Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Room Redo

I saw this advertisement in the September issue of Elle Decor...

It's obviously a beautiful room, but definitely not my taste.  I did love the high window and exposed beams, though, and I thought about how I would decorate it differently, so I gave myself a project.  Using only furniture I found in the same magazine, I put together a room with a totally different look.  I took all of these....

And made this!

I liked my sketch better before I colored it because the colored pencils I had available were not exactly the color scheme I had in mind.  I thought it was fun, though!  Do you think you could stand to live in it? 

Monday, September 27, 2010

I think I'll go to Boston

I spent the weekend in Boston for fun, and now I'm here until Wednesday for work.  I used to not like Boston because my experiences with the city did not exist outside of Yawkey Way, which, although hallowed ground, cannot be classified as "picturesque".  Since this trip, however, I have had a change of heart.  All of the guys look like this:

For those of you who have lived deprived lives, this is Ted Dansen, who plays Sam Malone, the ex-Red Sox pitcher and owner of the Cheers bar on the show Cheers.  Cheers was based on an actual bar on Beacon Street which I saw yesterday.  I haven't decided on whether I should go in or not...I want to see it but I hate being a tourist!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Where do you keep your books?

As you know, I have a little bit of a space problem in my room so I don't have a lot of storage options.  Luckily, I also have a little bit of a time problem, which means I don't spend a lot of time reading for pleasure, which means I don't have to store a lot of books!  Win!  Sadly, I really love the way bookshelves filled with old, leatherbound moldy books along with fresh, new, colorful books gives a room so much personality.  I think it is not just the books you fill your shelves with, but the way you arrange them, that leaves a lot of room for personal expression.  Personally, I love the way books look when they're stacked some side-by-side and some on top of each other so this is the way I arranged mine:

There is a mix of decorating, politics, and chemistry books...

These images are from the September issue of Elle Decor.

I imagine that these shelves are filled with history books and books about travel and culture in the Middle East.  I think these colorful people would enjoy browsing through a bazaar...

I believe an architect and gardener lives here...I have no idea why except that the space strikes me as very restful.  Like a garden.

This room is a little messy for my taste, but they say Einstein had a very messy desk so these shelves must be filled with very intellectual books...

I love this room.  I think the books are probably all about the history of England and racehorse lineage.  The occupants undoubtedly dress for breakfast.

What sort of books do you read in the bathtub?  I think lots of Reader's Digest beach novels...

French Elle Decor
This is undoubtedly a collection of books about art and birdwatching.  They keep them by the table so they are readily accessible when disagreements about art history arise during mealtime...
In My House

In my opinion, this book collection is a little too done up and I'm pretty sure the books are props!  This family spends a lot of time looking in the mirror....
Suzanne Kasler

What is in your book collection?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Which is Better - NYC or DC?

Junior League Headquarters in Washington, DC
Junior League Headquarters in NYC

My sister has been trying to convince me to move to NYC ever since she deserted me to move there this spring.  Ok, so their Junior League headquarters look a little fancier than ours, but I think ours is incredibly charming!

I am using this as a barometer for which city is better because I think the Junior League is such a great way to join a community and make friends.  I have been a member of the DC chapter for a few months now and I have met some great girls and learned a few things, too!  Here are the most important things I have learned thus far:

1. I need to go shopping
2. Don't spike the punch

The first one is obvious.  Most girls who are in the Junior League are impeccable.  We had a meeting at 8:00AM last Saturday and girls arrived in full-on Chanel suits.  I'm going to be honest, I put my shirt in the dryer with a wet washcloth instead of ironing it that morning.

The other pearl of wisdom came from an experience I had at our first meet and greet potluck at the headquarters.  We were all assigned what type of dish to bring based on the first letter of our last name, and I was assigned to bring a drink.  True to my competitive self, I assumed that the purpose of this event was to see who was the best cook and I set to work finding the cutest drink recipe I could.  Since it was a summer potluck I decided on a girly punch with spritzer, lemonade, vodka and some fruit garnish:

Turns out I was literally the only girl, of the 40 or so girls who had received the drink assignment, who had not decided on a bottle of either white wine or Perrier.  Literally, the only one.  A few minutes later some girls came over to tell me they were enjoying my drink and that they were grateful for something non-alcoholic to drink other than water.  Oops, I guess I should have labeled my drink.  When I let the girls in on my secret, their smiles flickered a little.  “Well how much alcohol is in it?”  they asked.  Wait, you’re supposed to measure out the alcohol in your drinks??

