Monday, April 15, 2013

Hard and Soft: Mixing in Wood Pieces

Here's a look I've been seeing a lot of lately, and loving it!  Mixing in wooden or organic forms with clean lines or light colors.  Love the balance of hard and soft.  Here's a particularly great example:

This beautiful dining room combines hard and soft elements very gracefully. The room is airy, soft and a little bit funky.  Because the well chosen objects are graphic in shape, there is still a simplicity to the room which adds a peaceful feel.  The soft painting and white walls lend an airiness to the room.  The lovely and simple table runner looks like a cloud on the dark table.  The table also grounds this airy room.
Here's another view of dining room.  Love the balance of the old with the new.  The light and dark.  The simplicity of the Eames chairs is perfectly juxtaposed with the heaviness of the table.  The unexpected mismatched chairs  provide a rugged touch while remaining airy as they are painted white to match the walls.  In the corner a proud ethnic piece has gained prominence by not having to compete with a jumble of art.  The look is skillful and perfectly balanced.  There is also a perfect balance of masculine and feminine in the room.

As you know, my preferences always lean toward the simpler, uncluttered home.  But I do love beautiful things, color and texture as well.  To satisfy these needs and yet remain uncluttered is what I strive for in decor. This type of restraint is all about balance.  It may look simple, but it's not easy.  However, if you are able to pull it off, the peaceful feeling you enjoy while spending time a room like this is so worth it!   This couple managed to pulled it off in their entire home and with a child and dog!  Proving it can be done.  A fine achievement in decor.   I highly recommend the rest of the home tour.  To see the rest of this gorgeous home:  Courtney & Michael's Scandinavian Comfort via Apartment Therapy.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Today is a Good Day

I'm almost embarrassed to admit it, but my current favorite song is Stay by Rihanna.  So soulful.  I can feel her in this song.  I'd like to take her in my arms and say, "Girl, I been there."  I know the agony of being strung out on a man who doesn't treat you right.  I am so grateful this is a chapter in my life that is now past.  Being single is the same as anything else.  There are good days, and bad days.  Some days I revel in my solitude and want to scream to the heavens, "Thank you for my freedom!"  I'm only human so of course I  get lonely sometimes.  If there is anything that I could say to young girls, it would be this:  hold out.  Hold out for the one who treats you right.  It might hurt to be without a man, but it is nothing compared to the joy of living drama free.  I have now experienced this joy, and I will never go back.  My wish for all women is that they experience this joy.

It's almost ironic that my thoughts are of the joys of being single this morning.  Last night I attended a wonderful celebration of love, and had a great time with my family and friends.  Not for one minute did I lament that I did not have a date.  In fact, I was perfectly content.  I'm proud, feeling comfortable in my own skin has been a long, hard struggle for me.   
Rihanna, thank you for this beautiful song, and for helping me get my apartment clean. I've listened to it like a zillion times while I cleaned.  I probably got on my neighbors' nerves because I was singing at the top of my lungs.  I couldn't help it!
Here's a look at how my apartment looks on this beautiful Sunday morning.  So grateful for my humble, little apartment.  Now I'm off to see my favorite cousin!  One other thing I'd like to brag about:  I am wearing make up for the second day in a row!  That may not sound like much, but for me it's an accomplishment.  Today is a good day.  Hope you are also enjoying your weekend, dear readers!  xo


I am feeling very peaceful and contented today.  It's a perfect Sunday.  I love this photograph.  It appeals to the part of me who would love to run to a new place.  Not sure why I am always drawn to solitary figures in art.  And, of course, I have a thing for pink hair.  Image via Urban Outfitters catalog.  Their catalog is always such a treat of beautiful photography.  I am guessing this is the work of fab photographer Geordie Wood, but I don't know for sure.  If you know this photographer, please contact me.  

Friday, April 12, 2013

Graffiti inspired furniture

I love the look of graffiti inspired painted furniture.  Especially when a modern graffiti look is juxtaposed with a stuffy, old piece.  It gives it a completely new life!  Here are a couple ideas I'd love to try.
I love the hand painted chair and screen!  I'd love to try my hand at making a screen.  These two pieces look so great together, the room looks soft, hip and comfy.  Image via Virlova Style.

This image has been obsessing me all week.  I may need to steal this idea.  I love this sofa.   I especially love the sofa juxtaposed with the modern standing lamp.  I think I'd prefer to see an acrylic coffee table here so that the only visual weight comes from the sofa.  Image via Lonny.

