Athena Magazine

Fashion, lifestyle, passions

Jenny Hart’s Sexy Embroidery March 27, 2009

dollybig1I’ve always thought that Jenny Hart’s kitschy embroidery is cool, but lately it’s gotten downright sexy. And I never thought that I would use the words “embroidery” and “sexy” in the same sentence. Check out her exhibition designs, including this showstopper,  a 15″ x 17″ Dolly Parton. See more.


A white couch: It is possible to live with it January 18, 2009

couchI have always been a fan of the white slipcovered sofa, but I’ve never bought one for fear of … well … white. I have a huge, sloppy, often muddy golden retriever, who has lived his whole life lounging among dark leather sofas for just that reason. But in my new house, which is near the Sound, I am leaning toward the soft colors of the shore: neutrals, naturals, creams and whites. 469bbb2Rather than buy a new sofa, I bought a $50  natural slipcover from Bed, Bath and Beyond. It is washable, but after spending an hour tucking and fitting that thing, the last thing I want to do is take it off. It might even shrink … horrors!

canvasSo I made this amazing new discovery in Home Depot: painter’s drop cloths! For just ten bucks, I can throw an off-white painter’s cloth over the top and voila … no more freaking out when Chipper bounds onto the sofa after a woodsy jaunt. The canvas cloth is durable and resistant to dirt, and the color has just enough oatmeal hue to hide whatever dirt lingers. I’ve used one to drape a beyond-repair bench console that Chipper chewed up as a pup. Plus it’s a great fabric to make pillows, curtains, tablecloths, etc. (Don’t know if you’ve bought any fabric lately, but it’s not cheap, and if it is cheap, it’s generally not good.) The cloth shown above is the $20 8′ x 11′ version, but there’s a $10 5′ x 8′ version in the store. Find your sanity-saving dropcloth here.

Tip: Ikea has an amazingly comfy white couch for just $399!


My Favorite Teen Bedroom January 17, 2009

butterflyI’ve been renovating a house since last May, a complete gut. All I can say is think twice before doing this yourself, even if you do have a contractor husband and a separate place to live. But in the process I’ve also been doing a lot of shopping for everything from fixtures to fabrics to furniture. Today my big love is this ’70s-inspired duvet cover from Pottery Barn (which for a while was getting a little blah, but seems to have found a new spark). It reminds me of my favorite teen boudoir, my best friend’s yellow and green modular bedroom. It was soooo cool. Her fabulously wealthy parents did the right thing and built a whole teen suite for her and her bro. And then they bought her a sexy sienna Firebird which we cruised to our high school every morning. And I lived gloriously vicariously through all of it. Check out the new mod Pottery Barn here.

FYI, I’ve added this new category: Athena at Home today. I think you’ll be hearing a lot from me on this topic, as it’s ALL I think about. 

Budget tip: Duvet covers are a super-cheap, quick way to change up a room. This full/queen is only  $119. I use only white sheets, and have several duvet covers for mood and season. If you have a fav fabric and even the most modest sewing skills, you can stitch up your own in an afteroon, with a sewing pattern as your guide.