April Showers…

…Bring May flowers…. Or so I hope.

The snow is finally going away, and the excitement for summer is here… but so is the rainy Spring season. These days I have my mind set on a DIY bathroom remodel. Sounds ambitious, right? Well I wont be going THAT crazy. I love the DIY projects, but I’m also well aware of the fact that I do not have the skill set to gut the entire bathroom and rebuild. So I will do what i feel is within my current and potential skill set. 

First I will re-tile my shower. My current tile is the standard looking 3.5″ tile, and from afar you might think the tile is white. But no, with many things in my condo when I first moved in, the white is accents by yellow. When you look closely, its yellow splattered dots on the white tiles. Before you start thinking “maybe that’s kind of cool” I’ll stop you… its not. It simply looks dingy, as if soap scum has built up. But I assure, it hasn’t. So away with the tile! And in with new tile. While it’s  a small space, and you’d think “white, light and airy” I’m actually leaning towards earthy and brown. I want to install the tiny 12″x12″ mosaic style tiles that are varying hues of beige and brown.

This leads to my second project – painting. Currently my bathroom is blue. Almost like a dusty cobalt blue. This color choice was something I put in, but i’m tired of it already! Thank goodness paint is easy to change! There was this one color I saw in my friends bathroom, called Driftwood. It’s somewhere between a biege and a brown, but still light and airy. With white shelving, a white sink, white counter tops and a white toilet I feel it all works well together! Here’s a room example (not a room in my house mind you).

The third project, which will coincide with the tiling project, will be new hardware in the shower. New knobs, new faucet and a new shower head. This is the one step in the project I’m a little wary about. I maybe actually need a professional here… but first I will try it myself and see how it goes. 🙂

This bathroom project is something I’ve thought about for a long time now. And if this Spring is as rainy as last Spring, why not have an indoor project?

Oh, and a fun accent I’m going to add to the bathroom will be the Moon Drops. Yes, this is a product Allsop Home & Garden sells. But I’ve only used them outside and on my mantel in the living room. Last Friday I had a little wine night at my place and had a few friends over (credit miguel). One commented on the my candles that were lit in the bathroom. Then it dawned on me – why did I use real candles when I could have used Moon Drops?!?! Brilliant! Its like a little night light in the bathroom, but much more attractive! Lights on, Moon Drop off… Lights off, Moon Drops on!

I’m hoping this bathroom project will be completed within a month. Fingers crossed I’ll have some more/new pictures to share at the end of May!

The wonderful world of Espadrilles

According to Wikipedia, the word Espedrille means:  “Casual sandals originating from the Pyrenees. They are often made of canvas or cotton fabric with a sole made of rope or rubber material molded to look like rope. The rope or faux rope sole is the defining characteristic of an espadrille; the uppers vary widely in style. In Quebec French, however, espadrille is the usual term for running shoes.” I suppose one should not try to buy espadrilles for dancing while in Quebec!

Espadrille- The word just sounds warm and exotic doesn’t it? With Summer (honestly) right around the corner, I have been on the  hunt for a new set of prancin’ party shoes. This means that they have to withstand the torment of walking to work on the bike path this Summer  (this is the prance part) and still look good enough to wear to a weekend party or dare I say, wedding! We’ll after looking high and low at soles, I am happy to shout out that I have found them in the perfect height and wedge shape and in doing so, re-discovered the wonderful world of “the espadrille!” This HAS to be the most perfect summer shoe.

You might be wondering why I am rambling on about party shoes, when I should be expounding more on the gloriousness of solar garden art and garden tools. I’m getting to that! Actually the reason I’ve hunted for and purchased a new pair of party shoes is because I will be attending a close friends’ wedding next week in Palm Dessert. I plan to wear my new shoes and she plans to light up her wedding with a minimum of TWENTY of the Soji Modern lanterns from Allsop Home & Garden.  Our Soji Modern lantern is absolutely ideal for Summer weddings, with its soft golden glow and layered cake look.  Really, it could not meld better with the mid-century Mod design in “The Dessert.”  The wedding will be both green and glowing and I’ll be blogging about all of it while wearing my espadrilles next time! If you are interested in finding your own set of perfect Espadrilles might I recommend Ralph by Ralph Lauren “Cecelia. Shantung silk + espadrille  wedge= perfection!

The NEW Soji Base Unit

You now have options when it comes to your Soji Original Solar Lanterns, shall I hang the product or set it on a tabletop?

Our Soji Original Solar Lanterns have a new look and added bonus base unit included! This dark grey molded plastic base unit fits snuggly on the bottom of the nylon lantern to transform it to a tabletop piece. What a great way to add ambient light to your outdoor table for dinning outdoors this summer!

If you would like to transform your Soji Original into a table top unit then attach this base unit to convert it from a hanging lantern to a table top unit. The product will continue to collect sunlight during the day and glow beautifully at night! Each Soji Original Solar lantern will come with the base unit included starting April 19th, or you can purchase the base unit for your existing Soji Solar Lanterns as an accessory piece.

Going Coastal

I grew up walking distance from the ocean and have many fond memories of time spent at the beach.  Through the years, I have traveled to beaches all over the world but the Florida beaches of my childhood are still my favorite. 

Now a resident of Idaho, I find it difficult to live so far from the coast.  However, being landlocked doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate the feel of seaside living into your space…wherever that may be.  

Here are some ideas: 

1.  Do something different…what about prints for your walls?  I love this nautical Wall Paper from Jonathan Adler


2.  These mold, mildew and fade resistent throw pillows from Thomas Paul are prefect for your indoor or outdoor seating.  Available at All Modern

3.  For your outdoor space…Aurora Glow Sea Glass from us at Allsop Home and Garden.  Solar string lights that incorporate the greens, yellows and blues found in sea glass. 


4.  For a unique indoor lighting option, check out this coral chandelier from Moth Design.  I love this piece! 


 5.  Albertus Seba’s Cabinet of Natural Curiosities.  One of the most prized natural history books of all time filled with illustrations of plants, animals, sea creatures and more.  Basically, the ultimate coffee table book!     


6.  Seahorse sculpture from Jonathan Adler.  I love the detailed simplicity of this sculpture.  


7. Last, but not least…”Beach” candle from Trina Turk.  When you close your eyes, it almost smells like the beach…almost. 


This summer, we are expanding our line of outdoor solar lanterns and will be offering three Limited Edition Prints:

  • Black and white 12″ round lantern.  A larger, printed version of the 10″ round Soji Original we have all come to love.
  • Yellow rhombus with white free-form dots.  New shape + print + yellow = perfect lantern for summer!
  • Coffee brown hive-shaped lantern with white polka dots.  Another new (and very unique) shape.

Photos by Paulette Phlipot.

Lanterns arriving for Summer 2010…watch our site for more details.