Monday, February 25, 2008

Auction Find - Vintage Knoll

Checking the local auction listings always gets me in trouble. This week I found an auction with a vintage Knoll Saarinen table and tulip chairs. The chairs are too modern for our house and I don’t need another project to recover. However Nick and I both love the table. Similar tables new are going for over $6,000. I am sure this will go for more than I can afford (remember the Milo Baughman chairs), but you never know. Plus we could resell the chairs and just keep the table. We will see the auction is not until Wednesday, so I have some time to talk myself into or out of bidding.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Needlepoint Pillows.

I don’t remember where my collection of needlepoint pillows started, but over the past year my collection has really expanded. I love the texture, vivid colors and sometimes strange subject of each pillow's design. My sister found the Alice in Wonderland rabbit pillow at a local thrift store and I have two marble pillows from Anthropologie. Jonathan Adler makes some great needlepoint pillows with Michael Jackson and Liza, but I prefer the vintage ebay and thrift store finds. Here are some great needlepoint items I found on ebay.

Walking Tour.

Nick and I like to go for walks in local neighborhoods and look at the houses and gardens. This allows us a chance to talk and for Nick to get inspiration. This past weekend we had a 60-degree weather and took the chance to walk through one of our favorite neighborhoods. It is one of the oldest areas of where we live and the Governor’s mansion is a few blocks away. These are three of our faves.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The L.A. House – March 5 (could it be true)

I was checking the status of the March release of Ruthie Sommers’ book, The LA House on the Harper Collins website and noticed the release is on March 5. I am so excited. I cannot decide if I would rather pre-order the book from Amazon or reserve a copy at my local Barns and Noble. I think which ever will get my copy the quickest. I cannot wait to check all my favorite blogs when the book comes out and read everyone’s comments and reactions. Some how I missed Lulu DeKwiatkowski's book release. I need to place an Amazon order tonight.
(Note: Amazon lists the release date as Dec 31, 1978. Not sure how that happened, but another online bookseller listed March 25. I am going to go with March 5)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Thinking of the big picture.

Decorating my first house has been an amazing learning experience. I have made lots of mistakes and learned some valuable lessons (like periwinkle walls are too much in a bedroom and don’t listen to your husband when says he can install a hot water heater). I have also learned some good decorating principles and that I need to take my time and be thoughtful with each purchase.

Right now I am planning the accessories and soft furnishings for the dinning room/kitchen and have decided to start with the rug and use that to base everything else. I think I want to use blues and yellows so have been looking for a worn oriental rug that fits the bill. This rug was at a local auction over the weekend and would have been a good candidate, but was too small. I will need to keep my eyes open for the perfect item and resist all temptation to find curtain fabric or artwork.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Finalists.

I have narrowed the couch options to three candidates. Phew. This has been a really hard search and I still have to have two more rounds of cuts. Picking a college was not as difficult as picking out a sofa. Please meet the finalists.

Finalist #1 - The Francis from Quatrine.
The Francis comes slip covered and is completely customizable. I can remove the buttons on the back and pillows and have one long seat cushion. Also, they will keep my measures on file so I can order more slipcovers when needed. Price is a little high and I would have to pick it up in Detroit.

Finalist #2 The London Sofa for Lillian August
This sofa was my very first love. The size and pillows are perfect. I like that the arms dip down slightly and the casters on the feet. The main problem is I don't love any of the Drexel fabric options. I took home three options over the weekend and found the gray velvet was the best option, but not sure if I want velvet on our everyday sofa.

Finalist #3, The Henry Sofa from Hamilton Furniture
I know, this sofa looks just like the London sofa and only I can see the difference. The feet are simple and Hamilton could have a gray that I really like. The negatives, we don't have a Hamilton showroom nearby and I still have not priced this one out yet. Could be priced out of the running.

The almost Finalist #4, The "S320" from George Smith
This sofa was the wild card. It has the exposed feet, but the low curved arms and nail detail was a surprise favorite even to me. Plus I love this color gray. This was going to be the winner until I realized the price was $10,000.

We bought it.

We bought the sideboard for under the television. We need to cut out the back so we can put all the electronics inside the main compartment, but we will wait until my dad is in town since he has a more steady hand. I need to figure out what else to place on the top and search for a pair of lamps to flank the TV. Since the sideboard as the tall legs, the den feels so much larger compared to the old black dresser.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Fabric Style Book

One of my favorite books is the Fabric Style Book from House Beautiful. It mixes images and information from their old “swatch watch” section with beautiful rooms showcasing each style and form. While Nick watched the Discovery Channel, I reviewed the wonderful book for some fresh inspiration and was surprised to see our brown Mitchell Gold sofa showcased in one of the sections. It was nice to finally know the name of the sofa (Carter Settee) since we purchased it from a consignment store and never really researched the style.

I am not a big fan of the brown textured velvet on our sofa. Plus the cats seem to think it is their expensive scratching post. I wanted to make a slipcover to cover the brown and stop the scratching and wondered what it would look like white. Well now I know… boring. I am thinking stripes or a very graphic pattern could be really cool. I have awhile before making that decision since I learning how to stick with one project at a time.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Adding to the library.

Over the weekend I added two wonderful books to my library – My Favorite Things by Dorothy Rodgers and Billy Baldwin Decorates. The copy of My Favorite Things is so wonderful. The previous owner took good care of the book and even added magazine clippings about Dorothy Rodgers. I cannot tell, but is that really Dorothy’s signature or is that in all the books? I also very excited to find a copy of Billy Baldwin Decorates. It is wonderful to see and read about the rooms I have seen on the wonderful blogs I admire so much. If only this weekend I can find a David Hicks book I would be very lucky.

Monday, February 4, 2008

House Stalking.

We plan to stay in our house for at least another three years. We need to finish the renovations and spend sometime enjoying the end results. This plan does not stop us from looking for the next house. Over the weekend we found this cute place. It is the same size as our current house at 1840 square feet and only has five rooms. However it is on a huge lot, surrounded by parks and five minutes away from where we live now. Built in 1939 it must have tons of character and is a prime house for adding on or building a main house on the five acres. It has been added to the stalking list.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Should we buy?

I have been looking for a sideboard to use under our flat panel television in the den to hide all the components. Nick and I found this sideboard at our local antique shop over the weekend. It is not very old, but has very nice inlay and dovetailed drawers. I cannot identify the wood, but the light finish would complement our wood floors. It’s $750. Is the sideboard worth that or should we keep looking?