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Archive for January, 2010

David and I have had a difficult time with choosing just the “right” lighting for this house. We’ve kept what vintage lighting that was left with the home. This has only been a few rooms. During the 1970’s and later, most of the lighting in our home has been replaced with the most boring and cheapest lighting options available. This is a shame because replacing it with period lighting is very, very expensive and time-consuming. We’ve spent months searching antique stores, salvage yards, websites looking for the kind of lighting that would have been in a middle class suburban home in the mid- 1930’s. The reproduction market is plagued with overly fancy items that would have never have been in this home to begin with. I have found a few antiques but they weren’t exactly what I was looking for and didn’t want to pay $500 for something I didn’t know if I liked or not. So…we’ve decided to put the search on hold. We have more important things to do. In the meantime we’ve decided to just replace what was in the house with something that we like better but isn’t expensive. We’re waiting for just the right thing.

In the studio, we didn’t have any lighting at all. When we purchased our home, there was just some rigged up extension cord contraption. The electricians wired the room for overhead lighting in the middle of the room. For many months we’ve had a boring bare bulb. Our wonderful neighborhood joined forces and started giving us lighting that had hanging around their basements. This is how we’ve ended up with our current studio lighting. It had a glass bulb with some floral etched design. We decided to remove it for more of a harsh, steampunk type of feel. I wanted an Edison bulb but those offer very little light. We’re using a “decorative” bulb instead. We’re calling it “The Days of Our Lives” fixture. Hey, it was free. No complaints.

-Victoria

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This is a “duh” idea that I found on marthastewart.com after I have finished most of the painting in the house. Finding a place for brushes to dry is always difficult for us. With these magnetic strips, the brushes can hang down so that the water doesn’t cause the metal to rust and loosen any adhesive. It’s simple and I will have to add one of these down in the basement. It should be very easy to do since magnetic strips are self-adhesive and cheap. It had me thinking of a few other things…such as doing this for cosmetic brush storage or even pencils. I don’t think I will do the last 2 mentioned but it is a thought.

-Victoria

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I have learned recently that there is not a color out there that people hate more than pink. I personally love pink and I enjoy it in decorating. I have been shocked by other people’s reactions of pink. For example, I have painted my super tiny “boudoir” pink with a khaki trim. People look in and go “Did you mean to do that?” or “Wow, I assume that you haven’t gotten to this room yet.” That was one of the first spaces I worked on and yes, I meant to do that. I have witnessed people’s faces cringe at my choice of pink. I find their reaction entertaining and very odd. After thinking about this much too long, I have came to the conclusion that people are either A. very boring and narrow-minded. They can’t think of pink for anything other than a pretty-pretty princess little girl’s room. They aren’t willing to detach pink from prissy pig-tailed little girls and see it as an unexpected color to use and B. people hate women. They hate things that are associated with femininity. Men think being in a pink room shrinks their balls and women think that they are weak if they like pink. They think it means if they say they like it then all of female kind will go back to being a stay-at-home baby factory that was lucky to get a high school diploma. OK, so maybe both A and B are very harsh, but I do think that people have some very set stereotypes and “hang-ups” with pink.

I like pink. I feel I can embrace it. I can embrace it as a bright and unexpected color to use. So far, I have been very happy about my pink choices. I have found these two pink dining rooms. I like them. But, somebody should let them know that they will never resell the place if they keep the colors this way. If you are going into foreclosure or something like that or if you really don’t want your house to sell, then paint your rooms pink. People can’t get past it!

Betsey Johnson's dining room

This first dining room is nice. It’s Betsey Johnson’s dining room, so yeah, it’s pink. I’m sure that I feel in love with it because of the sputnik lamp. I think I like any room with one. This room is very pink. It has a formal and somewhat 60’s vibe. I like this room but I do feel the pink is overwhelming and it should of been balanced out with more chartreuse and maybe more “gold” metals. It’s a whimsy room. And I love it with the “dark” lines of the table and mirror. Ohh, I need a sputnik for our dining room.

