Thursday, September 30, 2010

My first DIY project in my new place

You know those crappy composite bookcases that you find everywhere (including on the curb)? Well, I must confess, I bought one at Target yesterday. What can I say? It was on sale for $16.00. I had a strange little corner in my kitchen and needed somewhere to display tea pots. The thing was really heavy, big thank you to Tonk for carrying it up the three floors. When I opened the package, I was mightily disappointed. It was not easy to assemble, had a million little pieces and the back support is made of cardboard! Well, as soon as I took it out of the box, that cardboard - which had been folded strangely - broke apart into three pieces. Like I've said many times, I am not a good DIYer. I have great ideas, but, well, execution is a problem.

What to do? I don't want to take it back. It's heavy. I don't want to litter the curb (or my newly-cleaned crawl space). I got the idea to tape the cardboard together and paint it. I painted the inside shelves as well, in my new favorite color - gray. I must be crazy, I was up until 3:00 a.m. working on this project.

It's not perfect, but I'm pretty pleased with it. I've displayed a few of my favorite things. On the top shelf are a teapot I found at the Salvation Army and marvelously simple white cups from CB2. The middle shelf boasts an orange teapot and blue cups I found on sale at Urban Outfitters, only $1.99 each! This proves that beauty can be accomplished on a tiny budget.

Here's my inspiration for the piece. As I mentioned below, I absolutely adore this credenza which has been upcycled by Think Contemporary. I also adore the teapots from Cosas. I need one, or two. Oops. Just when I said I wasn't buying anything new.

Moving, the Pains ... and the Joys

Dear readers, as you know I've been moving this week. This move has been so much work. When I moved to my brother's home six months ago it was pretty simple because I kept almost everything packed. Now I'm unpacking and trying to find a home for my stuff (of which I have too much).

I sold a bunch of things before moving. It was odd seeing my things displayed where I sold them. I wondered why I don't have a shop. That would be a great way to recycle. Even though I love beautiful things, I dream of having less. I hope to get this apartment arranged and to not rearrange or buy anything new for a long time. I want to enjoy what I have without needing more.

Even though I wanted a clean, modern apartment I fell in love with a quirky old attic apartment. I had to carry all this stuff up three flights of stairs.

It seemed endless. I didn't know where to start, so I made the very rational decision to start unpacking some of my toy collection. Playing with my toys always cheers me up. Did I mention that I have too much stuff?

I'm excited about turning my hallway into an art gallery. I put some of my favorite toys on hanging shelves. I'm not a very good DIYer so I had to let go of some of my perfectionistic tendencies while hanging these.

After selecting a few of my favs, I put the rest in storage. Storage. Such an odd concept, we store things because we have too much. Maybe I should get two more shelves so I can display my Pokemon collection.

Of course, even though I got rid of stuff, I still needed something new. I spied this fab table at a flea market and my sister-in-law got it for my birthday. My nephew helped with removing the legs so I could transport it.

The place has a lot of strange quirks I'll need to get used to. One is the crawl space. It was filthy and full of debris. Why is there always so much debris in an old place? I have a habit of throwing things away. The crawl space was full of broken blinds, used caulk tubes, various tins, dirty filters, etc. I took all that stuff out as quickly as I could, hoping not to see any spiders or mice. I didn't, thank goodness. After watching all the marvelous things the teams on Design on a Dime have made from reclaimed wood - I didn't have the heart to throw away all the miscellaneous wood pieces and just stacked them neatly in a corner. I need Spencer to make a custom piece to display my pottery.

The crawl space is now a storage area for some of my (too much) stuff. I feel like Bill Murphy in Groundhog Day. I only need to bump my head 100 more times before I learn not to bump my head.

The kitchen is by far my favorite room. It was the deck off of the kitchen that made me fall in love with this apartment. But there is an odd little alcove in there. The door on the right is completely non-functional. I'd like to remove the upper doors and paint the inside of the cupboard. This gives me something to procrastinate about.

Finally, a whole room complete. After a lot of work, it's starting to look like a home. I'll probably sleep for three days once it's done. Stay tuned for the big reveal.

