Monday, August 16, 2010

Uptown Girl, Living in a Downtown World

Dear friend and faithful Gimleter Emily is one of the most creative, witty and vibrant people I know.  She is also an incredibly talented chef and artist.  Years ago, Emily cleverly informed me that she was an "uptown girl living in a downtown world," meaning that her champagne tastes sometimes do not match her very-decent-bottle-of-liquor budget.  Emily has an excellent knack for living the good life without bankrupting herself and her equally witty husby.  She always looks like a million bucks (as does her home, parties, gifts, invites, etc.) and is never shy about sharing her secrets for fine living (within reason!) with her friends. 

Naturally, I was intrigued when I received an email from Emily, subject line: "A Poor Girl's Jonathan Adler."  And, oh boy, the email contents exceeded my expectations! 

Inspired by her mom's incredibly ingenius idea of using vinyl tile to create her own outdoor area rugs, Emily decided that her bathroom needed a Jonathan-inspired (and durable) bath mat.  Ta-da!

Clever and practical!

The project started looking like this:

El cheapo vinyl tile from Lowe's.

Emily explained that she simply flipped the vinyl over, cut out her shape (very easily, with scissors), and prepped for painting with multiple layers of Killz.  She believes that gesso may work just as well. 
After she painted the design to her liking, she waterproofed with marine varnish.  Done and done.

I think that it looks just like the "real deal," but is obviously a better choice for a wet environment, like a bathroom.

Jonathan's fluffy zebra rug.

Imagine the possibilities!  You could re-create all kinds of great designer rug looks for your own vinyl mat.  I think that flat vinyl rugs are always perfect in kitchens, bathrooms, outdoor areas or play rooms.  They are perfectly durable and so easy to clean. 

Finally, my dream of the initial rug could maybe come true?

Let us know if you are inspired to make your very own vinyl mat for indoors or out.  Emily is a doll and will happily answer any questions you may have about the process, so please fire away.  Keep us posted on your own inspirations or projects!




  1. I would love to do this for an outdoor rug. Can you just hose them down to clean off?

  2. yup! That's the idea! We should do a workshop one day, let me know if a group is interested and we can get a roll of vinyl, a pitcher of cocktails, or mocktails, and get down to painting.

  3. If you do a workshop, I'd love to be there! This project has endless possibilities. I love the rug Emily made, and the initial rug is such a cute idea!

    Count me in (for any day after September 24th when I'll be a NOLA resident again!).

  4. Emily, I'm definitely interested! I've wanted a lucky outdoor rug for a while now.

  5. Oops. That's supposed to be kicky outdoor rug.

  6. *love* this idea!!