Thursday, October 29, 2009

X games

The X bench is a very hot accent piece right now. Very functional - it can serve as extra seating or an ottoman. It's the new "Keep Calm and Carry On" - meaning that everybody's got one and it's all over the shelter mags.

I'd love to have a couple at the foot of my bed....


The price on this little item creeps into the outrageous category though. The Jonathan Adler version costs $700! I know...I'm choking too. Was it hand-sewn by virgins?

Ballard Designs offers a cheaper version ($179-$371) and you can choose between hundreds of fabrics. But that still seems pricey for a stool.

A couple days ago I went to a junk store to see a TV stand I'd found on craigslist. It had already been sold but then I saw THIS and paid 20 bones for it, people. There were two of them, and I know I should have snatched up the second one, but I also knew I couldn't afford to have both reupholstered. No excuse though. I should have grabbed it. The owner of the store told me that these were custom made too - the fabric is actually cool but very faded.

I got a quote of $100 to have it reupholstered....and I gonna do it! It's no bargain but I can't turn back now. My plan is to have my guy eliminate the extra "cushion" on top and just add more padding to the bottom seat area, so that the seat is flat.

Besides I found a great home decor (i.e. mid-weight) fabric at Joann on sale for $6 a yard. Snatch! (That's my expletive for "F yeah"....Bridget knows all about this and is probably rolling her eyes right now...)

They didn't have enough yardage of the blue honeycomb that I wanted, so I got the green:

I also loved this fabric from Joann but at $30 a yard, it's too spenny. Next time.

Stay tuned, dear Readers!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

sofa city sweetheart

I can't stop quoting 80's movies (although, my last title was a bend on the true the princess bride quote).

erin, thank you, thank you for sending the couch suggestions. of course, the one we liked was the fancy pants velvet for $1800. still, better than crate & steal-your-wallet. we also spotted this little cutie, from room & board and very similar to the canterbury sofa we love, for a bit less and a whole seat bigger.

no more lying now, I mean it.

I started looking around for reupholstering classes in berkeley and came up with bupkiss (sp?). so, I am taking matters into my own hands, I promised myself I would do it, and I am doing it. I am going to buy this book (and maybe a few more)
and take sewing classes (for many reasons) and tah dah! learn how to reupholster furniture. what I like about The Complete Upholsterer, by Carole Thomerson, is that it seems to focus more on projects, especially ones I am interested in, and the cover is pretty.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

couch for bridget

More amazing finds on Overstock to help in your couch search. Most of them cost under $1,000!!! Surprisingly, many are eco-friendly, using soy-based cushions and recycled steel springs. The second one down is only $699! I want a new couch replace the flimsy Ikea piece of crap we currently have.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Kitchen of the Day

This is a favorite kitchen look of mine - white cabinets, black countertops, green subway tile backsplash. Add in a schoolhouse light over the sink and the miniature Viking's perfect. I dream of making over my current kitchen in a similar vein.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

local salvage

for all you san francisco bay people, I have just discovered a gem of a place for all your home renovation needs right in my berkeley neighborhood. I imagine everyone in the bay area has heard of ohmega salvage, but I am new. erin, you might just love it here. it's a salvage yard (actually two, across the street from each other) that houses all sorts of home goodies from light fixtures, doors, tubs, sinks, cast iron sculptures and some decent furniture. oh yes, and old bowling alley lanes that can be turned into table/desk tops. for some of the artifacts you need to use your imagination to see the full potential, for others, your mouth may drop, as did mine, at the cost (not in a good way). a couple shots of what caught my eye:

maybe a kitchen light, there were two. convenient.

mini-tub. beautiful and most likely only useful on movie sets like out of africa.

i want this tub.

okay dagnamit, I am going to learn how to reupholster chairs. new year's resolution.

my grandmother used to have a vanity like this in the girls' guestroom. it was low to the ground, just like this one and my sisters and I used to sit on a little padded stool in front of it, pretending we were getting ready for a stage performance. I was immediately drawn to this one, visions of black or blue or green? paint, lacquered knobs and a teeny stool danced in my head. my husband however stopped me short of purchasing it for two reasons: 1. it is huge and we have nowhere to put it, 2. it is really low to the ground and somewhat useless. damn his logic.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

the eagle has landed

The Regency eagle mirror is a design obsession of mine - as are many things related to early American decor. This federal-era mirror has an eagle topper and details meant to represent the thirteen original colonies. The frame is usually gilded and the mirror is convex, which is my favorite feature! I assume the convex mirror is so Hiram Beatwife can get a fish-eye view of his opulent furnishings whilst dosing on laudanum and absinthe.


I found this Regency knock-off at Savers in New Bedford, which is a glorified Salvation Army. It cost a whopping $7! Now unfortunately, the mirror is not convex and the frame is plastic. But hey....$7...can't beat it.

I spray painted it in glossy black. Whaddya think?

good 'ol domino

I love this kid's room from Domino. It was a part of the inspiration for June's room. Orange and blue and graphic prints.

bathroom renovation

We're planning a moderate bathroom renovation this Christmas. The tub and shower surround desperately need to be replaced. The previous owner was kind enough to put the tub in crooked, in addition we have a cheap plastic shower surround that's gotta go. I'm scared to find out what's behind that bad boy. Rotted studs?

My dad lugged a bathtub out here from Illinois when he and his girlfriend visited in May. So we'll be installing the new tub along with a white subway tile surround. The fact that we've never installed either doesn't deter us. We had also planned to replace the tile floor with white hexagonal or octagonal tile, but have since scratched that off the list. Too much, too scary. Plus we'd have to move the cast iron radiator.

Here's a sampling of subway tile surrounds for inspiration....



old house new life

And my dream shower.....

tiles 4 less

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

vintage poster

Found this great image of Tess' living room from Cozy Little Cave. I love the vignette of art, especially the Don't Kill the Wildlife poster over the couch.

And I was super excited to find out that she bought that vintage reproduction poster from the Library of Congress for $8!

I'm totally getting one....

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Kitchen of the Day

I love the simplicity of Plain English cabinets. A lot of the recent cabinets styles seem too Sopranos and over the top - glazing and roping and moulding, etc. Enough already. There is something serene about the clean simplicity here.


I've been loving this coat from Lands End. So when I found out that Sears now sells Lands End merchandise, I went to try this coat on for size. It was delicious. Super warm with the fuzzy hood and knit cuffs under the puffy part. They sell it in a variety of colors and even a longer length. It's rated for -10 to -40 degrees. Great for those Chicago and New England winters. And the price for the knee-length version tops out at $180. Can't be beat. Take that JCrooks!

Monday, October 19, 2009

ahh, oui.

my brother-in-law tried giving me a quick, ten minute french lesson on our way to a little bistro this weekend, and while I still have little understanding of the language, I can't get the glamorized version of france out of my head. mostly, I want a sweet little french country cottage - and some french style bangs (think brigitte bardot) and that purposeful french female pout. ahh, oui.

rafter tales





roosters are a big part of french country decor, and, I am loving them right now, even bought a j.crew t-shirt with one on it the other day. might have something to do with the one that cock-a-doodled at my wedding, three times, while I was walking down the aisle.

so much about getting this look comes down to the fabric.


houdan (pink and dark blue) - pierredeux

country house designs

anneli fabric - ikea