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Posts Tagged ‘decor’

In eight short days, Ryan and I will be leaving our beloved apartment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very excited for the new house, but I will miss this apartment that we first shared as an engaged/ newly-married couple. I’ll miss walking 30 seconds to dinner at Mono Loco on Thursday nights. I’ll miss having other people in the house when Ryan is gone. I will miss having only a few rooms of items to keep track of (and clean!). I’ll miss living in the apartment that I stayed in the night before my wedding.

A few people recommended I take pictures of my apartment before we leave. As my mom said, “you think you’ll remember what it looks like but you won’t.” I already have some pictures of the apartment that I shared in this post. But, these pictures—which try to fit every corner of the room into one single frame—aren’t how I actually experience the rooms. I never stand in a corner taking in as much of the room as my peripheral vision will allow.

So, I decided to take some pictures from a few of my favorite places in the apartment. The view from those spots is how want to remember our apartment. And, I made sure not to tidy up too much because that wouldn’t be true to life either.
Our hallway

The view I see every time I round the corner to the hallway

The dining room from the corner loveseat

From our kitchen

Looking into the living room

Walking through the front door

Sitting on the couch—best spot in the house!

Watching TV waiting for Ryan to come home

We’ll miss you South Street apartment. Thanks for the good times.

PS- Don’t miss me and Willie DE tomorrow night @ 7:30 at Mudhouse in Crozet.

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Yep! I’m back to the old blog format. I’m sure I’ll change it again… it seems the grass is always greener when it comes to blog themes. But, it’s back to basics for now.
Look what I did today!

That’s because it was doing this outside today.

I know I should be disappointed, given my last post, but I will take a snow day any time, any day, any month. And, it give me a chance to finish this little project that I’d picked up supplies for yesterday at Target.

Every night before I go to bed, this is what I look at.

Not horrible, but just kind of abandoned and unfinished. I am already the type of person who goes to bed at night thinking of everything I didn’t get accomplished that day and everything I have to do tomorrow, so the last thing I need is a visual, albeit subconscious, reminder that I have left things unfinished at the end of the day. So, this corner of my bedroom/ mind had to change!

I pulled out these fabulous prints I bought last summer in Bethany Beach, DE by local artist and photographer, Jon Olsen, that I hadn’t found the right place for yet. I found two terrific frames at Target to emphasize the sparse nature of photographs.

On a whim, I picked up a trendy sunburst mirror to round things out. It has an oil-rubbed bronze finish (or ORB as YHL would say) which is a subtle compliment to the black frames and softens the grouping up a bit.


I’m so on a black/ white/ tan kick right now!

All the materials for this project (minus the cost of artwork) cost less than $60. One more reason to sleep easy tonight!

 

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Yesterday, it was rainy, dark and February. Today, is bright, sunny and March. Hallelujah! I decided I’d make everything in this hodge-podge-of-a-post fresh and sunny, too.

Ahhh, sunshine!

Yep, Ryan and I spent a long weekend in Siesta Key, Florida last week. We also went there last February with the Galls (you can read all about it here). And this year didn’t disappoint either. Heated pools, ice cream shops within walking distance, 75 degrees… I was a happy girl.

And while returning to Virginia did not exactly have the same level of excitement and anticipation as getting off the plane in Florida, I am constantly reminded by how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful and culturally rich area.

I decided to go for a walk on the Lawn this morning. This picture was taken around 9am. It amazes me that in the year 2012, with 20,000 students attending the University, you can still walk on the Lawn and be the only soul on it (okay, I saw a few people, but not many). It’s just downright magical. I’d like to think that even with all the construction and development, all the noise pollution, all the short-shorts and beer cans; on mornings like this, the light coming through the trees on the Lawn might look just like it did to Jefferson hundreds of years ago.

And, I have another reason to happy this morning (as if I needed another!). New art! Sitting at my favorite coffee shop, Cafe Cubano, early in February, I couldn’t help but notice Cory Gibson’s artwork. The abstract prints spoke to me, and (I could hardly believe it) the pieces were very  affordably priced. I snatched up one of them and asked if he had any other prints, not included in the installation, that I might see. And, of course, I snatched up one of those, too. Good things are better in pairs.

I’ve been playing with where I’ll put them. Maybe a mantel arrangement, like this, from one of my favorite Apartment Therapy home tours ever.

I’ll be back soon with some music updates (woohoo!). Until then, I hope everyone has a fantastic March.

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There’s not too much going on these days, so I thought I’d share a few updates I made to my living room a few weeks back.

In the June issue of House Beautiful, a gorgeous Victorian row house was featured that I just adored. The interior design, by Ken Fulk, was so fresh, unfussy, casual, and organic, with just a touch of glamour. A lot of the overall pieces in the living room reminded me a little bit of my own living room: a white sofa with navy pillows, mix of dark wood and lighter pieces. Too bad I don’t have a crocodile wall paper fireplace, though, or that fabulous geometric pendant.

Wow, that side-by-side makes my place look like a dump, but let’s chalk it up to bad lighting and bad photography, shall we? One of the little details I loved about the Ken Fulk room, is the hurricane lamps on the coffee table.

I felt like they were just the right amount of bling. Too bad, these babies are made by Ralph Lauren and cost at cool $550 for the three of them. Luckily, as I was browsing in Target a few weeks ago, I came across these bad boys.

Yep, cheap-o replicas. I played around with a couple different combinations of candle sizes (if I remember correctly, I believe there was one more size even larger than the two pictured). I originally wanted to exactly recreate the inspiration pic with the staggered, three-different-sizes look (papa-bear, mama-bear and baby-bear, if you will). But I decided that on my more narrow coffee table, a combination like that might end up looking a little uncoordinated and overgrown. So I finally settled on three of the small hurricane lamps (on the left) which were $9.99 a piece.  While I was at it, I scooped up a rattan tray and some plain white candles, so I would have everything I needed for the complete look. And, here’ s the finished product.

Not bad, for a little over $30, huh? I love how the silver detailing picks up on the handful of other metallic tones I have in the room, like the lamp on our side table.

And, just for a side-by-side reminder.

It’s been an interesting journey—these past two years of having my own place with Ryan—of making decorating mistakes, being afraid of making decorating mistakes, being too ambitious with color and palette, being not ambitious enough. For some reason, I’ve always felt weird about taking someone’s exact design and copying it… maybe because it feels a little like plagiarism? Maybe because it wouldn’t feel like a home if you just took someone else’s furniture and plopped it into your house?

But, I’m beginning to understand that it’s ok to learn from and even copy the best (wow, how underwhelming does that revelation sound). But, yes, this is just clicking for me. In this case, for instance, even though I set out to replicate the original inspiration exactly, by my not having access to the original materials, because the houses are completely different, because all the pieces in my room are different from the original’s, it makes this little arrangement unique to me.

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I had a great night last night at the MRC Battle of the Bands (check out this link if you want to see a news story done on the event). But, right now, that’s not what’s on my mind. Since I got home last night around 10, all I’ve been focused on is sinking into my couch and lounging around my house. So that’s what I’m gonna write about!

Let’s start with this.

That’s right. It’s banana, almond frozen goodness. This is gonna sound weird, but frozen bananas are amazing. A few years ago, I discovered that frozen bananas are the trick to good smoothies (because the banana’s frozen, it acts as a built in ice cube, so you get a cold, thick froth instead of bits and chunks of ice that ultimately water down the flavor). I even talked about frozen bananas in my Green Monster post. But, this frozen banana recipe might top them all.

I saw Claire Robinson make this peanut butter and banana ice cream (link lets you check out the full video of her making it). So I decided to give it a try this morning. She only uses peanut butter and banana but I substituted almond butter for peanut butter, and I used a splash of almond milk to thin it out (I found it wasn’t mixing enough in the food processor). Here’s what it looked like after I added a little milk.

It’s like eating ice cream for breakfast but in reality it’s a really healthy, protein packed breakfast. The only problem might be when you scarf it down in under a minute and want another!

We also finally put up some curtains! Remember me complaining about needing a little extra something in our our living room? Well, I finally decided to do some DIY curtains that I found instructions for here on younghouselove. I pondered different patterns, but I ultimately realized that the curtains in almost all of my inspiration pics were white (and most of the pics had white walls, too). Take this room for instance (that I spotted in Elle Decor) that has somewhat of a similar theme as mine: white(ish) sofa, big blue pillows, metallic lamp, white walls, camel-colored accents, and wicker chairs.

I love how the curtains help draw the eye up and fill in some of the vertical space without adding any heaviness or noise to the room. So, that’s what we went for. Also, please note, in the interest of keeping it real, I did not clean up before taking these pictures, so what you see if what our house looks like on a day-to-day basis. Complete with Ryan’s golf clubs in the foreground.

I don’t know if it’s the most dramatic change ever, but for under 100 bucks, it’s a nice improvement! I’m also looking at getting a big planter and little tree to go in the back right corner of the room.

And, I couldn’t end this post without showing a pic of the beautiful roses my sweet husband brought home for me! Have a great week everyone!

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Man, I have been blog crazy recently. Not only have I posted a lot this week, I have been embarrassingly, incessantly stalking the Petersiks (of younghouselove) while they renovate their new house.

So, I’ve decided to put up a few pics of our house (which I haven’t really done before) because I want to see if anyone has ideas as to what we can do with it. Ha! Ryan and I have been here a year-and-a-half and, if Brent has his way and we are lease-abiding residents, we will be here another year-and-a-half— definitely enough time to change things up and have enough time to enjoy it! Before I start with the picture show, I’ll say it’s amazing how much perspective you can get from taking a photograph. It’s such an incredible way to “step out” of the room and see the big picture, without actually having to leave the room.

First room…. drum roll!!!

So, here’s a pretty basic shot of our living room. I’m, generally, pretty happy with this room, given what I have to work with. We can’t paint the walls, we are required in our lease to have that awful (big) blah rug, and we have yet to cough-up $1,000 to get our sofa (which we LOVE by the way) recovered, so we are stuck with A LOT of beige.  The wicker chairs and (little) rug are hand-me-downs, as is the coffee table…  again, working with what we’ve got!

What’s so laughable in this picture is the eye sore that is the big-ass plain wall behind the couch— fortunately our couch faces the other way, so we don’t have to look at it for too long. Our original idea was to cover the walls in art, but after a year-and-a-half, the only art we have amassed is a cut-out Louis Vuitton newspaper ad featuring Keith Richards. Yes, this amazing print, which we someday hope to acquire and custom frame.

dailymail.co.uk

I’ve much debated it and I think I can no longer deny it: I need curtains! Any ideas on color, pattern, or texture? Initially, I’m thinking something light and airy, but that has little pops of color, maybe draws in the blue?

Moving on to the dining room.

This room perplexes me the most for several reasons. 1) We use this room for a lot of different functions: eating (obviously) but, for example, right now, I’m typing at it, and I often play guitar in here, so it’s kind of a dining room plus activities room. 2) We’ve basically taken all the pieces that don’t fit anywhere else in our house and put all of them in this room. Note the large, antique, roll-top desk in pic #1 and the full-length dresser in pic #2. Both of these are pieces that we are unwillling to part with right now because they are sentimental and we feel like they could have nice places in our future homes, but right now, I feel like they are dragging our dining room down!

I’ve toyed with the idea of painting the dining room chairs and/ or the base of our table (not necessarily to match) and reupholstering the cushions, but I don’t know if that will do much to affect the overall look of the room. Thoughts? Ideas? We also like the idea of changing up the layout to possibly get more use out of the room, but we don’t know where to start.

Last, we have our bedroom. Speaking of, I don’t think I ever posted final pictures of my headboard makeover, so you’ll get to see it… and I’m talking to you here, Mom.

Here’s a view of what our bedroom looks like when you enter it (minus the usual piles of clothes!). Note the Circa dresser, mirror, and chair!

And here are the ol’ DIY fabric art I made and baby blue— still lookin’ good!

So here’s how the headboard turned out. If it looks a little wobbly, that’s because it is. We have yet to secure it to the bed frame and we’d ideally like to saw a few inches off the bottom… this headboard is unusually tall!

We’re still trying to figure out what to do with this wall. I’ve been thinking about framing some vacation and honeymoon pics (8×10’s or larger), and arranging them in grayish frames to sort of draw in some of the tan and linen colors. Black might work, but I thought it might make this corner of the room look unbalanced and heavy compared to the rest of the room that doesn’t have much black. Any thoughts?

Well, there you have it. Most of our house. We love this apartment dearly and want to make the best use of it, so if you have any fun ideas… shoot them my way!

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So, after watching about a dozen episodes of Sarah’s House on HGTV online last week, I was officially sick of my apartment. The way I looked at it, I could do one of two things: a) dig myself deeper into a hole of disgust with my apartment and begin to look at houses or b) redecorate. After weighing pros and cons and doing a little fast math, I came to the (fairly obvious) realization that there would be a cost savings of about $300,000 if I redecorated instead buying a use. Redecorate, huge debt, redecorate, can’t afford to eat. Redecorate it is!

Out of fairness to myself (and current furnishings), I should say that the word redecorate is not exactly correct. When Ryan and I moved into the apartment together, I was about to quit my job and so our decorating philosophy was simply to make best use of our hand-me-downs. And, I must say, we have some great hand-me-downs to work with. But, there really was no money to pick out new furniture to really customize our apartment to our taste. So, really, when I say redecorate, I mean, for the first time, throw a little money at purchasing a few pieces that we I want and making the apartment feel perfect.

So, where do I choose to  start my journey? Puh-lease, where else? Circa. And, what do I find there on my first try?

This little gem, fresh off the auction trucks. Made in Italy with hand-carved detailing. For $45 it was mine!

I had visions of this chair (which I planned to use as an accent chair in our bedroom) looking like this beauty of a chair from Jayson Home and Garden.

Black, but with a hand-rubbed feel and a burlap seat. I have a big, beautiful mirror in our bedroom (that incidentally came from Circa that my brother refinished for us) that needed some grounding and I thought a black chair would be just the thing to do it. (Note to self: do a post in the future about the mirror!). (Note to reader: this chair is listed at $495 on the Jayson Home and Garden Web site!).

So, here begins another adventure in furniture refinishing with Dan Kosut. My dad was excellent— filling in chips in the wood, sanding and smoothing them out, and ultimately doing all of the work (including taping up the pesky, yet beautiful, wicker backing) while I sat and gave directions. So, here’s the chair after being sprayed down with black, satin spray paint.

Loving how the black looks against the caramel of the wicker!

Then, we took same paint thinner to bring out some of the original wood stain on the hand-carved detail. Like this.

Then, we reupholstered the seat with some basic linen/ burlap fabric that I got for less than $10 at Williams & Sherrill and voila!

Here is our finished masterpiece. All for a grand total of $55 (because my dad had the spray paint and provided the labor).

And, here is the artist with his masterpiece.

I have to say, the finished product of this chair so vastly surpassed my expectations for it. I couldn’t have predicted how the contrast of the black against the wicker would bring out its beautiful color. In fact, I was worried that the black would overpower the wicker, but I think it did just the opposite, it brought it out even more.

This project didn’t just leave me wanting to do more for myself, though, it left me wanting to do more… for a profit! I neglected to mention that, while my mom and I were picking out fabrics at Williams & Sherrill, we spotted this chair.

A nearly exact replica of our chair, painted in a gray/ green wash, priced at a cool $489! I look at fancy design magazines all the time and am used to seeing ridiculously priced furniture, but the stark contrast of this chair next to our find really shocked me. So, who knows, maybe you’ll see me and ol’ Geppetto (aka Dan Man) selling our refurbished finds online somewhere down the line. Screw this whole helping kids thing… I want to be like Sarah Richardson!!!

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