26 May 2012

collect. that. check.

so, here i am. saturday. long weekend. sitting on the couch, WORKING. this, my friends, is no bueno.

however... i was taking a short internets-shopping break and realized that, while all of my pillows are piled high on a chair and my kombucha bottle is front and center, the room looks kinda nice. finally.

one of these days i will get around to a photo tour of this room but, in the mean time, here's a snapshot. courtesy of my life that currently stinks.

hope you're having a better holiday weekend than i am!

jen x

to ms. summer: you were one heck of a lady. may you rest in peace under that big disco ball in the sky.

16 April 2012

my (office) shame.

well, i think i've pretty much shied away from giving y'all a look at my home office for the past 3 years. out of shame.

it still confounds me. look at this mess. and the boxes behind me aren't any prettier. but when i'm done with my work day i sort of just want to run downstairs. you know?

so tell me, what would you do to make this room better? (you know, other than starting completely from scratch.)

"i have one thing to say... sashay, chante!"

03 April 2012

turn on your heartlight!

master bedroom

bet that title brings back some memories, huh? well, if you're as old as i am that is. how many times did you see e.t. in the theaters?

i'm in the process of gathering up a few new lights to put up in ye ole house and thought it might be fun to pull some pictures together so you can see all of the fixtures together. i get SO MANY nice comments/ compliments from visitors, first-timers and repeaters, about my "collection".

what do you think?

entry hall
(it doesn't look this creepy usually! not sure where that red glow is coming from.)

dining room

family room

family room

home office

soon to be in the guest bedroom

and two of these soon to make their debut in the kitchen

and, now, sing along with me and neil. :)

02 April 2012

easy peasy lemon squeezy lighting project.

lighting pwn!

so cute, right? i can't thank nicole at parlour enough for inspiring me to make this adorable pendant light!

it was about as easy as it gets - and super cheap too. here's what you need if you want one yourself. gather up:

1. single light pendant (like this one at home depot)
2. paper lantern - i used the 20" version from pier 1
3. coffee filters. i used about 600 for mine. you can get them on the cheap at amazon
4. your trusty glue gun and lots of glue sticks. i hadn't used mine since my sorority days - brought back some memories, i tell ya! (" i am a sigma kappa girl, sigma girl. i wear a pin of gold and pearls, gold and pearls...")

and then you just start gluing. and gluing. and gluing. put a dab on the bottom of each filter like so:

and place the dots of glue veryclosetogether, like this:

about half way...

and DONE!

now i just have to call my electrician. AGAIN. i'll post a photo when it's up in the guest room. until then, back to the dreaded kitchen cabinets...

01 April 2012

kitchen update.

nothing much to say, but here's a preview of what the kitchen might look like when it is done. (and please ignore the command strips holding the bin pull in place - i was still figuring out where i wanted it! classy as always...)

30 March 2012

um... YES!

i have been on the hunt for the right lighting for my guest room for a LOOOOONG time now. it's the only room left with one of those boob lamps that were *everywhere* in the house. and, my dear readers, all of you know how much i love a sassy light fixture!

here's what the guest bedroom looks like now. i love it, except for that ding-dang light!

so yesterday, as i was surfing some of my favorite site and following all kinds of links, i found this.
nichole at parlor: you. complete. me. (see more of her lovely dining room and this project here.)

i think a big, fluffy cloud is just what the guest bedroom needs. so, off to pier 1 i go for a paper lantern and then safeway for 1000 coffee filters... (yes, i DO love to torture myself.)

and here's one of my favorite tracks from my college days to celebrate. wheeeee!

14 March 2012

so... good news and bad news on the kitchen update.

i've made a TEENY bit of progress (i'm attacking the work a section at a time so i don't get overwhelmed) and it's clear that this is a great product.

however, it's also clear that it's going to take 4-5 coats of paint (not including top coat) to cover the dark cabinets.

so it's going to be a little while before i can show you how this turns out. but in the meantime i will try to post some photos of the updates to the dining room, family room and office.

keeping busy!

11 March 2012

oh, cr*p.

so, while there are many, many, MANY projects still on my list for this here ol' house, for the most part i do like it in it's current state.

the only real exception is the kitchen. while we are extremely lucky that it had been upgraded for modern-day life, it is clear that it was done without any thought about how it would integrate with the rest of the house.

remember, our house was built sometime around 1865-1880, so THIS (seen here on one of our walk-throughs in 2009) is not what i would have chosen to do with the kitchen.

so, now, i'm finally going to go for it. cabinet transformations in "pure white" and vintage hardware are at the ready - and i am steeling myself for several weeks of painting and frustration. i'll tell you later if it was actually worth the effort!

wish me luck!