Moving Pains

A home is a living breathing entity. Where ever I have lived, I have had a romance with my home. Indeed, it has been there to hug and cradle me in the worst of times, to celebrate in the best and to protect me. My personal space is very important to me, and I have loved every where I have lived. Each time I move, it is with great emotion. I am filled with conflicting emotion, sadness and loss over the place I am leaving and great optimism about the potential of a new place. I was only at the last place for six months. As you know, my brother - who has been my protector my whole life - took me in during a period of hardship. So not only will I miss the house, I will miss him.
Thank you big bro. I love you. And now the whole world knows it.

Images by Peggy

Saturday, September 25, 2010

More inspiration ... last one for now

I love this oversized photo! I may be using more photos rather than paintings in my new place. Signing off for a couple of days. Image via Door Sixteen. See you soon, dear readers! xxoo

More inspiration

Good morning dear readers! Today is my birthday and I am moving! I find that kind of profound. Starting a new beginning on my birthday. It's going to be a couple of busy days, so I'm trying to get some pictures from my inspiration folder up before I am without computer access. I would love to decorate a very edgy, Bohemian apartment with some modern elements thrown in. The following elements may seem disparate, but I could see them all working together.
I think I need these. Gorgeous. Image via Cosas.

Oh how I love this room! Low scale sofa juxtaposed with tall lamp, check. Moroccan influence, check. Lantern and lots of pillows, check. Image via Abigail Ahern.

I think I need that credenza. Cosas' teapots would look great on it. Love the idea of the more frilly teapots displayed with the more rigid geometry of the piece. And the yellow drawer repeats the color of the sofa and lampshade above. Fab. Image via Design Milk.

Friday, September 24, 2010

White walls, white floors

It's five o'clock in the morning and I can't sleep. I'm moving tomorrow and my head is swimming from all that I have to do. Rather than toss and turn, I thought I'd occupy my mind with pictures from my inspiration file - a source of endless joy and fascination. Here's one of my favorite homes.

The lovely home of Carolyn Quartermaine. I've featured it before (see previous post here). Her home makes me want to do my new place in all white with soft pops of pink and blue. I love the textiles and love white floors and white walls. Like floating on a cloud.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I wasn't supposed to be shopping....

With my move just days away, I wasn't supposed to be shopping. Thoughts of color, furniture placement and herb gardens happily danced in my head. I didn't need to confuse the issue. But.... I did need black curtains for my bedroom. So I stopped at Target.

I saw these onion shaped, smoky glass vases and swooned.

They'd look great combined with a few of these luxurious gray pillows. Hmm. Maybe I should do my apartment in plums, grays and smoky tones like this room (featured in a previous post here). But no, I don't want to start over, I've already decided on my color scheme. I have more-than-enough stuff and I don't need to spend more money.

These over-sized black vases had a matte finish and they made me swoon. They would look great on my deck and could provide privacy. But they were $29 and I'd need about 10 of them. Not to be.
Okay, I buckled. I couldn't help it. I bought one of these black ottomans. I mean look at those babies, aren't they gorgeous? $39.00. I still have the receipt in my purse in case I decide to return it, I'm having a little buyer's remorse. But will you look at that baby?

Since I was close by, I dropped the baby off at my new place. Here's a preview of the colors I'll be using. Hot pink is my favorite color, so there will be lots of it. I'm going totally glam. It's going to be an awesome girl cave.

Bedroom Inspiration

Dear readers, I hope that over the next few days you will humor me while I obsess about decorating my new apartment.  I'm pretty excited about having a bedroom, and I plan to keep it pretty simple.  I do want it to be a little moody, maybe gray, very romantic and flirting with minimalism.  Here are some pictures from my inspiration files.  These have been uploaded with the new photo editor in Google, which I think is working very well.  Seems to be easier making the pictures large. 
I love the padded headboard.  Image source unknown.
Love the white floors!  Wish I could paint my floors white.  Love the bedding.  Image source unknown.
Image via Apartment Therapy.
Image via Alvhelm.  Pink and gray look so fab together.
Image via The 10 cent designer.  Love the simplicity and balance.  And look at those lamps!  Not sure if they are Noguchi or knock-offs, but I love them.  Please email me if you know the sources for any of the photos not credited above.

