Archive for the ‘home decor’ Category

Design Pet Peeve: Zebra rugs

March 6, 2009

I don’t get this craze at all! Will someone explain this to me?

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I’m not out everyday picketing the streets for PETA or anything, not that this is even real zebra, I just don’t get this fad. I think it’s pretty ugly. I KNOW IT’S IN RIGHT NOW! I’m sorry. I can’t like everything because it’s in. I may change my mind in the future. A woman reserves the right to change her mind at anytime. ESPECIALLY a woman LIBRA. So there. 😛

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Nope I still don’t get it and I think this one might be real. ew.

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We’re Moving!!!!

March 6, 2009

I’m so excited. The roomie and I have decided that enough is enough and we’re going to be moving in a couple of months. I’ve completely had it with this apartment. I’ve had it with the faulty plumbing, the insulation problems, the bug problems, etc.

So anyway, it’s time for me to look at a lot of apartments and to dream a little. My absolute requirements are 2 bedrooms, a bathroom that is in good shape (no broken tile, calking problems, plumbing problems), a decent kitchen that is in good shape WITH a dishwasher, and my dream item would be in unit washer/dryer.

I would love to incorporate these ideas into the new place:

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I like how this room is bursting with color, but is completely grounded by all the wood and neutrals in the room. I got a little carried away with color in my current apartment and would like to tame it down for the next one.

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I want this to serve as the color inspiration for the apartment. I LOVE the peacock blue with gold and little shots of red and pink. There is also chocolate brown (of course!) and some black and neutrals. I would also like to OWN this pillow. It’s so beautiful.

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This also serves as general inspiration for the apartment. It has all my inspiration colors in it and I just love what it says to me. I love that it says Life at the top and that she seems to be becoming a butterfly. It’s so encouraging and life-affirming. I WANT THIS VERY BADLY.

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I love the blue velvet! I have two blue velvet arm chairs that are similar to this. I would love to make them pop with apple green and/or fuchsia. (Let’s see how many times I can say love in this post!)

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I like the pops of fuchsia in this room. I also love the combination of fabrics. It looks so multi-layered and cozy.

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This is my dream bedroom. I love how serene the bedroom is with the unexpected hot shot of color in the drapery. This is the color scheme of the bed area that I would like. Soft and soothing neutrals with a gorgeous golden curtain enclosing it. Sort of like….

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…THIS! I would love a curtain enclosure like Ebeneezer Scrooge has in the Christmas Story. I’ve always wanted one! I’ve also always wanted a Princess and the Pea bed. I haven’t given up on that!

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I really love unconventional art. I hate hanging framed art on the walls. Probably because I suck at it! I never seem to hang it exactly where I want it. I don’t want to steal this exact idea, but I love the idea of a quote on the wall with the literal representation hanging below it. So clever.

Anyway, wish me luck on my apartment search. I have to FIND one before I can decorate it!

New Year’s resolutions

January 9, 2009

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It’s that time of year again. I know it’s a week later…but man I was sick as a dog last week. My resolutions had to wait.

We all make our New Year’s resolutions and hope for better things this year than last. I tried to keep my resolutions somewhat achievable this year. I wanted to be easier on my self in some cases and kick my butt into gear in others. I want to eat more and eat better. I want to work on defining my arms. Aaaaaaaaaaand I want to CLEAN OUT MY CLOSET!!! I got rid of a great deal of stuff around this time last year, but not enough. Also my mother is a fashion designer and owns a boutique so I have recieved what I’ve given away and MORE since this time last year. We are definitely maximalists! It’s time to purge the old stuff that I’ve been hanging onto for decades and to give some stuff to charity.

There is this TERRIFIC article in the new House Beautiful about cleaning out your closet and I thought I’d share it. It has really inspired me.

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UNLEASH THE REAL YOU

If you’re craving change, start with your closet. It holds the clues to your inner self — to all your selves. Who you are right now. Who you were. Who you dream of being. By shedding and getting it current, you’re poised to change your whole life.


