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Archive for August, 2009

Country Living yellow living room

Country Living yellow living room

I’m not a fan of the yellow living room but I can really appreciate these two that I have recently found. The first one is from Country Living magazine. I can appreciate this one because it sort of creepy. It’s bold and bright but somehow strangely dark and morbid. Perhaps it is the portrait over the mantel doing all of that work. It doesn’t help that that eery pic is surrounded by dead and bare branches in little urns. That being said, that is one of the reasons that I love this room. A few other shots are available on the magazine’s website. You can see that the table is Moroccan in design and that there is a zebra rug, my weakness. This room has a quilt draped over a couch and I still am not running away screaming. Somehow that quilt makes the room a little bit morbid. So thumbs up to this room for making yellow a little bit of a gothic shade.

The other room designed by Jamie Drake is much less morbid and much more playful, sunny, and just mood elevating. The colors are bright. I love teal used anywhere and the teal and yellow really work well together.

Jamie Drake living room

Jamie Drake living room

It’s a mid-century modern look and that is usually a winner. It all works so well with the chocolate brown furniture and flooring.

P.S. We are moving into our mess this weekend! The top floor is almost finished and I’ll be sure to post pics as soon as the home gets internet ready. Have a great weekend and relax for us!

-Victoria

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Thomas Paul Gothic Dessert Plates

Thomas Paul Gothic Dessert Plates

I have said for quite sometime that a raven and its imagery should be used more and more in home design. This being said I do some of my home shopping around Halloween so I can pick up some of these images. And Halloween products are already out, soon don’t you think? I really like these Thomas Paul Gothic Dessert Plates, um, not a Halloween product. (It is going to be a long time before I host a dinner party but I would love to have these). You can get the set for $28 from Velocity Art & Design. I like them all, I guess, but I would really be happy if I got 4 raven plates. These are made out of melamine (is that gothic?) so they are dishwasher safe (as always since I am the dishwasher) but not microwave safe.

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Why do I find mantels so intimidating? Oh, maybe because we don’t have one. Sometime during this home’s life, somebody ripped it off and paneled over it. What a shame! Since we have never had to think of mantels before, I’ve been searching for one to love. I found 2 black mantels online. I like them but I don’t love them enough for my own home. They are share worthy.

Woman's Day black mantel

Woman's Day black mantel

The 1st one is from Woman’s Day magazine (how did I ever come across this?). I liked it because it is both moody and romantic. The black and lilac really go well together. It’s a pretty picture into this space. But, let’s be real here. That is one killer mantel and it has some amazing details. This thing would look stunning with any room. I’m not going to be a purist and get all my granny panties in a wad, but could you imagine how beautiful this thing was underneath that poorly applied coat of black paint? I love painted furniture but I’m trying to only use that as a way to make something work that couldn’t otherwise. Wood is a beautiful thing. It brings nature into the home. But, I’m not being a purist. I have no idea what that mantel looked like before and the black adds a certain drama that this room needs or else it would be too shabby chic and predictable.

The other room is from House Beautiful magazine. It isn’t exactly a black mantel but this space packs the drama. This is a beautiful space but I fear it is only photogenic. I’m always attracted to these dark rooms in photos but I rarely see them in person so I haven’t been able to form a rational opinion of the black room. But, anyways. As far as eye candy goes, this room is it. What luxury! What mystery! The light from the fireplace plays with the black glossiness. The accessories are nice, maybe not what I would pick but nice. Well, I would pick them but the symmetry makes it hard to breathe in there. Does vintage modern apply to this art deco modern approach of decorating? But, once again. This is a lovely mantel and I’m sure it would work with any room, even one with a more traditional color.

House Beautiful mantel

House Beautiful mantel

I am having the hardest time deciding on a mantel. My dad’s friend will be making us one and he says he can use mahogany. I love the richness of mahogany and will not paint over this (not even with black). I just can’t find a style that I like. So when all else fails, go simple, I guess.

