Friday, June 3, 2011

Eye candy for my house

I stumbled on this site this morning. It's awesome.

Lonny Magazine

I wish my house looked like some of these rooms. Sigh.

But, more importantly, the site has galleries grouped by room, of photos that have appeared in the magazine. It's under the "Decorate" tab. Hello, inspiration! At the tip of your fingers, no less.

Image source: Lonny Magazine

These are a couple of my favorites. The bedroom is from a spread in the March/April 2011 issue of an Upper East Side home. The whole spread is like eye candy. Check that. The whole SITE is like eye candy.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Today, I was reading my blog roll and was inspired by this post from one of my favorite blogs.

Which gave me the idea to do the same. It's sometimes nice to keep a running tab on all those little (and big) projects that need done. I do have a mental list, but as someone who likes to make "To Do" lists and relishes marking things off them, this was much more fun.

But "honey do" projects scare the hell out of Jeremy, so I'm not going to show this to him... Lest he run screaming from our home never to be seen again. He obviously doesn't get the same satisfaction that I do from marking things off "To Do" lists.

Well, here it is: (sorta in order it will hopefully get done)

  • new ceiling fan in master bedroom
  • buy and put up an outbuilding
  • finish cutting up tree that fell in our backyard and fix fence
  • put the railing back up in the living room along the staircase
  • finish out flooring in doorways going down the hallway
  • weatherize around windows
  • completely redo master bathroom (new flooring, fixtures, light fixtures, you name it)
  • do something about water problem in driveway
  • tear out stone flower bed in front yard (it's falling over) and flower bed along front of house
  • paint half bath
  • replace doors on master bedroom closet with mirrored doors
  • get a closet system for master bedroom closet
  • buy a high-top table and bar stools for family room
  • find and buy rugs for living room and dining room that I like
  • replace sliding glass door in family room
  • expand flower bed in back yard
  • replace carpet in blue bedroom and master bedroom
  • replace carpet in family room with some type of wood flooring or Berber carpet
  • redo kitchen (new flooring, cabinets, countertop, light fixture, paint, possibly appliances)
  • build a breakfast bar in kitchen and open up wall into dining room
  • new furniture in office
  • new gutters/soffit
  • new siding/shutters
  • new front door
  • build a deck
  • new furniture in living room
If John and Sherry can attack their list with so much gusto, then so can I. Except, they probably have a little more DIY knowledge than I do... But I guess that's how you learn.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A New Place to Buy Mid-Century Modern Furniture in Charleston

Yesterday, my office took our receptionist out for lunch to commemorate Administrative Assistant's Day at one of our favorite lunch haunts downtown. After we ate, we peeked in a couple of the shops on Hale Street on the way back to where we'd parked. I got a first-hand look into Charleston's newest, and probably most unique, furniture store, Modern by Design.

It's owned by Chuck and Connie Hamsher, who also own The Purple Moon right around the corner.

Here's a link to the news story that ran about the opening a few weeks ago. The items in Modern by Design, however, are slightly different from those sold in The Purple Moon--they're all new. Modern by Design is the answer to many customers wishes that mid-century modern pieces were either 1) more budget-friendly or 2) customizeable. The items in Modern by Design are all re-issued pieces of iconic items such as Eames chairs, arc floor lamps, and glove chairs.

The store is unbelievable--like eye-candy every direction you look! It looks like the set of Mad Men, and touches of the Mad Men look are so hot right now, from home furnishings to fashions. I've actually been contemplating an arc lamp for my "Frank Sinatra Lounge" family room for months. If I'm loungin' and watching tv, I think the overhead lights are too harsh. I have a cheap-o floor lamp that does the job and is fairly neutral in style, but I think an arc lamp behind the couch in the corner would be awesome.

Mid-century modern is trendy right now, but like any style it can be tricky to pull off without your home actually looking like the set of Mad Med. I think a lot of people assume that if you want to have some pieces, say a couch, you have to have it all match. But these pieces look best TODAY when they are tempered with some other pieces, such as Swedish furniture (think Ikea's clean, angular lines) or Hollywood Regency (metallics, glossy blacks and whites, geometric patterns). Modern by Design is one more place to buy furniture, but I wouldn't go out on a limb and say you should completely outfit a room from a single store. Personally, I hope to still collect some vintage pieces, while adding in some reissued new pieces.

This is what I still need for my "lounge":

Photo source

Duncan bar cart from Restoration Hardware

bar table
and stools
from Ikea

dark bamboo wood flooring
white shag area rug

I also need to find a recliner, which is Jeremy's only request. However, Todd Oldham has a line of furniture and did a line for La-Z-Boy a few years ago, so hopefully we find something comfy that doesn't look icky. It'll be the biggest challenge. That, and finding the funds to pay for all of this above. Baby steps, I keep telling myself...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bringing a little bit of spring inside

I know it has been ages since I've updated this blog. Okay, it's been 2 months and three-ish weeks to be precise.

I just got past my most busy time at my job. I'm not even kidding. I lived at my office the last two weeks pretty much. I went home to sleep (sometimes 6 hours or less) and shower.

