Friday, May 30, 2008

Day 335's pretty

Loving all of this texture by James Swan today.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Day 333's eye candy

Since our own garden is non-existent at this point, lately I've been admiring container gardens. They're a great option for space-challenged or concrete-bound gardeners.

I found these two among rows of annuals and perennials at Andy's Garden Center, and they are so full and lucious I couldn't even begin to list their contents!

These two are outside Tria Market in Homewood. I love the square planter, and the beautiful sweet potato vine spilling over the sides.

This huge galvanized trough is one of two that flank the entrance to Beach Dwelling. Their story is all about texture.

Too bad my own venture into container gardening was thwarted!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Day 332's loot

Saturday morning, my mom, sister and I headed to an antique mall/flea market in the hopes of finding some (cheap!) furniture for the house my sisters are moving into in Auburn in August. I think I know where I get my obsession for useless furniture, as all we came out with were the five random chairs above.

Allie's are the yellow sort of klismos-style chairs, Mom's are the oak ones in the middle, and that's my white faux bamboo chair on the end. Yea for fun finds!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Day 328's plant envy

These gardenias, hydrangeas and Magnolia trees are outside the parking deck at work. There are about 30 more gardenia bushes just on the other side of the sidewalk and oh my gracious do they smell heavenly. If leaving the office every evening isn't exciting enough, this time of year, I can look forward to be assaulted by their delicious scent. Mmmmmmm.

I may or may not have snipped a few blooms and taken them home! Shhhhh.

Hope you all have a great holiday! We're looking forward to hanging out at the lake (teaching Maddie to swim?) and maybe getting some things done around the house. Happy Weekend!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Day 327's bathroom update

You didn't think we had completed the bathroom and forgotten to tell you about it, did you? Not so, my cyber friends, not so. Frankly, the weather has just been too darn nice for someone to be trapped in a tiny bathroom all day on a Saturday. But, with the weatherman predicting scattered storms this Saturday, I'm crossing my fingers that we (er, Wes) can get some things done this weekend*.

Still to go: finish the installation of the sink (old, weird plumbing has been holding it up) and tile in the shower. I'll come behind and touch up some paint, help Wes install all of the finishing touches and then we can move in. I might just throw a parade when that happens! Until then, enjoy some solo shots of our pretty new faucet and toilet.

*Don't worry, I'm not a slave-driver wife, we're going to the lake Sunday and Monday!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Day 326's completed project

See those little white flags? Know what that means? We have a fence!!! Hooray! Maddie caught onto the "invisible fence" pretty quickly, and we are just so elated about being able to send her out the door unleashed and (mostly) unsupervised (I'm still paranoid and look at the window for her about every 5 minutes). She seems to be enjoying it too, and is happily making her way around the yard smelling every blade of grass.

It took Peepers no time to figure out his safe spots. See him back there in the shade, just beyond Maddie's reach? Too funny.

Installation was pretty painless, as far as I could tell. If you've got questions, Wes will be happy to answer them in the comments.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Day 325

I think I'm a tad behind the times, but the office copy of Elle Decor just made its way to my desk, and what a treat it was! I love watching Good Morning America, and this issue featured anchor Chris Cuomo's beautiful Southhampton home, designed by Emma Jane Pilkington. Even more than GMA, I love Cape Cod-style homes (like his) on lush green lawns surrounded by hydrangeas. They just epitomize summer.

His adorable wife and children next to their adorable playhouse.

The living room's antique sofa is covered in linen by Raoul Textiles and pillows in Madeline Weinrib’s Brown Luce ikat. I love this combination of traditional shapes in up-to-date and colorful applications.

A mirrored entry table under a shell chandelier from Oly Studio.

See, wall paneling isn't all scary! I love it in this bathroom, and especially love the architect's rendering of the house.

Photos by Roger Davies for Elle Decor.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Day 321's clue

I've got a fun little project in the works. Can you guess?

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Day 319's enviable space

Justin Bernhaut for Domino magazine

While there is something to be said for having an entire house to spread out in, I'll be the first to admit that apartment life was, in many ways, somewhat simpler. Less space meant it was much less expensive to furnish, and was also much easier to maintain! For those of you who are apartment dwelling and lusting for more space, take a look at what designer Ashley Whittaker did with her little New York City apartment.

Justin Bernhaut for Domino magazine

In the living space, mis-matched and reupholstered furnishings (including several cute footstools) lend a collected look to the room. Traditional pieces such as the mirror over the sofa are mixed with lower-end pieces (like the robins-egg blue Lack bookshelves) create an appealing and attainable mix.

Notice the satin trim on the sofa skirt -- very Suzanne Kasler!

Justin Bernhaut for Domino magazine

To save space in the bedroom, Ashley eliminated one of the bedside tables and mounted swing-arm sconces on either side of the bed. I love this -- great for reading. I love the wallpaper, too!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Day 318

I've had these pots for about 8 months, and finally put them to good use last week. They sit on the front porch and flank the front door, and was trying to get the look of those really lush mixed planters that you see outside of Old Navy in the summer, with caladiums, petunias, and something leafy and purple that I can't remember the name of. I'm not sure if I quite got there, but it doesn't matter now because this is what they looked like last night:

The poor little petunias were scattered all over the yard, and you can see that Maddie had tons of fun doing it! The real kicker is that she was banished from the house because Wes and I were cleaning up evidence of a little present she left on the living room rug. Needless to say, it was a tough night to be a puppy parent.

I think I'm just going to give up on re-planting flowers for now, as the caladiums (those big leafy things in the back) were looking the best and Maddie seems less interested in them. Sheesh.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Day 317's weekend progress

Our curtains are finally here! And finally on the windows! As you may recall, my mom gave them to me for my birthday (in FEBRUARY) and promised to hem them. She eventually handed them off and they were finished last week. Wes and I hung them Saturday night just in time for his parents to come on Sunday for Mother's Day.

I must say that the curtains make the room look so "finished," even in the unfinished state that it is (did you see the chairs?!). Here are some shots of the rest of the room:

The sofa sits across from the windows. We've got some architectural prints we'd like to hang here, but I haven't come up with a reasonably-priced framing situation for them.

And here's our lovely television hutch from, of all places, Wal-Mart. What can we say? We spent the big bucks on the 42-inch plasma-screen Panasonic Viera! I actually kind of like the shape of it, but realize that the finish is kind of awful. We bought with the intention of painting it or something, but haven't got around to it (partly because I can't decide what to do to it, surprised?).

Eventually we'll want to paint the walls, but I'm currently at a loss about the color. Dove gray, maybe? Suggestions are welcome!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Day 312's addition

Stephen Karlisch for Southern Accents

I'd like to add this kitchen to the round-up of kitchens with painted cabinets. Actually, scratch that, it gets its own category -- that of being totally freaking gorgeous.

Austin, Texas designer Carol Glasser took a total Builder McMansion kitchen and turned it into a piece of custom kitchen art. To do so, she got rid of most of the upper cabinets (and replaced them with floor-to-ceiling pantries), hid two refrigerators behind panels that match the rest of the cabinets (that's one of them at the end on the right), swapped out the predictable finishes for carerra marble and chrome reproduction plumbing fixtures, and then swathed it all in this lovely blue-green. Heavenly.

If this were my kitchen, I would probably never leave it.

Here it is before the remodel, from the other direction. A perfectly suitable kitchen, but nothing jaw-dropping. Carol said she wanted to make everything "simpler, plainer, and fresher." I think it was a success.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Day 311's purchase and dilemma

On a complete whim, I bid on (and then won) a remnant of Schumacher's "Chiang Mai Dragon" on ebay. Ya'll, this fabric is so not "me," and you should have seen Wes' face when I told him about. I'm not sure what it was, but this fabric just seduced me, and I couldn't say no when I saw the listing. Okay, that's not completely true, I do know what it was, it was this image:

Style&Grace's bed just looks so fresh and fun, and of course I love the blue headboard. So I bought the fabric, intending to set it aside and use it in the guest bedroom when we get around to it (it's basically last on the list!).

About two days after the fabric came in, Wes and I came back from HomeGoods with another unbudgeted whim, a bench/ottoman to use as a coffee table. The existing upholstery is pretty terrible, but we justified the purchase because it was so darn cheap! Turns out, we both really love the way it looks in the room (minus the fabric), and are happy to finally agree on a coffee table.

Then, on another whim, I placed my Chiang Mai Dragon on the ottoman just to see. And it looked great! The room really needed some color and pattern, and goodness knows Chaing Mai Dragon has both. The colorway complimented what was existing, and the splashes of raspberryish-orange (yes, I made that up) brought out the coral-colored books scattered around the room. For about a week, I was sold, and I contacted a upholsterer to do the job.

Then I lost my nerve. I looked at my dream dining room, and back at the dragon sitting on the coffee table. I walked into my blue-and-caramel bedroom, and suddenly "the dragon" makes no sense in the living room. I still love it, but I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around what the room (and the adjoining dining room) will look like when it's finished. Part of me wants to go for it, but ... I just don't know! I aspire to a more colorful transitional look, but in practice, it's hard for me to execute.

Now I'm completely lost! I know I want the ottoman fabric to be a pattern (or at least I think I do!). Definitely not floral, a stripe or something geometric, maybe? And it would be nice to have some color. As Wes likes to put, the room is "brown, brown, brown" right now. Brown sofa, seagrass rug, wood furniture, and the club chairs we ordered are khaki. Help!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Day 310

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Need some fun new recipes to help you celebrate? Try these.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Day 306's project

I really enjoyed hearing about your fantasy kitchens, so let's expand the fun to other rooms, shall we? To get us started, my fantasy dining room:

Let's start with a big, slightly crusty table.

How much do I love these chairs? Mmmm let me count the ways ...

Above the table, this gorgeous lantern.

I didn't choose a serving piece, but I know I want this mirror to hang above it.

Then we'll add one of these on each side.

Yummy gray-green on the walls.

White chenille under a dining table is probably a terrible idea, but ...

What would you put in a dining room?