OPEN SPACES

Not long ago, I shed most of the clothes in my closet. I asked three questions of each garment: Do I love it? Is it flattering? Is it the image I want to project: receptive, strong, sexy? Before I knew it, my closet was 80 percent empty. There was a sense of movement in my new open space that was like ocean air drifting through. Everything felt light and fresh and clean. That night I slept better than I had in years.


THREE CLUES THAT YOU’RE READY TO SHED

You’re gripped by the feeling that there’s something more you want, but you don’t know exactly what it is. It’s a glimmer in your mind that’s vaguely pulling you forward — a deep-seated wish, a buried dream rattling around inside.What you want feels out of reach. You wonder if you’ll be able to pull it off — or if you have what it takes or if you really deserve it. You’re feeling weighed down by something that’s preventing you from moving forward.


SHED: WHAT IT MEANS

SHED is about far more than just throwing things out. It involves 4 steps:

  • SEPARATE the treasures — identify the gems that are worth hanging on to.
  • HEAVE the trash — eliminate what’s weighing you down.
  • EMBRACE your identity — connect to who you are without all your stuff.
  • DRIVE yourself forward — explore the direction that connects to your genuine self.


DO YOU NEED TO ORGANIZE, OR SHED?

1. You organize to become more efficient. You SHED to get unstuck.

2. Organizing gives you access to what’s most important to you. SHEDing is a process for discovering what’s most important to you.

3. It’s possible to get organized without getting rid of anything. It’s impossible to SHED without letting things go.


DEFINING CLUTTER

A Zen parable tells of a wanderer on a lonely road who came upon a torrential river that had washed out the bridge. So he built a solid and heavy raft, which carried him safely across to the other bank. “This is a good raft,” he thought. “If there’s another river ahead, I can use it.” And he carried it for the rest of his life. How often do we hang onto things that served us well at one point in our lives but are no longer relevant or useful? Clutter is something that no longer serves you.


DETECTING CLUTTER

Does your closet feel stagnant? Does it make you feel guilty or overwhelmed or burdened? Does it deplete your energy? It’s cluttered.


YOU NEED A THEME

The reality is, no one lets go into a vacuum — no one lets go of anything without reaching for something else. But if you don’t know what you’re reaching for, you won’t let go. The solution is to come up with a theme. Take the pressure off yourself. Stop trying to figure out exactly what you’re going to do next. Instead, define what the next chapter in your life is going to feel like. What part of you do you want to express? Freedom? Creativity? Intimacy? Serenity? Balance? That’s your theme. When you get the right word — the right theme — it mobilizes you to move forward. It gives you something exciting to create space for.


BEFORE YOU DIVE IN

If you do all your thinking on paper first, decluttering your closet can be incredibly fast and painless. Ask yourself: If all of this were to be gone tomorrow, what would I miss? Write your answers on a sticky note and post them on the wall. Keep referring to it while you sort and shed. The first half hour will be slowgoing until you get a rhythm going. Then it speeds up: It really takes only 3 to 4 hours, on average, to finish.


GET IN THE MOOD

You need energy and enthusiasm when you SHED. Weekends are a good time; late nights are not. Open the windows and get some fresh air in the room. Make yourself a refreshing drink. Play music that fuels you. Now, focus. You’re going to be making a lot of decisions: You’re getting ready to cleanse.


KNOW WHERE THINGS ARE GOING

Decide in advance who’ll get your castoffs: a charity, a shelter for homeless women, Dress for Success, your sister. Have a box or shopping bag for each organization or person you’re giving things to — and for what you’ll toss.


DOES IT STAY, OR DOES IT GO?

When you’re unsure of whether you’re ready to part with something, ask yourself: What has more value to me? This object, or the cleared space?


ZONES

Arrange everything you’re keeping in a way that makes it easy to find things and put them away. Organize your closet into zones. By garment type, by season, by occasion (work, casual, dressy).


