Monday, December 31, 2007

Finally Found a Home.

Nick and I purchased these mirrors over a year ago and during Christmas we finally hung them. This is the hallway that leads to the bedrooms. Before it was really dark with teal carpet, one overhead light and mismatch walls. We installed three can lights, painted the walls and ceiling Decorators White, removed the carpet to expose the hardwood floors and installed white baseboards which made the hallway so much brighter. We needed a focal point, so Nick decided to hang the mirrors. The different angles of the mirrors reflect light from the bedroom windows down the hallway making the space even brighter. I know these mirrors are “patterned” from a designer, but I have not been able to find the reference. We purchased these from the Bombay Store (who knew they had cool stuff).

Friday, December 28, 2007

Projects for 2008 at No. 462

I am not normally a person that makes New Year’s resolutions. However a new year gives me a great chance to layout the plans for the house in 2008. Here is my list for projects in 2008:

1. Complete kitchen island and pantry.
2. Recover brown sofa and peach chairs in the kitchen.
3. Update window treatments for the entire house.
4. Find a paint color I like for more than a month for the guest bedroom.
5. Organize my office (mostly my magazines, tear sheets and stationary).
6. Update the fireplace.
7. Buy the new sofa for the den.
8. Finish small open projects (painting touch ups, baseboards, window treatments, etc).

I am already planning for 2009. That year will be for the big projects, bathroom remodels and refinishing of hardwood floors. I hope Nick is on board for this plan.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sofa Slipcover?

In the beginning of my search for our new sofa I was dead set on a white slipcovered sofa. During my search I have realized that finding the perfect shape and size in a white slipcover is difficult. I have accepted buying a sofa that is the perfect shape and size first and then having a slipcover made later on. After I found this image on The Scoop, I am excited to have a slipcover made with the same box pleat. Actually if I could just have this exact sofa I would be so happy.

Happy Holidays!

We had such a wonderful Christmas this year. We celebrated with our family in the new kitchen and dinning room and it was so nice to have everyone hanging out, eating and opening presents. Here are some images from the weekend and a few of my amazing gifts. You cannot see the best gift, my new (pink) Sony cyber shot camera! (Lulu sleeping in giftwrap was my first photo.)

My pink Le Creuset round oven. Yes, it is pink!

Great vintage books from my mom and my first Hermes orange box (with a deck of cards).

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

In search of the perfect sofa

I have been searching for a living room sofa for over four years. I know exactly what I want, but I cannot find it (in my price range) anywhere. I want a traditional and simple silhouette with slender arms, exposed feet and slipcovered in white duck. Are my requirements unreasonable? I can always find something on First Dibs, but the prices are way out of my range and the sofa is typically located in Bridge Hampton or Miami Beach. I keep checking auctions and consignment stores in hopes I can find a vintage sofa I can get recovered, but that will still be expensive after I purchase the fabric and have it recovered. I don’t just want to buy any sofa because I know I will be stuck with it for years, but why can I not find what I want?

Here is a selection of sofas I like, but these are still not perfect.

This would need a slipcover, but has great classic lines.

I love this sofa. LOVE. The grey linen is beautiful and I could have a white slipcover made a few years down the road. But at $19,100 it is completely outside of my price range.

This Drexel sofa meets all my requirements, but the slipcover. I could just order in another color and have slipcover made later or order it in white and use Scotch Guard as long as possible and then order a slipcover. I don’t know what to do.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Not Blueprint too?

Very sad news reached me today while at work. The January/February issue of Blueprint will be the last issue of the magazine. I cannot believe that not only is House and Garden gone, but now I will no longer have the thrill of finding a new issue of Blueprint in my mailbox when I get home. Since the first issue that inspired our front door, I have poured over every page of Blueprint for inspiration. I think I can find an interpretation of every issue somewhere in our house. I must admit I am very disappointed in Martha.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

"The Barn"

Another project we had in progress over the fall was our new shed. Nick had a friend with an Amish work crew build it for us when they were between jobs. It was a long time to wait for it to be started, but was completed in a few days. We are only waiting for the sliding door to arrive and it will be complete. Finally we have a place to store our lawn furniture, tools and extra garage items. This spring we will paint, install lighting and add landscaping to improve the view for all the neighbors.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

I Love - Ruthie Sommers

Cottage Living
In Style Home

I am anticipating the March 25, 2008 launch of Ruthie Sommer’s book L.A. House. The article about her home in the first issue of Domino provided we with a lot of inspiration and courage in decorating my own house. Since my first exposure to her style in Domino, her home has been showcased in numerous design magazines. Recently I came across two articles showcasing her living room published a few months apart. The flow of the room remained the same, but the majority of key pieces in the room had been changed. Even her sofa received new upholstery. I cannot wait to see what beautiful images and refreshing ideas her book will provide.


