phelan’s Interiors

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What the Heck is WENGE? (trending now!)

 

 This WENGE is an old post, but because it gets so many hits I’m sending it over the waves one more time!

Enjoy!!

 

 

According to Wikipedia, the word wenge, (pronounced ‘whenj’) when referring to color means a rich brown color with copper undertones.

According to most Iowans, however it is a word pronounced  ‘wen-gay’ and refers to a piece of furniture or a wood finish color.

 Now it gets even more confusing because wenge is a wood color and it is an actual wood species. First things first: The furniture industry has identified the color as nearly black, in other words, ‘espresso’. So, now you need to know your coffee colors in order to describe the object of your desire. Remember it is the color of espresso, not latte, not cappuccino.

 Ready for more international brain teasing? Guess where it comes from.  Sounds rather French, but if you guessed that you’d be wrong. (Well, not all wrong if you are remembering the Republique d Zaire`. But you probably aren’t thinking that.)  It is indigenous to small African countries, such as Zaire. Even the name of Zaire adds to the global mystic of wenge when you consider it derives from the Portuguese. And by the way, the correct Latin name for wood species is Leguminosae.

 Meanwhile, back in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, we carry a handsome furniture line from Italy. Calligaris. This fine company has all the wenge you could ever want! Calligaris specializes in clean, uninterrupted lines. Very fresh, sleek, and modern.

 So, to continue with one more furniture trend for 2010, I give you a Calligaris contemporary bedroom setting (above photo). Best of all, I give you WENGE! 

 Now, I’m off to sign up for a geography class and get my passport renewed.

 

 I’m thinking I should hit Starbucks on the way.

 

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer / Phelan’s Interiors

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Big HAIRY Decor!

Because “hair on hide” has been a consistent hit over the past 5 – 7 years, I thought it would be fun to see how many ways designers have slipped it into everyday decor. In the furniture world this is one of my favorite chairs. It’s a small scaled, versatile accent piece from Bradington Young (available at Phelan’s) which makes a lovely, low-key WOW statement. The “fuzzy” cowhide has been printed to resemble a cheetah print and wrapped around the outside of the chair.

 

Next in the home decor category would also be the most obvious:

 an actual cowhide rug.

 These rugs aren’t just for cowgirls anymore! They are being used in every type of home fashion from rustic urban traditional to city loft contemporary. You might even say these rugs are being used by showgirls!

 

 

If Andy Warhol is more to your liking you could incorporate this hair on hide rug to the decor!

 Both of these rugs were sold on eBay. . . Confession:  I actually bid on this one!  What?!  I couldn’t stop myself and, sad to report, I didn’t win the auction.

 

Moving into fashion, perhaps a more comfortable zone, we find hair on hide handbags being flaunted everywhere.

Another gorgeous handbag with fringe from Fendi:

 FYI these hides come from COWS. They are processed and dyed and printed to look like zebra prints, or cheetah prints or whatever, so the creative design options ae really boundless!

The next category is near and dear to almost every woman’s heart:

 SHOES!

 

  Lucchese, the famous boot maker, offers these fun-stomping mules in off-white hair with silver undertones!

 

Last on the docket for today’s insanely fun hair on hide  product-must-have is:

DRUM ROLL, please!

 

FLIPFLOPS!

 

 

Hair on hide continues to make it’s artistic statement. Wether it is in home decor as rugs, chairs, ottomans, sofas, or throw pillows, it stands strong.  In the fashion world we see it everywhere – on ball caps, barrettes, handbags, belts, shoes, vests, coats – if you can think of it – somebody is producing it!

 

I like the playfulness of  it.  And it looks like I’m not alone!

 

 Do you own any hair on hide pieces? Send me a photo of your personal finds or drop me a note with your opinion.

 

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer/Phelan’s Interiors

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Iowa Rain verses Pretty Shoes

 Several pairs of my shoes have been flooded out. So far this year, over 40 inches of precipitation have graced the fair community of Cedar Rapids. That’s right – and we still have three of our “tradtionally wet months” ahead of us!

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Normally, I wouldn’t go off on a rant for this blog, but sometimes the Iowa weather makes me cranky. It makes everybody I know cranky. I find myself wishing I owned stock in a flip-flop company!

 

fishflops

 

 Frankly, we midwesterners are extremely weather-sensitive. The very first decision we make each and every day depends on the weather: what to wear. And this year (actually last year must be included as we remember THE flood) we  must decide what shoes we can or cannot wear based on how many inches of rain have been predicted. 

I mean,  don’t misunderstand – I am fully aware of heartland beauty. I appreciate each season with its unique spectrum of colors, and spicey or earthy scents, and comforting ambience.

But then it rains.

Every season.

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    So yeah, I’d wear these to work! 

