Archive for the ‘spring cure 08’ Category

Quirky Kitchens!

May 31, 2008

I know that it’s been a little bit. I’ve been really busy. It’s all good things thankfully! I don’t normally do this, but if you want to check out what I have going on in the upcoming months you can go here.

I used to dream about a French Country kitchen with a real fireplace and hanging copper pots and pans. Lately however, I am attracted to really bright and happy “quirky” kitchens. Domino has a collection of quirky kitchens on their site and I wanted to share my favorite ones. 🙂


And here’s my own quirky kitchen…or the sink anyway.. 🙂

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!

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!

Marimekko Inspiration

April 24, 2008

This is my new inspiration for my Living Room. I threw all my other ideas out and started over. I decided to design the room around my new chairs and this amazing marimekko fabric wall hanging. This will be the focal point of my LR, when I can afford it of course LOL.

This fabric goes really well with a huge vintage print that I already have. I can’t hang it on the walls because it’s too heavy, so it’s gone undisplayed for years. I HATE my walls. My solution is to put it on an easel!

Additionally I would like to use one more vintage print (I’m obsessed with Vintage Art prints and they aren’t ridiculously expensive). I narrowed it down to these three. I can’t decide though!

Blue Chair Happiness!

April 16, 2008

I found these on Craigslist and I’m picking up two of them tonight. I know the picture is hard to see. Basically it’s vibrant blue velvet tailored goodness. I love them. I’m taking all the art off my wall in the Living Room. The whole room will now be designed around these chairs! I’ve completely broken the bank on these. I got an amazing deal but still absolutely cannot afford them. Here’s to blue chair happiness!

Floor Plan Madness

April 7, 2008

Existing Floor Plan

This is the old set up of my Living Room. It doesn’t really work and everyone on the couch ends up just staring at a closet door.

Living Room Floor Plan Attempt #1

This is much better. When sitting on the couch the view is the courtyard in the front of the apartment building. The seating arrangement is much more inviting for conversation and entertaining. The other side of the room, however, looks unbalanced. Also, when I put this floor plan into action I discovered that the end tables don’t fit on either side of the couch.

Living Room Floor Plan Attempt #2

I think this is the best set up. The end tables are gone. I moved the trunk under the window. I also added a little sideboard/vanity area next to the radiator thanks to a suggestion from fellow curer Scraplolly. I made the width in this rendering a foot smaller than the other ones by accident. The room is not really quite this cramped. It’s tight, but not THIS tight. It’s a tricky space, but I think this will work.

Living Room Style Tray

April 5, 2008

As I told CQ on my last post, my new goal is to make every room in my apartment look as good as my Dining Room does. Or maybe a better way to put it is…make every room in my apartment make me FEEL as good as my Dining Room does. The next big question mark is my Living Room. I know that I’ve posted color schemes and ideas on here before, but I’m not completely sold on anything. The cure suggests that we do “style trays” for inspiration. I’ve never followed this particular suggestion of the book, because I’ve always known exactly what I want to do. With the Living Room, however, I’m at a loss. So here it is…my Living Room style tray!

I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a deep red accent wall behind my couch. I love the idea of using a wallpaper with deep red in it instead of painting an entire wall one color.

Space above couch option #1: What to put above my couch or on a really long wall expanse always stresses me out. I like the results, but hate the actual act of hanging art or mirrors on the wall. It’s hard to get the scale right and my walls are impossible. (I have drywall over brick). I love this picture ledge. Instead of having to commit to one arrangement that I think is perfect (this never happens), I can change what I have displayed at will and won’t have to spackle up dozens of holes each time. I also like that you can display other items on it as well. It creates a mantlepiece look…which I love! AND I think that it would work with the wallpaper or the red wall.

Space above couch option #2: The other option I’ve come up with is to go ahead and paint the wall red, but do away with framed artwork and have some sort of nature inspired wall decals up and maybe one mirror instead. This would keep the look much simpler. I also wouldn’t have to hang shelves. 😉

Space above couch option #3: Alright call me crazy, but I kind of love this. I love the defiance of it. I love that it says, “No! I will not obsess for hours, months, or even years on the perfect arrangement for above my couch!” That gorgeous panel, the bright pillows, and the lamp take center stage instead. Of course this is a nice muted sage green and not a deep red. I might need to break up the red. I don’t know! I need some advice. What do you guys think?

