Monday, August 9, 2010

Shoppers High

I had a wonderful weekend shopping with my sister and peanut at some of the local thrift stores and came home with some really amazing stuff. I had a shoppers high all weekend off these great deals below.

(1) The First item is a Department 56 vase. I was rather shocked when I noticed the Department 56 sticker, but she has the sweetest face and has a 70’s retro feeling about her.

(2) These are my first purchase of Mikasa china. I got a beautiful bone china urn and a set of Country Manor cereal bowls in an off white. The bowls have a great basket weave pattern and will mix well with our collection of cereal bowls.

(3) I am obsessed with my Buttered Toast & Marmalade plate. I have rearranged its location in the kitchen a few different times already. The bottom marking says it is Queen’s but does not give any more information. It is beautiful and I am officially on the hunt for more of this pattern.

(4) Finally my deal of the weekend was the glass Tiffany & Co Apple for $2. I just thought it was a cool glass apple but when I saw the Tiffany’s marking I was even more excited. Not sure what one does with a glass apple, but I am sure I will find a home for it sometime soon.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Daycare center

I am on a roll with showing progress made in the house. Here is the current status of our living room, which we are now calling the daycare center because of all James' plastic toys. We have painted the room and purchased two Ikea bookshelves to house all of the toys. We also added a wainscoting to the entry hall and started the Darcy Miller photo wall. Since those projects we have hit a dry spell in the room, but hopefully have taking two weekend off house projects ready to get started again. Here is how the room looks on an average day after a few minutes of picking up James' toys. There is normally at least one balloon in the room at all times since Ball-oon was James' first word and favorite thing in the whole world.

Our For Like Ever posted moved into the living room from the den since we had to move our very nice bookcase to a safer place.

Besides the two bookcases everything else in the room was there before and mostly in the same position as it is now. We move the ottoman around to give more place area as needed, but as you can see LuLu loves to sleep in the room too.

Here is the very start of our Darcy Miller photo wall. Please note the inside portion of the pony wall is still blue. We could not decided to paint it white or the wall color, we have decided white would be best so need to go back and finish painting.


Here is a better close up of the wall in progress. Items so far on the wall include James' first birthday party invite, our wedding cake topper with a wedding photo, a grouping of photo booth prints of us and James from his first year, a amazing watercolor of our house and a collection of matchbooks from places that have special meaning to us. I have a bunch more frames to add to the wall, but am waiting until I have more meaningful art to add.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The $50 Makeover

Ta Da! Here is the (almost) completed $50 guest bedroom makeover!

Ok, it was a little more than $50 since I purchase new curtain hooks and fabric to line the curtains, but the only new decor item purchased was the Vera Pillow from Anthropologie so I am calling it my $50 makeover. We are so proud to have one room in the house that looks finished and totally like us. I am trying to go back through the photo archives to find my previous horrible attempts at decorating the room to show how far we come, but I think I was too embarrassed of the bad color choices to ever take photos of the room. We still need to get some more artwork, make a bedskirt and figure out the accessories, but those items will come over time.

Here is the breakdown of the room:

  • Curtain Rod - Crate and Barrel - previously used in the living room
  • Curtain Rings - Jo Ann's
  • Green Curtains - West Elm - previously used in the living room
  • Duvet Cover – Kate Spade (I miss the linen collection)
  • Mirrored Side table – Bombay Company, previously used in the master
  • Rug - Pottery Barn Outlet, was in James' room
  • Antique Side table - borrowing from my parents
  • Lamps – Home Goods, - previously used in the living room
  • Artwork (vintage model home watercolors) – Purchased from Springfield Antique Fair
  • Bed and Dresser – Vintage auction purchase painted black

Friday, June 18, 2010

Guest Bedroom Revamp

Since I don't have enough projects started and not completed, I adding our guest bedroom to the list. We have company visiting next weekend and need to get the catch all room back into shape. The only work we really need to do is paint the walls, reorganize the furniture, hang curtains and get some art on the walls. I can do it all in a weekend right?

The colors for the room will be black, white and green. We are keeping the room simple and recycling things we already had (reason for the green) to keep low budget.

The only item I have purchased for the room is this Vera Neumann pillow from Anthropolgie on Sale. Since it was Vera, I would have bought no matter what at that sale price. It is nice and long so will look good on the bed with my black and white striped Kate Spade bedding.
The only item I am considering purchasing for the room is this wall decal from Fern Living-


Never really thought I would find a wall decal I wanted to use before, but this is really cool. Not sure where we have space in the room, so will need to see once I get the furniture rearranged.
I will post photos of the finished room since they will be here next Saturday and will need some place to sleep.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

My Ann Carrington Flag Progress


I have made a lot of progress on my Ann Carrington knock off British flag. Getting the measurements correct took some time, but sewing the red and blue sections went quickly. I used scrap red velvet from Jo Ann's bargain bin and I purchased three pairs of denim jeans from the thrift store for the blue. I ended up using the lightest wash and will return the other too via my goodwill donations. I am very proud of how it is looking so far. Now the long part comes of seeing on all the buttons. I will post again to show the progress on the buttons, but expect it to take a long time before finished.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Bar stools, what to do?

