Sunday, October 31, 2010

My Apartment - the process

As you know, I've been obsessing about gray. I've been itching to experiment with adding it to my apartment. This perfect little Russel Wright pot started it all. I found this in a second hand store for $5.00! I had to have it. Now I wish I hadn't sold my Russel Wright gray bowl. Oh well, c'est la vie. I changed the main color from hot pink to gray in my place. Here's a sneak peak.

The color scheme. Gray, turquoise, pink, white and small pops of black. As you know, any color scheme I work with always includes large amounts of pink and white.

I still really love the look of the hot pink with the turquoise. But since the sofa cover is merely a sheet set, I can switch back easily if in the mood. The new gray sheet set is part of the room essentials, college dorm series at Target. I got it on sale for $3.99! Sheets are a great way to cover your sofa when you can't afford a slip cover. You can change them on a whim, they are very comfy and the best part is they are washable. You don't have to worry about your guests putting their feet up or spilling.

Here's a couple of other things found thrifting. I must admit the coaster set was ridiculously expensive for my taste. $24.99. What kind of a crazy person pays $24.99 for a coaster set? Well, the kind who has been obsessing about the perfect coaster set for two years. I could not find one simple enough, and this one is perfect. It's got that retro vibe going. And speaking of pure form, the salt and pepper shakers were only $1.99 at the Salvation Army. Love the minimal shape.

Here's a luxury I've been needing for a long time. A filing cabinet! I could never find one that I liked and could afford. I thought I'd have to buy a used one and spray paint it. Well thanks to Staples, that project is now moot. They had this fab pink filing cabinet on sale. $22.99! What could be better? I love being organized, I'm thinking of getting a second one before they sell out. After all, I am turning my home into an artist work/live space. There's no separation between life and work when you love your work. Everything must be beautiful.

Here's a couple little vignettes. The Haeger panther in the bathroom is inspired by Haegernerd and Retromod (see previous post here). I adore the color combination of pink and black. The grouping of photos in the bedroom is inspired by Ivy33. (I'm kind of annoyed that it is getting so hard to download from flickr these days - anyone else having problems?) I love a cohesive grouping, where everything is uniform. That is, they are the same size and the frames are the same. This looks much less cluttered than a grouping of various sized art and frames. Credits for art are as follows, clockwise: Love print by Jessie; vintage Hindu print; graffiti from Tokyo, photographed by by sister-in-law; vintage watercolor by Kapur.

The influence for piling pillows on the floor comes from Tricia Guild. This is an easy way to add color and warmth in your place. I adore Tricia's use of color and textiles. I've never been much into pattern, but if there's one person who could change my mind on this, it would be Tricia.

I've been wanting something to display pottery, but I didn't really want to spend money. I saw these two book cases at a thrift store, and they were tempting but I decided against them.

I opted to paint my hot pink bookcase in the sublime gray (see previous color here). The bookcase has been chartreuse, electric blue, white, hot pink and now it's gray. I love being creative, but I hate the mess!

But it was worth it. I love the new color of the bookcase. Now to style it with white pottery.

Now a couple of my pieces of pottery weren't right for the newly-gray bookcase. They were off-white, and I wanted them to be true white. I like white white, in a matte finish, but it's hard to find in an inexpensive vase. I love to spray paint them, they turn out really well but take a lot of patience. A warning about spray paint. It's not as easy as HGTV makes it sound. For tips on spray painting vases, click here.

Everything looks great with a new coat of paint, so I decided to touch up my ottoman. It was looking a little shabby.
I made a little sitting area in the alcove. One of my tulip chairs was surrendered to the curb because it was broken. I was happy that someone picked it up within five minutes.

Here's the alcove. I plan to make this into more of a work studio because I love the light. I will probably add a couple of easels and curtain the area off.

I moved my table into the tiny kitchen. This is a wonderful place to sit and feel gratitude. I drink my morning coffee here, brainstorm in my sketch pad and look lovingly at the squirrels in the tree from here. Wish I could paint all of my floors white!
Here's the funny little alcove in the kitchen. Probably no one but me would ever notice those shelves. I used the divine gray paint on them. It makes me happy every time I look at them.

