Monday, October 29, 2012

The Bold & The Beautiful

Oh, how I love some drama. Not the soap opera variety but the interior/fashion kind. If you've ever met me, you know I'm pretty laid back and not prone to drama in my relationships. However, I love showstopping rooms and outfits. While perusing some magazines and catalogs this weekend, a couple of things stopped me in my tracks. First, this small stairwell designed by Ruthie Sommers in the new Veranda . . .
Sorry for the quality of the photo. I snapped it with my phone. Veranda needs to post more photos online like some other shelter magazines. 

I don't always pick up Veranda, but a quick scan of the magazine in the grocery aisle brought me to this home designed by Sommers. Sold. Black lacquered walls, graphic Chinoiserie fabric-covered doors, abstract art. What's not to love?

Next, Anthropologie's catalog never disappoints. While I wouldn't always choose every outfit for myself, their styling inspires fantasy-filled escapism. November's whimsical winter wonderland theme was no different, and this dress blew me away . . . 
Does it really matter that I have absolutely nowhere to wear this dress?? Reality is no fun sometimes. Why can't I just wander through an enchanted forest where bunnies and masked children frolic while I rock a bedazzled dress without a coat (sans the birdsnest hairdo) before returning to my dazzling, colorful home decorated by Ruthie Sommers?

Okay, I'm off to get my oil changed. Happy Monday.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


This weekend my family and I traveled to my hometown of Memphis so the cousins could hang out and we could all do some relaxing. There may have been some estate sale visiting as well. That's how I relax. Don't judge. One of our major excursions was taken on Saturday morning when we drove an hour out into the country to help pick out a puppy for my sister's family. Oh, how I love puppies! Who doesn't? If you don't, I don't want to know you.
Here's my niece Maren holding their pick. Isn't she adorable?!! Oh so sweet. They're still deciding on a name as they don't bring her home until this Saturday. So exciting!

And as I mentioned, I did manage to hit a few estate sales. While I didn't purchase anything at the first one, I was loving the mid-century modern style of this ranch home. I snapped a couple of photos of its details. First, the dining room chandelier was really cool . . . 
Then, the piece de resistance, these Greek key pulls (what is it with me and Greek key?) on the built-in cabinets in the master bedroom . . . 

The second home was an interesting Spanish-style home in the middle of the suburbs . . . very unusual. Apparently, the husband built this house for his Cuban-born wife to make her feel more at home. Love stories like that.
It was chocked full of art, tons of art. The first day I went was already the second day of the estate sale so everything was 30% off. Of course, I grabbed a portrait . . . 
But, I had my eye on another piece as well. So, I returned on the third day and got the piece below for 50% off. Score. 

Another great piece there that I passed on was a Sligh desk with a brass accents . . . 
Can you see the sides?
Once again, couldn't fit it in the car. Oh well. 

We made it back home late Monday and were greeted with some items my husband picked up from a local estate sale online auction that I won . . . 

A couple of x benches and some Thonet-style bentwood and caned dining chairs. I just couldn't pass these up. I haven't decided if I'm keeping or selling them, so watch out for further details. Yes, I may start selling furniture/accessories again either on my blog or at another venue, but I will definitely let you know!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Treasure Hunt

I met up with my friend Arrione (and her son Miller) for lunch the other day in a part of town I don't usually frequent. So, of course, a little treasure hunting was in order. Before I met them, I hit a tiny little store that sells the contents of abandoned storage lockers a la Storage Wars (does anyone watch that show? I did for a while, but got tired of it after a bit). Anyway, about 98% of the stuff in this shop was true junk that I would have abandoned too, but this amazing Drexel Chinese Modern set made the visit worth my while . . .
Are you kidding me with those Greek key pulls? Have you ever seen such in all your life? I almost bought them right then and there for the pulls alone, but my husband frowns upon me buying stuff for the hell of it when I have no real place to put it. Hoarding cannot be far behind if that starts. Of course the finish was in terrible shape, but that's an easy fix with a paint job. It's things like this that make me want to get into the furniture-selling business. If you hire me to shop/decorate for you, these lovelies could be yours . . . just sayin'.

After lunch we hit Hobby Lobby (I know, don't get too excited) so Arrione could pick up some cellophane gift bags for a birthday party. I was surprised to find quite a few things that didn't have fringe or feathers on them . . . 
First, some classic white lamps with linen shades. Can't go wrong with these. Half price.

Some mirrors that were half price. Come to think of it, most of the store was half off.

