Orla Kiely & A Gift

I don’t think it’s possible to be a blogger (or anyone mildly interested in home design) and not be familiar with Orla Kiely, the Irish born, London based designer, and her bold, bright prints. Her adorable prints are everywhere, and her collaboration of home and office products with Target in 2009 flew off the shelves faster than I could get my hands on anything, much to my dismay. I’ve always had a soft spot for her ubiquitous stem print, and couldn’t help pulling a few of my favorite pieces together:

Inspiration / 1. Radio / 2. Mug / 3. Notebook / 4. Planners / 5. Scarf / 6. Pillow / 7. Pencils

Can I just say that wallpapered bathroom is the very definition of BANANAS? If Boyfriend would let me, our entire house would be covered in that wallpaper. And I’d squeal like an excited 5 year old if she discovered Christmas was actually twice a year every time I laid eyes on it.

I’ve kind of worshipped Orla Kiely’s stuff from afar, (somewhat incorrectly) convinced that it was out of my price-range, with the exception of her long sold-out line for Target, it is. Or so I thought.

Nina over at Living in 40 posted a round-up of Orla Kiely’s recent collaboration with Uniqlo a few weeks ago, and it was like I’d died and gone to pattern-heaven. I’d only heard a whisper of the line before her post, but hadn’t given it due attention. Turns out, the line is insanely well priced, and includes shirts and dresses and scarves in her signature patterns. Unfortunately for moi, not only are there no Uniqlo stores in Philly, but there is also no online shopping option on the site (also, sidenote: seriously? In 2012 I can buy a genetic testing kit for my dog online but not a t-shirt?) (also, additional sidenote: OMG dog genetic testing!!). When I started drooling over the $12 ($12!!) scarves in the collection and lamenting the fact that I couldn’t buy one, Nina graciously offered to pick one up for me, since she is a magical and generous DIY-fairy sprinkling happiness on the world, and since she works near a Uniqlo in Manhattan. I thought she was kidding at first, because who would do that? That’s too nice! But sometimes, as with Süsk’s personalized map of Paris, the blog-world shines upon me and bestows me with unbelievable presents of which I am totally undeserving. And look what arrived in my mailbox on Saturday:

I mean, come on. I’ve thanked Nina profusely already but I have to give her another well-earned shout out here: Thank you again, so much, Nina. I absolutely love it and already wore it this weekend! Isn’t her handwriting incredible? I was so touched by the entire thing. And it doesn’t hurt that the scarf is gorgeous and literally goes with everything. I’m definitely packing it for Europe, which brings the Scarf Count up to 3. For now!

Like you guys needed anymore reasons to call me spoiled. But seriously, I feel so lucky sometimes. I definitely owe Nina a plate of Swedish meatballs at the IKEA near her house one day.

27 thoughts on “Orla Kiely & A Gift

  1. Ah how very lovely of Nina to do that for you! That’s really sweet of her. (PS if you need anythign else from Uniqlo I can get it and post it to you)

    Personally, and I know you’ll hate me for this, but I think OK is really overrated. The woman has produced one pattern in twenty years, sat back and reap the rewards. Lazy cow ;)

    We have a duvet cover like it (needless to say it predates me) from Heals and it upsets me every time I get under it. Luckily it’s just white though and it is very soft.

    1. Girl, I’d have you send me chocolate before anything else ;) But you’re very sweet to offer!

      I’m sure I’d grow tired of having this print so large-and-in-charge in my home a la that wallpapered bathroom, but it’s so much fun in small doses! Haha, to me anyways. And the same thing about only having created one pattern can be said about Louis Vuitton/Burberry but they seem to be doing rather well, haha. At least, I’ve never heard anyone call Mr. Vuitton a “lazy cow” ;)

      1. True, true. He does the chequered pattern too though at least he’s a two trick pony. A 2CV en Francais ha ha. And yes, Burberry at least now have the decency to keep that horrid print on the inside of garments only.

        Hey, do you speak french by the way? Are you going to be parlaying over there? Did I tell you that when we went to Barcelona my ex boyfriend asked a man in a shop ‘parlez vous Francais?’. He received a very quizzical look and we had to run out it was so embarrassing. And my favourite story is that a friend of a friend was in Paris and needed directions and asked a passing French person ‘parlez vous Francais?’ to which he replied ‘mais oui’. She had to run off too. So be warned chicken! x

        1. Oui, je parle francais! J’ai etudie la langue for cinc ans! J’aime francais. Mais, mon petit ami, il ne parle pas francais. Quel dommage. C’est pourquoi il voyage avec moi. :)

        2. I offered to teach Boyfriend some French just to get by, and he said the only thing he wants to learn is how to say “Can I have a beer?” Je voudrais une biere, s’il vous plait!

          1. I am very impressed! I’m good in restaurants and asking how much the Isabel Marant clothes are. That’s about it. After 10 years of French at school!

  2. Wow, wow and thrice wow, that’s a wonderful surprise you lucky lady. Well done Nina!

    It’s great that you love Orla but I do agree with Annie, you see it everywhere here, it’s been well and truly overdone. However, that said, she’s taken a great print given it massive exposure and made a decent living (probably) from it, so from a commercial perspective, high five to OK.

