Saturday, June 24, 2017

Decorating With Cork Is On Trend For 2017

Texture remains an important element in interior design and an old friend from the 70's is becoming the darling of the textured materials scene. Affordable and eco-friendly, cork is really making a noise in the design world and in 2017 designers are using it in everything from home decor and accessories to flooring, furniture, and wall coverings.

Cork is a unique material that combines well with metal, glass, and other woods. Much of it's popularity is due to it being a relatively cheap material to work with that has a warm feel and adds desired texture. It is also an excellent sound absorber making it perfect for open-plan room sizes.

 I have gathered some images and offered information about cork to show you how it is being used in today's interiors so you can see if this design element is for you. If you like to stay on trend, be ready to have cork in your home real soon.

Many have predicted that 2017 will be the year we will see more organic shapes and textures through the use of natural materials like cork.

Petra Bindel

First there were chalkboard walls, now cork walls are all the rage. Cork walls are not only a visually compelling choice, but they’re awesome when it comes to blocking out sound and posting to-do lists on the walls.

via Pinterest

Cork wall coverings, furniture and upholstery are growing in popularity. It is a very versatile and a ‘green’ product which is why many designers are using it.

Imagine being able to bring the natural textures of the forest to your interior design. Aesthetically cork, like hardwood  floors, has a raw and timeless appeal since it is sourced from nature itself. Since each piece is unique, there is a wide offering of grain, texture, and color finishes. 

Miles Redd

Cork is a healthy alternative to other surface coverings because it's naturally anti-microbial features combat mold and it has an anti-static surface which eliminates dust and toxin absorption. All this makes cork ideal for people with allergies all the while contributing to a cleaner air space.

via Pinterest

Using cork to accent or contrast walls is a great idea. I love the look of dimensional cork tiles....... perfect for homes and commercial spaces alike.

You can even get cork tiles that have the appearance of brick.

Natural fibers such as grass cloth and cork, which have scarcely been seen since the 1970’s, are returning to wall coverings.

via Pinterest

Cork can also be used to accent ceilings. Along with being decorative, cork ceilings are also functional. Depending on the thickness of the covering selected, cork can provide excellent acoustic values. 

via Pinterest

Because of its combination of design flexibility, eco credentials, and health benefits for the entire family, cork flooring has made a comeback in the last few years. And like I said before, because of it's properties, cork would also provide bacteria and fungus resistant flooring. 

Another plus for cork flooring is it's soft surface which results in less pressure on people with knee problems or seniors looking for absorption support under their feet.

 Cork has been known to last up to 50 years when used in interiors, thanks to its resilience to pressure, which makes it very suitable for high traffic areas such as flooring in hallways...... 

....or even on kitchen counter tops.

via pinterest

Cork furniture is durable and lightweight and can be moved around your living space with ease.

Benches and other pieces of cork furniture are gaining momentum in interior design. Cork can be ground and shaved to be applied to furnishings while its natural grain can be tinted and stained to develop a multitude of pattern and color finishes.

For cork.

Metallic Cork from York Wallcoverings

Cork isn’t just for wine bottles anymore........unless you are using them for seating.

An often overlooked design element, cork brings a unique look to any part of your home. The natural but soft texture is great for breaking up modern details, like on the surface of a coffee table, or as picture frames on a wall.

 2017 will see lots of cork homeware and accessories.

via Pinterest

Interiors experts are using cork in the most creative ways.

via Pinterest

Teamed with copper accessories cork helps create a stylish,rustic look.

See how this combination of elements adds a warmth and rustic visual appeal.

Cork is also waterproof so it can be used in bathrooms.

I love the look of this cork floor that is designed to resemble marble.

In kitchens cork is being used as flooring, countertops, back splashes, just to mention a few ways you can get creative with this great product. 

The design industry can expect the continuing resurgence of cork for its environmental benefits and flexible application opportunities in interiors.