A Perfect Accent Wall

The next place I move to will definitely be a place that I can paint.  I am jonesin' to paint one or more accent walls!  This fuchsia corner accent wall is the perfect color!  I am saving this picture so I can take it to Home Depot and have the paint custom mixed.  I love color so much, but I'd love to live in a place that is all pink with lots of white.  The softness of the curtain looks so beautiful with that color.

And oh yes, I believe I've mentioned one or a million times before that I want white floors!  Image via House to Home.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Lola Donoghue

I am completely smitten with the work of Lola Donoghue.  Lola is a talented and prolific artist.  She does beautiful fashion illustration which are girly, with just the right amount of edge.  Perfect.  I only wish I had painted them.  She also does visionary abstracts which are at once childlike and sophisticated.  I love her use of color, negative space and texture.  I chose one of each of her genres, because it was difficult to choose what to feature, I love all her work so much.  These two pieces speak to me. 
More of Lola's fashion illustration can be seen at her Etsy shop here.
Ahh.  I could stare at this all day.  Gentle, yet edgy.  Otherworldly.  To see more of her abstracts, click here.

Here is a mock up with her painting in my living room.  I am in love.  My words are not doing these works justice, I am unable to express the depth of my feelings for this work.  Oh well, sometimes we over analyze art in an effort to understand it, when it's really about a feeling.  I feel this work.  Deeply.  I could lay on the sofa all day contemplating the color and textures.  I wish I painted it!  I think I need these in my life.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Rock Sculptures

I've been sort of having an artistic crisis since I moved into my small apartment.  I love my apartment, but I have no where that I can make a mess, no money for supplies and seem to have developed an allergy to my first love - acrylic.  But I must create, it's in my soul.  When feeling a creative burst over the weekend, I was looking through my drawers trying to figure out something I could make.  There it was - a tube of superglue!

The Influence:
I've been wanting to make rock and sea glass sculptures for a long time.  I thought about this lovely image I saw on My Attic.  So I went crazy with my tube of superglue.

I glued a few rocks from my Lake Erie collection together.  I began looking around my apartment for other things to glue.  Maybe I can glue some vases together.  Oh, I know.  I saved some cute large beads from a broken necklace!
So I made these little sculptures.  Not sure what I'm going to do with them yet.  One thing's for sure, my appetite is whetted.  Stay tuned for more rock sculptures.  Who knew how fun a tube of superglue could be!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Deconstructing Lamps

I can't help it, I love changing, deconstructing and using things for unintended purposes.  I especially love making inexpensive lamps into vases (see previous post here).  I save the hardware and easily turn them back into lamps, if the mood catches me at a later time. I love experimenting with various shapes, it's like sculpture.

Remember my pink lamp?  I got it some time ago at Old Time Pottery for $29.  The shade alone is worth that - it's a beautiful satin.  As you know, sometimes shades cost more than lamps. The base looks cheap, though, and has always bothered me.  I dearly love the shape and color.  Every time I looked at the lamp, I thought what a cute vase it would make.

I was thrilled to get this lamp on sale at Target.  I love how it doesn't have a base and that it looks like pottery.
I decided to put the pink shade on my new lamp.  I love it!  See post below where I talk about this color scheme.

The pink lamp is now a vase!  Two new beautiful objects to play with.  Now it's time to rearrange!  Simple, cheap and fun.  Now that's my idea of DIY.  I think I need to paint my bookcase again....

Saturday, April 6, 2013


Ahh.  I love my apartment.  I love Saturday morning.  I love puttering around my apartment.  I have some new goodies from thrifting yesterday that I'd like to share.

New floor mat that I got at the dollar store (for $1.00)!   I'm not usually attracted to patterns, but this looks like a gorgeous water color.  I almost hate to stand on it, but my back had been hurting while washing dishes.  This solves that problem, which makes it even more beautiful.  Beauty and function.

Funny, I thought for sure I was going with pink and yellow for Spring.  For some reason I have been very attracted to blue.  I got this beautiful blue glass vase at the thrift store for $1.00!  I love art glass almost as much as I love ceramic.  I also enjoy mixing the two. The little pink tea light holder was ten cents!  These pieces look so ethereal in the sunlight, I cannot capture it with my camera.
Look at this scarf!  I almost had a heart attack when I saw it.  Now that is what I call orgasmic pink.  Only $2.00! I love this color so much, I will probably have paint custom mixed at Home Depot to match it.  I want to put it on a LARGE canvas since I can't paint the walls.   So for the cost of $4.10 I updated my humble abode today, proving once again that beauty and style don't have to cost a lot.  If it's your home, you should love it!  What about you dear readers?  What are you doing today?  I hope you are enjoying your weekend.  xo

Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday Fashion Fun - Green Eyeshadow

I went thrifting with my favorite cousin today and I wore green eye shadow!  A beautiful minty green that my girl Haley gave me.  I never thought I'd wear green eye shadow.  I paired it with purple eye shadow and pale pink lips for a funky Spring look.  I felt cute!