A nice, cozy chunky throw for the fall/winter months ahead.

Buffalo check is having a major moment right now.

Some cute, cheap fabric to update your decor.

As we parted ways (her 3-year-old was over the shopping by this point), I hit up the Goodwill next door where I snagged an $8 Chiavari chair . . .
If you've ever been to a wedding and/or banquet, chances are you've sat on one of these chairs before. Design Sponge did a great little history of the Chiavari chair a while back if you want to read up on them. I just like that they're sturdy little chairs that you can pull up anywhere. I plan on painting mine a fun color and sticking it in my black office for some contrast. 

Next, I hit a little antique mall before having to head back towards home. I'll leave you with some of the goodies I found there . . . 
A wicker, faux bamboo, campaign-style lingerie chest. Wow, that's a lot of styles coming together. Would be great storage anywhere. And could be really cute as-is or painted a bright color.

Great, sculptural piece of driftwood. Nature's art.

Sexy black lamp with white linen shade. Classic.

Love the gold detailing on this black lamp. Have no idea what it is, but I like it.

Pretty little bowl to set on entry chest or vanity to hold your goodies.

The shape of these candlestick holders was so unique - very art deco.

Yes, it's another Asian panel, but with vivid peacocks I thought this one warranted a second look.

There were a pair of these Italian gilt shelves. Elegance.

There were also a pair of these mid-century modern lamps. Great, simple shape would work anywhere.

So, that concludes my latest treasure hunt. Did you see anything you couldn't live without? If you'd ever like help finding those special pieces for your home, please contact me!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Weekend's Work

This weekend I painted the green guest room black. I'm not the best painter, and it seems to take me forever. Especially when I take numerous breaks to attend soccer games, police play dates, run out to estate sales, attend birthday parties and feed and spend time with my family. So, the painter's tape is still up, the furniture is in the middle of the room and the outlet covers are still off, but otherwise I think I'm done.
Here's how it looks in its current state of disarray. That's a huge glare on the wall from the light and windows. I can already tell it's going to be difficult to get a decent photo in here. Oh well. But, I love it. It's so enveloping and dramatic. And the black just recedes. I must tell you it's tricky and a bit creepy to use black paint . . . I kept have horror film flashbacks.

Oh, and that estate sale I mentioned, I swung by there on Saturday and snagged a couple of credenzas/cabinets at a great price (it sometimes pays to wait out an estate sale and go on the last day when everything is half off, then go back in the last hour when they take another discount). I thought one of these would be great in my new black office as storage . . . 
I love the medallion detail on the front of the cabinet doors. And, while they're in good shape structurally, they are stained and chipped with the creamy fly-specked paint looking rather dingy (I didn't take close-up shots, but trust me). So, they need a fresh coat of paint of warm white paint. Don't worry, I'm keep the medallions gold, but even those could use some touching up.
I wish I could use them both in my office, but I don't think they'll fit. But, I'm sure I can find a place for the other one. And as my friend Brandy (Chateau a Gogo) implored me to buy both and not break up a pair, I think she's right.

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Did you get any weekend projects checked off your list?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Grasscloth Console & Malachite

You may remember my grasscloth sofa table/console DIY that I completed a while back. Well, Style at Home is featuring it on their website along with six other blogger's projects including my blog friend Heather from Love Your Space. You can check out all the budget-friendly DIY projects on their website here. They asked for the submission a while ago, so below is a photo with my reupholstered benches so you can see what it looks like now . . .

In other news, I got some fabric samples back from Spoonflower for my rope chair. 
Yes, it is malachite. I also got one from the same designer, Chrysocola, that's a slightly different color that actually matches more of the teal I have going on in the rest of my room/rug . . . 
The first (larger) sample is more of an emerald green which is probably more the true malachite color, but I'm leaning toward the second one. I got the samples in cotton poplin . . . Spoonflower gives you different options. I'm not in love with the quality or feel. Has anyone ordered from Spoonflower before? What type of fabric should I order if I decide to go this route?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Nashville Style

Just a reminder to watch the premiere episode of Nashville tonight on ABC 10/9 Central.
As a resident of the real Nashville (well, technically a suburb just over the border), I'll be curious to see how our fair city is portrayed. While this is a scripted drama not reality television (thank goodness), it's based on the very real country music industry here.

And just in case you think the real Nashville only has country music stars running around (which it does in spades), we saw Patrick Carney of the Black Keys shopping at Target recently. 
My husband snapped this pic as I was a little starstruck since the Black Keys are one of my favorite bands. So, I'll leave you with a little Black Keys music to offset the country . . . 
Turn it up and enjoy. Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Paint It Black

Black has always been a classic decorating choice, but now it's starting to creep into the mainstream as a wall color.

