All posts filed under: HOME TRENDS

Bird is still the word

I’m a fan of the bird motif, and today I ran across this vintage-style pillow with blue birds made by Hattiesburg seller AvalonSewingCo. I also found this pillow featuring caged birds by Jackson seller CottonColors. Click here to read previous posts about bird and tree motifs. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker.   Save

Orla Kiley for Target

I recently found this apron at Target and couldn’t resist it. I was surprised to learn that designer Orla Kiley had created a product line for the store with table cloths, place mats and cups featuring Kiley’s fun, vintage-inspired designs. To learn more about Kiley, visit her site. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker.

Message in the bottle

As a kid, Rick Griffin often saw bottle trees while traveling between Ocean Springs and Vicksburg to visit his grandparents. Fascinated by them, he later erected a 10-foot bottle tree in his yard. “It’s about being a nonconformist,” said Griffin, a landscape architect who owns the Jackson furniture and design store Latitudes. “When you want to be a little different, and you like to loosen up and have fun things, you have a bottle tree.” “Once regarded by some as tacky folk art, bottle trees are gaining popularity. Those who have them will quickly tell you it’s not a trend or movement; bottle trees are owned by those who believe in expressing their individuality. But gardening experts say there may be another message in the bottle. The revival may hold a deeper meaning about the changing attitudes of the South. “Felder Rushing, an urban horticulture specialist and writer whose gardening column appears in The Clarion-Ledger,”saw his first bottle tree when he was 15 in the Delta. Since then, he’s photographed hundreds all over the U.S. …

Mop slippers

This is one of those ingenious little products that could make someone a million bucks. Solutions sells these slippers that double as mops, so you can use your feet to mop the floor. You can get them for about $10. I’ve got to get a pair. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker.

Naturally fashionable

I recently wrote about the current bird/tree fashion and art trend that may be influenced by the “going green” movement. Here’s our Clarion-Ledger page (left) on the subject, which also talks about eco-fashion. And click here to read a previous blog post about the many tree/bird items on the market. Today, while looking at trend sites, I ran across this pair of Prada shoes (above) with a leaf design. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Designers go out on a limb

As I blogged earlier, birds and trees seem to be everywhere these days in fashion, jewelry and home furnishings. Here are a few items I found for sale online. 1. This tree pendant was created by Pennsylvania artist B.J. Antonik, a.k.a. seller AnnaLeahDesigns. It sells for $13. 2. The Jackson store Turkoyz sells these earthy tree pendants. The store manager said jewelry trends may be inspired by the environmentalism movement. 3. The Norwegian jewelry company Arts & Crafts sells this line of earrings called Bird Escape. 4. Mississippi Gulf Coast artist Kara Bachman creates nature-inspired jewelry like this Willow in Wind copper and peridot sculpture pendant necklace through her online store Meditations. It costs $42. Bachman, who lives in Diamondhead, said Mississippi serves as the artistic inspiration for much of her work. 5. Gump’s San Francisco sells these tree plates at The set of four costs $80. 6. seller redrubyrose, also known as British artist Rowena Dugdale, is an illustrator who specializes in collage and photomontage. She creates these nature-inspired clutches …

The bowl diver

I look at three or four different Web sites daily to keep up with rapidly changing trends and see what I can find that’s notably unique. I ran across this toilet decal today that brought a little smile to my face. Apparently others have also found it humorous because the seller “vital,” of Colorado, has sold out. Maybe he’ll have more bowl divers soon. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

The impact of the ‘going green’ movement

I guess the environmentalism movement is influencing art and fashion. Two recurring themes I’ve noticed lately are trees and birds. The desire to be one with nature may have popularized these two images. I’ve seen many handmade products listed on Etsy with both themes. The $25 “Tree on the Lake” glass necklace above is one example. The seller took the picture herself and created jewelry with it. And this sweet little bird necklace by New Mexico jewelry artist Lauren Tobey of Meltdown Studio costs $88. Etsy seller Hollyhawk has sold out of this tree-printed cuff bracelet, but she has others. This one-of-a-kind $88 bird necklace made of a recycled locket and wood carving (center) also appears to have been snatched as soon as it was posted, but you can still buy this $55 stainless steel Polli Elm Pendant at Doe. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

If Mellencamp saw this birdfeeder, he’d sing ‘Little Pink Heads for you and me’

Every once and a while, I run across products online that are just too weird not to post, such as this severed head birdfeeder. If you ask me, this is pretty strange, and reminds me of Sloth from “The Goonies” with a little Ed Gein thrown in, but if you feel compelled to hang a decapitated ceramic head in your yard and the birds don’t mind, I say go for it. “Little Pink Houses for you and me,” you know? The stonewear birdfeeder head from Modern Artisians even has a name. For $84.99, you can buy your very own “Bob.” Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Flushing $150 down the toilet

A company called Renova Colors is selling vibrantly colored toilet paper for those who want to make a bold statement in their bathroom.The concept isn’t really new. You can buy pastel toilet paper in stores now, but this paper comes in bright green, orange and black. It’s unique, but something about it just seems wrong. I initially wondered what the dye used would do to the environment, but a quick Internet search reveals The Chicago Tribune did a story on the toilet paper this week. They say the international sales of Renova toilet paper tripled from 2005 to 2006, and company owners say the paper is environmentally safe. In the article, an EPA spokesperson said there are many environmentally friendly, biodegradable dyes in existence today, unlike 30 years ago. So if the dyes are safe, I guess the toilet paper can’t be “wrong,” unless, of course, you look at the price – a case of 45 rolls cost $150. I guess you could use them for birthday party streamers if you wanted, but $150 seems …

Fung shui for monkeys?

