Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dunkin Donuts


This bedroom is inspired by Dunkin Donuts. Yes that's right, Dunkin Donuts. It all started when I called my husband asking if he had any ideas for a potential theme. He said: "What about Dunkin Donuts?" I'm fairly certain that at the time he was driving by one of the million Dunkin Donuts establishments located in our state. I'm also fairly certain he was joking. Little did he know I would embrace the challenge and create a teen girl's pink dream bedroom to boot.  

Pretty much everything in this room is meant to conjure up feelings of eating doughnuts and drinking coffee while visiting a Dunkin Donuts. The color scheme was easy because every Dunkin Donuts is decked out in hot pink, orange, and brown. The striped Flor tiles contain all three of the colors, as does the striped bedding. I chose the bed because it is orange, and has a circle pattern that is reminiscent of doughnuts. "Mmmmm doughnuts" (I'm sorry the Homer Simpson reference had to come out at least once in this piece). The cappuccino mug lamp was an obvious choice. Actually I think this is my  most obvious theme to date. Especially with the abundance of blatant coffee references: coffee cup clock, coffee cup wall art, and an actual ceramic coffee cup (made to look like a paper cup) on the desk. I also chose the nightstand and the desk because they remind of a latte with their dark brown bottoms and white tops. Plus the velvet curtain's rich dark coffee color. But I think I can get away with the obviousness a little more with this room because it's meant for a teenager.

Next came the doughnut touches. I definitely didn't want to overdo it with the doughnuts. Because what teenage girl would decorate her room with doughnuts? Well, I might have but that's another story. There are the really cute ceramic sweet treat boxes (doughnut, cupcake, and cake slice) and I thought the reclaimed 45 record mirror looked like little vinyl doughnuts all around. Finally I selected the pink chair because fiberglass shell chairs always remind of chairs you'd see in a fast food joint (or a Dunkin Donuts in this case). In retrospect perhaps a caffeine and sugar themed bedroom isn't the most relaxing way to go?


Kayla bedding ($79.99/full, $24.99/sham) from JCPenney
Ribba Frame ($9.99) from IKEA


Friday, January 22, 2010

Sensible Chic

This week's rooms are inspired by the HGTV show Sensible Chic. The premise behind the show is creating a budget-friendly room based off a higher-end designer room. I tried to do that here with these two mid-century modern inspired rooms. Along the way I ran into a few obstacles, the main one being it's hard to create an item that looks just like another more expensive item without being able to dress it up a bit. I don't have the luxury of paint and tools to create something out of a thrift store find. If these were actual tangible rooms I probably would have made the cheap art myself to make it look like the expensive art in the first room.

So, I give you these rooms each designed with brand new products hot off the internet. At first glance I think it's pretty easy to tell the first room in the pricey one. I think the rug and solid walnut cabinet give it away the most. Clocking in at $11,420 the swanky room cost over $9,000 more than the less expensive room, which only totaled $2305.88.

I think I actually prefer the chair and the rug from the cheapo room but for the most part if I could afford it, I'd rather live in the high-end room. Who could pass up that ceramic horse?

Brooks upholstered chair ($849) from Pottery Barn
Vitra George Nelson Spindle clock ($480) from Velocity Art and Design
Spike/Pool hand-tufted wool rug (8x10 - $1699) from Angela Adams
Solid walnut storage cabinet ($2199) from Room and Board
Large ceramic horse ($395) from Jonathan Adler
Bantam Sofa - 86" ($1683) from Design Within Reach
Legna Lightbox 3 wall art ($1500) from JefDesigns
Kina Pendant light ($875) from Design Within Reach
Thomas Paul Bird Cage Linen Pillow ($100) from Design Public
Thomas Paul Daisy Linen Pillow ($100) from Design Public
Chinnery White Horse framed photo ($1495) from Jayson Home and Garden
Benjamin Moore paint in Dolphin ($45 a gal.)

