4 Keys to a Beautiful Bed

Posted on January 27th, 2016 by Libby Cortez

We’ve collected some tips for making the right decisions when refreshing your bedroom. And incidentally, we’ve got a White Sale on through April 1st, to help you get your cozy on without breaking the bank.

Do a Duvet the Flexible Way

Your fluffy, warm comforter is the king of cozy. But with the amount of space it occupies, it’s also the king of your bed’s overall look. So choose a duvet cover that you 100% love, and use it as the foundation for the rest of your bed.

One fun approach is to select a versatile pattern, like our Tiles Lemon, that you can tweak for a fresh feel with the changing seasons. Pair it with matching shams and pillowcases for the sunshine-bright days of spring. Roll it at the foot of the bed and add a light, white blanket for warmer summer nights. Or throw in dramatic black pillows for a bold statement through the coldest months of the year.

Yellow Bedding - Tiles Lemon Yellow Duvet, Sheets, Pillows

Ditch the Plain-Jane Sheets

You want slipping into the sheets to feel downright decadent, so look for 100% cotton, and opt for a thread count above the 200 mark.

Most of all, remember that the fun doesn’t need to stop with what’s on top of your bed. Patterned sheets, like our Float Pink Bedding, bring a sweet peek of statement style to your made bed – and a big burst of whimsy to your turn-down routine. You’ll find yourself smiling every time you climb in.

Pink Bedding - Float Pink Hot Air Balloon Duvet, Sheets, Pillows

Standards and Euros and Shams, Oh My!

Pillows are the sprinkles on the ice cream of your bedroom sundae. A little festive, a little flavorful, and absolutely essential.

When selecting sleeping pillows, go soft for stomach sleepers, medium for back sleepers, and firm for side sleepers.

Or, for the ultimate in versatility, consider the Eurosquare. This pillow provides good support for sleeping; works as a sit-up pillow for reading in bed; or makes a great accessory for beds, chairs, and couches.

But how to adorn it? If you want a cohesive look with depth, select bedding that offers pillowcasesshams, and/or throw pillows in the same pattern with multiple tones. Like our Stitch pattern in various combos of black, white, pewterpoppy, you name it. It’s mix, match, mod, as easy at 1, 2, 3.

Bedding in Black and White

Bringing It All Together

So, you like pattern A. And pattern B. And pattern C. What to do? Learn how to combine pattern for truly high style.

The key to mixing patterns is to vary scale. If you combine 3 different small-scale patterns, your bed will look muddled. But pick 1 pattern each in a small, medium, and large scale, and you’ve got sure-fire style.

Our Alphablocks collection offers mix-and-match pattern options with built-in variety of scale, and a major wow factor to boot.

Bedding in Mint and Gray - Alphablocks Duvet, Pillows, and Sheets

Any other ideas for creating a stylish bed? We’d love to hear them!

White Sale! Time for a Refresh.

Posted on January 21st, 2016 by Anna Mutgeert

Time to refresh your basics. Stock up on essentials (and a few new thrills) for your bed and bath. Now is the time to save!

Shop our White Sale here.

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Bright and Airy SF Loft

Posted on January 14th, 2016 by Anna Mutgeert

Take a look at Homepolish.com designer Savannah Grace Metcalfs loft and see how she styled the Unison Grid blanket and throw pillows. Click here for a home tour through this amazing loft. Thank you Savannah!

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Stitch Black Throw Pillow, Grid Black Knit Blanket, Harvest Black Throw Pillow

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Winter Sale!

Posted on January 13th, 2016 by Anna Mutgeert

Winter Sale! Up to 50% Off! Shop here

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Himmeli: Art in Another Dimension

Posted on December 22nd, 2015 by Libby Cortez

For anyone who has ever gazed at the night sky and outlined the forms of constellations in your mind’s eye, you’ve already begun to experience the quintessentially Finnish art form known as a himmeli.

Originally crafted as Christmas decorations, the first himmeli—a Finnish adapted name derived from the Swedish words for sky or heaven—were created centuries ago by Finnish peasants. At the time, women in small villages expertly threaded lengths of straw to form decorative geometric shapes reminiscent of the constellations, or of what some believed to be signs from heaven.

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Once complete, the himmelis were hung above the festive meal table at Christmastime, decorating the inside of the villagers’ tupas or log homes.

“By their ordered nature, these balanced constructions invoke the image of cosmic constellations that suspended and slowly moving in regulated courses, make rhythmic patterns in the sky, impelled to do so by an unseen will. The celestial connection is not fortuitous: it is believed that himmelis were inspired by the story of the appearance of the glittering star that announced the birth of Christ.” *

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In the 1950s, artist Saara Hopea-Untracht began crafting numerous himmelis, “as these constructions well suited her propensity for geometric design forms.” *

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And her standout pieces influenced Unison’s own Alicia Rosauer in creating our himmeli pattern.

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Set on versatile gray, our table and kitchen linens are as festive for the holidays as they are ready for spring, summer, or fall. And stain-resistant cotton sateen keeps messes at bay, leaving the himmeli pattern at center stage.

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Over the years, different artisans have put their own spin on the making of himmelis. Some have mixed the time-honored form with modern-day materials, such as the Prisma pieces in our current collection, which could hang above any table or stand alone as a piece of art.

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Whether you believe in the himmelis’ mystical powers, as did the Finnish villagers of old, or are simply captivated by the rich history and striking, airy geometry of these many-faceted shapes, a splash of himmeli design is sure to add a new dimension to your home.

* Source: Saara Hopea-Untracht: Life and Work. Written by Oppi Untracht 1988 ISBN 951-0-14377-4

Spitfiremom Introduced: Alicia Rosauer

Posted on December 21st, 2015 by Anna Mutgeert

Alicia Rosauer, Co-owner and Creative and Marketing Director of Unison, is the newest Spirtfiremom! Read more on spitfiremomsociety.com about her busy life, Unison and her lovely family. Including adorable photo’s of her daughters by photographer Debbie Carlos.

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A Maker’s Mark: David Rasmussen Design

Posted on December 17th, 2015 by Libby Cortez

Designer David Rasmussen, maker of custom-crafted wood furniture and products for the kitchen, grew up in New England, where he was exposed to a rich tradition in furniture making from a young age.

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From the outset, his study and work – both in furniture making and beyond – has been “driven by artistic design and aesthetic value.”

And it shows in everything he does.

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Through his training in composition and construction under the tutelage of master crafters, as well as his focused study in Danish, Ming Dynasty, and contemporary American studio furniture, David developed his own avant-garde style of design and function.

Today, all that thoughtful training and study has translated beautifully into a collection of goods for the home, including kitchen accessories.

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Once we adopted some of his pieces into our own collection, we wondered about the driving force behind his work today.

“I really enjoy creating objects that are a joy to use,” David told us, “with the hope that they are of good enough quality that they will be cared for and become heirlooms.”

Which probably explains why all of David’s pieces are made in small batches and not mass-produced.

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In addition to artistic integrity, quality plays another key role in David’s success. In order to ensure that each piece lives up to his high standards, David works closely with his hand-picked staff of highly trained craftsman to produce elegant wares for clients across the US.

Our favorite pieces? These, of course:

Chroma Small Bite Plate

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According to David, this striking piece is great for parties. And we couldn’t agree more.

With its versatile size and black or white color options, you’ll be hard pressed to find a moment when it doesn’t come in handy—and add a splash of distinctive style to the scene.

Chroma Blk Cheese Board Set

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A best-in-class gift item, according to David. And a gorgeous piece of serve ware to bring out for special occasions, family occasions. or no occasion at all.

Chroma Red Tray

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“Great for serving apps or as a catch all for jewelry or wallets on a dresser,” David suggests. And yet another example of form-meets-function craftsmanship.

Not to mention a healthy splash of red, just in time for the holidays. ‘Tis the season indeed.

Holiday 2015: Behind the scenes

Posted on December 10th, 2015 by Anna Mutgeert

Here’s a fun behind the scene video we shot during our holiday photo shoot back a few months, when cold weather seemed far away. Thanks to Jane and Francois our photo team, Wendy our awesome stylist, and to John who shot this video. Happy Holidays!

Maker We Love: Tree Hopper Toys

Posted on December 4th, 2015 by Kelly Aiglon

Discover the wooden playthings that will teach your kids the hipster ABCs and so much more.

They say everything old is new again – that’s particularly true of the imaginative goods made by Tree Hopper Toys. Crafted by hand in the Midwest from sustainable hardwood – yep, the old-fashioned way – the playthings could have sprung from your grandfather’s toy chest. Yet, founder Eric Siegel has found a way to make them infinitely modern.

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Imagine ABC blocks redone hipster style, with “M” for moustache and “U” for unicorn. And wooden teethers shaped like pizza slices. And matching games featuring bold graphics of iconic worldwide landmarks. The list goes on.

We’re so glad to now be selling the toys and sharing their magic with families for the holidays. Find out more what makes them special in this Q&A with Eric, who talks about how his business came to be and what inspires it.

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Unison: You are bringing back the joy in traditional games and toys. Why was it important to you to start a company like Treehopper Toys?

Eric: It’s a fun, exciting, non-stop education. Every day we learn more about making things and working as a small team to make toys for thousands of families to enjoy. It’s SO fun to see kids (and especially my own) having fun with something we created!

Unison: How long have you been doing this and what did you do prior?

Eric: I’ve been doing Tree Hopper for almost six years, and prior to that I studied art and design and worked as a picture framer in Chicago as well as doing graphic design on the side.

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Unison: Tell us about your craftsmanship — everything from the choice of wood to process.

Eric: Everything we make has some handmade element, and we use a variety of materials, based on what is best suited for a particular product.  Many of our parts are made for us, and then we do all of the printing, assembly and finishing in house.

Unison: What is your studio like and how does it serve to inspire you?

Eric: We just moved into a shiny new shop/office/warehouse/studio this summer. It’s basically just big open spaces, sectioned off for printing, woodworking, etc. Our previous space was half the size of our new one, so having room to spread out has been really nice!

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Unison: Your toys have gotten a lot of buzz. What are some fan favorites?

Eric: We have a variety depending on the market, but in general the Match Stacks, Whoa-Bots, and Hipster ABCs are our top sellers.

Unison: The Hipster ABC Blocks have a cult following. How did you come up with the idea?

Eric: There are SO many educational ABC blocks and matching sets, books, etc., but they all have the same vocabulary. I just wanted to do a random fun assortment of things I like, and when I looked at the whole collection and tried to figure out the common theme, it mostly seemed to be hipster stuff, so I just went with it!

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Unison: How do you come up with new toy and game ideas?

Eric: Really just by playing and messing around in the shop. We don’t try to reinvent the wheel — we just put our own personal spin on educational and play concepts that have been around for ages.

Unison: Any kids in your life that test-drive your creations and ideas? Do you have any little helpers?

Eric: Yes. I have a 4 year old and 5 1/2 year old, both boys, with another boy due any day now! I also have a TON of nieces and nephews that help test things out.

Unison: Do you also create products for adults? If so, what?

Eric: I actually just launched a side project called Product Public (www.productpublic.com), which is a catch all for all of the non-kid related objects I want to make.  We just launched a series of wall clocks, and will soon be adding a variety of durable goods and gifts for the home.

Unison: What do you think is the future of toys and games for kids? How would you like to play a role in it?

Eric: Obviously iPads and video games are becoming more and more popular, but I think there will always be a place for traditional tactile toys and games. As a parent of young kids, I definitely try to strike a balance between tech and tradition, because both have their benefits and limitations.

Thanks, Eric! And for all of you toy and design fans out there, shop the Tree Hopper Toys collection at unisonhome.com

 

 

What Is Memphis Design?

Posted on December 2nd, 2015 by Libby Cortez

Pee-Wee’s Playhouse meets Miami Vice. A shotgun wedding between Bauhaus and Fisher Price. Wildly bizarre.

Memphis design has been described in all these terms and more.

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The Memphis Group’s Carlton bookcase

During its early years, the Memphis movement was as polarizing as it was revolutionary. In the 1980s, the phenomenon rattled the design world to its core. But in its current resurgence, Memphis is being embraced for its history, boldness, and throwback appeal.

The Backstory

Inspired by a large collection of converging movements, including art deco, pop art, punk rock, early new wave, and, perhaps most notably, postmodernism, Memphis design peaked from 1981 to 1987.

The movement was begun by a small group of game-changing designers in Milan, Italy. (Yes, that’s right, the Milan that’s precisely 4,941 miles from Memphis, Tennessee – a town which was featured in the Bob Dylan song that played in the background during the group’s first meeting.)

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Peter Shire, sofa Big Sur, 1986. From the Memphis Milano Collection

 

The style offers a strong illustration of many hallmarks of postmodern ’80s design, including

– Mixed materials

– Overtly angular geometry

– A riot of bright, saturated, and often contrasting colors

– A seeming refusal to embrace the streamlined or refined

– Incorporation of graphic patterns, often in black and white

What now?

So why do we love Memphis today? Because it’s design-forward but uber accessible. Thoughtful, but without taking itself too seriously. And it’s bold and fun. (Who doesn’t love bold and fun?)

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A perfectly placed Memphis piece can bring a burst of whimsical glamour to the right space. So we’ll leave you with some practical tips for incorporating these oh-so-now looks into your own spaces:

Remember that less is more.
Minimalist pieces reign supreme in Memphis design.

Keep every detail feeling clean and open…
by incorporating mirrors, glass, and chrome. How about Stainless Steel Ice Tongs or a Titanium Bottle Opener?

Go graphic in every way.
Consider the lines of your furniture, the patterns of your upholsteries, the placement of your accessories, even the way shadows fall throughout the room.

Mix it up.
Your tabletop is a great place to start combining the bold colors and patterns of the Memphis movement. How about Splatter Plates, Falcon Tumblers, and a Grid Black Euro Runner?

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Raid the storage unit for inspiration. 
That desk you said goodbye to in ’91 might be ready to make a comeback.

Take it beyond the home front.
Think toys, gifts, or jewelry, like a Laszlo Necklace.

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If you’re new to the trend…
monochrome patterns provide a great starting point for your future Memphis adventures; they’re a bit easier to incorporate than the super-saturated hues ahead.

Want to start even smaller?
A few changeable accessories will update your look and let you test the waters. Try a few Shapes Drink Rocks or Ana Candles to light up the room, then see where the mood takes you next.

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