Monday, May 30, 2011

Shelf Finds a New Home

I found this shelf at Phantastic Phinds, which is a great consignment shop not too far from work or home.    I really loved the details on the sides and thought it would be a nice piece to add somewhere in our home.   It has three shelves and the shelves are a decent width to add artwork or knick knacks.

I liked the color of the stain but from the start had envisioned painting it, which I did.  Yellow spraypaint, that is (I think Rustoleum).

Isn't it pretty?

The next question was "Where is it going to go?"  I had thought about my 9 month-old daughter's room which would be perfect but there isn't a ton of wall space left in her room to accommodate this piece.  I had also thought about the dining room because I thought it would add a lot of character, but decided against that because the one wall I had thought about placing it may have another piece of furniture on it soon.  So then I had remembered that we were in desperate need of some storage in our bathroom - our only full bathroom which is teeny tiny I tell you.   And it ended up being the perfect spot and perfect size for above the toilette.  

Those two pieces of art to the left of the shelf were give to me by my Mom - her friend's Mother had painted those in 1979 and I loved them.  Thanks Mom!  

Now the fun part - finding some things to store on the shelf.

What do you think?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Speaking of Windsor Chairs

I'm really liking the look of the Windsor with a cushion...mmmm.....

Via House Beautiful

I also saw a photo in the most recent House Beautiful of Windsor chairs with a slip cover on the top part of the chair, which also got me thinking and then I found this tutorial.   Double mmmm......

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Where My Mind Wanders - The Hair Salon

My hair salon is a great place to get a lot of thinking done.  The waiting area, the shampoo chair (my favorite!), the dryer, the blowout.  And then my mind transitions to design mode...the bold print below would be perfect to have in the waiting area or entryway of this salon.   It's a hip and stylish place with a lot of young stylists, and they cater to both males and females so I tried to keep that in mind.  This print greets you with a HELLO come on in so we can make you look fabulous!


The waiting area has a few couches and chaise lounges so I thought a few of these pillows from Overstock would  be ideal.

Then I came across this print from this Etsy seller:

When I think of a hair salon I also think of music and rock & roll - kind of like a MAC counter.   And then I found this pillow that could be thrown on a slipper chair or bench where clients could sip on a glass of wine before their hair appointment (yes my salon does wine nights!).

What are some of your favorite spaces and places for inspiration?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Playing With Pillows

I had bought this bench off of Craig's List a few months ago.  I liked the classic look of the Windsor style, but I also liked the high back and slimmer look that it had compared to other Windsor benches that I've seen.  I've contemplated painting it, but I haven't decided what color or if I really do want to paint it or not.   I'm thinking that some fun pillows might be the punch that this classic piece needs.  So I decided to play.  Here is Mr. Plain Windsor Bench.   It doesn't look so comfy, I know, but with a pillow or two it he is real comfy (I've already spent many mornings and afternoons sipping coffee and feeding my little sweetie pie while sitting here).

Enter pillows (look #1)...I added a few pillows that I already own just to see what some color would do:

And, just for fun, I did a little pillow switcheroo:

It looks a bit more inviting now, don't you think?  I'll keep playing around with pillows until I find the right combo that I like, but I like the options so far.  I'm thinking maybe another pillow in a floral would be nice.  The blue pillow is from CB2 and the ikat pillow was purchased from World Market a few months back but looks to be out of stock.  These pillow choices were all compliments of help from Kirsten (thank you Kirsten!  Check out Kirsten's blog if you have a chance - she is extremely talented and one of the many reasons I am so much more passionate about this wonderful world of interiors and design but that is for another post.)  While I was browsing the World Market website, I came across this pillow that could be a nice option:

Or maybe a pillow in this fabric might work a little better which I found while getting lost on Pinterest.  This print wouldn't compete as much as the floral would with the ikat.   But, confession, I can't sew (anyone know a good place I can take some sewing lessons so I can whip up some pillow covers? I'm accepting any and all suggestions!)


That is my pillow play for the day, and I'm sure the saga will continue but a fun saga it will be of course. To paint or not to paint the bench?  Feedback gladly accepted.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday tidbits...

Hooray!  TGIF!  The weekend is almost here - here are a few Friday tidbits...

I have a small obsession with coffee.  Ok, more than small.   I love coffee.   And recently I've started using the "nice" cups and saucers while relaxing at home - mostly on the weekend when I don't want to do dishes want to get fancy.   There is something fun about using a saucer with a coffee cup.  

