27 July 2010

the answer to a never ending story?

i've been thinking a lot about the dining room of late and decided to put together a (remedial) storyboard to represent how i'd like for it to come together -- though some existing pieces weren't included.

some of these items are on my wish list, most notably the aqua leather wingbacks. we'll just have to wait and see if i can snag some of this stuff on sale...

so, here we go with the list, from left-to-right by row:
  1. "stormy monday" paint by benjamin moore.
  2. poster-sized prints of two photos i took in iceland a few months ago
  3. those crazy mirrors i just finished!
  4. a black glass chandelier... or white... or clear... what do you think?
  5. a mix of thonet chairs, which i am in the process of collecting, refinished in black
  6. my duncan phyfe table that i FINALLY refinished. maybe adding a high-gloss black leaf so allow for more seats and to modernize the look
  7. OMG a pair of these amazing wingbacks that i found at zgallerie. the photos don't come even close to doing them justice. i DIE when i look at them. perfect for unbuttoning your pants and relaxing.
  8. a great graphic rug, like this one from anthro. diamond jungle dhurrie just sounds fun!
  9. high gloss black doors with white casings
and not in the storyboard but definitely included:
  • my grandmother's favorite side table - antique, round, leather topped. my dad's only request to keep when she passed. he thought it would be perfect for my little victorian home. i'd pair it with the wingbacks and place them in the bay window.
  • an antique armoire from my dad. when they went mid-century with their house, i scored this hand-me-down. perfect for storing bar essentials.
  • black and white patterned curtains with some fun detail. i'm on the hunt for fabric. got any suggestions?
  • voile sheers to diffuse the light (and for privacy since the dining room is at the front of the house and on street level)
  • fun tchotchkes in bright colors - because i am a magpie collecting shiny things, as you all know
are you scared? excited? what would you add or change?

26 July 2010

if.. you... asked me to...

well, YOU DID if your name is sandra, elaine or kelly.

no real post today, just a quick update on the mirrors for the dining room. some of you may recall that i was playing with a few ideas for the finish (and blogged about it here).

so many friends liked the multi-colored graffiti look that i decided, "what the heck? we're only young once!" so here you go...

ignore the styrofoam up top - just testing different angles for the mirrors to hang at...

if you're curious:
- mirrors were a sale item at pier one
- used the following paints: rust-oleum in "white gloss" and "black gloss" and krylon x-metals in "anodized purple"

22 July 2010

to thonet or not to thonet - that is the question.

er... well... really it's more of a degree-of-thonet question.

i'm finally getting my bum into gear on the dining room but i'm stuck again on chairs. i LOVELOVELOVE thonet chairs (yessireebob, i even picked up a couple this weekend) and was thinking i could surround the table with a variety of the cafe-style chairs...

à la these examples:

cafe des amis, san francisco

or if i should mix things up and scavenge for a variety of "significant" chair styles, like these rooms do.

sjp's hamptons house via elle decor

honestly, i am LOVING both options. what do YOU think?

19 July 2010

i'll tell ya what i want. what i really, really want...

my favorite find of the day: a 1950s china girl bobblehead. she looks like me!

somedays all a girl wants is a nice day in the sun, all to herself. a day filled with shopping, hand-cut french fries, driving too fast on sun-dappled winding roads through ancient redwoods, and a good book on the beach.

well, that's how i spent my saturday and it was GLORIOUS.

i hopped in the car and headed over the golden gate bridge (for those of you not from here, no, i never do get tired of seeing it!) and up towards sonoma.

first stop was vintage bank antiques in petaluma, an old gold mine boom town. this place is AMAZING. a decomissioned bank filled with antiques top-to-toe. you can even walk through the old vaults.

i could have spent hours here, but i was itching to head a bit further north on the gravenstein highway (yup, we gots the apples!) to sebastopol, another ag and gold mine boom town just a few miles up the road.

first stop is always llano house. it's beautiful little cottage and barn filled with depression glass treasures and great vintage chairs.
no luck for me though so i headed to my favorite, ray's trading and salvage.
ray's is filled to the brim with vintage cast iron goodies and salvaged doors (which i plan to acquire a dozen of when i am ready to restore all of the doorways in my house). in his yard i found these lovelies, which came home with me.
click the photo to look closer - don't you love the *mustachioed lions' heads* in the centers?!

they will soon become a loveseat-sized park bench in my backyard - for lovers (in the victorian sense - get your mind out of the gutter!) to canoodle on when we have backyard parties.

with that success under my belt, i happily headed to fft and found a pair of these! *swoon*

if you've seen photos of the house exterior, you know it is DROP DEAD GORGEOUS. however, someone did a runner with our original doors. i'm thinking this pair might be the perfect replacement. what do you think?

then i headed to the big-daddy of sebastopol antiques, the antique society. i got lucky again and found a pair of embossed thonet-style chairs...
a great bottle opener to mount to the wall in the backyard...
well, this just about sums my style up in one picture, doesn't it?!

and a pretty little gilded bud vase for the guest room.
after all of that, i was famished and hit sequoia burger, a little mom-and-pop burger stand, for one of my all-time favorite burgers (and a SMALL side of their hand-cut cajuns).
fortified, i hit the bohemian highway (yes, that name is FOR REAL)...
and ended up here...
on the beach in monte rio. and i (finally) read water for elephants, cover-to-cover.
it was a GREAT day. just what i wanted.

15 July 2010

i'm on a boat!

okay, i'm not (but who doesn't love an excuse to watch this video), but I AM on brooklyn limestone!
the lovely stefanie, keeper of one of my most favorite-ist blogs, allowed me to guest post today while she's on vacation. it's still a thrill to see my rooms on her massively popular blog (the times even named her one of their top 50 design blogs)!

jump on over and leave a comment so she'll have me back soon!

14 July 2010

thanks to emily!

the fabulous miss emily of emily a. clark hosted her monthly reader participation post a week ago today and i was lucky enough to be included.

this month's subject? entry halls and foyers.

some of you may have already seen my before and after shots in the "paint it black" post - click here if you haven't!

13 July 2010

i ain't sayin' she a gold digger...

well, due to laziness and because it seems it's impossible to book a contractor, i have made very little headway in the dining room. for months it has been a glorified storage locker-slash-project room and it is all so very sad.

well, while i can't empty it out until i find a contractor WHO RETURNS CALLS to fix up the basement, i can still plan for the day when i can decorate and entertain in there... (please, god, let that be SOON!)

the room is large, with our very high ceilings, so i've been looking for some high-impact items to fill the space. one thing that was absolutely necessary was to add at least one mirror - i love the way they reflect the candlelight during a long dinner party with friends - but it would have to be BIG.

i searched and searched antiques fairs, consignment and antique shops, craigslist, ebay, but i just could not find what i wanted. then, one day, at pier one i spotted this one. the finish is truly HIDEOUS but it is over 4 feet tall and has great bones.

close up of the original finish... yuck.

so i tried high-gloss black...

and high-gloss white...

and a fuschia metallic paint.

it's kind of a mess, but sort of fun too!

but i think i'm back to my original inspiration, so i have ordered some gold lustrgild paint in the hopes of creating something more like this:

so hopefully, sometime next week, these two lovelies will be finished and hung and i can finally say i have made some kind of progress in here!

05 July 2010

the first time....

"can you tell from the look on my face that i... love you more TODAAAAAY..."

one year ago today i walked into this house for the first time. i didn't know it at the time, but i had finally come home.

this year has been a whirlwind - and rather like falling in love. joy, doubt, fear, butterflies, and hard work. and i wouldn't trade a single second.

here's a quick look back at that first day. these are the photos i took at the open house (click the photo to see a larger version). and click here for an intro to this crazy project.

we've certainly come a long way!
(top row, l-r) entrance, downstairs hallway, formal dining room, living room
(2nd row, l-r) downstairs (illegal) bathroom, kitchen, view of city hall from kitchen, upstairs hallway
(3rd row, l-r) master bedroom, master - 2 closets. w00t!, view from master (you can see the bay!), guest bedroom
(4th row, l-r) upstairs bathroom, office, view from office, backyard
(last row, l-r) backyard, backyard entrance to basement, basement

"although sometime has passed
i still remember just like it was yesterday.
the time is moving fast.
the love i have for you
time won't ever change -
i'll always feel the same
now until the end..."

04 July 2010

happy red, white and BLUE!

happy fourth of july, dear friends and readers!

my dad and my grandpa were both military men, and my great-gran was a farmer in south dakota, so i am proud to celebrate our freedom today and the sacrifices that so many great men and women, from all walks of life, have made so we may enjoy it.

and, on a much DORKIER note, holidays always get me revved up - the parties, the decorations and the colors!

today i'm thinking about blue (but not feeling it - it's a beautiful day here in san francisco and we have lots of friends on the way for a big backyard blowout!)...

some of you have already seen this, but i think it's about time to fetch my dad's homework desk from the family garage and bring it back to the f.c.s. house for some t.l.c. it'll look exactly like the one above and end up on the right side of the bed in the guest bedroom.
guests will be able to look out the window at the city lights by night and write jealousy-inducing postcards to their loved ones back home...
i've also been on the hunt for the perfect, petite nightstand for the left side. no luck for months at the antiques markets or on the craigslists but LOOK AT WHAT WE HAVE HERE. the appropriately named "petite bedside table" at pb teen looks like just the thing! and super-reasonable at 99 bucks!
and i still need to hang this bad-boy in the room as well. the aqua teardrops are a bit too bright for me so i'm thinking of putting a thin coat of white glass paint over them to soften them for the room.

anyone have any experience with glass paint? i'd love a tip or two!

have a happy day, friends!
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