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 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.

Shape Snifters

Shape Snifters Stemless wine glasses, while dishwasher-friendly and easy to grasp, do little to up your grape-swilling style. CB2’s new silhouette vino glasses ($20 for four, CB2, 3307 M St. NW; 202-333-6204) blend wry decals with sensible non-stem ware. The Burton-toasts-Taylor designs bring to mind swinging 1960s parties, and who wouldn’t want to drink to […]

Optical Illusions

Optical Illusions Seeing things through rose-colored glasses just got a whole lot easier. The Rowley Eyewear collection (from ready-to-wear darling Cynthia Rowley) includes hipster-friendly frames, including the oversized No. 78 in blush acetate, shown, and the granny-chic No. 87 in three colors of metal (all frames $129, Heat Miser, Meet Cold Miser Adapting to […]

Produce Porn

Drinking in the Monuments We don’t advocate imbibing demon rum (or gin) during a moonlight stroll or daytime picnic on the National Mall. That’s against National Park Service rules, drunken scofflaw! But you can gaze at arty renditions of the Washington, Jefferson et al on local brand Fast Snail’s D.C.-themed flasks ($25-$30 each), just in […]

Prints, Not Dead

Prints, Not Dead Outkast didn’t tell  us to “Shake it like an instagram snapshot.” Anyone who still finds physical pictures relevant can bring their smartphone, laptop or tablet to the Polaroid Fotobar pop-up in Union Station (through January, 50 Massachusetts Ave. NE; They simply plug in their 21st-century devices and print photos 20th-century style […]

In a Haute Second

In a Haute Second An alternative title for House Beautiful’s new book “Quick Changes: Fresh Looks for Every Room” ($25, Hearst Books) could have been “Zigzags Are Your Home’s Best Friend.” Editors are quick to recommend the bold pattern for rooms in need of a quick-yet-drastic tweak. Other suggestions for makeovers that don’t require a […]

Straw Pull

Straw Pull That trader Joe’s reusable sack isn’t going to impress anyone on the sand at Rehoboth or by the Capitol Skyline pool. But Be You Fashion’s raffia bags, new at Betsy Fisher (1224 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202-785-1975), give a jolt of Mediterranean cool to beach-side or deep-end outfits. The totes come in bright hues […]

Take Covers

Take Covers Once your ac goes on for the next gazillion weeks, you’re stuck with an odd dilemma: It’s hotter than the surface of Venus outside, but in your pad, it’s freezing. Nkuku’s cotton throws, new at Tabletop ($110 each, 1608 20th St. NW; 202-387-7117) stylishly solve the “my roommate is a polar bear” dilemma. […]

Prep Station

Prep Station Milly designer Michelle Smith is known for merging Nantucket-classic prints with New York City-edgy cuts. Her limited-edition collection for Banana Republic ( and stores) brings her poppy, preppy vibe to women’s frocks (shown, $130), shore-ready bags (shown, $130) and, a first for Smith, such men’s staples as bright polos (shown, $50) and wild […]

Re-Do It Yourself

Re-Do It Yourself Thinking about tossing that rickety old bookshelf? Let Barb Blair, author of “Furniture Makeovers” ($25, Chronicle Books), convince you why it’s worth keeping. (Hint: Gold spray paint may come into play.) The how-to book serves up 26 genius furniture face-lifts that could launch a thousand Pinterest pins, including ombre dresser drawers and […]