Cat eyes are all the rage this spring!  So why not do them in a funky shade like green?  And don't cover up those sexy freckles!
Images via eyeshadow lipstick.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Earning a Check Mark

Living with chronic illness is like anything else.  There are good days and bad days.  You learn not to take anything for granted.  On those rare days when there is no pain, I feel so grateful.  Yesterday was one of those days.  And like so many of my days, filled with a gamut of emotions.

Like many people, I keep a to do list.  My list is long.  I constantly feel overwhelmed.  But some days I am able to give myself a check mark.  I've come to value those check marks.  I see each one as an accomplishment.  Yesterday I was actually able to fill out a form, and made it to the post office to mail it.  This may not sound like it, but for me it was huge.

As I walked to my destination, I thought back to a previous chapter my life where I arose at 6:00 a.m. every morning, went through a complex set of routines to make up my face, fix my hair and wear a suit including hose and heels!  Just thinking that makes me tired.  But it didn't stop there.  That was where it started.  I'd then rush out to the bus, sometimes in bitter cold Lake Erie weather.  On the bus, I'd have to stand and fight nausea while crowds of people fought and generally behaved loudly.  By the time I got to work, I felt like I'd been beat up!  But it only began there.  Now work, with so many details and things to do, never with a glimmer of hope of catching up, all the while holding my poor bladder until it was impossible to hold - thank God that never got ugly, it was close.  Ignoring the rumblings in my belly, the pain in my back and trying to ignore the meanness and yelling  from unhappy, stressed out (and sometimes drunk) lawyers.  I didn't do well with that - I've been told I'm too sensitive.  After 10-12 hours of this, again to the bus.  All day in the office I fought not to cry, so I cried on the bus on the way home.  Among the crowd of loud and performing citizens, no one ever noticed.  Then to the grocery store, maybe laundry, if I have any energy, maybe pick up the apartment, pay bills and collapse before getting up the next day to do it all over again.  How on earth did I do this and put myself through school?  How on earth do people do this and take care of children?  This insanity went on for years.  No wonder I almost died.  I knew that I could no longer do it when I began crying on the bus on the way to work.

These days I rarely put on makeup, do my nails or shave my legs.  No one seems to mind.  The freedom and anonymity are a gift.  I live simply, and drama free.  I am kinder to myself, no longer worrying about impressing god knows who or what.  The more simply I live, the happier I am.  I still love girly things, and when I do have the energy to put on make up or do my nails, it feels like a luxurious treat.  I suppose the point of all these words is that I'm okay, and I don't take anything for granted.

Yesterday, before heading to the post office I made the mistake of reading an illogical, poorly thought out and naive political argument on Facebook.  Ah, why did I read that?  Even though your opinion might be contrary to mine, I would still defend your right to it.  I walked in the beautiful breeze and lamented the lack of critical thinking, the need for education and why is it okay that no one takes grammar seriously?  Yes, I worry about some stupid shit sometimes.  While in line at the post office, a Rasta man shared a kind word and his loving energy.  I felt like God had spoken to me.  Never underestimate the power of a kind word, it can restore someone's faith in humanity.  I decided to focus on the good in people and began smiling at everyone I met.

At the dollar store, I waited in line and witnessed a man being extremely hostile to his wife.  I was biting my lip so hard it was bloody.  I feared for her safety.  Again, feeling sad that people are in America seem to be so unhappy.  I must think of a way to help.  Rather than letting my mind spin out of control and become overwhelmed, I tried to stay focused in love rather than fear.  I made my way home, proud that I had earned the right to another check mark in my notebook.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Feeling Blue, and a New Lamp

I've mentioned my love of blue and pink many times.  I love many uses of these colors, a few of my favorites are:  (1) hot pink with dark electric blue;  (2)  hot pink with pale blue; and  (3) dark blue with pale pink.  I can't believe I've been in my apartment a year now!  I've been craving a new lamp ever since I moved in.