I have my tea pot collection displayed on them. The lovely black tea set on the top shelf is a gift from my uncle in San Francisco. He bought it in NYC while he was in college in the 70s. I adore it. I will be taking it to Chinatown for a new handle.

New Painting

Untitled 2010, 24" x 24", Behr custom mix and acrylic on canvas. This is the first painting I've done in my new apartment. Well, let me take that back. This is the first painting I've done in my new space, that I actually like. I'm starting to feel at home. This painting is not as simple as it seems. There were colors in my head for quite sometime that would not be silent until they had been made manifest. Each color has been painstakingly mixed, it took a while to get the colors right.

Here are some of the influences in this work: I was listening to the music of Walkner Moestl. As you know, I have been obsessed with the perfect gray. A fine young man at Home Depot mixed a Behr Custom for me to match these pillows. I asked him to make it shiny, and he knew exactly what I was saying. I should have bought more than a quart. I've already used up that paint on several projects, and the color is, well, perfect. Here are some other influences for the painting:

Jennifer Davis. I love Jennifer's use of color. I'm not sure why, but the painting makes me think of the balloons of Jennifer Davis. And for some reason, the painting makes me think of birthday party hats. That's a good thing, it makes me happy. Maybe that's what I should title it. Birthday Party.

Mia Linnman. I also love Mia's use of color, as discussed below.

Stephen Ormandy's work still haunts me. I've written about his work before (see previous post here).

Friday, October 29, 2010

Some pretty rooms from my inspiration file

It seems I never tire of looking at beautiful rooms. Here are some rooms that are currently inspiring me. Hope you enjoy!

Gorgeous! Serene! Look at those colors. Love, love, love the salmon colored sofa against the white walls. Love the symmetry and love the enlarged baby pics. Such a great idea to turn your family pictures into art. Image Sara Hicks Malone via decor8.

Oh my goodness. Will you just look at that lamp! I need it. Please let this lamp show up on the curb or at the Good Will. That pillow's not bad either. And of course, the Saarinen table. One of my all time favorite designs. Image Bella Makes the Move to Brooklyn via Apartment Therapy.

Love the monochrome. I've always wanted to do a white painting against a white wall. Love the lamp. Love the pillows. And - gasp - those white floors. Image Isabel Lopez Quesada via Desire to Inspire.

This photo is from the AT color contest. Love the color of the wall, and I'm always a sucker for a large painting and vases. Love the table and the lamp. I'm pretending not to see the animal skin rug. C'mon let's just face it. Animal skin rugs are gross.

Love the painting, lamp shade and accent wall. Love the pillows. I think I need a furry pillow (fake fur of course). Look! Another Saarinen table. Image HGTV.

A Little Bit of Happy and A Lot of Blog Love

I've been following Apartment Therapy's Color Contest, and Nichole's "Little Bit of Happy" Room is by far my favorite. I had to see more of this wonderful place, by reading the comments I found she has a blog. And a wonderful blog it is! It's entitled Parlour, and I will be adding it to my link list. Here's a peak at her beautiful home. It's feminine, cozy and oozing creativity.

As you know, gray is my new favorite color. Love the gray sofa. Love the nature pics by Cassia Beck. Also love how they are framed uniformly and straight. Hanging them this way cuts down on the cluttered look of a grouping and looks like one large art piece. Love the large hanging light. You must read her blog to see how she created it! She glued coffee filters on a paper lantern. Fab!

Love the big cameo! She painted that. Love the black pops against the white.

Sky blue coffee table. Gorgeous. Love the houndstooth pattern on the rug.

Love the black accent walls with the pops of white accessories.

Cute kitchen! Love the gray cabinets, the paintings and look at that pendant lamp! She painted it. Love the pink peaking out!

Nichole is incredibly talented. I had to show this table that she painted. Love the chevron pattern in pink. It's for sale at her Etsy shop. I want it! Nichole, you go girl! Thanks for being an inspiration. Hope you win the contest!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I wish...

