My Stray Dog Obesssion

These lamps are from Stray Dog Designs. Oh, did you think I was obsessed with real stray dogs?

You know I love my thrift store and yard sale finds but, like most of you I have a few artisans who I’m a little obsessed with. Instead of Jimmy Choo or Van Gogh I’d love to collect Happy Chair, Utilitarian Franchise Hershey is My Baby, Red Letter WordsGussy Sews, and Handmade Recess. I’m crazy about my Lena Bengston custom Silhouettes , and all those shops on the sidebar over there to name a very few.  One of my biggest obsessions right now is Stray Dog Designs.

Let’s look at a few of my favorite things {I keep them in my office to protect them from boys} my Amy Butler Rug, Hershey is My Baby Wreath {updated: use code: nester for 20%off}, Stray Dog Designs Antelope Head {I’m not sure they still make him}.  Paired with my $15 yard sale table turned desk and $85 thrifted dresser that I painted, it’s possible to have a few meaningful, fun, artisan pieces and still keep the total room cost low.  I ordered both the rug and antelope head through One Kings Lane for about half the retail price.  If you want to find out more about One King’s Lane read this post.

Anyway, today I wanted to talk about Stray Dog Designs simply because I find their items to be beyond inspiring.  You can read about the company here. The company was started by a husband and wife and their stray dog in Mexico.

I’ve seen Stray Dog items in lots of magazines and locally at our Anthropologie, Bebe Gallini’s and West Elm.

The lighting is my favorite.  You can even pick what color birds you want with this chandelier. Dying.


Fun drum tables.

Ashley from Meet Me in Philadelphia creatively hacked this Stray Dog Table from West Elm.

Oh mercyness, stop, stop, stop!

Lauren from Pure Style Home recently finished this room for the DC Design House and incorporated the Esme Glass Lamp from Stray Dog Designs. It retails for $325, not an impulse buy for most of us but, you have to admit, it completely finishes this space.  I have always loved Lauren’s use of green.

And just for fun here’s a little tour of the Stray Dog family home via Country Living.

Now it’s your turn, is there an artist, brand, author, chef, painter, photographer, etsy seller~whatever, who you are obsessed with?


*** warning, Survivor spoiler alert, stop reading if you didn’t watch the finale yet and want to ***





PS did you see the Survivor finale last night?  Yay Boston Rob!  I love how he practically knocked people over to get to his wife “Amba” in the audience to smooch her as soon as they announced him as the winner.


  1. I’m in love with that rug. I think I have to get that for my daughter’s room.

  2. i just LOVE that u just wrote “Amba” :)

  3. I love the bird chandy! Wow…any color? Yay! and that drum…too. die. for! :)

  4. I’m immediately going over to Stray Dog Design to get some inspiration. LOVE

    I try to support local artists, and thankfully we have a surplus of them here. They’re mostly rustic artists as we live in VT (where local means anywhere in the state, as well as Upstate and NH) but sometimes I’ll stumble across someone who also loves turquoise and lime and lots of white. I’ve found several prints that I just adore for less than $20 apiece, more often for $5-10 (unframed). Recently I found a print of three trees in bright crayola-esque fall colors for $15 that hubby and I just adore – though we have different favorite trees!

  5. Oh my word. You know I adores ya, but there was no warning. You were all, pretty interiors, artisans, BOSTON ROB WON! AHHHH That’s what I get for not watching it the night of…and then reading your blog the next morning. ;) Who knew. stinkin DVR! HAHA.

    I’m in love with Lauren’s Frame up above. Want to make it!

  6. That was a great 3 hours of Survivor! So much fun!

  7. my all time favorite artist –

    my top two fav etsy artist (as of this week!) – AND

    Thanks for telling us about Stray Dog – I’m in love:) especially with the birdy chandelier:)

  8. First, I also have Lena silhouettes of my children, and I’m pretty sure they’re what I’d grab in a fire along with their lovies. Watching her at work was amazing!!!

