Monday, October 12, 2009

The weekend wrap-up

All in all, I suppose I had a pretty productive weekend. First, I put a new coat of white paint on the fireplace. Then, I repainted the wall around it in Refuge by Sherwin-Williams. Yes, you heard it here folks! We finally chose a color.

I scoped out an estate sale on Saturday morning, then returned on Sunday morning and successfully made a low-ball offer on this antique beauty...

...which I hope to turn into something like this.

photo from Eddie Ross — read the whole post here.

Not bad, eh? And I even squeezed in a short nap!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Can I just say I L-O-V-E this Bird & Branch Decoupage Chandelier from Anthropologie? Behold its awesomeness...

Here's a detail shot...

Unfortunately, my love affair came to a screeching halt once I caught a glimpse of the price tag on this 34" x 20" beauty: $2,298.00. What the what???

But before we give up on this dream, consider for a moment:

Birds Nest Tissue Paper from Ribbons and Favors – $0.56 per 20" x 30" sheet

Blue Birds on Green decorative paper from The Paper Studio – $3.50 per 22" x 28" sheet.

Bird & Nest decorative paper from The Paper Studio – $3.75 per 22" x 28" sheet

Or you could resize some of these lovelies from Vintage Printables and send 'em over to Kinkos to be printed as color copies.

Now hold on to your Mod Podge, because I believe any one of these decoupage options would work wonders on a chandelier like this one being sold on my local Craig's List for around $25:

Seriously, think it over. It could totally work.

P.S. Anyone see Man Shops Globe on the Sundance Channel? I don't do cable but I've been hoping they'll offer the episodes online after they air.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Weekend finds

For some reason my September "10 things that make me happy" post didn', post. While I get to the bottom of these technical difficulties, here are two yard sale finds from last weekend:

A faux bamboo and cane chair ($10), currently upholstered in coral chintz. Not sure what this chair wants to be when it grows up, but for the moment I'm not opposed to it in its current state. I have a weak spot for coral, after all.

A 15-bottle wine refrigerator ($40), never used. Hells yeah.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ten things that make me happy - September 2009

A-ha! Better late than never, I suppose. Great success. For the record, I'm keeping the original date stamp on this post to remind Blogger that I did attempt to post it on that date! Take that, Blogger.

  1. White Truffle Oil – Elevates even a humble serving of mashed potatoes to something extraordinary.
  2. IKEA PS Krona Bowl – Like a crown for your table!
  3. Vienna Necklace from de jarnette
  4. Chocolate Cosmos – I love dark plants in the garden.
  5. Hermes Orange – I don't need a scarf. I just want the box.
  6. Cross Twig Table from Overstock – Unfortunately, I think this sold out.
  7. Venetian glass mirrors – Can be had at estate sales and sometimes at Homegoods too. Would love a whole wall of different shapes and sizes.
  8. Wonderland Pearl fabric from – Create your own Pottery Barn chair with this print and a thrift store cast-off.
  9. Saucer Knob from Anthropologie – I've been eyeing these for an old beat up dresser currently in service as a buffet.
  10. Circa Pillow from Z Gallerie – Also available in lovely shades of brown and green.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Floor pics, finally

Since I recently realized I probably won't be done shuffling furniture around for a while, I decided I'd go ahead and post the "naked" pics of our new-ish bamboo floor. More to come when I'm ready to properly unveil the living/dining room.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A wall of a different color

Much thought has been put into the dilemma of what color to repaint the fireplace wall in the living (well, currently dining) room. As you may recall, it began back in July (yes, it's really taken me this long to address the issue) with the patching of a softball-size hole created after I removed the largest wall anchor I've ever seen. Once the patching was complete, I realized there was no leftover green paint in the carport closet.

I do like the existing green and I could just match it as closely as possible and keep it the same color. But when the opportunity, nay necessity, to repaint it presented itself it opened up a whole spectrum of new possibilities. We're currently auditioning five samples of blues and greens and I'm sad to report that my gut tells me none of these are the one.