Nick had a surprise for me when I came home from work this week. He moved the china cabinet we had in storage into our new kitchen-living area. This was an auction purchase from over a year ago that we kept in storage until we had a place to use it. There is a 100lb counter weight we need to add before we can use the cabinet and we need to agree on a color to paint it. We could go classic black or use a fun color like you would find at Pieces Inc. I forgot how cool this cabinet is and think we will enjoy it as is until we can choose a color. Great surprise.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Still a work in progress...

Well here is our kitchen! I know it is still not finished, but I love this room. We are able to do so much in this room and now spend most of our time at home here. We are going to take the holidays off from home projects and start back up in the new year. I think we will at least get switch plate covers up before then.

The chandelier is hung too high, but we need to buy a longer chain and ceiling cap before we can get it lowered. Also there is nothing on the walls, but I don’t want to rush and put unneeded holes on the nice smooth walls.

The biggest item still on the to do list is our island. For now we are using this stainless steel table. I am also learning how to get items off the counters.

Here is Nick’s tile work. It looks amazing.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Borrowing from J.Crew

J.Crew always provides great inspiration for my wardrobe and this holiday they have added Christmas decorating to that list. I love the wreath (and yellow coat) in the catalog I received last week. I normally only like white lights, but I think I am going to try to recreate for our front door.

The Kitchen - Almost there

The month of November has been spent working on our kitchen remodel. We are still not done, but it is back to a livable space. We took three rooms (kitchen, dining room, and sun porch) and made one large living space. Besides the drywall, we did all the work with the of our families. A major thank you to my father who helped support rafters, remove sub-flooring and install the new flooring. Here are recent work in progress photos.

The space with drywall. The area with the french doors used to be the sun porch.

The slate-like flooring in the kitchen area. This flooring spans the whole new room and down the hallway to the front door.

Nick spent over 11 hours tiling our backsplash. We ordered handmade white subway tile.

Happy Holidays

November has been a very busy month and I cannot believe it is already December. After all the work on our kitchen, I am finally ready to take a break and enjoy the holidays. Here is our first real Christmas tree. Somehow we managed to get 100 ornaments on the very skinny tree. I love the holidays!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Renovation: French Doors

Last post today, I promise.
I posted awhile back our installed French doors. Since then we have done the finish framing and installed some lighting. We still need to paint the trim, but it is starting to look really nice. I am having a great time looking at all the old photos to see how much everything has changed. I have included a before below.

Bargain: Kate Spade Cay Stripe

I have a secret shopping spot at our local Macy’s store, the clearance rack in the china department. I have been able to score a set of four Vera Wang Wheat Plates and two place settings of Wedgwood White for up to 80% off. Today I was able to get four dinner plates and four salad plates of Kate Spade's Cay Circle pattern for $6 each. Of course I don’t need them, but how could I pass these up? Maybe Macy’s is not all evil.

(P.S. I read online that this pattern will be discounted in January 2008)

Renovation: The Kitchen

The renovation on our kitchen started about two years ago when on Christmas day my father and I removed wallpaper. Since then we have made some major changes with Thanksgiving as the project’s deadline. For the most part we have accomplished all the work with help from family members and the very limited use of professionals. I am so proud of all the changes we have made and finally I have time to post on the renovation. Most of the demo work is done, now it is putting everything back together and having it look like a room again. Expect a lot more posts as Thanksgiving gets closer.

Before: Kitchen. It screamed 1970’s ranch.

Before: Dinning Room/Sun Porch. Next to the kitchen was a small dinning room and a enclosed porch.

Mid-progress: We installed French doors and raised the floor in the sun porch.

Mid-progress: No more walls!!

Mid-progress: Starting to look like a room again.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Planning: Bathroom Remodel

We are mid-kitchen remodel, and I have started to plan our next project – the master bathroom. The current bathroom is very small, and given the budget and design of our house there is no way to expand the bathroom. I have been trying to think of how to best utilize the space and what finishing touches can compensate for its size.
I want to use white marble for the floors and maybe marble subway title for the shower. For the sink, I am searching for a dresser to convert with a marble top and sink similar to the photo below. Sarah Richardson did a great bathroom on Room Service that I am using as inspiration, however I am scared of the black walls.