The moral of this story is that this is one of those fruity drinks that completely masks the flavor of alcohol and so, if you make a similar drink, you should probably be smarter than I was and measure it out.  The recipe is actually very similar to a drink we used to make in giant trashcans in college called a Pink Panty Dropper.  If I had remembered that while I was making the drink I might have watched my vodka a little more carefully.  I definitely don’t think my social status would be helped by making a bunch of Junior Leaguers lose their panties!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My Silver desk

When I moved to my current house I had to get rid of my giant oak desk and find something much smaller to fit in my new bedroom.  I had a budget of approximately $0.00 so my options were limited.  I found this super cute desk at the Old Lucketts Store in Leesburg.  They have a lot of great buys there, including this one, but the paint job looked like a pastel-colored mold had creeped all over the desk...
I started looking around for inspiration for how I should paint it and found this fabulous do-it-yourself post by Jenny at Little Green Notebook where she covered dressers with aluminum leaf!  Her project turned out absolutely amazing and obviously I HAD to have a piece of furniture that looked like that.  Sadly, as a renter, I don't really have a space where I can aluminum leaf something so I started researching some other options to mimic the effect and came across Modern Masters metallic paint.  I chose it because it's water-based meaning no fumes and easy clean up, plus it looked like it produced really fantastic results.  I chose warm silver in opaque and got these results:
 My desk doesn't have the gorgeous dull sheen that Jenny's dresser has, but I thought it turned out pretty well!  The chair I decided to pair with my desk is one piece of my dining set that is now in storage.  I love the combination of silver and wood in this photo from Domino so this is the direction I hope my bedroom is going:
This is how my desk looks right now, although I'm working on collecting fabric swatches for a room makeover based on the picture above:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Do-It-Yourself Silver Chairs

My weekly House Beautiful newsletter arrived in my inbox today and I found something wonderful: this pressed silver Indian chair by John Robshaw!  Look, it's beautiful by itself as accent chair...

Or as your entire dining room set!

Here is what I REALLY love about this would be so easy to go to find a set of wooden chairs at an antique store, get a beautiful silver paint (I recommend water-based Modern Masters metallic paints), make some cute seat cushions with neon cording and you'll have yourself a fabulous new dining set!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Furniture Store on F St NW

I have been wanting to go into this antique store on F St NW downtown ever since I first noticed about a month ago but I have been too intimidated because it looked a lot like walking into someone's basement.  Finally the other day I got my friend to go with me and it was even cooler than I'd hoped!  Yes, there were some pieces that I would love to buy and repaint or reupholster, but what I'm most excited about is what an amazing building this is right in downtown DC on prime realestate.  I wish I had taken better pictures but you can see how this area with exposed brick could be turned into a gorgeous foyer...

Then you walk back towards the columns....

which separate the foyer from the area with the sunken floor and stories-high ceilings.  I think this would make an amazing restaurant and my friend thinks it should be made into a club.  I don't know if it's for sale, but would someone with more money than me please, please buy it and make a fortune.  Here are some of the furniture pieces they had for sale that I liked...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Gallery Walls

Like most young professionals, I've moved around a lot since college, and it has been my personal experience that no matter where I live, I'm always left with the problem of filling big, blank leftover walls. In my current house, my bedroom is about half the size of my previous one and the only way my furniture fit left one wall with only my low storage bench (one of my own designs) against it.  I also had a leftover stack of mismatched pictures from various rooms in my old apartment , each and every one of which I loved and refused to put away out of sight.  The only solution was  a gallery wall!

Picture galleries are always a favorite of mine, but if it were not for the sentimental value of this motley crew of pictures, I would actually choose a different style.  There are a lot of other (and I think better) way to put together a gallery than the way I did it...

I like the very structured patterns in these gallery walls by Tom Stringer.  There is continuity in the size, shape, colors, and subject matter...

Tom Stringer via Color Outside the Lines

Tom Stringer via Color Outside the Walls

Tom Stringer via Color Outside the Walls
This gallery wall by Ralph Lauren has continuity in the frame styles, but adds more variation with colored photos and different shapes and sizes (sorry about the picture quality)...

This gallery wall makes a huge statement with the large-scale black and white photos of statues taken from dramatic, artistic angles...
Dwellers Without Decorators
This gallery wall is a little closer to mine in the varied shapes and sizes of the frames but the black and white color scheme makes it much more pulled together...
Dwellers Without Decorators
This last gallery wall by Stephen Shubel is a little different...they used mirrors instead of pictures.  I guess that makes it not actually a gallery?
Do you have a beautiful gallery wall in your house?