Thursday, March 8, 2012

Natural Selection: Michael Levine & unveil a new collection of natural fiber home decor textiles, and this weekend our entire Home Decor Section is ON SALE!

For a long time I have been highly attracted to raw and unbleached, nearly unaltered natural fibers like linen and silk, in earthy palettes of warm, neutral tones – they seem to relax people. Whether it’s the serene nature of these materials, or the influence of Asian aesthetic 's simplicity, I find natural textiles to be one of the earth’s 'natural wonders'. The fact that natural fibers are gifts of mother nature and need very little alteration from mankind - to be the sumptuous yet very basic indulgence that they are - is sublime. When I visited South-east Asia, I discovered a look that was very much rooted in the natural, uncluttered approach that we westerners call Zen.  The trend in Asian decor, I noticed, was to mix the natural with a contemporary, modern, and refined minimalism, much like this:

This style is popular in newer, Southeast Asian construction.So, as a fan of and advocate for natural fibers, you can imagine my blissful excitement when the owner delivered to us a forklift load of new tussah silk and linen home d├ęcor textiles to put online! If this realm is new to you, I'm here to help you justify the shift into an environment that's more free from synthetics! As I passionately write and edit this post, I'm very excited to share some extra good news with you... these new textile treasures we're about to shine light on - as well as our entire Home Decor Section - are ON SALE, discounted 20% OFF, THIS WEEKEND ONLY! So have a look and stock up, because this bargain won't last long, and surely can't be beat!

By now you're probably questioning "How to mix this raw, exquisite texture into my space?"
Let me tell you, have no fear. Whether it's a little or a lot, an earthly reminder of our outdoor world is always a welcome presence. Shizen, or Naturalness, is one of seven underlying principles of Zen, and really is the pith of this article; appreciating the unpolished stone, the untreated wood, and of course the raw fiber of a plant or insect, woven into immaculate textiles.  You may find yourself surprised at the understated yet complex beauty of this new collection!

So to apply this principle aesthetically is really not hard. Take this grand architecture and these warm and inviting natural wood tones, and accent them with long and wide, uncut panels of full-length, floor to ceiling curtains! How glorious are these tapestries? I have to say they are almost taking center stage, aside from the mountain views:

Our new linen and silk blend 'Damascus' is a perfect candiadte for this starring role:

Damascus - linen and silk blend in a natural, earthy texture, embellished with appliqued rope, wooden beads, and brass adornments in a Moroccan-style motif. Shop all of our natural or silk home decor textiles by clicking.

Another idea is to make the cloth into a sumptuous bedspread or duvet cover. A great thing about natural fibers, linen particularly, is that it is breathable, so you won’t be waking up clammy. A silk or linen duvet can be used empty in the summer or filled in the winter, and will always keep that organic look – even if your comforter is filled with micro-fiber!

Here’s the idea:

And the top pick for creating this look:

"Dubai" - 100% Silk in Natural with vertical, beaded rope stripes (also available in Dark Natural)

The third use of these amazing textiles can be a combination of the first and second; I found a few photos online of perfectly executed bed prosceniums using the "floor to ceiling" curtain idea:

You could use any of our new Armani Linens to recreate these fine, solid linen drapery looks. They will also be on sale through Sunday March 11th! Add an amazing natural feel, luxurious drape, and privacy, of course, with our array of 14 modern, muted colors.  You're sure to find one of these Italian designer linens to suit your space and style!

If an embroidered or embellished linen is more your thing, like the example shown below, we've got a number of these also!

This one, called Isis, is just beautiful and would easily add a lot of class to an earthy bedroom suite:

And now finally, although there are still so many more options and ideas to explore, I've saved my favorite for last. This is the appeal of a motley array of high contrast, color and texture combinations, all orbiting around the natural, light quality of this room. Take this Northern-European spin on Shabby:

A bright, white space becomes a homey, lived-in space. As Regina here at the office says, "Can I move in?!?" I love this photo and style, showing a collection of cultural treasures. You can see that they each have their own story to tell. Some of our new natural home dec textiles could easily step right into this scene without skipping a beat! You have to use your imagination on this one, since they're not in the picture yet - but centered around this grande, wood-slab coffee table, and tossed in with the primitive woven textiles and artifacts, you can see what I'm getting at. Nature incorporated! The rich quality of Joyous, in either Chocolate or Tan, adds an interesting, dimensional texture and really emphasizes the organic. Imagine a throw pillow or 'flower wall' in this mix!

So now that I've given you a few ideas to play around with, exercise your own imagination within the space you've got. I can guarantee there's at least a little room in every house - pun intended - for some natural selections to reveal their understated beauty! Be sure to check out our Home Decor Textiles 20% Off Sale, this weekend only, where you will find many more styles and a much greater selection than what we've only just touched on here! Enjoy!


  1. Love this blog and the pictures. Really gives me some great ideas for my home. Can't wait to come shopping at your store! Thank you.

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