Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Shopping Finds

My children are out this week for the coldest Spring Break in recent memory. So, while we're in town between our short little trips to visit grandparents, I thought I'd check in and dump my most recent shopping photos on you.

First up, a recent jaunt to Homegoods turned up some nice lamps.
I like the graphic punch of this chevron lamp. I know some people are over the whole chevron pattern thing, but I think this small amount is simple and classic.

I was drawn to this gray lacquer lamp in a modern interpretation of a pineapple/artichoke.

I'm a sucker for creamy pottery lamps in organic shapes. I've seen versions all over the place, but I really like this one. And the price is nice.

Still like a little gold tortoise shell action, especially if they're faux. The subdued black bases and linen shades make these a classic choice.

I spied this rope mirror there also . . .
This would look great in a variety of spaces (a boy's room, beach house, etc.), but what first popped to mind was this Nate Berkus designed bathroom . . . 
Then there were some vivid powder-coated Tolix stool knock-offs that would add some fun to any kitchen . . . 
If you don't like the red (ahem, Sissy), you can always paint them, I don't know . . . green. Like this:

And speaking of red, I saw this really pretty lacquered cabinet at an antique mall. 
While I'm not a huge red fan, sometimes, in moderation, it really works. The clean lines and hardware on this piece are great and reminded me of the beautiful blue cabinet in Kate Spade's apartment . . .

Next up, a great pair of vintage wicker chairs with a very Boho/John Robshaw-esque fabric . . .
These chairs could be just the unexpected touch a room could use to save it from predictability. 

Okay, so we've all seen recovered vintage chairs with ikat fabric but I found these so charming. Something about the warm wood and cool gray made them more interesting. 

A colorful, original abstract print signed and numbered always makes a room. 

And, some interesting accessories to bring some personality . . . 

I used restraint and didn't purchase any of the above pieces, just snapped them with my phone. But the next few pieces made it home with me from an estate sale on Friday . . . 
A vintage Panton chair knock-off. Pretty sure it's not real because there are no markings. But it's very sturdy and fun. It's going in the playroom too. 

And a couple of vintage lamps because I have an addiction . . . 
This one is getting its base spiffed up and going in Meg's room, I think. 

And this one I'm not sure about yet. It may go in the playroom or it may go up for sale. Stay tuned. 

Have you found any fun things lately?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Urchin Code

Hello all. In for a quick update. Apparently, the code I gave you the other day for a discount on the urchin chandelier has expired (my apologies if you tried to use it), but the owner kindly sent me a new one that will work. So, between now and the end of March, you can use the code TRYTHEURCHIN20 to get 20 percent off Stimulight fixtures!
Here is one of their newer versions with even more spines. Love it.

Also, in other news, I stumbled across a charcoal gray sofa yesterday on Craigslist that will work perfectly for the new and improved playroom. It's less than an Ektorp from IKEA, and I don't have to mess with shipping costs, etc. It's a Florence Knoll reproduction and screams Mad Men to me . . . 
Excuse the Craigslist photo. We went to see it/sit on it today and will have it moved to our house hopefully within a week or so. I think the kids are going to have the coolest room in the house!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


I was gone, but I'm back now. I thought I would just jump right into what design-related stuff is going on around here. I may have mentioned it before but our playroom is about the only room on the main floor of our house that hasn't been painted or really decorated since we moved in about seven years ago. I mean, it's a playroom, and it was yellow and my kids were 4 and 1 at the time. We made do. Well, now, they're 11 and almost 8, and have much more discriminating taste. Let's just say the playroom is long overdue for a makeover. Cue the ugly photos of what it currently looks like:
This is a typical Saturday morning scene in the playroom. Blankets and pillows everywhere and Pierce bouncing on an exercise ball. Meg chilling in the corner. And, of course, Zoe, the sweetest dog ever . . . 

Thanks to Craigslist, some of this stuff has already gone, specifically the tiny kids table more appropriate for toddlers and the Pottery Barn shelving unit/changing table that mainly held junk they no longer played with . . . 

There's really no rhyme or reason to the current furniture, mainly cast-offs or whatever I could find a few years ago at a consignment store when my post-grad sofa literally came apart at the seams. But now, the children are older and a lot less messy. No smeary fingerprints much anymore, just some crumbs and general disarray. 

So, here's my plan. Paint the walls a nice, clean, calming color called Sonnet by Benjamin Moore. Reupholster or slipcover the sofa in a dark gray fabric (maybe black) to hide dirt OR possibly purchase an IKEA Ektorp and sell the old one on Craigslist . . . whichever is cheaper. Also, the carpet is trashed from years of use (it was here when we moved in) and abuse (from a trapped cat, etc.), so it's time for it to be replaced. I was thinking a charcoal gray berber possibly. I'll layer the current Persian from eBay on top. Oh, and the Mastercraft credenza from down in the "Tornado Room" migrated upstairs to the playroom at the behest of my daughter . . . she manages to snag all the good furniture (yes, the tornado room is now the music room, more of a place for Meg to practice piano than hang out). Oh, and some curtains on the windows might be nice now that there's much less threat of the kids pulling them down.

Here's a little mood board I mocked up of what it could look like . . . 
Click on photo to see larger.

