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March, 2011

  1. Pea Pod Tea Towel

    March 30, 2011 by admin

    Stumbled across this adorable tea towel online today – don’t you love it?  As a stylist, I’m always hunting for fun and unusual tea towels to make the many kitchens we shoot look their best.  This one’s a keeper!

    Psst!  Find it here


  2. DIY Window Mirrors

    March 30, 2011 by admin

    I’ve been at it again!  Check out my DIY espisode on houseandhome.com’s web tv series.  This time I transform salvaged old windows into beautiful mirrors!


  3. Time to get your hands dirty…

    March 30, 2011 by admin

    Well it’s official – I saw some tiny tulip tips breaking through the soil this weekend.  Actually today I found two clumps of tulips peeking through the soil!  I cannot wait to get in there and get my hands dirty in the garden!

    Photography by Richard W. Brown; Tasha Tudor's Garden

    Photography by Richard W. Brown; Tasha Tudor's Garden

    Photography by Richard W. Brown; Tasha Tudor's Garden

    These beautiful images are from one of my favourite gardening books, Tasha Tudor’s Garden by Tovah Martin with photos by Richard W. Brown.  It’s given me so much inspiration over the years, so I’ll be giving everyone a taste of spring with lovely garden images as the season progresses.


  4. Antique Quilts: American Folk Art Museum Exposition

    March 29, 2011 by admin

    I’ve always loved the artistry found in hand-made quilts.  Thinking of each piece being stitched together is amazing and the colourful and bold geometric designs never go out of style.  Whether you layer them up or use just one as an accent, quilts add rich colour and lots of warmth.

    The American Folk Art Museum currently has a beautiful exhibition on right now in New York featuring hundreds of antique red and white quilts.  The exhibit features over 600 quilts from Joanna Rose, a New York collector’s collection of 1500 antique quilts.  Martha Stewart recently taped a segment for her tv show and blogged about the exhibit with some great photos that I wanted to share with you.

    marthastewart.com

    marthastewart.com

    marthastewart.com

    marthastewart.com

    marthastewart.com

    Apparently red and white quilt design was one of the most popular colour combinations because the special Turkey red dye was especially colour fast and wouldn’t fade or run.  Since the early 1800′s, red and white quilts reigned supreme and showcased the quilter’s incredibly creative imaginations.  Quilts like these were often created by women in sewing circles or quilting bees and were sometimes used as fund raisers.

    You can read more about this exposition on 1stdibs.com

    Maybe it’ll leave you dreaming of a red and white quilt on a bed in a sunny bedroom like me…

    sarahrichardsondesign.com

    Cottage bedroom by Sarah Richardson Design.


  5. Shout Out on Arren Williams Design Lab!

    March 28, 2011 by admin

    Hey guys, check out this Michael Penney shout out on the world-famous Design Lab penned by the talented Mr. Arren Williams!!  So flattering, thank you Arren!

    arrenwilliams.com


  6. Fashion Finds

    March 28, 2011 by admin

    Well I’m not really an expert in fashion at all, but I do know what I like and I take great inspiration from fashion.  In fact, most days I watch uncut edits of Fashion Television (called Raw) while munching on cereal before catching the train.  So many great ideas – but I digress…

    I was in a bit of bind finding something to wear to my cousin’s wedding because a) I hate dressing up, b)I bought a suit and when I tried it on for Sara at home she said I looked like a dad - it promptly went back to the store, and c)I had no money to spend.

    So imagine my excitement when I saw a table full of vintage-inpsired Penguin skinny ties at the haute fashion emporium known in  the burbs as Sears!  There were tons of fresh and quirky colour combos and graphic designs and the best part was they only cost $39.95!!  A tie, in the 30′s?!?!  Love that.  So after messing up the whole display table and finding one with a coral, tan, and black mini-check print, I scooped it up.

    Next, an on-sale $20 pale pink oxford shirt from Old Navy and I was done!  I just mixed my finds with some pants and a blazer I already had and took the arm of my expertly attired wife, who always makes me look better, and we were off.

    P.S. We took several wrong turns and almost missed the ceremony!  After screaming for twenty minutes, we made it just in the nick of time, stylish, but frazzled.


  7. Jennie + Ben

    March 28, 2011 by admin

    As you know, I was at my cousin Jennie’s wedding on the weekend, at the beautiful Old Mill in Toronto.  It was fun to revisit The Old Mill, since it was the site of Sara’s and my first official date ten years ago.  That was at my older brother’s wedding when we were just eighteen and nineteen years old!  It was nice to see and remember all of the moments we had there and to realize how much has (and hasn’t) changed in our lives over the past ten years.  The ceremony and reception were beautiful and meaningful, the food delicious, and the time with family heart-warming.  We got in some good dancing too…

    The bride (who has been planning her big day most of her life) looking classic and elegant as she walked down the aisle on her dad’s arm…

    The couple’s first dance as husband and wife.

