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Why We Love Natural Materials

Why We Love Natural Materials

Nature is the best designer.  It has everything we look for in great design; scale and proportion, harmony and unity, balance, emphasis, contrast, rhythm, texture and lasting details.  If you take a minute to quietly look, there are many examples found all around us; the balance, scale and proportion of a tree, the harmony of perfect petals around the head of a daisy, contrast of black and white in cattle's hide, these are all examples of principles of design and the beauty of nature.  Just as we humans experience change as we age over time, natural products show signs of their age as they patina and wear, bringing beautiful signs of their experiences and history with them.

Enjoying earthy elements in their natural surroundings can be breath-taking, but we can also bring the outdoors in to provide an extra layer to our interior spaces with warmth, wellbeing and visual interest.  While the current world around us provides a great amount of uncertainty, nature can have an undisputed effect on our health, wellbeing and productivity when we decide to surround ourselves with it.  And while being outside is less than appealing for many during colder weather months, (or even suggested right now with the pandemic), we can bring these natural materials indoors to provide signs of life and hope.  From a vase of flowers to a potted plant, stacked logs by a fireplace or a bowl of artichokes on the counter, nature can be used in subtle ways that are also budget friendly.

flowers on marble tray

 

There are the obvious natural materials such as plants, woods and cottons, but there are also other elements which are part of the equation but not as equally recognized; candlelight with its warm glow, natural fibres such as wool blankets which provide the best kind of warmth, the calming effects of water while taking a bath.  These natural materials utilized in a variety of ways throughout our experience in our homes, help connect us to nature and it’s traits. 

Everywhere you look you find other examples of this; marble countertops in your kitchen, rattan used in your dining chairs, linen in your sheets. Sometimes we take the use of these natural materials for granted but they are found in much of our everyday life and can be deliberately selected over man made materials that don’t offer the same value to help enrich our daily lives. 

Natural bath products

To further expand upon the selection of natural materials, it is important to keep in mind sustainable and ethical practices that engage with eco-friendly sources.  While it’s of benefit to utilize these materials in our spaces, it’s important to also be conscious of how these materials are sourced, keeping in mind sustainability of items utilized. Recent awareness of decor sees items made from ethical materials and sources such as fair trade woven baskets handmade by women whose talents have been used to benefit their families and communities. 

The sustainability and environmental awareness of natural materials is not a trend we see leaving any time soon, nor should it.  Nature is such an important part of our everyday life and well being - it connects us, challenges us and helps us learn more about ourselves and the world around us.  It only makes sense that the sustainability of it should be included as an important consideration of how we decorate our living spaces with the materials and pieces we select to bring into our homes and lives. 

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Why We Love Antiques and Vintage

Why We Love Antiques and Vintage

Everything old is new again. It's an old adage but for collectors, it's a way of life. These days, antique and vintage decor and furniture has seen a resurgence in the past couple years thanks to the design scene overseas. It’s taken a couple of years, but North American designers have finally taken notice. Now, on Instagram feeds of many of our favourite decorators and designers, along with good old fashion magazines, you will find strategically placed pieces of antique art, rugs and other decor and furniture pieces blending seamlessly within modern/transitional designs.

These classic pieces provide the best kind of interest. They tell a story, have a history and with the care and craftsmanship often taken in making these pieces, they have the longevity to become treasured pieces to be passed along and be treasured by the next in line. Much can be said for pieces of this type of quality. Pieces which have lasted decades, often through generations, and will no doubt last for many more. 


The environmental aspect of utilizing preloved antique and vintage is an important aspect of this “new” design trend. Although there may be a time, place and budget for styling pieces offered by modern home decor; “one stop stops”, timeless pieces never go out of style. Good quality transitional furniture pieces of today, clean lined and simple, are the perfect accompaniment to antiques. Simple design provides the perfect backdrop allowing pre-loved pieces to shine.  The current “Traditional Comfort” design trend with it’s comfortable and relaxed feel paired with modern touches, lends perfectly to adding antique and vintage to these spaces. Also, the colour forecast of natural tones such as rich warm greens, tans, beige and brown complement the warm and earthy colours and patina finishes.

Some of our favourite pieces to incorporate into today's designs include; worn woods such as antique dough bowls and trenchers, aged antique books in neutral tones (cloth and leather), rugs, art (oil, acrylic, watercolour, charcoal), brass candlesticks, wicker and stone stoneware crocks.  We definitely see this trend continuing through this next year. With the current state of affairs, people are looking to make their homes a space they love and an extension of themselves. Styling with these preloved antique items allows clients to have pieces in their home with personality while 


Often, once a particular piece is chosen as the trend of the moment, inventory becomes increasingly scarce or over priced. The goal for us is to look at what the next big thing is going to be in the world of interior decorating and design and being proactive in collecting these items in preparation for client demand. Looking ahead, European and French farmhouse (think antique breadboards, textured urns and vases), furniture pieces adorned with the lost art of caneing, and antique mirrors of all kinds are pieces we are currently coveting and actively sourcing for our inventory. It’s all about the thrill of the hunt! Next Linen + Lore Home goal… antiquing in Europe! One can dream...

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Why We Love Handmade Objects

Why We Love Handmade Objects

The first quality we value when selecting objects for our shoppe and our homes is the act of being handmade.  While there have been great technological advancements in many areas of our lives over the last century, it seems the quality of products, particularly home décor products, has steadily gone down.  It is usually easy to recognize when objects haven been made by hand or by machine, and we love recognizing those handmade touches.

There are many traditional methods of making objects that haven been passed down from generation to generation and that vary from country to country.  The process of making objects is a craftsmanship that has been taught, learned or explored.  When we were selecting our shoppe name, Lore was a front runner word that held meaning of value to us – "a particular body of knowledge or tradition; something that is learned; knowledge gained through study or experience".

 

We value the craft of making things because of the tradition, time, energy and materials that it takes to perfect these skills.  When you select to purchase something that has been handmade, you are supporting not only individuals and their livelihood, you are also supporting traditions, supporting the dedication it takes and usually supporting the use of natural materials (one of our other product values).

The other reason we love handmade objects is that these objects appear imperfect.  With careful examination, any handmade object will leave the maker’s hand somewhere on it and we love this very aspect.  When we see a mark or imperfection left on an object, we are reminded of the greater human story and suddenly are forced to reflect where our place is in that story.  When you place an object in your home that has been crafted by another human, you are inviting the story to enter your home and share it with others you invite in.

 

The objects that we invite into our homes and surround ourselves with share a story and express what we value.  Here at Linen + Lore Home we value traditions, craftsmanship and dedication to creating beautifully imperfect objects.

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