Because of my crumbly horrible walls, I am always looking for alternative methods for displaying art. I am a big fan of just leaning art against the wall. I know that it looks less formal, but it’s also much less of a headache. I also adore this idea. I bought an easel at IKEA for 10 bucks. I’m going to paint it and I already know exactly what piece of art I’m going to display on it! (This gorgeous painting is by Celeste Vaught.)

This is the sister of my Stainless Steel Curio that I have in my Dining Room. I love these pieces so much. Believe it or not I got them both for free from dumpster diving at a Navy base I was stationed at in West Virginia. They are vintage medical cabinets from the fifties I believe. They weigh a ton, but I absolutely love them. Right now the hutch is living in the hallway as my landing strip, but it’s not working for me. It’s a huge piece and it’s overpowering my hallway. I think that I’m going to move it into the Living Room. I have the top portion set up as a bar and the bottom portion is great for storage.

My Living Room has a doorway, but no door. My Dining Room actually does too…AND my kitchen. 🙂 I plan to utilize this curtain idea all over my apartment. My roommate is 6ft though, so I’m going to have to hang them from the ceiling instead of the top of the doorway.

This is pretty close to the red that I want, and that splotch on the opposite wall is pretty close to the color I already have and will have on the other three walls.

*That’s it! I would LOVE a new couch, desk, side chairs, coffee table, etc….but I can’t afford it. So the ones I have will do for now. The hardest part of this room is going to be the setup. It’s a long and narrow room. One wall is almost completely taken up with a doorway, a closet doorway, and a radiator. One of the narrower walls is all windows that I don’t want to cover up. I have an idea of how to rearrange the furniture that will hopefully work out.

Cured Dining Room

March 31, 2008

Here are some pictures of my cured Dining Room. It’s not completely cured. There are still a couple of things to do. I want to get a club chair, I still need to edit, I have a couple of touch up paint spots, and I need to recover my chairs. BUT I feel like I could entertain in here. I’ve been eating every meal in here. I now spend half my time in a space that went completely unused before. Here it is!

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Color Schemes

March 24, 2008

I’ve settled on my color schemes for my Living Room, Dining Room and Kitchen!

In the Living Room right now my walls are painted the Biscuit color as is the hallway leading into the Dining Room, the trim and molding is Ice Cube, and my couch is close to that Analytical Grey color. I’m bringing in hot pink poppy throw pillows which are similar to the color Hot. I want to do an accent wall in Luxurious Red. My mother also gave me a beautiful credenza/dresser that is painted in that Dill green with a distressed finish.

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My Dining Room is painted Stone Brown. I’m painting a Cool Aqua accent wall and I’m putting the black/brown expedit unit on that wall. The trim and molding is in Ice Cube and I’m recovering my dining room chairs in velvet that is very close to the Analytical Grey color.
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The Kitchen is going to be painted a semi-gloss Stem Green and has the Ice Cube trim. There is an open doorway to the Dining Room so the green can also be seen in there.
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WHEW! I know that it looks like a lot of color…but I’m not afraid of color. Also ALL my furniture, rugs, and curtains are neutral solids. It really isn’t too much. It also looks like I have a lot of paint to buy. Really I only have to buy enough for accent walls of Cool Aqua, Luxurious Red, and a very small kitchen worth of Gleeful. It’s taken me weeks to settle on these colors. I’m pretty happy with them. What do you think?

the little things

March 23, 2008

I am feeling so much better about my clutter problem, my apartment, and my life in general. I think it’s all related. For the first time in a while I feel like the sky’s the limit. I don’t want to get into psycho babble on you…but I think it’s directly related to me curing my apartment. I mean it’s common sense; if you feel better about your living space you are going to feel better about your life. The same thing goes with personal makeovers. It’s not the makeover that changes your life it’s your attitude.

This clutter removal process is addictive. The more useless crap I get rid of the better I feel.  Of course it feels good to get rid of a large piece of unused furniture. What I have noticed, however, is that it’s the little things that are making a big difference for me. Here are some small changes that have yielded big results:

1) I’ve thrown away the cases for all my dvds and cds and put them into cd books. This doesn’t sound like much, but I fit my entire dvd and cd collection into two books. What I got rid of filled two garbage bags.

2) I put pictures in photo boxes (or better yet scan them on your computer) and got rid of photo albums. I have a 30 inch wide book shelf that is filled with picture albums. I’m keeping the three that are done with a more scrapbook style. (Most of these are from when I’ve visited other countries and include all sorts of mementos from those trips) I put the rest of the photos in one shoe box sized photo box and am giving away the remainder of my photo albums. Almost that entire shelf fits into the one photo box.