    Second, to answer your question, while we are big bargain shoppers, and DIYers, some of our splurge artists are: Aaron Foster, Sticks,& Michael Aram

  9. \Yup, LOVED the Survivor Finale! Poor Natalie and Phillip were practically begging the jury to vote for Rob! “Well, Rob took me under his wing, Rob made sure and take me to the end, Rob ran the show, Rob protected me, Rob told me who to vote for, Rob Rob Rob!” I think he was the definite winner!

    LOVE the striped lamps. Adds some zing and sass while still remaining a neutral! PERFECT.

    • I KNOW! And then Phillip got mad and told people off during the counsel thing~doesn’t he realize he wants these people to VOTE for him?! CRAZYNESS

      • Yup he really didn’t do a great job at selling himself! Poor Phillip. I actually feel sorry for him! I do think he has some screws loose, and was probably not pleasant to be around for a long time ….but I really didn’t care for the way some of the other players treated him. Ashley seemed to just incite and rile him up further, and Steve’s cutting remarks at the finale show were just unnecessary and served no real purpose. Our Mama’s are all correct, “if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all!”

  10. I’m finding myself disturbingly obsessed with Andy Goldsworthy’s art. Google him. You won’t be sorry.

  11. Thanks for highlighting my DIY papier mache tables–so much less expensive than the $150 versions that Stray Dog sells through West Elm! And fun to make, too!

    Hope you all like them!

    • Beautiful lamps and accessories, but $400 for a lamp or $300 for an animal head? Even at half off on One Kings Lane that’s a lot for most average folks. I think I need to stick with thrift shops and Target, lol! I love your blog Nester, have been following it for a very long time, but I’m a little sad that I can’t really relate to your style or what it takes to achieve it anymore, which was what captivated me in the first place. That said, your house looks great and I’ll still follow your blog to see what you do next!

      • You don’t have to pay lots of $$ to get a certain look AND, you don’t have to pay a lot at One King’s Lane either~read my post about it that I linked to in this post {hate me, too lazy to relink}, you can refer friends on facebook or your blog and if they buy something, you’ll get a little credit to your acct. kind of like a gift card that you can use to get the price even lower! It’s all about being creative in every way!

        I think at OKL the rug was $400 and the head {sounds gross} was $75, actually, it’s more like me to spend money on a rug than on a head but, I did use some store credits to help out~hope that’s encouraging!

        Oh, oh and don’t forget to click the link to the hackable drum table, I think she spent less than $20!!

  12. I love those lamps! I may not be able to afford them, but I love looking at sites like theirs to get ideas! Thanks for sharing.

  13. I love those lamps too – wow!! Pin pin pin!!

  14. Wow, those glass lamps are beyond gorgeous!

    I have just started a new blog, I’d love for you to come check it out!

  15. great link!
    for what it is worth, I am glad you feature a wide range of prices on the things you love. Just sayin’.
    Most of the time, I am all DIY and improvise. But sometimes, there is a piece that is worth eating spaghetti for 2 weeks for. ya know?
    – {darlene}

  16. Ramen diet for my kids this week. I am loving the chandeliers! Looking now.

  17. Stray Dog’s owners Jane and Billy are even more special than their awesome designs! We live in the same hometown. I am so happy you showcased their work. At one time there was an outlet here in Chattanooga- not sure if it is still open.

