not that my iphone isn't a perfectly professional camera...

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Evane (the middle sister) has been in Texas for the summer and we've been working on a few photo shoots.  Nothing fancy, just good quality pictures of things I've done for future interior design relating job hunting.

I know she wants to edit these, but I was really excited to have a better shot of my living room than my iPhone camera, so here you are...

$25 Goodwill rug.  Coffee table made out of a stolen pallet from the outlet mall parking lot, a few cheap casters and a piece of plexi glass Lowe's cut to size for me.  The ultimate $350 Craigslist find, my vintage Chesterfield leather sofa.  My precious home-made bookshelves, full of all of my favorite books, art, and vintage trophies.  (This un-edited picture doesn't show it well, but the coral pillow matches the rug perfectly.  Thanks, Target!)

Ikea's ubiquitous $70 Expedit.  Vintage mirrors my Granny gave me.  Owl print from B. Lambert's Etsy shop; $8 people, art doesn't have to be expensive.  Lots of (mostly from thrift stores and Half Price) books.  $5 coffee filter/cupcake liner/thumbtack "flower" installation.  Vintage needle package art in Ikea frames.  (Post on those to come; they are some of my favorite artwork in the house)

I'm a big fan of these billy buttons (or Craspedia if you want to get technical) and they last forever!  This might be the laziest/cutest arrangement I've ever made: chop them off all the same height and throw in vintage water glass.

(Side note:  I found this picture when I was googling the Latin name for the flower.  Succulents and billy buttons in a wedding bouquet?  Sign me up.  Cutest wedding ever.)

Chris and Kelly's wedding, shot by Erin Hearts Court

It's not hard to style bookshelves.  Lots of books, placed horizontally and vertically, to give it interest.  Art (This particular piece is a page from a calender that I framed in my good ole' standby, the Ikea Ribba.)  Knick knacks; tchotchkes; things you find pretty.  Whatever you call them, they don't have to be expensive.  Every single thing in this shot came from a thrift store; I just pop in when I'm close to one and have a few minutes and just browse the "accessories" aisle.  When I find something I like that's priced right (read, only a few dollars) I buy it and throw it in my "When I need to decorate something" box.  That horse bookend was an ugly fake marble color, so I spray painted it high gloss white.  The wooden artist's model was $10 at Ikea.  The gold dinosaur was $.99 and is the best thing I ever placed anywhere.  (I wrote that sentence and all I can hear is Peter Griffin saying, "That's the smartest thing I've heard anyone say about anything."

I love my vintage trophies.  I also love paperbacks printed in the 60's. (The best cover design!)  I love these two things stacked up beside each other even better.

There you are.  My living room, hopefully a little prettier than you've seen it before.

mood swings.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A post where I will make you say "Awwwww!", laugh, cry uncontrollably, and then say "WTH, Terry Crews?"

1st up...
Cute puppy learning to howl.  Simple and adorable.

Starting in 2006, two guys, Streeter and Amir, at (a website that has funny videos and pictures and is generally a time-waster) started pulling pranks on each other - and videotaping them all for our enjoyment.  They started out small, tricking Streeter into meeting an imaginary (hot girl) fan for a fake date or getting Amir to make an (embarrassing) audition tape for show that didn't exist.  Over a few years, this turned into a vicious (and oh-so-funny) prank war and the boys started raising the stakes pretty dramatically.  After Amir sent in a fake marriage proposal on the big screen at a Yankees game for Streeter and his girlfriend, I knew that the revenge prank was gonna be good.  (Dude, Streeter's girlfriend was pissed when she realized she wasn't really getting proposed to.)

Amir thinks he makes the half million dollar half court shot at halftime at a baskeball game... (a little bit of NSFW language)

3rd... (I'm being serious about the crying.  This is gonna be bad.)
"Arthur Boorman was a disabled veteran of the Gulf War for 15 years, and was told by his doctors that he would never be able to walk on his own, ever again." First sentence in the YouTube info section and I'm all ready to pull out the tissues.

Just watch.

Let's dry those tears and watch Old Spice kick another ad campaign out of the park.

