Virtual Shopping: H&M Home in the U.S.A.

The blog post was finished. I was all dramatic about how I needed these products in my life, and lamenting - while my bank account sighed in relief - that they were not yet available to us here in the States. So I visit the web site to grab pictures to make a little mood board, and what do I find? H&M Home products available in the U.S.

Be careful what you wish for...

Apparently I have been under an online-school sized rock (seriously, online classes are so much more time consuming than regular on-campus ones), because I missed the announcement. And lots of things are already sold out.

These products are super budget-friendly, even for a design student like me. Which means they're dangerous. And that I now have some prioritizing to do: Need, Really Love, Love, Like, Can Wait. Because right now, it seems, I am into everything. Especially cheap & stylish. If I didn't prioritize, I would end up on Hoarders. (Sidenote: My wonderful mother unknowingly taught me this Need thing. I'd see something I wanted while shopping and she would tell me, "You don't need it." So I'd have to put it back. While shopping for herself, she'd ask, "I love it, but do I need it?" So now when I am shopping and see something I have to have, I exclaim to whoever is with me, "Oooh, I think I need these!")

Anyway, back to the H&M Home line. While I haven't seen anything in person yet, it looks pretty good from the photos - I think they did a perfect job of styling their products in the catalog looks (they broke it down into Basics, Modern Minimalism, Bohemian VintagePlayful Retro and Kids). They sell you the lifestyle. For example, while browsing their photos, I found myself wanting everything in those pictures - an oversized neon letter or funky piece of furniture - which they obviously don't sell. What they do sell, though, covered a lot of my bases; that is, things I am almost always drawn to:

Before you proceed: please excuse my mood-board making skills. These were made in Power Point. I am in desperate need of Photoshop but haven't pulled the trigger on a purchase just yet.

1. Candle, $5.95 | 2. Blanket, $34.95 | 3. Pillow (cover only), $17.95 | 4. Apron, $9.95 | 5. Candle Holder, $6.95 | 6. 2-Pack of (Over-dramatic, IMO) Storage Baskets, $14.95 | 7. Soap Dispenser, $7.95 and Soap Dish,$6.95

I'm not an apron person but I would totally wear that one while attempting DIY projects. I am a very messy, clumsy creator, and I feel like "Bless this mess or do it yourself" is a good message to those around me while I am in the process. And those NYC Transit bath accessories? I need them. I have had an obsession with New York since I was like 8 years old. I will visit one day...but I am afraid I will never want to leave.

1. Faux Leather Pillow (cover only), $24.95 | 2. Blanket, $79.95 | 3. Purple Floral Pillow (cover only), $14.95 | 4. 2-Pack Guest Towels, $9.95 | 5. Mug, $5.95 | 6. Yellow Floral Pillow (cover only), $12.95 | 7. Fuchsia Pillow (cover only), $12.95 | 8. Round Velvet Pillow, $19.95 | 9. Ceramic Jar, $12.95 | 10. (King/Queen) Linen Duvet Cover Set, $79.95

They pretty much have all of the floral-style bases covered: bright & pop-y, modern & minimal, soft & feminine, black & white. And all the texture. This was a good move. They do a better job of depicting all of their varying textures on their basics page, but I thought I would include some of my favorites. See how dynamic a neutral tone-on-tone look can be, simply by varying the textures of your pieces? Totally not flat and boring. The round velvet pillow is my favorite...for today.

1. Horse Pillow (cover only), $9.95 | 2. Faux Fur Blanket, $69.95 | 3. Gemstone Pillow (cover only), $24.95 and Glossy Pillow (cover only), $5.95 | 4. Gold Foil Script & Linen Pillow, $17.95 | 5. Various Blingy Candle Holders, price varies | 6. Jacquard Pillow (cover only), $24.95 | 7. Copper Glittery Pillow (cover only), $12.95 | 8. Zebra Print Pillow, $9.95 | 9. Bunny Candle Holder, $6.95 | 10. 2-Pack Guest Towels, $9.95 | 11. Bird Pillow, $9.95

I would have passed over that bird pillow until I saw it styled here. Now I want it in my own dining room. See what I mean about their styling? Amazing. Also, I have two faux fur blankets already, but I think this one needs to be ours too. (Anyone else read YHL? I feel like I would hoard black ceramic animals instead of white, like they do. I guess I just prefer black accessories? Why do I feel racist against white ceramic animals while I type this?)

So much good stuff. This doesn't even do it justice. Now I just need to figure out how to close my wallet and instead trick people into paying me be the one others hire to make their spaces look amazing. In the meantime, there's a killer pair of floral curtains that I need to get for the office.

What are your favorites? Anyone else excited that H&M is offering home stuff because they love the brand's styling but none of their clothes ever seem to fit right? Just me & my shortness? I like to say that home goods and shoes always fit...


Weekends (or: HomeGoods-Induced Design Anxiety)

This past weekend, while Andy was getting his haircut, I stopped by HomeGoods for some biodegradable dog doo bags (is my Seattleite showing?). Which, my husband lovingly told me, the fact that I knew those existed at that store made me weird. Whatevs. One, we both already know I'm a weirdo and two? Duh, a good HomeGoods trip always requires going through each department, and of course I am not going to miss the pet department because dog treats are expensive and we have a group of neighborhood kids who knock on the door every day and ask to give Tank some treats. So we have been running low recently.

[A short side note: HomeGoods is relatively new in WA, with just 2 locations. We had been teased for a couple of years with commercials telling us to 'be HomeGoods happy', with no explanation as to how we might achieve this level of happiness, so needless to say, I was excited that my SoCal town had given me that opportunity. So for those who are still unfamiliar: think of an entire store the size of TJMaxx or Marshall's, for just the housewares section. And better products than you might typically find at those stores, because they send them all to HomeGoods (same group of companies).]