I have a new belt.   I don't wear belts, but I wanted to try a new accessory.  Of course I can't find the one that I got on the Gap website, but here is something similar.  Love.

My new issue of House Beautiful arrived in the mailbox yesterday - EEK!   Can't wait to dive in this weekend and explore.  Isn't it fun getting the mail when you know something good is going to arrive soon?

It's been raining for days here in PA.  We MIGHT see some sun this weekend.   Please sun come out soon.  The plus side - our grass and flowers look wonderful!

Via Pinterest

And now my little Sweetie Pie needs to get ready for her day - one of my favorite things is listening to her in her crib in the morning.   She does not talk yet but boy does she jibber jab and chit chat and everything else a soon-to-be 9-month old has an opinion about in their own little language - cutest thing ever.  

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Attempt at Organization

It's tough to stay organized around the house - especially with a soon-to-be 9-month-old crawler who is into everything.  Our house is fairly small, so we try to maximize our space and organization methods as much as possible.  Our living room is going through a mini-makeover (still finishing up some final details but I promise to post about this soon).  One of my goals for the makeover was to try to create an entryway type of area where we could keep bags, shoes, keys, coats, and any other essentials needed to get in and out of the door.   In a dream world something like this:

My vision for the small space is function mixed with fun and lots of color.  We are using the Ikea Expedit in white as a console type of table.  It's a really great storage piece and you can't beat the price tag.  I had also envisioned maximizing some of the wall space and adding hooks to one of the walls (sort of like the photo above).  My thought with the hooks was that each of my family members would have a hook.  To personalize the area to house the hooks, I had also thought about doing some sort of monogram to identify each hook.   I picked up two sets of the Leksvik hooks from Ikea (again, can't beat the $4.99 price tag for two hooks) and spray painted them teal (I picked up the can of spray paint from Lowe's).  Here is what the hooks look like now:

My husband also suggested spray painting the screws as well.  But I thought, how am I going to do that without getting my hands all messy with spray paint?  Well folks, my husband is a genius.   Who knew that using an empty box of pasta would double as a makeshift canvas for spray painting screws?  Just punched each screw through the box and sprayed away!

So there is my quick update to the Leksvik hooks.  I plan to mount them with some sort of monogram on top of each one.  I was thinking about maybe a few of these from Anthropologie:

Or maybe doing some sort of DIY project that would involve a look like this:

A few other accessories I plan on adding to the entryway - one of these baskets but I got mine at Homegoods for a fraction of the PB price:

And a tray similar to this one that we can throw keys, mail, change, jewelry, etc.:

I love me some orange zig zag and fresh flowers.

If anyone has any other entryway storage ideas, I'd love to hear them.

PS - Is anyone hooked on Pinterest as much as I am?   Goodness gracious it's addicting!  

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Looking for a Mirror

I'm on a mad hunt for a round mirror, and I don't want to spend a lot of money.  I've stalked some local consignment shops (and continue to stalk), but nothing has caught my eye or they have all been rectangular and that doesn't fit the bill.  I've also searched and searched Craigs List but again, nothing - I get a little impatient with Craigs List.    I've gathered a few inspiration mirrors that I like and would love to find a much less expensive version.   Criteria for the mirror - decent size as it will be placed on a fairly large wall, some interesting details that will catch my eye, and it must be white or something that I could paint white.   Doesn't seem like I'm being too picky, does it?    I think the price point is what is tough - all of the mirrors I really like are not within the budget.    Here are some examples.

I love this one below from Z. Gallerie - the shape is great and I love all of the details.

The texture of this one below is really great, but if only it were white.   I can't justify paying the money for this one only to paint it.  Not for $199.

Minus the stand I like this one.

At this point, I'm going to try my best to be patient and keep scouring the consignment shops and yard sales - since the yard sales seem to shifting into high gear around here.  I'm also going to keep checking Home Goods, since you never know what you're going to find at Home Goods.   If anyone has any hot tips for a mirror that falls into my criteria above let me know - or even a Craigs List lead that I could DIY into what I want.   I have a few other DIY options that I'm contemplating, so you may just see one of those in a future post.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I'm in awe...