Old Spice Muscle Music from Terry Crews on Vimeo.
I don't know what in the world is happening, but I love it.

You're welcome.

update: it's a corder thing

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Remember how my brother and I make really good faces?  Well, as he said, it runs in the family.  The roomie makes pretty good faces as well.

jeans, leopard and sparkles

Sunday, August 19, 2012

I've been reading What I Wore for a while and I've always loved her effortless, chic style.  (Plus, her last name is Quirk!  How great is that?)

She recently posted a simple Friday night outfit that I was instantly drawn to.  I love the combination of the faded denim, the leopard heels and super sparkly gold clutch.

photo by Jessica Quirk, What I Wore

Being me, I instantly wondered how I could bring that feeling into a room.  What's the equivalent to a worn-in old pair of jeans?  A comfy couch!  Now you could be really literal in translating those jeans into furniture and end up with this:
Haha!  Just joking.  But... that overstuffed, curl up with book, oh-so-comfy shape of the couch is what I'm thinking of, as un-chic as it might seem.   At first I thought about a plain white couch, like this one from Crate and Barrel.  Simple, easy to find and pretty ubiquitous (like a pair of jeans...)
white couch
1. The Lounge Slipcovered Sofa from Crate and Barrel.
2. My favorite of the pillows (from the randomest of weird internet shopping places) is the Bouganvillea Sequin Pillow from Horchow.
3. Etsy was a great resource.  This snow leopard pillow is from MiCasaBella - her etsy shop is a great resource for graphic pillows in any color.
4. More gold sequins.  RaineStyleHome's etsy shop is full of cute pillows and bags.  Look at this flying pig makeup bag!
5.  More Etsy! This leopard pillow is from AriannaBelle's shop and I'm loving the colors of this Adras Ikat pillow cover.

Now I like this, but, it doesn't have enough character.  That's something you need to think about when you're trying to copy something for your own home.  You might find a chair that has the same characteristics as the one in your "dream living room" inspiration photo (cognac brown, turned wood legs, high back)... But does it have the same feeling? If the chair in the picture looks like someone found it in their grandfather's library and yours looks like you got it in a living room furniture set on sale at JC Penny's, then you might want to look for something else.  The perfect chair for you might be a lighter brown and have a tufted back with short rustic legs; but if it would look at home surrounded by giant bookshelves, it'll still work!

So.  Jeans (and shirt) in the top photo.  What are they like?  They're certainly not Old Navy Jeans and a brand new chambray shirt.  They're worn in, have some character (that word again!) but still have a chic and current shape.  Where does this leave me with my couch?

I'm thinking leather.

Leather couches are hard.  As Emily Henderson so brilliantly put it, you want the James Dean and Paul Newman of leather couches, not the New Jersey and bachelor pad ones.  (Click on that link and read the first few paragraphs of the post.  Awesome!)  You can, of course, imagine my favorite of her tips: "When in doubt, buy a chesterfield." Right!  So, I'm gonna go to the grandaddy of all fake vintage/so expensive/but gorgeous all the same furniture: Restoration Hardware.  I think that "worn" leather chesterfield will have the same feeling as an old pair of jeans and faded chambray shirt.
couch 2
Same pillows, a couch with a lot more character.  Of course, now, it's a totally different color scheme than our picture.  Sometimes, that's totally fine; don't get caught up in having to exactly match your inspiration pictures.  

But... I have an inkling that there has to be an un-hideous denim couch out there.  (Actually that first Crate and Barrel couch came in a denim fabric that would have been cute if not for the bright yellow stitching...)  Since we're already going crazy expensive with the Restoration Hardware couch (the big one was on sale from $12k to $10k!), let's ignore how expensive this couch from 1st dibs is.  (The kind of expensive that doesn't have prices)
couch 3
Here, you get denim with the clean, chic lines of the skinny jeans in our original outfit.  The couch is from the 60's, so it has some character to it.  (Crikeys, I need to find another word besides "character!"  It's just such a good word!)  Though I said that it didn't matter just a few paragraphs ago, it has the same colors and textures of Jessica's outfit.

I think this is kind of fun, turning an outfit into a room.  I might try this again.  I can pretend I'm Domino.

