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    Interior Chatter — linen

    What's The Difference? Farmhouse vs. Shabby Chic

    What's The Difference? Farmhouse vs. Shabby Chic

    You hear the words "Shabby Chic" and you think soft cottage style with distressed, vintage items. This can also include new items made to look old, or reused materials turned into something different (such as using old doors or shutters as a headboard). 

    shabby chic, headboard, shabby chic decor

    You hear the words 'Farmhouse Style" and you picture a rustic, country look with earth tones and natural textures (such as wood and greenery). This includes other organic items like burlap and twine, as well as cottage style items like mason jars and linen

    farmhouse style, farmhouse decor

    When you start hunting for either style, you begin to see the line between the two blurs. Shabby chic is a term that was created in the early Eighties by a British designer in an interview with the American 'The World of Interiors' magazine. But it was Rachel Ashwell that created the movement.

    She used shabby chic as well when she described her style in the early Eighties. It then became so popular that she trademarked the term in 1989. She started the shabby chic, french country chic on the west coast and it spread like wildfire.

    rachel ashwell, shabby chic, shabby chic decor, linen bedding

    More recently, you see the words "Farmhouse Style" being used to describe what looks like, in many ways (to us), shabby chic style. With the immense popularity of Joanna and Chip Gaines, the "Fixer Upper" style took over in the past few years, creating a new way of looking at both shabby chic and farmhouse style. 

    Joanna loves to use shiplap, rustic wreaths and greenery, as well as linen and burlap and industrial farmhouse items. It's almost as if shabby chic has evolved into farmhouse style. Or perhaps farmhouse style took what it liked from shabby chic and added it's own twist? farmhouse style, joanna gaines, fixer upper

    We don't know exactly how to pinpoint it, but either way you look at it -  farmhouse style can be shabby chic, but not all shabby chic interiors are farmhouse style. Just a little interior chatter this week as we search for our own interior inspiration. What do you lean towards when designing your interiors? Farmhouse or Shabby Chic? 

    Xx, 

    O&F 

    5 Tips For Sustainable Interior Design

    5 Tips For Sustainable Interior Design

    It makes no difference if your renovating, redecorating or creating a new space from scratch, all interior design starts with a vision. And when it comes to sustainability and renewable resources, interior design is one of the fastest growing industries incorporating and focusing on "green"interiors. 

    From the use of rain water to offset water waste, to choosing sustainable and ethically sourced materials like linen, bamboo, cork and recycled glass, the options are endless when using your imagination and creativity.

    We believe sustainability should be a part of everyone's interior design approach, in order to help reduce environmental impact and create a healthy home environment.  

    1. Use energy-wise and efficient design materials 

    natural light, sustainable interior, interior design, shabby chic kitchen, shabby chic decor

    From windows and doors, to flooring and panelling, choose energy efficient materials for your home. Rapidly renewable resources like bamboo are perfect for flooring, and properly sealed, large windows are perfect for using natural light - reducing your electricity needs and helping to create dynamic in design. 

    2. Decorate with products that are created in a socially responsible and sustainable manner.

    linen pillowcase, linens, fresh linens, summer linens, interior design, linen

    We, of course, can't rave enough about choosing sustainable decor. Linen is our textile of choice and for good reason. The fabric is one of the most biodegradable and stylish fabrics. With its strong, naturally moth resistant make up, the material made from flax plant fibres is fully biodegradable when untreated. Not to mention, it helps maintain body temperatures and lasts forever. 

    3. Reclaim old items and use recycled decor

    shabby chic, decor, reused, recycled decor, shabby chic decor

    Vintage, antique and recycled DIY decor is more popular than ever before...and we are NOT complaining. The interior trend is right up our alley and offers a fun, creative way to keep your home sustainable and eco-friendly. Re-purpose old dressers, frames and jars with shabby chic chalk-finish paint, or look in your storage for unused items like old windows, doors and lighting fixtures. Chances are good there's more than enough to work with to create new, stunning interior accessories. 

    4. Use non-toxic and non-polluting products and materials

    hypoallergenic paint, sustainable interior, interior design, natural light

    It's important for interior designers to know their products. This means understanding what paint and materials are used throughout the home. To truly create a sustainable, healthy environment be sure you are using hypoallergenic paint and wood that have not been treated with pesticides or dangerous chemicals. And always look to what's already in the space. Exposed brick walls and reused shiplap are both stunning and sustainable options. 

    5. Add greenery anywhere and everywhere 

    house plants, sustainable interior, greenery, green design

    The more greens, the better green design! Add indoor greenery and plants wherever you can. Not only will this bring a touch of the outdoors inside, offering a natural and rustic charm, but many plants actually help to keep the air clean for you and your family (like palms and peace lilies). You can also choose to keep plants like aloe and agave, which also offer different uses in the home, or even keep an ongoing slew of natural herbs growing indoors for  use in the kitchen, not just aesthetics. 

