Monday, December 28, 2009

Post-Christmas calm...


I love Christmas.  I really do.  The decorations, the feelings of good will, the desire to hug everyone I meet and sing Christmas carols all day long.  What I don't like is how fast the month of December flies.  Especially when I haven't got all my presents bought and wrapped.  This year, for the first time, I found myself wrapping hubby's presents ON CHRISTMAS EVE after he went to bed.  That does NOT happen to me.  I'm normally so on top of this stuff, that I get to share in the childlike sense of anticipation about the coming holiday.  I don't know why I was so far behind.  Especially because I love shopping for people.

And, you know, I love shopping for me.  I am the quintessential American consumer.  As soon as I see it pitched by Billy Mays (rest his loud little soul!), I want it.  If it's "New and Improved" (which always makes me stop and think - how can something be new AND improved...?), I want it.  If it's Christmas sales before Halloween, I WANT IT.  This is really probably the reason I'm usually so on top of my game when it comes to getting everyones' presents.  Because I love to explore places like my favorite store in Ridgedale called "The Afternoon" (which, I believe, has closed down since I moved away from that area), or Spencer's - you can always find a hilarious gift there! - or any other fun little shops like that.

Maybe I spent too much time thinking about the things that I wanted to get a drop on my shopping for others?  :)  Things that were on this year's Christmas list:  a BumpIt (thank you, sister Jenny), my favorite Jonathan Adler item (WHICH I GOT - THANK YOU, HUBBY!!!!!), more picture frames in which to someday hang my favorite photos, and a lovely Mercury Glass vase - on my verbal list - from Pottery Barn (thank you sister Tessa!!!!).  Like I told my little sister:  I'm not one step (the first step...) closer to getting that Pottery Barn house I want.  An unexpected but much-loved couple of gifts:  large glass jars in which to prettily infuse my own vodkas and my dad offering to plane the wood we'll need to build all the shelving systems we want in our house.  If only he'd offered to buy, plane, and install the wood floors we'll need to lay down first!  :)

All-in-all, it was another wonderful Christmas.  And, my birthday's just three short weeks away!  Hope you're all ready for a par-tay!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

7 Deadly Sins: Covet

I love Jonathon Adler.  Love.

I blather about his craftiness to everyone who will listen (and a husband who has probably stopped).  I wait for the email newsletter to see what new cheeky items this mad scientist of chic has come up with.  Though it's not new, this is the current WANT.
Can't you just see this bull bookending some old farming books, an almanac, and a copy of Ferdinand (by Munro Leaf)?  I can - and will, once I have some bookshelves.

I've also decided that it just might be time to bring in another eye.  Someone who can help me figure out how to meld the following items, or if it's even possible: 


Lamps with zebra-print shades (Pier 1), my nana's old sofa, some old chairs that we plan to recover in a pale sage, and damask dining room chairs (Pier 1).  I'm fairly certian that it's not actually possible - it just seems too eclectic for our relatively modern house - but these are all items that I love and would really love to incorporate in my house.  Oh, and the coveted bookends, of course.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Aaaaaaaand, the winner is...

Sherwin Williams Orange Blast!!!!!

Which, for those of you playing at home, is neither of the two colors mentioned in the previous post.  The one we went with is actually pretty much right in between them both.

It's slightly lighter than it looks in this picture.  It definitely brightens up the whole room.  However, the golden wood in the room tends to kind of blend it all together.  So, we're going to have to figure out what accent colors we need to put in the room to give it some punch, and keep it from being so matchy-matchy.  The next step in the system is to cough up the coin for all the backsplash, hang up some wine racks on either side of our big window (it'll be just fine - the wine will be out of direct sunlight!), and decide about the liquid granite.  One step closer!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

One small step for kitchen-kind...

So, we're one step closer.  Well, maybe two.

We finalized the kitchen backsplash!  We found it at Rubble Tile.  This isn't a fantastic photo to showcase the wonderful colors and textures of the glass and onyx, but it'll do.  It's lighter and richer in color than the snap shows.  The colored glass is a lovely orange shade.  The onyx is called "golden onyx" and is as the name implies:  golden.  It's really a great backsplash tile.  One of the reasons we both like it so much is that it's a staggered, random, modernized subway pattern with more than one element.