ETA: I didn't realized that last picture was so blurry.  Sorry!/Too lazy to fix it...

"You git!"

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I have this obsession with watching videos of people where they are truly, genuinely happy.  I've shown this video before about two dads being told they'll be grandfathers; I have a giant smile on face every time I watch it.  There's nothing like watching someone get wonderful news (BTW, do not get sucked into the time-warp of watching "telling mom and dad we're having a baby" videos on youtube.  You'll look up at the clock and realize you've been sitting there crying and smiling for hours.)

This guy got tickets for a handball game for his Olympics-obsessed father but kept them as a surprise.  The dad just thinks they're just headed over to Olympic Park to see how close they can get and look at it from the viewing platform.  The look on his face when he's reading the ticket and starts to realize what is happening is priceless.

Totally worth 4 minutes and 16 seconds of your day.

I'd like to say a few words

Friday, August 3, 2012

In my a room can be designed in an hour on the internet post I talked about how I think a room always benefits from a bit of typographic art.  Some of my all-time favorite pieces (from the room that I never actually did except for on the internet) are Paper Jam Press' prints of rap lyrics.

I love love love.

happy2bsad is a tumblr full of funny sentiments simply and perfectly written.
(And it's totally true)

Rhythm-of-love-micy tumblr doesn't exist...
Thanks for giving us this before you disappeared off the internet, though!

73 letterpress has so many great prints
(like, probably 73 of them)

Chris Piascik has hundreds of prints that I love.  Pages and pages.

There are also the more common phrases that everyone has made a print out of... I still love them.

I tried so hard to figure out where this came from.
It was one of those internet rabbit holes.
(I know it's not a print, but it's so perfect!)

Crazy popular, but for a good reason...

Of course, none of this artwork compares to the doodles Hannah and I worked on instead of getting slaughtered at Yahtzee by my dad.

How much should we charge for those?  $100, $200 apiece?

fake bathroom.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Since the beginning of time (on this blog) I've had a specific image I wanted to style my kitchen after:
I know I've shown it a thousand times... But isn't it so pretty!
photo from Design Sponge

This is a basement laundry room from Sarah Hartill's house (she's the editor of Canadian House & Home) which I planned on turning into a kitchen and now am imagining as a bathroom.
All of the white in this room will easily be matched by the white tiles and flooring that most bathrooms have.  Sometimes when you have a boring builder's bathroom, you have to work extra hard to make sure you give the room some personality.

1/8.  I'm not exaggerating when I say I have been looking for a less expensive version of this fabric for over a year.  Every single time I'm in a fabric store I search the aisles for a match.  I love the color, the print... It's perfect!  You don't have to buy a shower curtain, just hem up the fabric and use a white shower curtain liner behind it to keep out the water.

2. This Olin Rug from Crate and Barrel has the perfect stripes.  I had a hard time finding a bath mat in black and white, but I think this would work too.

3. There are a million different vintage maps I found on Etsy, but I especially liked the blue color on this one.  I'm also totally digging this star map.

4. So, this is the Jamie Young Round Leather Mirror and it costs almost $600.  Guess what I'm going to say?  Duh.  DIY.

5. Of course, you still have to have pretty soaps.  The Dove bottle just doesn't have the same cache. (Of course, it's a lot cheaper... but whatever!  This isn't real life, it's the internet!)

6.  I love this little green soap holder from Urban Outfitters.  (They do have other things like a tower rack and a toothbrush holder, fyi.  Dude, I am so helpful.)

7.  I've heard a lot about these Turkish towels called foutas.  They're super thin cotton, but supposedly  very absorbent.  Jonathan Adler had these cute pink ones, but you can find them everywhere.

9.  Though the original photo didn't have any wood in it, I really like the idea of using wooden crates on the wall.  (A la A Beautiful Mess, whose black/white/floral scheme is in the same vein as mine.)  I found a few (overpriced) ones on Etsy, but you should be able to find a few of these at a flea market for cheap.

10.  I love little brass animals and this fox hook from Anthro is perfect for that pink fouta towel.

So cute.


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