IS IT A TREASURE?

Treasures are practical or sentimental items that are worth holding on to. A practical treasure is that perfect little black dress that works for you every time. Sentimental treasures are fair game — the threadbare cardigan you wore all through college, the vinyl handbag your grandmother gave you for your 13th birthday. Ask yourself: Is this the best and most important reminder of that time in my life, or person I knew, that I own?


WHEN YOU HIT THE WALL OF PANIC

About 75 percent of the way through decluttering your closet, WHAM! You’ll suddenly be overwhelmed by all that open space: What am I going to fill the emptiness with? Who am I without my stuff? Your impulse will be to retrieve what you just tossed, or rush to fill the space with ANYTHING new. Don’t. This is a true breakthrough moment: It’s your chance to detach your identity from your things, and remind yourself that you are who you are, no matter what you own. The good news is that it doesn’t last long. Once you get to the other side of the panic, you’ll experience an extraordinary sense of calm, self-confidence, and freedom.


TOSS LIST FOR THE CLINGY

*Clothes that don’t fit, and will be out of style by the time you hope they fit again. Give them away!

*Clothes that are stained, torn, or have lost their shape. Toss ’em!

*Shoes that hurt your feet. If you’ve never worn them, give them away. Otherwise, throw them out!

*Outdated handbags, belts, and scarves. Donate them!


THE POWER AND PLEASURE OF A BEAUTIFUL CLOSET

I can’t tell you how important it is to house your clothes with dignity. Toss those flimsy wire hangers that get twisted and mangled. It’s worth every penny to buy wood or padded hangers, quality hooks, and containers. Don’t mix styles — plastic bins for T-shirts, baskets for handbags. Keep it unified and simple. You want everything to be so aesthetically pleasing that going into your closet every day is a joy.

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For more, read Julie Morgenstern’s new book, When Organizing Isn’t Enough: SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life (published by Simon & Schuster and available at Barnes & Noble; barnesandnoble.com).

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Design Pet Peeve: Design Snobbery

January 8, 2009

I guess the biggest and most important pet peeve I have is design snobbery. I hate it. Don’t worry about what everyone else thinks. Do what is right for YOU. Don’t worry about status symbols or trends unless they truly make YOU happy. If you like to hang up mass-produced posters that everyone else has…DO IT! If you think carnations are the most beautiful flower in the world then…USE THEM!  If you want to fill your apartment with all Ikea pieces then NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO JUDGE YOU! Drape your entire room in circus tents for all I care. As long as it makes you happy then DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!

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Princess and the pea

January 2, 2009

Okay I’ve been obsessed with my living room situation for some time. Here’s a short re-cap. I’m an up and coming actor in Chicago who lives with another up and coming actor in Chicago. We are both actually doing pretty well all things considered, but our living situation is less than enviable. We live in a one bedroom apartment. The living room is both my bedroom and living space while my roommate has the bedroom.

Anyway, I’ve been obsessed with finding the right couch/bed piece that is comfortable enough for me to sleep on every night but couch-like enough that it doesn’t look like you’re stepping into my bedroom.

This is the couch/bed of my dreams. It’s called the Divan de la Princesse au Petit Pois (ie. the princess and the pea) and it is carried by the French company Carvane. This bed creates such a fantasy for me. I love furniture pieces that do that for you. They serve as a sort of escapism. I would’ve loved this as a girl and probably would’ve re-enacted the princess and the pea at least once a day. I see lovely lounging, book reading, tea drinking, and yes laptop perusing on this beauty.

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Storybook Island

September 7, 2008

This is something out of one of my dreams. When I was a little girl I used to always draw a house that had steps right down to the water. Can you imagine spending a summer here? This is the perfect place for a honeymoon, a family reunion, or to write the next great American novel. This place is amazing. I’m blown away by it.

Carrie’s drool-worthy apartment

September 2, 2008

Okay I know I’m behind the rest of the world, but I just saw the Sex and the City movie for the first time last night and Carrie’s apartment….WOW. I have to post it on here.