Total = $11,420

Corona Sofa ($699) from Macy's
Athens Upholstered Chair - Cinnabar ($254.15) from Target
Modern Design Spindle Wall Clock ($45) from Vintage Looks 
Hand-tufted New Zealand Wool Rug (8' x 11' - $334.89) from
Angled-Leg Sideboard ($649) from West Elm
White Ceramic Imperial Horse ($79) from Z Gallerie
Little Bird Pillow ($29.95) from CB2
NY Folk Pillow ($29.95) from CB2
Shadow Field 1 wall art ($99.95) from Z Gallerie
Boja pendant light ($59.99) from IKEA
Behr paint in Hidden Peak ($25 gal)

Total = $2305.88

Savings of $9114.12

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Inspired By Cheap: Modern Cribs

The world of cribs is filled with numerous styles and price ranges but it still remains that an inexpensive modern crib is hard to find. Most of the time if you tack on the word 'modern' you also end up paying extra. But I have noticed that in the past few years the selection has definitely gotten better. So for another thrilling episode of "Inspired By Cheap" I offer you a few modern crib choices:.

First let me show you the crib that has inspired the lines of  pretty much every other modern crib, the Oeuf Classic:

It's beautiful but retails for $920. Not exactly cheap for something that will be used for maybe 3 years tops (it does convert to a toddler bed). Before my son was born two years ago I remember this was pretty much THE crib to have and there were very few choices in the modern and cheap category.

That doesn't seem to be the case anymore. I weeded through what's out there and I think I found the best alternatives for the best prices.

I like the Babyletto Modo Crib in Espresso:

I actually like the looks of this crib more than the Ouef. I'm not sure if the quality is as good but again, we're only dealing with a short time frame and as long as it's safe, I'm happy. I found this crib on numerous websites but managed to find the best deal on It's $379 and with their insanely cheap shipping it comes out to $382.94. I did find the crib for cheaper on the Babies-R-U but it's currently out of stock and with shipping it comes out to $387.49.

Walmart probably offers the best deal for a similar look. Their Baby Mod Olivia crib is only $299.88 and shipping is free (if you pick it up at one of their kabillion stores).

I really don't think the stock picture does it justice (that bedding is kind of ugly) but from what I hear the quality is good and it also converts into a toddler bed.

Or,  you could just get the best deal on the planet and pay only $99.99 for an IKEA Gulliver crib:

This perennial favorite doesn't convert but it has a nice clean look and its cheap. And you can't beat that.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Secret History

This room is inspired by the book The Secret History by Donna Tartt. The book takes place during the early-mid '80s at the fictional Hampden College in Vermont. The lead characters are students who are part of an exclusive group that studies Ancient Greek. The plot also includes murder and intrigue but we won't concern ourselves with that today. For this room I mainly wanted to focus on three aspects: the eighties, Ancient Greek, and college decor.

The first thing I did was choose a sofa that reminded me of something I'd see in a college common room in 1985. The fireplace is a must for cold Vermont winters and I chose this one because it has columns reminiscent of Greek structures. I also chose the mirror over the fireplace because of its columns. The vase I placed beside the mirror is a modern take on a Grecian urn. It's flat rather than rounded and has a shiny silver glaze. The statue of Nike on the fireplace is another nod to the Greek theme. As is the vintage Greek plate, floral plaster plaque and framed map of Ancient Greece.

I found it difficult to achieve a 1980s look without it also looking overly cheesy. Currently retro is alive and well in design but it really only extends to the '70s. The framed Vermont print reminds me of a framed paint-by-number picture hanging in someone's family room in the suburbs in 1982. The Ikat patterned curtains totally (to the max) say 1980s to me as does the wool hooked hibiscus pillow in the chair. The ceiling light incorporates the neo-classical design that was popular in the 80s as well is a little Greek architecture into the mix. If you look closely you'll notice the light's ceramic bowl is etched with Grecian-like patterns.

