Puppy Love

Today is a very big day in my house. In celebration of our anniversary, my husband and I blissfully welcomed home our very first puppy. 

 I'd like to introduce you to little miss Toki!

If I'm not online much over the next few days, it's because my weekend's full of treats, trips to the back yard and the world's most perfect fuzzy-nosed kisses.

Have a great weekend!


Elleby Mood Board: Late summer 2010

I've been taking a super wonderful creative blogging e-course led by Holly Becker of decor8 fame, which has been endlessly inspiring. One of the class challenges was to create a mood board to capture the essence of your blog. So behold, the first seasonal Elleby Design mood board. It captures the snips and textures and colors that have inspired me this summer. Stay tuned for a fall update coming soon!



The Sketchbook Project

There are few things more exhilarating, intimidating, and overwhelming than a brand-spanking new sketchbook. 

I am presently sitting curled in my favorite chair, staring petrified at an 80-page Moleskine with my name on the cover, and a DEADLINE by which it must be filled.

Today, friends, I am thrilled to participate in the 2010 Art House Co-Op Sketchbook Project. Today, my brand new book arrived in the mail.
The Sketchbook Project: 2011

The idea is pretty simple, and VERY cool. Creative folks around the world pay to have a barcoded notebook sent to them, with one of 20 assigned theme topics ranging from "Dirigibles and submersibles" to "...... you'd be home by now." Each participant fills their sketchbook however they're inspired and returns it to the Co-Op. Next year, the Co-Op will take the entire collection of thousands of books on tour around the country, before logging them all into the permanent collection of The Brooklyn Art Library and making them available for public view. 

Can you imagine the magical countless hours you could spend exploring the finished collection?

Since signing up last week, my mind has been popping with ideas for my book -- the theme is "Boys and Girls" -- in quiet elevator moments and while parking my car. My brain's been going full tilt boogie writing high-school poetry and dreaming up glorious fun ways to fill this book. 

So right now, I'll take a moment of silence to enjoy the glorious emptiness, the blank possibility of what a sketchbook can become. I'll share it with you along the way. But in the meantime, don't you want to join the project, too? Sign up now!


Vintage Cool

Tonight I'm working late on a freelance graphic design project, but wanted to take a minute to share this awesome vintage photo which inspired a few designs lately. It was taken in the back garden of a speakeasy in Washington DC in 1921. I love it entirely: the composition and tree-filtered light, the brazen attitude, the awesome boozy tree-fort afternoon among friends.

Image available from Shorpy.com -- Please visit and buy a print!


What I Did on My Summer Vacation

I've been gone a few weeks, but I've been working for the blog, and working hard. I've been building a resource of lovely internet design goodness, and I'm sharing it with YOU.

I've taken 1500 most-loved links stored on my hard drive and moved them to DELICIOUS.COM

I categorized, tagged, updated and labeled them to create a huge reference of the coolest stuff I've found online in the past few years. Click on over and take a look! The catalog includes:
  • 1423 Bookmarks labeled with 1410 different searchable tags
  • 85 well-edited interior design blogs
  • 20 graphic design blogs
  • 16 places to buy great (inexpensive) art for your house
  • 155 fashion shopping sites
  • 132 sites to buy great, unique gifts
  • The list goes on and on and on...
I also decided to try my hand at Pinterest. Pinterest is an online pin board, where you collect and share the best images you find on the web. You can search, follow others, and 'like' images, you can pull images from someone else's board and 're-pin' them on your own. You can create new boards for any grouping of images you like. (My boards so far include rooms that could be in my dream home and gifts I'd love to give, among others.)

As a visual person, I can't overstate how much I love this resource. It's a way to organize visual reference, to put everything you love in one place. It's the digital equivalent of the 'mood boards' I create for my graphic design clients, a card catalog of design images.

If you'd like to try your hand at Pinterest, reply in the comments below with your email address and let me know what the topics of your first pinboards will be. I'll send invites to the most creative answers!

I will be devoting more time to this blog and Twitter in the months to come, and I hope you'll join me. Thanks for stopping in, and happy summer!



Hello Friends,

To raise the bar on the content on this blog, I'm taking a few weeks to get myself organized and tackle a few projects I'm excited to tell you about. I am checking in every day, and I'll be back blogging with a vengeance the first of August. In the meantime, check out Elleby Design on Twitter, peruse our huge collection of links on Delicious, and very soon on Pinterest!


