Quilts We Love

We’ve both had quilts on the brain lately (maybe it’s because we’re beginning to look toward fall) and, though Mera’s foray into indigo dyeing a less-than-lovely eBay find was a great success, today we thought we’d share some quilts that we wouldn’t change a bit.

Hopewell Quilts was a collaboration between two friends who are an architect and painter by training. They recently closed their label to make more time for their families, but we’re still completely inspired by their unique, modern designs (and the fact that they were made by two best friends).

We love Hopewell’s spare, modern designs, but we also love the riotous color and playful design of this appliqued quilt. It’s especially charming paired with that side table and lamp, and with the patterns of the other bed linens.

This next photo made us double check the definition of ‘quilt’ to make sure it fit the bill.  We wanted to make sure we were clear on just what differentiated a quilt from a blanket.

Quilt, Kwilt (noun) – a warm bed covering made of padding enclosed between layers of fabric and kept in place by lines of stitching, typically applied in a decorative design.

We’re pretty sure we can see the telltale decorative stitching on this red and green beauty and we’re absolutely positive that we love it.

No question that this next one is a bonafied quilt — a Hawaiian quilt, we think.  Between the wallpaper, four poster bed, flouncy bedskirt, and beadboard ceiling, this room could be stuffy, but the graphic quilt makes it sweet.

The interlocking triangles of this flying geese pattern look perfectly modern when done in these gloriously unexpected colors (pink and mustard 4 lyfe).

We really like how this rainbow-hued geometric quilt looks when paired with crisp white linens and the rustic wooden headboard.



Portland artist Anna Joyce has a new collection of indigo-dyed goods, and we love the layered blues and intricate stitching of this beach-inspired quilt.

We have no doubt we could do a whole post on the magical creations of British quilt maker Cassandra Ellis. Her eye for pattern and color is incredible, and we love that her designs manage to be both timely and timeless — the perfect balance of modern and traditional.

Katie’s stomach hurts with how much she loves the green striped Cassandra Ellis quilt and Mera aches (predictably) for the pink and mustard flying geese.  How about you?  Happy Monday!

Behind the Scenes of a Design*Sponge Home Tour

Last week was an exciting one for RHW — a tour of my house was on the mega-blog Design*Sponge!  We are devoted admirers of Design*Sponge, so seeing my house on its venerated pages was a thrill.  We knew it was going to happen but not precisely when, so when Katie called me early in the morning (I can neither confirm nor deny that I was, *ahem,* in the bathroom when she called) I knew the day had arrived.

The first thing I asked Katie was whether I had “gushed.”  Once upon a time a homeowner was described on Design*Sponge as “gushing” about something she loved about her home.  Katie and I hate the word gush.  For us it’s in the same category as “moist” — words that induce nausea and a desperate need to shower.  We were nervous that my effusiveness about my home would be described as a sudden rapid flow of liquid, but luckily, thankfully, I did no “gushing” on Design*Sponge.

House tours are a funny thing.  You look at them, and it’s like you’re just walking around the house on any given day and it looks fantastic and clean.  The truth about my house tour is that it took two months to put together.  Between work, Opal, animals, and our regular posting schedule here, it was tough to eke out the time to clean, style, and photograph the house.  I tried to do one room per weekend, but in the meantime I was changing things around in the house, and there are some tells in the D*S photos.

For example, here is a half-room shot of the living from that was included in the tour:

Red House West || Behind the Home Tour

And here is a pulled back shot of the living room that was in the tour:

Red House West || Behind the House Tour

I took the half-room shot first, and the full room shot a few weeks later.  Can you spot the differences?

(In the second picture there is a mirror on the wall next to the column, different flowers on the table, five candlesticks instead of four on the credenza, and the pink sunset painting has been moved and another painting is in its place (now that I look at it, I like the pink painting better where it was originally)).

It’s kind of a pet peeve of mine in house tours when there is, say, a brass elephant on a bookshelf in a beautifully styled shot, and then the same brass elephant shows up on the artfully set dining room table.  It just kind of kills the magic for me, and I worried that seeing these differences in the living room would have a similar effect.  I really agonized about these differences, but ultimately I just had to get over it and declare it good enough.