The BBC reports today that the L.A. Zoo is paying a fung shui expert $4,500 to create a comfortable space for three monkeys on loan from China. My question: Do you think a monkey really knows he’s from China and, therefore, opts for Asian interior design over, say, contemporary modern or country chic? I personally think he’d rather have $4,500 worth of bananas. What’s next? “Trading Cages?” Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

You can plant a greeting card?

Did you know you can plant a greeting card? Who’d have thunk it? Check out these cool cards from Round Robin Press with wildflower seeds embedded in the recycled paper. The art printed on the cards is designed by artist Shannon Lowry. “I use birds as my primary representative because, for me, they conjure up a sense of peace and joy,” Lowry says on her site. “My hope is to create art that is easy on the eye and good to the heart, art that creates space and instills a sense of calm in a world of chaos.” For $20, you get four cards, but you’re potentially giving away a garden. You can buy them at Etsy. For more eco-style products, check out the Fabulously Green blog. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Trends: "Suspiria" wallpaper in; country ducks out

Remember how back in the 1980s, every house had wallpaper and border that ran around the top with apples or country ducks or hunting dogs or bunny rabbits or drunk roller-skating clowns or something cheesy printed on it? It may be news to some that wallpaper and borders met their demise sometime in the 1990s when most modern decorators began painting walls instead. But depending on how out-of-style you are, you may actually be in-style when it comes to wallpaper, because a retro wallpaper revival is occurring. If you put expensive wallpaper in your home in the 1960s and 1970s and never bothered to change it, you just went from lame to hip, because it’s back and bold. Most of the trend Web sites I visit show that the latest in modern home decor is graphic wallpaper. I call it “Suspiria” wallpaper, because the decor in that 1977 film classic aptly captures what I am trying to describe. Wallpaper From the 70s offers a number of vibrant unusual designs and colors that will make an …

Trends: When it comes to art, you can’t get more original than this

If having a photographer take your portrait isn’t intimate and personal enough, you might want to hand over your DNA to someone who can create a completely original piece of art for your home. A company called DNA 11, with the slogan “From life comes art,” takes DNA and fingerprint samples and turns them into colorful works of abstract art. Essentially, your chromosomes become cubes and your fingerprints become swirling labyrinths. The company allows you to select the color and size of your art. Then it sends a kit for collecting your own DNA samples. The samples are sent back to a lab, digitally enhanced and printed. This sounds really cool, in an X-Files sort of way. I just hope Big Brother and/or a mad scientist who wants to clone art lovers isn’t behind this. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Would Gloria Steinem approve of this apron?

I really want this apron because it’s adorable, but here’s the dilemma: If I buy the apron and wear it for the sole purpose of being cute, will I be setting the women’s movement back 50 years? I haven’t seen these on anyone since June Cleaver, who we all know is frequently regarded negatively as a fictional symbol of womanhood. So I must explain that if I do decide to purchase this adorable apron and wear it, 50 percent of my doing so is an ironic gesture poking fun at the sexist days of yon when a woman’s society-mandated place was in the repressive American kitchen, and the other 50 percent is that I suspect I have an undeveloped Martha Stewart gene that causes me to innately find this apron positively precious. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Trends: Chillin’ with technology

Gone are the days when you leave a note taped to the refrigerator. Uncrate reports that the new Samsung Wireless ICE Refrigerator, which sells for $3,500, has the following: a detachable 10.4-inch wireless TFT touch-sensitive LCD Pad with a digital calendar, scheduler and memo pad; a built-in sound system; a digital AM/FM radio; and it can be programmed to let you know when your food’s expiration date is nearing. You can also wirelessly watch television on the LCD. Uh, does anyone really need a refrigerator that can do all this stuff? The only thing it seems to lack is a cryonics compartment that will preserve your body until they develop Frankenstein technology that can bring you back to life. It seems like our attempt to simplify things with technology is sure making things unnecessarily complicated. Remember when refrigerators just refrigerated things? You put stuff in one, it got cold, and everyone was happy. It makes you wonder if other kitchen appliances will change with the times. If you can listen to music and watch television …

Trends: Computers, a la natural

For those who like the idea of ironically combining modern technology with traditional natural elements, check out Wood Contour, where you’ll find wooden keyboards, monitors and mice. The Web site says every luxury piece is custom-made from one solid piece of wood. Visit Popgadget for more interesting products. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Trends: For the pooch with expensive taste

If your dog is a little too snooty to wear clothes from Wal-Mart or Target, he might appreciate a Ralph Lauren dog sweater. The store offers four that are all about $95. This long-sleeved cashmere blend sweater features a “discreet leash hole” at the back neck. I’m not sure why a dog’s leash must be “discreet,” unless maybe the dog has become so anthropomorphous that he is embarrassed to wear a leash and discretion is necessary to help him save face. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Trends: How cool are these plates?

If you’re looking for something unusual, Rab Labs has a line of agate plates and coasters that are unlike anything I’ve ever seen. They’re sleek, modern and artistic. According to the Web site, the company was founded in 2002 by Anna Rabinowicz, a designer and engineer. Rabinowicz has designed webcams for Logitech, concepts for General Motors and medical devices for cardiac surgery. She currently teaches in the design department of Parsons School of Art and Design in New York. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Trends: Shower tiles that change colors

Speaking of things that change color, like the purses below, these are heat-responsive shower tiles that change color when they are wet. Created by Moving Color, the company said the tiles were inspired by the Northern Lights of Alaska. They appear black at room temperature and change colors when temperature is applied.The company offers three types of tiles. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Photo credit: Moving Color Save