 

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer/Phelan’s Interiors

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Stalks of Decor(n)

BLOG interruption for a Fund Raising break!

This magnificent summer weekend is (drum roll, please!). . .

corn servers 

 

St Jude’s Sweet Corn Festival 

That’s right…. an unbelievable FOURTEEN TONS OF CORN will be cooked!

 

I will be there. My plan doesn’t alter from year to year. I will fast all day before arriving at the festival. I will ignore the car raffle. I will not be tempted to network with friends. The home made pies won’t lure me in. 

 I WANT CORN ON THE COB!

 

The Sweet Corn Festival is, in my opinion, the best reason to live in Cedar Rapids. I am practically giddy with excitement as I visualize chomping away on as many ears of corn as I can possibly choke down!

I totally understand people who love sweet corn and love this festival, but as an interior designer, I am having a bit of trouble  understanding people who love to decorate with corn. Count yourself lucky if you were unaware of the phenomena  known as corn decor.  AKA: decorn!  It is as real as it is hideous.

These are ceramic or pottery plates – totally appropriate for serving sweet corn. I get that. Same as the ones shown above, only not-plastic, and missing the pokey things you stab into the ends of the corn. Like I said, I understand.corn plates

Both of the above items are available on eBay.  

 

After that  things start going crazy on me. Like corn switch plate covers.

cornswitch Disturbing.  (also on eBay)

 

I have the capacity to completely enjoy sweet corn and even the idea of corn.  At the risk of sounding like a spiritual braggart I also have the ability to comprehend the absolute pure essence of corn on the cob.  I do embrace my heartland-ness.

I mean I live in Iowa, it’s no big deal. 

 

Are you serious? A smirking, napkin-holding decorn? deorn

 

 

Back to my dilemma. Through the years, just as a joke mind you,  my sister and I have gifted each other with decorn items that fall into the category of:  “Who in their right mind would possibly pay money for that ?”

corny

 As it turns out, each one of us does!  Anything for a laugh. The corn seahorse makes my case for me. This gift from my sister, this piece of decorn has to be the big winner. Could any decorn absurdity beat this!?!

It makes you wonder about who thought of the idea of a corn-bodied seahorse – but more intriguing than that is someone else thought the idea was good enough to manufacture!

corny2

I had to show the “piece de resistance” one more time – just in case you are having a tough time believing what is in front of your eyes. 

 I could easily continue down this corn row, but the story has been exposed.  So, enough about decorating with a corn motif –

Go out to St Jude’s Sweet Corn Festival and feast upon the world’s best corn on the cob.

If you’ve never attended before, you will thank me!

NEXT WEEK –

Back to business –

RED HOT ACCESSORIES!

 

Dianne Ross

Interior designer/Phelan’s Interiors

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PS Confession: The smirking corn thing is also from the author’s private collection.

 

Glamorous Hollywood furniture meets Cedar Rapids

Hollywood Regency Design 

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We have listened. We have responded.

 Hollywood meets Cedar Rapids!

 

HOLLYWOOD REGENCY DESIGN

Why have I taken the liberty to run the post below again?

 For one simple reason – it has received the most hits of any of my posts! Actually, TWICE the number to the second runner-up! Interestingly, the second place article is  also of  the  Hollywood genre!

The above photos feature the newest look on Phelan’s showroom floor. Come by and tell us what you think. This look is bold, but more to the point, it is functional, sophisticated in a playful way, and, well – just romantic!

 

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Told you so.

This is it  – 100 percent over the top – Hollywood Regency design revival in full bloom. Always opulent and ever eclectic, always theatrical and expectedly daring, this style is not for the faint of heart. Captain Milquetoast does not get a ticket to this show. Sometimes this style is brushed with whimsy and fantasy , like in the abundant use of light fixtures as seen in the photo. But you have to admit, it is dazzling.

From the 1930’s and continuing through the 50’s (now referred to as Mid-century) Regency styling epitomized glamor, wealth, and lavish collections that identified the early Hollywood era. Elements of Lucite, lacquer, chinoiserie, bamboo – painted or natural, mercury glass, wild color schemes, flamboyant feathers, and …

Well, name something glamorous and it was in!

Clean architectural lines were paired with the frill of rococo. And, of course MIRRORS MIRRORS everywhere. Global Views is a company favored by Phelan’s for their wonderful selection of mirrors. At High Point market they introduced an elegant montage of 7 octagonal mirrors, finished in black lacquer and edged in silver, AKA: Regency revival. 

Today the revival is just as bold and as fresh as ever, not to mention terribly interesting! Scroll down to the previous post and you’ll see another interpretation from the swank unrestrained era called Hollywood Regency. 

 

There will be more next week – THE GLAM BEDROOM!

 

Dianne Ross

Inrerior Designer / Phelan’s Interiors

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