While Katie and I don’t generally style our spaces to within an inch of their lives for the sake of a photo, there’s always some cleaning up and editing that happens.  For example this is what Opal’s room looked like on Design*Sponge:

Red House West || Behind the Home Tour 12Opal

And here is what the hallway outside her room looked like while I was taking the photos:

Red House West || Behind the House Tour

Of course the hallway looked a little different when I got around to photographing it for the tour:

Red House West || Behind the Home Tour

Along with pictures of the house, Design*Sponge also requests a picture of the occupants of the home.  Here is the picture of me, the devoted and fun-loving mom, Wolsey, the merry milliner, and Opal, the cherubic, delighted child, that was included with the tour:

Red House West || Behind the Home TourIn reality Opal had just woken up from her nap and had a 1000-yard stare.  This is the frame from just before the picture we used, before Opal had seen Wolsey in the hat.

Red House West || Behind the Home Tour

Chester brought out Opal’s beloved but not photogenic monkey to try to make her smile, and I was like “thanks Chester, now the entire design world is going to know that our daughter doesn’t just play with hand-made toys that I knitted from hair lovingly culled from Wolsey and Cora with a boar-bristle brush.”  I tried to convince Opal to put the monkey down by doing the same thing with Wolsey: One, two, three, drop!  It didn’t work, but at least Wolsey loved it.

Red House West || Behind the Home Tour

Katie’s house tour is close to ready for submission, and I’m looking forward to interrupting her morning ablutions with exciting news soon.  For those of you who found us through Design*Sponge welcome!  I hope you’ll stick around despite seeing how the sausage is made!  And to our long-time readers who gave RHW a nice plug in the comments on Design*Sponge, thank you, it means a lot.  She gushed.

Spotlight on Suzani

It’s no secret that we’re textile fanatics here at RHW, and today we thought we would share one of our favorites, suzani.  Suzani, a type of embroidery on a cotton base, is a staple of bohemian decorating.  The word suzani comes from the Persian word for needle, suzan.  This type of embroidery is found in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and other Central Asian countries.

Suzani textiles look beautiful used as table cloths, bed spreads, or even as upholstery.  About the only thing that could make the Louis XV chairs in the image below even more over-the-top is this bold and bright suzani.  We think it works perfectly with the loose and playful arrangement of pictures over the mantel.

This is a dining room we would love to visit.  Invite us over and we promise to wear pants that don’t have embroidery-snagging buttons on the back pockets.

In this stylish entryway, a little suzani goes a long way.  We couldn’t imagine a better pairing than the yellow pillows with that striking painting.

Amber Lewis of Amber Interiors is the master of mixing patterns and creating depth with textiles. The spaces she designs tend to be restrained with an emphasis on symmetry, and the following two bedrooms are no exception. Without the suzanis, these spaces might feel a little chilly, but the embroidery gives them just the right dose of layered texture.

Suzani is also right at home in more formal settings.  In this bedroom, rather than seeming boho or eclectic the suzani bedspread reads as a natural extension of the floor length silk drapes.

From Vogue, via Domaine

From Vogue, via Domaine

For those of us who don’t have soaring ceilings and whitewashed herringbone floors, bringing in a suzani can add a feeling of luxury.  In this room the color palette is tied together with an autumn hued bow by the beautiful suzani on the wall.  We’ll take that feather-stuffed mustard yellow English roll arm sofa, too.

Here is another example of using suzanis as wall hangings.  The textile gives a simple, square-shaped room the cozy feeling of a bed nook.  We’re not sure we’d want that shirtless man smelling his pits so close to our pillow, but otherwise . . . .

Something about the suzani paired with these delicate lace pillow cases is really doing it for us.  Lone Philodendron split-leaf required.

From "The New Bohemians" by Justina Blakeney, via Decor8

From “The New Bohemians” by Justina Blakeney, via Decor8

Which is your favorite? Mera is in love with the mismatched upholstered dining chairs in the second image, and Katie loves the simple sweetness of the last image. Happy Monday!