I had been eyeing this lamp at Target for quite a while.  I love the color, I love how it looks like pottery.  At $44.98 it was too steep for my budget.  Last week while walking around Target, I noticed there were boxes and boxes of new stuff being stocked by the employees.  Hmm.  Maybe my lamp was on sale.  I breathlessly walked over to the lamp isle, thinking the lamp must be sold out.  But there it was - marked down to $22.98! I figured it was meant to be. I didn't see any lampshades I liked, and I didn't have the heart to pay for a lamp shade that cost as much or more than the lamp.  I knew I'd figure something out.  Maybe I'd find something at the Goodwill. Then it hit me.

The Influence:
Remember my favorite cover of Domino magazine, that I've showed you like a zillion times?  I love the cobalt blue sofa with the pale pink pillows.  Remember the pink lamp I bought on the cheap at Old Time Pottery (man I miss that store)?  See previous post here.  I could use the pink shade on my new lamp.



I love it!  I prefer an ambient glow at night, and this fits the bill nicely.  This is my kind of DIY.  Simple.  Little changes like this make me happy.  My bedroom needs a total makeover, stay tuned for some bedroom inspiration.  And what about you dear readers?  Have you been Spring cleaning?  What colors are you using for Spring?

Feeling Blue, Part 2

Saturday was a beautiful day.  I had no where to go, no money to spend, but desperately wanted to be out.  I decided to walk around Home Depot.  It's huge and always provides a ton of inspiration.  I found myself lingering over the paint chips for a long time.  They are a never ending source of fascination for me.  I was focused on blue, pink and gray.  Oh how I wish I could paint an accent wall in my apartment.  A large canvas (or two or three) will have to suffice.

As you know, Behr is my favorite paint.  I tend to use flat on walls.  I've lived in many old places, and flat paint helps to hide imperfections.  I also like flat on canvases.  I use high gloss for furniture.  As I looked at paint chips, I fell in love with a pale periwinkle.  It's a perfect color, it looks a little blue, looks a little violet. It'd be wonderful to watch how it changes in the light.  I think I need this color in my life.  (600C-3 Periwinkle Bud).
Remember this beautiful room from a previous post?  I adore the blue used on the wall.

Remember the gorgeous blue room on the March 2010 House Beautiful?  I'd love to experiment with monochrome.  I'm not sure I could do a monochromatic room because I love so many colors!  But every time I look at this room I swoon.  Have you seen House Beautiful's slide show entitled 70 Years of Blue Rooms?  If you love blue, you'll love the slideshow.  Do you enjoy looking back at some of your previous decor?  I was looking at some of my previous uses of blue in my little studio apartment.  I still miss that apartment even though it was small, in bad shape, old, dusty and noisy.
I experimented with monochrome in my kitchen.  Even though the room was small, I used a bold color on the walls.  To the reader who sent an email requesting this paint color, I apologize for the delay in getting back to you.  Thanks for writing, I hope you are reading!  It is Behr flat paint 600B-6, Sudden Sapphire.  (If unable to to get this exact color, I've also used a custom mix of Behr paint that is also gorgeous:  start with 590D-5 Windsurf Blue and make it a little darker, but not quite as dark as 590D-6).

I am loving the color scheme of pale pink, silver and blue.

I've mentioned my love of hot pink and dark blue many times.  I also love hot pink with pale blue.  Here are a couple of pieces that spray painted.  These have been sold and now I wish I had them.  Oh well.
I sometimes miss having an all white place with pops of colors.  I sold that blue satin pillow and now wish I hadn't.  Hmm.  Maybe it's not such a good idea to look backwards.  Good thing I can't sew, I'd be buried in pillows!

Feeling Blue

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you already know that I constantly obsess about color.  A color will grab hold and not let go.  The past few days I have been thinking of blue.  I thought my apartment was going to be yellow for spring.  Now I'm not so sure, blue is haunting me.  Here is some inspiration.  Hope you enjoy!
I love this room so much.  I adore the sofa and ottoman.  And that rug is gorgeous.  I have been craving a new rug lately, but have you noticed how expensive they are?  I am loving the use of various hues of blue in this room and that pop of silver from the lamp.

There are many shades of blue, periwinkle is one of my favorites.  Here it looks gorgeous with pops of yellow.  Perhaps this is a way I can have yellow and blue.  Above two images House to Home.
But of course I must have pink too.  Doesn't Emily Henderson look adorable cute in her new bedroom?  I adore the hot pink pendants with the navy blue headboard.  For more of this fabulous color scheme, click here.
This royal blue pendant looks great with the turquoise walls and the pops of pink.  Image via Pink Friday.


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