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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The online world of pretty


The web started out as a realm for geeks. The content was all about business, computer science, numbers and graphs. But something more beguiling flooded in when artists and dreamers began to play. While hard-sell merchants are screaming their names elsewhere on the web, the appeal of pretty sites is partly due to the fact that nobody’s shouting at you.
Lovers of all things beautiful tend to hope you’re not so much interested in them as the style they espouse. Sometimes you can’t even find their real names.
Take, for instance, the mysteriously labelled Gypsy Purple, who loves all things French and can be found at http://gypsypurple.blogspot.com Her opulent blog is a bit of a gypsy tea-room, overflowing with romantic, retro and nostalgic art of all kinds. The elegant white Swedish dining room above is from her blog.
If it’s the colour grey (or ‘gray’ if you’re American) that spins your wheels, see www.aperfectgray.com, a blog full to the brim with lovely charcoal, dove and pearl-toned goodies. Its creator rhapsodises that life has “four phenomenal goodnesses; d├ęcor, art, antiques and style – and this girl’s search for that one perfect gray wall colour.”
Needlework fans should cruise http://karenruane.blogspot.com, where there are oodles of embroidery pieces to admire, mostly in white on frosty white. Karen’s gorgeously detailed pieces come with lots of helpful chat about how to be an expert with needle and thread.
No such colour blindness is exhibited by an English architect who rolls out an almost daily post of all things bright and beautiful. Blogging at http://ijeomabyijeoma.blogspot.com, she recently displayed the interiors of Kim Kardashian’s plush home (remarkably restrained for a Kardashian) and the site is always full of international interiors to die for.
At http://adiaryoflovely.blogspot.com you can find Helena, who has about 1000 “lovely people” instead of “fans”. Her blog is awash with cool clothes and design.
Some style bloggers love to pair up words to make cute, double-barrelled names for their sites. Already taken – just in case you’ve been musing on such a move – are Lilac and Grey, Velvet and Linen, Linen and Lavender, and Chi Chi and Luxe, all of them bursting with sweetness and colour.
But there are no fluffy words at www.cleverbastards.co.nz, where you can browse and buy arty stuff made right here. On show is the work of huge talents from all over New Zealand. The idea in setting up the site (say the six people who run it) was to give you a place to purchase something from a creative Kiwi and also “get an idea how it was made and what the hell made them do it in the first place”. Clever.
* This piece appears in my Webmistress column, Next magazine, Dec 2010.

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