In our kitchen we have two West Elm bar stools that are currently white canvas. I have every intention to make slipcovers from them, but the need has become even greater with the introduction of James to the mix and his dirty fingers. While at Jo Ann's the other week I took a turn through their special order home d├ęcor fabrics and to my surprise I found lots of fabrics that I really liked.
I fell hard for a Waverly black, white and gold stripe. (Picture above is from the website, but it is much better in person) I love it so much thinking we will use on the dining room chairs too! Plus bonus, starting Sunday all Waverly home decor fabric is 60% off at Jo Ann's.

Well that was the plan until I saw this from Absolutely Beautiful Things. Bottom left corner just peeking out, do you see them?

Genius and of course, why did I not think of that before? I love that they don't match, and since the prints are both black and white the different patterns is not too over the top. So now I am torn between the stripes and finding mix matched black and white prints. I am still going to order the Surry Stripe for the dining room chairs, but might do some more searching in the Waverly black and white options to see what else I can get for the bar stools. See, I very easily get distracted with options.

Oh, more later on the other great Jo Ann fabrics I found. Good Job Jo Ann’s, next step is to stock some of these in stores so I don’t have to special order them all.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sixx Design and Ann Carrington

Last night we watched the season finale of 9 by Design. I must admit I really did enjoy the show. I am not a fan of the staged scenes but it is refreshing to watch a reality tv show without drama.

I am also thankful for the show for giving me the name of Ann Carrington, the artist of the Button Crown that I saw awhile back in Gwyneth Paltrow’s Hampton home. It was so beautiful, simple and graphic. While researching Ann, I found on her website you can order signed prints of both the Queen Stamp and the crown. .


Also, while watching last night I totally had a I could do that moment with the Ann Carrington Flags used in the Bungalow Hotel – which I am sure hundreds of others did too after watching her make the USA flag with Bellamy and Tallulah. So I have started my research and lied out my plan for creating my own version.



Since Nick and I both have a found place in our hearts for the England, I am going to make a Union Jack. I found a great website that provides the exact measurements for the flag.

I have ordered about 2,000 vintage white buttons to do the white portion from eBay. I have no clue if that will be enough, but figured if I am copying off Ann Carrington I have to use buttons. For the blue portion I am going to use old denim jeans (another idea from Ann) that have past their prime. I am excited to play around with the different washes to see how it changes the look and feel. The only part I am still not sure about is the red portion. I was thinking of getting different red fabrics and patch working together, but we will see.

Before I am allowed to start this project I have curtain for the guest bedroom and a crib bed skirt I need to finish first. However this project has me so excited I am hoping to start sometime this weekend.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Have I been under a rock?

So lately while reading my standard design magazines I have found myself studying the advertisements for Hinkley lighting. I admire the details in the homes or the landscape they showcase as well as the light fixtures. There is always something in the ads that I flag to add to my "in our dream house" files. So tonight I drifted off to the Hickley website between updating budget trackers and status sheets for work.

OK have I been under a rock? - did anyone else know they uses Lee Kleinhelter's home for some of those amazing photos? I am sure if my brain was not so tired from all the spreadsheets it would even recognize more of the rooms from other long admired homes.

Even if I am months behind realizing this from everyone else, it has perked me up with more great inspiring interiors. Here are my favorites.

Of course her kitchen. Love all the white. Next house I am using oiled hardware on white cabinets.

Her guest bedroom, with the best green bedside table. Have the same room flagged from my old Cottage Living collection.


Not sure if this is also in her house or not, but LOVE the tile on the wall. And the smokey gray cabinets makes me want to paint our guest bath cabinet grey.

And finally, this is the first Hinkley ad I added to my collection of great images. I like the floor color, the grey walls, black steel windows, the sleek almost outdoor furniture and the yellow cushions. Plus I kinda like the idea of the models pouring over design books/magazines. Totally dorky, but I would lie if I did not try to see what tiles they had.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Too much! - so a quickie...

There is too much for me to share that I am having trouble organizing thoughts. So really quick, while flipping channels while working and peanut was napping (I promise I don't want TV during the day, no time between watching peanut, working and attempting to stay on top of house work) I found Nate Berkus on HSN, which is good background noise while to crank out project plans. He was standing on the most amazing rug. LOVE!! and great price!

I think I like the runner that is 2x9 (for $99). Now the question is what color and where to use it, I like them all!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Darcy Moment - number one

So I have slowly been working on creating my version of Darcy Miller's photo/memory wall. Our tip to Ikea the other weekend supplied wonderful frames to allow progress on the wall. So far I only have one frame going (had slight glass breakage with other frames), but have plans for two more for this week.

Here is the vintage cake topper from our wedding. It has been sitting in shelf for the past few years, and I love that now it has a home and a place of importance. I need to change the photo to be of Nick and I and thinking black and white. The plan is to have all the frames be white with a mix of shadow boxes and normal frames salon style.