Our backsplash is 14-14.5"  These are a 12-inch mesh-mounted tile.  So, we've chosen a matching mesh-mounted, mosaic-sized square tile to go with it.  We're not sure if we'll need to put it above or below (or, hey, in the middle of!) the stylized subway tiles.

Based on the colors of the tile, we're pretty settled on a paint color for the kitchen too.  It's Sherwin Williams Folksy Gold -or- Flattering Peach.  They're both similar in color - they seem to be from the same family of a golden orange.  The Gold pulls more from the darker color of the glass, and the Peach pulls more from the various lighter colors in the onyx.  The more we look at it, the more we're drawn to the Gold, I think.

The only real problem with choosing the Gold probably lies in the countertops.  However, we learned of a nifty little product today while we were at Hearthside, a fireplace and stone store.  It's called Pourable or Liquid Granite.  It's pretty much exactly as the name implies:  a liquid granite that you simply apply much the same as stucco.  The rep at the store said the company was called "Dyveck," but I haven't been able to locate anything online with this name.  I'lll keep looking, and hopefully I'll find it!  While it obviously doesn't look exactly like real granite, it is a great mimick.  It's got flecks in it that really help with the illusion.  There are other faux-finsh styles out there, like Giani's paint on version:

I'm not positive that it's going to be what I'm looking for, though.  I'm the exact opposite of a person who is comfortable with doing something like painting on my countertop color (maybe I can get Mom to do it!!).  However, the site does make it sound like it's pretty easy.  We're hoping to be able to get something in a nice complimentary color (probably something similar to the one in the photo) to the tile and wall color - keeping in mind the golden oak that covers the kitchen.  Hopefully, I'll be able to find the Dyveck product online, and will be able to find a color we're looking for.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The System

Our house is pretty new.  Just a couple of years old.  However, it was built in a development.  Right smack in the middle of the giant building boom a few years back.

You know what that means:  Builder's Special everything.  Golden oak.  White appliances.  Lower-grade cabinetry.  Formica countertops.  And the biggest offender - the carpet.  It's just nast.  It's cheap, low pile, awful synthetics.  Holds stains like Polydent holds dentures to gums.  Out kitchen, on the other hand, has very lovely golden oak wood flooring.  Yes, in the kitchen.  Why?  I have no idea...  I kind of think that the previous owners were planning on putting wood in more than just the kitchen but never got that far.

So, they leave it to us.

Making the floors lovely is the #1 priority on our list.  Without having the floor the way we want it, we can't really pick the right paint colors or new dining set or build our bookshelves or put anything on the walls or reupholster our dumpster dive chairs.

Once we've got the floors done (just upstairs - the previous owners completed the downstairs and put a MUCH nicer carpet down that we want to keep), it's on to making built-in shelves, choosing new furniture, and DECORATING.

Until then, I'll keep hunting for images that strike a chord with me, that inspire me to get the floor done faster.  So we can move on to picking out wood to create the shelving...  :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pilot Episode

So, I've been perusing the blogs lately.

We've got a lot of house.  That's not to say we've got the kind of problem I imagine the Vanderbilts to have when filling THEIR home(s), but, for us, it's kind of a big deal.  Going from a one-bedroom apartment that could fit in our basement, to our house a year ago was quite a change.  So big a change, I suppose, that we haven't been able to wrap our heads around the overwhelming task of making it look like home.  We've kind of pretended that we don't have to do anything.  But, it turns out, that whole "dorm room style" doesn't really suit our ages anymore.

Which brings me back to the blogs.  I've been on the hunt.  It's time to make this place what we want it to be.  Enter connundrum.  What's our goal?  What's our ultimate style?

I think it's safe to say that I like a combination of modern and classic.  Maybe eclectic?  I like having things comfortable, but clean lines.  I'm a collector at heart, so I have a penchant for shelves and nooks and crannies in which to put my tchatchkies.  And hubby is a collector too.  Of electronic gadgets.  SO, there would need to be a space for all of his business.

At the very least, this will be a place for me to put all my inspiration pictures.  At the most, maybe it'll help me define my style ideals, and turn my befores into afters.

Back to the hunt...