-Victoria

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lorneI keep finding more and more Art Deco and Streamline Moderne details in the home. This is great because I have always dreamed of a deco home. But, I thought this would never happen. It is difficult to find a home that “fits” with deco without looking too Roger Rabbit and it is very expensive in interior design because the materials are so luxe. I’m talking to you shagreen and other exotic animal hides. I didn’t realize that the home has these subtle details so I didn’t “plan” accordingly. Now I am trying to get into “character” just a little and imagine everything smokier and with the scent of cognac and gardenias in the air.

I began to have Art Deco fantasies (again) after watching Angel. I loved the hotel with its Hollywood deco details and always wanted a room like Lorne’s. It was dark, rich, and had the best details. I know deco is hokey because it was so mass produced and the 80’s fascination with it almost destroyed it (please don’t pair pink neon lights with streamline anymore), but deco is pretty darn glamorous. I won’t have an all out Art Deco home because our tastes are too eclectic and mixed but I do want that vibe to be there. It’s both cold and warm and practical and unromantic. It’s just right for me, “dark” and glamorous. I’ve always loved this aesthetic because I have loved film noir for quite sometime but Angel added color.

Red living room

Red living room

I forgot where I “found” this red living room but I love it. First, it is an intense color. This is dramatic with nothing else added. But, that teal and chartreuse look amazing with it. I know that no room in my house will ever look this fabulous, I can’t stay in my film noir character this long, but I absolutely lust over this room. If I can just have a little bit of this, then I will be happy. It has colors that I will never grow tired of (chartreuse & teal), great textures, and yes, even pops of zebra print.

-Victoria

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woodfloorsOK, so we have to move into our “mess sweet mess” next week. We’ve been working really hard to make it “acceptable”, but what really matters is that the plumbers and electricians can finish so that the place will be “working” and “usable”. Initially our plan was to rid the home of its ugliness. This means removing wallpaper, prime, paint, remove carpet, tile a few floors, and refinish the floors. Last Friday we came to our senses. This was going to be too much work. We realized that we only had a week of prep time and refinishing the floors would take all of our time. Plus, the “team” hasn’t finished and rumor has it they want to cut up some floors, walls, umm, destroy. After feeling overwhelmed and researching wood floor refinishing online and at every home improvement store in the area (no help at all), we talked to a few neighbors. Many have the same “batch” of floor as we have. A few have refinished and this was time consuming and expensive. Others have done nothing and just live with it, rugs do so much. And another waxes their floors for that hand-rubbed shine. We realized that we can live in a floor that is less than perfect for the time being. We have to prioritize expenses and our time. David sanded down a closet and put a poly coat over it. This looks awful! I really dislike the look of poly and the sanding took the lovely patina out of the floor. We were not going to do this throughout the house.  I bought a can of Minwax Paste Finishing Wax because I always liked the sheen it left on my parent’s Shaker furniture reproductions. I practiced in a closet and it looks “revived”, yet still very rustic. (Hey, I’m working with what I have here). So, our plan is to do this before we move in: wax the floors. We plan on renting a buffer and going to town with this task. We have almost finished all of our painting upstairs and half of downstairs! The place already looks soo different. (I’m working on creating an album). I think clean floors will make a difference, haha. The floors aren’t in the best condition. There are scratches, looks like somebody has been shooting off fireworks in one room, and horrible kitty stains (the worst!). But, we are looking at empty rooms and to be honest most of our furniture will cover this up, rugs, etc. And really, as you can see from the pic, the floors aren’t horrible. I think sometimes we strive for too much perfection. We’ve decided to live with it and eventually have a pro do it in the future. Refinishing floors that are over 70 years old and have had zero maintenance is too much for us right now. We are stressed and have decided to not take on such a big job on top of our other big jobs, well, at least for now. I better go and finish painting over black trim…

-Victoria

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peterlippmanfrenchieshoe

To make a long and boring story short, my French bulldog biological clock has been ticking for over 10 years now. I’ve wanted one of these smushed faced creatures for quite sometime. In fact, in my mind he already exists. His name is Stuckey and he is a buttermilk baby. I have already projected all of my personality quirks onto him like great pet owners do. He gets grumpy if you wake him up early, he has a fuzzy food phobia, he hates tennis bracelets, has a little hat collection and often finds himself anxious in social situations. This is Stuckey. He will also make me 50k a year modeling for greeting cards. I’m happy that he is so photogenic.