It's a sickness. Even as I'm trying to weed stuff out, I keep looking at stuff. Sometimes it makes my head spin. I'm trying to make my apartment beautiful with no money. I have a confession to make, I'm a hypocrite. I write about the virtues of decorating on a budget. But, I wish I had a lot of money. It's just that I'm not very good at the things that earn a lot of money in the U.S. Shameful, I know. Here are some beautiful things I'd like to have for my apartment:

This painting by Joey Slaughter. It's perfect. It would look great in my place. Wish I'd painted it.

A Moroccan wedding blanket. I've always wanted one. For more beauty of Morocco, see Holly at decor8's post, here. The lucky girl actually visited Peacock Pavilions, the project of one of my favorite bloggers, Maryam at My Marrakesh.

An ghost chair by Philippe Starck.

White floors. How I covet you. Look at this beautiful space. Like living on a cloud. White floors would be perfect in my attic apartment since I already feel like I'm living in a tree house. Image via Desire to Inspire (10/19/10). More than anything, however, I wish I could learn to be happy with what I have and not always want to change things.

Mitsuru Koga, or collaborating with nature

It's a bit trite to say that artists are influenced by nature. Interaction with and observation of nature are endless sources of fascination, but nature cannot be improved upon. Better to collaborate with nature than try to dominate her. Indeed, attempts at domination of nature are futile - nature will always win. So much has been written about nature, there's no need to intellectualize it again. For now, please join me in contemplating the marvel of rocks. Rocks are one of the amazing things the Earth has given us. Hold a rock in your hand, it's a meditational experience. Imagine how long it has taken for that rock to form in its current state. Amazing. I can spend hours admiring Lake Erie's rocks.

The artist Mitsura Koga is also fascinated by rocks. He states that: "Natural objects [are] constantly changing under the influence of the external world." He interacts with natural objects, in a minimal way, "creating a bridge between nature and human beings." The result is remarkable, have a look:

Architect Love and Procrastination

I have a confession to make. I don't buy exercise equipment. I've never used it for its intended purpose. Instead I've hung (dirty) clothes on it.

Architect Victor Vetterlein has come up with a stylish solution with his G-Force wardrobe chair. I think I need one. The G-Force is such a fab piece of sculpture, it would dissuade me from hanging clothes on it. I would sit on it to put on my pink pumps, though, and I'd be lookin' good. I'd call that a success. Design at its best. Solving problems. Victor is one of my favorite designers, I've written about him before. See previous posts here and here.

Do visit Victor's website. I love the presentation of his products. I think his model and wife is too fab! Love the white hair and pink eye lashes.

looooove from my Starbucks cup. Playing with fonts in Picasa, this one's called Australian Sunrise. Yep, I'm in procrastination mode.

David Cho

I'm working feverishly on making my apartment a beautiful and efficient work/live space. While working I've been listening to music and obsessing about art. Over the next few days I'd like to present a series of artists that I love. The common thread in the work of these artists is that there is an organic quality to their work. The works have both primitive and futuristic elements. The first is David Cho. I think it's especially cool when an artist comes from a street art tradition.

I was going to write a pithy review of his work, but just check out his website. Make sure you read the About section. The guy is fascinating.

This is Munko, a vinyl toy of David's work produced by KidRobot. I need one.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Blog Banners

Dear readers, I decided to redesign my blog. I like to do this approximately once every season. I wanted to make it look a little simpler, and to tell the truth the HTML coding was kicking my butt. I know you feel me when I say that I am swamped, so I am limiting what I'm learning, and I am not fooling myself that I will learn something when I won't. HTML (along with sewing) didn't make the list.

Here is the banner I used for summer. The blog design was done by blogger and designer extraordinaire, Jessie of My Mod Style. I love the design and I am so grateful for Jessie's help. Contact Jessie if you need help designing a banner or mood board for your room. She's great fun to work with.

Here's a draft banner I designed. I used one of my paintings as the background. I wanted to include something that looked like Autumn, hence the tree to the right. Also, this reflects my new love of the color gray. However, once I placed it in the template, I couldn't bear not using pink in my blog design.

So I opted to use this design. The background is also one of my paintings. I like the simplicity of it.
For my photo blog, here is the banner I used for Spring.

And this is my Autumn banner.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin