Thursday, April 30, 2009

Day 670's weekend plans

I was going to save this for tomorrow's post, but since I'll be shuffling around the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Atlanta and not in front of a computer, I better spill it now. We cleaned out our closets a few months ago, and made a huge pile of things no longer beautiful or useful to us (see quote on the right) and planned a yard sale.

Well, it's finally happening! Turns out, my mom's neighborhood in Leeds is having a big community sale on the day we planned ours (this Saturday) so we're joining that bandwagon. All this to say, if you're local and you want to come, e-mail me and I'll send you the address. It probably won't be as good as this one, but it'll still be fun! And there will be some deals, because there is no way I'm bringing any of this stuff home!

Day 670: more on Chattanooga

Wes must really love me, because he lets me drag him all over most of the towns we visit to scope out the local decorating/antiques scene. Sometimes, he enjoys himself as much as I do, which was the case at Architectural Exchange.

It's essentially a salvage shop, full of goodies from old homes and buildings just waiting for some love and refinishing and a new lease on life. Check it out:

While we were looking for Architectural Exchange, we accidentally found Dwelling, a brand-new consignment shop for the home.

It had only been open for three days when we visited, so the top level of the restored building that houses the shop was a little bare. There was some great stuff though, and we came home with a couple of framed items that we'll show you soon.

I thought the bathroom vanity was great, and was just begging for an antique venetian mirror above the concrete sink! Dwelling is so new, that I can't find an address for it -- any locals know?
Edit: 3301 Brainerd Rd.

On Sunday (after a delicious brunch at Mercatino) we hit up The Knitting Mill -- all 20,000 square feet of it. Didn't spend any money here, but definitely could have.

You all seem to love Chattanooga, too. What are your can't-miss spots for eating and shopping?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Day 669's tulips

How pretty are these (grocery store) tulips? They are so full and frilly that I thought they were peonies from afar. They're nice and tall, too, just right for my big glass urn.

Of course, they didn't sit in the vase quite as I envisioned, but I do like their wild side. Might need to cut them down again today!

*Hoping to find some more time today to post about Chattanooga, so maybe the tullips will tide you over until then.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Day 668's office space

Yes I know, we're in the middle of getting the guest bedroom in order, but Wes is having a sudden urge to change his office. We have totally disagreed on nearly every aspect of this room, so not much has been done. We painted it, but that's it. I agree that it needs some help (both decorative and functional), but we need to cross a couple things off the list before we start on another room. In the meantime, how great is Kevin Sharkey's office, which was recently published in Martha Stewart Living?

The desk is Parsons-style, and is painted with a faux bois finish. I love the gray painted Chippendale chairs, too.

How wonderful to have a collection of your favorite things in your office?! All of this blanc de chine is much prettier than the collection of magazine photocopies that adorn my (cube) walls. I think I remember that mirror from an issue of MSL, too. It was sitting above little blue chest.

And who wouldn't want to delve into this bookshelf?! I love it when workspaces are as carefully considered as living spaces. Which probably means I should get my tush in gear and get going on our office, doesn't it?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Day 667's shop crush: Revival

Wes and I went to Chattanooga, Tennessee for a little weekend getaway. Chattanooga is neat little city on the banks of the Tennessee River, and after just two days, I filed in the "I could live there one day" folder, just for future reference. It had kind of a hipster vibe that reminded me of another Southern city that I love, Little Rock, Arkansas (yes, Arkansas is cool!). I have a lot to share, but let's just start with a great shop, Revival Uncommon Goods.

Revival is located in the oldest building in Chattanooga, the Passenger Baggage Building, built in 1850. It has a great mix of fabulous new lines of furniture, accessories and tableware (John Derian, Atticus, -- love that one -- Match, Juliska and Bobo Intriguing Objects) mixed with one-of-a-kind antiques that owner brings over from buying trips to Europe.

And I wish I had gotten a shot of the incredible pillows, but picture gorgeous linen mixed with silk taffeta. They cost as much as we spent on the hotel for the weekend, but man, they were pretty!

Also in the building is Amanda Pinson Jewelry, which had the most lovely space (above).

Friday, April 24, 2009

Day 664's pretty idea ... maybe

Photo by Country Home

Am I losing my "touch," or is this plywood wall kind of awesome? If you're into faux bois, I suspect this is the easiest and cheapest way to get the look. You'd obviously want to get some quality plywood, but in a small entry, I think I would totally do it. Love that little chest, too (of course!). What do you think? Love it, or leave it?

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Day 663's beautiful kitchen

This is kind of the antithesis of the light, bright spaces I usually love, but I am swooning over this kitchen. Perhaps I'm still on a cozy, country kick after my weekend on the farm.

Of course, there are some familiar elements: Open shelving, painted wood floors, antique furniture, dark window sashes and lots of white ceramics. Kind of makes me want a little more black in my life, how about you?
Photos from Norwegian title Interior Magasinet via The Kitchen Designer.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Day 662's greener choices

Photo by Steve Gunther for Sunset

In celebration of Earth Day, here are a couple of ways we're trying to live a little greener. We're certainly not going to save the planet on our own, but we can make more responsible choices about what we bring into our household.

Shop Smarter: Our consumer-driven society tells us that we need the latest and the greatest everything. It's so ... exhausting! Not to mention terrible on the environment (and our wallets). In addition to being of-the-moment, shopping vintage and second-hand is actually quite green. And -- this might be a stretch, but -- I'm lumping discount stores like TJ Maxx into this category as well. These stores are the last stop before a trash heap for overstock items, discontinued products, and things that didn't quite make it past inspections. I'm not saying I'll never buy retail again, but I'd like to significantly reduce it.

Reduce Waste: We've eliminated just about all paper products from our house, save paper towels and, well, TP. I don't think we can do much about the latter, but we can certainly reduce our usage of the former. We're lucky enough to have curbside recycling pick-up, but unfortunately, don't take advantage of it enough. I'm promising to do better, and you all are my witnesses. I'd also like to start composting -- do you compost? Tell me about it!

Make Better Choices: Living "green" is so accessible these days, there is almost no excuse not to make smart choices when it comes to what we bring into our home. From low-VOC paint, to bedding made from sustainable materials, to cleaning products (for the house and ourselves) free of harmful chemicals, I'm going to be more mindfull of the things I'm buying.

Are you doing anything new this Earth Day? There are all kinds of great ideas here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Day 661

The original reason to head north last weekend was to attend my sister's first wedding shower, given by some lovely ladies in the church we grew up in. It was so fun to see everyone, and I found out I have some blog readers up there I didn't know about!

One of the hostesses asked me to bring a flower arrangement for the table, and of course I was happy to. For the first time, I priced a local wholesale florist, and was able to do a much bigger arrangement than if I had bought from my usual florist.

I used glass urn (bought at HomeGoods, where else?!) and created a collar with white hydrangeas, then got some height with two bunches of Bells of Ireland. When i put it together on Saturday morning, the pink French tulips were drooping dramatically down the sides, but -- in true tulip fashion -- by shower time on Sunday afternoon, they had probably grown an inch and were standing tall. Oh well! This was really the first time I arranged something that would be seen by more eyes than mine and I was happy with it.

The hydrangeas didn't make the car ride home, but I do like the Bells of Ireland alone. There is a gorgeous blue-and-white table setting in the May issue of Southern Accents, and the centerpiece is a massive arrangement of Bells -- very dramatic!

I cut the tulips down and lined them up on the dining room table in some miniature Pelligrino bottles. The rest are scattered in bud vases around the house, which, as you can see here, is very tempting for Peepers. Knocking over my flowers is one of his favorite past times. Sigh.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Day 660's country decorating ideas

Over the weekend, my sister and I went to Tennessee to visit our dad and see his latest acquisition, a little yellow cottage in a quiet valley on the banks of the Elk River -- his favorite local fishing and kayaking spot. It's just a couple of miles from his "farm" but unlike the farm, has running hot water and a full kitchen.

The previous owners used the property as a country getaway, so were able to include all of the furnishings in the deal. The house is move-in ready, but some recent updates (Berber carpet and popcorn ceilings) aren't so true to the little yellow house, and it seemed to be crying out to get back to its country cottage roots (boy, do I know the feeling).

If it were my little place, I would: Pull up the carpet. If we had just a few more hours this weekend, I might have pulled up a corner "just to see." We suspect there are hardwoods under there somewhere and if they were in no condition to be lived with, I'd paint 'em!

Then, I'd get rid of the popcorn. Scraping the ceilings doesn't sound like a very fun way to spend a weekend on the river, but wouldn't beaded board look so pretty?

I doubt this will come as a shock, but I think that every little house could benefit from something borrowed, and something blue. In the entire house, I don't think one thing was made before 1985. Old houses just need old furniture -- the scale is so much more suitable. And the next time I head up there, I'll have some "haint blue" paint in tow for the porch ceiling.

Speaking of old furniture, I think the house needs at least one old metal bed, piled high with heavy, old quilts. Nearby Fayetteville has more antique shops than I can manage to hit in one afternoon, so this wouldn't be a problem. Fayetteville also has a killer (and by killer I mean cheap!) fabric store. Huntsville, Alabama residents should not miss out (that's you, Amanda!).

Photos from Country Living

Friday, April 17, 2009

Day 657's pretty palette

I really loved these palettes what Cassandra of coco-kelley found at 100 Layer Cake. The combination of cream, terra cotta, rose, ink and seafoam is almost exactly what I'm planning for the guest bedroom. I hope we can make some progress this weekend -- now that I've got a plan I'm anxious to get going.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Day 656's another house to love

Yesterday I was poking around on Martha's site (looking for the headboard instructions) and came across another house I remember loving when it was published (this time in Martha Stewart Living, in September 2008). We don't have a scanner (that works) so I'm always happy to find electronic versions of the images I love in print. Hooray, Internet!

This Sag Harbor four-square colonial belongs to antiques dealer Jill Dienst, and her husband and daughter, Emma. The home is filled to the brim with museum-quality Scandinavian furniture, and is decorated accordingly, with light colors and unpretentious fabrics.

Writer David Colman put it best when he said, "Not that the gracious, summery place seems ostentatious, formal, or uninviting to bare feet. But it does feel cultured and considered, responding not to the contemporary weekend haven that Sag Harbor has become, but recalling its early-19th-century heyday as a well-to-do whaling village." Okay, on the to pictures! You'll definitely want to click through the online gallery, to read more about what you're seeing.

Gorgeous wall color and delightfully raw floors.

I love everything about this kitchen: the painted floors, the casters on the table, the mahogany counters, the paneled and subway-tiled walls, the open shelves, the brass fixtures -- everything!

Lovely detail on the bedskirt, which is the same mouse-gray velvet as the headboard.

Love the addition of the coral parlor to the mostly blue, green and gray palette.

I might never leave this guest room.

Photos by Pieter Estersohn

EDIT: Shannon at Pink Wallpaper just brought to my attention that this house also appears in Steven Gambrel's portfolio. The article noted that the kitchen had been renovated by a previous owner, and now that I'm looking at it in that context, the house (some of the colors were kept) does still have that Gambrel thing going. Good spot, Shannon!