Friday, March 28, 2008

Going Green

Earth Day is quickly approaching, so I wanted to begin a series on decorating green. I know it is probably something that isn't top priority when designing your home, but it is definitely something we should all try to do. We only have one Earth, it is up to us to keep it healthy!

There is a neat observance going on tomorrow called Earth Hour. At 8pm, your time zone, you turn off all of your lights for an hour, basically. It is a neat concept, I think!

So what are some of the ways that decorating your home can have an impact on the environment? Well, there are several different factors you can consider.

1. Is it made of post-consumer product? That can be your number one clue whether or not the product you are using is environmentally friendly. It can be polyester made from post-consumer products or it can be a glass table made from recycled soda bottles. Anything that can be recycled after use is another great product to use!

2. What is it made of? Products are made up of materials, like in a recipe for your favorite lasagna. The first thing you need to know is whats inside? There are fibers, plastics, polymers, composites - but what are all those things made of? You can request a certification of ingredients, or Manufacturers Safety Data Sheet (MSDS ) that legally must list all the materials used in the production of whatever it is you are using. Those materials can include things such as additives, chemical enhancers, binders, paints/varnishes, etc. Some of these items can include materials that are not earth-friendly. Some aren't really even people friendly. It is always best to find items that go through the least amount of processing/finishing steps as possible.

Over the next few days, we'll touch on a few more "green" ideas. Until then, have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Flowers, Flowers, Everywhere!

One trend that seems to be gaining momentum at this point in time is the HUGE flower trend! There are so many designs out there right now that are massive floral prints. Some of them are FABULOUS! Some of them - not so fabulous.

Some designers have shown the large-scale prints paired with smaller scale stripes or plaids, others are showing several large-scale prints together. When done well, both options are striking!

There is no rule that says large prints have to be relegated to flowers - no way! There are some interesting large-scale prints that are far from floral. I found this fish-themed print from Osborne and Little quite interesting!

Bottom line - big prints are great design elements - just don't overdo it!

Tip of the day!
To get rid of a headache, slice open a lime and rub it on your head. -credit - Martha Stewart.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Boogity Boogity Boogity! Let's go racin.......

The 2008 NASCAR season is underway and things are getting pretty exciting. We had an off weekend this past weekend for the Sprint Cup guys but the Nationwide guys were out in Nashville. In case anyone has missed the action recently let me catch you up. Kyle Busch, who is off to one heck of a start leads the point standings in the Spring Cup series with Greg Biffle not far behind. Everyone's golden boy, Dale Earnhardt Jr is sitting pretty in 5th with my personal favorite, Kasey Kahne in 6th. Anything could happen especially with Martinsville coming up this weekend.
Interior Mall has some one-of-a-kind NASCAR items to help the die hard NASCAR fans cheer on their favorite driver(s). Use these great fabrics to turn any room into your favorite racing room.
Need a little extra light? Choose one of these great driver lamps for the perfect touch.
Or, to really show off your favorite driver, choose among any of these great framed and unframed photographs.
These images capture all the great drivers from past to present including Dale Earnhardt Jr and Sr, Richard Petty, Rusty Wallace, Kasey Kahne, and many more in the habitat they love most.... the race track.
So, get started on that racing room you've always wanted. To help display all your favorite collectibles, you might choose any of our great shelving systems. I personally like the Glace Collection and the Verve Collection.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Vendor Spotlight - Thumprints

Just a quick little plug for a local company that we carry in our store and on our website. Thumprints is a lamp company that is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Thumprints is a specialty lamp-making company that strives to create high quality, unique and artistic lighting. Inspired by creativity and individuality, each Thumprints lamp is designed by young Arkansas artist, Allison West.

Thumprints' lamps have even been featured in the living areas of "The Apprentice"! These lamps all handmade, thus making each one different and unique - just like your thumprint. You can view their line here!

New Collection Spotlight: Beacon Hill Fabrics

Beacon Hill, a high-end collection from Robert Allen, has announced a GORGEOUS new line called "Decorative Velvets". From Beacon Hill:

Inviting to touch and appealing to the eye, the luxurious allure of velvet transcends time. Innovative modern constructions make an elegant statement while time-honored traditional designs surprise with fresh colors. The two book set is categorized by Warm Tones and Cool Tones, with a range of colors within each book.

Velvets made of silk, linen and even bamboo are offered in distinctive designs ranging from rich embossed florals to a zebra stripe in a cut and uncut velvet rib weave to ornate lace-inspired "up the roll" panel stripe. Explore this array of the world's finest velvets by Beacon Hill.

These new fabrics are so beautiful! You can call us at 800-590-5844 for more information or to order!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Finials and Standards and Pulleys, oh my!

Window Covering! You either love to be covered or don't mind being open to the world - there seems to be strong feelings on both sides of the debate. Personally, I prefer my windows covered - it is way easier to hide a messy interior that way ;) There are so many styles of window coverings that are available, from blinds to valances to roman shades - the possibilities are endless!

One thing we get asked more than anything is "can this be made into a traverse rod?" More often than not, the answer is no. Traverse rods are intended for draperies that you want to be able to open and close with a pulley mechanism, which pulls the drapes open from the center, or as a "one-way draw", which would open them to the right or to the left only. These systems use a pulley system, rather than manually moving the curtains. They differ from a rod that uses rings or tab-top drapes in that you have to manually move those with a baton or by hand.

With regards to traversing track, there are also your more "industrial" options, flexible tracking and cubicle tracking-type systems. The flexible tracking is just that - flexible. You can make it follow most any pattern you need, from straight to a 360-degree circle. The cubicle tracking systems are more like what you would find in a hospital/doctor's office setting and are typically use for applications which require straight sections or sections with a 90-degree curve.

Another system that has become more popular is a wire system. These types of systems use steel wire held between two or more brackets and can use small rings to slide your curtain along the wire. They are very popular in areas where you may have little room for drapery hardware.

with the decision of the type of hardware, you must also decide the type of drapery style you wish. There are different types of pleats (i.e., goblet pleat, pinch pleat, knife pleat, etc.), tab-top, rod-pocket styles as well as swags, jabots, puddles - it's unreal how many choices there are!

There are also other options which do not necessary require rods or curtains. Roman shades,
blinds, roller-shades - take a look!
(photo copyright to )

After you've decided on a style, you get to find a fabric and that can be the most fun of all!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Company Spotlight!

There are so many wonderful designers and gorgeous collections out right now. One of my new favorites is Osborne & Little . Osborne & Little was begun by two brothers-in-law who had much creative ability and a knack for business.

In 1968, they opened a showroom in London's Chelsea District, and the rest, as they say, is history! Their designs began as hand-printed wallcovering but in the past 40 years, their designs have taken shape in fabrics, trims, wallcovering, furniture and decorative home accessories.

Through the years, Osborne & Little have forged partnerships with many of the top names in design, including Nina Campbell, Lorca, Liberty Furnishing and, most recently, Michael Reeves.

Osborne & Little is deservedly held in high esteem in the design/decorative world. For more information on Osborne & Little products, contact us!
(all photos, copyright, O&L )

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Wow - after 2 snow days in one week, I think things may be getting back to normal!

So what are some of the hot colors this season? Now that winter is (for the most part) over, it's time to focus on lighter and brighter! I've seen several colors that have made their way to the "it" list for this season - lavender, coral, sea-green, pale blues - so pretty! (fabric photos from Kravet )

Furniture, paint, accessories - there is so much you can do to change your room just by making a simple color change. Accents in these colors, such as vases, pillows, wall art, framed photos and the like all add a personal touch to your space.

Tip of the Day!!

Have a stubborn ring around the bowl? Use a pumice stone to gently scrub it away without using harsh cleaning agents!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Meet the Staff: Crystal

This week on Meet the Staff I am introducing you to Crystal. She's the other fantastic girl in our purchasing department. She helps get all your orders placed on time and correctly as well as gets you your shipping information. We had a nice little pow wow the other day to get to know Crystal. Here is what she said:

Carrie: How long have you been working for Interior Mall?
Crystal: 3 years this month! Yeah!

Carrie: What do you enjoy most about your job?
Crystal: I love that everyday brings something new. Never boring here at Interior Mall.

Carrie: What is your favorite thing about interior design?
Crystal: So many options.

Carrie: How would you describe your interior design taste?
Crystal: My motto is: 'Simple is sweet.'

Carrie: When not working, how do you spend your time?
Crystal: My family is #1! Other than that I am a HUGE NASCAR fan and always cheering on my Arkansas Razorbacks! GO HOGS!

Carrie: One random question: Who is one person in the world you want to meet and why?
Crystal: Choices? Choices? I would have to say Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88. He is one person who has dealt with a lot of things in his life and he continued to strive above all criticism. Once a fan always a fan!

Thanks Crystal!

Next week on Meet the Staff.......Tracy!

Outdoor Fabric 101

Spring is looming. We go through a time change this weekend, have Easter in just a couple of weeks, and before you know it, it will be time for Memorial Day. With all these events taking place that means it will be time to start thinking about how you will dress up that patio or sun room for the warmer weather.
It has come to my attention that while people get the concept of outdoor fabric and what it is used for, there are still a lot of things that remain confusing...even to us!
I have compiled a list of things to consider when choosing your next outdoor fabric.

#1: Water Resistant vs. Water Repellent. We get phone calls all the time about what the difference is. Well, I am here to clarify! Water resistant means the fabric resists water. Water will not penetrate the fabric. Water repellent means that is resists fabric but given enough time and water it will penetrate the fabric. Most outdoor fabrics are water repellent, not resistant.

#2: Choose a fabric that is stain resistant. Most of the time, if the fabric is stain resistant it will also repel the growth of mold and mildew.

#3: Light Fastness. This is another topic that even I personally have had a lot of questions about. Certain dyes are more prone to fading than others. There are finishes you can place on your fabric to help slow the process of fading but nothing will completely stop the process. Any outdoor fabric will have this process already done to it. On many outdoor fabrics they will list the minimum number of hours a fabric can be exposed to light before showing signs of fading. You might see fabric anywhere from 200 hours to 2200 hours.

#4: If you are using the fabric on an outdoor patio, you are most likely placing the fabric in an area where a grill, or fire pit, or candles will be used. For this reason, it is good to also consider a fabrics flammability rating. There are three main flammability ratings used in the US:
1. UFAC Class 1
2. Cal. 117
3. NFPA 260
These three are used on the majority of contract and some residential fabrics used.

#5: The last thing you might consider is the cleaning code. How easy will it be to clean? You might see Cleaning Code: S, WS, W, whatever the cleaning code visit our page of cleaning code definitions to understand exactly what it means. Cleaning Codes.

Hopefully this shed a little more light on what all the technical information means and don't forget to check out our section of Outdoor Fabrics!