We have friends visiting at the end of June, so there is a fire under us to get some projects going on the house.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Chairs are back!!

About 5 weeks ago we sent the (fugly) peach chairs out to be recovered in wool felt and on Saturday they arrived back home!! Our lovely $10 chairs have come so far. Plus now Nick cannot make fun of me for never getting anything recovered. The felt might not have been the best choice of fabric for this style of chair, however they feel like butter.


I realize these two photos will be much more impactful if I show you the before photo of the chairs. We have no idea who was the orginal maker of these chairs since they had already been recovered at least once before. I love the chrome legs and the long arms so don't really care if they are a big name or not.

And to show you how comfortable these chairs are, just take a look at our peanut lounging for the first time. Approved. The only bad part is right now the edges are covred in tape to make sure the cats don't start scratching at the new fabric.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Livable Kids Space

So as we are making a baby safe play space, I have been looking really hard for some inspiration. Since our living room is right when you come in the front door I don't want for it to scream plastic toys, but I still want for it to be an area that if we make a mess playing it is ok. I have been collecting images for a while that will work for either the future basement play room or now. We have not made too many choices, but know that the room will go back to being a universal room so don't wan to make any structural changes.

I love the chalkboard walls. I think for now will be a bit of a stretch, but I am thinking of find an old school house chalk board to use. Could be a cool art display. Also we have a similar rug that I was thinking of moving into the guest bedroom, but might work well in this room.

I love this room. The white walls, fun play poofs in bright colors and open space to play what ever. I wish we could paint the walls white, but I think I am at my limit with Nick and white walls.

I love the bookcases in this room. I wish we could do something similar, but I think it will be too permanent for a room that is only temporarily baby proof. I have found an interesting solution to book storage that I will share later. I am still trying to find more storage solutions for toys overall, but we have a few that will work for now.

How to Baby Proof

So I have been debating on the best method for baby proofing. Option 1 is getting a large movable play pin to use around the house. Option 2 is baby proofing the entire house. Option 3, baby proofing one large area of the house. We have decided to go with Option 3 for the time being. It does not seem right to keep James so confined, and now that he is crawling there is no way the whole house can be baby proofed. Plus the cats did not do very well with the baby gate.

The best room to make James safe is our living room. It gets great sunlight, is large enough that James has plenty of space to crawl around and installing a baby gate to cut of this area of the house will be the least traumatic to the cats. Time to say farewell to the old family room as we make slow but sure progress on the James safe version. The other bonus is we have can get rid of the blue/green color scheme. Taking down the curtians alone was a huge improvement!


The sofa will stay and so will the bench tucked under the table. My attempt at being Damien Hirst has moved to another room, but might come back.

The desk has moved into the den and all the plants have to moved into the guest bedroom. Even though the coffee table has "sharp corners of death," it is the perfect height for James to pull himself up and play. Currently it is a highly watched play area untill we get more padding on it.
The funiture/accessories shuffle has made the entire house a mess with items being displaced all over. Hopefully we will end up with a better arrangement once all is said and done. Plus I am excited for another project.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Random items

So working on the house has been slow, but that has not stopped us from shopping for house items. We have found a lot of great deals lately. Two weekends ago, we went to Half Priced Books and found amazing books. I got all the books below for $10 or less. Good deal!



This weekend found a local store that is selling the fixtures from the closed Ruhel stores. Nick got a great 10 foot table for the Nursery, while I purchased this print. The framing is wonderful. We also ordered a rug that will be in two weeks. I love buying store fixtures.



Finally. It is a very long story, but I was able to purchase 19 yards of Burnschwig Zebra fabric for $150. Looking at the shipping information, it was shipped from Burnschwig in 1980. Not really sure what I am going to do with the fabric yet, but are thinking of some ideas for James' room.



Monday, January 4, 2010

Decorating Project Obsession

I have a new decorating project obsession. It started with a Google image search for Darcy Miller’s wedding scrapbook. I have been working on my own wedding scrapbook (2 plus years later) in a similar format to hers. Darcy’s scrapbook is not your typical scrapbook, it was more like a memory book with inspiration photos, mementos from planning and photos from the wedding.


Darcy's Scrapbook via - The Wedding Library.

This is my scrapbook in progress. I only have a few pages done since I just got rights to our photos this past fall.



So that search brought me to Darcy’s website with her adorable illustrations, background information on her scrapbook and her exhibit “Family” at Partners and Spade. The exhibit was so amazing. Just like the weddings in MS Weddings, every detail was thought of, but the different methods she showcased photos from and mementos from over the years is brilliant. Not only did the exhibit inspire me for my wedding scrapbook, but I also plan to recreate this wall in our house.



It will be fun to gather all the images and mementos to showcase, but also for friends and family visiting to see all the great memories showcased. I plan to put this wall in the seating area of our kitchen. We currently have a large mirror there, however with baby proofing not thinking a heavy mirror resting on the floor is a good idea. This will be a long project since I need to locate frames, images and keepsakes and build overtime, but I think will be a great project for 2010.

You can see and read a lot more by Darcy's exhbit via the following links: