Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Million Dollar Decorators

Has anyone else been watching this show? I'll admit, it's not a scheduled recording in our household. But since Bravo repeats episodes of their shows 839 times in one week, I'm definitely caught up.

After watching last night's episode, I couldn't help but think how outrageous this show really is. I know it's been the buzz among a lot of bloggers lately, and funny, most everyone's opinions fall into the same category (well, the blogs I'm reading anyway). I suppose for entertainment purposes, this show is great. But could you justify spending $30,000 on a rug or $15,000 for a mirrored wall hanging (on last night's show), of which Martyn Lawrence-Bullard considers a "bargain"? Yikes! Of course, this is coming from the girl who thinks a $39.99 lamp from HomeGoods is what do I know. This is the big leagues folks, definitely not my reality...

For what it's worth, I can't say I'm a Martyn Lawrence-Bullard fan. There, I said it. He's obviously good at what he does & has an impressive list of celebrity clients. But did you see how he treated Joe Francis's staff (which, the ridiculousness that is Joe Francis is a whole other discussion for another time)? No thank you, my friends.

Now, Mary McDonald on the other hand, I can handle. Her personality is a little big, but with four pugs & an impressive portfolio--including this amazing office--I can certainly deal.

And speaking of Bravo (my channel of choice) this guy is coming back. July 6 to be exact...

I'm pumped for a new season of Flipping Out. Jeff Lewis & his sarcastic-angry-humor are right up my alley.

...but I still wouldn't let him sell me a $30,000 rug.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Before & After update

It's Monday! And to start the week off, I've updated the 'Before & After' tab on the 'ol blog. But before all five of you get excited, I should mention I was modest & only updated the living room before and afters, in addition to a couple of before photos of the hallway. And don't bother to ask about the wooden indian in the hallway. The previous owner was kind enough to leave some things behind, but that was not one of them. Insert sadness (and a little bit of sarcasm) here.

I've made the most updates to the living room in recent weeks & it feels just about done. Well, done enough until I get bored & want to make changes. Or until the husband protests what's in there now. Whichever comes first. So without further ado, a little sneak peek of the before...

And the after:

And should you think the furniture & decor in the before shot was our's...think again my friends. Funny how taste varies from person to person, huh? And with that, I'm thankful for the ability to see past the ugly...

Happy Monday!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Regularly scheduled posting

The weekend is here! Which is ironic, given that this past Monday I intended to post about our weekend adventures from...ahem...last week.

I've been taking a little break from blogging, house projects & DIY adventures in favor of enjoying the summer. I took a cue from Emily at Cupcakes & Cashmere, and have diligently put together a summer "to-do" list for the last two years. The months typically fly...which always leaves me wondering, well where the hell did that go?! And then it's back to the grind, a routine & regularly scheduled programming. My list helps to remind us to take more time to enjoy the garden, read a good book, or enjoy the sun & surf (although, if we're getting technical here there is no surf for we'll enjoy the lake instead!).

We knocked a few items off the list this past weekend. The husband was out of town for work that week, so I picked him up from the airport & away we went! Which makes me thankful the husband is so go-with-the-flow. Especially when there's food in the picture. In which case he'll do just about anything when asked. 

First up, a visit to Lloyd's for some fabulously fresh tacos...

Nothing says summer like food from a truck! Especially when it's this fresh & this good. I foresee us hunting down Lloyd & his truck a few more times this summer...

Oysters on the waterfront....

Gross to some (including myself a mere two years ago), but oh so good to me now. Especially when enjoyed by the water while watching boats. And then the husband gets a sunburn & the remainder of your afternoon has gone to pot (but not that pot).

Which necessitates a beverage on the patio...

Ahhhh, very good.

And with that I'm off to enjoy this weekend. Who knows what we'll get ourselves into this time around (perhaps nothing...which is always a good thing too), but I'll be sure to post in a more timely fashion vs. taking a trip down memory lane weeks later. Happy weekend-ing!

Friday, June 17, 2011

I'm a smart girl...

..but when it comes to understanding the cost of wallpaper, well, apparently...I am not.

I remember helping my mom wallpaper my bedroom when I was younger. The process didn't appear to be easy, but she was pretty darn good at it (I don't really recall what my role was, other than to watch what a great job she was doing). I do remember going to the store to order the wallpaper--and I'm going out on a limb here--but I'm guessing that whatever we chose was far more cost effective than (my favorite) Kelly Wearstler's Imperial Trellis wallpaper.

I know the verdict is out as to whether or not this pattern is overdone, but I for one love it. It's not going anywhere, anytime soon as far as I'm concerned. We have a small front entryway that would be perfect for this print...but since we don't have the funds to shell out over $200 for a roll (the thought alone makes me sweat), I'm instead posting some fabulous inspirational photos to hold me over.

Bright, green & lovely in Chloe Sevigny's home...


Black & white in Monique Lhuillier's bathroom...

Loving the bright contrast of colors (and of course, the gallery wall)...

A perfect way to line the back of your bookshelves...

Black on black, very chic...

As an accent wall...

Forget the costly wallpaper, how about the impressive DIY stenciled wall over at Hello Gorgeous (oh, the patience!)...

And last but not least, some fabulous dining room chairs thrown in for good measure...

 And that chandelier ain't too shabby either.

And with that bit of inspiration...I'm off to enjoy the weekend!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pillow covers

So what became of all the fabulous fabric I recently purchased?

Why pillow covers of course!

I'm a big fan of Etsy for pillow covers, but I had a lot of inserts that needed them. So for around $55, I decided to purchase my own fabric & zippers, and enlisted the help of my mom to make them (Didn't she do a good job? Someone should think about opening her own Etsy shop!)! It was certainly much cheaper...and I saved on shipping too! I'm all about the instant gratification here...

I kept the green imperial trellis pillow & blue and white lumbar pillow and incorporated them into the mix. My goal was to bring more blues & greens into the room to coordinate with the new-old lamps. The predominantly blue fabrics are Art Gallery Fabrics and the green botanical print (my fave) is Amy Butler's new line of home fabrics. Does the blue fabric look familiar? It's the same print as the kitchen curtains! Further proof that my blue/green color combo is quite the theme in our home these days...

I'm really loving how the living room is changing & evolving right now. I will share pictures in the before & after tab soon!

Raising the roof

So here's the thing. We've been busy & tired, and a whole lot of this was going on at our place last week...

That's right...we finally have a new roof! Gone are the days of major rainstorms that required us to go into action mode, reaching for the closest rubbermaid bin to keep those dining room leaks at bay. After awhile, I got really good at keeping that thing handy...which, that's when you know you have problems and need a new roof alright, already.

This definitely wasn't an inexpensive project, which is why it took us so long to bite the bullet. And it's definitely not the most glamourous update, but it sure got the neighbors talking. I'm not sure if they were envious of our new roof, or just sympathetic to my agony because of the mess. Which, this photo doesn't begin to accurately show the chaos that we dealt with for 2 straight days. The guys did a great job cleaning up, but it took an entire weekend of scrubbing the indoors (a full tear-off = a lot of dust), and a lot of picking around in the landscaping...where I'm still finding random pieces of roof, wood & an occasional nail here and there. I have a feeling this might go on for awhile...

And...I don't have any before & after shots (which, come to think of it, would be a good idea for say, insurance purposes or 'look how far we've come' photos). Next up? Lots of mulching, planting flowers, removing the front door, a front step install, painting, and all that other outdoor stuff that got pushed aside while we waited for the roofers to do their thing.

And oh yeah...finally sitting back & enjoying it all. Whenever that may be. I'll keep you posted when that actually happens...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Remember these lamps I scored from the antique shop basement?

Two weekends ago they finally got a makeover. I liked the blue, but they were horribly finished by the shop owner (um, who paints lamps with a brush?!). First, I got to work pulling out the old wiring. The owner had cut the cords, but I would have rewired them anyway...these babies were old & unsafe! Next, I spray painted the gross gold top of the lamp (sorry before shots, you'll have to use your imagination)...

Much better! Now to prep for painting...

I went the predictable route, painting them white. I know, I know. At first, I toyed with the idea of red or yellow, but couldn't figure out how to draw the colors into the room. I admire rooms that are a mish-mash of color (and somehow seemlessly go together), but I knew painting the lamps these colors would mean I'd doubt my decision daily. And yes, I'm aware this is paint we're talking about here...oh the agony!

About 3/4 of the way through my project, I ran out of paint. On the way to the store, I had a change of heart. Does the blue spray paint in the background give you a clue what route I went?

In a strange twist of events, I was 100% happy with my decision. No looking back now! The husband on the other hand...not so much. I believe his response was, "are you sure?". Thankfully, doubting Thomas happily allows me to make most of the design decisions in our blue it is!

Next up? Time to rewire the lamps with the help of this easy step-by-step how to. The fabulous music & hip wallpaper may or may not have kept me interested, but in all honesty the video was uber easy for a novice rewiring gal like myself. Reading the directions on the packaging was like reading German (which I don't know), so this video allowed me to easily rewire 2 lamps without the assistance of the husband. Seriously, it was just too easy. GO ME.

At first I thought these Target shades were a little small for the size of the base, but they've definitely grown on me. At $14 a shade, they're much better than some of the larger drum pendants I found elsewhere for $42 each. Ouch! 

And I'll be sharing photos soon of what's become of all this fabulous stay tuned!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


It's here already...the unofficial start to summer! I wore white jeans today. I'm not opposed to the idea of wearing them before Memorial Day or after Labor Day (gasp...I know!). I'm just happy to report that I wore them an entire day without so much as a stain, spot, or morning swipe against my dirty car.

The unofficial start to the summer means that we'll be spending more time outdoors--we're sprucing up the landscaping & garden, a new roof and front porch steps will be installed soon, and I'm happily using our new rain barrel. I can say it's taking significantly longer to water things, as I have to take multiple trips to the barrel to fill up. But I feel great knowing that we're conserving & saving on the water bill. That is until I saw the husband walk out of the bathroom, brushing his teeth, with the water still on this morning. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. We can't be environmentally friendly all the time!

While we are spending more time outdoors, that doesn't mean I've completely abandoned indoor projects...

I'll be back soon to share what I'm up to. Fabric & spray paint & lamps...oh my! I'm super excited with all the changes I'm making to the living room. Things are really coming along in there!

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