    Congratulations Jennie and Ben!  Have fun in San Francisco!!


  8. Feeling Blue?

    March 26, 2011 by admin

    It’s shaping up to be a pretty busy weekend.  My cousin Jennie is getting married tomorrow (so exciting!) and there are lots of family gatherings planned.  Not a lot of time to think about decorating, but I can’t get enough of this vintage House Beautiful. And it’s no secret that I like blue…

    Happy Weekend!


  9. Mentor: Tom Scheerer

    March 25, 2011 by admin

    This is the first, of what I think will become a regular thread on michaelpenneystyle.com. I know what I know in this crazy world of design and decoration, in large part because of mentors. Some mentors I have known, but many more I’ve known from a distance. Since I was a kid, I’ve pored over the work of many designers and decorators, getting to know their names, their styles, and the hallmarks of their work. Today, my own creations are infused with the influence, the character and the style of my many mentors and I think it’s worth paying homage to them here. Plus it’s grrrrreat eye candy! Hey maybe you’ll learn a thing or two and my mentors will become your mentors…

    First up, the great American Designer – Tom Scheerer.


    He’s especially on my mind because of the drop-dead-gorgeous house he designed in Maine (featured now in the pages of House Beautiful). I’m not going to spoil that story here, but will give you just this one little teaser.

    Design by Tom Scheerer; Photography by Francesco Lagnese; House Beautiful April 2011

    Tom Scheerer began his career as an architect and designer in 1985 and founded his New York firm with Jeffrey Bilhuber (another American Design great). Striking out on his own in 1995, Scheerer has became one of the most popular and well-published designers in the U.S. He’s known for his ‘relaxed modern’ style in which he combines modern pieces with vintage, natural elements with fresh colours and patterns and always an easy, elegant flair.

    tomscheerer.com

    Here’s the man himself, looking very relaxed! Some of my favourite Scheerer signature motifs include: Saarinen tulip tables, bentwood Thonet chairs, circular art and sculptures, block-print and paisley fabrics, Hinson splatter-print wallpaper, bottle-glass lamps, and collections of bird prints on the wall.

    Here’s a selection of Tom Scheerer’s work. You’ll see what I mean and why I consider him a mentor…

    Design by Tom Scheerer; Photography by Eric Bowman

    Design by Tom Scheerer; Photography by Eric Bowman

    Design by Tom Scheerer; Photography by Eric Bowman

    Design by Tom Scheerer; Photography by William Waldron

    Design by Tom Scheerer; Photography by William Waldron

    Design by Tom Scheerer; Photography by Simon Upton

    Design by Tom Scheerer; Photography by Simon Upton

    Design by Tom Scheerer; Photography by Simon Upton

    Design by Tom Scheerer; Photography by William Waldron

    Design by Tom Scheerer; Photography by Simon Upton

    Design by Tom Scheerer; Photography by Simon Upton

    Design by Tom Scheerer; Photography by Francesco Lagnese

    Design by Tom Scheerer; Photography by Matthew Hranek


  10. Around The House: Front Hall

    March 24, 2011 by admin

    First impressions are always important, and Sara and I were so happy to find a house with a nice foyer.  It’s the place we’d be greeting family and friends and welcoming them into our home and we wanted the foyer that could make a good first impression.   Here’s what it looked like just a little while ago…

    Notice the abundance of more wood.  Wood on the floor, wood trim, wood doors, wood stairs – oh wait, and a RED RUNNER.

    Here’s the view towards the front door…lovely.  Don’t you like the light fixture?  It’s made of shiny brass and clear plastic.  Which I guess was good because we hit it a lot when carrying things into the house.

    Now you can see the stairs a little better with the first of two turns or landings.  I really liked that feature and the little window too.  There’s another window at the second landing so there’s lots of light.  The red carpet was something special.  We always joked about the star-studded ‘red carpet’ events we’d have.  And do you see that little sliver of door to the left?  A closet you guessed?

    Nope!  It’s a closet that’s been turned into the world’s tiniest powder room!  Our brand new, state of the art powder room came complete with a boxy medicine cabinet, linoleum flooring and a gorgeous green toilet seat!!

    And there you have it – red carpet, green toilet seat and lots and lots of wood.  Okay that’s the bad, but on the positive side, the foyer has a good amount of space, an interesting staircase, and nice original details.  Time to roll up those sleeves!