Sunday, March 27, 2011


Sorry about the shocking lack of posts the past couple of weeks.  We're safely back in Austin and sort of moved in.  You know, as much as you can claim to be moved in when you are surrounded by half-filled boxes and few things have a permament home.

I'll be back online soon - promise.  Meanwhile, check out some of the cool blogs on my blog roll.  Love them all.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Masters Chair at MOMA

I didn't get through a couple of pages of the new issue of Lonny before falling in love with this chair.

MoMA Store

It is the "Masters Chair" and can be used indoors or out.  I love it.  It would work equally well at a desk, vanity, dining table, or outdoor room.  And the price isn't crazy bad - $244 (plus $23.95 for shipping).  I think this will be a new classic.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Room Remake

I saved this picture as soon as I came across it on DecorPad.  Later I found it featured on House to Home
and decided to try and recreate it on the cheap.  I love how it manages to mix patterns and colors without at all seeming busy.  In fact, it feels very relaxed.

First we'll start with the wallpaper.  It's from Cole & Son, but I found a couple of close (and probably cheaper) versions.  I settled on this one from American Blinds, which has a great selection of affordable wallpapers.

Pattern Number 7562921 for $28.10 a single roll.

Pair some soft white curtains with this curtain rod set ($11.99-$17.99) and curtain rings ($2.99) from Ikea.

Then add a DIY roman shade made from this sheer diamond-patterned fabric from

Ikea also has the cheapest white canopy bed I could find ($299 for a Queen) - the Edland.

Topped with a simple canopy in this P. Kaufmann fabric, also from

I love this Dash and Albert rug from The Bella Cottage - only $207 for a 6x9' rug.
The bench at the end of the bed was a hard one to match.  In the end, you would probably be better searching Ebay and Craigslist.  But I did find a close match to the shape in a single seater on  So picture two side-by-side, sanded down and painted a distressed gray.  ($179.99 each)
The chrome chair was also impossible to match.  I like the idea of this Overstock find outfitted with a teal cushion.
Do you have a favorite room you'd like to redo on the cheap?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Desk Update

On Monday, I posted this beautiful desk and wondered if there was a cheaper alternative out there.

Today, I found it at World Market.  I haven't completely give up on the idea of building my own version of the original.  But this one is a nice knock-off - and $199 isn't bad.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Favorite Kitchen

Just wanted to share a picture of my favorite kitchen ever.

Candice Olson did this on one of her shows.  I'm not crazy about the stools and would probably want more color - but I absolutely love the layout.  Especially the window seat - because I do a lot of reading in the kitchen.  That sounds like I'm being sarcastic, but I'm totally not.  I love flipping through cookbooks.  Plus, it provides a comfy spot for someone to hang out with the cook.  Which is always nice.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Amazing Swan Lake Video

A friend of mine sent me a link to this video, and I just had to share.  It's simply amazing what the human body can do.Beautiful, right?

Happy Mardi Gras!

Monday, March 7, 2011


This will probably change when I (and all my junk) actually get into the space, but right now I'm hoping to float a pretty desk in this corner of the new living room.  I'm imagining something exactly like this:

Layla Grace
 Only not $2,198.  Is that too much to ask?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday at CVS

Going to CVS on Sunday has become quite the little habit of mine.  I get such a thrill out of paying as little as possible and walking out with all kinds of goodies.  I've even gotten my son into it.  Today, as we were checking out, he proudly asked the cashier "Aren't we doing so good?"

Here's my haul today:

Transaction #1:
2 Dove Men's Deodorant   2 for $4.00 (sale) - 2 $2 off coupons = FREE
1 Hydro 5 Razor  $8.79 (sale) - $2.00 coupon = $6.79
Used $3 in Extra Care Bucks (ECBs) from last week
Paid $3.79 (plus tax) and received $5 in ECBs

Transaction #2:
1 Revlon Top Speed Nail Polish $3.99 (sale) - $3 CVS coupon (printed from coupon center in store) and - $1 manufacturer's coupon (from store display) = FREE
2 Gillette Deodorants (one was on sale for $2.74, the other regularly priced at $4.99) = $7.73
2 Gillette Body Washes (had 2 Buy 1 Deodorant, Get 1 Body Wash Free coupons) = FREE
1 Snickers bar (not pictured since my son ate it before we got home)
Used $5 ECBs from previous transaction
Paid $3.61 and received $4 in ECBs

So my total after taxes was $10.54, and I have another $4 to spend next time.  I don't think that's too shabby considering the razor is usually $9.99 just by itself.

Anyone else out there addicted to drugstore shopping?  I know a lot of people are having success at Rite Aid lately, but they're kind of out of the way for me, so I haven't tried them.  I don't even try Walgreens since they are always a hassle.  But I love CVS!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Another Ebay Find

I was so excited to finally get to see Secrets from a Stylist last weekend.  I love Emily Henderson. I love the show.  I love her blog.  Total lovefest.

From Design Happens, photo by Laure Joliet

I loved the fireplace screen she used on Episode 1.  It's probably my favorite thing in the entire room (although that couch made me ditch the idea of buying a new couch and seriously start thinking about finding a cool vintage one to get reupholstered instead).  I assumed it would be a one-of-a-kind, never going to find anything remotely similar ever again, type of item.  You know, the ones you fall in love with instantly because they are so unique.

