Not Your Usual Diwali Lanterns

Diwali is coming soon! This year it’s on October 23. It’s the Festival of Lights in India and more and more, it is celebrated worldwide. Little diyas, oil lamps and lanterns are used to cast the “light” of the festival around the world.

The Purple Turtles — a shop in Bangalore, India — has a unique twist for Diwali lanterns. Check these out:

Diwali Lanterns from The Purple Turtles Shop in Bangalore

Gorgeous when lit, they’re also decorative and unique when not lit:

Diwali Lanterns at The Purple Turtles Shop in Bangalore India

See more at The Purple Turtles.

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Church Pews in Homes

Maybe I should have held this for Christmas or Easter instead of a regular ol’ day in early October post. But why hold back on a good thing. Years ago I thought one way to increase seating at our dining table from 4 to 6+ was to find an old church pew to put on one side. Recently church pews in homes again crossed my laptop screen, so I … actually I didn’t “Google.” I searched Pinterest. So that big prominent search bar on Pinterest is doing its job!

Here are examples of church pews in homes where the pews really look like they are at home, like they belong …

From ELLE Decoration in the UK:

Church Pews in Homes via ELLE Decoration

From Better Homes & Gardens, this antique pew has unusual features, and they paired those design details well with this mirror:

BH&G Church Pew in Entry

This shows that church pews are perfect for long narrow entry halls, via Atlanta Home & Lifestyles:

Church Pew in Entry Hall Atlanta Home & Lifestyles

Painted white, this pew blends well in this cottage-y country space, from Houzz. Painting all the same color is a great way to unify the mismatched furniture:

Cottage Country Dining Room with Church Pew via Houzz

In this showhouse shared at Houzz, the entryway has a bench that is perfectly balanced with the varied visual elements in this area. This also shows that the church pew look can work in more upscale spaces. I say “church pew look” because this bench is described as a built-in. So if you can’t find a pew in the right style and size you need, you could probably build a bench that looks like a pew, such as this one:

Church Pew in Entry Foyer via Houzz

Most of the time, when you see church pews in homes, they are in dining rooms, entryways or mudrooms. Sometimes you see them on covered porches. They’re best for areas where you sit for only a short time, such as to put on or remove shoes. They’re good for places where you’re not looking to curl up in super soft furniture, such as when you’re eating at the dining table. I grew up Catholic so I spent plenty of Sundays in church and, yes, you can sit in a pew for an hour at church. But why spend significant time sitting in one at home? I can’t imagine they’d be comfortable for sitting and watching TV! So this explains why there’s limited use for church pews in homes. But where they are used, they do serve a clear function.

I collected more images of pews in homes on a Pinterest board for you:

Follow Nomadic Decorator’s board Decor – Church Pews on Pinterest.

Urban Farmgirl recently posted a pew on Facebook and it brought the idea home because I’m also in Illinois. So I thought hmmmmm, maybe there’s one out there for our dining room, somewhere not too far away. Because something of this size, I’m not shipping it.

What do you think? Would you put a pew in your house?

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Patchwork Rugs

I love the patchwork rug style from ABC Carpet and Home, made of patches of various rugs:

ABC Carpet and Home Patchwork Rug

But, would you believe something as simple as a beige patchwork rug could be quite different? So, let’s look for more …

Here’s a beautiful version with a mosaic of pattern, from a store in the UK, Design Studio V:

Patchwork Rug from Design Studio V

This look is a great option if you don’t want to commit to color but want some texture and a little bit of pattern.

Clayton Gray Home explains how their rugs are hand-stitched together in Turkey. They’re made from pieces of vintage and antique rugs from Pakistan, India, Nepal, Tibet, Armenia and Turkey – all joined  in one new piece like this one:

Clayton Gray Home Patchwork Rug

Can you believe you can even find these rugs on Etsy? Uh-huh. From seller Vintage Carpets, direct from Istanbul. I’m tempted:

Patchwork Rug from Etsy Seller Vintage Carpets

You can see that even though these are all neutral, they’re all different. Some are more faded and ghostly – just a whisper of pattern. Some have more obvious pattern. Some have larger carpet remnant pieces, others have smaller patches. All these design choices give each rug a unique look. This next one from Carpet Edition has just hints of larger patterns:

Carpet Edition Patchwork Rug

From Zin Home – I like the mix of elegant patterns on this one. It’s like they chose different patterns that somehow all work together like an orchestra, instead of fighting and getting noisy:

Zin Home Patchwork Rug

These are making me think, hmmmm, inspiration for a stencil project … couldn’t you tape off rectangles on a tabletop and paint the rectangles with different stencils? Or you could paint on a floorcloth and make your own rug like these! I took tile-making classes many years ago. I could see creating tiles with parts of patterns like these, then piece the tiles together into a tabletop or wall art. Or even a floor if you’re really brave for a more permanent installation.

See, this started out as a very beige post, but there’s a lot of inspiration here!

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You’ve Made an Impression

Things I’ve really liked lately have raised patterns or impressions.

Like these plates via Kuş Kafesiwhich if I’m interpreting right, is a store in Turkey:

Cluster of Plates via Kus Kafesi

And that’s a cluster of round things on a wall, a concept which has been strangely stalking me all year and obviously I haven’t shaken free of it yet. Here’s a cluster of round things on a wall I spotted just last week at a hotel. Just minding my business, walking past elevators, and there’s the round things stalking again.

So back to impressions and raised patterns. These are beads by Macropulloss:

Beads by Macropulloss

A Hamsa collection, which I think is in El Fenn riad in Marrakech because I recognize that wall. Wierd thing to recognize, huh? That happens when you’ve spent too much time on Pinterest looking at global design pictures!

Hamsa Collection

This hamsa collection is inspiring me to find a shape that’s meaningful to me and make it in concrete in various sizes with raised or impressed patterns on it. To make my own little wall collection. Concrete is pretty easy to work with once you have a form to make the shape you want. Maybe you’ll see that here in a future post!

How about this raised pattern sconce? It was featured in Domino and originally from Wisteria:

Raised Pattern Sconce from Wisteria

And, gorgeous hamam soap. Via Vachtvilten aan de Vecht (where it appears you can learn to make the soaps?):

Hamam Soaps

I’m even experimenting lately with raised stenciling. See this DIY stencil project I recently did for Paint and Pattern online design magazine. The theme this month was Italy, so I made wall art panels inspired by Italian terra cotta pots:

Wall Art Like Aged Terra Cotta Pots

They were painted with acrylic paints and Chalk Paint from Annie Sloan in various colors, and I used a product called Wood Icing to create the raised pattern. If you are liking the idea of raised patterns, you can use stencils and Wood Icing to easily create them.

I’ll definitely be doing more raised stencil pattern projects – already have a few ideas!

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