Watercolor madness!

Shopping online, I just came across a gorgeous silk blouse that looks just like our Elleby logo. Too fun!

Photo (and blouse) via Anica Boutique

But watercolor designs are all over lately, from artwork and business cards to clothing to home textiles. There's something so refreshingly classic about them. Have you seen any watercolor designs that have inspired you?



Next-Level Thinking

What makes couture fashion so dreamy? A combination of the grandeur of the design, the inherent attention to detail, the perfect fit, or simply having of something not everyone can have.

Searching online today for inspiration for re-upholstering my great-grandmother's boudoir chair, I made a delightful discovery. British upholsterer and furniture designer Aiveen Daly creates impeccable, hand-crafted made-to-order and bespoke upholstery of new and antique furniture. Imaginative combinations of color and texture are reined in by strict tailoring to create something truly unique.

It is little wonder that Aiveen lists among her inspirations Galliano, Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood. The craft details in her work are straight from a Paris runway, and the execution is spot-on perfect. Add this to my chance-in-a-million wishlist!

Discovering Aiveen Daly is to my love of furniture what discovering April Reed was to wedding cake: Design and execution on a level above the rest.  

Who is your favorite "next level" designer?

(Look at this upholstered door with nailhead trim. AMAZING!)
Aiveen Daly, 2 Letchford Gardens, London NW10. Tel: 020 8962 0044, aiveendaly.com 

(Photos www.Aiveendaly.com)



Today I made two lucky discoveries in one: The first was this amazing bar in London called Coquine, designed by the extraordinarily talented Lee Broom. I love how it's dark and classic and clean and current all at the same time. I love how the doorways feel like you're stepping through a frame into a painting. The slick subway tile on the curved ceiling is pitch-perfect next to velvet cushions.

Then I discovered this photo from Coquine, featuring amazing light fixtures made from repurposed antique cut-glass liquor decanters. The lights are a creation of the bar's designer, Lee Broom, and are for sale through his studio. They come in two finishes (gold or crystal) and each one is unique, since they're sourced from antiques stores and flea markets.

I'd love to use them in a super-modern, feminine dressing room. Where would you put them?


The Gateway Drug

My interior design obsession began innocently enough. I went to work one day as an Art Director at a small office of a big international ad agency. My Creative Director called me in to his office and said "Hey, we're moving to a new space. Want to design it?" 

After a year and a half of research, an elaborate renovation turned a nearly-abandoned former nightclub into a modern urban loft workspace for 40.


White Space

White space. In my graphic design life, I'm always advocating, even fighting, for more of it. Everybody wants their message to shout, but why fill up every inch with words, colors, when you stand out more by creating balance, a place to rest? 

In interiors, all white is sometimes viewed as a missed opportunity, but I think it can easily be just the opposite. It allows the structure and light in a room to sing. Lacking color, juxtapositions of texture provide a surprising richness in detail, while the space remains calm and serene. You have room to breathe, to think. A room becomes a canvas on which you paint your life. The ceiling drifts on endlessly, there is a feeling of lightness and possibility.

Today, I bring you eye candy from my personal inspiration file -- with the caveat that it has been culled over time from favorite sites, and in my pre-blog life, I didn't save names with the images. I won't make a practice of posting without sourcing, but today, it's what I've got. Enjoy!



Poster Post: Gifts Edition

Admittedly, I have a 'thing' for screenprinted posters. Blame my day job as a graphic designer or the fact that I live in a rented house and cannot paint the walls, but I'm running out of wall space, and now I give them as gifts!

Here are some of my recent favorites (only one of which I already own) and the lucky recipients who might love them:

For the friend who always invites you to art openings:

For your too-cool indie rock friend's birthday:

For the bride who already has every conceivable household item:
Poster 3

Two for your honey:
Poster 4a Poster 4b

For a hostess gift or housewarming gift:

For your most-est fabulous-est girlfriend:
Poster 6

Here's custom one for someone truly unique (or perhaps "Do you like me?" for a secret crush?) You submit the question that goes on the one-of-a-kind print.
Poster 7

And lastly, a few for baby showers and kids:
poster 8b
Seen (or made) a great poster lately? Please share!

Sources: Lake Illustration, Threadless, VLLG, Lake Illustration (again), Sparkle Power, Roll and Tumble Press, HowFab, Frank Chimero, The Paper Tray, CreativeNeesh, SweetBeets