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This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer

Monday, June 19, 2017

Decorating With Santos Cage Dolls

You have seen them..... silently watching over a collection of brocante items lovingly arranged atop tables and shelves in a rustic French Provincial farmhouse. They are called Santos cage dolls and after becoming more and more popular over the past few years, they now are enthusiastically sought after by collectors and designers that want to add old world style to their homes.

Originally started as copies of 17th century carvings by priests and called saint dolls or Santons in French, Santibelli in Italian, and Santos in Spanish, cage dolls are primarily associated with the Italian and French Crèche (nativity and crib scenes). They were used as forms for decorating the Crèche and are still elaborately displayed in Italy and in the Provence area of France. The term cage-doll is due to the bottom portion of the body resembling a cage. 

Skillfully hand made of solid hardwood with polychrome paint and gilt, these dolls have a long and deep religious history. Their use dates back centuries when they were a crucial part of in-home altars in small, rural villages. These villages were without churches and access to priests so the cage doll statues were used as replacement altars and in Catholic religious processions. Their development flourished in Europe in the 1700's and 1800's, primarily due to wars. These icons were crucial in the quest to Christianize not only the peoples of Europe but even into the Americas.

It is getting hard to find original cage dolls and they can be very expensive. However, reproductions that are fashioned after antique originals are becoming more common. They too are usually hand carved and hand painted and their understated beauty can be an asset to any interior.

via Pinterest

The Santos cage dolls are a part of what is called Saint Art which consists of carvings in ivory or wood of various and plentiful Catholic saints, angels, or the Virgin Mary.

These iconic religious figures have been adored throughout history and would occupy a place of prominence in the home. 

via Pinterest

I am Protestant but am still looking for a cage doll to mix in with some more French pieces just because I think they are lovely. The cage doll is not relegated to religious symbols so feel free to enjoy them for their historical as well as aesthetic value.

Here is an example of two kinds of Santos dolls, the traditional style and the cage style which is actually called a bastidor doll, bastidor meaning “frame” or “framework. It is like the traditional from the torso up but has the cage on the bottom.

This cage framework would usually be covered with cloth made to resemble the figure’s skirt. Originally the cage would also serve as storage for religious relics or other small trinkets.

via Pinterest

Santos cage dolls are most often rustic in nature, yet with delicate details.Their serene faces are what makes them so charming.

via Pinterest

Wonderful whitewashed Santos cage dolls like this one were frequently dressed in elaborate gowns or ornate religious garb, often topped with golden crowns, and used in Catholic religious processions.

Mix the Santos cage dolls in with some more traditional or French pieces for a beautiful old world look. Many people find them a bit eerie when standing alone so adding in other items seems to change their minds.

Antique cage dolls frequently have glass eyes, while reproductions usually have beautifully detailed painted eyes.

While painted in colors like pink, brown, ocher, and sienna, blue is the most common color used to paint the bodies of Santos cage dolls.

Another great feature of the cage doll is the articulation of the arms. This makes it easier to dress in lavish garments for use in religious ceremonies and also allows it to be positioned in various poses.

The visible parts of these images such as the head and hands are usually carved in wood, covered with a fine layer of stucco, and delicately poly-chromed. The arms and forearms are joined to the body by wires and the trunk is attached to the skirt with nails.

Collectors scour French flea markets for Santos crowns. They are sought after decorative items for dressing a cage doll.

Iris Apfel's NYC apartment via Architectural Digest

Cage dolls are one of those items that just looks good in a vignette .........of any style from antique to modern.

Veranda Magazine

Santos cage dolls are especially lovely at Christmas as they work well with other figures involved in a tabletop Crèche.

Many people dress their cage dolls as angels during this time of year.

via Pinterest

My favorite way to display Santos cage dolls is in their simple unadorned state. However you choose to display yours the result will be the same......a source of serenity and charm for your home.

Click here to see the previous post

This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer

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