Alcove Inspiration, Part Two

Today I am obsessing about alcoves, among other things. I had a funny alcove in my last apartment where the murphy bed used to be. As I hunted through my archives for a picture of it, I was stunned by how many times my apartment changed over the years. It was literally my canvas. Probably no one cares, but I am glad I have a record of it. I know,- have OCD. My personal space has always been important to me.

Sorry for the poor photo, this is predigital and has been scanned. This is one of the first incarnations of my previous apartment. God, I loved that place. I f I were decorating this space today, I'd turn the alcove into something Hindu and Moroccan inspired, with an edge.
Tara McPherson's poster would work perfectly. It's edgy, spiritual, feminist and very sensual.

And this piece would fit perfectly. I was stunned to find this of all places - at the WalMart website! Proves that beauty can be found in even the most unlikeliest of places.

Alcove Inspiration

Dear readers, as you know, I am obsessing about decorating my new apartment.

There's a funny alcove in the front of the apartment. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it. I need to see my stuff in the place. I'm thinking of putting the bed there and turning the bedroom into a studio (or vice versa). Here's some pictures from my inspiration file.

You probably remember Maria's sublime place. She was the winner of Apartment Therapy's Small Cool 2010, international division. I just may put my bed by the alcove and hang some curtains for mystery and romance.

Also from Apartment Therapy. This bed needs no headboard. And it's perfectly balanced by the tables.
I've featured this room before, I love it so. This is Danielle's bedroom, from one of my favorite blogs, The Style Files. This room is so ethereal. Love the architecture in lieu of a headboard. Love the white. Love the lamps. Love the Moroccan wedding blanket. I've always wanted one.

I just had to feature this amazing platform bed! The best design always attempts to solve problems, and this would have solved a lot of problems in my last apartment, where I was always moving things around. The handle is genius! Image via Apartment Therapy.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My new apartment - a preview

Wonderful news dear readers! I found a new apartment. Let me back up just a bit. Things are really turning around for me. I've been praying a lot - even using prayer beads and just having faith that I am wherever God or the cosmos wants me to be. When I got out of the way, it was like magic. Poof! I found a job, and the people are nice. Poof! I found an apartment. And Poof! The surgeon says I do not need more eye surgery. I am so grateful. I've actually been feeling very happy lately. I am esctatic that I will be back in my 'hood by my beloved lake, just in time for my favorite time of year. Here is a little preview. I really wanted clean, modern and open, but this place called my name and was too good a deal to pass up. It's a cozy attic apartment with some surprising amenities. I'm going to turn it into the perfect girl cave.

It has a fairly large alcove. Not sure yet what I'm going to do with the alcove. I may be putting my table here. And I'm definitely going to hang a chandelier.

There are several large walk-in closets! What a luxury!

Here's the sweet little living room. Can't wait to see my sofa in there. Being a lover of low scale, I am on the hunt for a long, low bench to put under those windows. I know I just need to keep my eye on the curb. It will materialize.

A bedroom! Imagine that! I thought about putting my bed in the alcove and turning this into a studio, but I haven't had a bedroom in so long, I may use it for its intended purpose. I think I'm going to go totally glam and get black curtains for this room.

It has a new bathroom!
Here's the hallway to the kitchen. I'm going to turn this into an art gallery. I love that it has a door.
Another luxury - a deck off of the kitchen! I love it. I'm going to buy some oversize pottery to make it private and maybe grow an herb garden.

Here's a quirky little feature in the kitchen, an alcove. I'll probably store my dishes here. I'd love to come in and rip out walls and paint the floor, but I won't, it's a rental after all. I'll work with what's here and it's going to be sweet.
You may remember that I've been spray painting vases lately (see previous post here). I'm getting hooked on spray paint! Here's my latest spray painting project. This is a sample of my new color scheme. I'm going to use a lot of jewel tones.

You already know this is my favorite Domino cover (see previous post here). I'd love to get my sofa recovered in a royal blue. There will, of course, be plenty of pale pink.

This room is inspiring me. I love the navy and the pink together. Image from Elle Decoration. I am so excited about decorating. I hope you will join me in this new chapter in my life. xxoo


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