Anyway, I walk in and as usual they assault me with their new products that I didn't know I totally needed rightthissecond until, well, right that second. This time? Emerald green bed sheets. I wish I had thought to take a picture but I was too busy frantically searching for a twin size. You know, for the twin mattress we don't have yet to fit the brass head/footboard that we do have for the guest room in the house we aren't currently living in full time? That's normal, right?

Our $25 Craigslist special. It needs a good cleaning, but it's in good shape otherwise. When we were unloading it into our garage, Andy asked me how we were going to attach it to the frame, as there are hand-looking things where we normally see holes to attach a box spring frame. So yeah, there's that to figure out, also. I feel like I am this bed's proud parent, overlooking small quirks and thinking it is totally perfect. Something that isn't totally perfect? Our dirty garage walls. If you had seen how filthy the landlord left the house for us and how much subsequent scrubbing and near vomiting I did in the first two months, you wouldn't have repainted on their behalf, either.

So I discover that there are no pretty emerald green twin sheet sets. Serious bummer. In attempting to forget about that gorgeous emerald color that has suddenly taken over my brain, I find myself in the food section to pick up the essentials - three jars of stuffed olives and a bottle of vermouth generic brand olive juice cocktail mixer. Because why not make a martini or two when we get home, to drown the sorrow of not finding a set of sheets that I suddenly have convinced myself that we need? I mean, not urgently need, but eventually. And in my flustered state, I left without looking for new cutting boards, so I had to make a trip back later that evening. If you were wondering whether I double-checked for a twin set during that second trip, the answer is obviously yes.

One of these days, I will purchase photoshop so I can mood board the heck out of the ever-evolving plans for our house and people who aren't inside my head (ahem, everybody) will be able to see what I am talking about. Until then, I guess just try to trust me when I say that green would look awesome with that brass.

So now, several days later, I can't stop thinking about them and I can't find anything close anywhere else so my anxiety is telling me I won't be able to find them when it is actually time to start dressing that room. Design problems.

Really though, (affordable) textile people, Emerald was named Pantone's Color of the Year for 2013. I feel like you are all missing out on the opportunity to jump on that bandwagon to cater to design trend slaves.
See? Emerald MADNESS. It was actually even more emerald-y the other day. (screenshot: Pantone home page)

Yes, Pantone + JCP has a line of bed & bath products (check it out here), but their emerald bedding doesn't even come close to the ones I found. Less saturated, with just a strip of the color at the top...but, they are meant to go with the very emerald duvet cover set and super bold emerald-on-emerald would end up looking nuts. Just as too much white (in the sheets below) with our white duvet cover would be super boring. (Yes, we already have a comforter - but we use it with our futon guest bed down here, so I am not completely a hoarder.)
Not the same. I want these emerald sheets to own the fact that they are the color of the year. Not just give me a glimpse of it. I feel like you could have made JCP do a little better, Pantone. (photo: source)

Luckily, these next two weekends will be so amazing that I will forget all about silly design probs. Thursday (holy cow, as in tomorrow - what day is it again?), one of my best friends comes to visit for a few days, so a little SoCal exploration + adventure will ensue. This chick is a really good time. I can't wait - my soul needs this.

The two of us at a Sounders game last summer.

She heads back home Monday, and the next day Andy and I will travel up to Coeur d'Alene to visit one of his best friends. I am picturing a lot of lake and cocktail time, some sunshine...oh and fireworks, obv. Observed from a safe distance, however, as they scare the heck out of me. Traumatizing childhood experience that my mind has completely blown out of proportion, naturally. It should be pretty great. You, know, as long as I keep a safe distance from explosives.

What's that you say, Anxiety? My summer quarter online classes also started this week? And I'm somehow already behind? Why must you always rain on my parade?


I'm baaaack

Holy blog hiatus. I may have been a tad ambitious in my idea to start a blog and school at the same time. And then, after a school break, I couldn't find myself wanting to write. I was creatively exhausted. Once I got over that exhaustion & ideas for posts started coming to me, I'd visit my blog and get annoyed with it. The look just didn't fit right with what I wanted to portray. And, as with any space, virtual or physical, I believe it must reflect you and make you happy or else you won't be productive or even want to spend time there. So I finally shelled out $15 for an awesome new design that I'm obsessed with and that I think reflects my design aesthetic. I even changed up the title a bit, just to try it out and see how it sticks.

So now that I feel like I can breathe again in my little online space, I hope to spend a lot more time here - and I hope other people do too! I have a couple of draft posts that I hope to publish in the coming weeks about the last few semesters of school, just waiting to be edited and photos added. Oooor, I get busy and end up neglecting my poor blog for another year or so. Guess we will find out...

And since I think posts are lame without pictures, here are a few for you to look at. Mostly of my dog, probably. I haven't pre-picked them or anything, so we will both be surprised with what ends up here:

Oh, here's a good one. One of my projects for lighting class. Which I thought would kill me but actually ended up inspiring me later on. One of the many post ideas I have.

Holly Becker repinned one of my pins once. I had to capture the moment. Sure, she was repinning my pin about her book, not about some cool rug I liked or whatever, but still. She acknowledged me. Virtually. It's like we were meant to be best design friends.

My dog, the most vicious pit bull in all the land. I only take selfies when I am capturing a good cuddle sesh with Tank.

I think that'll do. I'd like to say I will be back soon but I don't want to make promises before I really know what I am doing. So, I guess, until next time, whenever that may be?
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