Sunday, February 28, 2010

Winter Olympics

This rustic slash vintage slash formal living room is inspired by the Winter Olympics. Sure the Olympics are pretty much over but in my defense I was too busy actually watching the Olympics plus we lost electricity here because of apocalyptic winds. Yes I am one of those people who loves the Olympics and watches them every night. I don't really even like sports (except baseball) but for some reason every four years I get into the spirit and root for Team USA during events in which I'm not even sure what's going on (Nordic Combined anyone??). So this room is my homage to the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, home design style.

So, first I started with a white rug to represent snow and to coordinate with the red sofa and blue chair (red, white, and blue). I also added the sheepskin pouf because it's white and reminds me of one of those hand warmers that women used to wear in the olden days. The wall mounted gel fuel fireplace represents the Olympic flame. The 3 mirrors above the fireplace are symbols of the gold, silver, and bronze medals and the bench in front of the fireplace looks like a sled and also its golden hue symbolizes going for the gold! I selected the light fixture because it is comprised of rings like the Olympic symbol.

The wooden antique skis hanging on the wall represent my favorite aspect of the games, alpine skiing. I chose the famous Jasper Johns flag print not just because it is the flag of my country but also as a representative of all the flags from the countries with athletes participating in the games. I also added a vintage poster from the 1936 Berlin Games. Rounding out the room, I added wallpaper that has a damask pattern reminiscent of big white snowflakes. Usually I'm not a fan of accent walls but I would probably only paper the wall in back of the sofa in this strong pattern.


Tyler Rug (8x10 - $699) from Crate and Barrel
Sheepskin Pouf ($299) from West Elm
Rouge Orient sofa ($4389) from Horchow
Astrid Chair ($1998) from Anthropologie
WallMount GelFuel Fireplace ($199.99) from Target
Set of 3 Round Wall Mirrors ($39.99) from JCPenney
Brody walnut finish French bench ($209.99) from
Varaluz 27' Chandelier ($689.91) from Lamps Plus
1900's Norwegian Kids Skis ($275) from
Jasper Johns, Flag 1954 ($179) from Room and Board
Sophie Damask Wallpaper (2 rolls $80) from Modern Chic Home

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Inspired by cheap: Quilts

Quilts seem to be everywhere right now thanks in part to the vintage trend but mostly because quilts are timeless. Here I want to show you a few price options for some similar patchwork quilts.

My first offering, the Carmel Quilt set, comes from Walmart. The queen size also comes with two shams and is only $59.88.

Next up is the Jill quilt from JCPenney. The full/queen size doesn't come with shams but it is currently on sale for more than 50% off at only $54.99!

Lastly is the Pottery Barn Provident Patchwork Quilt. A full/queen does not come with shams and is a bit pricey at $179.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Shawshank Redemption

This somewhat bleak dining room is inspired by the movie The Shawshank Redemption. I wanted to challenge myself with a theme that seemed slightly impossible. Who would want a dining room based off a prison movie? Well, I'm not sure I succeeded considering this room doesn't really look anything like a stark prison in the 1940s but it does look livable, if gray and brown tones are your sort of thing.

The first piece I chose was the French poetry rug because the French novel The Count of Monte Cristo is mentioned in the film as well as having a very similar theme (man escapes after being falsely imprisoned). Next I selected the Rita Hayworth print because the title of the novella the movie is based on is called "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption" also *SPOILER ALERT* the hole through which Andy escapes is covered with a Rita Hayworth poster.

The table and chairs were chosen because they are rustic like I imagine 1940s prison cafeteria furniture would look like, if they were more stylized of course.The wire basket in the center of the table is there because when I think prison I think fences and when I think fences I think barbed wire. If this were an actual room I would put vibrant red apples in the basket in order to cheer the place up a bit. I chose the pebble dinnerware because the character Andy has a rock collection. And the vintage keys are there because they remind me of jailer's keys hanging on the wall just out of reach from the prisoners.

In the movie the corrupt warden has a sampler hanging in his office that reads "His Judgement Cometh and that Right Soon..." It's hard to see but the sampler I included says "What if the Hokey Pokey is what it's all about?" because I thought room needed a little levity and whimsy.

I think the one bare lightbulb fixture adds to the no-frills prison vibe. The crow sculpture and the bird cupboard were selected because in the film the character Brooks has a pet crow named Jake. It's hard to tell but the curtains are gray and white striped which is supposed to represent striped prison uniforms (even though they aren't featured in the movie) and prison cell bars. Lastly I included the cage wine bottle holder because it looks like a little jail cell...for wine.

Paint color is Gray Mirage by Benjamin Moore which I think makes my fourth or fifth gray room. I promise I will lay off the gray for awhile!


Bewick Cupboard ($3,998) from Anthropologie
Le Poeme Rug (8x10 - $490) from Ballard Designs
Rita Hayworth poster ($29.99) from Movie Goods
Distressed Wood Frame ($29.70) from
Metropolitan Chair ($139) from CB2
Modern Farm Dining Table ($599) from West Elm
Handmade Oval Wire Basket ($34) from Wisteria 
Pebble Dinnerware ($51.80 - $79.80) from Z Gallerie
Vintage Keys set of 7 ($19) from Pottery Barn
Hokey Pokey embroidered sampler ($15) from Etsy
Burnside Pendant light ($114) from Rejuvenation
Primitive Iron Crow Sculpture ($29.99) from The HomeCraft Cottage
Thomas O'Brien Striped Linen Sheers ($24.99 - $29.99) from Target
Metal Wine Cage ($199) from Restoration Hardware

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Getting to Know You

This week I'm a little slow with producing a room (it's already Wednesday and all I have is an idea) so I thought I'd tell a little bit about myself because this is the internet and where else can I talk about myself with wild abandonment? Well, not exactly wild.

Who are you?

I am a stay-at-home mom who lives in New Hampshire. I am neither a graphic nor an interior designer. The only degree I have is a Bachelor's in English.

Why did you start this blog?

I love design and I love to internet window shop. I also usually hate theme rooms so I thought I'd challenge myself to make theme rooms that aren't so bad. If I do say so myself.
What is your personal design aesthetic?

I generally like a little bit of everything. The only design aesthetics I do not like are overly sterile barren rooms and overly cluttered rooms. I like a happy medium and I like personality. I also tend to gravitate towards cool colors.

What would you dream room look like?

Well, I'm not really sure. I've seen rooms that capture certain elements I love but I've never seen one (including my own) that is absolutely perfect for me. I don't know if that's because my standards are too high, because I change my mind easily, or there is no such thing as perfect anything. The last one is probably the case. I do really like this room I found on Flickr from the now defunct Domino magazine. It's a very lovely bedroom and I wouldn't mind sleeping here at all.

I love the soothing blue tones and the art hanging above the bed. That being said, if this were my room there are some things that I would do differently. I'm not fond of rice paper lamps so the one above the bed would have to go. I would also use different table lamps. Maybe these lamps from West Elm instead:

I think the truth in all design is most of us are really just working with the elements we already have. In all likelihood that bedroom's occupant sorta just ended up with those lamps (assuming it's not a staged room). That's probably true for about 90% of the stuff I own. Something was a good deal or someone gave it to me or I found it. I just try to make my home look pretty with what I've got. And if I had a decent camera I would show you some of my things.

Thank you for reading this and thank you for reading my blog.