What I love about it is how doable this style is. The defining element of course is the wall color which was a custom blend, but is closest to Benjamin Moore Electric Blue. Of course everything on this movie set is desinger and a trillion dollars, but you could get the look of this apartment for much cheaper. For example: I would never be able to afford that mirrored vanity, but there are vanities of that shape that you can get for about $100 on ebay. You slap some silver paint on there and you would have a really cool piece.

Urban finds

May 5, 2008

I want one of these Urban Outfitter’s chairs for my new Dining Room!!!

Spring Cure 08

May 4, 2008

The Spring Cure is officially over. I’ve learned a lot of things from this cure. I’ve learned how much happier I am in a more organized space. I’ve learned how much impact a strong pop of color can make. I’ve learned that I can’t do everything at once. I’ve learned that decluttering NEVER ends.

When I started this cure I thought that I would have everything done by week 8. Eight weeks is a long time! Well I don’t. I’ve cured my dining room, kitchen, hallway, and have made some serious progress on my living room. I’m now looking ahead to my fall cure. I want to cure my bathroom, finish my living room, and do the bedroom in the fall.

I guess the biggest lesson I’ve learned is to be happy with the little changes that you make in your home. I would get frustrated with myself at times because I wasn’t seeing enough BIG change. It’s the small things however, like organizing a junk drawer, that make the biggest impact on how I live and function!

Thank you Apartment Therapy for all the guidance and for showing so many of my pictures, it really kept me motivated! AND of course thanks to the amazing Chicago Cure Group!

Here are some of the results!

Dreaming of Paris

April 29, 2008

My sweet and lovely 86 year-old Grandpa surprised my family today. He’s taking my entire family on a 15 day European cruise. I’ve been to London 2 times, but never anywhere else in Europe. I’m so excited! One of the stops is going to be Paris. I’ve always dreamed of going there!

In homage to my surprise I would love to alert you to a new blog that I found. It’s the blog of Claudia (one of my recent commentators). It’s called The Paris Apartment. This is her blog and this is her boutique website. Claudia owns a design company and is a published author. She has an affinity for French interiors and movies from the 20s and 30s. Her site is lovely and it was such a great find!

Some pics from her blog:

Here is her gorgeous website of her boutique and some of her amazing wares. 🙂

GORGEOUS! That pink dresser is like a dream. Maybe Claudia will give me some tips on where to shop in Paris! Especially flea markets!!! DROOL. 😛

Fashion-Inspired Decorating

April 27, 2008

I found this article at Country Living today. I go to Country Living when I get tired of the never-ending mid-century modern look. Don’t get me wrong I love that look, I just crave variety every once in a while. 🙂 Anyway, this is a house tour of Annette Tatum, owner of House, a store in Santa Monica.

“Everything you need for stylish interiors is hanging in your closet.”

This is her philosophy and she carries it into her own home.

Her Living Room was inspired by a pink prom dress!

This dress:

Inspired this outdoor space (DROOL):

This Dress:

Inspired this dreamy Guest Bedroom:

Clearly this woman has insanely flawless taste, but I think her philosophy can be used by anyone. I finally found my muse for my living room and after I read this article I looked in my closet and saw that my clothes are the same bright happy colors that are in my inspiration fabric. If I had read this article four months ago my life would’ve been much easier! 😉

Antique Postal Furniture

April 26, 2008

Someone in Chicago PLEASE buy these off Craigslist so I can live vicariously through you. Aren’t these amazing? WOW! I’m so in love I can barely stand it. It’s $200 for both. I love the color of the one on the left. It would be great for book and magazine storage, dishes, collectibles…anything really! The one on the right I see as part of the perfect craft or sewing room! DROOL! I wish I had the space and money to snatch these up.

I’m sure these are going to go very quickly. Search for Antique Postal Furniture on Craigslist. Get them while they last!