Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Fabric Hunt

I woke up super early this morning (possibly due to the fact that a bony 6-year-old had climbed into my bed and was trying to elbow me to death).  I stumbled to the couch in hopes of grabbing a couple more hours of sleep before the school routine started, but instead decided to go on a fabric hunt.  Because that's what normal, sleep-deprived women do at 4:30 in the morning.

I recently designed an office to go with the guest bedroom plan I did for a friend.  I'll share the full design soon, but it was completely inspired by this fabric.

Pillow by Studio Tullia on Etsy, via Pinterest
Gorgeous, right?  I loved the pinks, gray, and pop of grellow.  Decidedly feminine, but also sophisticated.

Only, I couldn't figure out who made the fabric.  I searched a ridiculous combination of keywords like "pink""coral" "gray""chinoiserie""vase"- all coming up empty.  I hunted the Schumacher site because it looked so similar in style to the famous Chiang Mai fabric.  No luck.

Finally, after about an hour of blog hopping, eureka!  "Portobello Vase" in the "Ladybug"colorway. 

Hancock's of Paducah

And you know who makes it - Waverly!  Not some super, high-end design firm like I originally thought.  In fact, it's only $28.95/yard at HouseFabrics.com.  Well, it's not cheap if you're doing curtains, but for the yard I'll need for some pillows I think it's a steal.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Guest Bedroom Design

Recently, I've been coming up with ideas for a friend's guest bedroom.  I'm not sure if we'll end up going in this direction, but I love everything about it so much I thought I would share.  She's a single, professional lady, so I had fun embracing a more feminine style than is possible in my house (where it's 66% male). 

Veranda via Design Crisis
This picture from Veranda was a huge inspiration.  As a child of the '80s, it's hard to find any kind of love for the color peach, but the right shade (like this) is killer in a bedroom.  I've heard numerous times that pink walls make everyone look better - and I'm thinking the same can probably be said for peach.  I definitely want to find the perfect shade - more yellow than pink and light enough to steal the show without screaming in your face.

Benjamin Moore's Delicate Peach
I found this one online here, but haven't tried it in person.

Also like the above image, I love the tonal drapes.  I found this gorgeous glazed silk at Fabricguru.  Of course, it's no longer available there, but might be worth tracking down elsewhere.

Brunschwig and Fils Glazed Silk in Golden Apricot
Although I wanted the room to read more feminine, since it's a guest bedroom, I definitely wanted to have more of a gender balance than the inspiration photo.  I decided to pair the peach with a classic navy for a dash of traditionalism and orange to warm everything up.

Alice Lane Home via Decorpad
We'll make a simple orange headboard with nailhead trim and then pair it with classic hotel-style bedding in a crisp navy and white.

Lastly, we'll finish out the room a few antique, wood pieces (I'm thinking the dresser, a small writing desk) and more modern, glamorous touches (glass, gold and lucite), for a nice balance.  Although this picture isn't the right colors, I love the mix of the antique wood table and the sleek brass lamps.

via DecorPad

Those are my thoughts on the guest room so far.  Now I'm going to try and figure out how to make a mood board to properly sell the idea to my friend.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween 2012

Atticus wanted to be a zombie this year, so he (and just about everyone else) was a zombie.  Give the kids what they want, right?

It definitely wasn't one of our most creative costumes, but I liked that it was cheap (old t-shirt and a $7 make-up kit from Target) and quick to put together after work (mid-week Halloween sucks, am I right?). 

Of course, Atticus is already planning next year's costume (which will change about a zillion times before then).  And I'm eating my weight in Milk Duds.  Hope everyone had a good one!

Monday, October 29, 2012


I finally bought a Docksta table for my living room corner!

I wanted a pedestal table to go with the director's chairs, and the Docksta is the cheapest option.  It's $199 at Ikea, but I waited four long months to score one off of Craigslist for only $50.

