Bringing Fashion Week into Your Home

While Fashion may seem like it can only pertain to clothes, it can influence your home’s look and keep your space modern and unique each season. 

New York, London, Paris, and Milan. Four major cities host the most influential fashion weeks. Starting today is Paris Fashion Week, which will close out “Fashion Month” for winter. So, how can you take these trends from the runways into your home and bring a new, fun style into your space?

In Milan, pastel colors and neon accented the Prada runway and highly acclaimed by fashion critics and consumers. Take the simple, soft grey duvet from The Hulopoe Bay duvet cover and add the bright neon accent pillows, bed skirts, and sheets from The Oceana. The duvet cover balances out the bright neon of The Oceana pieces and keep to the color balance of the space. If the bright Oceana is too much for your style, add color with colored bed sheets. If you want pastels, then the sheets offered in lavender, mint, light blue, sage, peach, and beige are the best colors to go for. Along with pastel sheets, add soft neutral colored duvets from The Damai, The Easton, The Profiles Silk Turquoise, and The Cottonwood. These duvets compliment the pastel hues of the sheets and provide the look that Prada was making on the runway at Milan.

While Milan focused on soft colors and pastels, London looked to bold patterns and darkly bright colors—royal blues, deep plums, and bright reds. Duvet covers from The Park Avenue, The Montana, and The Oceana provide the bold patterns seen on the runway of Antonio Beradi. Further this design aesthetic with bright sheets in hunter green, navy blue, burgundy, red, or plum. These colors compliment the design aesthetics of the duvets and provide the strong look that were seen on the runways.

New York took a more neutral approach to color but focused on unique cuts to the clothes, inspired by the 1960s and 1970s, and sheer fabrics and floral prints. While this aesthetic can be difficult to achieve through the duvet covers and sheets, accessories get closer to this style with color and the time period aesthetic. Sheets in burgundy, gold, ecru, mocha and teal highlight the jeweled-tones seen on the runways of Erin FetherstonDennis Basso, and Oscar de la Renta. And in traditional white, black, charcoal, navy blue, and grey harken the runways of Caroline HerreraReem Acra, and Diane Von Furstenburg. Duvet covers that match these style aesthetics include The Shangri-La, The Park Avenue, The Namaste, The Radiance Copper and The Radiance Steel.

Paris Fashion Week begins on March 4th with a continuation of powerful colors, fun patterns, and a modern aesthetic on old styles.

Mixing and Matching: Making a Modern Bedroom through Patterns

Like children, we are told not to mix patterns. Nothing sends a cringe down my spine like the sight of mismatched patterns mixed together– I’m looking at you, stripes and polka dots! But in the past couple of years, interior designers have not only re-embraced patterns in general, but they made it acceptable to mix patterns to make a cohesive, yet uniquely personalized space.

354057e2cb4f43e6b85b382972f4d2af

There are four main things to consider before mixing patterns:

1) Scale: too many small scale prints and too many large scale prints in one space immediately overwhelm the viewer and shrink the space’s appearance.
2) Balance white space and patterns in the room: nothing scares people quite like patterned walls, patterned bedding, patterned rugs, and patterned side furniture all within one space. White space amplifies each pattern, standing out uniquely yet in harmony with each other. This also allows the space to remain large, not consumed up by patterns.
3) Color Compliments: find a color balance in the room. Limit the colors in the room to three to keep it cohesive. And finally, think of one colored pattern as a neutral or balance it with a neutral (white space!) to keep it from feeling claustrophobic.
4) Experimentation: Mix patterns that you initially wouldn’t think would go together. Find one pattern that “speaks to you” and use that inspiration for the rest of the space and the complimentary patterns.

So, what are the best ways to introduce a pattern in a bedroom? The great thing about Mystic Valley Traders’ bedroom ensembles is that the collections are already composed of different patterns mixed expertly together. But, say you want to make the patterns and style more unique to your taste and space. You can do that through Mystic Valley Traders. For greatest impact, your duvet should have the largest boldest pattern. Take The Park Avenue floral duvet with accent pillows from The Shangri-La. The small neutral print in the Shangri-La pillows balance the large colorful print in The Park Avenue duvet. Also, the geometric and sharp print in the accent pillows balance the feminine floral duvet.
Or if you want a subtler mixture of patterns, use a solid duvet, like The Hulopoe Bay, The Café Cinnamon, or The Profiles Silk Turquoise. All boast solid color and mixed patterns that compliment the solids. With The Hulopoe Bay, because the duvet functions in either white or gray, accented patterns should have white or gray negative space to maintain unity—so accent pillows from The Cottonwood, The Radiance Steel, THE Park Avenue, and The Damai would work well. The Café Cinnamon, because it works with browns and whites, would do best with The Fulham Road, The Easton, and The Radiance Copper. And with the bright turquoise of The Profiles Silk Turquoise, hunt among The Namaste, The Chantilly, The Easton, The Shangri-La, and The Radiance Steel for compliments.
Patterns provide personal expression, and that is what forward designers aim for in all of their services and designs— creating the ideal dream space for you.

No Compromises: Working and Manufacturing in America

No compromises. Mystic Valley Traders takes this stance as a made-in-America brand. With the momentous increase in made-in-America products over the past couple of years, and rumors about other companies’ unjust claims to that mantle, Mystic Valley Traders asserts its authentic American bona fides as a reflection of its commitment to quality and excellence, not to merely wave the flag.

Where did the made-in-America trend start and why did these companies vanish? According to the Bureau of National Labor Statistics, 7 million jobs were lost to companies outsourcing between 1981 and 2011. Well, the simple answer is that foreign nations, most notably China, entered the international market for manufacturing products both quickly and on a budget. Companies easily make their products in other countries because the pay scales are below those in America and Europe. Too, relaxed regulations in these countries including age limits expands the work force due to general population size, as well as the fact that the working populations are larger than American standards. However, over the last three years the amount of American-made companies increased and, therefore, more jobs and possibilities developed for these brands.

Mystic Valley Traders has always taken pride in its made-in-America brand and services. We see products as a service performed for you, providing what you need for daily life. We do not use made-in-America as a mere selling point or marketing tactic, rather it is integral to our conscientious business plan. To respond to customers quickly and with uncompromising skill, we manufacture all our products in the US, in our Boston-area workroom. As we see it, our customers are worth the extra skill, responsiveness, and cost inherent in this decision.

We employ the most talented US designers to develop customizable and unique home furnishings. The finest homes and hospitality venues host these installations. Exquisite bedrooms result, shared delightfully with family & friends.

Manufacturing the finest products for the most discriminating clients with the best skilled workroom is not controversial. Compromising on quality in pursuit of a lower cost is controversial…and disrespects customers.

Mystic Valley Traders’ strategy starts with premier customer service: the owners answer customer calls. Operations reflect a customer bias. Where other companies cite rules and policies (all of which are anti-customer) for refusing to accede to customer requests, we search for “yes-able” options. We promote mix-and-match, both measured and radical, in creating the Essential, Suite, and Complete Ensembles that qualify for free shipping. We also sponsor wide-ranging customization, where customers may choose to replace fabrics, alter finishes such as flanges and piping, adjust lengths and widths and drops, and add or drop such features as peek-a-boo windows, gussets, corners, panels, and accents. We want our customers to be just as creative and have as much artistic liberties that our designers do. Almost 70% of orders now boast at least 1 customized feature, and almost 90% of these customizations carry no upcharge.

Can you imagine taking a widely customized customer order, translating it into a foreign language, and sending it overseas to an outsourced manufacturing partner so that a workroom staff who never met us tries to cut, stitch, finish, package, and ship the order at the quality level demanded by the most discriminating customers? Neither can we. That is where a large benefit comes from in Mystic Valley Traders—customers and designers get exactly what they are looking for and we have the confidence in knowing that we can achieve that here in America.

Mystic Valley Traders. Proudly Made in America since 1984.
No compromises.

Chinoserie Style with Mystic Valley Traders

As technology and communication introduce global influences, we desire more international, worldly interior designs at home. 2014 saw a resurgence of Chinoiserie, the Oriental- and Indian-inspired design last seen on these shores in the 1980s. However, Chinoiserie has remained relatively popular in Europe since the 1600s. But, what is Chinoiserie and what is its modern relevance?

Chinoiserie style is simply defined as “a style in art (as in decoration) reflecting Chinese qualities.” Webster’s definition is straightforward, yet still unclear. Chinoiserie interior design ranges from blue-and-white embossed china to Chinese- and Japanese-inspired furniture to cherry blossom-printed wallpaper. Chinoiserie elements accent the finest modern and classic homes – often unrealized. So, where did this style originate? We argue that Chinoiserie originated in 1670s with burgeoning trade between Europe and China. As teas, porcelains, and silks swept right into French and British palaces, the style trickled down to the fashionable mid- and high- socio-economic classes. Chinoiserie gained popularity into the eighteenth century, when every royal / upper class home featured . However, despite its popularity, Chinoiserie was only associated with women and their specific rooms—the only Chinoiserie element seen in the more “masculine” sections of the home were serving and decorating china. Only the construction of the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, England spread this style through the rest of society. The Royal Pavilion, constructed for King George IV, was the first structure with exclusively Chinoiserie-styled rooms – and to an extreme level. This resurfaced Chinoiserie style in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, before disappearing again until the 1980s and again last year.

So, how does this centuries-old style, add a modern accent to our homes? The easiest way to introduce Chinoiserie in the bedroom starts with the bed—The Damai creates a clean, modern Chinoiserie feel. With classic blue-and-white on both sides of the duvet cover and shams, the room instantly becomes Chinoiserie. Add simple white-and-blue accessories to compliment the bed, make the patterns stand out strongly, or tie the room together with classic blue-and-white china in small portions throughout the space. To highlight walls with Chinoiserie, perhaps The Café Cinnamon or The Hulopoe Bay with their simple duvet covers and complimentary pillows fit best. We’ve seen more designer interest in further mixing collections by introducing print pillows from the classic Damai collection into simpler designs, subtly adding Chinoiserie accents. There are many options and levels to adding Chinoiserie with Mystic Valley Traders—we encourage your creative experimentation.

So, go forth and take this exotically classic style and bring it into your modern home. Whether in details or throughout the room, Chinoiserie fits into any home and will last in style and influence.

How To: Make Your Own Stain Removers

Greetings Readers!

Recently I have discovered new ways to clean and remove stains for furniture and clothes using household items. They’re quick and easy, and things that you probably buy anyway!

For stains on clothes:
You must be 21 or older to use this tip! Vodka has been used to remove stains for generations, all you need to do is put three parts vodka and one part water into a spray bottle. Spray the stain, scrub gently with either toothbrush or finger and the stain will dissolve. Also the same will work with vodka and club soda. This could also be used on furniture but not on any leathers, wools, suedes, or fragile materials that need special cleaning.

For micro suede cleaning:
This one was recently used by my sister who just inherited a sofa and love seat passed down from cousins of ours, who have three small children. Dirt and stains covered the sofa and love seat but by using rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle the stains disappeared and the sofa was back to its original color. Take the spray bottle and spray the sofa and rub with a clean sponge. Make sure you have plenty of clean sponges, when the sponge you’re using becomes dirty, throw it away and start cleaning with a new one, or else the dirt will just go back onto the couch!

For carpets:
All you need is dawn dish detergent and hydrogen peroxide. Mix 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of detergent. Use a scrub brush or tooth brush and scrub the stain, pat dry with a dry cloth.

All purpose cleaner:
Using citrus peels and vinegar here is a natural way to clean just about anything! Place citrus peels into a jar, then fill with vinegar. Leave for two weeks and it’ll be ready to use!

What are your stain removing secrets? Let me know in the comments below!

Lauren

Throwback Thursday

Greetings Readers,

Last week I talked about Organic modern, a contemporary but simplistic style that is still seen today. Today I will be discussing modern style in general and using examples posted on our Facebook page.

There are multiple interpretations of modern style, for instance organic modern, neo-modern, environmental modern, late modern, modern historicism, etc. Each style attempts to fuse one cohesive theme like nature is to organic modern. Many of the modern styles however have continued their popularity unlike other styles that fade throughout time. It is popular opinion that modern is a world wide sensation and continues to be favored due to the lack of cultural representation in the style. For example there is no correlation to one culture with modern design, unlike other styles that have unique motifs and design elements that are attached to their culture.

organic modern

organic modern tree

Here are two examples (found on our Facebook page!) that are a blend of multiple modern concepts! As you can see, the modern style is very much prevalent today although interpreted many different ways!

Hope you enjoyed todays Throwback!

Lauren

How To: Wash Dry Clean Only Clothes

Greetings Readers,

Everyone leads busy lives. Sometimes we barely have a second to breathe, so who has time to take their clothes to the dry cleaners? Well even though its a necessity for certain items of clothing, here is a short cut for when you’re in a pinch.

1. Check the material content, if its wool, silk or cotton you may gently wash the garment by hand. If the item you want to wash is a loose material, suede or leather take it to a dry cleaner.

2. Take a basin or bucket and fill it with cold water and mix gentle detergent until you get some bubbles forming. (Never use hot water, its too harsh on the fabric)

3. Saturate the garment in the bucket, dip it completely in and pull it completely out. Repeat. Rub areas that are stained with your hands, do not use anything else.

4. Dump the soapy water out and refill the bucket with cold water, submerge the garment to rinse the soap off.

5. Lay a clean towel down and lay the garment on top, roll the garment and the towel together. Do this until the garment is no longer dripping wet. Lay the garment flat to dry.

And voila! An inexpensive way to clean dry cleaning. You can also use a washing machine for larger items, just use the gentle cycle and cold water with gentle detergent. Lay out the garment to dry. Stay tuned for this weeks Throwback!

Lauren

Throwback Thursday

Greetings Readers,

Welcome back to another Throwback Thursday! Last week we talked about Art Deco, a style of harsh edges, industrial appeal and outlandish decor. In contrast to the glamorous and ornate style of Art Deco, the Organic Modern style is sleek, asymmetrical and simplistic. A unified design esthetic that’s ultimate goal is to bring unity between man and his nature surroundings. Organic Modern is a world wide sensation, mostly popular between the 1930’s and 1970’s. Organic Modern architects and designers look for new innovations and motivated by technology, not necessarily craft. This style is more creative, expressive, experimental and original.

The perfect example of Organic Modern is Frank Lloyd Wrights’ Fallingwater. Built for Edgar J. Kaufman in the 1930’s, in Bear Run, Pennsylvania, the house’s original purpose was a small vacation home for the Kaufman family. The reason Frank Lloyd Wrights’ Fallingwater is quintessentially organic because the home is integrated in nature. Wrights design is literally engrained in the natural surroundings, for instance, parts of the boulder that the house rests on is providing a solid foundation as well as flooring in parts of the home, and instead of cutting down trees or ruining the surroundings, Wright moved around the natural elements to incorporate nature into the design even more. Wright uses natural stone, russet painted steel, ochre concrete to soften the look of the house and to stray away from making the home look industrial. Fallingwater is a world renowned home also because of Wrights’ concepts, the cantilevered construction and enclosure and expansion. The home itself is solely supported on one plane, and expands horizontally from the foundation, there is no other form of support for the house creating the cantilevered effect. The balconies of Fallingwater are completely free standing. Inside the home, the halls are narrow, and rooms have duo level ceilings, pushing you out toward the free standing balconies and outside to nature. This is known as enclosure and expansion, Wright wanted to make you feel enclosed in the home, pushing you outside to the cantilevered terraces.

photo 1

falling water

Interiors for Organic Modern were mostly done by the architects, all of Fallingwaters’ interiors and furnishings were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. There is a special relationship between the interior and the exterior in Organic architecture. In Fallingwater, Wright wanted whoever to be inside not know the difference between the exterior and the interior. Furnishings were modest, simplistic designs. The only color of the interiors came from, woven textiles either used as decorative pillows or wall decor, or paintings, pottery and other decorations. Earth tones were in abundance as well as few muted reds, oranges, and other warm tones. In Fallingwater windows were found in every room, but draperies were only found in one room. Wright did not like to use window treatments because it would block the outside view, many organic modern homes do not use window treatments for the very same reason, it would break the relationship between man and his surroundings.

I recently visited Fallingwater for myself and was absolutely blown away by the home. I could talk about it for hours, but to truly get the effect and to truly understand the genius of Frank Lloyd Wrights design, see the house for yourself!

I hope you all have enjoyed todays throwback!

Lauren

How To: Pack Furniture

Greetings Readers,

As you all have read in previous blogs, I have been searching for things for my new apartment. I have found a significant amount of furniture and decorative pieces, but I now have to pack it all from my one place to my new place. Since I have been packing quite a bit, and have learned to do’s and don’ts I decided to share with all my lovely readers. If you can afford it hire a professional, depending on how many things you’re packing. I’m packing a few larger items and some decorative pieces which I can do without help. If you’d rather do it yourself, keep reading.

What you’ll need for packing is bubble wrap or newspaper, boxes and packaging tape.

For small/medium size decorative pieces: Wrap the piece in newspaper or bubble wrap until it is completely covered. Place the larger items on the bottom of the box, and fill the box until there is no longer any room. Also I like to put in books, with a layer of bubble wrap on top, on the bottom of some of these boxes, just so some of the breakable pieces have something sturdy to lay on. Fold the sides of the box in and tape.

For dishes: Wrap plates first, place them on the bottom, I typically also put in a piece of bubble wrap between each plate. Or if you have a tray of cutlery, wrap that with just a thin layer of newspaper or bubble wrap and place that at the bottom. Then plates, bowls, and cups. Don’t over fill the boxes for dishes, for instance I used two-three boxes for dishes and cutlery.

For large decorative pieces wrap them in bubble wrap, not newspaper. Tape the bubble wrap so no loose end come undone.

For furniture, depending on how you’re moving the pieces I always place tarp on the floor of the back of my Durango, and then I put the furniture pieces in.

What are your packing tips? Let me know in the comments below!

Lauren

Throwback Thursday

Greetings Readers,

Glitz. Glamor. Large parties. These words can only resonate with one time period, the 1920’s. More popularly known as the Roaring Twenties due to the escalating economy, enhancements made on technology improving peoples lives, large parties and increasing social scenes the 1920’s was also a period of innovation and artistic reform. Inspired by the eccentric and modern style Art Nouveau and embracing the heavy new industrialization of cities emerged a new sensational, international style that would be known as Art Deco. Art Deco began in France, appearing shortly after the first World War and increasingly became more popular until its popularity dwindled after the second World War. Art Deco reflected integrated and correlative design using extravagant materials and design features that favored esthetic more than comfort.

Architecturally, the most iconic contribution from the Art Deco style is the skyscraper. Although there had been precedents, the newer skyscrapers gave their architects challenging tasks by trying to meet their clients needs and staying within the parameters of code requirements. Particularly the 1916 New York zoning law, which required all building of a certain elevation to be set back to allow light and air to the streets. Conclusively, their designs resulted in sleek, sculpturally, sophisticated buildings which altered future skyscrapers across the nation. One of the most exemplary skyscrapers is the Chrysler building in New York City. Constructed by William Van Alen for the Chrysler corporation it was briefly the tallest building in the world. Compromised of stainless steel tower and white trimmed gray brick, the Chrysler building was automobile inspired, particularly in the ornamentation, such as hood ornament inspired gargoyles and chevrons emphasizing motion of the escalating stainless steel tower.

Chrysler- google
image from google

Interiors at this were embracing traditional designs with the new esthetics of Art Deco. Interior design as a profession became more popular and numerous commissions were being made. Designers were in heavy demand due to the large requests and more refined tastes. Art Deco interiors were luxurious and modern designs, colors more saturated and brighter, including elements from traditional styles such as French Rococo, but incorporating newer design elements that reflect the industrial and culture innovations.

art deco
Image from google

Mystic Valley Traders very own Radiance Steel collection embodies aspects of the Art Deco time period. The radiant gray pattern gleams like stainless steel, and the naturalist design encompasses the natural motifs that were seen during this time.

radiance steel

I hope you all have enjoyed todays throwback!

Lauren