I know what you're thinking . . . it doesn't really look like a kids' playroom. Well, good. I've always disliked kids' rooms that scream "only children hang out in here." Come on . . .  children like nice/pretty things too (well, at least my children do - wonder where they got that?). Plus, I spend a considerable amount of time hanging out with them in there too. But please do not worry, their childhood whimsy will be well-represented in here - their art will adorn the walls and all their "stuff" will reside in the room. 

The credenza already holds the treasured TV and is chocked full of video game paraphernalia (I know, I'm a bad mom). Meg picked out the Mellby side chair at IKEA on our weekend shopping trip to Atlanta, so that's currently in the room now too. I also picked up the prints at IKEA and we already have the area rug and similar black and natural baskets. The room will be painted next week and hopefully I'll be ordering the carpet soon. I already have the laminate burl wood table and chrome chairs from the flea market already set up for homework/arts and crafts. And, I don't care if leather Moroccan poufs are trendy, my kids love them and they seem fun and appropriate for a playroom. Nothing is precious or breakable . . . just comfortable.

Oh, and did you notice I changed out the light fixture with a Stimulight urchin chandelier from my last post? Well, I'm not sure if that's going to the final decision or not, but when the very kind owner of Stimulight saw my last post on their lighting he offered my readers a 20% discount on their products! If you want an urchin of your own, just use the code SEARCHINFORURCHIN20 at the Etsy store check-out. Not a bad deal. He also mentioned they're experimenting with different materials and are actually working on an acrylic (stop it!) and wood version of the urchin now. Very cool. 

So, what do you think about the playroom plan?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Jean de Merry for the Rest of Us

I, like so many others of you, fell in love with Jean de Merry's urchin/satellite-style chandelier when I first spied one in Ashley Stark's arresting dining room . . .

Since then, I've seen them all over the place . . . 

Then, most recently, I saw one in a showhouse designed by Canadian designer Nam Dang-Mitchell featured in House & Home magazine . . . 
So, why am I bringing up this extremely expensive chandelier (I don't even know how expensive it actually is, but I'm imagining it's way out of my price range)? Well, at the end of the same article about the showhouse, they did one of those "get this look" features and they showcased this chandelier available at Anthropologie . . . 

This sucker is still $1,898. 

Then, just the other day weirdly/coincidentally enough, I get several notices that I'm now being followed on Pinterest by a company called Stimulight. I was somewhat intrigued. So, is this the new form of the press release? Not a bad idea as it caught my attention. They sell what look to be similar yet smaller versions of the urchin chandelier for either $399 or $499 . . . 
Source: via Stimulight on Pinterest

Source: via Stimulight on Pinterest

Of course, they don't look as large or as "spiny" as the de Merry or even the Antropologie chandelier, but for several hundreds (or thousands) less, you can get a similar look. Hmm.

What do you think? Worth the considerably smaller price tag? Or would you rather drain the savings account for the real deal?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Dorothy Draper Drama

First of all, thank you for all the sweet comments about my hair and my daughter's birthday - both are much appreciated, and Meg had a wonderful weekend. Now, on to the Dorothy Draper drama (I could've titled this post something like "All's Fair in Love & Craigslist" or "Espana Saga" but went for alliteration). It all started about 5 p.m. Wednesday when I spotted this ad while perusing Craigslist. My jaw dropped and my heart started racing as I immediately dialed the number to inquire. The listing had only been up for 30 minutes. Surely, I had a chance, right?
I was apparently second in line; someone had already called about it. So, I did something I've never done before on CL . . . I offered above the asking price - $50. I figured that would clinch it, and it did . . . for a little while. We had a plan to meet the next morning at 9 a.m. Then I get a text at 8:30 a.m. from the seller saying that she had two higher offers and couldn't sell it to me. Luckily, I had sold some shelves on CL earlier in the week and had enough cash to match the higher offer. The deal was back on, and I was literally on my way when she texted again saying the person whose offer I matched just told her what a treasure they had - a Dorothy Draper chest. So, she wanted to hold off and do some research before selling it. Seriously?! I was so furious at this "informant" who ruined my transaction out of spite. Who does that? I'm sorry, but if a person doesn't know what they have . . . that's their problem. If you have no clue what I'm talking about, these chests go for thousands on eBay and 1stDibs. 

I was offering the CL seller perfectly good money - more than they initially asked for, and by the way, they were given this piece by a friend who was moving. So, they didn't even pay for it. Anyway, long story even longer, the CL seller ended up selling it for $600 (way out of my price range) to a dealer who then probably turned around and listed it on eBay for a couple thousand or put it in their store for twice that amount. The moral of the story? I have no idea, other than I don't think I or my clients are meant to have a Dorothy Draper Espana chest (remember this post?). And some people are douchebags. The whole dream of CL or thrifting is that you'll find a gem that someone doesn't realize is worth anything. Unfortunately, I think those days are gone. 

Some interiors featuring some DD chests, just so I can wallow in my misery . . . 

I have that same vase, by the way.

See how they go in any interior? I didn't even see the one hiding in the corner of this room until Google found it for me.

And lastly, even Sex and the City got in on the DD action (I think these chests were in her Vogue editor Candice Bergen's office)

So, do you have any crazy Craigslist stories of the ones that got away?