Unfortunately, it's about 15% too big.  If it was just 2 inches shorter and about 5 inches less in diameter, it would be perfect.  I worried that was going to be the case before I bought it, so I searched (in vain) for a similar table with slightly smaller proportions.  I'm a big fan of buying it once, and buying it right, but the corner looks SO much finished now, even with slightly too large table, and since I got a good deal on the Docksta, I can probably sell it later to offset the cost.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

DIY Spice Rack

I hate my kitchen.  It's small.  It's ugly.  It's poorly designed.  It has practically no storage space whatsoever.  When we decided to rent our duplex, it (and the equally small and ugly bathroom) were the two things that really made us debate whether or not we could live here.  Fortunately, I was born with a "make it work" personality and, once we moved in, decided on three projects I could do to make the kitchen more functional and less crappy.

#1 Paint the cabinets.
#2 Put up a spice rack.
#3 Build a pantry on wheels to go between the fridge and the wall.

So, we've been here 1 1/2 years, and I finally got around to crossing something off the list.  A spice rack!

Whoo hoo!  A little disclaimer - I know the rest of the kitchen sucks, it's a wood-tone nightmare right now.  But I'm working on it.  Glacial speed, but working on it.  Picture red cabinets and some art above - now doesn't that look better?

Anyway, back to the spice rack and how I made it myself.  It was super easy and I really liked the way it turned out.

First off, I bought 32 spice jars at World Market.  I bought the cylinder style (the one in the back of the picture), not the round style.  They are $3.99 for a set of 4, and I coupled that with a $10 off coupon they e-mailed me.  What I like most about this style is the lid, which rotates so you can shake the spices, and it's nice and big so my measuring spoons fit inside the jar.  Plus, out of the $1/jar category, they looked more expensive than the other options I found.

They're not officially labeled yet, although I did put ugly labels on the bottom as a makeshift answer.  I'm still looking for a label I like enough to commit to.  So let's file that under the "still in progress" part of my kitchen.

Then the spice jars sat on my counter for a month (or two...) while I figured out what kind of shelves I wanted to build.  As you can see, I have a galley kitchen, and the best place for us was this unused back wall by the dishwasher.  It's close enough to the stove that I can reach it easily, and it obviously needed something.  I did not want deep shelves that stuck out a lot because I do have two upper cabinets that need to open into that space.

At Ikea this weekend (where my fabric was sold out - boo) I saw the Ribba picture ledges and thought - they'd work well.  Only, I knew Ana White had a similar plan that would be cheaper to build. 

Ana White - $10 Ledges

We stopped by Home Depot and I picked up $23 in lumber (2 1x4s and 1 1x2 in "select pine" because I knew I was going to stain them).  That was the perfect amount to make 4 24-inch wide shelves.  I had stain and screws on hand (although I did have to buy finishing nails for the front).  If I did it again, I would also pick up some wood conditioner - pine doesn't take stain as evenly as you would like it to.

I made my cuts first, then stained all the boards (Minwax Jacobean) and left them to dry overnight.  The next day, I put them together assembly-line style in all of 40 minutes.  It took me longer to hang them on the wall than to build, honestly!

In person they look pretty awesome.  You might have to take my word on it, since my photos kills at 7 am  (or any time, really) are a little lacking.

Now, maybe they'll inspire me to cross something else off my kitchen to-do list.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ikea Fabric

I'm not the biggest Ikea fabric fan, although they usually have one that I don't think is horrible.  However, I definitely think this is super divine.

Tradklover Fabric - Ikea $7.99/yard
  I am thinking of using it to make a cover for a body pillow in the master bedroom.  Maybe with some contrast piping.

It reminds me a lot of Hinson's "Fireworks" by Albert Hadley - available as a wallpaper or a fabric.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Direction of My Bedroom This Week

I haven't worked on the master bedroom yet.  Hardly at all.  I threw up some curtains, painted the nightstands, and walked away.  I have a lot of ideas going on in my head, but I have yet to come up with a good, solid design plan.