So, it's no surprise that I've been coveting a dark, cozy room of my own. Oh, of course, my tornado room is a dark blue (Hague Blue color match), but I'm thinking of taking the plunge and painting my small guest room black and making it into an office as well. Since I cleaned out the closets upstairs recently, I realized there's a lot of underutilized real estate in the guest room closet . . . the perfect spot for my magazine hoarding problem collection and fabric samples.

Since I typically sit on my sofa or at my kitchen table to do my computer work, my hope is to carve out a space where I can work/blog without the distractions of my downstairs creeping in (TV and kitchen). Also, I really want to paint my guest room because it's currently a lime green that I'm not very fond of (I never was, honestly), and we recently painted my son's room next door a different shade of green. I don't want my upstairs to go all Kermit the frog. Anyway, here's what my guest room currently looks like:
Well, it currently doesn't look like this because I've already moved the daybed to the shorter wall just to the left of the door and thrown some paint swatches on the wall. But, it looked like this until Saturday when I made this plan. I can be impulsive like that. Here's my design board for the room:
I already have all the items in the room except for the curtains and rug (okay, and the garden seat), and I snatched up that lucite chandelier last night on eBay for a really good price - can't wait till it arrives. You see, I just sold a table and chairs on Craigslist last night that covered the price of the chandelier. This is how I justify these things. I'm crazy, I know. The rug is one of the Beni knock-offs from World Market, and the curtains are just white linen/cotton from West Elm. I already have the chairs but the Brno is currently black so it would need some new upholstery. 

So, what do you think? Are you feeling the black?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


While out shopping for actual clients yesterday (and who am I kidding, myself too), I ran across some really cool items that no one technically needed. So, of course, I immediately came up with a fantasy client. She's single and lives in a small, but lovely little apartment in a big city. Having just landed her first "real" job, she doesn't have a lot of money to spend, so thrift store and antique mall finds are a necessity (lucky for her, that's my specialty). The pair of matching loveseats I found today feature a great vintage fabric that's in good shape and immediately reminded me of Nick Olsen's apartment with his vintage sofa.

He loved the fabric and kept it as is. I would opt to do the same with the loveseat I found today. Not that the fabric is at all similar to Nick's sofa, but embracing the fun vintage fabric would save my "client" a lot of money in upholstery costs now (and it could always be recovered later) while creating a unique centerpiece in her room. None of her friends will have the same sofa, that's for sure. I was drawn to its primary colors, and oddly enough, I kept running across other pieces that would complement it. So, here's the sofa that set off my reverie . . . 
Isn't it cute? In small apartments, loveseats/settees are great options because they can move with you to a larger space one day. Today's main furniture piece can easily live at the end of a bed one day or be worked into a larger living room arrangement in the future.

Some of the chairs I found that would work well with the loveseat . . . 

 and/or . . .
I probably wouldn't do too much rattan/wicker in one space, so I would have to choose between either the first chair or the last. I like the scale of the white peacock chair because it contrasts and balances the lower caned/upholstered chairs. The bright shot of color of the first chair is nice though, so I would opt to paint the white chair a vivid hue like yellow or red. The upholstered chairs would need to be recovered, but considering their size, that wouldn't be a major expense. I would suggest something a bit geometric to balance the feminine floral on the loveseat like this . . . 

Then, there's the art I found. An edgier, modern piece to offset the girly aspect . . . 
Some bamboo framed pieces (we could easily switch out the art):
And a vintage peacock painting for some whimsy . . . 
I would pull out the green in the sofa cushions for the walls to make a enveloping emerald jewel-box of a room. Vibrant yet cozy . . .
I also found some accent furniture pieces that would finish out the room. This amazing bolstered bench is a beautiful blue velvet that would hopefully be great with some cleaning. If not, recovering it is another option:
I also spotted a tray table which would be perfect as-is (no paint required) lending a little natural element to the room. It could serve as a small cocktail table in front of the sofa now and easily be moved later.
Also, just found a cute vintage kilim rug from Craigslist that I think would add a nice layer to this space.

Combine all these finds with other affordable accessories and lighting from West Elm, IKEA, Etsy, World Market and Furbish, and you've got a great layered space. All on a budget.
While this is a fictional client, I do this for real people too. Please shoot me an email if you need help finding the perfect pieces for your home.