Of how many beautiful ways Mother Nature creates...remember this print?  It literally came to life, and right in my own backyard!  My Mom has this great little nursery down the street from her, and they have the most beautiful selection of flowers, shrubs, garden accessories  - anything garden related.   On Mother's Day, we took a little drive over and I made a few purchases (thank you Mom for watching my little Sweetie-pie while I browsed ALL over the nursery).  Every year I think I've topped the previous year with the colors and varieties I've selected for annuals, but this year I really do think is the best I've gotten so far in my three years of planting as a homeowner.  

I was so drawn to white this year.  This hanging plant was given to me by my Mom, but I've really started to enjoy the cascades and little white flowers that keep popping up.  Isn't it pretty?

Then I selected this hanging basket and I'm fascinated by the large, round white blooms of this New Guinea impatien.  I literally stare at it and try not to get mad when a petal has some dirt on it.  One of the signs at the nursery said "white is the sparkler of the garden" - I was hooked.  

I couldn't resist some orange, so I was hooked as soon as I saw this New Guinea impatien (it reads a little red in this picture but it really is a brilliant orange with a hint of pink in the middle) - and I also picked up the blue planter shown as well.   I love the flower in the planter - perfect little combo to spice up our front porch.

How about these purple beauties?  They don't even look real, do they?  I had these in the front of the house, but then just this evening moved them to the back.   I needed some more color back there.  I love these!!

I have another planter of pansies and just look at these yellow pansies that look like they have eyelashes on them - the details in these are amazing.

And now for some foliage - I'm very proud of myself for the angle on this picture - especially because I am far from a professional photographer but I thought this turned out so well.  For the life of me I can't remember what the big guy is called in this photo, but underneath is a sweet potato vine, which is very low maintenance and does so well in full sun.  And then to the left of that is a petunia.

And I had to photograph my latest pick-up from Homegoods.  I thought this would be cool for either a candle or a small potted plant.   I'm leaning more toward a candle to be used on a nice spring or summer evening when we want to enjoy some porch time with a nice cold one.  I liked the rustic look of it.

So that is my planting progress thus far - maybe I'll do some progress photos mid-summer.

What sort of plants or colors from your garden have inspired you this season?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Color inspires.  Color creates.   Many inspirations are started with a color or a color palette.  I'm highlighting one of my favorite colors today...yellow.  Yellow makes me smile.  Yellow brings life to a room.  Yellow is happy.

Something about a nice pitcher of lemonade makes me smile (and makes me thirsty)...

A pretty necklace with a punch of yellow...wouldn't this be perfect with a flowy white sundress?

How about this pretty little cupcake stand?  Isn't it adorable?  I'd love to have one of these for my daughter's first birthday.   Oh, the ideas are swimming through my head for my little one's first birthday.   Perhaps a lemonade theme?  Mmmm...

Nothing like a crisp yellow pillow to brighten up a room...I love the pleating on this.

Sitting in this room, drinking a glass of cold lemonade sounds lovely...

Martha Stewart Living

I hope you are able to enjoy some lemonade today...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Stainless and timeless

We renovated our kitchen in July 2009, and it was in need of a serious update (separate post about that later).  But one thing that I knew I wanted to keep in the much dated kitchen was this...
Anytime people would come to visit us this fine piece of machinery was always the hot topic of conversation, so I decided it would stay and from there I wanted more stainless.   After all, don't you think that stainless is here to stay?  I mean this oven was probably installed in the 60's (just a guess) and it's still awesome!

So once the cabinets were installed (which you can catch a sneak peek both above and below that we decided on off white cabinets) I went on a mission to select hardware.   Here is what I finally picked out:
And I love them!  (who loves hardware??!!  I do!!)    We ended up getting these and the drawer pulls from Lowe's.  I love the simplicity of them, yet that slight little curve gives them just enough something that I was looking for.

From there I knew I wanted a few other stainless accessories (this did not include more appliances).   I picked up the Vurm wine rack from Ikea for $9.99:

And then I stumbled upon this fork a few months ago at Homegoods for about $15:
So there is how I've used touches of "stainless" in our kitchen.  

I thought the kitchen needed something other than stainless as an accessory, so I just recently got these:

Both are from Crate and Barrel and only $3.95.  This is also a great dishtowel to have for the summer - the double stick popsicles remind me of my childhood:

So there is my mini-kitchen accessories tour.   A full kitchen tour to follow soon.