However, I did come up with a new space plan this weekend.
Our bedroom is decent at 12' x 13' and it also serves as our office space.  We currently have this ugly armoire desk we inherited, and coupled with The General, it's too much big bulky furniture in the space.  I'd love a more modern, parsons style desk - long and sleek.

Via La Maison Boheme and Pinterest
I'm obsessed with this image.  Love the gold frames, love the wall lamp, love the built-in shelves.  Would kill to be able to hang/afford grasscloth walls. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

What I'm...


I'm currently in a full-scale reading mania.  Although I'm always reading something, about once a year I get consumed by the desire to read, read, read and it's all I want to do. 

I recently finished Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier.  It's based on the true story of Mary Anning, a working-class girl who grew up hunting fossils on the shore to sell to tourists.  Her passion and talents led her to discover several unknown dinosaur species, but her position and gender held her back from the recognition she should have earned.  It's a remarkable story and Chevalier tells it well.  I felt so inspired, I took the family to a dinosaur museum this weekend.


Yesterday I watched A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  For a self-described avid reader, it's kind of funny that I've never read the book.  The movie has been on my "To Watch" list for ages because it is kind of hard to find.  Why it's not on DVD I have no idea - it's truly wonderful. 

I have a thing for movies set around the turn of the twentieth century, maybe because I grew up obsessed with the Anne of Green Gables books and miniseries.  Similar to I Remember Mama and Meet Me in St. Louis, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is nostalgic and sentimental, without being maudlin. The perfect Sunday afternoon movie.


The Lion King Broadway show is coming to Austin in January and I have to see it.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Leopard Flats

I've embraced animal prints.  Faux alligator dining chairs, leopard in the living room, I'm even considering this antelope pillow for the couch.  So I had to get some for my wardrobe, right?

I've been seeing leopard (or cheetah - who knows?) flats everywhere on style boards lately and I just needed some.  Only I didn't want to pay a lot, as usual.  Target to the rescue.  They actually have several options to choose from (I found 3 in store and more online), but I decided these were the cutest.

Women's Mossimo Ona Ballet Flat - Animal Print
Only $15.  To be honest, they're not a steal at this price since they are definitely not good quality.  However, for a fun fall accessory I don't need them to be the best ever.  I think they look a little more expensive than they were, even if they don't feel like it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Free Glasses (For Real!)

I came upon a really good deal and thought I would share it with any vision-impaired readers I might have.

If you're a first-time buyer, you can get a free pair of eyeglasses from Coastal.com.

The catches: 

You can only choose from frames that are less than $95 (excludes their "luxury" frames). 

You have to pay shipping costs (about $15). 

And if you want thinner lenses (standard are included) or scratch resistant coating, you have to pay for those.  However, I thought the upgraded lens costs were pretty cheap as well.  I have terrible vision, so I need the "ultra thin" and it was only a cost of around $60 after shipping.


I was a little wary about buying glasses without trying them on since I have an enormous round head, but since I wear contact 95% of the time and only need glasses for around the house at night, I decided to risk it.  Hopefully they'll be a good fit (fingers crossed).

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Gift Wrap Organization

I saw this genius idea for storing wrapping paper on Pinterest.

Source: Gall-Erry via Pinterest
I say genius because it's not only a practical solution, it's also a cheap one - and that combo is my favorite.

The last time I was at Ikea, I picked up a couple of Rationell Variera Plastic Bag Dispensers.  They're $1.99 each.

Are you ready for an incredibly exciting picture of my coat closet?

Let's pretend those orbs are really ghosts, and not just ordinary dust particles, can we?

The coat closet is instantly to the right when you walk in our front door.  I used to store the wrapping paper on an over-the-door bathroom organizer we had from our last house.  I envisioned it turning out like this:

Real Simple via Katie Brown Home Workshop
Trust me, it didn't look like that.  The wrapping paper tubes were generally too tall and always leaned out too far.  And I never corralled enough wrapping paper supplies together to fill in the rest of the organizer.

