Lars Approved Brand Alert: Marimekko

Many of us are sprucing up our homes and planning to decorate for spring. Our Marimekko roundup highlights many home decor items that are perfect for new additions and finishing touches. You may even consider replacing some items like the old dish towels and oven mitts hanging sadly in the kitchen!

Marimekko for Your Kitchen and Dining

While we’re on the topic of oven mitts, choose from this oven mitt or this pot holder for pops of bright flowers in the kitchen. Or maybe you need a new set of dishtowels. The deep magenta and orange hues add a pleasant statement anywhere they hang.

Switch your current placemats to these bold prints. Add these plates or these and some glass tumblers or mugs to complete the table setting. The magic of Marimekko design is that there is no wrong combination of prints and colors! You can mix and match any design and surprise yourself in seeing that they somehow complement each other.

If you’re heading out for a picnic or plan to throw a party at home, make a theme out of Marimekko and use these paper napkins (1, 2, 3) as the source of your inspiration.

 

For Your Bedroom

Simple additions like wallpaper and new bedding create an entirely new atmosphere to a room. And we love a great accent wall! Use this striped wallpaper or floral mural to create a vibrant mood. Moreover, add these striped sheets on this comforter set and you will have encapsulated our Marimekko spirit.

 

Marimekko for the Minimalists

For those not so inclined to bold colors, Marimekko also offers neutral pieces that add the perfect amounts of pattern. There are cream colored hand towels or a chestnut colored polka dotted one, a beige polka dotted bath towel, an off-white and beige throw, a black and white floral bed sheet set, and these subtle pink vases (1, 2). Patterns and textures provide subtle accents in neutral pieces.

 

For the Everyday

Maybe you can’t make such dramatic changes at the moment. There are still ways to make big impacts with small changes. Switch up your bath towels for some red florals or red and pink stripes. You’ll feel like you rolled into Candyland! Or you can add these fun slippers to your everyday loungewear and carry a colorful tote bag on your weekly trips to the market. Switch up your makeup bag or create a smaller one for everyday use. Although we may have less reasons to go out these days, when the occasion arises, carry a chic clutch instead of a big purse.

Marimekko Dresses and Fashion

Embrace your inner Marimekko spirit and create your very own wonderland of vibrant colors and prints.

Marimekko Fabrics

One of my favorite parts of this bold Finnish brand is they also sell fabrics! This way you can give your home decor a fresh DIY makeover in full Marimekko style.

2020 Trend Alert: Embroidered Everything

The feel-good factor is just as important as a principle of design because when it is present, people notice. Embroidered work feels personal and intimate, tying the owner to the piece. It also carries with it emotion that otherwise would be lost in a different medium. Would Katherine Kelly care so much about that hanky if it was screenprinted? Not a chance! That hanky reminded her of her mother and represented a central theme of the movie – that old things, however quaint, could be replaced by modernity. 

Luckily enough for us, people love embroidery way too much to let it slip away into memory. We are some of those people!! Care to check? Search our website for the word “embroidery” – I did and counted the results until I got to sixty and decided that was enough. We have written about embroidery in sixty different blog posts. If you are a newbie to fabric arts, check out our results for some inspiration and even a tutorial on basic stitches.

embroidered fashion trend 2020

If you, like us, are fully on the embroidery train, don’t wait for someone to give you a hanky! With some help from the Lars team, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite embroidered items for purchase that we have compiled below. Feel free to peruse, and if you dare, shop!!! If you’d rather make your own embroidered item, go for it! From simple stitches to complex masterpieces, embroidery shines on everything.

Embroidered Fashion

 

Accessories

 

Embroidered home decor

 

All mood board photo sources can be found here on our Pinterest!

The MVP – A Puffy Sleeve Dress

Trend Alert!

This summer we have been honing in more than ever on the fashion of A Lars Girl. If there is one thing us Lars girls could fill our closets with forever (and wear nothing else) it would be a puffy sleeve dress.

