Things I love (v1)

29 Jun

Some people have asked me lately where I get inspiration, so I decided to write a post on things I like.  This is basically a laundry list of all the things that fill me with stuff-lust. Besides my obvious personal history with mid-century homes (told here), my first taste of the mid-century drug came from Orla Kiely.

Those who know me well know that I am a recovering Orla addict. I have had an Orla problem and was in desperate need of a 12-step program. (Kate Spade in the late 90s was my gateway drug to Orla. When I find something l love, I am as loyal as spaniel.  That is, until I love something else.) While some of you might not recognize the name, I’ll bet you’d recognize her iconic stem pattern that was her entre into the design world. I love family members that feed this addiction by sending me Orla pencils and notebooks, her latest product extension. (Thank you, Michelle!)

Then she had her fabulously successful line of home products at Target, launching her and her mid-century sensibility into the mainstream. I personally own the pear kitchen canisters and they have pretty much driven my kitchen color decisions. I also buy a new Orla bag every season because her I am completely hooked on her pattern evolution. I usually get them from her ‘Etc.’ collection, which is less expensive and more practical for someone who throws her bag everywhere and spills stuff on and in it like me. I love how cheerful and unexpected the patterns and colors are. Carrying my Orla bag just makes for a good day.

She also makes products with her trademark stem and other patterns for the home:  wallpaper, mugs, towels.  I have a dream of wallpapering one wall of my kitchen in the classic stem pattern, but at $90 a pop for a 33 ft. roll. I may need to give that more thought.

As you can see, while I can gush about my love for Orla all day long, I also like to spread the love around.  Orla was my jumping off point and will always have a special place in my heart. My cousin Michelle, mentioned above as the Orla-addiction feeder, also shares with me the cool mid-century blogs she comes across. Michelle is the only person I know more obsessed with design and cooking blogs than I am and I know that when I get an email from her, it will have a good nugget. The last one she sent me was a blog that featured other mid-century inspired fabrics and patterns: June Craft. How sunny are those fabrics? How cute are those dresses? Almost makes me want to have another little one, but I may have to settle for bribing the older girls to wear those dresses.

Etsy is also a great resource for MCM-inspired products both handmade and vintage. I particularly like their paper prints in MCM style from the Retro Modern Living Shop. (Her blog can also be found here.) And yesterday in the mail, I received an awesome poster from the ReStyle shop on Etsy from, you guessed it, Michelle. I can’t wait to frame this and put it on an image wall next to the soon-to-be-framed fragment of Peanuts wallpaper from Ainsley’s bedroom.

I realize I am going on and on and on because the inspiration out there is almost limitless.  (There may have to be a v2 of this post.) But a few more before I go…

I love color and like considering the MCM options for it. So Design Seeds is one of my favorite spots to go when tackling color questions. The green and orange kitchen is still high on the list of wants and I love this awesome color palette based on a clementine. So much more inspiring than the color strips at the paint shop, yeah? Explore this site based on theme, season, color. Just explore when you have a LOT of time on your hands.

And the final time-suckage inspirational website of all time: Pinterest. It’s a virtual pin-board that lets you grab all the awesomeness that I cataloged here and create a mood-board for practically anything…home, food, architecture, clothing. You name it, you can pin it. The only down-side is the wait for the invite, which is kind of a bummer because when a girl’s gotta something to pin, she’s just got to pin it.

What inspires you?


7 Responses to “Things I love (v1)”

  1. Orla Kiely Bags for Sale July 27, 2011 at 12:52 am #

    I also love Orla Kiely because if the unique design patterns in all the products. I like handbags so much. actually everything is so wonderful.

    • Brandy July 27, 2011 at 7:53 am #

      I really love the new paper line she has too! I write with her pencils. Thanks for commenting! Brandy

  2. sleepingdogtextile July 2, 2011 at 10:30 pm #

    There is not one website that inspires me. However, I love going to “Open Houses”. It is definitely inspiring to see how homeowners “stage” their houses.
    The last “Open House” motivated me to get the clutter out of my bedroom and rearrange the dining room.

    Martha would be proud. (kinda)


  1. Flower Power | mid-century MODERN LOVE - October 11, 2011

    […] of the things I love about Orla (yes…all roads lead back to Orla) is that her designs pay tribute to the wonderful over the top patterns and colors of the early […]

  2. Tar-jay | mid-century MODERN LOVE - October 10, 2011

    […] Target introduced a line of Orla Kiely household products. Now I know we don’t need to revisit my Orla obsession, but I will say that the Orla line at Target is still influencing my choices. I wonder what it says […]

  3. Atomic Orange | mid-century MODERN LOVE - October 3, 2011

    […] next and as I type this I realize that in the end, I am going back to the palette of my favorite Orla canisters. Should always remember to trust my […]

  4. Color Confusion | mid-century MODERN LOVE - August 22, 2011

    […] my Orla Kiely bible book suggested, I started collecting images I was attracted to. Her patterns, for sure. Warm […]

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