  18. I adore you and your blog and click every single morning—you’re my cup of coffee! I find myself dreaming of meeting you someday and might be your biggest fan. Our styles are so similar and I find such inspiration in seeing your “makeovers” in action. I’m not even sure how I found both you and your talented sister, but I did. I can’t stop reading, have fallen in love with the ladies at/from (in)courage and blissdom and feel like I must comment on something. From the bottom of my heart, PLEASE, PLEASE edit your entry/entries before posting! Your audience is captivated by your words and you have them all wanting more, wishing for more and you’re all making a difference in many of our/their lives. It’s important to use that power and strength of the English language correctly–for you and your readers. I’ll do it for you if you’ll let me! :)

  19. I am so glad you put a link for the silhouettes by Lena. Everytime I see your gallery wall I wonder where I can get one of those of my son. And then I was reading another blog the other day and she had just got one done of her son and commented on how they just cut it, no drawing or anything. I couldn’t believe it and then I knew I really had to have one!
    I would love to see Lena do it in person, but ordering online is second best. Plus, you can’t beat the price!
    So thanks for that! :)

  20. first, of all: :). you know what that’s for.

    i’m sitting here trying to think of what my obsessions are right now. i met this girl at a show : i’m so mad at myself because she had a necklace that i loved, loved, loved and i didn’t buy it. and it’s not in her shop. but, nester. you should check her stuff. beeeeaaauuutiful.

    i really like those lamps all the way up there at the top, too. stripey and wonderful.

  21. oh my gosh! So in LOVE with their lamps, lights, stools!!! EVERYTHING. :) Would love to shop there if I could afford it, but alas… not at the moment, but it’s great inspiration for later. :)

  22. Locally I’m obsessed with the Davidson farmer’s market every Saturday. I’ve been trying out local meats and eggs and can definitely see what the fuss is all about. There’s also a booth with the best fresh handmade donuts. OMG delicious. And I’ve bought locally grown plants for $5 a piece that are super healthy. Also obsessed with the Tuscan House (still). Been there yet?? And with Sleepy Poet Antiques in Charlotte. The chorus of angels ring out in my head every time I set foot inside. And with Metrolina. I hate when I miss a month at this time of year. Good stuff!

  23. Oh my goodness. I adore these lamps!! xoxo

  24. My obsession is any art that is original & not a reproduction. Sometimes expensive, sometimes not depending on the artist… I’ve found lots of good art on ebay & etsy & at local fairs.

    I was happy Boston Rob won! He is definitely a family man – so cute to see that. He cracks me up! I followed the Tweeter feed this year while watching which was fun…

  25. I know this was a side note- but YAY ROB! I was so, so excited when he won :) And, I though of you, my Boston Rob lovin’ friend… knew you’d be just as happy as me.

  26. Wow, I love your obsession! i have too many myself.

    I love certain artists, and photographers and designers…but lately, one site I visit all the time…stalking…is Infusion on etsy. I just can’t seem to decide WHAT it is that I need!


  27. Jennifer says

    I am CRAZY for Stray dog design too!!!!! Ever since I saw their spread in Country Living mag I fell in love!!!!!!! My style is more “traditional” but I have been slowly mixing in more of their fun products and I think it works (hey it does in their home right?)

  28. I think the drum table is my favorite. It looks to be a stump that has been take from it’s natural state and made into a new individualistic piece that can change a living room to being a room you love to live in.

  29. Thanks for turning me onto stray dog designs! Love their stuff! Love your blog as well!
    If you get a free moment go to my blog at and follow me. I am brand new at this and am taking a lot of inspiration from bloggers like yourself!


  30. LOVE your Amy Butler rug….so beautiful!

  31. I was rooting for Boston Rob the entire season. So happy that he finally won! YAY!!
    I adore the photo you posted with the giant print and the green lamp. GORGEOUS!

  32. we are HUGE Boston Rob fans. he was amazing to watch. he played the game so well with all the social & physical aspects. i liked him from the very beginning. we’ve watched that show ever since it started. LOVE it.

    as for stray dog….do you know every december they have a warehouse sale in our town? everyone that enters must bring 3 canned goods to donate & then you are allowed to shop all you want. it’s packed at 6am & it’s always SOOOO cold, but so fun. everything is purchased & snatched up quickly. it’s all sorts of lamps, shades, furniture – the works. for cheap cheap cheap!!!

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