I like this solution much better.  It leaves room on the floor for storage and takes up very little closet real estate.  The extra tall tubes fit just as well as the regular sized tubes.  Plus, if someone was to visit my house and only look in my coat closet, they might think I'm the kind of girl who has my sh*t together.

Monday, September 10, 2012

What $13 Can Get You on a Saturday Morning...

Some recent cheap-o purchases:

This basket is really big - like, my 6-year-old could fit completely in it big.  I already had a basket in our living room as our "junk" basket, but I wanted to move it to the entry to put our shoes in when we first come home.  I got this baby at Goodwill to replace it.  $4. 

I happened upon the funniest neighborhood-wide garage sale this weekend.  There were a good many houses participating, but I swear, 90% of them had about 3 things out in the driveway.  I went to one house and bought two sets of toys and instantly cut their "inventory" in half. 

I bought this print at one of the houses in the neighborhood sale.  The artist was a sweet older lady selling off a lot of her prints super cheap - mostly $1 - $5.  I bought this one for $3, including mat.  It was a signed, dated and numbered print of her first etching, "Moby Dick."  I need lots of black and white art for the media wall I'm envisioning.  Now I'm looking for a frame.

By the way, the most aggravating thing about shopping garage sales are people who use signage with lots of writing.  Here's my tip - use arrows and keep the writing minimal.  Most people don't know where "Random Oak Lane" is, but they can follow an arrow while still driving their car at a normal speed.

I got the next two items at the same moving sale.

Brass napkin rings - 8 for $1.  Maybe it's kind of silly to have several different sets of napkin rings when we rarely use cloth napkins?  The boyfriend definitely thinks so.  I think they're pretty - case closed.

These are candle pillars in the prettiest shade of blue-green and they are very substantial.  I'm not crazy about the faux aging (rust spots and crackled glaze) but they are definitely pretty and for only $5 I couldn't resist.

Unfortunately, I didn't find anything that I was actually shopping for, but I'm pretty happy with my weekend finds.  Anyone else find some cheap second-hand deals lately?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Tree Shopping

So I murdered a hibiscus tree.  It wasn't planned or anything.  I assumed if I remembered to water it every-so-often, it might last longer than a week.  I was wrong.

Only the best photos for this blog.  You're welcome.
I don't even have a before picture, that's how quickly I managed to kill it.  Given the fact that my kid is still alive after 6 years, I can't be that bad at keeping things alive.  Maybe I was overly cocky after so much success with our backyard garden?  Maybe the people in Wal-Mart's garden section foresaw it's doomed future and that's why it was only $10?  Whatever the reason, I still needed some greenery for the living room.

Yesterday I went to Ikea and saw this.

"Oh, I don't want a ficus.  Wait, maybe I should read the fine print."

A fiddle leaf fig tree?  For $12?

Okay, maybe tree is a bit of an exaggeration - it's more of a bush right now.  I picked the tallest of the bunch and it's still only about 2 feet tall.  But one day, one day it will look like this.

Abode Love
Because I'm not going to murder this one.  Cross my heart.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Location, Location, Location

We're heading to Minnesota for Christmas this year for a big family meet-up/holiday fest.  I'm super excited since I've never been to the boyfriend's home state, or Iowa (passing through en route) or Wisconsin (a side trip during our Minnesota time).  One of my goals is to have my son visit all 50 states before he turns 21.  So far he's at 6, which is embarrassingly low, but give us a break - it takes 7 hours just to get the Texas border.  This trip is going to double his count to 12.  And it will (hopefully) also be my very own first White Christmas - I'm a southern girl for sure.

Anyway, the boyfriend's mom is renting a car for the trip, but asked that I find a good deal.  It needed to be either a van or a SUV since there could potentially be 7 people going.  This was my first foray into renting a car, so I did a little research first.  One of the first tips I read was to go ahead and reserve a good price when you see one.  As long as you don't prepay, you can always cancel it and rebook if you see something lower.  So there's a chance this isn't the deal we'll end up with, but since it's about $20 cheaper a day than what I was seeing elsewhere, I went ahead and booked it.