I think I've decided my color inspiration is coming from the pattern on a favorite teacup and saucer, which was a gift from my dear friend Amy of Artichokes & Lemonade.

And so the search continues...

BTW, I realize that in professional design circles the debate rages on as to whether or not the painted "focal wall" is a faux pas. There was even a couple pages devoted to the topic in a recent issue of House Beautiful featuring designers weighing in on both sides of the issue, and they both had some good points.

I'm going to add my voice to the choir and say I'm just fine with a focal wall. Why does it have to be all or nothing? In my house, the living and dining room are one big space, so from the paint purist's perspective if I want some color on my walls I'd either have to commit to it for the entire ginormous room or do without. Poo poo to that, I say.

While I acknowledge that painting all four walls (and sometimes even the ceiling too) in the same color can make a gutsy and powerful style statement, it isn't always a practical choice depending on the shape and size of your room and how you've designated your space. As someone who is just as willing to change paint colors as I was to change hair colors as a teenager, I'm fairly sure that if I put a strong color on every wall in the living/dining room I'd tire of it rather quickly. Besides, most design rules are made to be broken, yo. Or at the very least challenged.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Antique store prowling

Some items I spied at a favorite local antique store...

Painting of a young lady, circa 1930's – $20 (I think)

Seashell plaque – $18 (I think)

Pair of wood chairs with brass details – $100 for the pair

I've never heard of a "Tong" chair (Should I have heard of this?) and all my Googling turned up zilch on the subject. Still, despite their unfortunate upholstery, I suspect these could be the deal of the century. Why, why did I not buy these on the spot? Ah yes, because I don't plan on building an extra wing onto the house anytime soon.

Ginger jar – $20

Am contemplating this as another orange accent (along with my new World Market pillow on the sofa) in the living room.

Gold and turquoise painted tray – $20

Nifty jar from a bakery in Niagara Falls, NY – $25

I already have a cookie jar (although it holds cat treats, not cookies) but am wondering how I might use this in the kitchen.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How I spent my first day of fall

Making terrariums!

I've had this idea rattling around in my head for a while now, but never managed to execute on it. One reason is probably that I've had trouble sourcing an interesting variety of small, slow growing, moisture loving, low to medium light thriving plants through my local merchants. In fact, when I'd tell people at the garden store what I was aiming for I was often greeted with mild confusion or a dismissive, "I don't think we really have anything like that." Come on, folks. You can do better.

But yesterday I left the house determined to procure the supplies I needed. It took visits to a number of different stores (including the aquarium section of a pet store for some activated charcoal) but by late afternoon my mission was accomplished.

Now that I'm able to stand back and admire my handiwork, I think they're pretty darn cool. They're certainly classin' up the dining room table at the moment. I love the idea of having a nearly self-sufficient miniature garden inside my house. By nearly self-sufficient, I mean with proper setup and drainage you hardly have to water your plants since they're enclosed in a glass jar and retain moisture nicely.

In case you're interested, here's a list of my supplies:
  • Inexpensive terrarium, glass jar and vase, from JoAnn, Old Time Pottery and the cabinet under my sink, respectively (Good candidates for containers can probably be found at thrift stores too.)
  • Small rock chips, spaghnum moss, potting soil and coarse sand, all from the garden store
  • Jar of activated charcoal from pet shop
  • Rocks, shells and assorted decorative doo-dads
Here are the plants I got:
  • Variegated Ivy
  • Fittonia (Nerve Plant)
  • Creeping Fig
  • African Violet
  • Selaginella (Club Moss)
  • A purple and green leafed plant I can't remember the name of.
  • Rabbit's Foot Fern (Didn't end up using it yet.)
  • Maidenhair Fern (Didn't use this one yet either. Love these all by themselves, so I may just pot this moisture lover and put it in the bathroom.
There are some online retailers selling more exotic options like Jewel Orchids. Depending on how these plantings do I might be willing to experiment a bit more in the future. Also, there are a number of terrarium building how-to's out there on the interweb, but here's a website and a series of videos I found rather helpful:

I may head back over to JoAnn next week, 40% off coupon in hand, and get an apothecary jar like this one:

So...heads up, friends and family! If I manage to keep these two alive (supposedly this is not too difficult if you've done your homework), you could very well receive your very own terrarium this holiday season.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Faux Fall

Here in Florida, we don't get much in the way of fall. Although it's officially the first day of the new season it's still pretty sweltering outside, so lately while languishing in the air conditioning I've begun dreaming of all things autumnal. In the absence of leaf peeping, I'm getting my fall fix in the form of warm hued decor porn.

I hope you enjoy my faux fall tribute of richer and darker rooms. Break out the apple cider! Make mine iced, please.

photo via i suwannee

photo from Better Homes & Gardens

photo from Graham & Brown

photo from Elle Decor

photo from Elle Decor
A little Jonathan Adler goodness.

photo from

photo from House Beautiful

photo from Kishani Perera

photo via Little Green Notebook

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Another bright idea

Since we've been on the subject of light fixtures, I should mention that I dig this Colander Pendant from Shades of Light for a kitchen:

Shades of Light Colander Pendant – $195

However, that said, the $195 price tag does not thrill me. Unlike the wine glass chandelier, I believe with a little craftiness, you and I can make this one ourselves. First, I give you the all IKEA approach:

IKEA GEMAK Colander – $9.99


IKEA 365+ BRASA Cord Set with Diffuser – $20.00

= TOTAL PROJECT COST – $29.99 (not including tax and elbow grease)

I chose the fixture because not only does it have the cord, it also has a cover at the ceiling. I think I like this set from 2Jane even better though!

2Jane Co. Hard-wired Ceiling Fixture for Pendant Light – $25.90

I'm sure there are a number of colander color choices out there. Of course, you could also spray paint your own, but I like the silver trim.

If the center hole in your colander isn't big enough to thread the cord through, don't dispair. There are bits for your drill (You do have a drill, right?) that are made for metal. The IKEA colander shown above is steel, so in that case I think a carbide bit might be best. Ask your helpful hardware man to be sure!

Installing a hardwired fixture isn't very difficult at all. If you're new to all things electric, I recommend the Home Depot 1-2-3 book on wiring as a good starting point. If you have an older home like I do, what you have in your ceiling might not look a whole lot like the example in the photos. The first time I installed a ceiling fixture I flipped between that book and online tutorials till I was sure I had it right. Still uncertain? Ask a dad or a handyman for assistance.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A new take on the dining table toast

Saw this and thought it was pretty neat-o indeed. It's a chandelier and glass rack in one! Designed by some very clever Swedish chaps (Björn Stillefors, Jörgen Pudeck and Gunnar Cedervall, to be precise), this single-bulb fixture capitalizes on the form of your wine glasses and/or champagne flutes.

Glass Cluster Chandelier from Generate Design, $359 (holds 16 glasses) - $419 (holds 40 glasses)

While this fixture would certainly spark some good dinner party conversation, it would also be fantastic hanging over a kitchen island. That is, if you're one of those folks lucky enough to have the space for one...sigh. Picture it: drop-dead modern chic with simple clear stemware, and equally gorgeous decked out in your grandma's cut-glass ruby goblets come holiday time. Or why not mix and match?

All in all they're not terribly expensive. I believe the genius justifies the price here, so in my opinion it's worth saving your pennies for.

Despite the arguably dramatic effect of the larger chandelier, I can't imagine an instance where one would have need of a storage solution for 40 pieces of stemware in this day and age. Unless you're (a) Martha Stewart, (b) a catering company or (c) widely known for hosting the social event of the season in your neighborhood I'd opt for the more diminutive 16-glass version.