The puffy sleeve dress has been the dress of 2020 and 2019, and it doesn’t look like the crazy times have halted its popularity. If anything, it’s made me realize how versatile this dress can be. If you’re a regular around here, you know that I love dresses and wear them almost exclusively. I can’t have enough flowy gowns. It’s so simple to throw on a dress. Outfit done. Despite the simplicity, there’s still so much room for variation and personalization. Patterns, silhouettes, accessories, and styling all get the chance to shine against the backdrop of a funky dress. The puff-sleeved variety is no exception.

puffy sleeve dress for summer parties

When your statement dress matches your tablescape? This is what (my) dreams are made of. This dress has been my go-to for months now and there are many similar ones on our list here!

A Lars Closet: Floral Dresses

This May I’m celebrating flowers on The House that Lars Built, so I wanted to compile some phenomenal floral dresses for you! It’s a great time to be a flower-loving dress wearer, so I came up with quite a long list. In true Lars fashion I’ve organized them according to the rainbow. You’re welcome for all the inspo! Ha!

Dresses are an instant, one-piece outfit. I love that I don’t have to figure out if I have a blouse that goes with a skirt or think too much about putting things together. They’re really my daily uniform!

Brittany wearing a long floral dress and holding a baby

Dresses look great as an outfit all by themselves and they’re easy and fun to style up with other accessories. I love versatility! Dresses are cool in the summertime and easily warmed up with tights in the winter, and only wearing dresses means that I don’t have to search high and low to find pants that fit right. As you can tell I’m a serious believer in dresses and I’m more than happy to spread the good word!

So, without further ado, here are some of my current favorite floral dresses that you can buy and join my Lars Closet team.

Red

A smocked red and blue floral dress with ruffled sleeves and a smocked bodice A red and pink patterned maxi dress

Looking at these red dresses has me dreaming of poppy fields and berry picking!

Pink

A woman wearing a flowing cream colored dress with pink flowers and green line-drawn stems gazes at the camera A painterly printed tiered dress in pink with purple, yellow, aqua, and orange accents.

Here at The House That Lars Built we think of pink as a neutral color because it’s so versatile. Whether you’re looking for something subdued or show stopping, these pink floral dresses are perfect for summer.

Orange

A tiered orange dress with 70s-inspired pink, yellow, and blue swirling accentsA woman leans against a chair in a light-filled room. She's wearing an orange sleeveless dress with a flounce at the bottom and abstract large white flowers printed on it. A dog lounges on a bench behind her.

These orange dresses are transporting me to citrus groves and lovely terra cotta streets. Wear these on your summer adventures!

Yellow

A woman wears a loose maxi dress in a shirt dress pattern. It's printed with large yellow flowers. A woman wears a light yellow floral dress with Mexican-inspired embroidery and frilled sleeves with a flounce at the bottom.

Here comes the sun! These yellow floral dresses are all things sunshine and cheerfulness.

Green

A woman wears a loose-fitting dress printed with green and purple large modern flowers. A woman wears a black and green floral printed midi dress with a lace-trimmed collar in a room with light wood floors.

Channel your earthiness and all your garden dreams with these green dresses.

Blue

A woman wearing a dark blue calico printed dress with a ruched collar and waistband, a flounce at the hem and the sleeves, and pleating in the bodice stands in a white room with a grey floor. A blue calico-printed midi dress with ruffles and flounces crossing the body and on the short sleeves. It has a tied belt and a v neck

Blue is another color that can read as a neutral–maybe because blue jeans are such a staple in the average wardrobe? Achieve the same lovely, relaxed vibe with these blue floral dresses without the horrors of hot jeans in the summer!

Purple

A woman wearing a purple high-necked dress with long, slightly puffed sleeves that's trimmed with darker purple at the neck, sleeve ends, and hem hold a child's hand in a green outdoor space A woman wears a purple calico-printed dress with 3/4 sleeves and a large ruffled collar with a flounce at the hem.

Floral prints go hand in hand with purple. These dresses make me think of gorgeous bundles of wisteria and delicate clumps of violets. Dreamy.

Rainbow!

A woman wearing a square-fronted dress with ruffled tiers and ruffled shoulder-covering sleeves. The dress is black, printed with red, blue, yellow, white, green, and light pink flowers A woman wearing a tiered maxi dress with lilac, blue, aqua, and chartreuse floral tiers stands in a grey room

For days when your color story defies any part of the spectrum, wear a multicolored floral dress. Walt Whitman‘s not the only one who contains multitudes!