I think this other room came from Cottage Living magazine (another RIP magazine). Once again it is a room with pink, acid green, and dark contrasts. It is fun and I think this home is in California. A place with lots of sunshine can pull off these colors easily. Pink really looks great with wood tones.

I don’t really think that either of these dining rooms are “timeless” but I do think they are fun. You could keep all the furniture, linens, and accessories and change the color of the walls and get an entire new room. That is the power of pink. It’s just one of “those” colors. It can change an entire space. That being said, taking it away can change an entire space as well. I’m with my pink right now.

Cottage Living dining room

I have to ground it with neutral colors, woods, and creepy objects for a grown-up look. My husband doesn’t mind all the pink either. That’s good. I did marry a guy that enjoys interior design and decorating, so I would actually be shocked if he didn’t like pink. Or perhaps he’s learned that marriage is more important than complaining about pink. I’m fine with either reason.

-Victoria

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As usual, Frink is overseeing the renovation.

We finally removed every trace of the layers and layers and layers of retro-fabulous wallpaper from the dining nook! We may have resorted to an electric sander with a buffer pad and diluted Mrs. Meyers cleaning products, but we did it. Since then we’ve had the windows replaced being that the ones that were there had some homemade mess of glass that was caulked together. We painted the room a dove gray mistint that I love (less lilac than the picture). I am going for a swank early 60’s Hong Kong hotel, think the decor of the hotels featured in the series I Spy. I got my wish and it will be fantastic. I didn’t realize that most of the things we own fits in the “swank early 60’s Asian hotel” category.  I’ve started decorating this space. I’m not finished. Does one ever stop decorating their space? I’ll show those pics when I get there. I desperately need a sputnik!!!

I just wanted to share this little accomplishment. I can now eat dinner at a table. I haven’t had that in 7 months.

-Victoria

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Living room from Elle Decor

I love robin’s egg blue and chartreuse both as accents but I have came across 2 rooms that use both of these colors as more than just accent colors.

This first room is from Elle Decor magazine. I love the powder blue walls with monochromatic trim. This comes across as a very 60’s Regency look to me. It looks like something that would have been in a swank 60’s hotel in a tropical locale like the Philippines . I love the “classic” accessories such as the lighting and mirrors. I also love any space that displays underwater finds such as coral. The chairs really make the room. OK, so they aren’t quite chartreuse, more acid yellow, but they really add a fun and quirky touch to this otherwise stuffy room. It’s the only “real” color in the room and I like it.

This other room was featured in Cottage Living magazine. Once again this is a “formal” living room that is made fun by the choice of color: robin’s egg blue and chartreuse.

Cottage Living living room

This room also has the addition of a vintage golden orange. This room also puts off a 60’s Regency vibe. I love these colors together. They are bold without being obnoxious.

I really love “icy” shades paired with bold ones. I love a combo of powder blue and chartreuse, pale lilac and grapefruit, mint sorbet and fire engine red. These are those great retro color combinations that I feel many of us “young moderns” overlook.

-Victoria

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2009 was a pretty busy year for the two of us. We both started working our “professional” jobs and spent time adjusting to not being in the university setting. We made a big move and were still settling and trying to look like “native” Pacific Northwesterners. We had a dramatic home buying experience that lasted half of the year. We bought a rehab home and have been working countless hours on it to make it a pleasant living space. We got Frink the Frug. It was a good year even though it didn’t lack stress. I shouldn’t complain. We’ve been in good health. Our families have been in good health and we’re happy.I haven’t been able to say that every year.

I hope for 2010 that we will finish up this home project. (We have only been working on it for 4 months and I have to remind myself that). I hope to start working on the exterior of the home and finally get a night blooming moon garden started. I hope that this project will feel worth it. I just hope for a somewhat stable year. It’s been a very eventful decade and I just wonder how it would feel to not have something major going on. Does it feel boring?

I also hope that everybody has a prosperous 2010. Make it is eventful or uneventful as you please.

-Victoria

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