But, last Sunday was a beautiful day. And having finished up at my office after 1 am on Saturday night, I was delighted to have a whole day of leisure to waste away. But it was so pretty outside. So, I did will myself to shower and dress and head outside for about an hour and a half.

I swept off the patio and contemplated if it was too early to get our fire pit out and make a fire in it Sunday night. It probably was. It was nice and sunny, but the wind was a little chilly. I also cleaned leaves out of my flower bed and picked sticks up out of the yard that had blown out of the trees when we had a hellacious storm a couple weeks ago.

And I picked some flowers. And cut some frosythia. And made this.

It's just so cheerful. And it kinda has perked me up every morning since Sunday that I've stumbled into the dining room half awake at about 7:09 a.m. to get some caffeine, er water, and eat breakfast. I'm not a morning person, so every little bit helps.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Let's get out the "big girl" dishes.

A popular toy for little girls is a plastic tea set. I think I had a couple. Strawberry Shortcake or Smurfs patterns, if I had to guess. I served many a pretend meals on these. It was never tea, though. I grew up in the country. We didn't do tea time. It probably was green beans. That was my favorite food when I was little.

Since we've lived in our house, I've hosted an early Christmas dinner and exchanged presents with my dad and brother on the 23rd. Christmas Eve Eve, if you will.

The first year, I did a take on Feast of the Seven Fishes. I think last year, I made one of my dad's favorite pasta dishes. It's never turkey and the fixins'. We get enough of that on the days that follow. This year, I made one of Jeremy's recent favorite dishes, Stout Braised Short Ribs. They did not disappoint, I can assure you. Read more about the recipe here.

Before everyone arrived, I was setting the table with my regular Fiestaware, and thought I should break out the fine china I got for my wedding. I've never used it. What a shame to have it and to have never used it, I thought. But I didn't stop there. I put out the nice glasses and even cloth napkins.

For a centerpiece, I usually use paperwhites that I force bloom. I LOVE LOVE LOVE paperwhites. There's something so elegant to the pale delicate blooms in your house around the holidays. I always put them in clear vases with glass pebbles instead of the dirt the bulb kits always come with. The last few years, I've bought the Smith & Hawken kit at Target. But this year, I didn't get them in time, and didn't get them started in time for Christmas. So, I dumped a container of plastic ornaments in a bowl and called it a day. The ornaments perfectly match the bowl and the cool blues and greens scheme in my dining room. Easy-peasy!

In the background is my aluminum tree. I love that thing.

And, we are having some friends over for New Year's Eve. So, even though my paperwhites didn't make it to the Christmas party, looks like someone besides me will get to enjoy them tomorrow before they die.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Aluminum or evergreen?

or both?

I FINALLY got my trees decorated. To my credit, the trees were up for a week but I just hadn't decorated them. We always get a real tree. My husband's a forester, so it's kinda a given. Plus, it's just tradition. Growing up, we always had a real tree, and half the fun was going to pick it out.

This year's tree is... well... a little small. But it was FREE. Like it was crowding my father-in-law's fruit trees, so he wanted it outta there. And there's two more that are smaller than this one. So, I guess we've got our trees lined up for the next couple years.  According to the hubs it's a Norway Spruce. Really short needles, and nice flexible branches, so it's easy to get ornaments placed just where you want.

The other one is in my dining room. It's an antique aluminum tree that I bought last year from The Purple Moon. I LOVE it. When I was in third grade, our teacher brought a tree like this in from home and we decorated it. I'll bet my grandparents had one at some point. Apparently, they fell out of favor when "A Charlie Brown Christmas" came out because they kinda knock aluminum trees and how Christmas became so commercialized. Now they're collector's items. All the decoration they really need are some simple bulbs.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Evolution of a dining room.

Decorating seems like a never-ending project.
Dining room during our walk-through when we bought the house--June 2007.

Dining room right after we bought furniture--April 2009.

I bought the light fixture after we painted. We had different furniture picked out that was wood. About the color of the light fixture. When we brought home this furniture, I realized the light fixture stuck out like a sore thumb. So, I began looking for something else. Only problem is, I'm picky. And I didn't want to pay $800 for a light fixture.

I especially like the vintage saucers on the wall. They are Fiestaware, Luray, Harlequin and Franciscan Starburst.

Dining room with new light fixture and curtains, and more plates on the wall--November 2010.

This summer, I was in the West Elm store in Columbus, Ohio. I spotted this light fixture and knew it was exactly what I was looking for. Drum pendant. White or neutral. And best of all, less than $100.

I picked up the new plates last weekend when I was at the Fiestaware outlet in Flatwoods. I wanted to get vintage, but it's expensive in the bigger pieces. These are seconds, so they were about the same price--or cheaper, as the vintage saucers.

Next on the list is a rug and a china cabinet. I have my china displayed in a nice cabinet that my Mom gave me  when she redid her kitchen/dining room. It just doesn't match. One of these days, maybe I will be "finished." Probably just in time to start thinking about a new paint color...