Saturday, November 27, 2010

Bedroom Redo - Headboard R&D Day

I've been looking forward to today for a long time!  For the last few weeks I've been drawing sketches of my headboard in the margins of meeting notes, researching fabrics while eating dinner, and studying construction techniques while watching TV. Finally, while at my parents' house over the Thanksgiving holiday, I took advantage of my dad's construction knowledge and tools and my mom's upholstery knowledge and tools and came up with a mock-up of just how I want my headboard to look.

Here is a look at the mock-up process today but I'm keeping the design a secret until it's all finished!  My room is awfully tiny so the headboard will pretty much define the whole room and I'm really, really excited about how it's going to look!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Traditional Thanksgiving Centerpiece

I'm home in Vermont for Thanksgiving and just resting for a few minutes until the cooking frenzy begins.  My sister always plans out a cooking schedule down to the minute so I know that I have exactly 38 minutes before I am due to be in the kitchen.  Woe unto me if I am not there at the appointed time!

We all have our particular roles at Thanksgiving and my sister's is the Organizer.  This is actually her role all year 'round, too.  My role at Thanksgiving is that of Brussels Sprouts Maker, Roll Maker, and Centerpiece Arranger.  I've been doing the centerpiece at Thanksgiving for years now, and I've got my system down pretty well.  I start with a silver bowl, an assortment of dried and fresh fruits and nuts, all in a muted Thanksgiving color pallet (pomegranates, artichokes, pears, chestnuts, lady apples, cranberries, acorns and fall leaves).

First you need a base to build up the height of the centerpiece.  Using the fruits and nuts don't work very well because it's hard to build a tower of round things, so this year I used some of the dried corns we had hanging around.

 Then I added the larger fruit - the pomegranates, pears and artichokes. I chose one fruit to be the top of the heap so the centerpiece was rounded instead of flat.

Then I began filling in the gaps with the smaller cranberries, lady apples and chestnuts.

I filled in the even smaller holes with leaves and acorns.  They had been purchased with long wires attached to them so they could be fitted down into the little crevices of the centerpiece.  Instead of having them sticking out to the sides, I curved the leaves around the centerpiece in a spiral pattern.

Finally, I sprinkled the leftover fruits and nuts around the bowl to give the look of overflowing and I was finished!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Capital Collection!

This past weekend was the annual Junior League Capital Collection where vendors gather to sell Christmas gifts to crowds of happy people and 15% of the proceeds go to charity.  As member of the Junior League, we all came in for shifts to run registers at the different stalls.

This was the stall where I was stationed.  It was filled with Christmas decorations that could be personalized on the spot by the sweetest southern woman who founded the business.

My friend Sarah and me ready for our shifts!

Even Santa and Mrs. Claus stopped by for a visit!
I wish I had taken more pictures but they kept us all pretty busy!  It was a ton of fun and the perfect way to get in the Christmas spirit!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

William and Kate's Honeymoon House

A big part of being a young professional is fantasizing about what your life might maybe possibly could be like someday.  The engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton dealt a crushing blow to the females of my generation, the majority of whom secretly believed that they would one day be second in line to the throne of England.  Well, girls, the position of third in line is still up for grabs!

Meanwhile, Kate and William are a "just starting out" couple who are starting out in the best possible way.  There has been speculation about where they will be living as newlyweds but the best information I could find about the plans for their house were at the Telegraph.

According to the Telegaph, it will be a six-bedroom eco-friendly home on the Duchy of Cornwall's Harewood Park Estate designed in the classical Greek and Roman styles. Pretty, huh?

As a side note, how fabulous is Kate's taste in hats?

 Don't you wish you had a life where you lived in a castle and could wear fabulous hats on a regular basis?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My room makeover - blue and green chinoiserie-esque

Back in college I subscribed to the same dorm decorating color pallet as 95% of all other sorority girls - Lilly pink and green.  Here is my bedroom from Sophomore year...

 In Junior and Senior year my room got a little shot of maturity...

But now that I have recently become the very mature age of 24, I think I could use a tiny bit more maturity in my bedroom decor.  Here is what my bedroom looks like now...

 And here is what I would like it to look like...
I like the relaxing blue, green color pallet, the mixtures of rich wood stain with silver and white paint, and the very sophisticated chinoiserie touch in the wallpaper.

Because I'm renting my room I definitely can't use wallpaper, so I'm reproducing the look using these fabrics:

This will be for the seat cushion at my desk and two throw pillows on the bed
This will be the seat cushion on the end-of-the-bed box

The last fabric will be sort of a take-off on this Van Gogh which I have always loved.  The background color will be a bluish green taken from the flowers in the first fabric.  The headboard will be upholstered in this plain background color and trimmed with dentil moulding to give it a chinoiserie flair.  The pillows directly in front of the headboard will be of the same fabric, but will have the almond blossoms achieved by sewing on branches and little white rosettes.
 I was a little afraid there would be too much viney fabric so I did a couple of drawings to see how I thought it looked together.

The second picture is maybe not beautiful, but I needed to look at something a little more realistic than my drawing.  I don't think it looks too viney, what do you think??

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

New York DIYs

Last weekend marked another historic battle in the ongoing war over which is better: NYC or DC??  I visited my sister for a long Halloween weekend and conducted a careful assessment of the city. 
Was it bitterly cold and kind of smelly?  Yes. 
Did they have good food and good parties?  Yes. 
Were the food and parties better than DC?  Debatable. 
Did they have funny pumpkins?  Yes

Plus one for New York. 
Do they have great chairs at a local market that could be reupholstered in really fun fabrics?  Yes! 

Originally I planned to find examples of fabrics that I thought would go well with each piece, but then I realized it was 10:15PM and I was tired and this would be an excellent way to help people exercise their imaginations!

I think this chair would look beautiful with a wide cream and light grey stripe.  If you wanted to have a little more fun, you could use neon piping in any number of colors!

Oh man I love these chairs.  I would reupholster them in exactly the same fabric and then put them in an entry hall on either side of a shiny black chest of drawers, with a bright vase of pink flowers, a gold mirror and a sparkly chandelier.  Maybe the front hall would have a black and white tiled floor, too.  Maybe.

This chair might be a tiny bit overwrought but if you wanted to make it a real statement piece you could paint the frame turquoise (or maybe silver!) and reupholster it in something like a midnight blue velvet. Then you could put a pretty throw pillow on it in bright pink, green or purple.

Here's a nice little mirror you could repaint.  I wasn't that excited about it but it was there...

Here's a fun bedframe that I think would actually be great left just the way it is.  Paired with very bright bedding or elegant, neutral bedding I think it would look fabulous.

On this settee I see a linen fabric of wide, lavender vertical stripes with grey or yellow patterned throw pillows (depending on how loud you want it to be)

I think this piece would be so fun in a bright preppy pink pattern, but if you don't have that kind of a house I think it would also look beautiful in a delicate grey rough linen.  Or maybe a beautiful subtle grey chinoiserie...

These were there, too.  I don't really know what they are so I don't have much to say about them except that I think they're pretty cool, although they would never go with a house I would own..