I went through carrentals.com (although I did go to the Hertz website and checked that it wasn't coming up cheaper on their end - same price).  Another tip I read online is vividly illustrated here.  If you can avoid it, look for a rental office other than the airport or downtown because the prices are often cheaper.  Here's the exact same everything from the above deal, only it's located in downtown Austin instead of Oak Hill (about 15 minutes away).

A difference of $445.42 for the entire trip - more than double the cost!  Crazy, right?

P.S. It's the first day back at school for us - the little man's a first grader now and my new preschool class starts today as well.  Anxiety is at an all-time high, but I just keep telling myself it'll all be okay.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Come on Fall

I am so ready for summer to end and fall to begin.

So Soho Suede Leather Satchel - $64
 Cute bag, eh?

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Red Piano

Something about 100+ degree weather really makes me hate even the idea of painting, so my piano is going to remain in its shabby, peeling state right now.  But I'm definitely inspired to think red...

Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine via Bloomerism
After my last debacle painting something red, I'm thinking of delving into Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint for this project.  It's on the expensive side, but on such a massive project like a piano, being able to skip a few prep steps and get right to painting is definitely a plus.

Of course, Emperor's Silk is the color of choice right now.

Look how beautiful it is on this dresser by Reckless Glamour.

Friday, August 17, 2012

My Etsy Shopping List

So it happens - you find one picture/blog post/article and the next time you look up, it's two hours later and all you have managed to do is increase your "Wishes, Wants and Needs" list by a couple of hundred dollars. 

This happens to me more than I'd care to admit.  I thought I'd be clever and label it "Snowballing" (cause it's so catchy - right?), but then the little voice inside my head said, "I think that might mean something else... something not so PG."  So I googled it (something I advise you against), remembered it being referenced in Clerks, and promptly decided to go back to what I used to call it - "Wasting Time."

Anyway, it all started with this picture on Pinterest:

Santa Fe Removable Throw Pillow Cover - $38
Love this pillow.  Need it in my life.  Unfortunately, I "need" it in a body pillow cover, not the current size, and the artist, Leah Duncan, is quickly becoming super famous and can't do custom stuff (and doesn't sell that material by the yard - although there's hope because she has a fabric line with Anthology).  If I can figure out somewhere else to put it, this baby is mine.

Dish Towel Set of Three - $36
I also love this tea towel set by the same artist.  They look too cute to be used.

I haven't perused Etsy lately, so I had the joy of rediscovering my favorites list - which is usually a nice mix of cool stuff, sold out stuff, and complete head scratchers ("Why would I have wanted that?")  I like saving art I like to my favorites and then revisiting later to see if I still like it.  I think this helps me from impulse buying art that simply appealed to my mood that day, versus art that truly appeals to me all the time.

Abstractions Aside - $28
I saved this picture ages ago, and I still love it.  She'll live somewhere in the living room, I think.

Antelope Antlers Photograph - $15
 And these antelope will look over the dining table.  They seem like something Emily Henderson would feature (and maybe she has, hard to remember).  I thought for sure the boyfriend would veto them (they are borderline creepy, which is what makes them so awesome!), but luckily he gave me the go-ahead.

So that's a couple of things I'm coveting lately.  Any gems on your list?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ikea Vaster Pendant Lamp

I received my new Ikea catalog today in the mail.  Actually, I received two, because Ikea knows how much I love them and that I'm also very bad about misplacing things.

Anyway, not a lot knocked my socks off, but I'm still inspired to make a trip to the store soon and check out a few new products in person.  Something I'm definitely going to get the scoop on - the Vaster LED Pendant Light

Via core77

$89.99 and available in red, white or blue (how patriotic of you, Ikea)

I don't love it's current status, but I couldn't help notice it has a strikingly similar design to Circa Lighting's $525 (each) Hicks Pendant.

High Gloss Magazine via Design Manifest
 Paint can only do so much, but I'm thinking a cheap-ish DIY could make this baby look close enough for my family.