Neutrals

A woman wearing a cream-colored tiered dress with long sleeves and botanical illustrations printed on it. A dress with ruffled tiers in the body and on the ends of the long sleeves. It's slightly sheer and has a gathered neckline.

Louder for the people in the back: NEUTRAL DOESN’T MEAN BORING! These floral dresses in subdued tones from white and black to shades of rich brown are so lovely and refined. They will fulfill all your cottage core dreams!

More Summer Fashion Inspiration

If looking at floral dresses in all colors of the rainbow hasn’t satisfied your desire to look at summertime fashion, here are some more projects and posts to peruse:

Thanks for letting us help you build your wardrobe! Every time you shop through links on our blog we get a small commission that helps us bring you more great content.

60 days of Dress the Rainbow

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60 days of Dress the Rainbow

60 days of dressing in every hue of the rainbow can lead to one beautiful long grid and one colorful slide show (press play for a delightful tune!). Thanks for following along on this color exploration! Check out the full Dress the Rainbow shoots here and stay tuned for a fun announcement this upcoming week!

Shop the Official Dress the Rainbow shirt! 

 

A Lars Girl in Mexico City: Travel Inspired Design and Fashion

Mexico City definitely is at the top of my list of favorite trips. Truly, it is a place of dreams. The gigantic, bustling city is home to almost 9 million residents, and the feel of the city is indescribable. I’m trying to teleport there using fashion and interior design; I’ll let you know if it works!

I visited Mexico City a couple of years ago with friends Nadia Coates of Casa Palomi, Meta Coleman and Chaunte Vaughn. (You can find Chaunte’s work in our print shop here! And some of Meta’s curated home picks here.) We went to visit Abby Low, whose work is also in our print shop! Abby’s book This is Mexico City is full of the color, print, and culture that inspired today’s post.

I am imagining what A Lars Girl would wear if her wardrobe was inspired by Mexico City. And what her home might look like. After getting a feel for some of the amazing sites in our Mexico City guide here, explore the links below for A Lars Girl top picks for fashion and decor.

Mexico City Inspired Fashion

 

Accessories

 

Read more about this amazing place

La Ciudad

Ciudad de México is an ancient city. Long before the land was called Mexico, the Aztec civilization built impressive temples and monuments in the middle of what was then a lake. Due to Spanish imperial efforts, much of the ancient city was destroyed or buried beneath new buildings. Modern renovation projects have done a beautiful job of peeling back the layers, allowing the city to truly shine. Though its past isn’t pretty, a beautiful way of life and a unique design sense has developed literally out of the ruins. Now a modern and very cosmopolitan place, Mexico City is a truly fascinating spot. 

La Mezcla

Old-world European architecture meets older ancient architecture, and all of it fits into an amazing modern place. When I think of Mexican design, I tend to think of folk art and textiles brim with life! Bright colors are used on funky patterns. But when I think of Mexico City, complex stylistic ideas with refined elements come to mind. Once there, you’ll know what I mean. If you’re looking to steal the style, try designing with Old World tastes, then decorate with clean-lined modern elements that allow ornate intricacies to shine. Conversely, try designing in a contemporary, clean design, then add some flair with natural or folk elements. To see this mezcla (mix) work in real life, check out pictures of the Museo de Artes Popular! Its architectural style is stunningly simple art deco, while the works within it are traditional and FUN! 

The residents of this city know how amazing it is, but most are happy to share the place they call home. I became friends with my cabbie and the local barista pretty quickly, and they clued me into the real neighborhood spots. Only true locals know the local spots. So, make some friends and get exploring! While you’re there, or even if you’re just lazing around the house, bring a dash of la Ciudad de Mexico into your life! See our shopping list above and below for clothing items and home decor that we think make the mark.

Mexico City Inspired Interior Design

Artwork

Decor

 

 

Happy Rainbow Month!

Make life colorful: Rainbows for all!

Click on any photo below!

If you’re looking for rainbow items for your baby & kids, click here! Or here! And if you are looking for rainbow fashion ideas, click here! Our past rainbow roundups are packed full of even more color if you want more inspiration! This is a trend we have always loved, but it definitely seems to be at it’s peak right now. Especially in home decor, we are seeing rainbows adorning rugs, wall hangings, planters, and more.