Another Project

I have another project. But for $5 per chair, how could I pass them up. The photo does not do the chairs justice. They are very comfortable and have great modern lines. The feet are metal, and are the perfect height for sharing a conversation. Now I have three pink/peach chairs that I need to get reupholstered, but finding a fabric is the hardest part.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Kitchen Progress

It has been too long since I have posted so I will catch up today.

For the kitchen remodel, the French doors are in stalled and the outside wall has been enclosed. This week we need to finish putting up the wood moldings around the door to finish everything off. We purchased oversized lights to put flanking the doors, but may need to wait for an electrician to install those. The Thanksgiving deadline is fast approaching.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Settee for $25

Tonight after work I went to a local auction and bid on this small settee for $25.It is a lot smaller than I anticipated from the online photo, but for $25 well worth the cost. I need to figure out what fabric I should use to reupholster. Also I am not sure what to do with the wood frame. Should I paint it, stain it or leave it as is. I love new projects! Also going to auctions is getting addictive.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Charlotte Moss in town

Designer Charlotte Moss will be in my town this Friday as a speaker for our local antique and garden fair. She will be sharing images and stories from her design projects. I have already read her article in the fall’s Oprah Home and need to read the copy of Winter House I purchased for my mom’s birthday (I will the copy signed by Charlotte to make up for pre-reading the gift). This summer I missed Lady Jane Churchill lecturing at the art museum, so I am glad I found out about Charlotte Moss before it was too late to get tickets. I will report back next week on her lecture.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

New Collection: Beaded Fruit

This morning I went to a large antique mall about an hour away. I had a really good trip. I was able to pick up an enameled bowl, Vera scarf and needlepoint pillow to add to each of my collections. I also purchased some beaded fruit to start a new collection. I thought they would look great in the new kitchen in a bowl on the island. Now I have something else to look for during my shopping trips.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Kitchen: Subway Title

Saturday morning we ordered the subway tile for the kitchen back splash. We decided on white, no beveled edge. I have been doing research and think the beveled looks better in a bathroom than the kitchen. We went with a higher grade since we only needed 40 sq feet and Nick receives contractor cost.

Below are some photos of kitchens using white subway title. It looks great with any color scheme and never goes out of style. Hopefully in a few weeks I will be able to show photos of our blacksplash.

Kitchen: No Wall (part 2)

This weekend the studs have been removed from the wall separating the kitchen from the dinning room. It turns out the wall was load bearing, so Nick and my father have spent the weekend supporting the ceiling up in the attic. We are finally starting to see how the room will feel once all the walls are removed. Tomorrow the French doors will be framed in on the sun porch. Once that is complete the remaining interior walls will be able to be torn down. That will make a huge difference.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Purchase: Good Find

I got off early today from work so I went to our local antique mall. I had wonderful luck and found this light fixture in the very first row. For $45 I could not pass it up. I am going to give it a good cleaning, paint it bright white and have it rewired. You never know what good deals you will find.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Let the renovation begin

Saturday I was nagging Nick on when we would start the kitchen renovation. His response was to put a large hole in the wall between the dinning room and the kitchen. Tonight we finished the hole by removing all the dry wall. We can start to see what the space will look like once all the walls are removed. Tomorrow (fingers crossed) we start to install the French doors. The goal is to be finished for Thanksgiving so we can have the whole family over.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Mystery Solved

A few weeks back I went to a local auction to bid on a pair of modern chairs and was completely out bid. I assumed the other bidder knew more about the chairs' real value than I did, but they were still out of my price range. I found them on 1st Dibs tonight at Visiona in Florida. They are Milo Baughman chairs from the 1970s. The pair I saw were in equally good condition. At $3,200 for the pair, the $275 per chair price I passed up does not seem that extravagant.

Auction Chairs

Expensive Chairs

Monday, August 13, 2007

Retail Store Design

I am not a fan of the Abercrombie & Fitch lifestyle, but I do like the interior design of their stores. I like the high gloss white trim, the grey color of the walls and the warmth from walnut fixtures. I admit I often look at retail stores for design ideas, even the large retail chains. Restoration Hardware has wonderful soapstone counter tops at their wrapdesk, J.Crew always has great focal wall colors and currently I admire the mix of color and black/white photos in the uppers at Banana Republic.