Luckily, "peacock fireplace screens" aren't that hard to come by (at least not this week on Ebay).  You'll probably spend between $100-$200 for the pleasure of owning one, but they are out there.  I so want one.

You want to know the kicker?  Our new place doesn't have a fireplace.  In fact, it was one of the things I was looking to not have.  I like the idea of a fireplace, but when you live in Texas, it doesn't get much use.  And a lot of the rentals that we looked at had the lovely corner fireplace unit.  We had one like it in the first house the boyfriend and I shared, and it pissed me off to no end.  Created awkward angles.  And most rentals don't have the prettiest tile surrounds, or even mantles.  So, the fact that our new place did not have a fireplace was actually a plus when we were weighing our options.

But now I want one so I can put this fireplace screen in front of it.  Since that's not going to happen for a while, I wonder if it would look odd just hanging out by a chair or something.  Yeah, it probably would.  But I still want one.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sarah's House

I'm a huge fan of Sarah Richardson.  I've loved all of her shows and wish HGTV would get with the program and start airing Sarah 101 instead of 101 episodes of House Hunters a week.  Until they do, I'm getting a small glimpse into the Sarah (and Tommy) magic through Rambling Renovator's weekly updates.

Sarah just finished the fourth season of Sarah's House which will air in Canada in the fall and in the U.S....????  I love how each season she chooses a very different house.  This one is brand new construction and is currently for sale for +$1 million.  Here's a few shots from the listing:

The bathroom is classic Sarah.  I always love how she mixes tiles, but most of her master baths are fairly interchangeable.  I don't like the family room too much from that picture - a little too much "touch of country" maybe?

I think my favorite Sarah's House so far is still Season 2 when she did the backsplit.

Unfortunately, the person who bought the house obviously just liked the bones and decided to completely redo it again.

From Carriage House Antiques

That's the after (after Sarah sold the house, that is).  You've officially seen good design murdered.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Knock-Off Carriage Bed

I wish I had found this knock-off when my stepdaughter was smaller.

The first time I saw the Disney Princess Carriage bed at Rooms to Go Kids - I thought it was magical.  A little girl's dream.

But the price tag is $499.

This knock-off at Seventh Avenue is only $159!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Our New Place!

The boyfriend and I managed to find a new rental - despite me being in another state. 

It took a huge leap of faith on my part.  Even though he took lots of pictures it is still hard to completely visualize the space completely.  In the end, it came down to a pros and cons list - and the pros definitely outweighed the cons.

-Small (but we knew we would be downsizing to a 2 bedroom anyway)
-Ugly and small kitchen (but appliances are newer and all included)
-Only one bath and its ugly too (there's no real upside to this one - but we'll live)
-No laundry room - washer and dryer hookups are in the garage (we'll live with this as well)

-Literally across the street from a great elementary school - so we can walk my son to and from school in the fall
-A park, a track, tennis courts, and a pool within walking distance
-Great community and perfectly situated for easy access to the entire Austin area (the Anderson Mill area, in case anyone reading this is familiar with Austin)
-Lots of windows and natural light (something that's hard to find with duplexes)
-A huge dining area that will easily fit our table (one of the only furniture pieces we kept from the move that aren't just placeholders for better items)
-Good-sized closets
-An attached garage (it's only one car, but we really need a garage space for storage and work space)
-A fenced backyard (and the lawn care is included in the rent - score!)
-Vaulted ceilings in the living area (our last place had 7 foot ceilings - no joke - so this is a welcome change even though I'm a little wary of how to decorate with those weird angles)
-Minutes from my stepdaughter's house, but still a decent commute for the boyfriend

So, are you ready for some pictures?

The Good:

This is the living room if you're standing in the dining room.  That's the front door and there's a coat closet behind it (we think - the boyfriend didn't notice until I pointed it out to him in the pictures).  Hopefully there's room in the entry (across from the door) for a cute dresser and mirror combo.  The tile is new and I like the brick pattern they used.  It's not a gigantic space, but not tiny either.  So it'll work.

This is the dining room.  I love the sliding glass doors (not so much the vertical blinds) and that there's plenty of room for storage along that blank wall.  We'll definitely be looking for a chandelier for some drama.

This is the pretty desolate looking side patio off the dining room.  I'm hoping to turn this into a small "outdoor room."

The boyfriend didn't get the greatest pictures of the bedrooms.  I can't really tell how large they are from the pictures.  He assures me there's enough room for a king sized bed in the master - but we'll have to see.

The Bad:

This is the kitchen from the dining room.  I'm going to have to be really creative with storage and with decorating.  Don't you love how the top of the stove sticks up above the countertop?  I'm already brainstorming ways to camouflage that and the backs of the upper cabinets.  Despite its complete ugliness, it's actually a step up from our last kitchen which featured a haphazardly patched floor with three different colors of stick-on tiles.  I'm super worried about workspace as there's little countertop, and even less once you stick a microwave somewhere.

And The Ugly:

The fact that this place only has one bathroom (!) and this is it almost made me cross the whole place off the list.  It's tiny, it's ugly and it's outdated.  And I think there's no other storage besides that vanity.  But we'll (in my best Tim Gunn voice) "Make it work!"
Overall, nothing crazy exciting compared to some of the gorgeous houses you see other bloggers working with - but it's pretty exciting for us.  I can't wait to get moved and started on projects!