    7 Ways To Create The Perfect Summer Porch & Patio

    7 Ways To Create The Perfect Summer Porch & Patio

    Summertime is here and it's one of our favourite seasons! Sure, the heat can be overwhelming, and the sunburns may be uncomfortable. But the warmer months are full of outdoor celebrations, late nights spent on the patio and early mornings with tea on the porch. 

    As much as we love linen interiors, we love a chance to create comfy, cosy spaces outside as well. And there's plenty of options when it comes to incorporating our shabby chic, farmhouse style into the porch and patio. 

    1. Mini Mud Room

    mud room, outdoor decor, summer patio, summer style, outdoor linens

    We love an indoor, fixer upper style mud room. But we love an outdoor mini mud room even more! Keep the mess outside this summer by creating your own patio space for all the goods.

    Vintage crates and baskets can be used for storing linens, towels and other outdoor necessities, hooks can be hung for clothing and other items, and chalkboards can be used for family reminders and notes. All you need to create the space is a simple desk, shelf or table - perhaps repainted to match your outdoor decor - and voila! You've got a mini mud room ready to go. 

    2. Bar Cart

    bar cart, porch, patio, summer style

    Okay, we're not going to lie - this is one of our favourite trends this summer. The vintage bar cart is such a versatile and useful accessory, we don't know how we ever entertained or got a long without one!

    You can find them everywhere, but searching for the perfect one may take some time. Fill them up with your drink of choice, a few linen napkins, glasses and an ice bucket and you're ready to go. You can place them on your front porch, back deck or patio - and roll them inside once the weather cools down. 


    3. Linen, Linen & More Linen 

    summer style, porch swing, porch linens, linen cushion, ruffled linen, linen throw pillow

    Linens are our jam, and - of course - our go-to summer decor textile. From linen throw pillows, cushion covers and throw blankets, to linen napkins, towels and seat covers, there's simply a place for linen in every nook and cranny. And it's simply the best summer material you can choose. 

    The flax fabric literally helps your body stay cool in the summer months and absorbs more moisture (or sweat) than cotton and other fabrics. Our stonewashed french linens also offer super soft and comfortable spaces for you and your loved ones, all year long. 


    4. Tiered Planters

    planter, tiered planter, porch and patio, summer style

    We always say the more green the better! And tiered planters are the perfect way to display your best summer blooms. Stacked next to the front door, surrounding the patio or anywhere they can find the right amount of sun needed to grow, these convenient and design-friendly accessories are a classic. 

    Some of our favourite summer florals include daisies, morning glories, ivy and lavender (yum!). Depending on your decor colour scheme, you may choose to incorporate more colourful blooms or more pure greens - either way you can't go wrong with a few tiered planters, water and sunshine! 


    5. Lighting

    patio lighting, summer lighting, outdoor lighting, outdoor decor, summer style

    Lighting is just as important outside as it is inside. The dynamics may be different, and the design choices more limited, but if you get creative you can create a summer wonderland right tin your own backyard. 

    From white christmas/string lights to hanging vintage lanterns and tiki lamps, you can use outdoor lighting to not only cultivate a whimsical and cozy space, but to also keep the pesky mosquitos away. And there's nothing better than a fun summer night spent outside with friends, family and a few good drinks. 


    6. Hanging Seats

    porch swing, hanging seat, porch and patio, summer style, outdoor decor

    Hanging porch swings and chairs are a must-have when it comes to summer style. The best place to cozy up with a good book, cup of tea or cold beverage, and the place where so many memories are made. From first kisses, to hellos and goodbyes, engagements and family photos - the porch swing has a long standing tradition of love and family in our home. 

    Take your hanging seat up a notch this year and add thick rope for a vintage, fixer upper feel, and (as always) throw as many linen pillows, cushions and items as possible. We love whites, beige and natural tones for the summer, but if you have young kids you might want to mix it up to avoid constant cleaning. 

    7. Fire pit

    fire pit, summer style, porch and patio, summer fire pit, outdoor decor, linen

    Our favourite way to end a summer weekend is by the fire pit. Roasting marshmallows, sipping rose and laughing with the family, there's simply nothing better than time spent around the fire. And you don't have to be a camp, or inside to enjoy the flames, it's now easier than ever before to have your own outdoor pit. 

    Whether you purchase a portable fire pit or build your own, it's easy to keep the pit mess localised and to your liking. The flames will also help keep away bugs and offer a soft, ambient light - perfect for every occasion!  