Rainbow Projects

Some of our top rainbow projects from Lars days past. Add a rainbow to your woven beach bag to level-up an already amazing trend! Or even go all out and paint your own rainbow headboard! You can do all these and more with our tutorials below:

Loungewear in every color of the rainbow

Colorful Loungewear

This rainbow of comfort is sure to cure your quarantine blues. Find your hue! Or mix and match them to bring a smile to your face every day! Our top picks you should keep an eye out for are: wide-leg sweats that totally count as pants. Spring linen drawstring pants in amazing shades (if you still have enough self-control to change out of joggers every morning.) Lars approved Tie dye, so you can be totally on trend this season. And … all of it. We love it all.

 

Blue light glasses for working from home

Have you tried blue light glasses yet? Our team loves ours! Anyone who spends all day working from home on a screen should get a pair. I can work all day headache free with my blue light glasses. Try out one of the fun colored frames below!

 

Slip on shoes and sneakers to complete your loungewear look

 

New Face Masks For The New Year

With how the past year played out, it seems difficult to imagine what our futures will look like. Will life ever go back to how it was before the pandemic, or will face masks stick around for good? Maybe we’ll adjust to (another) new normal within the next year. Now that face masks are widely distributed, it seems like a waste to eventually box them up and never use them again. Especially when they come in such cute patterns, who wouldn’t want to show them off?

New Face Masks Roundup

Whether face masks are here to stay or will eventually become unnecessary for everyday use, it seems like we’re going to be wearing face masks for a while. So why not make the most of it? Back in April, we shared our favorite face masks with you. It’s been a few months since then, and many more masks have been created in that time! We’ve got a new face masks roundup for you with masks from around the web. A new mask is the perfect way to head into the new year. Practical and stylish? Count me in!

Check out new face masks available below!

Face Masks We Love

Pattern Goals

Cottagecore Meets Color

A Face Mas(k)terpiece

Bold and Beautiful

Neutrals But Make Them Fun

A Subtle Statement

Accessories

Kid’s Face Masks

Making your own masks

If you prefer to make your own face masks, you can use the face masks roundup we curated as inspiration!  You could even make masks for the holidays like we did this past Halloween (maybe a Valentine’s Day mask for February?). Even after this pandemic is over, masks will come in handy for the colder weather! Pick out your favorite pattern, or make face masks for friends and family! Face masks would be great in a care package, plus they’re easy to ship!

Although this past year wasn’t what we had expected, you can brighten up the start of the new year with a new face mask!

Rainbow Workout Gear + Exercises!

Recently I’ve been trying to get back into the swing of working out and eating healthier. And it’s no cake walk, you guys! Trust me, if there was cake involved, I would be ALL in. Though I have found that having cute, colorful workout gear helps motivate me to get moving. Imagine that 😉 When I came across the shoe color selection Saucony offers, I was absolutely giddy! I couldn’t decide on just one color, so the whole team got a pair so I could live out my rainbow dreams because they come in the loveliest sherbert colors.

Now don’t be mistaken, I’m taking things slow. Nothing too intense or high impact to begin with, so these shoes are great for my long walks and low impact workouts. Of course, I’ll be wearing them all around town with my dresses too! Not only are they cute, but super comfy!

In addition to the shoes, we rounded up our favorite workout outfits to coordinate with our new, revolutionizing RAINBOW work out. Ha! An easy workout in every shade (and letter!) of the rainbow–P(ink), R(ed), O(orange), Y(ellow), G(reen), B(blue)because it’s always easier to remember when there’s a mnemonic device and we’re clearly fans of a rainbow. Plus, who doesn’t want to match their shoes to their scrunchie?

If you’re in need of some motivation to get moving, take a look at the shoes, gear and a few moves we’re trying! 

Group Halloween Costumes

Group Halloween Costumes Idea

When coming up with a group Halloween costume idea, it’s good to think of items or people that can be repeated easily. There’s nothing more repeatable than Andy Warhol’s Soup Cans. We did it for our Team–a four person Halloween costume–but it could even be for three or more!

In his art, Warhol explored the themes of commodities and every day items by repeating it over and over in his work and glorifying it. Never one to escape an art history reference, we jumped on it and turned art into a crafty DIY costume that doesn’t require too much time.

group costume idea

How to make the 4 person soup can group Halloween costumes

We thought of various ways we could have engineered the costumes–do we make them actually round (so we can fit through a door?!) or do we make it easy on us and do sandwich boards? We had a ton of cardboard boxes so yes, we made it easy on us and thus, easy on you!

