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... corner of my office. Hi I'm over here at my desk playing with Poladroid.

WINKS - weekend links. Here we list what has come in during the week, things we've found and things we think you'll want to see. If you'd like to see your blog or website featured email us and if we think it fits with our readers we'll link you. So what's in this week?

  • First up the wonderful creations of Cristina Serrano, illustrator and designer. haciendo el indio creates things for children, things made to endure, to become childhood partners, timeless objects and characters that tell wonderful stories in the universal language of children. Textiles, art, jewellery and toys. All so gorgeous and all so special.

  • Alischa from Bespoke Press emailed to let us know about her new letterpressed limited edition prints launched in her shop this week. Inspired by her favourite Kahlil Gibram quotes and printed in the most gorgeous colours using Bodoni typeface, they are each a limited edition of 50. Each is signed and numbered and only Au$25 each. BUT ... if you are quick there is 20% off sale in Alischa's shop! You simply need to enter the code ILOVELETTERPRESS when checking out to receive the discount. The sale will end at midnight on Sunday the 8th of February and is valid on all items. The 20% off takes the prints down to AU$20 or about US$13. Be quick!

  • Alex Brooks writes about homes, property, renovation, interiors and eco-living. Her blog is the discussion point for her main website Renovation Planning full of articles and e books. Don't rush in blind. Alex will guide you through with her no nonsense approach. Disaster to success with lashings of common sense. Best thing of all it's Aussie based. Hooray!

  • Heidi emailed to introduce Vinyl Silhouettes her new business that introduces a new twist on wall decals. Heidi will turn your digital photos of a child, pet, or object into vinyl silhouette decals. So cute! Think of a wall of traditional silhouettes in traditional frames. Yum!

  • Let your imagination run wild! Love poems for your partner, ideas board in the office, bread and milk from the shop. These boards designed by Kotona are a combination magnetic and chalkboard made of reclaimed plywood from the furniture industry offered in a wide range of colors and sizes. Designed and produced in Finland you'll find them at Matteria.

  • Been to DigsDigs yet? Home design, decor, furniture and more. If a modern, clean lined and cutting edge aesthetic is what you dig then DigsDigs may just be for you.

  • Sale at Lotta Jansdotter? Yes please. Love these fabric 2009 calendars now only $10! And there's still 11 months to go :)


A big welcome

We have a new sponsor at DTI that I'd like to welcome. The Bubble Roome, the brainchild of David Johnston, who creates wonderful soaps, body wash, lotions, creams, scrubs and salts out of his Brooklyn kitchen. (I bet it's the best smelling kitchen around!). His products are vegan, paraben-free, sulfate-free, essential oil scented with non-petroleum labels and 100% post-consumer wrapping. And shipping is free if you spend $80. AND you get 2 free samples and a bookmark with every order. And may I add that the packaging is totally adorable - which is really important too! Take a gander at his website - great ideas for Valentine's day. :)


To paint or not to paint?

Lee-Anne from Toronto wrote us looking for help: "I love your website and thought you might be able to help me with my design dilemma. We recently bought a home that was built in the 40’s that’s a bit of a fixer upper. It has wooden baseboards throughout and lots of wood trim. I am still hanging onto my old furniture but I am sooooo ready to redo this room!! I want to modernise it and add colour and texture!! My dilemma is that in almost all of the design pictures that I see, the baseboards are painted white. My sister has told me in no uncertain terms that I am NOT to paint the wood trim in the house. I am looking for inspiration where people have kept the baseboards a natural colour." Below are some photos Lee-Anne included of her home.

At first I immediately thought "PAINT!!" but if I had such beautiful baseboards and trim, I would be terrified to paint it. So after looking at the photos, I would listen to your sister. But I would get out the paint can for a few things. I would paint out the fireplace (and lose that huge mirror above), the risers on the stairs and maybe the balusters (a photo below shows this). That's it. But keep your walls light and if you were going to get rugs, I'd keep those light too. Or you could go with a warm bright wall colour (see the yellow wall below). So the following are photos of spaces with unpainted trim (except the last one but imagine it's a dark wood).

Better Homes and GardensBetter Homes and Gardens
Caroline BeaupèreAlexandra Rowley
Todd OldhamFox-Nahem
Canadian House & HomeThe Selby

And to make your decision even harder Lee-Anne, here are some photos of spaces with painted trim, you know, to keep your options open. :)


Marcus Dipietro

Who's the talented architect from Nashville, TN from the previous post? Marcus Dipietro. I love the vernacular he builds in, stone and timber and the way his houses sit in their environment. The lake house addresses its wonderful vista so confidently, stone is at one with the Tennessee woodlands and you can almost reach through the monitor to push yourself in the hammock on the sleeping porch. I've concentrated on a lot of the interiors but there is so much more. Take a closer look at his portfolio. It's thoughtful and beautiful.


Little Simmons and Sam

I want to introduce you to the cutest little renovators I've ever seen, Mr Simmons and Sam. Ruth tells the story, "I can't help but email you a couple of photos of kitten and dog during our own renovation. Little Simmons (later known as Mr. Simmons due to his white cuffs and pinstripe suit of fur) could sleep through anything; the sink is set on its back right in the middle of our demo and he slept soundly.) Sam in the sweltering summer heat slumbered on anything as well. My husband is a residential architect in Nashville, and we did our own home with a lot of sweat and help from friends."

The renovation you ask? Wow! A remodeled ranchhouse with a lot of bang for a little buck. Look at the before and after shots! As Ruth emailed, the couple performed much of the work and used several do-it-yourself systems such as Ikea cabinetry and site-glazed windows to further reduce labor costs. Come back in a couple of hours for a full feature on Ruth's über talented husband Marcus.