     

      Top 5 Wedding Colour Palettes For Spring 2017

      Top 5 Wedding Colour Palettes For Spring 2017

      We can't get enough of spring weddings. It's the season of new beginnings, after all, what better way to celebrate than with the start of a new commitment of love?!

      And this year's Pantone Colour of The Year - greenery - provides the perfect base to create the rustic, romantic wedding of your dreams. From design and decor, to fashion and food, greenery pairs perfectly with some of our favourite hues. 

      GREEN & GOLD

      wedding linens, wedding colour combination, boxwood wreaths

      Green and gold creates a whimsical, boho chic atmosphere for your special day. Give your hairpiece or wedding dress some extra golden sparkle, grab some gold lettered balloons, boxwood wreaths with gold ribbons and have your tables set like the fairy queen that you are.

      GREEN & BLUSH

      wedding colours, wedding linens, boxwood wreaths, wedding decor

      Choosing blush pink and green for your wedding colours offers endless opportunity for true, blissful romance. Be unique with a blush wedding dress, choose traditional light pink roses and don't be afraid to experiment with invitations. Table linens (tablecloths, runners and napkins) are one of our favourite accents for a blush theme - offering the perfect setting for a rustic cake and/or centrepiece. 

      GREEN & SLATE BLUE

      wedding colours, wedding decor, wedding linens, boxwood wreaths

      Green and slate blue is one of our personal favourite palettes of the year. From Linens and invitations, to muted blue succulent flowers and cakes, slate blue offer a natural, peaceful atmosphere for your romantic day. And it pairs perfectly with greenery decor, like boxwood wreaths, centrepieces and bouquets. 

      GREEN & BEIGE

      wedding colours, wedding decor, wedding linens, boxwood wreaths

      For the true hippie brides at heart choose green and beige. You can play around with texture and colour, from different textiles like linen, burlap and wood, to various shades of tan, taupe and brown. Wrap twine on your invitations, go with a classic, neutral bouquet and add some nature to your cake for a dreamy landscape like no other. 

      GREEN & GREY

      wedding colours, wedding decor, wedding linens, boxwood wreaths

      Close to slate blue, but a bit more muted, we love a simple grey and green wedding palette. Grey men's suits with a green tie, an ombre cake and table linens are just a few of our favourite grey wedding ideas. The colour feels light and airy with a sense of mystery - we love it! 

      5 must-see european museums for designers!

      5 must-see european museums for designers!

       

      THE BEST LINEN MUSEUMS OF EUROPE

      European vacations can be dreamy, stunning and certainly educational. With countless museums and galleries to explore, it’s probably not often you hear someone saying “lets go to the linen museum!” However, for designers and lovers of fashion and interiors, the following museums offer interesting exhibits that take a deeper look into the technology, business and labor behind the linen industry.

      The Irish Linen Centre  (Lisburn, Ireland )

       

      This modern addition to Lisburn’s Market House opened in 1994, and is attached to Lisburn Museum. ‘From Flax to Fabric’ is the permanent exhibition offering a visual tour through the history of linen, starting with how it has been made and used since Egyptian times. There’s even a piece of linen from the tomb of Tutankamun himself, dating from 1500BC!

       

      The House of Linen (Routot, France)

       

      The “La maison du Lin a Routot” in Normandy offers visitors a unique journey through the history of linen, and of France (Upper Normandy is one of the biggest producers of flax in Europe). The exhibits explore the culture, craft and industrial applications of the ancient fiber through audio-visual film and animation. And don’t forget to save some money for the boutique gift shop – it’s a linen lover’s dream!

       

      Bruckbach Hoarstub'n Flax Museum (Attersee, Austria)

       

      This authentic Parlor in northern Austria was erected in 1850 for the processing of flax (which is used to make linen). The museum, still located in the original structure today, displays ancient farming machinery and tools that were used in the local cultivation of flax through the 1920’s.

       

      Linen Museum (Cremona, Italy)

       

      The “Museo del Lino” in Italy was founded in the 1960s, and moved to its current headquarters in April of 2004. The Museum is an ethno-anthropological walk through the history of linen production and jobs, as well as exploring the struggle of linen workers in everyday life. The museum holds regular events and rotating exhibitions, and is run by artist Fabrizio Merisi (director of the museum). Rather than a pure historian, the director’s artist touch can be felt throughout the museum and makes for a unique stop in Cremona.

       

      National Flax Museum - Texture (Courtrai, Belgium)

       

      The Texture museum sits next to the river Lys and is within walking distance of the historic center of Kortrijk. The building was used from 1912 by the Linen Thread Company and today remains one of the most important remnants of the flax industry. The company worked with Irish & Scottish spinners and started some of the first wholesale purchases. The recently renovated building now includes a bistro, multipurpose room and offices, as well as rotating exhibits and events for kids.