3) I’m getting rid of all mis-matched dishes, glassware, and flatware. I’m going to keep one everyday set and one fancy set. I’m keeping one white set of dishes and one green set (which will match my new kitchen 🙂 ). I’m getting rid of everything else…and with me that’s a lot. I’m going to buy a full set of tumblers and a full set of wine glasses and get rid of the rest. The same with flatware. Not only does this get rid of a lot of kitchen clutter, but if you have a limited amount of dishes you will have to wash them frequently and they won’t pile up in the kitchen.

4) I’ve gotten rid of all of my magazines save two discontinued LivingRoom magazines that I treasure. I’ve also made a pact with myself not to buy anymore magazines…unless I’m getting on a plane or something. What I’ve found is a lot of magazines now have pretty extensive websites. You get to see most of the features of the magazine and you don’t have to flip past dozens of pages of ads.

5) (This probably won’t apply to many people) I have binders and binders FULL of sheet music and scripts…probably at least 25. I can’t stand having that many binders. I am going to keep one audition binder, one cabaret binder, one extra binder (for whatever current show I’m in) and organize the rest of the loose sheet music in alphabetical hanging files. Then I will get rid of ALL of the other binders.

Other things that have helped me:

-Get rid of all duplicates. This includes kitchen items (seriously who needs five can openers?), books (I had four copies of Hamlet), cds, dvds, vhs’, whatever.

-I put my tv away. I know that may not be something most people want to do, but for me it made sense. I rarely use it. I don’t have cable and I can watch any movies I want on my computer.

-I put my printer away and all the computers are wireless (less cords). I still have a printer in the closet if I need it, but it isn’t a permanent fixture in my apt….and honestly I only use it to print out resumes anyway.

Anyway…just some tips. I still have a lot to do, but my to do list is getting smaller and smaller. 🙂

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New Wall Art

March 21, 2008

It wasn’t Serendipity, but Joanne (the sofa owner) was lovely and was actually an ex-actress. I’m not worried though the right piece will come. Today I’m obsessed with my Living Room wall art. I’ve decided that I hate all of it. I want all new wall art!

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It’s nice to want, isn’t it? 😉

Is it Serendipity?

March 19, 2008

Being a starving artist has it’s pros and cons. On the one side I am surrounded by the most talented, creative, and interesting people you can imagine. I am friends with everyone from an operatic dramatic soprano (the best I’ve ever heard), an amazing funk diva (who gives new meaning to lung capacity), a ridiculously handsome crooner (who could give ole blue eyes a run for his money), and a practically technically perfect musical theater star (and she’s nice to boot). I consider all of them my close friends and equals and feel extremely lucky to do so. I am in a field where creation is my job. I get to do what I love and get paid for it…just not a lot.

On the flip side I’m always broke, rejection is plentiful, and you literally have every inch of you judged at each audition…from talent to weight and height to the way you say hello. I’m ALWAYS broke! I live in a one bedroom apartment with my best friend and I eat a lot of Ramen! While I’m waiting for my big break I call my couch my bed. Don’t get me wrong. I love my couch and am actually quite content sleeping on a couch, but unfortunately my neck and back disagree with me. I really need to have the option of sleeping in my own bed from time to time.

I’ve been scouring craigslist for a daybed or a sleeper couch to no avail. They are either way too expensive for me, or something that I would not put in my home. I need a bed, but my aesthetic sensibilities just won’t let me bring in an ugly or ill-fitting piece despite my neck problems. That may sound silly to some, but I take what I bring into my home very seriously. 🙂 Besides, most of the sleepers I’ve seen look like they’ve spent 10 years in a frat house. No thank you.

So I’ve had no luck….until tonight…..

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Sofa bed from Crate and Barrel is covered in antique gold stripe (has elegant green-gold cast) and measures approx. 6′ 4″ long and 3′ 8″ deep and 35″ high. Please note – the fabric is matte, it looks shiny in the photos due to the camera flash off the silk threads.
Bed seldom used. Is in excellent condition, and mattress pad included. Sofa recently professionally cleaned.
Also adding a matching coffee/cocktail table for free!

Couch originally $2500 – selling for $300!

Ummm…..Come to Mama! I am hoping with all I have that this hasn’t been promised yet. This couch would fit in perfectly with my home and it would give me a bed. I can see my vintage European travel posters hanging over it. I can see the amber glow of my eclectic collection of lamps illuminating it. But more importantly I see ME quite comfortable on this couch reading, blogging, and ahhhh sleeping. Is it serendipity? I sure hope so!