Northern Brights

August 2, 2013


Northern Brights
Do people in Sweden redecorate their sleek Stockholm lofts or rustic Gotland cabins every year when the new Ikea catalog comes out? The hot-pink sofas ($699), modern-arty duvet sets (shown, $40) and pastel-hued metal compost bins ($15) in the just-out 2014 edition (in mailboxes and at ikea.com/us/en) could spark a million home makeovers. Many new pieces boast rich colors or glam good looks, as in a steel-plastic chandelier ($99) fit for a modern-day Garbo.

Made in the Shades
Inspired by the iconic 1966 surfer movie of the same name, Lipstick Queen’s Endless Summer line celebrates effortless, beach-ready beauty ($22, lipstickqueen.com). Pucker picker-uppers come in three shades, left to right: Perfect Wave (bright pink), Hang Ten (sheer nude) and Stoked (a warm coral). They’re infused with sunscreen, meaning they’re both pretty and practical.

fleurs
Strike a Posy
Bright white walls and a heady whiff of blooms greet visitors to U Street’s new Bouquets & More (1628 U St. NW; 202-300-1348). Come in for hand-tied, Euro-style floral arrangements (shown, $75; prices vary) and unusual, sometimes-vintage vases. Other gift ideas include lavender chocolates and Herben Lifestyle’s beer-infused soaps ($8 each).

Rags as Riches
Those competing for the title of “House Guest of the Year” will appreciate Cat Studio’s Virginia-, Chesapeake Bay- and D.C.-map dish towels, available at Red Barn Mercantile ($20 each, 1117 King St., Alexandria; 703-838-0355). The cotton cloths feature silk-screened renderings of local attractions, including Chincoteague Beach and Mount Vernon. Give one AND offer to wash up after dinner, and your hosts may never let you go home.

Natural Beauties
Wine comes from attractive vineyards in California, France and even Virginia (new state motto, “Bad traffic, good cabernets”?). RabLabs’ polished stone bottle coasters (two for $90) and crystal stoppers ($60, Ginger, 7114 Bethesda Lane; 301-664-9242) suitably dress up vino on city balconies or at elegant wine-country picnics.

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Jennifer Barger · August 2, 2013