The large red clock brings color up from the rug on to the wall and also looks vaguely Greek inspired. I chose the houndstooth chair because college isn't college without professors wearing houndstooth leather elbowed jackets. Finally the patterned rug has an '80s influence and also brings interest to the room.


Fleur Plaque ($99) from Ballard Designs

Monday, January 11, 2010

Inspired By Cheap: Update

Update: I found an even better deal on the "Cyrus" mirror from my previous post. It's only $169 at ZGallerie. The only difference I can tell is they call it the "Devon Mirror". Let's see if we can continue to discover this mirror for less and less money. Maybe I'll eventually find it for $0!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Inspired by Cheap: Mirrors

Because of  time constraints (mainly involving raising a two year old), it takes me about a week to create one room which (if you're doing the math) means only one post per week. So, in the interest of branching out I'm starting a new segment called "Inspired By Cheap". I will be doing something along the lines of "get this look for less" or "get this item for less".

This week I'm focusing on the surprising price discrepancy I noticed between two mirrors at four different stores.

First item is this metal white shell mirror:

Usually I assume everything at Target is going to be cheaper than items at higher-end stores but here is an example where this is not the case. This shell mirror is $99.99 at Target but at Country Curtains (a usually much more expensive store) the mirror is only $88.

The next item is this heavy silver-leaf Cyrus mirror:

When I think Neiman Marcus I think exorbitantly high priced items. When I think Home Decorator's Collection (a Home Depot subsidiary) I think moderately priced items. After all, their tagline is "Where value and selection come home". But in the case if this beautiful mirror it is surprisingly cheaper at Neiman Marcus where it's $199 than at Home Decorator's where it's $279 Even the shipping and freight charges rack up the price more at HD.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Caribbean Cruise

This bathroom is inspired by a Caribbean Cruise, focusing more on the cruise part than the Caribbean part. Now that the holidays are over and the winter doldrums have begun I figure we all need a nice warm tropical vacation. Since that's not a possibility for me I decided to make a bathroom that feels like a vacation. I've been on two cruises, one to Bermuda and one to the Western Caribbean, and with this room I wanted to create the feeling of those cruises without the additions of palm trees and pink coral.

First I selected iridescent blue floor tile that looks like water and a bathtub that looks like a large ship docked in the water. Next I chose a modern sink that matches the look of the bathtub but also reminds me of a something I'd see on a the lido deck, perhaps a small fountain near the pool? I did something different this time and decided to paint the walls white and put laminate wood planks on the ceiling. Because the floor is so BLUE I wanted to keep the linens simple and used white towels. The brass mirror is made to look like a cabin porthole. Other brass elements are the towel ring, the vintage inspired towel rack, and the hurricane lantern. Since it's a boat theme why not bathe by lamplight rather than candlelight? To bring the blue up to eye level I added two photographic prints, one of the Blue Hole at Lighthouse Reef in Belize and the other of a rusted boat hull. Finally the teak bath stool and teak mirror light add to the wood accents. Bon Voyage!

World Imports Schon bathtub ($2142) from
Iridescent Sphere Blue Circles ($14.50 for 12x12 sheets) from
Villeroy and Boch Aveo vanity unit ($2329) from Home and Stone
Armstrong Knotty Pine Ceiling Plank ($78.92) from Lowes
Waverly Home 6-pc. Towel Set ($37.99) from Target
Blue Hole, Lighthouse Reef, Belize framed print (18x22 - $99.99) from
Bronze Cabin Porthole Mirror ($210) from Cottage and Bungalow
Inspirations Vestige Towel Ring ($39.99) from Sears
Covington Train Rack ($129) from Pottery Barn
Anchor Lantern ($119.97) from Vermont Lanterns
Mister Bell's Boat print (12x18 - $55) from Cottage and Bungalow
36 Plein Air Premier frame ($48.95) from
Teak Bath Lighting Double Sconce ($69.99) from West Elm
Teak Bath Stool ($129) from West Elm