06 March 2012

candy girl.

anyone who knows me well also knows that i am a FIEND for cotton candy. (in fact, a good friend even gave me a cotton candy machine for my birthday this year! *squee*)

i was surfing retronaut the other day and found these FANTASTIC photos by nina leen, one of life magazine's first female photojournalists.

i am most definitely going to have to print the whole series and put it up in the house somewhere.

and here's one bonus picture for you. AMAZING, right?

paul mccartney and stella mccartney eating cotton candy at the
barnum & bailey circus at madison square garden, 1974.

wishing all of my readers lots of cotton candy fun today!

17 February 2012

a wee bit o'progress.

okay - so what better way to get motivated to finish a beast of a project than a surprise visit by family. i can't think of any, really.

so... while this is not nearly complete, i have finally made a TINY bit of progress in decorating the dining room.

with a hard deadline in my google calendar, i decided not to paint, but it was finally time to update the mirrors and change the light fixture. and add a buffet. and some tchotchkes.

the photo above was taken this morning. it's messy. i need to adjust the mirrors. i'm still spray-painting and assembling the chandelier. rocky balboa needs to be relocated. but it sort of looks like a dining room now, non?

more details coming soon...

02 February 2012

oh my god, this place!

i recently took a quick trip to denver for some snowy r&r and was totally BLOWN AWAY by the restaurant that my host took me to on my last night in town. the food at beatrice & woodsley was outstanding (crawfish beignets? all kale caesar? whole roasted colorado striped sea bass? YES PLEASE!)

but what really took my breath away was the interior design. it was like being transported to a different world the moment you walked through the door.

filled with aspen trees and creative accents, i felt like we were sitting in a magical forest.

and no wonder. here's their story...

A room that emulates the story of two lovebirds: Beatrice, the life-loving daughter of a French wine making family who relocated to California in the 1800’s to create a small vineyard. And Woodsley, the handsome and crafty son of Lumberjacks-turned-Coopers who provided barrels for the fledging wine producers. Upon first sight Beatrice & Woodsley fell in love and quickly married.

Stirred by his new bride, Woodsley built a remote cabin amid the woods of the Colorado Mountains. Built with skilled and loving hands, Woodsley constructed a strong abode complete with the day’s amenities and a large wine cellar between the roots of the aspens... Life was lived with appreciation amongst the forest birdsong, and the snow-capped peaks… happily ever after.

the bar is made of live edge, untreated wood supported by vintage chainsaws.

re-wired antique lamps hang from beamed ceilings.

tables are swathed in gauzy white curtains for privacy.

the shingled back wall hides doors to the men's and ladies' rooms.

paper rolls suspended from the restroom ceiling.

wonderful pulley system to turn on the sink faucets. strings of ball bearings guide the water from the ceiling into your hands.

whimsical touches all around!

visiting beatrice & woodsley motivated me to get started again on some of the little projects that are hanging around the house waiting to be completed. above all, when someone visits our home, i want them to feel comfortable and happy - just the way i felt when i visited b & w.

what's inspiring you right now?

31 January 2012

other people's places: sarah's bedroom.

welcome to a new type of post that i hope you'll all enjoy!

today's post is one of which i'll call "other people's places". lots of my friends have started to ask for my help in decorating their own homes (crazy fools, i know).

my primary goal is always to capture the person's personal style. and a pretty close second is to make the decorating plan affordable.

sarah came to me with an approximately $1000 budget for her bedroom. she had been using the same unfinished pine furniture since she was 19 and moved into her first college apartment. after turning 30 over the summer she wanted to move to a new place and to make it her own.

she ended up in a big apartment in a great neighborhood - though, as it was built in the 60s it lacked character. each room is essentially a big white box.

one room she loved.

when we talked about what she wanted, she noted that she loved the feel of a modern hotel or spa, but wanted some glamour too. i also noticed that, when we looked at inspiration photos, aside from symmetry (hence the love of hotel rooms) she is drawn to some rustic/ warm elements.

and another that inspired us.

in a word, she wanted something glamorclectic. :)

we're still working on the room, and accessories in particular (she was initially one of those folks who was terrified to collect anything other than vintage 80s vhs tapes - see her favorite below. AMAZING.)

here's what we have collected over the past few months, along with a pillow idea and wall hangings that we're considering for over her desk. (stay tuned for a cool mount that i have in mind.)

click image to see close ups.

i think it looks gorgeous and like it could have been collected more slowly over time (rather than in just a couple of months). and it was great that she was willing to put in some elbow grease. the ikea rast hack ($35 for a nightstand - yes, please!) in particular turned out fab.

we'll post pictures when it's done-ish, but what do you think?

10 January 2012

more dining room inspiration?

i have been struggling to get this room right for almost 2 years now, and i still feel GAH when i walk into it. i won't trouble you with a photo (it's still covered in holiday decorations from various parties) but it's just not great!

first i thought this: http://fogcitysparkle.blogspot.com/2010/01/dining-room-inspiration.html

but, now, i'm thinking of going WAY girly. like pink and purple girly. because "why not?"

here are a few mood photos. what do you think?

and, damn, i love this song. is that embarrassing?

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