Thursday, January 20, 2011

So I bought two of these pillows from Crate and Barrel:

I'm looking for a couch to put them on. I've never been a fan of leather but now that I have a child I realize our light-colored fabric couch is not so practical.

I think I've settled on the Nick sofa from Macy's:
I like the lines and the price is right. It's a little dark but I realize that's something I need to get used to when it comes to leather.  My favorite is the IKEA Stockholm sofa but leave it to me to find the only piece of furniture in IKEA that's not cheap. I just can't justify the $1500 for a couch that probably won't last more than five years.
Now I need to figure out a paint color that won't bring down the dark furniture. Currently our living room is Twig Basket by Behr.

The color reads darker and greener on the wall. I love it but we're in the process of looking for a new house (more on that later) and I want to do something different. 


Friday, December 31, 2010

The Cat in The Hat

Long time no see! Way back in June I created this dining room inspired by Dr. Seuss book The Cat in the Hat. It took me weeks to create an adult room based on a children's book. Then, apparently I promptly forgot about it. I've been busy with parenting and life. Plus, honestly, my creative steam ran out because it takes a lot of work to create these rooms and while I enjoy it tremendously, I don't have enough traffic to justify the time I put into it. 

So, since I created this room about 5 million years ago I have lost the links to all the items. I can still talk about the inspiration, though. The Cat in the Hat has only four colors: red, white, turquoise, and black.The vintage number signs represent Thing 1 and Thing 2. The striped rug is for the Cat's striped hat. The neat fish bowl is, of course, in honor of the fish who tries to maintain control of the situation in the book. I had to include a cat print. I really just wanted to create a kind of wacky feeling the book has in dining room form.

I hope to be back posting things here and there. It's my New Year's resolution!

Monday, April 19, 2010

"No two stools are the same"

So about a year ago I stumbled across this table? stool? aboriginal drum? while shopping at The Christmas Tree Shop . I wasn't exactly sure what it was but it was only three bucks and I thought it would make a cute table to put next to my son's reading chair.

Cut to last week when I was perusing through my new CB2 catalog and I saw this:

Well, whaddaya know it's a stool (for sitting on, not for standing on). I was a bit surprised to see the $50 price tag. (Right now it looks as if it's marked down to $29.95 so if you're in the market for a stool made in India, act now!!) Granted this one looks about double the size of mine but still, I think three bucks was a pretty good deal.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Trading Spaces: $2000 challenge (revisited)

You may remember last November I created a bedroom inspired by the television show Trading Spaces in which everything in it totaled under $2000.  This week I decided to make a living room utilizing that same concept.  Everything in this room totals under $2000 (albeit only 23 cents under) plus no two items are from the same store. In my head I created the scenario that for some reason I have no worldy possessions and I am given only $2000 to design an entire room (much like they do on Trading Spaces). I figure at this rate I'll eventually get a whole  house on here (minus the kitchen because it's impossible to design an entire kitchen from scratch for under $2000).

In some ways I think the bedroom was more successful, mainly because it feels more complete. If this living room were an actual room it would look a bit sparse. Since this whole thing is fantasy anyway, I'm going to declare this room to be a very small area with only two windows.  Because of this "obstacle" I had to choose items that were smaller scaled. The sofa and cabinet are both on the smaller side . The rug is only 5x7 and I selected a round coffee table rather than a rectangular one because of its less overwhelming footprint.

Some items I splurged on, the lamp cost almost double what the cabinet cost and the side table and mirror are almost the same price as the coffee table. But I didn't want it to be a room filled with cheap items. I think it's possible to shop on a budget and not have to cut every corner.

I struggled with finding the right paint color and I'm not sure I succeeded. This room is supposed to be in my taste (on a budget) and blue is my favorite color but I didn't want to use blue because it's the color of the wall in the $2000 bedroom. I generally don't like warm colors so oranges, yellows, and browns were out. I was reluctant to use green because it seems like I use a whole lot of green paint on this blog. However, given the parameters, I felt green is the color that works the best with the room. Behr's Corn Husk Green is a fresh green with brown and yellow undertones.

And now for the cost breakdown:

Cameron Sofa from JC Penney:  $599
Sauder Vinegate Storage Tower from Wal Mart:  $109
5x7 African Suns rug from Urban Outfitters:  $68
Vejmon coffee table from IKEA:  $149
Uttermost Reena Blue Glass lamp from Lamps Plus:  $191.91
Martini Side Table from West Elm: $129
angelo:HOME Harlow Chair from $289.99
Damask set of 2 pillows from Target: $24.99
Rise 6 framed print from Z Gallerie: $99.95
Fluted Wooden Mirror from Modern Chic Home: $129
Crackle White Vase from Pottery Barn: $69
Mehendi Vase from Anthropologie: $16
Shallow Oval Tray from Crate and Barrel: $19.95
Medallion Roman Shades 36x62 from World Market: $39.99 x 2 = $79.98
Corn Husk Green paint from Behr (1 gallon): $25

Grand total = $1999.77

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Secret Garden

So, spring is officially here and I thought I would welcome it with a room based on Frances Hodgson Burnett's book The Secret Garden. The plot centers around a young English girl named Mary whose family is wiped out from the Cholera outbreak in India. She is then sent to live with her uncle in a large house on the English Moors. She is left to her own devices and wanders around the large estate until she stumbles upon a huge almost barren garden. She works with the garden until it is restored to its once beautiful splendor.