I always thought I did not have this buttermilk blessing because we were not homeowner’s. Pet deposits are a crock. We were in college and were broke. Face it. These aren’t cheap dogs. We’re over planners and couldn’t justify not getting our little Stuckey into the most prestigious of doggy daycares…

We joke that Obama Claus is getting us a little Stuckey baby since we are 1st time homeowner’s (8k, haha). This really isn’t true. We are getting a little Stuckey because we have our own home and life is a bit more stable and we don’t have to pay some slumlord a 1k pet deposit. However, I’m getting cold feet.

Just look at the pic above! Stuckey will love to sink his puppy teeth into the soft leather of Frye boots! He will love to puke on vintage silk blouses. I just know it. He will love to destroy the hardwood floors and trim that we have just repaired. Will I ever forgive him? Will I want to walk him in the PNW rain and slush? Will he be nice to the other pups in the neighborhood or will I be the mother of a bully, antisocial Frenchie with a pit bull complex? Do I want buttermilk dander on all of my gothic black wardrobe? These are the fears of somebody that has been petless for so long and has never had a dog in the house.

I told David that I want a Halloween Stuckey. I think we have too much to worry about with this renovation and all. Now even I am thinking a Halloween Stuckey is too soon. However, I feel I need one. I am an adult now. I mean I do own a home. Isn’t it only natural that the next step be to clean the facial wrinkles of a little grumpy French bulldog dressed up in a top hat and dandy cape?

-Victoria

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I’m learning to love neutrals again. I always wear neutrals but usually prefer brights in the home. I guess I am growing up because I can’t get enough of elegant neutral shades ranging from taupe to rocky cliff gray. It’s that sea pebble addiction that I have. The dining nook will be painted a gray shade and I hope it turns out nicely (this is one of the last projects on the list). Neutrals create such an elegant backdrop for all of your things. I do love my stuff.

Coastal Living dining room

Coastal Living dining room

This first room is amazing. I love this formal dining room found in Coastal Living magazine. The millwork is amazing I really do love the choice of colors. The lighting isn’t too shabby either. I could live without that hokey hardware on the buffet and I want to slap whoever spray painted that antique mirror, but hey, it’s a beach home. Beach homes think they can get away with that kind of stuff. I think I am going for this shade because it is so beachy. It’s beachy without being a vacation home shade. We often forgot (somehow) that we live less than 4 blocks from the sea. This is novel to us since we are from a landlocked area. The locals don’t get it because it rocky beaches don’t feel beachy. But, anyways. I thought this was a room that was well executed.

The 2nd room is something from apartmenttherapy.com. I mainly care about this pic because of the buttermilk Frenchie resting under the chair like a big knot on a log. Anybody with a French bulldog has great tastes, right? 🙂 Well, one I got pass the “him a cute baby” phase of looking at the picture, I realized that I like the colors used as well. They are neutral and really bring the room together without being intense.

Apartment Therapy living room

Apartment Therapy living room

It’s a cute room and I love that they chose a softer white to paint their trim with. This adds so much class. I’m a sucker for putty shades. Every time I see them in use, I want to paint the entire house in these colors. Off subject: I know people love the color coordination of books but it is my pet peeve. Why is that? I organize mine by type, like a library would. I just don’t like the color thing because it is like you don’t read, you just look. Maybe you can remember a book by its cover but I don’t. What do you do with a Pocket Poet’s series?

-Victoria

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