Here’s Gwen, our designer/maker

Accessories for the group Halloween costumes

The sandwich boards would have been one simple thing but we had to add on some cute accessories to glam it up like easy open can toppers as a fascinator hat on top. Obviously! I know, I know, can didn’t have the easy can opening at the time the painting was released, but it just needed a little something extra you know?!

A colorful costume also required color blocked basics underneath. We used clothes we already in various colors and then united in colorful Converse high tops for the icing on the cake.

Let’s not forget the colorful wigs. They are essential! They made the costume!Jane Merrit Link Halloween costume Andy Warhol soup can

Here’s Jane our photographer

Hailey Heath Halloween costume soup can Andy Warhol

Here’s Hailey, our project manager

Andy Warhol Soup Can Group Costume Instructions

Our group Halloween costume can be made in the following way:

Materials (links above)

Quantities: Each costume requires two cans, one for the front and one for the back. You can either make two identical cans for each costume or contrasting cans for a reversible look. Whichever you choose, make two cans for each costume.

Soup can group costume intructions

How to make an Andy Warhol soup can costume

To Make the posters

  1. Download our soup label SVG and can template from the shop.
  2. For each can, cut out 2 rectangles of cardboard that are 2 by 3 feet each.
  3. Trace the can template on each rectangle of cardboard. Then add the curved line for the middle of the label, a circle in the middle, and an ellipse for the can top.
  4. Use your cutting machine to cut out your the label letters and stars. Make sure that you assign your intended colors to each piece of lettering! Most cutting machines can sort the shapes by color, which makes your cutting job a lot easier.
  5. While your cutting machine is whirring away, paint the colorful cans.
  6. For details on the can top and bottom, use big gestural strokes and squeeze paint directly out of the tube in big swooping lines. Let the paint dry.
  7. Arrange your letters on the can as pictured.
  8. With a glue gun, glue all the letters in place.

 

Make the soup can costume body

Now you have two big painted posters on cardboard, and your costume’s almost finished! Here’s how to turn your posters into a costume.

  1. Cut 2 strips of ribbon that are 2 inches wide. Depending on the size of the person who will be wearing the costume you can make the strips from 12″ to 18″ long.
  2. Glue the strips to the back of each poster to connect them. Let the glue harden, then wear with pride! You may need to attach with duct tape.4 person group costume

Make a can lid fascinator

We decided to dress up our Andy Warhol pop art costumes with a metallic can lid fascinator. Here’s how you make it!

  1. Use your Cricut or other cutting machine to cut out two pull tabs in silver construction paper.
  2. Glue the two pull tab cutouts together with the shiny side out.
  3. Attach the bottom of the pull tab to the silver plate with hot glue.
  4. Fold the pull tab up so that it rests at an angle.
  5. Glue a hair clip to the bottom of the paper plate. Once the glue cures you’re good to go!

Colorful Bob Wigs

We used these wigs to complete the costume

Pink Bob Wig  |  Purple bob wig  |  Green bob wig  |  Blue bob wig

Other posts you might like

If you liked this group costume you might also be interested in our rainbow ghost group costume.

You might also be interested in our Andy Warhol Great Artist course over at The School That Lars Built 

Day 23 of Dress the rainbow

Natalie Jensen for Dress the Rainbow

Day 23 of Dress the Rainbow with Natalie Hill Jensen of Natalie Now. I first met Natalie in church at New York City back in 2008 on 15th street. She was conducting the music and you could tell immediately she was in musical theater based on her pace and vibrato. The girl doesn’t believe in singing slowly!

Fast forward a few years and I’ve loved seeing her career take off with Broadway roles in Bye Bye Birdie, Grease, Wonderland. Natalie has since married the man of her dreams and lucky for me, moved to Utah. Score! She has won over audiences but the best part is, she’s even better one on one. She is THE funniest person to talk to. Especially when it involves dating stores (but no longer!). She penned the blog Mormon in Manhattan, which gave accounts of her dating life and the best recaps of The Bachelor, but now she’s transitioned to Natalie Now, talking about all the things she loves NOW!

Thanks for playing the rainbow with me, N!

Shop lime green below!