Most of the items in the room are either Victorian or garden related. The book takes place during the Victorian era so as a nod to that time period I added a Victorian inspired chaise lounge, chandelier, and linen cabinet.

As For the garden aspect, I first chose a lush green rug that is reminiscent of grass and ivy. The bedding is from Target's new Liberty of London line and is really the only brightly colored aspect of the whole room. I added the green beetle pillow for visual interest and to tone down the floral pattern. The Forest Canopy Bed is crazy expensive ($5300) but I had to include it because it perfectly fits the theme. Next came the botanical wall hangings. Their dark background adds to the Moorish quality I wanted to achieve. Every garden needs a garden stool so I added a simple white one to use as a side table for the chaise. The open window mirror is in reference to the character Colin who was holed up in his room for 10 years with only windows to view the outside world. The beautiful glass terrariums are another way to bring the garden indoors. The felted European robin is in reference to the robin that leads Mary to the garden in the first place. I would put it in the branches of the bed for a small touch.  The delicate curtains continue the green throughout the room.

I love the birch tree wallpaper but I think an entire room of it would be too much so I would put it just on the wall behind the bed and paint rest of the walls in Benjamin Moore's Vienna Green.


Edie Chaise in Moss ($550) from Urban Outfitters
Antique Green White Leaf Clear Drops Chandelier ($279.91) from Lamps Plus
Edland Linen Cabinet ($399) from IKEA
Hand-tufted Green leaves wool rug (5x8 - $129.69) from
Liberty of London Sixty Duvet set ($69.99) from 
Green Beetle Pillow ($68) from Whispering Pines
Forest Canopy Bed ($5298) from Anthropologie
Apple Tree and Orchid Bontanical Posters ($98 ea.) from Evolution
Palmer Stool ($129.95) from Z Gallerie
An Inward-Looking Mirror ($119) from Wisteria
Roost Recycled Glass Bubble Terrariums ($99 - $165) from Velocity
European felted robin ($47) from
Field Greens Curtain ($34.99) from ModCloth
Woods Wallpaper ($198) from Anthropologie

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Big Boy Room phase 1

We're doing something a little different today. Instead of making a room based on a theme I'm asking you to indulge me in my quest to plan my son's big boy room. He's only two and still sleeping in Mommy and Daddy's room so this is only the preliminary (or phase 1) plan. Right now, his bedroom is more of a playroom.

He already has a few elements that will remain and therefore dictate the look and color of anything new in the room. The bookcase, Cubs clock (sentimental value), and strapping bin will stay. The bright blue paint color and disorganization (hopefully) will not be staying.

He also has this IKEA table and chairs set:

And this green PB Anywhere Chair:

Because his current stuff is so colorful my dreams of a rustic/camp/nature room (like this) will not come to fruition. But I always say that real life design is working with what you have or found or got on sale.  

So with that in mind, I created a mood board of  items we already have mixed with items we'd like to have:

You may recognize that bed from the aforementioned Charlie Brown room.  I love the natural wood and clean lines but its $899 price tag is a bit steep so I will probably have to scour unfinished furniture stores (and thrift shops) for something similar. Likewise for the wool Jonathan Adler apple pillow. I love it but I can't justify spending $178 for a child's pillow so I will probably get something like this lovely apple pillow for only $35 from Etsy:

For the bedding I wanted something young but not too young so it can grow with him. I also don't want something with licensed characters or something with graphics like trucks or trains (just in case he's not into trucks or trains in 3 years). I chose this Pottery Barn Madras Quilt because it fits all the above criteria and I just love the way it looks slightly rustic and slightly beach housey.

For the rug I was considering going neutral to anchor all the color going on everywhere else but I fell in love with the Haba Town Carpet and had to include it in the room. I think it looks so vibrant and cheerful, perfect for a kid's room. I'm thinking my son would rather play pretend on this rug versus a boring white flokati rug.

For wall art I chose an adorable Morgan Carver rocketship print (with Ribba Frame), a sweet Cookie Loves Milk wall decal, and a great abacus.

Finally I chose dark blue and light blue bins for his already existing bookcase. Paint color is Stem Green by Benjamin Moore but I will probably be using its much more inexpensive twin Olympic Paint's Lime Green.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Wooden soda crates

Lately I've been spotting vintage soda wooden crates in home tour pics. They are an inexpensive way to add  interest to a room and they also have a multitude of functions. You can turn them upside down and make a table or you can stack them and make a bookcase (to name a few). In fact, an old 7up crate is holding up my computer tower and modem. You can go two ways with wooden crates: vintage or new made to look vintage.

Here are some various vintage soda crates in different sizes from Three Potato Four, prices range from $25-$30.

Pottery Barn is also getting in on the action, they now have vintage Pepsi crates that are only $24 each.

And if you're looking for a brand spanking new soda crate then try this generic one from Target for $38.99. But personally I would go vintage because it has more personality plus it's cheaper!