    I’m sorry if I’m being dumb, but why would you want to genetically test your dog, or did you only see the test but not buy it, but you must have googled it, ha ha! :-)

    1. I think you guys have it worse than we do, I saw that you had full buses covered in that pattern before. But she is primarily in London so I’m sure you’ve oversaturated with her work, whereas it’s still sort of a novelty over here. Or, at least, we don’t have buses and subway cars covered in multicolored stems :)

      The dog genetic testing is good for mutts and rescue dogs where their lineage isn’t known. I’m not sure how accurate the results are but supposedly you can swab the inside of Fitz’s mouth, mail off the sample and from his DNA they’ll be able to extract exactly what kind of breed mix he is. We were told at the shelter when we got him he was a Beagle Terrier, but anything is possible. I like having a one-of-a-kind-er, but I’m curious to know what he really is, too! The things people think up these days, eh? xo

      1. Oh I thought it was so you could find out which of the dirty sluts in the playground he’d been fooling around with! Remember Elizabeth Taylor getting gang banged in Central Park. I should clarify that was the dog in Sex & The City, not actual Elizabeth Taylor!

        1. Hahaha I love that scene so much because Anthony and Harry both find it hilarious and Charlotte is so beside herself she just cleans the bathtub all day. Hahaha.

  3. Awww, How sweet of Nina! Is it any wonder that people want to buy you lovely things? You respond with such sweet, genuine, child-like excitement. I’d love to be a fly on the wall as you unwrap your Christmas presents! :D

    I do love Orla Kiely’s use of colour. That said, the only OK item I own is the stem print duvet set. In tone on tone grey
    It came in two pretty boxes (also in tone on tone grey but with a shot of chartreuse) which I now use to store odds and ends. :)

    A genetic testing kit for A DOG?!!! What the what? :O

    1. Ha! Chi, you’re so sweet. I do have quite the child-like sense of wonder about things. I’m like Fitz in a lot of ways, everything is so exciting and the best.thing.ever. Hahah, at least I accept it!

      I’d love to see your duvet set! I didn’t realize she even had duvet sets, but I just scouted that gray one you have and it’s beautiful! Nice recycling, using those boxes as storage! I want to see those, too!

      See my answer to Sam above for the dog genetic testing. It’s basically a test that neurotic dog owners will shell out money for to see what breed their mutt is. So…perfect for me! xo

  4. Oh WOW! What a lovely, lovely gift for you. It is so nice to be reminded that the world is full of generous people. Gorgeous scarf…I always thought OK was out of my price range too. Probably better I don’t go looking since A) I can’t order online and we can’t expect Nina to do this for all of us and B) apparently OK is overrated! ;)

    Your posts always crack me up, but it was Annie’s “Lazy cow” comment that had me laughing out loud today! Thanks kids!

    1. The world (especially the blogging-world recently!) is overflowing with generous and kind people, and it’s wonderful that I get to be on the receiving end of it! It makes me want to be a more generous and kind person in return!

      Haha, Annie always makes me laugh, I love her sense of humor! xo

  5. OMG. It hurts my eyes just to look at that stuff.

    I think Nina’s gesture is adorable and so kind. Happy you love your scarf. I cannot bear OK stuff since, as A mentioned, she did one pattern and has ridden on the back of it ever since. Don’t think she’s lazy, just got in there at the right time..

    She is a lovely lady. I met her once. London LOVES her. Target market is definitely 30’s so you’re in good company.

    Now I need to lie in a dark room with camomile teabags on my eyes (for soothing the shock).

    1. HA! It is a tad bright, yes? But you’re supposed to love color and patterns! I’m disappointed, missy ;)

      I like your homeopathic remedy for sore eyes, but I’m allergic to camomile! Isn’t that crazy? It makes me break out in hives. Pretty nuts!

  6. Ok, I think you need to make Nina your new BFF. I mean, seriously, that is really nice. It’s making me all kinds of happy to imagine you wearing that pretty little scarf on your European holiday. I don’t think you can have too many scarves on a trip, especially since they don’t take up that much room in the luggage. Good call.

    I agree, Nina’s handwriting is lovely. I thought it was a font. ;)

    1. She’s European, too! Like I needed any more reason to swoon over her, right? It was truly a generous and amazing thing to do, and every time I wear that scarf I’ll be reminded of it. Good point on never having too many scarves! I bought one with the intention of that being “it” but that quickly changed obviously, haha. Plus I can use the scarves to wrap any fragile souvenirs in my suitcase I bring back from the trip!

  7. You’re welcome! I was not really fairy like today, been more of a klutz and broke off the heal of my boots at work ;)

    I really like the pattern, especially in the colors from your post, but have not been overexposed to her stuff yet. If I knew how to wallpaper walls I would put some around our house. Wish I could create something simple and timeless and reap the benefits for the rest of my life now that I didn’t win the Lottery last Friday ;)
    PS. For everybody that doesn’t know it was $640 Million…

    1. UGH, $640 million sounds so much larger now that it’s definitely out of reach, haha. Did you hear that there were 3 or 4 winners, though? So they’re jackpot was only something like $100 million each after taxes. “Only.” Haha.

      I’m so sorry you broke your shoe! Did you have to hobble around the rest of the day? That stinks. Hope you can find a cobbler to fix it for you!

      Apparently wallpapering is easy stuff if you have the right tools and watch a few youtube videos. It’s just a slow-moving process and you have to be really precise. Look at me, talking about it like I’ve ever done it before! You should definitely use that stem print wallpaper somewhere in your home so I can live vicariously through it ;)

      Thank you again!! You really made my day/week/month! xoxo

      1. Yes, I read that there were 3 or 4 winning tickets, even if you have to split 100 Million with your office pool that’s still a nice chunk of money. I could have had somebody wallpaper the entire house.

        Luckily I had my gym bag with me yesterday and just wore my sneakers after. As a treat I skipped the gym after work :) The funny thing is that I broke the heel while sitting at my desk in the office, it got caught under the base of my chair and just snapped off. I have a great cobbler that will be able to fix it though…

  8. Blown-away by that sweet and lovely gesture! I’m thinking you need at least 5 scarves plus one to wear on the plane. But ignore me – I usually bring 7-10 anywhere I go :)

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